Everyone was asleep when Fox finally got up the nerve to visit Vincent. It was after midnight, and Wylie, Forest, Dorian, Dante, Chris and Will were all piled on the cots in the hospital around Justin and Leo. They were worn out from not only the battle but seeing their friends injured. Dante was asleep curled up next to him and Fox was extra careful not to wake him when he slipped from the bed.
He couldn’t help but look over Justin and Leo before he left. A part of him needed to ensure they were breathing and nothing drastic had changed while he fought sleep. Forest was shifted in his leopard form. He looked like a dark shadow around Justin’s feet as he imitated a fluffy blanket. Being cat was probably easier on Forest at the moment. Things hurt less when you were shifted. Not physical pain, but the stuff that made your heart hurt too much to bear.
Dr. Rob was alone with his dark head ducked over paperwork when Fox stepped into his office.
“Hey, Master Theodore said I might be able to visit Vince.”
Dr. Rob looked up and blinked a few times as his glasses slipped down his nose. “Are you feeling well enough to walk right now?”
Fox shrugged distractedly. “I guess so. Come on, Doc; he’s all alone in there. I just want to see him.”
Dr. Rob sat back in his chair with a thoughtful look on his features. “I understand Vincent is very important to you. I just want to stress how upsetting him right now could be detrimental. For his health, and possibly your own.”
Fox gave him a confused look. “I’m not going in there to fight with him. He’s seriously been locked in a room for the last 12 hours.”
“Yes. There is a very good reason for that.”
Fox rolled his eyes. “You have him in a null-collar.”
Dr. Rob sighed and his long fingers came up to set his glasses properly on his face. “Fox, Vincent’s elemental magic works around the collar. If he becomes upset, he is capable of doing the same spells you saw this afternoon. The only difference is the harm they will cause his body will be extreme while in a null-collar.” His gaze turned piercing. “That is not a deterrent for someone like Vincent.”
Fox scowled. “I’m not going in there to fight with him. I’m not afraid of him; no one in this Academy should be afraid of Vince. He knew exactly what he was doing and the only people he hurt were the creeps who fucking deserved it.”
Dr. Rob nodded slowly and pushed himself to his feet. “I’m asking you to be aware of your effect on him. What happened today is only a trigger for Vincent, not the cause of his distress. You’re not always talking to the Vincent from the Academy, Fox.”
Fox pursed his lips, his eyes downcast. He went to scratch at his ear, only to stop himself when his fingers touched bandages. “I know. Sometimes he’s not even here at all. It doesn’t matter though. He shouldn’t be alone like this.”
Dr. Rob paused at the doorway to his office. “He’s sedated. Don’t expect too much from him right now. He’ll be confused at best.”
Fox briskly nodded as he realized he won. “I just want to see him.”
Dr. Rob gave him a look, having caught the way he winced in pain from his last movement, but didn’t say anything. He led him to Vincent’s room and spelled the door open so Fox could enter. “I’ll be back in a little while to check in. If you need anything, I’ll be in my office.”
Fox stepped in and waited for Dr. Rob to leave. His eyes searched the dimly lit room as he looked for the signs of damage already magicked away by Dr. Rob earlier in the evening. Once his gaze fell on Vincent’s sleeping form, he couldn’t look away. He slowly made his way across the room and pulled the single chair out of the corner and placed it next to the bed.
Fox sat with a groan and quickly gripped the side of his waist. The claw marks were killing him, not that he was about to let Dr. Rob know. The healer would spell him to sleep before he even had a chance to blink. He gingerly leaned forward in his seat to untuck his tail. A smile quirked his lips once he saw Vincent again and all of a sudden the pain just didn’t seem to hurt as much.
“Hey, Vince.” He reached over and gently teased a few dark strands of hair from Vincent’s sleeping face. “Hope you don’t mind me crashing. You know I can’t stay away for long.” His hand slipped down and he traced the edge of the null-collar around Vincent’s neck.
Hell, he was beautiful. Not even a bruise on him after he broke up a brawl. “I didn’t get to thank you.” Fox inhaled his scent and smirked. “Not that you wouldn’t have been pissed if I did. Or you’d be pissed cuz I didn’t. You are a difficult guy to make happy, Vince. I think I like that about you. You’re a challenge in a lot of ways. You make me be better and I like that.”
Fox hadn’t told anyone that one of the reasons he improved his focus so much the last few months was because of Vincent. He wasn’t blind to the fact Vince couldn’t handle the level of noise and movement that came out of him when he was wound up. It made things extra hard when all he wanted to do was be around the guy and get to know him. It kind of became his goal to be calm enough for Vincent to not want to wring his neck. Maybe even quiet enough for Vincent to want to spend time with him.
“I thought I was going to die today.” Fox let his fingers comb through the ends of Vincent’s silky hair on the pillow, his brows furrowed in thought. “I seriously thought I was going to die. And you know the fucked up thing? I realized I haven’t done a fucking thing with my life. I have spent a year in this place. An entire year of waiting. All I do is wait, or I guess try to distract myself from all the waiting I’m doing. What the hell am I waiting for? To be a different person? To not fuck shit up all the time? If I had just stayed with Raider instead of going into that butcher shop, none of this would have happened. No one would have been hurt. You wouldn’t have had to… Fuck.”
He sighed in exasperation and hung his head forward. “What the fuck am I doing, Vince? Who the fuck am I supposed to be by the time I leave here? I don’t know if I’m getting closer to that person, or have just lost myself completely. Raider was like a brother to me and now… Now, I’m the type of person who gets pissed off when he tries to run away, instead of offering to go with him, or help him figure out his problems.”
Fox never used to think he was selfish. Back home, he would help anyone who asked. He didn’t care they were younger; he always played with his little sisters. Raider was the most fucked up kid he knew back home, and the Mandula brothers weren’t too far behind in their own particular dysfunctional way. Fox didn’t mind. He was a bridge for messed up people. He knew he was messed up and kind of weird, but for some reason he was also really good with people. He could be that go-between others needed to not feel so alone or isolated. That was what he did; it was like his fucking purpose in life. He’d tell stupid jokes and stories to make people laugh so they’d feel good about being weird too.
Just, there were moments when he wasn’t laughing, wasn’t jumping around trying to impress someone else where he started to realize he didn’t feel so good about himself.
Maybe that was why it was so much easier to be a fox. His inner animal didn’t care if he was doing anything with his life, if he was creating value to the people around him, or helping his family, or learning an important skill. A fox was happy being a fox. Being human was far more complicated. Others depended on you. The things said or unsaid mattered. And sometimes you had to make shitty choices where it all just hurt. He had to be selfish with Raider and watch his friend be hurt so he wasn’t dragged down into his mess of a life. Some people were more than weird; they were black holes of fucking trouble.
“I wasn’t like this before I got here. I would have taken a beating for Raider. Actually, I’m pretty sure I took a few punches over that idiot.” Fox snorted bitterly. “God, the shit he got me into, and the shit I put him through. I used to think it was funny. Interesting, even. I was never bored when Raider was around. He made my life hell, though. I don’t even think I realized how difficult it was to be his friend until I left home and was on my own here. It was like this huge responsibility was taken from me, and I feel like such an asshole, but I don’t want it back. I can’t be his fucking life preserver. I don’t even know what the hell I want to do with my life yet.”
Fox fell silent and watched as Vincent’s hand uncurled from where it was resting on his chest and lifted. “Hey, you awake?” He turned his gaze back to Vincent’s face where his dark eyelashes were fluttering. “Vince?”
“Ruhe,” Vincent mumbled sleepily. His hand jerked up and Fox just managed to move to the side to keep from being smacked on the mouth. Fox quickly caught his hand as it swayed without coordination, and gently guided it back down to Vincent’s chest.
“Sorry,” Fox said much more quietly as he twined their fingers together. “You rest. You don’t need to be awake to hear me bitch about shit. Just…” He peered down, eyes caught on Vincent’s features. “I’m right here, Vince. I’m always going to be here.”
He bent down and tried not to hiss as his wounds pulled painfully. Vincent’s face was again a perfect mask of sleep as Fox pushed his hair back from his face and gently kissed his forehead. “You saved me more than once today. The thing you showed me with the magic; I don’t think I could have been so focused if not for you teaching me how to conjure.” He cupped the side of Vincent’s face and stroked his thumb down his cheek.
“I know you don’t feel the same way. I don’t even know if I need you to feel like this. It doesn’t change anything. Not really.” Half of Fox wished Vincent was awake and could hear him but at the same time the rest of him was grateful he was too drugged up to know he was there. It didn’t matter. Not really.
“I think I love you, Vince,” Fox whispered as he bent down and pressed a soft kiss to warm lips. “And I’m really sorry I didn’t come to visit you sooner.”
Fox sank down and rested his head on the pillow Vincent was sleeping on. More than a few strands of hair tickled at his face but he sighed contentedly and let his eyelids fall closed. The sounds of Vincent’s even breathing were far more comforting than the many confusing thoughts in his head. Fox did his best to focus on it and copied the calming rhythm until all the doubts, fear and guilt he was struggling with eventually abated.
Harry counted nearly twenty of them. Their numbers grew as the night wore on and dawn rose on the horizon. Before, when he passed a window on the way to Draco’s classed, he noticed two sitting at the edge of the Forbidden Forest, the creatures glowing bright and unmoving. While Draco studied, Harry slipped down to get a closer look and discovered more joined the pair of white dragons.
It was unsettling the way they stared up at the tower. They ignored Harry completely to glare through the dimensional plane to where Draco was sitting in class, oblivious to his observers.
Harry continued to watch from Draco’s side where he could glare out windows and through walls. Once night settled and Draco was fed, shagged and asleep, Harry guarded the castle doors. It was his only way to make sure the pack of white dragons didn’t try to come in and attack Draco. Harry wasn’t sure exactly what they wanted from Draco. He was fairly certain if he so much as turned his back the white creatures would swarm and steal his mate away in the middle of the night, never to be seen again.
Harry didn’t bother to explain to Draco he was now his mate even though he couldn’t bit him properly while he wore the ring. Draco accepted him at some point. Looking back, it was when he finally saw him with the dimensional glasses and still loved him enough to fight for him. The ache in Harry immediately receded. When he felt and saw how much Draco truly cared for him, it dulled the need in Harry to pull and pull until to try and make Draco feel what he already did.
Draco would probably be upset about being his mate. Everything seemed to upset Draco. Harry had little interest in relinquishing his claim be it to the annoying white beasts sitting outside in the forest or to whatever prim and proper lady Draco was to be married to if he didn’t survive. Harry was determined to live. Not for Draco so he wouldn’t be alone but for him so he could be with Draco for as long as possible.
Something shifted in the subconscious animal mind after mating with Draco, something which insisted Harry do everything in his ability to empower and protect his new mate. Harry didn’t see Draco to need his protection the way Blaise seemed to think he needed saving. Draco was damn strong, even when sad and making what looked to be shit choices about marrying straight women. Given he was facing disinheritance from his mother and a life of exile from society because he was the son and nephew of the two villains who helped to kill The-Boy-Who-Lived, Draco’s choices made a lot of sense. They still sucked, but Harry understood them.
Harry used the time to practice his magic. He didn’t want to botch the spell to come which would bond him to Fawkes and free him from the empty prison he was in. Part of that practice involved flinging magic at the forest. He continuously flicked sparks at the white creatures to see if they would back off. They didn’t. Each one he targeted glowed brighter and snarled at his interference and then swiftly returned to stare at where Draco slept within Hogwarts. Curious, Harry changed his view to the fifth plane and followed its gaze to see what the creatures saw.
For all of Draco’s denials he was not becoming more beast like and instead just letting go of his steel self control over his emotions, he certainly looked to be changing as a beast. Even with the ring on, his power was glowing and far brighter than when Harry first noticed him in that realm. Much brighter than the creatures out in the forest. The longer Harry stared at Draco’s light, the more he wanted to go to him, even though he knew it would be better to speak with Dumbledore. Especially without Draco present and angry.
Harry glared at the white dragons still at the forest’s edge who had yet to move beyond, and returned inside as morning dazzled overhead. He left a note for Draco on his hand—Draco didn’t miss the notes actually written on him—which stated he would be around if needed but preparing for the spell to come. He clicked his ever present pen as he made his way up Dumbledore’s staircase and sought the wizened headmaster out.
Dumbledore was pensive at Harry’s approach. He looked tired today like he hadn’t slept much. Harry used the pen to tap at the desk when there was no paper to be found. Dumbledore unfurled a sheet and Harry touched it and imbued the material with enough magic so he could manipulate the paper as well.
“Very good, Harry. You’re getting your control back,” Dumbledore said softly, with fingers lighted on the table as he peered at the moving pen.
Sorry to disturb you but I’m afraid we might have a problem with the Vesper. There are a pack of them out sitting at the edge of the Forbidden Forest watching the castle.
Dumbledore sighed and nodded and managed to look even wearier in that moment. “Yes, I was told a group lived there deep in the forest. They are shape-shifters who had little interest in humans.”
They seem interested now. They’re watching Draco.
Harry stopped and studied Dumbledore’s face carefully. Maybe it was because of his condition the old man looked so tired. It couldn’t have been an easy choice when faced with the death of his students but Harry understood it was the correct one.
Sir, what do we really know of the Vesper? Draco’s worried they’re dangerous, more so than what I am.
“There is not much, I’m afraid.” Dumbledore said after some thought as his fingers combed his beard. “They avoid human contact and are very territorial. Then again, that could describe every beast in the Forbidden Forest. They are unique in their ability to shift and appear human, and to become invisible in any form. It is thought they hunt their prey that way, unseen.”
A shiver ran down Harry’s spine, one more of instinct than based in known fact. They would come for Draco like that. Perhaps they’d move as a pack and slip in through an unguarded entrance of Hogwarts to hunt him down. They would clamp razor sharp teeth on Draco’s beautiful limbs and drag him away deep into the forest. Draco was different from the creatures waiting outside. They wanted him.
Are there other types of Vesper? Besides the Kalistar? Genders? Roles? Hunters, leaders or maybe something else?
“Likely, but no one has every gotten close enough to study them. They are very private creatures and the Kalistar is thought to prevent any human from getting close with a swift death.”
Harry shook his head. If the Vesper could become invisible, then who really knew what happened to the people who stumbled too close into their territory? Harry suspected as Draco did; the Vesper were truly the violent ones and the Kalistar was intent to protect everyone from them. Otherwise, to see a Kalistar over dead bodies would mean to die by its fangs as well. But to see a dead body alone could lure another in, into a pack of invisible, bloodthirsty creatures.
The victims, are they ever eaten? Do you think it could just be territorial and not the need to feed?
Dumbledore nodded his head. His expression was looking a bit grim from the turn of conversation. “The dead are found always at the boundaries of the Vesper village where the Kalistar is said to roam. Some are very much devoured, others just shredded. But Harry, we don’t fear the Vesper because they don’t kill humans when they hunt the forest.”
But they can shift into looking like a human, maybe even for the soul purpose of luring humans in. There are plenty of magical creatures that would lure and feed in different ways off of humans. Shifters tend to be those types.
“You are right; that is normally the case. We have no records on it when it comes to the Vesper. They are very private and reluctant to interact with humans whenever found. That they are outside right now is confusing enough. And concerning.”
I am certain they are here for Draco. Harry tapped his pen idly, not sure what to do.
“It would seem it.” Dumbledore sighed thoughtfully. “Do you think they wish him harm? He said something has stalked him before, invisible in the forest. They didn’t harm him then.”
That was true. Draco had interacted with a few invisible creatures growing up, one he even claimed to have been his friend. He was afraid of them, even then. Said they wanted something from him.
“I recall, but perhaps that was just fear of the unknown? Maybe they’re reaching out to one of their own, hoping Draco will join their pack.”
That shiver returned again to warn down Harry’s spine. I don’t think it’s that innocent. Watching them, they seemed almost hungry. They’re waiting patiently with great hunger.
Dumbledore exhaled slowly, his head bowed in thought. “We will do what we can, Harry. We have the glasses now, which we can give to Draco so he won’t be completely unaware to their presence. The Vesper never invade human territory, so I doubt they will seek him out. As long as Draco stays indoors he should be safe.”
Harry wasn’t so sure, but there wasn’t much more they could really do for Draco he could think of. It’s not like they could lock him up for the rest of his life. Harry was pretty sure Draco would have some very persuasive and violent means to stop that idea.
Sir, I would like Sirius and Remus to be there for my spell. Early, so that I can speak with them. I wish to make a will, just in case.
With a sigh, Dumbledore nodded. “I think that would be a wise course of action. I will contact them now.” Dumbledore stood slowly and Harry thought again just how weary the man was. How many times did his mentor failed in his goal of protecting his students? Today, Albus looked like he felt each death.
Harry wrote a quick farewell. He wanted to stop by the windows before he sought out Draco again.
Harry left the pen on top of the door frame where no one would think to step on it or take it, then slipped invisible into the potions classroom where Draco was halfheartedly paying attention to his bubbling cauldron. Blaise and Pansy were passing notes to him. Given Draco’s expression, a truce was brokered. Blaise still looked angry, but Harry figured he’d get over it eventually. Draco didn’t bend when he was determined. No he instead dug his heels in and holding tighter out of pure stubbornness. It was appealing when it wasn’t directed at Harry who had his own level of stubborn pride he had to get through at times.
Draco noticed him before he made contact. His silver eyes glanced in Harry’s direction as his magic came into his bubble of awareness. Harry was careful to be slow with his touch as he ghosted over Draco’s shoulders, not wanting to shock him into drawing attention to himself. Once Draco was embarrassed there would be no playing with him. Draco had a fine line of what he was willing to put up with.
The last few days though, that line definitely moved.
Harry watched with a smirk as Draco bit down on the side of his thumb, tongue no doubt flicking out to taste his flesh idly while Harry ran hands down his sides. Draco seemed happy to have him around more than anything. And well, Harry liked being around if it meant Draco wasn’t yelling at him for indulging in pressing skin to skin. Touching Draco also kept the mating drive bearable. Especially when he knew for certain Draco wanted to be touched, his flashing silver warnings and all.
Draco stopped writing, his jaw clenched slightly when Harry slipped fingers down his throat. It was a dangerous move since he knew just how sensitive Draco was there. But Draco made no objection, just breathed out his nose slowly and stared down at the desk. Careful not to shift his hair, Harry crouched down next to Draco’s seat to peer up into his heavy lidded eyes. He slowly traced his flushed lips and pushed his thumb into mouth. Draco nipped lightly and he smirked, wishing he could see.
Harry leaned closer to breathe up Draco’s neck. His tongue flicked out to lap at the hollow of his throat. Draco bit down on Harry’s thumb and hissed softly. Harry licked him again and wet his throat all the way up to his chin.
“Mr. Malfoy, if I could have your assistance for a moment?”
Harry pulled back with his eyebrows furrowed and watched as Draco looked up and turned bright pink. Harry followed his gaze, and scowled when he saw Jaz in a familiar pair of round glasses smiling lazily from the doorway. Fucking spoilsport.
With a huff, Harry stood and followed Draco to the door. Draco was beyond embarrassed and threw Harry’s arm off the moment he touched his shoulder. Jaz stared right at Harry and looked him up and down with something less than appropriate glinting in his eyes. Harry glared back and Jaz snickered in laughter and moved out of the way.
He snagged his pen and followed into the classroom across the hall where the specialist was working out of to ready the spellwork for Harry’s return. The room was completely bare except for the small table Jaz set up to hold his notebook and instruments. If it wasn’t already, the room would be warded for all scents, never mind any stray magic which could interfere with the complex work to come.
“Sorry to interrupt you, gentlemen,” Jaz chirped. He sounded far from sorry as he shut the door and swept in the room. “But I’ve been asked to relay anything I know about the creatures outside and of course, relinquish these curious glasses to you, Draco.”
Draco’s arms folded and he again pulled from Harry’s touch. It took him a moment for Jaz’s words to sink in. “What creatures outside?”
“The ones Mr. Potter has spotted. I’ve been out back observing them after Dumbledore informed me of their existence. The Vesper have taken an interest in you, Draco. For your own safety, I’d recommend you do not give them an opportunity to get you alone.”
“So they’re… dangerous?” Draco asked and bit his lip worriedly.
Jaz waved his hand dismissively. “You live in a world full of magic; everything is dangerous. The Vesper, well, they could be problematic. They’ve gathered outside in a large group and they’re visible only with the glasses. There are so many I suspect they may be expecting one of their leaders or diplomats or such. It will be one who can shift so they can meet you on familiar territory in that sense. They have a very strict hierarchy from what I’ve learned, so I don’t believe the ones currently out there will do you harm. Well, as long as you don’t approach them.”
Jaz again turned his gaze to Harry and his blue eyes seared into him with some unspoken question. “Your Mr. Potter might be causing them some agitation with his energy fluctuating the way it is. But I think they might fear him a bit, which is a good advantage right now. We will be performing the spell on Thursday evening, now all the materials are gathered. Have you been feeling pain yet, Harry?”
Harry frowned and shrugged uncomfortably. He raised his hand up and pushed thumb and forefinger toward each other to indicate a little. His back was hurting and his shoulder blade stung with a dull ache.
“That’s what I thought. You’ve started to bleed from where I can only assume the first wing was torn off. It’s only a dribble, but given everything else, it seems time is catching up with you. If you are capable of feeling that, you may begin to start feeling it all. I do not believe it will be pleasant, given the extent of your wounds.”
Harry nodded briskly. He wasn’t about to start bitching over excruciating pain to come. Draco looked pale though and he slipped his hand into his, glad when Draco gripped him back tight.
“What do the Vesper want with me?” Draco asked quietly.
Jaz shrugged, scooped up his notebook and flipped through. “I’ve only met one briefly in person, one of the Vesper shifters. They sometimes get stuck invisible, spark and then die like many other creatures who become ungrounded in the main reality. He was intelligent but completely stripped of emotion when I worked with him. His own kind spelled him that way before allowing him to be in my presence. I believe they were concerned for one or both of our safety otherwise.”
“Did you manage to save it?” Draco wondered, curious. Karia had sparked before she stopped visiting him. Draco went off to Hogwarts shortly after. She never returned and she warned she was likely dying before she left.
“I did. What I learned actually helped me to understand just how moving through dimensions can be done. Before the Vesper, I was still struggling with a lot of the spellwork.”
Harry moved closer to Draco and wrapped an arm around his chest. Draco frowned but leaned back against him, still full of questions. “Then this is how you know of the Kalistar?”
Jaz shook his head while he still thumbed through his notebook. “Nope. Pretty sure they were all gone by that time. The Vesper mentioned that his protectors all grew ill from the sparking. They didn’t know how to cure them but were able to spell them into some sort of suspended animation.”
“But they didn’t cure them once you figured out how to? Why wouldn’t they heal them?”
“I have no idea. If they’re violent, that could be a reasonable explanation,” Jaz pointed out.
Harry didn’t disagree but felt there was likely more to it. He clicked his pen and waited for Jaz to throw him an empty notebook to jot in. Draco held it while Harry flowed magic into the pages enough so he could hold it himself.
You have shifters, protectors and the hunter dragons out in the forest. Are there any other types? Harry moved over to Jaz so he could read his writing easier.
Consulting his notes a moment, Jaz nodded. “The shifter mentioned they hold a group of them away in their village. Very much pampered and sheltered by the surroundings.”
Harry glanced over at Draco, who was fiddling with his hair distractedly and not paying them much attention. These wouldn’t be human halflings, would they?
Narrowing his eyes on the page, Jaz didn’t answer right away. He also glanced at Draco through the magically enhanced glasses he was wearing.
Draco had changed recently, not just in attitude and glow. Up close, Harry could see his other form and how his feathers were longer, tinged with purples and blues at the tips and arranged in an elegant headdress among waist long white hair and sharp elf like ears. His eyes were slanted, the silver almost beacons against his luminous flesh. Dazzling scales sparkled color at each facet. His tail was even longer now, sleek and curled with blue feathers which tipped the end to accentuate Draco’s even longer, lithe frame.
“I think it is a distinct possibility,” Jaz finally answered as he shut his notebook with a snap. “He’s responding to either your energy or the creatures’ outside. Considering the closeness, I’m going to say yours.”
Even with the ring?
“The ring is just a cage to keep his flesh from transforming. The beast within is still very much a living, growing thing. Draco looks to be quite willing to grow now, while before he held himself back and denied the beast.”
Draco raised his brow, unable to miss what Jaz was saying for too long. “Are you saying not fighting myself anymore will increase the beast’s power?”
“It’s not just the beast, its your’s as well.” Jaz waved a hand to indicate all of Draco as he saw him through the glasses. “Your magic radiates. Your body is stronger. I do believe you might even have a warm aura now.” He looked to the side. “Harry, does it call? I want to say it does, but it isn’t on my plane to read it properly.”
He’s calling. When standing outside looking at him, I felt the need to return to him.
Draco peered forward to read what Harry said and huffed at the news. “So they’re out there because of me. Not just me but that I’m calling them here. Shit. What if they hurt someone, like Hagrid or the halfwits who always run into the forest? It’s not like anyone can see them to defend themselves.”
Harry tugged on Draco’s hair sharply. He was one of the more well known halfwits who played in the Forbidden Forest. Then, still looking at Draco through the fifth plane, Harry slunk around behind him and ran his hand down his tail.
Draco eyes widened and he shivered. He turned to look behind him at nothing. Harry continued and pulled the sleek appendage up and traced fingers gently over the scales. He watched as Draco twitched from the odd sensation.
“What the fuck is that?” Draco breathed out. He jerked slightly when Harry moved one hand to the point of his left ear and squeezed lightly.
“Your tail,” Jaz said simply and smirked when Draco gasped again. “They can be very sensitive, so don’t let Mr. Potter step on it. For now, I think we should focus on keeping you as far from what is outside as possible. I believe Harry is concerned the pack wishes to take you away. Now that we understand you’re giving off a magical call, I have to agree with that concern.”
“Right,” Draco said distractedly. His eyes were half closed while Harry continued to stroke fingers over his tail. Now he was aware of it, Draco was nearly moving the thing and the tail flicked in Harry’s hand in a halfhearted attempt to wiggle free. “I should probably see them. Right? Just to know what to avoid.”
It sounded like an intelligent and very terrible idea to Harry and a fresh warning shiver ran down his spine. But Jaz agreed and led Draco out the door before Harry could fully comprehend his innate fear. Once they were up the stairs and at the nearest window, Jaz handed the glasses over to Draco and pointed in the direction of the largest mass of the group. Harry approached slowly. He saw when Draco caught sight of the Vesper for his glow increased and responded in recognition.
Harry growled and quickly pulled Draco away from the window to glare outside as the creatures who were glowing back in greeting. Draco’s call was suddenly much louder and his aura expanded into the hallway. Harry didn’t like what any of it suggested. He grabbed Draco from around the waist, threw him over his shoulder and carried him back down to the secluded classroom. He left Draco dazed on the floor with the door shut tight. When Harry returned with the magical glasses, he handed them to Jaz, who was still at the window. Together they peered out at the white creatures.
A shiver went through the group of dragons the same time another one crawled up Harry’s spine. Together the pack went from stillness to motion. They took small steps until they were a meter out beyond the border of the forest. They stopped and moved from foot to foot as if something was holding them back. Harry begged it was an invisible wall and not just the border of territory. With Draco calling, borders would mean much less to such famished looking creatures.
“This is not good,” Jaz muttered and Harry silently agreed.
Harry wasn’t sure if he’d rather stand in front of the castle and make sure the dragons didn’t rush in, or stay with Draco and curl around him until there was no doubt his mate was safe. For now he continued to glare out the window. So many were out there, so many who could easily overwhelm Draco while he was distracted by the spell on Thursday. And if he didn’t survive… What would happen to Draco then? What did the damn things want and why was Draco’s energy calling to creatures who seemed to want to hurt him in response?
The questions left Harry confused with anxiety tight in his stomach for the many things he had no control over. He turned away and clicked the pen a few times to let Jaz know he was leaving. Jaz didn’t seem to care as he took detailed notes of the creatures’ behavior outside. Draco was still on the classroom floor, his silver eyes beautiful and dazed. When Harry touched him in greeting, Draco moaned, sought him out and pulled him close.
“I won’t let them have you,” Harry promised into Draco’s throat as he ran his hands over his back and shoulders.
“Harry, I’m scared. I want to go out there,” Draco whispered. He pressed into Harry’s chest and grabbed at his sides heatedly. “Something inside me wants to go out there.”
“No. I won’t let you,” Harry growled and held Draco still by the arms. Draco’s head lolled back, his eyelids heavy with need. “Stay with me, Draco. Stay only with me and forget about them.”
But Draco couldn’t hear him and couldn’t respond to Harry’s direct command. “They want to hurt me. I can feel it. They hate what I am…yet. Yet they keep calling me.”
“You will not, Draco!” Harry raised his magic up. He slammed the door shut and warded the room. Whatever pull the white dragons had on Draco, it could not compare to Harry’s need for him. Harry let the desperate feeling grow in him and willed Draco to feel how much he had to stay with him, how much he needed Draco to need him. His fear made it stronger and Harry was afraid. If Draco was so easily swayed by his need, would he be the same with a full blooded Vesper? Maybe they wouldn’t have to steal Draco away but just make him need until he followed the dragons out of the castle willingly?
Draco fell back on the floor. His slender body arched and pink mouth gasped as Harry’s mating call overtook him full force. Harry filled his palms with magic and drew them over Draco’s clothes until they shimmered. He pulled the material from the writhing Draco to reveal every pale, glowing inch of his flesh to the castle air. “You’re mine, Draco. No one else can have you. No one. No thing, either. You’re mine and I’ll keep you with me.”
Draco didn’t answer, still unable to hear. His cheeks were pink as well as his neck as fire raced over his skin followed by Harry’s possessive touch. Harry didn’t need him to answer; his eager body told him as long as he called, Draco would listen. Harry directed his power to the very first and seemingly most important actual spell he learned since getting his magic back and summoned lube that would work in his dimension. He pushed Draco’s knees up and watched his flushed face while he probed slick fingers into his clenching hole.
“Oh god… Oh fuck!” Draco cried. His hands scrambled on the floor and then up. When he found Harry’s shoulders he gripped hard. “Harry. Harry, fix this… Oh god. Please, fuck me so I’ll stay,” he sobbed out. His head fell back too heavily on the floor. Harry reached up to see if Draco hurt himself but Draco clawed at him. He wrapped long limbs around Harry and pressed onto his fingers desperately to get them deeper.
“I’m going to fix it,” Harry promised. He pulled Draco up while he sat and arranged his shaking form in his lap as he held him upright. “I’m going to make sure everyone knows you’re mine.” He moved unsteady hands over Draco’s hips and then back to his ass. As he ran fingers between his tight cheeks with one hand to continue stretching, he gripped his thigh firmly with the other. “I think… I think if you smell like me, taste like me… they might be afraid to touch you.” The dragons didn’t like Harry, were even somewhat afraid of him. He would let them know Draco was his and they’d have to back the fuck off.
“Need you. Fucking need you, Harry,” Draco whined. His eyes were closed and body refused to listen to his own commands. Harry stared at him, and watched sweat and a stray tear drip down his tormented face. Draco was so beautiful, so fucking beautiful, and no one was going to take him away. Harry leaned forward and licked up his jaw and cheek. He called his magic once again until it was moving across Harry’s skin in soft waves.
Draco felt the change against his skin. His eyes peeking open and then flew wide. “I can… I can see you,” he gasped and hesitantly raised his hand to touch the shimmering flesh before him. “Not fully proper, but damn near. Oh, oh hell. Harry, you need to keep going,” he finished with a groan and pressed forward to rub his body against Harry’s. “Really, fucking need this.”
Harry did not want to think how Draco seemed to need sex before he touched him. The silver hazy eyes started all the way back in the hall when his aura exploded out and Harry tried to suppress the dread that rose up in him at the knowledge. “You aren’t taking the ring off, Draco. Not ever. I know you think it’s going to fix things but… but I don’t think it will.” He pressed his face into Draco’s hair while the other whimpered and pulled at his shoulders expectantly.
“Harry, come on,”
Harry swallowed hard and slid his hands over Draco’s back again to feel every soft give of flesh and hard yield of bone and muscle. Draco was so sensitive like this. He gasped and whimpered at mere brushes of touch, never mind the hard, dragging motions Harry ran down his long sides which made Draco moan loudly. He let Draco push him back a bit so he could rising to his knees. Draco swayed as he wrapped his pale fingers around Harry’s shimmering length and guided it to his entrance. “Shit, Draco, you really need this bad.”
Harry steadied his hips but didn’t control his movements as he watched Draco’s face intently. Draco had his eyes squeezed shut and bottom lip trapped between white teeth. He pushed down and his slick hole opened to Harry’s thickness. He was going too fast and Harry gripped him harder. He groaned when Draco whimpered as being stopped. “Harry, please!”
“No, you’re going to hurt yourself,” Harry muttered hoarsely, unable to look away from Draco’s gasping mouth. He leaned forward and licked at the red lips before meeting his tongue. Draco descended on him like a man possessed. His hands pulled Harry’s hair and kept his mouth there for him to devour hungrily. Draco pushed down to get him deeper and Harry struggled to remember why he was holding his hips so tight.
“That’s it. Oh god, yes.” Draco murmured appreciatively and his hands gripped Harry’s hair tighter. His body stretched and rocked back in slow, heady movements that made Harry’s head spin. He was fucking tight. So damn hot and tight inside. Harry didn’t know when exactly it happened, but he found himself pushing Draco back on the floor. He pulled his knees up over his shoulders with shaking hands, and then drove into him forcefully.
Draco clung to him. His nails and fingers dug in and then his teeth when he bit Harry’s shoulder to muffle his loud shouts at each hard thrust. Harry shuddered as he felt Draco clench around him even tighter. With a sudden jerk, Draco spurted hot cum between them, his cries even more frantic in pitch as his seed spilled in hot spurts.
“Oh god, Draco. Fuck, you’re mad.” Harry gasped as Draco bit him repeatedly on the neck. His hands pulled harshly at Harry’s flesh as he urged him to continue. Harry couldn’t have stopped in that moment even if he wanted, deep inside his tight hot flesh with Draco clenching again and again as if trying to milk the seed from him.
Harry grabbed at Draco’s hands, pulled them from their current targets and pinned his wrists down on the stone floor. He paused and licked his lips while Draco’s head thrashed back and forth. Draco was still full of so much need and seeing it sparked the familiar, dangerous feeling. “You’re so fucking mine, Malfoy. I could toss that damn ring down a drain, bite your long neck bloody and you wouldn’t fight me. You would beg me.” Harry closed his eyes and breathed deep to smell Draco’s arousal and sweat. “You’re still hard. You’ll always be hard when around me. You’re mine, and you know it.”
Harry reached between them and his fingers dragged in the stream of fluid Draco left on his stomach to bead prettily. He waited for Draco to open his eyes and silver blazed at him intently. Harry first pressed some of Draco’s cum to his lips and tasted it slowly, relishing the flavor while Draco whimpered. When Draco seemed ready to reach his tongue out and steal the fluid from Harry’s lips, he took his fingers and wiped it over Draco’s face and smirked at his fucking delicious, wanton expression. He deposited the rest of the fluid on Draco’s throat, smeared down the center of his flesh and lingered around the hollow by his collarbone. Draco gasped and hips jolted and moved around the hard flesh impaling him.
Harry fought with the damn near crazed urge to pull the ring off Draco’s finger and claim him fully. He pulled out of Draco’s tight passage and unhinged his long legs from his shoulders. “Harry,” Draco whined in his ear, only to gasp in delight moments later when Harry licked down his stomach. Harry needed to make sure he didn’t miss a drop of Draco’s precious seed. He descended on Draco’s still hard cock, and teased and taunted with his tongue and breath.
Draco squirmed, and hands clutched at the ground behind him to keep from falling sideways. “Harry. Fuck… fuck yes.” He really had a terrible vocabulary when it came to sex. Harry thought it was sexy to have Draco become so unhinged all he could do was swear and say his name. Harry removed his mouth from Draco’s sweet cock with a wet pop that only he could hear, grabbed Draco’s hips and forced him over and onto his knees. Draco gave a giddy laugh. He stretched forward to rest on his arms and then pushing back and rubbing his ass and thighs against Harry. “Fucking do it, Potter.”
Harry wrapped himself around Draco’s bent body, pressed his erection against his hot hole and growled when Draco pushed back against his cock. “This is how you want it, isn’t it? On your knees like one of those fucking white things outside. You want them to fuck you. You want them to fill you until you’re just like one of them.” He bit the back of Draco’s neck and wishing what he said wasn’t true even while his body knew it was.
“Fuck… fuck me, Harry.”
“I can fuck you like that. As hard as you need it. Fucking wild so you won’t want to go to them. I’ve got everything you need, Draco. I fucking promise.” He bit between Draco’s shoulder and neck, hands tight on his slender hips. “Just stay with me. Fucking stay and be mine.” Harry thrust into him with a smooth push forward. Draco howled in surprise and pleasure as Harry sheathed himself in tight. Harry didn’t let up, and drove in again and again, and pulled desperate loud cries from the gasping body beneath him.
Draco slid as the sweat on his shaking legs and arms stole his position away. Harry changed his grip to hold him still and growled at the fucking begging for it sound Draco replied with when he found his prostrate. Harry slowed his thrusts, and made sure to press against the bundle of nerves each time while Draco shrieked and sobbed in his arms.
“Just like that. Just how you need it. You are so. Fucking. Lost.” He could feel Draco clench again, his entire body tensed around him as they rocked together. Harry was buried so deep in Draco it was difficult to say they weren’t the same person in that moment. “That’s it. Show me how much you like it, you fucking tease. My fucking tease.”
Draco choked on his cry, his eyes squeezed so tight to match how tight he was squeezing Harry’s cock inside. He came again with Harry’s fingers wrapped around his long length to feel Draco’s orgasm thrum through his hot flesh.
Harry groaned as he felt Draco come for the second time. He pumped into his clenching channel again and again and then stilled as he came. He filled Draco’s tight heat with his first shot of cum, then pulled out quickly and covered his beautiful thighs and ass with long streams of his seed. Draco muffled another cry from the feel of it. He bent forward and rested his head on the floor while Harry rubbed his spilled seed into Draco’s flesh with his palms, fingers and cock.
“Fuck… fuck, you’re all over me, Harry. No one can see that your, god, your cum is all over me.” Draco gave a desperate moan at the very idea, and ran his fingers over his face where his own cum still sat. Harry groaned with him, rubbed his face against Draco’s thigh and licked slowly. He didn’t want to remove his scent from Draco, even though he very much wanted to lick every inch of his body again.
Harry didn’t understand all of the animal inside him just yet, but he was learning more everyday. Each time he interacted with the fucking delicious mate who woke his beast in the first place, Harry unearthed more of the creature within. Some of it was damn near terrifying and some, right now, just felt fucking amazing. Harry moved to lie out on the floor and pulled Draco down to rest tight on top of him.
Draco was coming back as his eyes cleared and his heart rate slowed to something normal. As long as Harry was there, no other call would be stronger than his. He was almost certain of it. What Draco would want if the ring was taken off and his beast allowed to run wild, was something Harry wasn’t certain of at all. Worse, he didn’t know if he should share his concerns with Draco, when he was already so shaken by the things outside. Draco was so goddamn stubborn too; telling him not to do something usually only led to Draco running head first into said something instead.
Harry looked down to where Draco was sighing softly as he watched the magic swirl patterns on his chest. If he felt the call of the creatures outside, Draco gave no sign of it. His eyes were completely clear of haze. Harry touched his face softly and Draco looked directly at him, but in an unfocused way since Harry’s eyes weren’t visible properly.
“I’m in trouble, Harry,” Draco whispered. “I can feel them pressing in my head. They’re trying to talk to me. They… they’re angry you touched me.”
“Too fucking bad,” Harry muttered. He smoothed Draco’s hair back from his face. “You belong to me, not them. Let the poor losers be angry.”
Draco rolled his eyes. He summoned the notebook Harry wrote in earlier and Harry called the pen to him in reply. My scent will protect you.
Draco nodded distractedly as his eyes slide up to Harry’s face again. “Is that why you, uh, covered me?”
Harry grabbed his chin, and pulled Draco’s face against his so he could breathe the scent of cum on his skin. “You’re going to walk around this castle covered in my scent and seed, and you’re going to know you’re mine.” He flicked his tongue out and tasted Draco’s lips. “Those bitches outside are going to know it too.”
“Harry, I can’t fucking hear you,” Draco murmured. His tongue reached to meet Harry’s briefly.
“Good, you’d only yell about it anyways and then I’d have to grind you into something sturdy for being so sexy.” Harry picked the pen up again, and jotted a quick yes to Draco’s earlier question.
“Potter, I know you said a shit ton more than that,” Draco said warningly when Harry looked like he was going to put the pen back down.
“I can’t help you’re deaf, Malfoy.” Harry made sure to breathe it into Draco’s throat so he could know he was talking. “I say lots of terrible things right to your face and you don’t even know. Like how fucking tight you are.” He moved his palm down Draco’s back, grabbed his ass and squeezed. “You are fucking tight. Tighter than that hot little mouth of yours and that was fucking tight. You never had dick in your mouth before but hell, you figured it out sure fucking quick. I’ve only had two other guys give me blowjobs and they weren’t even half as excited as you were—and they fucking knew they were gay. You like cock a lot. A whole fucking lot. You don’t even know how much.”
“Tickling,” Draco growled. He pushed at Harry’s head to stop him mumbling against his throat. “Potter, just use the damn paper.”
Harry was having too much fun. Draco’s expression grew stormier by the minute as Harry twirled the pen and refused to write. “Shit, let’s see. You moan like a damn whore. I’ve never heard a noise like that outside of a porno and it was coming from the girl at the time. You make noises that would embarrass a seasoned slut and I love knowing you’re making them for me. Mmm, and they are definitely for me, Draco.” Harry dropped the pen and used both his hands to pull Draco’s angry form up his body.
Harry cupped Draco’s very tight ass and spread his long pale legs to either side of his waist. He nuzzled his half hard dick against Draco’s crack, and held his breath so he could hear the soft whimpering noise of approval Draco made from the feel. “You want to fuck again, Draco? I can pull you with the call and you can come all goddamn day if you want.”
“Ah… ah, I have to get to class,” Draco panted, his anger drained away for lust once again.
“I know, you little tease.” Harry let his eyes roam Draco’s beautiful face. A part of him wished he could freeze this moment and never have to leave it. “In two days we’ll know. I’ll either be alive or no longer able to worry about all the fucked up shit that seems to follow you around. To think you thought I was trouble. After this week we are definitely even.”
Draco, not able to hear him, just sighed and bit Harry’s neck gently. “Don’t go too far from me. Don’t… Don’t let me see them again, and don’t leave me alone where they can find me.”
Harry kissed the top of his head. “I won’t let them have you. I’ll kill every one of them if I have to.”
“I don’t trust myself,” Draco whispered hollowly. “Harry, I… I don’t know what I’ll do if I see them again.” Seeing Draco’s expression, Harry feared it was very much a lie. Draco knew exactly what he’d do.
“It’s okay. It’s going to be okay.” Harry could kill them all if he had to. They might finish him off to do it, there were a shit ton of them out there, but he would do his best while he had the strength. “I love you, Draco. You’re beautiful and brilliant and I’m never going to let anything hurt you while I’m around. I promise. Just hold on and I’ll fix it all.”
“Fuck,” Fox muttered under his breath. “What the fuck are we dealing with here? Can he scent Wylie?” He huddled closer to Leo, Forest and Justin, their eyes glued on the three strangers standing between them and Raider. They were a strange assortment. Nothing about them matched except their clothing. That and the fact they were paranormals who all had a dangerous look to them like they wouldn’t hesitate to kill.
“Demon,” Justin whispered as he stared at the one who choked Raider. The wolf was in Justin’s eyes and was reading the air in a way no other being could. “Powerful. The tall one is a shifter, an ox. The other is definitely a magic user.”
“Strong?” Leo asked under his breath.
Justin breathed in deep and his eyes flashed amber for a moment. “Average.”
“Fuck.” Average was still deadly when it came to a sorcerer with enough skill. Fox looked at the three of them again, his mind whirling. Normally you could trust a shifter not to mess with another shifter; it was basic code unless they were was too fucked in the head to think straight. The ox shifter didn’t look crazy but he also didn’t look friendly. There was no way they could trust this guy not to turn on them, not with a sorcerer and some kind of demon calling the shots. And it was clear who was calling the shots.
The paranormal in front of Raider wasn’t more than six feet tall, his gray hair styled short and a little messy, his eyes a bland clear and skin somewhat sickly. He had no color to his lips or nipples, his complexion an unnatural gray even when standing in the cold winter air. Fox couldn’t see through his glamors, but he knew the guy wasn’t what he seemed. Justin was certain, able to scent the demonic magic from help of his inner wolf.
“We need to get Raider away from them,” Justin said tightly.
“No shit. But the stupid fuck’s not going to be able to open his hand to save his life,” Fox bit out harshly. He fell silent and all of them tensed when the gray man took a step toward them. As he walked, he dragged Raider behind him by the arm. Raider’s body was nearly limp as he scraped knees on the pavement and struggled to stay upright.
“Oh.” The man inhaled deep to scent them. His eyes gave an otherworldly violet glow as they fixed on Forest. “Oh, kitten.” His grin was wicked and full of sharp fangs when he smiled. “This day is getting better and better.”
“Fuck, why is he looking at me like that?” Forest took a hesitant step back when the strange man refused to look anywhere else.
The largest of the three stepped up beside the gray man. The shifter was larger than Leo, easily seven feet and then some. Even without the fangs and claws, his massive bulk and height made him intimidating. “He’s the right type. Hot, slender. I can scent the need on him from here.”
“He’s perfect. A slinky little tramp.” The gray man licked his fangs. “Seth, you agree?”
The silent sorcerer shrugged in reply and turned his gaze on Forest as well. His blue eyes were distant as they raked down his body like he was sizing up a piece of meat. “Yeah, he’s sexy enough.”
Fox furrowed his brows and looked from the three weirdos to where Leo and Forest were bristling. “Dude, are they hitting on you? Like, all of them? What would you call that, a foursome?”
Forest darted his glare Fox’s way a moment. “I think they’re talking about selling me into the sex trade,” he hissed in exasperation. “Stop thinking with your dick for five seconds.”
Fox tilted his head and ruffled his hair up in confusion. “They’re the ones thinking with their dicks. Who the fuck meets someone and starts talking like that?”
It only got more troubling when the ox shifter looked to Leo next. “He’s an alpha and still young. He could be trained to protect. Trained to kill.”
“Yes, I think the master will be interested in the lion as well. The others are disposable.” The gray man’s eyes fixed back on Forest, and did nothing to hide his interest. “Come here, kitten. Let me get a proper look at you.”
“Keep that freak away from me,” Forest whispered.
There was a breathlessness to his voice that made Fox dare to take his gaze off of the approaching threat for a moment. Forest’s eyes were dazed, lips parted and cheeks flushed. “What’s happening to you?”
“Scent,” Leo explained sharply. He stood at his tallest and stepped in front of Forest to create a wall between him and the others. “It’s feline based.” He glared at the smug looking gray man. “You’re a shifter.”
Something changed in the other’s colorless form for a moment. It was a pulse of light that faded almost as quickly as it started. The gray man’s eyes turned icy and lips twisted down in a grim frown. “You’re mistaken.”
Fox didn’t see what happened next, his mind still trying to process the odd light he was certain was magical in origin. He wasn’t even sure who cast the spell, just that in an instant, the world spun and everything changed. He slammed hard against the wall seven feet to the side. His back and skull throbbed in pain as he struggled to stand upright and see what happened. He found Leo and Justin beside him. Justin was bent over as he tried not to throw up.
When Fox looked to where they were moments ago, he saw Forest alone at the entrance way with his eyes wide in surprise. The gray man was feet from him, his head tilted and a predatory look on his face. Raider was hunched on the ground. His hand was still clinging to the gem but it was no longer attached to anything else. The other two men moved swiftly and flanked the gray man’s side so that they were a barrier between Forest and his pack.
“No way in fuck!” Leo roared once he regained his bearings. He pushed himself off the wall but his sluggish movements betrayed the pain in his upper body. The brick where he hit the wall was crumbled from the force of the blow.
The ox shifter held his hands up and took a step forward, his gaze fixed on Leo. “You could have a job, man. A real job. Real money and a real pack who will follow you to the death.” He sneered at Fox and Justin, making it clear how he felt about shifters who didn’t follow an alpha. “They’re always looking for types like you. True alphas. Life gets so much better when you’re there willingly.”
Justin held his head as he straightened, blood wet on his forehead. His expression was pained and voice full of bitterness. “Aren’t you the fucking poster-child for Stockholm syndrome. They pay you to steal your own and sell them into slavery? Or is that just a perk for being a ‘true’ alpha?”
“Shut up, you pathetic, weak human.” The ox shifter flexed his muscles and his tanned face grew red with anger. “I’m talking to an alpha. You will never know what it’s like to be born a leader.”
Fox watched the exchange silently. They couldn’t tell Justin was a werewolf; they weren’t that fucking strong. He hunched down and edged slowly around the three. None of the talking mattered. No, Forest was shaking, and Raider was worse, too afraid to even get off the ground. This one, this gray man, whatever the fuck he was, was the threat. He didn’t look like any demon Fox had come across before but he sure didn’t smell like anything he could identify either.
Forest’s hands were shaking and he quickly crossed them over his chest, eyes fixed on the other’s polished boots as they kept approaching. He swallowed hard, his eyes looking anywhere but at the stranger as he stopped in front of him.
“Are you that afraid of me?” The gray man ducked down and peered into Forest’s face. “I won’t hurt you. I’m going to give you everything you want, pretty kitten.”
Forest turned his head away with a grimace. His breath came out in fast pants even as he glared. “You’re feline; I can smell it.” At the man’s silence he glanced his way and added, “I know you’re not human.”
“No, I never claimed that. But I’m not a shifter.” He reached for Forest’s face and his fingertips touched down to trace the length of his nose. “Do you like my scent?”
Forest held himself still as a thumb teased across his lips. He breathed out unsteadily and his eyes slit shut.
“I like yours.” The man stepped closer and his breath washed over Forest’s cheek. “You smell like desire. Hunger. Heat.”
“Don’t,” Forest groaned when his hand moved down his chest. He grabbed the man’s wrist but couldn’t find the strength to push him away. “I know what you’re doing.”
“Doing?” The gray man smirked.
“You’re scenting me. Marking me as yours.” Forest jolted as fingers stroked his chest. He snapped his eyes open, only to gasp to find beautiful periwinkle blue orbs staring into his. They were cat-like with dark slashes for pupils. His skin was a silvery blue-gray fuzz of soft fur. Dark markings accented his eyes and swept back to sharp elfin ears where the pattern blended into a long wave of multi-toned hair.
“Do you know me now, my little half cat?” He pushed forward and scented up the side of Forest’s neck while pulling him close. “Is this what you want? Do you want to come with me?”
“Stop it.” Raider was still on the ground in the cold slush and hard cobblestone. He forced his head up, his glare cutting through his daze. “Leave him alone.”
“Why?” When the man looked down at Raider, he was gray again, all color drained from his flesh. “He can answer for himself.”
“You’re casting a spell on him.” Raider struggled to his feet. His face was cloudy with anger and fear.
“Oh, am I?” The gray man grinned wickedly. He looked to where Leo was glaring at them and then turned back to Forest. His gaze lingered to where his hand was still caught in the other’s shaky grasp. “I think I prefer you, my pretty kitten. You could stay with me. A pet, just for me.”
Forest exhaled heavily. “I don’t…”
“I don’t want to share you,” he purred and combed fingers into Forest’s dark hair. “Not even with my master. You’re very sweet. Handsome. I bet you’re very sleek under your clothes.” When he stroked down his chest this time, Forest’s restraining hand slipped away. “Maybe you’ll even let me see.”
There was a terror in Forest’s eyes as he stared at the hand tugging at the buttons of his jacket. A fight between attraction and an understanding of being controlled was warring in his body. “Get off me.”
“You don’t want that. You want to be mine. I can feel it.”
“I don’t even know you,” Forest choked out. Fingers pressed to his lips and he struggled to keep from licking them.
“I’m Malek, sweet kitten,” he whispered against his cheek. “A being of unimaginable power. Long ago, you weak little shifters would have worshiped one like me. But, as I look at you… I think I would prefer to worship you. With my hands.” Forest sighed as hands engulfed his face and pulled him closer. His entire body slumped forward and eyes drifted shut. “With my tongue.” Malek licked out and teased his tongue over Forest’s lips. “With my seed.”
Justin whined as Forest was enchanted before their eyes. Leo touched a steadying hand to his shoulder before he stalked forward. The ox shifter blocked him with his bulk but Leo’s attention was on the one holding Forest. “Get away from him. He’s not your pet; none of us are.”
Malek glanced their way disinterestedly and kissed Forest’s cheek. “Unless you have the power to stop me, that is exactly all you are to me. Pets.” He gently turned Forest’s face like he was a doll, and touched their lips together. “A very pretty pet. One I want to keep in my room.”
Raider stumbled back when a snarl tore through the air. He thought it was Leo but when he looked, the giant lion shifter was silent, watching. Raider followed to where he was looking and tried not to flinch away at the sight. Justin’s expression was changed from afraid to ferocious, wild death.
“Get the fuck away from him!” Justin demanded.
“Shit, he’s a cursed.” The ox shifter no longer looked calm as he took large steps away from Justin.
Seth chuckled darkly as he watched the giant shifter back away. “Look at him; he’s a fucking kid. The poor little puppy got himself cursed by a big bad wolf.”
“It’s not funny, man,” Lawrence grumbled, his eyes wide as he stared unblinking at Justin’s deranged expression. “These things are psychos.”
“Oh, I know. You’re lucky you survived, kid.” Seth nodded at Justin, his eyes cold as he stared him down. “Bet you wish you hadn’t. I bet you wish that thing fucking killed you.” Justin’s growl grew louder and full of fury. The sorcerer’s expression was detached in the face of his elongating fangs. “You wanna die, little puppy? It’s a mercy killing, really. No cursed wants to live.”
Leo growled and towered over Justin defensively. “Justin, you need to run.”
“I’m going to eat them,” Justin snarled. “All of them.” His fangs distorted his voice, and an unholy fire lit his eyes.
Leo huffed in frustration. “You fucked up wolf, you’re not strong enough.”
“Holy shit.” Raider’s gaze jumped from Justin, who looked ready to kill, to the sorcerer, who looked just as ready to hex. He gripped his hair anxiously, a whimper caught in his throat. Justin surged forward, the ox shifter bristling and taking another step back. They were nearly on top of where Raider was standing and his nerves were taunt with indecision. He had to do something but he didn’t know what. The only thing he felt certain about was they were all going to end up dead once the fucked up gray man stop pawing Forest long enough to actual give the order.
Malek pulled from Forest to see what was happening. There was a crazed glint in the gray man’s eyes as he watched Justin snarl aggressively and pushed both sorcerer and ox shifter back. “Seth, are you suggesting we free this pathetic little cursed from his pained existence?”
“It’s a health hazard.” Seth stared dead-eyed as Justin snarled again. “Just a kindness, really.”
Fox strolled over and stood next to Justin and Leo. He cracked his knuckles and managed to look full of bravado even though he was short and scrawny compared to everyone else. “You stupid fuckers seriously think you’re touching any of us? You think we’re afraid of magic? You don’t even know what kind of magic we face every day.”
Fox boldly grabbed Forest by his arm and pulled him beside him. “You okay?” Fox kept his face straight ahead where Malek was glaring back challengingly.
Forest shook his head weakly. “No, I don’t… I don’t know.” He swallowed hard when he looked up and met Malek’s glowing eyes. “Get me out of here, Fox. Please. Before I don’t want to leave.”
Fox took a slow breath, eyes glued to the way Malek grinned smugly at the words. “Raider!” Without warning, he pushed Forest right into Raider’s shaking arms. “Watch him. Don’t let these fuckers near him, and get ready to run.”
Raider stared at him wide eyed for a frozen moment. How Fox could seem so fucking certain when the world felt like it was about to end was beyond him. It did something to him to see Fox’s familiar smirk even now and Raider stood steadier. His arms came up to clasp protectively on Forest’s hunched shoulders.
“Shit, will you look at this ballsy idiot. A little fox thinks he’s going to beat us?” Fox kept his gaze level as the three smirked to each other. Seth’s cold gaze didn’t change as he took in Fox’s thin arms. “I thought foxes were supposed to be smart, not suicidal.”
Lawrence shook his head and cracked his massive shoulders. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite so funny as they two little shits thinking they can take us on.”
Fox leaned into Leo, his voice pitched low. “These guys are going to fucking murder us, man.”
Leo grunted in agreement, his glare never leaving Malek. “Fucking Doe should be here. The one time he’s not screwing his boyfriend, he still not a fucking help.”
Fox blinked as he remembered something Wylie once told him. Theodore was keyed into some of the shifters, or at least to Wylie. But Master Theodore was all the way at the Academy, hundreds of miles away. Even if he could sense them, Fox doubted he’d be able to sense that far. “What do you want to do? I have no problem fighting, but I don’t know if we can actually keep them off of Forest if they go for him.”
Leo was uncertain of what to do even as his muscles flexed in anticipation. “They’ll make him wish he was dead,” he said roughly. His glare fixed on Malek, who grinned back with sharp fangs. “I know what they do to cat types, the sick fucks.” He swiveled his dark gaze to Raider, who was looking lost at them for direction as he kept Forest from swaying. “Get him the fuck out of here, Valdez.”
Fox watched as Raider hesitantly edged a step back toward the entrance to the alley. It was the only way in or out of the area unless you were using magic or could climb the walls. Hopefully, if they could keep the creeps busy, Raider and Forest would be able to escape.
Fox eyed Justin uncertainly when the werewolf gave another snarl. He was being taken over by his wolf and it was a mean fucking wolf. Fox would never want to cross it, and it always made Justin’s magic wicked when he was like this. Still, he was a wild card and there was no guarantee Justin wouldn’t lose it completely and turn on them once blood was spilled.
Leo was looking at him and Fox realized with a start that he was actually waiting on him for a plan. Seriously, what kind of plan did he have besides try not to die?
It wasn’t a bad plan, all things considered.
Fox spoke under his breath, knowing his friends would be able to hear. “If you go lion, I’ll stay human and start blowing shit up and defend with as much magic as I can. If anything, Michael might pick up on the magic being raised up.”
The idea of Michael possibly sensing them seemed to steady Leo a little. His muscles bulged from his neck to his calves and he crouched forward. “Okay.” He leaped forward, one moment human, the next a giant lion. He broke through the group and got behind the villains so he could be a barrier between Raider and Forest. Justin’s crazed howl echoed down the alley, followed swiftly by Leo’s roar.
Fox couldn’t stop his own laugh as he clenched his fists. He flashed his fangs right before he threw a punch at the coolly watching sorcerer. It connected directly, to Fox’s surprise. He pulled back and watched as Seth grabbed his face and blood streamed from his nose.
“Oh, you’re one of those dumb ass sorcerers,” Fox said with a growl. “You don’t think others fight back. You think power and intimidation is all it takes to win. I bet you’ve never even been bruised before.”
Seth hissed in pain around his hand streaked in crimson. With his other hand he reached into his coat pocket and drew a slender wand free. Fox stopped short to eye the magical instrument warily.
“Ha, you need a wand? Even I don’t need a fucking wand.” He realized staying still was a bad idea against a precision weapon and ducked low. Fox surged forward and slammed his hands onto the sorcerer’s chest. Seth went flying backward when Fox pushed with his magic. He nearly tumbled into Malek, who sidestepped gracefully. With a wave of Malek’s hand, Seth stopped his momentum abruptly. He floated in the air a moment before he recovered enough to step down onto the pavement.
“You surprising little idiots.” Malek glared at Fox and the way his hands were smoking from his spell. “Do you honestly think any of you are going to get away? I can hunt each of you down by your scent alone.”
“So you are a shifter. Some sort of cat.” Fox didn’t really care. Raider and Forest had gotten to the alley and all he needed to do was make sure these three freaks didn’t follow them.
Malek grinned fiercely. “You wish, mortal. When I kill you, I’ll show you my true form. Think of it as a gift for your bravery today.”
The words didn’t even have a chance to sink in before Fox reared back with a yelp. His left arm, side, and thigh flamed in searing pain. Fox stared down in shock as his jacket peeled away and blood started to seep through his clothes. He looked up dimly. Malek grinned and held his hand up. Magic tipped his fingers like glowing claws.
Fox licked his lips. Malek had only nicked him but he knew if he hadn’t been faster, it would have been his flesh peeling from his bones. This guy was definitely going to kill them if they didn’t kill him first.
Vincent was aware the moment the door clicked open. Habit. It was impossible to sleep through the night at Metzger’s. Any noise could signal a new monster roaming the grounds.
Vincent disorientedly looked up at the dark ceiling and slowly remembered where he was. The noise was likely Dorian leaving. Probably another late night booty call or whatever the hell you called getting the sparking magic fucked out of you. As long as he didn’t have to leave his bed, he really didn’t care.
Vincent’s eyes drifted shut then snapped wide open moments later when something crashed near the door. He turned to find Fox stumbling sleepily, his head drooped and shoulders lax.
Vincent sat up and spelled the lights on. Dorian’s bed was empty like he thought. His gaze drifted back to the middle of the room. Fox looked like he was about to fall over at the slightest breeze, he was swaying so much. “Are you okay?”
Fox shook his head with a groan. His eyes were practically closed. He looked exhausted.
“Vince?” Fox cracked his eyes open as if to prove he hadn’t fallen asleep just yet.
“Tell me… Tell me you’re not going to kill yourself.”
Vincent jolted, his eyes wide in surprise. “Uh…” He licked his lips and looked away. Out of the corner of his vision, he saw Fox stumble. Vincent kicked the blankets off, got up and grabbed Fox by the shoulders to keep him from falling. When he breathed in, he smelled fresh air. “You’re freezing. Were you outside?”
“Vince, tell me.” Fox was half asleep on his feet but he wouldn’t let the topic drop. “Fuck, even if you do, you’d tell me first, right? You’d say something.” Fox leaned against him wearily. His sleepy sigh brushed Vincent’s neck and ruffled his hair.
Vincent closed his eyes as he tried to get his mind to process whatever this was. He was definitely awake but this scenario felt beyond surreal. “Rafael, I don’t want to die,” he finally answered. It was mostly true.
Fox sighed heavily. “Good. I don’t want you to die.” His lips brushed Vincent’s jaw. “I need you to know I don’t want you to die. I know you’re really messed up about stuff, but I don’t want to lose you. You’re important.”
Vincent’s heart clenched painfully. “Okay.”
“Sorry I’m so tired,” Fox whispered as his lashes fluttered shut again. “Just, Wylie and Dorian are in my room and…”
Vincent studied Fox’s somewhat elfin features, the light spray of silver bangs swept over his forehead, the darkness of his eyelashes, the point to his nose and the one sharp fang that always seemed to tease between his lips. Vincent tightened his grip on Fox’s shoulders and pulled him to his bed.
Maybe he should put him in Dorian’s bed, maybe that was the proper thing to do. Vincent’s feet led him even as his mind questioned just what he was doing. He sat when the back of his legs hit the bed and tugged Fox down beside him.
Fox sat heavily. His eyes slowly blinked and he took in his surroundings blearily. His lashes again drooped, gaze fixed on Vincent’s neck and the bruise coloring his pale flesh. “Sorry. I’ll go in a sec.”
Vincent pushed the covers out of the way. “It’s fine. Just sleep.” When stressed out, shifters needed even more sleep. Fox hadn’t been himself the last week. Between both their roommates, sleep and privacy was now a rarely obtained commodity. Dorian knew he would put up a fit if he tried to have his boyfriend over at night, which meant Fox was the one to lose his bed during sleeping hours.
Vincent gently pushed him down on the bed. Fox let himself fall sideways and curled up with a sigh. Staring at him a moment, Vincent leaned down and pulled Fox’s shoes and socks off and tossed them to the floor. When he straightened, Fox’s breath was already even.
Vincent sat, his stare fixed on his sleeping face. His hand slowly drifted up to stroke over the silky fur of Fox’s ear, his thoughts strangely still. He reached down and pulled the blanket up to cover the sleeping shifter and his fluffy tail, then crawled over to sit cross-legged on the empty side of his bed. With a glance around, Vincent spelled the lights off. His eyes adjusted after a moment, the moonlight cool and dim as it spilled through the sheer curtains.
He couldn’t remember ever sharing a bed. No, maybe before… his mother. Vincent couldn’t actually remember it but he was certain he once curled up in her arms in the middle of the night while a storm crashed outside. He glanced toward the dark windows as the strange feeling closed in and seemed to hollow his heart. How could he feel lonely over a memory he couldn’t even remember?
Vincent leaned back against the wall, his eyes again fixed on Fox’s face. Kill himself? This was why he needed to stay away from Rafael. He sensed too much. Cared too much. Hell, he just cared in general.
Vincent didn’t realize his hand moved until he felt the soft hairs of Fox’s eyebrow beneath his fingertips. He swiped his thumb and gently traced down his nose and followed to the slope of his lips. His fingers stilled as he felt the soft puffs of Fox’s breath, warm and steady.
It was strange, wanting him here. Having him here. It had taken Vincent so long to calm down after what happened in the hallway. He fell asleep exhausted after all the crazy emotions. He wasn’t used to feeling so much. He fell asleep alone while pushing so hard at the world to back off and give him space, give him breathing room to feel only what he could handle. Then he woke up to this; a Fox in his bed.
Everything felt beyond surreal. His room was lit by moonlight, Fox’s breath was in harmony to his heartbeat, and there was a new, enticing heat just inches away that promised to keep him warm no matter what nightmare tried to take him.
Vincent’s shoulders slumped as weariness again hit him. He carefully stretched out, toes flexed as he rolled onto his side under the blankets. He propped up on his elbow, gaze fixed on Fox’s hair as he combed through the ever shifting locks. The strands changed color more at night with the moonshadow all around them. It felt like soft silk and Vincent couldn’t resist leaning forward and touching the locks to his cheek. He sighed, pressed his face to Fox’s jaw and rubbed softly.
He liked the feel of Fox’s skin against his, liked the way Fox sighed in his sleep and rubbed back. His nose brushed his cheek, and chin and throat ran smooth against his forehead. Fingers brushed Vincent’s neck and teased over the mark Fox bit into his flesh. He knew what it meant to the shifter. He knew yet couldn’t bring himself to glamor it away. A part of him liked being marked by Fox.
Vincent closed his eyes and let his head rest against the pillow. Fox’s scent and heat was all around him. It was calming, soothing. He gently stroked his ear, lost in the feel of silky fur between fingertips. He pressed a soft kiss to Fox’s neck, lips firm and still as he touched him mouth to his flesh and didn’t pull away.
He was probably bad for wanting Fox. Wanting to have someone to sleep beside was selfish. He hurt too many, so many who looked just like Rafael. He deserved to be alone.
Still, he liked this. He liked the feel of Fox, his warmth and solidness. The way he breathed, his chest rising and falling with such steadiness. Vincent wished things could be different. He wished he could be different.
“Right, an accident that burned half my hair off! How convenient you suck at magic, you shifty little fox!”
Dorian sighed and rubbed his temples as Fox and Vincent continued arguing in the hallway like five-year-olds instead of going to Dr. Rob’s like they were supposed to.
“It wasn’t half your hair!” Fox’s tanned face was flushed red from yelling and covered in soot. His left arm was bleeding and he was completely oblivious as he waved it at the currently smoking head of the sorcerer before him. “Just… Well, it’s a lot of your hair,” Fox snorted. Vincent growled angrily. “Just spell it proper and stop yelling at me. I said I was sorry.”
“I can’t spell it right, idiot.” Vincent pulled at his once beautiful silky, blue-black locks and shoved the singed curly edges in Fox’s face. “It’s organic material. You can’t just make hair grow back! And your sorries aren’t worth shit! All you say is sorry instead of actually paying the fuck attention and choosing not to blow everything up. This is the second time today! In the same fucking class!”
“Shit, just chill out! Glamour the fucking thing. Sure, it won’t be fixed, but it will look just as fine. Shit, why do you have to be so fucking vain, Vince? No one cares how you look. It’s just a bunch of guys here.”
“Stop,” Dorian warned when he saw a familiar glint in Vincent’s eye. Vincent looked ready to hex Fox into a tree, one likely miles away and full of wasps. “Come on, you two. Fox, you’re bleeding all over the floor. Vincent, your hair is smoking and you’re going to set off the sprinklers. Both of you get your asses to the hospital before I have to spell you there.”
“I’m not sharing a fucking hospital room with him,” Vincent insisted grumpily.
“Fine, you go find a fucking hospital in the middle of nowhere,” Fox retorted smugly. “Dr. Rob likes me. He gives me lollipops when I get hurt.”
“Then you must have fucking diabetes, you’re so accident prone.”
Dorian was ready to kill the two of them. One bonfire and Vincent admitting he wasn’t really a bigoted asshole had done nothing for the pair’s fighting. If they didn’t absolutely hate each other, he would almost suspect they actually wanted to fuck. But Vincent really, really hated Fox. “Hey! I said no hexing!”
He stomped up to the two of them, and grabbed Fox before Vincent could curse him. “So help me, if you two don’t grow the fuck up this second… What?” he trailed off. Vincent and Fox stared behind him with suddenly nervous expressions. “What are you looking at?”
A warm tingle shot down his spine and his breath quickened. Wylie. Dorian glanced over his shoulder. Wylie was nearly on top of him, he was standing so close. How the hell had he…?
Dorian closed his eyes. Wylie’s low, hoarse voice was absolutely maddening. He hadn’t seen him in three days. It gave him plenty of time to think, plenty of time to know exactly what he wanted. Plenty of damn time to miss him until one fucking word out of Wylie’s mouth made his knees weak.
Fuck, he hated love.
Wylie stepped closer. He hissed low notes as his breath curled over the nape of Dorian’s neck. Dorian shuddered and his fingers started to spark. Fox jumped back before he was shocked. Hell, Wylie didn’t even have to touch him and he sparked.
He forced his eyes open when he heard Fox gasp. Dorian found the two gaping wide-mouthed and still staring behind him. Aw, crap. He dared another peek over his shoulder and groaned when he saw Wylie in his dragon form. He was long horns, sleek wings, sinewy tail and glowing eyes. All combined with a wicked fanged smile that promised to eat him alive.
Hah, maybe that wasn’t too far from the truth. Dorian turned and took a cautious step backward. His eyes went wide when Wylie hissed again.
His shirt was torn from his transformation and Wylie pulled it carelessly from his torso to reveal black sleek scales over hard, toned muscle. Dorian’s eyes moved down and he swallowed with difficulty when he saw that Wylie was hard already. He could almost feel those scales under his hands. His mind strayed to just how big Wylie felt inside him the last time.
More sparks flickered off of him and Dorian took another shaking step back. Wylie grinned fiercely and surged forward. He slammed him up against the wall and pinned him while Dorian gasped.
“Fuck, Wylie, it’s a fucking hallway,” Dorian moaned. His heart pounded in his ears. Wylie didn’t seem to care and he bent down to kiss him. His strong hand cupped the side of his face as hot lips crushed his. Dorian groaned and opened to the demanding tongue. Wylie explored his mouth as if they’d never kissed before.
“Need you,” Wylie said hoarsely before he nipped at his bottom lip. He wrapped an arm around Dorian’s waist and pushed up tight against his lithe body. Dorian moaned as his shirt was torn from him with an impossibly fast move. Wylie’s erection ground against his hip. His hot leg then pushed between his thighs to rub against his hardening dick.
More sparks shivered over his skin. Wylie’s tongue lapped out and followed their trail as he kissed roughly down his throat. “I woke up and you weren’t there.” Wylie ran his fangs over Dorian’s neck and followed with his tongue. “Need to smell you. Taste you… claim you.”
“But… it’s a hallway.” Dorian tried to get him to see reason. Wylie only hissed again and Dorian clutched the wall behind him to keep from falling when a tongue teased over his nipple. “Class is going to get out and… and god, do that again,” he whispered hoarsely. His head fell back heavily against the wall as fire shot across his skin.
Wylie grinned at Dorian’s surrender and slid down to his knees. His tongue moved down Dorian’s taut stomach as he tore his fly open.
Dorian cracked his eyes open at a noise to find the two idiots had managed to stop fighting, but only because they were staring at him and Wylie. “Fuck off or I’m going to hex you across the damn Academy.”
Vincent huffed and turned. His cheeks were slightly flushed. “Like I want to see you two?” He grabbed Fox by the arm when he made no move to leave.
Fox grinned widely when Dorian moaned. Wylie’s tongue slid down his navel as he pushed Dorian’s pants down. “Quit it, man, I want to see my boy’s moves,” he growled when Vincent tugged on his arm harder.
“You’re a degenerate.” Vincent scowled and pulled him away harshly. He made sure to dig his nails into the wound on Fox’s arm. “Now move.”
Dorian had no problem ignoring the bickering brats. Wylie’s tongue finally found his dick and slowly traced long lines up and down his shaft. He kept kissing his flesh. His lips were warm, wet, and firm as Wylie worshiped his cock. “Oh fuck,” Dorian gasped. His hands grasped Wylie’s hair when he parted his lips and took his cock in deep. Damn, he looked good on his knees.
He moaned and was unable to stop his hips from bucking into Wylie’s hot mouth. Dorian stared fixated on his face. Wylie’s mouth was open wide to take all of him in. Saliva dripped down his chin, and his cheeks were flushed beneath the transparent scales on his face. “God, you’re good at that,” he whispered. He jolted forward when large hands rubbed possessively over his ass. Each touch was a burning fire to his senses. It was like every burst of magic that would have sparked free was welling up inside him, and was trying to drive him fucking crazy with need.
“Wylie—hell, wait—hell!” His head slammed back against the wall. Dorian could only pant when Wylie pushed his leg up over his broad shoulder, and tongued lower until he was teasing around his entrance. He would have been fine with it except he was practically naked in a fucking hallway feet away from the class he was supposed to be in. Dorian gave a hard pull to his hair but Wylie just groaned from the pain and drove his tongue deep into Dorian’s entrance. “Fuck!”
Fine, he was just going to have to kill Wylie later. Preferably after he got him off. Dorian whimpered as Wylie’s tongue plunged in and out of his tight flesh in erratic strokes. He grabbed for his horns for balance. A thick finger joined his tormenting tongue to breach Dorian slowly and stretch him open.
“Damn it… A desk, a bed… something, Wylie,” Dorian demanded breathlessly when Wylie stood after a final lap to the tip of his throbbing dick. Wylie’s lips were swollen. His chin was wet and eyes burned with sex. “Four fucking walls,” Dorian finished weakly as he stared. Wylie’s pants had been lost somewhere. His hard cock was dripping and pointed right at him. Dorian licked his lips as his knees threatened to give out. Dear fuck.
“Next time,” Wylie rasped out. His gaze moved over Dorian intently. “Need you, Dorian. Need you to be mine.”
With a groan, Dorian conceded he was about to be fucked in a hallway. Wylie was just too determined and far too sexy for his own good.
His knee was pulled up and Wylie pinned him hard against his body. Dorian gasped as two fingers found his hole and thrust inside. He clawed at Wylie’s sleek shoulders, and did everything to keep from shouting. The last thing he wanted was someone to come looking to see what was going on. Sweat dripped down his neck. Wylie’s mouth and tongue followed as he fucked him with his long fingers.
Dorian licked up Wylie’s jaw with his trembling tongue. Small broken cries kept breaking free as Wylie’s fingers stretched him wide and drove in and out in maddening strokes. “Another,” he whimpered desperately. He dug his fingernails into Wylie’s hard biceps. “Want to feel you.”
With a heated growl, Wylie plunged three fingers deep into his mate. Dorian sobbed and gasped uncontrollably. It was so much, his channel agonizingly full. Wylie was relentless, and pumped into him while Dorian moaned. He wasn’t sure if he could take much more. His body remembered well enough and hips bucked as he tried to get Wylie deeper.
Wylie’s tongue extended slowly and traced over Dorian’s gasping red lips. He smirked at how wanton he looked. “You’re so fucking hot like this, beautiful. So sexy. So desperate for more. Anyone seeing you right now would know you were meant to be fucked.”
The world rocked when Wylie stroked his prostate. Dorian tried really hard not to imagine how the two of them looked at that moment, with Wylie like some winged demon ravaging him in the hallway. “God, Wylie, please… please, just…” He needed it. Needed it so bad. He needed Wylie to take him, have him and he didn’t fucking care about anything else.
He groaned when Wylie’s thick fingers slid from his passage. Wylie moved against him. Their bodies were slick with sweat, and his breath was strained as he panted in Dorian’s ear. Dorian’s eyes opened to find him staring down at him. Wylie was bent close to tease his tongue over his bottom lip. There was something in his ice-blue eyes asking permission. Something Dorian readily answered even as he blinked the sweat from his lashes.
Wylie’s large hands grabbed his ass, pulled him up and pinned him to the wall. Dorian’s legs wrapped tightly around his waist. He gripped Wylie by the shoulders and his breath halted; Wylie’s expression was so intense he felt lost in it. It wasn’t until the hot tip of Wylie’s dick pushed between his cheeks that the spell was broken. Dorian shuddered and held him tight.
“Slowly,” Wylie hissed. He pressed his face to Dorian’s neck and with restrained force began to push into the tight heat. “Fuck.”
With his lips parted, Dorian’s silent cries became gasping moans as Wylie’s cock stretched his entrance wide. It pushed unceasing pressure forward until his body had no choice but to relent and open. Wylie’s fingers bruised into his hips but Dorian barely felt it. All his focus was on that hot, thick flesh, and how it stretched him open, filled him, and melded them together. Wylie held so much back to keep from hurting him and he could only feel the perfect agony of their joining.
“Tight… so fucking tight, Ri,” Wylie grunted under his breath. He sheathed the last inches into Dorian’s hot channel. Wylie held his shaking body in his strong embrace to help Dorian grow used to the sensation, but there was no getting used to such insanity. Dorian moaned with each heated throb of the thick member inside of him. There was no inferno of fire or hailstorm of bullets and still, being joined with Wylie was unbearably intense.
With a growl, Dorian gripped Wylie tighter. He used his magic to grow his nails into claws. “You don’t need to hold back.” He nipped Wylie’s ear a moment before he slashed down his back.
“Fuck!” Wylie howled and slammed forward. He buried into him as Dorian arched and cried out. Dorian’s fingers gripped the nape of his neck. Wylie stared with glowing eyes, then brushed their wet lips together heatedly. Dorian heaved soft gasps for air. His hazel eyes widened when he felt Wylie begin to swell inside his flesh. The extra girth stole his mind in a dizzying heat of pure sensation and need.
“So beautiful… Doing so good, baby.” Wylie’s lips moved over his cheeks with soft kisses. He moved down his jaw and pecked his lips all while he thrust slow, desperate jolts into his gripping passage. Dorian was so slick inside and already wet from his precum. The thickness of Wylie’s shaft created a perfect friction between them. “My mate… God, you’re my beautiful… fucking sexy mate,” Wylie murmured hoarsely. His voice was full of emotion and need.
“Oh fuck…” Dorian’s cries grew even more intense in volume when he felt Wylie swell larger, and his passage stretched so wide. “God, please, I need it,” Dorian babbled mindlessly. His teeth bit at Wylie’s jaw to distract from the overwhelm of sensation. “Please, Wy, fuck, please don’t stop.”
“God, I’m not going to stop.” Wylie slammed forward again when Dorian’s passage clenched around his cock.
“Harder… Need it harder,” Dorian pleaded breathlessly. His thighs were tense and shook from the position. He wanted to be Wylie’s. He wanted to feel that same crazed feeling of being filled as last time. Wylie was his mate and he needed to hurry and mate him.
Wylie responded to Dorian’s raw need and stopped holding back. He surged forward while holding Dorian’s hips firmly, and fucked him with hard, rough strokes. He thrust in deep and stayed. The base of his dick grew so large it lodged tight inside him.
It was too much for Dorian. His entrance was stretched so wide he didn’t even know who he was anymore. He came with a sob and clawed at Wylie’s shoulders as he spurted streams of cum between the crush of their hot bodies.
Wylie kissed him fiercely. He slammed Dorian a final time against the wall. His own orgasm was pulled free with how hard his mate’s channel gripped his cock. He pumped load after load of his seed into the moaning sorcerer. Dorian’s heavy eyelids were slit open to meet Wylie’s gaze and watch his fierce, possessive expression as he claimed him.
Wylie’s hips began to slow their rapid pumps but he still held Dorian tight. The last of his cum filled his channel. His kisses turned gentler. Wylie’s tongue was languid and slow as he tasted Dorian’s sweat and skin. He nipped at the thin flesh of his throat.
Dorian was beyond sated. His limbs were loose, his head heavy, and smile lazy. His body was alive with contentment and his magic was a soft bubble in his core. He fluttered his lashes open, and fixed the smug shifter with an exasperated yet halfhearted glare. “Damn it, Wylie. A fucking hallway?” he trailed off and groaned when Wylie found his nipple and rolled it between his fingers. “Mmm.”
Wylie nuzzled against Dorian’s neck and sighed deeply. He was still buried deep in his passage and had little interest in leaving. He wanted to hold Dorian forever. Be entwined forever… Or at least, until he got hungry enough to move.
He lifted his head and his eyes trailed over Dorian’s face. He memorized all that he found. Wylie moved his hand up to push his dark, sweaty locks from Dorian’s forehead. “Ri, you’re mine… Right?” His expression turned sober with eyes full of uncertainty. “Tell me you’re mine. My mate.”
Dorian didn’t answer. He was fixated on the nickname Wylie gave him. He never had a nickname before. It always seemed to be something for happier, easier-going people than he was ever going to be. But he wasn’t tied to his parents anymore. He wasn’t trapped in a body with too much magic anymore… Well, not fully.
Dorian’s silence stretched on too long. Wylie extracted from his entrance and lowered him to his feet. He cupped Dorian’s face and tried to read his expression. Dorian opened his mouth to speak but Wylie held his finger to his lips.
“It’s okay. I’ll convince you that I’m good enough for someone like you, Dorian.” Wylie’s expression was serious and intent. “Whatever it takes. I’ll get good at magic if that’s what you need so your family doesn’t just see me as a shifter. I can get a job—”
“Shit, shut up, idiot,” Dorian interrupted with a growl. He grabbed Wylie’s scaled wrist only to pause when he didn’t resist. All the dragon’s strength and he still just let him push him around. “It’s just a lot to think about. I never had a real boyfriend but… But I want to be your mate.”
Dorian bit his lip and glanced away for a moment as he tried to remember all the things he planned to say to Wylie while he slept. Now that they could finally talk, everything slipped from his mind.
“It’s not just because you fix my magic. You need to know that—although, fuck, it’s just perfect that you do,” he added with a dazed smile. “It’s like you’re meant for me or some crazy, sappy shit like that. I mean, you’re just fucking perfect.”
“I’m certain we’re made for each other, Ri. My dragon thinks so and I think so. Not that it didn’t take some damn convincing.” Wylie frowned at his own stubbornness. His expression softened as he touched the edge of Dorian’s ear. “If I couldn’t fix your magic, I just would have found some other way to be an important part of your life. We’re meant for each other.”
Dorian couldn’t stop his blush. He peered up through his lashes. Yeah, sappy as fuck; Wylie was lucky he was hot. “You’re going to be here five years, right? Well, we can, you know, see how things go. I mean, there are a lot of complications with my magic problem and, well, I don’t really know what all this mating business is actually about.”
“Neither do I,” Wylie admitted softly, with his eyes fixed on his red lips. “I just know you’re mine and nothing is going to keep me from you.”
Dorian ran his palm over the transparent scales of Wylie’s jaw. He leaned forward and kissed him. “We’ll figure it out. We have plenty of time. Just… Just don’t think you have to be different. That shit I said about shifters I said to, well, get you to give up on me. I’m not like my family. I don’t think that about anyone, and I really don’t give a fuck about how my parents think about anything. You’re my mate,” he said with another blush and a tentative smile. “What other people think doesn’t fucking matter.”
Wylie beamed. He rubbed his cheek against Dorian’s and sighed. “You smell like me.”
Dorian rolled his eyes and snorted, but couldn’t stop a grin from breaking free. “You’ve got issues, Doe. You can’t just run me down whenever your dragon starts hissing.”
Wylie nodded in agreement, but when he opened his mouth his words didn’t match. “I need to. I need to make you mine. I need to make sure everyone knows you’re mine and only mine. My mate.”
Yeah, fucking issues. Dorian wasn’t sure how he was going to train this particular problem out of Wylie, but he would figure it out. He was not one for being run down and fucked in public.
He wrinkled his nose when he felt the trickle of cum slide down his thighs. Dorian waved his hand and spelled himself clean. With another wave he was fully dressed and back to his immaculate self. Wylie just stared at him in confusion. His nostrils flared and he eventually reared back with a glare.
“Hey, I just spent a lot of time and effort getting you all dirty with my scent. You can’t just spell that all away.”
Dorian hid a smirk and just raised an eyebrow. “Oh? Don’t know what to tell you… but apparently I can.” He smiled sassily, turned on his heel and headed down the hall. Two seconds later and Wylie grabbed him from behind. His hungry hiss made Dorian shiver hotly.
“Gorgeous, I’m just going to have to cover you to mark you as mine.”
“Damn it… Fuck, Wylie.” Goddamn, fucking sexy, possessive dragons. Dorian exhaled shakily and arched into the hands running down his torso. Fingers sought a way under his shirt. Before he could get lost in Wylie’s touch again, Dorian forced himself forward. He refused to look back until he got to the corner where the hallway connected with another. Wylie stared after him with a look of determination and want. He was also still completely naked in rainbow black scales.
“A bed, idiot,” Dorian prompted when Wylie seemed content to stand and stare at him. “You know, in a room I can fucking lock people out of.”
His expression grew intense and Wylie stalked toward him. Dorian felt a wave of heat shoot through his body. Wylie was oblivious to his nudity or just how damn sexy he looked.
Fuck, okay, he might have some issues too. Dorian grinned wickedly. He ducked around the corner and broke into a sprint when he heard Wylie follow. He nearly got to the end of the hall before Wylie caught him. Wylie lifted him off the floor in a dizzying spin.
“Hell.” His heart was pounding in his chest. Dorian gasped when he found his arms and legs wrapped around Wylie’s sweaty, muscular form. Wylie’s wings were stretched out behind him to keep them from being crushed. “You’re fast.” Strong too, no matter how gentle Wylie was when he touched him.
Wylie grinned in triumph and went to kiss him but Dorian covered his mouth with his hand. Wylie was undeterred and his tongue teased out and licked between his fingers. “Bedroom,” Dorian insisted hoarsely. He beamed when Wylie started walking them to the dorms even as his lips still moved over his hand and wrist.
Mate. He had a dragon shifter for a mate. A strong, sexy, fearless man who got him on a level few did. Dorian thought for the longest time he was cursed with his magical disorder. At such a young age he saw his future turn from bright to bleak overnight. Now he was grateful for the struggle and the chain of events that allowed him to meet and love Wylie Doe.
Wylie watched the even rise and fall of Dorian’s chest. He was napping after a rather strenuous weekend of being fucked senseless. Wylie wasn’t sure exactly how he was expected to behave when Dorian was so gorgeous, sexy, and in possession of such a terribly wicked tongue, but Wylie thought he was trying. Given his exasperated expression right before falling asleep, Dorian didn’t agree.
He was back in his human form when Wylie fished around the floor for a pair of jeans. He pulled them on before snagging a cigarette from Dorian’s case. When he wandered shirtless out into the lounge, he ignored the catcalls he got from Forest and Fox. Dorian was apparently loud during sex; something he warned the guys not to mention unless they were looking to get hexed by his grumpy mate.
Dante appeared at his side, and immediately grabbed his hand like he owned it. Wylie sent a small smile down at his bowed head and led them to the outer door so he could smoke. The mid-afternoon sun was warm even though the air was growing chiller with winter fast approaching. Wylie stared out at the fields and forest before them. He felt more content than he could ever remember.
Dante loved Will and Christopher’s room. The tree inside a building was amazing to the small boy. But he refused to sleep there. No, Wylie ended up asking for an extra bed to be put in his and Fox’s room so Dante could sleep next to his big brother. Dante was the one to start calling him his brother and Wylie couldn’t, for the life of him, find a reason to disagree.
He’d never had a little brother but that didn’t mean he was opposed to the idea. Not when Dante clearly needed him as much as he did. The more the two talked, the more Wylie discovered just how much the kid was in desperate need of someone to care about him.
Dante only dropped hints here and there but as each new piece of information came to light, Wylie could see the grim picture it revealed. Dante lived with relatives but they hadn’t cared about him. They barely fed him, and had little interest in talking to him or playing. Dante was looked on as a curse on the family. One they hoped to cure when his uncle found a sorcerer to sell him to.
Dante didn’t remember a lot of things. His memory fuzzed out on moments not worth remembering. But there was a lot he didn’t remember and Wylie was left with a fierce need to make sure Dante’s current days were worth being present for.
Collin came back with the final word that Dante wouldn’t be sent back to Italy. The slavers the Salvadors sold him to would find him immediately, and his home situation was unfit. Dante needed structure and the right people to show him how to use his powers safely. There was no better place than the Academy for that.
Dante watched when Wylie blew a smoke ring. He looked up and made the ring twist into a spiral. With a smirk, Wylie blew another ring only to have it transformed into a somewhat blobbish ladybug. The masters let Dante out of the null-collar during the day when Wylie was around to be a pacifying presence. They hoped eventually Dante wouldn’t need the instrument at all as long as he was on the Academy grounds.
Wylie’s next smoke ring turned into a long string of Italian text. He blinked down at Dante’s innocent looking face. “How old are you again?”
Dante shrugged and smiled to himself. They weren’t sure exactly how old he was, but Dante’s relatives insisted they’d been taking care of him for years. Like, thirty. And no, they weren’t on drugs when Michael interviewed them.
It took some sweet words and strong arms on Michael’s part to smooth things over, but the Academy came to an arrangement with Dante’s guardians. They promised not to have the family arrested if the three signed Dante over into the care of the Academy.
Wylie wasn’t sure just how much Dante understood of everything going on around him. He was silent most of the time and rarely reacted to what people said. But he liked hugs, human contact when he had a choice in the matter, and to know Wylie was around. All things Wylie found easy enough to oblige.
Dante glanced up at him and asked quietly, “Are you going to marry Dorian?”
“Jesus!” Wylie nearly spit his cigarette out as he coughed. He covered his face with his hand. Okay, maybe the kid was paying attention to shit after all. “I dunno, D. It’s really fucking early to be thinking about stuff like that.”
Dante leaned against Wylie’s side, with his head still turned upwards. “My mom got married when she was thirteen… but she died really young too.” His face was an expressionless mask when he added, “You love him.”
Wylie grunted in confirmation and chose his next words carefully. “Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you need to marry them, D. Love doesn’t come in the same package every time. Families are all different and you don’t need some ceremony or a priest or shit to tell you you’re a family.”
Dante nodded to himself and held Wylie’s hand tighter. He was silent for a long time as he watched him smoke.
“I want you to be my family.”
Wylie stared down at Dante’s sleek, dark locks, while he wondered the best way to answer something like that. Family didn’t mean living in the same house. It didn’t mean sharing blood or even the same magical powers. It was a choice built on bonds. You could choose to strengthen them or let them decay, but it was still a choice.
“You are my family, Dante,” Wylie finally answered. “No matter what. I’ll be there whenever you need me.”
A small smile broke across his normally impassive face. Dante rubbed his forehead against Wylie’s side. He looked at the scenery and the way the smoke drifted up. “Dorian too?”
Wylie nodded. “Pretty sure.” Dorian was in need of a proper family no matter how many people were waiting for him back at his mansion.
Dorian was clear he didn’t want Wylie to change for him, but Wylie was still determined to make something of himself. He fucked-up his life enough. Sure, it was some messed up, backward rebellion against the world which took so much from him, but he was the only one getting hurt. At the time, the idea of destroying his life felt more controlling than letting absolute strangers destroy him. Growing up, that was how it felt; like people were trying to break him at every turn. He was done with it.
He didn’t need to live his life in reaction to how others treated him. He just needed to live his life.
In the last month, Wylie learned to control his shift, found an amazing mate he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, and even gained a group of friends so strong he could call them his pack. He wanted better for himself. If it made him a better person in Dorian’s eyes as well, that was just a damn fine extra perk.
Wylie was pulled from his thoughts. He blinked down as a glow of magic flashed and faded. With a tilt of his head, he stared at Dante in confusion. “Did you just grow a foot?”
Dante shrugged. His hair was now down to his shoulders. “All the guys keep making fun of me for being so little.” His voice sounded stronger and accent less pronounced.
“How old are you?” Wylie had a feeling this was going to be a very familiar unanswered question. Dorian said that Dante was very special and to expect odd things you wouldn’t see with normal sorcerer kids. He hadn’t said anything about instant growth spurts.
Dante wiggled his longer fingers and smiled slightly. “I dunno, it’s hard to keep track of after a while. My parents got married in ’62.”
“1962 and your mother was thirteen at the time?” His jaw dropped and Wylie tried to keep the shock out of his voice.
Dante shook his head and watched his bangs float across his eyes. “1562.”
“Son of a bitch.” Wylie sucked down the rest of his cigarette and wished to god he had another one. Dante didn’t do magic like the other sorcerers did and he might just be a couple hundred years old. Like almost 500. “Fucking shit.”
Dante tilted his head up. He looked closer to twelve now as he blinked bright green eyes up at Wylie. “You’re still going to be my big brother but… I’m probably going to be taller than you.”
“Oh really?” Wylie glared down at him and gave a ruffle to his dark locks. He was unable to stop his grin. “Good luck to that, pipsqueak.”
Fuck, he couldn’t call him gramps. Dante still looked and acted like a kid even if he was older than dirt. Wylie glanced over when Fox and Forest bounded out of the double doors of the Academy. “Wanna go chase Fox around the lawn?”
Dante nodded quickly. His eyes followed the two laughing shifters as they morphed into their animal forms and began to wrestle on the golden colored lawn. Wylie scooped Dante around his waist and carried him giggling to the pile of fur where he placed him down to play.
At five hundred years old and able to take out five guys with one spell, Dante still managed to fall on his ass and get a split lip in under a minute. Wylie shook his head and wondered if anything would ever be ‘normal’ at the Academy.
After a moment, he decided he really didn’t want it to be. He joined in chasing Forest’s leopard form up a tall tree. As homes went, his new one was perfect. Weirdness and all.
Thanks for reading Demon Arms. All the guys from the Paranormal Academy For Troubled Boys return in the sequel, Sorcerer Slayer, which is currently being written. Subscribers can read updates in the Library now. Fox and Vincent get a turn at driving each other crazy (and maybe falling in love <3) and we meet Raider, an anxiety ridden, raccoon shifter who wants to be anywhere but at the Academy.