If there was anything to be said about Laura Hollis, it was that she was curious.
Questions bred quickly inside that honey head of hers, and they oft paced inside, growing rapidly until she had no other choice but to let them out. Today, one stalked more deliberately than her march across Silas's campus, narrowing her focus into a tunnel vision past the pine and fellow students and critters milling about.
But what set this certain curio above the rest was that it wasn't going to be sated by digging through some dusty old book or plugging in an equation.
See, it was more of a challenge. A self assigned dare.
All Carmilla had to do was shoot her some sultry look across the long dining table inside the Darling Mansion they now called home.
Or pass her in one of the twisting hallways a little too close.
She was just...sexy.
Her jet black curls. The razor blade stare.
That square jaw and her high cheek bones, the features of some royalty stamped into museums in oil paints.
The suave air she always had about her. The way her hips rolled when she walked, like the shoulders of a wolf stalking the darker woods.
Oh, and confidence aged at three hundred years. The cunning intelligence and sharpened tongue of someone who's moral code had been eroded, like a shark adapting thousands of years into the perfect, fearless machine of survival. Or like Snoopy when he became Cool Joe.
Just centuries of experience.
Meanwhile, hailing from Planet Dork, her limbs flailing like that of some untethered, tragic puppet, Laura felt utterly abysmal compared.
Which was to be expected. She was, after all, human.
If her foot wasn't in her mouth, it was tripping over air or kicking her own butt.
She snorted when she giggled too hard and turned bright red at the mere purr of Carm's voice and she was secretly and obsessively counting how many times they had done it since she lost her virginity about a week back.
(Fourteen and a half).
And every time, Karnstein was practically gliding. She could do that thing where she crossed her arms in an x and removed her shirt by its hem.
She could unbutton and unzip Hollis's jeans with her teeth.
She looked at Laura's chest the other day-- looked-- and the bra over it unhooked on its own.
Of course, when things got heated, she could lose herself. She could bite her lip and whisper in the vampire's ear and do things she had once blushed over reading about. She even got loud and didn't care who heard her gasp or shriek with laughter or moan (though she did turn pink and stammered out some excuse to leave if anything was mentioned later).
It wasn't as if Carmilla had never been beneath her.
It was that even then, it was on her terms. Like when you pet a cat, and it arched into your touch or snaked away or suddenly gripped you and bit down. She told Hollis what she wanted without a single shred of hesitation, she guided her hand or mouth and Laura was just following orders through the haze her brain melted into any time she heard that evening voice moan.
The point was, their not strictly bedroom (the chaise, the dining table, the upstairs bathroom, the roof) antics were indeed a waltz. And Carmilla was always the lead.
And Laura really. Really. Wanted to lead.
The real burning question was if she could get the older girl to follow.
It wasn't exactly a secret that Carm was set in her ways.
She was certain it wouldn't be the easiest task in the world. She was sure that out of all the things in her long, long life, sex had always been something Karnstein could actually control. And something like that wasn't easily granted.
But maybe it was the full moon predicted to shine tonight.
Or how her classes seemed unusually boring, and her mind wandered straight into warm, silky memories.
Carmilla leaning over her, bars of light and shadows streaked over her bare skin like tiger stripes. Touching her and making her grip the vampire's lean biceps, her nails digging at the skin there because it felt too exquisitely good.
Laura's hands rising to cup the breasts moving a little with every thrust of that skilled hand, her fingers playing with their peaks in some attempt to give back.
It had made Carmilla's eyes close, her lips parting to moan as her head tilted.
That. She wanted that. Only that.
The idea that she could be sunlight in the wild tundra that was a vampire's heart and mind was already bewildering. Sweet and strange but ultimately a source of great joy.
The idea that said soft spot could extend into the night; that she could challenge a hellion; that Carmilla could actually be vulnerable and submissive and receptive was-- for lack of a better word--hot.
And what better time than today?
When blood hadn't rained from the sky, or green slime hadn't oozed from the walls, when Silas University was remarkable in its normalcy.
The spontaneity of the urge surprised and interested her greatly.
So as she walked into the room they had claimed, she rolled her hips like a wolf stalking the darker woods.
She passed Carm, who was reclined on the queen sized bed with some old book in hand, the backpack sliding off her arms and thumping carelessly to the bear skin draped over the wooden floor.
She reached the mahogany dresser they both had drawers in and glanced Carmilla's way.
She was growing her bangs out, and they were swept across her forehead to keep from hanging into her eyes. It made her look less like the cut throat snarky teen she had met and more like the brooding and serious woman she truly was. She was still reading in the same spot she had left her this morning, though she had pulled on a pair of dark pants and a white t shirt with a V deep enough to show the rise of her chest.
“Aren't you going to ask me about my day,” Laura said, slipping the softest pout into her voice.
The vampire turned a page, eyes scanning its words, her voice a casual drone. “How was your day, darling.”
Instead of feeling discouraged, she felt a swell of nearly impish confidence. Karnstein had no idea.
She shrugged one shoulder, fingers finding the top buttons to her blue blouse.
“It was alright.”
She turned, tucking the vampire in the corner of her eye.
Halfway down through buttons, she glanced again.
She could see the fine brow and the bridge of her nose and dusky eyes over the top of the book. Said dusky eyes were watching.
She sighed, parting her shirt and stretching so that her white bra arched out.
“Long,” she continued, slipping out of her converse. And fighting the urge to tidy their laces and tuck them into their rightful place inside the walk in closet behind her.
“A little boring.” Her fingers combed back through her strands, sweeping her hair over her shoulders and letting it cascade down her back.
She came to the foot of the bed, letting her eyes crawl down Carm's body. Then trail back up slowly, making every inch count.
“I had you on my mind,” she murmured, leaning her weight to one hip, doing her best to look shy and playful and cute.
The shy bit became violently easy as Carm closed her book, setting it aside on the night stand without breaking eye contact.
“Oh,” the vampire murmured demurely, and she wrestled whatever bashful grin away, tilting her head back to study Karnstein with the smallest hook of her lip instead.
“What part of me was it, exactly.”
Double Dammit. She was still learning dirty talk. Courage, Hollis. Onward.
Her hand ran down Carm's bare foot, touching her ankle under the hem of her jeans.
“Your skin,” she said. Because it really was soft all over. There weren't any cute little freckles or beauty marks or tan lines, what from avoiding all that daylight business. But it was all one creamy color, like rich and liquid paint. She loved the little scars from past lives notched in, faded like lightning in a black and white photograph.
“And...how warm it gets when I touch it.”
Carm lifted herself by ab strength alone and Laura had to physically stop herself from choking on air.
“Well, there's an awful more of it under these clothes,” the vampire murmured, her gaze intent. And sensual. And easily broadcasting everything the younger girl was hoping to.
But if there was anything else to be said about Hollis, it was that she was persistent. Manically, absolutely persistent.
“Maybe some of them should come off,” she replied. She leaned over to let the vampire get a nice eyeful of her chest, her hands perching besides the older girl's hips.
Carmilla smirked, their noses nearly touching.
“My,” she said, running a finger down from the hollow of Laura's throat to the front of her pants. “What's gotten into you?”
“More like what I want in you,” she breathed, and Karnstein kissed her slow and warm and gosh dang it her shirt was already on the floor.
She retaliated, leaning in, Carmilla sinking back into the gold pillow cases. Her hands were starting to creep up her bare shoulders and Hollis pulled away just enough to tug her wrists down, their foreheads meeting.
Laura swallowed thickly. Pushing the vampire's hands to the crimson blankets beneath them was a joke in a way.
Karnstein could toss her across the room like a paper plane. Any time she pinned Laura, a part of the younger girl knew that if she really wanted to, she didn't have to let up.
She hovered her mouth a hair over Carm's, the vampire already angling her head for the kiss sure to come.
She towed her hands up to the head board first.
“Keep them here,” Hollis whispered. Their lips brushed and the vampire blinked slowly, the rich amber of her eyes pooling under the bow of her lashes.
It would be very easy to drown in them right now.
She slid her hands down Carmilla's outstretched arms, and when she got to her elbows and the vampire had yet to move them, a smile bloomed across Laura's face.
“And if I don't?”
Laura sat up, straddling her hips. She licked her lips and said the first thing that came to mind.
To her surprise, Carmilla smiled wryly, the vampire settling beneath her. “Fair enough.”
Victory. Do NOT do the official Hollis victory chant.
The ground rules had been set.
Now it was time to play.
She grabbed the hem of Carmilla's shirt, slowly tugging it up. It shed from her taunt stomach, her ribs, her black bra. She pulled it past her head, nervously giggling a little when it caught on her ears, then up to her wrists, stretching languidly over her.
She felt the vampire lift her head to run a hot lick up between her breasts and Laura's breath shivered.
That girl had a wicked tongue. And not just in the art of sarcasm.
There was “a half” after that fourteen for a reason.
She quickly pulled back up and geez that gaze. Carmilla had rolled her eyes at nearly every vampiric myth she had run past her, but she swore she could indeed hypnotize by stare alone.
The red lipped simper and black tresses framing her beautiful face weren't helping.
She pulled her eyes away, resting her hands on Karnstein's bra. The material was soft, and she could feel her nipples already hardening underneath.
She bit her lip and toyed with them a little, Carm's lips instantly parting with a gentle sound, her fingers twitching over her head.
“Stay,” she said without thinking. It was a soft command, more of an appeal than anything stern. But Carmilla simply arched as Hollis's fingers traced the bra back to where it clasped beneath the older girl's back.
The muscles of her abdomen tightened under Laura and she felt a curl of heat there, pinching the hooks and releasing them.
She moseyed the bra up to join the vampire's shirt, Karnstein having enough good nature to snort when the cups flipped over her face. Laura quickly skirted her embarrassment aside, letting herself take in that curved but tight torso. She had seen the girl naked at least a dozen times now (fourteen, fourteen times, don't forget it) but it still made her blush and caused a burning pile up in her head.
And usually, the moments after Carmilla's shirt came off were a heated blur, and she was just touching and mouthing every inch in her reach as if she had been starved off it.
So she took her time. She skimmed her finger tips down the bridge of her sternum, dragging her thumb down the slight divot where it stopped and her stomach began. She paused at the white strip of a scar seared there. She hadn't noticed that before, and when she traced it, Carm's inhale was short and sharp. As if the contact had burnt.
What's this from, came to mind, but so did the fact that this lovely, dark girl had to have been murdered to be brought back from the dead at eighteen. And that maybe being reminded wasn't the pinnacle of foreplay.
“Am I your latest study?” Karnstein muttered, her tone split between a chuckle and something unnerved.
So she moved on, her hair spilling down to tickle the vampire's arms as she wordlessly kissed her along collarbone. It occurred to her, in this silence of her busy but careful administrations, that Carmilla was probably waiting for some response or banter. How Karnstein might find it rare that she was quiet. And how it might work to her advantage--
Carm broke her into her concentration with a small hitch in her breath.
Right there, in that little dip before her clavicle connected with her left arm. She cataloged that new found spot, the taste of her skin sweet on her tongue (like a crisp green apple). It made her hungry in the best kind of way.
“I know you're sensitive here,” Laura whispered, her mouth coming to meet the skin just below her right breast.
“Mhm,” Carm agreed, the sound rolling under the younger girl's lips.
“And here,” she said, nipping her stomach. She liked being bitten and the muscle there fluttered with a flex.
“And...here.” She suckled down on the skin just over the hem of her pants, right before the peak of her hip, and the vampire moved with a throaty hum.
“But where oh where else,” Laura breathed, her eyes rising to clash with Carmilla's. The girl was watching her again, this time with a lot more fascination. She surprised the both of them by dragging her tongue back up her abdomen, and the older girl bit her lip, her head lolling back on the pillows with a stifled moan.
As it turns out, she liked it when Hollis sucked rosy bruises on the bottom rung of her ribs. When she grazed her teeth on her breasts while teasing her nipples with flicks of her tongue. When she raked her nails down her sides.
The rougher the better, it seemed.
Every time she found a new spot, the girl twisted against her, and with every sigh and groan and exhale she felt more and more bold.
Her blood pumped feverishly and when she spoke her voice was husky. Which was good, because it covered how uncertain she was that such commanding was truly deserved yet. “I want to kiss your back.”
She raised herself enough to let the girl obey, and she swallowed roughly at Carmilla turning for her without a single word.
Well this is new.
And becoming a very, very thrilling new turn on she never knew she wanted.
She explored this expanse of skin with the same experimentation, and though she had scratched it (involuntarily, as if she had to hold on for the life of her) plenty of times, she never realized just how sensitive it was.
She kissed up her vertebrae and the vampire actually mewled, stretching underneath, her nails scraping the headboard.
The muscles of her lower back jumped at her heavy, open mouthed kisses, her flanks even more excitable from this angle.
And then the younger girl could barely help herself, her hips cupping Carm's backside. She swept her black hair over a bare shoulder and bit the back of her neck, and the vampire ground her rear back against her with a tight, delicious sound.
Making her like this.
Carmilla's jaw clenched, her body reacting to every little move, her skin so warm it nearly burned.
She had never felt this brave in their more intimate hours.
Or so incredibly, achingly aroused.
And being as amazing Karnstein was, that was saying something.
“You like this, don't you,” Laura beamed into her ear before sucking on her earlobe, her hands rising up to clamp onto the back of Karnstein's wrists.
“Fuck, Laura,” Carmilla exhaled, and her shoulder blades stiffened under the honey blonde's chest in restraint. She was glad the vampire couldn't see her blushing at the way she said her name, though she was sure the girl could feel (hear, smell) her heart kicking.
“Is that a demand or a retort,” Laura mused. It sounded teasing, but it was secretly an honest question. She moved her hips in a slow push for good measure and Carmilla's fingers curled so tightly a knuckle cracked.
“Touch me and find out,” she growled deep and low, and the intensity in her voice was almost frightening. Just how long could you tease and torture this girl until that hungry, dark predator woke up?
Laura slipped a thigh up between hers on reflex to mind the older girl's word. Then, keeping things balanced, raising her torso and officially pinning the dark haired girl from behind with all of her weight, something she may or may not have learned in a dojo.
She didn't want to give in just yet. Every cell in her body was screaming for some sort of release, be it hers or Carmilla's.
But she needed something just as badly. She didn't know what it was entirely yet--
“Laura,” the vampire groaned. Then, in almost reluctantly, “Please.”
Well, that would do it.
Hot hell and high waters that would do it.
Carmilla Karnstein never. Ever. Said please.
She caved, pushing and rolling the girl back over and eagerly pressing flush against her. Carmilla kissed her urgently, as if they were going to be separated any second. Of course, there was swift vengeance-- she bit down on her lower lip and Laura had to swallow a pained, wanton whimper, craving the hands still at the headboard.
There's no whimpering in domination.
Her hands slid down the older girl's body instead, finding her pant's button and zipper and undoing both. She tugged them down her hips, her thighs, kissing and nipping down Karnstein's front.
The black panties beneath were damp as she rubbed her through them, and she marveled at how wet she was. Carm groaned at the needed attention, her nails definitely digging into the headboard now.
She would have to congratulate her on self control soon.
Because this. This is what she wanted. The girl at her mercy, needing her so badly she practically begged for it.
And not because she desired the power it took to make a centuries old demon weak at the knees.
Carmilla always carried her over the finish line so hard that Hollis saw stars. And she had made sure to return the favor. But the vampire would then roll her over and hit so many encores that Laura would be reduced to some panting mess, dully patting the girl's back in a lazy tap out. She would pass out in her arms, snuggled up into the nooks of her body as if she could get impossibly closer.
In other words, it was wanting to be more than ordinary with someone extraordinary.
To stand out in a myriad of the countless other suitors or prey, a constellation in a sky full of millions of stars.
So she let the throb between her legs slip over her brain, silencing it in a heady fog. She let her own primal instincts out.
She yanked the bottoms away and off past the vampire's feet, dropping them on the floor.
She recalled the murkier details of the what she referred to as “the half,” when Carmilla had taken her off guard and kissed her skin lower and lower until she was between her legs, and that the pleasure was so great that any bashfulness or urge to tug her back up was banished.
She settled in the same spot, Carm's thighs slipping over her shoulders, her tongue instantly stroking up the light folds of flushed skin there. The knot of nerves they hid was hard, and she traced tight circles around it, sucking at it gently with her lips.
Well, she must be doing something right. The older girl's hips shuddered, soft sounds falling from her already.
She earned a breathless, deep moan when she pressed a finger at her slick entrance, a noise escaping her at how hot and wet Carmilla was.
“Yes,” Carmilla breathed at being entered.
The girl agreed. God, she agreed. Being inside her hot, tight walls. Tasting her. She felt thrilling shivers whenever their skin merely brushed, and here and now her whole being thrummed.
“I want to touch you so bad,” the vampire half growled and half whined and this was the first time she had ever made that hybrid of noise. And by the sounds of it, the headboard was in danger of being cracked. It spurred her on, her mouth moving faster, another finger pushing in.
She claimed her, taking back what Karnstein had coaxed out of her in their restless midnights. As if, in some alternate way, she was drinking her.
And Carmilla's possessiveness, her prowling and hungry domination at once made sense.
She didn't want this with anyone else. She didn't want her with anyone else.
Carm's hips were rocking now, her chest rising and falling in rapid, need laced breath. Laura curled her fingers, finding the spot that drove the older girl wild. She drew circles around it, hitting it harder and harder, Karnstein making these high, keen sounds in the back of her throat that she was instantly hooked on.
She could feel her tightening, riding up that edge where every stroke was pure, burning, bittersweet bliss.
She wanted to keep her there forever. Tucked in that emergent need, the world disappearing behind a shroud.
She nearly felt there herself.
“Don't stop,” the girl over her gasped.
She couldn't if someone put a gun to her head. Stopping or slowing would be excruciating for both of them now. Laura opened her eyes. She wanted to see her tumble over. Needed to.
“Laur—I--” The words snapped in half and she arched, her hair dragging over the pillows. The headboard definitely cracked. A flush waved through her silken skin, her lips parted in a silent cry, her eyes closed under a knitted brow.
Like she had summoned her back from the grave. Pumping blood through her sinewy body and blooming to life like flower petals and cat's coats after a nightly frost.
And then Laura was lapping at the moisture there, taking it in before kissing her inner thighs, her hips, back up her front.
Before a single thought could return in that dark head, Hollis's fingers found that little hooded spot again, still so sensitive and quivering, rubbing light but quick.
And with a choked cry that Laura immediately swallowed with a rough, tongue invading kiss, she came under her touch once more.
And again, her teeth catching the pillow case, her lips baring back over fangs that gleamed in the sun setting orange behind the curtains.
And one more time, Laura entering her again last minute, her mouth on her nipple as Carm definitely deepened the crack in the head board.
The next thing she knew, she was gazing down at her, the ashen skin still blushing and marked with little red scratches and hickeys, a thin sheet of sweat catching strands of black hair she lightly stroked away.
Carmilla was limp beneath her, eyes were still closed, her face fallen into a spent afterglow. Laura smiled triumphantly, though the expression was almost amused.
“Are you kneading?” she laughed, finally reaching up to the hands curling and splaying slowly into the pillows in some blind search.
“Can I touch you now,” was all she muttered, her voice ethereal.
Laura finally pulled the shirt and bra away, and arms instantly came down and around her, hugging her close so lips could meet hers in a slow skim.
“Mmm,” the vampire murmured, and the younger girl was pleasantly surprised as she curled down into her chest, Carm's head nuzzling under her chin.
It was new, the Queen of the Damned being reduced to a sleepy, happy, cuddly little thing. She instantly recognized this as an even rarer moment than the dark haired girl being successively topped.
Carmilla would never in a million years let anyone else see her be an ounce more mild than she wanted.
And adorable. So adorable that Laura had to fight back high pitched cooing, because if anything was going to ruin this moment, that would be it.
Instead, she hid her uncontrollable smile into the crown of her head, inhaling her scent-- something akin to rain water over wild grass and birch trees-- and stroking her back like Carm always did post bed antics snuggle.
Despite the persisting ache and want licking up her insides in a quiet fire, she was nearly content to just hold her, knowing she was the reason Carmilla was drifting off.
“Fifteen,” Laura declared with a sigh, her head resting on the pillows too.