Anathemaphilia, or, how I learned to love the Beast who so loved the world

by Viy Sitante

Crunch. Gronch. Crack-schlick-slurp.

Harsh and quick is the separation between meat and mouth, with further sounds similar to a garbage compactor when the bones break. When the massive creature in front of Max Arizmendi finishes its current mouthful, a booming gulp reaches his ears—finally causing him to blink, before he continues to stare at the grotesque sight above him once the noise dissipates.

In its hands—claws? whatever the hell the appendage looks like—appears to be a burnt piece of mystery meat, which it takes once again to its teeth-baring grin with a brutal gnashing sound—Max swears the piece looked like it could have been an animal. Though there’s a dangling leg that almost frightens him into thinking it could have been human…

Then the head of this strange form—a chimera came to mind with its different parts, before Max thought of a better analogy: the harpy. A creature with the body of a bird, the head of a woman, and the temperament of a sociopathic human. Except…no, harpy didn’t fit either. Avian wasn’t its body, and the temperament was still to be determined, but…female-leaning, the head is. Long hair, dark as soil, adorns the head, blending into the dark abyss of a body. Its mouth is jagged, eternally stuck in a position that bares its teeth, except for the times it takes a breath through its mouth or takes another bite. Then…well, maybe there’s a nose, but Max can’t see it.

And the eyes; those eyes are piercing: wide like a cute doll’s, an oxymoron against everything else. They are also…hypnotic? He feels like the irises, the pupils are spiraling around as if to hypnotize its prey—it doesn’t help that the eyes act like a chameleon’s, moving independently from each other at times.

It’s almost laughable that the brightest object in the entire room is the mini bar in the off-corner—and yet Max can still note all these details. Maybe it helps that the creature moves and bobs like a puppet between the shadows and the light, parts of its body visible long enough for the brain to imprint and for the consciousness to start considering flight or last will and testament. The light in the living room’s been otherwise dimmed, as if to partly hide its presence that’s taking up half the room. The dark mass itself is curled into some sort of sitting position, a calmer position than perhaps expected.

In hindsight, Max should have known his night was going to go haywire. Besides being called to this apartment at midnight, to a place that’s out of any sane person’s budget, and giving up on arguing otherwise because he wasn’t in the mood to convince the other voice on the phone, he was halfway through town on his motoped when he remembered that he…forgot to ask what was going on.

(In his defense, murderous thoughts about the other voice tend to cloud very important questions.)

But Max can adapt highly to his surroundings, a skill most would love to have; his are self-trained more than native. For instance, his coat and groomed appearance give sufficient impression that he wasn’t some intruder about to shoot up the rich in the area. Acting confidently, nonchalantly, helps in degrees—although it also helps when you’ve been here before. Still, every guard on every visit can be different, and in that case, a little card made for him can fool anyone.

Said card exists courtesy of the man responsible for calling him and asking him to come: Magnus Power, who’s currently standing close to the mini bar, downing some drinks from the secret nook whose door fooled others into thinking it was part of a wall. He’s dressed casually, with a white shirt, unbuttoned halfway with some visible chest hair, and trousers whose business function long outlived its usefulness. His dark brown hair is going on grey and not too disheveled, not in comparison to Max’s, but his general look belongs to someone who had been relaxing, then became stressed out, then started relaxing again while dealing with five thousand stressors all at the same time.

“Don’t worry, darling,” Magnus begins, turning to a Max who hasn’t moved for the past few minutes. “She just picked up take-out for herself.”

As if on cue, the creature lays the mystery flesh on the floor, oddly gentle in her handling, with another (but maybe welcome) oddity of an exceptionally bloody rug underneath. The blood, dried, has pooled beyond the borders.

Take-out? Sure, and Max actually likes being called darling.

“…Judas Priest, Magnus,” Max says. He darts to Magnus to grab his collar roughly. “The flyin’ fuck is this?!

He shakes him so much that the drink in Magnus’ hands spills over the edges of its glass a bit. Magnus pouts at this, but it isn’t for long because a particular detail suddenly dawns on Max.

“Wait,” Max says, stopping himself and blinking. “Did you say she?”

There comes a hissing sound, similar to a balloon deflating, from the creature. Then she lowers herself, cocking her head next to the pair.

I don’t think you can say ‘Judas Priest’ when you’re still cursing, you fucking idiot.”

A deep, crackling voice, like a voice recording that had been recorded on cassette tape, then taken through five filters on some ancient analog keyboard, before becoming lost for a thousand years into the future, the rust of time and abandonment having deformed the recording into a horror show. The tones send shivers down Max’s spine for a few seconds before—

It talks?!

Adaptability at work. Including when Max points a finger at the creature and scolds: “—and don’t fuckin’ call me an idiot!”

“Aw, you’re already getting along,” teases Magnus, to the other’s consternation. He takes another swig, even as Max glares at him more. “And yes, I said she.

Magnus,” Max says, his words straining through gritted teeth, “what is going on?”

As if to provide an answer, the creature places one single clawed finger between them. Max hitches his breath on first touch, his eyes slowly following the claw up and above to the source in question. He lets go of Magnus’ collar and looks to him for some clarity but Magnus still remains as calm as he was when Max arrived, save for a split-second confused look on his face when the dark mass moves Magnus away, lifting him up by his back collar and floating him next to her face.

By everything sacred and profane, Max had better get an answer soon or he’s about to consider making a run for it and accepting that he might not even make it out before getting caught.

The creature speaks: “You told me you explained it to him on the phone.

Magnus gives a small knowing smile, crossing his arms. “I did.”

The creature’s eyes direct at him like bullets as it closes the gap between them. “You didn’t.

He immediately pouts again, eyes narrowed. He’s still holding onto his drink, god bless him, and eyeing mournfully at the little amount of alcohol left in his glass. “I mean, I did tell him to hurry up and come over here, because it was an emergency…”

“No shit, Sherlock,” Max spits out with a stink-eye.

“Give him credit,” Magnus says, holding one hand out. “He’s already gotten over it!”

“That’s because this isn’t the first time you sprung some crap on me—,” and here Max gestures with his hands maniacally, hoping his bluff gets him extra time, “—and that fucking thing hasn’t killed me yet so I figure, I got about two more minutes to live before I can get my hands on you and break your neck!”

“Look, wifey, look how cruel he is!”

“Oh, shut up—wait.”



Max raises a finger as he struggles with this sudden, random term of endearment. Magnus isn’t the kind of man to be so lovey-dovey unless it’s with Astemar Giralt, the saner voice to Magnus’…and the one woman who could command him to sit on all fours to be pegged, and he’d do it, please and thank you. Max likes her well enough—and in both of their defenses, they met each other long before Max met Magnus. They certainly share more in common than Max thought.

Right down to continuing to make questionable life choices over one singular man.

Max points up to the man above him. “Magnus…”

An accentuated, “Yes?”

The finger shakes side to side, as if to make a point. “You’re married-not-married to Astemar.”

The man raises his brow, as if an obvious thing was just said. “…Uh…huh…?”

Max nods like his favorite detective does on some old fogeys’ rerun channel, scratching his head. Last he checked, he still has all his senses, doesn’t he?

“That’s not Astemar.”

Magnus looks back at the shape next to him, whose head bobs a little like an owl. Her teeth are about to creak open for another scolding, but her nonchalant husband(?) opens his mouth first in attempts to fix this.

“Of course she is! She’s just a little, you know…”

Max’s eyes narrow. “A little what?”

The creature’s eyes move all over before settling on the obvious target. “Indeed, a little what?

Magnus waves the one free hand with a c’mon gesture. “….You know.”

Max waves his hands back with an of course I don’t gesture. What even is this guy talking about—

“A little bloated. You both know something about that, right, certain time of the month. Nice extra fat around some of the beefier parts…”

The facepalm Max gives himself is loud enough to sound like it stung. The murder glare he’s sending to Magnus right now won’t do much, but it makes him feel better. At least until there’s an opportunity for him to choke Magnus out with his own suits.

If there is one thing Max detests about old Magnus (who is older by, like, five years, but Magnus looks way older, sue god), it’s his incessant need to “tease” about…things best left alone. Max hasn’t even done the thing for ages, but leave it to a rich idiot to not know when to stop.

“…’Kay. Okay. Oh-kay.” Max rubs his entire face in frustration, sliding his hand across his features to rest against his cheek. He knows he looks so, so tired, and he feels tired too, holding his inhale in for a few seconds before sighing out deeply. He can’t tell if his insomnia has already exhausted its stay, however, or if this entire mess has taken a toll on him, one potent enough to take three bottles of that one Scandinavian brand he and Magnus tried once that saw them end up skinny dipping in the lobby pool.

…Actually, that memory alone answers Max’s mental anguish…

He looks up to the dark mass, hands in his coat pockets. “…Astemar?”

An accentuated, static-like, “Yes?”

“…look…,” Max starts, before letting loose with a groaning sigh. “…I know I haven’t known you for as long as other people have, and I’m pretty Magnus only has one year on me—” and here he starts listing with his fingers, “—but how the fuck, what the fuck, when the fuck, and why the fuck…?”

The sudden cackling startles Max, causing him to take a step back. The creature moves Magnus side to side like a little doll, while he internally screams at the possibility of being let go and sent flying into a small world of pain. Her toothy mouth cracks into a grin, wide across her face.

First, a correction. Bitch Prime here didn’t tell you on the phone that I have this super duper secret form that only comes out when I get super duper mad. Like when people don’t use their big brains in a world-shaking battle.”

She swerves Magnus close to her face again; he looks like he’s trying to remember if he wrote a last will and testament. “My dear husband should be so lucky he has half of a big fucking brain, and the other half comes up with silly goo-goo-ga-ga jokes.

For a minute, Max swears by all the gay saints that he heard something of Astemar’s natural voice in between all those words and adjectives. Except that she would absolutely refuse to curse, unless she got mad—then it’s a toss-up between cursing in English or threatening someone with cutting off their balls and their three neighbors’ balls, so she can feed it to a wood chipper for use as fertilizer.

For starters.

In Spanish.

(It’s meaner!)

Astemar lets her husband down on the floor, and while he dusts himself off and adjusts his shirt, she circles across the room. Her movements aren’t clumsy, strangely, not how Max thought she’d move; slow and calculated, as hypnotic as her eyes, with a balletic form to her steps. Max’s heart rate bolts the closer she gets, and he’s sure he’s in the equivalent of beeping dead on a heart monitor when she towers over him, her neck lengthening when she gets up in his face.

Second, to answer your questions: How? Too long to answer right now. What? A beast, at least. When? An hour ago? I can only count for five minutes. If five minutes pass, I become a puppet of rage and I get to destroy all the dimensions, including this one.”

She’s been grinning all this time, with the teeth-show growing a little wider. “But if I stay perfectly still like a little good girl like right now, I can hold this form for a while.

Under her stare and her expression, Max feels like she’s scoping him out as prey. However, his brow wrinkles because she clearly contradicted herself. “That’s not too long.”

Her mouth deforms into surprise. “Huh?

He crosses his arms, the coat fabric squeaking. “Right, so the emergency all along was that you changed into—this an hour ago. That’s—”

The grin is back again as she moves abruptly to the side. Max steps back yet again in panic, falling backwards when his feet crash over each other. It happens so fast—her entire body towers over him now as he hits his head against the carpet floor. Her breathing reminds him of the death whirrs of an old computer’s motherboard, especially the ones he still sometimes finds in hopes of fixing up for use.

Dumbass,” Astemar hisses. “You said when, but you didn’t specify what period of time. Being old doesn’t mean forgetting basic English skills. Or maybe it does,” she wheezes, bobbing her head side to side. “Maybe it’s all those hormones of yours. Lord knows you get stupider the more you become a man, hee-hee-hee!”

“You’re going too far, wifey.”

Stern and serious is the reprimand from Magnus—he’s placed his now-empty glass on the bar counter, allowing himself a sigh at the sight but choosing to not refill it. Max, meanwhile, has been sweating the entire time Astemar speaks, and hasn’t registered anything said in the past few minutes. Is this it? Is this the end? Max sure hopes so, because god, please, let this just be over already!

Magnus bends down above Max’s head, lowering his head and placing his arms at the sides.

“You okay there, darling?”

Now Max has two people towering over him, two people that had become so entrenched in his life the past few years that for all the frustration caused by Magnus (and at times Astemar) and for all the craziness from Astemar’s…extended family (and at times from Magnus only), Max cannot say that they never were there for him. For a man who barely has any family left, he’d suddenly found himself part of a larger family through the pair.

He’ll never tell them that the two of them are enough forever, though. Especially when exceptions, like the current situation, occur.

Strained, Max starts: “Fuck—”

Magnus leans a bit forward. “Uh-oh.”

He closes his eyes, teeth gritted, and continues: “—the two of you…so much.”

Astemar thrusts back in laughter, pounding on the floor the way a lion would. The screams are shrill, unwelcoming and downright ear-splitting. That nobody knocks on the door to ask what’s happening here is a miracle—then again, Max reminds himself, all of the residents here are rich people. If they aren’t getting off to their theories about this situation, they’re likely getting it off in the worst imagined scenarios available. Or they’ll complain tomorrow to the security guard, as if they could do anything after the fact.

Whatever, who cares, Max is just now remembering to breathe, sweat dripping down his head. He can feel sweat built up in his armpits, his back, his goddamn crotch. All the while, Magnus slides to the floor, laying down on his belly and resting his head on the inner palm of his hands. He looks just as nonplussed as he did earlier, something that Max notes mentally as he tries to get up. But the adrenaline brought about by fear is now a temporary relief, resulting in some form of exhaustion.

Max turns to Magnus and asks, “Will you please stop fuckin’ around now?”

No reply.

Magnus doesn’t look at Max in turn, but instead keeps his eyes on Astemar, who has suddenly folded into herself; knees up, hands around her feet. Her own eyes are on the two of them on the floor, her grin not disappearing.

“Everything she told you is true—” and here Magnus raises a finger, “except for the part about hormones making men being stupid. You’re just as smart as moi.”

“Thanks for the insult,” Max barks, though he follows it up with a chuckle. He ignores Magnus’ scowl. “’Sides, it’s true—can’t stop gettin’ angry at inanimate objects now, for one.”

Magnus narrows his eyes as though he’s upset at being reminded of that habit of his. “…shut up. Besides, women do that too.”

“Dunno about that, only men in my life did it.” Max puts his weight on his arms to lift himself up, then moves forward and to the side to adjust to a sitting position. His hands are behind him, legs outstretched. He glances over at Astemar, still not fully understanding the past few minutes. So this is temporary but also not? Since when could she do this? And how the hell has Magnus kept it a secret? Man’s the epitome of a blabbermouth!

When Max’s sight lands on Astemar, her pose is a strange juxtaposition to her entire demeanor. Almost too child-like. Although then she cocks her head at him…

…and proceeds to twist her head upside down, and then up-right again, high-pitched laughter sounding as if it were filtered through five echo settings.

Max pointedly says nothing to her laugh. After a few more seconds of silence, accompanied by a long distance stare, Max turns again to Magnus and asks, “Am I dead?”

“I hope not,” answers Magnus, contorting his lips into some sort of snarl. “I was hoping for a threesome tonight and I’d hate to sleep with a pretty corpse.”

Max barks out another laugh, tossing his head back. “Hah! Yeah, right. Last time was the only time, sorry. And only because…”


Max blinks in confusion, leaning in Magnus’ direction before asking, “I’m sorry, did you say that you were hoping for a threesome tonight?” His eyes dart to the side pensively before they look at Magnus again. “Is that…why you called me over…?”

Smirking, Magnus shifts his position—his head still rests on his palms, legs kicking the air like a schoolgirl in love. His eyes are small: full of either love, desire, or a need to drive someone insane in the membrane. His bangs are already out of place, usually bothersome for him. But appropriate for now.

“I’m thinking you in the middle this time, although most of the work will come from Astemar. I’m doing all this for her, after all.”

The creature had her head downcast, as if she were hiding from the world. Upon hearing Magnus, she moves it to and fro, like a confused bird. In her defense, both she and Max seem equally, utterly lost.

“Magnus…,” Max strains again, gripping at the carpet beneath him. Last time? Last time was a fluke and that was all there was to that. And sure, at least it wasn’t caused by a drunken spat, or the need to fuck the hate out of each other, or by a desire to prove…something to somebody. But that threesome hadn’t been in Max’s plans, just like this one hasn’t, won’t and isn’t going to be—

“…Why…the fuck you think I want in again?!” Max gets up in Magnus’ face and continues: How would this even help Astemar—”

A pause. His mouth’s agape before he grabs Magnus by the shoulders and yells even louder, “Holy shit, you came up with this, didn’t you?! Are you trying to fuck with bestiality now?!”

Magnus frowns, his eyes darkening. He juts his jaw, clearly nonplussed. “I like my wife in bipedal form, thank you,” he says, “and I like being inside her in bipedal form. Unless it’s from behind, then it’s—”

A crackle sounds out in the room, from Astemar: “Get to the fucking point.”

Her chiding, along with Max’s very patient murdering glare, leads Magnus to sulk for a bit. With a harrumph, he gets up, dusting himself off again. His walk is calculated, befitting the businessman that he is, and Max has learned that Magnus presents an absurdly bad idea the same as a good idea because either way he’ll get all the rewards and none of the blow-back. He stands next to her, arms crossed and staring dead ahead at Max.

“Correction: it’s not bestiality. She’s not an animal. She’s just…what is it the brats say?”

An eldritch horror.

He waves approvingly and says, “Yeah, that. Sure, sure, she calls herself a beast, but it’s the poetic usage of the term. Like when folks call a grotesque movie monster their little…what is it?”

Their son.

“Yeah, that.” He blocks his mouth behind the upper palm of his hand and whispers, “Between you and me, I don’t get it either.”

Max still has his very patient murder glare, it’s just starting to look like a very tired murder glare. In spite of this he points to Astemar with his jaw. “Where are the kids, anyway?”

Back home safe.


Magnus snaps his fingers and shushes the both of them, and points from the pair to himself. “Back to me, please. Astemar, my love, let’s repeat for Max’s sake—you’re in this form because you got very angry. Now your anger has been satisfied, but you’re remaining as you are because you can control your emotions enough to do so. But how do we change you back?”

“A specific action has to be done to return me to my human form—

“And is the person who can do that anywhere around?”

She moves her head the way a puppet would. “I mean, we can call her—

“Nope! Not tonight, it’s too late! That’s what you tell me every time. Too late to call and too bothersome to have her cross the streams.”

Astemar goes into thought, her index finger hanging on her lower lip. She doesn’t see it due to the angles, but the corner of her husband’s mouth risks quirking into a shit-eating grin—and Max has noticed, to his wide-eyed dismay—because indeed, the previous times she’s been in this situation, away from home, she’s had to wait until…

….Motherfucker. You caught me.

He raises a hand to her. “Honey, please,” he begins, then places said hand on his chest. “Hearing you curse so much has been hurting my ears.”

Astemar looks to him, then to Max, then to him again.

“I’m gonna eat your pancreas first.

Anyway,” Magnus says, ignoring the threat as he tries, and fails, to brush his hair back into place exactly once. He then places his hand behind his back, his gaze locked onto Max’s. “Because the proper way to return Astemar to normal is closed off to us, that means we need to resort to other measures! One of the best ones is to basically exhaust her to a level where the beast gets bored and lets her come back to the surface.”

“After all,” he continues as he points with his head in Astemar’s direction, “you say you’re a beast, but you’re still human, aren’t you?”

You could say that. Doesn’t matter. I am currently a beast now. I am a monster let loose now.” She leans forward next to him, her head moving upside down. “And as a monster, I’m more keen on destroying your dick, and your dick only, if you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking.

Magnus says nothing but side-eyes her while beginning to sweat. Max suspects he actually didn’t want that, despite the fact that Magnus would likely kill to hear that kind of wording from her on any given day. Not that Magnus is so far gone as to lay down with a beast…is he?

“Hey, Magnus.” Max’s call breaks Magnus from his thoughts. Max gestures with his finger for Magnus to look down. “Magnus Jr. wants to play her game a lot more than you.” He snickers at the small bulge that has subconsciously appeared underneath Magnus’ pants. “You think it likes being dominated?”

Astemar joins in on the snickering with her wheezing hisses. She towers over her husband now, who looks more than displeased. He still says nothing, hands still behind his back, his nostrils flaring, and even as she pushes herself in front of him, a clawed hand holding him in place, Magnus doesn’t speak.

A clawed hand hovers over Max, now, and he can’t ignore her index finger wagging at him.

Perhaps last time was unavoidable. This time, we each have control of our choices. So tell me, Maxie—

Max hitches his breath as he raises a brow. “Maxie?”

—you and me are the same inside, aren’t we?—

I don’t turn into a creature from hell

Her finger boops him on the nose before planting itself on his forehead. “Stop interrupting me, or else I eat you right here and now, bones and all.”

“Actually, eating out is part of” chimes Magnus before the pair turn to him and yell in unison for him to shut up, which leads him to pout and put his hands into his pockets.

What I mean is,” Astemar tries to point out at last, head cocking to the side, “our brains haven’t shriveled into the goddamn Kinsey spectrum of hormones like our mutual friend over there. Unfortunately, I think he won’t budge. You know this. He really wants to fuck you…and I guess just you, tonight.

“I said threesome, honey!”

Magnus’ words catch in his throat, followed by a gurgling sound; when he looks down, his breathing shallow, he can see that her clawed hand no longer holds him in placeif one doesn’t consider her entire appendage around his genitals as such. He hisses when she presses a little more, his eyes twitching at the audacity of his wife’s actions, but his body has revealed what she wants to know, unwillingly: he’s only gotten harder, his bulge just a little more obvious than before.

Little son of a bitch.

Max, for his part, does cringe at the obviously painful-looking scene, but he can’t exactly make a poker face at the whole thing. Schadenfreude’s great in times like this.

Tell me what you want to do. You came over because he said it was an emergency. Now you hate what it actually was. You always storm off if you don’t like a thing. So why are you still here?

Max’s words hang in his throat, but his snarl’s more than enough of a response. He mutters something about not knowing if he’d live to see the hallway if he ran, not sotto voce enough for her to not catch the words. Her grin grows wider, to which he’s not sure if it’s just an involuntary movement or if she’s been secretly enjoying his anxiety this entire time.

You can piss off now, if you want. Leave. I’m not stopping you.

Max finally looks at her eyes, before sighing and rubbing his forehead. Her eyes are still unsettling enough that besides not wanting to look at them too much, he has no incentive to believe her. If it were normal—no, human Astemar, he could—she isn’t up her own ass like Magnus is. And even then, it depends on the situation. But luckily she’s not insane….

…As insane as her husband.

…Oh. Cripes.

Shadows come over him suddenly, and when he looks up, he sees that she’s moved forward. Most of her arm has lengthened to open the entrance door, as if to emphasize her statement. Her body moves back as well, slinking around Magnus and releasing her hold on Magnus Jr. Magnus gasps for life-affirming reasons, hands on his legs as he bends and tries to catch his breath a little more calmly. Meanwhile Astemar squats behind him, holding him by his shoulders when he stands up to glare at her.

Good night, Maxie.

Her voice isn’t honeyed or husky, but harsh and dirty: the crackling filter taken from the cassette tape eating itself in the recorder, mixed with the whining of the computer trying to do one last task before it shuts down and topped off with a glitchy female scream before the screen turns off. Her claws lower down to her husband’s chest, oddly gentle in contrast to her appearance. Her head bobs yet again similar to a puppet’s, with her bare teeth grin returning.

Max says nothing.

Once he gets up and dusts himself off, Max places his hands in his coat pockets. Weight on his heels, he lifts himself up and down first, almost to dispel the awkwardness that’s come out. He’s a little wobbly when he starts walking but he figures it’s the fear still in him. Doesn’t say goodbye, doesn’t meet anyone else’s gaze—he just darts to the door, breathing a little faster in the same life-affirming manner.

Once he’s out the door, he stops before he closes it completely. His hands go through his hair, ruffling it in frustration. He leans back in thought and can hear Magnus whisper angrily to Astemar, which makes Max sigh intensely, mouth flapping along to relieve stress further.

“Magnus, you moron,” he whispers to no one but himself.

After instantly regretting being thoughtful and cognizant once again, Max pokes his head back into the room. He interrupts a Magnus who was wagging his finger to an Astemar whose emotions were up in the air as to what they truly were. “Hey, so, uh,” he begins, pointing behind him, “you do remember I’m gay, right?”

The couple side-eye each other comically. What a silly question, their shared glance says to Max, what a foolish thing to ask for how long they’ve known each other! Their eyes go back to him, answering at the same time with an accentuated, “Yes…?

“Right, cool.” Hands in pocket again, he gestures with the coat. “So uh, can we do it in your guys’ bedroom? The blood is, uh, not a decoration I want to be seeing.”

Now, Magnus probably would have responded, but Astemar takes him into her arms and runs so fast that the door to the bedroom’s open before Max can process being left behind. Max catches up, even with taking his time. With another deep inhale and exhale, he takes off his coat; he heaves yet another mournful sigh while mumbling to himself about his life choices; as he takes off his jacket before he hears an Astemar, if you don’t stop, I’ll leave you followed by a quite calm go ahead, I’m not the fucker who jerks off to my legs. He’s already at the door when he considers whether to take off his corduroy shirt or to simply roll his sleeves up.

The sight of the pair in bed would be funny if he wasn’t once again running on fear-fueled adrenaline—of the fear of one of them, anyway, and not the man cradled in the beast’s arms, trying and failing to escape. He seems more like a wailing baby, limbs moving and mouth lolling. Max prefers to think it’s seething over his original plan getting dropped like a pile of bricks.

“Astemar! Astemareee—”

That is the sound you make when your wife is holding you by all four of your appendages—what, you never seen anyone invent two more creepy claws because you can just do that as a nightmare machine—a wife who also happens to be cackling and giggling all along the way. Her grin doesn’t change, but the sharp teeth sure aren’t pretty or even boner-inducing.

If you’re normal, we presume.

“Wifey! Wifey!” Magnus yells, voice quivering despite his earlier bravado.

Trying to be lovey dovey won’t work, dear husband. You’re on the losing end of this business deal—,” and her voice lowers as she veers close to his face, “—so make an educated guess on who’ll be singing Abba by the end of all this.

“Let him down, man,” Max says, having ultimately chosen to roll up his sleeves. He sits down on the edge of the bed to take off his shoes and socks. He mentally notes that he…totally forgot to take his shoes off while inside, but given that the two dumbnuts behind him were too busy to notice, he figures he won’t get another earful about it.

Magnus wriggles to get the younger man’s attention. “Max, Max, Max—!”

Max smirks and says, “Calm down, it won’t hurt.”

What won’t hurt?!” screams Magnus, the new prey of the night, with all his bloody might, and he screams some more when he falls onto the bed with a thwump!

Max turns to look at the panting result. “Jesus, I” he begins, but Magnus cuts him off.

Don’t say it,” he hisses through obvious pain.

“Don’t say what?”

Ignore him, he’s trying to stall,” Astemar says, her claws around her husband’s waistband. Well. Its a waistband up until she lifts and crushes the zipper to speed up the entire pants-off process. Aren’t you, Magnus?

Magnus peers down and stares back at her, appalled. “…I’ve had these for over ten years.”

Big deal, send them to a tailor.” She pushes his trousers down with a thrust, and then slides them off smoothly and cleanly. Max is almost impressed as he sits back on the mattress.

“That’s not the point!” Magnus groans, hands to his head.

Wow,” lilts Astemar teasingly, head bobbing. “Hey, Maxie, I think he got bigger.

“Great, fan-tas-tico,” Max says, flatly, though he smiles weakly as he does. His monotone is meant to be playful.

Magnus speaks flatly as well, but he’s not smiling or playful at all: “Yes, fabuloso, even. I assume someone is going to suck it—or am I going to have to wrest control back to me in this shindig?”

It’s incredible how he never wants to lose, thinks Max. The bed creaks a little with his added weight as he sits on his legs with his hands on his lap. He’s purposefully trying to avoid looking at the bulge, and instead fixes his gaze on, let’s see…Magnus’ disheveled hair will do, a fitting choice for such a vain man. Max practically teases at it in hopes of setting off Magnus a little more. “That’s never happening for the rest of the night,” he says. “Just admit it, you lost.”

“I can’t see how I’m still losing—,” Magnus pauses to dress down Max, “—unless you count seeing you with your pants on—,” and then he fixes his gaze back on Astemar “—and my wife disregarding my expressed wish to not sleep with her like this.”

Can’t take the fucking moral high ground when you’re willing to treat everyone like your cute little fuck toys,” Astemar interjects, then pushes his boxer briefs down to let his penis up for some air. It’s wobbling, but it’s already on its way to being at half-mast.

“I’ll say,” agrees Max while he rests his elbows on her husband’s stomach from the side. He turns his head to him, imitating Magnus’ pose of head on palms from earlier. “You ever think about your fuckin’ crimes?”

No,” Magnus retorts harshly, “because despite everything, I like it when people have fun while having sex.”

Max snorts and asks, “Unless it’s me, huh?”

Or me,” hisses Astemar.

Magnus’ patience has clearly run out; he’s semi-stood up to bark, “Oh, shut the fuck up, Astemar! Day I fuck you looking like that, put me in the psych ward and throw away the key!”

Max’s a little thrown off by the sudden reaction—seriously, what the goddamn hell? Magnus is so horny for his wife, he’d fuck her wherever they stood instead of waiting to get back home if he could. Max doesn’t get it, and as irritating as it is to have to witness Magnus’ flirting, it’s funnier witnessing Astemar shooting him down and telling him to be normal.

Max notices that Magnus had something up his prostate about Astemar’s current form, but…he also figured Magnus could, like, ignore that? Because…he’s Magnus.

And Magnus is weird.

However, Astemar only cocks her head to the left, then to the right—then centers herself, right above her husband’s little friend. Her claws, blending into the parts of darkness present in the room, place themselves on his belly. Her grin opens and from the abyss of her mouth, a large tongue that Max is honestly near thankful over its close-to-human-looking appearance. He half-expected it to be a, a, a lingua dentata or something at this rate.

Magnus gasps, gritting his teeth and closing his eyes for a split second before opening them wide, as though he has to see his wife wrapping around him with her thick offering, her expression not changing at all. Her eyes dart all around as her tongue strokes him, her mouth never getting close enough to touch him. She looks to be taking as much joy from his squirming as anything else.

A slursh sound follows when her tongue unravels and lets him go. If you asked anyone what the hell this looked like out of context, it’d be like one long tentacle having its way with a stiff living rod. Weird noises are bound to happen with a weird creature, naturally, but not ones whose onomatopoeia have to be made up on the spot.

She ignores the small whimper that Magnus attempts to hold back, instead slowly and gingerly turning to Max, who’s been staring at the entire event like a deer in headlights.

Can I still run away oh god why do I keep saying yes to these things

Are you going to join in? I’m biased, but it’s a nice dick.

“No, uh—I mean.” Max ruffles his bangs anxiously, holding on to his nape after. Somewhere in the gut of his stomach, something tells him to go for it—at the same time that every other organ is telling him how about no and just enjoy Magnus’ embarrassment at having to admit yet another kink.

When Magnus, the other only human in the room, grabs tightly at Max’s hand, however, Max hitches a breath and nervously turns towards him—to find Magnus sweating like a pig, possibly in danger of fainting at some point. If that’s not evidence of a man struggling with the fact that his wife has outwitted him yet again in their relationship, then he doesn’t know what is.

But, not the point: that would be Magnus trying to give a nod of approval to Astemar’s offer.


Max’s sotto voce remark is followed by a nervous rubbing of his forehead. But Astemar stops waiting for him, bringing her tongue back to a now throbbing and needy cock. Magnus bends his legs in reaction along with another stifled moan, especially when she strokes his head faster for a few seconds. She squeezes him a little, and when he’s begging for a little bit of leniency, she opts to instead tease him at the tip, getting a choked yell out of him. She does loosen her grip, however, to lick his shaft a bit before wrapping around him again.

Astemar lets go of her husband again, who’s about to actually start voicing a complaint before the touch of another tongue causes him to inhale sharply and bite down on his lower lip.

Max licks Magnus gingerly near the base, ignoring the latter’s hazy gaze. The licking’s cute, really, like a puppy. This is only the second time he’s ever blown Magnus and yet Max is holding back this time, going slow and tender. He nips and licks around the middle of the shaft, before realizing that Astemar’s tongue is trying to share space with him. He feels a clawed hand on the back of his head, strangely gentle again, and he’s not sure what plan she’s following, but he lets her lead him to the tip, lets his mouth be opened by one of her fingers. He thought the touch would be a cold one but no, it’s as warm as the touch of another human body.

Doesn’t matter: Magnus’ face distorts into a manic grin once Max takes him into his mouth, Astemar stroking Max’s hair. Astemar’s own tongue wraps itself around the bottom half of Magnus’ firm shaft, prompting him to grip the sheets like his life depends on it. His eyes close in ecstasy.

Shit, it tastes like sweat, thinks Max extremely unsexily in the meantime, though he hasn’t exactly stopped out of disgust. He doesn’t blow often…if at all. He doesn’t give thought to it as a need, and he shares that outlook with Astemar. (Pretty ironic now, considering their current tag-teaming.) But the trembling veins give him some joy as he licks across those bulging lines. And there’s something amazing about hearing Magnus be weak as shit against the two people he’d tried to fool just a short while ago.

His mouth does let go for a second with a smacking pop, if only to catch his breath before coming back and sucking some more on the tip.


That would have been the next course of action, before he feels a strange sensation grab at his genital area—and he would have yelped, too, had not a third claw covered his mouth.

His anxiety returns in full force, eyes darting all over the place. Of fucking course her face doesn’t change expression, nor do her eyes. That open grin doesn’t assuage him any; it still feels more like she’s planning to kill both of them. Her tongue’s still around Magnus as she points at him with a free hand, as if Max should understand her reference. He’s only further confused when she points to her open mouth and twirls her finger around.


The weak call attracts Max’s attention, his brows creased in worry.


The breathy supplication causes Astemar to stop and slither her tongue back in her mouth, at which Magnus huffs very loudly. He lifts himself by his arms, expression that of a dazed and glazed old man who enjoys being the center of attention. It’s not exactly a death glare, but he surely is thinking of future punishments if they dare not get back to pleasuring him. But Astemar ignores such things, letting go of Max’s mouth…

…and Max’s own face contorts to match the same negative intensity as Magnus’.

“You really got piss for brains, you know that?”

A grunt. “Not sure how, I was enjoying the view.”

Max huffs derisively. “And you,” he says, turning to Astemar, who’s hovering above him, “you mind lettin’ go of me back there, huh? What the hell are you up to?”

I don’t know.” She bobs her head like a rag doll now, grin widening. “You wanted to blow my husband and I gave you permission. Now I’m wondering if you want to go the whole mile.” One hand goes to her jaw in thought. “I’m thinking we can be romantic and let him take off your pants, treat you nicely while I finish him off.”

Max won’t think on it, but it’s truly incredible how she can stun both men into silence at times.

“After all, you still don’t want me in this form,” she reiterates, bobbing her head at Magnus, “do you?

Magnus says nothing.

Her grin disappears when he doesn’t respond. She frowns, her bare teeth still present and shiny, but it’s a frown nonetheless. “…Magnus?

He still doesn’t answer, and Max looks between the two; suddenly things got very awkward. It’s not like she wasn’t wrong, so…?

Astemar lets go of Max’s genitals at last, to which he lets out a puff of relief through his nostrils…until he yells out because he’s been pulled down and embraced firmly by a pair of hairy arms. And when he realizes he’s actually been pulled forward and down towards a warm mass, his lips are met with another’s in a passionate lock.

…Guess that answers my question,” Astemar mentions halfheartedly. She moves a little to the side when the two men start making out, while she takes out her tongue again. “Try to be a little more kinder with your manhandling, you filthy bastard.

Magnus is absolutely not paying attention to her, as he still holds down Max, nipping and kissing at his neck and collarbone. Max stops him from taking off his own shirt, with begs and pleas accompanied by frenzied hands on Magnus’ arms. Their mutual heavy breathing colors the spaces between the two men.

“D-don’t want…,” Max pants out, wiping at his mouth, “…to b-be like that for now…”

Be like that refers to having to be reminded every time that everything else about him doesn’t match physically—in the carnal environment where humans consider such things of paramount importance. ‘To be or not to be’ becomes less a philosophical discussion and more a weaponized discussion; one that Max only cares about in the sense of wanting everything to match him and his brain, not whatever anyone else says. He’s half-lucky in that he doesn’t care about the act of sex as the man underneath him does—

“Aw…I was looking forward to your man boobs,” Magnus breathes out, hands sliding to the front of Max’s pants to unzip him.

but god, could the other man make the act of sex stupider sometimes.

“Shut the fuck up,” Max whispers harshly, even if there’s a minuscule part deep inside him that delights in someone not giving a shit about two obnoxious glands. His instinct is to stop Magnus from unzipping him too, but that same minuscule part also wants to let him go at it, still holding onto his arms. Max yelps yet again in surprise when Magnus moves abruptly, moaning and gripping at Max’s ass.

“Goddamn…wife of mine…”

The low whisper causes Max to look behind them: Astemar is performing on her husband’s erect member once again. Her tongue’s moving and pulsating around the head, which is audibly getting a pleased reaction out of Magnus, but for Max, he can’t decide on whether to join in again or to stay away—which really means that the entire affair is affecting his brain, if he’s thinking like Magnus now.


…when she points to her open mouth and twirls her finger around…

‘…treat you nicely while I finish him off…’

Astemar, you mad, mad woman.

Magnus takes his hands off of Max’s behind long enough to lead him to their original standing, Max holding onto Magnus’ shoulders to semi-rest against him. Max doesn’t need to prompt him further, it turns out, as once Magnus unzips him it’s no time at all before Max feels a hand slipping between his legs. Every playful flick of a finger against his little elongated organ makes Max moan in an increasingly staccato tempo.

“—ah—ahm—,” mutters Max, grinding against those nimble fingers. “C-careful—”

Max can feel his boxers and pants being taken off, so he has to assume it’s Astemar doing double duty; Magnus is too busy assuring him that his insides feel very, very good. By this point Astemar is slurping up all the pre-cum that’s come out of her toy du jour, gulping it with a loud enough sound that anyone else could get aroused by it—were it not for the whole added sound of glitch-y, broken giggling.

Either way, Max attempts to not get angry at the limitations of a god-created body, because he’d rather lie there god-believing in the proper, human-fixed form, but Magnus’ words are not helping—

“I knew you weren’t wearing your packer,” Magnus whispers into his ear, as if to keep it a secret more than to arouse him. He sighs dejectedly. “Were you really that anxious to get over here?”

Max’s about to respond with another fuck you but he instead gasps out in pleasure right when warm digits enter his entrance and he buckles against the sensation, grasping at Magnus’ shoulders even more tightly. He can feel Magnus gently stroking his hair, as if that’d be any better, and he can sense his insides stretched and prodded all around in that wet hole, and god, why did that have to feel good?

“Good boy,” Magnus coos quietly in Max’s ears, especially when Max squirms, moving up and down. “Good boy, darling.”

On the other hand, it doesn’t feel that addictingly good—the second Max hears Astemar whisper the words hey, wanna help me, he clumsily clambers off a confused Magnus, ignoring his complaints. Magnus only stops and groans painfully when not only his cock finds itself in a warm mouth again, but his own wife has his balls in a vise grip.

Hi,” a cheery-sounding Astemar utters when she moves her face so close to Magnus that they could kiss…if he wanted to lose some actual skin to her mouth. Her grin’s still present and she’s still bobbing her head similar to a puppet’s movement. But she’s otherwise peachy, sitting next to his upper half. There’s a kind of cuteness to her actions when she brings his hand—previously encased in pussy punch—to her mouth, her tongue slipping out to lick it all clean.

Hmm, very nice. A little tangy, Maxie is.

Meanwhile, Magnus grits his teeth thanks to how much Max is really going to town on his cock—Max takes him in so fully he triggers his own gag reflex, causing him to break and breathe before trying again for the deep throat competition of the year. This time he manages to not choke on it for a few more seconds before calling it quits, opting instead to stroke Magnus with his hands as he laps at the tip. The small slit offers some more liquid, beading into droplets, as a reward for his effort. Max can feel his own entrance get wetter and wetter, and while he wouldn’t mind fingering himself, he really, really just wants to concentrate on sucking some cock.

He figures it’s the heat of the moment but he’s oddly further aroused at seeing a monster play with Magnus’ testicles. Makes him want to swallow him up, play with Magnus more.

“Ast—ah, agghh—” ooh, his eyes are rolling over, very nice, “—d—” —and Magnus here glares daggers at his wife— “—damn—you—!”

Already am, so terribly sorry,” she responds acidly as she squeezes his nuts ever so carefully, causing him to cry out again. “I’m barely touching them, by the way, so that’s a great imagination you got. Now why don’t you…”

Max hears Magnus cry out last time for dear life, but like the one-track mind he could be, Max forgets to pull away in time, choking on the thick liquid that spurts out from Magnus’ member. While Astemar lets go of his testicles, her face is still close to the panting egomaniac who wanted all of this in the first place; she licks his cheek like a puppy.

Bonus: her long tongue boops him on the nose as he starts to come down from his climax.

“Jesus wept…,” coughs out Max as he wipes his mouth. He’ll be damned if he’s going to swallow tonight. He takes another, longer breather, leaning back and resting on his legs. Magnus’ member is still trembling, some more lines of white milk coming out as a last plea. The fluids between Max’s own legs are annoying but collateral damage at any rate. Plus, it sure was worth this entire mess to see an arrogant man lay in bed like he ran a marathon from here to Timbuktu.

Eyes squinting and looking up at the ceiling, chest heaving up and down, hands and legs spread wide as if that’ll help him stop sweating so much—who doesn’t love to see someone hoisted by their own petard?

Fun foreplay, ain’t it?

Max brushes his bangs into place, adjusting his shirt. “I guess—foreplay?!

There’s more?!

Of course, dumbass,” she says as she lowers her head around her toy and cleans up the remnants of cum happily. She’s more than willing to swallow it—audibly. “Sex is always a two-step verification plan.”

Then she goes back to Magnus’ upper half, wrapping her arms around him with her clawed hands hanging off the bed. Her…paws? Talons? Whatever she calls them, her clawed hind feet lay to the side, trying to remain on the bed too.

For a minute or two, Max has a pang of small pity at the scene. If you could take Magnus’ horniness and adapted, distilled that into a pure form of love with its unfortunate share of trust issues, you’d have Astemar’s feelings in full view. Max almost envied Magnus for having someone who cared for him like that.

Magnus places his hands on Astemar, wheezing out his words: “The hell…does that even mean?”

I said what I said,” she states, cackling in echo. “Now either tonight’s waiting period is half an hour or five minutes.” She teasingly taps a finger to Magnus’ cheek before she shoots a glance at Max. “What do you think, Maxie? Want to play together instead…?”

Max remains silent for a while. He’s studying the pair—Magnus’s beginning to look like he’s about to put a cork in those plans but Max has also realized that Astemar is…well, still not small in comparison to her human frame, but she’s not massive anymore. She’s…kinda shrunk. Still an eldritch horror, though.

Nonetheless, as nice as she was in offering some more exercise—

“Unless something changed since last time, Aste, you’re still female.”

The grin-wearing head wavers to the side.

I’m not a girl, I’m a beast. Completely different. I have parts in this form that any gender likes. After all, beasts can do anything we want.” Her neck lengthens to reach Max while her body slightly follows, hovering over Magnus. “And nobody can do anything about it.”

Max doesn’t react, even if he is a little nervous at the insinuation…

But I am a nicer beast than the least of the beasties,” she continues, eyes moving independently from each other three whole times before coming back together to focus on the man in front of her. “I think. Sometimes I can’t tell.

“I can, get off of me!” bellows Magnus. He lifts himself up by one arm to sit up, grabbing at his back with a groan and a grimace. While he’s obviously trying to deny the fact that he liked the sudden dominating aspect brought forth by his wife, he looks upset that he was denied more of a chance to focus on Max and Max alone.

Astemar is unsympathetic. “Get better, old man.

Magnus once again glares daggers at the hissing giggly creature. This is easier to do when he doesn’t have to crane his neck up. “How about you don’t take matters into your own hands? You mess up everything when you’re like this.”

Max fixes his collar, sitting next to Magnus. The bed’s big enough for that, and it’s gonna need to be big enough for his next trick. “I don’t know, man,” he says, “I liked all her ideas so far. I’m a fan of the one that’s gonna be the feature presentation now.”

Magnus turns abruptly. “You do?!”

Astemar, staring in confusion, repeats, “…you do?

Max is gambling, and gambling hard, but as she said, if they were each in control of their choices (as if), then his choice is to shame Magnus into further submission.

So. He bluffs.

“Yeah, because you’re not in it,” he says to Magnus with a smirk. “Three’s a crowd and we’re downgrading to a duet, so buzz off to the bathroom, huh?”

Astemar bobs her head, still clearly confused.

“She said she’s not a girl,” Max continues, pushing a sad-looking Magnus out of his way to sit right in the center, “so she’s not a girl. I guess. I may be a sad fool with standards, but I’m not a coward.” Magnus doesn’t even fight it. Astemar hasn’t lost her puzzled look as she shuffles to accommodate him.

“C’mon, Aste,” Max says cheerily, checking his shirt and rolled-up sleeves. “You said you had parts I’ll like, right?”

The creature, the monster of the hour, doesn’t move. Astemar remains motionless even when Magnus leaves the bed in a huff, tucking his penis back into his boxer briefs and stumbling a bit with the tell-tale wobble of legs that have fallen asleep. He looks back at her, brows knitted in displeasure; many different emotions fight for dominance across his face. Ultimately he shakes his head, rubs his temples, and walks away like a defeated dog. A glance back at Max earns him a dismissive, but happy, wave, and this is enough to make Magnus’ nostrils flare with anger as he stomps the rest of the way to the bathroom.

Max rests his hands on his chest, having already laid down and crossed his legs. He flinches a little at the boom of a slamming door, but he remains calm. “I love it when he’s mad, don’t you?”

Astemar says nothing, only looking back with her grin turned to an emotionless show of bare teeth. She’s acting more like an abandoned child, patiently waiting for whoever left her to come back if she stays behind. It’s not a look Max is used to seeing on the indomitable Ms. Giralt.

“You can go check on him.” He nods towards the bathroom and chuckles cautiously. “It’s your apartment, too.”

She says nothing to this.

Sighing, Max crosses his arms behind his head. “Actually, now that I think about it, I should have gone to the bathroom first. Unless you got a towel nearby…?”

…Didn’t you want him?

She’s staring at him now, with an ambiguous expression on her mostly-human face. Max blinks at the question but otherwise doesn’t respond in any major way. There’s no need to.

Never as much as you do.”

Now Astemar’s head bobs, downcast, avoiding Max. Her body slinks to the left as she positions herself into a sitting position with her legs under her. One of her arms slides over him, towards the bed table, where she slides out the main cabinet to claim a small jar. The jar is placed under the pillow beneath Max’s head, as fast as the arm goes back to the cabinet to shut it close.

Do you want me?” she asks, still staring, still waiting for someone to come back.

Max brushes his bangs with a telling look. “Not in the way he does.”

Because even Max knows that much. Whatever true reason Magnus had for staying with Astemar for as long as he has, Max reminds himself even now, it’s long been overrun by whatever scant genuine human emotion remains in that ticking heart of his.

And that too, Max envies; that ability to love without fear…

Max jumps from the sudden wheezing laughter echoing across the room—and his heart starts chugging on nervous energy again when the creature’s head thrusts back. He doesn’t take his eyes off her when her head falls dangerously close over to Max’s exposed genital area. She, however, lifts her head up and just like earlier, cocks her head to the left, then to the right—then centers herself and covers the entirety of Max’s mass.

Her voice crackles again, but the words are a little more frightening due to her hair framing their entire bodies like bed curtains. “Am I your Mary Austin?

He clears his throat, getting a handle on the situation before saying, “Nah. Way too complicated for little ol’ us. I like you. But not in that way.” He frowns, staring back intently now. “But you know that. Are you stalling?”

Not stalling,” she retorts, face growing closer to his, “checking. Do you really want to go through with this? Or are you stalling?

Max tries to hide his nervous swallow—shit, did she figure out his bluff?

“No, no, I’ll…” Max screams internally at Magnus to get over his fucking self and get out here, but telepathy is not one of his many talents. “I mean, you said–”

Look down, Maxie.

He twitches when the words leave her lips, and his breathing stops when he follows her order. At least he thinks he’s stopped, since he can’t hear himself breathing—and for good reason: not enough porn comics have prepared him for the sight that is an unfamiliar object protruding from her body, wobbling along with her movements. Her giggling lessens Max’s anxiety in absolutely no human way, especially when he can’t stop staring at how it’s goddamn coming out of her—her…is that even her cooch area or does that not apply here?!

“Do you like it? It’s just like Magnus’ dick, so you don’t get too scared. Something familiar, something new, something borrowed, something…something.”

Max only has one thing to say to that, albeit not aloud: Damn, wish I could fucking do that!

Astemar’s tongue slides out again, licking around his neck, which gets her a whimper and hunched shoulders. “I ask again,” she hisses, “do you want to go through with it? Or do you want to stop?

Sweating buckets, Max bends his legs somewhat. She’s calling his bluff without even knowing he was bluffing! And between his subconscious telling him to get dicked by the thing versus the rest of him reminding him of the difference in species (and in gender, despite her “claims”), he can’t help but stumble over his next course of action.

That and hoping that Astemar eats Magnus’ cock and nails him to a wall as punishment.

“I, I…I…”

A door opens.

“Wait. I want to see it,” says Magnus from the bathroom, his voice shaky and a little low. The pair on the bed turn their heads towards him immediately. His curiosity remains. “Can I see it, my love?”

Max stands up in fury, almost hitting Astemar’s head on the way. “You been listenin’ this entire time?!”

“Not everything,” Magnus states, walking out in a bathrobe, hands in pockets. He brushes his bangs back and smirks, adding, “Just the part where I heard someone decided to use moi as a base for a fake penis.”

Max falls back onto the bed with the most frustrated groan ever. Please, god, let her chop off his entire lower half.

As for Astemar, she leans back and frowns at Magnus. Like a bird, she moves her head in interest the closer Magnus gets, and she keeps her eyes on him when he gets on the bed again. He’s on all fours when he veers closer to her bobbing jewel, analyzing it like, well, a jewel-maker. It’s only when his face darkens with a sinister smile that Max realizes that Magnus certainly has a particular taste tonight.

“Right, so,” Magnus begins, positioning himself into a sitting form. “I’m gonna suck on that for a bit and then—”



“Oh, be quiet, you two,” Magnus says, scowling at the pair. “At least I can see it—”

Max interrupts, tired of this song and dance: “I believe someone said ‘Day I fuck you looking like that, put me in the psych ward and throw away the key!’ I know you have a selective memory, Magnus, but hell yeah, I’ll call up someone if you start changing your mind that fast.” He gets up, still reprimanding the now-stunned Magnus. “But god, imagine being like that with your wife. Couldn’t be me!…You don’t deserve her, you fuckface. You honestly don’t.”

He’s avoiding looking at Astemar, even though he believes, knows what he said isn’t incorrect—that she does deserve better than the whims of a fickle man. But the awkwardness is back in full force, and at this moment in time, Max himself is selfish enough to call it quits and go to sleep right here. Leave them all danging, who the fuck cares anymore.

Meanwhile, Magnus purses his lips before he pouts and guiltily lowers himself onto the bed. He looks like he’s lost his earlier spark. Max can’t find it in himself to care.

Astemar, however, clearly cares: she changes her position to place herself between Max and Magnus. She takes their respective chins in her clawed hands and tilts them both to face her.

“…Let’s play eenie-meenie-miney-mo.

Once again, she has stunned the two men into silence. This time, at least, their long distance stares are a bit kinder now when they look at her. At least Max hopes his is. Maybe he’s just tired. Who knows.

The first to lose gets to be fucked by me.” She lets go of Max’s jaw first, counting between them with her now free hand. Starting from Magnus, she alternates between them as she sings: “Hana, man, mona, mike.” Starting from Magnus again she continues: “Barcelona, bona, strike.” Now from Max: “Hare, ware, frown, vanac. At last, starting from Max: “Harrico, warico, we wo, wac—aww, perfect.

Max, still confused on why the rhyme wasn’t the actual one, matches Magnus’ surprised expression with his own when Astemar’s finger ends up pointing at her sullen spouse. Her tongue tickles Magnus’ lips when she lets go of his jaw and grabs the collar of his robe.

Congratulations, history is graced by Power y Giralt again.” She pats him on the head to assure him: “I won’t let them take you to the asylum, don’t worry.

There’s a gulp from Magnus, punctuated by an excessively loud screechand given that she’s looking at him directly, that only means that the sound, and sudden bed movements, come from the other human in the room, Max’s enjoyment of this predicament.

Alright, now for rock, paper, scissors with Maxie.

Max’s in the throes of a laughing fit, but manages to force himself to stop. For a second. Until he looks at Magnus again and then laughs some more. He can’t help himself, even though there’s still the question of the second fuckee. That’s the word, right? Because if it’s employer and employee, then it can be fucker and fuckee

“Very funny, Arizmendi,” Magnus snarls. “Just wait, maybe she’ll make two penises and bend you over silly too.”

I wouldn’t do anything no one wants. That’s why I haven’t splayed you spread eagle and destroyed your dick. Even when it’s currently wagging its tail.

Magnus gulps, albeit lightly.

Astemar keeps Magnus in place while she reaches out a balled-up claw for Max. He’s still tittering, but he makes his own fist to start the game. He expects to win, to be honest, because she always loses at this game. Plus, what’s the worst he could come up with, if he wins? Magnus gets to be tied up and brought to the edge without coming? Sure…

“Three, two, on one…”






The result is Astemar’s rock destroying the scissors from a now-again very tired man. All the laughter’s gone out of him, though it’s found a new place in Magnus’ guffaws.

Give him credit, however: Magnus stifles his reaction. Badly.

“…..really thought you were gonna use paper.” Max sighs and gives up. So much for tried and true patterns. It’ll be over soon, anyway. “Fine, whatever. What are we doing then?”

As your prize for losing, you get to be treated like a king however you want.” She drops the laughing Magnus onto Max, evoking some inspired oofs and ows from the pair. “Grade him by the end, why don’t you?

Max’s response is strained and muffled as he tries to deal with a heavy mass on top of him: “As if I already don’t know, fuckin’ thanks for nothing—

Huh? Treated like a king? Huh?

Wait. If he’s on the bottom…

Right when Max’s mouth is about to pronounce words, Magnus closes it with his own roughly. His tongue dances a sloppy and desperate waltz, all while Max is lost and warm and the kisses feel nice and fuck it, if this is how it’s going to go, then he’s going to embrace the utter insanity of this whole ordeal—starting with an actual embrace. Max’s hands grasp and grab at the back of Magnus’ bathrobe before they move to the front and push him away.

“—Take this off, you fuck—”

Max receives a smirk as his answer as Magnus strips as quick as he can, revealing nothing but his bare body in all its hirsute glory. His erection’s quite visible as well, which he rubs against Max’s little big clit on purpose. This elicits a startled cry, hands on his chest pleading for mercy.

“Your penis feels even better than earlier,” Magnus mutters, resting his forehead against a flushed Max’s. “For as small as it is, hmm.”

“F-fuck ohff. Don’t call it th—a—aahahhn—” Max trails off as Magnus nips at his neck, kisses him with caresses, all while teasing Max’s chest. The shirt still won’t go off, as asked previously, but Magnus unbuttons the first few fasteners, just enough to suck at Max’s neck and leave little hickeys behind him. Magnus lowers down and lifts the shirt up to kiss at Max’s belly, only hovering ever so slightly above the starting point of Max’s lower half.

Max wishes that he’d go lower, but the touches, the little kisses and nips, are so intense, he hasn’t let go of Magnus for dear life. He doesn’t want to let go, to let go of that warmth that seeks his own too, and he opens his own legs to wrap around Magnus, bringing him in and never letting him go. He’s vaguely aware of how much Magnus likes this kind of thing—sexily desperate and sexily tactile, or so the old man likes to say—but Max’s thoughts are lost in a soup of sensation. All he can do is writhe and make loud, filthy noises that Magnus is probably pretty into, too.

Astemar’s tongue presses against Magnus’ erection again, and the way he moves against Max is proof that he’s still driven wild by anything involving her, no matter her physical state. That same tongue then flickers lower to tease at Max’s thighs and entrance. Circling, flicking, lapping and licking—jesus christ, she’s not holding back.

Magnus nearly matches Max’s whimpers in volume when that tongue stops and slips away; the touch of Astemar’s claws makes him gasp and hitch his breath. She’s fondling, patting him down, and to Max’s addled brain it’s like she’s trying anything to signal that she wants to be close to Magnus. She’s careful about it, considering her jagged fingers, but she’s careful not to crush either of them. She’s still at a larger frame, so her legs surround the pair—and her own stiff pseudo-penis rubs against Magnus’ rear, making him chuckle.

He goes to kiss Max again, passionately and roughly, while placing a hand on top of Astemar’s. She hides her own facial reaction but he holds onto her wrist, patting it once or two times.

“Hey,” Magnus says, nipping at Max’s jaw, who’s finally hazed over with a degree of lust. “What do you want, your Majesty?”


“Don’t tell me this is too much,” he chuckles. “You could hold your own last time.”

“Lass thyyme,” Max slurs drunkenly. He might as well be drunk, what with his clumsy grabs at Magnus above him. Max wants him, wants him, needs him, accepts that he needs him. “Las’ time…m, muh….”

He pants and gasps, moaning as Magnus grinds against him again, this time softly. Astemar moves similarly, inducing a sharp inhale from the man under her.


Max is trying, really he is, but for the life of him, he cannot voice out anything. Magnus may have joked about it, but Max truly didn’t expect to be this desperate, to take this by the horns and let his mind buzz with desire—except he honestly cannot decide what the hell to even go for, because he’s not going to last for two times the fuck, and he’d rather get fucked into exhaustion in the same way Magnus wanted to do for Astemar.

Thankfully, Magnus has been calm and patient, merely peppering him with kisses on his neck. He stops only when he’s hit on the shoulder to stop.

“What do you want, Max?”

Max shuts his eyes upon hearing that seductive whisper, sounding as if he were about to sob. He’s not that weak, thank christ, or else he’d never hear the end of it from the man on top. But also, goddamnit, he hates this question from him, he hates it, because every single time it’s come from his mouth, it’s over something actually nice and yes, he wants something nice, it’s not fair—

Don’t say it like that.

Utterances and mumbles are the only noises Max can muster as a reply. He chooses to gesture instead, holding Magnus by his neck and throwing his tongue down his throat. He can feel the heavier weight of two people, but it’s fine, he expected that. Magnus responds in kind, kisses becoming sloppier and sloppier as he ducks his free arm under the other’s back. He hums against Max’s lips when Astemar gingerly grinds against him from behind, arousing him to do the same, breaking the kiss when Max moans happily against him.

“Show me—show me what you want, darling—”

Frenzied, desperate, Max reaches behind him, next to him, wherever Astemar put the damn thing from before—finding it under the pillow where she’d left it, then pushing it into Magnus’ chest, causing him to let go of Astemar’s hands to catch it.

Before Magnus can process the object, he ducks Max’s sudden upheaval of position, who goes and kneels on all fours. Shirt ruffled and legs spread so open, it’s worth taking out the camera for the beautiful sight alone. Alas, not like Magnus wouldn’t have been allowed to—he gets his orders by way of a decent rump offered to him, with lovely calloused fingers placed and pointing towards the hole of choice for the stay.

Then a whisper in his ear as hypnotizing and scary as the night in an abandoned field: “He’s not on birth control, dear husband.”

Meantime, Max hides his face in the pillow, unhearing; more embarrassed than confident about the entire thing, but he wants to receive what he should as a man, out of all the other acts and positions he had to eschew for tonight. Plus, he’s clean, which shouldn’t scare Magnus so much.

Max hears the cabinet open and peeks out from behind his arm, as best as he can anyway with those glazed-over eyes of his. Something’s being taken out and at this rate, it’d better fucking be important or he’ll switch again and get dicked by Astemar instead.

Speaking of the devil herself, she co-acts with Magnus—opening the jar together, one helping the other lube their respective digits. It’s gentle, sweet, even funny, the juxtaposition of man and monster.

His chuckle is weak as he tries to nuzzle against her, asking, “You’re gonna file those down, or am I going to have to speed dial 911 after all this?”

Her answer is gravelly, near shy. “What makes you think they won’t feel like those plastic nubs?”

“I can only perceive what I see, you know.”

“That’s your problem, not mine. Here…”

Her hands go to Magnus’ stiff staff, eliciting a happy sound from his lips. His head leans back and to the side, trying again to rest against her too, as he smiles in contentment at her hands rubbing him down with lube. He hisses when she kneads the slit at the tip with one hand, rubbing some more with the other after she takes another clump from the jar.

As for his hands, while his legs are shaky and he wobbles a bit—pleasure service will distract you like that—his wet and sticky hands play with Max’s hole. Max bucks downwards in response, as if to escape—“ah, ah, ah,” Magnus scolds, holding him in place and receiving a cute whimper in return. He teases Max’s clit a little, the right maneuver to get him to beg for more. The sweet honey drips from his entrance, and no matter what Magnus has on his mind, he has his orders; he’s following the queen by following the king’s pleas.

Magnus doesn’t realize that the feeling was mutual and that if Max had his way, Max would have absolutely loved both in the same night. But nobody said anything about Magnus having to hold back from licking for the taste—

AH!—” Max’s eyes shoot open, twitching and squirming in pure lust. “Aggh!” Guttural, indistinct are his shouts, even more when that tongue service takes a slow, long drag across his aroused big lips, lapping and drinking in his offerings before licking upwards and teasing his hole with quick flicks.

“—haaaahhhnnnnMagnusMagnusMagnus—Oh, fuckin’—Magnus!” Max cries out at the insertion of one thumb, while said man licks and smacks his lips. The visitor digit moves around initially, rough but playful. Then he takes it out and inserts two fingers at once. Stretching one time—“ohmm!”—is enough for Magnus, who grins devilishly. He thrusts the two digits in and out, increasing in speed as Max’s cries increase in volume.

Max muffles himself by pressing his face against the pillow, not wanting to be heard or seen anymore. Embarrassing, humiliating, holy hell, could he sound any gayer?! His face is flushed red, and he feels that same amount of heat all over his body. It’d make him faint, were it not for horny adrenaline.

Magnus pulls out his finger, exhaling deeply. “Good boy. You’re ready.”

Max’s breath hitches, shallow panting. He grips the pillows tighter in expectation, closing his eyes tightly. His body trembles, even as he lifts his ass higher. He doesn’t do anything else except wait…and wait…and wait…

In the seconds that pass, Astemar lets go of Magnus’ rod, holding him by his hips. He obediently takes a small square packet and rips it apart. He holds onto it by a corner with his teeth as he takes out the clear folded object, unraveling it carefully and covering his member with it.

Then he takes his protected little friend and rubs against Max’s ass. Both fucker and fuckee are slicked up enough that the movements become faster than he figured. Still, he takes a deep breath in mutual anticipation and presses the head of his offering against that pretty, pretty hole—nudging, nudging, nudging until he lets go of that breath and moans passionately when Max’s rear welcomes him to his new temporary home.

Despite expecting it, Max still can’t help but wriggle and squirm, moaning along the way as the temporary home for the other’s cock. Magnus grabs him by his ass cheeks—“oh no, darling, you’re staying here—” —fighting against Max’s instinctive reaction to control the play. One particular deep thrust makes the object of his desire weaken and hold fast in his place, screaming into the pillow like there’s no tomorrow. Magnus’ fingers dig into skin, nearly scratching Max before Magnus adjusts to hold him more properly.

For the next few minutes, slapping and sticky sounds color the room, along with controlled moans. Magnus isn’t the loose lips kind of lover—not silent, brooding either. No, his words entice, goad, support the one who’s receiving his gift in the moment. And right now is no exception, as he leans somewhat forward to Max’s delight, even if muffled.

“Come on, come on, darling—,” Magnus asks, brushing his bangs back, as matted with sweat as they are, “—dance a little more for me.”

Hell, muffled isn’t even the correct word—Max’s teeth have a death grip on the pillows, only letting go once in a while when the meat inside his ass is too good to ignore. And by god, he has to assume it’s because he doesn’t do this often but it shouldn’t feel this good, not when the motherfucker’s wife is watching or waiting in the dark like a wraith to kill them and by gawd—a big deep pump, Max’s walls opening up more and the length driving him up the wall! He hates it, he hates that his fucking pussy tingles at the thought that she’d let them come before she takes up arms and finishes them off.

Who knows, anyway; Astemar either reads minds or she’s smart enough to notice, but Max figures he’ll soon know why she hadn’t moved—

Except he can’t see her rubbing out her pseudo-penis, or lube herself up, or whatever it is she’s been doing, but he can feel Magnus shudder and stall when Astemar grabs his ass. The position implies a lot, and Magnus’ complaints fill in the rest of the details Max is too busy groaning and trying not to white out to take in.

“T—took you long enough,” Magnus scolds when he looks back, wobbling along with Max, who’s mewling for more even as he’s trying to take in what’s happening. “H-hurry up, huh?” He pants, gasping for air. “A few more minutes, and we’re both cooked.”

“Patience is a virtue, Magnus,” she scolds in return, teasing at his own hole before inserting one finger—which earns her a yell of pain, or pleasure, or pain with pleasure. All Max cares about is how Magnus is holding onto him, back arched, which encourages him to moan all the louder; Magnus Jr. has always been a fan of Astemar’s. Max can only make out a hint of her manic grin as she bobs her head in time to whatever she’s doing to Magnus’ insides. “Unless you want me to just skip the pleasantries…?”


“What was that?,” she asks again in a teasing voice. “Are you liking it, by any chance?”

Magnus shivers at the question before gritting his teeth and groaning in displeasure. He moves haphazardly, pushing himself and Max down; Max cries out like he’s in pain, spraying spittle as he loses his grip on the pillow. Magnus coos at him, telling him he’s okay as Magnus lifts both their butts at an angle manageable for them and the impending attraction. Like Max before him, Magnus spreads his legs a little more so that he can offer his own hole to the willing beast behind him.

“I’m here, Max, I’m here,” he says, kissing the visible part of Max’s shoulder blades where his shirt has slipped. Magnus pushes Max’s hands to the side and holds them down, twining their fingers together.

Max vaguely remembers this is how Magnus shows affection and can’t help but mouth for a kiss, wish granted almost immediately. He repeats Magnus’ name over and over, his expression beyond passion and lust. His voice searches for Magnus, like a child wanting love and waiting for it to arrive for years and years, like someone’s who’s not sure it’ll ever arrive. He’s kissed over and over, even moans happily when a hand grabs at his chest through the shirt, squeezing what’s there of one of his boys.

It’s only when the hand leaves and returns to hold Max down, and when the warmth leaves him to create a few inches of space between their bodies, that he realizes that the other presence is going to join them—so he closes his eyes and prays a whole lot because he knows the added sensation is coming, the pleasure is going to double because Magnus is that fuckin’ weak and his dick would fuckin’ explode for a fuckin’ bank account if it were personified and pegging him.

Alright, gentlemen,” Astemar bellows, her hair falling and framing them like a bed canopy, “don’t mind if I do…” Her hands caress Magnus’ back, her grin remaining in place as her eyes roam across Magnus and Max, sweaty and sticky, the former eager to take her even as he pauses from humping the latter’s brains out. Not that Max is in a position to appreciate the sight. A man has needs.

When Astemar’s head finally enters Magnus, Max moans aloud, his words turning to sobs as Magnus pushes ever-deeper inside him while Astemar stretches Magnus himself to no doubt ludicrous dimensions. If he were a bit more rational, Max would also yell out a fuck you when Magnus responds with a squeeze of Max’s chest, along with a pleased, grunting groan.

Max hears the screams from Astemar, and whether subconsciously or consciously, whether to protect him or to arouse him even more, his brain processes them as scenery noise. But he’s also at the bottom of the screaming totem pole. His own ass now has to deal with the most engorged Magnus has ever been in his damned life, and the more Magnus moves, the more Max yells, and the more he knows it’s Astemar’s fault. The deeper Max accepts Magnus, the more he feels like Magnus will rip him apart, and that fear mixes with the absolute lust-fog over him. He doesn’t want Magnus to stop, to keep crashing his balls against him, to keep pumping him until the sun rises or whatever the fuck romantic shit people care about!

Astemar’s sudden boisterous laughter causes Magnus to slam against Max yet again without prodding, and Max lets out a passionate mournful cry. Max senses his hands free and cold, but the sensations are so overwhelming, that he holds onto the mattress sheets beneath him, mewling and buckling against Magnus’ manhood of his own accord like a clingy needy ex.

Long reduced to a blubbering pile, Max isn’t sure of the passage of time—all he can feel after a while is that tingling, that pulsating warning banging against his walls. In a split second, his head jerks back in pleasure as his entire body fades into oblivion, as the hot substance he ached for so dearly, that reward fills him up and washes around his walls. He doesn’t process that there’s a layer of separation between skin and cum, but the perception fools him enough that his other insides sputters out long lines of clear juices onto the sheets. Panting for air turns into whimpers when his whole bottom half aches, numbness and weakness in his legs.

He whimpers even more when Magnus’ member twitches, and Magnus himself thrusts lazily for one more go, making sure it’s all out. They’re both tired, and Max is only vaguely aware of the now spent Magnus fainting on top of him before he, too, adds his soft breathing to the soundtrack of the darkened bedroom.


The smoke reaches his nostrils practically immediately. Attempting to ignore it is a fool’s errand, and while he’s a sad fool, Max Arizmendi at least has some standards—among which is included who the fuck smokes around sleeping people?


The gurgling, peeved moan, the shifting of his position, the fixing of the bedsheet over him because it’s a tad cold—wait. Bedsheet? Wait. When the fuck did he go to sleep? Wasn’t he—


“Hello there, darling.”

Max opens one eye the way people do in horror movies. It darts all over before he moans again and wipes away the sleep in his eyes. He’s beginning to remember whose voice that is and is severely regretting being here for every single possible reason. Then his brain betrays him and sends him all the images—

“Fuck.” He rubs his forehead, still hidden under the sheets. “I didn’t go to the bathroom.”

“Oh, don’t worry,” says Magnus, who’s been laying next to him. Magnus takes another drag from his clove cigarette. “I wore protection. Although I almost couldn’t take it out? You must have been dying for my semen pre-tty badly,” he lilts with a smirk.

Naturally, Max responds with a death glare. “…I’m too tired to break your neck,” he says, eventually. “You live for another day.”

This earns a limp chuckle from Magnus. “Right…” He exhales into the air, and the white smoke dances with the indigo of the night that covers the entire bedroom. It remains amongst the dust particles before going away, followed by another trail.

Max’s voice is clear and unwavering: “Where is she, Magnus?”

Magnus’ voice is equally so, even nonchalant. “To whom do you refer?”

“You—ow. Fuck,” whines Max right when he tries to sit up. He falls on the bed with barely a fight, opting instead to move closer very slowly, bear the minimal amount of pain. “Judas Priest, next time don’t let your dick get possessed by the ghost of…whatever passes for zombie porn nowadays.”

Magnus raises his brow. “…You know, Max, someday I want you to tell me what movies you watch, so I can avoid them all together.”

Max adjusts the covers, accompanied by a stern stare. “Magnus.

“…See for yourself, hmm?”

He says it sweetly, like a guardian—and when he lifts the bed cover he shows off the sleeping shape of Astemar just as sweetly. No longer a horrific beast as big as the entire room, or even half the room, she lays there naked as they; she looks as damp and cold from sweat as they, and asleep as Max only a moment ago. Her hair is splayed out, covering parts of Magnus’ arm. The way her body rests on him, heaving softly up and down, you’d think the entire past…past…uh…

“How long have we been out?” asks Max, laying on Magnus’ arm to get a better look at her (and because it hurts less).

“Hmmm…three hours? No—maybe four.”

Max heaves a deep sigh, his mouth flapping along. “Well. Shit.”

“Yeah,” Magnus says, smiling. The arm under the bed cover lowers, as he uses his elbow to hold the cover while he strokes her hair gently. “I told you it’d work. You two ought to trust me more.”

“We trust you as far as we can throw you when it comes to your cockamamie ideas,” says Max, flaring his nostrils. “But…”

Magnus directs with his cigarette as he says, in a mock knowing tone, “‘But this time, we should have believed you, Magnus—we’re so sorry, Magnus—please let us suck your dick, Magnus—’”

Biting sarcasm comes easily to Max. “‘Please let me hit your dick right now, Magnus, my knee is oh so close to it.’”

“Oh, all right,” says Magnus, after a long moment of deliberation. “What were you going to say?”

“I was goin’ to say,” Max says, “that Astemar…you know she’d throw away her life if you asked, right?”

Magnus takes another drag, scowling. “Good thing I won’t ask that, huh? I told you tonight was for her, and the results were pretty nice. Oh, but hey, you know, about her curse—”


One word is enough to shut them both up, going from a speaking pair to a silent film comedy duo as the mood drops as fast as an elevator with its lines cut. That—that glitching, crackling voice…

Magnus lifts the bed cover again, while Max struggles to forget what pain is and leans on his arm to look.

Astemar’s not an eldritch horror again, but her face has the same doll-shaped eyes and the bare-toothed grin—parts she lacked just a second ago. Her head moves normally, however, and her voice goes back to her original cadence, though with reverb—

“If you don’t go back to sleep in the next forty seconds, I’m going to punish you for the next forty days and forty nights. Will you two please rest?” Astemar adjusts her position to be more on top of Magnus’ chest. “I don’t want to repeat tonight ever again, and I would like to sleep. A lot.”

The pair side-eye each other. Then they look to Astemar again and nod intently.

One second she blinks, the next her face returns to normal. There are bags under her eyes, as she does indeed look more tuckered out than the two. “Good boys. Thank you,” she mutters, fluttering her eyes before they close. “Good…night…lo...

Eventually she starts snoring, low, while both Max and Magnus look to each other again. It’s Max who begins to stand and change his position—

“Wait—I mean, wait,” Magnus whispers, holding out the hand with the cigarette to grab Max. “Where are you going?”

Max sighs, noticing that he’s going to have to replace his shirt. “What does it look like?” he whispers.

“Idiot, stay here. Come on,” Magnus insists, pulling at Max to follow his lead. He first gestures for the ashtray from the bed table, putting out the cigarette when offered. Then he waves to Max, and keeps waving and gesturing until Max is resting on the free space of a hairy chest. “She won’t mind,” adds Magnus, as though sensing Max’s uncertainty. “She’ll yell at me if I don’t pamper you.” Magnis grins as he whispers, then covers his mouth to cough. “As if I wouldn’t have.”

“Oh, joy. I’m not even your wife, fuckface,” Max says in a harsh whisper, curling into a semi-fetal position. His hair is messed up and he holds onto Magnus like a child does a favorite toy. He furrows his brow sadly when Magnus strokes his hair gently, though he tries his damnedest to not show it out of respect for Astemar, because…because it’s nice and he wanted something nice, so he’ll take it, god.

Magnus, meanwhile, titters, his arms now around Max and Astemar alike; he’s positioned them so they’re both (presumably) snug and warm, and Max can’t help but notice. “I already gave her a good night’s kiss, so…,” and here Magnus plants one on the top of Max’s head, “sweet dreams, hmm?”

Max nods lazily, already drifting off. “’Night, Magnus. ‘Night, Aste.”

A pause.

“Good night, darling.”

Another pause.

“…Oh, fuck you too.”

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10 thoughts on “Anathemaphilia, or, how I learned to love the Beast who so loved the world

  1. Thank you for your endless patience and good humor while we were working on editing this sucker; knowing a little more about how much these characters mean to you (thanks, author’s notes!) has me grateful you were happy with all the work we put into polishing the metaphorical chrome. You were really able to elevate the flow of this to something far more natural, for want of a better word. Prose requires SUCH a different skillset from comic writing in a lot of weird ways and I’m glad you took the challenge of giving it a shot anyway! I hope we’ll see more written work from you in the future (to say nothing of more comics, if the spirit moves you)!

    • Well, I’m just glad it all worked out! Thank you for helping me :D And I’m always up for more prose, so long as the universe cooperates lol (Heck, the prose is easier than the comics, a-hyuck, despite the sacrifice of my firstborn to the latter.)

      Thank you again!

  2. I thought somehow Astemar was going to provide a penis for Max rather than to him, but that’s not where it ended up going. They got up to a lot of exciting things anyway.

  3. I appreciated how much you highlighted Astemar’s inhuman features! Not just in appearance but in actions as well, like how she “[pounded the floor] the way a lion would” or how she primarily moves by slinking or sits by squatting, and how she snickers in “wheezing hisses” or has a voice like a crackling cassette tape. I think it’s easy, as writers, to focus just on the static visuals and let other senses/mannerisms get sidelined, but I feel that this story uses a strong variety of imagery.

    It was nice to get the opportunity to get to know these characters that are so important to you and get a glimpse at their dynamic! Thank you for sharing this story.

    • Ahh, thank you so much for the compliment! Being “specific” with details, such as the imagery you pointed out, is something I like when reading because it helps me imagine the visuals in my head better. So I often like doing that in writing. I often worry if I go overboard, but I appreciate comments like yours at these times.

      And no, thank you for reading!

  4. This was a fun, weird romp. The moment when Max was jealous of Astemar’s shape-shifting abilities I was all like, oh SAME honey, lmao I liked all the banter and swearing between people who obviously care about each other.

    • One of my favorite lines, and I’m so happy to hear you liked it! lmao indeed, if our bodies could be so malleable. And I’m glad to hear that their feelings got through, despite all the words shared between them.

      Thank you for reading!

  5. oh the banter was so fun and i love how you really leaned into the eldritch horror descriptions…i was scaroused LOL. i was also reminded throughout of morticia and gomez, though with a lot more spice in a GOOD way. i bet the shenanigans they all get into, sexual or not, are wickedly fun ;)

    • This is easily one of the best comments I’ve gotten in a long time. I have no words. You made me speechless, and very, very happy. I’m just giddy and wheezing in laughter. ♥♥♥ Thank you for reading!!

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