For Sophira, Happy Birthday
It was about 2:30-ish when I finished my last animating job. Things hadn't gone as smoothly as I'd planned and now I was
running a little late for my date with Asher and Jean-Claude, to say the least.
I was supposed to meet them at the Circus of the Damned at 7:00. Originally, we had reservations at one of the more upscale
restaurants at 8:30, but I called Jean-Claude and canceled that when I found out I had been over-booked for the night. (Normally
I would have just refused the extra appointment, but having the bereaved family all gathered in my office with their sunken,
pleading eyes staring down at me, tugged at what little heart-strings I have left.)
That was fine, Jean-Claude had said. He understood completely. He suggested I simply stop by whenever I was finished and
we'd work something out then. Great, but I bet he didn't think it'd be three in the morning. There isn't much left open by
way of restaurants that late, or early, whichever way you want to look at it.
By the time I showed up on Jean-Claude's proverbial doorstep, I was dirty and sticky, and hungry to the point my stomach
was growling. I figured since I was in the neighborhood anyway, I would just come by to bow out of tonight's plans and make
my apologies to Jean-Claude and Asher in person.
I stood before him now, sweaty, disheveled, and aggravated by the way things had turned out tonight. He stood before me
clean, primped, and poised.
"Can we just forget about tonight?" I grumbled, swiping at a stray curl, which insisted on falling across my eyes.
Jean-Claude pursed his lips in a sort of sympathetic pout as he slowly looked me over. He reached up and passed his thumb
over my cheek, coming away with black grave grime. Producing a white, monogrammed handkerchief from some unseen pocket in
his vest, he wiped the offending substance off his immaculately white skin, and shook his head.
"Of course, ma petite," Jean-Claude replied with a frown. "You are hardly what I'd deem presentable, and I can tell
from that look in your eyes that you are not exactly in a sociable state of mind."
"To put it mildly," I snapped back.
Asher suddenly appeared behind Jean-Claude, all golden and glowing in the dim candlelight. His pale eyes widened in surprise
and then the corners of his mouth turned up in the slightest of smiles.
"What have you been up to? Wrestling your zombies?"
I glared up at him. "Close."
"Ma petite," Jean-Claude interceded. "At least let me offer you the hospitality of my bath--to freshen up."
I hesitated. "Just to freshen up, right? No...hanky panky, okay? I'm really not up to any of that tonight."
"No hanky panky," Jean-Claude agreed with a sigh.
"But you will still need to get out of those clothes," Asher added, wrinkling his perfectly straight nose. "Nothing personal,
cherie, but you smell like a crypt."
"Excuse me?" I responded, stepping around Jean-Claude to give Asher a not-so-subtle whiff of his own. "Did I ever mention
to you that most vampires smell like snakes to me?" Asher, on the other hand, only smelled like an expensive Kenneth Cole
cologne, but I still got the rise out of him I was looking for.
His gorgeous mouth fell open in a gape of disbelief.
"I do not," he stated clearly and concisely as if mortified by the very thought.
As much as I would have like to have kept teasing him, truth was, I was just too spent. "I was just checking," I said,
letting him off the hook.
Jean-Claude grinned at our antics and prodded me towards the bathroom with his index finger.
"Come along, ma petite," he urged me. "We'll soon have you spotless and smelling as sweet as a rose."
"I'll go draw the bath," Asher offered, shooting me a wary look.
I laughed and blew him a kiss. That made him crack a smile. As if to show he had forgiven me, Asher pretended to snatch
my kiss from the air and brought it to his lips. Then he rolled his eyes, clutched his heart and feigned a swoon before striding
off to the bath.
I turned to Jean-Claude, who seemed to be keeping his distance from me. I couldn't have smelled that nasty, could I?
"I would offer you a kiss too, but you don't exactly seem too eager for one."
I looked away from him, a little disturbed by his stand-offishness, and spied a box of chocolate cordials on one of the
end tables. Needless to say, I made a beeline for it. My stomach was still rumbling, and even though I'm not usually big on
sweets, this was food, and luxurious food at that. I read the label on the box. Godiva. Of course.
"Oh, I had almost forgotten about those. Help yourself, they are for you anyway," Jean-Claude encouraged me as I unwrapped
the box, then he went on. "It isn't that I am not eager to indulge in your kiss, ma petite. It is only that I am keenly
aware of what kissing you may lead to, and earlier you made it clear you would...rather not."
I popped another cordial into my mouth, letting the chocolate sit and melt on my tongue a moment before chewing it, savoring
it's flavor. Only after I swallowed the chocolate did I realize what Jean-Claude had been saying. Then I raised my brow and
frowned at him.
"Oh, I get it. You're so sure of your kisses, you think I wouldn't be able to keep myself away from you if you even just
kissed me hello. Of course, I'd have to jump on you and get you all dirty, if you did that."
Jean-Claude put his hands on his hips and struck a rather petulant-looking pose. "That is not what I meant, and you know
I gobbled down another piece of chocolate. "Well, then what are you waiting for?"
He paused only a moment, letting his hands fall to his sides. Then he stalked towards me, locked his dark eyes on mine,
and reached out to cup my chin in his hand. He tilted my head back and bent forward, then pressed a soft, chaste kiss on my
I was satisfied with that, but I couldn't help but notice when he drew away from me, he had the strangest look on his face.
I watched him lick his lips slowly and cock his head.
For an instant, I thought he might have gotten a taste of the same kind of grime he'd wiped off me earlier which made me
embarrassed that I had badgered him for a kiss when I really hadn't been fit to touch. I opened my mouth to apologize, but
he seized my head in both hands and suddenly planted another one on me, startling me.
I tensed up, but the tender movement of Jean-Claude's mouth against mine made me succumb willingly to him. I felt his tongue
slip between my teeth and slither over mine passionately. I closed my eyes and opened my mouth to him. He deepened the kiss,
shifting his arms around my shoulders with a soft moan.
When he finally pulled back, his beautiful face was the very portrait of ecstasy, but I was downright confused. Sure it
had been one hell of a kiss that had literally left me weak in the knees, but I was smelly and dirty and gross. He couldn't
have gotten that much out of it, could he?
"Extraordinary," he said and all but shuddered. He turned his head as if to kiss me again, but I stopped him by putting
my hand flat on his chest.
"Now you're going a little overboard, aren't you?" I asked suspiciously. "I don't kiss that well."
Jean-Claude flashed me a dazzling smile.
"Ma petite, you underestimate your talent," he softly chided. "Your kisses are always a pleasure. It was just that
this one in particular offered me pleasure and then some."
"...Then some?" I eased away from him, still dubious.
Jean-Claude's eyes shifted to the box of Godivas I had been eating. Gobbling. Snarfing.
"Oui. I can taste the chocolat on your lips. On your tongue and your teeth. Hot, sweet, and delicious. I
had forgotten how...incredible it tastes."
I tried to frown, coming to the realization that it wasn't my kiss that had him so enraptured, it was a piece of candy.
But he looked so adorable and excited, I couldn't hold a grudge. I knew he could taste food through me and he always really
enjoyed it. I really should eat for him more often. But then something occurred to me.
"You actually mean taste, don't you? Not just metaphysically through me, but on me?"
"Correct. Not simply through you, but on you. In your mouth," he replied rather breathlessly.
Hmm. That was interesting. That explained his sudden passion.
"Huh. Imagine that. A genuine chocolate kiss."
"Oui," Jean-Claude readily agreed. He seized hold of my hand and gestured at the Godiva cordials. "Bring them!"
He was pulling me towards the bathroom now and I had to practically snatch up the chocolates on the was to comply with
I could hear the water running as Asher dutifully filled the bathtub for me. He turned to look curiously at Jean-Claude
and I as we came rushing in. He turned off the faucets and straightened.
"Your bath awaits, ma cherie," Asher informed me. He took a step towards me. "Would you like us to help you out
of your clothes?"
I shook my head, determined to keep my cool. "Not that I don't trust you two or anything, but I really, deep down inside,
don't trust you two. And right now, I only have one thing on my mind." I looked towards the steaming water wistfully.
"One thing?" Asher said and pouted prettily. His lovely eyes smoldered with seduction and his luscious mouth all but begged
to be kissed.
I closed my eyes tight. No hanky panky. Not tonight. Too tired. Right? I opened my eyes and tried to concentrate on the
bathtub. "Yes, and that's to get clean. Then I'm going home and falling into bed...to sleep through until morning."
Asher sighed. "That doesn't sound particularly fun."
I shook my head. "No, but it's what I want. So if you two don't mind...." I gestured towards the door.
Undaunted, Jean-Claude peered over at me, but addressed Asher. "Ma petite and I have made the most amazing discovery,"
he proudly announced.
Asher faced him, understandably curious. "What are you talking about?"
In his eagerness to share, Jean-Claude practically shoved me at him.
"Kiss her and find out."
I managed to shake him off. "Now look," I argued, knowing if Asher kissed me the way Jean-Claude had kissed me, my defenses
were headed right out the window. "I want my bath. No more chocolate kisses. Sorry."
Asher managed to look both intrigued and put out. I frowned mightily at Jean-Claude. He frowned back.
"Just one little kiss, ma petite. Just so he can experience it too," he fairly pleaded. "To you it may seem insignificant,
but to a vampire...such things are a luxury. Kiss Asher, ma petite. Then we'll leave you to bathe in peace if that
is what you truly wish."
I sighed. All right. What harm could one little kiss cause? I popped another piece of chocolate in my mouth and let it
dissolve on my tongue before chewing it up and swallowing it. God, these were so good. I swished my tongue around my teeth
to clean them, then raised my head to Asher and puckered my lips.
At first, Asher looked wary, but Jean-Claude's smile seemed to put him at ease. Slowly he leaned down and settled his mouth
I closed my eyes in bliss. His lips felt like cool satin, and I couldn't help but respond to the sweet sensation of kissing
him. Like Jean-Claude, I felt him gradually deepen his kiss as he tasted the first trace of chocolate in my mouth. His tongue
coaxed mine carefully through his teeth, avoiding his fangs. He sucked it gently, moaning ever so faintly and tightened his
grip on my arms to hold me close.
What he had pretended to do earlier, I started to do for real. My heart seemed to skip a beat, my breath left my body in
a heated rush and all the blood drained from my brain into my loins. I felt like I was swooning and a thought passed through
my head that maybe it wouldn't be so awful to have company in the tub tonight. I had to wonder if the thought was mine or
Jean-Claude's. I forced myself away from Asher, just to make sure.
Asher smiled at me, gazing lovingly into my eyes, but when he spoke, he spoke to Jean-Claude.
"You were absolutely right, mon ami," he sighed. "That was a luxury. Merci, ma cherie."
A luxury, huh? I couldn't help but smile back at him. I was also too breathless to speak, but my resolve seemed to be intact.
Nice kiss, but still no go.
"Let me help me you with those buttons, ma petite," Jean-Claude offered, stepping up to me. "Your hands appear to
be shaking." He unbuttoned my blouse before I could stop him.
I held up my hand. "Okay boys. You've had your treat. Run along now so I can take my bath."
Asher's hands were suddenly on my waist. His breath when he spoke, felt moist and heavy against my ear. That Kenneth Cole
cologne he was wearing was wafting around my nostrils like a love potion.
"Let me assist with your belt," he suggested, trailing his long fingers across the span of my hips. He licked his lips.
"I can still taste the chocolate. See if you can still taste it, Jean."
Again, I opened my mouth to protest, but Jean-Claude covered it with his in another sensuously devouring kiss. I'm almost
certain there wasn't any taste of the chocolate lingering in my mouth, but he was still kissing me like I had just eaten the
whole box. It occurred to me that perhaps, just perhaps, he and Asher might be up to something here.
I put my hands on his chest to push him away, but all my mind could grasp was how luscious he felt beneath my palms. I
couldn't seem to stop myself from toying with his shirt buttons, especially when his full, curvy lips slid over mine in a
suggestive grinding motion.
I suddenly felt the weight of Jean-Claude's hand on my left breast. Then he kissed me harder, squeezing me at the same
time, and sending strong pulses of awareness throughout my body.
It didn't help that Asher had completed his task of unfastening my belt and was now taking it upon himself to slide my
pants down my legs. Luckily, I had the forethought to kick off my shoes. Still kissing Jean-Claude, I stepped out of my pants
and then Asher simply tossed them aside. I thought I heard the clink of his own belt hitting the floor right along with them.
Jean-Claude drew away from me slowly, seemingly reluctantly, and then turned me around to face Asher.
"I'll get the clasp," he offered and busied himself behind my back.
It wasn't until I felt his fingers slip under the straps of my bra that I realized what he was referring to.
"Did you taste it still, Jean-Claude?" Asher asked him, his voice all cream and cashmere.
"Mmm," Jean-Claude replied, relieving me of my bra and dropping it on the floor at my feet. "Not quite, but then I was
a little distracted. I'm sure it is still there. Perhaps you can taste it?"
I went to shake my head, but Asher captured my mouth once more with his. Succulent was the only way to describe his kiss.
I found myself drinking him in, moaning and writhing under his lips. Needless to say, my knees were turning to jelly.
I knew what they were doing and it really had very little to do with chocolate anymore. I was being blatantly seduced by
two masters of seduction. I really had no fighting chance and frankly, at this point, I wasn't sure I cared.
Meanwhile, Asher's fingers found their way beneath the lace band of my panties and down they went. I obligingly stepped
out of them and kicked them aside so I wouldn't trip on them.
My mouth was still helplessly fastened to Asher's, but I could feel Jean-Claude's cool breath on the nape of my neck. His
hands were busy fondling my breasts. Asher's hands were busy exploring me down below. My whole body was blissfully succumbing
to their combined advances and my mind singularly zeroed in on their expert ministrations. I vaguely recalled something about
trying to take a bath....
I occurred to me that maybe my brain was going all fuzzy because I wasn't getting enough air. I forced myself free of Asher's
lips and slumped back into the cradle of Jean-Claude's arms. I was surprised to hit cool, bare skin. Somehow, sometime, he
had shed his vest and shirt. Yeah, welcome to the big leagues.
Opening my eyes, I looked at Asher and saw he was now partially nude as well. I couldn't help but grin.
"You two," I whispered, trying to sound stern, but failing miserably. "You two are so bad."
Jean-Claude nibbled the curve of my ear. Asher nibbled my cheek.
"Bad?" he asked against my skin, sending chills down my spine. "How so?"
I reached up to stroke the side of his face.
"I believe ma petite means bad as in good," Jean-Claude explained to him breathily into my ear. "It is American
slang, mon ami. Good is bad. Bad is good. It gets confusing, I know."
"I mean bad as in naughty," I clarified, grinning. "You two are naughty vampires."
Asher continued to stroke me languidly with his index finger and grazed my brow with his lips.
"Not at all, cherie," he purred. "We just find you irresistible."
I couldn't help it. I wriggled my hips against Asher's hand and reached around to drag my fingers through Jean-Claude's
silken hair. "Irresistible, huh? Even when I show up at your door seven hours late for our date, all dirty and smelly?"
Jean-Claude rubbed his cheek over my hair. "Remember, ma petite, it was you who insisted on kissing me," he pointed
out. He placed his hands on either side of my hips and rubbed himself provocatively against me. I had to groan. I couldn't
"Oh, I get it," I sighed, finding it increasingly harder to think however. "I challenged you didn't I? You had to prove
Jean-Claude kissed his way down the side of my neck. "It was the chocolate, ma petite. If you hadn't eaten it, you
would not be in such a compromising position now. You cannot hold me accountable. I tried to warn you."
"Yeah...but..." I stammered.
"We had originally planned to take you out to dinner if you recall," Asher added. "When it became apparent that you would
not have anything to eat, we procured you a box of candy. We are pleased you enjoyed them."
I smiled. "You two seemed to enjoy them even more than I did."
"Non, ma petite," Jean-Claude added, nipping the skin along my jaw. "It would not have been nearly as pleasurable
tasting the chocolate on anyone else."
Oh, to hell with it. "Ah, oo, yeah. It, ah, doesn't really matter. You two...oh, are still bad."
Jean-Claude and Asher faced each other.
"Shall we retire to the bath?" Asher murmured.
"Oui, le bath," Jean-Claude agreed.
Oh, right. I was going to take a bath wasn't I? I nodded willingly, turning my head to kiss Jean-Claude, then back around
to kiss Asher.
"You'll come with me, of course...."
"Of course," the two vampires said in unison.
I wiggled free of their grasps and stalked over to the tub. I grabbed another piece of chocolate on my way and popped it
in my mouth.
Asher and Jean-Claude displayed twin expressions of undeniable lust. Then they slowly turned and looked at each other,
smiled wickedly, and then stripped so fast, the rest of their clothing was flying off them in a blur. I was rendered speechless.
Not that I could talk anyway. My mouth was full of melting chocolate and my lips were already puckering for another kiss.
First come, first serve.