I have a bit of a fascination with old-school ghost stories. Séances and ectoplasm and the like. When I was younger I used to devour ghost stories, most of which purported to be true accounts. I am also a fan of sexy, surreptitious flirting – hot touches in the dark which no one else can see, and just the two of you know about and enjoy. I love the link between scary stuff and sexy stuff, and to this day I struggle to watch a creeping-dread-horror film with someone I like without wanting to slide my hand down their pants halfway through.
So when Rachel Kramer Bussel asked if I wanted to post an extract from her latest erotica collection, there was one story that really stood out to me. The short story, by Valerie Alexander, is called Demimonde, and it takes place at a séance. It gave me all of the sexy shivers, and reminded me of a story I should tell you about sometime.
An extract is reposted with her permission below, and you can buy the full book – Best Women’s Erotica of the year (Vol 1) here.
Demimonde – by Valerie Alexander
“My dear friends,” she begins. “Tonight is a celebration of the gifts of the sages of the ages. Clairvoyance, crystal-gazing, mesmerism, chiromancy and above all, spiritualism. I was born with the ability to communicate with departed souls. Today, trained by the masters of alchemy, divination and magic, I will humbly serve as your conduit to your loved ones in the beyond.”
I glance at Theobald. He smiles winsomely.
“Now I must ask you to place both hands on the table,” Madame Morgana says.
An array of hands circle the velvet-covered table—veined, smooth, puffy, jeweled—just before Theo extinguishes the flames. The drawing room is plunged into blackness.
Ora’s hand gropes for mine in the eerie atmosphere. “Some-thing brushed the back of my neck!” gasps Mrs. Rutledge. A moment later another woman cries, “It touched my hand!” There does seem to be a chill in the drawing room, but is it a ghostly presence or simply a cold room with no fire?
Something trails across my shoulder. But these aren’t the ephemeral hands of a spirit. These fingers are hot and dry and purposeful as they stroke my neck.
A shivery thrill shoots through me.
Theo’s fingers gently circle my ears. An odd thing, but it awakens my nerves and reminds me that I have not been touched by a man in years. Next his hands slide down my throat and over my collarbone. There they hesitate, perhaps waiting for my protest, but at my silence, his fingertips continue their descent into my décolletage.
My face flames, yet I arch my back, signaling him to continue. Inside the velvet bodice of my dress his fingers go. Into my corset and chemise until he cups my breasts. My skin prickles with heat. I can’t be allowing this, a stranger touching me in a dark room even as I’m surrounded by matrons who could ruin me.
His mouth brushes my neck. He rolls my nipples back and forth until they’re stiff, then pulls on them lightly. I begin to shake.
“Spirit, if you are here, speak to us!” Madame Morgana cries.
My petticoats rustle as his hands move lower.
Madame Morgana says again, warningly, “Spirit, are you here?”