�Demons aren�t real,� I told myself firmly as I dragged the stick of chalk across the concrete floor of my basement. ��And this will prove that. �Nothing will happen, and then I can prove to Connor that this stuff is bull.� �I finished the last line of the circle I was copying out of the book I held in one hand, then moved to stand in the circle I had already drawn. �I stuck the chalk in the pocket of my sweatpants and flipped the page.
The words there were hard to read aloud�too many consonants all grouped together�but I managed it. �And, as I predicted, nothing happened. �I turned, ready to head back upstairs, but from behind me there came this odd sound�a shimmering sort of �pop.� �When it repeated itself, I turned around.
And saw what had to be a demon, and a naked one at that, standing in the circle I had drawn.
I opened my mouth to scream, but I didn�t make any more sound than a soft gasp as fear stole my breath away. �His eyes were solidly black, and his sharp teeth were bared in a wicked smile.
�Oh, you�re a pretty little thing,� he cooed, his words hissing slightly. ��Not too bright though, are you? �You didn�t draw your circle right, do you see?� �He gestured with one hand toward the outer ring of circle. �The chalk was smudged. ��Nice of you. �I�ve not been able to get out and have my fun in a very...long...time.� �He stepped slowly, deliberately over the lines and out onto the unmarked concrete.
I jumped, startled when my back hit the wall; I hadn�t realized that I was backing away from him. �He laughed, unpleasantly, and continued his slow advance toward me. �His movements were...off. �No human could move that fluidly, that smoothly. �He stopped when he was less than a foot away from me and reached out as though to touch my face.
I turned away, closing my eyes tightly. ��P-please,� I stuttered, and he laughed. �I felt his claws ghost across my cheek and shivered. �I cringed, pressing myself harder against the wall when I felt him push himself against me, breathing in deeply through his nose. ��Please, d-don�t, don�t hurt me.�
�Oh, you are delightful,� he purred, flicking his tongue across my face as I forced my eyes open. ��But...why did you try to call me, little one? �You really aren�t the type, you know. �The scent of Light isn�t often associated with Summoners.� �He ran his claws through my hair as he spoke, and I shivered. �He took hold of my upper arm to keep me still.
�I didn�t�I never thought that I would actually call anything. �I didn�t think�� �I began, and he cut me off.
�That�s obvious, dear. �If you had thought, you would have noticed the smudge in your circle,� he said, laughing. �He bent down slightly to rub his face against me like a cat.
I yelped when he nipped my neck, hard enough to hurt, though it didn�t seem to have drawn blood.
�And you would have known what to expect.� �He pulled away suddenly, his eyes locked on mine. ��Take off your clothes.�
I stared at him, stunned and frightened. ��Please...� I began again, but he growled low in his throat, a warning sound. �I started to cry as I grasped the hem of my shirt and pulled it slowly off over my head. �I felt my face burn with shame as I dropped the shirt and hooked my fingers into the waistband of my sweatpants, sliding them down slowly before stepping out of them. �I paused with my hand on my panties, looking up at him pleadingly, hoping he wouldn�t make me do this.
He arched one eyebrow at me, cocking his head slightly to the side.
I pulled my underwear down, looking away briefly and stepping out of them as well. �He grinned at me then, stepping forward again and pushing me back against the wall hard enough to bounce my head against it. �I bit my lip to stifle any sound I might have made.
His hands slid across my chest, just below my neck, then dropped down to cup my breasts.
I whimpered, arching toward him when his claws dug in slightly, almost hard enough to break the skin. ��N-no, please, don�t hurt--!� �My sentence was cut off as I cried out when he pushed harder, and his claws did break the skin.
He laughed, pulling his claws back out and sliding the palms of his hands down my sides to grip my hips as he bent down to fasten his mouth over one of the wounds, licking greedily at the blood there.
I yelped again when his tongue pushed slightly into one of the punctures, widening it slightly.
He pulled away after a moment, kneeling down in front of me. �He pushed my legs apart, forcing me to widen my stance and lean against the wall for support. �He pressed his mouth to my inner thigh, and I trembled.
�Lovely,� he murmured, his lips brushing lightly over my skin as he spoke.
I froze when he raised his clawed hands, carefully spreading me open for his inspection. �I had stopped crying, I started again when he did this. �I had never felt so helpless in my life as I did then, standing up against the wall with blood running down my body, and him scrutinizing a part of me that no one, except for myself and my gynecologist had ever seen.
�Open your eyes,� he commanded, pushing a little harder with the tips of his claws.
Until he said that, I hadn�t realized that I had even closed my eyes. �I opened them slowly, gazing at him through a haze of tears.
He smiled back at me with a mouth covered in my blood. �His eyes never left mine as his claws opened me wider, and he leaned in toward me.
�No!� I gasped out, frightened at the thought of his mouth anywhere near that delicate area. ��Please, please don�t, I�!� �I stopped abruptly as he pushed his face up between my thighs, and I felt his tongue begin to slide into me. �It was an awful feeling; it was far too long to be a human tongue, and it felt like a huge worm squirming around inside of me. �I whimpered, pressing my hands hard against the wall behind me and wishing there was something I could hold on to. �I nearly screamed in shock when he found a place inside of me that I hadn�t known existed.
His hands moved to my hips, holding me firmly against the wall as I began to twist in unwilling pleasure.
I cringed and shuddered when I felt his tongue slide out of me and watched it vanish behind his teeth as he looked up at me and grinned before sliding one hand down. �I held my breath as I watched him press the palm of his hand between my legs, the tips of his claws pressing lightly against the place where my thighs met my bottom, the pad of his thumb coming to rest on the highly sensitive bud of flesh at the top of my sex.
I struggled not to move, but it was nearly impossible to keep my hips from bucking forward as he rubbed slow circles with his thumb. �I caught my bottom lip between my teeth and bit down, tilting my head back against the wall and trying to maintain at least the semblance of control over myself. �But that ended when he pushed down a little harder and made those circles a little faster.
My hips jerked forward, and I gave a little, soft, despairing moan. �He chuckled, and I felt his breath hot against my upper thigh. �It seemed to take hours, but I finally felt myself nearing. �I twisted slightly, my hands scrabbling at the wall behind me. �I screamed when I came, though not because of the pleasure; he sank his teeth deeply into my thigh at the same time.
He pulled away, grinning macabrely up at me through a mouth smeared with my blood. �I nearly fell down when he pulled his hand away from me, but he caught me as I fell, pulling me down and holding me close.
�You are mine, little Summoner,� he purred into my ear and I shivered, still crying because of the throbbing pain in my thigh. ��You will always be mine. �This mark,� he touched the bleeding wound on my leg as he spoke, and I yelped, �will remind you of that.� �And then he pulled my head back slightly and kissed me hard, forcing his tongue past my lips.
I gagged on the taste of blood�my blood�as his tongue seemed to stretch to an impossible length, nearly pressing down my throat. �I gagged harder, and he pulled away, grinning.
He turned me around, grabbing me by the upper arms and pulling me to my feet as he stood up, my back now pressed against his chest.
I gave a sharp, startled cry when he shoved me forward against the wall, holding me there with one hand set firmly in the center of my back as his other hand forced my legs apart. �I began to sob when I felt the tip of his cock press against my opening from behind.
And then, with one quick, hard thrust, he was inside of me. I was certain that I was being torn in two. �He was so much bigger than the two fingers I used to pleasure myself. �I struggled but not for very long. �My writhing only hurt me and made him enjoy it all the more. �Had it not been for his hand on my back, I don�t think I would have been able to stay standing; the pain was intense and my legs were already weak. �His thigh pressed against the wound on mine with every thrust, sending smaller shock waves of pain up and down my leg.
He began to thrust harder, and I screamed until my throat felt like I had swallowed broken glass, and I couldn�t make any sound above a soft whimper.
After what seemed like an eternity, he came with a low moan, biting down on my shoulder. �It was a surprisingly gentle bite, considering whom it came from; I would have a bruise there tomorrow, but it didn�t break the skin.
He pulled out of me, and I gave another pitiful groan as he released his hold on me and let me drop to the floor. �I half turned, looking up at him fearfully. �I was shaking so hard that my teeth had begun to chatter, and I wrapped my arms tightly around myself to try to keep still.
He grinned at me, a parody of a lover�s smile, and reached down to run the tips of his claws lightly over my cheek.
�I�ll be back for you tomorrow, little one,� he cooed, and then he was gone, a faint �pop� lingering after him. �I remained frozen in place, my mind reeling with the implications of what had just happened and what he had said. �He was coming back. �Did that mean I would have him to look forward to every night?
I guess I wasn�t going to be able to tell Connor there was no such thing as demons after all. �A hysterical laugh escaped my lips at the thought.
I don�t really remember when the laughter turned to sobs.
* * * *
It�s too easy to give into him, I reflected, staring into the darkness of my room, shivering, naked, under my blanket. �It shouldn�t be; I should be frightened by his fangs and his claws and his oil-drop eyes that can look straight through me. �But I�m not, and it�s easier than I ever thought anything could be. �All I have to do is stay still, like a good little doll, and he�ll do the rest.
I was waiting for him, now. �The clock read eleven fifty-nine. �He always showed up exactly at midnight. �Something to do with the planes; I never really understood it. �I don�t think humans are really meant to understand demons.
The red numbers on the clock flashed to twelve o�clock, and I heard the faint, shimmering �pop� that meant a Gateway had just opened; the pop repeated and that was him shutting the door after himself. �And then he was there, crouching right in front of me, so his face was level with mine.
I stared at him in silence; he didn�t want me talking. �If anyone were going to speak, it would be him.
�I spent my time thinking about you today,� he said, in a tone that should have been conversational, and it would have been, if not for his ice-and-rocks voice. ��Thinking about what I did to you the first time we met. �Do you remember?�
I saw that he was naked as he stood and pushed me over onto my back as he spoke, pulling the blanket back from my body and sliding into bed to sit astride my hips.
I shivered, fear settling on my chest like lead weights, making it hard to breathe. �Of course I remembered. �God, it had been...terrifying. �He showed me so many new things to be afraid of, so many new pains...and pleasures. �It had lasted for hours, hours of screams, sweat, and blood. �It wasn�t the sort of thing you forgot.
I watched him as he reached out a hand to stroke my face lightly with the tips of his claws. �He ran the pad of his thumb over my lower lip, then slid his hand down to grip my throat, forcing me to tilt my head back slightly as he squeezed.
I struggled to swallow and to keep breathing.
�It was maddening, you know. �Thinking about you like that, without any way to get to you. �But I have you now,� he said softly, digging the claw of his thumb into the side of my neck. �I closed my eyes and bit back a whimper. �It was going to be a difficult night, and I knew it. It always was when he started...remembering things.
My heart beat fast and hard, my pulse thrumming beneath his fingers as he squeezed harder for a moment before releasing his hold on my neck to cradle my face in his hands. �Every instinct I had screamed at me to struggle, to run, to do anything I had to to get away from the creature that sat atop me. �But I looked into his oil-drop eyes and stayed still.
He leaned down over me, his long black hair falling forward like a curtain, his knees squeezing my hips hard enough to be painful, and then...nothing. �He just held me there, staring so hard into my eyes I thought me must be inspecting my soul. �I didn�t think it would be anything much to look at; tarnished silver isn�t all that pretty.
Finally, he moved one hand away, pushing my shoulder down and tangling his other hand in my hair, pulling my head aside and exposing my neck to him. �He lowered his face to my throat, and I closed my eyes.
I found it was usually better not to see what he was doing to me. �I hissed in pain as his fangs scraped over the sensitive skin of my neck. �He rubbed the skin there almost raw with his teeth, then drew away slightly to lick the abused flesh, soothing it slightly.
It was disturbing, to have his mouth on my throat. �He had bitten me in other places, I knew how easily those fangs could pierce flesh. �It would be no effort for him simply to tear my throat out. �But he wouldn�t; I�m far too much fun to play with, and I know it.
The hand that had been on my shoulder turned to the side and slid down until his claws pricked the skin of my breast. �He held still for a moment, then shifted slightly to press his mouth hard against mine. �I kept my lips pressed tightly together; he squeezed my breast until his claws broke the skin, and I gasped in pain, then thrust his tongue into my mouth.
He tasted of rusted iron, old blood, and rotting meat. �It was revolting, and wrong, and...wonderful. �He scraped his teeth over my lower lip, biting carefully, then sucking gently. �He finally pulled away, and I could feel him staring down at me; I didn�t need to open my eyes to know he was smiling.
He released his grip on my hair, sliding down my body. �He pushed my legs apart, nuzzling against my inner thigh, and I shuddered when his mouth touched the scar he had left there the first time he had appeared to me.
I tensed when his teeth started to dig into my thigh; it didn�t hurt at first, but the slow build of pressure was accompanied by a growing pain. �I gripped the sheets beneath me and grit my teeth, keeping my eyes closed. �I cried out when his teeth finally broke the skin. �He drew back slightly, so he could lick at the blood now running from the wound; he pressed his tongue into one of the punctures, and I yelled again and felt him laugh.
He moved, pushing my thighs farther apart as he raised one hand to run the tips of his claws over the lips of my sex.
I hissed, fighting the urge to squirm; it didn�t hurt, but if I moved the wrong way, I would impale myself on those needle-sharp claws. �I bit my lip, hard, trying to remain perfectly still as he continued this delicate, dangerous exploration.
He finally withdrew his hand, and then leaned in and licked.
I gasped, my hips jerking upward of their own accord now that it was no longer hazardous to do so. �I whined as his tongue slid into me and felt him smile against me.
He twisted his tongue, somehow, and it was like having a snake wriggling inside of me.
I shuddered, reminded again just how inhuman the creature between my thighs was.
He pulled away suddenly, licking his way back up my body to fasten his mouth on my neck again. �He bit, hard enough that I yelped in surprise and opened my eyes in fright. �He pulled away from my neck and smiled at me. �My blood was smeared across his lips and stained his teeth, making an expression that would otherwise have been reassuring terrifying. �I stared into his eyes, biting my lip again and resisting the urge to beg, to plead with him. �It wouldn�t do any good; if anything, it would just prolong this.
He leaned down over me, bracing himself with one hand on either side of my head, and stuck his tongue out to lick my lips, wriggling past them to run over my teeth. �I watched him, my eyes never leaving his. �Up close, his eyes weren�t the flat black they seemed to be from a distance; they were shot through with swirls of red. �They were oddly hypnotic, entrancing in spite of...or perhaps because of their utterly alien nature. �He pulled away, his tongue sliding back behind his lips.
He rocked back away from me, so that he was kneeling between my legs, then slid his hands beneath me, lifting me off the bed and wrapping his arms around me, drawing me close and holding me there with one hand as the other bent one of my legs around his hips. �I did the same with my other leg, and he hooked one arm beneath my ass, keeping the other one around my waist as he stood up. �I wrapped my arms around his neck and hid my face against his shoulder as he repositioned his arm so that it was no longer behind me.
I was still unprepared for the force with which I was slammed back against the wall; the air left my lungs in a rush and my legs spasmed; it was only because of his sudden, iron-tight grip on my thighs that I was able to keep my legs around him as he thrust forward and into me. �I didn�t have enough air to scream, or I would have; I did struggle now, twisting helplessly between him and the wall.
He laughed, or began to; it turned into a snarl quickly.
His pace was hard and fast; he jerked me forward against him with every thrust, and I felt his claws sink into the flesh of my thighs, blood running down the backs of my legs.
I pressed my face harder against his shoulder, gritting my teeth and waiting, hoping he would finish soon and leave me alone. �I screamed when he finally came; he jerked his claws to the side, leaving bloody furrows across the backs of my thighs. I still heard his low growl, even over my own shout. �Without warning, he pulled out and let go of me and with my limbs as weak as they were, I couldn�t hold onto him; I hit the floor hard and cried out again when my newest wounds came in contact with the floor.
I looked up at him through eyes brimming with tears and found him glaring back at me, his face twisted in something like pain. ��I�m sorry I didn�t have enough time tonight, little one,� he ground out. ��Someone is calling me. I�ll return tomorrow.� �And then he seemed to pop out of existence, with only the sucking pop of a closing doorway to mark his departure.
I laid there on the floor, unmoving, crying, for a long time. �When I finally did move, it was only to touch the still-wet blood on my thighs. �I raised that hand to hold it before my eyes, inspecting it. �Slowly, hesitantly, I slipped my bloody fingers into my mouth. �The taste reminded me of him.� My other hand slid between my legs.