The dark stone surface of The Wall flashed past Bat’s eyes as he flew upwards. He glanced downwards and his heart soared at the sight of the ground falling away rapidly with every beat of his leathery wings. Bat refocused his gaze upwards to the edge of The Wall, lit with the last rays of the setting sun. He grinned even as his breath grew ragged with exertion.
Bat exploded over the top of The Wall at last, timing a kick off of the cold stone with a final flap of his wings to launch himself high above the narrow walkway at the top of The Wall. He spread his wings wide to catch an updraft, almost feeling as though he were floating. Almost. The large stone he clutched in his arms pulled him downward, and he opened his eyes wide despite the blinding glare of the setting sun to savor the view of the human lands beyond as he sank back down towards The Wall.
Bat landed and dropped his stone unceremoniously, feeling the impact of rock on Wall vibrate through his bare feet. He shook his arms in relief, now grinning wider than ever. His smile didn’t falter when he heard a severe voice to his left.
“Bat, you were instructed to bring your stone to me,” said the waiting demon, his back turned to the fading light of the setting sun. He fluttered his wings irritably and gestured next to an even larger stone placed neatly along the edge of the walkway.
Bat bent his knees to retrieve his stone, then froze as he caught sight of a slowly rising figure far below on the demon side. Instead of picking up the stone, Bat patted it as one might reward an obedient Little Demon. “Sorry Cain, I’ll be right back. Don’t worry, I asked the stone to wait right here for me,” Bat said brightly. Without another word he dove off the edge of the wall and hurtled downward back towards the shadowed demon lands, wings tucked against his back. He burst into laughter when he heard an indignant cry high above him. He might get a lash or two later, but it was well worth the price to hear such an undignified sound escape his teacher’s lips.
Bat threw his wings out wide to slow his descent, now flapping effortlessly without the extra weight of his stone. He fluttered around the second demon like a butterfly selecting a flower.
“Idori! Did you see me? I made it all the way to the top in record time! And did you know? The sun is still above the horizon on the human side. Let’s hurry and go watch the sunset together while we wait for the Littles. Do you need help? Should I give you a hand?” Bat chirped brightly, letting one of his wings graze up the side of Idori’s thigh as he fluttered from side to side.
Idori flapped upward steadily, panting in ragged breaths in time with the steady beat of his wings. His face was red from exertion, and he didn’t react to Bat’s sudden appearance or barrage of questions. He simply shook his head once, turning down Bat’s offer of help.
Bat was undeterred by Idori’s silence, and continued to chatter as he spun in lazy backflips. “You know, I think I might have spotted a human house from the wall. Or, it seemed like a roof. Humans live in regular houses, don’t they, Idori? Or do they sleep in the open? Did I ever tell you about the time I slept in the open for a whole day?”
Finally the two demons crested the top of the wall. Idori took two unsteady steps forward to gently place his stone at Cain’s feet before sinking down to the cold Wall surface to catch his breath. Bat, having developed a good sense of Cain’s moods through long years of practice and punishments, turned to retrieve his own stone without further comment. Its weight felt especially heavy so soon after Bat’s free-fly.
Cain waited in silence until Bat had placed his stone next to Idori’s before lashing out with his tail, raising pink lines that dripped blood across Bat’s bare arms. Bat’s top was short and ended just below his chest, leaving his belly exposed to receive the next lightning-fast strike of Cain’s tail. Bat yelped in pain but didn’t dare heal his wounds with Cain’s eyes still flashing so dangerously.
Cain spoke in a low voice, “Perhaps I’ve been negligent. All these years of lessons on the importance of one’s Anchor, and you toss yours aside to free-fly. And on the night you’d ask me to raise you to Incubus, no less.”
Bat raised his hands disarmingly, trying his best to appear chastised. The blood dripping from his arms added an air of meekness that Bat hoped would satisfy Cain before he struck again. “No Cain, your lessons have been perfect,” Bat began. “I understand, really I do. It’s just, I saw Idori and I wanted to make sure he got up safely. The miasma was thick over the woods tonight and I thought–”
Bat’s words were cut short by a stinging lash across his cheek. Cain stepped forward and leaned down, bringing his face inches from Bat’s own.
“And if a demon cannot rise to the top of The Wall with the weight of their Anchor, are they fit to make the crossing?” Cain asked.
“N-no, Cain.” Bat lowered his eyes.
“Can a demon receive help from another to carry their Anchor? To carry their Harvest from the human lands?” Cain hissed, using his tail to force Bat’s face back upwards to meet his gaze.
“No, Cain. ‘A demon is responsible for their own Harvest,’” Bat recited.
Cain held Bat’s gaze a moment longer before turning sharply away. Idori jumped to his feet, head slightly lowered, as Cain approached.
Tone calm once more, Cain said, “I’ll be instructing the Little Demons tonight. Please start the lift.”
“Yes, Cain,” Idori said, obediently falling behind Cain as he walked along the stone pathway. Idori turned his head to look back at Bat, eyes asking, Are you okay?
Bat was already sitting on the edge of The Wall on the human side, swinging his legs happily as his wounds steamed slightly as they healed. Bat did a double take when he noticed Idori’s backwards glance, then burst into a sunny smile. Couldn’t be better! Bat ran a hand over the unbroken skin on his belly and winked at Idori.
Idori shook his head, then stopped in front of a small hand crank. He used both hands to start it turning, then used his magic to keep the crank turning. A rope dangling over the demon side began to coil around a waiting spool. Idori looked down over The Wall to watch over the Little Demons as they were pulled upwards on the simple lift. Bat’s carefree humming was just audible over the creaking rope and the whirring pulley.
Once the Little Demons were assembled at the top of The Wall, Bat and Idori sat side by side behind the group to wait for Cain to finish his lecture. The youngest demons hadn’t manifested their wings yet, and sat huddled in the center of the small crowd. The older students sat on the edges of the group, although all kept their wings out and at the ready in case an errant gust of wind swept them off the top of The Wall.
The lecture was one both Idori and Bat knew well, but only Bat was bold enough to elbow Idori as he mouthed along to Cain’s solemn words, “‘And because humans are cowardly and weak, they constructed this very Wall to hide away from Demonkind. But such a flimsy defense cannot keep them safe from our reach.’”
Idori made a shushing gesture with a finger across his lips. He glanced up guiltily, but Cain was absorbed in his lecture.
Bat shrugged and then spread himself across Idori’s crossed legs, back upturned so he could flick his tail back and forth like a cat. He let his mind wander as Cain discussed the dangers of being discovered during a Harvest. The youngest demons might still believe that humans could be dangerous, but the older Little Demons already looked doubtful that demons could suffer at the hands of humans.
Bat felt a hand on his tail, and looked backwards to see that an older demon had wandered away from the group. They had lovely feathered wings, which they fluttered in surprise as Bat rose suddenly to sit cross-legged in Idori’s lap. “Have you heard this lecture before, Little Demon?” Bat asked quietly, ignoring Idori’s frantic shushing sounds.
The Little Demon nodded, and asked, “Are you really going to become an Incubus tonight?”
Bat nodded, whispering, “That’s right! Just one test left. I got my Anchor up here already, so I’ll just need to do a Dream Harvest tonight.” Bat poked their nose playfully, making the Little Demon smile.
They asked, “You’re not scared of humans? I thought you had to be older to become an Incubus or Succubus.”
Bat feigned shock and said “I may be small, but I’m old enough! As of last night, in fact. Don’t you want to go see the humans for yourself too?”
The Little Demon looked unsure. They glanced toward the human side and shrugged. “Cain says they’re dangerous.”
“Don’t listen to what Cai–” Bat began, before his words were cut off by Idori, who placed a hand over his mouth.
“Go back to your lesson, little one,” Idori said gently. He held the struggling Bat tight until the Little Demon reluctantly turned away. Idori put his lips close to Bat’s ear, and whispered, “Don’t push your luck tonight. Cain is already opposed to you becoming a full Incubus at your age. Yes, I know you’re of age, but Cain is the one who makes the final approval.” Idori waited until Bat stopped struggling before he released his grip around the smaller demon.
Bat turned his head back so he could look into Idori’s eyes, a mischievous smile lighting his face. He whispered back, “Maybe there’s some other way you could keep me entertained until my final test.” Bat squirmed his bottom against Idori’s lap to make his point clear.
The tips of Idori’s ears turned bright red, but he didn’t push the smaller demon out of his lap. “Fine,” Idori whispered, “If that’s what it will take to keep you quiet.”
Bat delightedly turned in Idori’s lap so they faced each other, and lost himself to Idori’s tender kisses.
Night had fully fallen by the time Cain’s lesson was over. Idori slowly turned the crank that guided the student platform back down to the demon side. Several Demons flapped their wings experimentally, including the feathered demon who had questioned them earlier, but none were bold enough to attempt to glide down with their own wings.
Bat stood excitedly next to Idori, his lips kissed a brighter shade of pink and his chest still heaving from Idori’s attentions. Knowing Idori would never allow the return of the Little Demons to be rushed, Bat passed the time by eyeing Idori as he worked. His friend was tall and sturdy, and graceful despite his size. He kept his brown hair short, and his tail and wings were similarly covered in soft brown fur. Idori was undeniably a beauty. Bat had pestered him for years, demanding why Idori had chosen to serve as Cain’s assistant and a Dream Harvester only rather than acting as the full Incubus he was, but Idori had never given an answer. Bat could personally testify that Idori’s knowledge of bodily pleasures would bring any human to their knees.
Idori raised his gaze from the ground far below, content that his young cargo was delivered safely, just as Cain approached the pair. Cain was in many ways Idori’s opposite – thin, with sharp cheekbones and long dark hair that he kept loosely bound. Although Cain’s appearance was youthful, he had served as the only Wall Guard in their area for many decades.
Bat was almost vibrating with excitement, but he kept his gaze still, trying to play the part of dutiful student.
Cain raised one eyebrow but didn’t comment further. “You will now be expected to perform a Dream Harvest. Idori will guide you, and I will be watching. Closely. If you have collected a full Harvest before the sun rises, you will have passed. Do you understand?” Cain asked solemnly.
Bat nodded furiously. “I understand!” He jumped up on the edge of the wall, unfolding his wings. “Idori, let’s go!”
Idori grabbed his tail hard, yanking him backwards. “Bat, wait,” Idori cautioned. “Before you go down to the human side, you must always place your Anchor by the edge. It’s the only way we’ll know for sure if an Incubus is still down there or if they’ve returned for the night. Remember?”
Bat nodded impatiently, running to retrieve his heavy stone and set it next to Idori’s and Cain’s, which were already lined up next to the human side to mark their departure. “Now can we go?” Bat pleaded.
Bat was over the edge of the wall in a flash, tucking his wings and falling face first towards the human land below him. He spread his wings wide at the last possible moment, jerking out of his free-fall and hitting the ground hard enough that his knees buckled and he sat down on the earth. Bat laughed and stroked the green grass. He knew what grass was, of course, but hadn’t imagined it would be this soft. He sniffed the air, smelling damp earth, plant matter, some large game in the trees beyond. No traces of smoke or miasma, and not a hint of the metallic aroma of blood in the air. The human lands were truly a strange place.
Bat tucked his wings away and rolled around in the soft grass until he heard Idori’s impatient call from beside The Wall. He sat up and said softly, “Idori, come over here! The grass is soft. Did you know it isn’t sharp at all?”
Idori’s head appeared from a stand of bushes, his gaze urgent. “Bat. Your final test. Now.” His head disappeared again with a rustle.
Bat thrust his wings out against the ground to push himself up into a standing position. The bushes were thick and covered in sharp thorns, and Bat gave one last longing look towards the human lands spread before him before he flew over the natural barricade. Beyond was a small area between The Wall and the surrounding bushes. Idori was already seated in the middle of a spell circle etched into a stone slab while Cain leaned against The Wall and watched him with narrowed eyes. Bat couldn’t read the letters of the spell, but the lines connecting the characters indicated it would allow a user to send their consciousness outward while their body remained behind.
Bat sat in front of Idori, asking, “Is this how I’ll do my Dream Harvest? How do I work this?”
Cain stepped forward into the circle and, speaking to Idori, said, “You may begin.”
Idori nodded, then handed Bat a thorn plucked from the nearby bushes. “Bat, you need to provide a drop of your blood here– Wait! Not yet. When the spell activates, it will allow us to search for open dreams in the area. You’ll need to move quietly so we don’t burst their dream bubbles. Do you understand?”
Bat placed a hand over his wide grin in silent consent, then pierced his finger to supply the blood. As soon as the drop touched the stone it was sucked away, leaving the surface dry once more. Bat furrowed his brow in confusion, but before he could apply a second drop he felt his consciousness jerk upwards and away from his body. The human lands now appeared pitch black, and Bat could barely see the difference between open sky and dense trees. He waved a hand in front of his face. He felt a hand on his back and Idori’s voice spoke quietly next to his ear.
“Don’t worry about obstacles, you’ll pass through. You need to look for humans that are dreaming. Look for a blue or purple cloud. Don’t worry if you can’t find them right away; some nights the humans don’t dream until the early morning,” Idori guided.
Bat nodded and floated higher to search for a point of light in the darkness. Idori followed behind, keeping a hand on Bat’s back for encouragement.
Bat was just beginning to grow bored of wandering around in darkness when his eyes focused on a flash of color ahead. It looked light blue, and rose like thick smoke from what Bat assumed was close to the ground.
Idori pulled on Bat’s shoulder to slow him before he got close to the dream bubble. Bat could make out Idori’s anxious face and Cain’s stern figure behind them in the faint blue glow. Idori leaned forward to whisper into Bat’s ear once more.
“This is how you enter the dream and perform the Harvest. First you need to stand in front of the dream bubble. You’ll be able to see a reflection of who that human wants to see in their dream. Once you see the image, just picture that in your mind as you enter the bubble. You’ll take on that form and it should be easy to extract after that. Just direct the Harvest into your pouch. Got it? Don’t be nervous.”
Bat was moved to see genuine concern in his friend’s eyes. He smiled wide and leaned forward to steal a quick kiss. For luck he mouthed, and winked at Idori.
Bat turned and stepped up to the dream bubble. It shimmered with bright light as Idori had explained, but he couldn’t see a reflection in the glassy surface. He leaned his head close, just barely able to see his own reflection staring back at him. There was no sign of the form Bat would need to assume. He turned back to Idori.
Idori beckoned him back and whispered into his ear, “Let’s move away from this one. There’s something strange about this human.”
Bat whispered back, “I saw my own reflection for just an instant. Maybe it’s me he wants?”
Idori shook his head. “You saw your reflection because the surface is reflective. Bat, it’s okay, sometimes humans don’t know what they want. Let’s just move on– Wait!” Idori hissed his last word as Bat turned back towards the dream bubble.
Bat couldn’t maintain his patience for one more second. He was ready for Harvest, ready to see humans, ready to be seen by humans. He pushed through the shimmering bubble.
He entered a bright white area in his full demon form: black leathery wings tipped with red on the edges that he held against his back; short, pitch-black hair with a small horn on either side of his head. Bat was shorter than most demons, but his tail was long and tipped with a fluff of fur at the tip. He wore the standard uniform of students of The Wall, a short sleeveless shirt that ended just below his chest and small shorts that hugged his curves. Both pieces of clothing had ties in the front for easy removal.
The human’s eyes widened when Bat appeared. He had been sitting in his dream, but got to his feet to walk closer to Bat. He was tall, even taller than Idori, and Bat needed to look upwards as the human drew near. His hair was light colored and wavy, and looked like it hadn’t been cut for some months. He was muscular and tanned, and wore nothing but a pair of pants sewn from rough material.
Bat smiled, his own eyes lighting up at the sight of his first human. No horns, no tail, not even the smallest of wings. Such a fragile creature in spite of his size. Bat thought he was beautiful all the same. And judging by the way the human’s eyes roamed over Bat’s body, the human thought that Bat was beautiful as well.
Bat put his arms behind his back and tipped his head slightly to one side. “Do you like what you see?” he asked.
The human’s lips worked soundlessly, giving Bat all the answer he needed. Finally, the human swallowed hard and nodded.
Bat unfastened the ties that held his shirt closed and let it slide down his shoulders. The human’s eyes widened further at the sight of Bat’s bare chest. “Would you like to touch?” Bat asked.
The human reached out a hand and let trembling fingers trail over Bat’s chest. When his thumb met erect nipple, Bat made a soft appreciative noise and stepped closer still, almost brushing against the bulge that was rising in the human’s pants. Energy was starting to crackle around the human.
“Is this real?” the human asked.
Bat put his hands on the human’s waist and asked, “Does this feel real to you?”
The human nodded, eyes wide.
Bat answered, “Then it’s real.” He parted his lips, inviting the human to kiss.
The human didn’t need a second invitation. He gripped Bat’s shoulders, pulling him close as he kissed him roughly. Their kiss deepened, and Bat started to work his hands below, stroking the human’s throbbing erection.
Bat nearly lost himself to the moment of passion. The human was skilled with his tongue, and his fingers danced over Bat’s body. Bat pulled the human’s pants away so he could grip his slippery cock directly, struggling to maintain his focus as the human caressed his nipples and traced delicate fingers down his lower back. But as the human’s energy buzzed and cracked around them, Bat was shaken out of his lust just in time to open his Harvest pouch. When the human reached his climax, the energy sparked outwards in all directions. Bat was forced to break their kiss, and he used both hands to guide the erupting energy down into the waiting pouch at his side.
Bat staggered a little at the extra weight now pulling on one side. The human stared at the glowing pouch briefly before turning his gaze back on Bat’s body. Bat rushed forward and threw his arms around the human and squeezed him tightly.
“Thank you, Human! You won’t forget me, will you?” Bat asked as he pulled away.
The human stammered, “No! No, of course not. Wait, don’t leave yet!”
Bat stopped in front of the shimmer that marked the exit out of the dream bubble and turned around, ready to play with the human a second time. But the weight of his pouch pulled at his side, and even Bat wasn’t rash enough to take chances when the successful conclusion of his final test was waiting just outside. Bat blew the human a kiss, promising, “I’ll see you again, Human!”
Passing through the dream bubble from the bright white dream to the pitch dark forest left Bat completely blind. He put his arms out in front of him, and took two steps forward before he felt Idori’s hand meet his own. He was pulled forward, and then jerked forward again as their consciousnesses sped back toward the spell circle.
When Bat opened his eyes he was back in his own body. The precious pouch of harvested energy hung at his waist. Bat and Idori looked at each other, and then both turned expectantly to Cain.
Cain’s face betrayed no emotion. He simply said, “If you can carry your Harvest to the top of The Wall, you will have passed the test.”
Bat threw his wings out immediately, cradling the pouch as he had clutched his stone Anchor during his ascent from the demon side. Although the pouch was smaller than his stone, the energy weighed him down even more than the physical weight of the Anchor.
Bat was breathless by the time he reached the top of The Wall. Cain had flown ahead, and motioned for Bat to place the pouch on a small spell circle. The pouch flattened immediately when it contacted the spell, and a flash of energy lit the dark night sky as Bat’s Harvest was transported to waiting energy silos on the demon side.
Cain stood close to Bat and looked long into his eyes. Finally he sighed and shook his head. “You are too young to receive status as an Incubus. No matter what our laws say, I believe you are too young. A demon may only harvest what he can carry with his own power. But you are too young to understand your limits.”
Bat clenched his fists and opened his mouth to protest. Before he could decide on which counterargument to start with, Cain used his tail to cover Bat’s mouth.
Cain continued, “You will need to learn your own limits, and quickly. But I am bound to our laws as much as you are.” Cain put a hand on Bat’s head. “Bat, you have come of age and passed the required tests. Beginning tomorrow night, you will have full status as an Incubus.”
Bat nodded once, head lowered modestly. He held this solemn pose until Cain turned and walked several steps away before letting loose a wild whoop and flying high into the air, looping and whirling above The Wall.
Cain did not turn back around.
Bat and Idori sat side by side on the edge of The Wall, dangling their legs over the human lands far below. The rising sun lit the demon lands behind them and warmed their backs and entwined tails. Bat chattered happily, finding new details to describe at every repetition of his encounter in the dream bubble. Idori nodded his head along with Bat’s story, and silently watched the shadow of The Wall retreat across the human side as the sun rose.
“Oh!” Bat exclaimed. “Idori, that human had spots on his shoulders. Is that normal? Do you think he was sick? He didn’t seem sick. Although he was burning hot when he grabbed me!” Bat laughed and pulled his legs up to his chest and hugged his knees. “Idori?” Bat leaned out dangerously over the edge so he could look into Idori’s eyes.
Idori started and gently pushed Bat back so he wasn’t teetering on the edge. “Spots? Mm, humans call those freckles,” Idori finally answered.
Bat kicked his legs out again, repeating the word to himself. Finally Bat asked, “Idori, you became a full Incubus before I could even fly. Don’t you want to do more than Dream Harvesting?”
Idori shook his head. “I like Dream Harvests. Besides, it’s the only consistent way to Harvest.”
“But energy from a direct Harvest is more potent,” Bat countered. “Besides, you taught me everything I know about seducing humans. There’s no human alive that could resist you!”
Idori turned to face Bat, his gaze serious. “Bat, I know you think Cain clings too much to old traditions, but he’s right that humans are dangerous.”
Bat’s laugh died in his throat when he saw Idori’s expression. “Well, sure, they might have some primitive weapons, but the only impressive thing humans have ever made is The Wall. And that was all so they could hide from us. There’s nothing a human could do to hurt us,” Bat said, guiltily shooting a glance over his shoulder to make sure Cain wasn’t preparing to strike him. The last time Bat had said something similar, he’d needed an entire day to heal from Cain’s lashing.
Idori shook his head again. “They can’t hurt you, but they are dangerous. They…” Idori trailed off, gesturing helplessly as he searched for the right words. “They smell good,” he finally finished.
Bat’s jaw dropped open and he burst into laughter. “They smell good? Dangerously good, even?” Bat clutched his stomach as he laughed.
Idori waited patiently until Bat’s laughter faded. When Bat wiped the tears from his eyes, Idori spoke again. “Please Bat, just promise you’ll be careful. I know you’re interested in humans, and direct Harvests would help with the energy shortages, but humans can be addictive. It’s better not to get too close.”
Bat bumped against Idori and settled his head on Idori’s shoulder, and said, “Direct Harvests will be difficult if I can’t get close, don’t you think?”
Idori protested, “That’s not exactly what I mean. Just don’t let your guard down. When you let your mind wander–”
Bat sealed away further protests with a kiss. “I know. I’ll be careful, Idori. I’d miss you too much to stay away for long.”
Idori smiled, although his brow was still wrinkled with worry. “Good. Just don’t get carried away and you’ll be fine,” he answered.
They shared one more kiss in the bright sunlight, then gathered up their stone Anchors for the descent to the demon side.
Bat placed his Anchor down to mark his departure and stood on the edge of The Wall to once more survey the human lands below. Scattered clouds in the west stained the sunset a fiery red, and glittering rays of sunlight pierced through the trees. Bat fluttered his wings and glanced back over his shoulder. To his surprise, both Idori and Cain had paused in the middle of preparing for the evening lecture to watch Bat as he teetered on The Wall’s edge.
Cain’s face was still, giving Bat no hint as to what his teacher was feeling as his only Incubus graduate in the last half decade prepared to depart. Bat waved cheerily, finally winning an exasperated shake of the head from Cain. Idori raised a hand to Bat, either unable or unwilling to hide his worry. Bat winked at Idori and blew him a kiss.
And then Bat turned and jumped. He used his wings to propel himself downwards even faster, savoring the rush of cool evening air past his face. Bat opened his wings wide at the last possible moment to slow his descent, this time bracing his knees so he didn’t fall to the ground. This night he would be experiencing more than the soft grass in the human forest.
Still, the evening air was fresh and the forest hummed with the sound of small creatures awakening for the night, so Bat tucked his wings against his back and walked among the trees. He stopped to watch an owl emerge silently from a hollow in a tree, and he gleefully chased after a startled rabbit that sped through the underbrush.
When the sky started to turn a deep purple, Bat detected a new scent in the air: burning wood. He turned his fingers into sharpened claws and scanned the underbrush, looking for the Fire Snake or Smokewing in the area. When nothing burst out of hiding, Bat straightened out of his crouch and laughed aloud at his error. Such monsters would never be able to cross The Wall from the demon side. He sniffed again, lighting up with a grin. On this side, the only creatures who used fire were humans.
Bat made his wings, tail, and horns invisible and walked faster. Finally the scent of smoke was accompanied by the sound of something striking wood. Bat’s bare feet sank down slightly in freshly upturned soil. The furrows in the ground were too regularly-spaced for claws and the ground was too flat for it to be the underground trap of a giant spider. Regardless, Bat gave the area a wide berth. When he crossed to the other side he noticed a sweet scent mixing with the smoky air.
Trees gave way to a clearing, and in that clearing stood a living, breathing, in-the-flesh human. The human stood in front of a small house and was using a long piece of metal to split wood. His broad shoulders flexed as he brought the metal above his head before bringing it swiftly down with a thunk into the waiting wood. It split in half and the human straightened up, pausing to run a hand across his brow. If Bat would have been able to think clearly, he would have noticed immediately by the straw-colored hair and youthful face that this human was the same being he had visited the previous night in his dream.
But Bat was not able to think clearly. He walked forward in a daze, only stopping when he bumped into a low wooden fence. The human smelled good. Mind-numbingly good. Bat had never smelled anything like this fragrance that exploded out from the human, and he parted his lips slightly as he took in great lungfuls of air.
The human placed another piece of wood into position and resumed chopping. Bat rocked back slightly with each downswing of the ax as the scent flowed out. His heart raced and his mouth watered. Bat looked down, finally seeing the wooden fence that blocked his forward progress. His wings burst out and he jumped lightly up to balance on the fence in preparation to launch himself at his meal.
The human looked up at the sudden motion at the edge of the trees and dropped his ax in shock at the sight of the demon on his fence, wings spread and tail lashing like a cat stalking a mouse.
“It’s you!” the human said in surprise. “You’re… real?” The human stumbled a few steps forward and rubbed his eyes with the heel of his palm.
Bat smiled, delighted that the human had remembered their dream together. His head still swam with the human’s potent smell but memories of the previous night held Bat still a moment longer. Hadn’t Idori spent years teaching him that the art of seduction was best enjoyed leisurely?
Bat touched his bare stomach lightly and winked at the human. “I’m still hungry,” he said simply.
The human threw his arms wide apart, welcoming Bat.
Bat’s self control shattered. He launched himself forward and wrapped his arms around the human, who embraced him back with equal ferocity. The human kissed him deeply and Bat shuddered as their shared lust filled him with energy. The human’s sweet taste was like an appetizer before a feast, and Bat was no longer in any mood to wait. When the human caressed Bat’s bottom, Bat broke their kiss and bit down on the human’s neck hard, but stopped short of drawing blood. The human moaned, his eyes sparking with lust.
“The next time we’ll go slowly,” Bat promised.
The human nodded mutely.
Bat knelt before the human and ripped his pants off roughly with a single sharpened claw. The human’s erection throbbed, already dripping with precome. Bat leaned forward to catch a shining precious drop on his tongue before it fell to the ground.
Energy crackled around Bat in purple flashes as he moved his mouth wetly up and down the human’s length. Bat managed enough concentration to shrink his fangs so he could take the human deep to the back of his throat.
The human climaxed and Bat’s eyes went wide in pleasure. The flavor filled his mouth, the most exquisite meal he’d ever consumed. The Harvest pouch at Bat’s waist bulged full with energy and dropped heavily to the ground beside him. Bat tied the heavy pouch shut and then rolled it away carelessly as the human wobbled and fell to his knees in front of him.
Bat stood so the human had to raise his eyes to meet his gaze. He used his tail to caress the human’s cheek and asked, “What’s your name, Human?”
“Roland,” the human answered. “But my friends just call me Ro.” He glanced down briefly below Bat’s waist and then looked upwards again, silent question in his eyes.
Bat removed the upper half of his clothing and casually threw it aside. He reeled back slightly at the surge of lust that poured off Ro like smoke from a cookfire. Ro himself reached up with trembling fingers and slid down the lower half of Bat’s clothing. Bat felt his thoughts slow and his head grow foggy with Ro’s surge of lust.
Bat roughly pushed Ro down to the soft earth and crawled on top of him, all of Idori’s lessons on seduction forgotten. “Ro, fill me up more. Please, fill me–!”
Ro bucked his hips to nudge Bat closer so their lips could meet once more, silencing his pleas with a kiss. Bat’s eyes fluttered as energy crackled around them. His last thought before he lost himself to his pleasure and passion was to recall Idori’s words from the previous day: Humans smell good.
The half-full moon was beginning to rise over the treetops before human and demon both lay on their backs, gasping for breath and shining with sweat. Ro had managed to feed Bat twice more before needing to plead for a break. Bat clutched his belly, enjoying the heavy weight of so much magical energy that now coursed through his body.
“This isn’t another dream, is it?” Ro asked hesitantly from Bat’s right.
Bat swatted his tail across Ro’s face. “I may not look it, but I’m a full Incubus, you know. Why would I Dream Harvest when I could taste the real thing?” Bat noted Ro’s blank look and shook his head. “Never mind.” Bat sat up and straddled his human once more. “Ro, I’m still hungry. Feed me again?”
Ro’s eyes widened. “Wait, wait, you’ll suck me dry. Uh, Mr. Demon?”
Bat wiggled atop Ro, trying his best to look hungry. “I’m Bat. Just one more, you can do that, right? I came all this way.”
Ro sat up, hugging Bat close in his lap. “What if I took you to meet a few of my friends?”
“Will they feed me too?” Bat asked, snuggling close against Ro. He was starting to feel sleepy and the human’s heartbeat was soothing.
“As much as you want,” Ro confirmed. He stood up, easily scooping Bat up and holding him with one arm. He noticed the glowing Harvest pouch that Bat had rolled to the side and stooped to pick it up with his free hand.
Bat’s eyes fluttered open at the glow. “Ro, how are you doing that?”
Ro looked around in confusion. “Doing what?” He held the heavy sack as if it were full of air, the mouth casually pinched between two fingers.
Bat slipped out of Ro’s arms and held out a hand for the sack. When Ro let go, Bat’s arm was jerked rudely towards the ground. Bat quickly used his other arm to support the bottom of the Harvest pouch. He set it gingerly on the ground, then said, “Ro, pick this up again?”
Ro scooped it up with one hand and brought it to his eyes, admiring the glow inside. “Bat, what is this?”
Bat’s stomach growled, reminding him of more pressing concerns. Night had fallen, and Bat was expected to return by sunrise. “Never mind that, leave it by your pile of wood there. Ro, you said I could meet other humans?” Bat pleaded.
Ro obediently placed the pouch on the ground and then bent down, inviting Bat to climb on to his back. “Can you, um, disguise yourself? It’s just that demons are rare, you might startle people a little…” Ro trailed off as Bat hid his wings and tail in an instant and summoned his clothes into his waiting hand. He shrugged his clothes on quickly and climbed onto Ro’s back obediently.
“Ro, I’m hungry…” Bat murmured.
The human tucked his arms behind his back to support Bat’s weight and returned to his dark cabin to replace his shredded pants with a new pair. Clothed once more, Ro started off into the woods in a slow jog. The warmth of his back and the rhythmic bobbing lulled Bat, and he didn’t bother opening his eyes even when he heard the low sounds of Ro speaking with other humans.
Finally Bat was gently slid off of Ro’s back and placed onto a wooden floor. Bat opened his eyes to find himself in a small room lit by a fire in one corner. Ro cupped his face and kissed him gently when he saw Bat was awake. Bat came fully awake when he realized there were more strange scents in the air. Strange, appetizing scents.
There were three other humans in the room, all young like Ro and staring at Bat in confusion.
“Rol, you wanted us to see…a person? In some sort of costume?” the human closest to Bat asked uncertainly. He leaned forward and poked one of Bat’s horns.
Bat shivered at the touch, now very awake and ready to feed. He smiled sweetly and made his dark wings and lashing tail suddenly visible. The three humans recoiled in surprise.
“A demon?” the second human gasped.
“Incubus,” Bat corrected. “A hungry Incubus.” His declaration was met with stunned silence. Bat didn’t move, afraid he would spook the humans away. Afraid that if they ran, he would be unable to let them flee.
Ro broke the stalemate by walking forward and leaning down to kiss Bat, who responded eagerly. Then he ducked under one of Bat’s spread wings and stood behind him. When he reached over Bat’s shoulders and clumsily undid the fastenings to Bat’s front covering, the warm air in the room grew heavy with lust.
Bat arched his back as Ro ran rough fingers over his nipples. The humans in front of him were starting to look at him hungrily.
Ro coaxed, “It’s okay. Bat came for a meal. Right, Bat?”
Bat turned his face upwards, begging Ro for another kiss. Ro obliged, making Bat shiver down to the tips of his toes. Soon Bat could feel more rough fingers caressing his chest, his belly, his hips, and down to his twitching cock. For the second time that night, Bat gave himself over to his raging desires and insatiable hunger that blotted out all other thoughts.
When the roar of Bat’s raging lust finally quieted, he became aware of gentle swaying and the intoxicating smell of Ro surrounding him. His head was resting against Ro’s muscular shoulder, and he was being carried as one might carry a nestling still too young to walk. Bat flexed his tail, making Ro glance down.
“Bat, forgive me. We’re almost back to my house. The sun will rise in another hour, and I wasn’t sure if…” he trailed off.
Bat blinked in confusion, wishing he could tuck his head back into Ro’s shoulder and breathe in his scent for a while longer.
Ro continued, “Well, some of our legends say that demons turn to stone in the sunlight, so I thought I should bring you back. You know, in case you might get hurt in the sun?”
Bat burst out laughing and kicked his legs back and forth in glee, making Ro wobble. “Turn to stone? What do you take me for, a common forest troll?”
Ro looked embarrassed, and said, “Oh, right. Sorry. Do you want to go back? I think you might have sucked us all dry for the night though.”
“Yes,” Bat answered. “But I do need to leave by morning.” The sky above the trees in the east was beginning to lighten, and Bat knew Idori would be anxiously waiting for his return. “Carry me back to my Harvest pouch, okay, Ro?” Bat asked.
Ro squeezed him a little tighter and kept walking forward. When his house came into view, Ro asked, “Will I see you again?”
Bat slipped out of his arms, feeling slow and heavy after feeding all night. “Will you feed me again?”
“Of course!” Ro answered immediately.
“Then I’ll be back soon,” Bat promised, turning his face upwards to beg for a parting kiss.
Finally Bat clutched his harvest pouch in both arms, struggling more with the heavy weight than Ro had struggled carrying Bat back through the woods. He extended his right wing in a wave to Ro, who watched him from his doorstep, before disappearing into the trees. This time Bat didn’t wander, but set a straight course for the dark Wall ahead. He didn’t dare use his wings to speed his progress, already dreading the effort it would take to fly to the top of The Wall with his heavy cargo.
Birdsong was starting to sound from the tallest branches of the trees when Bat finally made it back to the thick stand of brush that hid the Dream Harvest site. Bat flapped his wings several times before getting enough lift to rise over the thorny bushes to land on the stone circle beyond.
His heavy landing startled Idori and Cain, who had both evidently been waiting for his return. They jumped back towards The Wall in alarm and Bat, surprised to see them down on the human side, jumped backwards in the opposite direction so quickly he almost landed in the thorns. For a moment all three demons stared at each other, frozen.
Idori broke the silence, crying, “Bat! Thank goodness you’re okay. I was worried sick!”
“Idori! I have so much to tell you.” Bat started forward eagerly. When he got closer, both Idori and Cain recoiled. Cain actually placed an arm across his nose, eyes bulging. Idori’s mouth dropped open and his eyes flashed.
“Bat,” Idori said quietly, “did you perform a direct Harvest already?”
Bat nodded eagerly. “Yes! Idori, you won’t believe it, the energy these humans have!” he exclaimed. Bat stopped, noticing Idori’s hesitation. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s nothing. It’s just, Bat, you smell like a human,” Idori explained.
Bat hugged his heavy Harvest pouch close to his body, nodding. “Idori, you were right, humans do smell good.”
“And how,” Cain interrupted coldly, “do you expect to carry your Harvest to the top of The Wall?”
Bat flinched at his tone, expecting to be struck. When Cain’s tail didn’t flash out, Bat opened his eyes. Cain stood rigid with his back to the wall, eyes flashing red with anger. The three demons all looked at the heavy pouch clutched in Bat’s arms.
Idori started, “Cain, Bat’s wings are strong, he can carry–”
“Silence,” Cain hissed. He turned his attention to Bat once more. “What did I tell you?” he asked. “You are too young to be trusted to conduct yourself with the dignity befitting a demon. Only harvest what you can carry. A demon must climb The Wall unaided. How many years have I drilled these lessons into your head? And yet your first night unsupervised, you degrade yourself to the level of a common human?” Cain’s tail was lashing furiously by the time he slowed enough to take a breath, although he continued to keep his distance from Bat.
Idori looked back and forth between the two demons, at a loss. He finally turned his gaze on Bat, asking, “Bat, what happened last night?”
Bat smiled sheepishly, avoiding Cain’s eyes. His arms were starting to ache with the weight of the Harvest pouch he still clutched tightly. “Well, I wouldn’t say I degraded myself, but I might have overeaten a little.”
Idori approached Bat hesitantly. “Exactly how much did you overeat? You can carry this Harvest, I know you can.”
“Bat,” Cain commanded, “Set your Harvest pouch down.”
Bat held his pouch tightly, desperately thinking of an excuse to refuse. But his arms were aching and Idori was looking at Bat expectantly, so Bat heaved a sigh and set it gently at his feet.
Idori gasped, “Bat!” Bat’s swollen belly was illuminated clearly in the glow of the Harvest pouch in front of him. “You promised you wouldn’t get carried away!” Idori scolded, poking Bat’s belly at every word.
Bat laughed, trying feebly to push Idori’s hand away. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. But there was a whole group of humans, I couldn’t turn them down,” he explained. “Listen, if you carry the Harvest pouch, I think I can make it up–”
“No,” Cain hissed. “The rules are absolute. You must carry what you harvest. And if you have so little pride as a demon that you lose yourself to such lowly desires, then you will remain here on this side with the other animals.”
Bat paused, surprised. “Cain, my pouch is full of pure energy. Energy we desperately need. I’ll stay here if I have to, but at least take the Harvest pouch with you.”
Cain lunged forward and struck the top of the pouch with his tail, breaking the fastening. The contained energy burst out immediately and disappeared like smoke. “You must carry what you harvest,” Cain repeated. “And you will stay on this side until you learn to control yourself with the dignity befitting a demon.” Cain spread his wings wide and launched himself into the air, not looking back down.
“Can you believe him?” Bat cried indignantly, watching Cain shrink in the distance. “That pouch was full of energy, how can he just waste it like that?” Bat opened his mouth to say more, but stopped when he saw the solemn look on Idori’s face. “Idori? Hey, there’s no need to worry, I just need to work off a little of this magic first,” Bat reassured. He raised a hand, already crackling with energy, meaning to vent his built-up magic.
“No!” Idori warned, grabbing his hand and covering it with both of his own. “It’s too dangerous to release it all like that. Even you could get hurt by that much magic, Bat.”
Bat sighed, reluctant to admit Idori was right. He settled for pointing a finger at the ground and growing a small blue flower, which he plucked and tucked behind Idori’s ear. “Then I’ll use it slowly. It won’t take more than a day. I’ll be back tomorrow night, okay Idori?”
Idori shook his head. “I was afraid this might happen. Bat, this time you need to keep your promise. What will I do if you don’t come back?”
Idori’s serious tone stopped the lighthearted reassurances that were bubbling on the tip of Bat’s tongue. Instead he stepped forward and stood on his toes to kiss Idori gently. “I’ll be back. I promise,” Bat said simply.
Idori nodded, then moved back quickly. “Sorry, I need to go. The human smell is making me…” He trailed off, his fangs suddenly lengthening and eyes flashing hungrily. He stepped back several more paces before concern filled his face once more. “I’ll see you tomorrow?” Idori asked.
Bat nodded. “Tomorrow!”
He waited until Idori had scaled The Wall and disappeared over the top before slowly walking back towards the human houses. The horizon was glowing pale yellow by the time he found Ro’s small home once more. The door was unlocked, and Bat entered a simple one-room wooden house that smelled of fireplace ashes and Ro’s own scent. Ro himself was under a pile of blankets on a raised bed on the far side of the room. Bat smiled at the sight of the human, who had been so aggressive in his lovemaking, now curled up so innocently.
Ro’s eyes opened when Bat crawled under the pile of blankets and snuggled against his bare body. “Bat?” he asked sleepily.
Bat manifested his tail and struck Ro gently in the face. “Mm. It’s me,” he confirmed.
Ro wrapped his arms around Bat. “I’m glad you’re back. You alright?”
“I’m full,” answered Bat, rubbing his face against Ro’s arm and taking in big lungfuls of his scent. Ro started to rub Bat’s belly lightly, and Bat almost choked up at the human’s unexpected tenderness. Soon Bat slept, lulled to sleep by Ro’s gentle touch.
Hours later, Bat was awoken by a shout. The shout was quickly followed by hands pushing him out of the bed and onto the hard wooden floor. He lay flat on his back, stunned, feeling too heavy to move.
Ro’s head peeked over the edge of the bed. “Bat?” he asked groggily.
Bat sat up, rubbing the back of his head. In truth he felt a little hurt at Ro’s sudden switch from the tenderness with which he’d welcomed Bat earlier in the morning. “Is that any way to treat an Incubus, human?” Bat complained.
Ro tumbled out of bed and wrapped Bat into a tight hug. “I’m sorry, Bat! You came back earlier, right? I thought I dreamed that part. Or, maybe that I dreamed the entire night?” Ro scooped Bat up easily and sat back in the bed, settling Bat into his lap.
Bat’s indignant responses died on his lips and his head started to swim with Ro’s intoxicating scent. Bat turned slightly and lifted his chin upwards, seeking Ro’s lips.
Ro kissed him gently at first, then more roughly when Bat parted his lips to meet Ro’s tongue with his own. Ro’s hand slipped into Bat’s lap and began to stroke. When his fingers teased lightly at the tip of Bat’s erection, Bat made soft noises and squirmed, feeling Ro harden beneath him.
Suddenly Bat broke their kiss, pushing slightly away from Ro. “Wait, wait! Wait, I wasn’t supposed to…” He saw Ro’s look of confusion and sighed. “Never mind that. I need to use some magic today. Do you have anything that needs fixing? Or growing? I’m good at making things grow.” Bat wiggled in Ro’s lap again, feeling slightly more in control of his urges.
“Well, I was going to repair the outer fence today,” Ro answered. “And the roof leaks? But should an Incubus really be doing chores? I mean, can’t you do whatever you want?”
Bat beamed, pleased to be addressed as a full Incubus. “That’s right, I can do whatever I want! And right now I want to use magic to fix your fence!”
As the sun rose high in the sky, Bat and Ro spent the morning finding ways for Bat to use his excess magic. They started by replacing rotted portions of a wooden fence with fresh slats that Bat manifested. Then Ro tossed Bat onto the roof of his house, and Bat sent magic into the beams to strengthen the structure and seal spots prone to water leakage. Bat discovered Ro’s garden next, and he poured magic into the fertile soil until the air filled with the scent of ripe fruit. He even used his magic to sharpen Ro’s ax and clean soot from the fireplace.
By the afternoon Bat hopped experimentally, not feeling any of the heaviness that had plagued him after his Harvest pouch had grown full the night before. His wings easily lifted him from the ground, and he flew in loops above Ro’s house with his customary ease. He waved at Ro, who was watching him with shaded eyes, then dove down into his arms.
Ro stumbled backwards under Bat’s weight. “Did you get heavier?” Ro asked.
“Lighter,” Bat corrected. He slipped out of Ro’s arms and bounced lightly on the ground to demonstrate.
“Does this mean you’ll leave again? Ro asked.
Bat buried his face into Ro’s broad chest. “Yes. But I don’t have to leave right away. Do you need anything else that needs fixing?”
Ro thought for a moment, and said, “I could go break something?”
Bat’s heart was starting to beat faster. He could feel a rush of lust buzzing in his head, threatening to erase his reason and shatter his restraint. “Break something big. And make sure you can fill me up enough so I can fix it later.”
When Bat shook himself free of the raging, roaring wave of lust that had overtaken him, he realized he had a dick in his mouth. It spasmed, releasing a flood of sweet-tasting come and making the air crackle with magic that had no place to go because Bat was full. Full, and yet still riding waves of pleasure. He moaned, realizing he was full in more ways than one. He was once more in Ro’s lap, and he was rocking with the motion of Ro’s hips as he thrust himself into Bat.
The human who had just served Bat wobbled and fell to the floor, exhausted. Bat pulled his head closer with his tail and kissed him fiercely as Ro increased his rhythm from behind. Suddenly Ro cried out, reaching his orgasm and filling Bat with such a powerful burst of energy that Bat’s vision dimmed.
The room grew quiet, save for harsh panting and the occasional thump of Bat’s tail as it flicked against the wood floor. Bat’s racing heart slowed, and with it came a rush of guilt. His belly was swollen, and even the effort to lift himself off the floor seemed monumental. Luckily Ro was once more able to pick Bat up effortlessly, and he carried Bat out cradled in one arm, as they returned back to Ro’s house in the dead of night.
Bat sat quietly on the bed, letting Ro clean him with a soft towel. Ro, either sensing Bat’s mood or lost in his own thoughts, didn’t speak until Bat was cleaned up and tucked into Ro’s blankets.
“Bat?” Ro asked. “Are you leaving tonight?”
Bat shook his head.
“Oh,” Ro said simply, trying with limited success to hide the pleasure on his face. “Will you sleep here tonight?”
Bat nodded. Only when Ro had climbed into the bed beside him did Bat say quietly, “I made a promise to Idori I’d be back tonight. But I’m too full. It just… tasted so good. Felt so good.”
“Don’t worry,” Ro encouraged. “Tomorrow we’ll make sure you use all the magic you need. Okay?”
Bat nodded, starting to feel a little better. His belly was full, magic coursed through his body, and Ro was warm against his back. “Right,” he answered. “Try not to feed me so much, okay Ro?”
“Okay,” Ro answered sleepily. He yawned and pulled Bat close while he stroked his belly. “But I think you’re happier when you’re full.”
The next morning Bat awoke in a cheerful mood, ready to use his excess magic and prove he could fly back over The Wall with his own two wings. Ro escorted him to different houses full of sweet-smelling humans in need of his magical assistance. Word of a wandering Incubus had apparently traveled ahead of Bat, and he was met with curiosity and admiration, but never fear. In truth, fear would have been preferable, because as morning turned to afternoon, Bat couldn’t resist tasting the docile humans. Tasting led to full meals, and by nightfall Bat was once more riding waves of pleasure and glorying in the crackling magic that surrounded their lovemaking.
One day turned into two, a second day turned into four, and suddenly Bat hadn’t climbed The Wall or seen Idori’s face for two weeks. His guilt and loneliness felt as heavy as the magic that weighed him down and trapped him on the human side. Yet still the smell, the taste, the feel of the humans called to him, demanding he follow his instincts and eat up every last offering the humans could provide.
And so Bat sat on Ro’s newly mended fence, watching the last rays of the setting sun light the top of The Wall, torn between the exhilaration of his newfound powers and the sinking realization that he might have traded ever getting to see Idori again in order to obtain them.
Ro approached hesitantly from behind, noting Bat’s drooping wings and listless tail. “Bat?” he asked finally. “Should we go spend some more magic? There’s still time tonight to visit a few more places.”
Bat didn’t turn around. “What’s the point?” he asked, feeling sorry for himself. “I’m too heavy to fly The Wall tonight, and you humans smell even better at night. I’ll only eat more than I can spend again.”
Ro lifted Bat under his arms, easily picking him up despite the weight of the magic that strained Bat’s wings just as he had easily lifted the Harvest pouch the first night. The human didn’t seem to be affected by the pull of magic. “C’mon,” Ro encouraged, shifting Bat so he was cradled in his arms like a baby. “My great-uncle lives nearby. I’m sure he could use a hand with something.”
Bat bit Ro’s chest moodily, not bothering to retract his fangs. Ro only laughed, ignoring Bat’s unspoken complaint.
Bat was starting to nod off with the rhythm of Ro’s footsteps when they arrived at another small house tucked up against a stand of tall, old trees. Ro set Bat down and then walked up to the doorstep, calling out, “Uncle! Are you still up?” He listened, appearing to hear a sound from inside, and waved Bat over.
Finally the door opened, and the oldest human that Bat had ever seen stepped out to embrace Ro, pounding his back with enthusiasm. “Roland! It’s been too long. What’s been keeping you away from your old uncle, eh?”
“Sorry Uncle,” Ro said. He stepped a little to the side, gesturing to Bat. “I’ve been a little busy with a guest.”
Uncle’s eyes widened. “A demon!” And seeing Bat opening his mouth, he corrected, “No, an Incubus, then, to be on our side of the world with the sun still up.” He squinted at Bat. “Aren’t you a bit young for an Incubus, little one?”
Bat stuck his tongue out, pleased that the human had named him correctly despite his last question. “I’m old enough!” He walked in front of Ro, looking up at Uncle.
Uncle smiled. “It’s been so long since I’ve seen one of your kind.” To Bat’s surprise, he extended a hand, palm down, mimicking a perfectly polite demon greeting normally performed with a tail. Bat extended his own tail on reflex.
Letting Uncle hold his tail after the greeting ended, Bat asked, “How do you know me?” True, he had been surprised that he wasn’t greeted with fear, but Uncle’s reception was clearly different from the pleased confusion he had received from the other humans.
“When I was Ro’s age, I spent some time with an Incubus. Well, truth be told,” Uncle explained, “I spent time with quite a few Incubi. That was back when the wall was only as high as your head, not the giant eyesore it became.” Uncle’s gaze grew unfocused, apparently lost in a memory. “Well!” he continued after several moments, “you’re here now and I’m glad to see you. Ro’s keeping you fed well, from the look?”
Ro scooped Bat up affectionately and asked, “Uncle, you got to see real Incubi? Why didn’t you ever tell me?”
Uncle smiled sadly. “Well, after they built the wall so high, the hungry Incubi either left the area or stopped coming over the wall. I thought I’d never get to see one again.” He smiled at Bat.
“You humans really didn’t need to build The Wall that high, you know,” Bat scolded. “We wouldn’t really hurt humans.”
“You bite me,” Ro laughed, prompting Bat to turn and nibble at his neck.
“Humans?” asked Uncle. “No, it wasn’t humans who extended the wall. It was demons.”
Bat froze against Ro’s neck. Ro felt him stiffen and paused too. Bat turned around slowly and said, “No, that…that can’t be right. Humans built The Wall. Because they feared us.”
Uncle nodded. “True enough, the original wall was man-made, but that puny thing was only head-high, as I said. It was the demons who built it tall. Nothing but magic could keep such a tall wall standing, that’s for sure.”
Bat felt a cold stab in his chest. The human couldn’t be right, of course, and yet…The Wall was impossibly tall. Impossibly tall, unless it had been reinforced with magic. He shook his head, negating Uncle’s words, while the question tumbled out of his mouth anyway. “Why would demons build The Wall?”
“You know, I asked that very thing, all those years ago. Seemed like the Incubi were having such a good time, and all. Cain just said he couldn’t stand the urges anymore. Said it was beneath him, as a demon. Silly, don’t you think? What could be more natural than feeling good?”
Bat’s eyes flashed red so brightly that both Ro and Uncle looked up. “Cain?” Bat asked. “Cain built The Wall?”
“Oh, what’s that now? Do you know Cain, little Incubus?” Uncle asked.
Bat let his breath out in a rush, feeling like he had been struck. He ran a few steps away from Ro and then threw his wings out as wide as they would go. He lifted off, managing to rise to head-height as he flew back towards The Wall.
He made it all the way back to the base of The Wall, near the briar patch that hid the Dream Harvest circle. He craned his head up, blinking back tears at the impossible height above him. Idori might have been working far above, assisting Cain or teaching Little Demons to fly, yet he would always be out of reach unless Bat was willing to give up his closeness with humans. It should have been an easy decision, but still Bat hesitated. Even when the excess magic weighed him down, he had never felt so free than the last two weeks of living with and Harvesting from humans. He sat down heavily, feeling defeated.
Bat didn’t get up even when Ro burst out of the trees, panting. “Bat! There you are. Are you alright?” Ro asked.
Bat sat in silence for a moment, considering his words. Finally he shook his head and said, “I hate these rules. Cain told us our whole lives that the rules existed to protect the dignity of demonkind. ‘Only Harvest what you can carry.’ Over and over. But why? If Cain built The Wall, then it was just so he could hide away from his own desires. And now I’m stuck here just because one demon decided that desires are something to be feared rather than celebrated!” Bat fell backwards onto the cold ground and put an arm over his eyes, trying to hide his tears.
Ro settled into the grass beside Bat and put a hand on his arm. “You could stay here, you know. I’d– well, I’d like it if you did. I like you, Bat.”
Bat stifled a sob, keeping his arm over his eyes. “I like you too, Ro.”
“But you miss your friend?” Ro asked.
Ro took a long breath, squeezed Bat’s arm, and then stood. He walked away from The Wall and stopped where the line of trees started. “Bat!” he called. “I need some magic.”
The sudden request shocked Bat enough that he sat up, looking backwards. “Now? What happened?”
Ro didn’t answer, just motioned him over. Bat reluctantly got to his feet and walked to where Ro stood in front of a large tree.
“Can you make this tree into boards?” He held his hand up to demonstrate. “About this long?”
Bat shrugged and placed a hand on the tree. It disappeared with a pop and a pile of fresh lumber appeared in front of Ro.
Ro plucked a few boards from the top of the pile and arranged them in a square on the ground. “Now I need some magic to make a platform with the wood you just made. See? This wide, no taller than my waist. Understand?”
Bat did not understand, but he obligingly put a hand on the wood. The pieces flew into the air, narrowly missing Ro’s head, and snapped together with a loud clatter. The sound echoed against The Wall, loud in the otherwise still night. Ro walked around the box, nodding his head.
“Perfect! Now build me another platform, right against the first. And twice as tall. Got it?”
Bat flicked his tail in exasperation. “Ro, you’re not making any sense.”
“Stairs,” Ro breathed, his eyes shining. “We’re building you a staircase.”
Bat looked at the wooden step, then looked to The Wall. Realization dawned at last. “Stairs? You mean, all the way to The Wall? But that’s…I mean, I can’t just…” Bat trailed off, a smile blooming on his face. “Stairs?” he asked again, this time looking at Ro with excitement.
“Stairs,” said Ro.
Their staircase was halfway to The Wall when Bat ran out of magic. Just as raising The Wall to its impossible height had undoubtedly taken large amounts of magic, Bat discovered that keeping the staircase steady drained his magic many times faster than he had predicted. When he next placed his hand on the tree stump to regrow it once more, the stump remained still, not even a twig emerging.
Bat fluttered his wings experimentally and gasped as he launched into the air immediately. Ro cheered from the ground.
“Bat, you did it!”
Bat looked down at the cheering human, then looked upwards to the top of The Wall. Finally, his gaze fell on their unfinished staircase. He smiled and flew back down to Ro.
“Ro, I need more magic.” Bat said, putting his arms around Ro’s waist.
“More magic?” Ro asked. “But you can just fly to the top. Can’t you?”
Bat nodded. “I can. But that’s not how I’m going to get up there. I’m going with full magic reserves. We’re going to finish our staircase.” He stood on his toes and kissed Ro. Kissed him deeply, glorying in Ro’s smell, his taste, his feel. Ro clutched him eagerly and slid one hand beneath Bat’s clothes to squeeze his bare bottom.
The night once more filled with the clatter and pop of a tree being regrown, rendered into lumber, then assembled into a staircase that climbed high into the sky. Ro thrust himself into Bat eagerly, and Bat gripped Ro’s shoulders and rocked his hips. Magic sizzled through the air all around them, lighting their lovemaking and seeping into the newly built staircase.
An echoing boom announced the staircase making contact with the wall at last. And still Bat wasn’t done – he squeezed himself tightly around Ro’s dick until the human came inside him once more, crying out until Bat sealed his lips was a kiss.
“Thank you,” Bat said quietly.
Ro answered with one final kiss, then turned around and crouched so Bat could wrap his arms around his neck and ride piggyback. He climbed the staircase carefully, keeping his eyes focused on the top of The Wall high above. Bat kept his wings tucked in tightly so as not to catch a breeze and drag them off course. He was so deliciously heavy with magic that his wings would be almost useless if they were to fall.
The staircase met the side of The Wall about ten tail-lengths from the top. Bat looked up, dismayed. With all the magical energy coursing through his body after Ro’s attentions, they might as well have been standing at the very bottom. He was too heavy to fly even half the remaining distance.
Ro grabbed Bat under his arms. “On three, I throw you. Make sure you make it to the top, okay? Show them all what you can do!”
Bat laughed wildly. “Throw me, Ro!”
Ro counted and heaved with all his strength. Bat tucked his wings as he sped through the air and the top of The Wall grew closer and closer. He spread his wings at the end, flapping hard. His fingers grazed the top, and he flapped once more, rising up and over at last.
He landed heavily and was pushed to the ground by a weeping Idori, who hugged him fiercely. “Bat, you came back! You came back.”
Bat hugged Idori tightly, unable to speak. They sat together for several minutes, both unwilling to break their embrace.
In the end, they were pulled apart by Cain. His eyes flashed dangerously. “Bat, you were instructed not to come back unless you could return under your own power. Yet here you are, reeking of human and ready to burst with overharvesting.” He hissed the last few words.
Bat got to his feet, kissing Idori lightly as he rose. He placed a palm over an energy drain and released the magic that Ro had just given him. It was sucked away with a bright flash.
Idori broke the silence. “Cain, Bat really did fly back on his own, I didn’t help him.”
Cain walked to the human side of the wall and looked down. A crowd of humans was beginning to form below, awakened by the sound of the staircase being built. They cheered as Ro climbed down off the bottom stair to stand on solid ground once more. “He was aided by that filthy human, and he’s compromised The Wall,” said Cain. “Bat, you will be punished for this.”
“He’s not filthy!” Bat protested.
“What did you say to me?” Cain asked, voice going dangerously quiet.
“Ro isn’t filthy. And he’s not scared of us, either. None of the humans were! Cain, it’s you who’s afraid of them,” said Bat.
Cain spread his wings, flapping them and buffeting Bat and Idori with a blast of air. “So it’s the human who has caused this problem,” said Cain. He sharpened a hand into claws and hopped to the edge of the wall. “Then I have no other choice than to put him down.”
“No!” Bat shouted, reaching out to grab Cain’s tail. But Cain was already out of reach, plummeting down to the human side below. “Ro, run!” Bat called out, knowing Ro wouldn’t be able to hear him. Would never be able to escape.
Bat leapt over the side, urging his wings to carry him faster. Cain was already on the human side, surrounded by an unwise group of humans who hadn’t fled and straddling a fallen figure that had been too slow to run. Cain raised a claw, preparing to strike.
“No!” cried Bat. He landed beside the pair, reaching out to grab for Cain. He stopped himself just before his fingers brushed Cain’s arm. Idori, unable to slow himself so suddenly, bumped into Bat’s back.
“Bat?” Idori asked.
Bat put a finger to his lips, then cocked his head towards Cain.
Cain glared at Ro, who wisely didn’t struggle or protest and simply stared back with wide eyes. The demon was sitting on Ro’s middle and breathing in great, gasping breaths. His raised claw remained frozen in place, twitching slightly in time with the rise and fall of his chest as he scented the air. He didn’t react when Bat and Idori walked into his line of sight.
Bat felt a grin spread across his face, despite Cain’s extended claws and hateful glare. There was something else in Cain’s eyes, flickering behind the hate, and Bat knew just how to handle that particular emotion. He waved cheerily to the gathered humans, who relaxed their postures at the appearance of their familiar Incubus. Bat gently flicked his tail into Ro’s face, then crouched down on the ground so his face was inches away from the trapped human’s.
“Ro, kiss me?” Bat begged, gently guiding Ro’s chin upwards so their eyes met.
Ro’s lips parted and Bat lunged forward, kissing him roughly. Their tongues met, filling Bat with the human’s sweet taste and even sweeter scent. He put his tail across Ro’s chest possessively, making the human shudder as stroking tail moved across hardening nipples. Ro’s lust surged, crashing against Cain and Idori and making them both sway. Cain’s raised claw wavered and drifted slowly down below his shoulders and then lower still, until it rested on the ground.
Bat kissed Ro until his lips were bright red and they were both breathing hard. Finally Bat broke their kiss and brought his lips up against Ro’s ear. “Now, make Cain feel good. Okay, Ro?” Bat whispered.
Ro wiggled from side to side until he freed his trapped arms from the grip of Cain’s legs. He laid a gentle hand on each of Cain’s thighs, moving his fingers upwards to trace around his hips and over his belly.
Cain’s eyes bulged but he didn’t raise a claw to strike. His body swayed slightly in time with Ro’s exhalations, and from behind Idori did the same. Cain’s erection twitched as if begging for attention as Ro’s fingers moved teasingly above and below.
Ro had grown skilled at removing Bat’s clothing, and he didn’t hesitate to pull open Cain’s stretched-tight shorts. Cain’s cock sprang out, visibly throbbing, and they watched as a shining drop of precome welled up and dribbled onto Ro’s belly. Cain made a sound in the back of his throat, half growl and half moan.
“It’s alright, Scary Demon, it’s alright,” Ro soothed. “Let me take care of you.” He stroked up and down Cain’s shaft, making the demon’s hips rock with the rhythm of his hand. Ro paused to tease at Cain’s tip and cup his tightened balls. Cain and Idori shivered as a fresh wave of lust washed over them.
Bat looked up in confusion, wondering if the human had finally reached his lovemaking limits. Compared to their previous days and nights together, Ro’s urges felt muted. Bat nibbled on Ro’s earlobe to encourage him, eliciting a shiver from the human that made the two enthralled demons twitch. Bat ducked under one of Cain’s outspread wings and settled himself between Ro’s legs.
When Bat greedily pulled down Ro’s pants and ran his tongue over Ro’s dick, the air began to crackle with magical energy. Cain moaned again, this time without any trace of growl in his voice. Bat took Ro deep into his throat, his head spinning with pleasure and the intoxicating taste. He worked his tongue and moved his mouth up and down as he sensed Ro’s climax growing near.
Idori kicked Bat, shaking him out of his mind-numbing urge to feed, feed, feed. Ro’s dick slid out of Bat’s mouth with a wet sound. Bat shrugged sheepishly at Idori, who was swaying on his feet. The younger demons stood behind Cain and each lifted under one of his arms. Cain had barely risen off of the human before he brought himself down again, shifting himself backwards so Ro’s dick could slide inside him.
Ro clutched Cain’s waist with one hand, rocking his hips and he thrust inside the demon. His other hand continued to lavish attention on Cain’s front, now soaked with precome and shivering desperately. Idori sunk to his knees, eyelids fluttering as magic crackled all around them, while Bat managed to lurch against Cain’s back and reach around front to pinch his nipples tightly.
Cain cried out desperately and shoved himself down hard on Ro so that when the human came, he filled the demon as deeply as he could go. Cain shuddered and climaxed as he was filled with Ro’s offering, splattering come all the way up into Ro’s hair.
For a moment all was still, the night air quiet except for the sounds of panting and the excited whispering of the human onlookers. Cain pulled himself off of Ro and fell on his side, hugging his arms around himself. Ro propped himself up on his elbows and crawled to Bat, glancing warily towards Cain despite his defenseless posture.
“More…” Cain whispered. “I still need more.” His voice was hoarse, and had a pleading note that Bat had never heard before.
Bat held Ro’s cheeks between his hands and planted noisy kisses on his brow, his nose, his lips. “Ro, you did it! Don’t worry, I won’t feed you to Cain. The only one who can drain you completely dry is me,” Bat reassured. He looked up to beckon over several humans from the crowd when a soft noise from behind made him turn his head.
Idori was still on his knees, sharpened claws sunk deep into the ground and eyes flashing red. HIs erection was clearly visible, and he seemed powerless to look away from Ro.
“Idori! Oh, Idori, I’m so sorry, I nearly forgot. Let’s get you fed first.” Bat gestured urgently towards the crowd, beckoning them to come closer. He crouched in front of Idori as the waiting humans approached, kissing him to pull the demon’s gaze away from the exhausted Ro. Idori pounced on Bat hungrily, pushing him onto the ground and kissing him hard. Bat laughed in between kisses, gasping, “What happened to taking the art of seduction nice and slow?”
Bat pulled off Idori’s clothes by the time the first human crouched in front of the pair. When Idori smelled his prey’s rising lust he leapt away from Bat and knocked the human down in his urgency. Another human fell to Cain, who had regained enough strength to select his next meal. The night came alive with urgent gasps, wet sounds, and the desperate cries of humans and demons.
Bat settled down into Ro’s lap, the swirling clouds of magic and lust already making his stomach growl. But he was content to spend a moment wrapped in the warm embrace of his human, leisurely selecting his next meal. He had all night to feed.
Bat had just decided to take a rest when a large human approached the pair, radiating lust despite his shy demeanor, Bat’s tail began to twitch from side to side once more. Ro didn’t speak, and merely rested his chin on the top of Bat’s head as he waited for Bat’s decision.
Bat decided that he was hungry. “Ro?” Bat begged. “Carry me over?”
Ro kissed Bat’s cheek as he obligingly lifted Bat in his arms as he struggled to his feet on shaking legs. “Hungry already?” Ro teased. He handed the demon over to the waiting human, who was quickly knocked off balance by Bat’s eager kisses and lashing tail.
The sun rose on a field of drained humans. Some had the remaining strength to walk unsteadily back to their homes, while others simply threw an arm over their face and fell asleep in the shadow of The Wall.
Ro lay next to Idori, both with faces upturned towards the sky. Bat dozed with his head on Ro’s stomach and his tail thrown across Idori’s chest. His back was turned up so his outstretched wings could warm in the rising sun. Cain lay nearby, his belly as swollen as Idori’s or Bat’s.
When the shadow of The Wall receded so that sunlight shone directly into Idori’s eyes, he twitched and said, “Bat? Bat, wake up. We have to go.” When Bat didn’t move, Idori tickled a finger at the base of Bat’s wings, making the smaller demon squirm and giggle.
“Idori, please, just a few more minutes,” Bat pleaded sleepily as he laughed. When Idori persisted, Bat flapped a wing against Idori’s face and bit Ro’s side, making the human yelp and sit up.
“Bat!” Ro scolded. “It’s too early to bite. Wait until we get back.” He scooped Bat up easily in his arms, but paused when he saw Idori and Cain watching him.
Bat didn’t hesitate, and reached a hand out towards the pair of demons. “Idori, Cain, come on. Let’s go sleep at Ro’s house.”
Idori looked at Cain guiltily. When Cain didn’t respond, Idori asked, “But what about the Harvest?”
“There’s time for that later!” Bat assured him cheerily. The staircase stood firmly against The Wall, Bat’s belly was full, and he was held tight in a human’s arms. Sparks of magic and the delicate, mouthwatering aroma of human filled the air. “Come with me!” Bat urged again.
As the sun rose high in the sky, one human and three demons walked together through the woods.