Age: 800 (give or take), appearance app. 25
Race: demon, incubus
Ht/Wt: 6’2”, 195’
Looks changed to suit your preference. I’m flexible. Literally.
SPECIES: As an incubus demon, Deliverance consumes sex for food, consequently nature has made him physically flawless. He is temptation walking and guarantees delivery of pleasure. However, he does come with a WARNING label. He has been known to ruin the sexual ever afters of his partners because satisfaction, post-Deliverance, may always feel just out of reach.
ROMANCE: He’s not looking for love. In his long life he’s only been in love once and that was the closest thing to accidental. The girl, an apothecary’s daughter, was descended from the witches of Pendle Hill and also had a pinch of demon blood. Against, every admonition, the foolish girl was experimenting with summoning a demon because she’d learned that her great grandmother had done it successfully. When Deliverance was caught in the summoning spell because he happened to be passing by, he was also caught up in the magnetic attraction of the way the two genetic strains, witch and demon had woven together. The love affair ended very badly. Now he’s not in the market for anything but a good time.
PERSONALITY: Though typically outrageously self-involved, he has been known to be helpful to others. Just recently he assisted a werewolf friend, whose tribe was going extinct because of no female births, by giving a series of workshop on sex with humans for the young males. He gave lectures using a red pen light and preselected, muted porn movies. They were so successful the werewolf was able to apply some of the techniques learned and win a new mate for himself.
DISLIKES: Strongly dislikes angels who are, apparently, close relatives. If mentioned in his presence, he is likely to deliver a diatribe on how they are drama queens, attention hounds and press hogs.
UNUSUAL TRAITS: As an incubus demon, Deliverance doesn’t have any sense of personal modesty or sexual impropriety. He has trouble understanding the idea of clothing for any purpose other than titillation or seduction. For example, he recently showed up in his daughter’s hospital room without clothes then asked about her sex life while his son-in-law was standing there.
PREFERENCES: Not especially picky. He seems to have a preference for women, but has propositioned Ram and certainly has no qualms about groups. Anything that gives someone sexual pleasure feeds Deliverance just like filling a tank. Therefore, there’s nothing he hasn’t done, but he prefers to avoid messier activities and enjoys hearing screams of pleasure. He also said to mention that he cannot give or get STD’s so he’s good to go raw anywhere, anytime, no wrapper needed. Just saying.
FANS: Deliverance has a fan club and they frequently campaign for his own book, but his publisher assures us that there will be no book forthcoming. Fans claim to love him for various reasons including his sexual mystique, left-field sense of humor and devotion to his daughter.
DELIVERANCE was introduced to the saga in Book Two, The Witch’s Dream. In this scene, he is confronted with the daughter he has never met.
"Rosie?" he whispered.
"No. My name is Litha. And you are?" she said in a matter of fact tone.
The demon cocked his head to the side as if he could study her better from that angle. Her manner was decidedly more assertive than Rosie's, but she spoke with Rosie's voice. Just as he was about to ask, “What are you?” he saw that her hair was not brown like Rosie’s. It was black. Like his. Her lips were red like Rosie's. So much so that the reminder made his heart hurt to look at her, but the creature’s skin was also not so fair as Rosie’s. It was tinted with fire. Like his. He did not then suspect, but knew that this woman who had arrived in his lair, this woman who was not susceptible to fire, was the baby he had forgotten about once he knew that Rosie was beyond his reach. She may not have been invited to the demon’s private lair, but she was oh so welcome.
As she was being studied, Litha was likewise assessing a male who was every bit as remarkably formed as incubus demons are purported to be. When the stunning creature before her began to smile, his appeal increased exponentially and just seconds before she would have thought that impossible. Her previous conceptions about ideals of beauty were being revised minute to minute.
"Deliverance." He gave the impression of enjoying his own name and said it with a little bow. "In these days of fashionable informality people usually call me Del, but I think you should call me..." He smiled even broader. "...Dad."
Litha didn't react to that visibly. She was calculating whether to proceed as if he was insane or allow him to make the case for his claim of paternity. She decided there was enough of a chance to allow a little exploration into the possibility.
As surprising as it might be, even to her, she took this information in stride. After all, she knew she was fathered by someone. She also knew she had abilities that were unusual and, in light of the disturbing firestarting incident, growing more unusual lately. Truthfully, being fathered by a demon could explain a lot.
"You believe you're my father."
"No doubt," he said.
"Do you have any proof?"
"Well, first, there's the fact that you're standing here." He swiveled from the waist and gestured around him. "In my lair. How many witches do you imagine have ever managed that?"
He shook his gorgeous mane of hair and smiled indulgently. "That would be one."
"Okay. What else?"
"Daughter, except for the fact that you grow my hair and wear my skin, you are the image of your very comely mum." He turned away and then back again. "Whom I loved, by the way."
Litha frowned. "An incubus demon in love?"
He shrugged. "Happens."
"Not that I've heard about."
He waved his hand and the fires burned lower. "Not often I grant you. But she was very special. Sweet, delicious Rosie." The last three words were said in a lowered voice, almost to himself. "Your family has been passing demon blood for generations. None of them had as much as you of course, but enough to make babies."
"The Pendle Hill witches."
"Indeed. You're powerful - and quick - for a halfwitch.”
"Please don't call me that. It sounds way too much like halfwit."
He tilted his chin up and scrutinized her until she began to feel uncomfortable. “I can see I made a mistake missing out on your childhood, but I just turned the fire down because you look a little warm."
“Well. That should make up for it.” He said nothing. “How did I get here?"
"You don't know?"
"Were you looking for me?"
"Of course not."
"Were you looking for her?" He glanced in Katrina's direction.
"Well, there you go. And, now that you're here. What can I do for you?"
"Let the woman go."
"What is it to you?"
"What is it to you?" As if someone pressed replay, he asked it again in the exact same way without missing a beat. Litha didn't respond. "If you will not tell the truth, we have nothing else to discuss."
"She is someone's love."
"I'm aware. How does that involve you?"
"It's important to the one I love."
"Ah. And how badly do you want this?" She didn't answer. "You're not going to cry, are you?"
Litha was insulted. "No. I'm not going to cry. I don't cry. I stopped crying when I stopped getting skinned knees."
"Hmmm. It's just as well I missed the young times then. I don't like crying."
"What's your proposition?"
He smiled. "That's my girl. What I have in mind is a win, win. If you agree to stay with me, I will return the woman. Then I will tell you what you need to know about your demon side, about manipulating fire, about your heritage, about riding the passes."
"Riding the passes?"
"It's how you came here from the Loti Dimension." She looked puzzled so he clarified. "The dimension the Terr... humans think of as the only reality." He rolled his eyes as if to say, 'How stupid can they be?'
"For how long?"
"How long have humans been clueless? Since they were single cell organisms that crawled from the muck. Although that's second hand information. I'm not quite that old."
"No. How. Long. Me. Stay. With. You?” She made hand signals like she was trying to communicate with someone who spoke a different language.
"That is so precious! You're acting out because I abandoned you, aren't you?" He smirked. "Well, you need to stay long enough for us to get past the juvenile snits." He crossed his muscular arms in front of his muscular chest and considered that. "A year."
"Doesn't really matter. I could stretch time and pack a year into a week."
He laughed. "What did you expect? Dad's a demon."
"I heard that was just bad press."
"Clever girl. And rightly said because public sentiment could have gone either way. It's a P.R. matter that we've never cared to correct because it's more trouble than it's worth. 'Cause, really. Why should we care what Terr... humans think of us?" Then, as if he was enjoying a private joke, he laughed. "But wait until you find out how far the Nephilim will go to get their way."
"They prefer we use their own language to describe them. But, why should we care what they prefer? By and large, what have they ever done for us? I say fuck 'em. Angels it is!"
"Do you think you would know if you were mentally disturbed?"
"Have some respect. I'm your father."
She ignored that. "Have you hurt the woman?"
"Certainly not." He sounded offended. "My beef is not with her. She's a tool."
"I assume you mean that in the conventional way? Not in the slang sense?" He looked blank. "Never mind. If I stay with you, your, um, beef will be considered satisfied." After thinking better of it, she appended the demand. "That means the debt will be voided by you."
"No new conditions. The deal is already struck."
"I'm half demon. I don't have to keep my word, do I?"
Deliverance threw his head back and laughed with his whole essence. It was mesmerizing. "You learn fast."
"Very well. My revenge against the lover will be satisfied if you voluntarily stay until midnight, Beltane Eve."
"And how can I be sure I can trust you to honor your agreement? Dad."
"If we make a pact of fire, it can't be undone without dire consequences to the breaching party."
"Dire consequences, huh?"
"Yes." He looked sincere, but she suspected that sex demons are especially good at looking sincere.
"Leaving that alone for now, what's a pact of fire?"
"Generate fire in your hand. I'll do the same and we'll clasp hands."
"I don't know how to do that."
"It's just like shaking hands. I put mine out..."
"No! I don't know how to make fire!" He grinned at her. "You're being deliberately obtuse, aren't you?" She didn't know herself if that was rhetorical.
"Maybe. You really don't know how to gather fire?
"I did it once - recently - and it was an accident."
"Hmmm. I guess you're wanting me to release her soon?"
"Well, you need to make fire so we can conclude this transaction. Let me see you try."
Litha held up her right hand, stared at it, and imagined fire. Nothing.
Deliverance walked over to Katrina and pinched her on the upper arm until she wailed. "How about now?"
"What the hell?"
"Exactly. Do it." He pinched Katrina again harder, she screamed and Litha could tell it really hurt. It made her so mad both hands burst into flame. Deliverance grabbed one of her hands with his and said, "Congratulations. You just sealed the deal." He made an air whistle sound and the fire went out. "You're now the proud owner of one damsel in distress."
"You know I was just starting to think I might learn to like you. But you really are evil, aren't you?"
He scrunched his face up like he was thinking about it then sort of wiggled his head back and forth. The aggravating thing was that she recognized that stupid head wiggle. She did that! And, not even scrunching his face made him unattractive. That was super annoying.
"Not really," he said while he was pulling on a shirt and tying his hair back at the nape of his neck. "I'll just drop her off where I found her and be right back."
THE ORDER OF THE BLACK SWAN by Victoria Danann
Once upon a time a girl traveled so far from home that she found herself in another world where heroes, elves, vampires, werewolves, witches, demons, fae, berserkers, and psychics became her friends and family. She learned that there’s a place where adventure intersects fairytales and that true love can find you in the strangest places, when you’re least expecting it, even when you’re far, far from home.
Black Swan started out as an experimental project. It’s an ongoing story about an unlikely community of close knit relationships presented in novel-length installments. Because each installment begins where the last ended, they must be read in order. The first book, My Familiar Stranger, is FREE everywhere ebooks are sold.
On December 8th, the box set including never before released Book Six, A Tale of Two Kingdoms, will be available for one week for a special introductory price of $0.99. PREORDER at Smashwords, B&N and Apple starting mid-November. Look for it under Black Swan Collected Tales.
Trick or Treat bag prize info: A signed print of Victoria’s covers.