Aren’t you tired of doing everything right?
Wouldn’t you like a second chance to go back and do it wrong?
Coed Demon Sluts: There’s always room on the team.
Brainiac Melitta is repeating her senior year of high school after a horrible betrayal spins her into clinical depression. All she wants for her future is to graduate and go to the best college that will still accept her.
But she can’t bear to leave her mother with that creep she married. What can she do? Melitta feels helpless … until Delilah, recruiter for hell, offers her a gig as a succubus–and the power to fix what’s broken in her life.
Melitta’s new succubus teammates are ready to back her, whatever it takes. Now Melitta will dare to fight in ways that give even her coed demon sluts goosebumps.
The third adventure in the Coed Demon Sluts series!
“You’re short, round and unpopular, oh and you are back for a fifth year of high school. Your mom is the school shrink and your stepfather is a predator. Things are looking up though, you just signed a deal with the devil. Melitta finds friends just when she needs them. The Sluts are the kind of friends you need when you are already in hell. … This book takes a bad situation and makes it much better. If you are reading the series starting with Beth you know about the Coed Demon Sluts if not you should be reading it.” -Alan Lynn (Amazon reader)
“Becoming a demon succubus in Pog’s team changes everything. She slowly catches on to all the evil things going on around her at her school. With her burgeoning succubus powers and lots of help from her team, she starts a crusade to put an end to the wickedness and evil that has infected her life for the past two years. Her crusade is wildly successful in this fast-paced story with a satisfactorily happy ending.” -Amazon reader
“Another home run for Jennifer Stevenson!! I loved Melitta!! The way she took control of her life (with a little help from her demon friends, of course) was awesome! It was great to read a book with a good, strong, female character who stood up for herself and refused to take any crap from anybody. Yay, Melitta!” -Barbie C. Wright (Amazon reader)
“Eeeep! A wonderful tale of a new recruit to the Coed Demon Sluts! You might wonder how this could be a new beginning to a new life for a nineteen year old but after everything Melitta had suffered through and was continuing to experience, this was a great new life for her. She didn’t have to give up any of her dreams or plans for her future while being gathered into the Lair and her team of four strong influences with different strengths.” -Peggy (Amazon reader)
Read a sample:
I was now the biggest screwup in my high school.
I was fat, homely, vertically challenged, badly dressed, freakishly bookish, too brown for the princess squad and not brown enough for black pride, my mother named me after a coffee filter, I was hopelessly unpopular and I had asthma, but none of those things would get you anything special at my school. I went to Chase Washington, a public high school in a Chicago suburb so expensive that only money could get you in.
That makes it sound like I was a short-bus kid, but I wasn’t. Oh, no. After acing my way through eleven grades plus kindergarten, I was repeating senior year.
This was a huge disappointment to my mom, who would have loved to blame me on something. She was Chase Washington’s guidance counselor. I think I had every allergen test known to medicine. Also, the Asperger’s spectrum tests, the developmental challenges tests, the lactose and gluten intolerance tests, thyroid tests, childhood-onset diabetes tests, Myers-Briggs tests, gender-identification tests, sickle-cell tests, you name it. I did fit the profile for children of school guidance counselors: statistically, you were either a saint or a screwup. This was not good enough for my mom, but that fit the profile, too.
So you can see I was kind of a career screwup.
Failing the twelfth grade the first time around led to this latest epic screwup: I entered my senior year the second time, this year, having already turned nineteen, along with the trailer trash who started repeating grades in their single-digit years, when a person is supposed to show signs of failure. You’re not supposed to start failing in high school. For one thing, it puts you totally beyond the pale, socially. For another, it embarrasses your mom. QED.
The fact that I knew what “beyond the pale” and “QED” mean cut no ice whatever.
But being nineteen meant that I was eligible to sign a contract to become a succubus in the second circle of hell. Which, believe me, I jumped at.
Rats. That’s more than two hundred and fifty words for the abstract. I’ll never make it into scholarly journals at this rate.
Back up, then, and take another run at it.
Something I failed to put into my abstract is that my stepfather was the psychiatrist for the entire school district. My mother met him at a conference. He had been, how shall I put this, more affectionate than fatherly since he moved in, and I had never encouraged him, but my mother said that I’d never really given him a chance. Blended families always have trouble adjusting at first, blah blah. Darned right I hadn’t given him a chance. Did she even care that I could become a statistic? Sometimes I thought she would find it a relief. Then she’d have had something to blame me on.
But he was way too slick to get caught. My mom had been pulling psych jujitsu on me since my birth, which was a thing that cut two ways. On the one hand we cannot communicate and never could. On the other, I was used to having the ground cut out from under me by slippery shrink logic and deaf-and-blind concern and all that I know you and I love you more than you know and love yourself baloney. Nothing either of them could say could fool me.
But my stepfather was a doctor, not a mere social worker, so although he was no better at mind tricks than my mom, more importantly, he had more credibility. Apparently, in a courtroom, as if she would think of divorcing him over me, he would win just because he out-credentialed her. He got his job with the school district kind of over her head, which I thought was unfair since she’d been working there a lot longer. But I guess a combination of MD and PhD will always beat out an MSW.
He pointed all this out to me when I got snarly with him, late in the summer of last year, and we had had a stand-off, kinda, ever since. I stopped trying to drop hints to Mom to pay attention where his hands were, and he backed off the pressure. Kinda.
I was not okay with this, needless to say. My stepfather was still inappropriate with me, mostly verbally, since my boobs grew so big last year and I was officially nubile. He called it loosening me up so I wouldn’t be a social pariah, and Mom apparently bought that. But there were plenty of girls in my school who had it worse. The judge knew about the Moran sisters, and their father still had custody. So.
Anyway I was more than ready when Delilah approached me in Starbucks with the contract.
She wore red leather all over, but not in a cheesy Dancing With The Stars way. I knew she wasn’t trash because her shoes were so expensive. In our upscale, right-leaning community, shoes are the test of social class. These were Manolos, pointy but not cheap-ho high, a faintly richer red than her leather pantsuit. Her hair was dark and cut like Daisy Rawson’s mom’s hair, kind of a sexier Hillary. Her skin was a little darker than normal, too, which made me feel good. Aside from my gym teacher, and the South African Presbyterian assistant minister and his wife, and the Johnsons and the Watkinses and Sanjay Halong’s family, everyone here is super white. My mom wouldn’t have gotten her job here if she hadn’t already been divorced from my dad, who is half Polynesian, half black, which made me what the six black kids in our school call “high yellow” and I thought was just boring.
Delilah looked sultry and sophisticated and…kind. I wouldn’t have expected that.
She also knew a lot about me. Some of that she could have learned from my permanent record (Mom’s weapon of choice) and some just by watching me schlump in and out of school, holding my books to my chest and being alternately bullied and ignored. But she also knew what my stepfather did the night of my seventeenth birthday. I never told anyone that. It was dark in my room, for Pete’s sake.
Also, her business card had flames on it that actually flickered up off the card, and little wisps of smoke came up from the flames. So far, this is not technologically possible with anything thinner than three thirty-seconds of an inch. The card sat and smoked, lying next to our lattes and the contract written on a single sheet of thick white paper.
“Why are you recruiting me? I’m hopelessly nonsexy,” I said, stating the obvious.
“Don’t worry about that. Your new body will be plenty sexy.”
“New?” I was appalled. “I’m just getting used to this miserable thing.” I looked down at my boobs. “They’re huge already.”
“So give it smaller boobs.” Delilah seemed to be taking this slowly for my benefit, but I didn’t feel talked-down-to.
She said, “You get complete control of the design. And if you don’t like the design, you can change it.”
I absorbed this idea. “Wow.” I added, “This would go over so much bigger with Daisy Rawson and her crowd. They would get plastic surgery if they could. They’d be getting botox.”
“And they’d still look like themselves. You can look like anything you want.”
I thought of my ideal, my gym teacher, Miss Waroo, who has an Asian cast to her eyes and cheekbones, and moves like a greyhound. If it weren’t for her, PE would always be hell.
Then an objection occurred to me. “But my mom wouldn’t recognize me.” I felt weird, imagining it. “She wouldn’t let me live with her anymore.”
“We pay very well. We also provide you with a new identity, living quarters with the succubus team, and a food and clothing fund.”
I blinked. This was it, the offer of my dreams. Money, a job, adulthood, escape from my home and stepfather, escape from my last year of imprisonment in this horrible school with all the people who had known me and despised me all my life.
Then I thought about Civics class and Ms. Waroo and my hope of getting into the University of Chicago.
I was somewhat embarrassed to admit, “I’m not sure I’m ready for that. I’m only nineteen. I mean, I’m of age, but—”
“Of course you are. That’s why I’m able to recruit you.”
“Hell has scruples?”
She shrugged. “The contract’s not valid with a minor. Your parents would have to cosign.”
This made sense to me. I’d waited two years for driver’s ed because of the parental cosign requirement, long after everyone else was earning tickets and rear-ending each other in the grandma car. “Do I get a driver’s license?”
“You get a car and a driver’s license, with a photo to match your new appearance.”
This was bait indeed.
I tried to fantasize living with a succubus team in their quarters and couldn’t.
I tried to imagine leaving my mother with that jerk. In spite of her willful blindness to his predatory behavior and her general cluelessness, maybe because of her cluelessness, I felt I couldn’t do it.
Who knew what evil he’d get up to if he didn’t have me around to victimize any more?
“I’m sorry.” I felt like an idiot. “I must seem like the kind of dope who doesn’t know what she wants.”
Delilah rolled her eyes. “You just turned nineteen. I think you get to change your mind.”
I pushed the contract with one finger. “Not if I sign this. I’ve read the literature,” I said, sounding very adult to myself.
“We can’t keep you if you don’t want to stay. If you last longer than six hundred and sixty-six years, you can be vested, and then we’re stuck with you. But for now you’re a trainee. And after a year you’re an independent contractor.”
“Practically nobody is permanent staff anymore. Employee benefits,” she said crisply. “They are, excuse me, hell on the bottom line.”
I knew about independent contractors. My mom is lucky to be a full-time school district employee. Both our junior high schools are serviced by the same counselor, who is an independent contractor, and who has to drive back and forth twice a day to keep all her office hours, and she doesn’t even get overtime or dental.
“What makes you think I want to be a succubus?” I said, beginning to look at the proposition as an actual job offer. There wasn’t much research on succubi in my education. “I don’t want to give guys blowies in their sleep.”
Delilah leaned forward and put her elbows on her knees. “Okay. If you were a sex demon, what would you like to do?”
I looked around the coffee shop. It was late morning, my study hour, which I’d cut because I don’t have the cojones to cut a real class. Nobody was in here except the ugly-sweater ladies and a mom or two.
By now I had pretty much relaxed with Delilah. I think it was when she said that about employee benefits. It was just a job, they had paperwork to fill out, and the system sucked, but you worked around it. I got it.
Now I felt free to think about the offer.
What would I do with a new body?
How would I design a new body?
Well, for one thing, I would be taller. No-brainer there. If I added ten inches, I’d be just about the right weight. Move it around a little—okay, a lot. Fix my woolly hair. Maybe I’d like Chinese hair—thick and straight, takes a perm, takes color, but basically it looks groomed, whether I groom or not. Lighten my skin up. I realized, gosh, I could be white. Really white, not almost-as-good, and no darker patches on my neck and thighs, I could look like Daisy, I could wear a bathing suit in public, and even dare to get into the sun without tanning unevenly—
At that point I stopped cold.
Okay, my father is no rock star or Fulbright scholar, but my skin is about the only part of him I have, until I’m old enough to drink and can find out if I’m also a congenital alcoholic. The rainbow-bracelet-wearing clique won’t admit that I’m entitled to diversity points, or even acknowledge I exist, because I’m such a freak. But it felt icky, imagining a perfect me with Daisy’s perfect Caucasian skin.
Then I had a thought. “Could I go darker? Like, a golden-brown? Beyoncé-brown?”
Delilah shrugged. “Sure. You’ll have to eat,” she warned me.
I looked at her with amusement. “What are you, my mother?”
“No, it’s part of the deal. Most succubi like this part. It’s what makes the body stay nice and thin. You have to eat an average of forty-five-hundred calories a day, or you’ll get fat.”
I stared at her, uncomprehending, for maybe thirty seconds. Then I started to grin. “You really are the devil, aren’t you?”
She grinned back. “Not even close. But test it if you want. Wait here.” She got up, leaving her fancy lizardskin clutch purse on the rickety little table, and went to the counter. Evan Schumberger sold her two scones with butter pats, two double-chocolate muffins, and a lemon square. She brought them back to the table and piled them in front of me.
“If you eat this and wake up with a stomach ache at midnight, you’ll know I’m full of shit. If you eat it, sleep like a baby, and wake up ten pounds lighter and an inch taller, you’ll know it’s for real, and you’re on your way to finishing senior year with some lovely revenge, and freedom at the end of it.”
“I’d have freedom at the end of it anyway,” I muttered, but I was looking at that lemon square.
“You can eat junk food, you can eat fois gras and drink syrupy girly bar drinks, you can eat doorknobs and poison, and all it’ll do is keep you in supermodel shape. Hey,” she added, when I squinted. “There have to be some perks for working for hell.”
I shrugged and woofed it all down, lemon square, both muffins, and a scone, without butter. Then I used both butter pats on the other scone. It sure felt good to fill myself up.
With food in me I felt a lot less indecisive.
What Delilah’s offer was confronting me with was the basic problem of walking out on my mom and leaving her to the dickhead’s tender mercies. I would be faced with that sooner or later, succubus contract or no succubus contract.
On the other side of that coin, there was the likelihood of them kicking me out because I was obviously not their daughter, who was short, fat, dumpy, muddy-water-colored, poorly-groomed, and unpopular.
Apparently mom’s social worker training hadn’t prepared her for a troubled teen facing this kind of temptation. Oh, honey, I could almost hear her saying, brushing my forehead as if I had the kind of hair you could do that to. You’re just a baby. You’ll be a beautiful swan someday. You’ll grow into it. Mom wouldn’t call me an ugly duckling straight out, because that would be unsupportive.
Then I had an idea. “What if,” I said slowly, “I don’t change overnight? What if I grow into my perfect body?” That could work. I could keep an eye on her, finish the last of fricking high school…and live with my stepfather while I turned beautiful?
Delilah said, “Are you thinking of your stepfather?”
How did she know? “You’re creepy.”
She shrugged. “It didn’t take telepathy. Although I have that, too.”
“He has trouble keeping his hands off me now. What happens when I get really sexy?” I felt ickies all over, imagining it.
“I’ll tell you what happens. He backs the fuck off.”
I flinched at the F word. “Bull.”
“People like him spend all their time working around the rules. Get sexy, and you change the rules on him.”
I decided I’d have to see that one in action to understand it. “What about succubi? Do they obey the rules?”
“Which rules?” Delilah said calmly. “The code of ethics for federal, state, county, and municipal employees who work with children? No. Federal statutes? Only to be discreet. The laws of physics? If it’s convenient. The rule for meeting their three-temptations-per-month quota? Depends if they like getting paid.”
I realized that, compared to my stepfather, I was an amateur at breaking the rules. I didn’t really want to break the rules. I mean, I didn’t get all sweaty thinking about it, as he clearly did. My mother said I was seeking attention by failing senior year. It might have been true, at that.
Although whose attention I could possibly be seeking, I couldn’t say. Not hers. All I’d get would be psychobabble and some holistic vitamins. But somebody’s attention. Someone I could trust.
Put like that, I realized why Mom was always trying to discourage me from “putting myself forward.” Seeking attention without knowing whose attention you wanted was like walking onto the subway train and yelling, Does anybody want to talk to me?
I ought to have known all this stuff. I’d been my mother’s lab rat for nineteen years.
That made me think of something else. “Now that I’m an adult, how does that change the rules? I mean, I’m still in school,” I said, pathetically hoping that I was still kind of protected from some things, even if my stepfather had figured out all the workarounds.
Delilah shrugged. “Ask your mom. She’s the school guidance counselor. I’m the demon who’s trying to get you to do sex work for hell.”
I got goosebumps. “Fair enough.”
“But I’ll give you this one for free. When you realize how sexy you are, your stepfather will back the fuck off. He’ll be terrified.”
“You said that before. It sounded awesome. But I’m not protected by all those laws now.”
“He’s not afraid of the laws. He’s afraid of sexually confident women. That’s why he preys on you,” Delilah added, rubbing it in. “Among others.”
I’d opened my mouth to protest, but then I shut it. He might stop preying on me, if Delilah was right, but he wouldn’t stop preying on…other girls?
I felt physically ill, thinking I might not be the only one. Once I was gone, he’d just do it to someone else.
On the other hand, if I followed through on this, went ahead and signed and got my fancy new sexy body gradually, according to Delilah, I would have the satisfaction of watching him get scared of me. Gradually.
Maybe there was something more a succubus could do to mess him over.
If I could just once see him look at me scared, I was certain, the way I looked at him would change. I’d stop being afraid of him.
One thing was for sure. Without the weapon Delilah was promising me, I’d never be able to scare him.
Just thinking about it, I felt an unfurling of something in me, an anger that had never had anywhere to go. Because I couldn’t ever do anything before. Under age. Ugly duckling. Screwup. Fat, short, muddy, unattractive, unwanted. The person I wanted to be—
“The person I want to be,” I said slowly, looking at the contract lying on the table next to my venti caramel macchiato, “could really kick some ass.”
“There you go,” Delilah said. She took a pen out of her handbag.