Chloe's lips tingled as she walked back to her car from the beach. She felt like she was floating, like all it would take to make her drift back to Lucifer would be one little easterly wind. She'd kissed him, even after Jana and interviewing his cavalcade of lovers, and it was still taking everything in her not to grab him by his designer lapels and say to hell with it.
But she was more responsible than that. She was determined to be. For Trixie's sake. For the sake of not becoming her own damn mother. No more drunkenly climbing into his bed. No more conflating a work relationship with a romantic relationship. Again.
Wasn't a failed marriage enough for one year?
God, she was out of her fucking mind. A complete and total idiot. She'd kissed him—after Jana, after all those people! Scowling, she shook her head as she climbed back into her practical car and practical life. It was comfortingly familiar, and did nothing to remove the ghost of his mouth on hers.
Lucifer Morningstar was a big enough red flag to rally communists. He was probably involved with the mafia (she'd stopped asking for fear of finding out the truth), he had family issues up to his eyeballs (likely related), he frequently used drugs and drank in the bullpen, he slept with so much of L.A. that there was no chance he didn't at least have herpes. He was rude and selfish and inappropriate, and made her spend hours massaging the truth on paperwork every time he inexplicably Hulked out on a suspect (how did he even do that?). He seemed to legitimately believe he was Satan.
But he was also clever and sneakily sweet, and she laughed far more since meeting him. Work had gone from being a duty—one she was proud of, but a duty nonetheless—to being a little bit of a thrill.
And she was not blind, nor was she repulsed, at a chemical level or otherwise. Everything would be a lot easier if she were.
The lights were off in her apartment. Maze was gone, doing God only knows what, and Trixie was with Dan. Chloe still wasn't used to that aspect of their divorce. During the separation, Trixie had lived with her full-time. Now, Chloe had nights alone. Nights where she thought too much about her age and relationship status, which somehow always got her thinking about Lucifer. Because she was an idiot who would not let this stupid crush go, no matter how many warning signs flashed TURN BACK, DEAD END.
She poured a glass of wine and leaned against the kitchen counter, her insides aflutter. She should not have kissed him. But he had managed to say all the right things in the process of telling her all the reasons he was wrong for her.
And she was not blind.
Closing her eyes, she let herself replay the kiss. It was gentle and closed mouth, a real nothing of a kiss, if she was honest with herself, but it sent her flying, anyway. His lips were soft, a soothing contrast to the subtle scratch of stubble at her face and beneath her fingertips. Her heart pounded with the memory of whiskey, tobacco, and a heavy, vanilla-scented beard oil filling her nose.
She hadn't planned to kiss him—these days, it felt like she was bad at planning everything—but even as she'd done it, she'd thought it would go differently. That he would eagerly respond, deepening the kiss like only L.A.'s most ridiculous playboy could. That she would— Her eyes snapped open. That she would what? Let him have his way with her in the sand? Go back to his penthouse like all those other women and men?
"This is stupid," Chloe said to her empty kitchen.
Glass in one hand and wine bottle in the other, she turned toward her stairwell on a mission. Clearly she needed to get off. That's all this was. Hormones. She was probably ovulating and working against millions of years of evolution that favored tall, dark, and handsome men. This wasn't her fault.
In her bedroom, she kicked the door shut and locked it in the off chance Maze came home early. She did not want a repeat of last time.
After setting aside her glass and the wine bottle, she tugged off her jeans and fell back on her bed. Sighing like a lovesick teenager, she stared at the smooth, white ceiling, feeling a steady thrum of yearning ripple through her body. Had she felt that before she kissed him or after? Did it matter?
No, she decided, because the kiss was a temporary lapse in judgment. That. Was. All.
Drawing her feet up, she planted her heels on the mattress and slid a hand between her legs. She ran her fingers along the outside of her panties, where she cupped her flesh and massaged. An unsteady breath spilled from her mouth as she rubbed circles into the thin cotton. This was all she needed, she thought, mind drifting lazily between old experiences and fantasies. She was just a little on edge. Between work and Trixie and Maze and Lucifer, she didn't get much time to herself.
She dipped her fingers beneath the waist of her panties, her toes curling gently. Memories of yesterday's interviews hit her, unbidden. All the many, many faces of women and a few men, some beautiful, some strange, all more varied than she'd expected, and all singing Lucifer's praises. She slid her fingers through slick folds as she considered the phrase that kept popping up, again and again and again.
"It was the best night of my life," they said, with the conviction of true believers.
Could he really be that good? She circled her clit and wondered. What would a best night for her look like?
Chloe imagined Lucifer stretched out beside her, naked in all his glory, the V of his hips, the long heaviness of his cock, which she remembered in more detail than she preferred to analyze. She could almost feel how he'd lean in, kiss along her jaw, and whisper into her ear, "What is it you desire, Detective?"
"Shit," Chloe muttered into the silence of her bedroom, hand stilling in her underwear.
If her goal was to get over the kiss and his face, this was not the way to do it. Fine. Time to be practical, get off quickly, and be done with it once and for all. There was no reason why she couldn't, what with the apartment to herself.
Rolling over, she reached into the drawer of her nightstand and pulled out her lone vibrator. The blue bullet vibe didn't look like anything special, but it actually packed a punch and was the most expensive sex toy she'd ever bought. It had been a small gift to herself during the trial separation from Dan, when she'd thrown away the few toys they'd ever used together in a fit of Palmetto-related anger. The bullet vibe was powerful and "discreet," as the description for it had promised, perfect for someone who tended to have other people in the home, but she'd discovered not long ago that somehow nothing was discreet enough when Maze was in the house. The last time she'd dared to try to use it, a knock had sounded on their shared wall, followed by suggestive moaning.
She thumbed the vibrator on while squirming to kick her panties off. It rumbled in her hand, lightly numbing her fingers. She wasted no time with further prepping and smashed it directly to her clit. She jerked a little, unprepared for the sensation, but then settled and closed her eyes.
Lucifer was there immediately. She forgave herself and went with it. This wouldn't take long.
"What is it you desire, Detective?"
The fantasy cut between scenes as the vibrator whirred. His hand between her legs, large and warm, two fingers buried deep inside her. His mouth on her breasts, a nipple pinched between thumb and forefinger. Her on all fours, her front falling to the bed as he jerked his hips forward. She let out a small moan, her brow furrowing with concentration.
Silence hit the room hard as the vibrator died.
Chloe sat up in disbelief, her mouth hanging open as she boggled at the toy and jammed her thumb against the on button several times. "Really?" she spat at the worthless device.
And it wasn't battery-powered. Of course not. It was charged via USB and took at least an hour to suck up enough energy to do the job.
Glowering, she stood up, tore off her shirt and bra in exasperation, and grabbed her laptop from where it sat charging atop her chest of drawers. Climbing into bed with it after plugging the vibrator up to a nearby outlet, she stuffed earbuds into her ears, opened an incognito window in her browser, and visited Pornhub. Porn was a last resort, but also another way to come and stop. thinking. about. Lucifer.
She wasn't a huge fan of porn, to be honest, but maybe she'd find something tonight. At the best of times, it took too long to find the right content, which meant she could lose interest along the way, and at at the worst of times, porn could remind her of the weirdness of baring her breasts for Hot Tub High School. All the makeup and lighting and pretending to be more confident and turned on than she felt while a room full of people—disproportionately male—evaluated her performance.
The front page of the website was a cornucopia of pornographic material that did not entice her. There were off-putting video titles, women obviously faking it, men hung like horses who were far less attractive than their partners, closeups that were grossly clinical. And why did everyone want to sleep with their step-siblings and step-parents now? What the hell?
Casting one final perturbed glare at her vibrator, she lounged against pillows and sank one hand beneath the sheets while she used the other to browse. She always ended up in weird places on porn sites. It was like visiting Wikipedia. You might start reading about Twinkies, but you could end up on Broadway musicals, and somehow all roads eventually led to Hitler. If she was lucky, she orgasmed somewhere in the middle of all that and didn't feel weird and guilty afterward.
She browsed aimlessly, one finger circling her clit. Most videos were easy to disregard. Others she clicked on intrigued her, but fell short of the mark for one reason or another. Twenty minutes in, her libido had all but crashed, but at least her mind was also no longer on Lucifer. She instead found herself in an animated porn category, where she marveled at censored cartoon vaginas, the uncanny valley of 3D faces, and tentacles. Some of the monsters intrigued her more than she thought they should.
On a whim, she searched for "devil," a character and term that had never crossed her mind much until she partnered up with someone who wouldn't shut up about it. There were more than three thousand results on Pornhub, and if the first page was anything to go by, few of the videos took the word as literally as she technically meant it. God, what was wrong with her? Still, she didn't exit the site.
Big Cock Devil Pumps MILF Angel Ass
Candace Rivers Takes Devils Load
The Devil Went Down On Giorgio
Snorting, Chloe clicked on the last link with its female star and her red devil horns. The video opened on a provocative moan as the woman swirled her tongue around the head of Giorgio's thick cock before sinking forward. She had beautiful blue eyes that looked up at her partner as she sucked and licked.
It wasn't the best porn Chloe had ever watched, but it didn't gross her out. It was cute and realistic, and comforting for it, and soon her interest came roaring back. She slid her hand deeper between her thighs and pressed a finger inside herself before returning to her clit.
What did Lucifer look like when he sank to his knees before the men she'd interviewed? What did he look like when men sank before him? How did he use Vaseline and a car battery in sex?
She sighed and focused harder on the couple on her screen, feeling incredibly single and thankfully close as she rubbed her clit harder and arched her hips enough to tilt the laptop sideways. Her head tilted with it.
The man on the screen groaned, the devil-horned woman's eyes crinkled at their corners in pleased anticipation, and Chloe was close, so close. But at the last minute, the woman backed away, Giorgio took his cock in hand, jerked three times, and came right over the woman's nose and closed eyes.
Chloe's hand stilled between her legs as she stared blankly at the screen and the woman's quiet laughter beneath her messy face. It was funny, but it was not what would get Chloe off. The video ended as Giorgio gently tugged the devil horns from the woman's head.
Squeezing her thighs together, Chloe wrestled with her own sexual frustration. Another porn site? Give in and let her fantasies go in the direction they clearly wanted to? Call Lucifer and let herself go in the direction she clearly wanted to?
Definitely not that.
Her eyes flicked between related video links for blowjobs that didn't look nearly so intimate as the one she'd just watched. She was about to close her browser and resort to drinking her horniness away when she saw a golden-tinged, slightly blurry thumbnail for vintage porn the website had somehow deemed related.
Cowboys in Paris Vintage 1970s [FULL VIDEO]
Chloe arched an eyebrow as she poured more wine into her glass. If anything could douse the fire in her veins it'd be forty-five minutes of sex from the disco era. She clicked on it and snuggled her comforter over her breasts, wine glass in hand. She wriggled her hips, grimacing at the discomfort of unrealized release, and clicked play, preparing to laugh.
Seventies music blared through her earbuds. It was upbeat, folksy, and psychedelic, and made her think of bell bottoms, lava lamps, and the Marlboro Man. She knew very little about the seventies outside of those things and disco.
A black title screen zoomed into place and then zoomed out on a cold open. Filmed from the side, two men were having sex with a blond, curly-haired woman who was on all fours atop a pale blue, padded bench in what was definitely just someone's home. Between the music and the softer edges of the old, discolored film, everything had a dreamlike quality.
Before the woman, a thick-muscled man beneath a large, brown cowboy hat gently worked his hips in tandem with her mouth. Behind her, a second man, svelte, long-legged, and dark-haired, thrust inside her, his head cast downward to watch their connection. His legs were spread far apart to get the right angle. His muscled thighs tensed with each rhythmic snap of his hips, which made the woman's curls bounce and her pendulous breasts swing. The strokes were skillful enough that Chloe set her wine glass aside and watched more closely.
Leaning over the woman's back, the lithe man used one hand to steady her hips and the other to reach for the second man. The two met above the woman in a deep kiss, the dark-haired man's head tilting away from the camera while he rolled his hips against the woman's ass.
Chloe's mouth fell open as she looked at the very connected trio. "Oh my God," she muttered.
This was an Eiffel Tower. It looked just like it. Cowboys in Paris. Holy shit.
Her eyebrows shot up as the woman, presumably Paris herself, cried out. Chloe snaked a hand beneath the sheets as the music track changed to something almost beachy. A tambourine rattled with the guitar riffs.
As the men parted from their kiss, the dark-haired man took hold of the cowboy hat's brim and lifted it from the other man's head, revealing shaggy, brown hair and a bushy, brown mustache that the hat and poor film quality had obscured. Placing the hat on his own head, the dark-haired man tilted it downward and a little to one side, his soft-edged profile falling into shadow. It was a cute, masterful move that made both Pornstache and Chloe chuckle.
They continued fucking Paris, who became increasingly incoherent, especially once the newly-crowned cowboy bent and snuck a hand between her legs. Maybe it was a weird thing to wish for in porn—especially in porn that was created long before she was even conceived—but Chloe wished she could see more of Cowboy's face. What little she could see of his grin, the way it canted with joy, made her yearn for someone to smile like that about her and made it easy to imagine herself between these two men.
Of course, someone did smile like that around her, but she was not going there. This was a good distraction.
The track changed again, sounding more western with its steel guitar, and the scene cut to a knew angle. Paris now sat in a yellow paisley chair, her legs hooked on the arms of the furniture to spread herself wide open, revealing...not much at all, just a thin line of pink amid a thick, black bush that looked like it had never been in the same room as a pair of scissors, much less actually trimmed.
Paris slid her hands over her breasts, tweaking her nipples, and then down between her legs, where she parted her labia wide to reveal more pink. The camera edged closer, wobbling with low-budget unprofessionalism. Pornstache reappeared beside the chair, and Paris licked a stripe up his erection while playing with her clit.
Okay, but where was Cowboy?
Chloe watched several seconds longer, then, rolling her eyes at herself and her own arousal, skimmed the video ahead by a few minutes. The angle changed abruptly, as did the music, but Cowboy had returned. The camera hovered above Paris' left shoulder, looking down her curvy body. On her right, Pornstache lapped at her nipple, while Cowboy gazed up at her as his mouth worked between her thighs. Only his eyes, dark and slow to blink, were visible between his hat and Paris' thick hinterland. Chloe frowned and squinted a little as she looked into his eyes, her fingers wet as they moved between her legs.
Paris writhed, her moans eclipsing the cheesy music. Cowboy's forearms wrapped around her thighs and drew her closer, and then Chloe could hear him. The way he moaned against her flesh and huffed into her hair with hunger, the way he never let up. One of his hands snaked away from Paris' thighs and disappeared out of sight. Paris gasped, Cowboy chuckled, and Chloe arched, her muscles fluttering.
"Oh my God!" Paris squealed, hips jutting upward.
Cowboy popped up at once, his face horrifyingly familiar beneath the wide-brimmed hat. "Could you not?" he snapped in a British accent, his stubbled chin ridiculously wet.
Shouting nonsensically, Chloe threw the laptop away from herself and straight off the bed, painfully ripping the earbuds from her ears. The laptop crashed to the floor, but still she heard the psychedelic beats softly cheering through the earbuds. Chloe sat naked on her bed, eyes wide as she breathed like a wild animal. She looked around her bedroom, half-expecting to see Lucifer or Maze or some hidden camera.
"What the fuck?" she whispered. Then, more loudly, "What the fuck?"
How could he... Was he spying on her browser? When did he even make that? Who made fake seventies porn? What kind of prank was this?
Peeking over the edge of her bed and the laptop, she narrowed her eyes at Lucifer nailing Paris—and Pornstache nailing Lucifer—and got a little distracted in the process. Blinking and shaking her head, she looked at the date the video was uploaded. More than a year ago. Before she even met Lucifer, actually.
How? "What the fuck!" she yelled.
Launching herself off the bed, she dug into her jeans for her cell phone and smashed her thumb on Lucifer's face before she had too much time to look at it. She pinned the phone between her ear and shoulder as she marched into her bathroom and cleaned up so she could get dressed. He answered on the third ring, while she was staring blankly at herself in the mirror, one hand between her legs.
Jesus Christ, hearing his voice right now was a trip. She threw the washcloth in the sink, her head filled with the image of him in a cowboy hat.
"Are you spying on me?"
"I...beg your pardon?"
"Are you, like, watching me?" she asked, stepping into underwear, her eyes roving her bedroom nervously. "Like, right now?"
"Detective, I would never—not unless you wanted, of course, in which case..." He cleared his throat. "Is this somehow... Is this about our moment on the beach earlier?" Holy shit, she'd kissed him. What the fuck. "Because if it—"
"Hold on," she said, tossing the phone to her bed so she could drag on a bra and t-shirt. She snatched up the phone again and hopped on one leg as she stuffed herself back into her skinny jeans. Fully dressed, she felt a little less horrified, though she still used her bare foot to close her laptop on the floor. "Okay, back," she said quietly.
"Is everything all right, Detective?" Lucifer asked.
She wasn't sure. "I... Are you, like, a fan of the seventies or something?"
"I did rather like what I saw of that decade," he replied, after an initial pause. "Mostly remember it in funny colors, to be honest. LSD was bloody everywhere I went."
Chloe stilled, a sock in one hand. The room lurched before righting itself. She breathed very quietly as a tiny, tiny part of herself dared to ask, What if that porn video really was filmed in the 1970s? What if that really was Lucifer, looking no different, if far less clothed, than the man she'd left on the beach?
What if Lucifer wasn't a man at all? And if he wasn't, what was he?
"Detective? Do you need me to come over?"
"What!" she shouted. "No!"
"All right," he said quietly.
Her heart pounded. "Have you ever lied to me?"
"No," he said, without hesitation. "Nor will I."
But he played with the truth, she knew that. He liked loopholes. But she also thought he did tell the truth, far more than anyone else she'd ever met in her life. Which meant... Well, it could mean... It could mean a whole fucking lot, couldn't it?
"I'm coming over," Chloe said in a rush, even as she wondered what the hell she was doing.
Hell. Oh my God, she thought.
God. What the fuck. No. No, there was no way.
"Of course," Lucifer said. "You're always welcome here."
"No one's...there...right?" No one like Paris or Pornstache or God. Just the Devil. Maybe. A hysterical laugh slipped past her lips before she clamped her mouth shut.
"If you're asking if I'm entertaining others with myself, the answer is no." She heard him swallow. "In all honesty, I had quite a lot to think about after you... Well, you kissed me, didn't you?"
Chloe nodded, though he couldn't see her. "Okay... Just stay there, and-and you should know I'm bringing my gun." Both of them.
Lucifer laughed loudly, sounding more delighted than concerned. "Planning on shooting me again, Detective?"
She scowled as she stuffed her feet into her boots. "Not if you don't make me," she snapped, and ended the call.
Grabbing her keys from the kitchen counter, she went out into the world to reacquaint herself with Lucifer Morningstar, part-time consultant to the LAPD, occasional porn star, and maybe full-time Devil.