Chapter 9: Die Happy
Vanesse was unmistakable amongst the audience of Theatre La Chatte. Rose was glad they had decided to stay and watch her perform.
As Rose descended the stairs, the music sailed into the cavernous room and swelled rhythmically. Both promising and menacing, the music set the mood.
Inspired by Vanesse’s look, Rose descended the stairs in tall black books and a trenchcoat, this one a stunning fuschia. She felt more energized than in her previous acts that day. Her chat with Vanesse had given her new life.
Rose trotted on stage and planted her booted feet in a wide stance. She swayed her hips to the music and untied the trenchcoat’s waist strap. She then unbuttoned the trenchcoat with deliberate slowness. This unveiled the treasure beneath—a tightly-bound black corset that contorted her torso and accentuated her curves.
Rose let the heavy trenchcoat fall off her body and onto the floor. Stepping out of the pool of her fallen coat, she moved into the realm of the audience. The lights glowed blue and purple on her like liquid gemstones.
Rose eyed Vanesse but did not immediately approach them. First, she diligently bestowed attention upon other audience members. She sat on a lap and leaned all the way back. She sprawled along a velvety sofa back and pumped her pelvis in the air. She flirted and tempted, seduced and vamped.
But she could not resist the pull of Vanesse for very long. Rose glided up to where Vanesse sat and perched on the seat next to them. She extended a hand.
Vanesse peered at Rose’s extended hand, unsure what to do. A nod toward the stage was Rose’s only explanation, but it was enough. Vanesse placed their hand in Rose’s, and then she led them to the stage and sat them down on the spotlighted divan.
There, in front of the audience, Rose led Vanesse’s hands to the upper mounds of her breasts that spilled out from atop the corset. She bent perpendicularly at the waist and brushed her lips against Vanesse’s. This gave the audience a spectacular view of her blue- and purple-highlighted ass.
Rose knelt in front of Vanesse, who was still seated on the plush, red divan. She pushed Vanesse’s legs wide open, and brought her mouth tantalizingly close to where Vanesse’s legs met. She feigned a licking motion, and glanced back to confirm that her audience was enjoying the show. But ultimately they were of secondary concern.
Striptease: Die Happy
Rose turned her attention back to Vanesse. She lifted herself up and sat next to Vanesse on the divan. Pulling their body toward her own, Rose pressed her lips softly against Vanesse’s. Then more firmly. Then firmer still.
They were passionately making out as Rose again took control of Vanesse’s hands. She guided them to the seemingly infinite row of tiny latches and instructed their fingers to carefully release each hook from its eye.
With each new unhooking, Rose’s body became more and more revealed. By the time Vanesse was half way down, the edges of Rose’s tits were highlighted by the saturating lights.
Once the unlatching was finally complete, the open corset fell off Rose like a discarded shell. Her nipples stood erect, celebrating their uncovering. But the panties still needed to come off.
Rose jumped up onto the divan, standing with her front facing Vanesse and her back toward the audience. Placing a hand on the back of Vanesse’s head, Rose directed them to take hold of the slender panty straps with their teeth.
No stranger to the art of seduction, Vanesse knew what to do next. They used their teeth to slowly pull the panties down Rose’s legs. The audience gorged their sights on the spectacle before them.
Now naked apart from thigh highs and the tall black boots, Rose pushed Vanesse into a supine position on the divan and crouched over them. She writhed in tandem with the song, with Vanesse lying obediently beneath her.
Rose brought a hand to Vanesse’s groin. Though clothed, it was undeniable that the pleasure seeped through, for Vanesse’s face expressed a vision of ecstasy. Emboldened, Rose moved her hand past the clothing and felt Vanesse’s skin hidden within. She stroked them with heaving motions.
The audience sat silently enthralled.
Vanesse was now breathing heavily and their body joined in with the wavelike movements of Rose’s hand. Vanesse’s eyes fluttered shut as they moaned beguilingly.
Rose felt the tremblings of an orgasm start to arise in Vanesse’s body. She moved her hand more vigorously, like a sorceress inviting a tempest to erupt. Vanesse’s body trembled and their hips hoisted upward in a greedy arch.
The grip of sharp fingernails around Rose’s throat stopped her abruptly. Her eyes bulged as a faint gurgle struggled past the hand clutching her neck.
Vanesse had popped up—on the verge of cumming but without reaching it—and now towered over Rose.
With Rose pinned under them along the divan, Vanesse brought their face close to Rose’s. “I know what you’re doing, you little bitch!” They spat these words at Rose through a grin. “Don’t you ever try to drain me of power again, and don’t you ever make me regret bestowing kindness upon you.”
Masked by the music, Vanesse’s words were inaudible to the other audience members, but Rose heard them distinctly.
The song concluded and the music faded. The audience applauded wildly.
Rose suppressed a cough when Vanesse released their grasp on her. They both turned to the audience and smiled in place of a bow.
“Who was that striking person you brought on stage?” Margot asked Rose backstage.
Rose looked over her shoulder to ensure her and Margot were alone. “Another vampire,” she answered quietly. It actually felt good to speak that word aloud. It was empowering.
“Wow, really?” Margot responded. “How cool…” Margot’s eyes trailed off, lost in a private thought.
“Yeah, they’re helping me, in fact,” Rose explained.
Margot shrugged with her lips. “You know, I don’t think I’ve heard you say the word ‘vampire’ yet,” she noted.
Rose abruptly shushed Margot. “You feel very comfortable saying it, I see.”
“Actually,” Margot said, looking at her feet, “I wanted to talk to you about that.”
“About the word ‘vampire’?” Rose asked in a hushed voice.
“Sort of,” Margot responded vaguely. Rose shot her a sideways glance.
Margot unexpectedly took Rose by the hand and yanked her into a shadowy corner. She looked Rose steadily in the eyes. “I want you to turn me.”
“Quoi!” exclaimed Rose.
“Make me a vampire,” Margot stated directly.
“You’ve lost your mind,” Rose said dismissively, attempting to push past Margot. But Margot held her there.
“I’m dead serious,” Margot stated. “I think we can do a lot of good with it. We killed that shitbag politician. You killed Sophie’s attacker. Think about what else we could accomplish! We need to think beyond Theatre La Chatte. Beyond Paris. We could go on a global crusade, taking down all the evil fuckers ruining this world.”
Rose watched a wildfire flicker in Margot’s eyes. “You don’t know what you’re saying. You don’t know what it’s like,” Rose responded in a broken voice. “Being a vampire isn’t a vigilante lark. It’s an existence full of darkness and death.”
“I’ve thought this over long and hard,” Margot insisted. “It’s an opportunity, a powerful gift. Don’t be afraid to wield that power! And anyway,” she added, “at least you’d have me as a companion for eternity.”
Rose smiled wistfully and contemplated Margot’s ask. “I’m sorry,” she said at last. “I can’t do that to you.”
Margot blinked angrily at Rose and dipped a hand into her pocket. She brought out a switchblade knife and flicked it open.
A shiver of fear flashed across Rose, but then she remembered herself. “You can’t kill me,” she uttered softly, reminding both Margot and herself of her immortality.
Forming a devilish smile and keeping her eyes locked on Rose’s, Margot brought the small knife to her own throat. Without a murmur, Margot traced a diagonal line along the side of her throat and a thin red line followed in the knife’s path.
The blood glowed mesmerizingly. Rose felt her salivary glands pump liquid into her mouth. She yearned desperately to suck on that sumptuous crimson nectar spilling from Margot’s throat.
In perhaps the greatest act of self-control of her life, Rose shot past Margot and screamed, “I can’t! I won’t!”
Rose ran home to her apartment and collapsed in tears on her bed. Margot was persistent, this wouldn’t be the end of it. And presumably this meant she could no longer count on Margot—and her monthly supply of blood—as an ally.
Rose hoped desperately that Vanesse would in fact prove to be a trustworthy mentor. So far, she wasn’t quite sure. She hoped they would come through and help her find Nico Dacia. She needed answers, she needed guidance. She needed a new strategy for existing.
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