Late at night, body’s yearning
Restless night, want to be with you
Someone’s playing in the garden
So enticing, should I take a bite?
I don’t know what’s come over me, yeah
She’s as heavy as a Chevy
Pure excitement, misled
When she touches, can’t resist her
I’m a puppet when she’s playing
She’s outgoing but I love her so, misled
So I’m saying now
Baby baby, what’s your claim to fame?
Got me out of bed, heard you call my name
What’s this crazy place, you want to take me to?
Tell me, what’s the price if I go with you?
My heart, my soul, my love
Is that the goal?
It’s a thrill, baby I will
Be misled, be for real
Thought I knew her, this lady
Always searching for adventure
Like Pandora’s box, misled
And I don’t know what I’m gonna do without her
I’ve got this feeling and it’s blocking my way
But I love her just the same, just the same
Oh yes I do
Misled, heard you call my name
Misled, what’s your claim to fame?
Misled, took me by the hand
Misled, said I would understand
Misled, boulevard of broken dreams
Misled, not a pretty scene
~ Misled (Kool and the Gang)
The brothel was never closed, empty, or entirely quiet, but no one bothered him or approached as he headed for Claudette’s private suite across the building and up the narrower black marble stairs. It was almost dawn, but they knew he was welcome to disturb their Madame at any time.
Her door wasn’t locked; it never was if he was in the brothel. He opened one of the double doors, slipped in, and closed it quietly behind him, turning the lock. There was a plain heavy wooden chair by the door, placed there years ago for his use. He set his coat and phone on it and dropped the boots under it. Stripping off the black bathrobe, he hung it on the back of the chair.
She could afford to remodel however she wanted to now, but she never bothered – the illusions she spun could be changed on a whim. Her power was the strongest of its type he’d ever known or heard of. It couldn’t fool his nose, but if he was in the mood to let it sink in, it could almost seem real.
The suite he entered this time was as opulent as the Queen’s grand apartment in the Palace of Versailles, at the time of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. Fresh and real cut roses stood in vases all around, adding to the scent of rose water she liked to sprinkle on her sheets.
Victor moved through the suite to the bedchamber, passing her chapel, library, parlor, etc. – rooms that were fully realized and detailed. He knew he could enter the library, select a leather-bound book and read it, even though it wasn’t real. The actual room, as his nose knew it, was a wide and long nearly empty rectangle with a concrete floor and steel-inside-brick walls. Without his healing factor, the place might have given him a headache, but he had decided he liked it long ago, no matter what illusion he walked into – it was all a part of the woman who still had the ability to fascinate and ensnare him, all too willingly.
Under an ornate gold and lavender silk half-tester, the wide opulent bed held a lone sleeping woman lying on her back with her hands up on the pillows beside her beautiful face. With the flood of platinum blonde curls released from her piled hairstyle, she resembled a fairytale princess with porcelain skin.
Smirking at the thought that he far more resembled a monster than a prince, he crawled over her body and grasped her wrists before she woke. He licked at the shallow bite he’d given her over the older scars of the bite from before that.
She smiled and moved her head to give him her throat, her body pressing magnificent breasts up against him. “Veektor, oui … I am yours, always…”
He pressed his hard cock into the soft embrace of her white silk lingerie as she opened her legs for him. The tips of his fangs sank into the bite to make the blood flow, pulled free, and then the shafts of the lower fangs pressed into her flesh as he sucked at the wounds. He let her wrists go as he drank and she worked her hands down to pull up the white silk to her waist.
Victor moved a hand to hold his weight up and shoved in roughly to mate her as his free hand squeezed a breast. Neither of them spoke – it was a dance they’d done for years. When he got the bleeding stopped at her neck, his fingers ripped the neckline of the lingerie and he began to lick and suck her breasts. She watched the single claw slide free, poised over one dusky rose nipple. As it pricked, pierced, and slowly stabbed in, she pressed her breast up to take it deeper. Withdrawing it, he moved it to the other and delicately pierced it. He watched them bead and well with blood before he sucked them, the luscious taste of it a heady comfort that shuddered down his spine. Her arms came up to hold his head to her breasts as she moaned at the sucking and the endless harsh thrusts.
He could feel her telepathic gift beating soft lunar moth wings at the edges of his mind. For this one, he would have allowed her inside, but he didn’t know how since his brain had been cloven by an Adamantium spike. In the dark days of blood madness, she had given him the glow before he even knew that it would help. He had lived here then for a time, her wounded paramour, once again afraid of the world. Long before that, her body had taught his how to be soft, to give pleasure without pain, to be gentle in his mating. Yet she loved his roughness and welcomed it, and she was the only mind-witch he’d ever trusted.
As her aching nipples ceased to bleed, he pierced them again and drank again, as she let him take all that he needed. His heat burst inside and they both gasped, the wash of pleasure rolling through his senses. When it stopped, he pulled away and dropped onto his back beside her.
Turning to mold herself against his warm body, she took his hand and laced their fingers together over his heaving abdomen. Feeling her gaze, he looked down to where she had pillowed her head on his chest. Her eyes were mutated iridescent lavender with spokes of white shot through the irises. She was quiet, but he could scent the tears she was struggling not to shed.
“Mon cher…” she whispered, “You are not blocking me. I feared you were.”
Victor laid his head back and closed his eyes. “Wouldn’t. Ya should know that, darlin’. Hell, don’t think I ever knew how t’ do that. Only trick I know is t’ bury what I wanna hide under a pile o’ violence an’ corpse-makin’ memories.”
“Eet was said zee claw stopped zee madness, and I was ‘appy for you. I did not ‘ear zat eet stopped all telepathic connections. I will miss zee closeness. Zis injury will ‘eal, no?”
“No idea – been some years. Ya never noticed before that it wasn’t me tryin’ t’ keep ya out?”
“You ‘ave been so angry in recent visits, eet can block or project what you feel – but eet seemed to be a resisting of me.”
“Outside o’ yer bower, I’m better off if it don’t never heal, ya know. Most o’ yer kind ain’t got my best interests in mind.”
“If it was workin’, though … I’d let ya see somebody… Somebody I … lost.”
He felt her kiss his chest. “I know what your little X-Force girl looks like already.”
“Tabitha… I can’t fix that, neither. I met someone before I let ‘er in – maybe she’s why I let Tabs in…”
“Why do you wish to show me zis woman?”
“So ya could show ‘er t’ Morpheus.”
“Oh Veektor, when you give your ‘eart, my sweet, you falter. Let us give, you were born to take zem and let zem feed you. You are zee ‘unter, not zee prey.”
Sighing, he moved from under her to lie on his stomach, pillowing his head on folded arms. He watched her face, so much prettier without the makeup, and tried to calm his nagging frustration and the empty numb ache inside.
“I dunno, maybe I’m just fuckin’ stupid. It was only one night – but she was diff’rent, never felt like that before or met anyone like ‘er. I tried t’ fit Tabitha int’ that, but we … had too many probs goin’ in. My fault, or Cueball’s, take yer pick. I thought tha need would fade, stop… It hasn’t. Dunno what t’ do. It makes me angry, but it’s like bein’ angry at tha wind. I coulda had somethin’ with Tabs, I really think I coulda… Now she’s left me…”
When his growl broke, she offered her softness and he let her gather him in. He cuddled into her warmth, hiding his face in her hair. She stroked his curly blonde hair, toying with it.
“Tha nightmares are gettin’ worse an’ I ain’t been sleepin’ much. What if tha madness comes back? If it comes back an’ I can’t get tha glow…”
“Oh, mon cher, I ‘ate to zee you frightened…” She kissed his hair. “You are zee god of zee ‘unt, but your ‘eart still yearns so much. I will ‘elp you any way zat I can.”
“I got somethin’ that might let ya an’ Morph help me – it’s a tech toy I got Stark t’ make fer me. It can show ya both my memories o’ Bonnie, give ya how she looked, sounded, even smelled… I wasn’t ready t’ let ‘er go … dunno if I ever will be. Now Tabitha’s gone, too – she don’t want me no more. I loved ‘er, Claudette, close as I know how; least I tried t’ understand how t’ love ‘er… I’m no good at it. I’m nothin’ worth that – just an animal, a fuckin’ broken monster gorged on blood with ‘is heart torn out… Can’t even die.”
Releasing him as she softly shushed him, she sat up against the piled lavender silk pillows. He let her guide him up into her arms and melted into her with his head on her breasts when she began to rock him. Touching his hand, she rubbed at the fingers, massaging the ache in them to relax them and make the claws slide free.
He opened his eyes to watch as she lifted one to her nipple. “Pierce and drink. Zee blood, zee comfort, you need zis and you deserve eet.” He obeyed, trying to be easy. “Deeper, mon cher – zis eez my gift to you.”
Victor shifted, still in her embrace, and stabbed the curling claw deep. The blood welled again and ran down the metal, coating it red. She offered the other breast, too and he stabbed slowly and deep into that nipple as well and then held it as he latched on to suckle from the first. Something old and buried moved through his mind, an echo of fear and pain, a hunger that had terrified him. Afraid of it, he growled as he suckled her breast.
She shushed him again, holding, rocking him, and stroking his hair. “You are safe, I will watch over you. Drink, accept zis comfort.”
The growl guttered out as his cock began to harden. When he released one bleeding breast and rose onto his knees beside her to suckle the other, she got her legs up over his thighs.
“Mate wit’ me eef you need zat … you know you are always welcome inside. Soon, my woman’s blood will return and you may ‘ave zis, as before, eef you need eet.”
Victor found her wet heat and thrust in, but he didn’t move, the comfort was enough and he wanted the blood more. Seeing it drip, tasting it, memory flashed and he was crouched before one of the earlier kills. The bodies of humans had been littered – some in pieces, missing organs, shattered and emptied skulls – everywhere…
Her precious blood was running down over his clawed hands as he met her gaze. The realization of what his killing could do shot into his veins as a cold fear.
“Tha city – what I’ve done – can make things harder on mutants, where ya live… I’m so stupid…” He looked away from her.
Smiling, she lifted his scruffy chin on fingertips and kissed his bloody lips. “You are a ‘unter, my lover, god of zee ‘unt. Zere are too many people. We are protected ‘ere, and zee world needs ‘unters like you.”
“If anythin’ happened t’ ya… I’ll stop, I’ll stop doin’ it here. I can go. If I kill like this somewhere else, soon, maybe by tha tracks again – they’ll think tha threat moved on.”
“Veektor, no… I do not want you to go. Zey cannot find zis place. Anyone who cannot pass among zem can change zeir appearance.” She caught a drop of blood on her fingertip and smeared it onto his bottom lip.
He licked at it, the lure of the taste sharpening the craving. “I can’t bring ya any grief. I won’t. If ya end up at risk, I will go. I hafta protect ya…”
“Eef you want to protect us, ‘unt zee ‘uman scum like zee one zat took our Grace from us. Zese are not worthy.” She brought her hands up to frame his face. “Be our ‘unter, Veektor – be what you are.”
When she kissed him then, he responded tentatively. It was hard to shake the fear that his brutality might threaten her safety.
“Oh, my sweet, I am only saddened zat you fear you cannot love. You love intensely, Veektor, you simply do not know ‘ow to do zis as zee prey does. Do not try. You are not a sheep, you are a lion, you are my ‘eart’s king of beasts.”
Gently tugging, she brought his mouth back to her breasts. He latched on again and began to suckle in earnest with every claw tip pricking into the now ruddy flesh of her heavy breasts. She held him close and kissed and licked at his pinned pointed ear until they both twitched in response to her and rose again.
“Tu possedes mon coeur,” she whispered, and the sweet French words abruptly filled his mind with the scent of pines. His swirling thoughts were stilled by it, brushed away by the soothing smells of clean snow blanketing a clearing ringed by poplar and white birch.
Victor tried to push away the fears of madness and loss with the rest and clung to her, sinking his senses into her as he sucked and drank … and drank. He knew she would not push him away, would not deny him, and it helped him feel safe, even though he didn’t know why he felt so afraid of it…
~ ~ ~
When he woke from a fitful sleep, he knew it was well past noon. Claudette was across the room sitting at her vanity. She wore a soft yellow robe of satin. Hearing him stir, she returned to him and sat behind him on the bed to brush out his hair.
“How do ya stay so nice an’ pale when I ain’t ‘round t’ bleed ya?” he whispered, slumping into a relaxed slouch.
“I never go out in zee sun. Do you want new clothes? You still ‘ave some ‘ere.”
“Works fer me. Should go see Lenusya. Ain’t even landed there yet since I got in.”
“I will ‘ave my car brought to take you zere. You need more sleep, no?”
He didn’t argue or reply as she began to braid his hair loosely, tying it at the end with a yellow ribbon from her own hair. She got up and brought him clothes from her royal illusion dressing room, and then watched him pull them on with an admiring gaze.
“Tell Morph thanks fer me? Tha bill oughta startle Obinata good.”
She smiled and kissed him. “I expect to see you again before you leave zee city, Veektor.”
“Yes ma’am,” he answered. “Count on it.”
Author’s Note: “Tu possedes mon coeur” is French for “You have my heart”. The chapter title, “Cœur de la Reine” means “Heart of the Queen”. Claudette is one of my favorite Original Characters that I’ve ever dreamed up and I’m having a ball finally getting to write her in a story instead of just in notes. Thanks for reading! – AnonGrimm (@MET_Fic)