Magnificent Night wouldn’t meet his eyes when Ky closed the bathroom door. It wasn’t too small a room. Magnificent’s wings didn’t brush the walls of black and white tile, or the antiquated but well kept fixtures. Still, Ky knew a caged animal when he saw one. Each movement Magnificent took caused the chains on his arms to rattle and the sound was amplified in the contained, tiled space. Magnificent’s gaze darted to each wall, and he looked at the shower, toilet, and faucet like he was staring at a torture chamber.
“This is where we go to clean,” Ky explained patiently. He stepped to the faucet and turned the handle. Magnificent’s breath hitched when water poured forth. There was a spark of curiosity in his eyes but it was quickly swallowed up by his unease when Ky wet a facecloth in warm water and approached him. Magnificent held his breath, his body tense when Ky pressed the fabric to the tail slash on his chest.
“Does it hurt?” Ky’s voice cracked. Guilt tightened his gut as he carefully dabbed up the dried blood his chest was streaked in. If he hadn’t yelled, hadn’t blamed Magnificent for things completely out of his control, the requiem never would have hurt himself.
Magnificent didn’t answer, and Ky kept his head ducked as he wondered if he was silently blaming him too. Ky’s fingers gently probed a bruise on Magnificent’s side and paused when he got no response. “It looks painful. Not as much as here, though,” he added when he caught sight of the red where the metal bonds wrapped Magnificent’s wrists. Ky raised the manacled hand and pressed his mouth to the raw flesh.
“That won’t work,” Magnificent muttered.
“It won’t heal?” Ky licked his tongue out, only to shy back when the chain swayed too close to his face. It was like they were sucking the heat and moisture right from the air and left everything cold. “We’ll wrap them in something,” Ky said decisively and looked for a towel to do just that. “Just until we get you free.”
“You mustn’t touch them. You mustn’t heal me.” Magnificent pulled his arm away and stepped back. “You’ll anger the master.”
Ky was left staring at his empty hand, his dark bangs obscuring his eyes. “You know he’s dead, right? He’s been dead for years now.” He looked up to find Magnificent mirroring his posture and staring at the floor. He refused to answer, and Ky sighed heavily. “Do you want me to go?” He held the facecloth up. “You can clean yourself now, and yeah… Yeah, I don’t know why I’m doing this.” He dragged his fingers through his hair agitatedly.
Whatever Magnificent needed, he didn’t know how to help him. The guy thought he was still living in the past. He was waiting for Anselm to show up and punish him. It was heartbreaking, and depressing, and Ky really didn’t know if he could handle it at the moment.
Magnificent made no move to take the facecloth from him, so Ky walked it over to the sink. He idly turned the faucet on, plugged the drain, and stared at the water filling the basin. “I don’t know how to talk to you,” he admitted quietly. “I don’t know if I’m saying the right thing when I tell you the world is different, or if it’s like waking a sleepwalker and it’s going to freak you out or something. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m not even old enough to drink and suddenly all this complicated stuff is on my shoulders. I… Fuck, I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Ky hunched forward and leaned on the counter as he watched the water swirl. He knew he was going to fuck it all up tomorrow. He knew it so surely, he was half afraid he was planning it at this point. He wasn’t smart enough, and he didn’t know any magic. He secretly hoped Lovely and Feral had a plan, but now he knew they were just as lost, just as limited. He couldn’t even talk to his parents about it. They wouldn’t be much help, but Ky missed the unwavering support they used to have for him.
Ky twisted the faucet off and stared moodily at the water swaying and lapping at the white basin. He felt unanchored. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to find his way back to the world he belonged in, or if he even knew what that world was anymore.
Ky shook himself and reached for the facecloth. He stopped when Magnificent’s hand slipped into view beside his and cautiously touched the brush on the counter.
“It’s fine. Take it,” Ky urged when Magnificent hesitated and his fingers fell short of the handle.
Magnificent sighed before speaking. “The chains… They make it difficult.”
“Shit—sorry.” Ky picked the brush up and whirled to meet Magnificent’s quiet gaze. “Sorry. I’ll find a way to break them off. I don’t know how, but we’re going to find a way.”
Ky was somewhat relieved Magnificent didn’t answer. It either would have been an insistence that he couldn’t because Anselm might punish them, or maybe worse. Magnificent might trust him to follow through. All of Ky’s promises felt empty lately. He wanted to keep them, he wanted to be the person the Relics needed, but he knew his flaws were far more abundant than his heart was big at the moment.
“Umm…” Ky raised his eyebrows, suddenly feeling awkward as he stepped toward Magnificent. “This is okay, right? I mean, I know the chains are in the way, but I don’t want you to feel weird.”
Magnificent paused and eventually tilted his head, offering the side so Ky could have access to his hair.
Ky definitely felt weird as he stepped close and sectioned off a lock of Magnificent’s hair. He kept his eyes fixed on his task, and not the hard, bare body before him adorned only with piercings and bruises. The sexual attraction he felt for Magnificent hadn’t faded no matter how much he really wished it would. Magnificent clearly needed help. He was confused, lost, and kind of crazy. All really reasonable given what happened to him, just, wanting to touch him when he was like this felt kind of messed up.
“Sorry,” Ky mumbled when the brush snagged on a tangle and his chest bumped against the flesh of Magnificent’s arm. Magnificent breathed out unsteadily and carefully turned so they wouldn’t touch. It could have been a rejection, except Ky had seen the odd flash of blue energy zap through the dark bumps on his arm. Ky glanced down and raked his teeth over his lower lip when he saw Magnificent was erect, his cock flushed.
“Uh.” Ky fought a blush and tore his gaze back up to his task. “You have a lot of knots. It’s all tangled.” Magnificent’s hair was rough beneath his fingertips, and Ky raised the ends to show him. “You also have a bad case of split ends. If you want, I can cut it for you. It’ll make it easier to handle until the chains are off…” Ky clicked his mouth shut when Magnificent’s tail wrapped around his wrist.
“You must leave it as is,” Magnificent said, his eyes piercing like it was deathly important.
Ky pursed his lips in confusion. “Messy?”
“Untouched. Long. It represents…” Magnificent hissed softly and released Ky. He fixed his gaze on the side wall. “My hair is part of who I am to them.”
“Oh.” Ky studied Magnificent’s features and took in his tense jaw and shadowed eyes. “To who?” he asked tentatively.
“My lovers,” Magnificent’s voice was rough with emotion. “They know me by my hair. They… They once took turns to clean and brush it. The greater it shone, the more they knew I was cared for. It was a symbol of our happiness.” His eyes slipped back to Ky and his hand came up to gently brush the dark, spiky bangs from his forehead. “It is a luxury to have such well kept hair. You must be very loved.”
The last thing Ky felt lately was loved. Any affection turned his way felt like a lie of sorcery, or worse, pity. He dragged his gaze down and stared at the brush in his hand. Magnificent’s hair was straggly and unkempt and reflected a neglect that was far more real than the hollow feeling clenching at his chest. “We’ll wash it, okay?” Ky said decidedly. “We’ll wash your hair and then douse it with a ton of conditioner to make it smooth again.” He knew it wouldn’t erase the past, but maybe it would help Magnificent see things were different.
“Is that okay?” Ky glanced up, afraid he might have said the wrong thing. He held his breath when Magnificent’s fingers nudged his chin up and lips brushed his. A soft sigh escaped him, echoed by Magnificent, who kissed him deeper. Ky’s lashes fluttered shut and he sank forward and opened to the hot touch of his tongue.
He shouldn’t. Ky knew he shouldn’t. Out of all the Relics to confuse with his new power, Magnificent was the most vulnerable, the most easily destroyed. He knew, but he just couldn’t stop. He wanted to feel devoured. He wanted to disappear in the requiem and never have to think again.
Ky tilted his head until their lips sealed, and pushed forward, grasping at Magnificent’s shoulders. Kissing him was just as intense as the first time, just like the last time, and every desperate kiss in between. It bubbled something that felt like pure insanity through Ky and left him burning and gasping for oxygen as Magnificent pulled him close and plundered his mouth roughly. The brush fell to the floor with a clatter and Ky tangled his hand into Magnificent’s hair. He pulled the long locks taunt, and Magnificent groaned against his lips. The sink slammed against his ass when Magnificent crushed him back, and Ky whimpered, his lips kissed and nipped sore while strong hands rubbed possessively over every inch of his body they could reach.
“Wait. Damn it,” Ky gasped out when Magnificent suddenly pulled from his mouth with a frustrated groan. He avoided Ky’s lips and instead held him against his chest, his face buried into Ky’s silky hair. Ky could feel Magnificent tremble in restraint with every ragged breath he dragged in.
Ky blinked a few times to get the room to stop spinning. His heart was pounding in his ears and it was hard to think, hard to care about anything but the hot body pulsing against his. He felt like he was just swept up by a wildfire and it was impossible not to be burned, not to have his entire body vibrate for more.
A bruise shone purple on Magnificent’s throat, and Ky drew closer and sealed his lips over the mark. He felt Magnificent stiffen in his grip, and a soft groan rumbled through him when Ky licked up the tender skin and multicolored spots. Ky rubbed tingling lips over his flesh as he held his bicep tight to reach higher. He kissed the raw slash on Magnificent’s jaw and cheek, and traced his trembling tongue over the mark until it healed.
Magnificent’s breath was ragged as he turned toward him and caught the side of Ky’s mouth with his. He kissed him deep, drinking down Ky’s whimpers with every hot slide of lips. Magnificent drew him up until Ky was half wrapped around his taller form. Ky’s legs wobbled from standing on tiptoes, but he threw an arm around Magnificent’s neck and held tight to meet each intense, wet kiss.
“Oh,” Ky gasped when Magnificent’s hips shifted and his erection found his with just the layer of his pants between then. Ky grasped a hand down, holding Magnificent’s side tight as he ground back and sought more pressure.
Magnificent growled in approval and rocked with him. He palmed down Ky’s torso and tore at the hem of his shirt. When he pulled it up his back, cool air rushed over Ky’s flushed skin. Ky’s breath hitched and he froze, their lips inches apart as they gasped.
“Sorry.” Ky’s gaze moved from Magnificent’s eyes down to his kiss swollen lips. “I’m trying not to be like this.” He breathed in deep despite himself. Magnificent smelled right, safe, strong. Ky knew it was a lie—Magnificent was even more lost than him—but his scent made him feel protected and loved.
Magnificent didn’t seem to remember his confused reasons for resiting before. He nuzzled down against his face and brushed a lingering kiss to Ky’s jaw. “You’re hungry. We’re like this when we hunger.”
Ky snorted and refused to look his way. “I’m horny. It’s totally different.”
“That also happens when we hunger,” Magnificent murmured. His lips forged a hot trail up Ky’s jaw, and teeth nipped the soft lobe of his ear. “Once you feed, it won’t ache as much. It will become pleasure again, not this gnawing hunger.”
Ky’s head lolled back and he sighed as lips moved down his chin to his throat. Even dizzy and somewhat weak, Ky only felt pleasure. It was only ever pleasure with the Relics. Magnificent’s large cock rubbed against his, and they both groaned. It was easy to get lost in the rhythm, and Ky’s eyes closed and back arched as they rocked together. His nerves sang with each touch and press of Magnificent’s bare flesh to his clothed form. A palm fumbled down the back of his pants, seeking his waistband, and Ky jolted back to reality with a whimper.
“Sorry.” Ky shook his head with a start and pushed a hand between the press of their bodies. “Sorry. You feel… You always feel so damn good to me.” Ky watched dazedly as his hand slid down Magnificent’s hard chest and through the beads of sweat that had formed. He pushed to the side, his breath held as he teased a thumb over a pierced nipple. Ky’s mouth felt wet as he imagined leaning forward and sliding his tongue over the bud.
Magnificent’s breath was heavy in his ear as he kissed along Ky’s jaw. “We mustn’t feed. If he catches us…”
Ky closed his eyes in a sharp wince. “Magnificent…” Fuck, he was seriously a monster. Like on the level of molesting a trauma victim, monster.
“They need my energy.” Magnificent pressed a slow kiss to Ky’s upper lip. His voice changed with each word and drained of the warmth it held moments ago. “They all suffer, starve with me right in the room. But it must be this way. To keep them alive, I can’t feed them.”
Goosebumps shivered over Ky’s skin. It felt like only moments ago Magnificent had really seen someone die for merely touching him, kissing him. It was insane. Had Anselm really killed every lover Magnificent had just to keep the requiem from using his power? Had his fear been that great, he murdered over something so small as to find comfort and share energy?
Ky surged forward and pressed a hard kiss to Magnificent’s now still lips. “That was a long time ago,” he whispered. “He’s gone. No one will be hurt.”
“I won’t let them die.” The quiet, unsteady words sounded like a mantra, something Magnificent might have whispered again and again when the hunger hit and his eyes glowed in desperation. Ky’s heart twisted painfully, and he ducked his head down.
Magnificent was just too messed up to handle reality. He had lived in a place in his head for so long, to leave it was to face all he had given up to make it this far. There was too much in his straggly hair, the age that crept up on him, or the weakness in his once powerful limbs and an even stronger heart. He atrophied in so many ways while living in a cage, and surely to leave it was to truly see it all.
“I understand.” Ky pressed a soft kiss to the center of Magnificent Night’s chest. “I do.”
Magnificent inhaled deeply. “Yes, you’re like me. I sense it, taste it.” He threaded fingers into Ky’s hair and drew back so he could see him better. Magnificent’s brows scrunched as his gaze roamed the top of Ky’s head, which was void of horns, to his rounded ears and wingless back. “I thought for a moment we had… I dream sometimes.” Magnificent’s voice was a dark rasp, and his eyes haunted as he searched Ky’s gaze. “I thought we touched, joined, but that can’t be. You’re starving.”
“Starving?” Ky scoffed. Unease flickered through him and he pulled away. “I’m fine, just a little dizzy. I’m learning how to be this way, that’s all. You don’t starve in a damn day.” Hell, he had fucked his brains out at Tobias’s while Lovely and Feral were able to survive literal years without feeding. If he truly needed more, there was something wrong with him. Ky crossed his arms over his chest. “Listen, I’m the last person you need to worry about, okay? Out of the four of us, I’m not afraid to leave the house. Or make a damn sandwich, for that matter. I’m fine.”
“They all starve.” Magnificent’s eyes were unfocused and fixed on the black tiled floor. “I wish to protect them, but I hurt anyone who touches me.”
“Aw, fuck.” Ky sighed heavily as he heard his own words thrown back at him. “You don’t… You didn’t have any control in that. You can’t blame yourself for shit you did when you were locked up in a damn prison. I never should have said those things to you.” Magnificent’s face remained impassive, and Ky whirled away and took a few tense steps. “It’s not your fault. Anselm was an asshole. You can’t blame yourself for what other people do. The guy was insane. All these sorcerers are insane.”
They were insane, and he was going to be trapped in a fucking building full of them in less than 24 hours. And if he failed, or worse, died, there would be no one to come back and tell Magnificent to run—to feed, and run, and love, and never let another sorcerer near him again.
“You should get back before the master…”
Ky growled and turned. His eyes blazed power as he stalked back to Magnificent, grabbed his chained hands, and kissed him fiercely. “Stop talking. Just stop talking nonsense. You can’t be crazy right now,” he muttered between deep, hard kisses. “You need to be strong. Stable. Sane, damn it.” There was too much depending on him, and the thought of the Relics being this lost if he never returned tomorrow terrified Ky more than anything else.
Ky breathed out unsteadily and slipped down to kiss the hollow of Magnificent’s throat. There was so much he couldn’t control, so much he couldn’t predict or prepare for. This, though, this he could do. This made sense no matter how insane the world turned.
Magnificent’s eyes slit shut and he sighed heavily. “We mustn’t,” he murmured, even as he titled his head back to give Ky better access.
“It’s okay.” Ky rubbed his hand over the hard planes of Magnificent’s chest and leaned down to kiss a bruise. He sucked at the sore flesh and licked it healed while Magnificent groaned.
“I… I can’t see anymore die,” Magnificent insisted breathlessly. “So many have died.”
Ky paused, a frown threatening. “He’s not here. Anselm is dead.” He reached up and traced slim fingers along Magnificent’s throat. “Can’t you tell? You have no collar, no master. You’re free.”
Magnificent caught Ky’s hand. His eyes were haunted as he pulled him close and pressed lips to the soft flesh of Ky’s inner wrist. “He will catch us,” he whispered against his skin. “He will kill you. You are young and look just like a thrall. The master won’t hesitate to destroy you.”
“You’re free.” Ky bit his lower lip, then shook his head in frustration. “I don’t know how else to prove it to you. You have no collar.” Ky’s eyelids slowly drooped with each kiss to his inner arm. He sighed and ran his free hand down Magnificent’s torso, tripping over hard abs and a sharp hipbone.
Did it matter if Magnificent knew he was free when he was actually free? How many caged animals still lived in their cage once the door was opened? After meeting the demons at Tobias’s, Ky knew there was a difference. Anselm had broken his relics in ways Tobias hadn’t had the years to attempt.
Ky gasped when Magnificent pressed up against him and his cock rubbed against his. Ky hooked an arm around Magnificent’s broad shoulder and slid his mouth along his collarbone. The touch of Ky’s lips to his flesh again sparked something in Magnificent, and he wrapped his tail around Ky’s waist and pulled him up his body as he fell back against the sink. Ky moaned when hungry lips crushed his and his mouth was claimed.
Ky was so hard, and he moved with every rock of Magnificent’s hips, wanting to feel more, to feel him. A part of him felt frozen since turning from Magnificent that first time. It was like something broke inside him when he yelled at Magnificent and nothing he did could repair it since. Hands slid down his back and cupped his ass, pulling him tighter to Magnificent’s hard body, and Ky whimpered. He dropped kisses to the flesh before him, seeking out every bruise and cut and licking and sucking it healed. Fuck, he needed more. Ky’s hand drifted lower, and he carefully palmed the hard, flushed dick grinding against his thigh.
Mgnificent threw his head back, his eyes glowing as a soft hiss broke free from between clenched teeth. Ky’s breath came out in heavy pants as he slid his hand over the contoured flesh of Magnificent’s dick. His thumb teased along the bumps on the side of his shaft while his palm caressed the thick underside. Magnificent grunted and thrust into his grip, his tail tight around Ky’s waist to keep him close as he fucked into his hand.
“You feel amazing.” Ky leaned forward and ran his tongue along Magnificent’s chest in wet strokes. “You’re so hot when you’re like this, so fucking perfect.” Precum trickled down and dripped sticky along his fingers. Ky groaned and buried his face against Magnificent’s chest as he stroked more of the clear liquid free. “That’s it. Fuck, I want to make you cum so bad.”
Ky tried to ignore the voice in the back of his head telling him it was wrong. He couldn’t stop, and when he was honest, he didn’t want to stop. He needed Magnificent. Maybe he really was starving because a part of him felt like he was going to die if he actually stopped worshiping the body trembling beneath his touch.
“Wait. I don’t… I can’t think.” Magnificent’s voice was raw with lust as his fingers tangled into Ky’s hair. “You are… I think you’re very important to me. I don’t want you to die. I’m always alone.”
His eyes wide, Ky stilled, his gasps lost in Magnificent’s hot flesh. Fuck. What the fuck? Didn’t he even know who he was? Ky’s hands fell to his sides. He squeezed his eyes shut and forced himself to think around the loud pulse thrumming in his ears. This wasn’t right. Fuck, this was seriously messed up.
“Do you sense him anywhere?” Ky asked hollowly. He looked up, and made himself meet Magnificent’s gaze. He was flushed, his eyes glowing, lips parted. His hair, only half brushed, was tangled around one horn, and Ky reached up and untwisted the strands. “You would sense him if you were linked to him. Do you sense Anselm?”
“No,” Magnificent answered after a long moment. “Still, I see him every time I look at you.” His chains clattered when he reached up and cupped Ky’s face. His fingers slid petal smooth over parted lips. “I see him here.”
Ky stared up at him in shock, his silver eyes wide and lips dripping crystal fluid. “Shit.” He swallowed hard and took a step back. Trembles started to shake his body he couldn’t stop. Ky’s eyes glanced to the mirror. It was just his face—the same face he had his entire life—but it wasn’t really his.
“It’s a spell,” Ky bit out. “A trick to hurt me. Damn him, probably to hurt all of you, too. Anselm was a fucking monster and this is just another shitty thing he did to hurt everyone he could.”
Magnificent remained silent, his eyes drinking him in. Ky flinched and backed away. He didn’t know who Magnificent saw in that moment, but the possibilities made him sick inside. Ky grabbed the door handle blindly, his other hand clawing at his bangs to cover his face. “You said it yourself. You sense who I am, taste it.” Ky couldn’t meet his eyes, a part of him half afraid maybe even then Magnificent had sensed only Anselm in him. Fuck.
Ky whirled, wrenched open the door, and stumbled out into the bedroom. He stopped short with a sharp inhale. The air was wrong, charged with something he couldn’t name. Ky moaned when he found Lovely and Feral on the floor. They had only grown more crazed with lust while he was gone. Lovely was fucking Feral, his hips slamming in hard, determined thrusts as he pinned his mate’s body beneath him and his silky hair. Feral’s face was flushed and eyes dazed as he gasped heavily. Ky could see the streams of cum Feral had already released, the hardwood floor slippery with pearly seed beneath the two of them. Feral’s back was bloody with deep, red slashes. Lovely’s claws flexed and pulled a groan and fresh spurt of cum from Feral, right before he ducked his head and pressed lush lips to heal the cuts away.
“Aw, fuck,” Ky whimpered as he grabbed for the door frame to keep from falling. “Fuck.” He was so horny. Ky’s hand found hot, firm flesh, and he whimpered when Magnificent pulled him back against him. Magnificent’s cock nuzzled against the curve of his ass, and Ky clutched at his wrist, trying to get him closer with the awkward grip. He wanted to fuck. He wanted to be fucked so bad, it felt like the world was going to turn black if he didn’t give in.
“I’m not Anselm,” Ky mumbled as Magnificent pushed his short sleeve up and his mouth pressed to his shoulder. “He cursed me. He spelled me to have his face. He’s dead and I’m not…” Ky broke off with a whimper when Magnificent’s claws tore through the collar of his shirt and he ripped down his back. Hot breath and lips quickly followed.
Fuck, it didn’t matter. Ky pulled at the scraps of his shirt, tore them off his arms, and threw the mess on the floor. Lovely looked up from where he was hunched over Feral, and as Ky stared, the catboy’s eyes pulsed an unnatural blue. Ky’s breath froze in his chest and he turned his head to find Magnificent staring back, his eyes glowing as he looked at Lovely. Cum dripped from Feral’s hole when Lovely gave a parting kiss to his shoulder and pulled out. Lovely’s eyes pulsed blue again, and he began to crawl to where Magnificent and Ky were standing.
“No!” Ky pulled out of Magnificent’s grasp and turned, putting himself between him and Lovely. “He’s not a toy. Tell me you know they’re not playthings!”
Ky regretted it before the words were fully out. Magnificent shrank back, his expression full of confusion as his eyes lost their otherworldly glow. Dark feathers swept up, and in moments the Requiem was cocooned in a barrier of wings. Ky stared, at a loss when Magnificent crouched down on the floor, looking nothing more than a big breathing puff of feathers and straggly hair.