Three stories of love and sensuality from the archives of the award-winning Karin Kallmaker.
In the explicit “Do Overs” reliving their less-than-spectacular first date reveals all the ways a lesbian couple has learned to express their desire and trust.
The answer to a romantic proposal is lost in the clamor of a noisy eatery in “You Can’t Win If You Don’t Play.”
Lust and wry humor combine in “Lilith” when a mind-dwelling demon used to having her way tries to get the better of a lesbian erotica writer.
About these stories:
“Do Overs” was originally published in The Perfect Valentine (Bella After Dark). Reliving their less-than-spectacular first date reveals all the ways a couple has learned to love. Erotica, explicit, romantic, 5,700 words
“You Can’t Win If You Don’t Play” was originally released in the Valentine’s Invitational at the Academy of Bards. Popping the question in a restaurant so noisy that she can’t hear the answer is just the beginning of this short, sweet story. Romance, 1,900 words
“Lilith” was originally published in Call of the Dark: Erotic Lesbian Tales of the Supernatural (Bella After Dark). A forlorn and lovelost sexy spirit needs to find a new human host, one she won’t destroy with her powerful…urges. An erotica writer might be just the right choice. Erotica, 5,100 words
From “Do Overs”
Bryn said she had something special planned. Today, the seventh anniversary of our first date, I woke to find a note on the bathroom mirror that said simply, “Sharon – It’s time for another first date. See you there.”
Though I focused on my students all day, in the back of my mind I constantly mulled over what Bryn might mean. Our first date had been, well, “uneven” was generous. We’d been introduced at an open house for mutual friends who’d finished the renovation of their San Francisco Victorian. A flame had definitely flickered as we’d sipped some very fine wine and discovered a mutual love of hiking. She’d called the very next day to ask me out.
At home after work I found no further information but it was obvious Bryn had been there. I peeked under the covers on the neatly made bed and saw that towels were already in place. Candles waited on the bedside tables, ready to be lit, and the fire inside me was already leaping. Thinking it was hardly fair for me to be the only one squirming through dinner, I searched the back of the closet for the dress I’d worn that night, seven years ago. If she wanted another first date, she’d have to endure me wearing the crimson dress she’d sworn I would never keep on for longer than five minutes.
It was a clear, mild February evening in the city—warm enough to walk to Artorio’s, the North Beach restaurant where we had agreed to meet seven years ago. Tonight, however, I wasn’t shocked to realize it was Valentine’s Day. Neither of us had had any thought of February 14 when we’d chosen the time and place to meet. Long out of the dating pool and both of us with little expectation of more than a heated fling, our date had been simply set for “Friday night.”
Seven years ago Bryn had been flustered and embarrassed that there was no way we’d get a table that night, nor at any of the other restaurants in the city. That night fog had blown in, and it grew colder than my little crimson dress could cope with. But for me everything was okay when she draped her purple suede jacket over my shoulders. The scent of her cologne surrounded me with warmth.
We had our first date at Taco Town. There were no hearts, no roses.
Tonight I was ushered to a table in the darkest corner Artorio’s had to offer. And there she was, looking just like she had that night in black slacks, a white silk blouse and the very same suede jacket. She even wore her dark hair down around her shoulders. She rose, but didn’t kiss me—instead, a nervous hug.
“You look wonderful,” I said, which was true.
Her gaze flicked over my body. “So do you. That color is perfect for you.” She looked me in the eye, then, a smoldering look. “Thank you for wearing the dress.”
“You’re welcome.” I ran my hand over the jacket, loving the way the suede brushed to a deeper purple. “Are we really pretending this is our first date?”
“Yes. Except this time we’re not strangers.” She leaned over to whisper in my ear, “I know exactly what you like, Sharon, and I’m going to give it to you.”
From “You Can’t Win if You Don’t Play”
“Excuse me? What did you say?”
The world had stopped. I know that sounds strange, but it had. Drew’s lips were slightly parted, not quite forming the one word that was going to change everything. She’d already said it once, but had been drowned out by a shout from the bar. Someone had scored a goal or something, and so my future was hanging suspended in time.
The world had indeed stopped. It was the only way to explain how I could be beyond breathing, surrounded by stars, yet in front of me there was an ordinary café table, set for two. I wasn’t breathing but I could smell the roasted garlic, the parmesan chips, even the sharp prickle of citrus from the oranges, cut in the shape of hearts. The noise from the bar had subsided, and I seemed to have an eternity to look around me, and take in every detail.
My gaze flicked from Drew’s mouth to the salad that had been delivered a scant thirty seconds ago. We had both declined additional pepper, and once the waiter was out of earshot, I’d blurted out the question that had been hammering inside me for the last six months.
See, I knew when we met I’d ask, because I knew when we met that I’d won the lottery, the Irish sweepstakes, a ticket to paradise. I’d already been down the Internet friendship, flirting, maybe-we-should-finally-meet road twice before. Both times, when I’d finally met the other women, I’d looked at them and seen strangers. When Drew had suggested we finally meet, there had been no way to refuse though, honestly, I had wanted to put it off for as long as possible. Being face-to-face would take things to a new level, and if it didn’t work out, I would lose someone I really enjoyed having as a friend, as a confidant, someone who listened as much as she talked.
Does anyone have so many friends they can risk one on the unlikely chance of winning something more?
I don’t get hung up on labels. Definitions can be so confining.
Dreary dictionaries written by frightened priests and magicians lack in imagination. Demon? Yes. Feeds on sexual energy? Yes. Only of men? No. Still, succubus is what best describes me, and it is what my witch intended me to be.
Labels are often trumped by reality. I am not a being of intent, but one of power. My witch thought up uses for me and I carried out her desires.
That’s the way it was supposed to work, at least.
Because it is also true that a demon is not meant to outlive her witch.
Without her I am an unlit match. I live every day with the memory of the fires I could kindle at her behest. Sometimes I was an affliction, and others a reward. When she was in a truly bad mood, I was both. It made no difference to me as long as I did what my witch intended.
What was her intent? Like most witches she was part scientist. Her goal was to create a new and improved succubus. The old model was often traced by priests or other practitioners of the magical arts, and then it would be destroyed. That represented a waste of investment for witches, and my witch was determined to create an untraceable succubus. A kind of a Succubus-Plus, you might say. If my witch could perfect this new design, she’d have a line of Platinum-card carrying adepts outside her laboratory door.
She had a good working idea of what she wanted. No actual physical form, which meant far easier arrivals and departures, and leaving no physical traces behind. Nothing for other bed partners to wake and find, and nothing for a wand-wielding do-gooder to sense. Instead of genitals, the new and improved succubus went directly to the primary sex organ in the human being—the brain, of course.
The prototype she built, code name Artemisia, was untraceable, that’s for sure. Disappeared so well my witch couldn’t find her. The vict—err, test subject, showed no signs of arousal either. Hashtag FAIL.
The second try the witch included a tracking feature so that at least she could trace the demon. Succubus Bathsheba found Artemisia, and the two of them proceeded to redefine demonic sex. The witch, it seemed, had forgotten to include desire for humans in the code mix.
Cleopatra fell to a persistent failure in Boolean logic. Demeter had bad call routines. Ethelfleda, Freya… Grendel’s Mama was an unfortunate attempt to switch out Java for WebAssembly. Hathor, Isis, Julia… All more #FAIL.
Succubus Kapiʻolani was quite, quite promising. My witch knew where she was at all times. In her invisible form, Kapi craved contact with humans. Just one little problem: she found her exploration of the human sexual psyche completely absorbing. The witch and her libido, long ignored in deference to scientific pursuits, was not as interesting as that of the victims. And so Kapi would not come back, no matter how the witch called. Hard as it is to believe, Kapi chose to be discontinued over loss of her human-spawned experiences. The highest achievement of the witch’s art was another dismal failure.
My witch gave up.
You’re probably wondering why I said that she gave up, because it’s clear that she didn’t or else I wouldn’t be telling you my story. But she did give up, for a time. Then she thought of what might have persuaded Kapi to phone home. Perhaps it was a dark and stormy night, all alone, when she considered what might have some allure.
Her libido wasn’t dead, as it turned out, it was just underemployed.
So she created me, and named me Lilith.