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Lucille smelled sex. The carnal odor of copulation girdled her tightly within its magnetic sorcery.
No matter how strongly she fought the bridle of her nature, Lucille had always been a nocturnal creature. The siren of cool, pale moonlight that drenched her bedroom intermingled with the aroma of passionate coupling was irresistible, drawing her from unrestful, agonizing slumber. Lustful cravings twisted inside her, knots of unfulfilled, dangerous urges propelling her toward the cowled forest, demanded surcease. The merciless desire to appease her demon hunger, deep and gnawing and one she could no longer resist.
While living in the city her body's acute appetite for sex was manageable. Almost. But then in the city there'd been a plethora of willing sexual partners prowling the streets eager to accommodate her lusty hunger. Here in her rural homeplace, the addiction was an unrelenting thirst for rationed water in the midst of a deadly drought. A heroin addict's fanatic dementia fueled by the need to acquire the next fix.
Lucille's nostrils flared and her lungs expanded as she sucked in the fragrance of fornication. So where did the tantalizing passion ambrosia emanate from? The ravenous temptation drew her from her self-imposed exile out into the enveloping pitch of velvet nightfall.
Her prowl turned a fixed eye to the dense blackness beyond the walls of her people's land. To the neighboring estate. She felt the musky draw slide through her, the tightening of her muscles, the drenching wetness at the apex of her thighs. The frenzy of the hunt was upon her.
A startling flash of memory conjured sable-black eyes with pinpoints of shifting, hypnoticsilver. Raven-black hair, thick and luxuriant beneath her touch. Aristocratic, alabaster flesh and savage, demanding lips. Nights of seething possession. Drenched, naked bodies writhing with primitive abandon. Hands that culled her primitive lust, fed from her desire, claimed her body. And quenched her desperate, brutal sexual fever.
How could she have forgotten? Why was it only now that the memory broke open like a fragile shell to reveal the pearl of precious imagery lodged deep inside her soul? Hidden away in some dark corner to be yanked out of concealment on this witchy night when she was at her lowest ebb.
Divorce was not a pretty pastime even if she'd known it was for the best. Although Lucille's parents were long dead, something had drawn her back to the foundations of her birth. She had returned home to lick her wounds. It had never occurred to her that although the divorce was necessary, abstinence was probably not in her best interests. Going cold turkey was rarely a good idea. Be it a drug or sex. Especially here and now. Tucked safely within the womb of her ancestors, she'd thought she was safe. She'd thought the hunger that drove her would abate. But it wasn't just Brad's defection. Yes, Lucille had wanted to prove a point to her ex-husband. But she'd also wanted to prove to herself that he was wrong.
Sadly, the only thing she seemed to be doing was proving him right. She had struggled night after night with the potency of her nature, determined to resist the lust that clawed at her, depleting her energy, making it almost impossible to face each new day as the ravaging hunger ripped her apart.
An inner sense of destiny kept her anchored to her parents' estate even though she knew her presence in the tiny village sucked her soul dry with each passing hour. More and more she found herself lifeless and abed from dawn to dusk. Unable to gather enough energy to arise, she waited, gripping and clawing at the sweat-drenched sheets of her bed. Until at last the searing disc of golden flame in the sky descended and night cooled the land, offering her some measure of relief and minimal restored strength. But then the sex drive would take over. Relief from the day was no relief at all. The wanton hunger had never been this bad in the city. Lucille had come to believe it was something about this place, the strength of her heritage, that sent her nature into overload.
And yet she could not force herself to leave. She waited. For something. But as she waited, she knew she was dying. And she couldn't halt the descent no matter how hard she fought.
The thought of food made her ill and she'd eaten little since her return. It couldn't be lovesick pangs for her ex-husband. And she knew she wasn't pregnant. Her period last week had put that concern to rest.
Brad had been unable to handle her increasing voracious desire for intercourse, until he'd finally demanded a divorce, calling her a nymphomaniac that he was no longer willing to appease. He said she'd sucked the life out of him and he wanted nothing more to do with her.
"You're fucking killing me, Lucille. I can't do this anymore. I want out." Brad shoved her off him and dragged himself off the bed. He staggered and then righted himself as he stumbled toward the bathroom.
"Bastard," she yelled after him, white hot energy racing through her body. She wanted to make love again and all he wanted was sleep. It didn't matter that they'd just fucked an hour before, she needed him again. Her hips jerked, her stomach twisted. She shuddered as desire surged through her like a bloated, raging river. "Weak, impotent jerk."
He whirled on her, his expression twisted with molten rage. His cock belied the angry monster bearing down on her. The limp sausage of flesh bobbed with each step, shriveled and lifeless. Obviously, it was of little use to her and there appeared no hope of immediate resuscitation. She wanted to laugh hysterically, or shriek, at the situation she was in, but managed to control herself. It would only have inflamed him even more. He surged toward the bed and yanked her up by the shoulders. His thick fingers bit into her skin, grinding against bone as though he wanted to snap her apart, shaking her with surprising force.
"You're sick. Do you realize that? No normal woman needs sex as much as you do. There's something wrong with you and I can't fix it. I don't even want to try anymore. I'm leaving tonight, before you kill me." He shoved her away from him, as though she were something vile he couldn't get away from fast enough. "Get help, Lucille."
Brad hadn't been able to vacate the apartment fast enough that night. The only communication between them after that had been by way of their attorneys. He'd shed her as easily as a snake shed useless skin. But he was probably right, about all of it. Unfortunately, she'd also known it was more than an addiction, more than a psychological problem. It went so much deeper than that. But how could she ever explain to a man of little to no imagination that she was changing and it was not an uncomplicated metamorphosis. And she doubted it was a butterfly that would emerge.
No, there was no monarch beauty lurking inside her soul. There was something darker, much darker, waiting to reveal itself. How could she explain it to Brad when she didn't even understand it herself?