by Cowboy Rider
“I need your help.”
Rain’s answering giggle already has my teeth on edge. “Of course you do darling, why else do you call? I say, whatever would you do without me?”
“I don’t know,” I grit out.
Rain sighs dreamily. “You’re such a charmer, Lowitt. I’ll be over momentarily.” He hangs up.
I sigh, rubbing the bridge of my nose to ward off the incoming headache. Rain is my associate, and technically my best friend, although my grudging acceptance of the title was more motivated by lack of any other close contenders – of any contenders at all, if I’m being honest – than genuine affection.
To be fair, my headache is probably not all his fault. That lies in the reason I called him. I glance over at the naked demon sitting criss-cross applesauce on the floor of my workroom, surrounded by runes written in beet juice – that was going to take forever to scrub off the ceramic tile – and several circles of salt, humming out what must serve as a jaunty tune in the underworld and slapping what counts as his knees to some rhythm known only to him and the gods.
With no more fanfare than a slight change in air pressure, Rain is there, blowing through weeks worth of protective wards. Damnit, I really thought those had a chance of keeping him out. I’d be more annoyed if he didn’t always set them back to rights before he left.
“Well, you must have really been doing something big if you’re shirtless,” he says, giving me an appraising look. My body stirs annoyingly at the attention. Rain would be attractive if he weren’t so…Rain. His mouth is nearly always turned up into a delighted smile, and he looks runway-perfect, if said runway were tailored to make me feel utterly inferior. He’s tall, his skin a glowing bronze, his hair in tight lazy curls piled atop his head. His long legs are wrapped in tight black leather pants; his narrow waist is bared by a bright purple crop top declaring, “That’s Mr. Faggot to you,” in black plastic jewels, only partially covered by a ridiculous floral vest that flows down to his knees. I look down at my bare chest, too-tight sweats, and scuffed sneakers (it’s laundry day, okay?) and wince.
His eyes eventually wander away from me and rest on the demon. “Oh, hi, Gareth, I didn’t know you knew Lowitt.” He moves further into the room, his foot coming dangerously close to the outer ring of salt.
“Stop,” I say, my heart pounding in my ears, the adrenaline putting too much power into halting his movements.
He shouldn’t even be able to breathe, but he shivers in pleasure and gives me a wicked smile. “Ooh, Lowitt. I usually make men ask me nicely first before binding me, but because we’re such good friends, and you do look rather fetching” –he gives me an obvious once-over– “I’ll give you a pass, just this once. I am going to need you to let me go, though. Poor Gareth looks awfully uncomfortable there on the floor.”
I can feel him slowly plying through, loosening the hold my magic has around him, with strong, overwhelming tenderness that nearly takes my breath away. “It’s dangerous,” I choke out. “Those runes are the only thing keeping him from killing us.”
Rain scoffs, an uncharacteristic frown marring his handsome face. “Really, Lowitt, this again? But regardless, I know Gareth. He’s cool.”
I fall to my knees with the strength of my exertion. The edges of my vision are beginning to get hazy. I have to keep his foot away from that line or else– My eyes squeeze shut at the memory. A summoning circle much like this one. A young child’s sneakers – my sneakers. A smudged rune. My parents falling to the floor, alive to lifeless in the blink of an eye, no blood, no screaming, just – nothing. I won’t allow it to happen again. “He’s a demon,” I retort.
“Have I ever let anything bad happen to you?”
I shake my head. No, despite all of his other flaws, Rain has never hurt me. But us witches, we’re still human, even as powerful as Rain is. His tether to life could be cut without a second thought by the demon.
He frowns harder at me. “Really, Lowitt, this was cute at first, but you need to let me go. I’ll force you, if I have to.”
“This isn’t” –I close my eyes as exertion turns to pain– “you forcing me?”
Rain smiles. “Oh no darling, if I were forcing you, it’d hurt much more than this. Let me go and I’ll free Gareth and then we’ll work on whatever your problem is.”
In a few seconds loss of consciousness will make the decision for me. “Promise?” I choke out.
“I promise, Lowitt. I’ll keep you safe.”
I drop the hold I have on him with an exhalation of breath. I keep my head lowered as I hear the sounds of him sweeping up salt and making conversation with the demon. Despite his promise, I brace myself to feel my soul floating away from my body. It never comes.
Slowly, I look up. Really, the only things that have changed are the absence of the runes, and the demon now lounging on the couch that I keep in here for late nights. Rain stands over me, his hand hovering over my bare shoulder in concern.
“He’s really pretty handsome if you can ignore that he’s a bigot,” the demon notes casually, his voice low and distorted.
Rain’s sigh is somewhere between dreamy and exasperated. “Don’t I know it.”
My cheeks heat. “I’m not a bigot! Demons are chaotic, duplicitous, dangerous creatures! It’s not bigotry to want to protect myself.”
Rain tsks. “Really Lowitt, do you hear yourself? People have been saying the same thing about all kinds of minorities for centuries.”
“Minorities? I can’t believe– Did you forget that they killed my parents?” I roar. I feel the sting of tears in my eyes. I do not need this right now. This is why I’m better off alone. No one understands.
Rain crouches down and puts firm fingers under my chin, tilting my face to look at him. “Hey,” he says gently. “I haven’t forgotten what you’ve been through. Maybe that’s why I’ve let this attitude slide for so long. But you deserve to know that not all demons are like that. You deserve to heal, Lowitt.”
I don’t deserve jack shit. Because as much as I hate demons, I’m as much to blame for my parents death as they are, if I hadn’t smudged that rune–
“Oh, you mean Tarenth,” the demon says casually. “Yes, I admit that was rather unfortunate. Though” –he pauses, as if considering his next words– “not to victim-blame, but your parents had killed his mate only a few weeks earlier. We demons mate for life, which can be a very long time indeed to be alone.”
Something twists in my gut. “I didn’t know that,” I say reluctantly.
The demon’s gaze is assessing. “You know, I thought you’d be more grateful.”
There it is. The anger is like a too-familiar blanket, protecting me from the pain coursing through me. “Grateful?” I rage. “I was a child! Do you know how destructive it is for a child to be alone? For years? You demons might relish the chaos a child with no supervision might bring, but I didn’t know how to take a shower. I had to learn all of it. On my own.” The tears from earlier make a mad dash towards the floor of my workroom.
“Oh, no, not that,” the demon corrects quickly. “That’s awful. I’m sorry it happened to you. But I was at Tarenth’s assessment meeting. He was planning on just coming back home, but he said he saw them,” his voice pitches even lower with barely-speakable horror, “hit you.”
My hands clench. The nightmares of slaps and yelling had continued years after their deaths. I still had them, truth be told. But that was normal, right? They were powerful witches and it was important that I listen, and I didn’t always. A reddened cheek was nothing compared to–
“And who do you think paid for your schooling? Kept up the enchantments that kept you fed and the house cleaned?” he continues, not unkindly given the circumstances.
“My parents–” I choke out.
“Were witches so hell-bent on chasing their own immortality they couldn’t be bothered to learn how to parent, much less set up contingencies in case of their demise,” he retorts.
My blood runs cold. All this time a demon has been caring for me? All of those birthday presents that were just what I wanted? All of those lovingly prepared meals? The stacks of books that materialized every time I had an important question? I thought it had been my parents’ parting gift to me, proof that they loved me so much as to pour an unfathomable amount of energy into caring for me in the event of their death. I feel a full-body shudder rack through me as my thoughts race.
I’m broken out of my reverie by Rain’s gentle voice. “Not that I don’t love the look of you on your knees, darling, but why don’t we get you to the couch, hm?” Rain is already helping me to my feet as I nod distractedly.
As he settles me onto the couch, I don’t even flinch at the demon’s closeness. Apparently I’ve been under demonic influence most of my life, so what’s a little more?
It takes me a long time to notice Rain rubbing soothing circles on my back, and that I’m leaning into his side. Gods, but it’s been a long time since I’ve touched anyone. Rain is my best friend, and we don’t have a touchy kind of relationship. Which I suppose is what got me into this whole mess in the first place.
“What you needed help with,” Rain murmurs, his voice uncharacteristically subdued, “was it urgent?”
I bark out a humorless laugh. “I suppose not anymore.”
Rain doesn’t respond, continuing the soothing circles on my back. Gods, that feels nice.
I jerk a thumb at the demon. “He won’t leave.”
“He refused to grant me a boon!” the demon objects.
“That’s because you didn’t help!” I retort.
“It’s not my fault you don’t know help when it’s staring you in the face!”
“Wait.” Rain’s voice is authoritative, sending a shiver down my spine and, annoyingly, making my cock perk up and pay attention. “Start at the beginning. Lowitt, you swore off demonology. What were you asking for to begin with?”
“Oh,” the demon says cheerfully, “he was trying to figure out how to get la–”
I slap my hand over the demon’s mouth desperately. “I hardly see how that’s relevant,” I protest. It was a moment, alright several consecutive moments, of weakness. I’ll never be able to look Rain in the eye again if he finds out.
Rain raises an eyebrow, his expression full of mirth. “On the contrary, I think it’s incredibly relevant.”
I rack my brain for a way to make this sound like anything other than what it is and come up empty. And then, my brain refuses to do anything at all. Gareth’s tongue, slightly barbed like a cat’s, slips between his parted lips to lick a wide stripe over my sensitive palm. It should be annoying, juvenile. It has no right to be anything else. But I have to bite my lip to keep an entirely undignified noise from escaping.
I pull my hand away and take an intense interest in studying the pristine tiles of my workroom. “Alright, yes,” I mutter, heat rising to my cheeks, “I was looking for…advice on how to obtain a bedfellow. Happy?”
I can hear Rain’s smile without even looking at him. “Extremely. And what did you tell him, Gareth?”
“I told him to ask nicely,” Gareth responds as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. Is he sitting closer to me than before? His shoulder brushes mine and I can feel the warmth of his thigh through the fabric of my sweatpants.
Rain sighs. “Now, Gareth, you know that’s not the spirit of the question. His question was pertaining to seeking out those interested in sharing his bed, not what to do once he found them.”
Did you know demons roll their eyes? It’s news to me as I spot it out of the corner of my eye. “We both know he doesn’t talk to anyone but you, Rain. Who else would he ask?”
Rain’s hand on my back pauses for a second before hesitantly resuming. “I see,” he murmurs. “Well, that certainly is one avenue.”
“Are you saying it wouldn’t be effective?” the demon challenges, amused.
“No,” Rain says hoarsely. “I just didn’t think – It doesn’t matter. What boon were you asking of him? I’ll pay it and you can be on your way.”
“No luck, doll, I asked to fuck him. I figured I could teach him a thing or two while I was at it. And while you’re good in bed, babe, it’s not quite the same.”
Rain groans. “Gareth, you were just telling me that asking for virgins was a stereotype. Seriously?”
The conversation swirls in my brain, nothing really sticking, until something does. “Wait. Pause,” I interrupt their bickering. They both look at me. “You’ve had sex with him?” I’m not sure which word in that sentence to stress, so I end up stressing all of them and sounding vaguely like I’m having a stroke. I look at Rain in disbelief.
Heat rises to his face, but his voice is as cavalier as ever. “Honestly, Lowitt, I never pegged for a prude. I like sex, we’re consenting adults.” He drops his voice to low seduction: “And that thing about demons’ knowing your deepest desires? Not a myth.”
“Which is how,” Gareth adds, “I knew you wanted me when I asked. If you didn’t” –he turns to face Rain– “or I’d known he was a virgin, I would’ve never asked, I swear. How was I supposed to know? Like I said, he’s handsome, surely someone in his coven–”
Rain sighs. “He doesn’t have a coven. All he has is me, and he refuses to Link even with me.” It’s only natural, like my parents said. I don’t need a coven. They’d only drain me. And Linking with Rain… how could I continue my parents work if I’m his familiar? No, I’m better off alone.
“I thought singleton witches were no more powerful than other humans,” he says, shooting a look at me and at the clearly well-used workroom around us.
“Yes,” Rain confirms wearily, “usually, at least, but as you can probably tell, his parents did a number on him in more ways than one.”
Gareth’s noise of sympathy makes my shoulders hunch. “No wonder he’s got such a stick up his ass. I know how important connections are for you humans.”
Rain makes a noise of agreement.
The lull in conversation allows another thought to alight on my brain. A shiver runs through my body. I glance at Rain quickly, then dart my eyes back towards the floor. “You want me?” I whisper hoarsely.
I can feel power drawing to Rain as he pulls his hand away from my bare skin. I miss the contact immediately. “I’ve only been flirting with you for the past decade, darling. I haven’t exactly been subtle.”
I shake my head. “You’re like that with everyone,” I protest.
“When have you ever seen me flirt with someone else, Lowitt? Hell, when have you seen me talk to someone else?” he asks incredulously.
I open my mouth to bring up examples, but no, they’re all him flirting with me. “You never said anything,” I say weakly.
“The first time we met, I said, and I quote, ‘I want you in my bed.’ What else could that have meant?”
“And then you laughed! So I thought it was a joke, like how people will call a tall guy Tiny.” I feel a blush rise to my cheeks. Gods, had he really been flirting with me?
Rain’s laugh is humorless. “Of course I did, you–”
“Kids,” Gareth intones mildly, “This is cute and all, but I’d like to get home.”
I have the sudden, fleeting thought that I’ll miss his solidness at my side. “Then go,” I grumble.
Rain shakes his head. “He can’t.”
I groan. “Not this again.”
“Not won’t, can’t,” Rain says. “Once a boon has been requested, it or its equivalent must be granted, or the portal will just spit them back out again. I tried to teach you this ages ago, but you wouldn’t hear it.”
Shame makes my face heat. “Right.” I glance at Gareth. “Sorry.”
I run a hand through my hair, long on top, one of the few indulgences I allow myself, and try to think. I take a deep breath, squaring my shoulders. “Okay,” I say, looking at Gareth. “what does ‘having sex’ mean?”
He makes a face. “Surely no one’s that much of a virgin.”
I squirm, squashing down indignation. It’s my own fault we’re in this situation. “No, that’s not– Your exact wording is that you wanted to ‘have sex’ with me. So what does that mean? Does there have to be penetration? Presumably somebody’s dick has got to be involved at some point.”
He smiles slowly, and his face transforms. He was handsome before, but now he’s heart-stopping. “Oh,” he swoops in close to murmur in my ear, his breath like a beam of sunlight on the first warm spring day. If that made you horny. “It can mean whatever you want it to mean baby boy.”
I shudder. “Okay.” I lean over and give him a peck on the cheek. “Was that sex?”
He frowns. “Well, no.” He rubs the back of his neck sheepishly. “I’ll, ah, know it when I see it?”
“Great, I’m having sex with the Supreme Court,” I mutter.
I cup his cheek and draw him closer to me. His eyes are aflame. Not as a metaphor — literally, his eyes always reflect the fires of the underworld. I’m struck by the contrast of my pasty skin against his blood-red complexion.
I freeze. Holy shit I’m about to kiss an actual, literal demon. The same type of being that killed my parents. The type of creature that steals souls and drags hapless people to the underworld. He’s here, in front of me, no runes, no protection, and I’m already touching him. It’s too late for me–
Rain puts a hand on my shoulder and I smile at him briefly. The motion is rusty – I haven’t had occasion to use that particular expression much – but I’m fairly certain it’s sufficient because Rain visibly swallows at the sight.
I look back at Gareth, and decide to just go for it. I bring my lips to his in a chaste kiss. Gareth’s growl is pitched low enough that I can’t hear it, but I feel it in my chest, a pervasive rumbling that sets my nerve endings alight. He licks the seam of my lips. I instinctively open my mouth to gasp, and he takes full advantage, and – gods, if I thought his tongue felt good on my palm, it’s nothing compared to plunging into my mouth. It rasps against the roof of my mouth and I shudder with pleasure. Heat, sensation, and yes, even a thrill of danger take up my entire brain space until my worries dissolve into static. The rough texture on my sensitive flesh instantly draws my mind to other sensitive flesh he might use his mouth on. I moan into him.
Faintly, I hear Rain clear his throat and say, “I’ll just go.” He begins to stand up.
I stop him with a hand on his thigh, breaking Gareth’s kiss with a gasp. “Stay,” I choke out. “Please, Rain, I want you here, I want–” I break off into a moan as Gareth begins trailing stinging kisses over my neck.
“You should kiss him,” Gareth murmurs into my skin.
Rain sucks in a startled breath. I look at Gareth. “I should?” I ask. He looks up at me and nods sincerely. I look at Rain, my hand still gripping his thigh. “Should I?”
I have the distinct pleasure of watching the usually unflappable Rain fluster. “Only if you – I mean you certainly can – do you want to?” his voice climbs too high at the end with incredulity.
“Yes,” Gareth says confidently, as I breathe, “Please.”
Rain nods, his eyes wide. I cup his face in my hand and draw it to mine, kissing him gently. It’s different in nearly every conceivable way from kissing Gareth, but it’s so good too. His lips are softer than I ever imagined. (And you’ve caught me, okay? I may have imagined this once or twice or every night for several years, sue me.) His hand comes up to rest on my shoulder, compensating for the awkward angle. He returns the kiss with uncharacteristically hesitant pressure, as if unsure of his welcome. I draw back to look at him. His pleased breath puffs out on my lips as I pull back to look at him. “Okay?” I ask.
He nods, eyes wide. “More than.”
I glance from his outfit – leather leggings, purple crop top, and long vest – to my own – shirtless and a pair of too-tight sweatpants – to Gareth, without a stitch of clothing on him, as is customary for demons.
“You’re overdressed,” I murmur. I’m proud of how little my hand trembles as I lay it on his stomach, over his crop top. “Take this off?”
Rain sucks in a breath. His eyes are fixed on Gareth’s mouth leaving small red marks on my collarbone, making lazy swirls on my pale skin. “Lowitt, are you sure? We can figure out something–”
I kiss him again, teasing his lips with my tongue, baiting him into taking my mouth. It works; he kisses me for several long minutes, seemingly unable to help himself. His hands skirt over my neck, making their way to my torso. And, oh, his taking control is addictive. He’s masterful, even to my overwhelmed mind. Lips and tongue and hands all work together in intricate symphony to draw pleasured gasps from me.
When I have the strength of will to pull away again, I’m breathing heavily. “I’m sure,” I say firmly. “He’s right. I want him. I want you. And I think – I think maybe it’s time I climb out of my parents’ grave. Maybe it’s okay to want. I’m tired of pretending I don’t, at any rate.” I square my shoulders and take a deep breath. “Rain,” I say, softly but clearly, “this is me asking nicely.”
Rain groans, hauling me towards him with one hand and snapping with his other. By the time I crash into his chest, it’s bare, and so are his legs. “Of course it’s okay, darling. Fuck, you’re sexy like this. Yes. Yes for whatever you want.”
He crushes his mouth to mine. I’d always kind of imagined kissing Rain would be light and fluttery, like a butterfly made of cotton candy, but this is harsh, controlling, heavy, and so, so desperate. He alternates plunging his tongue in my mouth, going as deep as he can, and leaving aching bites on my bottom lip that go straight to my cock. His hands twist into the long strands of hair at the top of my head and tug occasionally, the sensation a pleasant burn that begins to spread through my body.
I suck in a breath as Gareth makes his way to the twin lines decorating my chest. The stinging pleasure continues there, too, even though I know I didn’t have much feeling there yesterday. I whimper as the sensation registers.
Gareth picks up his head to stare at the two of us. “I have a suggestion, if you’ll permit.”
I glance at Rain, and nod. “It’s your boon, after all.”
He smiles. Suddenly, Rain and I are situated differently. I’m nestled between Rain’s legs, his insistent cock, still covered, slotted perfectly between my ass cheeks, as we’re somewhere between reclining and laying on the arm of the couch. Rain’s arms are wrapped around my middle and we’re angled so that we can still kiss without too much issue. Gareth leans over us, his intention clear as his head is about level with my crotch.
I tense, trying to sit up. They both pause, looking at me expectantly. “I’m too heavy. I’ll crush him,” I object even as I can’t help but grind back slightly against his cock.
“I’m stronger than I look, Lowitt,” Rain says, keeping his arms firmly secured around my middle. “I can support you. Lean back. If I start having problems I’ll tell you. Promise.”
I take a deep breath, steel my courage, and nod. I groan as I relax into him and fully register the skin to skin contact of his chest against my back. Fuck, that feels good. After years of no human contact, Rain’s touch scorches me with intensity.
Rain hums in pleasure. “You needn’t worry about crushing me, this feels rather nice. I love the feel of a solidly built man.”
Gareth smiles, looking at the two of us. He hooks clawed fingers into my sweats and raises an eyebrow. “May I?” he asks.
I swallow hard and nod. “Please.”
He pulls down my pants to the tops of my thighs and rests his large body on top of them, effectively pinning my bottom half down. I bite back a whimper. He looks at me with a wicked smile, grabs Rain’s hand from around my waist, and leads it to hover over my aching dick.
“You should touch him first,” Gareth murmurs.
Rain’s gaze bounces between the two of us, before settling on me. “I should?”
I bite my lip and nod. “If you want, please.”
He grips my hair and kisses me deeply, punishingly, as his other hand firmly strokes my dick. “How many times do I have to tell you, darling,” he grinds out, “I want.”
I might be embarrassed at the whimper that escapes my mouth later, but for now there’s no helping it. I nod as much as I can with his hand more or less immobilizing my head.
Gareth bats Rain’s hand away and takes my dick in his own, glancing up at me. I nod as much as I can and otherwise try to portray my willingness.
Rain uses his free hand to pet my lightly furred stomach and kisses me deeply again. I moan into the kiss as Gareth takes me in his mouth. The next few minutes are a haze of pleasure and delicious pain as Rain and Gareth work in tandem to wring every noise I’m capable of from my body. When Rain lightly runs his fingers over the marks Gareth left on my collarbone, I tremble.
Gareth sucks my dick in a rhythm that seems purpose-built to drive me out of my mind, as his fingers tease my balls and the sensitive hole behind them. His mouth is hot, the rasp of his tongue on my cock nearly sends me into orbit, and when he sucks rhythmically on the head, I swear I can see stars.
Rain plunders my mouth. His hand in my hair grounds me when I might otherwise float away. His wicked smile of pleasure does weird things to my insides as he makes me gag on his tongue. Is that a bit of magic or just him? I can’t tell.
A guy can only take so much pleasure. I break away from Rain’s kiss, gasping. “I – can we do something else? Or take a break? I’m–” My body convulses as Gareth releases my dick from his mouth with a pop.
“A little overstimulated, darling?” Rain murmurs fondly.
I nod blearily.
Gareth climbs up my body and kisses me skillfully. I moan. He leans down to whisper in my ear, “You should show him.” He lowers himself down onto me, slotting our dicks next to each other, and kisses me deeply. I groan, unable to decide whether to grind forward or backwards. I settle on alternating, rubbing my now-wet dick along Gareth’s, then grinding back into Rain.
Eventually, I take a deep breath, gathering my courage, and nod at Gareth. He uses gentle hands on my face and hips to draw me up, off Rain, and on top of himself. Gareth spreads my legs as I straddle his lap, and I break the kiss to give his collarbone little nipping kisses, so I can convince myself I’m not hiding my face in his neck.
“Our darling boy wants you to see him,” Gareth says to Rain. “More than just about anything.” He uses careful fingers to spread my cheeks, exposing both of my holes to the air as my balls hang out of the way.
I tense, waiting for… I’m not sure what. I know Rain is gay, though, so maybe rejection? I know that some people might not be able to get over my bonus hole. I pray to all the gods that Rain isn’t one of them.
Rain’s indrawn breath does nothing to reassure me. I begin to lose my nerve, squirming, trying to move away from Rain’s probably repulsed gaze, but Gareth’s strong arms have me bracketed in. “Just wait,” he murmurs. Sure, Rain has known I’m trans for years; my chest is a pretty dead-giveaway for anyone who knows what they’re looking at, and sure, if anyone in my life isn’t transphobic, it’s him, but there’s a difference between intellectual knowledge of potential body parts and surgeries and staring it in the face, as it were. Maybe Rain’s not into that, maybe he won’t be into me anymore either. Why won’t Gareth just let me go?
After another long beat Rain breathes, “Lowitt, you’re stunning.” I can feel the heat of his hand as it hovers questioningly over my backside, and Gareth’s answering nod. Rain places a steadying hand right at the base of my spine, and I only just stop myself from bucking up into it. “You’re so wet,” he whispers, trailing a hand down my ass cheek. He pauses as his hand lingers tantalizingly close to my hole. I let out a low whine. “Do you like – can I touch you here?”
“Please,” I whimper.
He doesn’t move.
“Yes, please, Rain touch me, take me, I need you,” I pant out.
He growls, shoving a finger roughly into my hole, and it’s too much, too much, but it’s exactly what I need. He leans over me, kissing Gareth desperately as he works another finger into my hole with a thrust-twist motion that makes my brain short circuit. He sets a punishing pace. It doesn’t hurt, I’m much too turned on for that, but it’s shocking in comparison to the gentle touches from earlier.
“If I’d known this was waiting for me,” he pants harshly in my ear, “I would’ve taken you on this couch a long time ago.”
I whine into Gareth’s shoulder and he chuckles. I can just feel him holding back a “told you so.”
Rain leaves nipping kisses on my neck and shoulder, different from Gareth’s, less of a sting and more of an ache, each one going straight to my cock. I feel Rain shift, his thumb coming up to rest on my puckered anus.
“Can I take you here too?” he murmurs. His fingers slow, gentling, and I feel a shudder run through my body.
“Yes, please. I’m yours,” I whisper. I bite my lip. He hasn’t said anything about wanting to keep me. But isn’t it the truth? Gareth could tell that no one but Rain would do. Haven’t I been building up to this for a long time? It seems inevitable. I’ve been his since the beginning.
My thoughts cut off as the blunt pressure of his thumb presses gently but inexorably into me.
“You are,” he whispers hotly. “All mine. Mine to take, mine to share, mine to fuck.”
I whimper. “Yes.”
The twin sensations overwhelm me. My ass squeezes Rain’s thumb tight, while my hole clenches around his fingers. I feel so incredibly full, and I can’t help but imagine what it’d be like with more than fingers. The twin sensations shove every other thought out of my brain. It’s just Rain’s fingers inexorably working me open, finding every pleasure point with skilled precision.
“I want to watch you ride Gareth’s cock,” he whispers into that sweet spot on the back of my neck.
I grind backwards into his hand, panting. “Just watch?” I don’t mean to sound disappointed, but apparently fail.
He takes the lobe of my ear in his mouth and tugs, pitching me forward with pleasure. “You have another suggestion, darling?”
I whimper and nod. I look up at Gareth pleadingly. I picture it clearly in my mind.
He thinks for a moment and smiles. “I can handle that.”
A split second later we’re in – I look around at my surroundings – what must be Rain’s bedroom, judging from the decor. I’m laying over Rain, my cock slotted between his asscheeks, my mouth already licking and sucking at the back of his neck. Gareth is over me, his cock lined up at my hole, his arms bracketed over us.
“Okay?” I ask wiggling my hips experimentally.
Rain moans. “Yes,” he reaches up, winds his fingers into my hair, and tugs. “But next time, I’m making you prep me. Demon magic won’t cut it all the time, darling.”
I nod. “Deal.” Next time, I’ll have time to prepare, do more research.
I sink slowly into him. The warm clench of his ring of muscles around my cock is heightened by the pleased hum I can both hear below me and feel in my chest. I take my time, easing into him, retreating slightly, and pushing further. Sure, he’s done this before, but I haven’t, and we only get a first time together once.
If it’s torture, it’s a pleasant one. On every retreat he clenches around me, on every push forward he sighs. His hand in my hair grounds me, the tug not quite painful but definitely there. Finally, blessedly, I bottom out, my hips flush with his ass, my balls resting against his taint, his channel squeezing me tightly.
“Okay?” I ask, kissing the back of his neck. It already has a slight sheen to it.
He nods on a quiet groan. “Phenomenal, darling.”
I bite my lip as nerves rise. “I don’t exactly know what I’m doing, so–”
His hand tightens in my hair. “You’ll be spectacular, and if you’re not” –I can hear the smile in his voice– “we’ll just have to practice.”
I whimper. “Okay.”
“Besides, Gareth can handle the rhythm for you. You just hold tight and let us know if you need anything, okay?”
I let out a deep breath and nod.
Gareth shifts behind me, a warm, solid weight at my back. “Ready?” he murmurs, his distorted voice gentle.
I nod, as I’m again struck with the warring urges to grind backwards and forwards. In compromise, I hold myself still, only leaving open mouthed kisses on Rain’s shoulder, while Gareth carefully enters me. There’s no pain, no blood, nothing like the teen movies mom had been so fond of. Yet I do feel… something give way. Gareth’s cock is hot, like the rest of him, and that heat is so unlike the room-temperature toys I’ve been playing with by myself. I can’t help but moan. But more than that, as he tenderly enters me, giving me soft kisses at the nape of my neck, whispering encouragement, checking in, I feel something inside of me shift. Had I really been hell-bent on hating him an hour ago? Had my parents almost managed to take this from me, even from beyond the grave? Suddenly, the need to set that right is an urgent fire in my gut.
I turn as best I can, half pinned between them, Gareth still plying me open with short gentle thrusts. “I’m sorry,” I say. He pauses, raising an eyebrow. “For being so nasty to you earlier, you didn’t deserve that.”
He smiles kindly at me and sinks in another inch. “Already forgotten, baby boy. I’ve heard much worse, and the way your hole feels around me” –he groans as I clench around him– “has more than made up for it. Why don’t you settle back down and I can fuck you properly, hm?”
My cheeks heat as I move to do as he asks. He exchanges his small thrusts for entering me with one long, slow stroke until he bottoms out. I moan helplessly. Rain bears down on me, and I clench around Gareth. He, in turn, bucks his hips, pushing his cock impossibly further into me, hitting something delicious. My hips buck into Rain, and the cycle completes again, forming a delicious feedback loop of pleasure. And, just like that, we’re fucking in earnest. Gareth keeps a steadying hand on my hip, keeping me in time with him as we draw back and plunge forward. Rain keeps a firm hold on my hair, directing my mouth to a place behind his ear that makes him shudder. Without Gareth’s cock in me, I would’ve flown apart in a minute, tops. Don’t get me wrong, both sensations feel good, they feel incredible, but my cock in Rain’s hole feels electric, percussive, like if I were to submit to it, I would shatter in a way I could never really put back together. But Gareth’s slow, confident strokes are a grounding bass line of pleasure, building me up to my peak.
“A little higher,” Rain whispers, and Gareth and I move to comply.
Now, every plunge forward draws a high, keening sigh from him. I thrust forward with more force experimentally and he tightens his fist in my hair as he moans.
As Gareth slows our tempo, Rain sighs, “Oh Lowitt, what you do to me.”
A frisson of desire rolls through me at the words. I moan.
“You should tell him about one of your fantasies,” Gareth murmurs.
I bite my lip. “But what if –”
“You’re mine, remember?” Rain whispers hotly, giving my hair a solid tug. “So that means your fantasies are mine too. Tell me, darling, tell me your favorite.”
I whimper. “I remember, I couldn’t ever forget. I–”
Another tug. “Stop stalling, darling.”
“Yes, Rain.” I take a shuddering breath, and Gareth chooses that moment to drive sharply forward, driving all my anxiety, and any other thoughts, from my head. Rain gives my hair another gentle tug, a reminder. “After we Link, and I’m your familiar, you bring me to one of your coven meetings and say, like, listen I know he’s an asshole and he’s not any good for magic” –Rain lets out a warning growl– “but watch this. And then you magic away my clothes –” I grunt with pleasure as Gareth snaps his hips forward. “– and have me lay down on something soft so they can all look at me.”
Gareth changes his angle slightly, and the change pushes him right into my g-spot, lighting me up and drawing a whine from me.
“Surely that’s not all, darling,” Rain prompts gently, panting. “You lying naked in a room full of strange witches.”
“And you,” I add without thinking.
I can hear the smile in Rain’s voice. “And me. What happens next?”
“Well,” I pause, thinking, “A couple of things. This one is my favorite, after all, so I’ve taken it several ways. I think my favorite is, the first thing that happens is you summon one of my toys and have me fuck myself on it while you make me suck your fingers so I don’t embarrass you.”
Rain growls again. “The first thing we’re doing” –he moans– “after I’m not so fucking close” –he hums– “is work on your self confidence.”
My fragile confidence falters. “I-If you don’t like this I can–”
“No, god, no, Lowitt, the rest of it, I’m so on board. You fucking yourself in front of my coven, showing off how good you are, how much you belong to me, my fingers in your mouth so you can’t think about anything but me – yes, yes to all of it. Just – lay off the self deprecation, it makes me want to punish you, and” –he grunts– “we haven’t talked about that yet.”
I nod quickly. “I can do that. So um, I’m on my back and fucking myself on a dildo–”
Rain grunts as I circle my hips. “How big?”
“Um, not too big, you don’t want them to think you’re showing off.”
He laughs. “Of course, continue.”
“And all of your friends are cooing over me, how obedient I am, how wet I am, how well I’m taking your toy, your fingers, how, um” –my cheeks heat with embarrassment– “how handsome I am.”
“Naturally,” Rain breathes, “I wouldn’t be friends with them if they didn’t. Are they touching you?”
“Um, if depends on if you–”
“No, this is your fantasy, not mine,” he corrects gently. “When I’m not here to ask, do they touch you?”
Gareth leans down to lick a stripe of my sensitive neck, scrambling my thoughts, as his cock continues to thrust gently but insistently into me.
“Well, um, someone asks me, and I give that decision to you, and you say it’s whatever I want, so I say yes.” I whimper as Gareth takes the lobe of my ear into his mouth, rasping his tongue against it.
Rain moans. “Fuck, I knew you were perfect for me Lowitt. Shit you don’t even need to be trained – except for self-confidence, that is. Gods, darling, you’re so good for me, fuck. Tell me what happens next. Where do they touch you?”
“Mostly on my thighs and chest, gentle caresses, on my face and neck too maybe. But you warn them no hitting because, um–” I don’t want to expand on my trauma at the moment.
Rain, blessedly, understands. “Right, nothing percussive,” he says quickly and smoothly. “Got it, what about pinches? Bites?”
“Well, I guess–” I say, thinking.
“This is your fantasy, darling, tell me.” He gives my hair another tug. I suck gently on a spot on his shoulder.
“Well, then, no. They treat me gently because they see me as your pet, because I basically am, right? So they give me soft little caresses and overwhelm me a little bit until I’m shaking, cooing at how cute I am, how good.”
“Then what?” he chokes out.
“Well, then I start begging you to fuck me, not with words because your fingers are still in my mouth, but I fuck down on the dildo imagining it’s you and plead at you with my eyes. And all your friends notice too and start” –I gasp as Gareth circles his hips– “cajoling you into fucking me. And you act like you’re giving in but I know that it’s what you wanted all along. You wanted to claim me in front of all of them, but you didn’t want to seem presumptuous.”
Rain’s chuckle is strained; he’s close. “That does sound like me.”
“Then you have them prep us, one of them on their knees, taking your dick in their mouth, and the rest of them, or at least some of them ah, each sticking a finger in my hole to stretch me for you.”
“Depends on how horny I am. Lower limit like three or four, upper limit like seven. Even though I understand that wouldn’t be safe.”
“Fantasy,” Rain chokes out.
I nod. “And ah, usually by that time I’ve come and don’t fantasize anymore, but I think then you fuck me and come in me, and maybe make me lay there with your come dripping out of my hole while you do your business.”
Rain moans low in his chest. I attach my mouth over the spot behind his ear and suck.
His whispered, “I’m coming,” is all the warning I have before his body is convulsing underneath me, his channel rhythmically milking my cock. Gareth chooses that moment to brush up against my g-spot again and I’m lost, the orgasm sweeping through me, swift and hot. My hips buck into Rain involuntarily as his orgasm draws out, clenching around me and drawing me to the line where pleasure turns into pain. I reach out and grab Gareth’s hand, clenched into the bedsheets and he comes too, his cock pulsing in me, his groan loud, rumbling through me. I feel his come filling me up, his cock still insistent in my sore, sensitive channel. Our movements grow frenzied as each of us hovers between pleasure and overstimulation. My body pings between the two of them, lost in pleasure, my muscles shaking from exertion. After a time we slow, and then eventually come to a rolling stop.
We pause as sweet sweet endorphins make a heyday of our neural pathways. By some unspoken agreement Rain and I move as one, and I don’t have time to register the sweet torture of pulling out of him as we manuver Gareth between us, on his back, our heads pillowed on his chest. I give soothing kisses to his sternum, his skin warming my lips like a mug of fresh coffee.
“Thank you,” I murmur, “that was…”
“Phenomenal,” Rain breathes.
I nod in agreement.
“Well,” Gareth says, amusement coloring his voice, “I imagine you’ll get on just fine without me.”
Rain and I smile at each other. “Yeah,” I murmur, “I imagine we will.”
“But listen,” Rain says, popping up onto an elbow, “we obviously have a lot of strong feelings for each other.”
“And we don’t want you to feel left out,” I add, nodding.
“So if there’s anything we can do…?” Rain bites his lip, his brow furrowed in concern.
Gareth’s chuckle is warm. “I don’t begrudge you two anything. This was fun. And I’m glad I could help. But even if I wanted to be involved, demons don’t mate humans, even witches, and even if we did, the mating process would almost certainly kill them.” He gives each of us a kiss on the cheek. “So I’m just biding my time, building up my repertoire, until I meet my mate.”
“Wait, so are mates someone you choose or someone you find?” I ask with a frown.
“I could ask the same thing about human soulmates,” he shoots back with an easy smile.
I wave my hand. “Yes, but, if you meet your mate, the person who will become your mate, do you know?”
He shrugs. “I think so, it’s hard to tell how much of that is exaggerated for purposes of romance.”
I nod. “Okay, and aren’t there a” –I spin my finger, gathering the words I want– “finite number of demons?”
“Aren’t there a finite number of humans?”
I huff. “Yes, but a…discrete number of demons then. There aren’t more being born, and you rarely die?”
“So couldn’t you just… meet every other demon and know whether you have a mate?”
“That’s not – we don’t do things that way, baby boy.” I open my mouth to argue that that’s stupid, and he laces his large, clawed fingers with mine and the sensation cuts me off. “Mates, they aren’t just two people, they’re two people and a time. Or they are two people, but who we are changes over time. If I meet the person who’s supposed to be my mate two years early, then they aren’t my mate yet, and maybe I’m not their mate yet either. The Goddess in Her wisdom reveals our mates to us at exactly the right time. It wouldn’t be right to try to mess with that process.”
I open my mouth to ask the obvious question – demons have a pantheon? religion? – then close it. Obviously I need to rectify my neglected demonology studies. Finally I settle back closer to him and grumble, “I just want you to be happy.”
He chuckles. “I can see a few other things you want, baby boy, but I appreciate it. I’ll be all right. It’s not such a hardship to seduce handsome men in the meantime.”
We lie there, wrapped around each other for a long moment, allowing our heart rates to settle.
I glance up at Gareth. “I’m not kicking you out of bed but, you can go home now, right? I’m not keeping you here? Honestly, if that wasn’t sex I don’t know what is.”
He stretches languidly. “I can,” he says smiling. “I really ought to get going though, things to see, people to do, all that.”
“I just said–”
“And it’s not your bed to keep me in, baby boy.” He tips my chin up and kisses me sweetly.
Rain sputters. “I don’t want–”
“Yes, you do,” Gareth says with a smile, kissing him in turn. “You just don’t want me to have any hard feelings about it, and I don’t. Whenever demons first mate, it’s customary to leave them alone for at least a month. I’m grateful I was able to take part at all.”
Rain makes a noise of protest, and deflates. “Okay.” He catches Gareth’s hand in his. “As long as you’re sure? We can always cuddle longer.”
Gareth nods. “I’m sure. Feel free to call on me if you want to do this again.” He smiles. “This was fun.”
We agree and wave him goodbye, and with the smell of campfire lingering in the air, he’s gone. Rain and I meet in the middle of the warm spot between us, wrapping our arms around each other. His skin against mine feels like a revelation all over again, the golden brown hue of his complexion seems to shimmer in the low light of the room.
“Okay?” he murmurs.
I nod, breathing into his neck.
“Are you hurt anywhere?”
I begin to shake my head and think better of it. “I ah,” I say, my voice suddenly hoarse, “I’ll have marks from both of you, for a while, but I don’t want to heal them.” My face heats. “I like the reminder.”
He hums with pleasure. “Good.”
He runs soothing circles on my back, not unlike he had in my workroom only a short while ago. “So,” he says finally, lowly, “you want to be my familiar.”
My face heats. “You’d asked me to Link with you enough, I figured–”
“You thought I was asking you to be my familiar?” He’s shocked. “No wonder you turned me down. Did you not know there’s a difference?”
My face heats and I shake my head. “My parents used to argue about Linking,” I say quietly. “My mom wouldn’t agree to it because she didn’t want to be my dad’s familiar.”
Rain sighs and begins absently running his fingers through my hair. “Most Links nowadays aren’t familiar bonds. In old times, and very conservative communities, marriage Links are familiar bonds, but that’s some patriarchal bullshit. Familiar bonds are…sacred. Important. If you were my familiar, keeping you happy and healthy and safe would be my number one priority because you would literally become my magic, and I’d be way more powerful than either of us combined.”
“But I wouldn’t be able to do magic at all,” I murmur thoughtfully.
He swallows hard. “Right.” He cups my cheek. “Were you really willing to do that for me?”
I smile slightly. “Well,” I say, “at least when I’m horny. You know, how when you’re jerking off, you think going to a truck stop and letting whoever have their way with you is a great idea, even though clear-headed you’d never even consider it? Yeah.” I swallow. “It’s like that. I’ve never really thought it would be a…viable option really.”
He growls low in his throat. “Absolutely no truck stops.”
I laugh. “That’s really besides the point, Rain. It was just an example. But,” I say, fiddling with his fingers, “I don’t have to decide right now, right? There’s no rush?”
He lets out a short laugh. “Oh absolutely. In fact, if you even think you might want to be my familiar, we’re going to have to have several long and hard conversations. But for right now” –he flips us so he’s laying over me, pressing me into the bed, his cock hard again and rubbing against mine– “I’ve got something else long and hard and pressing to attend to.”
I laugh breathlessly. “That’s so cheesy,” I gasp, as he gives open-mouthed kisses to my neck.
He smiles wickedly. “Only for you, darling.” He licks the shell of my ear and I gasp, wiggling against him. “Now, I’m going to take you because I can’t think of anything else, okay?” His tone brokers no argument, but his eyes do. He searches my face for any sign of discomfort.
I nod slightly at him, making sure he sees it, and squirm. “Please, Rain, I’m so sensitive,” I whine.
He smiles at me, nodding his understanding and goes back to growling in my ear. “I know, that’s why you’re going to feel so good around my cock.”
I whimper and squirm against him again. Gods, I want him so bad.
But as he lines his cock up to my hole, I have a moment of panic. I’m not nearly as wet as I was when Gareth took me. I tap Rain’s arm and he stops, looking at me expectantly. I heat under his gaze.
“More lube,” I murmur.
He nods, kissing me firmly, and reaches for the side table and a cylindrical tube. “Fuck, you’re so good for me, Lowitt.”
He quickly slicks himself up with ample lube and gets back into position. “Better?” he murmurs.
I nod. “Thank you.”
“Don’t you remember? You’re mine. That’s mine to care for, too.” He laces the fingers of one hand into my hair and I sigh in pleasure.
He enters me slowly. An ache builds between my legs, but it’s quietly pleasant, like sore muscles after a long hike on a scenic mountain trail.
He seats himself inside me quickly, aided by the lube. “Okay?” he murmurs again.
I nod and resist squirming again.
He kisses me. “Good. Now,” he says, a wicked smile in his voice, “beg me to fuck you hard.”
That’s all it takes to get me into that headspace. “Please Rain, please fuck me hard, use me, take me, please, be as rough as you want. It’ll hurt, it’ll hurt but please, keep going, I want to be yours, I want to feel it tomorrow when I’m moving around. I want to know that I’m yours because you fucked me so good, please. I’ll be so good, I promise, I just need you to take me, need to feel it, please.” My pleas are nearly a sob at the end. I find I mean every word of it. I open my mouth and leave kisses on his collarbone as I continue my needy whimpering.
“Fuck,” he whispers passionately. “Now beg me to fuck you gently.”
“Please, Rain,” I whimper. “I’m already sore, I’m yours, please just be gentle, I want to be able to last as long as you want me, and I want to remember this first time you made love to me and this already feels so good with your cock in my hole and Gareth’s cum still in me. Please, I need you. Please, fuck me gently. Please.” My pleas are high and keening. I mean every word of them. I suck the lobe of his ear into my mouth and suck.
“Fuck,” he says again. He uses the grip in my hair to pull my head back and look me in the eye. “Which is it? Which is the truth?”
I swallow. “Both.”
He chuckles. “Well, that’s not very helpful.”
Shame swoops low in my stomach. “I’m sorry, I–”
He cups my cheek. “Hey, no, none of that. It was my fault for confusing you when you’re like this.” He kisses me, soft and slow. “How about this,” he says after a minute. “I’ll make nice, gentle love to you, and when we get close to the end, if you’re still up for it, I’ll fuck you nice and hard.”
“But nice either way?” I ask, with a teasing smile desperately trying to hide how turned on his plan makes me.
“Oh,” he says, swooping in close, a devilish smile on his face, “I always intend to be nice to you, darling.”
I whimper, and nod. “I, ah, yes, please.”
He chuckles, beginning his slow, gentle strokes. Soon my soreness is entirely forgotten, all wrapped up in the feel of his cock slowly persuading me to open around him. His moans of pleasure reverberate through me and echo back at him. It feels good, the slickness on his cock and inside me making an obscene slide on every movement.
“Which part of this turns you on more?” he murmurs hotly into my ear. “That Gareth’s come is still inside of you, slicking my way as I make love to you? That you’ve already been broken open by his massive demon cock? That I’m so proud of you for taking all of it? That my come is going to join his soon? That you will be overflowing with come? That I know you’re sore but I need you so bad, and I own you so completely that I’m taking you anyway?”
I cry out as his words register, arching up into him. “All of it,” I whisper desperately.
He hums, pleased. “You’re being so good for me, you feel so good around my cock Lowitt.”
Despite his words, his strokes stay gentle, cajoling. He fucks me with intense tenderness, kissing me deeply, his hand in my hair still grounding me. I experiment with clenching around him as he fucks me, finding just the right timing to make him moan.
“Are you ready for me to fuck you harder, darling? I’m getting close,” he whispers.
I nod, then hesitantly touch his arm. “I ah, I can’t come like this. I don’t need to, but I thought I’d let you know.”
He nods. “Can you if you touch yourself like this?”
“I – I can try.” I’ve never touched myself in front of someone before. What if I do it wrong?
He smiles, kissing me. “You’re so good for me.” He gets up onto his elbows and looks at me. “Are you ready?”
He watches me intently as I wrap a hand around my cock and bite back a whimper. I nod at him when I’m ready.
True to his word, he fucks me hard, his thrusts jotling me and pushing me right up to the line between pleasure and pain. It’s glorious. I try to keep up with him with my hand on my cock and I can feel my edge approaching but just out of reach.
He’s panting with exertion and I can feel him getting close too. “What do you need?” he pants out harshly.
“I – in my fantasy, that I was telling you about earlier, the way they convince you is someone gets some of my wetness on their fingers and starts sharing it around to taste,” I say, working my cock desperately. “And when they give you some is when you finally decide to fuck me.”
“You mean like this?”
I cry out as he pulls out of me abruptly, and shoves two fingers roughly inside my hole. He finger fucks me with one, two, three strokes, each time zeroing in on my g-spot as I continue to stroke my cock, chasing my pleasure. His face is rapturous as he looks at me.
He pulls his fingers back out and holds them up for my inspection. He spreads them slowly, and the cum stretches between them in a translucent line. Gareth’s come, lube, Rain’s precome, and my wetness all combined. Rain sticks his fingers deep into his mouth and moans. He enters me quickly, keeping his mouth stretched over his fingers, fucking me with punishing strokes. I can feel his composure slipping as his rhythm falters, but he doesn’t stop.
He shifts his hips slightly and it’s all over. I don’t even have time to warn him. The image of his mouth over those fingers and his cock grazing my g-spot has my vision going blurry and my body convulsing with orgasm. I feel Rain follow right on my heels. He fucks me through it, his cum spilling deep inside of me as my body milks him desperately. I feel cum start to seep out of my hole and trickle down to my asshole.
“Mine,” he whispers raggedly.
I hum in agreement.
Finally, the waves of pleasure subside and he pulls out of me, rolling us over so he’s holding me close.
I’m not sure how long we lie there, breathing in tandem, but it’s nice, his body close to mine, and post-orgasmic chemicals rolling through my veins.
Finally, he whispers, “That okay?”
“Yes,” I breathe. “That was perfect. Is sex always like this?”
He laughs. “No. We’re lucky, I suppose. I’m lucky.”
“Hm,” I say, “I’m lucky too.”
He smiles at me, and gives me a gentle kiss.
After another long moment he says, “Link with me.”
I hesitate, thinking.
“Just a regular Link. It won’t be as strong as a familiar bond, but it will allow us to share power. If you still won’t join a coven, it’ll protect you, or protect you while you look for one. Though obviously I’d like for you to consider joining mine.”
“If we Link,” I say carefully, “would that preclude the possibility of us having a familiar bond later on?”
He shakes his head. “We can add it later, if we want.”
“And Links don’t…drain you?”
“No. It’s really not just, childrens’ show rhetoric, witches are literally, measurably more powerful together. It will make both of us stronger, but I’m primarily worried about you.”
“Oh.” A burst of warmth starts in my middle. “And if I joined your coven–”
“I wouldn’t fuck you in front of all of them to stake my claim, no.”
“Oh,” I say again. Relief and disappointment do a waltz in my midsection. “And that doesn’t drain you either?”
He shakes his head. “Not a bit. Before I joined I was much, much weaker than you are now. I could hardly light a candle. If you’d join, mine or any other one, really, you’d be unparalleled.”
“If I join a coven, it will be yours,” I say.
He nods, biting his lip. “If? I don’t mean to push, you’ve made so much progress–”
“What if I–” I swallow down my nerves and force myself to say, “What if I don’t want to do magic at all anymore? What if I want to do something else?”
“Oh,” he says, stunned. “Well, we’d have to figure out a way to bleed it off so it didn’t build up in you, but of course we could figure out–”
“There’d still be a ‘we’?” I whisper.
“Oh, darling,” he kisses me, “of course there’d still be a we. I like you for you, not for your magic.”
I take a shaky breath. “And if I was your familiar,” I say, “would I still be a part of your coven? One thing I did learn from my parents is that un-joining one is something of a pain.” I smile jokingly.
He frowns. “I don’t know. I think so. Traditionally familiars are under the…oversight of the coven. Making sure I’m treating you well, not overtaxing you, that kind of thing, given that they have the power to censure me. I don’t see why you wouldn’t still be a member. You certainly wouldn’t be non-magical.”
I nod. “I’d want to find that out before joining.”
“And if the answer is no, I’ll make them change. It’d have to be a holdover from older laws,” his voice is full of conviction.
I smile at him. “I think, if I keep doing magic, I want to help people. I’ve spent too long trying to understand and decode my parents’ work, but maybe there’s nothing to understand, and if there is, maybe it isn’t worth understanding.” I shrug. “Either way, I think I’d like to use my magic to do some good.” I look at him, seeing him as if for the first time. “You’re so good at that. Can you teach me?” It was one of the things that had annoyed me about him not so long ago.
He laughs, kissing me. “Yes. You didn’t answer my question.”
I smile, quirking an eyebrow. “Well, as I remember it, you didn’t ask anything at all.” I poke a mock-stern finger in his chest. “Just because I belong to you doesn’t mean you can boss me around with everything, you know.”
He captures my finger in a firm hand, gently kissing the rough pad. “I wouldn’t dream of it.” He sobers, looking at me reverently. “Lowitt, I want to keep you safe, I want to tie us together. Will you Link with me?”
He puts a shushing finger against my lips as I open them to speak. “We’ve already exchanged fluids,” he murmurs, “so as soon as you agree, it will come into effect. Understand?”
I nod my understanding.
He removes his finger, biting his lip. If I didn’t know better I’d swear he looks…nervous.
“Yes, Rain, I’ll Link with you,” I say, a small smile forming on my face as the rightness of it settles within me.
The rush of power I feel is like shutters blown open in a gale. It takes a few long moments for my fingers to stop trembling with it.
Rain looks as blown away as I feel.
“Wow,” I whisper. “Is it always like this?”
Rain’s eyes are blown wide. “The sensation? Yes. The magnitude? Not at all.”
“So, what are we, exactly?” I ask, playing with his fingers, aiming for casual and failing spectacularly. “Lovers? Friends with benefits?” I drop my voice to a seductive murmur, “Magical associates?”
He laughs. “How about we start off with boyfriends, and work our way up from there. After all, if you’re my familiar we’ll be,” he swallows, “a lot more than that.”
“Boyfriends,” I weigh the word in my mouth, and nod. “I can handle that. And what would we be if I was your familiar?”
“Well, familiar bonds are generally for life, and difficult to break, so we’d be more like” –his face flushes as he murmurs– “husbands.”
“Husbands,” I repeat thoughtfully, trying to keep a big, goofy smile from bursting on my face.
“But you haven’t even decided if you want to seriously think about that and it’s probably a long way off, so we don’t have to worry about that right now,” he says in a rush.
“That’s true,” I say, giving him a kiss. I already know what my answer is going to be.