Chapter 1: Here We Go.
The cherry of his cigarette illuminated his stoic expression as he waited around at some shitty bar in this new town. He ordered another shot of gin, straightening out his turtleneck and watching whatever sports game silently played while the bar buzzed with drunken ranting and sloppy mating rituals.
He scanned every soul that walked through the door.
Every stop he made across the country would always have the same crowd blow through their wells of social lubricant… but this one seemed to be a particularly grimy hive of sinners.
Bored, he told the bartender to put it on his tab and got up, putting his cigarette out. He wasn’t going to find any work here. Nothing new, anyway. Probably just someone who owes money, needs to cover their tracks, or get retribution for some wrong doing…
The door chimed and his magic pulsed, his eyes rising to meet yours as you stood in the doorway, tearstained and raw.
You were frozen in the vacuum of his one-eyed gaze for a moment before realizing he may just be the solution you needed… You would have settled for a creep, or some thug… but he’d probably have no qualms with violence at all. He was a fucking monster, after all. They probably loved killing humans.
Straightening up, you turned and walked back outside, pulling your hood up.
He followed you, your soul beckoning him. Hm. Nothing was more interesting than the jobs people would pose with a sense of nothing to lose.
Your boots shifted through the summer grass, your sweatpants tucked into them with hasty sloppiness. Your hoodie was fitted, making the waistband of your pants exaggerate your hips all the better as he observed the details. You clearly left wherever you came from in a hurry for such an odd choice in footwear, especially in the summer. Your hood was up… to hide your identity? No… you needed a sense of security. Something to keep you focused for whatever interesting task you were about to ask of him.
You lead him to the far corner of the parking lot, right beside the dumpsters. He smirked and walked up to you, his eye eerily brighter in the dark.
You didnt want to get too curious. The less attachments the better. Peeking up through your hair from under your hood, you tried not to be fascinated by his appearance.
You’d seen monsters around ever since they integrated. You were surprised at how easily they managed to. Humans found them more fascinated than anything. A treaty was quickly met once they revealed that they had healing abilities. With such a valuable asset, diseases were rapidly being cured… and what society would turn down an opportunity like that? Sure there was the occasional spat… but humans could barely handle different skintones, let alone brand new life forms. Technically, the monsters were here first, even. God people were shit…
...which was why you were here.
“You’re not from here…” you said, after taking a breath of courage. He shook his head and kept staring at you, unnervingly , with that one, serene, yellow eye.
“What’s your angle? You one of the monsters who does jobs?”
Loners like him weren’t uncommon. There were just as many monsters that didn’t agree with integrating and chose to just travel and maintain a bare minimum in less populated parts of the world.
The skeleton nodded, leaning on the dumpster. He stood about four inches taller than you, casually crossing his foot behind the other as he maintained his stare. Your stomach twisted.
“Anyone can be bought, doll. Price depends on the task.” he said smoothly.
“Huh…” you said, skeptical. Just get it out…
You opened your mouth, but the crash of a bar fight breaking out demanded both of your attention.
“You wanna go somewhere more private?” he suggested, his eye flicking back to you.
You nodded. He reached to grab your arm and you quickly recoiled, backing up against the other dumpster. He looked a little surprised at first, then grinned softly.
“Easy, kid. I don’t bite.” he chuckled, holding out his hand. You stared at it, unsure as to what he was suggesting. What, were you gonna skip up the highway like best pals? Whatever. You huffed and took it. He suddenly pulled you into an embrace.
Your hood fell back, the light catching your very flustered expression and his very amused grin, in turn. He began to fall backwards. You gasped and struggled, bracing for impact, but instead felt yourself falling with him into a thick cloud of pitch black static.
Suddenly your feet found the earth once more, the darkness dissipating until you realized the two of you were on top of a building somewhere down town. Amazed, you looked around, the wind whipping about your hair, a chill running through you. Absentmindedly, you pressed a little closer to him before realizing he still held you. You pushed away, clearing your throat and crossing your arms to keep warm.
He tilted his head a bit, finding you far more amusing than he’d expected to. Maybe he’d give you a discount.
“S-So…” you said, trying to maintain a stern tone despite shivering, “What sort of jobs do you usually do?”
He smiled and slid his hands into his pockets, pulling out a cigarette and lighting it. After a long drag, he let the smoke billow from his sockets before exhaling, the vision like something out of a horror film. You straightened up a bit.
“Hit jobs, mostly.” he shrugged. “Grudges are humanity’s most lucrative cash cow…”
There was no way to tell if that statement held any venom or remorse. Whatever. Focus.
“Well… Good… That’s what I need.” you sighed, shoving every doubt down that tried to crawl its way toward reason. This was happening. Enough was enough… You were so tired of fighting… It was time to end this.
You took a stack of cash out of your jacket. It totalled to around $2,000 and some change.
He sighed, taking another drag and walking up to you, looking you over. How disappointing. He thought you were different. Ah, well. Might as well…
“Sure, hun. Who you wanna see bite the dust, hmm? Someone fuck your life right up?” he chuckled. You smirked as your eyes welled.
“Like no one else can.” you scoffed as your eyes pricked with tears. A small quiver in your voice piqued his interest, blowing smoke to the side.
“Gimmie a name.” he said, becoming a little more serious.
“_________.” you sighed, as if saying it was taking a weight off of your shoulders. He flicked his cigarette off the side of the building. Only about 5 minutes into a conversation and he already found himself more than willing to obliterate whoever brought those tears. Such a sucker for a pretty face…
“And where will I find em…?” he said, tipping your chin to look at him. His expression softened when he met your eyes, your soul reaching a new frequency.
“....You’re lookin’ at her…” you said barely above a whisper.
Chapter 2: What.
Well. How did you think this was gonna go?
He stared at you for a moment before beginning to chuckle. It built into a hearty bellow, his hand holding his stomach as he doubled over, turning away.
Rage slowly built in your chest… this wasn't a joke. There was nothing about your life that was worth this constant stress. Every day it was nothing but following the same mundane orders at your dead-end job. Loans to pay off, bills piling up, pressure from peers, the dissatisfaction with your family… You know who doesn't have to worry about that shit?
Your decision was final. This was the last day of your life. It was the one choice you could make that would end all of this pain and stress and, truthfully, you were excited you were finally so very close… until this asshole began laughing at you.
He caught his breath and looked back at you with a wide grin.
“You walked up to the first monster you saw, just to get yourself whacked?” He burst into laughter again. “That all the money you've got to your name?”
You blushed, shrinking into yourself. It was. You figured this would be an expensive request, and a corpse had no use for cash… so…
With a small nod, you threw the stack at him and shoved your hands into your pockets, looking down.
He impressively caught the cash and thumbed through the bills with a whistle and a condescending chuckle.
“I'm a little curious… how much do you think your life is worth, hmm?” He smirked. You didn't expect this to be so humiliating. Shrugging, you looked up, your eyes beginning to well.
“Two grand?” He scoffed, pocketing the cash. He took another good look at you, the wheels in his head beginning to turn. How about that, turns out he was right. You were different. A human who wanted to die. It certainly was a first… Your method fascinated him. Sure, you could have been discreet about it, taken care of it in the comfort of your own home. You could have been flamboyant and thrown yourself from a building or jumped in front of a train. But no… you chose to find someone to do the dirty work… and not just anyone. A monster. He didn't know whether he was offended or flattered at the thought. Seemed such a waste though… throwing away such a creative little thing…
An idea struck him.
“So. Just so we’re clear… you're telling me that if I accept, your life is in my hands, correct?” He smoothly spoke. You weren't fond of his wording…
“...I am paying you to end my life. Yes.” You clarified. He walked up to you, reaching for your face. You hesitated a bit, causing him to waver, before he chuckled and pulled down your hood. Your [y/c] hair caught the breeze, flowing back a bit. His smile softened, his hand reaching to tuck a small lock behind your ear.
“I'm curious as to what you'd want me to do. Eat you up…?” he said softly. Come to think of it, neither did you really. You'd heard rumors of monsters eating humans. Didn't seem like a bad option… You'd also heard something about soul magic…
“I don't care… just do it. Stop torturing me…” you said flatly, avoiding eye-contact. He lightly pinched your chin and moved your jaw to look at him.
“Okay, doll. I accept.… But first, I’m gonna add a little spice to this deal…” he purred. Your heart picked up the pace as you realized how close he was. What the fuck…? Spice??
“If you wanna die, I'll help you.” He pressed a hand to your chest and it began to glow, along with his eye. You gasped as you felt an icy sensation rip through you until he pulled his hand away, suddenly cradling a brightly glowing heart-shaped orb. It hovered in his palm between the two of you.
“Wh-what th-- What did you do!?” you stammered, feeling a sudden rush. He smiled and rose the orb close to your face.
“Never seen a soul before, huh?” He teased, examining it. “Well, this is it. The very culmination of your being.”
“M-My… holy shit…” you whispered. It was extraordinary… “What are you going to do..?” you barely squeaked.
“Since this thing was considered trash by it's owner,” He smirked, spinning it a little. It created a tingly sensation through you, making your hair stand on end.
“I’m just gonna take it off her hands.” He grinned.
You went a little pale.
“E-excuse me?” you tutted.
“As far as I’m concerned, you belong to me now.” He smoothly drawled. Your cheeks flushed as rage built up inside of you.
“That wasn’t the deal!!” you snapped, then gasped as you felt his finger gently touch your soul’s edge. It was like sparks being forced through your veins.
“The deal, as I recall, was to end your life. You failed to mention when or how. So here’s the catch, because angleface, there’s always a catch…” he chuckled. You wilted in horror. What the fuck have you done…
“You give me a week. Just one week to let you really live… try and change your mind. If I succeed, well, we go our separate ways and you find your path with a new sense of hope.”
“And what if there's nothing you can do?!” you spat, choking back a sob. He wiped a tear as it fell and smiled warmly.
“Then I will take you to a nice spot with a gorgeous view and crush your soul with my bare hands…” he softly assured. You swallowed hard. He was awful!! How dare he try and manipulate you! Who the fuck does he think he is?!?
You wanted to punch him in his smug jaw. How could he… He didn't know you at all! How was he supposed to fix what he can't understand?! You were tempted to just turn and throw yourself off of the building just to spite him. Suddenly, you felt a jolt of otherworldly beckoning as your soul was engulfed by flames the same color as his eye.
“What are you doing?!” you gasped.
“Making it official.” he chided. After a moment of suspension in that sensation, you were released. Your knees buckled, your palms catching you on the ground. Slowly you started to feel something… something strange… like a scent, but more of an impression.
You looked up at him, hopelessly exhausted and confused… He crouched down to your level, slowly slipping your soul back in. A shudder ran through you.
“Now… What to do with my new doll first…” he grinned.
Chapter 3: The Bed You've Made
Welp. Here you are.
It was a beautiful day outside. Birds were singing, flowers were blooming… on days like this, you wished guys like him would burn in hell.
A cool summer breeze blew through the open windows, caressing the expensive tapestries. In the distance, you heard some wind chimes. The bedroom glowed with the bright colors of a late sunrise.
You laid in that luxurious, fluffy bed. Your wrists were bound to the headboard with some soft rope. The empty model home smelled like new paint and strong pouperie, a scent that began to give you a headache. You had no idea where you were on the planet, or whether or not anyone had even noticed you were gone...
Enthusiasm was scarce after his little trick. He somehow coursed through you; you could feel him… it was incredible and terrifying. You tried to run immediately, but everywhere you turned he would appear in your path. Of all the outcomes you had envisioned in this pursuit, this threw you completely.
He gripped your waist from behind, laughing all the while, as the two of you fell backward into that black void. You landed in a bank vault, surrounded by pillars of cash. He took a few bundles and stuffed some in your jacket as well. Paralyzed with bewilderment, you just stood there. How was he teleporting!? Was that a common monster trait? Was that his only power?? After he’d collected enough, he pulled you by the arm through another portal, the two of you landing in an alleyway in some foreign country. He giggled as you began to back against the wall, going pale with anxiety. He approached you with that sly grin, resting an elbow beside your head and looking down at you.
“You hungry, little doll…?” he said smoothly.
In a panic, you punched him in the ribs, earning a satisfying wretch from his arrogant-ass. Taking the opportunity, you sprinted away. Fuck any plans you had. You needed to escape this thing.
Before you’d even reached the end of the alley, you were gripped with that intense icy sensation again, suddenly seeing yellow tinting everything as you were lifted off of the ground. You struggled to no avail, screeching in anger.
“Aww, don’t be that way, hmm? I really hoped we would hit it off quick. You seemed so fascinated earlier.” he chuckled. “But if you insist on bein’ a brat about it…”
You stared at him, desperately trying to swallow the melt down that clawed its way up your throat. He dropped you once you were beneath him. You landed in his arms and the floor dropped from under you again. Landing on a fluffy bed, he sighed and pinned you with magic, pulling out zip-ties and tape.
And here you were… tied up and gagged so you couldn’t run away while your captor was off getting… lunch . Well… breakfast for you at this hour, but technically you were on the other side of the globe. Maybe? Ugh.
No matter how many times you repeated it to yourself, it was still beyond comprehension. How could this have happened? Why the fuck did-- just, what!?
He appeared again with some grocery bags and a smirk.
“Honey, I’m home!” He chimed, setting the bags down and rooting through them.
“So… any allergies, preferences, or other human nonsense I should worry about before I get to work?” He sighed, setting all sorts of produce on the large nightstand. You leered at him with a long sigh. Was he serious…
He looked at you and pouted.
“Aww, chickadee… Don't give me that look. I take good care of what's mine. Right now the most dangerous person you could be around is yourself. So, until I know you can jive with that, this is how it has to be.” he walked over and ripped the tape off of your mouth. You yelped and hissed, swearing under your breath and sniffling.
“What should I make you…” he pondered, his finger tapping his chin. “I dunno… I haven't made a quiche in a hot minute…” he mumbled.
“Fuck you and fuck your fucking quiche.” you scoffed quietly. He turned his head slowly, your eyes meeting hollow sockets. Your stomach dropped a bit. What the-
He chuckled low and walked toward you. You recoiled the best you could tied up, his grin intimidating…
Crawling on the bed, he laid beside you, propping his head up on a wrist. He leaned the side of his skull close to your face.
“Sorry. I didn't catch that.” He said low. You swallowed hard, tempted to say it again, but found the lump in your throat blocking any defiance. His gaze met yours, that yellow eye returning.
“That’s what I thought.” He said softly, tucking your hair behind your ear, “You talk to me like an asshole I might start actin like one, capiche?”
You wanted so badly to just headbutt him… you nodded, looking away. He hooked your chin with a bony finger and directed your gaze back to him.
“Lunch can wait… How about we try and lighten the mood?”
“How about you untie me?” you softly spat.
“In time. Impress me and maybe I will.” he mused. Your brows shot up at his inflection. Excuse you?
“Tell me something you’ve always wanted to do. I’m talkin the real deal. None of this campy indie bullshit like jumping on the beds in a mattress store or shopping kart races or some shit.” he said, looking you over. You scoffed.
“What, are you anti-fun?”
“Mmmno. I just have more to offer than highschool level dreams.” he teased, looking at you with a sudden fondness.
“C’mon, doll. Anything. Just name it. Any places you wanna go? People you wanna meet?”
You had… never really thought about that. Sure, you had dreams as a child, but you gave those up years ago. Life wasn’t about dreams after college. Life was about survival. Life was about money. Money for bills. Money to travel to see family. Money to keep social obligations, lest you lose friends… It was a constant pattern. A constant crushing pressure that ultimately lead to your ability to step back and see your life for what it was. You were born to spend money and die. That’s all there was to it.
And here he was, asking where you would go if those limits never applied. The question was so heavy, you didn't realize as you contemplated that you were inches from each other, gazing into each other’s eyes.
“Like what you see…?” he said softly with a sassy smirk. You blushed and rolled your eyes. He snickered and brushed more hair out of your face.
“How about an easier one… What’s something you’ve never done?”
“Bitchslapped a monster.” you said coyly. He genuinely laughed.
“In the amazon?” he smirked. You tilted your head.
“You think I want to see the amazon?”
“Sure. I think you like a little danger, dontcha…” he purred, tipping your chin. You wrestled your face away, grumbling.
“You’re gonna drag me through the jungle all tied up?”
“Of course not.” he chortled. “I’ll just have to trust you.”
You quirked a brow… he clearly had no reason to. What was his angle…
“You get one shot. One. If you break my trust, I’ll extend my little deal by a month… and I’ll be picking some of those adventures, sweetheart.”
“You must be really lonely to think I’m good company…” you muttered.
“Maybe.” he smiled, brushing through your hair again. He got up and took the groceries, heading out of the room.
“I’ll be back with some grub. Then we’re off to our first stop.”
“Hey! Untie me!” you snapped, struggling. He just started whistling loudly. What a fucking dick.
Chapter 4: Trust Fall
“Go on, doll. Stop actin like you don’t want it…” he purred in your ear.
You sat there, the slice of quiche sitting on a plate in this modern model dining room. You hated that you found it even the least bit appealing. Bacon, onions, herbs, and an attractive amount of cheese…. God damn. Wavering, you took your fork and took your first bite. You sighed in frustration at how delicious it was.
Why were you eating it!? You put your fork down.
He chuckled and pet your head. Your ankles were still zip-tied, so running was still absent the list of possible actions here.
“It’s not poisoned. Just eat it.” he pat your back and started cleaning up after himself in the kitchen. You stared at him, bewildered. He just made you a quiche from scratch and was washing the kitchen supplies he bought specifically to make you said quiche. Who was this guy!?
You bitterly ate the wonderful quiche, refusing to emote any satisfaction.
“So,” he sighed with a smirk. “are we thinking Amazon? Tibet?” he said, cleaning the dishes. “Maybe Chicago? See Hamilton or something? That’s a bucket list item for a lot of humans.”
You thought for a moment… Well… Maybe you would just roll with it for now. Enough to have him let his guard down. Yeah. Then you’d wait until you were close to a ledge, or in front of some traffic and just… trip. That’s it.
You told the voice in the back of your head to shut up. It was a good plan… good enough.
“I don't know… how about… um… San Francisco?” you mumbled. He looked up at you, seeming surprised you answered at all.
“Huh. Yeah. That sounds cool. I’ve never been either so it’ll be a first for both of us.” He grinned, putting all of the dishes away in the cupboards. You stared strangely. This was a model home and he wa--WHY DID YOU CARE.
You ate the last bite of your breakfast and he appeared beside you, collecting your plate. You jumped with a small gasp, raising a finger with warning of his imminent scolding. He chuckled and finished putting things away.
“Okay, doll. Go get dressed and we’ll head out. Our first little outing. I’m excited.” he rubbed his hands together before approaching you and sweeping you up bridal style. As he carried you back to the bedroom you grimaced at the possible outfits he could have chosen to humiliate you. What if he dresses you like a bimbo? Or worse; What if he has no fashion sense at all and sends you out looking like a thrift store aborted you. This entire relationship was a vortex of stress.
He set you down and started taking off your shoes.
“Hey… H-Hey!” you stammered, kicking him away. “I can dress myself!” you huffed. That yellow eye flicked toward you as he let go of your feet with a sarcastic smirk.
“I was going to give you a few options, but if you don’t want me to cut the zipties, then I guess it’ll be a dress today.”
“What-- Wait! That’s not fair!”
“Now now, I’m hurt. 17 hours and you still don’t trust me. Tsk tsk…” he pouted and crossed to his shopping bags, taking out a few tasteful options.
“I won’t take your clothes off myself until you ask me to.” he sighed.
“.... Unless .” you said flatly.
“Unless?” He looked back at you.
“You meant to say unless .” you crossed your arms. His grin spread wider as he walked up to you with a black dress, some simple lingerie, red shoes, and a matching belt; All in all, a very cute ensemble.
“No I didn’t.” he said simply. He lingered long enough to drink in your satisfying irritation then slid his hands in his pockets as he turned to leave. “Have fun squirming into your outfit. I’ll be back in 10 minutes.”
For a moment you looked at the windows and thought about running… then sighed, exhausted. You had to make peace with the fact that this guy… this monster wasn't any ordinary kidnapper. If you ran, he'd just teleport to you. If you tried to hurt yourself, whatever spell he put on your… your actual fucking soul, would alert him. Your only way out was to roll with it.
You stared at the dress for an extra moment or two before picking it up and starting to shimmy it over your pajama pants.
Soon, he knocked as he opened the door, seeing that you were mostly ready, save for your pants around your ankles. He chortled.
“Need a hand?”
“Shut up.” you huffed. He approached you with a smug smile and winked, the ziptie snapping and blood rushing to your feet. You gasped softly at the relief, then kicked your pants off.
“Alright, doll. Let's go.” He purred, holding out his hand.
“...You trust me to walk with you?” you scoffed, standing and putting your shoes back on. He thought for a moment.
“Yeah sure, why not.” he shrugged, taking your hand and gently pulling you close. You resisted a little, then calmly reminded yourself to roll with it.
‘Besides, if you run it’ll just make things more fun. I like chasing you.” he grinned. You looked away in a huff as you felt that weightlessness again, falling into the abyss.
The two of you appeared somewhere high. You felt the wind against your face, then opened your eyes. The two of you stood on top of one of the peaks of the Golden Gate Bridge. You gasped suddenly and clung to him, looking down and feeling your stomach twist. He chuckled and held you tightly.
“What happened to little miss death wish, huh?” he laughed, then stepped on the ledge. “C’mon. Enjoy the view.” he pat your back and pulled you away slightly, letting you waver… then look at the breathtaking view.
“W-Wow…” she whispered. It was just before sunset, but cloudy enough for the sky to be lit like an iridescent salt lamp. Traffic bustled while the lamps in the city all began to light up. It was unlike anything you’d ever seen.
“Hold on.” he said, pulling you close again. You tensed up, looking at him.
“What are you--?” Your voice was cut as the two of you started falling forward. You gasped and wobbled, fighting against the motion.
“W-Wait!!” you yelped before the both of you fell a few feet and suddenly into the void again. You both landed on the grass, rolling a little before you were laying face down. He was laughing.
Rage boiled as your heart began to calm from its near arrest episode.
“That wasn’t funny!” you snapped, getting up on your knees.
“You should have seen your face!” he giggled, holding his stomach.
“Asshole!” you said, punching his shoulder, then immediately shaking your hand after punching straight bone. Ow. He calmed down and sat up, looking you up and down.
“Oh take a joke. I told you I take care of my things. I wouldn’t ever put you in harm’s way, yeah?” he said, reaching for your cheek. You recoiled, looking away. Pulling you to your feet, he began looking around. You’d both landed beside a large pond. Across it, he saw a gift shop.
“Let’s go find out what’s hot around here. Maybe I’ll try and hit up a dance club. I haven’t been in eons.”
“...A dance club?” you scoffed.
“Sure. What’s wrong, don’t you don’t dance?” He looked back at you. You quirked a brow and shook your head. He must be on a mission to fuck with you until you snapped.