Chapter 4: The Hunger
Sophie sat at a little round table on the café’s patio, smoking a cigarette. She stood when Rose arrived and they exchanged cheek kisses.
Cars and pedestrians whizzed by. Boulevard Saint-Germain was abuzz with life and energy in this late afternoon. The sky was overcast but Rose kept her sunglasses on. She felt the sun’s blistering rays on her skin through the gray clouds. The brightness, despite the coverage, was agonizing.
“Do you mind if we move inside?” Rose asked Sophie. “It’s too, um…loud out here.”
“Pas de problème,” Sophie responded, smashing her lit cigarettes into the ashtray provided.
Rose helped transport her cup of café au lait with the lipstick smudges and the half-eaten croissant into the café’s interior. They found a new table away from the windows. Rose removed her sunglasses and heaved a sigh.
“Rough night?” Sophie asked with a wry smile.
“I think I just need to eat something,” Rose replied weakly.
Sophie tore off a piece of her flaky croissant and offered it to Rose. “Hungover?” she ventured.
Rose sniffed the piece of croissant in Sophie’s hand and pushed it away, feeling the nausea rise in her throat. “I’m starving, but nothing sounds appetizing. I had some wine last night…more than I remember, maybe.”
“Try some café au lait, it always helps me.” Sophie slid her cup closer to Rose, who sniffed it and winced.
Rose watched as Sophie shrugged and downed the rest of her beverage. It was subtle, but Rose noticed a slight blush come onto Sophie’s cheeks from the heat of the coffee. It was beguiling and attractive. Oddly, just the sight of it made Rose feel minorly better.
“Let’s get going or we’ll be late,” Rose said, slightly perked up.
“We’re already late,” Sophie corrected with a chuckle. Nonetheless, she obliged, putting money on the table and picking up the remainder of her croissant to finish on the way.
“You’re late,” Madame LeClerc confirmed from behind her desk without looking up as Rose and Sophie entered. When she finally looked up, Madame LeClerc did a double take at Rose. “Chérie, you look like hell!” Madame LeClerc was not one for mincing words. “Are you up for performing today?”
Rose nodded. “I’ll be fine.”
“Let’s get you some water,” Sophie said, taking Rose by the hand and leading her away from the scrutinizing eyes of Madame LeClerc. They headed toward the dressing rooms in the back. “Your hand is ice cold!” Sophie whispered, once out of Madame LeClerc’s ear range. “You must be hungover, cold sweats are a sign.”
In these dimly lit back chambers, Rose started to feel better. She sat down on a little purple sofa. “The sun was blinding today!” she groaned, rubbing her temples.
Sophie chuckled. “It’s actually been quite overcast all day. You’re definitely hungover. Here, drink this.” She handed Rose a glass of water.
Rose sipped the water, but immediately spat it out. “I hope I’m not sick,” Rose uttered weakly, bringing her palm to her forehead. Sophie was right, her skin was indeed ice cold.
Sophie knelt in front of Rose and gently brushed aside a strand of hair that had fallen across her face. “I’ll cover your shift today, you should go home and rest.”
These words drifted by Rose without registering. Rose felt her attention drawn to something else, something she couldn’t ignore. “You smell amazing,” she told Sophie, leaning in closer and drinking in a deep breath. “Are you wearing new perfume or something?”
“No, not a thing, but thank you,” Sophie replied. She examined Rose’s face, which seemed to be livening up.
Sophie was surprised, but not displeased, when Rose bent forward and brushed the edges of her lips against Sophie’s neck. Sophie felt her flesh flare into goosebumps as the airy brushes of Rose’s lips turned into light, delicate kisses.
“Your skin tastes like candy,” Rose said, surprised by her own delight in kissing Sophie’s soft, warm neck.
Rose moved her lips to Sophie’s parted mouth and kissed her gently. Food and water had disgusted Rose just moments earlier, but the smell of Sophie’s skin and the taste of Sophie’s saliva mingled with her own invigorated Rose. She felt something change inside her. She felt something stir in her veins.
Rose pulled Sophie up onto the purple sofa and kissed her harder, deeper. She unbuttoned Sophie’s shirt and brought her mouth to the stiff, pink nipple crowning Sophie’s warm, pillowy breast. It resembled a cherry atop a perfect scoop of ice cream, and tasted just as sweet. Rose felt her teeth sink ever so slightly into the tip of Sophie’s nipple. She felt Sophie’s body gasp, but it was a shudder of pleasure rather than pain, made evident by the seductive moan released.
Sophie pulled Rose’s face toward her own and kissed her on the mouth. Their tongues danced as their hands explored each other. Rose brought a hand up Sophie’s skirt and fingered the edges of her narrow underwear. She then plunged a finger beyond the fabric and into the wet caverns of Sophie’s pussy.
Rose brought up her hand to reveal a finger coated with a thin layer of warm, red blood.
“Ah, merde!” Sophie exclaimed. “It’s early. Fuck, I’m not sure I’ll be able to perform today. Someone else will have to cover your—”
Before she could finish, Rose tore away Sophie’s panties and buried her face between Sophie’s legs. She gorged herself, ravenous and insatiable for the sweet life-force flowing from Sophie’s elegant little cunt. Sophie leaned back, her eyes fluttering shut and her body giving in to the compulsions of desire.
It hit like a drug—the taste of blood on Rose’s tongue flashed a surge of ecstasy throughout her entire body. Rippling waves of pleasure flowed through her with each new sip, gulp, and lick. The edges of her mind clouded and all she could focus on was consuming that thick, decadent juice.
Rose traced her tongue along the outer edges of Sophie’s pussy, cleaning each delicate petal of its crimson droplets. She sucked hard on Sophie’s clit, scraping it gingerly with her teeth, and they both felt a surge of agonizing pleasure race through their veins.
Rose then submerged her tongue completely within the walls of Sophie’s trembling pussy. The taste of blood on her tongue was exquisite and enlivening. Rose traded her tongue for a finger, to help release more of the sweet nectar.
Rose drank, slurped, sucked, and swallowed, as her finger slid in and out with the ease of excessive lubricant. Finally, at last, Sophie orgasmed with a vibrating scream and release of even more blood.
Rose looked up at Sophie and beamed a smile through the blood smeared across her lips and chin. They looked into each other’s eyes without words for several seconds. Each set of eyes glittered with a mix of surprise and intrigue.
“Rose! What has gotten into you?” Sophie said through coquettish giggles and flushed cheeks.
Sophie reached out and wiped a patch of blood from Rose’s chin with her finger. Rose grabbed that finger and brought it into her mouth before Sophie could wipe it clean. She wanted to savor every droplet.
But it was a good question, Rose thought to herself. What had gotten into her? Slowly, she felt her lungs expand and her muscles perk up. Her bones felt suddenly sturdier and her senses sharper. She felt powerful and strong, renewed and revived. Yet, fear and confusion tempered her new sense of strength. What was happening to her? What had gotten into her?
Striptease: The Hunger Inside
By the time Rose finished recounting the events of the previous night, a murky silence hung in the air. Rose and Sophie sat side by side on the purple sofa in the dressing room, holding each other’s hand.
“What did it feel like?” Sophie asked, breaking the silence.
“Which part?” asked Rose. “Being turned? I didn’t even realize it was happening. I’ve only just now pieced it all together. I was distracted last night—he was biting me all over, which I enjoyed and which always makes me cum harder anyway. Then this morning the sunlight felt excruciating and I had lost my reflection. I felt like a zombie all day, too zonked to seriously think about what had happened or what was happening. And just now when I smelled your blood it kindled something wild and ravenous inside me.”
“I mean,” Sophie corrected, “what did it feel like to drink my blood?”
Rose thought it over, wanting to use the right words to describe it. “It felt like…” she started, “shooting heroin and adderall at once…while cumming…on an airplane that has just lost control and is plummeting to earth.”
“Jesus,” Sophie responded.
“Ouai,” Rose said flatly.
“And now you feel…better?” Sophie ventured.
“I feel alive,” Rose admitted. She covered her eyes with her palms. “Sophie, what am I going to do?”
“It’ll be okay,” Sophie told Rose, stroking her hand. “I’ll have my period for, like, four more days. You can feed on me, and then…”
“Then I’m fucked?” Rose suggested.
“No,” Sophie asserted. “No, not at all! I’ll help you. We’ll figure something out.”
“I have to go perform soon,” Rose said, changing the subject. “I need to start getting ready.”
“Are you sure you’re up for it?” Sophie asked skeptically.
Rose furrowed her brow and contemplated it. “I feel fantastic,” she confessed. “And I know which act I’ll do.”
Rose scurried off to prepare herself. She fixed up her hair, did her makeup, and put on her attire. When it was time to go on stage, Rose gave Madame LeClerc a little thumb drive with the song to play, and she queued herself up to march down the stairs and perform in the showroom below.
The lights poured a rich blanket of red over the velvety, cavernous showroom, and the music lilted into the ears of the expectant audience members. Rose trotted eagerly down the stairs.
For this act, she wore a magnificent lingerie set of transparent lace and tiny red roses. In lieu of a proper outfit to strip off, she merely covered herself with a cardinal-red muslin veil trimmed with lace. The semi-opacity covered yet revealed her. It tempted and teased, and promised more to come. She resembled a bride of the underworld, and when she stepped into the fiery red light she appeared even more otherworldly.
With the red veil flowing down around her, she lifted her arms to create the effect of wings sprouting from her sides.
Rose twirled and the veil spun along with her. She was weaving a dark visual lullaby.
Keeping the long veil draped over her, she reached behind herself and unclasped the back of her bra. She slowly released her arms from the bra straps, but kept her breasts covered by the fabric until a beat in the song demanded they be released.
With a flirtatious flourish, she unleashed her bra and granted the audience a feast—through the veil—of her breasts that bounced with freedom. She cupped a hand around each tit to frame them as the delicate works of art that they were, inviting her audience to focus even more heavily on their supple forms.
Rose caressed herself all over, guiding the gaze of the audience to each curve and contour of her body. Her form was highlighted by the rich red lighting, yet muted by the semi-sheer fabric of the veil.
She then unlatched the strips of her garter-belt that held up her thigh highs, each in their turn. After allowing them to jangle against her thighs for just a moment, she unclasped the back of the garter-belt, held it up, and let it fall to the floor.
Rose then pranced across the stage to the gilt-framed mirror where she liked to tease her own reflection and let the audience admire her twice. She leaned her back against the mirror and felt the cold of the glass against her skin. The cold touch of glass was less shocking than usual, but she enjoyed it all the same. She had momentarily forgotten that her reflection would evade her.
Her memory snapped back to reality when she turned around to face the mirror. Seeing only her surroundings in an otherwise empty glass box sent a bolt of panic through her. She felt a bead of sweat form on her brow under the muslin veil.
Instinctively, she yanked down a scarf hanging nearby and fluttered it over the mirror, shrouding its reflective surface. A specter of her dream flashed across her mind, but she pushed it away.
Her eyes darted to the audience to check for facial expressions that suggested knowledge of what had just transpired. No one seemed to have noticed. She heaved a breath of relief, then returned quickly to her act, lest anyone catch on that something was amiss.
She managed to not betray herself, but she clocked the distinct lack of rhythm in the left cavern of her chest. With such a close call it should have been beating maniacally. She gulped deeply and carried on.
Rose impressed herself with her own ability to keep her cool and keep her dance on track without fumbling too much over these disturbing hiccups. But she also wondered how much more of them she could withstand.
Continuing the act, she glided into the realm of the audience. She hadn’t given them much attention yet, and, anyway, it was farther from the mirror.
In front of an eager watcher, she pulled the strings of her panties out and downward, hinting that she was about to remove them. She turned and bent to slowly slide them off, giving this particular audience member a generous view of her ass and pussy from behind.
Her body was now covered by the red veil and nothing else. She hopped onto the back of a sofa and laid backwards. Her hands surveyed her body through the thin fabric as she pulsed in rhythm with the song.
She then hopped off and moved to the velvety divan at the back of the stage where she sat facing the audience. She slid the veil over her head and gathered it in a cotton-candy-like bunch on her lap.
She pointed two fingers and inserted them into her mouth. She sucked on them briefly before sliding them down her chest, past her tits, and down behind the billowy veil on her lap. There was no need for illusion, she grinded herself greedily behind the muslin.
She made eye contact with everyone in the room, each in their turn, granting everyone a little smile and attention and she touched herself. She maintained these glances as she rose from the divan and, in a big reveal, let the veil tumble to the floor.
Her form, naked apart from thigh highs and heels, glowed red in the lighting. Standing, she threw one leg up onto the divan and bent it at its knee. This spread her wide, and the lips of her pussy fanned open like the pages of a book.
Her fingers explored her pages, feeling them lovingly, thoroughly, as if they were imprinted with braille. Her eyes continued to feed on her audience.
As she strode back into the audience, she tasted herself by hungrily licking her fingers. She meandered through the audience a while with her fingers in her mouth. It reminded her of eating out Sophie just moments earlier and she nearly came at the thought of it.
Rose was startled, however, by the sensation of a clammy hand on her leg. Her response to handsy audience members was automatic by this point. She gently removed it, gave a tsk-tsk motion with her finger, and shook her head.
With a first offense, she remained coy with mostly feigned condemnation of the naughty behavior. Anyone who frequented Theatre La Chatte knew they could only touch when dancers guided their hands. But every now and then patrons would forget themselves, and dancers had to remind them, usually with mock scolding, to keep their hands to themselves.
This offender seemed to understand and accept the light reprimand. Rose proceeded with her dance.
But before she could get far, she felt the same clammy hand squeeze her ass cheek. She slapped it away and turned to face him. There was protocol for these kinds of situations, which involved first asking the offender to leave, then calling in Madame LeClerc.
Rose was about to start the process of telling this handsy asshole to leave, but she stopped herself and abruptly changed scripts. She leaned in close to him, bringing her lips next to his ear.
“Touching can be arranged with a private dance,” she whispered to him. “Ask for Scarlette.” She watched his eyes light up with interest. Rose wasn’t totally sure what she had planned, wasn’t totally sure how far she would take this. But she couldn’t resist the temptation to try.
Predictably, the handsy offender requested a private dance with “Scarlette” immediately following the end of her act.
Rose rushed to the back dressing rooms to freshen up before taking this client to a private showroom. She found Sophie waiting there.
“How did it go? How do you feel now?” Sophie asked eagerly.
“Ça va, ça va,” Rose replied with a smile. “Except, there was this client who would not stop putting his hands on me. But instead of scolding him, I told him to request a private dance. He’s waiting for me now.”
“Rose…wait,” Sophie cautioned. “What are you planning?”
Rose lacked the words to explain, partly because she didn’t fully know herself what she had planned.
But Sophie didn’t need to hear Rose say it. She surmised enough, piecing things together more clearly than even Rose herself.
“Are you still hungry?” Sophie ventured quietly.
Rose took stock of herself. “No,” she answered, truthfully.
“It’s not urgent then. Good.” Sophie took Rose by the hand and seated her beside her. “We need a better plan than this. It’s not sustainable to just kill asshole customers as they come along.”
Sophie’s “we” touched Rose. She felt immediately comforted and far less alone.
“You can feed on me as much as you need over the next few days,” Sophie went on. “Honestly, you won’t hear me complain about that.” Sophie’s smile brought Rose back into the full reality of her situation, but in a way that eased rather than heightened her tension.
“We need a longer-term plan,” Rose reiterated, emphasizing Sophie’s original point. Rose relished being able to say “we.” It was a gift from Sophie.
“Exactly,” Sophie confirmed. “Go explain to Madame LeClerc that it was a misunderstanding, that he was being inappropriate during your act, and let her deal with him. Then come back here and we’ll put our heads together. D’accord?”
Rose nodded and obliged. She would let the offender off the hook. This time.
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