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Authors: Monica Belle

Black Lipstick Kisses

BOOK: Black Lipstick Kisses
2.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


About the Book

About the Author

Also by Monica Belle

Title Page

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13


About the Book

Sultry and mischievous Angela McKie loves dressing up in fetish clothing inspired by Victorian decadence. Perfecting an air of occult seciness, she enjoys teasing men to distraction. She attracts the lustful attentions of two very different people: Stephen Byrne is a serious young politician with a bright future; Michael Merrick is a cartoonist for a horror comic. Both want her and set out to get her, but quickly discover they have bitten off more than they can chew when they allow themselves to be suduced by the maverick Ms McKie.

About the Author

Monica Belle is an Oxbridge graduate and the author of several successful Black Lace novels, including
Black Lipstick Kisses, Bound In Blue, Noble Vices, Office Perks, Pagan Heat, The Boss, The Choice, To Seek a Master, Valentina's Rules, Wild By Nature
Wild in the Country

Other books by the author

Noble Vices

Valentina's Rules

Wild in the Country

Black Lipstick Kisses
Monica Belle


man in my graveyard.

He had to be over six foot, because he was at eye level with the inscription on Lisbet Stride's tomb, and I have to look up a little to read it. It was hard to pick out detail from forty feet above his head, but he was slender, pale, with a mop of floppy black hair, and dressed entirely in black, save for a tie-pin that glinted in the brilliant sunlight: intriguing.

For a while I was content to watch, simply admiring the lithe, easy way he moved among the monuments and wondering what he was up to. He had a small pad, and would pause occasionally to sketch a detail: the grotesque black iron faces on the gate of the Braidault family mausoleum, the rusting semaphore installed by Major Inkerman Goodwell in case he woke up, the entwined angels lifting Lisbet Stride to heaven. Very intriguing.

I still wasn't going to do anything about it, not until he'd finished drawing the green man over the main door and began to investigate the corrugated iron sheets blocking it off. If he came inside, Lilitu was going to get him, and he was much too good looking for that. I had to stop him, but that was a problem. All I had on was a layer of factor 50. No clothes, no shoes, no make-up. Lilitu would have finished him before I was ready, bones and all. I pulled my head back a little,
making sure all he could see was my face and a lot of black hair, and called down.

‘I wouldn't do that if I were you.'

He looked up, startled for just an instant until he realised that there was a woman's head among the row of gargoyles on the parapet. I smiled. He spoke.



‘Why not?'

‘My dog will attack you.'

‘Ah. What sort of dog is he?'

‘She is a Doberman.'


There was a pause as he stepped back from the sheet of corrugated iron he had been trying to pull free. When he spoke again his tone was rather different, enquiring.

‘I was hoping to do some drawing inside. There are supposed to be some heads on the rood screen, which is the high wooden partition . . .'

‘I know what a rood screen is.'

‘Well, this is Victorian High Gothic, with seven heads representing . . .'

‘Representing the seven deadly sins, carved by Isaac Foyle. I know.'

‘You do? Maybe you've heard of me then. I'm Michael Merrick. I draw for
Illuminatus, Black Dog

‘Cool. Don't move.'

I drew back. This guy I had to meet, but not stark naked. Stark naked was better than casual, so he was just going to have to wait, and I was hoping he would. I'd seen his art, beautifully drawn pictures that pulled you right into the page, usually dark, sometimes disturbing, occasionally arousing, always immaculate. I'd
read his work too, and loved the way he could turn a conventional idea completely on its head. People like that don't turn up at All Angels every day. Graffiti writers maybe, but not
bona fide
Gothic artists.

In two minutes I was down in the vestry, my ‘flat', once reserved for priests and choristers to don their robes, now just right for me and Lilitu. The deal is simple. I keep out the vandals and taggers, the drunks and junkies, the lovers and perverts: anyone else who thinks an abandoned church is a good place to disport themselves. In return I live for free, company water provided.

In twenty minutes I was dressed, heeled black boots, black fishnets, black skirt, black belt, black top, black collar, black gloves, even little black silk panties. After all, you never know, and the idea of seducing a man only to have him discover I'm in granny pants is too much. I decided against a bra, determined to tease at the very least. A touch of rose attar served for scent.

In twenty minutes I was made up, my eyes large and dark, the lids touched with deep green, my lips glossy black, my face pale. For jewellery I went for silver set with green tourmaline, not my birthstone but a match to my eyes, and not too much, just four rings, a necklace and ear-rings, pentacles and black suns. A green lavabell for my tummy button and a plain stud for my tongue were the final touches.

I left by the rectory door to find Michael still at the front, sketching. Rather than speak to him, I perched myself on the flat top of Eliza Dobson's tomb and rested my chin in one hand, waiting. He must have sensed me, because he turned almost immediately, smiling as he fixed me with piercing steel-grey eyes. I let him come to me, unmoving as I took him in.

He was certainly six foot, cool and handsome, but with his loose hair and the large amethyst tie-pin giving him a faintly louche touch. I'd thought he was about my age, but a trace of line at his eyes and mouth suggested a little more, while he certainly seemed to have the confidence of maturity, arrogance even. He spoke as he reached me.

‘Here lieth the mortal remains of Eliza Dobson, 1827 to 1895. You look remarkably good for a woman dead over a hundred years.'

‘She would not have been amused. Eliza Dobson, spinster of this parish and a noted philanthropist dedicated to the cleanliness and chastity of London's poor. Quite mad too; apparently she used to sit the drunks and dollymops in leg irons while she lectured them on their vices.'

He nodded thoughtfully.

‘Are you going to let me inside? Introduce yourself maybe?'

‘I'm Dusk.'

He gave a nod, maybe of appreciation, maybe sceptical. I was not going to disillusion him. Angela I keep in reserve for the mundane. I slid from the top of the tomb and walked to the main door, not wishing to take him through the vestry and shatter any hope I might have of maintaining my mystique. He followed cautiously, a sensible choice, as the moment I'd slid the lower section of corrugated iron aside Lilitu's toothy snout poked out, followed by the rest of her. Her eyes immediately fixed on Michael, but I'd taken a firm grip on her collar and begun to scratch her behind the ears.

‘Michael, meet Lilitu. Lilitu, meet Michael, who is not prey.'

Michael stepped a little closer.

‘You named your dog after a Babylonian demoness?'

‘It suits her.'

‘Well, yes.'

I ducked in through the hole, pulling Lilitu behind me. Michael followed, into the cool dimness of the porch and then the nave, to look around with an expression of rapture. I let him take it all in, and for all my familiarity it was hard not to stare myself. Above us great Gothic arches rose to bosses carved as angels, demons and green men high above us. The shattered stained glass produced a dozen rich colours, with bright streamers of sunlight breaking through the holes to illuminate dust motes in the still air. Ranks of decaying pews lined the nave, with the striking black and white checkerboard of the floor tiles now spattered with pigeon droppings. Nearby, the arch that led to the tower and crypt, the interior chapels and tombs, each individual, each familiar.


He didn't speak the word, but sighed it. I immediately felt a touch of pride, for all that I had contributed nothing to the place, and only held its picturesque decay in check. It was still mine, at least for now, and it was impossible not to feel good when a man I had so long admired for his Goth art seemed awestruck by where I lived. To have him awestruck by me would have been better still.

If he was, he wasn't showing it, very cool an instant after he'd got over the initial image. He didn't speak as he began to explore, taking in everything, and occasionally shaking his head in delight at some particularly fine detail, and also pieces of picturesque decay. Only at the sight of the scaffolding inside the
tower did he frown, and he spoke only to ask if I had a torch so that he could explore the crypt. I obliged as best I could, with two of the big altar candles from the vestry, and finally found something I could say without looking silly as we descended the stair.

‘Don't expect to be too impressed. It got a make-over sometime in the 60s, to try and bring in some money by hiring it out for meetings and stuff. It's pretty awful.'

He had stopped at the bottom of the stairs, peering in at the decaying hardboard facings, the broken fluorescent light fittings, the false ceiling sagging down to reveal black gaps. A plastic chair lay on its side at the centre of the space; otherwise it was empty, our candles barely reaching the far end. Michael shook his head, but not in delight.

‘How could anyone do this? It's vandalism, pure and simple.'

‘I agree.'

‘Some people have no sense of history, or aesthetics for that matter. Do you mind if I do some drawing? Not here, of course.'

‘Go ahead, whatever you like.'

We left the crypt and he immediately sat down on the charity box by the door and began to sketch, his eyes flicking from the paper to the body of the church. I watched as the picture grew, soft lines, then hard, an image building quickly on the page. He was capturing the atmosphere with extraordinary skill, maybe even exaggerating it, adding melancholy to the angelic faces, malevolence to the demonic, infusing the green men with an eerie mystique. With the main image in rough, he began to add details around the margin of the page, the faces of imps and angels, of beasts both wild and
mythical. I wasn't going to interrupt him, but he finally spoke of his own accord, still drawing.

‘This is perfect. I've a commission for a piece, the Goat of Mendes it's going to be called. There's a cabal of Satanists attempting to summon the spirits of an earlier, Regency, cabal.'


‘I can just see this as the interior of the ruined temple, the one the earlier cabal used. OK, so the period's wrong, but for me it's visual effect that matters.'

‘I can see that. I love your work. I've got a poster of yours, with a demoness and an angel fighting over a soul.'

‘“The Balanced Scale”? That was years ago, one of my first commercial pieces. I've never been that happy with it.'

‘It's great! Just so . . .'

I stopped. I'd been going to say ‘erotic', because I'd often seen myself as the beautiful female demoness in the picture, and let myself go over the fantasy more than once. Admitting to masturbating over his drawings seemed a bit much, but I felt a stab of annoyance for holding back as I finished, somewhat lamely.

‘. . . evocative.'

He went on: ‘Thanks. It certainly sold well. I was exploring ideas of good and evil then, trying to show how sometimes it can be a matter of which side you're on.'

BOOK: Black Lipstick Kisses
2.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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