you know what to do, he says, you know what to ask, and I do not, I do not, I know only hunger, I know only pain, breath like knives through my lungs and all my nerves burning--
He tells me I know this answer, he tells me I know how to summon, one demon to another. I shake my head. He summons his daughter to show me how easy it is. He tells her to teach me, and departs into flame and mist.
and I shake, I tremble, I shatter, shredding my pride to red ribbons, all to ask her for her help--help I need, desperately need, but cannot seem to ask for on my own--
She asks who I seek. I tell her the demon within the lad from the East. She sneers, curling her lip back. "The incubus?" she says, her expression incredulous.
Aye, yes. The incubus, indeed. She shakes her head at me.
please oh gods please, spirits and elements please, everything, anything I revere, please give me the strength to survive the day--
She asks for the vial from around my neck, the demon's daughter--white-haired and cynical, the daughter of a far different house. She holds out her hand and asks for mine.
and what is it she wants then, the blood I could drink but why bother, the enchantments nearly gone, the bauble itself? But why, but why--
She asks for my hand, and draws out a long metal pin, scoring it across my fingertips. She drops the blood it gathers into the vial, mixing old with new, nodding, and recapping it. She clasps it tight, closing her eyes.
my hand smarts but I let her hold it, surrounded by the stone of the keep that never rose near trees, smell of spider venom heavy on the air, along with fainter scents of old blood and pain, and where am I, where am i, why did I agree to come here--
She chants, the language one I've never heard, the sounds more ripped out of her living throat than spoken. I shudder, hearing them. They seem to paint the very air with hatred, with rage, with dissatisfied need.
my hand starts to burn and throb and the liquid in the vial glows red, vibrant, like rubies cut from living rock, like liquid jewels, like fresh raw wounds and I want to start screaming--
And she calls his name. The name of the demon within. And the lad from the Eastern lands appears.
I rush into his arms, filling my senses with him, touch and scent, taste and hearing, sight rushing in over all, and I'm drunk with him, dizzy, and barely paying attention to anything else said.
but she says, she says, I do not understand but she says, 'binding', and she says, 'bound' and she says, she says, 'to each other', and, and, I do not, I do not understand--
"Wait," I say. "What...precisely...do you mean by 'bound'?
And she tells me. She has somehow enchanted the lad's blood, mine, and the remaining essence within us both, so that we will be bloodbound to serve each others' cause.
And Lilit speaks sardonic, amused words with my throat, smiles with my mouth, and the peals of her discordant laughter ring loud and long in the room.
Oh, my succubus quite enjoys this idea. Bound to the demon, for...ever, mayhap, or at least for a very long time.
"Is there no way...?" I ask. She turns back.
"Yes," she says. "When you die. So will the incubus."
and he looks at me he looks at me he LOOKS AT ME and this is, none of this is, MY FAULT--
Oh, great. Here we go again. The Raven? He is going to kill me...