The Spirit and The Body
by Nora M. Mulligan
She was dreaming an overenthusiastic puppy was slobbering all over her face and neck. In her sleep, she reached out to push the creature away, but when her hand touched flesh, she woke up with a jolt.
Without thinking, she switched on the bedside light and grabbed her phone from the nightstand. She turned to see a naked man sitting up beside her in her bed. She blinked to make sure she wasn’t still dreaming. He looked too good, like a living recreation of an alpha male on the cover of a romance novel, broad chested, muscular arms, dark hair flowing to his neckline, chiseled features and eyes that were literally smoldering. Wisps of steam rose from his body. He smiled at her, lips curving to reveal perfect teeth.
She punched him on the jaw, a good solid hit that should have knocked him down at least. Bizarrely, however, her fist flashed right through him, and she had to catch herself to keep from falling off the bed.
“Is that any way to respond to your most ardent lover?” he purred at her, still smiling. His voice was low and musical, with a trace of some accent, possibly French, possibly Italian. “Are you one of those feisty women who wishes to prove her independence by showing off her physical strength?”
“I’m one of those women who doesn’t like waking up to find some strange male creature in her bed, slobbering all over her,” she replied. “What the hell are you? And don’t give me this ardent lover crap. You’re not human, that’s obvious, so tell me what you are before I throw you out.”
He pouted, his perfect eyebrows rising and his eyes getting larger and more pathetic. The steam increased slightly. “You can’t want to get rid of me, not when your alternative is sleeping all alone, without even the hope of a lover who will bring you the greatest pleasure a woman can experience.”
“Wanna bet?” she said. “Get out now before I call the police.”
“Call the police?” His voice lost a touch of its musicality and got a bit sharp. “You would really call the police on a supernatural lover who has appeared out of your dreams to give you everything you’ve ever wanted in bed?”
“Is that what you do for a living?” she asked, looking him up and down. “You appear in women’s beds and what? Make out?”
“I’m an incubus!” He sat up straighter so she could better admire his model-worthy physique. “I’ve been giving pleasure to women since before you were even conceived!”
“Your technique needs work,” she said, shaking her head. “Lots of work.”
“You mean you weren’t turned on? Even a little?”
“Not at all.”
He poured himself closer to her, his face close to hers, and then he leaned in and began kissing her neck. At least, she supposed that’s what he thought he was doing. It felt as if he were drooling all over her neck and ear. She shoved him away.
“Hey! That’s some of my best stuff!” he cried. “How can you resist that?”
“Easily. Look, I don’t know what your thing is, why you chose me, but it’s definitely not working, so goodbye, good luck finding someone else who’ll be more receptive. Try a virgin, someone who doesn’t know what’s what.”
He blinked at her. “But I thought you were a virgin. You weren’t—I didn’t—” He stopped himself. “I’m sent here to seduce you. I’m not leaving here until I’ve made you deliriously happy with sex. Come on, give me some help here. What do you want from me? I’ll do anything!”
“Yes! Picture what you want, what would bring you the greatest pleasure, and I’ll do that.”
It occurred to her that she wasn’t going to get rid of him any other way. And it was worth a try, at least. She closed her eyes and concentrated, creating the perfect lover in every detail.
When she opened her eyes again, she saw that the incubus hadn’t been lying. With a smile, she reached over and drew the beautiful woman closer to her, entwining her hands in the other’s hair and kissing her lightly on the lips.
The incubus pulled back, eyes wide. “Wait a minute. Are you saying— ”
“You made a serious miscalculation,” she said, “but it’s okay now. Here, let me show you how to really give a woman pleasure.”
And she did.
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Nora M. Mulligan
Nora M. Mulligan is a librarian and former lawyer who lives in New York with her husband and two cats. She’s been published online and in print in a variety of places.