A section to comment on the Awakening series. You may find polls here, secrets answered, character bios–I’m not sure exactly yet. Please, if you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them!
Do not make me get you.
“Nanna, I’m sleeping,” Devlan grumbled, burying his head under the pillow he had only just touched upon. It was sunrise, the light of dawn threatening to spill in through his heavily curtained windows at any moment. All he wanted to do was close his eyes and sleep.
We’re all tired, boy, but for some reason, the fool that is calling does not seem to care that he’s interrupting the clan’s rest. The boy is damn powerful and obnoxiously persistent. Lady Jaha did not look tired, for all her complaints. Ancient, powerful, and the leader of Devlan’s adoptive clan, she rarely looked tired no matter what time of day it was. It was part of her elven allure, her ability innate and so powerful that she likely couldn’t look anything but perfect even in the midst of battle. It probably didn’t hurt that she was seen only through Devlan’s inner eye, her visage of perfection reaching out through their mental connection. She could have been covered in a mud bath for all he knew.
Although his adoptive grandmother appeared lovely, she was clearly not feeling so, her ire palpable even as Devlan’s heavy eyelids drooped. Devlan, the boy is calling for you alone. Get up and deal with this before he shakes the temple down with his power.
Groaning miserably, he pushed the pillow from his head, his dark hair spraying out in a spiky mess. “Who is it? What bastard is porting in a call at this disgusting hour? Nanna?” He pushed himself off the bed, dressed only in the pair of black jeans he had been too tired to remove. He could feel the exhaustion in his limbs, formed not only from the late hour but from the fact that he hadn’t fed in days. Rubbing his red-rimmed eyes, he turned unsteadily, flinging spells at the mirror on the wall he used for communicating.
The community portal, Dev. He’s lighting up the entire temple, insisting on a warded connection.
“For the love of—Nanna, who is it? Tell me, so I can kill the stupid fucker.” The temple was in the middle of the damn woods and there was no teleporting while on clan grounds. That meant five minutes in the morning light at the very least.
The hum in his head from his grandmother’s disapproval of his foul language did little for his nerves. Growling under his breath, Devlan grabbed his sunglasses and slammed out his bedroom door, his bare feet slapping on the stone floor.
It had to be Hierarchy related. Probably one of those sick, creepy old masters looking to get him to apprentice for them. They were all just fucking drooling to get their hands on an incubus, especially one with his pedigree. Devlan had spent his entire weekend dodging the gross fucks—Well, that and checking out his hunting prospects. Not much about the Hierarchy interested him besides the beautiful, healthy bodies that populated the place.
It hadn’t all been bad. One rather angry-eyed boy had made it nearly fucking interesting.
He growled louder as he opened the outside door and the heat of the morning sun hit him. Annoying as it was, it did little to push the thought of Evanel Reed out of his mind. A week later and the blond was haunting him. Every time he went to feed, the boy’s face flashed in his mind’s eye. It was misery.
“Should have fucked the kid,” he muttered under his breath. He raised his hands to block the spaces around his eyes the sunglasses didn’t cover while stepping surefooted down the worn dirt path that led to the temple. “Should have fucked him, dumped him, and I would have been done with this stupid shit a week ago.”
He was pretty sure he hated the angry-eyed thing. He was pretty sure if he saw the kid again, he’d beat the crap out of him for fucking up his life the way he had.
The trees thickened, brush catching at his feet the closer he got to the clan temple. It was perpetual summer in the center of the grounds, spells erected years ago when his clan had laid claim to the land. Devlan had been adopted by a band of elves that had parted ways from the Arc Fault long before the schism between incubus and elf had occurred. Although the Regents would like to have everyone believe different, there wasn’t much difference between elf and incubus when it came to the basics. The Greenlaude Clan was still nocturnal, still found peace in nature, and still respected the balance of all fae. They had a special ability that not all elves shared. In the Greenlaude Clan’s case, the power to heal living flesh. Sex was as important to them as any other life-giving energy and they celebrated it as such. There had never been an awkwardness when Devlan’s ability to consume milk had changed to the need for sexual energy. In many ways, he could have been living with a clan of incubi if not for the fact that although the Greenlaude elves could feed off of sex, they could also feed off of other energies including solid foods. Not once had Lady Jaha’s people ever made Devlan feel less for being an incubus.
Although Devlan had never had to fear a cruel word from any of his adoptive clan, he had heard plenty from their abundant cousins that lived in the area. The other elf clans weren’t invited much to their land. Lady Jaha had too much respect for the old ways to let such beings come in and cause trouble. It had yet to stop Devlan from slipping away to taunt the annoying, long-eared bastards when the mood struck.
It had been striking a lot lately. The haughty elf still smelling fresh of the Arc Fault he had crossed at the Hierarchy had burned a resentment in him that Devlan could not seem to let go of. Suggesting that he had attacked Evan—That he couldn’t control himself. No one could understand just how much control he had used to keep from jumping the blond the moment he had first seen him.
By the many gods, he hated Evanel Reed.
The temple was empty when he entered, the coolness of the stone and dark wrapping around him like an embrace. He had no need to remove shoes he wasn’t wearing, and the area by the door for footwear was void to show he was indeed alone in the temple at such an early hour. Devlan paused in the doorway, removing his sunglasses and bending to kiss the crest of his adoptive clan that was emblazoned in the entry.
The fae god, Surgens, had birthed the Greenlaude elves. Devlan loved him as much as he did the people that had given him a home when he had lost his own. He still held his own clan’s goddess, Caedis, close to his heart even if he was the last of her descendants. While many in a clan had one fae god to seek guidance from, Devlan could say he had two. Whether they had been able to help him from his many nights of lost wanderings, he had yet to see, but he was at least grateful to not be completely unattached in the spiritual world.
The cool air prickled on his bare chest as he descended the stone stairs to where the temple saturated in the energies of the earth. He had been avoiding the quiet place since having returned from the Hierarchy. There had been too much going on in his mind—was still too much—and he had always found the place too silent to ignore his thoughts. There was too much he would rather not face at the moment. Thankfully, Vesper Malice was not currently on that list.
“Seriously, Malice? Do you even know what fucking time it is?”
Vesper raised a brow, sucking down half his cigarette in silence. He was dressed in a black cloak and if Devlan wasn’t too tired to question it, he might think that the boy had set up one of the most elaborate shielding spells he had seen outside of the Hierarchy. He had even gone so far as to shield his room from his view so that if anyone stepped by, they wouldn’t be able to recognize any landmarks to find the boy. Vesper appeared from chest up in the huge mirror, thankfully at normal size and at his eye level; it was too early for Devlan to be able to handle the kinds of theatrics people could do when they felt like fucking around with a portal.
The blond’s ice-blue eyes fixed on him and Vesper finally spoke. “You look like shit. Have you been feeding at all?”
Devlan scowled. “It’s fucking dawn.”
Vesper was unaffected, his gaze still assessing the angry incubus. “This is serious, Devlan. I need to know you’re not going to end up dead anytime soon. What the hell is wrong with you?” He asked, sweeping his long hair aside. “Why are you so pale? Why aren’t you eating?”
The kid was lucky he was on the other side of the portal, or Devlan would have beaten the crap out of him. “What the fuck do you want, Malice? I haven’t seen your ass in a week—and a fucking year before that—and this is your way of saying hello? Do you realize what time it is? I’m a fucking incubus, dickwad. The rising sun is like our damn signal to fall asleep!”
Vesper had another drag of his cigarette while Devlan fumed. “Sorry. I had to make sure your Clan wouldn’t listen in.”
“If you had just ported the call to my personal mirror—”
“It’s not safe,” Vesper said abruptly, his eyes glancing aside to something Devlan couldn’t see. “I need a secure portal for this. I need your help.”
Devlan fought and failed to hold back an exasperated groan. “What, like right fucking now?”
Glaring, Vesper held up his hand in a silencing gesture. “Just listen. Please. I don’t have a lot of time.”
“Oh, you don’t have fucking time?” Grumbling, Devlan crossed his arms over his chest. When Vesper didn’t speak he looked up, waving his hand. “Well? Hurry the fuck up. I want to go back to bed.” It didn’t help that the blond was fucking hot and he hadn’t fed in so long that he had apparently gotten to the point of considering holier than thou death-bait as attractive.
Now that he had Devlan there, Vesper didn’t seem to know where to begin. He had another nervous hit of his cigarette, the smoke curling around him obscuring his features for a moment. “No names,” he finally started. “You’ll understand once I’m done. That interesting and rather angry party we both have a stake in… I have reason to believe he’s in danger. Soon to be dead kind of danger.”
Stilling, Devlan closed his eyes and nodded once in understanding.
“I would really like that to be different,” Vesper said quietly, his voice full of an intensity not heard before. “My current situation is too difficult. There is no way I can make a move. You don’t have that problem. If you could just remove this particular individual from his less than secure location…” he trailed off, Devlan exhaling heavily.
“Has he come to you for help?”
Vesper’s eyes sharpened and he shook his head curtly. “We haven’t had contact. He won’t know. There is no way he can protect himself from…” he struggled to find a word, eventually just turning and pulling down his cloak until the top of his tattoo was exposed to the incubus’ eyes.
“Fucker.” Growling lowly, Devlan whirled, pacing the length of the temple room the portal hung in. Vesper watched him in silence, his expression reflecting the weight of what he was asking from the boy.
Combing his fingers roughly through his dark locks, Devlan stepped back in front of the large mirror. “When?” He asked, his voice void of emotion.
Eying him warily, Vesper crushed what was left of his cigarette between his fingers. “I don’t know. I don’t know how much information has gotten out.”
“But you’re certain?” Devlan pressed, trying to ignore the swirl of dread in the pit of his stomach.
His gaze again drifting to the side, Vesper suddenly waved his hand, the image of the portal changing. A scene could be seen above the blond’s form of two slender, horned boys huddled together on an elegant loveseat. “This was given to me on my return,” Vesper explained delicately. “They are an allowance with the intent to remind me of what is not permitted.”
Staring up at the two demon slaves, Devlan’s frown only grew. “You perceive this to be a threat on him?”
“Fuck, yes.” Vesper waved his hand again, the scene disappearing. He leaned closer, glaring at Devlan. “What exactly would you perceive a gift of two sex slaves to mean?”
“From anyone else, a fucking awesome time,” Devlan snapped, his dread only building. Vesper’s demon master knew the boy was interested in someone at the Hierarchy and was probably searching for the culprit as they spoke. There was no way Evan wouldn’t be found.
“Your clan has a history,” Vesper continued. “Abilities and brutality that no one could match. A royal incubus—”
“My clan is peace loving and elven, Malice,” Devlan interrupted sharply. “The Black Lustre are dead and I am a poor consolation. If you think that I alone can go to war to protect one boy…” He exhaled heavily, pushing his bangs back. “You should have tried Asher.”
“Asher would gnaw off his own fucking foot before raising a hand to help another,” Vesper said lowly, his eyes burning. “Do you really think you’re safe from this, Devlan? Do you think HE is going to give a fuck that you aren’t interested in me?” He summoned the image of the two purple haired demons again, pointing to them both. “Count them, you dumbass. You get it now?”
Realizing what Vesper was getting at, Devlan spun, swearing loudly. “For the love of—Malice! Come one, why are you fucking up my fucking life?”
Vesper didn’t respond, instead pulling out another cigarette and moodily placing it between his lips. He lit the stick with a spark of magic, his gaze again returning to the angry incubus. “Sorry that this is so inconvenient for you. Now get it the fuck together and get him out of there—And seriously, go get laid already. What the hell are you doing to yourself?”
“What am I doing to myself? The question is, what the hell did he do to me!” Stomping up to the portal, Devlan poked the solid glass, glaring into Vesper’s eyes, only to sway dizzily. “I can’t feed. Every time I try, I see his fucking face. Nothing tastes the same now. Nothing is appealing since I kissed him. He’s cursed me or some shit and no matter what I do, I can’t break free.”
“Goddess, get it the fuck together.” Rolling his eyes, Vesper tapped on his side of the portal, Devlan blinking since the boy did it at eye level. “So you’re in love with the kid. All the more reason to save his ass and your own, while you’re at it.”
Devlan scowled. “I’m not in love. He cursed me.”
Vesper gave a sardonic smirk, smoke floating up around him. “Yeah? The kid that couldn’t cast a spell to save his life up and cursed you? That must have been one magical blowjob.”
“You’re such an asshole,” Devlan muttered, grinning despite himself while leaning on the glass. “You have yourself a nice time watching?” His eyes slid down to Vesper’s shoulders, focusing on the body that was hidden by the shielding spell right before him. “I’ve been wondering something, Malice, ever since I heard about your forced celibacy. Does that fucker get jealous of your hand? You have two really sexy hands and I’m sure they are all over your hot body every chance you get.”
His eyes narrowing, Vesper took the cigarette from his mouth. “When was the last time you actually fed?”
“You were there for it, dragon boy,” Devlan snapped, but less harshly this time. He couldn’t stop staring at the blond’s mouth—Annoying as fuck, given that Vesper was basically telling him his stupid-ass demon master was going to be looking to kill him.
“How the fuck are you even standing? I’ve never known an incubus to go longer than two days,” Vesper said, looking the boy up and down curiously. “You must be fifty kinds of desperate right now.”
“I’m telling you, that kid fucked me up. I’m going to starve to death,” Devlan grumbled, resting his face on the cool glass of the mirror. His lashes fluttering open, he added softly. “Let me see your hands.”
Shrugging, Vesper touched one of his hands to the glass. Devlan rolled his head towards it, sighing as pale fingers and a warm palm filled his vision. “Looking at you is such a tease, Malice. What a fucking waste of strength and beauty. The things I could have done to you.” He pressed his lips to the glass, sliding his tongue out over the cool surface where the blond’s palm rested.
“You’re seriously losing it. You need to feed before you fall into a coma.” His gaze assessing, Vesper placed his cigarette between his lips, his other hand reaching for the silver clasp of his robe. With sure fingers, he had the dark material sliding down his broad shoulders. Devlan watched intently, frowning when he found a t-shirt hiding most of the blond’s visible body from sight.
“I’ll make a deal with you, Devlan.” Vesper waved his hand down the front of the mirror, the shielding spell dispersing from his form. He was dressed in a pair of deep, blood red leather pants and a white t-shirt, the crimson color making his flesh seem even brighter in comparison. “I’ll save your starving ass if you take the energy I give you and put it towards protecting him. And don’t you give me some bullshit about peace-loving, tree-hugging, elven shit. I remember the last time we fought; I lost two of my baby teeth to you.”
“That was a long time ago and those fangs of yours still sliced the fuck out of my fist,” Devlan whispered, unable to turn away even though he wanted to. Vesper Malice was far more dangerous than any other being he had come across. It didn’t matter how hot the boy was, Devlan’s sense of self-preservation told him to stay the fuck away. Unfortunately, he was also very hungry and hadn’t been able to fight whatever compulsion was holding him back from feeding. It wasn’t love—Incubi didn’t get lovesick like some weak, fae race. If it was love, he’d be hornier, wanting to prove his sexual prowess and ability to protect his mate.
Devlan made a noise in the back of his throat when Vesper pulled his shirt up over his head, revealing an expanse of ice-snow flesh and rippling muscle. “Damn it, Malice. Is this going to get me killed?” He pressed harder against the glass, wishing he could port to the boy and so grateful that he couldn’t at the same time. Vesper was death. Beautiful, beautiful death.
“No more than what happened at the Hierarchy… I think.” Vesper paused, leaning his forehead against the glass where Devlan was resting so he could whisper in his ear. “My energy might mark you in some way. Either to me or to…” he trailed off, his gaze moving to his own hand for a moment. “If I could do this on my own, I would. As it is, I think you should warn the others that were there that morning—Who knows what the hellspawn has told him. Gilda, Asher, Corinth; you could all be in danger.”
Considering a moment, Devlan nodded his head at Vesper’s pants. “If we’re doing this, I want to see all of you.”
Sighing, Vesper glanced behind him. “Seriously?”
“Definitely.” Devlan had to wonder just what Vesper was blocking from his view. The boy would have had to be an idiot to be using some public portal for such a dangerous conversation and he had never thought of Vesper as dumb. “Full frontal. And I want you hard; energy means shit to me without that underlying pulse of sex.”
His eyes narrowed, Vesper took a final drag of his cigarette, then threw it to the ground. He bent to remove his boots, tossing them aside carelessly along with his socks. “I assume you’re expecting some sort of a show?”
Devlan grinned. “I wouldn’t say no to one. It would be nice to see what those sexy hands of yours can do. And something tells me this is the most action you’ve gotten in a while.”
His tongue licking one of his fangs, Vesper shrugged in agreement and unbuckled his belt. “Just keep the stupid comments down to a minimum. It’s a little difficult to focus right now.”
“Where are you?” Devlan blinked, his eyes focusing on a snowflake as it drifted into Vesper’s hair. “Is it snowing?”
“What did I say about stupid comments?”
Feeling decidedly tired, Devlan internally wondered if Vesper stripping and jacking off in the snow was a stupid question or not. Eventually, he decided it was really up to Vesper, seeing as it was the blond that was dealing with the harsh conditions, not him.
“Fuck.” Devlan whistled softly when the boy’s pants finally came off. He had always suspected that Malice was hiding something worth seeking under his array of leather and kilts. He just hadn’t expected it to be quite so large. “You sure you don’t have any incubus in you?”
After kicking off his pants, Vesper looked down to where Devlan was blatantly admiring his soft dick. “I’m sure, Devlan,” he muttered, rolling his eyes and grabbing his shaft, stroking it deliberately to hardness.
“Cus I’d be happy to put some incubus in you,” the brunette finished, grinning wickedly as he slid down the mirror, licking the surface and Vesper’s reflection.
“You are seriously making this difficult,” Vesper said with a sigh, his eyes straying down to where Devlan was kneeling and pretending to lick his cock and balls. Only to tilt his head, smirking slightly. “Actually, this might work. Look sexy and shut up a sec.”
Devlan had never actually been interested in something like portal sex. Considering his ability to dream hunt and lure in real life, it was much easier to just fuck his prey the proper way. But there was something decidedly interesting about watching Vesper Malice touch himself like the boy was just a window pane away, being able to see everything but knowing he could never touch. It very much suited the blond’s fucked up situation.
Devlan licked the mirror again, groaning when Vesper pressed forward on his own side, the flushed head of his cock grinding against the glass. “Fucking tease,” he muttered, peering up to find the blond grinning down shamelessly at him. The boy was fucking gorgeous from head to toe and Devlan was definitely reconsidering his stance on not fucking the toys of the demonic and jealous. “Pinch your nipples. Show me how much pain you like.”
His gaze growing darker, Vesper reached up with one hand, twisting at one of his pink buds with finger and thumb. He gave a soft grunt, his breathing growing more ragged as he pulled at his nipple sharply and continued to stroke the length of his thick shaft. “Okay,” he whispered after a minute, his tongue teasing out from between his lips to wet his flesh. “Touch the glass.”
“Why are you doing this?” Devlan asked, his voice growing hoarse the moment Vesper’s eyes began to glow. He wasn’t used to feeling like prey, but Vesper was definitely making him wonder if that wouldn’t be so bad either.
“To save him—Have you not been paying attention to anything, idiot?” Huffing, Vesper pressed two fingers to the mirror. “Tell me if you feel this.”
Jolting, Devlan gasped as power flowed from the point of contact and through the mirror, hitting him everywhere he was leaning against the surface. His head falling forward, he growled, his dick growing rock hard, fangs sharpening, and senses immediately alert. “Fuck, Vesper… Fuck.” The boy’s energy was beyond anything he had tasted before, blinding and alarming in its intensity.
“You like that?” Vesper asked, his expression making it clear he already knew the answer by the incubus’ response. “Tell me we have a deal, Devlan. I’ll give you so much energy, you’ll be high for a week. Just give me your oath that you’ll do what it takes to save him.”
Devlan didn’t answer right away, fighting with the lust and hunger spinning in him. Everything Vesper had said pointed to the immediate need to arm the fuck up and hole away until he could find some sort of safety from the boy’s demon master, but everyone knew you had to actually touch Heiden’s chosen to fear the demon hunting you down. No one had touched Vesper. No one. So why was the boy so certain Evan was as good as dead? Because of some sex slaves?
“What aren’t you telling me?” Devlan finally asked, glaring defiantly. “Did you touch him?”
“Never,” Vesper replied swiftly. “If I had, I would have killed Asher and ran off with the kid until we were both hunted down. I swear I didn’t touch him.”
“Aw, fuck.” No wonder Vesper thought he was in love with Evanel. Clearly the dragon boy was wallowing in the fucking miserable emotion. “You’re not going to kill me if I touch him, are you? Just how rational are you thinking right now, Malice? Has your exritus started?”
“Just fucking promise me, dumbass,” Vesper growled out, his fingers hovering inches from the glass. “There is no way you lose in this deal. Stop fucking things up with stupid thinking.”
“Like I’m supposed to just trust you?” Devlan stood and met the blond’s glare head on. “For all I know, you’re setting me up.”
“How is asking you to take care of him setting anyone up? Come on, Devlan, you’re the only one I can ask. You’re the only one that will do this.”
Gods, but didn’t that just sound fucking insane? “Why, you delusional, lovesick bastard? What the fuck would make you think that a fucking incubus would risk his life for a little tail?”
“Because he gives a fuck and you can’t stop thinking about him,” Vesper answered steadily, his expression daring Devlan to disagree. “You tried to be as obnoxious as possible and he still treated you like a fucking human being. You hated and loved it all at once, and now you’re obsessed.”
“Shut up,” Devlan muttered, covering his face with his hand. He didn’t want to think about Evan. He sure as fuck didn’t want to think about why he was like this. “Gods, I hate that angry fuck.”
Taking a calming breath, Vesper pitched his voice low. “Then make sure he’s alive so you can punish him for it. Just promise me, Devlan. Right fucking now.”
Growling, Devlan pushed his hair back, his teeth grit tight. “I give you my oath. I’ll do everything in my power to save him.”
Searching the incubus’ face, Vesper eventually nodded, satisfied. “Thank you. Touch the glass with both your hands. Brace yourself.”
Holding back a smart-ass remark on just how arrogant the boy could be at times, Devlan did as he was told. He had little doubt that Vesper had more than enough power to knock him out if he wanted.
“Hey, Malice, you have a really nice dick.”
Glancing from where he was concentrating his energy to his hands, Vesper raised a brow at him. “Okay, since we’re exchanging compliments, you looked particularly slutty when sucking dick. I’m pretty sure you’ve found your calling on your knees.”
Devlan flashed him a roguish grin, leaning forward until his lips were touching the glass. “I’m just saying; if you ever find yourself free of that monster—and I’m starting to think that might be the fucking case—I’ll be happy to share him with you.” He looked down, taking in Vesper’s fit form and still erect dick before settling back on the boy’s glowing blue eyes. “For real. I’m talking long-term bonding shit.”
Placing his hands on the mirror at the same level where Devlan’s were resting, Vesper leaned forward as well, his eyes burning into the incubus’. “Devlan, if I somehow live to break free of that bastard, you better fucking run. I will kill anyone that touches Evanel Reed, and that includes you.” Before the boy could respond, Vesper shot his collected energy out through his palms, Devlan shouting and arching from the sudden, intense current of power.
“Fucker… motherfucker…” Devlan gritted out, falling to his knees heavily, his hands sliding down the glass when the connection broke. When he was finally able to open his eyes, he found himself looking up at the portal from where he had unknowingly collapsed on the ground. His pants were ruined, his orgasm having ripped through him so violently, he wasn’t sure if he could even say he had enjoyed it. But he was definitely brimming with energy, of a power so bright, so wild feeling, it was hard to remember who he was before it.
Vesper was still there, staring down at the incubus, something dark and deadly in the boy’s eyes Devlan had never seen before. The rest of the shielding spell had faded from the blond’s output of power and Devlan could see the boy was indeed standing outside, snow piled around his bare feet and swirling in soft flakes through the air.
Beautiful death. His opinion of Vesper Malice still kept coming back to death.
“Save him, Devlan,” Vesper reminded, his eyes burning into the incubus’ blinking ones. “Don’t pussy out.”
“Jackass.” Glaring as best he could, Devlan slowly let his eyes close as they insisted on growing heavier. He felt the connection to the portal close off but he couldn’t move enough to care. Vesper’s energy had come with the unusual demand of sleep from his body. It was almost as powerful a pull as when he had fed off of Evan the first time.
Another reason to avoid the angry boy. Devlan had a list of many reasons to stay away from Evanel Reed. All he was going to readily ignore if only to find out what the fuck he had done to him.
Draven and Lilo sat together on the couch in Vesper’s main room. The place was cold, a frozen feel to the stone walls and floors. Draven said nothing when his brother scooted closer. The shifts they were dressed in held little protection from the chill of the room. There was a large soft fur on the couch but neither were daring enough to actually wrap it around them without permission.
“We need to come up with a plan.”
Draven glanced at his brother, then looked away.
The Vesper prince lived in a mix of opulence and stark minimalism. The stone walls of his chambers were decorated in fabrics of cold, blue tones nearly gray. The stripes of material fell from the ceiling to the floor. Matching drapes framed the tall windows in the same colors. There was no art in the room, unless you counted the shining weapons that glittered from every plane with deadly blades. Weapons Lilo no doubt was foolishly thinking of using while Draven was more concerned would be used against them.
“Draven, please. He’s been gone for ages. We need to come up with a plan.”
The ceiling above had carvings of dragons leering down from every corner. Things in this realm—this Earth—were not the same as their home. The things in this fortress were different from the ones in Heiden’s. Draven still could not tell if the statues were demons which fed off the scraps of the humans who lived among them, or truly just stone. Some stone could be animated with the right spell; but neither he or his brother were able to cast since the blasted collars were placed on their necks.
Lilo suddenly pressed against him, his chest to the bareness of his arm, lips hot against his ear. “I’m hungry. It has been days and he barely looks at me. I’m going to starve. You are going to starve.”
Draven’s lashes fluttered closed, blocking his red eyes from view of his brother warm against him. The one blessing in all this was their new master, Vesper Malice, showed no interest in them on any level. No one in the household had tried to touch them. “We have been hungry before.”
“I don’t want to die,” Lilo hissed in frustration at his brother’s ever cold expression. “We need to turn him our way. He is so distant. Unapproachable.”
“That’s good. It means he’s not hurting you,” Draven snapped.
“He doesn’t want to hurt me, stupid.” Lilo’s expression turned anxious. “He doesn’t want us. Will he give us back to Heiden? Have us killed? This is the nicest place so far. They let us eat with them, Draven. Like we’re the same. Equal.”
Draven growled low in his chest. Sure they fed them, but not food they could consume. “Do not grow complacent. We will escape these humans and their planet.” Why wouldn’t Lilo just let it die? Why did he want to be some damn sex slave when before he was resistant? Draven did not like this change in his brother and was quick to blame the platinum haired, glowing skinned monster they were now to serve. The collar around his neck might of blocked his magical ability but it did nothing to stop his senses. There was something terrifying about this Vesper Malice.
Lilo bit his lower lip as he gazed at the brand burned into the flesh on his brother’s neck. The collar only half obscured the ugly mark from view. They were going to marked as slaves forever, no matter where they went. “We need to get him to like us,” he said, his voice lower in an attempt to compel. “We need to… Well. You know why they kept us together. We’re going to have to…”
“Quiet,” Draven muttered. His eyes snapped open, staring straight into Lilo’s for a long, breathless moment before he looked away. Draven didn’t want to think about anyone touching Lilo, certainly not himself. Out of the two of them, Lilo was kind, shining, quite perfect in all ways. No one had a right to ruin that.
Growling softly, Lilo stood and gave an annoyed huff. “I’m hungry.”
Lilo wrinkled his nose in disgust. Draven couldn’t blame him. The living beings on this planet all seemed to be covered in heavy fur or feathers. Sinking fangs in was more a mess than feast, and they never tasted right. The cooked food might have a more palatable flavor but the life force was completely gone from it by that point. He could almost understand his brother’s interest in drinking desire instead; the humans looked somewhat similar, their skin very soft and the scent, although different, appealing.
Draven paused in his thoughts while he teased a tongue over a fang. Actually, maybe that was the solution. He hadn’t actually tasted human flesh or blood. Perhaps they were surrounded by food after all. There were certainly enough humans from what he’d heard of the huge population bent on filling every corner of their globe.
“Do you think they taste good?” He voiced curiously.
Lilo rolled his eyes. “Seriously? You’d rather eat them alive? They’re sentient.”
Draven shrugged. “They stole us from our home, our planet, chained us, and want us to be sex slaves. I can’t help that they’re idiots. There are so many of them. They need something to cull their numbers or the planet will be overrun with the fools.”
Lilo glared down at his brother, his blue eyes flashing. The horn on his head had taken a sharper point, a sign he was growing either hungry or angry. In this case, both. “I’m hungry, Draven.”
“I heard you the first time. And all the other times you continue to complain.”
Lilo fought back a snarl. His expression turned calculating, and with a flourish, he pulled the ugly shift over his head and threw it to the ground. He regretted it immediately; the place was just so cold. That was until he heard Draven’s breath hitch on seeing his clothing at his feet.
Lilo knelt on the couch, watching his brother’s face who refused to look in his direction. He leaned closer and leaned his chin on Draven’s shoulder. “You’re going to stop being so stubborn and help us get fed.”
“I can hold him down if you want to slice his throat,” Draven said impassively. Still, his eyes glanced toward him a moment. “Put your wings away. You know it’s offensive.”
Lilo scowled. “I hate you.”
Maybe he did. Draven was certain his curse was the only reason they were on this stupid planet in the first place. Maybe his brother had every reason to blame him for their circumstances.
Lilo’s lips brushed the point of his ear ever so lightly, and Draven froze. He breathed out slowly and tried to pretend he hadn’t noticed.
“What?” Draven muttered.
“I could never hate you.” Lilo’s lips pressed again, this time deliberately to his ear.
Relief spread warm in his gut and replaced the hunger that he’d been dutifully ignoring. “That’s because you’re an idiot,” he whispered.
“You know I’m not.”
Heat touched to Draven’s neck and he resisted the urge to smack his very much idiot of a brother. He opened his mouth to say something hopefully cutting enough to send Lilo away from him—his stupid kisses were becoming very distracting—but stopped when he heard a noise.
Lilo tensed, his head ducking so his purple locks obscured his face. “It’s him.”
Draven didn’t bother answering. Vesper’s energy was very easy to recognize, monstrous in its amount. A drop of his blood might have been a meal with a life force as strong as his.
“Help me, Draven,” Lilo pleaded softly in his ear. “I want to feed. I don’t want to go back to that hideous creature who could snap us to pieces.”
Lilo seemed blind to just what he was asking, something Draven found beyond frustrating. “You’re my brother.”
“So?” Lilo’s mouth traced down his neck and his tongue teased at the top of his shoulder. “It’s not as though anyone is here to care.”
Draven inhaled roughly. “So, you’re ugly and stupid.”
Lilo’s outraged snarl was cut off by the door to the room opening. “You’re an ass,” he whispered in his brother’s ear before he straightened and faced their new master.
Draven couldn’t help but glare at Vesper, this time more cutting than before. Bad enough Lilo was standing with his wings out, not a stitch of clothing on, but Vesper was saturated in sex. The scent swirled around him more tangible than the dark cloak he slipped from his shoulders.
Vesper looked up to find both demons staring at him. Frowning, he glanced to the walls, clearly checking to make sure none of the weapons were missing. Draven had to give him credit; he wasn’t a complete fool.
“M-Master… I was… uh, wonderment…” Lilo stumbled over the foreign words, his cheeks turning red. “You are tired and…”
Realizing what he was doing, Draven stood and immediately blocked Lilo from Vesper’s view. “Don’t you dare,” he hissed under his breath. “You know nothing of him.”
“I’m hungry,” Lilo insisted with a glare. “And he smells really good.”
Lilo pushed his brother aside and addressed Vesper again. “Your bed must be chilled with one…”
“Do not!” Draven snarled, ready to wrestle his brother to the ground if it would stop him from making a whore of himself.
Lilo was tired of being interrupted and pulled his arm free when Draven tried to grab him. “I will not starve. If you’re not hungry, fine. I won’t die like this!”
“You are hardly dead!” Thin, certainly. Draven’s gaze moved down his brother’s lithe body inadvertently, his face hot with emotion to find Lilo half hard. His words failed him and Lilo had no problem slipping around him and daring a few steps closer to Vesper’s silent form.
“W-We have been learned too… uh, give… um…” He looked at Vesper helplessly, unable to remember the right word.
Draven growled from behind him. “I told you you’re too stupid for this.”
“Enough,” Vesper said, both jolting to hear him use their language. “Go to the kitchen if you’re hungry. Preferably in clothes,” he added while sweeping past the two into his bedroom.
“He’s hard,” Lilo whispered into Draven’s ear. “Did you see?”
“Shut up,” Draven muttered. Vesper’s sex scent had filled the room with his walk through and Draven was feeling too hot all of a sudden. “Don’t!” he hissed when Lilo suddenly darted away and followed to Vesper’s door.
Lilo licked his lips when he reached the door to Vesper’s bedroom. The scent was stronger here, enticing and warming after so much cold. It didn’t hurt that his new master was beautiful and fierce, with a piercing gaze that sent shivers through him every time he looked his way. Lilo’s small, bat-like wings gave a flutter in anticipation as he pressed up to the heavy, wooden door. He heard his brother hiss behind him, clearly offended with his daring. He didn’t care; he was hungry and Vesper had more than enough energy to share.
Breathing in deep, Lilo pulled away from the door far enough to be able to knock.
“What?” an annoyed voice barked from the other side. Vesper really didn’t seem to like them much at all. Lilo knew Draven was relieved by it, but he only found it frustrating. He needed this new master to make sure they lived and Vesper couldn’t even spare a kind word toward them.
Afraid his brother might sneak up behind him and ruin everything, Lilo decided his only option was to be bold. “May I speak with you?”
Silence stretched and Lilo strained to hear what answer would come. There was a click and the door swung open.
Draven growled behind him. Lilo’s eyes went wide. He quickly slipped through the gap before his brother could stop him.
Vesper was doing his best not to look at the young man trembling in front of his door. He hung his cloak up and peered into his closet silently. He wished he hadn’t already taken his shirt off, wished he hadn’t unlocked the door. His skin was prickling with every breath Lilo took. His scent of desire was strong even from across the room. It was bad timing for this—fuck, having anyone in his room was never a good thing since Heiden. More so after talking to Devlan earlier that evening.
Damn it, he was horny. Impossibly horny. Feeding Devlan did something to him he didn’t expect. Vesper didn’t know if it was because he held back so much and letting out all this energy was setting him off, or it was because whatever was growing in him was getting stronger. It felt like it was getting stronger. Ever since learning of the prophecy, he couldn’t stop thinking of the wicked, monstrous thing possibly consuming his soul even now. It seemed the way of the shining face god to consume a host from the inside out until he was left insane and deadly powerful.
Vesper glared at his clothing and quickly pulled a robe free. He didn’t want to think of that. He didn’t want to think of how he meant every word when staring into Devlan’s dazed, hungry eyes.
“You understand me, yes master?”
Vesper bit back a sigh and glanced to the side where Lilo edged his way. “Yes. Now put this on.” This was difficult enough without the damn demon being naked in his room. He was slim, toned, with a rose tint to his skin far too interesting to his senses at the moment.
Lilo hesitated before stepping over, his feet barely making any noise as he walked. “It’s very nice,” Lilo said when Vesper placed the spidersilk robe in his grasp. The material was smooth like cool water and flowed over his skin. Lilo shivered from the touch on his arms as he held it.
“If you like it, I can have something made for you. The two of you,” Vesper said tightly. “I’m sorry. I should have thought of it earlier. I’ve been distracted.” Thinking of his death. Thinking of preventing Evan’s death. Wondering if he would truly kill Devlan if he so much as touched Evan again.
He would. He would kill him in a heartbeat.
He was losing his mind.
“You seem distressed,” Lilo whispered, his eyes following the way Vesper’s hands kept opening and clenching into fists. “Are you unwell?”
Vesper didn’t have an answer he felt comfortable speaking. He felt like he was going to snap at any moment and this foolish demon wouldn’t go away and give him the solitude he desperately needed. It was driving him mad.
A hand, cool and small, touched his arm and Vesper whirled and jerked away. “Don’t,” he gasped as adrenaline shot through him. He hadn’t imagined it. Lilo’s hand was still reaching toward him, frozen in midair as he stared up at him in confusion.
“Did I harm…?”
Vesper shook his head and his vision dimmed at the edges. Fuck, he touched him. He fucking touched him. “You should go. I shouldn’t have—you need to leave,” he bit out. Heiden would know. Would know and kill him. One light touch and he doomed this demon who was… “Are you crying?” Vesper blinked rapidly, pulled from his frantic thoughts by the tears in Lilo’s bright blue eyes. “Why are you…?”
Lilo’s tears spilled free, twin streaks wetting his cheeks moments before he ducked his head and sobbed into the robe he was holding. Vesper could only watch, at a loss of what to do. He had no idea what to do and could not understand the way his gut twisted in demand he do something to stop this confusing display.
“Can I… Can I get you something?” Vesper’s hand came up to comb agitatedly through his hair. He resisted the urge to actually reach out and touch Lilo’s arm, although it seemed like it might be the right thing to do in such a situation. Maybe rub his back? It was so long since he was allowed to touch another, he truly couldn’t say.
His bedroom door slammed open. The gray skinned demon charged in, his red eyes full of rage when he caught sight of his brother crying.
“Lilo?” Draven stalked across the room, his glare fixed challengingly on Vesper. “What did he do to you?”
To the best of Vesper’s knowledge, he didn’t do a damn thing and found the presumption insulting. Lilo gave a greater sob when his brother touched his shoulder. He turned and buried his face against his neck.
“Lilo, what’s wrong?”
“I’m hungry,” Lilo mumbled. His forehead rested against Draven’s cheek. “So hungry.”
“Let me get you food,” Vesper said with an exasperated growl. “If you actually bother to eat it.”
“Your food is too dead to consume.” Draven’s voice was gruff as he glanced Vesper’s way, then turned to his brother. He gently wiped Lilo’s cheek with his thumb and sighed at the dazed look on his face. “He needs something living to sustain him. Dead things cannot feed us.”
“And you waited this long to tell someone?” Vesper stopped himself, too loud and full of frustration. He took a deep breath. “I thought you fed each other. You’re both demons; can’t you feed each other?”
Lilo sniffled and pressed his lips to his brother’s neck. Draven closed his eyes a moment and sank into the feeling despite his best efforts. “You hate me,” Lilo whispered. “You’re always so mean.”
Draven ignored the cruel and somewhat true words. “I’m too weak to feed him. The same of him for me. If we were stronger it might be different, but we haven’t eaten properly in months.”
“Feed me,” Lilo murmured. He sighed as he rubbed his face against his brother’s jaw. “You’re always stronger.”
“You’re hysterical, idiot.” Draven’s hands flew down to stop Lilo’s hips from rocking against him.
Vesper growled to himself as the implications of what Draven said. They were there for days, starving, and hadn’t told a damn soul.
What, was he truly expecting two slaves to sit down and have a conversation with him about their welfare and the best ways to keep them healthy and happy? Was that a conversation he could ever hope to have with Heiden? Damn, he left them in rags, starving, while well aware they were terrified of him, and he hadn’t given a thought to any of it.
Vesper narrowed his eyes and turned. He stalked to a heavy cabinet of polished wood which took up a large part of his wall. Rummaging through, he returned with a dagger. Draven snarled on seeing it and whirled so he was between him and Lilo.
“He’s only hungry. You don’t need to kill him!”
“How is it we’re speaking the same language but you can’t understand simple things?” Vesper shot back. The demon’s fear was more frustrating because a part of him knew he was to blame. He could have talked to them, could have made himself approachable. Now he was left trying to repair something he already broke in his disregard.
Holding the dagger up, Vesper quickly sliced it down his palm. He hissed when the blade bit his flesh. Crimson bloomed and quickly dripped down his fingers. Vesper turned his hand so his blood pooled in his palm.
“Here.” He stepped forward with hand outstretched.
Draven stared at the offering warily, his nostrils flared to pick up the scent. “Wait,” he growled when Lilo tried to get around him. “It’s not… It’s not safe.”
Vesper glared. “Of course it’s safe. What, you think I’m made of poison? It’s just blood. I know your type get life force from it.”
Draven didn’t answer. His senses were open as he continued to stare. There was too much power in Vesper’s blood. It glowed brighter than any he’d seen before. It felt dangerous, like a trap. “I don’t…” He gasped when Lilo hip checked him sideways, his brother’s eyes dazed with hunger. “Lilo, don’t!”
Lilo didn’t seem to hear. His bare feet led him quickly to Vesper’s waiting form. Vesper hesitated when Lilo reached for him, going so far as to take a step back.
“Just… you don’t want to touch me.” Vesper thought a moment, then held his hand up. “Let it drip down.” Lilo craned his head back, mouth open to catch the blood.
“No,” Draven surged forward and pulled him back. Lilo snarled in frustration in his hold. “No. We will go hungry.”
“Draven!” Lilo finally had a proper meal in sight and let his claws grow. He slashed behind him. Draven hissed when talons raked his side and caught at his arm. His own strength was compromised from hunger, not that he would dare admit it to his brother.
Lilo broke free and didn’t look back. He crossed the few steps and grabbed Vesper’s arm and pulled it to his level. Vesper tried to protest, but fell silent the moment Lilo’s mouth closed over the wound on his palm. Heat flooded him in a wave and Vesper grabbed at a bureau behind him to keep from swaying.
Vesper watched, feeling almost as hungry as the demon desperately sucking at his blood. Lilo held him roughly, his fangs nipping to force more blood free which his tongue then lapped in long strokes to drink down. It took everything Vesper had not to grab him, not to switch their positions and take what he wanted from Lilo’s slim body. It would be easy enough—the collar on the demon’s neck made things very easy—and the blood scent in the air was making the idea seem all the more better.
Lilo sighed into his palm and his movements began to slow. With dazed blue eyes, he glanced up at Vesper and leaned against him. His tongue continued to tease slow licks over his hand broken only by content, sated sighs.
Vesper tugged at his hand and Lilo readily followed. He pulled him until their lips were inches apart and he could smell the unique scent of his skin. “Better?”
Lilo’s breath stuttered, his gaze caught in Vesper’s glowing stare. Blood was wet on his lips and Vesper’s eye were drawn down and then to the side where Draven had fallen. He was rigid in anxiety, red eyes wide as he stared up at his brother.
Draven slowly got to his feet, wary as he looked from Lilo to Vesper. Vesper held still when he came up cautiously to speak into his brother’s pointed ear. “Are you okay? Lilo? Did he…?”
Lilo’s movements were hard to track. One moment he was staring at Vesper, the next his eyes flashed with mischief into Draven’s. Draven snarled and stumbled back, but wasn’t fast enough to avoid Lilo’s blood coated tongue as it dove into his mouth.
“Ass… Stupid ass…” Draven swayed forward, crouched over as he tried to wipe the blood away. Heat ran through him like a drug and his movements turned sluggish. He clawed weakly at his neck and left red lines on his gray flesh. “Divine,” he whispered. “Vesper prince tastes divine.”
Lilo went back to licking Vesper’s cut, his breath ragged with each touch of tongue. Vesper was trying to ignore the thoughts in his head, the pulse burning through his body. Lilo was such a slight, slender thing. Both of them. Powerless with the collars. Beings he should have wanted to protect but at the moment could only see so easily defiled.
“You shouldn’t have touched me.” Vesper ducked his head so he could breathe in Lilo’s scent. “You’ve made your situation worse.” He made everything worse with his blood feeling so hot in his veins.
His breath hitched when Lilo’s teeth teased the flesh of his palm. It was a controlled bite, gentle. When he looked down, Lilo was peering up through purple lashes. His eyes had turned dark, pupils wide. His tongue was hot as he deliberately licked up his hand.
“No one touches you,” Lilo kissed into his skin. It was more an observation than a question, and Vesper nodded in reply. He was overly aware of Lilo’s breath, the heat from his naked body and the scent of his flesh. He closed his eyes when Lilo step forward and pressed up against him, sharp angles and hard cock grinding against his body. Vesper realized Lilo had a tail when it unwound from the demon’s thigh and wrapped around his waist to hold him tighter. Lilo’s mouth grew more ferocious. He no longer sought blood as he kissed and sucked up Vesper’s arm, nipped at his bicep, licked at his shoulder and kissed along his collarbone. Vesper breathed deep as Lilo moved down to his chest, his hands exploring where his mouth soon followed.
Inside, Vesper was at war with himself. This would get the demons killed, he knew as much. But then, they were dead anyways. Anyone connected to him was dead because of Heiden. Like Evan. Vesper exhaled slowly. The feelings he associated with Evan rose up in him, overwhelming and hungry. He couldn’t even touch him. He found someone who made him feel more than just a trapped victim and he couldn’t even touch his hand, kiss his lips.
Lilo’s hands soothed down his chest, fingers clutching as he explored Vesper’s muscular stomach. His mouth was wet as he kissed up his throat, then his chin, falling too short of his target.
“A little,” Vesper whispered as he tilted his head down and Lilo’s lips found his. “Just a little.”
Lilo’s claws pricked at his hips and he gasped from the sensation. Lilo’s eyes were full of want when Vesper gazed down into them. He couldn’t count how many times he’d seen that expression in so many sets of eyes fixed on him. He’d seen it less than an hour ago in Devlan’s eyes and wondered just what it would feel like to damn him as well with just one touch.
If he were a selfish man, an insane man, it would be easy to damn anyone to Heiden’s wrath. Fucking Devlan to do it would be appealing in its own right. Having Devlan on his knees, begging him forgiveness for daring to so much as touch his Evanel…
“Lilo.” Draven’s senses were recovered enough for him to return. He wrapped his arms around his brother’s shoulders and tried to pull him back, but his movements lacked coordination or focus. “You’re not like this.”
Lilo’s smile was sated and eyelids heavy as he turned to his brother and grabbed one of the arms around his neck. “He tastes good. You taste good, Draven.”
“You’re not… You’re not yourself,” Draven mumbled as Lilo kissed him clumsily, their lips sliding together, fangs pinching for a moment.
“I am. You’re the one who keeps saying I’m someone else.” Lilo kissed him deeper, his tongue stroking into his mouth. “I’m me, not you.”
Vesper gaze slid down, following the way Lilo’s claws tore into Draven’s thin shift and shredded the material. Draven pulled from the kiss, his dazed eyes sparking with anger when his brother tried to tear the rest of his clothing off. “Lilo, you’re not thinking…” Draven cut off with a groan when Vesper stepped forward and pressed his bloody palm to his mouth.
“You’re hungry, yes?” Vesper couldn’t stop himself, the room growing hotter with every hungry lick to his skin. With his free hand he gently peeled the ragged fabric off of Draven’s body and tossed it to the ground. The twins were nearly identical except for the blue gray tint to Draven flesh, his nipples and flushed dick a deeper shade of the same. He was similar to Lilo in stature but Draven’s muscles were more defined, his cock thicker and dripping clear fluid.
Draven whimpered against Vesper’s palm. He tried to pull away but instead his lips kept sliding into the red fluid. “Your power… you would control us,” he panted out.
“With blood?” Vesper raised an eyebrow and smeared the thinning scarlet down Draven’s chin and then his throat. “Are you controlled by your food?”
Draven shook his head weakly. “No. But you make everyone prey.” He moaned when Lilo slipped between them and began to clean the blood from his skin with sultry licks of his tongue.
Draven grasped at his brother’s silky locks, his fingers slipping until he got a proper hold. Lilo grinned wickedly as his head was wrenched back and Draven surged forward and sucked and nipped at his throat and down his chest. Vesper couldn’t look away, not with how Lilo was arching and gasping for more while his brother seemed determined to give him everything he wanted in punishment. They were beautiful together, raw, confident but still learning of what the other liked.
His life could have been like this. A pile of beautiful bodies twined and sweaty, moaning in need and soft sighs every night in his bed chambers. He could have woken to hands, lips, and an end to the insatiable hunger which clawed inside. It should have been like this. Such bodies were meant to touch, meant to hold, and despair at every parting.
Lilo snickered softly, his face an expression of bliss as he turned in his brother’s hold. Draven was quick to direct his kisses to his nape and shoulders, trying to cover Lilo in as much of his scent as possible. Lilo twined his narrow arms around Vesper’s neck and pulled him closer. Vesper closed his eyes and breathed deep as Lilo’s mouth returned to licking his chest, then to teasing his nipple. Tears prickled at his eyes a moment and Vesper growled them away.
Did Heiden think to keep him alone would somehow make his monstrous touch bearable? Or was it just to hurt him in all ways? It felt a thawing of his heart, a cracking of joints and muscle when Vesper dared to raise his hand and touch down Lilo’s side. Lilo panted against his chest, rocked forward and ground their erections together. Vesper growled for a different reason, his hand gripping Lilo’s hip and pulling him up harder against him.
When Vesper’s eyes blinked open, he found Draven staring at him, his red gaze studying his face from behind his brother’s slim shoulder. He was more lucid than Lilo, but still susceptible. Vesper could pull him if he wanted to. He could easily see the beautiful, gray skinned demon moaning in want, ready to do anything he asked. Vesper licked his lips, his breath freezing when Lilo’s teeth nipped at his throat and tongue soothed a hot path down.
He wanted to. Goddess, he really did.
They were dead the moment Heiden chose the two for him. Why should their last days be of fear and loneliness? Why should his? Why shouldn’t they all just enjoy these moments now, together, entwined and sated?
Vesper cupped Lilo’s cheek and tilted him up to meet his gaze. “The bed,” he ordered softly and let his power flow into the words. “I want to see you fuck your brother.”
Lilo’s eyes glowed a moment, a strange inner light matching the demand of Vesper’s call. Lilo suddenly laughed in glee when Draven pulled him back against him to get him away from Vesper. Lilo wiggled in his arms, twisted, and gripped his brother around the waist. Draven gasped, surprised when Lilo lifted him and carried him toward the bed.
Vesper wasn’t surprised by the lack of fight, not with the collars or the way Lilo had been staring at Draven since they got there. It was far different from the battle of wills with Devlan or Evan’s frustrating ability to completely ignore his call. He inhaled sharply as he thought of Evan again. It was like a spark lighting fire to his veins every time he remembered him. Evan’s scent, his glare, the pure despair that saturated him deeper than even Vesper’s own misery.
Vesper approached the bed, his gaze moving down Lilo’s smooth back, flexing muscles and swishing tail. He had his brother pinned. Draven’s growl was half-hearted at best, his resistance softening with each kiss of Lilo’s mouth and the slide of their flesh. It was the closest to Vesper’s fantasies of watching others touch. Even in his mind, he never dared participate. It was just too dangerous to give in to such thoughts. To want was to eventually have, and to have would ruin so many. Only once had Vesper’s emotions gotten the best of him and that was at the Hierarchy. He wanted Evan so much, nothing would stop him.
Vesper slid fingertips lightly down the swell of Lilo’s ass, his mood dark with discontent the more he thought of Evanel. Why couldn’t he be satisfied with what he’d been given? He had so little joy; why couldn’t he be happy with the two twisting in his bed? They weren’t him. They weren’t Evan—the guy he barely knew but couldn’t stop obsessing over a week later after one brief meeting.
Lilo moaned, his cry pulling Vesper from his thoughts. He found his palm hot on the demon’s ass. He gripped tighter and pulled Lilo back, his hands sliding down his thighs to urge them open. His inner thigh was softer beneath his fingertips. Lilo trembled and his breath came out in fast pants. He rocked back so his shoulders were tight to Vesper’s chest and his hair tickled his nose.
“You want him?” Vesper’s mouth teased at Lilo’s purple strands.
“Yes. So much.” Lilo grasped his wrist and lifted his hand up so he could pull the half healed wound to his mouth. He licked at the drying blood, his eyes closed. “Make him want me. Please, master. We can have him together.”
Vesper inhaled sharply at the quiet plea while Draven groaned. He looked down to find the red eyed demon staring up beneath heavy eyelids. His expression was full of apprehension quelled by the heavy weight of his hard cock.
“I don’t need to make him.” Vesper raised his gaze back up, lingering on Draven’s mouth as he wet his lips. “You want him, don’t you?” He already knew the answer. They both reeked of arousal for each other. It was impossible not to want Lilo no matter how protective his brother tried to be.
The lack of angry retort was more telling than anything else. Draven’s eyes moved to his brother whose gaze was fixed on his rigid cock. Lilo’s hands explored down and teased between Draven’s thighs. Draven moaned when Lilo bent down and kissed his shaft and his tongue slid out to wet every inch of the hard flesh. Draven sank back onto the bed, dazedly watching as Lilo bobbed and sucked up and down the length of his shaft and his tongue flicked out to tease every drop of precum he could free.
Vesper returned to stroking the flesh of Lilo’s thigh, his hand sliding up to cup his balls and explore the soft flesh that led between his cheeks. He kissed down his back between his wings, lips lingering as he breathed in deep of the demon’s unique scent and their arousal mixed together. Evan’s face again flashed in his mind’s eye and with a growl, he pulled away.
Lilo looked back with a mix of want and concern. The two demons were beautiful, eager, Vesper’s eyes moving down to take them in. He must do this to himself. He was just determined to ruin what little happiness he could have.
At Lilo’s continued stare, Vesper smiled as assuringly as he could. He nodded to Draven. “Show me how you want him. You’re beautiful together. I want to see.”
Lilo blushed. His eyes sparkled and delicate wings flexed as he turned back. He licked down Draven’s stomach and quickly took his cock into his mouth. Draven hissed, his fingers tangling into his brother’s hair as he thrust up into his dripping mouth. Lilo used his tail to wrap around Draven’s thigh and push his leg up. He pressed his thumb to Draven’s entrance, claws dulled to tease the twitching hole while he licked and sucked his swollen tip.
Groaning, Draven threw his head back as fingers stretched into his passage. Lilo released his cock, his eyes tight on his brother’s face as he jerked and twisted on the bed.
Vesper watched, hard, wanting and frustrated with himself. The sexual energy rose around them like a perfume but he felt not compulsion to drink from it. He was made for sex. His allure existed so he could build up and feed off desire if he chose it. Just like these demon fae. If not for Heiden, he would have grown his power in all ways without hesitation.
“Lilo. Please,” Draven gasped out, his face flushed and lips parted.
Lilo melted down, his mouth sealing to Draven’s as he settled between his raised knees. “Now?”
“Yes… fuck.” Draven groaned as Lilo pushed inside his clenching flesh, his head falling back and hands clutching the sheets.
Lilo sheathed deeper, his breath shallow as he grasped the bed for leverage and slowly filled Draven’s passage. He was already close, shaking, their need swirling in the air. “You feel me,” Lilo murmured as he took a breath. He brushed his brother’s hair from his face so he could see his eyes.
Draven nodded, sweat dripping down his chin. He reached up and fisted Lilo’s hair and pulled him down into another kiss. Their horns just missed as Lilo gasped and thrust deeper. “Harder,” Draven growled. “I want to feel all of you.”
Vesper pulled at his own hair fitfully, his eyes raking over the scene of the two. Heiden wasn’t there. There was no consequence worse to wrought at this point. Just to taste the energy would be nothing. He knew it but he couldn’t bring himself to reach out. All he could remember was the feel of Evan’s energy touching his and for one impossible moment, their souls brushed.
“Damn it… Goddess, I am damned.” The memory faded from his body and Vesper was left feeling cold and confused.
He whirled, stalked away from the bed and paced back. Draven and Lilo were twined together, heaving for air with cum slick between them. Draven’s hand lazily slid down his brother’s back, sliding through the sheen of sweat to caress his ass. Lilo lifted his head to look back at Vesper in silent appeal.
“It’s cold here,” Lilo said when Vesper made no move to join them.
“Yes… I’ll have some clothes made for you.” Vesper thought to get the robe left on the floor but Lilo reached his tail out and caught his before he could turn. There was no strength in his pull but Vesper allowed himself to be drawn closer.
“Will you take off your clothes?” Lilo looked up at him with a near pleading expression in his eyes. “Lay with us? Keep us warm?”
Vesper shook his head even as his mind swirled with dark thoughts once again. He saw it reflected in the wariness of Draven’s eyes when Lilo managed to pull him down so Vesper was laid out beside them on the bed.
Lilo’s eyes gleamed as he stared at Vesper’s chest, then down to where his erection tented his red leather pants. “Can I touch you?” He reached down to rub his bulge, but Vesper caught his wrist and gently led it away.
“I think I’ve caused enough harm tonight.” Vesper closed his eyes as he felt the truth of his words.
What selfish beast was growing inside of him? He just damned these two. Possibly Devlan, possibly Asher, Gilda, Corinth, and his parents. Certainly Evan. The corpses were piling up at his feet because he lacked the self control to stop himself.
Vesper rolled to the side, away from Lilo’s fingers brushing across his features. No, not because of a lack of self control. He had self control. He was nothing if not his self control. He let something else grow inside him. Something selfish who wished to live and have pleasure, and with it, he damned everyone he touched.
He couldn’t do this. He couldn’t wait to ensure Devlan followed through and Evan was safe. He pledged his death to the shadow faced god and it was time he delivered.
“That’s where we train.” Gilda pointed to a clearing near the outskirts of her village.
Devlan’s eyes followed and took in the cluster of sirens beneath the colorful canopies of cloth used to mark the clearing. Some were grappling barehanded while others watched, cheered, and lounged in the packed dirt waiting for their turn. It was late afternoon and it seemed most of the activity was done, replaced with the feeding happening at the base of the waterfall.
There weren’t a lot of structures on the top of the plateau. Most were built into the sides of the canyon, accessible by ladders, carved stairs and the complex tunnel system. At the top, Devlan found the area dusty and exposed to the elements. Beyond the coarse grass and scruffy brush that grew around the river, there were giant trees whose root system reached seemingly miles to get their needed nourishment. But even the huge sequoia seemed dwarfed by the rest of the land, flat orange earth that seemed to stretch out forever golden dust glow.
“The school is behind them, the large building. We learn of the world there beyond the battles.”
“And sorcery?” Devlan had seen little magic from the sirens so far. Some fae, magic was so deeply ingrained, to walk was to command the elements to move beneath their feet. Besides the allure the beautiful women used against their prey, he’d seen little of the power when it came to the village.
“There is a place for that as well,” Gilda said with a nod. “A temple by the tower. Only a few of us have the gift enough to expand on it. Our Clan has been away from the Arc Fault for too long.”
“That’s nonsense superstition,” Devlan said with a pointed look.
Gilda shrugged and led him back into the soft pine needles beneath the giant trees and toward the cliff face that was the center of her village. The summer heat was only starting to abate as the sun sank for the horizon. Gilda was dressed in an orange leather tanktop tied around her neck. She wore a matching short skirt with a stripe of light gray fur trim that ran down the front. The leather was tattered at the edges and tickled her thighs as she walked. The feathers in her hair were switched out to match the deep orange and joined a few sparkling gold beads to glitter among her long dreadlocks. She was barefoot, toe rings and an array of hand-braided anklets decorating her otherwise bare legs. The blades on her back were the same as the ones she wore when visiting the Hierarchy and looked at home as she moved easily with the deadly weapons.
“The Elders speak of a time when all of Siren’s children were feathered and glorious in power.” Gilda teased one of her dirty-blond dreadlocks forward and ran her thumb down the feather decorating it. “We have no wings, Devlan. Not any more. It’s easy for you to claim superstition when your Clan came straight from the Arc Fault. You’re the only one left yet you’re powerful enough for the Hierarchy. It’s no coincidence. Power stays in the source and the gods bless those who live there.”
“Coming from the clan with two chosen just this year.” Devlan scoffed and grabbed Gilda’s upper arm. He ducked his head low so they couldn’t be overheard by anyone walking by. “You know as well as I power has been fading as far back as the books go. If the source is the fae gods, then they’re all dead.”
“It is the gate,” Gilda muttered back, her glare tight on his mocking expression. “All power came through the portals and now it doesn’t flow. Gods don’t die.”
Devlan’s expression changed, something dark flashing in his eyes for a moment. “The ones on the Arc Fault aren’t all powerful, Gilda. They’re not gods just because they have a plot of land close to a portal. They die, just like everyone else.”
Gilda sighed when he pulled away and started walking. “I was not speaking of your Clan.”
“But it’s true,” Devlan said after a moment, the bitterness nearly gone from his voice by the time she caught up to him. “Look at that snot-nosed elf who grew up on the continent. Do you really think he could best you in a true battle? He didn’t have a spark of bloodlust in him to suggest he even understands a weapon.”
Gilda didn’t look convinced. “They are warriors there. More powerful than anything this earth has seen. They have protected the gate for ages, gifted by the gods to…”
Devlan growled under his breath and Gilda trailed off with a glare. “Do not speak so highly of a place and people you have never met. They are no fucking different and your hero worship is disgusting. You hold the same amount of fae blood as they do. Stop putting them above you just because of the place of their birth. It’s the same fucking planet.”
Gilda pursed her lips, her eyes fixed on two young sirens staring at them up ahead. She pushed Devlan sideways so they would walk around them and not be heard. “You know you’re speaking blasphemy. Could you be less loud about it?”
“Fuck your Clan’s idea of blasphemy,” Devlan shot back, but he did at least lower his voice. “How can I have a rational conversation with you if you speak from texts instead of experience? For all we know, your goddess decided wings were so last millennium and phased them out. Fuck, maybe one of the Children of the Light came down and slaughtered my clan because he had a grudge against…”
Gilda slapped her hand over his mouth and stared him down. “You are insane to speak their names in such a way. You’re asking to be cursed.”
Devlan pulled her hand from his mouth. “You’re afraid of shadows long dead. They came to this planet and fucked. That’s all. They had sex and bared children and didn’t even hang around to see if their descendants lived. It’s hardly worthy of a damn altar every five feet.”
“They are the source of all power—Damn it. I can’t talk to you when you’re like this.” Gilda turned away, her hand combing through her dreads fitfully.
“Fine. I can say the same of you,” Devlan muttered and buried his hands into his long leather jacket. He was dressed all in black, his preferred monotone of color. The heat didn’t bother him as much as the sun did, and he found it easier to cover up as much skin as possible during the day.
Devlan’s chest was bare beneath his jacket and painted in the symbol of his first clan to keep the Elder sirens happy. His boots reached above his calves laced with a similar design to the laces that ran the length of his leather pants. Devlan hadn’t actually met the Elders no matter the stupid ritual marking, and was glad Gilda was intent to prevent it. It was obnoxious enough he had to deck himself in some old ass ritual just to walk into the place as a guest.
It would have been different if we was born there, but no, the whole damn village wanted to treat him like some fucking god chosen just because his mother bore him on the Arc Fault. Ridiculous. He was determined if close enough to any other of the villagers to reveal just how imperfect those born on the Arc Fault could truly be.
They walked together in silence, his gaze taking in the scenery. The plateau was decorated with colorful silks and there was a feeling of lightness and joy everywhere, even if everyone he’d met so far was weighed down with weapons. They wore the blades like an extension, just another part of their identity, because the siren’s smiles were all genuine and easy flowing. Well, when they weren’t looking his way. Then they all became some level of obnoxious shell-shocked, flabbergasted imbeciles. It was bullshit and he hated it.
“Are you in need of nourishment?” Gilda asked as the cliff side drop came into view in the distance. “There are men below if you have a preference.”
Devlan didn’t answer right away. He wasn’t in a hurry to explain how he couldn’t feed. He liked Gilda but couldn’t trust her with such a dangerous secret. He couldn’t trust anyone.
Gilda paused and turned to him, her gaze questioning. “Your energy is different. Very different. Has something else happened?”
Devlan tilted his head and considered. “Does it remind you of anyone?”
“Remind?” She furrowed her brows. Gilda closed her eyes to focus on him. In moments she gasped and took a step back. “Oh Devlan. What have you done? You’re saturated in him. Don’t tell me you fed from Vesper?”
Devlan didn’t answer. Fuck, he hoped it was only his imagination but it seemed Vesper’s energy had marked him like he feared. It pulsed through him like a radiant elixir. Devlan couldn’t remember ever feeling this strong, this untouchable. But the strength pulsing through his body didn’t fool him of the fact it would eventually fade and be spent like all consumed energy. He needed to find a solution to this Evanel problem, and soon before he descended into the madness of starvation.
“It wasn’t a feeding,” Devlan finally said when Gilda continued to look as if she was debating either to cry or slug him. “Malice wanted to give me an incentive, a power boost, to make sure this plan happened. We never actually touched.”
Gilda shook her head in disbelief. “You have put yourself in so much danger. You are putting us all..” She trailed off, her gaze moving to behind him. Devlan turned and rolled his eyes when he saw Corinth. She broke away from her group of friends who were dipping feet into the river that led to the waterfall to stalk toward them. She was dressed in a sky blue bikini top that made her dark skin seem of polished wood. The light sarong playfully flowing around her legs did nothing to soften the scowl on her face as she glared Devlan down.
“You have the nerve to come here now? Do you know what you’ve done? What danger you bring?”
Devlan held his ground, a condescending smirk already twisting his lips when Corinth stomped in front of him. A litany of blue feathers that matched the many shades of the geometric pattern of her skirt colored Corinth’s hair. He almost made a joke of her stealing from bird’s nest for the vanity of it all, but thought better of it. Corinth was right. He was putting the entire village in danger.
“I was wondering when you’d stop hiding from me,” Devlan said.
“Hiding? No. I’ve been looking for a curse,” Corinth snarled, her voice shrill in anger. “There is nothing in the books vile enough for one such as you. We all know you had the two of them, Devlan! The night of the Hierarchy, you had Vesper Malice and now you welcome that demon here!”
Devlan shared a look with Gilda, who shrugged. “There have been rumors. The three of you were hardly discreet.”
“I didn’t touch Malice. No one has touched Malice,” Devlan said steadily.
“Then why is the demon hunting!” Corinth’s shout broke off halfway and tears sparkled in her eyes. Gilda looped an arm with her shoulders and pulled her aside, their heads ducked. She spoke soothingly while Corinth tried to get herself together.
Devlan took the time to look around, wondering just who might be listening to Corinth’s little break down. Most of the village was down in the basin enjoying their happy feeding orgy. Once night fell, they would seek to feed the humans who bothered to stick around and then have their campfire entertainment.
They had structures down in the basin for the prey where they could sleep and store their goods and food. Some prey chose to live their, like permanent groupies. The sirens lived symbiotic lives with their happy prey but none of the humans were allowed up on the cliff side unless they were taken as mates. Even then, most chose to stay in the structures around the basin because of how overtly hostile the sirens were to outsiders in their territory. Devlan found the practice backwards. The sirens might bend enough to see humans as equal enough for mating but they never fully accepted them into their community. The Clan came first and it demanded they stay separate.
Incubi didn’t care the shape or form of their mates; if they were mated, they were welcome into the community. Elves were the same; well, at least, his adoptive clan was. There were more than a few humans and random fae among the seemingly ageless elves of his clan. A siren would have been welcome, not that the sirens would ever leave their clan. More superstitious nonsense to put some above and others below. He couldn’t stand any of it. Ever since running into that obnoxious Nicholas, Devlan’s anger always seemed at the surface, ready to explode whenever he thought of the many ways elves tried to make the incubi feel less than.
Corinth was calmer when she turned back to Devlan. “This is madness. Vesper touched no one. Why is that creature seeking us?”
“This is not the place,” Gilda said tightly.
“Do you really think a demon like Heiden cares if he follows his own arbitrary, fucked up rules?” Devlan asked quietly. “I’m telling you, Vesper is in love with the kid. I doubt Heiden would ever let such a thing pass. He will torment Vesper to his very end with ease just by killing the one he loves.”
“Fuck.” Gilda’s hand inched towards her bladed back but she didn’t actually draw her weapon. “Evan is defenseless against a being like Heiden.”
Corinth’s expression was cloudy as she pitched her voice lower. “We all are. Vesper killed Devlan by asking this of him. He’s killed us all.”
Devlan didn’t have the heart to disagree. He believed as much, even if he refused to voice it. “Have either of you heard from Asher Vah? Has he made plans to arrive?”
Corinth threw her hair over her shoulder, the strands braided into what appeared to be hundreds of slender, dark snakes among her colorful feathers. Her brows were pinched in worry even though her voice was haughty. “You really think Asher is foolish enough to come running to his death? He’s a survivor, nearly a senseless predator. He’d sell us out to save his own skin.”
“Perhaps, but I have no doubt he’ll be coming,” Devlan assured.
“He’s the reason this happened in the first place,” Corinth hissed. “If he didn’t…”
“What? Try to feed from Evan?” Gilda interrupted. “Or is it’s Evan’s fault for not being strong enough to break away? Smart enough to not have gotten so close? If he wasn’t strange the way he was, would none of this have happened?” she asked with a defiant glare. “Hunters will hunt.”
Corinth huffed and crossed her arms over her chest. “I don’t know. All I know is I have a life planned out. I went to the Hierarchy for connections, not my death.” Her glare cut into Devlan for a moment, then Corinth whirled and began to walk away. “Keep him from my family’s dwelling. All of them,” she hissed in parting.
Devlan watched her go, his expression blank.
“You can’t blame her. She’s not prepared for this,” Gilda said quietly.
Devlan glanced her way but didn’t speak. None of them were, but it didn’t mean the danger was going to pass because of it. “I didn’t come here to doom your village.”
“I know why you came here,” Gilda said, a new edge to her voice. “I can’t promise the Elders will help. I’m not even sure if involving them is wise, given the circumstances.” She met his eyes. “You didn’t bring this to your home.”
“Asher Vah is half demon. He might have some leverage into how they work, how to negotiate,” he reminded.
Gilda snorted and they started walking again. “If he shows.”
“He’ll show. Even if it’s just to feed off of our corpses, the brat will show.” Devlan was hoping it would be before. Asher had been effected by Evan that morning at the Hierarchy. He acted the fool as much as a blood drinking demon could, just for the excuse to touch the seemingly null Evanel. If he could convince Asher Vah Evan was in danger, he might convince him to be reckless once again in all of their favor.
“Have you contacted Evan yet?”
Devlan shook his head. “I’ve tried every night since Malice reached out to me. I can’t get to him.”
Gilda was silent for a few beats. “Dead?”
“No, I sense him. I just can’t…” He couldn’t bring himself to reach out. Every time he got close to where he sensed Evan to be, Devlan just couldn’t take the last steps to reach him on the dreamscape. Something was holding him back, a feeling of danger, and he couldn’t find the source. “I was hoping to be able to use your tower. The…”
Gilda sighed heavily. “You planned this.”
Devlan didn’t bother to apologize. “You really think I would put up with all the obnoxious hero-worshiping otherwise? I can’t reach him on my own. I need a place of spiritual power to center around. One preferably not being haunted by all your Elders. It’s just for the night, Gilda.”
Growling under her breath, she eventually nodded. “I’ll ask. Just promise you’re being straightforward, Devlan. This is not a place you want to fuck around with. The Astral Tower is Siren’s inheritance.”
Devlan didn’t bother pointing out Gilda’s clan stole the damn thing from another fae clan when they immigrated over hundreds of years back. They reached the cliff side. The desert stretched out in all directions, bands of beige, gold, purple and brown striping the canyon walls that led below into the large basin. The sounds of giggling could be heard above the thundering of the waterfall.
“Do you have any incubi in the area?” Devlan asked, his eyes fixed on the tower of crystal in the center of the basin. In the late afternoon light, it glowed olive, the color fogged with white and glittery on the smooth edges. It was over 50 feet tall, and other paths of color trickled like tributaries over the massive crystal tower. The sirens built a structure out of stone, wood, and clay that wrapped around the natural formation with stairs to lead to the top. At the base was a stone platform in the water guarded by three fierce sirens. Around them the others swam and stretched out on the rock ledges to tan and feed from their entranced prey.
“Incubi? Devlan…” Gilda shook her head in exasperation. “Why? Are you looking to battle or fuck? Is this why you scent of Vesper? Are you in some mating craze?”
Devlan groaned internally. “Fuck, don’t even say that word. Fuck that. I’m just curious about the locals.”
Gilda glared at him suspiciously but eventually answered. “A few of the female incubi come by with permission when they’re struggling to find food. They aren’t really local though; their clan is scattered hundreds of miles out. The males are more rare. You know how aggressive and vain they can get. The Elders don’t welcome fighting; it makes the prey uncomfortable.” She gave him another side glance when he didn’t respond. “Devlan, you’re worrying me. You’re not acting like yourself.”
He took a deep breath in. “I’ll leave by morning,” he said curtly. “I just need the tower and then I’ll be done putting you all in jeopardy.”
“Damn it, Devlan. This isn’t your fault.”
“It will be.” He dodged Gilda’s hand when she went to pat his shoulder. “If I stay, if I involve you, it will absolutely be my fault. The demon doesn’t need a feast. Three is more than enough.”
Gilda looked like she wanted to say more but held herself back. He was right and she was smart enough to know it. “Come down to the basin. Even if you’re not hungry, the energy will be good for you.”
His lips pursed, Devlan eventually nodded. He would welcome the distraction of what he had to do next. There would be no excuse once he used the tower. He would find Evan, track him down, and the two of them would be running from Heiden for the rest of their lives. Either that, or maybe he’d get lucky and Evan was already dead.
Devlan scowled. He couldn’t feed. Evanel stole his ability to continue on living unless he ensured the weak thing’s safety. Devlan didn’t care at this point if the guy was as ignorant as he seemed. This was his life being fucked with. He didn’t care how long it took, he would make Evan pay for manipulating him.