The Company of Fiends (Tempting Monsters 2) - Page 11


“And bend forward now. Face down and ass up, ladies," Myra called, pacing the floorboards downstage.

The two newest girls tittered at her order, but the rest of us slid into the familiar stretch, backs arched and arms extended in front of us. I took slow deep breaths as the last of the aches and kinks from the night before loosened.

"Press up, lower your hips, extend your neck and head as high as you can. Tits up, girls!"

More titters and a brief scoff from Evie on my right. I glanced at her just in time to catch the roll of her eyes.

"They'll get used to it," I whispered.

She nodded, and we both turned our heads in deep neck stretches. "Have you seen Beth?" she whispered back.

"Only last night," I answered, taking the opportunity to scan the stage as I turned my head in the opposite direction.

"Think she'll make curtain?" Evie asked.

Beth was our least reliable actress, mostly when it came to rehearsals, but she'd missed performances every so often, usually when some charmer out of a pub had caught her attention for a few days. She was sweet and fell in love too easily, but the theater couldn't afford to cut girls loose. All the humans who worked in the company were charmed with secret-keeping, tongue-tying magic, but even a spell could unravel with enough time. No, once you joined the theater, you stayed until you found a nice monster to settle down with, to make sure you kept your lips sealed about the other world that existed right behind humans’ backs. So Beth's absences were forgiven, so long as she came back within a few days.

"She usually does," I said. "Give it till tea."

"On your backs now, girls, spread those legs for your partners, wide as you can!" Myra called, and we all rolled on our blankets, legs parting in the air. "Bend your knees, we want nice open hips. No cramping mid-fuck tonight because the show won't stop for you to stretch!"

"I'll get stuck on the spanking scene if she doesn't show up," Evie hissed.

"Better start drinking water now," I said, shrugging.

We all had to pick up the slack sometimes. The show must go on and all that.

* * *

After teaand with a good pile of mending done for the day, the truth became obvious.

"She's not coming," Alexa said, holding up a velvet corset around her middle and studying herself in the mirror. "I guarantee she was face-down, ass-up in a gent's bed till dawn."

Us girls—and occasionally our male and human compatriot, Hugh—gathered together in the hall where the light was best, between tea and curtain call, tidying and teasing one another, enjoying each other's company before the halls were swarmed with the monsters we worked with.

"She has three scenes tonight!" Margaret squeaked out. She was one of our new recruits and had made an impressive sampling of all the stagehands in her first few weeks. She was kind to all the monsters and enthusiastic, and if she didn't fall in love, she'd last a long time in the company.

"We swap scenes all the time, it'll be all right," I assured her.

"But who's going to tell Myra?" Evie asked.

I stared hard at the slipper in my hand, but the slow prick of every stare in the hall turning in my direction was impossible to ignore.

"You know them best, Haze," Alexa said, sweetening her voice and leaning in to drop her head on my shoulder. "And besides, you'll be the one who takes the silks act."

Beth was small and light and absurdly brave. She and Ronan had arranged an erotic aerial act that mainly relied on Ronan's strength and Beth's flexibility, but it looked elegant and skilled to the untrained eye. I was far too tall to replace Beth, but none of the other girls would trust Ronan with their safety in the middle of sex while twenty feet off the ground.

"Evie will be stuck on spanking," Alexa continued, brushing long dark brown locks over her shoulder and twisting them as she thought. "Christine and Isabella's nights are already stacked, so they're out."

The other two new recruits nodded eagerly. Between them and Margaret, Margaret was the best. Christine took the monsters in stride, but she balked at the more risque scenes. I thought Isabella might settle down as quickly as she could with the most innocuous monster she could find, since she wrinkled her nose at any with unusual features.

"Margie is looking fresh today, I'm sure she can take two in the mid-show frenzy," Alexa settled on with a shrug.

"Two…two cocks?" Margaret whispered, brown eyes growing huge. "At once?"

"One in the mouth," Evie suggested lazily.

I shared a smirk with Alexa as Margaret's mouth stretched open, as if she was testing the idea already, and Christine giggled nervously.

"Myra'll take it better if you go with the plan already sorted," Alexa said, nudging my shoulder and turning to stare at me with pleading grey-blue eyes. "She talks to you like a partner. She talks to the rest of us like we're children underfoot."

"Speak for yourself," Evie scoffed, pinning up her dark curls.

"The longer you stay and the less problems you cause, the more Reddy and Myra like you," I said, for the new girls' sake.

"And Hazel is their favorite because she can fuck anyone and always shows up to work on time and never falls in love with guests," Evie added.

I pressed my lips together and slid off the table I'd been perched on. I hadn't fallen in love with any of the guests, that was true, although I'd been tempted a few times. But guest monsters left, and stagehands could never resist the chance to try out an excited new girl. It didn't take long here in the company before I was slow to warm to new men, at least off the stage. Some girls, playful and charming ones like Alexa, found a regular or two and seemed to fall in love as easily as stepping onto the center stage in that warm spotlight.

"Is it bad if we like the guests?" Christine asked.

"We all like the guests," Alexa said.

"We just don't like them too much," Evie said as I walked down the hall to Reddy's office. "Guest acts usually like to try and fuck every girl they can while they're here. You can't get jealous, and you can't make a stink if you fancy one and they're paired with someone else for a scene."

"And even if they tell you they want you to leave the theater to be with them, don't believe it until the carriage is at the door and they're asking where your bags are," Alexa agreed.

I stopped and knocked at the familiar door, turning my head and leaning in to listen. It wasn't quite as common to catch Mr. Reddy and Myra in the act as it had been when I'd first arrived at the theater, but it was still a fairly regular thing. They weren't a subtle couple.

Tags: Kathryn Moon Tempting Monsters Paranormal
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