Awakening a Nightmare: Chapter Fifteen


NSFW: Spice 🌶️
TW: Drugs


Aria brought with her the scent of autumn: dead leaves and the faint aroma of a wood-burning stove. Salena left shortly after her arrival, leaving the house in an unnatural quiet.

It wasn’t like Aria to stay away after Salena left. Eli was beginning to think that Aria eagerly anticipated her girlfriend’s absence in the same way she was. Though, now, she couldn’t help but think about what they could get up to in the dark.

A more rational person would have suppressed those thoughts. Especially since their relationship was clearly so much more than what met the eye. Aria was no more her savior than Eli was a damsel in need of saving. Her once-lover was her captor. It was obvious that she had been playing games from the beginning. While Eli couldn’t know her motivations, she had a few guesses. None of which were flattering. None of which should have led her out of her room and into the living room, either.

No one had ever accused her of being overburdened by common sense. She had even less self-preservation.

The full moon was around the corner, and her instincts had gone into overdrive. These needs were easy to scratch but were less than wise to indulge. But, even still, she couldn’t help but crave it, especially when she saw the glimpse of pale flesh peak out from beneath Aria’s shirt when she bent over to tend to the dishwasher.

It was a mundane action—a simple display of domesticity. And yet, it inspired a desperate, carnal desire. Every animal part of her brain demanded that Eli bend Aria over the counter and torment her with the promise of an earth-shattering release. Perhaps then Eli might get her answers—when she left Aria suspended precariously close to the brink of her oblivion.

“Where’d you go?” Eli asked, her voice sounding raspy, even to her own ears.

“Out,” Aria offered with only a heartbeat’s hesitation. But still, that was too long.

Eli could smell her—more than just the perfume of the outside world. There was the faint stench of sweat, a sudden, anxious prick of perspiration.

Aria was nervous.

Eli had a few guesses as to why.

Her tongue darted over her lips as she closed the distance between them. Then, bracing her backside against the counter, she forced herself to grip its lip to keep herself still. If she didn’t, she was afraid of what she might do.

This close, she could smell Aria’s want, too. Clearly, she wasn’t the only one thinking about what could happen now that they were alone.

“Do anything fun?”

Aria paused, hesitating before slipping a few plates onto their appropriate stack. “No, not really.”

Do you want to? It was on the tip of her tongue. Yet, somehow, she managed to stave it off.

“That’s a shame,” Eli purred. Her body moved of its own volition, breaking the tenuous quagmire she had tried to force. Before she knew it, she was pressed against Aria’s back. The redhead didn’t protest. Instead, she relaxed too readily against her frame.

“Not everything can be all fun and games, Eli.”

“But some things can.” She raked her teeth over Aria’s pulse, delighting in how it quickened beneath her pulse.

“Some things,” Aria repeated as if tasting the words on her tongue. A fine wine Eli was eager to sample in her kiss.

“If you let it.”

The redhead flushed, and Eli could feel her skin heat beneath her lips. “Eli….”

Aria turned, inadvertently caging herself against the counter between Eli’s arms. The realization dawned on her too late. Her eyes darted to Eli’s mouth. Eli watched with a perverse fascination as her tongue darted out, tracing the heart-shaped swell of her lip.

This wasn’t going the way she had imagined it would, but she wasn’t complaining. Not when she leaned forward and hovered her mouth over Aria’s. And especially not when Aria closed the distance between them and kissed her.

It was gentle at first. A soft, tentative kiss that melted something inside her chest. The kiss grew more fervent—desperate as Eli backed her flush against the counter and pinned her with her hips. Their tongues met, battling between breathless whimpers and soft moans for dominance.

Aria’s hands wandered as if trying to feel all of her at once, first tangling in her hair, then roaming over her sides. Eli released a startled moan when they came to rest on her backside, giving it a shameless, possessive squeeze.

Their bodies found a too-natural rhythm when Eli pressed her thigh between Aria’s legs. She made such pretty sounds as she ground against her. A tremble carved its way up her spine, leaving her arching and gasping.

The Beast awoke with a start, dominating all of Eli’s better sense. She gripped Aria’s jaw and pressed her palm to her throat, captivated by the thready, frantic pulse pitter-pattering against her skin. Her free hand traced the swell of her hip and over the outside of her thigh. Then, digging her fingertips into the taut muscle, she tried to tug Aria’s leg over her hip.

Aria pulled away abruptly and shook her head. “We shouldn’t.”

Eli’s jaw locked as she withdrew, forcing the Beast at bay. “We shouldn’t?”

The redhead shook her head once. Twice. “I have a girlfriend.”

“And I’m a ghost,” Eli whispered, leaning closer.

“Wh-what? What do you mean?”

“I’m haunting your home, only appearing when she’s away.”

Aria grimaced, her expression morphing into something apologetic. Eli kissed her again, stealing the words from her lips before they could fall.

“You want this.” She traced her kisses over the length of her neck. “I know you do. I can taste it.” Her mouth traveled over her pulse, carving a wanton path to the space behind her ear. “I can smell it.”

Her once-lover trembled under her affections, her breath shallow and frantic.

“Tell me to stop, and I will.”

There was a too-long moment of silence. “And if I don’t?”

“Ghosts can keep secrets.”

Those were the right words. Aria fisted her fingers in Eli’s hair and pulled her into a frantic kiss.

It was hard to say who moved them, but they were on the couch before she knew what had happened. Aria frantically tugged off her own shirt and tossed it to the side, leaving Eli with the delightful busy work of taking off her bra. A task she relished as she pressed lingering, longing kisses along the swell of her breasts. Her tongue darted beneath the fabric that kept them apart, sampling the tautened flesh of her nipple. Aria’s nails scraped into her scalp as she twisted her fingers in her hair, giving it a possessive tug.

A low, rumbled moan escaped her as her hips bucked upward. They moved together, shameless in their pursuit of satisfaction.

With more patience than she felt she possessed, she managed to strip off her bra and toss it in the direction of her discarded shirt. The Beast within her called for blood, and before she knew what she was doing, she was leaving little love bites across the swell of Aria’s breasts—soft marks that would fade almost as quickly as they appeared.

Eli lacked the words to describe the sound Aria made in response, somewhere between a whimper, a moan, a cry, and a plea. The redhead moved with urgency, tugging at her shirt. Her eyes sparkled when she realized that Eli wore nothing beneath.

They set a merciless rhythm as they worshiped each other. Fingers, teeth, and tongues mapping out paths they had last traveled years ago.

With a feral snarl, Eli turned the tables and pinned Aria beneath her on the couch. Aria let out a submissive sound in response, making an offering of herself as she laid, stretched out beneath her. She offered no resistance as Eli pressed heated kisses down her midline. Aria’s breath hitched when Eli pressed a sweet kiss to the space below her navel. Then, with little preamble, she hooked her thumbs beneath the band of her pants and began tugging them downward.

There was a faint flash of something across Aria’s face. Even after years of being apart, Eli recognized it for what it was. Insecurity. Desperate to quiet the voices that lived in her head that continuously told her she wasn’t enough, she shushed her and pressed kisses to her inner thighs. “You’re beautiful,” she praised, treating her to an affirming kiss to her core. “Stunning.”

Aria melted beneath the praise, shamelessly parting her thighs to invite further exploration. Grinning wickedly, Eli tugged her panties down and continued her adorations.

First, with lips. And then when Aria arched, too close to the brink of pleading, her tongue. Aria moaned against her core, humming in delight at her taste. It was just as divine as she remembered it being. And she was just as sweet as she recalled. With how she bowed and whimpered. How perfect she looked with her back arched.

Desperate to reacquaint herself with every inch of Aria’s body, she let her hand wander up her frame until she could lavish her attention on the peaks of her breasts. Her attention shifted from one breast to another, tugging at her nipples in an equal desire to hurt as well as pleasure.

Aria’s mouth seemed to have gone far ahead of her brain. “Oh, fuck,” she whispered. “Your mouth. Holy sh—I forgot how fucking good your tongue is.”

Eli grinned wickedly but spoiled her for the praise by curling her lips around her clit. She was relentless in how she pleasured her, alternating between sucking, lapping, nipping, and licking. Aria’s body bowed with a dancer’s grace, creating a too-beautiful portrait of a woman in ecstasy. Eli realized that she was desperate to trace the constellations on her shivering flesh, mapping out the bodies of stars with fingertips and tongue.

Filled with a primal need to be in her, she buried her fingers into her sex. Aria let out a startled, pleasured moan, her pussy pulsing around her fingers in a frantic rhythm. Eli was overwhelmed with the desire to tease. But more pressing was her want to make her come unraveled. Burying another finger into her core, she fucked her. Hard. She showed no mercy with the pace she set, unleashing every want, every hideous thought, every desperate desire on her trembling need.

“Jesus fucking…” Aria turned, suppressing her sounds by biting into the flesh of her bicep.

“Don’t you fucking dare,” Eli snarled, grinding her thumb hard against Aria’s clit. “I want to fucking hear you. You’re going to scream my name as you come, understood?”

Aria bit her lip hard and whimpered, bobbing her head in what Eli could only assume was a nod.

“Good girl,” she purred, delighting in how Aria’s pussy tightened around her fingers at the praise.

She had half a mind to leave her at the brink of unraveling. But, in the end, her need for satisfaction coaxed her into letting Aria tumble over the edge.

It was a spectacular show. Aria arched so dramatically it was a surprise her back didn’t break. She called out Eli’s name like it was an invocation, her breaths coming in shallow, heady gasps.

They stayed like that for a while, and Eli counted her heartbeats in her pulsing core. When they had slowed and Aria relaxed, Eli kissed her mons and withdrew her fingers. The action was too tender. Enough so that she damned herself for her candor, she slipped away, like the ghost she claimed to be, to fetch a warm damp cloth.

Both red-faced and shaking, they couldn’t meet each other’s eyes. Finally, Aria cleared her throat, her flush crawling down her neck to her chest. “Do you… want me to?”

Eli shook her head. “I’m okay.”

Aria cleared her throat and nodded, though she seemed to dislike the answer. “Eli…”

“It was one for the road. For old time’s sake.”

Aria’s head snapped up, her expression somewhere between startled and confused. “What…?”

“I’m good enough to leave,” she said, her words careful and measured as she slipped back into her shirt. “I figured you’d want me out of your hair.”

Aria remained silent, her expression a perfect mask of impassivity.

“Unless there’s a reason you’d want me to stay?”

Aria’s jaw worked as she studied her. “Okay, well. I’m not holding you hostage.” She moved stiffly. Unsteadily. “Do you want some tea before you go?”

Eli paused, considering the question. “Sure,” she said at long last. She wasn’t sure why she agreed to it. She should have gathered her things and left. But she supposed a part of her still didn’t want to leave. Not yet. Not ever.

They settled into an uneasy quiet as Aria dressed and moved to the kitchen. She plucked two mugs from the drying rack that hadn’t made it into the cupboards. It wasn’t long before the scent of chamomile and honey filled the apartment. Eli sat cross-legged on the couch, watching Aria move about the kitchen. It reminded her too much of what it had been like to be with her all those years ago. When their stolen, private moments of domesticity led to childish imaginings of what a forever might look like with her.

It hurt to think about those times. Their simplicity. Their hope. Aria took an interest in her knees as she waited for her tea.

They remained silent as they took the first sips of their still-steaming cups. Eli felt a flush spread across her cheeks. A strange heat crawled up her spine. This damn cold weather was wreaking havoc on her.

“Did you come here with anyone?” Aria asked at long last. She self-consciously picked at the lettering on her mug. It read, “This is my happy face.”

“Yui,” Eli said without a shred of hesitation. She frowned and shook her head.

“Yui is… your girlfriend?”

“Nah,” Eli said, shaking her head. “A friend. We fuck sometimes.” Eli shrugged, though her movements felt sluggish.

“Ah. So, you two… are running from someone?”

“The Devil.”

Her thoughts came to her as if they were being spoken to her through water. She was just a half-step behind everything, responding on autopilot.

“Who is ‘The Devil?’”

“Landyn Cole. My ex-boyfriend.”

“Did he hurt you?”

Eli chuckled darkly. “He did a lot more than hurt me.”

Even through the haze, Eli could sense that something was wrong. The quiet that followed her answer made her insides twist in uneasiness.

Why am I telling her any of this?

“I’m sorry that happened, Eli.”

“It’s not your fault.”

“I worry that it might be.”

Eli shook her head, though the protest sat too heavily on her tongue to give it breath.

“I need to ask you this, Eli. And I know it might not make much sense, but I just need to know.”


Her mind screamed, and her heart hammered—or, at least, she thought it was hammering.

“Are you human?”


Eli realized that she was meeting Aria’s eyes. Though, her vision blurred and flickered. “What… What was in that tea?”

“What are you, Eli?”

“A werewolf.”

It was hard to see what Aria’s face did in response. 

“Fuck. What did you give me?”

The world tilted on its side and then went black.

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