A story for Halloween by Sage Harper
Inspired by last year's 'Cloudbase Costume Party' at Spectrum Headquarters.
Thank you Chris for the beta.
Destiny had chosen her costume with great care. It wasn’t particularly revealing, that was just not her style, but with every curve accentuated she knew full well it would turn the heads of any red-blooded male. That was the objective, she assumed, though she only had eyes for one. Once the party got underway she wasn’t planning on being much of an angel.
Considering the size of the officers lounge, and how it took relatively few people to fill it, Destiny was a little surprised it took so long to discover him there. That said it wasn’t too difficult, to just follow some instinctive draw.
“You make a very dashing vampire,” she noted, coming to stand beside him as he filled a paper cup with a ladle full of fruit punch.
Captain Magenta smiled, and had handed her the full cup before she had managed to pick up an empty one for myself. She thanked him, for such an act of unforced chivalry.
“You promised me a dance, yesterday,” she said, having finished the drink. “I hope you have not forgotten.”
“A dance with the devil,” Magenta smiled. “How could I pass on such a prospect… I’m just biding my time, that’s all. I didn’t figure you were really one for ballads.”
She nodded, glancing over her shoulder. At the sea of couples moving, in something close to time, to some hideously cheesy love song which had inexplicably been a best selling single for the past month. Destiny was not averse to romancing, but had to draw a line at that.
Owing to habit, her gaze sought out Captain Grey, noting he was dancing with Lieutenant Terracotta, his fifth partner for as many dances.
‘I’m really going to have to quit doing that,’ Destiny decided. ‘This paying him more attention than our now platonic relationship warranted is starting to get embarrassing.’
If Magenta had noticed her shift in attention he didn’t acknowledge it.
“Now this is more like it,” he said, acknowledging the shift of music to the brewing of a heady Latin beat. “Guess I’m gonna have to take back all the grief I gave my sister for her making me go to salsa classes,” he added with a rueful smile. “You know the moves?”
That question transported Destiny back many years before. Learning to dance, amongst other things, from Rafael; a law student, with an Italian father and Spanish mother, who she had dated whilst studying in Rome.
Coming back to the present she simply nodded, propped her pitchfork against the table, and allowed herself to be lead onto the floor.
For a moment it was inevitable awkward, as they jostled a little, negotiating the height difference. However it did not take long to find a collective sense of rhythm, surrendering to the beat, feeling it pulse through their veins. He effortlessly took the lead, and she allowed him to do so. Something about that thrilled her; she was so used to be in control and giving orders that someone else taking charge was a novelty. Destiny was not surprised that it was natural to him. Yet for a man who had commanded an entire crime syndicate, his supremacy had a certain tenderness to it. Which culminated in him being an excellent lover.
As the dance progressed, she felt his hand unconsciously slip lower, to rest just below her hip, fingers trailing down her skin, setting all her nerves alight. He leant closer, whispered something to her. She was unable to clearly comprehend what he said, but the intimacy of the gesture, his warm breath against her skin, thrilled her to the core. In that moment she too ached for him, feeling her every muscle molten, yet alert. She looked up, locking on to his brown eyes darkening with desire, his lips so painfully deliciously inviting. It seemed almost instinct to reach for them, to brush her thumb along that tender skin. Yet she held back, just slightly, instead tracing the trail of fake blood smeared toward his chin, idly wondering how well it would hold up should things get heated.
Again he lent toward her, and that she took as her moment to act, leaning close in a fluid motion, convinced of their fate…
… So his pulling away startled her.
Destiny frowned slightly; had she really completely misjudged his intentions?
No, not all; that desire was still apparently on his part. From what she understood of his past and general character, Destiny knew that if Magenta wanted something he would generally go to whatever lengths were necessary to achieve that. He had an innate ease around women, could charm them in such a casual way. So why the impromptu about turn?
“Not right now,” he said simply, by way of explanation.
Sensing her disappointment, Magenta did kiss her; but on the cheek, seemingly a neutral gesture of platonic fondness.
“But that doesn’t mean we can’t find someplace more private,” he added, offering his hand to her.
The walk back to his quarters was almost unbearable, as Destiny’s head was filled with all manner of thoughts well-suited to her costume. Despite the gesture, Magenta didn’t end up touching her. They simply walked side by side, for all the world appearing to be merely friends without hint of what simmered beneath that facade.
Her crimson lipstick held out a good forty seconds longer than Destiny did, the redness consuming her skin and his, melding it together as one with the fake blood, as she kissed him, frantic and claiming as a drowning man grappling for a lifeline, pinned against the inside of the door. He countered in kind; now was not the time for delicate romance.
Lost entirely in the moment and each other, they ceased kissing only as their clothing was cast aside with utter abandon. Ordinarily, Destiny would never consider being so careless with clothing, but at that time all that concerned her was him. As if he were a most intoxicating drug, and she was helpless to resist a fix. His murmurings of satisfaction and scent of his skin only increasing the potency.
He broke apart, guiding her further into the apartment with the general aim of reaching the bed; but she reeled him back in, nipping at his shoulder in a way she knew would drive him crazy in the best possible way. For a moment she did consider the durex box she knew was lurking in the bedside cabinet, but discarded the thought having taken those matters into her own hands. All the while Magenta whispered to her, a running commentary of how wonderful she was and exactly how he intended to express his adoration. He certainly knew how to make a girl feel appreciated.
The cold unyielding of the wall at her back was a certain comfort to Destiny, so aware of her feverish skin and the strong broad strokes with which Magenta caressed it. Giving a gasp which evolved into a moan as every touch, pleading as he teased her, bringing her closer to the brink, wrapping her legs around him as he slammed into her. Until, her body finally succumbing, she cried out as pleasure rippled through every cell.
“Fine Catholics we make,” Magenta said, over the hum of the shower. “Remind me, how many ‘Hail Marys’ have we got to do for that?”
Destiny giggled, sat on the ensuite bathroom counter, comfortably unwound and still reeling.
Despite fitting the bill of ‘tall, dark, handsome and filthy rich’, Magenta was probably amongst the last men she had expected to fall for. Yet she had, just as he, when neither were expecting to find such things. It had not been a particularly straightforward courtship thus far, with Spectrum regulations amongst the things conspiring against them. Still they contrasted, yet complimented each other so well; and both knew they could never be happier any other way. In fact, she was starting to suspect he may very well be ‘the one’, and vice versa.
He stepped out of the shower, and she laughed anew.
“What?” he demanded.
“You still have lipstick, and, umm, blood I suppose, all over you face,” she replied.
“Thanks for the heads up.” He allowed her to scrub at the tint with a soapy washcloth. “I thought that lipstick wasn’t meant to come off for a hundred kisses, or something.”
“Maybe, I wasn’t counting.”
She wrung out the cloth and tossed it into the laundry bag. Then a thought occurred to her: “I wonder who we shall see scampering back to their rooms still in costume come tomorrow morning?”
“Not you, obviously,” Magenta noted. “I did figure there was a reason you keep a spare uniform here.”
Destiny nodded and, suddenly weary from the long day and bout of activity, leant against him.
“Well there you go,” Magenta began, instinctively pulling her into an embrace. “I have done my trick and treat for this year.”
“I am aware what the treat was,” she smiled at the memory of her not so distant past .“But not the trick.”
“Oh I’m sure Ochre will tell you all about it tomorrow.” He smirked, kissing her forehead. “Come on then, Bijou, let’s get to bed.”
Destiny smiled as Magenta scooped her up and carried her toward to sofa bed, waiting so invitingly for them. As the quarters were only fitted with single beds the senior staff had used their initiative and provided their own innocuous looking couches, which could be converted into double beds should the need arise.
“I think,” she stated, “that is the best idea you’ve had since asking me to dance.”
(Pictures are montages by Chris Bishop for last year’s Spectrum Halloween Party)