"Resist me," he said, his voice low, pulling my hair harshly back. His teeth sank into me, spilling my blood, and not for the first time. And not for the first time, the panicked thought thrilled through me--I am in over my head.
The evening started innocuously enough--met the young lad again, who'd been so naively wandering the wilds the day before. He'd had adventures then aplenty--been chased from the village by screaming youths throwing stones, for (or so he said) asking too many questions, then came wandering blithely down the darkened paths, falling handy prey to the rapacious thing with all the tentacles that lurked in the shallow forest pool outside my door.
One of the guardians from the keep rescued him; I admit, I was taunting him for falling prey to the thing. Granted, I've been grabbed myself once, but that was early on, and I was smug, knowing its ways. It never reaches far from the pool; being content to wait for the unwary.
I am wary now.
"Help," his young voice cried. I remember this well. "I am an innocent!"
"Not for long," I said, watching the beast plunge into him, making him weep. But then the guardian came along, handily wounding the beast, making it withdraw, freeing the boy.
I admit, I was bored enough to test his stamina, but oddly, he would have none of it that night. He wished to return to the village, for all they treated him harshly there. I bargained with the guardian to return him safely, but the lad wandered away, pleading no further debt on his behalf. The guardian and I shrugged, and went about our ways.
This evening, though, I'd spent much of it with the half-demon, in snappish mood because his demonic side, red of claw and long of fang, had taken over again. I know this about my shifting flesh--it can throw off most wounds, with little directed thought, but the wounds demons give in their full power are lasting, even though I change and change. And I was snappish because I missed my half-demon, my body missed him, and I was less than gracious when he transformed.
He bade me wait in the space he meditates, where he strives for control over the demonic within. He promised me when he changed back of a morning, he would satisfy my need for him. I said he would be tired, after a long night awake. He agreed, but said he'd do it anyway, because such vows, such needs, on both sides, prove out love.
He knows less of love than I do. He knows it is a human value, that neither he as a demon, nor I as the shifting fey creature the Queen's brought into court, have experienced much of it before. There are things about me he does not know, that only the Queen and her chosen Consort know...but I let him think this. It's pleasing some part of me, on occasion, to play inconstant and unaffected.
At the end of the vigil, he bade me summon the Queen to him, our Queen of Air and Darkness whom we both serve. Apparently, some while back, he gave his soul into her keeping, and now, he gets little shreds of it back, on rare occasion, along with the power of her blood. She gave him such this evening, and bade him to go and rest, and he said he had a vow to keep before he sought his bed.
Which was my cue to bring him to seek mine.
He has a frightening capacity, that one, for seeking out that line between pleasure beyond imagining, and pain that tears and shreds. We never left that line, that morning, and I shed tears from agony as well as bliss. It was my choice to make, as much as his, but the stripling lad wandered close to the base of my tree, I discovered later, and heard us at play.
After we finished, as I lay trembling in his arms, he slept. I held him for some time, until my breathing was easier, and then I was summoned away for some hours. I did not return to Lumindor until morning was well advanced.
And there I discovered the footloose lad, wandering next to the Drow enclosure. He said he'd come to seek me out, for some converse, and certain intimacies. Again, I was intrigued, and played what I thought was an obvious hand--and again, he turned me aside, through naivete or deliberation, stating he sought mental, perhaps emotional, intimacy, not physical.
I shrugged, inviting him back to the tree, knowing at this point the half-demon would have awoken and wandered away. He was nearly in tears at the thought of such comfort, and I let the lad sleep some few hours, watching him, breathing carefully. I had not yet taken the time to bathe in the mineral springs, restore some of the function I'd lost when the half-demon had taken me, and I had not yet changed my form.
And there, once he awoke, the conversation took a darker turn....(to be continued)