The sexiest thing about his master was that there was never even the thought that they’d have sex.
Sebastian had little use for sex. It was a human affectation, a parody of the perfect union of souls that only higher beings knew. Human sex was smelly and greasy and vile. It was nauseating.
Sebastian and his master would never engage in so base an activity. It was common, and Sebastian and (especially) his master were uncommon.
No, sex never entered the equation at all, which was why – for the first time – Sebastian was tantalized by the flirtations his master presented.
“The soup is too hot,” Ciel said – aloofly, haughtily, disappointedly – one night at dinner.
“Yet not a golden lock in sight,” Sebastian said airily and removed the soup from before his master.
“I’m hungry now,” Ciel glared up at him, unmoved as always by Sebastian’s witticisms.
“Shall I bring out the main course first?”
“You shall cool the soup.” Ciel had an inspired coldness to the way he could transform a suggestion into an implacable order. Sebastian felt shivers run down his spine.
“Of course, my lord. I’ll be just a minute…”
“Now, Sebastian.” Barely contained fury and challenge gleamed in Ciel’s eyes.
There was really only one option, and Sebastian was dared to take it. Blood that was only part of the human cloak Sebastian wore raced through his veins. Slowly, deliberately, he bent at the waist – a perfect mock bow – and blew over the soup.
Ripples formed over the surface, and the steam billowed slightly before dissipating under the force of Sebastian’s breath.
“My lord?” Sebastian rose to his full height once more with a smile.
The look in Ciel’s eye was deliberately cruel. “That will be all, Sebastian. Fetch the next course.” Ciel raised his spoon, but he waited for Sebastian to turn his back to leave, before Ciel took his first spoonful.
Sebastian could hear the muted sounds, however, and envision the liquid he’d just breathed over scooped up by the delicate, silver spoon, raised elegantly to that perfectly aristocratically-turned mouth, and then meticulously – politely – admitted access. There was something so wickedly sensual about it all.
Sebastian fought back his own hunger and prepared for the next course.
Another time Ciel liked to drive Sebastian mad with desire was in the bath.
“My leg aches today.” Ciel lifted one small, frail limb from the heat of the bathwater. Suds slid down the perfectly pale, hair-free flesh. A savory drumstick, those morbidly inclined might say, and both Sebastian and his master were particularly morbidly inclined. “Take care of it, Sebastian.”
Sebastian set the back-scrubber on the bath table and carefully removed his white gloves, one finger at a time. “The usual place, my lord?” he asked propitiatingly and settled this time at his master’s foot. Sebastian hinted of the break in Ciel’s thigh and the continued use of the cane, which came from the events that inspired their contract, of course; not that either of them would be so uncouth to refer to such directly.
“Hurry it up.” Ciel refused to answer Sebastian even this, as if an adequate butler would know the answer without even needing to ask.
Sebastian reached out and took the slender ankle into his hand. The bones were fragile and brittle, and it would have taken but a thought to crush them into splinters, blood and pulp and mangled flesh. Ciel smiled a cruel smile; Sebastian smiled a benevolent smile back. And there was something sinfully backwards about the whole thing.
Sebastian pulled gently on the ankle, dragging Ciel deeper into the bathwater and that leg more firmly into Sebastian’s lap. And then, slowly, Sebastian began to knead.
Fingers made of talons designed to rip, shred, and obliterate slowly eased the tensed muscles, relaxing the swelling due to the dismal weather outside, and lulling Sebastian’s master almost into a state of relaxation. Ciel watched Sebastian, blinking deliberately slowly, never for one moment letting his guard down or showing even the slightest hint of pleasure from Sebastian’s massage.
“Higher,” was all Ciel said.
Sebastian’s fingers crawled up ankle to calf and shin and knee.
“Higher,” Ciel’s order was unwavering.
Sebastian caressed and molded Ciel’s thigh in his palms. Sebastian’s fingers walked – kneaded, teased – upward and upward and—
Sebastian froze, hands only inches from Ciel’s groin, which was still concealed by the bubbles from the bathwater.
“That will be all, Sebastian.” Ciel’s voice was cool, in control, without the slightest hint of emotion or weakness.
Sebastian wondered if it were possible for a demon such as himself to love, and – if so – whether Ciel’s exquisite torment even remotely resembled what love was supposed to be.
“Yes, my lord,” Sebastian answered and returned to diligently scrubbing his master’s back.
Sometimes, Sebastian wondered whether Ciel got captured so often simply to test Sebastian. Really, it was the only explanation.
“Young master, you ought to be more careful,” Sebastian tsked, red eyes never leaving the knife that pressed against his master’s throat.
Ciel snorted. “Stop fooling around and end this already.”
The grip on Ciel’s shoulder tightened, and the blade cut one red droplet from the soft hollow of Ciel’s throat. The smell was sweet with pain, and only propriety kept Sebastian’s nostrils from flaring. Ciel, for his part, didn’t so much as blink an eyelash.
“Pay attention to me!” Murderers did get so offended when they were ignored. Sebastian forced his attention to turn to the much-less-interesting of his opponents. “Don’t move or I’ll cut—”
“Sebastian?” Ciel sighed, bored.
“Yes, my lord.”
“—Throa-ack!” One of Sebastian’s hands flung aside the knife, and the other circled the murderer’s throat before he could finish.
Ciel yawned. “Took you long enough.” The bead of blood at his throat glistened in the lamplight.
Sebastian squeezed the life out of the man in his grip with barely a second thought and didn’t even bother to watch as the lifeless body fell at his feet. “Let me tend to that, young master.” Sebastian pulled his handkerchief from his pocket and bent at the knee to apply it to Ciel’s throat.
Ciel endured this with a vaguely disdainful expression on his face. The pure white of Sebastian’s handkerchief flared brilliant crimson where it pressed against Ciel’s neck. Sebastian could feel the pounding of Ciel’s blood beneath his fingertips, calm and steady like being threatened by a madman was beneath Ciel’s notice. Being threatened by a demon seemed to be, as well.
After several seconds of Sebastian smiling superciliously and attending to the wound, Ciel shoved Sebastian aside with an irritated snort. “There’s no point in wasting further time here. Scotland Yard can take care of this much.” Ciel gestured absently to the corpses of the murderer and his final victim. “Let’s go home.” He walked away without as much as a look back in Sebastian’s direction.
Sebastian paused and looked down at his handkerchief. Soon, the bright red would turn to a dirty brown. Carefully, Sebastian folded the handkerchief back up and placed it in his pocket. Already the smell was going stale, but hopefully the cloth could be cleaned.
“Sebastian,” Ciel paused with annoyance.
Sebastian followed after him.
Nighttime was the end of every game, the culmination of every flirtation. Everything and nothing happened at night, and that was why Sebastian looked forward to bedtime most of all. Torture was sweet, and pleasure bitter, and Ciel seemed to understand a demon’s way of thinking as much as Sebastian did.
“Undress me now, Sebastian.” Ciel stood beside the bed. Some days, Ciel still held the childish impulse to try to evade bedtime, but not tonight.
Sebastian stepped forward and knelt in as close to genuine genuflection as he would ever get. Slowly, white-gloved fingers pulled on the gauzy, blue ends of Ciel’s bowtie.
“We shall return to the Manor tomorrow morning,” Ciel announced abruptly, as if such a drastic change in their plans should be child’s play to orchestrate.
“Yes, my lord,” Sebastian agreed placidly. His hands moved on to pearly-white buttons. One by one, they slipped out of tiny holes as Sebastian stripped Ciel bare.
“Prepare to leave after breakfast.” Ciel’s eyelashes fluttered for a moment, almost closing, almost relaxed.
Sebastian slid his master’s clothes off, one at a time. It was the only point of theoretical impropriety someone of Ciel’s standing would ever allow: these moments when Sebastian tended to Ciel’s personal needs. It could have been very, very intimate, or it could have been nothing – just a master and servant performing their roles dutifully.
“Stop smiling,” Ciel snapped.
Sebastian did his best to stifle his mirth at the notion of Ciel – enraged and completely naked – before him.
Ciel’s eye narrowed further. “Remember your place.”
Sebastian slid Ciel’s nightshirt over his head. “My apologies, young master.”
Ciel’s hair frizzed out at the static of the fabric rubbing over his head. “Stupid demon,” he grumbled.
Sebastian half-lifted his master into bed and only received mild squirming in complaint. That sort of complaint, really, was more pleasurable than anything else.
“Once we return,” Ciel sulked and turned his back on Sebastian, “we can resume our task of finding the people responsible for what happened to me.”
“Mmm,” Sebastian said absently as he tidied up Ciel’s bedside for the evening.
The bed sheets rustled, and Sebastian could tell that Ciel had turned once again and was now looking at Sebastian. “We will end this,” Ciel said curtly. “And then I shall carry out my half of the contract.”
Delicious shivers ran down Sebastian’s spine. Because sex was dull and monotonous, but the devouring of souls? The sweet sink of teeth and the moment of union and consumption? The hum that would resonate throughout Sebastian’s being for the rest of eternity, reminding him always that the remaining scraps of Ciel were forever inside Sebastian?
That was bliss.
“In the morning,” Sebastian agreed.
“Now, stop mucking about and turn out the lights,” Ciel scolded with a half-hearted kick in Sebastian’s direction.
“Yes, my lord,” Sebastian all but purred obediently and blew out the candles.