Ky stared blankly up at the ceiling where he was lying in bed. The gargoyles leered down at him from between his dark, damp strands of hair. His towel was strewn beside him, and he hadn’t bothered to dress. He didn’t feel like moving, didn’t feel like getting up, didn’t feel like anything. He didn’t know where Lovely and Feral were. He wasn’t sure if he was pissed off they disappeared when he had so many questions or if he was glad to be alone.
Probably the latter. It was too much of an effort to talk while he felt like this.
Everything was a mess. His mind was a dark buzz of something bordering misery if he could find the energy to feel even that. The fucked up thing was it had nothing to do with Tobias. It should have. If he had a fucking soul, he would feel something for helping to take a life. When he searched within, the most he felt was resigned.
It had to be done. Tobias did worse—so much worse—and would have continued to. Death came to everyone whether they were good, evil, or a fucked up sorcerer who killed the majority of the demons he summoned. If anyone was overdue to die, it was Tobias Godwin.
Ky’s melancholy had everything to do with his mountain of fuck ups, the biggest on the pile being Magnificent Night. With a sigh, he touched his collar and the links hanging there. There were so many now. It wasn’t that long ago when he was surprised to have Lovely’s jewel on the smooth leather. Now there were seven lives connected to him. Seven trapped souls were stuck in his care, and he had no fucking clue what to do.
He was so naive. Dumb, really. He was so fucking dumb. How many times did he nearly get himself killed just this fucking week? He trusted too easily and with beings who had no reason to return his trust. Anselm studied Magnificent Night for at least 200 years. He was chained for 200 years. For all the good Ky wanted for the Relics, really, why should they trust him? He was lucky Magnificent didn’t break his neck the first moment they met. He could have. He could have killed him and drained him as easily as any rat. Freed, a Requiem had the ability to take on an Overseer and win. Magnificent could have killed him, but he chose to feed from him instead.
The sex, the perceived affection; what did it mean to Magnificent? Ky might as well have fallen in love the moment he saw the beautiful Requiem. He sure as fuck lost his mind, if not his heart to a demon who refused to talk to him. It couldn’t have been the same for Magnificent Night. What was sex to a creature like him but a manipulation? A meal. It was much worse since being chained for 200 years. An obligation.
Screw the stupid baby sorcerer so he’ll set him free. Fuck him so he won’t leave him to die alone in the basement. Fuck him so he won’t beat him, or starve him, or kill him.
Ky sighed and rolled to his side. He threw his arm over his face to block the light from his eyes.
God, he was a monster. He was a damn naive child and Magnificent saw it clear enough. Hell, he couldn’t even be angry about it. Magnificent deserved to be free, not chained, enslaved or tortured by that Overseer Demencious. As for Lovely and Feral? It was probably the same, right? Why would it be different? Lovely made every move from the beginning. He needed power, he needed a sorcerer to help him kill Demencious, and Ky was the only one there.
What was he really expecting from beings so much stronger, faster, and smarter? Relics lived far longer and saw so much. Who was he to such perfect beings but a nuisance at best? A slave owner at worst. They must laugh at him every moment he wasn’t around.
Probably now. He was just the idiot who thought he was in love with strangers from another world. Three. Love for three, but he’d fuck any of them who showed an interest. He was the idiot for thinking he was more than food and a path to safety for a bunch of abused and frightened beings. He was such a fucking fool.
All the Relics wanted was to be free, and he chained them because of Magnificent’s power. It was just another sign of his weakness. Even when he tried to do his best, he just destroyed lives.
Ky sat up slowly and reached for the towel. He ruffled his hair to get the last of the water out as his thoughts continued their dark spiral. He needed to find a way to remove the bonds without harming the Relics or himself. There had to be a way. Tobias removed Liem’s link to Brave. There had to be a way to free them all from him. He’d find a way to break Magnificent’s chains, free the Relics from his collar, and they could go live their lives.
Maybe Lovely, Feral and Magnificent would want to live with Brave’s group. They could all have a home in Tobias’s mansion free of any humans telling them what to do.
Ky stood and slipped into a pair of fresh underwear. He went to the wardrobe and pulled out an only mildly slashed pair of black jeans. His fingers sought the holes, his eyes unseeing as he stared at the floor.
It would be best. He wasn’t cut out for this. Dumb. He was always so dumb. He hated it. If he were smarter, he’d be doing something real with his life instead of wasting it on an art degree. Maybe he would have started in a field where he’d be making money so his parents wouldn’t be struggling. They were paying for his college when he hadn’t even tried to get a job. He had to be a total asshole to think that a degree at a community college was somehow going to propel him to artistic stardom.
Ky sighed dejectedly as he pulled his jeans on. These thoughts weren’t necessarily new, but he couldn’t remember ever feeling them quite this completely. It was like his optimism and joy for life drained from him the same moment he discovered what the power Magnificent Night gave him really did. It made Relics think he was someone trustworthy, someone attractive, sexy, and irresistible. If they were foolish enough to have sex with him, they ended up bonded to him and trapped. Just another link on a sorcerer’s collar.
Monstrous. Every Relic he went near became a puppet to his new power. Ky could only hope if he did find a way to unlink Magnificent Night, the ability would leave him as well. No one as dumb as him should be allowed to have such an awful power.
Ky reached for a shirt the same moment he felt a strange flare shoot through the soles of his feet. “What the…?” He blinked down, then stumbled back as Feral and Lovely burst through the wardrobe.
“Someone crossed the wards.”
Ky’s confused gaze turned to Lovely and then to Feral, both of them tense and expectant. They were beautiful, warriors designed for better things than this. They deserved so much, and he was holding them back. He was keeping them trapped.
Lovely touched his shoulder, his violet and blue eyes piercing. “Ky, the wards are breached.”
It took him a moment to remember what a ward was, and then another to realize the repercussions of having someone cross through. Fuck, even now he was just an idiot. Ky shook himself as the seriousness of the situation sank in. “An Overseer?”
“Sorcerer. He’s crossed the wards but hasn’t destroy them. It’s a show of ability.” Lovely’s claws extended and his fangs grew sharper. His cat-like ears twitched as he tilted his head and listened to the noises of the house. “He’s downstairs with your parents.”
Fear stabbed through Ky, deep past his depression and apathy. Demencious targeted his parents last time; would a sorcerer do the same? Tobias, a master sorcerer, didn’t seen demons as human and had no problem killing them because of it. He knew Ky was a sorcerer and yet Tobias admitted to wanting to see the Relics kill him through the black link. When faced with powerless humans like his mother and father, Ky doubted such a man would hesitate to kill if it got him what he wanted.
Ky didn’t bother stopping for a shirt as he whirled from the wardrobe and ran to the dresser. He tucked Tobias’s wand in his back pocket and brandished Anselm’s in hand before he stalked to the bedroom door and threw it open.
Feral stopped him at the door frame. His brows were knit together, golden eyes stormy. “What are you doing, whelp? Thornes and I…”
“He broke into our house.” Ky pushed past the coyote demon and headed for the stairs. “If you don’t kill him, I will.”