“Asher, what are you doing?” Gilda asked with a false sense of calm, her hand reaching to her back where she kept her blades.
Evan, his body completely frozen, felt his awareness begin to expand. He could hear the shift of fabric and chains when Devlan moved, the tall brunette stepping to get to the other side of the boy holding him captive. He could feel Corinth’s fear, the emotion almost as palpable along with the trickle of guilt that went with it as she stepped back, eyes moving from Asher to Evan’s trapped hand. He could even taste Gilda’s blade, blood having coated it recently even though it shone clean and bright now.
“Let him go, Asher,” Gilda demanded louder, her voice full of tension. Evan could feel that too, the energy in the air full of anticipated movement. But Gilda wouldn’t attack. Asher was more powerful, the boy something more than just a lust creature but a death creature. Evan stopped focusing on the others and instead brought his attention to the boy holding his wrist.
Asher was finally truly visible to Evan, the slightest swaying of his slender body as he stood, his chest rising gently with each breath he took. He actually seemed quite normal except for his fangs and his claws and the fact that he was coated in blood. It dripped down Asher’s skin, painting his tanned flesh red, his face the only part of him free of the scarlet wash. Except his mouth, his lips wet with blood, white teeth revealing red within each space between.
“Can you see me, Evanel?”
Staring at the boy, Evan tried to say yes, his mouth not moving. But Asher seemed to understand, his head tilting, eyes squinting slightly as he grinned wider and revealed more crimson stained teeth.
“I believe we share something in common. You are very similar… Can you feel it? Can you feel just how alike we are?”
Evan could not, fairly certain that whatever the fuck the boy was, they were nothing alike.
“Don’t be so quick to answer just yet.” Asher reached his other hand forward, touching Evan’s throat, claws scratching ever so threateningly against his skin. “Don’t you think it’s odd? You walked into a room full of sorcerers and ended up with the five creatures that feed off of them?”
Evan hadn’t been really thinking that at all, wondering instead if this boy was going to rip his throat out with his claws and bathe in his blood. He allowed himself to ponder the question only because Asher’s pale, leaf green eyes were very close to his and he would rather look at them and wonder how he had gotten to this moment, then focus on the blood dripping from the boy’s lips in front of him.
“You see, yes? This was your first time meeting your magical peers and you surrounded yourself with the most dangerous beings in the room. It’s a bit peculiar, isn’t it?”
Evan had to admit that yes, him feeling comfortable around a bunch of magical predators was probably very odd, especially since he did not consider himself to be one. Especially since he was certain he was going to be mauled by the particular one holding him still and baring his teeth.
Asher did not seem to be done with his one sided conversation, stepping closer, voice curling dark whispers in his ear. “And for some very confusing, very interesting reason, we all want to pet you.”
Evan stared at the boy in disbelief—At least, he felt disbelief, his face still not responding to his commands. He watched, Asher’s hand moving up, bloodied fingers brushing lightly over his bangs. Claws dug in combing long strokes, flicking Evan’s ash blond hair back and staining the locks red with each pass.
“You can see how we are similar.” Asher leaned closer, bloodstained mouth now pressed to Evan’s ear. “I give off a call to bring the weak and foolish closer so I can taste them. While you… you give off a call that brings the predators to you.”
If Evan could have gulped, he would have, feeling Asher’s tongue lick slowly up his neck. Was he calling them? Like some sort of allure?
“What are you calling us for, Evanel?” Asher whispered, his voice growing harder, a steel edge of tension. “I have never had someone call me before. I do not like it. Do you want me to taste you? Save you? Why in the world would you call a room full of hunters… just to be petted?”
“Asher, I will only say this once. Let the boy go or I will kill you.”
Evan focused away from the hand touching his hair and the mouth breathing against his throat. Vesper was a hot, blinding power in the room, his energy not only tall as it reached up to the ceiling, but beautiful refracted color and light. He was angry, restrained yet resigned, his muscles full of anticipation of deadly force. There was also a dark tone beneath it all, a primal desire to fight and kill and mate.
“Yes, he is full of dark need,” Asher whispered, Evan realizing that the boy could read everything he could as if they were merely sharing the predator’s senses while in the trapped state. “That is why the demon chose him. Out of his many cousins, Vesper had the greatest depths of need. That he denies himself at every turn only grows it greater. He wants to pet you too and cannot even allow himself that while all of us have had at least one touch of your skin.”
Evan could feel the shifts in Vesper, the anticipation growing, movement to come ever more certain while the others stepped away to give the boy room.
“I want you to remember this moment, Evanel.” Asher turned Evan’s head, forcing him to meet his eyes again. “I showed you my true self. I held your hand, I caressed your head and I tasted your skin. I did you no harm.” He stood on tiptoes, pressing a soft kiss to Evan’s lips.
Asher stepped back, hand still tight on his wrist. “I chose not to destroy you when I was clearly the superior. Remember this on the day you reveal your true self. I have earned your mercy.” Slowly he lifted his fingers from Evan’s wrist. Asher’s hand was gone, the boy was gone, the world roaring back into focus in excruciating volume.
Evan fell to his knees, gasping for air. He had not been breathing. He did not know for how long but he was faint, his sight dimmed with black, red burning his lungs and veins as oxygen returned. Blearily he could smell blood, his tastebuds tingling with the metal tang. Worse, his body was aroused as if whatever Asher had done to him had been the greatest of pleasures and not a very possible death. Evan’s skin was alive with energy, sparking each nerve and cell and filling him with unbearable need.
“Fucking… sick… blood covered… freak,” Evan panted out, fighting a moan that broke free when someone touched his arm to help him stand. Gilda immediately withdrew, Evan whimpering and resting his forehead on the floor, his skin alive with want. Turning his face, he found them all crouched around him, even the now motionless, blood free Asher, five sets of hungry eyes glaring at him. Devlan was the first to crack, fingers twitching towards him only to have Vesper hiss warningly.
“Do not!” The pale boy demanded, Devlan growling petulantly.
“But he’s just—”
“But he’s dripping! It’s just going to waste.”
“So help me, if you touch him I will slice your hand off. He has been assaulted and nearly asphyxiated. Hardly acceptable terms for a feast!”
“What harm would it do?” Corinth murmured reasonably. “It won’t injure him. It might even ease his suffering. Are you suffering, Evanel? Do you want us to help you?”
Evan was trying to figure out how a group of people, who had gone from trying to save him to trying to eat him alive, thought they were going to help him. “I would really appreciate it… if you would all just… get the fuck away from me,” he gasped out.
Devlan groaned and closed his eyes. “Angry, tasty, pretty thing.”
“You can’t really expect to stop yourselves,” Asher said smoothly. “His allure is just making it worse.”
Vesper snarled, rounding on the boy. “Allure! That you would try and justify your actions over something as impossible as allure—”
“You can pretend all you like, Vesper, but you are just as lost as the rest of us,” Devlan snapped. “You even tried to call the kid. Right next to your demon dog, you tried to call Reed to touch you. He better have an allure or you’re fucking cracking, man.”
“He does have a call. Some sort of allure,” Gilda said tightly. “We all feel it—We just spent so long thinking that such a thing wasn’t possible that we chose to ignore the plain facts of it.”
“That does not justify groping him,” Vesper said tightly.
“Just because you deny yourself at every turn, does not mean the rest of us have to,” Devlan growled lowly, his voice rougher with his restrained need. “He is saturated with desire. There is no harm to just touch his skin and taste it.”
Hissing louder, Vesper glared at Devlan, his eyes glowing bright.
“That won’t work on me, dragon boy. You can’t compel me like some fucking prey!”
Asher snickered. “Unless you’re Evanel, you mean.”
“If there is no harm in it, why have you not asked him?” Vesper shot out, ignoring Asher. “You know his answer and you wish to ignore it. He does not fall to your allure—You will be taking what isn’t freely given.”
“Fuck… off,” Evan gritted out, wishing everyone would shut up and leave already. His body was aching, fire moving through him in wave after wave. The feeling was only getting worse, need growing inside him, threatening to overwhelm him fully. His clothes felt suffocating, harsh fabric weighing him down, wrapping around him and tangling. He pushed his robe off, grabbing for the tie that was determined to strangle him and tearing it wide, groaning as it was free.
“Evan, please try to calm down,” Gilda said quietly, soothingly. “You need to try and cool the fire in you.”
Barking a harsh laugh, Evan threaded fingers through the gaps in his shirt, buttons flying off as he wrenched down. “I’m trying… to cool off,” he whimpered, falling back against the floor, eyes catching sight of the blood all over his hand. That damn freak had been covered in blood. Asher was walking around, covered in something’s or someone’s blood.
“He won’t be able to stop the fire,” Asher said, smirking as he watched Evan flinch from his own hand and start wiping it on the floor, streaking the marble red. “I had to go to extreme measures just to see if he could even succumb. He is very resistant to compulsion.”
“You didn’t have to do anything! You could have left him the fuck alone like you do everyone else, Asher Vah!” Vesper was vibrating with barely contained rage.
Asher merely shrugged, a hiccup of a motion through his small frame. “He was interesting. Is still… very interesting.” His fingers reached for Evan, flinching back moments before Vesper swung his hand down, a long, narrow blade just missing the boy’s hand.
Evan barely noticed, struggling with his suit jacket, his arms refusing to move properly. “Damn it.” He felt trapped, drowning in fabric, every movement restricted and weak. “I can’t… For fuck… sake.” His body was agony, burning, restricted agony.
“Vesper, he’s going to hurt himself,” Gilda said urgently. “Asher has spelled him so powerfully, he’s barely conscious of us. Let us help him calm.”
Vesper didn’t say anything for a long moment, just growled low and long while watching Evan fight to get his arm free from the way he had managed to tangle it within his suit jacket. “One,” he finally grunted. “Not Asher, and only to calm him. If you try to take advantage, I’ll sic the hellspawn on you.”
Gilda, Corinth and Devlan exchanged narrowed glances. “You don’t even like boys,” Devlan said bluntly to Gilda. “Let someone that will enjoy it help him.”
“Like you want to help him,” Gilda shot back. “You’ve been clear that all you want is to screw the kid since seeing him.”
“All the more reason. I can sense he likes boys and I’m more than happy to accommodate.”
“You’re lying,” Corinth hissed. “You would say anything to gain the upper hand.”
Gilda sighed, pushing her hair back. “Oh, Devlan definitely would. But he’s right. Evan told me he was gay. He had thought that was why he was immune to my allure.”
“Pretty and naïve,” Devlan said with a wolfish grin, unfurling from his crouch.
“Wait,” Vesper growled, meeting Devlan’s eye. “Promise me you’ll have some fucking restraint. I’m not joking. He’s been through enough.”
Gaze straying towards the motionless Asher, Devlan shivered, his smile falling away. “I’ll be a perfect gentleman.”
Evan barely heard the exchange and understood even less of it. All he knew was his struggle, trying not to break his arm while getting it out of his jacket when suddenly strong hands were helping, his arm abruptly pulled free.
“Crap, what the fuck did he do—Asher, whose blood is this?” Devlan snapped, eyes taking in Evan’s mouth and neck coated in the red.
“Not his,” Asher said simply, watching Evan’s suit jacket slide across the floor, his tie quickly following.
“Damn it… just… hot,” Evan gasped out, face flushed, hair askew as he fell back on the floor, someone sitting on his thighs. He managed to crack his eyes open while pulling weakly at his dress shirt and the stifling t-shirt still clinging to him. It was the asshole, the rude boy that kept trying to piss him off and touch him, now straddling his legs and looking down at him expectantly. “Get bent,” he growled angrily, his voice weak in his own ears.
“He really shouldn’t be allowed to talk if I’m supposed to behave,” Devlan said hoarsely. He leaned over Evan’s chest, peeling the collar of his button down shirt over his shoulders and wrenching down his arms. He stopped half way, Evan’s arms pinned to his side by the shirt stretching over his forearms. “There we are, Reed. That should keep you out of trouble.”
Evan really did not like how Devlan was looking at him but was having a difficult time arguing, his body feeling on fire, muscles so tense he wondered if they might snap. He struggled when the brunette descended on him again, long fingers sliding under the hem of his t-shirt just brushing his skin as it was pushed up. He did not want his shirt off in front of these people but again could not keep his thoughts straight. The simple touch of fingers had sparked pleasure in him so great he nearly slammed his head into the hard floor, his back arching, vision going white.
“Holy shit,” Devlan hissed, tearing Evan’s shirt up, folding the soft material until it was stretched just above his chest and exposing all of the blond’s torso down to his belt to view.
“This can’t be right,” Gilda muttered, everyone leaning in closer to see the litany of scars and wounds on Evan’s body. The boy’s golden toned skin was covered, white slashes, small dark burns, and one long, puckered line that started in the middle of his ribcage, flowed down his side, and disappeared under his belt.
“No wonder he was so caught up on Vesper’s demon,” Corinth whispered. “It looks like he has one of his own.”
Vesper snapped his eyes to the girl. “Caught up?”
“He was very emotional when he heard you were going to be fed upon. As if any of us could have done anything about it,” she said, a sad smile gracing her features. “Odd, hearing him so young and yet seeing he has clearly had a lifetime of pain that should have aged him.” Her fingers twitched as if to touch Evan’s scars but she held herself back.
Vesper, shadows dancing in his eyes, suddenly turned back, growling lowly. “No!”
Devlan growled back, fingers pulling at Evan’s belt and unclasping it. “He’s burning—Physically hot to the touch, dragon boy. He needs air.”
“If you think for a second I’m falling for your bullshit—”
“Enough!” Gilda roared, glaring between the two of them. “I’m sick of this territorial, dominant male shit! The boy needs help. He was a damn sweet kid and will likely never speak to me again after meeting you dicks. Devlan was the one chosen to ease his suffering, so stop lusting over the kid, Vesper, and let him do it!”
Vesper inhaled a sharp breath, glaring at the dark look Devlan sent him in reply.
“If you wanted him, Malice, you should have just fucking taken him, consequences be damned,” Devlan muttered. “Corinth, get the kid’s boots.”
“Damn it,” Vesper uttered, another growl threatening to break free. He ran his fingers through his bright locks, watching as Evan’s motions began to weaken, the boy so overcome he was losing the function of his limbs. “Asher, tell me your spell doesn’t end in some form of paralysis. Tell me you weren’t planning on draining the boy.”
“It’s not his blood,” Asher repeated, sitting back on his heels. “I left no wound on him to suggest I planned to bleed him.”
“Stop,” Evan mumbled, weak hands clutching at Devlan’s as the boy went to unbutton his slacks. Only to gasp, the touch of skin contact to an incubus automatically sparking pleasure and lust. “Oh hell… damn you…”
“That he’s still resisting is quite valiant,” Asher observed, a grim smile twisting his features. “His willpower is amazing.”
Devlan carefully unwound Evan’s fingers from around his wrists, unzipping the boy’s fly. “Raise your hips, Reed.”
Fairly certain he was in some messed up dream to find Devlan showing concern in his strange yellow eyes, Evan arched his back when fingers brushed his stomach, his hips rising automatically. Devlan roughly pulled his pants down, Evan whimpering from the feel of cool air and even cooler stone touching his heated flesh as he was left in only boxerbriefs and his twisted shirt on the floor.
“Better?” Devlan asked, bending forward to hear Evan’s gasping, soft reply. “No, I promise I’m not going to hurt you,” he assured roughly. “I’m going to pull the heat from your skin. I’m going to touch you—”
Evan shook his head, his neck barely able to support the motion now as he whimpered in fear.
“I know it feels overwhelming. But wherever I touch, when I pull my hand away after that initial pulse, it’s going to feel cooler,” Devlan said as soothingly as he could, his eyes roaming slowly over the blond’s sweating, gasping form. “I’m going to pull the heat away and the spell will stop. Okay?” He asked, gaze again seeking out Evan’s dark, heavy lidded eyes.
“I don’t like… to be touched,” Evan whispered, his body feeling so weak, the fire having stolen all his strength from him. Blinking, he glanced to the side, his head sliding down on the floor, cheek resting on the cool tile. Gilda was there, Vesper hovering feet away. “He hurts me.”
Gilda reached her hand out, gently brushing her fingers to Evan’s. “I promise you, Evan, Devlan won’t harm you. He talks a lot of shit, but he doesn’t hurt. Not the way… Not the way you got your scars.” She bit her lip, pulling her fingers away but keeping them near in a show of support. “Just relax. Just relax and let him help you.”
Evan’s face twisted, hissing when Devlan touched lightly, the pleasure of the touch more pain than anything else.
Gilda turned to Vesper with an uncertain look. “Pull him. You have the strongest call. Take some of his fear away.”
Glancing carefully over his shoulder at his demon bodyguard still across the room, Vesper ducked his head to glare at the girl. “I don’t know if I can. Not safely.”
“Don’t give me that shit, Malice. Just do it,” Gilda snapped. “He’s suffering!”
“I…” Vesper let his eyes travel to where Evan was panting, hissing each time from Devlan’s light touch. “I’m not like the rest of you. I’ve bottled it up. Shut it down as much as possible. To intentionally use it now would be to tear down years of restraint. I… I don’t know if I could stop myself if I were to start.”
“Figure it the fuck out quick,” Devlan growled, fingertips touching the lightest he could possibly touch only to have Evan jerk away. “His brain is going to be effected by the heat if it’s not removed soon and I can’t remove it from him at this pace. Brain dead prey during orientation is not going to go down well for any of us with the higher ups.”
Wetting his lips, Vesper nodded sharply. “Clear a space. Devlan, if I come at you, you need to be prepared to flee without making contact with me. I would prefer only one victim today.” Everyone exchanging glances, Gilda, Corinth and Asher stood, stepping back so that they would not be in the way if Vesper lost control and decided to actually feed off of the whimpering boy. Devlan sat back, putting Evan between him and the pale Scion.
Vesper took a steading breath and then another, trying to let the anxiety clear out of his mind. Fear would only make him desperate, irrational. If he was going to do this, he needed to be calm and collected, determined with his goal and nothing more. Exhaling slowly, he focused on the boy burning like a white hot flame of lust in his mind and tentatively reached his magic out to him.
Vesper gasped at the first touch, the first deliberate magical touch he had made with another living being since he had been tattooed to his demon master. Breathing deep, he pulled, eyes burning blue flames of power.