My mother was queen of one of the eleven hells–the tenth, if any of my students are being quizzed on my past.
My father was an incubus who’d caught her fancy long enough to produce yet another prince. With thirty-seven other siblings, I had no hopes of ever ascending the throne and ruling over hell myself.
It had been a good thing, I thought, when a young warlock had ripped me from my home and summoned me to the surface.
It could’ve just as easily been any of my thirty-seven siblings who were promised untold power and a kingdom of their own.
…And nubile maidens aplenty, he assured me, with more on offer every year. What demon with a drop of incubus blood could refuse nubile maidens?
He seemed to struggle when I asked for details, which should’ve been warning enough…
But I couldn’t refuse the power I’d always craved.
…A demon really should’ve known when he was getting the worse end of a bargain. But how could I ever have predicted that my “kingdom” would be a classroom and the “nubile maidens” my students?
Some of the students, though…
She was Valerian’s student, but she’d be mine in other ways. I was half-incubus–I would’ve known if she preferred women.
I’d never had a woman resist my charms for years, though…
At least I could easily arrange chance encounters between us since she was always at Valerian’s side.
Sometimes she even went over to his house–something he’d never let any other student do–as his “research assistant.” He obviously needed new glasses, because he couldn’t see how good he had it. Would she visit him at night? Maybe stay over, like some of my students asked to do…?
If that icy succubus just happened to be here…well, I couldn’t help wanting to visit the man who was the other half of an unbreakable demonic pact.
And then I was greeted by the sight of my friend doing something I’d never caught him doing in all the years since he summoned me.
…Should I leave? Or maybe a little incubus blood was finally simmering inside him…
I never thought I’d see his face like that.
No, I’d let him notice me on his own time.
Apparently my breathing got heavier, because he looked over at me in horror. “Rexxanathostrazor’mol?”
He was the one person, other than Dr. Puck, who could pronounce my full name properly. It was one of the things I liked about him.
I grinned when he jumped up from the bed. Unlike a normal human, though, he made no effort to cover up. “Glad you took my advice about letting off steam,” I said. “A hand-induced eruption does a man a lot of good–of course, there’s nothing half as soft as a beautiful virgin’s hand.”
“I wasn’t… This is a misunderstanding.”
I laughed–but then an incubus’s curiosity got the better of me. “What did you think about?” I asked. “I could use more fuel for the hellfire, so to speak. Lately, I like to imagine Belle needing help lighting a stove–and coming to none other than ‘Professor Rexx’ for assistance…”
“Research,” he said quickly. Disappointing, but not surprising. “…Don’t you feel ashamed, having inappropriate thoughts about a student?”
“Valerian, in all the years you’ve known me, have I ever felt ashamed of anything? Humans waste so much time letting anxiety weigh them down and hiding their true desires…but that’s just not for me. An incubus is going to lust.”
“That’s…a practical outlook, I suppose. Even if it isn’t one for me.”
I wondered then what kind of research he thought about. Did he do more with corpses than he let on…? A shame he was so discreet–I would’ve liked to have seen that, if only as part of my continuing education on the myriad types of lust on the surface. …Of course, you’d never see me turning to a corpse or an animal familiar for company; I may not experience shame, but I have pride.
But the next day, I had less fun things to think about when I was abruptly summoned to the office of Dr. Puck.
He asked me a question right away. “Do you take your duties as an instructor at this school seriously, Rexxanathostrazor’mol?”
“Of course, Dr. Puck. My students’ education is very important to me.”
“…Does that education extend outside of the classroom and into the bedroom?”
I let out a nervous laugh. A demon was no stranger to torture and horrors, but Dr. Puck was distinctly unnerving. “Sometimes…? Maybe once or twice? Give or take a couple dozen…”
“…Would you care to explain why only female students were admitted to your class last semester, while male students were informed the class was full?”
I smiled uneasily. “My female students just happen to be especially passionate about the course material and filled up the class first…?”
“Do you think you could foster a love of learning in any sort of student, Rexxanathostrazor’mol?”
“Probably…” If they were pretty enough.
“Then how would you like to cancel your normal courses and teach a remedial one for struggling new students instead?”
“…What?” Only the worst professors got stuck teaching those…and the ones on Dr. Puck’s burn-in-hellfire list.
“Isn’t it important to tend to all of the Institute’s students?”
Only the pretty ones, I wanted to say. “…Of course.”
I knew this for what it was: a punishment unfit for one of the school’s most popular professors.
For the first time I could remember, I felt shame.