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His soul is mine.

The demon stands in a shadowed alcove a short distance from the throng of waltzing nobles, his crimson eyes trained on the ebony hair of Ciel Phantomhive as the earl glides his wife with the flow of the other couples around the brightly-lit ballroom floor.

His young master has become quite adept at the dance, the demon notes with a sense of accomplishment and a swell of pride. Long gone is the petulant boy who glared up at him with one icy cerulean eye while he grappled for hold with angry hands and stumbled over his butler’s feet, scuffing shiny, black shoes. At twenty-four, Ciel moves with a fluid grace that comes with the confidence of being comfortable in his own skin, even if that skin is clothed in ridiculous layers of gaudy sapphire velvet and ivory silk.

Lady Elizabeth had picked out Ciel’s finery for Marquis Drummond’s ball, of course, and dressed herself to match. Together, they are the very picture of a fairy tale romance—the tall, dark-haired prince with his petite, blond princess in his arms smiling up at him with complete adoration. She looks at him as if her sun and moon rises and sets over the breadth of his strong shoulders, as if their shared sky would never know the mar of a storm cloud, as if their hearts were as light as their feet. Only her grip on his shoulder, too firm, too possessive, belies the air of carefree happiness in which she attempts to bathe them both.

Mine! The dig of those pale, slender fingers scream.

The demon smirks, knowing full well Lady Phantomhive is not oblivious to the monster who lurks within the shadows, and without them, ever present at her husband’s beck and call.

He is mine.

As if she’s heard him, Lady Elizabeth presses close to her husband—much too close for decorum at such an elegant and dignified event—and whispers up into his ear, “I haven’t seen Sebastian. Do you think perhaps he’s run off with Lady Drummond’s handmaiden? She’s really quite lovely.”

I hear you, My Lady. Tell me, can you feel my claim on him? Do you sense my presence even when you’re writhing beneath him? Can you smell me on his skin? Taste me on his tongue?

Laughing easily, Ciel reestablishes a respectable distance between them and then sends her into an impromptu twirl. He pulls her, breathless and giddy, back into his arms and uses her distraction to locate his black-clad butler with his well-trained eye.

Cerulean locks with crimson, and the radiance of Ciel’s smile pulls Sebastian out of the darkness.