As Vices go, Lust is more interactive, like Pride and Envy, but really most closely resembles Gluttony – just with a specific appetite. Both involve mouths, of course, and the pleasures of taste and touch – smell, sight, sound – all mingled, all savored or skated over, moment to moment. There is the intense and aching desire that requires fulfillment, a basic need that has to be satisfied. But Gluttony only requires that the act be possible, Lust requires that the act to be participated in. And where Gluttony expels the wastes of the act in a form far less pleasing than the original delight, Lust… Lust creates something new, something vibrant, something living.
Perhaps that was why she enjoys it so. It simply could not be indulged anywhere at anytime. Not like Gluttony. It drove the hunger to heights far loftier and created a space for satiation in the immediate aftermath. Pleasant, addictive, felt throughout the entire being, and gone shortly thereafter, replaced again with an even deeper hunger.
There is no other reason for her to be here. The Perk Up and Play is not her normal milieu – all cheap espresso and blaring arcade games – but the bars were just too depressing tonight. No fire anywhere, just milky, soppy sadness. A poor excuse for any meal and hers…. hers had been too long in the waiting. No, tonight she needs a more active desperation, a hunger intense and unbidden and, therefore, more potent. A club would have been perfect, but one is under renovation and the other shut down for violations.
Heavily caffeinated would have to do. She sighs as she gazes through the window into the café at the jittery yet focused lot. She considers calling it a night, perhaps one more night wouldn’t threaten her stability and she could get an early start tomorrow evening… when she spies him, less absorbed than the others, jittery in a way that speaks of discontent and longing. He’s the one she needs.
First things first: tone it down. She is dressed for a night on the town, a look she risked in the dank bars as the overkill had seemed necessary and was less noticeable, but it isn’t a look that could get by here. Oh, sure, she would be noticed, but disbelieved and never approached. She needs something…. cuter. She feels the change begin before she even finishes the thought. Her high heels flatten into sneakers, her red dress becomes jeans and a cute t-shirt, just small enough to show her midriff if she lifts her arms, a Newsboy cap, and an oversize flannel shirt. She evaluates her reflection in the glass. Still too much, she thinks, as her face softens becoming rounder, sweeter, younger, heart-shaped. Even her eyes get treatment, rounder, wider, and (she smiles at this) just a touch bruised, like she had spent too many nights up gaming. Or maybe pining.
She purses her now slightly thinner, paler lips. It would have to do. She could already feel the effects these transformations were having on her energy stores, the deep hunger intensifying, aching in her loins. She would only tweak if it was truly needed to speed the process. In her experience, they never noticed such adjustments. She hopes with every fiber of her being that he isn’t gay. She doesn’t have enough energy for that change.
She just barely remembers to hunch her shoulders a little and walk quickly rather than walking fully upright and sashaying to the bar. She is out of practice with such scene changes. She grabs herself an overpriced and slightly burnt latte, doing her best to ignore her rumbling stomach and only allowing her eyes the briefest of glances at the pastries. What would it be like to be able to indulge at any time? To fill and then continue to fill? She shakes herself. Gluttony has no satiation and that was the point of it. She hurries away from the counter and does her best to casually wander up to her mark, her attention artificially on the game he is playing.
He glances up so briefly she thinks he missed her entirely, but then his eyes return. She can feel them, almost see them in the screen and already she can feel her power stirring deep inside, heady, thrilling. She has to control her smile as his avatar dies, momentarily diverting his attention, the color of embarrassment (so much like desire) crawls up his neck to his ears. Just a nibble… No, discipline! This is how you end up eating everything in sight.
“Oh, that sucks, man. You were so close.” She looks down at him, leaning forward, her small, young breast brushing his shoulder as she points to the screen. It pleases them both, she can tell, as his back tenses just enough to be aware but not overly uncomfortable, and the tingle of it rushes through her. Relief rushes through her, too. The attraction is there – she just needs to build on it. “You gonna hit continue?”
He nods and finally finds his voice. “Unless you want to play?” His voice is richly, deliciously masculine. She plops herself down on the chair next to him, unable to keep her knees from shaking as yearning pools in her center. Yes, Lust is definitely the best Vice. She pulls her knees up to her chest, wrapping her thin arms around them, and drinks in the way his eyes linger on her.
“I enjoy watching,” she says softly. His eyes shutter for a second, her heart skips a beat. “But…” What does he want?! “But I’ll play if you promise not to laugh. I haven’t played this one before.”
The smile he flashes is wide, warm, and genuine, full of pleasure. It heats her to her core. A playmate, that’s what he wants. Someone fun, sweet, ready to try new things. She can almost feel his excited pulse as he hands her the controller. This will be worth it. This might lead to several meals. His whole energy has changed, vibrant, thrilling, abundant. Her gaze gently caresses the curve of his spine, the quiver in his knees, the radiant light about him – yes, he is exactly what she needs.
The game is interesting. A PC puzzle game, together they solve the mystery of a friend’s disappearance, involving occult imagery and mysticism. The mood is dark and the mythology is off, but she picks up on the thread quickly as they cruise through levels familiar to him. The controller feels almost alive in her hands when she navigates them through a difficult puzzle of vessels and weights. He sits back, seemingly impressed.
“How did you figure that out so quick?” His lips quirk up on one side and a fetching splash of hair falls over his forehead. She stares at him for a moment, enjoying the sight and the heady feeling of his interest.
“The game is loosely based on Kabbalah practices from the Middle Ages. It’s off, but the general structure is there.” She points to a few of the symbols on the screen. “See how the symbols resemble Hebrew letters?” He nods, intrigued, and she smiles, drawing lines between them with her fingers. “The structure of the puzzle here is based on the Sephirot, or vessels. If you pour the compounds into each vessel in the right order to form the connections, the combinations and weight system opens the portal to the Divine Feminine, which in this case is Lilith, because… you know, horror game, I guess.”
He leans forward, his hand brushing hers and she feels the thrill of connection with him. “That’s fascinating. Where did you learn all this stuff?”
She pauses. She doesn’t have a lie prepared for this kind of stuff, hardly the kind of thing she usually talks about in order to garner desire. He pulls back, suddenly uncomfortable and she feels her face fall.
“I’m sorry. That was kind of a personal question. You don’t have to answer, if I made you uncomfortable.”
She reaches out and takes his hand. “No, it’s okay. I just… don’t usually talk about my past. No one’s ever asked…” His fingers squeeze hers and she squeezes his back. “I… was home schooled.” Kind of true. “My parents were super religious.” In a manner of speaking. “So, I guess, this seemed more important and interesting than calculus.”
“Definitely.” His smile is dazzling. She breathes a sigh of relief, relaxing into his presence. “So, professor…” he drops her hand and turns back to the game with an impish smile on his face, “What do we do now that Lilith is here? Any Kabbalah-esque playbook for this kind of thing?”
She shrugs, returning her attention to the even more busty than usual interpretation of Lilith. “I think they adapted pretty freely here, so your guess is as good as mine.”
He laughs deeply, delightedly. A new kind of warmth and anticipation spreads through her. Still a sense of hunger and desire, but more…. real, somehow? Less driving and impatient. A feeling with substance. She sits back to enjoy the game.
She is actually disappointed when they hit the save point. As he rises from his chair, a shot of panic courses through her. She hasn’t been focusing on feeding his need for her, she hasn’t been coquettishly touching him, he hasn’t asked her back to his place or even asked if she lives around here. She jumps up, practically bowling him over. His arms wrap around her as he steadies them both. Unthinking, she buries her face in his chest, inhaling his scent, embarrassed, yes, but mostly needy. She relaxes only when he does, his hand coming up to stroke her hair. His embrace is genuine, not the sham of a hug designed to get body parts close enough to brush, but an actual expression of acceptance and comfort. She sinks in knowing she will never get enough of this feeling, but, for once, knowing that it didn’t matter right now and feeling it at all was enough.
“Will you be here tomorrow?” she asks, unwilling to give him up just yet.
His fingers move on her scalp, softly massaging her, blissfully comfortable. “I can be. I work until 6. Is that okay?” She nods. “Good, it’s a date then.” She smiles into his shirt.
He pulls back and she turns her face up to his. The weight of the moment hangs between them. Magnetic. Gentle. His eyes are soft, full, hazy as they settle on her lips. She parts them, inviting, waiting, wondering if his lips will yield her the same sense of comfort and acceptance that his arms do. He leans minutely closer and she lowers her lashes.
“What’s your name?” he whispers.
“Cambion.” He blinks, his eyebrows shoot up. She replays the last few moments in her head. Had she just given him her real name? Or… well, her designation rather? Not like she had a real name actually. She usually just went with whatever she thought they would like. She feels the panic bubble up again. “Religious parents, you know?”
He smiles warmly. “Yeah, I get that. Mine is Amadeus, so it’s not like I have room to judge.” She feels her mouth twitch, first one side moves up, then the other until her smile is as wide as his. His eyes shine back at her. “Doesn’t seem to fit you though. Can I call you Cami?”
She pauses, tastes the name in her mind, rolls it around on her tongue. “Yes…. Cami. I like that.” She steps back, stands straight, and extends her hand to him. “Hi, I’m Cami.”
His chuckle reverberates through her. “AJ,” he says, as their palms meet. The handshake is slow, comfortable, and intimate. “Well, until tomorrow, Cami.” He lifts her hand to his lips and gently kisses her knuckle.
“Tomorrow, yes,” she whispers softly as their fingers part and he moves toward the door. She drifts along in his wake, seats herself by the window to watch him walk down the street. He glances back once, his eyes meeting hers with a grin and a wave. She answers with her own. And then he is gone.
She stares at her face in the glass, memorizing it, surprised to find freckles on her nose and cheeks. It doesn’t matter now – it’s part of her. She makes her way home, content, not even noticing that, somewhere along the way, she forgot to be hungry.