With a cup of coffee in each hand, Sabrina watched as the elevator numbers increased as she rose from the polished ground floor lobby to the top most floor. She could see her reflection in every shined surface, from her black headband to her red skirt and equally shiny penny loafers. With a ding, the doors opened to a white tiled entryway, and Sabrina’s shoes echoed as she walked towards the line desk.
“Hi Stolas, I’m here to see Lilith,” she said with a smile, but the raven haired man merely glowered.
“She’s busy,” he replied.
“But she’s expecting me,” said Sabrina, “I texted her I was coming. Maybe if you asked her-“
“She’s busy. You can’t go in,” Stolas said before taking a sip from the tea cup on his desk. He wiped away the ring it had left, putting the cup back down on the napkin. “It would be better for everyone involved, you especially, if you marched right back to the dollhouse you came from.”
Sabrina glanced around- noting how Stolas’ keyboard was parallel with the edge of the desk, the way there wasn’t a shoe print or scuff mark on the white tile floor- and got a positively wicked idea.
With her thumb she popped the top off one of the coffees, easily sliding over to side atop the other coffee. Making eye contact with Stolas, she smiled and began to tilt the open cup.
“It’s so clean in here, isn’t it Stolas,” she said, “It would be a shame for someone to spill coffee on this nice, clean, white floor.”
“You wouldn’t dare,” he hissed.
Sabrina kept tipping the cup, letting a few drops of coffee fall to the floor, “Oops.”
Stolas snapped up the phone and, after a beat, said in a rushed voice, “Sabrina here to see you ma’am- Sorry ma’am, Miss Spellman here to see you.”
“Thank you,” said Sabrina, righting the cup again. There was only a small puddle of coffee on the floor, a waste, but she had gotten her way.
Moments later, Lilith, followed by two men in suits, exited her office. Lilith opened her arms as soon as she saw Sabrina.
“Darling!” she cried, leaning in to press a kiss on Sabrina’s red mouth and taking the closed coffee.
“It’s oh so convenient that my favorite girl knows exactly how I like my coffee,” Lilith continued, taking a sip as she possessively placed a hand on the back of Sabrina’s neck. Sabrina stood up straighter, meeting the gaze of the uncomfortable businessmen.
“I’ll have my people call your people to set the rest everything up,” said Lilith, nodding at the two who agreed. They politely exchanged farewells, all with Lilither’s fingers curled around Sabrina’s neck and Stolas’s icy stare boring into Sabrina’s skin.
As the elevator doors closed behind the men, Lilith flashed Sabrina a smile and turned to walk back into her office, “Coming lamb?” she called over her shoulder, before adding, “Oh and Stolas, clean up this mess. Really, I expected better from you then to leave a disgraceful puddle of coffee all over the floor.”
Sabrina ran after her, not daring to glance at Stolas. Inside, Lilith took her place behind the desk, slowly sipping her coffee and eyeing Sabrina.
“Your office is really nice,” said Sabrina, suddenly awkward.
“Don’t play coy with me, I know exactly what a little minx you can be,” Lilith’s face was serious, but her eyes sparkled, “You were the one who made the mess with the coffee.”
“Well,” Sabrina walked around the desk, leaning against it and trying to be casual, “I might have been provoked.”
Lilith raised an eyebrow, but continued, “I have half a mind to make you go lap it up.”
Sabrina flushed, eyes wide and she tried to stammer a response. Lilith’s resolve broke, laughing as she pulled Sabrina into her lap.
“Oh lamb,” Lilith kissed her cheek and wrapped her arms around her waist, “You’re so fun to tease. You should have seen your face!”
“I- what? Hey!” Sabrina turned to glare at Lilith, “That wasn’t very nice!”
“Hm, maybe not,” Lilith leaned in to kiss Sabrina’s throat, “But neither was torturing Stolas, only I’m allowed to do that.”
“Maybe I should go apologize,”
“Later, I want to ask you something,” Lilith’s teeth scraped the sensitive place where Sabrina’s shoulder met neck, drawing the smallest whimper from her lips, “There’s a gala on Saturday night, come with me, be my date.”
Aside from their first dinner- which quickly dissolved into sex at Lilith’s apartment- they really hadn’t gone on a proper date. Instead it had been lots of Sabrina spending the night over the course of the past two weeks. Sabrina wasn’t quite sure what they were, or if she could all the consistent hookups dating , but she was definitely enjoying it.
“Yes,” said Sabrina, “I’d like that.”
“It’s a date then,” Lilith purred in her ear.
“You should tell her,” Stolas said as the car darted through the busy streets of the city. The partition was up, shielding their conversation from the driver- and Lilith knew Stolas only spoke out of turn when it was for her ears only. She decided to politely ignore him for a moment longer, there was a time when her lanky assistant feared her, quaked in her mere presence, but those days were gone and the fearful boy she’d hired had long since grown into a tall and cynical young man.
Lilith continued powering her face before snapping the compact shut and giving him an unamused look, “Tell what to whom? Really Stolas, you must be more specific.”
Stolas looked pained as he tried to school his sharp features into something respectful, “It may be wise to inform Sabrina as to what going to this party with you will mean.”
“It’s just a party Stolas, we’re not getting engaged,” said Lilith with a flip of her hair, “And that’s Miss Spellman to you.”
“Miss Spellman’s life is quite different from yours,” Stolas was still going down this boring path of conversation, “It’s a small life, if I may speak candidly-”
“You may not.”
“-Compared to yours. And while you’re used to your life, she is not. She might not be prepared-”
“Stolas,” Lilith snapped, “I am perfectly capable of taking care of her, I’ve done a fair job of it so far!’
“Yes ma’am,” Stolas said, sitting up straighter in his seat, “She’s not like the others, she’s a very nice girl.”
Lilith pressed her lips together, ignoring him. Of course she knew that Sabrina was special, why else would she want her? Stolas was sticking his beak of a nose into places it didn’t belong, she knew exactly what she was doing when it came to Sabrina.
As they pulled to a stop in front of Sabrina’s apartment building, Lilith leaned forward to catch a glimpse of the dress she’d had sent to Sabrina that morning. Stolas shot her a disapproving look before he got out of the car, opening the door to let Sabrina in and take his place in front, beside the driver.
“You look like a dream,” murmured Lilith, pressing a kiss on each cheek.
Sabrina settled back, smoothing out the silky red slip dress, “Thank you for the clothes,” she said, reaching out to take Lilith’s hand, “I’m pretty sure this dress costs more than a month of paychecks- I was almost afraid to put it on.”
Lilith waved her free hand dismissively, “think nothing of it. You must look your best at the gala.”
“And this is…” Sabrina paused, momentarily distracted by the way Lilith turned her hand over and began to trace along her palm. Sabrina shivered.
“This is a charity event? But for work?”
“Indeed,” Lilith’s fingers circled Sabrina’s wrist, “Darling, don’t be nervous.”
But Lilith knew better and held up Sabrina’s wrist, “Your heart’s pounding.”
Just like Lilith intended, Sabrina’s face flushed as red as her dress as she snatched her wrist away. Lilith couldn’t help but smile. Leaning forward, she felt like a lioness stalking her prey. Sabrina’s mouth dropped open, eyes flicking down to watch Lilith’s mouth as Lilith hooked a finger under Sabrina’s chin.
Lilith held her gaze for a moment before pulling away, satisfied with how easily she could fluster Sabrina.
“You’re always rilling me up!” Sabrina huffled, smoothing her hair and trying to calm down, “I’m going to get back at you one of these days.”
“I look forward to it,” Lilith said with a laugh.
RED AND BLACK
In a room full of black satin and white lace, Sabrina quickly realized how out of place she looked. Her red dress was shorter than the rest and so red . Even Lilith was in black, a long curve hugging dress, with sleeves that almost reached the floor and a neckline Sabrina was finding distracting.
But back to her dress.
“You did this on purpose,” she hissed under her breath as Lilith lead her in. Lilith shot her the most innocent look before turning to introduce her to the hosts of the gala.
“Lord and Lady Blackwood,” she said, “May I introduce you to my date, Miss Sabrina Spellman of the Greendale Spellmans.”
Sabrina pulled her shoulders back, smiling at the couple as she offered her hand to shake in greeting. Lady Blackwood’s smile looked almost like a grimace as she first shook Sabrina’s hand then leaned in to kiss both her cheeks, her pregnant belly awkwardly between them. Lord Blackwood, immaculately dressed in a stiff black suit, let his gaze lingered a moment too long on Sabrina’s tiny dress.
“Miss Spellman, I see that you were not adequately informed of our dress code,” he said with a sneer but before Sabrina could reply she was being whirled away, introduced to another stiff suit and fancy gown, black and white, of course.
After a string of introductions that felt like walking the gambit, Lilith and Sabrina finally found there way to the bar. Sabrina rubbed her temples as they waited for their order.
“Are you alright my dear?” Lilith asked, hand on the small of Sabrina’s back.
“Yeah my vision is still splotchy from all the flashes outside. I didn’t realize there would be reporters here, what are they even reporting on? It’s just a party,” Sabrina shuttered, “That was horrible they way they were yelling at us.”
“It’s just tabloids and gossip rags and such,” Lilith said, “Events like these attract those with too much money and too much time on their hands. People love to see how the other half lives- or at least what they wear.”
Drinks in hand, Lilith offered Sabrina her arm and they began to stroll around the room.
“Take the Blackwoods for instance,” she said, “Very inconsequential British royalty but very naughty and very fascinating to Americans like yourself- I believe I saw you dining with Lord Blackwood’s illegitimate daughter that day the restaurant so rudely threw you out?”
“Prudence?” Sabrina asked, ignoring Lilith’s revisionist history, “She’s Lord Blackwood’s daughter?”
“Indeed,” Lilith took a sip of her whisky, “While it’s shot Miss Night into high society, Blackwood would still rather pretend she doesn’t exist, despite always picking up her tab. Lady Blackwood despises her and thinks she poses a threat to her future children inheriting the Blackwood title.”
“That’s sad,” said Sabrina, “Is that what you are? High society?”
Lilith snorted, “I think of myself as a business woman but if you ask page six I suppose so.”
“My cousin Ambrose likes that sort of thing, he always knows who’s hooking up with who and who’s secret flame is about to get dumped,” Sabrina said, “But I never really paid attention.”
“What does catch your eye then?” Lilith gave Sabrina a sidelong glance, “We haven’t done much talking lately I’m afraid.”
Sabrina resisted the urge to roll her eyes at Lilith’s innocent look. Their lack of conversation was mostly due to Lilith’s impressive libido, leaving Sabrina exhausted every time she spent the night.
“Usually current events,” Sabrina shrugged, “Comes with the territory I guess, I’m studying political science at NYU.”
But just as Lilith turned, looking surprised, a man in a white shirt and black pants came up to them, ringing his hands and saying, “Ms. Asheron, there’s a call for you in the lounge. Something about the third quarter budget report?”
Lilith sighed, leaning over to kiss Sabrina’s cheek, “I’m sorry lamb but I must take this. We’ll continue this conversation later, I promise.”
And so Sabrina was left with her glass of wine in a room full of strangers who all seemed to be looking at her when they thought she couldn’t see.
“I see Lilith is still robbing the cradle,” a voice said behind her. Lady Blackwood spoke in a faux whisper, one that sounded as if she was being conspiratorial but really wanted her voice to carry. Sabrina bristled.
“Who was it that she brought to your Christmas party, Shirley?” Lady Blackwood asked, “Morgan something wasn’t it?”
Shirley laughed, “Yes, she worked in a museum, remember? Restoring artifacts, I believe. She talked about swords all night!”
“Then there was Anne,” continued Lady Blackwood, “Poor thing had such a short neck, she couldn’t pull off any of the jewelry Lilith bought for her!”
“I wonder how long this one will last,” said Shirley, “She reminds me of that pale, waify one, Luna. Lilith only played with her a month before casting her aside.”
Sabrina turned on her heel, tried to plaster on a fake smile and walked towards the gaggle of women, determined.
“Lady Blackwood!” She said, face flushed.
“Miss Spellman, I didn't see you there,” lied Lady Blackwood.
“I just wanted to say…” Sabrina faltered, “That I know your daughter.”
Lady Blackwood’s hand flew to her swollen stomach, “My- what?”
“Your daughter,” Sabrina repeated, “Prudence. We went on a date like a month ago but it didn’t work out, but we’re still friendly. It’s so nice to meet her parents, she looks so much like her dad!”
Lady Blackwood and the other woman stared at her agog. Sabrina wasn’t sure if it was because she had the upper hand, or she’d just released herself to be horribly out of touch, but with way, she took it was a win and quickly walked away saying over her shoulder, “great party by the way!”
Head down, she didn’t stop walking until she was outside on the spacious and desolate balcony that overlooked the city lights. She exhaled, letting out the anxious breath that had been trapped in her lungs. As she looked over the twinkling lights, Sabrina took a long drink of her wine. It was calming, warming the chill of the night and dulling her senses.
But the words of Lady Blackwood and Shirley weren’t completely lost on her, Lilith had a long line of short lived girlfriends- if that was even what Sabrina was. She took another sip, thoughts swilling. They’d never put a name on their relationship, never defined the rules or boundaries. Was it a casual thing? Was Lilith seeing other people as well?
“Sabrina, there you are,” Lilith’s familiar accent broke Sabrina’s wine addled train of thought. She seemed to float across the balcony stopping just short of Sabrina to reach up and tuck a piece of Sabrina’s hair behind her ear.
Sabrina shivered, both from the touch and from the chilly night air, and Lilith drew closer. She reached out, fingertip grazing the outside of Sabrina’s wrist. Slowly Lilith her hand up, up Sabrina’s bare arm, leaving goosebumps in her wake. She traced Sabrina’s shoulders, her collarbone, her neck, before Lilith’s hands came to cup her face, leaning in for a gentle kiss.
Deepening the kiss, Sabrina wrapped her arms around Lilith’s waist. Lilith pressed her against the cold rail that kept them and the city below apart. She nipped at Lilith’s lip, and Lilith moaned into her mouth as the sharp taste of blood mixed with the taste of wine and whisky.
When Lilith pulled away, her bright blue eyes were shining with that almost feral look Sabrina was far to familiar with. Her chest heaved as she tried to catch her breath, an action that was distracting Sabrina, especially in that low cut black dress Lilith wore. Sabrina reached out, grabbing both of Lilith’s hands to pull her in. She ducked her head to kiss the place where Lilith’s shoulder met neck, then kissed lower and lower down the v shaped neckline.
“Darling,” Lilith murmured in pleasure, hands in Sabrina’s hair, fingernails scraping her scalp. Sabrina ran her tongue from the soft place between Lilith’s breasts to her chin but as soon as Sabrina bared her teeth against tender skin, Lilith jerked her head back.
“No marks little lamb,” she rasped, “Not here. Not tonight.”
“Of course,” Sabrina said, her voice barely above a whisper. It didn’t matter how loud she was, they were so close. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t apologize,” Lilith kissed her cheek, taking the empty wine glass from Sabrina’s hand, “Stay here, I’ll get you a refill.”
Turning back to the cityscape, Sabrina relaxed. Maybe this night was turning out well after all, snobby ladies aside.
A warm hand pressed against the small of her back, “That was fast-“
“Miss Asheron!” A voice called out above the din of the party. Lilith had made it halfway to the bar while avoiding being pulled into conversation but this direct attack was something she couldn’t refuse. She turned to see a young man, a little older than Sabrina, well dressed but with messy blonde hair nearly to his shoulders.
She raised an eyebrow, “It’s Ms.”
“Right. Right, Ms . Asheron,” he stuck his hand out and smirked, “I’m Caliban, Caliban Prince. Pleasure to finally meet the head of Eden Media.”
His cocky attitude radiated off of him like smoke off hellfire. Lilith’s lips pressed together in a thin line, “I’m sure.”
Caliban blathered on, something about NYU and his father and his own political aspirations, but Lilith only pretended to listen. She nodded at all the right times, cocking her head and doing her best to look interested while the whole time she only thought about going back to Sabrina on the balcony.
“Of course, I shouldn’t keep you,” Caliban said, with a smirk. There was something about him that was familiar, something… off about him, but Lilith didn’t care to look deeper to find out what.
“I’ll let you,” he gestured to the empty glass in Lilith’s hand, “Get your refill. You look thirsty if I do say so myself ma’am.”
Lilith resisted the urge to roll her eyes and his false bravado, but instead smiled,inclining her head, “Well events like these do tend to have a good bar- it’d be criminal not to. I’m sure you’re just as experienced with stuffed suits as I do.”
And here was the ploy, she laughed and he echoed it. Lilith leaned in and playfully shoved at his chest, turned, just enough flash of cleavage and- there it is. Caliban’s eyes grew briefly to the size of saucers and Lilith knew she had him wrapped around her little finger. Men were so easy like that.
Lilith batted her eyelashes at him, and slipped her arm in his, turning them both around, “Do you see her? That charming young woman over there?” She gestured to a young woman, dancing with her friends off to one side. Her red hair was eye catching and she looked young enough to be the daughter of one of the party goers.
“Perhaps you’d like to work your charms on her,” Lilith glanced conspiratorially up at Caliban, “like you tried to on me.”
Caliban feigned hurt, “tired?”
“Mmm, unfortunately for you my heart already belongs to another,”
“Ah yes,” he smirked, “The little Spellman bitch.”
Lilith jerked back, just as the sound of a glass breaking could be heard from the balcony, “ Sabrina .”
Pushing through the crowd, Lilith rushes to the balcony where she found Sabrina holding a chair out in front of her, keeping Lucius Morningstar at arms length. Between them was a shattered glass.
“I said stay away from me!” Sabrina all but yelled, her voice wobbled.
Lucius looked amused, making Lilith’s blood boil, “Now now Miss Spellman, let’s not make a scene.”
“I’ll get a restraining order!” Sabrina shouted, but Lucius laughed.
“Tsk tsk, You’re making a scene my dear,” said Lucius. Lilith glances back into the dimly lit party where a few of the more gossipy women had began to notice the pair.
He paced closer. Sabrina gripped the chair so hard that Lilith could see her knuckles turning white.
“Silly girl, silly little girl. Hasn’t she told you yet?” He cocked his head at Lilith, “Going to the police wont help. I own this town.”
“Hardly,” Lilith snorted.
“I could ruin your life if I wanted to,” Lucius continued, “But I’m feeling generous tonight. Run along, go play with your old hag of a date.”
Sabrina was terrified, that much was obvious to Lilith, but she stood her ground. Her brave girl.
“Get,” Sabrina said through gritted teeth, “Away from me.”
Lucius smirked at Lilith, before blowing Sabrina a kiss, “Until next time my dear,” and stalking off through the party, suit clad young men falling into step behind him as he disappeared.
Stepping back, Sabrina leaned against the railing that circled the balcony. Hand to her chest, she struggled to breathe as Lilith rushed to her side.
“Deep breath, deep breath, you’re safe now,” Lilith murmured as Sabrina wrapped her arms around her, shaking. “My brave brave girl.”
Sabrina stretched her arms above her head, eyes fluttering closed as Lilith slid her hand under the silky pink camisole Sabrina wore. Lilith was propped up on one elbow, hair still curled and make up still on even though Sabrina was fresh from the shower. She’d stood in the hot stream for a long time, letting the water turn her skin red as she tried to burn off the feeling of Lucius’s hand on her back, the way he’d put his hands on her shoulders, whispering in her ear and-
“I’m sorry lamb,” said Lilith, bringing her back to reality. She traced slow patterns on Sabrina’s stomach and Sabrina opened her eyes to meet Lilith’s.
“It’s not your fault,” Sabrina said.
“Lord Blackwood always invites Lucius to events like this, but I didn’t think he was back in the city,” Lilith’s hand slid lower, playing with the waistband of Sabrina’s matching underwear, “I should have told you there was a possibility he’d be there.”
Sabrina shook her head, reaching up to tuck a piece of hair behind Lilith’s ear. She was just happy to be there, in Lilith’s bed, high above the city where it felt like they were untouchable. They felt far, far away from Lucius and the gossipy women who looked down their noses at her.
Lilith leaned down and kissed her, but Sabrina couldn’t help but think of all the other names she’d heard, all the other women Lilith had once had on her arm. There had been so many- how could she ever compare?
“Hey,” she said, “I have a question.”
“What is it sweetheart?” Lilith’s fingertips slid lower, under the waistband.
“Are we- am I-“ Sabrina trailed off, unsure of what she even wanted to ask. What were they? How did she rank in the harem Lilith had amassed?
“Would you kiss me again?” Sabrina smiled, ignoring all the jealous questioned swirling in her mind, “Make me forget about tonight?”
Lilith’s smile widened as her hand slid lower still, hitting home as Sabrina let out a soft gasp, “Of course.”