Demons and Angels

'I used to have demons in my room at night
Desire, despair, desire
o many monsters...'

'St. Augustine tells us that angels and demons walk among us on the Earth
And that sometimes they jointly inhabit the soul of a single man.'

The corridor leading to the cell of the Marquis de Sade had always terrified Madeleine...terrified and beguiled her, very much like the Marquis himself. It was dark and gloomy, even during the day, and the flickering torches lining the stone walls threw hideous shadows before her...shadows which lingered in the depths of her mind long after she had gone to bed. But, no matter how many times the nubile laundry maid told herself that she would not brave the darkness again, she couldn't help herself...she couldn't stay away.

And so, one wild Winter evening, again Madeleine left the sanctuary of her tiny room, quietly tiptoeing from her sleeping mother's side, and hurrying down the nebulous tunnel, her heart thundering as she darted past the Abbe's quarters. She paused, pressing herself against the wooden door, and listen to his soft breathing with a contented smile, before peeping around the corner warily. There was Stephen, the night guard, snoring in his chair, a tin cup dangling precariously from his limp fingers. Madeleine smiled, stifling a giggle as she turned away to kneel at the iron door of the cell as, with suddenly shaking hands she took the large key from her voluminous skirts. The lock clicked gently and she pushed the door open, wincing inwardly as the hinges protested with a horrendous screech. Stephen snorted and mumbled in his sleep but did not stir and so she replaced the key in her pocket and gingerly closed the door behind her.

"Marquis?" The room was surprisingly warm and dimly lit by the full moon but still, Madeleine could not help but repress a sudden shudder as she cautiously ventured forward, letting her fingers trail lazily over the various obscene trinkets which littered the nearby bookcase. She paused to study a small, marble figure of a man with an absurdly large penis, before moving on, blushing furiously in the darkness. "Marquis?"

Where the hell was he hiding?

She hesitated by the bed, reaching out to caress the smooth linen of the covers. Suddenly gripped by a sudden urge, she glanced around furtively before climbing under the sheets, burying her face in his pillow, in his scent…the faint aroma of wine, expensive cologne and sweat…

"Excuse me…what are you doing in my bed…without me?"

The gleeful whisper came suddenly from somewhere by her head and Madeleine scrambled from the bed, looking around desperately for the source of the voice, "Marquis! Come out this instant!" With a low chuckle, the Marquis slunk from the shadows, a book in his slender hands.

"Why, Madeleine…what a pleasant surprise. And to what do I owe the pleasure of your esteemed company this evening?" he asked in a mockingly polite tone as he favoured her with a charmingly wolfish grin.

She smiled back weakly before gently berating him, "Honestly, you'll be the death of me…I almost jumped out of my bloody skin!"

The Marquis laughed cheerfully and dismissed her annoyance with a wave of his hand, before settling down on the couch, his long legs crossed. "Well, what was I to do? I emerge from my 'dressing room', "here he indicated the small silk marquee with a sardonic smirk, "To find a most ripe and comely wench sprawled in my bed…surely you didn't expect me to pounce on you my dear." He lay back; smiling indulgently as he expectantly patted the cushion beside him.

Madeleine pouted moodily but accepted the invitation to sit – she could never stay mad at him for long…no one could. "You still haven't answered my question Madeleine…why are you here? Not that I'm complaining...but last night you swore you'd never call on me again. And yet…here you are." His long fingers ventured the length of her arm before coming to rest upon her shoulder.

She brushed them away impatiently, "I came to hear the rest of the story…that's all."

The Marquis withdrew his hand with a moue of displeasure and opened the manuscript, "Of course you did…and I shall gladly tell it. It isn't often I am blessed with such an avid audience." His manner was brisk and, for a moment, Madeleine felt ashamed of herself…she knew he treasured her company and her opinion of his work and yet she always seemed to dismiss his attentions as the fanatical ravings of the corrupt.

Throwing caution to the wind, she beamed at him and threw an encouraging arm around him, "Go ahead then…I can't wait to find out what happens next!" The Marquis laughed and she knew she was forgiven…for the moment.

"So…where were we…ah! Here, we go," he cleared his throat dramatically, "Helena was a young woman of such sinful beauty that it was said of her that she was the offspring of an alluring angel, fallen from the grace of God, and a wickedly handsome demon. In particular, her firm, full breasts, untouched by human hand, were a work of art, crafted by depraved cherubs in a forge of flesh and blood and the nipples, which resembled the pink fruit of the cherry tree, were the exact same shade of her virtuous but kissable lips." Abruptly the Marquis paused with a thoughtful smile, his head tilted quizzically.

"Oh, why have you stopped! It's amazing, it's wonderful! Go on!"

Ignoring Madeleine's pleas, he put the book aside and turned to her, searching her face with cavernous cerulean eyes, "I was just wondering, my dear, what your lips taste like...and whether your nipples mach them in colour and flavor…"

Before Madeleine could find her voice he had claimed her open mouth with his own, devouring her greedily, violating her with his sharp tongue as she shuddered beneath him, her hands fluttering helplessly like dying birds until finally he released her and she fell back, gasping with shock and satisfaction.

The silence hung heavy in the air, punctuated only by Madeleine's pants as she struggled to catch her breath, and by the Marquis's gentle laughter as he watched her, his erection growing with each inhalation. Finally he spoke, his voice tinged with guilty pleasure, "My apologies my love…had I known you would react so, I would have tried harder to control myself."

She sat up, her face red with embarrassment and exertion, and ran her trembling hands threw her tousled curls, "That was…that was my first kiss."

The hilarity of the situation instantly claimed them and they collapsed, holding their ribs and supporting each other as they giggled together hysterically until eventually the peals of laughter died away and they lay side by side in serene silence.

Madeleine raised herself onto one elbow and gazed down at the Marquis, who opened his eyes and, smiling, looked up at her, "I thought you wanted to taste my nipples too…" her voice trailed away and she reddened, embarrassed by her own eagerness. The Marquis lifted himself to her level and, taking her face in his hands, kissed her gently.

"Ah…and I will…but all in good time my dear. All in good time."

a/n Lyrics are from 'No More I Love Yous' by Annie Lennox. The quote belongs to Doug Wright, who wrote the screenplay for 'Quills.'