DISCLAIMERS: Any resemblance to Xena and Gabrielle, who belong to those lucky folks at MCA/Universal/Renaissance, is intentional. This is a not-for profit uber fan fiction. No copyright infringement is intended. The rest of the tale is mine with all copyrights thereto.
VIOLENCE AND SEX: This story depicts scenes of violence, and implied sex
between two adult women. If this disturbs you, please read something else. Rated NC-17.
(C) P. Lord, July 2001. Feedback to HeronW@AOL.com
A musician sells her soul for fame, but what does the daemon really get in return?
"Goddammit! If I wanted rap slop I would have asked for it! This dreck is the least original drivel from an anus-oriented plagiarist that I have ever seen!" A fuming Lucyte held several pages over her lighter as she flicked the flame on high.
Her manager popped several Tums and Valiums into his mouth and downed them with three fingers of Cuervo Gold. Ross knew better than to offer his client any of his consumables. Lucyte's only vice was clean firm flesh, of either sex and of consenting age.
"You. Are. Fired." Lucyte purred as she leaned over his desk dropping the ashes of words into his brass wastepaper basket.
"But you can't--" Ross pulled at the twenty-eight carat gold chain that snatched at his sparse graying chest hair under the eye-searing Hawaiian print shirt.
"My contract: page fourteen, paragraph two, subsection thirty-seven--" She smiled, a slow seductive smile. It never reached her eyes.
Ross's caterpillar brows wrinkled and met in confusion.
" 'When the party of the first part,' that describes you, Ross, 'Fails to provide acceptable lyrics to the party of the second part, known herein as Lucyte, in a six-month time period, this contract is null and void.' That pretty much describes you too, Ross. Eidetic memory, I have many skills. Ciao." Ross watched as the lust of his life strolled out of his office.
A tiny part of his greedy brain tried to gloat: she'll be back. There's no one on earth who can do what her unquenchable musical appetite demanded. And he so wanted to be a part of her unquenchable lustful appetite, even though he'd have a much better chance to boff someone like Mother Teresa. Maybe if he promised to pay for reconstruction surgery for his girlfriend Lila, that and the diamond tennis bracelet with matching earrings that she had admired on Rodeo. And cyan blue contact lenses... and more imagination than he possessed in his whole pathetic libido.
Lucyte had the voice: five and a half octaves, perfect pitch, resonance, empathy, a lush timbre and volume without strain. She had the look: six feet of attitude and cheekbones that were the envy of every Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. Under raven blue/black locks, her eyes ranged from icy lavender to smoke gray to deep cyan blue. Which depended, as she was fond of saying, on how good her bed partners were last night. She had the body: stunning in an aqua sheath with a fan train that swept behind her like a poor relative, or feral in a ragged black leather halter and second-skin black suede jeans.
Lucyte had the music: blood shrieking, heart teasing, brain whispering notes that welled from a Stratocaster played with a violin bow. She had an eight keyboard Moog synthesizer designed to her specifications with the help of a well-known cutting-edge electronic group. She was also quite competent with soprano and alto sax, uillean pipes, and Zuni Indian flute.
What Lucyte didn't have were words, lyrics, something other than la, la, la. Sure there were good writers among the hacks, but there were no great writers. No writers who could follow her vision, her glissando and crescendo, or a playful ripping scherzo.
"No, no, yes, no. I tried that. Yes, both ways. No, I don't know. No, again. Are there any more questions? Good." Lucyte wadded up the last hopeful collaborator's dreams of bad rhymes and worse free verse, and threw the wad across the fifty-foot length of the music room into a nearly full wastebasket of crumpled misbegottens. There were no misses.
It was fortunate that the writers themselves were absent. Lucyte let herself indulge in a brief fantasy of dragging the miserable bastards behind wild horses over miles of rocky terrain. She sighed in frustration and felt the building rage.
"I'd give my soul for a Goddamned lyric!" Lucyte made a fist and slammed at the ivories on her baby grand, stopping just a millimeter short of damaging the excellent instrument.
"Really..." A young girl stood inside the doorway, leaning on the jamb. Her hair was a hand's length past her shoulders, a multi-level natural red-gold with bangs. She wore a pair of brown cutoff denims and a pale pine green, sleeveless midriff blouse that tied under her otherwise unencumbered breasts.
"Did Lourdes let you in?" Lucyte scratched her thigh through the brushed cotton jeans and tucked her "Superman" tee shirt in.
"No, your housekeeper is blissfully unaware, engrossed in the soaps."
Wary blue eyes scrutinized the nonchalant visitor, "I've never met you before."
"No, you haven't," the girl smiled and walked over to the piano. Lucyte stood up. The blonde came just about to her chin. She had sea-green eyes and an expression of quiet bemusement on her lovely face.
"All right...Why are you here? One of my adoring fans?"
"Mmm, something like that. I want to bed you."
"Ha ha," Lucyte shook her head. "I suppose you have verifiable identification that your over eighteen and are willing to take a blood test? Oh, and you got a clean guy to join us? I do so love ménage à trois. You'd know that if you were a real fan."
"I'm older than you think, I'll take your test and, no, I work alone."
"I've told you my preferences. Or are you a hermaphrodite who 'really loves my music'? I didn't know I had such an eclectic following." She scratched the top of one bare foot with the other while raking a glance over the girl's toned body. "No, you're definitely not that. Unless you cheat and wear a rubber strap-on. I've got quite an assortment of my own. Latex, mahogany, silver...ivory. Among others."
"Your music reaches almost to the four-corners of the earth. It would go a lot farther if you had a word or two dropped in."
Lucyte spun and kicked out, her foot stopping a scant inch from the girl's nose. "Why are you here?" She demanded. The girl hadn't moved, other than a slow eye blink. Lucyte lowered her leg. Her newest fan didn't impress easily, neither was she afraid of a move that could drive her nasal ridge rudely into the grey matter hidden under the soft golden bangs.
"We don't need anyone else to share the sheets." She flipped to the beginning of the sonata and began to hum Lucyte's music, "These or the black silk ones."
"Who are you?" Lucyte stared at the girl. She was probably twenty or so, ten years the dark woman's junior.
"Andras. But that's not the right question. More to the point, what shall we call your new band? Hmmm? How about Thresher. A nice, visceral, dangerous music machine. Circular cutting blades just a hair's breadth of breaking free to ravage at will. Yes, I think that will do nicely. You like mythology?" She pulled out a violet-lead pencil from her back pocket.
"This would be the prologue for your opera: Phygment, Fantasym and Myrage.
"You can't believe a gryphon's tears
nor hear the harpy's laughter
nor stare into a dragon's eye
for happy ever after.
Between heat of salamander
icy breath from a cold drake
prostrate below the sphynx' quest
with no more lost time to take.
Fall into the basilisk's gaze
motionless under sidhe's mound
to lose the tail of chimera
silent stars encircled round.
A minotaur's raging challenge
for prey can never be missed
or Maenad's dark hungry dance
from Medusa-just one kiss.
Wyvern's wait upon midnight's crest
as the hydra slips through dreams
mantichore sighs a gentle breath
for nothing is as it seems."
Lucyte followed the rapid handwriting as it meshed seamlessly with every arpeggio and fugue. "This is incredible!" Her fingers tentatively picked out the simple melody as she mouthed the newborn words.
Andras chuckled, "And it won't sound like a big gryphon with a cat in its mouth."
"Hhhmmm?" Lucyte looked over as the girl stopped writing. Blue eyes caught green ones and held for a moment.
"Never mind, princess. Now this would work with your first act: Changeling's Birth.
"To crouch and bleed the hidden born in darkness
wary of the watch a strident fearful call at this.
Tuck up the little one just so, nary a cry
run with faltering steps no help, the pain comes nigh.
Afterbirth with salt and tears, waters charmed from a livid womb
they would track her thus-glazed sight to wait entombed.
Soft now, past the hunters, tired teeth, white dripping
red from rending flesh and soul beneath talon ripping.
Let none be born then hie away to die alone
kings would have it so, narrow queens past caring for their own.
The herdsman on his cot believes it, signs away the curse
good folk do ill by common means neither knowing the better nor the worse.
They fear tonsured priests and keepers of the fey
damned by fearful faith and hateful disbelief to stay.
Ah, but none shall touch this strange and solemn head
that stores all wisdom and hopes for life instead.
So watch for Puck and Sprite, Morrigan's third face and Hel
secrets cast through fallen stars that glow so brief and never tell."
"Huh..." Lucyte shook her head as the warp libretto and woof music wove a complete tapestry for her rock opera. She put an arm around the brilliant girl and hugging her tight, kissed her soundly on the lips. "So Andras, when do you want to try out the other sheets?" she asked in a husky voice.
"All this time, in twenty years, you've never let me kiss you there...hands yes, assorted devices yes... Why won't you let me in?" Lucyte lay beside her young appearing lover; the long red blonde hair sprawled out behind Andras. The girl reached up and stroked the dark woman's close-cropped raven dark hair. The singer's body was longer than her companion's by nearly a foot, but they fit together like an ancient puzzle box, all languid limbs and smiles.
"Do you not please other lovers with those talented lips and tongue? Let them be enough. Fans are people too," Andras gave a little half grin; her sea-green eyes looked into cyan blue ones.
"You've taken human form but you don't let a human heart in." Lucyte took a small hand and kissed the palm. "What are you afraid of?"
"And how would you add that part of daemon fucking to your erotic resume?" Andras narrowed her eyes and placed her hand over Lucyte's heart. She watched the singer's face as her hand grew hotter.
Lucyte clenched her teeth as a tendril of smoke seeped from under her lover's touch.
"I--wouldn't-- Stop, please!"
Andras lifted her hand revealing a red print with five finger lengths branded on Lucyte's breast. She lifted a tear from Lucyte's sculpted cheek and brought it to her lips.
"So sweet..." Andras nodded once and the burn faded.
Lucyte's breath went out in a rush, "I gave you my soul--" she gasped.
"--And you want my heart in return?" Andras gave her a wary look.
"Don't daemon's have hearts?" Lucyte stroked her love's cheek.
"No...sometimes... I don't know."
"You have a heart and hopes and dreams. You're much more than a mere creature of darkness."
"I'm a monster. I hurt people for a living. It's what I do." For a moment Andras' eyes flashed red, the pupils drawn out to a horizontal ellipse, then they changed back to green.
"Is it? Do they teach epic poetry and a love of language in Hell? And what of caring? When that sleazy nightclub owner slipped that rufie shit into my cappuccino and tried to rape me?"
"I was protecting my investment. After all, I own your ass, and other pertinent body parts," Andras' voice was husky as she gazed on her lover.
"Well, you're not hard on the eyes either. But what part of you nursed me through that nasty flu?"
"You hate hospitals; you wouldn't let me call a doctor. With my background, dealing with heat and fever is second nature."
"Uh huh." A slow smile spread across Lucyte's face, as the smaller woman looked puzzled.
"Only second nature. Not first." She rolled over and picked up a candle burning on the nightstand. Lucyte sat back on the bed and inhaled the gardenia scent before lowering the low column of creamy wax so that the flame was level with Andras' eyes. "Do me a favor, just look at this for a bit. Watch the wick at the center. Can you see it? It's almost impossible with the core of the fire covering it...You've got to look real close. Concentrate on the flame; watch it real hard. Can you see it? Can you see the center?"
"Yes..." Andras' voice was low, her green eyes steady and unblinking. Lucyte smiled; that tape on hypnosis she lifted from the video store when she was fifteen, really was on the level. Who'd a thunk it, as her granddaddy used to say. Her smile faded. Damned sadistic pervert.
She knocked his heart pills out of his left hand while his right was busy under her skirt. He always ignored her tears and pleas ever since she was eight. Now at eleven, she was almost big enough for him he said as he tried to jam a third finger inside the tight darkness. Then his heart stuttered and gibbered and she jerked back. He begged for his nitroglycerine pills with the same hand that had forced her again and again. For the first time, she was able to say no. And she watched him die, slowly.
Foster homes, the street, and always the need and the gift. Bars, clubs, an agent and her stage name. Lucyte was reborn by her own hands and the music. Then Andras came with the words and Lucyte was complete.
"Go back, back to your beginnings, before this form. Back to the first time. Who are you Andras?"
The young woman answered in a soft voice from eons ago, "Please, let me come with you. I don't belong here. I'm not like everyone else. I'm not the little girl my parents wanted me to be."
Lucyte smiled softly, "It's not easy proving you're a different person."
"I can't lose you again. Promise me, you won't leave me!" Andras begged. "And you promise me again, if something happens to me, you won't become a monster."
"I promise..." Lucyte whispered, not knowing if her lover heard her over the voices from the past.
"By the Gods, I couldn't stop myself...but they tortured you for days before they killed you, my dearest love. So I took your sword and I killed them all. The ones who did it, the ones who stood by and watched were just as guilty. And the ones that laughed and drank and spit at your name, I slew them as well.
"Grief, hatred, revenge...all were stronger than my love for you. You never asked that promise of me. Your faith was in my wish for peace, but if I couldn't have, it no one could. For what I've done, I'll never be with you again. No matter where you spend eternity, I'll never share it with you. The only thing I can share with you is this cold steel.
"I'd watch and listen for endless nights as you scraped the whetstone over and over the edge, a faraway look in your eyes as you made love to your sword. And I was jealous until you and I discovered each other. It's fitting that your loves go together; we both still remember your touch."
Andras held out her hands before her like she was gripping something; then she pulled it quickly towards herself. "I'll always love you," she said in a voice so faint, Lucyte almost didn't hear it.
"Sleep, sleep and dream sweet dreams," the older woman urged as she drew back the candle.
The blonde closed her eyes and fell back in natural repose.
Lucyte looked down at the untroubled features, the pale lashes resting on the soft cheek. Andras had never cried, she'd never let the healing tears come and relieve her sorrows. She held them under the mask of daemon, justifying the killing by her army of darkness.
Yes, it had bothered Lucyte the first few times. The third song to the last in her concerts subconsciously urged the greater percentage of her audience to leave quickly without trouble. The next to the end drove out the ones who lingered at the concession stands and the restrooms. Those that were left were the dregs, the dealers, the pimps, the cruel sneering predators who only knew how to cause suffering and death. They stayed for the siren's call and they were lost.
In the beginning, Lucyte had been frozen at seeing the figures dropping from the sky. Purplish black reptilian skin stretched between vanes, their sibilant hissing filled the arena as they landed heavily. She was knocked aside by a stiff gnarled arm as a bellowing beefy biker type ran for the exit. A daemon gripped his thick grey ponytail and yanked back. Lucyte heard a definite crack as the Hell's Angels' neck snapped before he fell.
Lucyte cried out as something jerked her arm, "It's me, Andras." Her glossy scaled hide reflected the klieg lights. Something about the way she held herself was like that of her other petite human form.
"They're killing and--" Lucyte's heart caught in her throat.
"That one--" Andras indicated the body of the biker, "had campgrounds as his specialty. He'd follow an out-of-state camper and watch where they would stop for the night. Theft, rape, murder, then set it all on fire. Lock him up and he'd prey on lesser criminals. Sentenced to death he could use appeals to stay alive for a dozen years or more until he got a painless execution. Late justice is no justice.
"This woman, what's left of her, was more insidious. She couldn't have children so she felt others didn't deserve theirs. She became a nanny, and injected the innocent with all sorts of drugs. The lucky ones died. Some were paralyzed; others were left brain-damaged to be cared for by strangers.
"We are the thresher, harvesting that crop that these foul things have planted. The face of evil and the face of mercy are not so easily recognized anymore. They come around again and again. They may look different on the outside, but underneath they're the same thing."
Andras lifted a red wet lump to her lips and tore out a chunk, spattering blood on Lucyte. The singer turned away holding back her gorge as Andras finished the heart. Out of consideration for her dark-haired lover, Andras never again fed in daemon form where Lucyte could see her.
"You think you're beyond redemption because you couldn't let go, you can't forgive yourself. We'll see, my love...we'll see."
Twenty years of fame and glory and worship to the pagan beat. Tonight was the last night. At fifty, Lucyte looked half-that with firm tits and a very shapely ass. In her trademark thigh-high black boots with their silver studs and six-inch solid silver heels, she was of goddess proportions. In her silver and deep royal blue catsuit she was immortal. Her short-cropped raven crest framed by longer hair tapered to mid-spine, bristled like her, "Anger in the Morning." Twenty-seven weeks at Billboard's top ten and the video was humping week thirty-three on VH-1.
The promoted two-hour concert was finally over after four hours of hardcore, head-banging, righteous indignation against the two-legged lemmings that were called society. Actually Lucyte was just about finished jamming with the sax player for the Jonnie-stay-latelies whom even the pummeling rain couldn't make leave. They just huddled under their plastic bags, raincoats, umbrellas or nothing at all and screamed along with the lyrics. The rumble of Lucyte's Stratocaster bass with a few self-engineered improvements of her own design competed quite nicely with the rumbles of thunder.
She loved these chosen few who would do anything to hear her voice, see her body in her trademark shimmering sequined cat suit and sing 'til they were hoarse -- what they thought were her songs. The rain stopped and the hundred or so stragglers stood to cheer her as well as the welcomed end of the deluge. Lucyte gripped her bass and somersaulted through the air; off the stage to land on the wood floor of the pit; twenty feet into the plebeian gallery, where her remaining audience cheered even louder. She cried out in that special language that ended all her concerts and looked up to see the familiar outlines against the swollen steel gray clouds.
The slaughter began. They flew, cutting great swaths of air, scores of them dropped down upon unsuspecting prey. Their sleek black bodies rippling as they bore their meat to the ground. Lucyte yawned at the screams; once again she had given a concert like none on earth. Andras landed before her, the first time Lucyte had seen her since signing on for the world tour. Andras had traveled very far to join her today.
"It's time to go, the contract is up," Andras fastidiously wiped a trickle of blood from the corner of her mouth as she held out a small slender obsidian hand to her singer.
"But wait--just let me have a few more moments please?" Andras nodded agreement. The band called Thresher had vanished as it always did, along with security and the techs. The lights and amps, sound mixer and instruments, props and stage were all gone back to that other place, except for Lucyte's axe.
They went to Lucyte's trailer, Andras opened the door and they went inside. Andras had to bow her wings to fit through the opening. The dark woman stripped off her sequined clothes and grabbing a towel rubbed her raven hair dry. Andras gave her nude body a cursory glance and turned to look at the twenty platinum discs that covered one wall. Lucyte threw the towel into a corner and plopped in a chair by the mini-fridge. She took out a bottle of Evian spring water and drank nearly the whole quart before gasping for breath. She rubbed a sore spot on her left foot with her right hand, the thigh high boots were too new to fit quite right.
Andras turned back to her holding some brand-new sheet music, "Why are you staying naked?" She dropped the papers on a table as she looked through the curtains. The last few damned were being consumed.
"Well, I guess I won't be needing clothes where we're going." Lucyte shivered, she was getting chilled. On the nearby table she saw the new libretto for her unwritten rock opera opened to page five. Lucyte pulled it over and began to read it. She beat her foot in time to the music in her head, ignoring the distant daemons and their whimpering, shrieking food. Andras watched her for many moments.
"Are you ready?"
"Yes, but--you wrote this glorious piece?" The horned head nodded. Lucyte stood, indicating the legions outside with a toss of her head, "Do they know you write this well?"
Andras shook her head. "It's time--"
Lucyte held the script and shook it, "This is magnificent--yet you're willing to return to wherever the hell you come from," Andras raised an eyebrow at this, "And they don't care that you created this?"
"I'm one of them."
"You're not like them, you're better than they are, you don't even need them. Let's not go back. Share the world stage with me. With your lyrics and my savvy I can make the world love you."
"That almost sounds like the bargain I made with you," Andras smiled wryly, her six fingered hands on Lucyte's shoulders.
"But I'm not asking for your soul, just your words. You can change your mind any time and I'll go with you. But don't leave without trying. Tell me I'm not offering you something you've always wanted."
"What if you leave me? Then what would a poor devil do?"
"You have my signature in at least two bodily fluids, I can't go anywhere in the world to escape you, but your words own you, and you can't deny them."
"I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try, but I think I need to do a couple of alterations."
Unearthly flesh molded and reformed to thoroughly human proportions, her red-gold head just reaching to Lucyte's chin.
"Andras, you take less time to change than anyone I know!" Lucyte laughed as she hugged the compact figure. "You just wait, we're gonna knock em dead."
"Now, that would be a switch!" replied the lovely blonde with a fallen angel smile.
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