PAIN AND PLEASURE

20190704_102350_0000.png

Tired did not even cover the way she felt, she was drained, physically, mentally and spiritually. She had worked so hard with Myst over the course of two days since she had done her involuntary hopping, learning to control her new gifts.

 

 

It was like something had snapped inside her and broken free. She hadn’t realised it at first -she’d been so used to feeling that barrier between herself and her inner Witch since the coven binding, that she barely even tried anymore- so she had been well and truly surprised when she had absently touched a dead plant on the Dragon’s windowsill and it immediately perked up, going from brown to green in seconds. They had both stared at it, not knowing what to say.

 

 

Willow had told Myst all about her binding, and so the Dragon was just as excited as she was to test the limits of this new power and see if it had released anything else.

 

 

She settled comfortably, cross legged on the floor and relaxed, allowing her inner Witch to step forward. Tentatively at first, she tried one small thing, then another, building up until she knew for sure that the binding had been well and truly broken. Now that she allowed herself to feel, to see the truth, she felt more compete than she had in years. She now wondered if that binding had been the only one they had placed on her.

 

 

Most Witches advanced past their teenage years, but she had always felt like something was missing, that the unity between Witch and powers hadn’t clicked into place. She had spoken about it, but they had assured her that she needn’t worry, that she had more important things to think about, that she was powerful enough as it was -too powerful in fact- and that she needn’t worry. Now she wondered if she had simply been more powerful than even the Elders themselves and they had controlled her in ways other than with her position in the coven.

 

 

She felt different too, the new gifts were something that even natural Witches like herself weren’t supposed to have. Myst had a theory, although it was one that Willow wasn’t happy to acknowledge.

 

The Dragon had suggested that, after the healing, when Myst’s pain had been stuck inside the Witch, and the Demon had forced it out, Willow’s power starved body, fighting against the multiple bindings placed on it, had simply latched onto the most powerful things it could find. First her Dragon essence, and then, once something more powerful had come along and shoved it out, the powers of the Demon. It made sense even if Willow didn’t want to believe it.

 

 

Myst, being the great friend that she was, hadn’t judged her for anything, she had simply helped. Teaching her, slowly over a few days, first how to hop, travelling from one place to another. Small journeys at first, like from the kitchen to the bathroom, then to her own house next door, and finally further afield. Once Willow, who was a quick and able student, had mastered that, the Dragon had moved on to summoning and manifesting.

 

 

The things that the Dragon had seemed to do without a thought fascinated the Witch, leaving her lost for words when the first object had dived across the room and landed in her hand. She had waved the TV remote triumphantly around her head while dancing a little victory jig around the living room, much to Myst’s amusement.

 

 

They had found that her new powers had some limits, she couldn’t conjure something from nothing, but as long as she knew what she wanted and where it was, it would travel straight to her. She sat on the floor surrounded by objects she had both summoned and manifested, things from around the Dragon’s house for summoning and then things from her own for manifestation practice.

 

 

They had gotten a little cheeky by the end and Wills had manifested a couple of bottles of beer from the bar below her old place, much to Myst’s delight.

 

 

Next Myst taught her banishing, making something vanish. This they had practiced by tipping cereal onto the floor, along with a pint of milk. In their slightly drunken state those two things had seemed to logically go together.

 

 

Myst had declared her the best, cleverest and most powerful Witch in the world, much to her pleasure. She had gone home that night tired but very happy. So when, less than four hours later, she was jerked out of a deep sleep at stupid o’ clock in the morning, she wasn’t best pleased. For a second she didn’t know what had awoken her, but then she felt it.

 

 

Pain, a dull ache unlike anything she had ever felt before. radiated across her back and chest, wrapping around her torso like a vice.

 

 

She threw back the covers, searching all over for the cause of the pain, not sure what kind of injury she might have gotten simply by lying in bed, but she had to check. As she expected, there was nothing, her skin was as whole as ever. She didn’t know where the pain was coming from, just that it was there and it hurt like fuck.

 

 

She took a couple of deep breaths, trying to calm her pounding heart before she opened her mental shields, thinking to scan her body with her second sight, looking for any sign of a psychic attack. Maybe the coven knew she was now running around unbound and had sought to teach her a lesson, maybe they wanted to control her once again.

 

 

The moment her shields dropped she was bombarded by fresh, clearer, more intense pain, along with a vision of Zagan. She didn’t know why, she didn’t know how, but she knew in the moment, that she was feeling his pain. She was as sure of it as she was her own name.

 

 

It felt like when she was healing someone and she felt an echo of their pain, her empath side reaching out to him, wanting to soothe and comfort as much as she could. Desperate to help, before she could allow her logical brain to take over and convince her otherwise, she closed her eyes, focusing on him, travelling to his side.

 

 

Once again she found herself in his bedroom, but instead of a healthy, sexy, and hopefully naked man in a bed, she found him laying flat out on the floor in a pool of his own blood.

 

 

She gasped in horror, unable to comprehend what she was seeing. His chest and body were covered in deep slash marks, some perfectly precise while others were jagged, looking like something had torn into him with both blades and claws. Deep bite marks, likely from the long fangs of some creature, dotted his neck and torso. The rest of his gorgeous flesh was covered in bruises and sticky with blood, encrusted in all manner of nasty shit.

 

 

The sound of her shocked intake of breath must have startled him, just as he did her. She yelped, diving out of the way just in time when a fireball was launched at her head. He sat up faster than her eyes could track, his wounds fading quickly from sight. She couldn’t see them, but she could certainly still feel them and knew that they were still there, just covered with a glamour of some kind.

 

 

“Woah, woah! Quit that shit. It’s just me.”

 

 

Registering who she was, he allowed himself to collapse back against the end of the bed, his back propped up against one sturdy post.

 

 

“Why are you here, again? Come to yell and blame me for something else I have no clue about?” His voice was as normal as ever, cold even, but she could see that his chest was rising and falling rapidly as he fought the pain, panting just a little, giving away the agony he still felt.

 

 

She felt so sorry for him, needing to help in any way she could. She knew that it hadn’t really been his fault that his powers had stuck, he probably hadn’t known she was bound any more than she did.

 

 

She risked moving closer, hating the way he flinched, hissing like a cornered cat, warning her away.

 

 

“No, I’m not going to yell at you, and I’m sorry I did it before. You didn’t deserve that, but really, I was kinda your fault, you zapped me too much.”

 

 

She eased closer to him, trying to block out the echoing pain from his wounds. She hated how his usually luminous eyes, like silvery moonlight, were dulled with pain and how they narrowed with suspicion as she moved closer still, but he didn’t throw any more magic at her, which she considered to be a bonus.

 

 

She gave up all pretence of casualness and took a deep, fortifying breath, sending up a prayer to whomever was listening to give her courage and luck. Suitably emboldened she crossed the rest of the space between them and sat down beside him, rolling her eyes when he growled at her.

 

 

She stifled a groan as she sat, the closer she was to him the harder it was to keep a block between herself and the pain she was feeling. To her relief he stopped being threatening and looked at her with something that looked like concern in his eyes.

 

 

“What’s wrong? he asked, noticing the stiff way she sat. “And again, why are you here?”

 

 

She debated lying to him, but knew it was probably a waste of time, he’d know. She just shook her head.

 

 

“You’d never believe me, darling.”

 

 

Zagan just glared at her, his eyes searching her face, and damn, he was still sexy even when he was growling and glaring. All she could think about was how good that growl would feel rumbling against her skin.

 

 

“Try me,” he said.

 

 

She almost answered with ‘yes please, get on the bed then,’ but held back.

 

 

His voice, that incredible voice, a mixture of gravely growl and exotic accent with its hint of demonic sharpness, sent shivers down her spine, even from those two simple words, causing goose bumps to break out over her skin.

 

 

He deserved to know the truth, it would affect him as much as it would her. She didn’t know if it was just pain she would feel from him, what if she felt other things, pleasurable things that were beyond private? She didn’t want to keep something like that from him.

 

 

She nodded, looking down at her hands where they rested in her lap, unable to look him in the eyes.

 

 

“There’s not really a way to say this that won’t lead to you wanting to kill me. So I’ll just say it and get it over with.” She glanced up briefly, just enough to see one of his sleekly angled eyebrows raise in question. He shifted position against the bed post, trying to get more comfortable and a fresh wave of pain shot through her, stealing her breath. This time she couldn’t hide it and he noticed.

 

 

“Are you hurting? Are you injured?” his nostrils flared like a dog scenting the air. “I smell no blood.”

 

 

“I’m getting to that,” she snapped, trying to breath through the pain, ignoring the now almost familiar growl of warning for her attitude.

 

 

“OK, OK, I’m sorry. It’s late and I’m tired. I was asleep,” she gestured down to her nightgown, a silky little number with spaghetti straps that fell to mid- thigh but had risen to an almost indecent level as she sat down. Nice lingerie and sleep wear was one of her only indulgences. She loved to feel special right down to her skin.

 

 

His eyes flickered down to look, coming to rest on her chest. She decided to let him keep looking, hopefully it might distract him from what she was actually saying.

 

 

“I think something happened when you hit me with that power jolt the other night. Not only am I now unbound and in possession of powers I never possessed before, hence the spontaneous travelling, but I’m…” she paused, her gaze caught and held on his as he looked up.

 

 

“But what?”

 

 

She bit her lip, wishing she didn’t have to say it but knowing she didn’t have a choice. “I’m feeling your pain.”

 

 

“I don’t have any pain.” He lied so smoothly, his eyes not even flickering, that if she didn’t know better she would have believed him. Determined to prove her point, somehow knowing that he wouldn’t believe her without it, she forced the issue.

 

 

“Don’t bullshit me. Here,” she grabbed his hand, opening her mind to his, although she knew that, if he had wanted to, he could have forced his way into her head any time he wished.

 

 

He froze in place, his body stiff and unyielding as she held his hand firmly in hers and let her thoughts flow.

 

 

“Shit,” he hissed through clenched teeth. “We’re bonded.”

 

 

                                          ***

 

 

He’d had the day from hell, literally, well, more like 48 hours. Ereshkigal, foul bitch that she was, had somehow found out that he had not only fed the Witch and then let her go -after allowing her to run around her domain like an excited puppy and doing nothing about it- but he had then helped the Dragon with what barely counted as a deal.

 

 

She had made her displeasure known in the usual way, the same way she had for thousands of years, by taking it out on his body. She liked to remind him of the power she held over him, of the fact that she was in charge, that she and that rat bastard lover of hers owned him.

 

 

He’d spent two whole days hanging from his chaffed wrists in a stinking dungeon, filled with the nastiest of creatures, covered in filth and blood as she alternated between slicing at his skin, raking her clawed fingers down his flesh and savagely biting him. Wrapping her fingers, wet with his own blood, in his hair as she wrenched his head sideways to expose his neck.

 

 

He’d always hated being fed on, it made him feel weak, like nothing more than a meal, but that was her intention, she wanted him to fear her, to bow down before her.

 

 

He would bow, because he had no choice, circumstances had put him in a position where he couldn’t deny her, but no matter what she did, no matter how much pain she inflicted, he would never, ever fear her.

 

 

He was beyond fear now, beyond any emotions but the ones he kept buried deep down inside. He was cold, unfeeling from years of abuse at the hands of those he should have been able to trust.

 

 

He wanted to push the Witch away, to scream at her to fuck off and leave him alone, to keep away and never come back. But he couldn’t. Damn Witches were always his weakness.

 

 

Her sweetness and innocence called to that tiny, hidden piece of his heart that he had locked away eons ago, one that he barely even remembered that he had. Only one other had been able to breach his defences in such a manner, and she had been dead many a year.

 

 

The last thing he needed was the Witch attaching herself to him, but it seemed they now had little choice in the matter. Hell, they were bonded. Ere wouldn’t make this pleasant for him if she ever found out about Willow. She didn’t want him having comfort or anything to call his own. Any softness, any warmth, any love, all of that was to be denied him.

 

 

He had to find a way to break this bond that neither of them had asked for, had to find a way of protecting her from them, to keep her away for good. He didn’t deserve one such as her in his life.

 

 

“How the fuck did that happen?” Willow groaned, her head in her hands, the shock in her voice pulling him out of his own misery.

 

 

“I suspect that my powers just pushed the Dragon’s out and yours locked on to mine instead.”

 

 

“That’s what Myst thought too. She thought that, where my coven bound me, my natural powers were desperate to break free, so they held on to any other large amount of power they could as a way to break the binding.”

 

 

“They bound you? Your own coven?”

 

 

Wills nodded sadly. “Yeah, but that’s a story for another time.”

 

 

He didn’t push her, knowing better than most that everyone was entitled to keep their secrets. He lent back, his mind buzzing.

 

 

Bonded, Shit.

 

 

                                        ***

 

 

His voice whispered through her mind as gently as a puff of air, and she answered in the same way, it just felt natural to communicate on such a deeply personal level like that.

 

 

 

Yeah, you’ve said that already.

 

 

I can easily block you, you know, he commented and she nodded, taking a gamble that she hoped would pay off.

 

 

I know, but you won’t. Now drop the glamour.

 

 

He hesitated, she could tell, like he wasn’t used to showing himself to anyone when he was in a weakened state, and she didn’t think that he would actually trust her enough to do it. She let out the breath she didn’t even realised she was holding when he finally did as she requested, his wounds fading back into sight.

 

 

“Fuck, what the hell did this to you?” Her eyes darted over his skin, taking in the mass of wounds that littered his torso. The poor man had been almost gutted at one point, although it was already starting to heal.

 

 

“Not what, who.”

 

 

She wanted to ask him more, wanted to demand that he tell her everything, but she was wary of pushing him too far. He barely knew her and had already trusted her more than he probably had anyone else in long time.

 

 

“Let me heal you,” she whispered, her hand moving gently to rest on his leg. “I want to help. Please let me.”

 

 

He shook his head, letting out a dark, humourless laugh. “I’m not allowed comfort. You can’t heal me. If I get any help they’ll just punish me by making it worse next time.”

 

 

She chewed on her lip for a second or two as she thought about it, there had to be some way that she could help him, something that she could do to make it better for him.

 

 

“What if I took away the pain but left the wounds? Just healed them enough to stop the bleeding and take away your pain, could I get away with that?”

 

 

He blinked, like he wasn’t used to anyone trying so hard to help him, and for the longest time she thought that he would refuse her. He didn’t move, just sat there silently, as if debating on either chucking her out of his realm or killing her for seeing him in such a mess. But finally, he nodded.

 

 

“Where do you want me?”

 

 

 She was so very tempted to answer with ‘on the bed, on the floor, the kitchen table, in the shower, against a wall, name it and I’m there’, but she kept it to herself. Though judging by the way his lip twitched, in just the tiniest hint of a smile, she suspected that he may have overheard her smutty thoughts. She’d have to be more careful to shield her thoughts around him.

 

 

Embarrassed, she cleared her throat and patted her lap, adopting her most business-like voice. “Lay down if you can and put your head in my lap.”

 

 

Seriously, she had seen snails move quicker than he did, but slowly he did as instructed. She could feel the rigid tension in his muscles as he held himself as far away from her as possible, like he would jump up any second and attack.

 

 

“Please, darling, try to relax,” she whispered, willing him to trust her. “I know it’s hard but please believe me, I won’t hurt you, I just want to help.”

 

 

She could tell from the way that he reacted to any kind of physical touch and from the wounds that now littered his body, that he had suffered so much in his life. She didn’t need his words of warning to know that he had been badly abused more than once, that he saw it as almost normal, like he deserved nothing better. She vowed there and then that she would do everything in her power to prove to him that he was worth the effort. She could feel the goodness inside him, buried so deep that she was sure he had forgotten that it even existed, but she was convinced it was there.

 

 

His eyes flickered up to study her face and she couldn’t help but suck in a quick breath as arousal slammed into her out of nowhere, there was something about his eyes that seemed so familiar and, well...right. She just couldn’t put her finger on it, but she knew that she would never grow tired of looking into them. She looked right back at him, hiding nothing, not guarding her expression in any way.

 

 

                                        ***

 

 

She couldn’t be real. She was a demon sent to torture him more than he had ever been tortured before. No one offered to help someone they didn’t know, especially someone that had been rude to them not so long ago.

 

 

She wanted him to relax? He almost snorted at that idea. He didn’t know what relax was. He was constantly in a state of high alert, waiting for the next blow, waiting to be turned on and attacked.

 

 

Plus there was the little problem of his body reacting to the Witch in ways he wasn’t prepared for. He had been attracted to her the moment he first saw her, splatted face first on ground in the middle of the great hall.

 

 

At first he had thought it was just her nicely rounded arse that had caught his eye, but then he heard her speak, her clipped English accent, made for a BBC costume drama, demanding to know where the fuck she was. That had been the moment his dick had woken up and taken notice.

 

 

He’d expected her to do as other humans would, to cower and cry, begging for her life, but not that Witch. She had squared her shoulders and proceeded to make herself as annoying as possible. It was an interesting tactic, and one that he couldn’t help but admire. Stupid, but brave.

 

 

Intrigued he had subtly put the word out that he didn’t want the Witch hurt, forcing the Demons to ignore her, he wanted to see what else she would do.

 

 

Unfortunately Ereshkigal had also heard of her antics, and had demanded that something be done about her. One of the braver Demons had grabbed the Witch and tossed her in a holding cell, meaning to leave her there to starve, problem solved.

 

 

He’d heard her yelling from his room and for the first time in forever he had taken pity on another being and helped her. And now look what had happened, once again being merciful had caused him shit. Figured.

 

 

Now she was here, looking delectable in a nightie that should by rights be illegal, clinging to her body like a second skin. Just like her vest and shorts had done the night before. There must be a very sick God up there that was laughing his arse off as he was forced to watch her and not touch. He could still picture the way her nipples had pebbled into stiff little peaks that begged for his mouth…

 

 

No! he slapped that thought away. He didn’t sleep with humans, not after all the females he had lost. Really, he didn’t sleep with anyone at all that often, the odd Demoness when the urges got too much and he grew bored of his own hand, although he would never allow himself to think of Her, his first love.

 

 

Gods, he missed her more than words could express some days, although he never allowed himself to dwell on those thoughts for too long. She was his weakness, one of his most precious memories that he wouldn’t allow anything to taint. He never thought of her during sex with others, he never thought of her when he was in the dungeons, he never thought of her when Eri was having her way with him, she was far too pure for that. She was his secret, one that he only took out and examined during rare moments of solitude, alone in his room.

 

 

The Witch was speaking again, begging him to trust her, and while his every instinct screamed at him to turn her away, to force her to leave, he just couldn’t do it.

 

 

Was it so bad to want to trust? He certainly knew that it was stupid. But maybe, just maybe, for once, he would catch a break. She was one little Witch, there wasn’t much she could do to him that would hurt him, not physically anyway.

 

 

Was it so wrong to crave a gentle touch? To be cared for, even for just a few moments?

 

 

She was tempting, oh so tempting, with her soft voice and even softer body. He could still recall the way she had felt against him when she had kissed him, could still taste her in his dreams. A small speck of light in the darkness that was his life.

 

 

He had passed out at some point during the latest torture session, and the first thing his struggling brain had conjured up to give him a little respite from the pain had been an image of the Witch. He saw her grateful smile as she took the cookies, remembered eating with her in companionable silence, the way she shared the milk with him without treating him like a leper. She was natural, honest and open. He wanted to trust her.

 

 

He allowed his shields to drop, just the tiniest amount, nothing more than a slither, and located the bond that stretched between them. He could feel her there, like a warm presence in the back of his mind, comforting, and in his weakened state, he wanted more.

 

 

Tentatively, he had done as she asked, laying his head in her lap. It felt strange, something he had never done before, not even with his own mother.

 

 

                                         ***

 

 

She felt a little of the tension leave his rigid body and instinctively she reached out a hand, needing the connection of touch with which to heal. She yanked her hand back like she had touched a naked flame when he flinched away from her touch, jerking away, he sat up quickly, causing more blood to ooze from the ragged wounds on his back.

 

 

The poor love didn’t even seem to know the difference between a friendly touch and a hateful one. What horrors had he lived thought that that was his normal reaction? Her heart ached for him. She wanted to cuddle him in her arms and take all his pain away. Even though she knew she couldn’t do that, she had to do something.

 

 

“Sweetheart, I have to touch you to establish a connection. I won’t hurt you, I promise,” she held out her hand to him again, holding it still, non threatening, allowing him to slowly put his hand in hers. His hand felt huge in her smaller one, his fingers strong and long, wrapping around her hand as if it were a child’s.

 

 

She patted her lap with her free hand, smiling to herself when he laid down quicker than before and didn’t let go of his grip on her hand.

 

 

Needing to see what she was working with she used her new powers of banishment, waving her free hand, syphoning away as much of the blood as she could that covered his skin. Now that she could see better she saw that it was worse than she had first thought. He must be in agony, yet he was acting as if nothing was wrong. His strength of will astounded her.

 

 

He had yet to part with her hand, so she laced her fingers between his and laid her other on his shoulder, pretty much the only undamaged part of his body she could find. Again, he flinched, tensing up, but this time he didn’t pull away. Baby steps, but she would take them.

 

 

She opened her shields, immediately feeling her healing energy, so much more powerful now that what it had once been, bubbling up inside her, just waiting for a chance to do its job.

 

 

She let the energy wash over his ravaged body, trying to get a better sense of the severity of his injuries but almost immediately she met with a mental block from him.

 

 

“Sweetie, you have to let me in.”

 

 

His right eye opened, showing her the shining silver of his gaze as he tipped his head back to study her face. She waited, one breath, then two.

 

 

In a rush of power she felt his shields fall away. Her powers danced across his skin for a second, simply caressing, getting a feel for him before sinking into his body. Instantly she could ‘see’ his injuries from the inside, see the level of damage done to him.

 

 

She heard him hiss out a breath as her power soaked into him. She quickly focused on locating the worst of his injuries and set to work on a deep knife wound in his chest, one that had only just missed his heart. In her minds eye she visualised the flesh knitting together at its deepest point, just to stop the bleeding, directing her healing energy right to that spot then draining away the resulting pain.

 

 

She did the same with his muscles where they were torn, relieving just enough to help but not enough anyone would notice by looking at him. She worked at stopping the flow of blood from his many wounds, worked to knit the muscle and flesh together as best she was allowed, trying anything to make him the little bit better.

 

 

She felt him relax a little more, felt the aching echo of his pain die down bit by bit. She risked annoying him further by placing her hand on his head where it rested in her lap, stroking her fingers through his hair.

 

 

He snarled and jerked away, his fingers clutching at hers tight and without knowing what else to do, acting on pure instinct, she lent forward and kissed his forehead, the sweetness of her gesture shocking him into laying still.

 

 

“I will never hurt you,” she pushed every bit of sincerity into her voice that she could, opened herself up to him, showing him the deepest parts of her being, proving to him that she spoke the truth. She let him see and saw him in return. Still she didn’t back down.

 

 

She resumed stroking his hair, finger combing it at first to ease out the worst of the tangles caused by sweat and blood. She was surprised that, under all that ick, his hair was as soft as silk, falling in a heavy mass into her hand. She could sit and stroke it all day and had the sudden vision of sharing a shower with him, spending forever soaping his body and washing his hair.

 

 

                                          ***

 

 

The Witch’s energy was like nothing he had ever felt before. It felt like a loving, warm caress that sank into his body, chasing the cold from his bones, warming his body as it healed him.

 

 

He knew he had limited her, but he wished so much that he hadn’t had to. What would it be like to give in to temptation? The let her take away all his pain and for once to feel nothing but pleasure? To let her wrap her body around his as he knew she wanted to do and to sink into her, allowing her to make all the bad things go away. To lose himself in something sweet and pure and good. How he wished he could.

 

 

She had opened up to him fully, more than any woman or being had ever done so willingly. Sure, he could have forced his way into her mind and found out her true intentions, but he was glad that he hadn’t had to. That one bit of trust had allowed him to open up more than he had in centuries.

 

 

He held her hand in his, forcing himself to relax as she ran her fingers through his hair, forcing himself to stay put and not rip her arm off. He knew she was trying to help, but each time she caught a knot it reminded him of Ereshkigal, the way she used his hair to control him, to hold him still while she took her pleasure in his pain. He knew the Witch was nothing like that evil bitch, but it took all his strength not to pull away.

He closed his eyes as an image formed in his head of her fingers in his wet hair, their bodies entwined under the pouring water of his shower. His body reacted to the images, crystal clear in his minds eye, but what interested him more was the fact that he knew they weren’t his thoughts…

 

 

He clutched at her hand, feeling it solid and warm in his, feeling her pulse fluttering under his fingers. He took a deep breath and let it out, letting his body relax into her caring embrace.

 

 

                                           ***

 

 

She felt his fingers tighten on hers again as she worked the knots out of his hair, distracting and soothing them both as she allowed gentle healing to sink into him, locating his pain and slowly drawing it out. She heard his breathing change as he relaxed, his pain fading.

 

 

This time she made sure to drain the pain straight out of him, through her and into the ground. She imagined roots growing from her feet, down into the ground and away from her, then in turn she whispered an invocation to the earth spirit, the elemental, requesting power. For some reason he felt earthy to her, grounded and so very old. She drew power from the earth and released it back into him, effectively topping up his energy.

 

 

She heard him moan lightly. And pulled back instantly, slamming her shields shut, words of apology already on her lips when his hand shot out to claim her other one. She barely heard his whispered words, wouldn’t have caught them at all if they hadn’t echoed in her head.

 

 

"Don’t stop, feels good."

 

 

His words were like a punch in the gut as she realised he hadn't moaned in pain but pleasure, and Gods, did she want to hear it again. She wanted to give him all the pleasure she had to give, to hear him moan in her ear as he covered her body with his. But she knew that wasn’t on the cards, he didn’t need her for that, he needed healing, and that she could give.

 

 

He opened his eyes to look at her, shocking her with the intensity. They blazed a deep, beautiful forest green, earth energy replacing the usual silver.

 

 

“Please.”

 

 

She knew it took a lot for him to utter that one simple word, one that he had probably not used in centuries. She cleared her throat, trying to dislodge the lump that had formed there and nodded, opening her shields again acting as a kind of conduit, drawing away his pain until she could no longer feel any echo of it, then drawing energy from the earth to feed back into him.

 

 

She used their connection to access his energy, she didn't really know how much he was supposed to have but to her he felt weak, empty and very hungry.

 

 

She had been unconsciously leaning closer to him, her arms now draped over his shoulders, her hands tightly gripped in his, their foreheads almost touching. She could smell his scent and Gods he smelt good, even under all the dirt and grime that caked his skin. He smelt masculine, earthy, like the ground after a spring shower, fresh with an undertone of something she couldn't quite place, but she knew she would never grow tired of it.

 

 

His nose nuzzled against her neck where she was bent over him, her hair hanging down around them like a curtain, enclosing them in their own private world. He Inhaled deeply, just as she had with him.

 

 

She opened her eyes to see his staring back at her that eerie silver colour was back, his gaze drinking her in.

 

 

"Vanilla," he growled low in his throat, sounding like he approved. He licked his lips and it was then she saw his fangs. Well, that explained his lack of energy and the hunger she had felt. He was a Demon, she knew that and now she knew what else it was that he needed. She had always wondered about it, wondered what it would feel like and for him she wasn’t against sharing, for some reason she trusted him completely. She’d give him everything she could.

 

 

She saw his eyes grow darker, demonic red replacing the silver just like the green of his earth energy had, his eyes acting as a barometer for his moods. She gently pulled her hands from his and sat up, sweeping the hair back from her neck in blatant offer. His gorgeous eyes turned blood red as he slowly sat up, watching her, almost stalking her with his gaze.

 

 

"You’re sure?" his voice was hoarse with longing. He was starved, she didn't even want to think about when he might have last fed. He’d lost so much blood, had been through so much pain. She was doing this, she needed to.

 

 

She nodded, holding her hair out of the way, leaning closer, tipping her head to the side to tempt him. She had intended for it to be a quick, impersonal feeding, just a means to an end but Zagan obviously had other ideas. His arms darted out, banding around her waist, yanking her bodily onto his lap. She let out an undignified yelp, not of fear but surprise as her arse met his firm thighs.

 

 

His nose ran down the column of her throat, breathing her in, that grumbling growl sounding again, but this time it sounded more like a purr than an aggressive warning.

 

 

“Smell good," he mumbled against her skin and she couldn't contain the shiver that shot up her spine. She felt his lips part against her throat and braced herself for the pain, shuddering anew when his tongue licked a wet line over her vein.

 

 

                                         ***

 

 

He was used to feeding from Demons or beings that needed something from him, beings as cold hearted and dead inside as he was. But the Witch that was now in his arms was pure heat, a sunny warmth that sunk into his skin, bathing him in the glow that she seemed to radiate.

 

 

Having her caring, healing him even though he had nothing to give her, was almost beyond him comprehension. People didn’t just help from the goodness of their hearts, well, not those in his world. So, to have her offer such a rare gift, knowing how Witches felt about hair or blood, knowing that it could be used in spells against them, he knew just what it would have taken for her to make that offer, to choose to trust him.

 

 

He needed this so badly, his body was cramping with hunger, his energy at its lowest. He had to feed, and she was offering something so special.

 

 

No matter what, he would make this good for her, treat her with the respect she so deserved. He wouldn’t let her down.

 

 

Instead of keeping it impersonal like he usually did, a quick bite and suck then done, he wanted more, for both of them. He sat up, resting back against the bed. His arms slipped easily around her waist, pulling her luscious body against his, settling her on his lap. She was tall for a woman, but for him she was perfect, she fit against him like she had been made just for him.

 

 

He doubted she had ever fed someone before, and he knew that he should probably turn her down, if he had any shred of decency left in him…

 

 

“Please," she whispered, and he was unable to help himself.

 

 

                                        ***

 

 

His fingers glided up her spine, nails scraping softly before cupping the nape of her neck gently in his hand, holding her in place, his other arm still locked around her waist.

 

 

She tensed, waiting for the pain as she felt his fangs scrape her skin. His fingers stroked the back of her head, running through her hair, like he was soothing her without knowing it.

 

 

There was a sudden flash of pain that had her gasping as his fangs broke her skin, sinking into her flesh but the pain melted away as he began to drink. She felt his tongue against her skin, felt his jaw working as he swallowed, heard his deep moan of satisfaction that went straight to her groin. Gods, the sound of his pleasure was like nothing else.

 

 

She couldn't quite recall how it happened or when but somehow her arm wound its way around his middle with the other mimicking his, her fingers buried in his hair as she cradled his head to her throat.

 

 

She tried hard to make a conscious effort not to melt against him, knowing he was still injured. She felt him growing hard beneath her and it took all she had not to grind down against him. She couldn’t help but imagine what it would feel like to make love to him at the same time he fed.

 

 

He groaned as he retracted his fangs, lapping at her skin. He pulled back to look at her, his eyes fading back to their moonlight sliver as she watched.

 

 

Her eyes locked onto and followed his tongue as it flicked out and ran across his lips, swiping away the faint trace of red that lingered on them. Arousal washed over her and she felt a full body shudder claim her as his grip on her neck tightened, holding her in place as his lips slammed down onto hers.

 

 

Lust ignited instantly as she let her tongue do what she had just imagined. She lapped at his lips and they parted for her, his own tongue thrusting into her mouth, immediately getting bossy with hers. He dominated her with his kiss and she went willingly, whimpering into his mouth. She could taste the faint tang of her blood that lingered on his lips but couldn’t summon the energy to give a fuck. It felt right, being there in his arms, surrounded by his scent, his taste, the feel of his fingers in her hair.

 

 

Their kiss was hard and brutal, passion washing over them both, their teeth clicked together as their lips mashed, tongues almost battling for possession, panting for breath. She could feel that rumbling growl of his against her chest and it felt just as good as she had imagined. Nothing could compare to this, she thought, she’d never get enough of him.

 

 

Time seemed to cease to exist, it felt like an age before he pulled back, but it also felt like it was over in the blink of an eye. Her head was spinning, she was damp and achy, trying to catch her breath. The kiss had shaken her to her very soul, her heart pounding her chest like a drum. She wanted more, wanted to lean closer and press her lips back where they belonged. Instead she was dumped unceremoniously on the floor when he stood up with no warning.

 

 

"You should go," he said, refusing to meet her gaze. She blinked, trying to focus, her brain feeling like it had gone through a spin cycle. She watched in utter disbelief as he strode across the room, waving his hand across the wall. As she watched the wall began to ripple, its stone fading away to show her living room.

 

 

"Is that the Demon Lord equivalent of your job here is done, be gone with you?" she snarled, beyond pissed off. She'd gone out of her way to help him and that was how he thanked her? It wasn’t like she was expecting a marriage proposal or anything, but a thank you would have been nice. She strode past him, noticing that he didn't say a word to correct her.

 

 

Walking through the portal, she gave him the cold shoulder, fully intending to follow it up with a middle finger as a parting gesture but she didn't get the chance. His hand followed her through the hole he had opened, snatching her wrist, halting her in her tracks.

 

 

She looked down dumbly as his fingers entwined with hers. He tugged on her arm, pulling her back towards him. She didn't know what to make of the look in his eyes as his lips fluttered over hers in a kiss so sweet she almost sighed. Oh, wait, she had. It was brief but oh so tender.

 

 

She felt his fingers release hers and she opened her eyes...to find herself staring at her living room wall.

"Fuck," she announced to the black and white cat sitting on her coffee table. "I think I’m in trouble, Athy."