For Diventando: The Vessel, I chose to write about an Incubus inhabiting a body of a man since birth. When developing the story, I did some research on Incubi lore but added some of my own characteristics and origins. Here are some of the interesting Incubi legends and lore I came across during my research:
An incubus is the male versions of the demon while a succubus is the female version.
Incubi are purported to lie upon sleepers, especially women, to have sexual intercourse with them and at times to spawn other incubi. Victims would report waking dreams or sleep paralysis during the act.
Incubi drain energy from their victims during intercourse in order to sustain themselves. Repeated intercourse with an incubi is said to result in deterioration of health and even death.
Incubi are identifiable by their unnaturally cold penis.
Incubus and succubus legends are said to have sprung from the Medieval preoccupation with sin, especially those of women. In a way, they were created as scapegoats for “immoral” behavior such as nocturnal arousal including orgasms.
Incubi were said to be able to conceive children. The half-human offspring were called Cambion.
Owen McIntyre is no stranger to the Grim Reaper. Diagnosed with leukemia at the age of fifteen, he's spent the last ten years slowly dying. With only two weeks until his next checkup, Owen’s body is already warning him that he is no longer in remission. Tired of the countless meds and chemo, not to mention the way his family coddles him, he decides to live and die on his own terms and forgo treatment. When he meets a lively college professor named Turk, conquering the man becomes part of Owen’s bucket list. But as Owen gets to know Turk, he starts to see him as more than a fling, a luxury that a dying man doesn’t have.
But what if, suddenly, everything Owen knew to be true turned out to be a web of lies and deceit—even his diagnosis of cancer? Taken hostage, tied to a bed and subjected to painful experimentation, Owen's nightmare of leukemia is a far cry from the horrors he will face. No longer able to trust anyone in his life, including Turk, Owen is alone and cut off from the world. He has to make the hard decision to trust those who have betrayed him, including Turk (who he cares for deeply), or die a lonely death. With time running out, he’ll not only fight to live, but fight to want to live again, and even that might not be enough to save him from the evil that lurks inside.
Turk shook his head, drinking from his bottle of water. “I’m on sabbatical for the semester.”
“I have no clue what that means. Is that like a vacation?” Owen asked as a pair of mallard ducks soared in and landed on the water.
“No. Tenured professors who’ve been with the college for more than five years can take time off to conduct research or special projects. You saw Harrison at the restaurant last night. He is the one who asked me to join the team.”
“He seemed really intense when he was talking to you. What’s the research for?”
“Possessions.” A nervous edge had crept into Turk’s voice and his muscles tightened. He looked out at the ducks, and then visibly relaxed. “Like I said, Harrison and I met last year at a conference. We have similar research interests and have talked often about collaborating on a project. Unfortunately, the funders of this project are getting impatient and want results.”
Owen had heard everything Turk said, but his mind was stuck on possessions. “Possessions? Like evil spirits?”
Owen’s eyes widened, wondering if Turk was yanking his chain. “Seriously? Are you saying they exist?”
Turk gave a stuttered chuckle. “There are claims of demon possessions all over the world. Whether they’re true or not, that’s up to science. We’ll see what we find.”
Owen thought about movies he’d seen with demon possessions. His favorite had been The Omen. For some reason, he’d been a bit obsessed with the movie as a kid.
“Wow. That sounds so interesting. I know nothing about demons or ancient stuff or anything like that. We had to read some mythology in high school, like Dante and Zeus and stuff, but those weren’t my favorite classes so I didn’t pay attention. I’m not sure why because, from what I’ve seen in movies, it’s anything but boring.”
Turk finished his sandwich and closed up the cooler, moving it from the blanket to make room. When Turk sat down, he was closer to Owen, their knees brushing, as they both looked out over the water.
“Wayne said you started living with him about six months ago.”
Owen nodded and swallowed hard. “What else did he tell you?” Did Turk know about Owen’s illness? Were these pity dates? Why did that thought crush Owen’s heart?
Turk shook his head. “That’s it. Except that you’re gay.” Turk grinned and glanced at Owen.
Owen relaxed. “He tells the truth,” Owen said coyly. The conversation had finally circled around to what Owen wanted, but could he still use Turk for sex? Shit, he wasn’t so sure, now.
“Oh. And you’re twenty-five.”
Owen nodded. “Truthfully, Wayne told me absolutely nothing about you.” Owen allowed his knee to rest against Turk’s. Even that small touch heated his core. Gods, he was flirting like a nervous high school student. Owen generally went after what he wanted, without innuendo or flirting. Why was this so different?
“Well, you know that I’m a professor of mythology and I’m addicted to muscle cars and online video games. I’m…um…thirty-one.”
What else did Owen need to know other than top or bottom? Why did Owen want to know so much more?
…Standing, Turk reached down and pulled Owen to his feet with amazing strength. Without dropping Owen’s hand, Turk led them the short way to the water’s edge where several rocks lined the bank. Owen drew in a deep breath and soaked in the positive energy from nature.
He was glad Turk had dragged him out and turned to tell him that, until he heard the rustling in the grass near the water’s edge. Owen’s heart seized as a longer-than-fuck black water snake slithered past his feet.
“Fuck!” Owen screamed and, like the little girl he was, climbed the front of Turk, wrapping his arms and legs tight around the man.
“Whoa.” Turk laughed and wrapped an arm around Owen’s back. “Is that a snake or are you just happy to see me?”
“Oh, my gods, it’s like ten feet long!” Owen’s only fear in life and it had to rear its head when he was with Turk.
Turk chuckled with an embarrassing amusement. “I’d give it three feet tops. I’m guessing you’re afraid of snakes and not just super horny?”
Owen nodded into Turk’s neck. “Ugly, slimy, creepy, beady-eyed little bastards.” As Owen’s heart rate slowed, he peeked over Turk’s shoulder. “Is it gone? I so need to get down and try to salvage what’s left of my manhood.” Another date down the crapper.
Turk hummed low in his chest. “I don’t know, but maybe you should stay put just to make sure he doesn’t have any friends.”
Oh, that thought drew a gasp from Owen’s lips and a shudder.
“Just kidding,” Turk said. “He’s out in the water.” Turk pointed to the slim body sluicing across the surface. “I think they’re pretty territorial so I doubt there are others around.”
Owen surveyed the ground, wondering if that were true. When he pulled back, ready to get off Turk, he paused, noticing the man staring at him intensely.
A heated blush suffused Owen’s face and he fidgeted, wanting to look away, but powerless to break the gaze. Inside, Owen melted into a pile of goo, enamored that someone was looking at him as if he were something more than a fuck, possibly someone special.
“What?” Owen managed to whisper.
Turk slowly allowed Owen to slide down the front of his body until his feet hit the ground. Their close proximity made Owen feel vulnerable, exposed. Damn, he liked Turk, really liked him, and that wasn’t a luxury he could afford.
“You’re amazing,” Turk whispered, and lifted Owen’s hand chivalrously, pressing his warm lips to Owen’s skin. Owen watched each movement as he held his breath. Turk pulled Owen tight against him. “I don’t know what it is about you, but I want to keep you close, learn everything I can about you, take you home and never let you go.”
Owen’s heart tripped, skipping a beat. What poured into his soul was new and foreign, warm and bolstering and so fucking right…and just maybe worth fighting for? Could he endure another round of chemo, endure another round of poison, for the chance to have Turk in his life, to have more time?
“You make me want to fight again,” Owen whispered without thought.
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About JC Wallace
JC Wallace started writing from a young age, but took a break for marriage, kids, and college (in that order). He recently rediscovered his passion and ventured out into the brave new world of publishing with his short, Waiting for Snow, and his first novel, Curiosity Killed Shaney. At night and on the weekends, JC writes about all things men, believing there is nothing hotter than two men finding and loving one another, whether for a night or forever. An avid reader of M/M romance, JC loves a good twist of a plot, HEA, HFN, or tragic ending. He also writes what his bestie calls HUNK (Happy Until the Next Kidnapping)
In his daytime hours, JC works with individuals with autism and behavior problems. He is owned by a beautiful partner, three kids, two grandchildren, two dogs and one cat. He lives in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains in Northern NY.