“Are you sure this will work?” Stella frets, nervously twirling her hair around her index finger.
“Why not try?” Mai’s voice through the phone is encouraging, if not a little exasperated. Stella can’t blame her; she’s pretty sure this is the fiftieth time she’s asked. “You need a double date for tomorrow, and the normal methods haven’t worked. Worst comes to worst, you just pay some random person off of Craigslist twenty bucks to be your pretend date and everyone’s happy.”
“God, I can’t rely on someone else’s bad acting,” she groans, just imagining what might happen if it came to that. “Alright, fine. You’re the witch with the spells and you’ve summoned demons before.”
“Uh huh,” Mai’s smirk is audible. “Just follow the instructions I sent, and you’ll be good. Let me know how it goes.”
“Okay… Thanks, Mai. Talk to you later.” Stella ends the call with a gulp, nervously pulling up the screenshot of Mai’s impeccable cursive. It’s now or never, as the moon is rising to its highest point during the night and is shining directly through her drawn window. Apparently, that’s the best time to summon a frickin’ demon.
She’s carefully laid out a pentagram on her bedroom floor with the most vibrant scarlet red roses that she could find. There are lavender scented candles positioned around each angle of the symbol to illuminate it, gently flickering in the darkened room. It looks Instagram worthy, almost, but Stella can’t even begin to think of what people might say if they saw it.
Taking a deep breath through closed eyes, Stella clutches a small kitchen knife in her quivering hands. She wishes she had a better knife for this, but it was the best she could do on such short notice.
Opening her eyes, she steels her resolve and lightly runs the blade over her left index finger. She sharply inhales, but it doesn’t hurt as much as she thought it would. Red pools from the small cut and she lets it drop in the center of the pentagram.
The air shifts in the room. A cool breeze that’s refreshing to the touch swirls around her, starting from her feet and rising until it caresses her hair. The flames of the candles burn brighter with firm warmth, the scent of lavender growing stronger as it mixes with the rose petals that begin to glow in the silver moonlight.
Stella shivers. It feels like someone is sensually breathing down the nape of her neck. Before she can touch it to calm her nerves, beautifully dark arms wrap around her waist and firmly squeeze. She immediately stills and any breathing she was doing halts in its tracks.
“You called?” A silky-smooth voice purrs in her ear, followed by something playfully nibbling it and Stella gasps.
“U-Um,” she shyly stutters, blush aggressively sweeping her pale cheeks from the sensitivity. “Are you a demon?”
There’s a pause and a giggle. “You could say that. Come on, turn around and look at me. Don’t be shy!”
Stella isn’t sure she wants to, but reluctantly does what she’s told. The sight that greets her is the most dazzling woman she’s even seen. Her ebony skin is perfect, her matching hair freely flowing in the light zephyr and her eyes are a shade of gourmet dark chocolate. Leathery black wings are proudly displayed and the confident smile she’s wearing like a weapon is mesmerizing, but it doesn’t stop Stella from gazing downwards and appreciating the rather skimpy clothing (if it can even be called that) that she’s wearing. It barely covers anything, and Stella wants to shield her eyes out of respect from the overtly promiscuous display – and yet, she doesn’t.
“Uh,” she intelligently says. Get it together, Stella!
The demon woman laughs, a lilting alto that you can’t help but fall in love with. “Never seen a succubus before, sweetheart?”
A what now? “So you’re not a demon?”
“Mmmm,” she hums, stretching her wings like it’s the most natural thing in the world. “I’m a type of a demon. Have you not heard of a succubus before either?”
The term is vaguely familiar and the red in Stella’s face remains as she searches the vast expanse of her mind for the definition. Something related to sex, she’s pretty sure. Goddammit. “I know, I just wasn’t expecting… this.”
“I can tell,” the demon simpers, and Stella wants to disappear into the ground. “Anyways, what did you call me for? I’m more than happy to create a contract with such a cute, little thing like you.”
The compliment is unexpected, but not at all unwelcome. I’m such a fool. “I need a pretend date for tomorrow. Can you do that?”
A perfectly drawn eyebrow is raised. “Of course, but that seems like a silly thing to summon a demon over. Why not pay someone twenty dollars on Craigslist for that?”
The newly revelation that this demon knows what Craigslist is and that she had the same idea as Mai makes Stella feel a certain type of way. “My friend Mai said the same thing. I panicked, okay? Anything sounded good and Mai insisted that I give this a try. Don’t judge.”
“I’m not, not to worry, sweetie. Mai, huh? The name’s familiar. Anyways, I can do that. In return, you,” she points an equally perfectly manicured finger at Stella, “will give me a meal.”
“You don’t want my soul over this?” Stella asks, both confused and relieved.
“Well, I think that would be a bit overkill for a fake relationship for one day,” the demon teasingly says. Interesting. Stella didn’t think demons had morals, but she’s learning quite a bit today. “I haven’t eaten in a couple of days, and you look like you’d be delectable.”
Oh, so she isn’t talking about McDonald’s. Of course not. “And by meal, you mean…?”
“I think you know,” she seductively licks her lips through lidded eyes.
All things considered, it’s not a bad deal. Stella gets a fake girlfriend for a day, apparently laid, and gets to keep her soul intact. Not a bad deal at all.
“Deal,” Stella holds out her hand.
“Oh, I like you, cutie!” The demon laughs, and grasps her hand to pull her closer. “What’s your name?”
“Stella,” she gulps, “Stella Kim.”
“Stella Kim? Such an adorable name,” the other pets her black hair, and Stella finds herself unwittingly pressing into the touch. “You can call me Luna.”
And with her declaration, Luna leans in and steals a kiss from Stella. As their lips touch, Stella can feel sparks flying. It’s the best kiss she’s ever experienced and as soon as Luna leans back, Stella finds herself wanting more.
“Stella Kim, congratulations on forging your first contract.”