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How to Train Your Voidsent


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(More stuff from Melfice and Shadiyah, though this one comes with a warning:

The material here is a bit NSFW and contains adult, darker themes, though it doesn't go into detail. You've been warned! )


Shadiyah wouldn't hurry home, knowing more than well that whatever awaited her there would not be pleasant. Surely he'd have some sort of punishment prepared for her for what she'd done to the Midlander's husband; probably the harshest so far. She hoped that if she took a while, it may allow him enough time to cool down. Too much time, however, would mean that he would be able to plan his revenge with a level head.


Thus she was caught off guard to find the mansion no different than she had left it. To some it may have been a reassuring sign, but instead it only filled her with dread. Something wasn't right. She clutched the glowing, heart-shaped necklace that dangled from her neck. The object thrummed with a gentle, warming glow. She felt an undeniable calm that seemed to emanate from beneath her. Her master, no doubt.


She made her way to the basement, hesitant to creep into the room. She wasn't even aware of why she tried to remain quiet, nor the reason she was so reluctant to enter. If she knew where he was, then it meant that he also knew of her presence. She carefully pushed the door open just enough to peek through. Much to her surprise, Melfice was in plain sight. He stood before the large podium he'd often used to hold his tomes, garbed in his typical red ritual robes. The mask was nowhere to be seen, and why would it be? He had no need to hide his identity in his home. The two of them were the only ones capable of entering and leaving at will. Most were hardly aware of its existence, just as he seemed to be completely unaware of hers. Until he spoke, at least.


"Ah.. My Mistress has returned. And, pray tell, what has kept you from me for so long this eve? I was beginning to miss you." The words sent her heart to her throat. They were calm. Too calm. 


"Business as usual," she answered dismissively as she pushed the door open and boldly stepped into the room. She kept to the walls, her eyes trailing over the various objects in the room in order to find what was new or out of place. Surely that would give her a clue as to what her punishment would be. Much to her dismay, everything was as it should have been. There were various shelves of books. A few tables lined the walls, each covered in remnants of crusted blood and other filth from his previous "experiments," as he liked to call them. His tools were either left on the tables themselves or hung on the wall, consisting of scalpels and forceps and other odd utensils that she didn't quite know the name of.  Several books were scattered about as well, the topics of which seemed to range from anatomy to aether manipulation. That was just what she could read, though. The covers of most of them were completely illegible due to wear and tear on the spines.


"Business as usual?" he asked, a tone of intrigue given to the question. He paused whatever he was doing in order to look from the book to the adjacent wall where manacles had been placed to chain prisoners for.. whatever it was he did with them. The sight of them forced Shade to shudder. She knew that she was stronger than the man. Clearly, she'd proven that several times before. He had abilities that she did not, however. They helped him level the playing field. She'd learned first hand, and on more than one occasions, that he had the power to bind her and make her do as she wished. It was a gift that he allowed her to keep her free will just as much as it was a gift that she didn't kill him in his sleep, or the numerous other times that he'd dropped his guard with her.


"Why so distant, my dearheart? Come, you need not fear me. After all, we've only just reconciled our differences, no? Here, let me show you this spell I've been working on."


Slowly, cautiously, Shade began to inch toward him. Her back may as well have been glued to the wall, until she'd managed to find the strength to push herself from it and step toward him. This only brought a smile from her master's lips, his left hand lifting to brush gently through her silky, raven hair as she slipped within arm's reach. Despite herself, she couldn't help but to nuzzle her head into his touch. Couldn't it stay like this? Maybe if she were a good girl, he'd forget. Maybe if she was sweet to him, he'd forgive her. Maybe--no, that was too much to hope for. What was he doing? Was he trying to guilt her? Trying to get her to admit it to herself? Her body tensed as he droned on, her mind far too busy trying to understand what was happening to catch everything he'd said to her.


"...You and I will have no more worries," she had picked up on. "You'll have no more need to worry about the safety of my well-being. You may feast whenever you so choose, and we can live out our lives together without fear or need."


"I have never," she began carefully, each word slow and measured, deliberately chosen, "had issue feeding myself. It is only since you have insisted on doing everything yourself that we have run into any problems."


There was a pause given and, for a moment, Shadiyah feared that she might feel her master's wrath. "...I see," Melfice finally began, "So you are saying you would be better off without me, then?" Each word was slow and measured, deliberately chosen. He withdrew his hand from her to rest on the book, a small frown etching its way along his features. "..And I had assumed that I was doing you a favor; that I was making things easier for you by providing for you. By carrying out these tasks, it was to give us some semblance of a relationship. Should you not wish to have such a thing with me, say so."


The tone of his voice caused the succubus to wince. "That is not what I meant," she protested. He'd withdrawn from her then, his attention back on the book. He no longer acknowledged her presence. Shadiyah had always longed for his attention, so when he instead traded her for some inanimate, often inferior object, it left her frustrated. She reached out her hand longingly, but stopped just short of actually touching him. "I just meant that.. you do not have to do everything yourself. It only complicates things. But, I, uhh.. I appreciate it.." She felt confident in the spoken words, though she very obviously tiptoed around them for fear of what sort of reaction the wrong ones would provoke.


"Then you would rather sleep with others to get what you want? Would you prefer to have the mouths and cocks of others on you? All that I am and all that I offer, is it not enough for you to have? Tell me, so that I may be on my way--and you on yours." By now, his tone had grown more agitated. Shadiyah noticed and quickly tried to save herself before he had a chance to retaliate further.


"That's not what I meant, either!" she replied with a shake of her head. "There are other--albeit less effective--ways I can gather aether. But according to you, they are still too intimate. Th--" She paused as he turned to glare at her, an angered expression on his face. She clenched her jaw, unable to hold it in any longer. "Will you just go ahead and do whatever you are going to do to me?" she snapped.


"...Do to you..?" he asked as he turned towards her, voice suddenly calmed. "My dearest one, if you wish for me to fuck you, then all you need do is tell me that you desire my attention. You are aware of that by now, yes?" He took a single step towards her, arms extending to wrap about her body and pull her closely against him. "Why would I wish to harm you, my dearest one? Certainly it is not that you stole from another, nor that you went against your word and allowed the cock of some.. filthy creature inside of you. Yes, I was angry, but I've since resigned to believe that there is nothing I could ever do to get you to obey me. You are far beyond my control. You will not listen to me. You will not do as I've asked. You will never love me as I had hoped, and what does it matter now? You've already killed me."


The succubus winced as she heard his words and felt her heart quickly sinking in her chest. She had expected violent rage; torment and fury and pain and not.. this. She shook her head, gritting her teeth and tugging against his arms to withdraw from them. No, she wouldn't allow his words to soften her. The whole reason she'd done what she did was to make a point. This is probably what he wanted, after all; to soften her up and then punish her when she least expected it. She wouldn't let that happen.


"You started this," she spat back at him. "You will not even let me be near a man simply to feed, and yet you demand that whore to throw off her clothes and spread herself wide to sleep with you? For what? Fun? Your own sick pleasure!? And you did not even seize the opportunity to retrieve any of her aether for me?"


"Ah.. My dearest Shadiyah. You are quite the fool, aren't you?" A small laugh followed the words, soft as it was. He shook his head, tendrils of his own raven hair flying about in the process. "No, my dearest one. I have you. You can be anyone I want, anytime I want them. You can give me pleasures beyond my wildest dreams. Why would I possibly seek such things elsewhere? No, it was to teach her a lesson in humility; that the haughty bitch isn't as powerful as she thinks herself to be. She fancies herself a Queen--believes that she is powerful and beautiful. I stripped her of her power with the mere utterance of a phrase, then laughed in the face of her beauty."


Melfice reached out to run his fingers through her hair once again. His words had convinced Shadiyah to give up her fight, and instead silently moved toward him. She snuggled against him and buried her head into his chest, allowing her master to cradle her against him. Her arms slipped up to wrap snugly around him, holding on to him tightly as if she may never have the chance again. 


"..And I took no aether in lieu of planting a device in their home to drain those that enter," he continued, "But you would know of such things should you have decided to spend any amount of time to learn of my experiments. What is done is done, and I shall thus submit myself to them, as per our deal. I was to not allow myself or you to harm one of them, and as I should have expected, you did. They will do with me as they wish. I would offer you this home and everything in it when I pass, but I am afraid it will vanish when I do." 


Melfice gave a momentary pause as a thought passed through his mind, forcing a soft laugh to escape from his lips, "It seems the power of the void was my undoing, after all. Ironic, isn't it? I've just recently warned another of the same."


Shade's head jerked up suddenly, dark blue eyes wide and fiery. "I do not care about any deal!" she called back to him, fervently shaking her head. "If they hurt you, I will kill them. I have no need for your home and your spells. You will not be going anywhere." Her lips curled into a snarl at the thought, her traditional Keeper fangs just barely showing through.


"I'm afraid you are wrong, my dearheart. The pact was broken, and I am bound. Should I refuse to present myself, the contract's powers will take effect and I will be delivered unto her in the most.. undesirable of manners. It is far best for the both of us that I go and that you remain here. I do not expect mercy from them--only death." He shifted his eyes from her to the book that he'd recently vacated, "Now, please. Place your hands there so that we may begin."


Reluctantly, Shadiyah did as asked. Despite her natural desire to disobey him, she hadn't the heart to do. Her hands stretched out to rest along the pages as she'd been told. As her skin made contact with the page, several of the letters began to glow. She immediately recognized the glow from one of the spells that her master had cast in the past. He'd tricked her, camouflaging the true lines of the spell by using normal ink above the layers of that imbued with aetherial crystals. She hadn't the time to react; the spell's effects were almost instantaneous. Her arms and legs suddenly felt like lead and, despite all of her supernatural strength, she couldn't move them.


"You'll have to forgive me. I had to ensure that you would remain here. As I said, there are many ways that I could punish you--and many ways that I have. I've tried to rob you of your food. I've tried shunning you. I've tried beating you, and I've tried ignoring you. I could allow my servants to have their way with you, but the necklace you wear would force me to feel your pleasure.. and I cannot stand knowing that another pleases you as much as I. So, I am left with this."


Shade was left to glare at her master as she watched him open a dark portal before her, frantic and furious. There was no way to vent her anger and nothing she could do to escape despite how hard she'd tried. It would be pointless to waste more of her energy, and she'd surely need it to endure whatever it was he had in store.


"Speak to me, my dearest one," Melfice called out over the torrential winds pouring from the portal. "What would you do in my situation? What is it you would do in order to feel like you've managed to 'get even' with me..? Aside from fucking someone else, it seems. Or is that all you have within you? What wo--Oh.. .. Yes. Yes, of course. Sending you to the Void would be too easy. When they kill me, you'll be cast within. No, your punishment is to suffer through the pain and agony of my death. You'll feel it all; you'll know exactly what it is you've done to me."


The portal closed, allowing Shade a moment of reprieve. She leaned forward as much as she could along the podium, letting her eyes fall shut while she worked hard at steadying her erratic breathing. He'd continued to speak to her, but whatever he said was lost on her, some due to her nerves and most because of how hard her heart thumped in her chest. She felt a sudden surge of pain as her head was jerked back, forcing her neck to try and contort in unnatural ways as he tugged at her hair. 




He'd continued to call things out to her as he punished her. She had no choice but to take it, rendered entirely helpless thanks to the spell that bound her. All of her cries and pleas for him to leave her alone went unanswered. He pleaded for her to take his aether; to kill him. She refused to give in and drink from him. This only infuriated him further and, by the time he was finished with her, he had ripped her clothing from her and left her on the ground. Even still, she refused to take from him.


"No?" he questioned as he leaned over her, his voice now calm and soft. "Does it not feel good to you anymore, my sweet? Do not make me beat you. You know I can force the transaction if I desire."


She only nuzzled against him. Whether it was from affection or defiance, neither of them really knew. Perhaps it was just what he needed to snap out of his brief stint of anger. He held her tightly, pulling her back against him so that he could feel her skin against his. "My dearest one.. How I'll miss holding you," he whispered to her.


"I love you. I'll miss you," she managed. By now, her protests had lost whatever force they'd had. "Get away from me."


"You'll miss me?" he questioned, scoffing at her. "No. You're not free of me yet. I will not get away from you. I will not LEAVE you. Before I am done, you will know what it's like to be disobeyed. This will be the last time you ever get to have me."


Only when she lost the will to resist him did she finally give in.


"That's it," he whispered to her as he felt her drain him, eyes falling shut in ecstacy. "You've already stuck the knife in, my dearheart. Twist it." Despite all he'd said and done to her, he still very much loved her. He wanted to hold her when she killed him. Her scent, her taste, the way she felt in her arms; he reveled in it one last time. When she'd had her fill, she rest back against him and lay her head against his shoulder, body shuddering in his arms.


His anger finally spent, Melfice was left to lovingly nuzzle back against her. She'd betrayed him and she had drank from him, but she had also once again refused to obey him. He retrieved a small dagger from his robes and pressed the cold steel against the bare flesh of her side. Shadiyah flinched as she felt the dagger drag over her, its sharp blade cutting through her smooth flesh with ease and drawing forth drops of her dark blood. The blade was quickly discarded in order to retrieve a couple of vials from his robe in order to collect, careful so as not to let a single drop of that precious resource go to waste. His mistress was but forced to watch, her gaze briefly flickering to him as he took from her before quickly looking away. She swallowed hard and blinked a few times, her eyes glossy.


"Drink from me. Heal yourself," he whispered another command.


"I will not," she refused, as rebellious as ever. 


In his anger, Melfice jerked her head back and pressed the blade to her neck. "I said take it," he commanded. She growled under her breath, but complied with surprising obedience. As she drew from him, the wound on her side began to slowly close. She also noticed that her arms and legs had become a bit more mobile in the process. 


She happily drained more, taking his aether within her to both strengthen herself and break free of her makeshift prison. So caught in what was to hopefully be his release, Melfice was unaware of her attempt to escape. In his anger and subsequent calm, he must have forgotten entirely about maintaining the spell. When she'd gathered enough strength, she broke free of the bonds and shoved him away from her. 


Melfice fell back, hands blindly grasping for anything that could give him some sort of leverage. He failed, falling to the ground with a resounding thud. The next few seconds lasted for hours, his hands blindly grasping out over the cold stone floor to find nothing but air. He raised up to notice the succubus a few feet from him, the dagger he'd been so hopeful to find resting just beneath her crouching form. Her eyes, now entirely black and wild and feral, flickered from him to the dagger, and then back again. Rather than seize the the chance to attack him or claim his weapon as he'd feared, she slowly retreated a couple of paces as if she were about to flee entirely.


"..If you are going to kill me, then will you at least permit me to meet my death honorably?" he asked, knowing full well that he had no right to do so after what he'd done to her. Funny, too, that he was trying to escape his punishment and then asking her to allow him to go. It would have at least been less painful than whatever she had in store for him, right?


She stared at him blankly, unsure of what he expected her to do with him, or even what she wanted to do. The two remained fixated on each other, both unaware of what the other was going to do. In the time of silence, Melfice was able to think more. None of this would have happened it if weren't for that ignorant bitch and her dog. Shadiyah would never have become jealous, and she would have never gone after her mutt for revenge.


Slowly, Melfice shifted to his knees, both hands in the air with his palms exposed to show that he meant no harm. She was the master, now. With no way to defend himself and she having already weakened him past that point if he could, he was completely at her mercy.


"No," she finally hissed. "You do not have my permission to die. Do you understand?"


"I'm afraid that is beyond your control. If you do not let me go, I will be torn from this world. Do you understand me, Shade?" He motioned his head toward one of the vials of blood that had tumbled from place during their struggle. "I've a fail-safe. In you. Perhaps I can convince them to keep me alive. After all, she still needs me to cure that insufferable husband of hers. It could buy me enough time to come up with an alternative. Then, if I survive, you can do with me as you please. I am yours." He tore his gaze from her, finding the stones beneath his feet very interesting. "..After all. I decided long ago that if I do not have you, I am as good as dead."


"I am not stopping you from going. I just hope you understand that you are not to die during the ordeal. What do you intend to do, then? Waltz into their home and beg them to keep you alive so that you can provide a cure? They would just kill you as soon as they got what they wanted.. Why do you need my blood, anyway?"


"If they seek to destroy me, then I'll use your blood to open a way to the void and let whatever desires a feast to come and keep them busy. ..As for what I intend, yes. That is very close. I will go to their home and speak with Miss Covington. If I am lucky, perhaps she will permit me to live long enough to keep her husband alive."


The succubus nodded thoughtfully. Slowly, and very hesitantly, she crawled towards him. She came to a sit next to him, those large, black eyes staring up at him. She remained silent, brow furrowed beneath her straight-edged bangs. By the time she'd reached him, Melfice had braced himself for the worst. He'd expected her to finish him then and there. He'd have done so, were the tables turned. ..And yet, his mistress was far more gentle than he was ever inclined to believe. 


"What would you have of me, Mistress?" he asked of her, "For this last evening we may have together, I will be entirely yours."


She scooted closer to him, crawling into his lap and settling there in her usual way, as if she belonged there all along. Once more she had no words for him. Instead, she pressed her lips to his in a tender, lingering kiss that lasted for several moments and was yet still too brief. During the kiss, Melfice had wrapped her in his arms and pulled her closely against him. He, too, had nothing to say. After all, what more could be said that he hadn't pressed the point of already? Besides, that would break the silence. It would destroy the moment the two shared; a moment that he thought he'd never get to have with the woman again. The two remained happy in their embrace, she clinging to his body and he running his fingers through her dark hair.


..Until he heard several sniffles coming from her, the sounds muffled against his skin while her naked body shivered in his arms. Was she.. crying? Over him? After what had just transpired between them? Surely, he'd done arguably worse things to her in the past, but.. Did she love him? Without giving much a second thought, he retrieved his robe and wrapped it back around her frame in order to shelter her from the frigid, likely faux, air of the basement. 


"Ssshh.." he offered to try and console her, "It's all right, my dearest one. All will be fine." The words were spoken in a whisper, gentle so as to reassure her. He wasn't quite sure he believed the words himself, but he certainly wanted her to. Despite them, he felt a couple of small, warm droplets of water fall onto the exposed skin of his chest. Her shivers had stopped, but he wasn't quite sure if it was the robe or the words he'd given. 


He lifted her head, gently this time, to look into those large eyes of hers, using the robe to blot at the streams of tears from her cheeks. "As much as I have tried to hate you for everything you've done, I can't help but love you," he admitted. He smiled softly to her, palm pressed flesh against her skin while his thumb brushed at the remaining droplets that threatened to fall from her eyes. "..My Shade. My dearheart. My angel. You will forever be the light in my life."


The two shared a kiss, one that was equally sweet as it was soft. She was, admittedly, still shaky during their shared moment. She pulled away and inhaled sharply in a failed attempt to steady her breathing. 


"I love you," she whimpered in response. "You cannot leave me all alone.. you can't," she pleaded. He was right. It was her fault that he would be forced into this. She jerked her face away from his touch and, instead, buried her head into his chest again.


All Melfice could hear were her quiet sobs and "I'm sorry" muffled over and over against his skin. He shut his eyes as tightly as his body would possibly allow, not because he wanted to keep from looking at her, but because it was all he could do to keep his own tears at bay. He slowly rocked back and forth with her, that mind of his working in overtime as he tried to come up with something--anything--to help her. As far as he was concerned, his existence was over. ..But he did love her, and he knew one thing he'd secretly set out to do for her. When he vanished, that bond tying her to this world would ultimately fade and, with it, so would her tether. But..


"..What if I took enough aether to make you whole again?" he asked aloud, not bothering to give her time to respond. "What if I stole enough energy to lift your curse and make you mortal again? You'd not return to the void. You could continue to live your life and have another chance. You-- Yes. Yes, of course. That's what I'll do."


Shadiyah looked up to him in time to notice the proverbial light bulb go off in his head, eyes shining brightly because of it. "The contract has been broken, so there's nothing keeping them safe from me now," he continued. "I'll meet my inevitable end either way. I only have to submit myself to them--those were the terms. But if she lets me go, the contract will be considered fulfilled, and then there will be nothing keeping them safe from me. I can steal a massive amount of their aether and horde it, then cast the spell to break the curse."


He sounded so confident in his words that he hoped she didn't notice his fear. It wasn't as if he'd ever actually cast the spell before, much less finish his research on it. "I need more of your blood. In case something goes wrong, my sweet one. Just a few more vials so that I can call out to you if I need you. I'll meet Miss Covington, teach that bitch a lesson, and then I'll begin. You'll be safe, my love. From both them and the void."


Shadiyah's sobs had quietened, though his words caused her head to spin. Mortal? The suggestion that she continue to live and have another chance almost made her scoff. Didn't he know that he was the last chance? She'd been ready to give up before she met him, and now that she had him and would lose him, there was even less reason to carry on.


her epiphany arrived much like his had. That, precisely, was the perfect reason to take him up on his offer. If she was mortal, that meant no more would she be sent to the Void. When she ceased to exist in this world, she would cease to exist altogether. After all, her only reservation about becoming mortal up until now was her fear that, without her unnatural draw, he would find her unattractive. ..But if he was gone, that would not be an issue or concern of hers.


"Do.. do you think you could?" she asked tentatively.


"I'm not sure," he admitted in a whisper. He'd come close before, running the occasional test here and there in his free time.. but each time, the victim crumbled to dust, was frenzied, or simply returned to the void. "But I will make it the last great deed that I do for you, my love. Despite.. this.. you have shown me that the world can be beautiful and wonderful. Despite what you and I have had to go through, the things we've endured with and for one another, we have had quite the time together.. yes? The things we've discovered, all the successes and failures.. the fights and arguments. In the end, I've always been content to simply hold you and call you my own. You've made my life something worth living again. For that, I am eternally grateful."


She didn't want to listen to his words, a fact clearly made by her heavy frown. She didn't want to think about him dying. He couldn't die. He couldn't leave her all alone. It wasn't possible, and especially not because of anything she'd done. She wouldn't let it happen


"We'll figure it out," she murmured quietly. "Can we... can we get some rest? Go to bed and, ah.. just spend some time with each other?" she asked meekly.


"Of course, my dear. We can retire to the bedroom and spend our evening together. ..And tomorrow as well, if it please you. Then, I must seek out Miss Covington." He couldn't say no, not when she was being so incredibly sweet to him. Without a word being spoken further, Melfice rose with her in his arms and began to make his way up the stairs. Shadiyah looped her arms around his neck to help support herself and nuzzled her face into his chest, breathing in his scent and making sure it was fully committed to her memory lest she never be near it again. 


Her obedience caused him to smile, "Nothing in this world pleases me more than when you're such a wonderful, good girl. You'll find that you'll receive everything you could possibly desire should you continue to act this way."


His words caused a shiver of pleasure to run through her, her cheeks flushing. She loved it when he praised her.

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[align=center]A few days later...[/align]


When Melfice stepped through the portal into the foyer of his mansion, it wasn't without caution. In his right hand rest his tome, orange and red flames dancing across its surface as his aetherial energy poured into the pages. He gave a cursory glance of his surroundings, first making sure that his Mistress was not lurking anywhere nearby. Then, he closed his eyes and began to concentrate.


She was above him, apparently having found solace in their bedroom. As he made his way towards her, his mind began to wander over the irony of the situation. Many times, it had been she who came into his home not knowing what to expect. She often purposely disobeyed him, sometimes to punish him for not paying her enough attention, others because it was simply her nature. Try as he might, regardless of what he did to her in return, he could never break her from her habits. In the end he was still giving her the attention that she craved, which is precisely why he did what he had done.


Melfice made it as far as the large, curving staircase before a torrent of rage, despair, and fury nearly brought him to his knees. He was forced to lean his right side against the golden banister, silently thankful that he'd managed to keep such a detail in mind when designing the place. His left hand lifted to rub at his temple, trying his best to rid himself of the succubus' overwhelming emotions. Why hadn't he felt them before? He'd been gone for a day and a half. Perhaps it gave her enough time to calm and his presence only served to rekindle her anger?


When he finally managed to block the sensation from his senses, Melfice continued up the stairs. The mask he wore, along with the tome he carried, were discarded along the way. He had no reason to hide his identity in his own home, and bringing what she knew to be a weapon into the room would surely do nothing but anger her further. He paused once he reached the room, lifting a hand to brush over the door that barred his entry. What awaited him within, and how would she react upon seeing him? His mind went in various directions at once, pondering over the various events that could take place once he stepped inside. After a moment to clear his thoughts, he turned the knob and pushed his way in.


The bedroom was not in disarray, which was far better than he'd often left it. When she'd angered him, he often chose to take the brunt of it out on the various objects about his house. The last time she'd managed to do so, only the bed remained untarnished. It seemed exactly the opposite with her, blankets strewn about and pillows tossed about the room. Melfice didn't seem to much care about the state of the bed itself; he was far too focused on the creature that lay at its center.


Shadiyah sat crouched, wearing hardly a scrap of clothing as she often did in the comfort of their home. No longer was she a Keeper of the Moon, but instead it was the succubus that awaited him. Long, bat-like wings protruded from her back, though they remained folded upon themselves for now. Her eyes remained fixated on him in a predatory fashion from the moment he'd walked in, solid black and feral. Her ears rest flat against her skull and her arms wrapped tightly about her lithe frame. He noticed several claw marks along them, dark blood seeping from the wounds to stain the sheets and likely caused by the long, black talons that were once her fingernails. Perhaps most alarming was the fact that she had been poised as if ready to pounce, teeth bared to show off her fangs in a snarl. He noticed that her makeup was marred, dark eyeliner smudged around her eyes and crimson lipstick smeared about her lips. She looked beautiful.


"I see that you now know how it feels to have the one you love be unfaithful to their word," he spoke to her as calmly as he could, knowing well that he did not have the time to silently admire her. He dared a single step toward her in order to test her actions. If she was going to kill him, well.. to go beneath the one you loved wasn't such a bad thing, was it?


He wouldn't get very far, perhaps only three steps before a growl rumbled from deep in his Mistress' throat, warning him not to come closer. She drew in on herself, curling her arms tighter about herself and digging her claws deeper into her own flesh to cause fresh streams of that dark liquid to fall to the bed beneath her. 


"Now now, my dearest one," Melfice began as he lifted both hands, palms exposed in order to denote passivity. "I did not wish to harm you, truly. You know that you are the only one for me."


Shadiyah shook her head frantically, onyx eyes set on him in a spiteful glare. "No," she hissed. "You did this to harm me. You told me you loved me. You made me think everything was okay between us. And then you went and slept with that insufferable bitch! You think this is a comparable revenge?" she spat. "You had sex with her! I felt your pleasure. You stayed with her all night!"


"I informed you the night before I left that I would make you feel as I did." Despite the situation, Melfice seemed as calm as ever. "I stayed because I was asked to do so. As per the agreement of the contract that you broke, I am to remain her slave until a cure is found for her husband. I had to ensure that she realized the only power I gave her over me was that which I allowed. And was it not you that told me to ensure I return unharmed? I did what I had to in order to survive."


"Get away from me," she growled, apparently unphased by his explanation. She slipped as far away from him as she could, scooting back until she felt her wings brush against the headboard of the bed. "You disgust me. Get out of my sight. If it is pleasure you seek, crawl back to that whore's bed. You will find none of it here."


"Shadiyah.." he began as he took yet another step forward. "My dearest one, you know that you are the only one that could ever truly please me. As I've said before, if I wish to fuck someone solely for pleasure, why would I go to anyone but you?"


"Stop talking to me! Stop lying!" the succubus cried out to him, shaking her head from side to side in a frenzy. Nowhere else to go, she leaned over herself to curl into a ball and make herself as small as possible. Her hands came up to clasp over her ears, pinning them down in order to better drown out his words. "Stop stop stop stop stop!"


Despite her pleas, Melfice continued forward to settle down on the side of the bed, curling one leg up beneath himself as he silently observed her. She tried in vain to move further away, to make herself smaller, but it just wasn't possible. Melfice was certain by now that he was safe. If she hadn't attacked him yet, she likely wouldn't despite how angry and deadly she seemed to be. He'd spent enough time with her to know that deep down, underneath the claws and the fangs and the distant personality she kept, she only wished for him to love her.


"I've never told you a lie and I've never sought to fool you," Melfice continued with renewed confidence. "I've told you that I love you, and there is only one other person that has heard those words from me that were not of my blood. I was honest with you about my intentions, and I give you my word that it will never happen again so long as you continue to remain faithful to me, as I have always said. I do not wish to sleep with anyone else. I do not long for another's arms around me, nor do I desire for my lips to touch anyone's but yours. You are my light, my Shadiyah. My world, my other half. The necklace you wear proves it."


"No! I don't believe you!" she snapped. "You think this is the first time I've heard all of these things!?" She gave a bitter bark of laughter. "You are just like the rest. They all betrayed me like you have. They all left me like you will."


Melfice inched his way closer to her, not caring about the blood that now marred his robe as he passed over it. He settled before her and slowly took her wrists in his hands to gently remove her hands from her ears. He was careful in his movements, not wanting her to mistake them as some sort of attack. 


"No, my love. If I wished to leave you, I would not be here now. I'd have done so long ago the moment you first disobeyed me. You are the only thing in this world worth fighting for, and I will always be forever yours, no matter what." The words were barely above a whisper and he released her wrists. She stared at him for some time, brow furrowed as she clearly warred with herself about whether or not his words could be trusted. 


Her began to well up with tears and she gave in, moving forward to crawl into his lap and bury her face in the soft fabric of his robe. The two wrapped their arms needily about one another, she desperate for her to hold him and he thankful that she allowed him to do so once again. She sobbed quietly in his arms for several moments and he let her, allowing the eerie silence of the room to embrace them. 


"Come now, my dear. Allow me to submit myself to you. You may punish me however you so choose. No tricks. No desires to out smart you. Do with me as you please this eve, and I will endure it the best I can." He held her tightly and placed a series of soft, sweet kisses along her crown. She shook her head in refusal, seemingly content with burying her face deeper in his robe as she continued to sob. He gently rocked back and forth, keeping her close and hoping that the motion would soothe her. Eventually, he stopped to lean back and take another look at her form. Yes, she was absolutely beautiful. ..But she also looked completely pathetic. He knew that she would be angry and resentful, but never did he think that he could ever reduce her to such a state. Was what he did really worth it if this was to be the outcome?


"Please," he whispered to her, the word not quite a plea. "Drink from me at least. I deserve that much. Mend yourself of these wounds that I inflicted on you." No, she had certainly not done them. They were caused by his actions, and thus he was the guilty one.


That, at least, drew her attention up to him. She tried to blink away her tears, forced to unfurl her arms from around him so that she could wipe her cheeks dry with the backs of her hands. She reached forward to undo his robe, pausing once she noticed the scars of wounds that she'd inflicted so long ago. 


"Melfice?" she hesitated, peering up at him uncertainly. "When you changed your appearance... why did you leave the scars?"


Her question caught him entirely off guard, as could be seen by the surprise that flashed across his features. It was quickly replaced with a soft smile, and he leaned forward to rest his forehead to hers. "Because I wanted to always remember the day that I brought you into this world, the single-most important event in my life. When I look in a mirror, I am constantly reminded that you.. for some reason.. decided to spare me that fateful night. I am reminded of your power and your strength, and that every day I awake next to you is a gift that you have allowed."


That seemed to be enough to convince her judging by the way that she pushed the robe further apart to expose the rest of his chest. She saw fit to bless his flesh with kisses along his collarbone, lips curling into a gentle smile as he shuddered beneath her touch. She loved the effect that she had on him, often able to disarm him with a few well-placed kisses. "I love you, Melfice," she whispered against his skin.


"And I love you, Shadiyah," he responded. Despite how much he absolutely adored the feel of her lips against him, he used his nose to gently nudge her gaze up to meet his. The two became lost in one another, though the silence between the two seemed louder than it had ever been before. Then their lips met, both needy and hungry and wanting far more than the other could possibly give. It took only a gentle nudge from her for him to be guided back against the bed, she crawling atop his frame and continuing the trail of kisses along his chin. His eyes fell shut and he relaxed, allowing her to work and feed from him as much as she desired. This was the pleasure that she had thought he sought from others. Gods, how good it felt by comparison.

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