Paul kept his eyes down as he knelt and slid the silver tray across the floor, careful not to scuff the intricate red lines painted on the floor.
"You're new," the demon said.
Paul's eyes flickered up. He couldn't help himself. His father had taught him to look a person in the eyes when they spoke to you. That tiny slip-up was his undoing.
The demon's skin was not red like the paintings, nor did he have horns. His short black hair curled around very human ears. His skin was pale, unearthly so, but it was his eyes that struck Paul the most. They were red, deep red like blood and they glowed with an unholy light. The robe he wore was much like Paul's own – ill-fitting and rough on the skin.
"Well, aren't you the curious mouse." The demon's voice washed over him like a warm bath.
He fled before another word could be said.
"The mouse returns."
Paul tried very hard to keep his eyes on the floor. He wasn't supposed to look. He'd had to say ten Hail Mary's last week before he'd felt safe to sleep.
"How scared you are. All of that delicious emotion, just for me?"
He could see the demon's slippers as he knelt. The air crackled between them. He could feel the demon pressing against the wards, even though he hadn't made them. His instructors said that was impossible. He hadn't asked a second time, though he knew they were wrong. The acolytes were taught not to question. One did not question religious teachings, one merely took it on faith, or so he was taught.
"You look beautiful like that, you know. Do you spend much time on your knees?"
He couldn't stop the flush that covered his face, nor the warmth that spread over his skin. It was more than just shame that heated him, and he was afraid.
"No," Paul said.
He stood and quickly left the room.
The prayer cells jutted against the ballroom that was currently serving as the demon's prison. One of them, Paul discovered, had a crack in the wall, just behind a small altar. If he squeezed himself against the wall, he could see and hear what was going on in the room below.
Paul found himself in that room a lot on the days when it wasn't his turn to feed the demon. There was nothing in the ballroom save the demon and the circle that contained him, a circle barely big enough for the demon to lie down. The windows were boarded up and there were two doors, both guarded on the outside.
It seemed like a terribly boring existence, and the demon seemed to think the same. He was pleased every time Paul visited. Paul found himself lingering, not so much to talk, but to let the demon talk to him. He dare not answer back. Information was an asset, one that demons would use against them.
He found himself smiling every time someone said the word 'mouse'.
The demon didn't chat with anyone else. He offered one-sided banter, baiting the others to response much like he did with Paul but it was different with them. It was more cruel than teasing, meant to raise ire instead of desire.
That was until the Chancellor visited, escorted by the Bishop and two Elders. Paul's hands pressed against the stone wall. He should leave. He shouldn't be seeing this.
He couldn't move.
Two acolytes carried in a small table that they set inside the circle, then placed on top of it a silver knife, a bowl, and a small box. Once the acolytes left, the Bishop spoke. "You know what to do."
The demon's sigh was audible even from a story above. He pulled up his sleeve, held his arm over the bowl, then sliced it open with the silver knife. Paul jerked back automatically, nearly knocking over the altar behind him. The practiced efficiency of the move was worrisome. The demon's blood poured into the bowl. Once a sufficient amount had been gathered, the demon licked a stripe down his arm, sealing off the wound or at least halting the bleeding. It was hard to tell from his vantage point.
The demon pulled vials out of the box, pouring and mixing until the blood turned black, then clear. Once it was done, the demon put the vials back in the box and pushed the bowl towards the Bishop.
There were many things one could do with demon blood. None of them were good. Occult studies weren't in their curriculum, not yet, but Paul had a fondness for the esoteric section of the library and kept late hours. It allowed for a lot of private reading time. He wasn't sure exactly what the demon had just made.
The Bishop took the bowl and poured its contents into a glass bottle, which he stoppered and handed off to the Chancellor. He clapped his hands once and the acolytes were back, taking away the table and other accoutrements. Once they were gone, the Bishop walked a circle around the demon, checking the wards with his palm. Paul watched the energy flare under his touch – something he wasn't supposed to be able to see.
Once the Bishop was satisfied, they left without another word. The whole exchange seemed practiced, like they'd done this many times before.
Paul sat back. He stared at the crack in the wall, shaken. What had he just witnessed?
He stayed there, frozen in his spot, until the shaking stopped. Then, he headed to the library.
Poison. The Bishop had made the demon make poison and then given it to the Chancellor. What for, Paul could only guess. Nothing good. Nothing the church should be involved in.
He'd always thought they kept the demon to keep the demon from harming others, but what if there was more to it than that. What if they kept him so they could use him?
Darkness turned to daylight but Paul kept reading until he had to head to classes.
Nothing good came from demon blood. Nothing.
"Hello again, little mouse. I've missed you."
Paul slid the tray across the floor. He smiled slightly, but didn't answer or look up. It wasn't his place to speak at their meetings, not when the guards might hear.
Something brushed against his hair and he jerked his head up. The demon's hand lingered at the edge of the border, inches from Paul's head. He stared at those fingers - long, pale, seemingly delicate save for the sharp claws that ended each finger.
He'd leaned too far forward. Who knew what the demon could have done to him?
"Come closer, little mouse."
He hesitated before slowly leaning forward. For a change, he kept his eyes up, meeting his gaze with the red glowing gaze of the demon. He was rewarded with a pleased smile.
The demon's fingers brushed over his cheek, his touch surprisingly light. On the second caress, the demon let a single nail scrape against Paul's skin and he shivered. The scratch stung, like the prick from a rose's thorn. The demon leaned down, opened his mouth, and licked a wet stripe up Paul's cheek. Paul moaned, the sound escaping unwillingly from his lips. The pain was gone, as was the scratch.
"Good," the demon said. His thumb pressed against Paul's lips, pushing until Paul opened his mouth to let it in. "Will you be good for me, my little mouse?"
He wasn't sure what the demon was asking but he nodded anyways. The demon's smile widened and he stood, pulling the front of his robe up as he did. He was naked underneath, putting Paul's face in direct line with the demon's erection. He tried to turn away but the demon's hand tightened, holding him still.
The demon stepped forward. His thumb pulled out. His erection pressed against Paul's lips in its place. Paul obediently opened his mouth to let it in. He'd never tasted another man before, never even touched one, not like this. It was a heady experience. He tasted salt and sulfur and bitter, but the flavor was nothing compared to the way it filled his mouth. He moaned again, the sound muffled by the flesh in his mouth.
"Close your lips."
He did as bid.
"Suck. You know how." The demon's knuckles stroked his cheek, up and down in a soothing rhythm. "Think of it as your favorite candy. Take it in. Swallow it down."
He tried. He wasn't very good, or at least he thought so. He couldn't get much suction, not with the way his lips were stretched. The demon moved, pulling out, and Paul glanced up, thinking he'd done something wrong, that it was over already, but the demon put his other hand on Paul's head, fingers twisting in Paul's hair and holding him in place. There was pleasure written on the demon's face, and smug possession.
Then he was sliding back in, filling Paul's mouth once more, and Paul understood.
The demon moved slowly, thrusting his hips gently into Paul's mouth, never pushing too hard or too much. It was relaxing in a strange way and yet it made his body tense, like a string wound too tight. He wanted, but he didn't know what he wanted, just that he did and he needed more than he needed air or water or life.
"Touch yourself." The demon's voice was soft, seductive. "You know how, don't you?"
He shook his head minutely. He'd never... it was against their vows. As was this, but at the moment Paul didn't care.
"Pull yourself out."
Paul's face flushed as he did as commanded. He felt tiny compared to the demon, minuscule.
"Wrap your hand around yourself. Yes, like that. Now stroke. Just like I'm doing. Up. Down."
His hand matched the rhythm of the demon's cock pushing inside of his lips. He shivered, but he wasn't cold. Quite the opposite. He felt like he was going to burst into flames, like it was a sign of his sin about to emerge from his flesh and become real, for the whole world to see.
"I bet you would feel so good if I took you, if I was inside of you. Look how beautiful you are on your knees. So eager to please. Would you like that? Would you like me to push inside of you? Not your mouth but lower, to mate with you carnally, as a man would a woman."
Paul moaned again. His hand missed a beat and he could feel his whole body tense. He couldn't imagine what the demon's words would feel like but he wanted. He would give himself over to the demon in any way he could and in that moment he knew he was damned.
He didn't care.
"I will make you mine. I will take you. But first, for now, I need you to come for me. Can you do that? Can you come for me, my little mouse?"
He moaned and felt himself explode. Warmth rushed over his hand, his whole body jerking with release, not once but several times, like an earthquake washing over him. The demon's fingers tightened, holding his head still. Just when Paul thought it was over, fluid filled his mouth. He swallowed it down reflexively, drinking down the demon's come.
When the demon finally released him, Paul sat back on his heels, panting. His robes were in disarray and his lips felt stretched and sore.
The demon dropped his robes and knelt. "Such a good little mouse. For that, I think I'll tell you a secret. Give me your hand."
He held his hand out palm up. The demon traced a symbol against his skin once, paused, then repeated it. "Can you remember that?"
He nodded. It was a variation on a summoning sigil they'd studied.
"If you're ever in need, use that. It will summon my brother, Azreal."
Paul blinked, then stared down at his palm. "Isn't he..."
"An angel?" The demon finished for him. "Yes. We're twins, you know. All angels and demons come in pairs. No one teaches that, do they?"
Paul shook his head. The very idea was astounding.
"We're two sides of the same coin. Light and dark. Good and evil. Angels protect humanity, demons punish those who sin. Angels heal, demons harm."
The demon looked up and frowned. "You should-"
His words were cut off as the door burst open. The bishop marched in, followed by the temple guard. Paul scrambled to right himself but it was too late.
"Paul Davenport. For your heresy in consorting with a demon, you are to be executed."
The guards grabbed him by the arms, lifting him before he even realized what was happening. The demon howled, pounding against his cage but it kept him locked away. The last thing Paul thought of was that he'd never learned the demon's name.
The cell smelled of blood and bile, both of them his. He wasn't sure how long they'd tortured him. Long enough to satisfy them, but not long enough to learn anything they didn't already know. He confessed a thousand times over, but that never stopped the pain, only brought more.
The stone was cool on his face.
He was going to die.
What would happen to the demon when he was gone? Who would he talk to?
His arm twitched, fingers moving in a way that made no sense until Paul remembered. The spell. There was enough blood on the stones for him to slowly sketch out the mark. Once the final line was in place, light flashed, bright enough to make him close his eyes. When he opened them, the mark was gone.
"Why did you summon me?" The voice that spoke was cold, harsh, and angry.
He couldn't move his head but he shifted his eyes, peering to the side enough to make out a figure. "Your... brother..."
The figure stepped forward, brown boots stopping in front of Paul's head. A hand grabbed his hair and lifted him until he was facing up at the man – Azreal, his mind supplied. He looked so much like his brother.
"What do you know of my brother?"
"He's here." Speaking hurt. His voice came out barely more than a rasp but still he tried. "Bound. Ballroom."
Azreal's grip shifted. Gentling. "Take me to him."
Paul huffed a laugh, about to point out how little he could move when he realized that wasn't the case. He pushed back off the stone, surprised to find his pain gone. The cell door swung open before them.
Paul stood, still amazed that he could do so, and led the way out of the dungeons. There were no guards where there should be, no students roaming the halls. It was as if the manor had emptied itself while Paul had been locked away.
The demon was right where he'd been left, the barrier still holding strong around him.
"Break it," Azreal ordered.
Paul glanced at him, about to open his mouth to protest when the demon interrupted. "You can do it. You have the power. You know you do."
He frowned, but he stepped forward. He could see where the spell was and how it worked itself into the floor, twisting and wrapping around the demon to form a cage. Paul reached forward instinctively, his hand finding a knot in the pattern. He pulled and it unraveled under his touch.
The demon stepped forward, out of the markings on the floor and pulled Paul into a deep kiss.
When they parted, they weren't in the manor anymore, but rather a bedroom in a strangely styled home. He could see more rooms through the open door, which Azreal now leaned against. Sunlight poured in through the open windows.
The demon stepped away to kiss his brother with the same fervor that he'd used with Paul. When he turned back, they were both smiling, twin gestures of mischievousness.
"Azreal, meet Paul. I'm keeping him."
"I don't even know your name."
The demon smirked. "Azazel."
A strange warmth spread through him at the word. It felt right, like he should have known it all along.
Azazel stepped forward, into Paul's proximity and then forward still, pushing Paul down on the bed. "I have waited far too long for this, my little mouse."
Paul's tattered robes were stripped away, then the loose pants he wore beneath. Azreal watched from the doorway for a moment, his eyes focused keenly on them. He stepped forward to sit at the head of the bed, near Paul's head. He handed Azazel a vial as Paul stared up at the angel.
Azazel parted Paul's bare legs. Paul let them fall aside, watching Azreal curiously until a slick, wet finger pressed inside of him. His head shot up as he moaned but hands held his shoulders down.
"So perfect," Azazel said as he worked a finger inside of Paul. "Just like I imagined. Do you know how long I've been thinking about this?"
Paul bit his lip to hold back a moan. He shifted, parting his legs a fraction wider, giving Azazel implicit permission. Another finger pushed inside and he knew it should hurt, he could feel the way it stretched his insides, but Azreal's hands were warm on his shoulders, distracting him from the pain, or maybe just taking the pain away.
He let his head fall back against the sheets as the writhed against Azazel's touch. He wanted once more, and this time he knew what he wanted. Or at least he thought he did until his eyes turned up and met Azreal's hot gaze.
He wanted too much.
Two pairs of hands turned him, pushing him up onto his hands and knees. He shivered. His skin flamed and he couldn't hold back his moan this time. He felt Azazel line up against his entrance at the same time as Azreal sat up on his knees, his pants undone and cock out. They pushed in at the same time.
Paul felt intensely full, like he was a pot brimming with water, boiling and about to spill over. Azazel pushed into him from behind, setting a steady rhythm of in and out while Azreal did the same to Paul's mouth.
It was too much. His hands fisted in the sheets. He moaned around Azreal's cock but that only made Azreal's fingers tighten in Paul's hair and his hips push forward harder, faster. He took it. He wanted it. He wanted them both, forever, just like this, filling him and pushing him towards the edge.
He would be panting if he could. He felt so warm. Too warm. Every thrust Azazel made into him sent shivers up his spine. He felt like he was going to come apart. He did.
It didn't take long for him to come, or for Azazel and Azreal. There were no commands this time. Paul didn't need one. Azazel's claws pressed against his hips and Azreal released salt on his tongue, the first hint of come and that was all it took.
He screamed, eyes pressed shut and mouth open too wide to hold Azreal any longer. Azreal came on his face, seconds before Azazel came inside of him.
Paul collapsed forward into the mattress, his face buried in the covers. He was pretty sure Azreal was laughing at him.
"Yes," Azreal said, laughter still in his voice, "I suppose we can keep him."
Paul smiled, content for the first time in a long, long time.