Tammer breathed a sigh of contentment as he relaxed in the massive tub of the home he shared with his lovers. His contentment had a lot to do with the fact after far too long, he had returned home to Wendy his precious vixen and Meeta his darling fairy. It would be fair to say that the rather lengthy love-making session he’d shared with them, both before and after slipping into the tub, had helped to foster the deep satisfaction he felt as well. He reveled in the warm, supple weight of the vixen as she cuddled against him in the cooling water draped her legs over his lap. In turn, the little fairy was relaxing in a tub within a tub, formed by water pooled in Wendy’s substantial cleavage.

Tammer,” Wendy said softly.

Yes, my sweet?” Tammer said.

You never said why you left to drop Malivia and Nectica off and then ended up bringing them back.”

Yes,” said a ghostly voice with an odd thrum. “And while you’re at it, I could do with an explanation as to why, despite knowing I feed on sexual energy, you proceeded to make love first inside a fairy-eater-skin suit while I was outside it, and then outside such a suit while I was inside it. It was like having a feast in front of a starving woman.”

The person speaking was Nectica. She was once a succubus, then a ghost, then a phantasm, and now a prisoner inside an animated rubber vixen suit. All in all, the group had a rather interesting journey to this point, even if you ignored the fact that Nectica was joined inside the shiny prison by a mouse-size phantasm called Malivia who was trapped in a fist-size, thicker sack of the same rubbery material.

Yes, an explanation is long overdue,” Tammer said.

He attempted to set Wendy aside to climb out of the tub, but she whined and held him tighter.

You don’t have to get out to tell a story. I want your arms around me a little longer. Meeta’s great, but…” She cuddled a little closer and pulled his arms a little tighter. “No one hugs like you.”

Yes, because it was his hugs that had you screaming his name a few minutes ago,” Nectica said flatly.

He’s got a good dick, sure,” Wendy said. “But his heart and his hugs are what make him special.”

You’ve got a way with words,” Meeta snorted.

Tammer smiled warmly. It feels good to be wanted. Very well, where do I begin… I was walking with the spirits in a sack by my side.

~~~

Must you jostle us so,” came the same indignant voice from within his sack as he paced through an open field.

He’s walking. What do you expect from a pile of meat,” Malivia grumbled.

I try to avoid using my magic without a good reason,” Tammer said. “And I feel the same about money.”

Why in the depths would you have a policy like that?”

Because neither power nor wealth is meant to be squandered,” he said.

If you’d just work at it a bit more, you’d have power to spare.”

I don’t seek power, I seek knowledge. Power is simply the result of it,” he said.

Ugh,” Malivia muttered. “The virtue is making me sick. It’s a shame I won’t be around when you eventually get killed.”

Unlike the Deep Realm, it is not a kill or be killed world up here,” Tammer said.

Sure, sure. Everyone thinks that. Then, when you turn your back on your ‘friends.’” She imitated the sound of a throat being slit.

On that, Malivia, I believe you are mistaken,” Nectica said. “For all his faults, the fox does have genuine friends.”

They are the most precious thing I have,” Tammer said with a nod.

The pile of gold you stole from a dragon is the most precious thing you have,” Malivia said.

No… No, don’t you see? He wouldn’t have that gold if not for his friends. He wouldn’t have his life if not for his friends.”

And they enrich my soul as well,” Tammer said.

The only thing that enriches a soul properly is eating other souls,” Malivia corrected.

Both Tammer and Nectica ignored her. The former succubus started to muse aloud.

Oh… to be satisfied by such simple things. To be able to be satisfied by such simple things.”

One need only seek them and one will find them.”

Malivia made a gagging sound.

No. Tammer, you don’t understand. You can’t understand. I am a succubus. Or at least, in life I was. We cannot live as you do. The hunger. Hunger for power. Hunger for control. It is a part of us. A physical and spiritual need. Other creatures can choose love. They can be merciful. We must feed. Feed on the broken will of our partners. Feed on the very mana of their souls. And we must strive for more, always more. We are growing more powerful, or we are dying.”

Truly?” he said. “It can’t be overcome by will?”

No more than your hunger for food can be overcome by will. I can hold it at bay for a time. I can subsist on sex and affection for a time, but eventually I will need to truly feed. And that feeding will come at the cost of complete domination or spiritual consumption. It is the curse of my kind.”

The curse… But curses can be lifted,” Tammer said.

Uh oh. Looks like Mr. Nobility here is going to save your soul,” Malivia snickered.

Is it possible?” he asked.

That… It… It may be. In the Deep Realm, it certainly wouldn’t be. The minds and hearts necessary simply don’t exist there. But here… with you…”

It would have been easily to suggest she was putting up an act. Or even setting a trap. But there was something in the tone of her voice. It was dawning realization, and even a hint of anxiety. As though there was a part of her clinging tight to the dark part of her soul that would die without the twisted acts that had come to define her. It was the tone of a creature learning that change might be possible, and fearful of the next step.

How could it be done?” Tammer asked.

Are you honestly going to try to convince him to do the purification?” Malivia scoffed.

No. I couldn’t,” Nectica said.

If you can be redeemed, we should try. Your behavior has been deplorable, but if it is not your doing, if it is due to an affliction you can set aside, I couldn’t sleep at night knowing I didn’t do everything I could to set you on the right path.”

Why? What’s so special about you that you’ve got to come and save this pile of sin?” Malivia taunted.

My own past is not so clean,” Tammer said darkly. “I have an interest in redemption. Just tell me what to do.”

There are two parts. First, we would need to be linked again. As we had been when you consumed me the first time. But… more so. I need a will to counter my own. Someone strong enough to pull back on the reins of my darker impulses.”

You would be willing to turn over that degree of control?”

I… I wouldn’t. I couldn’t do it willingly.”

Tammer narrowed his eyes. “You would have me take control against your will?”

It is my will now, but I know myself, Tammer. Much of me wishes to be free of the part that must consume and destroy to survive. But the creature of domination is still the largest part of me. I’ll fight you. When the time comes, I’ll resist.”

He’s not going to do it,” Malivia said. “That’s what makes it a curse! For the link to do any good, you have to be linked to someone with a good heart and a strong will, but for the link to be formed, it will need to be someone who can and will dominate you even if you protest. A good heart and dominance simply cannot exist in the same place at the same time.”

Tammer shut his eyes for a moment and considered what had been said. It had taken a great deal of effort to break the link that had bound them last time, and last time was not nearly as strong as she was suggesting would be necessary now. But they had broken it.

What would come next?” he asked.

There is the ceremony of three, which must be performed in the Deep Tongue.”

Malivia Snickered.

And I would have to perform a selfless act of charity out of a genuine desire of my own,” Nectica said.

Something you would never do. And even if it were in you, if you were to be linked to someone who could influence you, there is no doubt they would command the act, so you’d never get a chance.”

And what happens of all of that comes true?” he asked.

Then my spirit would be cleansed. I will still be a being fueled by intimacy, but the intimacy wouldn’t be destructive or dominant.”

A nymph,” Tammer said.

I would be able to truly love without danger of anything but a broken heart.”

Yeeugh…” Malivia wretched. “Pointless indulgence of the flesh with barely a fraction of the reward. You’d only be able to get what people offer. You’d have to earn more.”

Tammer considered all that had been said, then reached into his sack. He felt the smoothness of the little pouches they’d fashioned to imprison the spirits of Nectica and Malivia. Beside them, he felt the leather cover of the spellbook he’d brought with him. He pulled it free and flipped it open.

He had to navigate to an unfamiliar part of the book, but eventually he found the spell he was after. Spiritual Impermeability. It wasn’t an obvious name, but if properly cast, it would allow him to interact with spirits as though they were corporeal. Wendy, through her own means, had developed this ability on her own. For Tammer, it would require focus. He read through the spell quietly, carefully practicing each syllable before truly casting it.

Its effects were subtle, but undeniable. He could feel something like a heaviness in his body, as though he was somehow more “real” than he’d been a moment ago. He returned the spellbook and plucked Nectica’s pouch from inside.

The spirit was not visible within the pouch. Her last bout with physicality, albeit brief, had been a curious one. After they’d attempted to restore Nectica to life, her treachery resulted in a number of curious results, not the least of which was Tammer’s temporary shift to a female form. Nectica was punished by crafted into a manhood for him, and when the spells had been undone, her body was still greatly diminished. Not unlike Malivia, she was barely the size of Meeta, and thus could fit within the small pouch simply by curling into a ball.

He tugged at the knot securing the pouch, loosening it with care.

You aren’t… You don’t really intend to…” Nectica said, her voice already showing reluctance.

Tammer paused and gazed at the pouch, focusing his vision where he imagined her eyes must be.

Tell me now. In this moment. Do you truly wish to seek purification? The answer you give now, I shall take. And I shall turn a deaf ear to all other please until the deed is done.”

The bag jostled a bit with its unseen contents. Several replies began, but halted before they could find voice.

~~~

Nectica struggled in the confines of the pouch. In her brief time as a spirit she had become accustomed to the freedom of passing through whatever she pleased. Being captured like this was unpleasant. She tried to shove at the loosened knot to escape. It was no use. He’d been wise enough not to undo it completely. And what would she achieve by escaping? She was a wisp of a spirit in a world that was not her own. But if she did accept Tammer’s help, she could be whole again. And… She could even find something approaching lasting happiness.

She looked out at the eyes staring earnestly at her prison.

I do,” she said, with as near to certainty as she could muster.

Tammer didn’t hesitate. He thrust the pouch into his mouth. With lips pinched tight around its edge, he pulled the knot free and tugged at the bag. Her tiny body was extruded from the bag and plopped stickily into the hot, moist confines of his mouth. Despite the warmth, the ectoplasm of her body shivered a bit at the texture of the tongue beneath her. She pushed at the roof of his mouth, and found it quite solid. In an instant, the reality of the situation came down upon her. She had talked her way into the mouth of a predator. She had convinced him to eat her. And before this was through, a part of her would be digested.

N-no!” she said anxiously. “This isn’t. I’ve changed my—unff.”

The tongue beneath her pressed her firmly to the roof of his mouth. She could feel herself lightly deform, her body spreading ever so slightly across his tongue and her breasts squishing against his palate. He wasn’t taking his time. Another might have savored the flavor of her delectable body, but he quickly arched his tongue. Her body slid downward. Her slender calves and shapely thighs bulged his throat as the ripples of muscle gripped her tight. She scrabbled and clawed at the smooth flesh of his cheeks, trying to pull herself free. Another gulp claimed her midriff. Her breasts were substantial enough to bring her to a stop. She reached out and clutched his molars as another swallow popped her breasts down his gullet.

Her semi-solid body couldn’t resist the power of the creature making a meal of her. As the ripples of motion dragged her down, her arms and body stretched. Her head inched closer and closer to the pinch of muscle that pulled and kneaded at her. The silky strength mashed and massaged her supple body. Slowly, sensations that had vanished along with her flesh began to creep back. The tender flesh of her breasts and slit tingled and yearned for more of the sinful pressure. Her fingers started to twitch as her anxious panting shifted to a throatier purr.

The magnificent sensations weakened her resolve, and with it her grip, until she couldn’t hold on any longer. She snapped backward, slurping down into his throat. She felt herself sink deeper into him. The heat grew more intense. She heard the quickening rhythm of his heart. If she still had a heart, hers would be hammering in her chest. Now and again, she still weakly shoved and pushed at the fox’s esophagus, but it was no use. She was too small, too weak.

She felt her feet squished and forced through a tight ring of muscle. She quivered and gasped as the powerful muscles mashed her through and packed her into the looser sack of his stomach. The spell was such that while his own flesh was solid for her, the contents of his stomach were not. So there was no sticky, grotesque mess awaiting her. No half-digested meal. At least, not that she could feel. The walls rolled in on her, mashing her body out of shape briefly. Her ghostly substance clung to the walls, threads and ribbons of herself stretching away. She could feel a penetrating warmth, and a powerful tingle. She wasn’t just sticking to the walls, morsels of her body were sinking into them. Nourishing him.

She was digesting…

There was no pain. Quite the opposite. As if it were an expression of his mercy and kindness, the melty, tingly sensation felt beautiful. She shut her eyes (for all the good it did in the darkness) and tried to feel what became of her as she soaked into him. She felt herself intermingle with his essence. As squishing, kneading motions pushed her dwindling form through another pinch of muscle and into his intestines, she could feel some ethereal thread connecting her digested spirit to the stronger one that had consumed it. Through that thread, she felt a steady calmness, a deep focus. She felt trust and charity. The deeper thoughts of her new master. And lurking beneath it all, a smoldering and ominous past locked away like beast in a dungeon.

She curled and wove through him, dwindling and diminishing, losing more of herself to him, until finally the spell that kept him solid for her started to slip away. The snug tube she was slithering through suddenly couldn’t contain her. She willed herself forward, passing through his flesh and finally appearing once more in the outside world.

Tammer glanced down to the ember of light that had slipped from his body. She was now visible to him, she could tell. Nevertheless, she suspected she was still difficult to see, but for a different reason. There was almost nothing left of her. She must have been no bigger than a gnat now, the rest of her simply entangled in and empowering Tammer’s soul.

Hold still,” he said, at barely a whisper. “I’ll help you.”

She held stone still. Not because she chose to obey, but because his mere suggestion was like a command to her. She couldn’t help but do as he willed. She was little more than an extension of him.

Again, if this was any other creature, she would have been terrified of what might come next. But this was Tammer. He could be trusted. He would not harm her. She was in good hands.

Even knowing he must have good intentions, she never dreamed of what he would do next. Through those phantom threads that connected them, she felt strength begin to flow into her. He was returning much of what he’d taken, and even stirring in a bit of his own. With the flow of mana, she began to grow. Back to her mousy size. Back to her fairy size. And still she grew. He didn’t stop feeding her until she was once again at her natural, full-grown succubus size. She felt stronger. Still unquestionably beholden to his will, but no longer in danger of simply fading away. Her form, complete with wings and tail, was faintly visible, traced with amber light rather than the bluish color of her former spirit or green or Malivia.

Why?” Nectica said. “Why restore my size? That was hardly a necessary part of ridding me of my curse.”

You returned her to her proper size? You idiot,” Malivia fumed from within his sack. “You eat your first soul, you fail to finish it, and then you give the power right back!?

It seemed only proper,” Tammer said.

Nectica approached him. “You are astonishing.”

She drew closer, focusing as best she could so that as she pressed her curves against him, he could feel their yielding softness.

Don’t,” Tammer said.

Nectica paused… but did not feel herself restrained.

You have asked me to stop,” Nectica said.

Yes.”

You have not commanded it.”

Now would be a fine time to learn your own inhibitions. And I assure you, I shall not command you unless your darker urges endanger others.”

You! I can’t!” Malivia fumed from her prison. “You have complete control over a succubus. You are among only a handful of beings who could enjoy the peerless sexual expertise without sacrificing your soul in the process, and you aren’t even letting her do that!?

Malivia has a point,” Nectica said, tipping her head to the side.

I save my love for Meeta and Wendy. Now come. We should return to them.”

He turned and paced back along the road. the shimmering form of Nectica slowly fading to invisibility as the freshness of the spell eased away.

~~~

And so we have returned. And I have every intention of guiding her to her redemption,” Tammer said, helping Wendy from the tub.

I don’t trust her,” Meeta said.

You don’t trust anyone,” Wendy said.

I don’t trust anyone who as repeated tried to kill us. I think it is a reasonable policy,” Wendy said.

What happens now?” Wendy asked. “Should we feed Nectica?”

She wrapped herself in a robe and pranced up to the rubber encased succubus. She squeezed the tight-stretched surface.

Oh…” Nectica said, somewhat taken aback. “I can… I can feel you. But, of course I can… I cannot pass through it, and you cannot pass through it…”

Wanna play?” Wendy said, giving her another squeeze.

Later,” Tammer said. “I need Malivia and Nectica.”

For what?”

There is still the ceremony to learn. It requires three who know the language. Which means Malivia and Nectica will need to teach me.

Wendy crossed her arms. “You just got home. And we only got to have sex a couple times.”

It won’t take long. Now let’s get them out of there.”