“Now look; you’ve woken him.” Bare feet padded softly on the floor. Lovely knelt on the bed to bend over Ky and gently trace his features. “Go back to sleep, sweet boy. You need to rest.”
“Lovely. Lovely, the basement,” Ky mumbled as he finally got his eyes to open. “There’s someone trapped down there.”
Lovely shook his head, his brows furrowed. “No, Ky.”
“What does the little whelp want?” Feral grumbled. He glared down from behind Lovely’s shoulder.
“He thinks there’s someone in the basement.” Lovely shrugged dismissively. He combed through Ky’s dark hair while Ky fought to keep his eyes open. “He’s muddled. He needs to rest.”
Ky was certain. He knew when Lovely and Feral were there hiding in the dark even though his rational mind told him otherwise. He knew there was someone in the basement. Under the rot, under the blood, there was someone sad and afraid. “Please. Please, help me up. I need… I need to get to them.”
Feral snarled and his ears flattened back. “Like I’d ever leave this frrrling room? He must think we’re as dumb as he is.”
“Shut up,” Lovely hissed and shoved Feral away. “Ky, no. They’re dead.”
“Thornes, leave the boy. You’re wasting…”
“Thornes?” Ky’s eyelids were heavy as he looked up into Lovely’s mismatched gaze of violet and blue. “Is that your name?”
Feral slipped up and growled down at him. His golden eyes pierced into Ky’s inches away. “Can he understand us? Can this blasted frrling understand us now?”
Lovely grabbed Feral by his thick, golden hair and pulled him away roughly. With a wary look, he bent closer to Ky and spoke slowly but steadily. “Thornes is a nickname of my given name. Where I’m from, our names have three parts to indicate our lineage.”
“Oh.” Ky licked his lips and blinked dazedly. “Where are you from?”
Feral, who was listening, made to grab Lovely, only to have the pale catboy stop him with a glare. “He understands us, Thornes! He’s some sort of… Rrrl! You just bonded to a damn, a damn abomination!”
“So help me, Redeless, you will shut your mouth or I will throw you out that bedroom door and finally be done with you for good!” Lovely promised with a low growl. Feral glared back but closed his mouth. A growl rumbled in his chest defiantly.
“Lovely, don’t fight,” Ky whispered. The darkness stole the energy he was desperately holding onto. “I need to help the other. The one in the basement.”
“He’s dead, kid. They’re all dead. Damn, the boy is frrrling annoying,” Feral snapped.
“No. No, he’s alive. Could hear him move. I’m so tired.” Ky’s eyes closed in a blink which threatened to never end. “Why so tired?”
“Hush.” With a final warning glare at Feral, Lovely leaned down and pushed Ky’s hair from his face with a soft smile. “Your magic is waking, that’s all. You’ve been bonded to a demon, a very strong one. It’s a deep bond and it will tie magic into your flesh in ways most humans don’t get to experience. It will make you tired now, but soon you will feel stronger. Powerful. I would never do anything to hurt you, Ky. I promise.”
Ky nodded. He knew all along; Lovely was wonderful and would never hurt him. “You’re very beautiful for a demon. Very nice. I didn’t know demons were nice.”
“It’s what they call us, sweet boy, the humans and the sorcerers. We can do things they can’t, so they call us demons and monsters.”
“But you’re not,” Ky insisted quietly as his eyes finally opened again.
“No, we’re not. We’re Relics,” Lovely explained with a distant gaze. “We come from a place far away from here. We used to live with our families, with our tribes and clans in our realm. We’re just people who can do things you humans can’t. Some humans figured out how to summon us from our homes. The sorcerers used a spell to tie us to them so they could live long and use magic as we do.”
“Oh.” Ky was extremely tired. He wanted to know everything. He wanted to listen to everything Lovely was saying, but it was just so hard to focus. “Don’t you… Wouldn’t you rather go back home? It’s an okay room, but… but you’ve been here for years. You eat rats. Why don’t you go home, Lovely?”
Lovely smiled wanly, leaned down and gently kissed Ky on the mouth. “You are a very sweet boy, and I’m glad I met you.” He sat back and covered his hand over Ky’s brow. “Close your eyes. I will teach you a spell, a vital one, when you wake up. You’re going to need all your strength, Ky. The new moon is approaching, and I need you strong.”
Ky nodded sleepily. “I’d do anything for you, Lovely. Anything.”
“Then rest. Let your magic grow strong.” Lovely sighed as his fingers moved over the heavy black collar secured around his neck. “I’m a very strong Relic. I was one of the jewels of Anselm’s collection. If… If I bonded with him the way I did you, perhaps he would be here now.”
Something niggled in the back of Ky’s mind and pushed through the sleep pulling him down. “The basement. There’s someone who needs help.”
Lovely shook his head. “They’re all dead. We are the only two left of Anselm’s collection. There was one who held out for the longest time. He was much older and stronger than I, maybe stronger than the demented creature who hunted us down. We were all weakened when our master fell, confused and afraid. She drained him dead last month. His life force is gone.”
“Drained.” Ky knew he was wrong. He just needed to be able to move to prove it. “Are you hungry? I need… I need to feed you so you don’t… don’t eat all the rats.”
Feral snorted behind Lovely, but didn’t comment otherwise. “We don’t need to eat, Ky. Demons feed off of energy. Food tastes fine enough, but it’s the life force of our food that strengthens us. We prefer living food; blood, saliva, semen, sweat. Every time I kiss you, I grow stronger, my sweet. Now please, you must sleep.” A thrumming purr filled the air as Lovely bent down to press lips to Ky’s forehead.
Ky nodded weakly and his body relaxed further into the mattress. “He was scared. So afraid.”
Feral huffed and grumbled under his breath. “Worry about yourself, whelp. The wards in this room have kept the bitch out for years, but there’s no blocking the wardrobe. When she returns, she’s going to kill us all, likely starting with your defenseless parents.”
The words filled the darkness of his mind. Ky was asleep before he could feel them fully, lulled by Lovely’s calming purr.