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If You Wanna Go to Heaven (You Should Fuck Me Tonight)

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Jimin licked his thumb where he pricked it, examining his elaborate pentagram with satisfaction that didn’t fit his occupation. Normally when he fished for demons, he would do a summoning using his own blood that would draw the fuckers to him. On some rash nights, he’d drawn too many to fight at once and had to flee.

Not tonight.

Resisting the (stupid) urge to twirl his brass knuckles around his fingers while he waited, he slid the weapon back into place, holding onto the hand bar, minding the blade that stretched down the right of his wrist. Part of him considered pulling his silver dagger free from his hip holster, but silver didn’t do shit for lust demons: They could form into mist, the legend that vampires stole for themselves, and if they saw you swing, you would miss.

Thankfully, his goal wasn’t to kill a lust demon.

Straightening up, his left shoulder burning, Jimin stepped out of the circle and warmth flooded over him like he had just stepped out into a pool of sunlight, body humming with borrowed power.

Clenching his left hand, listening to the squeak of his leather gloves, Jimin tossed his bangs out of his face, trying to fight down the smug wave of excitement that threatened to overtake him.

He rarely had the patience to capture demons; normally he would draw them to him and tear through them like paper scraps, fighting until they ran or he won.

Taking a deep breath, feeling his shoulder bubble under the skin, Jimin bit down on his own lower lip, using the pain to ground himself. Any moment now.

Rounding the corner, as if he was walking to the club, he ran smack into a man—taller than him, because when weren’t they?—who grabbed his wrists, as if to steady him, narrowly missing his blade.

Lust demons were bottom-barrel demons—only dangerous if they fixated on a single person, because they could suck a person dry and literally fuck them to death, like the Middle Ages thought women could do. Jimin normally had bigger fish to fry.

“Sorry about that,” the demon in his human form flashed an apologetic smile, his cheeks soft, contrasting the sharp jawline and the strength in his grip. Oh; these fucking things were good.

Jimin didn’t have to fake being affected as he peered up into the lust demon’s dark, sparkly eyes. He wondered if the demon ever hated its victims for the lack of choice they gave it over the appearance of its body. Bodily-autonomy for demons.

He wore a plain white t-shirt that showed off his arms (large) and his pecs (ditto), and damn if Jimin didn’t drool a little.

Letting go of his wrists, the demon smiled down at him, but as he pulled back, the side of his hand caught Jimin’s blade, giving him a thin cut.

“Ow!” The demon yelped, drawing his hand up to his face to inspect what had gotten him.

“Sorry,” Jimin purred in reply, thankful he got a dumb one. “Let me see.”

Twisting the knife, he cut into his own palm and before the demon could evaporate into the air, he grabbed his hand, right over the cut, letting their blood mingle.

The demon’s eyes widened the moment they touched, smoke curling from their shared blood, the wounds sealing simultaneously.

“You—” the demon hissed, eyes glowing red, his handsome face twisting with otherworldly rage, the tips of sharp teeth poking out behind his pretty, pink lips.

It would have been scary if Jimin was a pussy, maybe.

Symbols curled up their arms, glowing under their skin, and the demon reached for him, fingers twisted into claws, but he froze before he could strike.

“What did you do?” He snarled.

Jimin smirked. “I didn’t do anything. I made a contract that you just happened to sign.”

“You—” He swung his arm back once more, but again, before he could hit him, an invisible barrier stopped him.

Reaching out, Jimin grabbed his wrist easily with his left hand and tugged backward, unable to hold his snort back when the demon tried to bite his hand.

“Did you hear me? We have a contract, numb nuts. You can’t hurt me.”

The demon let out a string of expletives that would have made a friar faint, but Jimin just crossed his arms across his chest, waiting for him to finish.

“We need to discuss conditions,” he cut in, impatient.

“Like hell we do.”

“If you try to leave, I can call you back.” Jimin gestured to the alleyway where he painted the pentagram on the pavement. “If you make a scene, I can take off. You don’t get a say in this, hellspawn. So cut the tantrums.”

Eyes gleaming an unearthly red, the demon hissed at him, his cloak of humanity barely containing it, but he followed him into the alley without another word.

Jimin walked over to his motorcycle, hand brushing affectionately down the line of the seat, and he spoke without looking at the demon. “Bottom line: I summon you whenever I want sex. You’re not allowed to hurt me or do anything to cause me lasting, non-sexual harm. When I die, you get my soul. Capisci?”

“Was the Italian really necessary?” The demon bit out, slinking around to the front of the bike. “And if you’re insisting on the no harm thing…you do realize having sex with me will kill you eventually?” He peered at Jimin sullenly as he spoke, stretching to lean against the wall of the building beside them. “We suck the souls out of those that get addicted to us.”

Chuckling, Jimin marched over to him and grabbed for his hand, ignoring the offended sound the creature made at the touch.

“You must be a pretty stupid lust demon. Don’t you feel this?”

Snarling at him, the demon yanked his hand free, but not before his nose wrinkled up, smelling the magic he’d missed the first time.

“What is that?”

“It’s basically magic steroids.” Except the muscles really were products of his own exercise. “Enhanced strength, reaction time, agility. D&D shit.”

The demon let out a surprised snort, but Jimin didn’t let him interrupt yet. “There were a few side effects. Some are manageable. Others—” He flashed back to his last encounter of a sexual nature: Tears and purpling bruises already blooming on the poor girl’s thighs. “Not so much.”

“So what exactly are you saying?”

“I’m saying you couldn’t possibly drain my life force.” Jimin lifted his helmet from the front of the bike and slid it over his head. “I have extra, in layman’s terms. I could probably due with siphoning some off.”

“And what if it does kill you?” The demon stilled.

“It won’t.” Jimin stepped up onto his bike and swung his leg over it. “I checked with my sorcerer if you’re really that concerned.”

“I have no concern.”

“Just like you have no say in the matter of this agreement.” Jimin flashed him a fake, wide smile—the kind that crinkled his eyes up and made him look like an angel. “Now get on.”

“You can’t force me.”

“You’re right; but, I could summon you in the middle of traffic and have human cars mangle your body. Even if you don’t die, I bet that would still hurt like a bitch.”

The demon loomed over him like he thought that looked intimidating, but when Jimin turned on the engine, he swore in a language that made his skin itch and climbed up onto the bike.

-☠-

About halfway to the cheap motel room he rented for the night, he began to feel uncomfortably warm. The demon’s hands pressed to his stomach where Jimin’s thin t-shirt was the only barrier between them, and that spot in particular tingled, feeling sensitive.

Jimin could hear his own breathing and he measured it in lieu of focusing on how the demon’s body pressed into his back, the muscles strong and sculpted just like the hunter liked.

“Stop it,” he growled, but the wind tore his words away from them. The demon pretended not to hear, if even had.

By the time he reached the dingy building, arousal thrummed through Jimin like a second heartbeat, and the moment he swung his bike into a parking space, he parked it and jumped down like prolonged contact would burn him.

“You know you can’t kill me, right?”

The demon smirked and uncoiled from his position on the bike, slipping down to his feet with an elegant twist. “You contracted me to satisfy your needs. I wasn’t breaking any rules.”

“Bastard,” he growled, hating how his blood sang at the sight of the demon, his muscular arms on display, pectorals tight against the thin fabric of his white t-shirt.

“Jeongguk.”

“Like I give a fuck.” Jimin wheeled around, determined to reach his rented room before succumbing to the demon’s overwhelming aura.

A hand grabbed his shoulder, halting his progress. “I thought that was the point, cupcake.”

Falling for the bait, Jimin spun to face him, glaring, but Jeongguk spoke before he could: “I know it’s one of your fantasies to have sex on your bike. And outside.” Even in the dark, Jimin could see his dark eyes shining with hellish light, tempting and forthright with his offer.

Arousal burned through him, irresistible and alien, but very much rooted in his own dirty dreams. Jimin inhaled through his nose, forcing away the images of Jeongguk spread out on his bike, panting and flushed. “Why the 180?”

A hand rose to Jimin’s cheek, veiled violence in the touch as the demon’s fingers glided down his face to his chin. “Because I’m a lust demon and I’m hungry. I wouldn’t have been out if I wasn’t.”

The air pulsed around them, charged with heat, and Jimin let the whirlwind suck him in, surging up to crush his lips to Jeongguk’s even with his height disadvantage. He felt the demon snarl against his lips, hand like a vice on his shoulder, and Jimin’s hands rose to grip the collar of his shirt, dragging him down to make the angle more workable.

Their lips parted in the building frenzy, Jimin’s hands pawing down his chest, thoughts lightheaded as he found the demon’s defined pectorals and groped them shamelessly.

Another growl pulsed against his lips and Jeongguk’s sharp teeth bit down on his lower lip, drawing blood.

Jimin moaned as Jeongguk’s tongue darted out, automatic, to lick over the spot, though the demon halted his administrations with a confused frown.

“You said I couldn’t hurt you.”

Reaching up to run a hand through his hair, pushing his bangs back, Jimin replied, “I liked that.”

Finally, arousal to match his own rose in the demon’s eyes and Jeongguk grinned, his sharp teeth flashing in the low lighting from a nearby streetlight.

“Now if you want to do this, get up on the bike.”

Jeongguk’s expression twisted like he wanted to argue, but his eyes dropped to trace the tent in Jimin’s pants, desire clouding the anger, diverting it with a promise that he could cut, bite, and bruise, and the human would translate that to pleasure.

Stepping back, not turning away from the hunter, Jeongguk returned to the bike and climbed onto it backwards, leaning back against the handlebars as he settled.

Jimin followed slower, ordering, “Strip. I want to see the body you made for me.”

Hands falling to the fly of his jeans, Jeongguk snarled at him, the sound monstrous enough that the hairs rose on the back of Jimin’s neck, but rather than scare him, his arousal only thrummed harder through him, the hunter approaching his bike like a crime scene, like he could already see his blood splattered across it.

He watched, eyes greedy as Jeongguk’s arms flexed, the veins visible, like he had to use force to hold back his need to hurt the human, hands strong and dexterous as they yanked his fly down with no human clumsiness.

Jimin climbed up onto the back of his bike, checking its center of balance as he slid forward, groaning under his breath at the sensation of the leather rubbing against the underside of his clothed cock. Impatient, he grabbed for Jeongguk’s shoes, yanking them off and tossing them onto the pavement below, before repeating the process with the demon’s pants.

Jeongguk hissed at him, and he could see the faint alarm in his gaze—despite knowing how the magic of a strange witch cloaked him, the demon didn’t understand the extent of his strength, didn’t comprehend that Jimin could pin him down and have his way even with Jeongguk’s own powers to deter him.

“What’s the matter?” Jimin taunted, hand falling to his own fly. “Not up for it?”

The demon scowled at him, the sharp tips of his teeth visible, and Jimin grabbed for his thighs, drawing their groins flush, letting his cock, pulled over the top of his boxer briefs, brush along Jeongguk’s.

Both hissing from sensitivity, Jimin ordered, “get up here,” holding a hand out to help if he needed.

Jeongguk brushed off his offer, sitting up on his own, and Jimin’s hands fell to his hips, closing the space between them as their cocks rutted, lips falling together violently once again—more a fight for power than anything soft. The blood in Jimin’s veins sang just as it did while fighting and killing demons.

Jimin rolled his hips forward, both gasping into the kiss, it sounding more like a shared snarl, anger in Jeongguk’s motions, his hands rough in Jimin’s hair as his sharp teeth traced Jimin’s lower lip, re-opening the cut again.

He let out a hoarse moan as their cocks rubbed together, one of Jimin’s hands shifting to spread their precum down the shafts, Jeongguk’s back arching at the touch, his cock heavy in Jimin’s hand.

“What if I told you I liked them smaller?” Jimin whispered, breaking the kiss.

Jeongguk’s lips slid down to his neck and he snorted. “I’d know you were lying. It wouldn’t be this big if this wasn’t appealing to you.”

“Oh?” He laughed, it peaking into a moan when Jeongguk bit sharply at his neck, sucking a bruise into the skin. “Fuck, I thought you didn’t need blood to survive.”

“I didn’t break the skin.” His hands shifted, one going to wrap around their cocks, fitting both in his hand as he began to pump them, unlike when Jimin tried. “Though I do like seeing you bleed.”

“Hellspawn.”

“Bitch.”

Jeongguk answered with another painful bite lower down, though his tongue deftly soothed the pain, hand rubbing their sensitive cock heads together as he worked. Pain blended beatifically with pleasure and Jimin’s hands slid back to grab the demon’s butt, squeezing the bare skin with relish.

“I want to fuck you.” He growled, grip tightening.

“Touch.” Jeongguk sounded smug, before his lips found another spot to mark.

One of Jimin’s hands shifted, fingers brushing over Jeongguk’s hole, uncertain if he was asking to be fingered or not. If he was, Jesus; he might as well have fucked another human.

Instead, he found his hole slippery and wet—like Jeongguk spent the night with a plug in and only just took it out. Jimin sucked in a breath and pressed a finger in, wanting to test it, and the sensation of the demon’s body taking even one finger so well sent a pulse of arousal through him, the hunter moaning as Jeongguk pumped their cocks in tandem.

“You can do that?”

“I would be piss-poor at my job if I couldn’t do that.”

Jeongguk uncoiled from his position and pulled back, breath hitching as Jimin drew his finger out of the demon, hand returning to his own cock, to pump the slick down himself. The demon settled back against the handlebars again, legs spreading wide, thighs flexing as he exposed himself, dick hard against his stomach, hole twitching where the hunter barely touched the first time.

“Let’s see if you’re as brutal as you claimed.”

Jimin grabbed his thighs, spreading them wide as he sidled up to him, but instead of pressing their erections together that time, he leaned down, one hand positioning himself at the demon’s entrance, making sure he was aligned as he slid into Jeongguk, pushing in until he could go no further, balls slapping against the demon’s ass.

It took him a moment to gather himself; Jeongguk was tight and wet, the best parts of anal sex and vaginal sex intermingled, and for a moment he appreciated the view of them together, fingers clenching the demon’s thighs hard. Jimin hoped he would leave bruises of his own to match the smattering of purple hickeys on his neck, fingertips digging in vindictively, and he laughed as his hips twitched forward, before he began thrusting in earnest.

The first thrust nearly unbalanced their whole situation, Jeongguk gasping in surprise, his fingers clutching at the handlebars like they could keep the whole thing from toppling over, until he found his balance in Jimin’s hesitation.

Laughing, he asked, “I thought you were ready?”

“Fuck you,” Jeongguk hissed, his teeth running sharp, his soft features inhuman under the street light.

“Next time.” Jimin winked and then resumed thrusting, setting a hard, fast pace.

His feet braced against the pipes on the sides of his bike and he used the leverage to push harder, grunting in satisfaction when the thrusts jolted Jeongguk’s body, a wet, messy sound filling the air as he used his hole and Jeongguk produced more slick.

The slide grew easier and Jimin bit at his lower lip, wincing when he remembered his cut the hard way, but he only released it and fucked the demon harder, one hand sliding up Jeongguk’s chest as he realized how vulgar it would look for him to be nude while the hunter fucked him while fully dressed.

Hand brushing up the demon’s muscular stomach, Jimin let out a choked breath that almost became a moan as he pushed Jeongguk’s shirt up, getting it above his nipples for a moment.

Scowling, Jeongguk jerked his shirt back down, hiding his nipples, and then grabbed roughly for Jimin’s wrist to stop him from simply doing it again.

“Don’t want me to see your pretty nipples?” Jimin cooed, a rough breath escaping when the demon tensed around him.

“I thought you were supposed to be fucking me,” he bit out. “But this is boring.”

Jeongguk’s cock bounced against his stomach with every thrust, still hard and leaking precum against his abs, and despite his dismissive words, his expression was tense.

“Boring?” Jimin yanked him forward, using his hold on Jeongguk’s thighs to fuck the demon on his cock. “Are you sure?”

He changed the angle he pushed in at, driving in deeper, feeling the motorcycle rock under him with the force he exerted along with his own orgasm building.

“Like a puppy trying to bite you,” Jeongguk ground out, trying to control his rough breaths, the cords of muscle in his arms stark as he clung to the handles of the bike. “Weak. Gumless. Pain—” He let out a cry of pleasure, his body arching as Jimin dragged his blunt nails down Jeongguk’s thigh.

Beads of blood welled up from the center of the marks and he watched as Jeongguk’s expression glazed over, Jimin’s brutal thrusts throwing the demon back and forth as Jimin manipulated his motions on his cock.

“Little demon,” he crooned, “You almost look like you’re enjoying this.”

“I—” Jeongguk choked on the words, and Jimin felt him squirm, the dark pleasure tensing in his thighs where exhaustion should have been. They both knew at that moment that he could fuck the demon all night.

Leaning forward, hands grabbing for Jeongguk’s hips, he pushed the full force of his weight into fucking the taller demon, his orgasm rushing over him, and from the glimpse he’d had of Jeongguk’s chest, he couldn’t hold back when he pictured cumming over Jeongguk’s pretty nipples, rubbing it in with his cock head.

Letting out a noise somewhere between a snarl and a moan, he came deep within the demon’s wetness, filling him with his seed with a vicious sense of satisfaction, imagining how that would mark him until he washed his scent from himself.

Jeongguk choked at the sensation, his noise rumbling into a moan as Jimin fucked him through orgasm, the vulgar sound of his cum being pushed back into him as he thrust in and out enough to draw a blush to a normal person’s face.

“Do I get to cum, master?” He questioned, fluttering his eyelashes up at the hunter.

“Fuck, don’t say that.” But Jeongguk’s words had their desired effect; he reached down, taking the demon’s dick into hand, fingers circling him and pumping with a tight circle.

“Why?” Jeongguk laughed, the sharp tips of his teeth flashing in the light, his head falling back. “Do you like it, master? Is master a kinky bitch?”

His grip tightened, but the demon only moaned, hips jerking down where Jimin continued to fuck him, his cock soft, the overstimulation singing through him.

“Shut the fuck up,” Jimin hissed, finally pulling free when the sensation grew to be too much, though he compensated by pressing two fingers into the demon.

He could see Jeongguk work himself up for another insult, probably based around the size of his fingers, but he found the demon’s prostate in time and he began rubbing it in tandem to the fast, hard jerks of his hand on Jeongguk’s dick.

Words arrested with a pretty moan, Jeongguk squirmed down against the intrusion, Jimin’s cock already twitching again with interest, and he knew without a doubt that he would take him again that night—as many times as they could. He’d never gotten to truly see how far he could go before, and excitement sparked in him at the thought, hands growing rougher.

Jeongguk laid pliantly against the motorcycle, body rocking with the thrusts of Jimin’s fingers, his erection so hard, and his eyes shut in concentration as the demon chased his own orgasm, a flush darkening his cheeks.

Knowing he would sense his libido welling up again, Jimin coaxed, “Come on, little shit. The faster you cum, the faster we can do this again.”

Cracking an eye open, the demon huffed, humor in his heated gaze. “You really weren’t kidding. Shit.”

“Nope.” Jimin stroked his hand up over the head, pumping a few times as his fingers mimicked the motion inside the demon as they pressed in and out in longer thrusts, teasing Jeongguk’s rim in between strokes over his prostate.

Shutting his eyes, Jeongguk’s hand shifted to rest over his, and his eyes narrowed. “Harder. And do it like this.”

Jimin obeyed, and it didn’t take much longer after that to draw orgasm from the lust demon, his cry of release loud enough that it echoed at the edges of the parking lot, drawing a semi-hysterical laugh from the hunter as he pictured them fucking in the building, the thin walls just as unable to hide any of their ventures.

His hand rose to trace through the mess Jeongguk made over his shirt and stomach, Jimin then bringing brought his sticky fingers to his own mouth, licking them clean.

Jeongguk’s eyes darkened, and the hunter purred, “Let’s go inside, yeah?”

-☠-

They stumbled out of the hotel around noon the next day, Jeongguk’s cheeks positively rosy, eyes glazed like a person after glutting themselves on food. Jimin, by comparison, finally felt keyed-down, his libido satisfied for what felt like the first time since Yoongi gave him the magic treatments.

“How fast does that build up?” Jeongguk squinted up at the sun, irritated.

“Dunno. First time I’ve depleted it that much.” Jimin frowned at him. “But how are you out in broad daylight?”

“I fed plenty last night.” And his skin glowed, looking sun-kissed, almost in defiance to the actual star. “The sun weakens demons, and I’ll get hungry faster if I’m out here too long, but as of now, it’s not really able to do anything.”

The triumph in Jeongguk’s voice drew a smirk out of the hunter. “Guess the contract wasn’t the terrible thing you thought after all, eh?”

Realizing what he was conveying, the demon brought a scowl down over his jubilance, but the sun kept his teeth blunt and human-looking.

Walking over to his bike, he moved to slip his helmet over his head, before strapping his bag to the back of his bike. “So how do I call you?”

Jeongguk stepped up onto a mulch-filled island and leaned back against a decorative tree. “Hm, well, if you whip your cock out, I could come?”

Ignoring the double-entendre, Jimin rephrased, “Can I choose basically any method?”

“Technically.”

“Even saying your name?”

“…I’m not agreeing to that. You strike me as a complainer.”

Jimin pursed his lips and climbed onto the bike. “Well, we have a binding seal. Couldn’t I just call you with that?”

“What?”

Snorting, the hunter shrugged off his leather jacket and held out his forearm, showing off the red sigil burned just below the crook of his elbow. “You have a matching one.”

Jeongguk swore in a language that briefly made Jimin’s eyeballs feel like they were melting, but when he disappeared, the hunter took it that he accepted that idea.

Well, that worked for him.

-☠-

“I said it just like you said,” Jimin confirmed.

Yoongi grunted in reply to him, biceps flexing as he ground what looked like solid stone in his mortar.

Familiar with Yoongi’s communication style, he continued, “I got the mark, he swore he wouldn’t do anything to harm me, and then I fucked him until the neighbors complained. And then some.”

The ball of light floating over Yoongi’s shoulder pinged in dismay.

Jimin scowled, knowing it hated swearing, but frankly, that’s what it got when it insisted on staying in the room when he talked with his friend.

“Good for you,” the wizard answered, voice monotone.

“Can you at least double check the mark?”

“It’s fine. I would have been able to sense if it went wrong.”

Craving a reaction, he dramatically asked, “Did I get any offers last night? Any particularly dangerous ones? I might as well go all-out, since my best friend in the entire world hates me.”

Finally, his words hit their target and Yoongi’s head jerked up, his gaze flat, eyes showing twin reflections of purple and green light glowing in the low lighting of his altar room.

Anyone unused to Yoongi would have taken a step back, power heavy in his gaze, in the Native symbol that marked him as a chaos wizard of the upper echelon, but Jimin only crossed his arms, the magic in his blood humming in recognition of its caster.

“I’m trying to grind the kidney stone of a werewolf here. Can you please fuck off?”

“But—”

“Two.” He bit out, jerking his head to the left. “An idiot apprentice of an acquaintance of mine accidentally caused a poltergeist to go cannibal, so it’s been eating people that wander into its haunt spot. They want some help. And then there’s a Pontianak, who’s just generally been eating people.”

Jimin hummed. “Well, if the Pontianak keeps this shit up, the authorities will get her. But if the cannibal ghost is planted, odds are on people abandoning the building until some stupid realtor decides it’s the perfect challenge or some shit.”

Yoongi didn’t reply, which generally meant he agreed.

“How’s the pay?”

“No pay for this one.”

Grumbling under his breath, Jimin asked, “So I’d have to go after the Pontianak anyway?”

“Could do both.”

Pulling his phone out to check his bank account, he watched the ball of light float around the room, bringing Yoongi a little bottle of ashy blue and two forms.

“Yup,” he bit back a groan, slipping his phone into his back pocket. “Pontianak’s my first priority.”

Stepping up to the table, he picked up the papers and scanned over the details, but aside from a trail of associated deaths, Yoongi told him everything but the addresses.

The Pontianak lurked across town, so he could make that grab as soon as the sun sank. In the meantime: “I’ll be downstairs.”

Yoongi didn’t deign to reply, but Jimin was already focusing on the next order of business: leftovers, or a sandwich.

-☠-

After a much-needed nap and shower, the sun just sinking over the horizon, Jimin set out in fresh hunting clothes. Yoongi finished his brewing fuckery a while back and was up to his other normal past time of research, the orb of light hovering over his shoulder like a concerned parent. It peeped at Jimin on his way out, and Yoongi told him, “Hoseok says to take an antidote with you.”

“Which one?”

Yoongi jerked his head to the side and the orb brought Jimin a little glass bulb, the mouthful of antidote bubbling an intangible purple, like smoke instead of liquid.

“Thanks.” He nodded to the pair. “I’ll be back by morning.”

This time, instead of silence, he heard an oath in a language as foreign as the face-blistering one Jeongguk spoke, but this one washed over him like a cloud of perfume and he sighed at the sensation.

Despite how much they picked at each other, Yoongi wanted to wake up to Jimin’s bullshit, never the alternative, and so even though he enabled him, he would do everything he could to protect him.

Flexing his arms in anticipation, Jimin inventoried his various weapons as he took the stairs up to street level, finally drawing out his keys for his bike when he found everything in place.

This was going to be fun.

-☠-

Jimin stood over the prone form of the Pontianak as she bled out, her lips drawn back over her teeth, sharp and clogged with gore, her long, wicked fingernails twitching against the pavement, as if even in the throes of death, she was imagining what it would be like to gut him with them.

His arm burned where she managed to wound him, and every time he tensed it, it throbbed anew, reminding him that drinking an antidote didn’t give him instantaneous relief.

He watched the thick, stolen blood ooze out around her, the eviscerated remains of her stomach ripped open for the world to see.

“No baby, though. You think there would be.” Jeongguk spoke behind him, close enough that his breath ghosted down Jimin’s neck.

Not jumping, having sensed when the air stirred behind him, Jimin continued to watch, her eyes fixed on the pair of them with growing rage.

“Traitor,” the word bubbled onto her lips. “Kill the bastard.”

Jeongguk didn’t flinch as Jimin walked over to her and drew out the blade attached to his brass knuckles, leaning down to slit her throat so they could talk without being bothered. Her hands scrambled for purchase against his jeans, but her waning strength could no longer support any type of attack.

“What brings you out here?” Jimin asked once he finished with the Pontianak.

“I can sense your spikes in arousal.” Jeongguk jerked his chin toward the dying demon. “Never would have thought killing my kind did it for you. Sociopath.”

“Shut up.” He cleaned the blade on the thigh of his jeans, arms flexing like he couldn’t stand the thought of the fighting being over for the evening.

Seeming to notice that too, Jeongguk crossed his arms across his chest, not moving closer. “I’m surprised you didn’t gut me last night, if that does it for you.”

Jimin strode over to him, an amused smirk toying at the corners of his mouth. He raised his bloody hand, waiting to see if the demon would flinch as he cupped Jeongguk’s jaw, the blade hovering centimeters from his cheek. “I have other plans for you.”

Their eyes met, and despite the effect Jeongguk could draw out of him at will, the heat that hovered in between them came from memories, from the unsated hunger quivering in Jimin’s chest. Last night had been fun, but they could only do so much while balancing on his bike. Taking the demon in public was a kink of his, of course, but without the responses he wanted, or any pay off, it felt like the tip of an iceberg.

“Come on,” he stepped back, jerking his head toward the alley where he’d left his bike. “I’ll show you.”

“Should I take that to mean we’re going to play or you’re going to kill me?”

Jimin’s teeth flashed in the low lighting, bright and sharp like his humanity barely kept a hold on him. “You’ll see.”

-☠-

Jimin gave nothing away as he parked his bike in another alley and strapped his helmet to the seat, guiding them to a house that looked like every other one on this street—minus the overgrown yard.

Walking up the steps to the door, Jimin stepped into the house as he twisted the door knob and let himself in.

“Is it supposed to be unlocked?”

“Nope.” Jimin wet his lips and glanced around the living room, then up the stairs to the dark landing above. “That’s giveaway number one.”

His shoulder burned and he followed the sensation, ducking into the kitchen and the living room both, until he had nowhere to go but up.

“What are you doing?”

“Hunting. What the hell do you think?”

Jeongguk followed him up the stairs. “You think I’ll get a kick out of you murdering other demons?”

“Of course not.”

“Good; it’s not going to come out at any rate. It has to feel that you’re a threat. And if it doesn’t, it must also feel me here. It wouldn’t want to interrupt my business.”

Jimin shook his head, guiding them further back, into the master bedroom. “For someone who hasn’t spent a lot of time with hunters, you sure are assuming a lot.”

“Yes,” Jeongguk’s voice was unimpressed. “Forgive me for thinking you need something physically present for you to hunt it.”

“You’re forgiven.”

Crouching in the middle of the floor, eyes gleaming, Jimin reached into his pocket to draw out a stick of plain chalk, drawing a circle around himself. Once he closed the shape, his hand snapped forward, as if guided by a force outside of himself, scrawling various shapes and lines, until Jeongguk’s eyes burned. A purging circle.

An unearthly wail filled the air, the hairs on the back of Jimin’s neck rising in instinct, and before Jeongguk could register it, a white mass, vaguely resembling a person, wrapped its arms around Jimin’s shoulders, its mouth gaping, showing a void that spoke of an eternity of unrest.

This doesn’t concern you, demon. It hissed at him in warning. I would have let you use my space, but if you’re going to let him cleave me from my host, then I have no choice.

“He’s not the one you should be worrying about,” Jimin replied, sliding his knife out of its sheath.

Instead of using it immediately, he smudged one of the symbols on the floor with the toe of his boot, and the demon disappeared with an indignant screech.

Quickly, he dropped to the ground and redrew it, and the ghost reappeared, unable to react as Jimin sprung up from his crouch and punched through the center of the cloud with his knuckles and knife, aiming only to hit.

It shrieked, the sound rattling the windows, and its body flickered, showing the decaying remains of a middle-aged woman, one of her eyeballs hanging from its socket, the skin by her lips so ripped that it hung from her skull in flaps.

Excitement flared in Jimin and he swung for the image, his left hand throwing powder at the ghost as it instinctively dodged his right hand with its weapon.

As soon as the powder touched it, the image of the woman solidified and she screamed, stumbling back toward the door.

In another moment, Jimin was on her, his left hand wrapping around her shoulders like the embrace of a lover, while his right punched through her very solid ribcage, skin, and out the back.

Jeongguk watched in morbid fascination as the body twitched, then stilled, Jimin drawing back like the bloody mess that stretched to his bicep was a normal Tuesday night.

And it was, for him.

Turning to the demon, not bothering to look as the corpse hit the floor, he watched as emotion rose to Jeongguk’s features, feeling the headiness of a fresh kill pulsing under his skin like arousal’s evil twin. It clumped in his head and chest, and he found himself asking, voice breathless, “You understand? Still think I’m crazy?”

“Oh, completely,” Jeongguk scowled as his voice wavered, his own body responding to the dark arousal he must sense or taste radiating from the hunter. “You’re completely fucking crazy. But I knew that when you bound yourself to a demon for a good fuck.”

Jimin stepped into his space, his raised body temperature showing in the sheen of sweat on his collarbones and forehead, bangs sticking and flicking in his way as he pinned the demon up against the wall, staring up at him boldly.

He leaned in, motions coiled and slow, like a predator, like a jaguar stalking a panther, excited to hunt something on its own skill level.

His lips brushed the skin of Jeongguk’s neck, right below his ear, and he felt the demon shudder as he whispered, “You haven’t seen ‘crazy’ yet by a long shot, hellspawn.”

-☠-

The second time, he called for Jeongguk to come along on his hunt, and the demon withheld his complaints as he began to piece the details together: the heat their bodies shared pressed together on his bike, the way Jimin would pin him to the nearest flat surface once the creatures were dead.

That time, Jimin kissed him, lips as harsh as their first time, his tongue pressing into the demon’s mouth to pillage and claim, body crushing Jeongguk’s against the wall of the tunnel, all hard lines of muscle.

Despite himself, Jeongguk looked rather dazed when he pulled back, though it morphed into an expression of irritation when Jimin sent him away again.

“What can I say? My hyung doesn’t like demons in the house.” Well, actually—it was Hoseok who didn’t like demons in the house, but he didn’t want to get into why he lived with an angel and a witch.

He waved off the lust demon, who bared his teeth at him, but as the barrier went up, Jimin steeled against actual sex, Jeongguk couldn’t pour himself into the hunter’s cracks with their contract limiting him.

The third time he went with him was déjà vu in relation to how they’d first met: In the dark alley of a club one town over, though this demon didn’t bother to disguise itself in human skin. It towered over them, a mockery of a werewolf, though its bark-like skin, lances of teeth, and extended height made it impossible for it to change its form.

Rather than roar or do anything showy, it slithered toward them, blinking in and out of shadows, whipping around them with the sound of an autumn wind, leaves dry on the pavement. Like the cannibal ghost, this thing spoke by projecting, though rather than words, he pressed his intentions onto their minds, promising Jimin he would crush him into pulp and drink his innards, and that he would skin Jeongguk.

Jimin tucked his knife away, knowing skin as tough as the demon’s would need blunt force, rather than cutting, so he slid on his spare pair of brass knuckles and danced around the narrow space, jumping and bouncing off of the walls, his boots scuffing when he pushed.

Scowling, angry about the marks he might not be able to buff out of his boots, Jimin launched himself again and again at the creature, arms flexing as he pounded it, breaking off bits of its angular body.

It appeared slow-moving and slow-thinking, but it seemed to strategize well enough, motions tight and accurate, likely hoping to wear him down, not knowing that Jimin’s stamina made that nearly impossible for his first hunt of the night.

Eventually, the demon gave and decided to run, and as it shot a sudden attack at Jimin, expecting him to bounce back, it already was moving backward.

Anticipating that, Jimin took the hit and used his momentum to continue forward, a step too fast for the creature, and he punched through the back of its head, feeling the teeth cut his fingers as his arm thrust through. Unlike the other creatures he’d hunted with Jeongguk there, it left no blood as Jimin destroyed it, so when it collapsed and the hunter continued to pulverize it, the only blood shining in the moonlight was human.

Jeongguk coiled in anticipation, and when Jimin finished, teeth grit in anger, mind still on his boots, he saw arousal thick in the demon’s stare.

“What?” He spat.

Meaning to condition him so Jeongguk would seek him out at the height of his bloodlust, the adrenaline morphing and bleeding into his arousal, Jimin felt more anger than thrill pounding through him, and the way Jeongguk undressed him with his eyes, anticipating his rough kisses and touches after he killed that thing encouraged him, though it did nothing to satiate the seething emotion itching through him.

“Aren’t you gonna kiss me?” Jeongguk taunted. “Then leave me high and dry, because you’d rather get your prick wet on some demon’s cor—”

His last word cut off with a wheeze, Jimin moving just fast enough to silence him before the end, the hunter’s hand crushing Jeongguk to the alley wall by his throat.

Jimin’s fist clenched, straining to wrap his fingers fully around the demon’s neck, and, encouraged by the shock he elicited when he started, used the leverage to lift Jeongguk higher.

The demon clawed at his wrist, features contorting with the perceived threat, and Jimin lowered him back to his feet, allowing him just enough air to speak. While he might not need air, if he snapped his neck, it would have the same effect as it would on a human, leaving his body useless at best, severing a crucial nerve at worst.

Jeongguk scowled at him, his eyes glowing, and Jimin cooed, “There are nicer ways to ask me to kiss you.”

Despite anticipating a nasty reply, when the demon spat at him, hitting his cheek, it surpassed anything he guessed, and his disbelief seized him, caging off the anger that wanted to strike Jeongguk for daring to disrespect him like that. His hand tightened around the creature’s throat again, choking the air out of him that he used to spit at him.

Free hand rising to wipe the spit from his cheek, Jimin felt the deadly calm settle over him as he said, “Need I remind you, this arrangement is for me.”

Stepping closer, body pressing flush to Jeongguk’s, feeling the heat radiating from him like a furnace, matched by the hellish powers of the unearthly creature in the literal palm of his hand, Jimin promised lowly, “If I want to kill you and fuck your dead body, that’s in our agreement, babe.”

Jeongguk choked again, hatred shining red in his eyes, and Jimin sensed that he would rip him to pieces, his own desires and goals be damned, if he wasn’t bound by his own mistake, and victory sang through the hunter. It didn’t matter what he did—Jimin had already won.

Leaning in slow, feeling as the demon rasped, trying to suck in enough air, Jimin nipped at his lower lip, pulling on it slowly as his eyes drifted up to Jeongguk’s again, holding the gaze for a moment, before he gestured with a nod of his head to the nearby, cheap motel.

“There.”

Drawing back, smirking to himself when he listened to Jeongguk cough, he turned his back, gloating inwardly over the audacity of the motion, showing the demon how small of a threat he was to him.

Knowing the demon could appear where he wanted, Jimin walked into the lobby of the building and purchased a room for the night, mourning the cash wasted on “getting his prick wet,” as Jeongguk so eloquently phrased it.

Taking the key, he rode the elevator to the fifth floor, to the proper room, and removed his leather jacket, cut to hug his chest like a lover, soft for him, but enough of a layer to protect him from things like the demon of the day. When he exposed his arms to the open air, wearing a plain, black t-shirt underneath (stains? No problem! Black!), he traced two fingers up the crook of his elbow, circling the tattoo to summon Jeongguk like he would tease the creature’s nipples.

“Jeongguk,” he purred into the air. “Come play.”

The demon stepped from the shadows like they shaped him, made up part of his body, and they drew away from him like reluctant admirers as the exterior light from the window bathed his face in colorful neons. Hand marks marred his neck, already red from the force used, and despite the livid anger in his eyes, glowing brighter than the refractions of the outside world, Jimin found himself responding to them. He liked seeing Jeongguk marked up, a softer, smothered part of him allowing him the enjoyment, knowing that sexual acts couldn’t hurt the demon.

“The day I find a way to break this contract, I will rend your flesh from your bones,” Jeongguk spoke softly, eyes fixated on Jimin’s lips. “I will cut you to pieces. I’ll make you scream for weeks before finally letting you bleed out.”

A hand returned to Jeongguk’s throat, like they both expected, and when it closed around the bruised column, they both took a step closer, bodies brushing, eyes locked.

“Are you trying to play my game?” Jimin murmured, leaning in so his words physically brushed over Jeongguk’s lips. “Or are you afraid of how much you like this?”

Jeongguk swore at him, but the words barely hit open air before their lips met in a rough kiss, the hand around the demon’s throat tightening, holding him in place, even as he clawed at Jimin’s arms, aiming to harm, rather than free himself.

Feeling his nails rake down his forearm, blood pricking from the cuts, Jimin tossed Jeongguk back toward the bed, smirking with satisfaction when he flew, bouncing against the mattress, his eyes dark with violence and want.

“This isn’t your game you’re playing, human.”

“Oh, ‘human,’ now?” Instead of going to him, Jimin strode over to the desk, grabbing his bag. “I don’t think I’ve even heard you say my name.”

“And you never will.”

“Spiteful,” he clucked his tongue, drawing out the coiled, smooth rope he packed for the night, winding it around his elbow and skillfully up over his palm, to rest between his thumb and pointer finger. “We’ll see.”

“You won’t,” Jeongguk spat. “I would rather spend an eternity celibate.”

“Even when you’re choking on my dick? Begging me to go harder?”

Jeongguk shifted, sensing the change in mood as Jimin approached the bed, his shadow hiding the demon from the outside light. His eyes shone in the dark like a cat’s, and as he took in the rope, Jimin watched him spread his legs ever-so-slightly, the beginnings of a bulge pressed to the front of his tight pants.

Before Jeongguk could ask or answer his rhetorical questions, Jimin ordered, “On your stomach.”

The demon raised an eyebrow, but dutifully flipped over, commenting, “Does the shirt come off?”

“I don’t give a shit. Your chest isn’t getting any attention tonight.”

Jimin climbed up onto the bed, crouching on his knees, and he started by reaching for the back of Jeongguk’s jeans, hands palming over his butt with relish, remembering how tight he was every time, how wet.

After the demon let out an impatient huff, he brought his hand down, slapping Jeongguk’s ass and then watching with approval as it jiggled. Then, he hooked his fingers into the tops of the jeans and yanked them down his legs, stripping Jeongguk without warning.

Refusing to comment on Jeongguk’s lack of underwear, knowing the demon could smell his arousal and could likely sense how much harder that fact made him, he then began his true game, wrapping the rope around Jeongguk’s right thigh in several loops, then up to his left forearm, then his right, and then his left thigh, securing it all in the center of his back, tightening the rope as he went. As he worked, the demon stilled, letting him wind and tie, but when he finished, Jeongguk’s arms and legs tensed, muscle flexing as he tried to bust the rope, yet couldn’t. Instead, as he jerked them away, he gasped in pain as he tried and the rope held.

The hunter reached down for his own pants then, reveling in knowing that he had Jeongguk at his mercy, and he promised, voice low, “Let’s see who was right about you calling my name.”

Seizing Jeongguk’s thighs, he spread them, listening to the whine that escaped when it pulled his wrists taunt, effectively pinning him there while allowing Jimin to have fistfuls of the demon’s toned thighs.

Bending them, pressing them against his wrists, Jimin shuffled closer and ordered, voice, sharp, “Up on your knees.”

Jeongguk’s hips swayed as he raised them up from the bed, his pert ass pink where Jimin smacked it moments before. It surprised him how much he wanted to taste, but he would save that for another day. Instead, he leaned in to nip at the curve of his ass, smirking when he heard a surprised whine leave the demon’s lips, and then a muffled curse from where his cheek pressed into the covers of the bed. The position pinned his wrists as effectively to his lower back as if Jimin held them in place.

Reaching up with a thoughtful hum, Jimin loosened the ties a little more so he could spread Jeongguk’s thighs and fit between them without severing the demon’s wrists. If he derived no sexual pleasure from amputation, he knew the act would hurt, and despite hunting demons in his free time, he didn’t want to hurt the lust demon. The thought of betraying a contract, twisting a knife when the creature was immobilized, ached—felt immoral.

Unsure how to categorize emotions toward the demon that hovered on the humane edge of the knife, he shuffled up behind him and brought his hand down over the crest of Jeongguk’s ass, wanting to distract him on the chance he could sense the human’s emotions. But, instead of giving an order, his hands fell to grip either side of the demon’s ass, spreading him open so he could lean down and drag his tongue over the hole, body tense as he pictured thrusting into him like that, no warning.

His tongue curled against the rim, the tip flicking over the top, and that last touch gave him a hint of wetness.

It tasted heady, intimate, but it burned through him. “Thought I was going in dry?”

Jeongguk grunted irritably, and Jimin let out a laugh, dipping back down to push his tongue into the demon’s body, tasting his slick with smug enjoyment, his cock throbbing in his pants. Curling it within the creature, brushing against the tight walls, already dreaming of burying himself up to the hilt, his hands dug in harshly when he felt Jeongguk try to rut down against the bed.

“Ah,” he drew back with a satisfied sigh. “So you like that, do you?”

The demon stopped moving, growled at him, and that pulsed through him like another rush of blood south.

One of his hands dropped to rub himself over his pants, and his own state of full hardness surprised even him; sure, he liked pleasuring his partners, but he had no desire to give Jeongguk anything like that.

“By chance, are there aphrodisiacs in your slick?” Jimin shuffled closer, his head clouded, focused on penetrating the demon, his cock bumping against his ass.

“Maybe.”

For some reason, that drew a laugh out of Jimin, his body floating along on a cloud of pleasure, and as his hands slid to grab Jeongguk’s hips, he positioned himself and pushed into Jeongguk with one thrust, his hips meeting the demon’s ass.

His moan would sound too loud to his ears when he’d replay the night the next morning, but as the arousal choked him like a strong perfume, he started fucking Jeongguk with quick, sharp jerks of his hips, his grip on him growing harsher as he slid up the length of the bed.

Jimin held him in place as he fucked him, the motions animalistic, short nails scraping over his tanned skin with relish, loving the marks, loving the delicious, wet sounds his cock produced slipping in and out of the demon.

“So wet…” he panted, one hand drawing back to slap Jeongguk across the right side of his ass. “Let me hear you. Don’t try to tell me you’re not loving this. We both know better.” As much as he loved the sounds of Jeongguk’s slick leaking out of him, coating his member so the slide felt like a dream, he preferred a rougher drag and just enough slick to keep from hurting the other.

Swearing under his breath, Jeongguk wiggled his hips back, vindictive in his movements as he squeezed around Jimin’s cock.

The hunter swore he could feel himself pulse within the creature, arousal tight in his limbs, driving his motions harder, more severely, until he finally heard Jeongguk’s quiet whimpers from above, the bed coverings soaking them up.

“More,” he ordered, bending himself over Jeongguk’s back, driving in at a new angle, pressing deeper, likely to his prostate, as the moans began to grow in volume.

He fucked into Jeongguk, pushing himself as hard as he could move, watching as the demon’s muscular back tensed to meet his thrusts, his noises overlapping the wet, vulgar sounds of their bodies meeting, the sounds of his pleasure a symphony, a victory.

“More,” Jimin growled, and he gave up some of his leverage to reach his hand around the demon’s body to his erection.

When his hand wrapped around the base, he leaned up and bit the side of Jeongguk’s shoulder, both bodies shuddering as the demon cried out, his voice peaking with pleasure as Jimin’s hand began pumping him in tandem with his thrusts.

Jimin worked automatically, focusing on his rhythm, on the soft, almost delicate noises the demon let out, and he would wager Jeongguk never let someone or something as strong as him fuck him before. The thought sent a heady rush of self-satisfaction through him, and he twisted his fist, fingers smearing the precum down Jeongguk’s length, making that slide easier.

His pants joined the slew of noises in the room, Jimin moving to suck another spot against his back, Jeongguk’s moan rumbling under his skin like an earthquake, like some force of nature, and then he was cumming, his body shuddering with it as he released over the bed, Jimin’s name on his lips, quiet enough that he would later wonder if he imagined it.

Jeongguk tightened around him as he released, the aftershocks milking his cock, and Jimin pulled free when he loosened up, not wanting to fuck the demon through his oversensitive state. He drew back from the creature then, and his hand fell to his own cock, jacking himself vigorously as his eyes traced the way Jeongguk’s shoulders slumped, the red marks on his wrists and thighs from the ropes, and it was with a vicious groan of pleasure that Jimin followed him over the edge shortly after, painting Jeongguk’s back with his seed.

He took a moment to catch his breath, laboring only in the sense that his intense emotional spike weathered alongside the work-out they’d just had. Jimin expected Jeongguk to bitch about the bindings, as he didn’t move to untie him immediately, but the demon laid silent and boneless on the bed.

Frowning, Jimin moved to pick the knots apart, even massaging the skin when he removed each loop, to help the blood flow. Jeongguk let him with no struggle, and when he finally finished, Jimin flipped the demon over, trying not to worry. Yoongi promised he wouldn’t be able to hurt a lust demon.

Instead of annoyance or pain or anger, he saw Jeongguk’s features softened, mouth slightly open, as he slept.

Jimin’s shoulders slumped and he stared at the creature, mind frozen on the fact that a creature of the underworld passed out after sex.

Yanking his gaze away, he fetched a complimentary towel and cleaned the demon off as best he could, manners so ingrained that he gave even the demon basic aftercare.

As he finished up, he forced his mind away from how soft Jeongguk’s features looked in slumber—gentle and almost sweet.

-☠-

“You took so long to untie me! I got bored!”

The words, indignant and young, existed only for a moment in his ear before the wind snatched them away, the journey of the day trying his patience as Jeongguk’s body pressed flush to his back.

When he woke up the morning after killing the demon in the alley, Jeongguk no longer laid next to him—either needing less sleep, or not wanting to wake up in a bed next to his captor. Jimin didn’t pretend to be offended, and didn’t ask about his comings and goings, not arrogant enough to think Jeongguk would reshape his wants and needs for a veritable feeding troth he didn’t ask for.

Instead, he returned home to check his payment with Yoongi, and he rested for a night, watching the stupid, newest rom-coms that Hoseok pleaded for them to rent or torrent, though he always looked so disappointed when they stole them. And after a few days, a man from a few cities over came to them with the best hunt he’d been offered in months.

“Can you believe it? A dragon in our corner of the world.”

Jeongguk sulked against his back, mouth curled into a sour frown. Had Jimin not attempted to play with him two nights back, they might have left the day before, and Jeongguk wouldn’t have shown any concern over the dragon. It confused him on a small scale that Jeongguk didn’t give a shit about him killing other demons, and the demon himself confirmed that minor, humanoid demons often hated the animal-shaped ghouls.

“They think they’re better than us. Eldrich or some bullshit,” Jeongguk told him when Jimin informed him of his journey. “But they’re just brutes. And they’ll eat other demons if they get hungry enough.”

“So you don’t like dragons?”

The demon snorted in reply, and the conversation dropped there, devolving into play despite being home and despite Yoongi warning him against bringing Jeongguk home.

“It’ll be enjoyable to watch it flame-broil,” Jeongguk answered. “Especially if you kill it.”

Jimin huffed. “Well, you would know about being cooked, wouldn’t you?”

Jeongguk hissed at him, and he repressed a laugh, knowing he should attempt to show some remorse, but hey; he apologized twice genuinely, and Jeongguk hadn’t seemed to know what to do with it. Needless to say, their night at home could never be repeated.

He had just convinced Jeongguk to go for a round two those nights ago, as Jimin liked being suspended more than he would have expected, when fucking Hoseok burst into the room.

His human form glowed with pure, golden sunlight similar to his orb form, but even being in Hoseok’s presence weakened Jeongguk, and Jimin had to throw himself between them to keep Hoseok’s sword from running the lust demon through.

Like with demons, Jimin stood a better chance against the angel with the magic in his veins and because Hoseok couldn’t harm humans with his celestial sword. But, in his post-coitus state, he’d barely been able to hold the angel back until Jeongguk could disappear.

So yeah; they took an extra day to rest before setting out—not that Jeongguk left with him. When he appeared on the back of his bike after the sun set, his hands were greedy, palming over Jimin’s stomach, down his thighs, claiming he needed to be fed more to heal.

“We need to go further before I can stop,” Jimin protested, though he couldn’t refrain from shivering, heat pulsing through him. Part of him wanted to accuse Jeongguk of manipulation, but he knew the demon would only call out what they both knew: Jeongguk had become accustomed to his body and knew how to play it like an instrument. Damn lust demons.

“I could play with you here?” Jeongguk’s fingers brushed over Jimin’s bare stomach, the tips catching on the hem of his pants.

“No.” When the light turned green, he sped around the cars in front of them, weaving back and forth with dangerous speed.

The demon withdrew with a self-suffering sigh. “You know if you crash you’re the only one getting hurt?” But the speed pushed him back, his arms tightening around Jimin, chin pressing to the top of his shoulder.

“Depends on if you can teleport that fast.”

Jeongguk didn’t answer, and he wondered if the wind stole the sentence straight from his lips. They didn’t talk for the next two hours and Jimin began to wonder if Jeongguk really could teleport if they crashed—if he didn’t need a certain amount of energy for moves like that.

Raising his voice a little louder, he called, “How much did fighting Hoseok off drain you?”

“What?”

Stopping at a red light, Jimin repeated his question and watched as Jeongguk uncurled from him, stretching like a cat might after a long nap.

His face was humorless as he replied, “That’s what angels do. They purify creatures like me. So yes; all of the energy I built up was taken.”

Occasionally when they stopped, they drew the eyes of drunk humans, as Jeongguk refused to wear a helmet, and while Jeongguk replied to him, they could see a few girls chattering, staring blatantly.

“Go with them, if you need to,” Jimin coaxed. “I can always call you back tomorrow morning.”

He felt Jeongguk consider it, his fingers tapping his back in some pattern-less beat, and then the demon moved, swinging a leg from the bike onto the ground.

“Good luck!” Jimin called, smirking when the demon ignored him.

-☠-

Without Jeongguk’s presence to distract and tempt him, Jimin drove for another hour without pause, only stopping because he didn’t want to leave late the next day. The hotel where he stopped resided in a back in a side street, drunken 20-somethings cloistered around the bar entrances on the other side of the street, smoking and chatting. They wouldn’t venture too close to the seedy building, lest it send the wrong image.

Chuckling, Jimin wandered in with his pack and purchased a room for the night, already dreaming of the shower and bed.

Hotels tended to blend together once you’d visited enough lower-end ones, and he couldn’t recite the details of the lobby by the time he reached his assigned room, not that he cared. He showered and climbed into bed in the same shirt he’d worn while riding, relying on the a/c, prepared for bugs.

Finding none and a minimum number of lumps in the mattress, Jimin slipped into sleep like Jeongguk slipped from one world to the next.

And indeed, he found himself back in his bedroom at home, Jimin laid out on his pillow-top mattress, lovingly purchased with his very first kill, bare-chested and breathing heavy as Jeongguk sucked on one of his nipples. It felt like he’d just snapped back into his body from wherever territory his mind wandered to, and a moan rose from him as the pleasure resonated through him.

“Is this revenge?” He bit out. “For trying this the other day?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Jeongguk replied, blasé, before nipping carefully at one of the buds, smirking with satisfaction when another moan left the hunter’s lips.

“Like hell you don’t.”

Jeongguk’s hand slipped between his legs, rubbing over the growing bulge, and Jimin said, “I didn’t think lust demons could have sexual preferences.”

“We don’t.” Plucking open his fly, Jeongguk’s hand snuck into Jimin’s boxers to palm over the head of his cock, but it didn’t distract the human.

“So why did you fight against me exposing your chest?”

Not replying, and instead moving to kiss down his chest, Jeongguk curled his hand around Jimin’s erection, pumping it in skilled, harried pulls.

Fighting off the wave of pleasure bolstered by Jeongguk’s own powers, Jimin found himself bartering: “If you answer six questions, I’ll let you top tonight.”

It made no difference to Jimin; he would get off either way, but letting the demon press into him, take him and use him—it was a matter of pride. He felt Jeongguk hesitate, before his gaze rose to meet Jimin’s.

“I don’t have to answer any six,” he replied, “But I’ll agree to answer six of my choosing.”

Jimin’s head dropped back against his pillow as the demon peeled his jeans and boxers off, peppering the exposed skin with little nips and licks. His cock pressed hard to his stomach, reddened and glistening from Jeongguk’s efforts. “A-alright.”

“Question one: Is the Underworld all fire and brimstone?”

Snorting against his thigh, unprepared for a silly question, the demon shot him an incredulous look and then drawled, “Depends on where you’re at. The weather forecast is sometimes all brimstone, no fire.”

Jimin smiled, though it melted into another moan as Jeongguk pressed something wet and soft to his entrance. Apparently he didn’t want to wait for the hunter to change his mind.

“Two…Did you grow up in the icy city?”

Otherwise known as the capital of the underworld, with the swirling vortex that led to the mortal world, the great icy city might not have Satan poking out from the ice in the center, but many human priests argued that the portal itself was Satan, allowing for his brethren to reach the mortal world to wreak havoc.

The wet thing wiggled past Jimin’s entrance, pliable and bendy enough that it didn’t burn at all, and he sighed, though he tensed up all over again when the thing found his prostate and began pressing against it, the strength similar to regular fingers, though it contorted itself in a way to fit flush against the spot.

“I did.”

Jimin writhed against the bed as Jeongguk’s lips slid hotly against the base of his cock, kiss-bruised lips brushing up the underside, an uncontrolled moan leaving the human’s lips when he then stopped to suck at the sensitive spot beneath his head.

“What’s…your favorite thing about the human world?”

Managing to focus beyond the pleasure, Jimin watched the demon’s eyes flash an unholy red as he answered, “Dragging humans to hell.”

“Do you hate humans?”

Jeongguk paused, and if it weren’t for that damned thing inside him, another wriggling its way in beside it, Jimin would have called him on his hesitation.

“Yes.”

They both felt the lie there, the most interesting thing Jimin learned about the lust demon so far, and Jeongguk knew he’d blown it, because he scowled down at the human. The soft things—three now—began to thrust in and out of Jimin, their wetness stretching his rim, filling him slowly while the first still massaged his prostate. It felt like being rocked to orgasm with gentle, skilled touches, but as Jeongguk revealed too much of himself, the thrusts became more vicious.

“No more questions,” the demon snapped. And before Jimin could complain, suddenly two thick, malleable things wrapped around both of his thighs, spreading him wide.

A startled yell left his lips, and then more of the things—tentacles, he could see as they crawled up his body—wound up his chest and arms.

Swearing, Jimin tried to twist away from them, demanding that Jeongguk fulfill his end of their agreement, but as two of the tentacles brushed over his chest, his nipples began to tingle where their wetness touched them. As if by invisible cue, the tentacles in his ass began dripping, and the sensation flowed down there, to his thighs, and then to his wrists, where they wrapped him up next.

“Dammit, Jeongguk—” Two tentacles slipped over his lower lip as he protested, filling his mouth.

Jeongguk sat up on the bed, a calm expression on his features, flickers of smug satisfaction visible for moments as he watched Jimin.

And then—the tentacles tensed and lifted Jimin from the bed by his thighs and arms, the longer tentacles spreading down his arms so they wouldn’t put too much pressure on his wrists.

With all his weight on the tentacles, the two in his ass pressed deeper into him, drawing out another desperate moan around the two in his mouth, the wetness filling him with a desperate yearning for more tentacles to stuff him full. The tentacle on his prostate continued to squirm against the spot, and Jimin’s body shook in the powerful hold, pleasure building under his skin like a wave of magic, but it was too little to build to orgasm.

Swear words dripped from his lips, muffled by the tentacles, and then another tentacle wrapped around his cock, cradling it and his balls. As soon as it began secreting the tingling lubricant, Jimin tried rocking his hips down, wanting to chase after the orgasm looming on the horizon. Miraculously, Jeongguk let him work himself down, Jimin feeling the sweat building on his forehead, dripping down his chest as he did all the work.

Jeongguk only watched him with a secret smirk, the dexterous tips of the tentacles on his nipples rolling them, pinning them with strong strokes, and then a thin, thin tentacle brushed at the head of his cock, the tip slipping down into the slit with precision that had him crying out, shocked, yet unable to deny the pleasure when it began stroking down inside him, further and further with each thrust.

Mind swimming with pleasure, Jimin could feel his orgasm washing over him, building up, and he thrashed a bit, wanting it so desperately he could taste it, but the moment it would hit him—Jeongguk stilled. Every single tentacle stopped moving, and with only the tingling to bolster him, his orgasm stalled and withdrew, the hunter shrieking out a slew of curses at the demon.

“Why hyung, we’re only getting started,” Jeongguk drawled out, looking nonperturbed and even casual, with only the flush on his cheeks giving him away.

Jimin shot him a furious scowl, but then the thin tentacle in his cock withdrew and the tentacles inside him twisted, the one on his prostate pressing assiduously, until he trembled again, his anger melting as the tentacles pulsed in his mouth.

Their texture was slippery, soft yet firm—similar enough to a dick that he could suck and lick over them with only minimal concern. The slick tasted sweet, reminding him of his favorite flavor of lollipop, and he sucked wantonly, anger fading in the face of his intense pleasure.

“There you go,” Jeongguk purred, and from the arousal thick in his voice, Jimin gleaned that the tentacles got a similar level of sensation as his cock.

Rolling his tongue around one of the tentacles, Jimin forced his eyes open to stare boldly at the demon, lips parting to give the tentacles more room. His thighs tensed against the tentacles suspending him and he arched his back into the hold, annoyed that he enjoyed the restriction of movement, annoyed that he loved feeling so full.

And then—somehow, he had to be imagining it—the tentacles in his ass began to swell, stretching his rim, filling him while pressing the tip of one flush to his prostate, where it continued to wriggle even as the tentacles fattened up.

Jimin let out a desperate noise, body shaking as the tentacles stretched him open gradually, the hunter gagging on the tentacles in his mouth, mind going blank, afraid for a moment despite the knowledge that Jeongguk couldn’t hurt him.

“Shh,” the demon cooed, and more lubricant oozed out, a haze falling over Jimin’s mind. “I know how far you can bend, hyung.”

Part of him wanted to yell at the demon, thinking it impossible that the lust demon would be younger than him, but the haze gobbled up his cohesive thoughts, twisting them with pleasure as the fat tentacles in his ass started thrusting in earnest, pushing the whole way in and pulling out, teasing the abused rim, one finding his prostate every time.

The tentacle on his cock tightened, twisting around the member from his balls to the angry red of the head. Jimin needed to cum so badly he could taste it and he mewled around the tentacles in his mouth, needing to beg, his pride shot to shit by absolute need.

Once more, Jeongguk slowed right as Jimin approached the point of no return, and then he thrashed, swearing violently, nonsensically as his orgasm ebbed away from him, tempted to bite down on the appendages in his mouth when he heard the demon’s soft laughter.

“Almost there, hyung. You look so pretty like this, why would I rush the end?”

After a moment, he resumed thrusting, the tentacles in his mouth rolling with the same motions as the ones in Jimin’s ass, the third tentacle, thinner than the other two, pressing against his prostate while the first two fucked him.

Another smaller tentacle cradled his balls, running over them with relish, and beneath his own despairing moans, he could hear the softer, more ragged moans of the demon.

“Jeongguk,” he begged when the tentacles gave him enough space to, “Please let me cum. Jesus, please.”

No words came in response, but when his edge came within reach, this time Jeongguk didn’t slow, his ministrations maintaining, the tentacle on his cock stroking over him almost with encouragement.

Finally, finally thinking he had a chance, Jimin’s head tilted back and he felt the orgasm start in his thighs, building like the final crest of a roller-coaster, before he was cumming harder than he had since Yoongi’d reinforced his exercise with magic.

His body went limp in the demon’s hold, mind wiping blank as he splattered his own chest with white, rasping moans leaving, belaying his helplessness as the tentacles continued to use him.

Just when he thought he couldn’t take any more, the tentacles in his mouth and ass erupted, spraying more sweet-tasting liquid down his throat and up into him, while the ones on his nipples, cock, and thighs coated his body with the sticky, pink-tinted liquid.

Despite the fact that he knew he couldn’t get hard again so soon, the sensation of his ass being so full, the viscous liquid dripping out of his abused rim past the appendages, elicited a violent shudder, Jimin only able to whimper.

Then, in the moment before Hoseok would charge in, celestial sword ablaze, the point of view switched, and he was looking down at himself through Jeongguk’s eyes, getting to see his limp body as Jeongguk’s tentacles lowered him to the bed.

His tanned skin shone with the demon’s cum, the pink tint of it only visible where the outside light came in through the window, and his lips were puffy, thick and kissable, his eyes glassy where he stared at Jeongguk, fucked-out in a way that sent another surge of arousal through him.

Jimin watched how his fingers dug into the bed, how Jeongguk’s hands traced the hard buds of his nipples, swirling through the painting of different seeds on Jimin’s chest. He watched the pink liquid drip past his lips, his quick tongue darting out to lick it away—and the dream broke.

He woke with Jeongguk’s lips pressed hungrily to his collarbone.

“Your friend broke me, so it’s your job to make me better.” He purred, fingers dancing over the lines of Jimin’s chest.

Jeongguk’s hips ground down against Jimin’s burgeoning erection, likely a result of his dream.

“Was that dream your fault?”

“Maybe.”

Jimin groaned as Jeongguk sucked a hickey onto the spot where he’d been kissing. “I thought you were still with those girls?”

“Oh boo hoo, the guy of your dreams wants to ride your dick.” Jeongguk drew back with a smug quirk to his lips. “Don’t look at me like that. You know I wouldn’t look like this if you didn’t like it.”

“Dunno,” Jimin huffed, “You look like a Frankenstein monster with the muscles and soft face.”

“Liar.” Jeongguk’s lips ghosted up the column of his neck before settling right below his ear to leave another purple mark, drawing a low groan from the hunter.

He wrapped his arms up around the demon, muttering about needing sleep, before rolling them over and fucking Jeongguk into the mattress until his cries drew complaints from their neighbors.

-☠-

The next time he called Jeongguk to him, he surprised the demon by asking him to sit at a sticky counter in a 24-hour diner, his smartphone laid out between them like an olive branch.

Quirking an eyebrow, Jeongguk glanced around, but the miserable waitress didn’t notice his popping into existence, and the only other patrons at that time sat at the counter, their backs to the pair in the booth.

“You want to fuck in public again?”

To his credit, Jimin didn’t blush. “No; I’m here to ask you what you know about serpentine dragons.” Part of him wanted to mention that Jeongguk owed him three more questions from the other night, but he wouldn’t cash that in on a job. If Jimin researched at all, it would be from Yoongi, who already warned him about the creatures’ inclinations toward poison breath and their quickness despite not having limbs.

Jeongguk raised an eyebrow. “What’s to know? They’re armored, like most dragons. Their teeth can bite the full way through a human, and they’re extremely territorial.” An unaware scowl bloomed across his features. “They’re also not very fond of humanoid demons.”

Most of that Jimin already knew, so he prompted, “Do you know anything about weak spots?”

“Their sense of smell is unreal,” he replied, almost as if he hadn’t heard Jimin. “Their eyes are vulnerable but they can still smell you, so that’s not worth it. There is no underbelly to them.” Jeongguk’s eyes rose, almost bored, as they skimmed over Jimin, assessing him. “You would die, and painfully at that.”

The hunter scowled, trusting their contract, that Jeongguk couldn’t do anything that would hurt him. “But they’re hunted. Otherwise, they would have overwhelmed both the over and underworlds.”

Jeongguk waved the waitress over, surprising Jimin by ordering a chocolate milkshake with a cherry and whipped cream. When he finished, he replied, “Yeah, each other. Dragons fight other dragons when they come around each other, so breeding rarely happens, and most of them are mobile, so their territories are big, so that doesn’t happen often either.”

Head spinning, wondering if Jeongguk meant to suggest what he had, Jimin asked, voice careful, “So if I managed to slip in unnoticed, how do other dragons kill each other?”

“Elemental powers. Each dragon is weak to crushing, especially if they’re buried under rock or stone. And serpentine dragons can be drowned—despite what their appearance might be, they have no aquatic affinity. Water dragons have gills.”

Mind spinning, wishing he could drag Yoongi along on his “fool’s errand,” as he had taken to calling it on their phone calls, he spoke without expecting a reply. “I’m going to need a witch. Or a water demon.”

“Personally,” Jeongguk drawled, “I would go with the water demon. They can be bound to you, unlike any true witch, who would run the moment the battle turned sour.”

Jimin hummed as the waitress set the heavy glass of the milkshake down on the table in front of Jeongguk. The demon dug the cherry out with a spoon, and Jimin watched as the ball of bright, bloody red disappeared between his lips with no small amount of relish.

“I didn’t know lust demons could eat human food.”

Jeongguk smiled at him, the inside of his lips dyed that same red. “It’s unnecessary, but non-detrimental.”

“I suppose you would know, with all of the centuries at your fingertips.”

The demon laughed. “I’m not as old as you think.” Sensing the question, he dug out some whipped cream, answering casually, “I’m younger than you, actually.”

He flashed back to all of the purred “hyung”s, gob-smacked that it wasn’t just the demon playing to a kink of his.

“Jesus, how old are you?”

Jeongguk winked, plunked the straw into the shake, and answered “20,” before proceeding to down half the drink in one long slurp.

Unsure how to handle being with a demon literally younger than most of his friends, Jimin only vaguely reminded himself of the stupid inexperience that trapped Jeongguk in the first place.

Well, that made sense, now.

-☠-

After an extensive phone call with Yoongi informing him of the most likely spot for a water demon in the area, he set out on his bike, hoping not to lose too much time with his trapping. Jeongguk didn’t wait around—not that he expected the creature to—and he wanted to get his menial trapping out of the way. Yoongi would send him the necessary spell to a friend in the area, so Jimin could pick it up, and the drive to there would take another hour.

The witch, an accident-prone man by the name of Namjoon, whipped him up the seal with ease, his precision not as tight as Yoongi’s, though he did offer him another step: an enchanted net to save him from having to fight. Unlike with Jeongguk, basic elemental demons usually only desired death and blood from humans—food in the opposite way that Jeongguk needed.

“Once it’s trapped, just threaten it with a heat spell. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a witch—you smell enough like magic to make the threat real.”

Balance, it seemed, was the key to weaknesses. In that vein, he found himself blurting out, “So what would be a lust demon’s weakness?”

Namjoon considered that, brushing his blonde bangs back in what looked like a nervous habit. “Besides indifference? Probably anything mental. They’re creatures of the physical. So you could probably suffocate one easily.”

Images came to mind of when he choked Jeongguk—though that was a sexual type of suffocation, not meant to snuff out, but to tease. Jimin wondered if it frightened him. Feeling guilty, Jimin’s fingers brushed over the binding symbol thoughtlessly while he rode to the river side, forgetting that it would summon the demon until Jeongguk appeared behind him.

“You know,” he shouted into Jimin’s ear, “at this rate, you should have just enslaved me, if you weren’t ever going to give me any free time.”

“Don’t be a crybaby!” He yelled back, but Jeongguk didn’t seem to hear him. When they stopped at a red light, he said, “What, did I interrupt a hookup or something?” His guilt melted away, Jimin refusing to apologize while Jeongguk behaved like an ass.

Said creature sniffed the side of his neck. “First of all, you reek of magic. I was actually home for once. Attempting to have a social life.”

He sounded sulky and it intrigued Jimin despite himself, so he asked quickly, before the car in front of him moved, “What do demons do for fun together?”

It seemed like Jeongguk wouldn’t answer, as two blocks passed in silence, but he finally said, “The same stuff humans do, with perhaps a bit more blood-drinking. Though with Taehyung, it’s more alcohol than blood.”

When they reached the next light, Jimin inquired, “Taehyung?”

“My…best friend.” His voice sharpened, like just talking about things important to him left him vulnerable, so he had to compensate. “He’s bi.”

“Oh. So he likes girls, too?”

“No, oh my Satan.” Jeongguk headbutted his shoulder. “Bi, like, he’s got lust demon blood in him, but he’s also half will-o-wisp. Instead of fucking people, he leads people astray and then fucks them or eats them, depending.”

Jimin grimaced. “Sounds like the kind of thing I would be called to exterminate.”

Jeongguk’s hands tightened on his stomach, and he didn’t have to look to know the demon’s talons came out, just shy of hurting him, as he couldn’t. “If you ever—ever get a call about him, and you hurt him—”

Unsure why the guilt returned at the shaking anger in the demon’s voice, Jimin didn’t speak to fill the awkward silence, unhappy to taunt Jeongguk about a person—thing—whom he genuinely cared for, yet unable to apologize when this Taehyung ate people.

They reached a bridge overlooking the river shortly after, and Jimin left his bike next to a bicycle rack, trusting the trackers Yoongi put on it months ago to keep it safe.

Trudging over to the steps down to the waterline, shoulders slumping a bit when Jeongguk didn’t vanish, but instead followed him, he glanced around at the few number of joggers and the occasional demanding businessman talking on his cellphone.

Turning left to where the walkway ended and the bridge shadowed the water, Jimin crouched down to inscribe the mark as Namjoon showed him, a reference picture on his cellphone as he drew with a marker, assuming chalk wouldn’t show up on the metal. He would need to start and wrap up the confrontation before the human police showed up—the last thing he wanted was someone else getting caught in the crossfire while trying to clean up his mess.

After double-checking the drawing, he drew out the net, draped it over his shoulder, and then slid on his brass knuckles, drawing the blade from its sheath.

Feeling Jeongguk’s eyes on him, he dragged the blade across the meaty part of his left palm, letting the blood drip onto the sigil.

A sense of déjà vu washed over him as he waited for the water demon, glancing back over his shoulder at Jeongguk more than once, his mind whispering to him that nothing good came of the demon sticking around, that he had some ulterior motive—

And then the water boiled beyond the path, a pair of cold, fish-like eyes watching him.

Knowing the sigil would draw it onto the path, he crossed his arms and waited, uncaring if it found him out, knowing it wouldn’t be able to resist the magical call.

However, as the thing’s hands—dead, bloated looking things—grasped onto the edge of the walkway, it parted its surprisingly soft looking lips and began to speak. Or sing. Whatever it was, it was unlike anything that ever touched Jimin’s eardrums before, and his hands slackened on whatever they had been holding. Where he saw rage in the fish creature’s expression, now he saw a beautiful man—with thick lips, strong muscles, and a face carved by angels.

“What are you doing?” He laughed, voice sweet and not unkind.

Jimin laughed along with him, not registering as his hands dropped to his sides, and a voice swore behind him, rather rudely.

“I’m here to see you,” he told the man with an impish grin. “I was hoping we could play.”

“Of course,” the man purred, reminding him of…someone…the name slipped from his grasp like water. “Come here and we can play as much as you want.”

The man stood stock-still, arms spread as if to embrace him, though they bent slightly instead of going as wide as his broad shoulders would allow. Jimin might have questioned that, might have thought over the yelling he heard in the background, until someone—not the beautiful man—slammed their hands over his ears, cuffing him so painfully that his eardrums would have popped if not for the magic empowering him.

Hands found his shoulder and something fluttered past his cheek, before the handsome man’s face contorted into a snarl, mouth full of jagged, fatal teeth.

When his ears cleared, he heard Jeongguk’s voice mixed with that beautiful one, though the latter was screwed up with rage, calling the lust demon a traitor. Jeongguk, meanwhile, was cursing Jimin out under his breath.

“—forgot his fuckin’ ear plugs, what kind of lousy hunter—”

Jimin stumbled to his feet, and the expression on the man wrapped in the net turned sweet, though Jeongguk moved over to him before he could speak, hands falling over Jimin’s ears with a gentle, firm touch. He turned and yelled to the siren, who looked more fish-like as his glamour over Jimin faded, and they conversed for a good minute, both swearing violently here and there.

Finally, Jeongguk withdrew his hands. “He’ll help you with the dragon. But it’s a one-time deal, and if you summon him before that, you forfeit your chance.”

The siren left them a small bit of powered river stone, promising that if he cracked it to pieces, it would spew water and the siren, Seokjin, would appear.

Jimin shoved him back into the water then, rougher than needed, angry that he’d been taken over so easily, and then he wrapped up his net, not looking at Jeongguk until he had no other excuses to avoid it.

The demon watched him, an unreadable edge in his eyes.

“What?” Jimin snapped.

“Figures you wouldn’t even thank me,” Jeongguk spat. “But if you’re counting, a demon just saved your sorry life.”

Wheeling around, Jeongguk stormed up the stairs, not pausing or hesitating even when it took Jimin a long beat to follow after.

That night, when he purchased a hotel room, only a day or so off from meeting the dragon, Jeongguk appeared without having to be summoned and he pinned Jimin against the desk, looming over the hunter with vengeance in his eyes.

“Someone hasn’t gotten enough of me yet, it seems,” Jimin quipped, tongue sharp as he never intended on calling the demon that night, too irritated that his laziness almost got him killed, and that a demon—the one he’d trapped weeks ago, at that—saved his ass.

Jeongguk shoved at his shoulders, eyes blazing red. “Fuck you.”

“Isn’t that why you’re here?” He taunted.

And Jeongguk turned him around, pinned his front to the desk, and yanked his pants down to the floor. As he heard a zipper, panic flared through Jimin, wondering if the demon would go in with no prep or lube as revenge, but then he heard the squeak of the floor panels, warning him moments before both of Jeongguk’s hands came to rest on either side of his ass.

The demon spread him wide, exposing his hole, and before Jimin could piece all the details together, the warm dexterity of Jeongguk’s tongue swept over his entrance.

“Ah,” he gasped, fingers curling around the far edge of the desk. “What are you doing?”

“Getting you off, what does it look like?” Cutting off any chance for further replies, Jeongguk’s tongue pressed into him, bit by bit, though like Jimin feared with his dick, he didn’t hesitate, didn’t give the hunter time to adjust. Thankfully, it was just his tongue, so instead of crying out in pain, Jimin whimpered at the slick intrustion, the sensation sending his thoughts back to Jeongguk’s tentacles.

“Why are you here though? If you’re mad? I didn’t call you.”

Not pulling back, one of his hands instead slipped to cradle Jimin’s balls, tugging on them as he swirled his tongue within the man, teeth lightly brushing over the sensitive rim.

In a stroke of understanding, continuing to babble to himself in the hopes he would get a physical reaction confirming or denying his words, Jimin tried, “It’s because you’re angry with me. You want to fuck me for your troubles because you know I prefer topping.” He felt the demon’s tongue hesitate for a moment, but then Jimin yelped as Jeongguk struck his ass.

“You keep saying that,” Jeongguk drawled, pulling back just enough to talk, letting his breath fan over Jimin’s entrance, “but I know you like being filled. You like to play tough,” Another smack to his ass that drew out a whine, “but you like feeling sloppy and helpless and used. You like fucking and dominating, sure—but you also like being stuffed with cock.”

Pressing two wet fingers in, Jeongguk found his prostate and began pressing down, his jabs almost vicious, as the hand on Jimin’s balls began to stroke over them.

The sensations, gentle and rough mixing, sent Jimin’s head swimming, though the pleasure didn’t compare and barely felt like anything despite the hardening of his cock between his legs. He knew what prostate milking was, and he wondered for the first time if this was a punishment—the only one Jeongguk could give him.

“You could have been free today, if you’d let the siren kill me,” Jimin spoke, knowing he was on tenuous ground, “so why didn’t you?”

Both of Jeongguk’s hands stopped and withdrew at the question, but before Jimin could wheel around, to demand an answer, a pair of handcuffs clicked around his wrists, trapping them behind his back.

“What?”

He managed to turn around, but Jeongguk’s hands were there, shoving something into his mouth, before they went to tie the gag around the back of his head, the ball-bit silencing him.

“You’re going to shut up and take it.” Jeongguk’s expression was icy and his hands on Jimin’s hips were stronger than he’d ever felt, pressing his chest back against the wooden surface.

Jimin tried to protest the gag, wanting answers more than he wanted sex, but then he felt the talons curl against his lower back, a show of temper, a warning.

Suddenly, a lightning strike of understanding: Perhaps Jeongguk couldn’t talk, wouldn’t talk, with his indignant anger burning through him.

Instead of struggling, knowing he could overpower anything Jeongguk did even with his hands bounds, he laid compliantly against the desk, sighing against the gag.

Nothing came at first, as if Jeongguk was anticipating a surprise attack, but when Jimin wiggled his hips back, flushing as he admitted to himself that he did like being filled, the demon grabbed his hips anew and let the head of his cock graze against Jimin’s entrance.

He let out a protesting noise, worried that he hadn’t been prepped enough for the demon’s cock, but as Jeongguk thrust into him—the first time his human cock had been in him, Jimin realized—he slid in like he’d pumped him full of lube, the glide easy, the stretch satisfying after being spread out by his tentacles the other night.

Jimin let out a moan, biting down on his gag, hands clawing at his back as Jeongguk began thrusting in earnest, his hips slapping with vindictiveness in a language Jimin understood instinctively.

“Could have died, you fuckin’ idiot,” Jeongguk spat. “Fucking—your friend must hate you, if he let you do this. When you forgot fucking earplugs to go catch a water demon.”

His cheek slid across the desk, the little wooden frame banging against the wall, neither caring about their neighbors. Jimin grunted in annoyance, grateful for his shirt to protect his nipples from catching against the surface, but when the demon’s hand found his ass again, he let a choked moan out into the gag.

“You’re an idiot. An absolute, suicidal idiot.”

Wriggling his hips back, Jimin began to wonder why it was those words Jeongguk repeated to him, wondering if they stood in for fear, or self-hatred that he didn’t let the hunter die. Knowing he only had one way to egg the demon on with his gag, he arched his back, thighs flexing as he spread himself wider, showing off his shapely ass, and he moaned with each thrust, focusing on the secondary stimulation the desk gave his trapped cock.

Jeongguk fucked him with strong, unsteady thrusts, and Jimin let the emotion wash over him until he was panting, until the demon came deep in his ass and drew out, leaving Jimin high and dry.

When he struggled to stand, legs numb from the position, the gag and cuffs dissolved as Jeongguk marched for the door, and Jimin called, voice rough, “Thank you. For saving me today.”

He watched the demon pause, his hand on the door’s knob, but he left anyway, disappearing, as if he’d forgotten in his rage until that moment that he could teleport.

Not angry, just a little sore, Jimin waddled toward the bathtub, planning on using the shower head to find a pleasant climax, gentle and guided by warmth.

That night, once he fell asleep, his dreams were haunted by smirking lips and all his favorite sexual positions with Jeongguk, with Jeongguk biting and marking him, fucking him open with his tentacles as they swelled to twice their original size.

Jimin woke up with sticky boxers, body feeling gloriously fucked-out, like Jeongguk tended to him instead of leaving him—and he wondered if the dreams were the demon’s apology for the sex the night prior.

Without thinking too hard about it, he traced his fingers over the seal on his elbow, calling the demon to him with a soft “Jeongguk.”

He appeared like normal, arms crossed, features pinched, but something that he saw made him stiffen. Perhaps the knowledge that Jimin hadn’t changed out of his soiled boxers before calling to him.

Once he was there, though, Jimin didn’t have an inkling of a clue what to say to him, and instead yanked his gaze away, forcing himself to his feet.

Jeongguk watched as he padded over to his bag and drew out his last fresh shirt and pair of boxers.

“Did you want something, master?” The demon spat out.

Collecting himself, unsure why he’d called the demon, feeling strangely low, he found himself asking, “Did you save me to prove me wrong about demons?” Jimin continued before he could answer, marching up to the demon, “Because one: You fuck people until you suck their souls out—but you’re going to act like I’m hunting down children on the streets when I only kill creatures that are hurting people.”

“You enjoy it,” Jeongguk cut him off. “I’ve seen you. You enjoy hurting them; enjoy striking the finishing blow.”

“Just like you enjoyed those humans whose souls you stole.”

Flushing, Jeongguk argued, “At least I do something for them! They die happy!”

“Oh, so we’re arguing semantics?”

Jeongguk marched over and shoved him, not reacting when he didn’t budge. “You’re the monster. And your soul, when you die of your own stupidity, is going to Hell. I’ll relish the day.”

“Then why. Didn’t. You. Let. Me. Die?”

“Fuck Jimin,” he hissed, sharp teeth exposed, “I don’t know. I just acted.”

A smirk slithered over his features. “Could it be that you like me?” At the affronted look, he continued, “You like my sex. No one else can give it to you like I can.”

“Literally any lust demon could fuck me exactly how I want. You’re not special.”

Jimin’s eyes dragged up his body, feeling the heat and anger burning him from within. His cock pressed anew to the front of his boxers. “The hatred is. You can’t imagine this.”

“Hating you makes this irreplaceable?”

“It lets you fuck me without guilt or thought. And since you’re stuck with me and I overfeed you, you don’t have to think. Don’t have to plot or scheme. You just have to fuck.” Jimin crossed his arms. “Admit it. You love fucking me.”

“You mean I love your empty head.” Jeongguk threw a leg over his lap, straddling him. “Your thirsty ass, the fact that I could beat you black and blue so long as I’m sucking your cock and you would take it.”

That time when he shoved against Jimin’s chest, the hunter laid obediently back, satisfaction and relief simmering in his chest. If the demon walked out, sure; he could force him back—but it would break his own moral code. Just because lust demons literally needed sex to live didn’t mean they wanted to fuck everyone.

“I would take just about anything you’d want to give me.” Jimin smirked up at him. “Especially if you fought me for it.”

Jeongguk inhaled, and instead of leaning down to kiss him, like he expected, he propped himself up, ordering, “Back against the headboard.”

Obeying, Jimin went to ask why, but Jeongguk moved faster, stripping off his pants and boxers and going to settle over his face, cock positioned right over the hunter’s lips.

Inhaling, hating how his own cock twitched at the sight, Jimin groaned, “How do you always know what I like?”

Not deigning to leave him free to respond, Jeongguk pressed himself to Jimin’s lower lip, lowering his length into the hunter’s mouth when he parted his lips.

“Besides it being my job,” he shot out, hands going to grip the headboard of the bed, muscular thighs flexing with the strength it took to hold himself up. “I can look at you and see the reactions. I can see the way your eyes drop to my chest or my dick and I can hear the thoughts, almost like I’m reading your mind.”

It was the most he’d ever talked, but as he gave a warning thrust down, Jimin swallowed obediently, knowing he would have to keep his attention in two places or risk gagging.

Hands snaking up to help support the demon, relishing the strength he felt in Jeongguk’s thighs, Jimin swallowed around him, coaxing and wanting to taste.

Appeased by the sensation, Jeongguk worked himself down in shallow thrusts, not wanting to gag the human so early on, and continued, “It’s like you’re a machine. And instead of knowing what parts need oil or tightened to work, I can see what pushes you—what drives you, what you’ll enjoy, and what will have the fastest results.”

Unwilling to share the thought, Jimin wondered for a moment if that made it harder to see humans as people, but he understood that Jeongguk likely only answered that question because it was safe, and Jimin couldn’t ask follow-up questions while gagged.

After a moment, he stilled, wondering if Jeongguk just didn’t know how to talk to people—humans or otherwise. Lust demons really only had to be good with their mouths in one context.

“Like,” Jeongguk purred, mischief shining in his expression, unaware of Jimin’s somber train of thought, “I know you don’t like sucking dick, but I know you like muscles.” Despite Jimin’s hold, Jeongguk pressed down more of his weight down, forcing his cock deeper into Jimin’s throat, drawing a short gag from the hunter, it arrested by a moan as the demon’s thighs brushed his cheeks.

“I know you like the muscles. I know you like fighting—and despite your protests, I know you like fucking me after you kill something.” His own voice grew rougher as he ousted some of Jimin’s most secret thoughts. “You’re an adrenaline junkie. You like the feeling of conquering or being conquered. If a demon beat you and fucked you before killing you, you’d get off.”

His cheeks burned, Jimin fixating on Jeongguk’s supposed expertise and how he should have known that he didn’t like dirty talk. He refused to acknowledge the humiliation, though his traitorous cock throbbed heavily against his stomach, begging for attention, loving it even when he cognitively refused to admit that he liked Jeongguk airing his dirty laundry.

Jeongguk thrusted harder, jerking Jimin’s head with each push, and he laughed. “Maybe that’s why I saved your ass. It’s nice to have a concrete example that humans aren’t as squeaky clean as they’d like to present themselves to be.”

Jimin felt his hands trembling as they held onto Jeongguk’s thighs for dear life, the thoughts whirling around him like street trash, confusion and helplessness overwhelming him. He expected to feel lost in combination with everything else, but the more he thought about himself in reference to Jeongguk, the more he circled back to the simplest answer: They complimented each other.

Sucking dutifully on the man’s cock, feeling its velvet heat on his tongue, Jimin breathed hard through his nose, feeling too hot, almost feverish, as the demon worked harder, his erection throbbing with pleasure. Jimin could barely pay his own arousal attention, focused on breathing, on the intoxicating sensation of being gagged, pinned by Jeongguk’s cock in his mouth.

He whimpered at the thought, and almost as if Jeongguk could see it himself, he moaned loudly simultaneously, the headboard groaning where he gripped it so tight.

It didn’t take much more of his mouth and Jeongguk’s powerful thrusts until the demon was cumming down Jimin’s throat, the hunter swallowing it all with relish, fingers massaging the spots on the demon’s thighs where he gripped so harshly.

Jeongguk pulled back with a fluid push of his heels against the bed, his expression dark as he crawled back and then lowered his lips down to Jimin’s erection.

Mouth freed, the first sound Jimin made was a shocked gasp and his hands clenched at the bedspread, the stimulation direly needed after the long period of pleasuring the other.

Free to talk, he rasped, voice scraped raw, “What you were prancing around is that we’re the same. That’s why you saved me.”

The demon’s brows wrinkled with displeasure and now it was Jimin’s turn to thrust his hips up into the waiting mouth, trusting that Jeongguk would draw orgasm from him before running. He could talk, but considering how tightly wound he already felt, he would have to be quick.

“You might not like me very much, but we’re both—” his voice hitched, “We like pleasure and pain. We’re both irreverent. And despite the fact you’re fucking a hunter, you’ve never been overt with your dislike of me. Maybe I’m barely anything,” he moaned, “and maybe you’re green, and maybe we’re not friends, but—”

Something soft and firm wormed its way between his lips, effectively silencing him before his sex babble could out something too serious for either of them to handle. Jimin marveled at how fast Jeongguk could conjure his tentacles, and instead of fighting it, relaxed his jaw, sucking at the appendage as Jeongguk’s mouth coaxed him toward release.

Overwhelmed by his own words, the dexterous tentacle in his mouth, and the heavenly mouth (lol) around his cock, it wasn’t long before Jimin was crying out, Jeongguk pulling back just in time for him to release over the demon’s features.

The sight of Jeongguk’s cheeks and lips painted white sent a hearty throb of arousal through his exhausted form, and he warned the lust demon, “If you don’t clean up, I can’t be held responsible in about ten minutes.”

“Always a poet.” Jeongguk licked the seed from his lips, but wiped the rest off onto his arm, his expression lighthearted in a way that almost appeared for show.

“I want to cash in my last three questions.”

He watched Jeongguk stiffen where he knelt, and the demon took the time to settle back onto the mattress, wary eyes on the hunter, before he answered, “I thought you had forgotten about those. Or that it was just a sex game.”

“You wish it was just a sex game.” Jimin groaned as he sat up, slowly striking over to the mini fridge to retrieve his bottle of water, desperately craving a deep drink.

Walking over to the bed, as nude as the day he was born, he held the bottle out to the demon as a peace offering. “Here. Unless you like the taste of my cum.”

Snorting, Jeongguk swiped the bottle and downed half. “Asshole.”

Jimin moved to settle back on the bed, choosing to stay on top of the covers until he cooled down. “A thoughtful asshole. Now, give me the bottle back and tell me what growing up was like. Did you grow up in the cold city? No skimping on the details.”

Jeongguk passed him the bottle with a frown. “Why do you want to know that?”

“Think; how many demons will I ever talk to? I know your world is different. Sue a guy for being curious.”

Seeming to take his intentions as harmless, Jeongguk exhaled and stared out of the window, brows furrowed as he began: “I was born in the Second Circle of Hell. I can’t speak for all demons, but lust demons are born amongst the storm clouds. We don’t really have solid forms when we’re born.” His fingers drummed nervously against his thigh. “We feed and observe until we’re strong enough to take physical form. Then we can take lovers ourselves, spread the sin among the damned, keep them further from salvation, etcetera.”

Jimin held the bottle out and the demon took another drink, smaller that time. “The difference is, in hell we can be incorporeal if we’re not in the cities. That’s how you get into the cities. Once I had a body, I moved first to the city of storms and entered the human world for the first time. Then, usually some amalgamation of this happens: You find your way to the surface world, you’re hunted or harmed or expose yourself, and you run back with your tail between your legs to find a mentor. Somehow to help you exist and drag souls to Hell, who can teach you how to avoid hunters or beat them.” He shot Jimin a dirty look, who laughed at him.

“Then, once you start dragging souls to Hell, you can visit the Lower Circle and the cold city, as you call it.”

“Why do you want to end up in the cold city?”

Jeongguk smirked at him. “Is that question number two?”

Jimin thought about it. “No. My second question is…” He dragged out each word as he thought, before settling on, “What do you look like down in the cold city? Do you have a preferred or a basic form?”

The demon went silent, eyes on the far wall like he was seeing his image projected in front of him. “I’ll tell you the truth, but I’ll rip your balls off if you tell anyone.”

Interest piqued, Jimin listened intently as he continued, “I prefer my human forms. I’m a lust demon, so I can appear however I want, but I don’t like my demon form. I feel like it goes against my nature. Who wants to fuck a big horned sheep morphing into a werewolf?”

Choking, Jimin squeaked out, “That’s what your demon form looks like?”

“And it’s bright red.” Jeongguk deadpanned. “Satyr-looking legs. It’s incredibly un-arousing.”

“So you have horns?”

“Yeah. They’re kind of cool.” Jeongguk concentrated for a moment, and reality seemed to blur around him, until a pair of gray horns grew from just above his ears, wrapping around his head so the points rested by his temples. “Like this.”

“Damn,” Jimin whistled, finishing his bottle of water with a disgruntled frown. “Here—I’m gonna go get another bottle while I think of my third question.”

Jeongguk grunted, flopping back on the bed as Jimin exited the room, wallet in hand. Neither of them bothered to acknowledge that he would be going out in his boxers—it made for a nice view for Jeongguk, and Jimin low-key (high-key) loved showing off everything.

By the time he returned, two bottles in hand, his grip on them preventing his hands from shaking, he blurted out the question he hadn’t dared previously ask:

“When I go to Hell, is there any way into the demon side? Any way to free myself?”

“What?” Jeongguk’s head jerked up so quickly that when Jimin tossed him a water, the bottle smacked him in the chest, producing a slight huff of displeasure as he fumbled for it.

“You heard me,” Jimin muttered, but he turned his attention elsewhere, giving away his nerves, his first true vulnerability. He hated himself for it, but he couldn’t waste the opportunity.

“You’re asking me to break our contract.”

“I’m asking how to make the best of a bad situation,” he shot back, rolling onto the bed so that their sides almost pressed together. “I’m going to Hell one way or another.”

“You could repent,” Jeongguk sniffed. “You know, the purpose of Hell: Go through centuries of punishment for making a deal with a demon and then eventually move up into purgatory or Heaven, depending on your feelings.”

“Another way,” he breathed, hating that Yoongi’s magic included night vision, so he could see Jeongguk’s incredulous expression, hating the fear that clung to him, wet and sticky like humidity. “How would I get into the city?”

Jimin traced the spackled white of the ceiling, hearing the razors in the demon’s voice as he pronounced, “I’ll tell you what you do: You go home and beg to that ball of sunlight that follows your friend around to help you. Repent for enjoying your hunts, repent for making a deal with me, fucking me, and let him wipe you clean so you can go to Heaven.”

Yanking his gaze to Jeongguk, Jimin stared at the harsh light in the demon’s eyes, backlit with flint instead of blazing red. “Let him break the vow to save my soul?”

“That’s your option.” Jeongguk set his jaw, body rigid. “Your only other option.”

Suddenly the mood between them was morose, as if they both interrupted a funeral, only to find that it was for Jimin.

Exhaling through his nose, Jimin pushed, “Surely there must be—”

“There is nothing,” Jeongguk spat, sitting up to glare down at the hunter. “Don’t you get it? Hell exists to punish those who spent their lives poorly—people who would rather further their interests on earth than stay moral. Once you’re there, God doesn’t want you, and Satan doesn’t want you going anywhere, because as long as you suffer, something that exists in God’s image is suffering. Those pits are made to wring your soul dry and punish you. You think some lowly lust demon could save you? Would even want to save you?”

Jimin held his gaze. “I think you do. Otherwise, why give me an out? Why tell me that an angel could save my soul?”

“False hope.” But the way Jeongguk scowled at him, the sharp tips of his teeth poking out, told Jimin that he was lying.

A bone-deep weariness pressed down behind Jimin’s eyes like a migraine, and he found he didn’t want to argue or fixate on his death any longer. “Would you like to spend the night?”

“What?”

He shrugged. “Share the bed. It would save you the trouble of having to poof away.”

“I do not ‘poof,’” Jeongguk hissed.

“Whatever you want to call it then.” Jimin moved to worm under the covers, pulling off his boxers as an afterthought. “The bed’s pretty comfortable.”

Jeongguk considered it for so long that Jimin’s eyes fell closed, and he didn’t know if he would open them to an empty room or not, but eventually he felt the blankets shift again.

“If you crowd up on me, I’ll set your side of the bed on fire,” he threatened.

“Hm,” Jimin hummed, slipping away toward oblivion too quickly to care or properly reply.

When he would wake up at varying points throughout the night, feeling arms around his middle, he would dismiss them as realistic dreams, knowing the demon would never touch him, even in sleep.

-☠-

Jimin, wake up.

He stirred, unsure what drew him from his slumber, thinking it was some internal warning—some sense that he overslept and would be charged for a second day.

As his eyes fluttered open, he went to rise from the bed and found his limbs wouldn’t obey. Grunting in surprise, he tried again, thinking sleep clogged his synapses, but when he couldn’t even turn his head to look around, panic lanced his movements, eyes darting around in lieu of his motionless body.

Shhh, it’s okay. You’re safe.

“What?” He tried to ask, but the words never made it past his lips.

Finally his body shifted, moving to sit up, and his eyes shot to the mirror, seeing his body looked the same as always, nude and muscular, hair feathered up from the tossing he did in his sleep.

He watched as his features split into a wide smirk, eyes crinkling with mischief, and he screamed mentally.

“Who are you? What are you doing?”

“Who do you think?” He heard his body reply aloud, voice rough with sleep. “Stop freaking out for a second and think.”

Jimin watched as his hands shifted to his stomach, slipping up the individual bumps of muscle like his body was a new toy, and he figured out who must have been in possession of his body as his thumbs reached his nipples, rolling them with relish.

“Jeongguk, you asshole.”

“Good morning, hyung.” Jeongguk purred from Jimin’s lips, letting out a sweet moan. “I’m hungry.”

Not wanting to admit that hearing his own voice sound so voracious sent a flush of arousal spread through him, he went to snap at the demon, but Jeongguk spoke first.

“Don’t try to pretend that you don’t like this—I can feel the truth.”

Jeongguk stood and walked them over to the floor-to-ceiling mirror, sitting them with their back to the wall, legs spread, showcasing the fat curve of his budding arousal, already pressing up to his stomach.

“Are you sure?” Jimin bit out, fighting off the arousal that wanted to swamp him as he watched his hand curl around his cock, Jeongguk pumping with the same enthusiasm he used when he wanted to work the hunter up and stop suddenly. “I can’t fuck you stuck in my body.”

“But I can fuck you,” Jeongguk chuckled, it sounding so high and sweet that Jimin squirmed, thrashing within his body.

Grabbing lube that the demon must have left out, Jimin watched him pour some onto his fingers, working his left hand down past his balls, the cool brush over them sending a needy shudder through them both. Normally his perspective would have stopped after his cock, but the mirror let him see the finger Jeongguk worked around his hole, then slowly slipped into his tightness.

He pumped the finger in and out in slow drags, his right hand stroking over his cock in tandem, speed decreased to leave the hunter trembling within. Jimin hated to admit that he liked watching his small fingers moving in and out of himself, so in contrast to everything the hunter was, but he might hate that he couldn’t hide the reactions from the demon even more.

“Don’t lie,” Jeongguk breathed. “You love this. You’re so full of yourself and now you’re actually full of yourself.”

Almost to egg the hunter on, he pressed a second digit in, and Jimin moaned, squirming at the stretch, the slow pulls of his hand over his cock head reassuring, soothing away the slight strain as he adapted.

“Think you could cum just from this? I think so.”

“Fuck you.”

“You always say that at the worst time.” Jeongguk twisted his fingers almost viciously within the hunter, finding his prostate and grazing it slightly, sending chills through his body.

Jimin’s eyes slid back up to his face, seeing Jeongguk in the heady grip of satisfaction, a bright wildness to his eyes as both hands worked in tandem.

“I didn’t know you were ambidextrous.”

“It was previous obvious if you paid attention.” Jeongguk slackened his grip on the hunter’s cock, letting it press up against Jimin’s stomach, the sight of the thick cock, dark with need, oozing precum against the hard planes, sending a wave of arousal through them both.

His fingers continued to work against Jimin’s prostate, barely able to reach it, and Jimin whimpered mentally, overwhelmed by the lack of sensation beyond pleasure.

“Watch,” Jeongguk purred, biting his lower lip after he spoke.

He pumped his cock lazily, the fingers pressing firmly within him, stroking and working over the sections he could reach.

“I’m watching,” he whispered weakly, overwhelmed by the sight, swearing he could feel Jeongguk guiding his motions, leaving Jimin helpless. He should hate that—should hate the vulnerability, the fact that Jeongguk was able to sink into him and take control of his body, but as the demon worked himself down on the fingers, motions growing sloppy with need as orgasm approached, he found he didn’t care.

“I want to cum,” he whispered, the thought not intended to be spoken, though of course Jeongguk heard it.

We’re going to cum soon, Jeongguk spoke to him without verbalizing, harsh pants leaving his bitten, red lips.

“We?”

Yeah. Our bodies are linked. Jeongguk smirked at in the mirror Jimin, his eyes dark and sinful, the expression remarkably hot on Jimin’s features, abs clenching and tightening as he worked himself down, toward orgasm.

“At least you won’t blueball me in my own body.”

He listened to Jeongguk scoff from his own lips, a surge of victory cresting over them both as they panted, Jeongguk mewling as his hips wiggled down.

“Wish you had a toy,” he groaned, “or another hand. I want to suck on something.”

Fuck; the image sent a shudder of liquid want through Jimin, and he knew Jeongguk could feel it when he moaned, musical in his cadence.

“You’re insufferable.”

“Like you aren’t,” Jeongguk laughed, head thunking back against the wall, surprising Jimin when he didn’t feel that.

But despite not feeling pain, he was also helpless to withdraw from the overwhelming sensation of Jeongguk’s—his own—hands on his cock, pumping hard, thumbing along the sensitive underside of his cock head, before going down to run over his balls. In tandem, the two fingers writhed inside him, matching the pleasure derived from Jeongguk jerking him off as they played with his prostate, pressing and rubbing it just enough to make a man crazy.

Finally, finally, when Jimin couldn’t verbalize anymore, moaning incessantly in Jeongguk’s hold, incapacitated by the pleasure surrounding him, the demon’s grip tightened and he felt his release building, ready to burst beneath his skin like pure energy.

It only took a few more strokes for them both to reach completion, cumming pearls of white up over his chest as Jeongguk jerked his cock up.

Expecting to be released from the demon’s hold, he instead moaned in desperation when Jeongguk stroked his cock a few more times and then ran his hands up through the mess on his chest and stomach, smearing the seed up over his pecs, around his nipples as he toyed with them in the hunter’s overstimulated state.

“Jeongguk,” he whimpered, pride undermined by intense pleasure. “It’s too much…”

“But you look so good,” the demon replied, voice husky. “Look.”

Forcing his gaze back to himself in the mirror, Jimin whined at the sight of his body dewy with sweat, muscles clenching at the pleasure, too soon after orgasm, and the white seed smeared over it all, especially his hardened nipples.

“Fuck,” Jimin whispered, unable to hold back at the sight, his bangs messy, sticking to spots on his forehead and cheeks, his eyes glittering with uninhibited lust. Jeongguk made them look so good.

Without breaking his gaze, Jeongguk brought two messy fingers to his red lips, slipping in up to the knuckle where he could taste himself, the demon’s eyes boring into where he held Jimin’s soul captive.

Ten more minutes of playing and then Jeongguk coaxed his body to orgasm again with just his hands, though he supplemented his two hands by grinding against the bed, one hand thrusting in and out of his entrance while he sucked on the fingers of the other.

Jimin couldn’t see himself in the mirror as well, but Jeongguk supplemented his lacking vision with images of his own, and they found release again once more before Jeongguk finally split from him.

It was afternoon before Jimin finally could check out, livid that he had to pay double the price for missing move-out.

-☠-

They arrived in the dragon’s town by nightfall, Jimin knowing he would have to hold off the encounter until he’d rested, most of his excess energy siphoned off from a certain someone earlier in the day.

Jeongguk bid him a fond farewell shortly after releasing control of his body, smiling with all the cunning mischief Jimin came to expect from him. Frankly, after the harsh realities of the prior night and the work out his body had been given that morning, Jimin was glad for the time alone to ride his bike.

It was about two am that he woke himself in his hotel room, the low-lighting speaking to specters in the dark—things he hadn’t been afraid of since he saw his best friend turn bullies into pigs as a schoolboy. Something oppressive lurked in the dark and Jimin nearly called out for Jeongguk, wondering if his lurking colored the flavor of the night, but as he gathered his things, the demon didn’t appear.

Leaving the majority of his things, tucking the room key into his pocket, he prepped the sigil that would summon the water demon and set out on foot to the territory Yoongi told him about.

According to their customer, the dragon resided in a wild tangle of woods on the far end of a park. However, the far side of the park housed a small, man-made pond, still completely usable by a certain demon. On his long drives, he planned for the best methods to lure the dragon out, starting from baiting with dead meat and ending with just taunting and running himself.

Jimin knew three separate people that would violently curse him out if they heard his plan on fighting something twenty times his size was baiting and running, but it still was his best bet: If he couldn’t get the water to the dragon, he had to lure the dragon down. The best bait he had was himself.

When he reached the far side of the park, the waters of the pond glistening in the distance, he tightened his leather jacket around his torso, not daring to zip it despite the blustering wind raising goosebumps along his covered arms. The peaceful night might have coaxed some young couples out for a moonlight stroll, but the air of the park felt wrong—wrong enough that even regular humans would feel its perversion. It felt like strolling into a tiger’s pen at a zoo.

Strolling down to the water, hands stuffed into the pockets, he thought of Jeongguk, wishing for company. The night felt unfamiliar and hostile, and an ally would go a long way toward bolstering his confidence. The demon was right: He liked an audience. But more than that, he never felt more mortal than in the moments that he could turn back from a fight.

He waited for the adrenaline and the thrill of the hunt to overwhelm him, but without the danger plain in front of him, he only felt the wind tearing through his loose gray tank top.

Arriving at the waterside, he drew out the pebble gifted by the water demon and held it over the shallows of the lake, crushing it in his palm.

Sand rained down partially into the water and partially into mud, the latter bits spouting water from where they landed, bloody foam churning beneath the clear water as the level grew until it brushed the bottoms of his boots.

The lake’s tide sucked in and pressed out until the whole pond sounded like one great creature’s breathing. Only then did the beautiful man emerge from the center of it.

Seokjin crossed his arms over his chest, watching Jimin with an unreadable expression. “So you’ve finally called in your favor.” He spat the last word out, both knowing there was no such thing when a human managed to imprison a demon.

“I have.” Jimin went on to explain his plan, almost laughing at the incredulous expression his ideas drew from the creature.

“What you have in mind is a suicide mission,” the siren declared. “I wouldn’t even bother to tell you if you weren’t such an idiot.”

“But isn’t it true that dragons are vulnerable to water?”

“Dragons that breathe poison, yes. It could suffocate them. But that takes a tremendous amount of focus on my part—and you’d have to get him all of the way down here.” Seokjin sighed dramatically. “Why am I telling you this? If you want to die so badly, human, I hope you fucked your traitor first. He won’t be seeing you again.”

Nonplussed, Jimin ignored him, turning to gaze up the gently sloping hill, where the night felt twice as oppressive. “I don’t suppose you being here will challenge his territory?”

But when he turned back to the demon, he was gone.

He couldn’t leave until his bond was broken by payment, so Seokjin basically was only telling him that the time for talking was over—he would have to act with no additional help from the creature.

“Ruthless things, water demons,” he grumbled, but he left the quiet reassurance of the water and started the trek up the hill.

When he reached the woods, the bushes and undergrowth peeled back from the path, beckoning him on, as if the landscape itself was one big trap, meant to appear easy—who could be hiding in the dark if the path was so clear, the stars so visible above?

Not a “who,” of course.

Jimin’s hand fell to his back pocket where he drew out an old favorite of his: A collapsible sword, long and thin, better for a distance fight. Better for piercing than brute strength.

The trail curved gently, the mighty trunks of the trees beginning to thin out, broken saplings marking the area.

Jimin didn’t even realize he’d reached the cave until his back was to it and he felt some great creature’s breath fan over him.

Not pausing to think or consider a course of action, he dove to the side, tucking and rolling miraculously without cutting himself, and he wheeled around as the creature gave a roar and surged through the space he had occupied moments before.

Swearing under his breath, he drew his face mask up over his nose and mouth, anticipating the poison to be the next blow the creature would strike.

It wheeled around just as fast as Jimin expected, the movements clumsy as it couldn’t stop and turn around: It was about the size of a rhinoceros, but twice as long, covered in glittering scales of moss and olive green, so it almost seemed a manifestation of the forest trying to cast him out.

Rumbling at him, building to a roar, but not seeming to know if Jimin was worth it yet, the dragon circled around, body lashing as it barreled toward him, giving the hunter only a flash of the jagged bones it called teeth, winking like a joke had been told. Like the joke was his death.

Wheeling around, he barreled into the woods, dodging through the underbrush from tree to tree, understanding the path—understanding that it was wide and gently curving not just to lure in the unwary, but to give the dragon a clear path to barrel down.

Avoiding it instinctively, he tore through the bushes, panic swelling with each root his foot found, and when the clouds of purple began to curl about him, he would dart off in a different direction, forcing himself to keep track of his location in space. If he left the woods toward anything but the lake, he would be dead.

Surging forward, he heard an enraged roar finally, the hairs pricking along the back of his neck as his instincts turned his insides to water, wanting him to go faster, climb a tree—do anything to pull free from the situation he laid out for himself.

Finally, the tree line shrank and disappeared, opening the night up to the fields of the park, the pond glittering below like a temptation. But he didn’t have even a millisecond to appreciate the view; the dragon ripped free of the trees like a violent birth, its rancid, carrion breath fanning over him, clearly thinking it had caught its prey.

Taking a deep breath, knowing he still had to make it down the hill, Jimin continued at his dead sprint down the hill, reaching into his right pocket for the first of his tricks of the night.

Drawing out a small ball that reeked of lemon cleaner, he began trying to zig-zag as the dragon shot forward, teeth snapping through air.

It roared again, releasing a cloud of poison, and Jimin threw the packed ball at it, watching as it exploded on the ground into dirt, flames ripping through the poison where the cloud brushed the unnatural fire. Yoongi warned him long ago that dragons were immune to most fires and that even magical fire could only do so much, certainly wouldn’t kill a dragon, but it was only a trick—something to blind and startle the creature. Even if he blinded it, it would still smell him and be able to sense his magic, so he kept running, zig-zagging with a rising sense of wonder.

The end was in sight; he could do this.

And that’s where things went wrong.

Lashing forward, the dragon snapped at him as he stumbled and he felt the creature’s teeth snag his jeans, not puncturing him, but it threw him off.

Pushing himself back into a run, he bit back a scream of sudden agony, not having anticipated that the dragon would have poison on its teeth. It dripped from his jeans onto his calf, searing where it touched, slowing him, burning him and who knew what else.

He needed to get to the water; he could sense the water demon waiting to fulfill his bargain so he could forget the hunter he’d been forcibly bound to, but his leg began to reject any weight on it.

Hot breath fanned over him and this time he wasn’t so lucky; death, swift and sharp as the blade in his hand, descended and closed upon his wounded leg, piercing through flesh and snapping bone.

Jimin shrieked, the pain unlike anything he’d ever felt before as the creature lifted him, nearly pulling his leg off.

Aiming blindly, he stabbed at the dragon’s nose, eyes, mouth—anything that could get him away from that gaping maw.

Amazing even himself, the sword clanged twice and then found purchase, Jimin flying through the air sans one sword as the dragon roared his rage and thrashed, trying to dislodge the blade.

Pain crackled in the back of his mind, threatening to pull him under, and when he hit the surface of the lake, it took pure force of will to keep himself afloat, his left leg weak and almost unresponsive when he tried to kick.

Glancing up, he saw the sword protruding from the dragon’s nose, stuck straight up to where things became soft again, the creature writhing, trying to get it out.

Of course, it couldn’t, so it refocused on Jimin and slithered into the water, thinking it would go in for the kill.

It swam across the surface like a snake, murder in its cruel, vertically slit eyes, and Jimin was so numb with pain that he could only wait for the water demon to act.

When it fully immersed itself, the waters closed around it like a fist, and suddenly the lake, so tranquil, punched down the creature’s nostrils, toward its eyes, through its mouth, until it began thrashing, going through the beginnings of its death squall.

Jimin watched it with a dull sense of satisfaction as his body grew heavier. He knew he should get out of the water and began paddling weakly away from where Seokjin suffocated the creature.

He only realized the mistake he’d made when a current formed against him, pulling him into a small whirlpool that he couldn’t break out of with one good leg.

“Going somewhere?” A voice purred.

He glanced over, panting from the exertion it took to move his injured leg: Seokjin floated there, his lips curled into a vicious grin, his sharp teeth visible between his pretty lips.

“I need to get to shore,” he spat out, water starting to filter into his mouth.

“Of course you do. That leg will kill you if it’s not looked at.” Seokjin glanced over his shoulder at the dragon, fighting to pull free of the water, yet unable to do so. “Not much longer now.”

“Thank you,” Jimin coughed. “I never could have done this without you.”

“Of course not.” Seokjin shot him a smirk. “But that’s alright; the pleasure will be all mine.”

That didn’t sound right, but Jimin couldn’t focus. “Please, can you help me to the shore?” His vision had begun to blur.

“Oh, I could, but I don’t think I will. You didn’t set any stipulations that I would have to let you go once our bargain is complete.” Seokjin grinned. “And since I’m keeping you from drowning now, I don’t have to let you go.”

The dragon’s mighty roars began to weaken, and just as soon as Jimin was in the clear, he could see his looming death again.

Knowing he would have to fight his way free, he reached for his waiting silver knife and knuckles, but the water became impenetrable around his hands, holding them in place.

“We wouldn’t want you to do anything you might regret.” Seokjin watched as the dragon’s actions became sluggish, the creature fighting a losing battle as its lungs filled with water.

Finally, Jimin thrashing himself, and seeing spots when it jostled his leg, the dragon collapsed, and the lake swallowed it.

But, with the extra concentration of water, Jimin managed to get his hands free and he pressed one to the insignia on his arm, whispering, “Jeongguk” to summon the other demon he’d bound to himself.

Of course, Seokjin heard him, and his features turned feral at the name. “You would call for the traitor? Very well.” A fist of water closed around him, tight enough that Jimin felt something snap within him. “I’ll see how well a lust demon can breathe underwater.”

Eyes going wide with panic, Jimin flailed about one more time, trying desperately to get free, but the water sucked him down, propelling him to the bottom of the man-made lake. He forced a breath in before submerging, keeping his eyes open to look for anything to help him, but the blood loss from his leg clouded the water and left him feeling lightheaded immediately, despite the air he’d just taken in.

He was a lot closer to death than even he realized.

Trying to kick free, the water jerked him sharply to the side, as if something hit Seokjin from up above, and as he flailed, lungs beginning to yell at him, the corpse of the dragon came into view.

Jimin had a moment to wonder why the currents were taking him to its body before the waters propelled him at the creature’s mouth, driving one of its horrible teeth clean through his abdomen.

Unable to prevent the motion, he gasped out in pain, the air rushing from his lungs, as the hunter stared down in disbelief at the enormous bone stuck through his stomach.

He choked, forced by his uninjured lungs to inhale lake water, no oxygen left, and he bleakly wondered which whether he would drown or bleed to death first.

Unbidden, Jimin remembered that it took twice as long to drown in freshwater, due to the high-oxygen content.

-☠-

Jerked from the bar by the damn hunter, Jeongguk prepared to rip into him, resenting the openness they shared the night before, thinking it might have sent the wrong message. You have one heart-to-heart, and the asshole thinks he can get away with whatever.

However, when he popped up over a small lake, the scent of blood thick in the air, both of Jimin’s and a demon’s—dragon’s—a swirl of interest passed through him, wondering if Jimin would want to fuck him against a tree or something, adrenaline driving him in hard-won victory, if the fear-scent was any indication.

But the water demon drew his attention first, the creature’s humanoid face alight with cold condescending.

“I thought he called for you.”

Jeongguk read the situation in the breath between heartbeats, fingers extending into claws as he swiped for the water demon.

“Where is he?” He snarled, too focused on the creature’s smug expression to hesitate.

It leapt back, agile in the water, causing Jeongguk to realize that he could never catch him on his own. Not for the first time, he wished he’d kept his mental link with Tae, who was faster than anyone else he knew.

The demon smiled serenely. “You should be thanking me; I freed you, too.”

“Where. Is. He?” Jeongguk didn’t bother budging, the water unbound where it touched him, his own magic neutralizing the water demon’s.

Slowly, the demon licked over his bottom lip and pointed down, under the surface of the water, eyes glowing a dull gold. “I wish he hadn’t called you. I like the taste of magic.”

Snarling at him, Jeongguk sucked in a breath and dove under the water, knowing he would need it for the stupid human, for the oxygen breather who wasn’t nearly as invulnerable as he seemed to think.

Swimming strongly, he sank down, down, hating that he could only see so far in front of him, guided only by his instincts to Jimin’s location.

When he saw him slumped across the muzzle of the dragon, it gave him pause in mind, if not body, somehow not having believed that Jimin could kill such a powerful creature until he saw it himself.

Knowing he wouldn’t ever tell the hunter of his awe, he swam over, planning to refresh his lungs and swim him to the surface, when he felt it.

More specifically, right as he noticed the enormous shard of bone through his torso, he felt the sealing of a contract, the warmth of a soul filling him like a good meal.

Jeongguk froze floating in place, body cold as the warmth stirred and suddenly he relived the—last ten minutes of Jimin’s life: The idiot baiting the dragon, running for his life, the wound to his leg that the demon smelled on the surface, and the subsequent drowning and impalement by the water demon.

Jimin’s fear in his last moments, the horrible unknown of drowning, and his pathetic last word, a cry for Jeongguk, swept over the demon.

He claimed souls previously, but this one struck him out of nowhere, too suddenly. He taunted Jimin for acting invulnerable, but he’d believed it, too. Believed in him.

Acting on instinct, he reached forward, gripping Jimin’s waist and shoulder, nearly convulsing at the memories that conjured up of nights spent trying and failing to wear the human down, trying to prove that he couldn’t keep up with a lust demon.

Pulling the man free of his killing blow, glad for the feeding he unintendedly had the day before, he traveled to the only place he dared with Jimin’s corpse.

Appearing in the middle of the witch Yoongi’s living room, forgetting about the damn glowing puffball until it phased through the wall, Jeongguk yelled for the witch, holding the body in front of him like a shield, when the ball reformed into a tall young man, dressed only in long, white robes, his arms bare, face stately and fierce as he wielded his long blade, too bright for Jeongguk to look directly at it.

Taking in the body, pierced and reeking of pond water, the angel froze, his eyes wide, and Jeongguk nearly gloated at wiping that self-righteous expression off his face.

“Oh, Jimin,” he spoke, the voice a bane to Jeongguk, ringing of promise foreign to him. “Oh, dear Father.”

Jeongguk worried for a moment that he might blame him, but Hoseok stashed the blade at his waist, turning back toward the wall he phased through, passing back in. Assuming he was fetching Yoongi, the demon moved Jimin’s body to the table, unable to stand the sound of water dripping from the man’s body, not enough blood left in his body to color the liquid.

He heard grumbling from the other room, the witch cursing like pirate, and he flung open his bedroom door, the sound crashing through the house. For a moment, Jeongguk pitied him as he took in his enraged expression, knowing Hoseok held back to let Yoongi see the corpse for himself.

His gaze fell to Jeongguk first, his lips twisted up into a scowl that would impress a top-tier demon, before his attention dropped to the table. To the body on the table.

Jeongguk would later wonder where the empathy came from, would blame it on the lingering soul, but it shook him to see Yoongi’s expression freeze, his lips parting as he seemed to forget how to breathe.

Hoseok, for some reason, took his glowing ball form again and pinged at Yoongi, his voice much less painful to understand than in his celestial form: “It wasn’t this demon who killed him.”

“You think I can’t tell?” Yoongi spat, voice rough, chest rising and falling rapidly as he stared at the body of his best friend. “You think I don’t—” Breaking off with a frustrated noise, he wheeled to face Jeongguk, expression livid, yet so caged, like an animal. Chaos normally rolled from the witch like a second aura, but in his grief, it felt like a gathering storm cloud, the air pure electricity.

“Can you save him?” Jeongguk cut off his emotional tirade before it could start. “I have his soul. And his body. Can you…” The demon choked on his words, sickened by his concern, yet detached from his own common sense.

Realization struck across the witch’s features and he fluttered over to his shelves of books, pulling down three that were positively decrepit, falling to pieces just from existing, and he yanked through them with no regard of their states.

“I’ll look,” he grunted, stopping on a page in the second book, pointer finger crushing a line. “First, I’ll preserve his body as best I can.”

“I can search, too,” Jeongguk offered, knowing the words were wrong as they left his lips. “I can look around for spells in my world.”

Yoongi nodded, agreeing that sounded like the best idea, but the ball of light hovering over the witch’s shoulder morphed into his humanoid form, behind the man’s back, to shoot him a suspicious glance.

“Why are you even asking after him? You should give the soul to me while he searches.”

Possessiveness surged through him and he hissed at the angel, “I’m the one he struck the deal with. Fuck off.”

Hoseok raised his eyebrows. “Somehow I don’t believe you’re really worried that I’ll pass his soul on.”

“Of course not,” Jeongguk shot at him, acting on instincts he hadn’t realized until that moment. “You wouldn’t take his soul now that the witch knows he still lingers.”

The angel’s eyes narrowed with warning. “I do my duties.”

“You’re in love with a human,” Jeongguk spat, taking a guess from the emotions he could smell on the angel, “and that’s against the rules.”

Moving too fast to be avoided, Hoseok surged toward him, sword going to Jeongguk’s throat, his eyes glowing with warning.

“I will end you now if you uphold that slander.”

Cutting off his protest, Yoongi snarled at both of them, “If you fuckers are going to argue, can you get the hell out of my house? I thought you were going to search Judecca?”

The walls seemed to shudder as Yoongi named the greatest city in Hell, the city Jimin stupidly called “the cold city,” and Jeongguk glanced over his shoulder instinctively, even as the angel still held a sword to his throat.

“If you kill me, his soul goes to Hell with mine,” he warned the angel, avoiding mentioning Yoongi again. “And I’d bet you wouldn’t want an innocent soul to go to Hell. Not one you’re invested in.”

They both knew he wasn’t exactly innocent, but an angel wouldn’t spend excessive time in a place with horrible people—he had to be at least semi-sympathetic toward Jimin.

And as he thought, Hoseok withdrew his sword with a somber scowl.

“I’ll report back in two days tops,” Jeongguk told them, gut twisting as he began considering how weird it was to work with a human and a fucking angel.

Traitor, indeed.

Disappearing, he moved through the mortal crust down, following the familiar, sulfur-scented wind always lingering under everything, prepared to lead him home should he desire it.

Transporting down, down, down, choosing to take the portal rather than the long way, he touched foot back in the bar he frequented with Taehyung, an airy bistro of a place, enormous doors on every wall but one, open to the public.

The bartender looked up from the cups he was wiping out to frown at him. Jeongguk knew he hated demons materializing straight in, but he couldn’t care at the moment.

“Taehyung!” He called out in relief when he saw his friend still planted in the seat where he’d last left him.

His friend turned around slowly, little wisps of smoke curling from his cheek as he grinned suggestively at Jeongguk.

“So what did our kinky sweetheart want this time?”

“He wanted help,” Jeongguk told him, maneuvering around the tables to reach his friend. “He was in trouble.”

Taehyung blew a raspberry, ready to start ragging on his friend’s human master, but he must have finally seen Jeongguk’s expression, because he held back, frowning as he sipped at his drink.

“So did you help him?”

“I got there too late,” Jeongguk told him, the words tasting like ashes. “He’s dead.”

He heard the anger and frustration in his own voice, but Taehyung only clucked his tongue. “So you just got back from dragging his soul down, eh?”

“Well, here’s the thing…”

-☠-

When Jimin came to, he found himself standing in front of the counter of a bar, rows and rows of liquor and whiskey and various miscellaneous alcohols, though the labels looked unfamiliar.

He frowned, trying to read a rather spiky red font on a black bottle, wondering how he’d blacked out in a bar and came to while standing up, and grabbed for his wallet, thinking it time to pay his tab and go home.

As he reached back, he heard an unfamiliar voice call a very familiar name: “Jeongguk? Do you see this?”

Whipping around, he took in the sight of two demons—one clearly his lust demon, only with his horns out and a face as pale as death.

The last word elicited a shudder, so he turned his attention to the strange demon, gaze raking over the handsome, perfect symmetry to his face. Where he might tease Jeongguk for his cute face, this demon had the most beautiful features he’d ever seen on a male face, his eyes tilted just so, so he appeared mischievous and taunting even as he sipped at his icy drink.

“Who are you?” Jimin raised an eyebrow. “I knew it was a matter of time before Jeongguk tried a threesome.”

The handsome demon choked on a laugh, revealing a smile too bright and sweet for anything less than deception, and raised an eyebrow, smirking at him. “Hello, little hunter. My name is Taehyung. I wish we could play now that I’ve seen you.” His eyes dragged up Jimin’s body. “A pity.”

“What is?”

“Jimin,” Jeongguk choked out, and Jimin traced over the bloodless clench of his lips, finally realizing that something, at least for the lust demon, was very wrong.

“What is it?” He snapped, beginning to feel unnerved and disliking it.

“Look down at yourself,” the strange demon urged.

Jeongguk’s expression flickered with panic. “Taehyung, don’t.”

And maybe he was contrary to the end, but hearing Jeongguk’s disapproval only guided him to obey, wondering if they dressed his unconscious body in something stupid.

Instead, he found himself dressed in the gauzy gray tank top and favorite leather jacket he’d worn to fight the…dragon…

Memories flooded through him, snapping against him like the blows of a whip, Jimin’s eyes going wide, calf aching in phantom pain as he remembered the dragon biting him, tossing him, and then, ultimately, the dragon drowning.

Having its tooth driven through his chest.

“Oh, god,” he choked, and his chest shimmered, allowing him to see the sticky black floor beneath him. He nearly asked how they revived him, but as he flickered, it struck him that having something the size of a baseball bat go through his stomach would leave some mark—would at least have ruined his clothes.

“Am I dead?” Jimin asked, voice strangled.

“Yup,” the strange demon, Taehyung answered where Jeongguk froze. “We’re in Judecca, so I wouldn’t say the ‘G’ word again.”

He stared at Jeongguk, taking in his pinched expression. “You’re here to take me to human Hell. Aren’t you?”

“No,” Jeongguk’s voice rasped, and Jimin watched the other demon start in surprise. “I’m here to figure out how to—to see if we can get you a new body.”

Speaking for him, Taehyung deadpanned, “Why would you do that? No offense, cutie, but Kook, you were bound to him until his death. Isn’t this what you wanted?”

Jimin thought of his unlikely last attempt, his cry for help to the demon that left his lips in pure desperation.

“The witch,” Jeongguk spat out, almost too quickly, “I did him the courtesy of telling him about Jimin and he cursed me into helping him. Seems to think we might have some options down here.”

Taehyung snorted. “You just can’t catch a break, eh?”

“I was hoping you’d help me.”

The strange demon paused, but sighed after only a brief moment. “You know I will. Any bright ideas where to start?”

“Here,” Jeongguk gestured vaguely to the outside world. “Judecca’s the hub of Hell. Where the Originals fell. If there’s any secret like that, it would be in the city, or the fire fields. And I’m not prepared to go out there until we exhaust all other options.”

“What about me?” Jimin cut in, voice sharp.

“What about you?” Taehyung answered, Jeongguk refusing to look at him. “You’re a ghost. You can’t actually touch anything. You can’t leave Kook. You’re along for the ride, cupcake, and that’s about it.”

Jimin scowled at the nickname, but before he could rebut, the demons began conspiring again, discussing places to check.

As their talk wore on, his anger bled out of him as he discovered he could turn invisible. Once he hid himself from view, he replayed the battle that ended his life over and over, numb and disbelieving. Somehow, it seemed like a horrible dream: Him, bound to a lust demon he could no longer touch, away from everything he cared about.

He hoped he would wake up soon.

-☠-

Lingering, too—afraid, damn the foreign taste, the remembered helplessness he promised himself he would never feel again—Jimin didn’t dare test the boundaries, not wanting to feel where his world began and ended, where his body no longer followed the rules of humanity. Bound to a demon. Sure, he’d been bound in flesh to this same demon, but it felt so much more final when he could see through himself.

When the handsome demon disappeared, leaving behind a cloud of disappearing pieces of darkness, Jeongguk glanced at him finally, his expression pinched with distaste.

“I’m going to travel to the archives. I’m not sure what it’ll feel like to you.”

“Thanks for the warning,” Jimin spat, craving a rebuttal or a snarl, but the demon only disappeared.

His warning wasn’t worth shit; the moment Jeongguk disappeared, Jimin felt a tug in his gut, behind his bellybutton, and then the world spun under him, flashes of fire and brimstone under him, screams ringing in his ears, unlike anything he’d ever heard before.

They shook him so badly that when he appeared in front of a grand building, Jeongguk already striding up the cracked steps, he called, “What was that?”

The demon didn’t slow. “That’s Hell—the humans’ Hell.”

Jimin scrambled after him, his emotions churning within him, fear overwhelming the others until he reached Jeongguk’s side, but the relief was only temporary as they strode under the arch into the building. It looked like it might crumble at any moment, as if the very building formed from hardened volcanic rock and there it remained until that very day.

Jeongguk exhaled hard through his nose, his tan, human boots bright in the doom and gloom of Hell, crunching against the underfoot stone, contemptuous in his very bearing. “You need to get your emotions under control.”

Finally, he spoke to Jimin with his regular, rough irritation, and it felt a balm against Jimin’s depthless fear, reminding him that despite dying, despite losing, he was still there to hear the lust demon’s snark.

His swan song hadn’t come yet.

“How can I help?” Jimin asked instead, thinking he might fare better with a goal.

“Well, you can’t touch anything, so look around for books on dark magics. The kind that seem forbidden or scary, you know.”

Unable to withhold a laugh, Jimin shook his head. “Shouldn’t everything in Hell look like that?”

Jeongguk ignored him and a pang shot through him, shaking and immature, hurt that the demon wouldn’t oblige him any sense of normalcy. Part of him wanted to demand to know why Jeongguk was even bothering—but the demon’s story spoke for itself: Yoongi. The only one who’d ever looked out for him.

“Guess I’m on it, boss,” he quipped, forcing himself to behave like always. Perhaps if he maintained the façade long enough, he would begin to wrangle the true horrors of his death.

They parted from each other, going off in opposite directions as Jimin took in the enormous sculptures of women acting as columns to hold up the ceiling, each at least six meters tall, grand, with coy, deceptive faces.

Jimin walked faster as he imagined them watching him: Guardians of the library should anyone break their rules.

If he gave a damn for libraries, the place would have swept his ghostly feet out from under him: The shelves of books went as far as the eye could see, though not quite an optical trick, as the entrance appeared shaped around solid rock face. For all he knew, the library was built into the very foundations of the world and could stretch to eternity.

Fear rose in him like a startled rattlesnake as he contemplated being stuck amongst the dusty books and darkness for eternity. It didn’t compare to the torture he would face in human Hell, but the loneliness would drive him mad long before pain would.

Beginning to search, forcing his emotions aside in lieu of his goal, he floated off to find Jeongguk after his third promising book.

He passed only one horrifying creature—something gray and starved with mandibles like a beetle around his mouth, his eyes wide, black, and staring.

Hurrying on, he reached into the pocket of his jeans and drew out his brass knuckles, disbelief finding him only after he slid them on.

“How do I still have these?” Jimin muttered.

“Everything that died on your body transfers to your ghost.” Jeongguk called, sounding only a few rows away.

Jimin hurried around them, checking two aisles fruitlessly until he found him in the third, unable to snuff out the relief he felt at seeing him.

The demon didn’t look up from the book he thumbed through as he mocked, “Why didn’t you just go through the stacks? You’re a ghost.”

“I have some books for you to look at,” Jimin spat out in reply, wishing the taunts didn’t get to him like they clearly did.

Jeongguk idly turned a page in his book. “I’ll be over in a minute. I want to check a few more places here before I put it back.”

And so their night went; Jeongguk pacing from one end of the library to the other all night as they found varying books that might answer their question.

Nether spoke beyond the occasional jab when Jimin came to find him, but despite the pain, Jeongguk’s prickliness was the only constant from his old life beyond his clothes, which weren’t really there.

Jimin took to running the fabric of his loose tank top between his thumb and forefinger, marveling at the accuracy, hating that the real one was ruined by blood and a dragon’s tooth. It was a stolen shirt from an old boyfriend of his, a dancer who loved watching his own skin flash in the practice mirrors. As much as Jimin taunted him about his vanity, he loved the glimpses, too. In another life, he might have also been a dancer.

He wrapped arms around himself, lost in memory, only to be shaken from it as Jeongguk stepped into his space, too close if he wasn’t kissing or fucking him, his big eyes bright with anger.

“I told you; you need to get a handle on your emotions.”

“So you can read my mind, now?” Jimin took a step back, forcing space between them.

“Basically.” Jeongguk tucked the book under his arm back into its place, body sagging with exhaustion. “I can see whatever I want about you if I chose to look.”

Sensing that Jeongguk anticipated another outburst, Jimin disappointed him with a placid shrug. “Look if you want. I am what I am.”

“Stop it.” Jeongguk marched through him, and the sensation of his body warping and reforming sent Jimin gasping, though his lungs could take in no air—shit, did he have ghost lungs? Or no lungs at all?

Spinning to follow the demon, he questioned, “Stop what?”

“You know what! The pity party. The—the morbid defeat. It’s not helping anyone.”

“I died today,” Jimin hissed, attention shrinking to the retreating back of the demon. “I died. My life is done. I’m doomed to a life in Hell or of following you around. That’s it.”

“You’re the one who sealed your fate.”

They marched out onto the street, the cracked pavement ascending near vertically, so that Jimin couldn’t see the city beyond. Logically, Jeongguk shouldn’t have been able to climb it, but gravity warped around him, so he walked at an angle that only looked strange until Jimin tried it himself.

“Don’t talk like you know shit.”

Jeongguk scoffed. “I know you bound yourself to a lust demon because you couldn’t get off with other humans. I know you hunt creatures you logistically have no chance against for the money and the cheap thrill. I can guess that it comes from deep-seeded bullshit. Wanting to be strong, never staying in one place for more than a week at a time. And I could check if I really cared to confirm it.”

“But I do it because I’m weak deep down, right?” Jimin chirped, voice high and giggly. “I’m just a sad little human hiding behind magic?”

He could feel the demon’s scowl without looking at him, but rather than snap an insult back at him, Jeongguk turned the conversation down a new path: “If you’re mocking me, you’re either okay with your insecurities, which isn’t typical for a human, or you did everything else for a different reason. So what’s the reason?”

“What does it matter?”

Jeongguk made a rude noise. “I love how you only ask that when I back you into corners. It matters because I’m stuck with you until I bring you back.

The road leveled out in front of them, regular metal high-rises surrounding them as they walked down the center of the road. High above, Jimin thought he could see smears of stalactites hanging in the gloom. “So working my life story out of me manually is meant to be your entertainment?”

Guiding them over to the pavement, Jeongguk shook his head. “This is going to be hard work.” He glanced over at Jimin and spoke bluntly, “I don’t know why I retrieved your body, but I did; I want to…figure out why I did.”

“You’re probably just soft.” Jimin laughed, but it rang false his ears. “It could have been anyone else and you would do this.”

When Jeongguk didn’t answer, Jimin didn’t bother to speak again.

He wished the views of the city would pull him away from the miserable sinkhole of his own emotions, but even the looming goliaths and modern architecture mixing seamlessly with ancient chambers and scoops in the ground stained with blood, couldn’t produce any emotions. Instead, he filed everything away to memory, so he might react at a later date.

Jeongguk’s apartment was heartbreakingly normal; a fifth floor, one-room-one-bathroom with a perpetually broken elevator that forced them to climb the stairs.

Words that he should have said sprung to his lips—“yup, definitely Hell”—but there they died, the impulse to joke snuffed out as quickly as it rose.

The demon collapsed onto the shitty sofa bed, only peeling off his pants before scuttling under the sheet, and Jimin realized he’d never known that the demon needed to sleep.

Jimin pretended to settle on the edge of the mattress, staring out the single, grimy window within view—the one overtop the kitchen sink blocked by a cabinet—when the lack of exhaustion hit him.

He couldn’t sleep.

-☠-

Days passed like that, fewer and fewer words passed between the pair as they returned to the archives like clockwork, only leaving when Jeongguk’s head began to dip from exhaustion. And despite Jimin’s stasis of despair, he noticed that days either worked differently in Hell or that Jeongguk didn’t need sleep every single night, like humans did.

If his counting lined up, he asked him about that on their fourth night of research, breaching the quiet with a measured, rather flat tone.

Jeongguk’s head popped up, the demon’s brows furrowed into lines of concentration. It took him a moment to surface from his research and when he did, he answered, “Honestly, I don’t keep track of time when I’m down here.” His teeth found his lower lip, and if Jimin didn’t know better, he would think the demon was worried. “Hell is designed to fuck with humans.”

Jimin nodded then returned to floating around the space, feeling Jeongguk’s eyes on his back, yet not having the energy to call him out.

“Yoongi will be expecting us to check in soon,” Jeongguk added. “We’ll head up tomorrow.”

Unsure if that was true or not, Jimin nodded, not deigning to respond, continuing to search around the room, finding his tether when he moved too deep into the bowels of the library, no longer afraid of its eternity.

Jeongguk paid him no mind that he could see, not calling him out on anything, but they did return early to his apartment, presumably so he could rest and head up to the surface at a decent hour.

Taken to watching the world below while the demon slept, Jimin startled when Jeongguk set an open laptop down on the desk, plugging the cord into the wall.

“What’s this?”

“What the Hell do you think?” Jeongguk shot back, though his words had no bite to them. “I figured you must get bored, not being able to sleep.” He turned on the subtitles and asked, “What would you want to watch?”

Emotion swelled in him, the first taste of something not bitter or mournful he’d had since death, and Jimin shook them off before the demon could feel them. “Something funny and stupid.”

Settling on an animated television show, Jeongguk offered him an apologetic frown. “I’m sorry you can’t have sound, but I’d never be able to sleep.”

Alarm bells rang in his mind and Jimin wondered when Jeongguk started giving a shit, if his floating around with no expression or thought frightened the demon.

His teeth found his lower lip and he wished he could feel even that little bit of pain. “No. This is more than I expected. Thank you.”

Their gazes locked, the distance between them charged with significance instead of sexual tension, like usual. Jimin attributed it to his lack of a tangible body.

Jeongguk broke it first, shedding his shirt like a second skin, the fabric fluttering to the ground where he would pick it up the next morning, grumpy at himself for being lazy, before repeating the same pattern with his pants.

The show made all the difference in the waiting night, and about two hours in he finally stopped watching the demon and began laughing, chuckling at the show’s stupidity and irreverence.

When Jeongguk prepared to go up to the surface, Jimin was in such a good mood that he even teased the lust demon when he pulled on a pair of ripped, black skinny jeans, asking if he wanted in Yoongi’s pants that badly.

It drew a surprised laugh from the lust demon, a delight for Jimin, but Jeongguk covered it with a cough. “Shut up, ghost boy.”

For a moment he hesitated like he expected Jimin to withdraw, but the hunter only flipped him the bird. “I wish I could change my fucking clothes. Or just take these off.”

“I’ve always found you a lot easier to deal with nude,” Jeongguk agreed.

“If I was a poltergeist, I would have killed you in your sleep by now.”

“Thank Satan for small miracles then.”

He finished dressing, pairing his pants with a delicious leather jacket that left Jimin just a little envious, and a plain black shirt.

“Are you steaking out his house?”

“Jimin, I swear to all that is unholy that I will strike you down.”

When that didn’t elicit a reply, he frowned at the hunter as he slipped a mask on over his nose and mouth. “What?”

“You…used my first name.”

Jeongguk’s cheeks flushed. “Yeah, so? That’s sort of what given names are for.”

He clearly anticipated a fight, but Jimin didn’t give it to him. “Don’t forget your rings, Mr. Ladykiller.”

Jimin only recalled what he was talking to when Jeongguk roared with laughter.

-☠-

However, the strange goodwill they built evaporated like morning dew when they materialized back on Earth, the sweet scent of the city blowing on the cool breeze of the warm night. Jimin nearly accused him of wearing the jacket just to attract the ladies, but he checked himself when he took in their location: A club.

Not a jazz club or a book club, either; the hazy neon lights led into darkness throbbing with music, dragging Jimin back to their first meeting, his face paling.

Jeongguk must have felt his emotions, but he said nothing.

“You haven’t fed since that last night with me,” Jimin spoke slowly, connecting the dots.

After a pregnant pause, Jimin unsure if Jeongguk would even respond, the demon started forward, using his face mask so he could talk to his companion. “No. And you should probably make yourself invisible before they try to stamp your hand.”

Appreciating the logic amidst his shock, Jimin obeyed, hating that he knew what was coming—that he could only move so far away from the demon and would ultimately play third-party to his feeding.

Jimin watched as if in a fever dream as Jeongguk slipped into the club, knew when he released his pheromones, because everyone was watching him—some with undisguised lust, and others like they wanted to punch the shit out of him and then fuck him. (He knew the last look too well.)

Jeongguk, taking his time, sauntered over to the bar first and bought himself a jack and coke, swirling the liquid around with infinite patience, attention on the crowd but not.

He felt like a voyeur then, as girl after girl approached him, and he rejected them all until a petite thing, nudged by her friends, offered him a second of what he was drinking. Jimin watched the way his eyes widened, pleased, and he took the cup from her, fingers brushing over hers with enticing purpose.

Her smile lit up her features beatifically and her shoulders shook with giggles as Jeongguk leaned in, lips brushing against her ear so she could hear him over the music.

For a terrible, petty moment, Jimin resented that he never got to experience Jeongguk in his element, all smooth movements and coy seduction—a demon who, when he turned the full wattage of his want on you, became a force of nature, attractive and impossible to resist.

Watching as he guided her to a cheap hotel room, Jimin seated himself in the hallway, back against the door, not wanting to hear her moans, the sweet hiccups she made when he lowered his mouth to her sex. Jealousy pulsed through him in surges, Jimin expecting arousal to accompany it, but apparently it was too physical of a sensation and his ghost body couldn’t feel it. So instead of some reprieve from his bitterness, even if he couldn’t jerk off, he felt every baseless emotion, amplified.

Moans slipped through the door from both, but the girl thankfully wasn’t very loud, and Jimin wished, despite the impossibility of it, that Jeongguk could have set up his Netflix again.

Hours passed before Jimin realized she’d fallen asleep and that Jeongguk must have, as well. The jealousy at that thought surged through him like a hot wind, Jimin envious that he couldn’t be alive and well, couldn’t take Jeongguk to bed to satiate his hunger. Not that he wanted them to be exclusive or anything—he just missed good sex. He missed the arousal, the pinnacle when pleasure overwhelmed you, the sleepiness that came after. If anything, Jeongguk was the worst part of the whole arrangement.

Brooding until the morning sun touched his feet, Jimin glanced up when the door opened, Jeongguk stepping out, settling his shower-damp hair with a black ball cap.

Their eyes met for a breath before Jimin worried what he might give away, and he rose to his feet, asking, “When are we meeting Yoongi?”

“Six.” At Jimin’s confused look, he explained, “Necromancy’s best done at night. And I wasn’t going to hang around in there until she woke up.” He jabbed his thumb back toward the room.

“So what are you going to do until six?”

“Shop, probably.” Jeongguk slid his mask over his mouth again. “You’re going to need to stay invisible.”

“No shit.” Jimin faded away, hating that it seemed to be getting easier.

They took the elevator down and out into the bustling city, and the moment they stepped out from the shadow of the entryway into the morning, weakness lanced through him. If he hadn’t already been invisible, Jimin had no doubts that the sun would have bleached him to transparency anyway.

“What?” He asked, voice strained.

“Don’t you remember? Sunlight makes demons weaker. Ghosts, too.”

“So how long does your feeding make you immune?”

Jeongguk shrugged. “Dunno. Never tested it. But I will get hungry faster; the sun burns away the energy. So, let’s keep moving.”

They walked down the city block, Jimin not having the will to talk to him, but the moment they stepped into an air-conditioned boutique, Jimin’s strength returned in a sweep.

He muttered a curse under his breath, head spinning from how fast he bounced back in the artificial light of a building, and then realized he was condemned to a day of watching Jeongguk try new clothes on.

Deciding that even in his melancholic state he wouldn’t play the demon’s shopping buddy, he gave Jeongguk scathing comments about his clothes. The few Jeongguk challenged him on were the ones that looked genuinely fantastic on him, and the few that he bought.

Neither of them spoke beyond comments and comebacks until six rolled around. Jimin did it on purpose to avoid the toxic emotions from the night before, wanting to distract himself so Jeongguk couldn’t read the jealousy and lingering irritation. But as the hours wore on, he grew tired and stopped commenting, even when Jeongguk’s fashions became absurd.

“Were you this depressing living?” Jeongguk drawled as he purchased the last of his things, the clock urging them out. “I swear I should have noticed that.”

Jimin swore at him without thinking. “Fuck you. I’m dead. I think it would be kind of concerning if I was over here acting like everything was fine.”

“It would,” he agreed, “but I got used to your depressive states, and this isn’t how you are normally, either.”

“What?” He snapped, “Concerned?”

Jeongguk adjusted the unbuttoned plaid shirt, tugging it back into place from where his shopping bags caught it. “If you snap before we get you a new body, it won’t be worth it, will it?”

“I’m not going to snap.” His hands balled into fists, the painful emotions from earlier boiling under his skin. “Not mentally.”

“Not physically, either.”

Having enough, Jimin bit his tongue, turning his attention outward, to the couples and friends and single people on their smartphones clustered on the pavement, many passing through him. Everything was human—terribly mundane and bright, the sky the soft blue of high summer. Even before death, Jimin felt so detached from it all, and unable to touch anything, he yearned for extremes: Bitter coffee, cuts in his flesh from fights, a sunburn.

Vivid images of Jeongguk bending him over a desk flashed through his mind, the memory of lust clinging to it, though it could not affect his body.

They could no longer talk to each other as they waited for a bus to take them to Yoongi’s neck of the city, but Jimin didn’t need to talk. He drowned himself in his human life, playing through the memories strong enough to waken him.

He flashed back to his first taste of flavored ice—mango, if he remembered correctly—the day he met Yoongi, the wild boy with the dirty cheeks and bottomless hunger, and the day he saw his first demon, the creature bound in his family’s basement, father bent over it with a bloody scalpel.

Jimin chanced a look at the lust demon as they boarded the bus and noticed his pale cheeks, wondering where his mind was. If he saw the memories.

Frankly, Jimin didn’t care.

-☠-

When the bus let them off in front of Yoongi’s neighborhood, their walk to his house stayed seeped in silence, Jimin attempting to read the other only to come up short.

As Jeongguk knocked at the door, Jimin finally blurted out, “So Yoongi forced you into helping find me a new body?”

“Yes?”

“So it must have been one of those spells that work without a seal?”

“Yes,” Jeongguk shot him a pointed look as the door opened.

Yoongi stared out past him and Jimin ached, uncaring about passersby as he appeared to his friend, the sadness in his chest feeling like it would overwhelm him at any moment. “Yoongi.”

“You absolute idiot.” His voice was husky, and only because Jimin knew him so well could he hear the falseness to his anger, used to hide his grief. It had been the same way when his familiar was killed by a stroke of bad luck.

“We always knew I would die doing this,” Jimin cleared his throat, glancing back into the house. “Just never thought it would be so soon.”

Seeing his searching, Yoongi waved them both in, finally acknowledging Jeongguk as he asked, “Did you find anything?”

“No. And I’m assuming since you asked first that you haven’t, either.”

Jeongguk kicked off his heavy boots, feet looking small by comparison, and Jimin floated up onto the floor, head jerking up as soon as he passed through the threshold. Something deep within the house called to him, a siren song stronger than even the creature’s who killed him.

“You will probably be drawn to Hoseok,” Yoongi warned as he guided them back toward his ritual room. “That won’t hurt you, but if you ask him to absolve you and you follow his instructions, that’s it. You go to Heaven.”

“Don’t pass Go, don’t collect 200 dollars,” Jeongguk droned irreverently.

Spurred on by Jeongguk’s attitude, Jimin decided to out the demon, asking his friend, “Did you bind Jeongguk to you to make him help you?”

Yoongi shot him a frown. “No. He brought you to me and asked for help.”

Jeongguk’s expression was unreadable, and before he could prod, the demon began talking nonsense, presumably about the spells, as Yoongi nodded along, understanding what sounded like gibberish to Jimin.

And so they talked for a good hour, comparing notes, the angel never appearing, as if they wanted to make sure he wouldn’t be coaxed into eternal salvation. At any other point in his life, he would have laughed at that, but he had lost most of his ability to laugh.

Instead he contented himself with examining Yoongi’s potion supplies, sticking his nose into each of them now that he couldn’t accidentally shrink himself or grow another tongue.

Jimin read them all, tasting their exotic names on his tongue like the foods he could no longer consume, until the time came where they would head back.

Their goodbye was awkward, as if it stood in for the biggest goodbye they hadn’t been allowed to have—and now they couldn’t even hug.

Yoongi looked at him like he was trying to memorize his face and Jimin pretended he wasn’t doing the same, instead promising him, “I won’t give up. We’ll keep looking. You can’t get rid of me that easily.”

“Well, we almost did,” the witch’s voice dropped again, the green in his eyes almost feverish, “so be careful. Don’t need anything happening to you when we can’t touch you.”

Emotion welled in him and he swore, voice solemn, “If we figure out a way to bring me back, I promise I won’t make you go through this again.”

“You better not.” Yoongi exhaled, glancing up his flight of stairs to where Hoseok waited. “You’re getting your ass beaten when we fix this as is.”

“Love you, too, Yoon.”

His voice softened and he didn’t care if Jeongguk heard; this, more than anything, reminded him what he was fighting for.

They shared one last, sad smile, before Jimin left, floating through the front door and leaving Jeongguk to follow after.

He squelched the sadness as Jeongguk strode down the steps to the road, his hands pushed into his jean pockets like he was going for a walk, rather than returning to Hell.

Expecting Jeongguk to mock his display of emotions, Jimin instead deflated when Jeongguk asked, “So you and Yoongi met when you were kids?” Part of him despised his lack of privacy, but withheld potential attacks for the moment.

Jimin snorted. “So you did see the memories. I’m surprised it took you this long to bring them up.”

“You’re the one always saying that you have no privacy.” Jeongguk shrugged. “I thought the illusion might help.”

Having misattributed his motives once, Jimin ceded to curiosity instead of anger, preferring its mild touch to the roaring flames of injustice. “Why did you bring my body to Yoongi? We weren’t—aren’t—friends. So why?”

Even in the light of the setting sun that painted the world in darkness and orange, Jimin could not compare the light and openness to Hell. Up here, everything felt real again, despite his condition. Hell light washed over Jeongguk with greed, like a hovering mother who couldn’t bear to let her child do things on his own, where setting sun sang of open skies and possibility. However, it also seemed to hold a vendetta against the demon: It washed over him like a fever dream, showing his inhumanity in the way his eyes and skin glowed. Anyone might mistake him for an angel like that.

“Hold on.” He replied, not answering the question.

They winked back to Hell, in front of Jeongguk’s apartment building, and Jimin faded back into sight.

“Answer the question.”

Jeongguk exhaled, punching in the door code. “I don’t know if I have an answer. Maybe I just wasn’t ready for you to die, yet.”

Frustrated by the pieces that refused to fit together, Jimin demanded, “Why does it matter to you? I thought lust demons were just…attraction and arousal personified. Living sin.”

“The same could be said for humans.” Rather than offended or amused, Jeongguk spoke as if the questions hounded him, too. “I’ve slept with others multiple times before. Some had kinks humans would consider terrible, some refused to have sex with the lights on. I killed some.”

Passing through the entryway, up the stairs, it felt like the world narrowed to just them, Jimin grappling with what he knew, struggled to connect it to anything. “Do you like me more than them?”

“I didn’t even think I liked you.” Jimin knew they both heard his hesitation. “There’s no reason to like you.”

“We’re equals,” Jimin guessed, having thought about it during their meeting with Yoongi. “I’m your match. You can be yourself and still get mind-blowing sex. Perhaps that’s a relief. Being able to show yourself when all you do is hide can feel freeing.”

“Don’t talk as if you know me.” Jeongguk scowled as he rounded a landing. “You don’t.”

“And you don’t know me. Equal.”

The corners of Jeongguk’s lips twitched, like he might have laughed if he felt like conceding that to Jimin. “Not anymore. I’ve seen the memories you’ve dredged up.”

“And yet you’re still helping me.”

When Jeongguk didn’t reply, he pushed, “You like me. You came for me. Just because I summoned you didn’t force you to retrieve my body. And rather than move on with your life, you’re helping me.”

He watched the demon clench his fists at his sides, so he changed tactics. “I don’t have constant people in my life, really. Just Yoongi and Hoseok, if you want to count him. And it seems like you’re the same way.”

“How long has Hoseok followed Yoongi around?” Jeongguk changed the subject as they arrived at his door.

“Only a few years. He found him the year after high school.” Against his will, images of them in dirty uniforms, not tucked in, pariahs in school, bubbled to the surface of his mind. “Yoongi thinks he’s his guardian angel, since his familiar died earlier that year.”

“He didn’t get another one?” Jeongguk kicked his boots off and dumped his bags in the corner of his room, stretching to crack his back.

“We think Hoseok’s presence keeps them away. They’re demons, aren’t they?”

“Debatable.” Jeongguk blew his bangs out of his eyes and Jimin recognized the exhaustion in his eyes. The hours in the sun had taken their toll. “But I don’t doubt that those things are connected.”

“You said,” Jimin cleared his throat as Jeongguk pulled off his shirt, revealing his broad shoulders and strong back, “Um. Actually, another question?”

“Yeah?” The demon chuckled at his short-circuited thoughts.

“Why do you still look like this? When you can look however you want? And is Jeongguk really your name?”

Pausing, the demon peeled off his jeans and turned to fully face the ghost, his body grand in its beauty, unreal. Ideal. “Jeongguk is really my name. I surfaced first in Korea, so I took a Korean name. Lust demons call it our ‘first name,’ and its usually the one we keep over the years. Of course, I have another name, but it’s less something to call me and more what I am. Not really a name the way you mean.” He shook his head, ran a hand up through his hair, and then moved into the bathroom to brush his teeth.

Jimin waited patiently, knowing the last of his questions was yet to be answered on purpose.

When Jeongguk emerged, breath smelling of mint, eyes heavy with exhaustion, the demon finished, “And I like looking like this. Even without a way to get attracted, your thoughts suck me in.”

He flopped onto the bed, pulling up the sheets. “And I’ve always preferred my humanoid form.”

-☠-

Jimin reminded him to put Netflix on before he slept, but when the time came for the demon to rise, he realized he’d spent the night replaying their conversation over and over. Thinking up more questions.

That morning, instead of returning to the archives, they ventured deeper into the city, where the buildings and creatures began to cluster closer together, reeking and hissing, tangled together like ouroboros.

Jimin lost his attention to the strange sights over and over—to the enormous vat in the middle of a busy street, a creature with bruised skin stirring what looked like wide-eyed monkeys’ souls in a soupy mass. Jeongguk steered him clear around that, not bothering to explain it, like he waved off most of the ghost’s questions.

Finally, his questions tapered off, and he only asked one more, “Where are we going?”

“To the one person who might be willing to guide me in the right direction.”

All attempts to discover the name or occupation of this person came up short, Jimin halting his questions with a huff. “You can read my mind, but you shut me out. Not fair.”

“Life isn’t fair,” the demon shot back. “If it was fair, that stupid water demon wouldn’t have killed you and you wouldn’t have trapped me into our arrangement.”

Unsure if Jeongguk said that because he knew it would sting, or because he meant it, Jimin fell silent, clinging to his anger, because unlike his despair or fear, his anger reminded him of who he was—that he wasn’t weak.

“Good,” Jeongguk murmured. “Hold onto that.”

They walked for a long time, the road staying straight even as the landscape wrapped around them, funneling them through piles of rubble and elderbeasts. He recalled Jeongguk’s warning, that Hell formed to torture and break humans, and for the first time, he was grateful that he couldn’t leave the lust demon’s side.

Eventually, when Jimin began wondering if Jeongguk was finally taking him to human Hell, Jeongguk paused in front of a roadside booth, similar to those that shaman card readers had on the streets.

He pushed through the plastic flap of the black tent, revealing no light within, and Jimin floated unwillingly after him, sensing the harsh aura that floated out.

Inside, the interior of the tent stretched endlessly, much like the archives, but standing front and center was a large creature with no head: Only two, glowing red eyes floating in the void, the darkness thicker, like that of a collapsing star, where the rest of his head should be. His hands looked like those of a vampire’s: Clawed and paper white. The white of the blood less.

“Jeon Jeongguk,” the demon identified them both. “Park Jimin: Newly dead, sold your soul to the Dark One for good sex.”

Jimin made a rude noise, but Jeongguk silenced him with a warning look.

“Let me guess. You finally realized that you need my help.”

Jeongguk stared up at the creature, expressionless. “Yes.”

“Ah, I see you’ve come prepared. More fun this way.” The creature turned its wide, fathomless eyes to Jimin. “Little human, I am known as the Trader. I know your pet demon hasn’t told you anything about me.”

“It’s said he knows everything people want to know,” Jeongguk explained in a flat voice. “Most people down here call him the Whisperer. He calls himself the Trader because—”

“Now, now. Don’t ruin all of my fun.” He stroked over his own fingers. “Now, I know you’re here to ask where you can find a spell to return him to the world of the living—so I ask you: What will you give me for this information?”

At that moment, the curtain ruffled and a woman with long, shiny hair woven up into an elaborate hairpiece barged in, calling, “Master, I brought you the cufflinks you asked for!”

The creature made a noise of disgust, it sounding like the clean slice of a knife through flesh. “I’m with a customer. We’ve talked about this.”

Her gaze, also bloody, but still firmly set in her rather pretty face, turned to face the pair, her arms crossing. She wore some traditional dress to match her hairpiece—something Chinese, if Jimin had to guess.

“A human ghost.” Her eyes widened. “How did you get into our neck of the woods, little one?”

Bristling at the nickname, Jimin nearly told her exactly what he didn’t fuck with to get to Hell, but fell silent when Jeongguk snapped his name once, derailing his anger with shock, as the lust demon bowed his head to her. “He’s my charge. I’m trying to get him a physical body back.”

Her eyes sparkled. “Oh, how romantic.” She swung back to face the horrible creature, calling, “You have to help them! They’re destined for such fun if he gets his body back!”

Jimin didn’t know where to focus; on the possibility, on the “if,” or on the promise of bad things to come.

“I don’t have to do anything, Qian.”

But as she turned to flutter out, she took Jeongguk’s hands in her own, eyes shining. “When the time comes, find me. Love stories are my favorite. Especially bloody ones.”

Waving at them, she darted out of the tent, even the filtered Hell-light comforting after the pit they’d willingly walked into. Jimin longed to follow her, but he stayed beside Jeongguk as he addressed the creature.

“What could I offer you that you want?”

The creature exhaled. “I wanted to see if you had any information of interest to me, but after perusing through this human’s mind, I think I found something better.”

“I want his human body.”

Shock pulsed through him and Jimin disconnected from his body for a moment, considering the proposal not in disgust, but in confusion. He’d never even asked what they’d done with his body—he’d just assumed that they’d buried it or that Yoongi preserved it in the chance they’d need it to resurrect him.

“If we give you his body, will we still be able to bring him back to life?”

“You will not ‘bring him back’ to anything. You will give him a new body and he will live on inside it.”

Jeongguk glanced at Jimin, waiting for permission before he would give up something so personal and wholly not his. It sent a pang of gratitude through him, even as he resented having to give up his body at all.

“You can have it. I swear. So long as there’s a way for me to live in this world in a suitable and acceptable way to me.” Jimin couldn’t place where the words or his careful phrase came from, but Jeongguk eyed him with respect, and the creature chuckled.

“It seems you are well-versed in trickery. Very well, human, I will tell you what you wish to know:

Under the light of the new moon, you must make a doll-human. Use whatever materials you prefer, it won’t matter, and you must bleed as many humans as demons whose lives you took. Not one fewer, not one more. If you do this correctly, the body will suck the soul in, and then you must cast the doll into the same lake that he died in. Then he will arise again.”

Jeongguk sucked in a breath, about to protest, but Jimin cut him off. “Alright. It’s a deal. We will bring you my body when I’m alive again.”

“That’s not how this works, I’m afraid: You need to chant a curse as you bleed the humans. I will not give you that part until you bring me your body.”

“And how do we know you won’t double cross us?”

The Trader laughed again. “You don’t. But I will say: I enjoy things that entertain me. And you will bring me more entertainment with a body than as a ghost.”

He didn’t realize that was the end of the conversation until Jeongguk marched back to the exit, Jimin hurrying after him, not desiring to be left alone with that thing. Jeongguk didn’t bother to say goodbye or thank you to the creature, so Jimin didn’t either.

Stepping out into the rusty light, feeling discombobulated beyond compare, Jeongguk marched back the way they’d come, spitting, “Well, I guess we technically have eternity to try.”

“What?”

“Your number of demons killed.” Jeongguk exhaled violently. “I’ve never seen you keep track.”

Jimin smirked. “That’s where you’re wrong; I keep a ledger on my phone, which is backed up to the Cloud. My concern is, does ‘bled’ mean cut or killed? Because the dragon was my 167th kill, and that would be hard to get in humans.”

“I don’t think so,” Jeongguk dodged around a creature with snakes for legs. “Just killed. But that’s still going to be a near-impossible feat. Conquering death isn’t meant to be easy.”

“It is possible, though.” Jimin marched forward, determination lining his limbs. “And I’m not giving up this easily.”

-☠-

They returned to Yoongi that night, citing Jeongguk’s need to feed and both their urges to get the more unpleasant part of their task over.

Jimin spent the night lodged in memories, using them as a barrier when his body floated out of storage, suspended in a glowing, pale green light, and when Jeongguk buried himself first in a man and then his girlfriend, both eager swingers from the moment they laid eyes on the demon.

With the former, Jimin’s hand slipped to his stomach, though he couldn’t feel it, and he took in the way the tooth punctured through him, the stains on his body like it just happened. If he could cry, he would sob at the sight of his poor human body.

“It will start to decay again when I take the spell off,” Yoongi warned him, “so you’d better be able to take it straight where it needs to go.”

“It” referring to his body.

“Then I’ll need to feed first,” Jeongguk spun around and apologized in a gruff tone as he walked out. “Might as well handle that now.”

Yoongi exchanged a look with Jimin, both thinking that his jerky movements betrayed his distaste with the hunter’s dead body. He wondered what that meant, but if Yoongi could guess, he waved him off with a shake of his head anyway.

Jimin spent the demon’s rutting session replaying their first time, the hunter eager to dominate and push himself on the creature who took as much as he could give him. He hated to languish over a creature that supposedly meant nothing to him, but his words the other day stuck: They were the same, they found themselves in each other. Even without the sex, Jimin would miss him if they never saw each other again.

Jeongguk’s cries in the other room grew in volume, until even Jimin peeked his invisible head through the door, wanting to know what the couple did to elicit those sounds.

The man drove into him from behind, the girl underneath Jeongguk, his cock thrusting into her with each jerk from the topping human.

There was no way Jeongguk could have known that he looked on, but one of the man’s stronger thrusts dropped the demon’s head onto the girl’s shoulder, and the hunter heard him call out “Jimin” in his pleasure-laden voice.

Withdrawing as if stung, Jimin stared out into the darkness of the hallway, knowing his cheeks would burn with embarrassment if he still had the capacity to blush.

Well, he’d always teased the other that he couldn’t find better sex than with him.

When Jeongguk finished up with the girl, Jimin listened to him gather his things, explaining to the girl that he’d enjoyed their time together, but had “prior obligations.” Prick. Jimin tried not to relish in the insult and failed.

His eyes clung to Jeongguk despite his resolve, tracing the demon’s sweat-damp bangs, the healthy flush to his cheeks, and the way that his shirt clung to his chest, showing off the muscles that rivaled Jimin’s own.

He might not be able to feel lust, but he wanted all the same.

Jeongguk had to feel the emotions swirling in him, but neither spoke to acknowledge his faux pas with the girl or Jimin’s possessive thoughts. Until they got him a new body, there was no point to talking about their desires toward each other.

And as they arrived at Yoongi’s house again, Jimin’s emotions sobered, tempered by the physical presence of his own dead body. Jeongguk carried him bridal style and Jimin kept his eyes glued to the pavement as Jeongguk teleported them in front of the Trader’s tent once more, as if the reality of his death wasn’t yet set if he didn’t lay eyes on the body.

The body. Never his body.

He waited and waited for Jeongguk to return, expecting a quick exchange of body for the chanted words, but as his own boredom compounded, Jimin wondered what took them so long. Measuring time in Hell was an impossible feat, but he could sense in his own idleness that Jeongguk should have returned long ago.

Moving to shift through the clear curtain, he found it impenetrable even to his ghostly form, and then panic reached him, cold and searing. Despite knowing he couldn’t lift a finger to help the demon, he kicked himself for letting Jeongguk go in by himself because of what? A dead body? Like Jimin hadn’t seen hundreds of those. If anything happened to the demon, would he wander Hell forever?

Jimin itched to fight something, to barge in swinging, but he was left a spectator at his own funeral, helpless but for a demon that should have no reason to help him.

As his panic cycled to resentment, the curtain lifted and dropped, Jeongguk’s features flat and pale.

“What happened?” He demanded. “Why were you in there so long?”

Jeongguk’s eyes cut to him, something vindictive in their depths. “I might have been able to finish faster if someone’s panic didn’t muddle everything.”

Unwilling to be cowed, Jimin snapped, “You were in there for a long time, and I couldn’t get through the curtain. I was worried—”

“Who asked you to worry for me?” Jeongguk growled. “What could you even do against the Trader? Satan, you’re such an idiot.”

His sharp words cut through the hunter’s exposed walls and Jimin withdrew, swallowing his hurt along with his angry words. Jeongguk was his only chance to regain a body; there was no use to arguing with him.

Jimin floated ahead of him without a word, feeling the demon’s gaze burning into him, as if waiting for him to rebut, but he wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.

As they walked, Jeongguk transported them back to his apartment building, not breaking his stride even as they switched locations. If Jimin was in his normal form, he would have assumed the demon did it to show off, but with the tense set to his shoulders, Jeongguk appeared more concerned with a full night of sleep than impressing a ghost.

Unable to help himself, Jimin called, “You got the spell, right?”

“Yes.”

“Were you in there so long because you were memorizing it?”

A pause. “Yes.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Well that’s too fucking bad.” Jeongguk’s teeth flashed as he wheeled around to face him, eyes wild and red, the creature beneath the handsome face peeking out. “I’m the only fucking chance you have. Me and your fucking 162 humans.”

“167.”

“What?”

Jimin watched as his expression crept toward hysterical. “I killed 167 demons.”

“That’s fucking fantastic.” The demon whirled around, hands forming claws as they clenched and unclenched in the air. “At least I’m not helping a shitty killer.”

“You’re one to talk.”

“No; I’m really not.” He marched toward Jimin as if he would strike him. “I need to feed. And you know what? If humans weren’t so fucking stupid to begin with, I’d starve to death and they wouldn’t die. If they didn’t want a monster so badly, they wouldn’t have to die. Do you realize that?”

Undaunted, Jimin spoke slowly, “I didn’t die for you.”

“And you wouldn’t. I’d never let you.”

“There’s no case of you ‘letting’ me do anything—”

“I can’t wait to finish this and never have to see you again.” Jeongguk’s breath was a wild snarl. “You and your stupid human emotions and stupid weakness.”

That hurt, despite bracing for it. “If you hate me that much, why not cast me into Hell? You’re not bound to Yoongi.”

“But I’m bound to you, and it made me weak.” Jeongguk let out a humorless laugh. “It made me want to save you. It makes me want to save you even when your stupid insecurities pop up every five minutes.”

Not letting the demon steamroll over him, Jimin shot back, “Have you ever thought it’s because this weak, emotional human is someone you care about? We’re not bound anymore, Jeongguk. You could have cast me off. Our contract wasn’t an emotional one.”

“Why would I care about you?” Jeongguk swept his arm out. “Why the hell would it matter to me? And if you start on with that ‘because we’re the same’ crap again—”

“Because we’re both possessive, then.” Jimin slumped onto the carpet, tired of the yelling. “We both will go to the ends of the earth to get a job done. We’re both stubborn and we’re both lonely. Maybe you don’t care, maybe you just liked the banter, liked fucking my smug face silly when you disagreed with me, and liked the sex enough to make up for the times when I beat you or proved you wrong. Maybe it was just luck.”

Jimin finally broke eye contact. “Maybe there is no reason. Maybe—” And to his horror, he felt the phantom pain of tears, realizing he produce them, either.

He would have given anything for a hug and a cup of hot tea, courtesy of his best friend, but all he had was himself, and he couldn’t even touch himself.

Jeongguk’s expression morphed from one unreadable expression to the other and he spoke shortly, “I’m going to bed.”

They both pretended to ignore each other as he brushed his teeth and disrobed, but when he finally climbed into bed, Jimin shattered the silence.

“I might prefer you dragging me to Hell at this point.”

“Poor baby.”

Hurt by his diatribe and livid that he didn’t seem to care, Jimin snapped, “You know what, I liked you. Even if I knew our relationship was based in our contract, in my tricking you, you saved me once and you rescued my body when you weren’t fast enough to save me a second time. And now I’m in Hell, which likes to…remind me of my worst. You’re the only thing I have down here.”

He waited for a reply that never came, so he finally said, unsure if Jeongguk fell asleep, “I’m not ashamed of my life, but I didn’t have a lot, and now you’re all I’ve got. I’m—sorry that you’re stuck with me. Really.” Bleak reality set in, reminding him so much of the days before he and Yoongi found each other as kids, and he thought back to the small, angry face pulling him up out of the mud.

“I’ll turn those idiots into pigeons if they bother you again. Alright?”

Jimin closed his eyes. “I promise I’ll let you pay me back if you help me here. I’ll do whatever you want to make it up to you.”

No reply came; Jimin settled in for the night, his eyes slipping shut in preparation to spend the night hiding in his memories, when Jeongguk finally spoke.

“Taehyung was like that for me, too.”

Unmoving, Jimin asked, “Like what?”

“Like your Yoongi. We were both outcasts.”

Hating himself for it, he let Jeongguk coax him from his shell. “Can demons be outcasts?”

A soft sigh; Jeongguk rolled so that they could look at each other. “Yes. Tae’s a half-breed, a mockery even among demons.”

“And you?”

“I cried when they would hurt him.”

Knowing he couldn’t expunge the self-hatred in the words, Jimin still felt the need to say, “You were a kid then, right? You’d protect him now.”

Jeongguk froze, and Jimin might have imagined it, but he started under the covers, as if his arms moved to embrace himself.

Wanting to drive his point in, he murmured, “You protected me.”

The demon laughed shortly. “Guess that makes me a shitty demon.”

“Maybe.” Softness rose in the ghost. “Thank you.”

“Please save any confessions of undying love until I’m fully conscious, please and thank you.”

“Only for you, baby.” Jimin winked at him.

“…Fucking hell.” Jeongguk rolled over, ignoring him in the most juvenile way.

For the first time in a long time, Jimin felt himself smiling uncontrollably.

-☠-

They returned to the human world the next day to check the lunar cycle and to update Yoongi—Jeongguk wanted to plan in the chance that all conditions were met. Neither Yoongi nor Jimin could see the logic in that, but Jeongguk insisted, and so they planned what Jimin imagined would be the first of many disappointing nights by that damn lake.

Jeongguk flashed hot and cold all week, exhausting Jimin as he tried to keep up, bonds manifesting between them during the “nights,” before the demon fell asleep, when they exchanged stories of their childhoods, only to wonder if he imagined the whole thing in lieu of Jeongguk’s derogative stature during the days.

The frustrating rhythm was disrupted only the night before the new moon, when Jimin perched on the edge of Jeongguk’s bed, bold in light of their budding something that seemed to vanish in the “light” of day.

Despite their inability to touch, Jeongguk stiffened when he sat, demanding, “What are you doing?”

“I thought we were going to talk,” Jimin smirked. “I wanted to be closer to you.”

“You can’t touch me.”

“Doesn’t matter.” Jimin stretched out his legs, arching his back. “Even if we can’t feel it, I’m close to you.”

Jeongguk growled, but the ghost paid him no mind. “Have you ever shared a bed with someone before? Like, in a relationship-y way?” Jimin’s head shot up. “Wait. Do demons even have relationships with each other?”

“Like romantic, committed bullshit?” Jeongguk snorted. “Sometimes. Lust demons can’t.”

“Does that mean you never wished for one?”

“What?” It took Jeongguk a moment before he shook his head. “I’ve thought about it, but I couldn’t feed solely from one person. And plus, I don’t know how humans don’t get bored of having the same person over and over. It just seems like it would get redundant real fast.”

Jimin pursed his lips in thought. “Were you tired of me?”

“No, but,” he jumped to clarify before Jimin could taunt him, the air between them warped from the prior nights, “we were barely together for any time. Like, a few months. That might be a while to a human, but to a demon, that’s nothing.”

The stiff silence nudged at a secret Jeongguk didn’t want revealed, Jimin picking out his mannerisms easily. “But when you’re as young as you are, I bet that still feels like a lot.”

“What?” Jeongguk scoffed. “Trying to get me to admit I have feelings for you? Because that’s not going to happen, sorry.”

“C’mon, Kook, what’s so bad about wanting to kiss someone after sucking their dick?”

“…Do I really have to answer that?”

“No, but,” Jimin cleared his throat, “at least admit we’re friends. We might not be buddy-buddy, but you saved me twice. And you know I’d save you back.”

“Do I know?”

“Yes!” Jimin crawled forward, so that they would touch, if he had a body. “I’d mock the shit out of you for it, but I would.”

“Maybe we’re just bros.”

“Bros? Are you serious?”

“Yeah, bro.”

The demon let out a little noise that might have been a laugh, and Jimin pounced, “I’m not saying we should be exclusive. But I am saying you should admit that I’m the best dick you’ve ever dicked and that we should share a bed once I have a body back.”

His improvident words did what he intended; laughter left Jeongguk, despite his confusion.

“Why would you want to do that?”

Jimin, taking advantage of his incorporeal state, hovered over top of the demon, crouching over his lower body so he could look down right into his eyes. “Because I can tell it’s going to take a lot more effort to learn more about you, and I want to.”

“That’s not—”

“And you’re rude and exciting, and I trust you.” He paused somberly. “You can feel that. I know you can. It might be the life-saving thing, but I feel safe with you.”

Jeongguk exhaled, a tired, elusive light in his eyes, almost like Jimin answered a question he wasn’t aware the demon asked.

“Listen,” his voice was soft as he addressed the ghost, “tomorrow night. Just…let me get some sleep for tomorrow night.”

Aware that he reached him and that Jeongguk likely needed time to process, Jimin floated down from the bed with a gentle, awkward smile. “Sleep well. I’ll keep watch for any rogue spider demons.”

The lust demon shuddered, the teasing goodnight referencing his confessed fear from a few nights back, and rolled onto his back.

Despite breathing evenly all night, Jimin wondered if he truly slept at all, come morning.

-☠-

The next night, under the inky black night sky, Jimin felt as if his soul was bared to the world: He would have thought that some humans would be there, in preparation for the act, but they had all night, and he had no clue what Jeongguk planned.

Yoongi assembled the spot the spell would be enacted, his brows screwed up in a scowl that seemed to grow more vicious by the minute. More than once, he asked Jeongguk about his plans for the ceremony, and every time the demon brushed him off, only promising that he had it “taken care of.”

Hoseok peeped ominously at the words, as if to warn the demon against trying any funny business, but as they weren’t in Hell, Jimin couldn’t see how the ritual could make his condition any worse.

Night stretched on and despite expectations that Yoongi would bail out after an hour of nothing, they all lingered, supervising his clay effigy, the features a gaunt mimicry of Jimin’s as the air pulsed around them with warning.

Jimin could sense the magic in the air, crackling and wild, belonging both to Yoongi and to the night of no moon, the bloodless darkness that would guide numerous attacks and feedings from both those humans stupid enough to venture outside and unlucky enough to be targeted.

The silence felt like it would eat him alive, Jimin restless, waiting until Jeongguk took a tentative step forward. Noticing the paleness to the demon’s features for the first time, Jimin parted his lips to inquire what haunted him, what price he’d paid for the reassurances he spouted about the night.

However, out of everything he could have done, Jeongguk turned to face the ghost, ignoring the angel and witch, his eyes shadowed, not refracting any light.

Fighting off the urge to retreated, Jimin challenged the look. “Yeah?”

Then the world exploded: He knew Jeongguk could rip into him and examine any pieces he desired, as he occasionally would mention details that Jimin never shared with him, but at that moment, Jeongguk allowed him to see the images as he scanned through them.

Expecting the worst, or at least the beginning, the memory the demon flipped through first was of them the night he’d summoned Jeongguk, where the demon carded through the emotions of eagerness, anticipation, and vindictive nausea, the hunter resenting his own strength, resenting that he had to call a demon to fix his problem.

And back; to Yoongi offhandedly telling him that a lust demon might solve his problem, curiosity and revulsion blending into a smoothie of opinions that Jimin could no longer recreate.

Forward; his hunts, his excitement, the desire that overrode any negative emotions that might have driven him to cruelty. He felt the reflection of his past hunger mingling with his current attraction to the contradiction that was the lust demon—that was Jeongguk.

A sob hitched in his throat, overwhelmed and loaded, but Jeongguk dug deeper to the swaddle of confusion and resentment when Jimin’s carelessness nearly got him killed with the water demon. Tying it up was bewildered appreciation for the demon, relief, and a seed of trust. A question.

Finally, the night he died, fear choked him like the water that would kill him, and he felt the desperation anew, the refusal to die to a damn water demon when he had killed a dragon, when he was the fucking hero of this story—

The hero saved by the demon. The sadistic, bloodthirsty hunter giving everything to his enemy, who he would come to be fond of, even call a friend if he would dare—someone he would give anything to spend more time with.

Jimin refused to acknowledge his own loneliness most days, but seeing the rose lens of Jeongguk in his memories, he couldn’t deny that he had grown attached. That he liked the creature—even trusted him.

Reality faded in with a blare of white noise that drowned out the lapping sound of the pond water, Jimin’s gaze on nothing and everything, seeing the sawing, back-and-forth motion of Yoongi cutting, but not understanding until the pitches warped and formed screams.

“What?” He whispered to himself, watching Hoseok flash, pulsing with alarm as his best friend sawed—

“Jeongguk?”

A horrible cracking sound filled the air and then Jimin was screaming, too, watching as Yoongi sawed off one of the demon’s horns, the cartilage giving with each pull.

They might have been there for hours, black blood pouring where even Jimin knew there shouldn’t be blood, the demon’s face pale with agony as Yoongi finished and set the horn on the chest of clay-Jimin.

Jeongguk slumped next to the body, and where Jimin thought he would grab for his severed body part, the man began to chant in a language not of humans, the one that made his blood feel like it was boiling when he was still alive.

His voice hitched several times through his words, arrested by pain, but he maintained the chant. Then, without Jeongguk pausing, Yoongi bent down to scoop up the body, it miraculously staying together as the witch dumped it into the lake, horn and all.

Reality split around him before Jimin could call out, water filling his nose and mouth. He choked, the memory of his death real around him, though now when he thrashed up, no tooth pierced his abdomen and no current kept him from the surface.

He broke free, air meeting his lips, and he gasped, flailing, overwhelmed by the sensation of his clothes, soaked and pressing to him, the warmth of the water surrounding him.

Holding his hands up to examine them, using a nail to pick at the skin, wondering if dirt would pull free, he winced at its sharpness, skin giving like it should, though he swore the skin’s texture looked different.

Glancing up, toward the shoreline, he froze when he saw how far the body floated, the body that was now him, the figures onshore a short swim away.

Yoongi was jumping, waving to him in an uncharacteristic show of emotion, and that’s when it hit Jimin: He wasn’t imagining this. He could feel the water, the drag of it as it attempted to pull him down, could feel the stiff, late summer breeze against the dampness of his cheeks.

Jimin swam, overwhelmed, and when he crawled up onto the shore, he found his arms full of Yoongi—a warm, soft, very there Yoongi—and that’s when it hit him.

Despite his usual pride, he felt no shame when he burst into tears, joy and sorrow crashing over him as one, his body solid, alive in some semblance.

They clutched at each other until Jimin could calm himself enough to face the demon that pulled through for him that one last time.

Jeongguk remained on the ground, sitting with his legs crossed under him, expression lined with exhaustion.

“You did it,” Jimin whispered. “I don’t know how you did it, but you did it.”

The demon’s gaze swung to him, revealing nothing as he climbed to his feet and approached the duo.

Unlike before, Jimin felt no sense of threat as Jeongguk faced them down with such a contemptuous glare, something in his gut tugging at him as their eyes met.

Unsure where to begin, Jimin asked, “Where did all of those people come from?”

Jeongguk crossed his arms, looking more tired than anything. “Did you see people?”

“Well, no?”

“Then that couldn’t have been the reason for your new body, could it?”

While Jimin attempted to simultaneously think of a better question and an insult for the snarky demon, Hoseok spoke, so that the human understood him in his orb form for the first time:

“He’s turned you into a demon.”

Hoseok’s voice, bitter with disappointment, rang through him like the tolling of a church bell, as if announcing his death a second time.

“What?”

This time, Yoongi spoke, his eyes belaying his sadness. “The creature he spoke to gave you two options: Jeongguk only told you the one because, well.”

Resentment, sharp with antipathy and hopelessness, cut through him, and Jimin realized that the emotions didn’t belong to him.

“What were the conditions for the second option?”

“You’re bound to him,” Hoseok answered. “Your life continues as long as his does, and if you are killed, it will end his life, too.”

“So I’m a lust demon now?”

“Not exactly,” Jeongguk glanced away, and again, Jimin felt the uncontrolled swirling of feelings not his own bubbling beneath everything. “You’d feel the hunger if you were a lust demon.”

“And how do you—”

“Because I would be able to feel your hunger.” Jeongguk’s eyes burned red. “Just like you can feel my stronger emotions.”

Jimin’s mouth dried out a bit, and he tried to process his newfound immortality(?) that was tied to Jeongguk(???).

“As far as I could guess, you’re probably closer to a wraith.” Yoongi stepped close to him, a hand rising to touch something protruding from his head. “And with that, you might have to kill humans to maintain your form. You may fade away in time anyway.” He glanced over at Jeongguk. “I’ll need to do some experiments.”

The demon only nodded, and Jimin listened with a detached sense of reality as they formulated plans to meet up two days from then, the new demon only snapping back to his body when Yoongi embraced him once more. He restrained the urge to cry again and bid both him and the disappointed Hoseok goodnight.

He wouldn’t look at Jeongguk even after they’d gone—couldn’t look at Jeongguk.

“How could you make that kind of sacrifice?”

The lust demon snorted. “You would be ungrateful that I got your body back.”

“You know that’s not how I’m feeling. You can’t say you don’t.”

“You’re scared,” Jeongguk took a step back, “and hopeless because you don’t know when this will end.”

“And you’re—tired.” The hunter crossed his arms. “So you should probably head home. It’ll probably be nice to have some time to yourself.”

Jeongguk’s eyes narrowed. “Is that what you think?”

“What I think is that you just tied your life to mine rather than take the easy way out.” Jimin grabbed for him, scowling when Jeongguk continued back-stepping. “I want to know why.”

Emotion flashed through the demon, Jimin grasping it before Jeongguk could shield, the lust demon glaring him down, daring him to identify it.

“You know why. You knew it before.”

A memory of his own played unbidden, Jimin either guided to it or coerced by Jeongguk, and he watched as human-him taunted Jeongguk about being lonely.

“It’s because we’re not done with each other, yet.” Jimin replied instead, offering Jeongguk his hand.

Jeongguk studied it as if his hand could bite him, before his eyes slid up to lock onto Jimin’s.

“If you’re immortal, too, we may never be done with each other.”

Tension hung in between them, waiting, heavy with all their potential futures hanging in the balance.

When Jeongguk took his hand, Jimin beamed at him, the smile contradicting the new telltale sharpness he felt in his mouth, and purred, “Well, I’m sure we can keep the sex interesting at least.”

The demon choked and the severity of the situation shattered. Whatever would come next, they were in it together, now—by choice.

“Now come on; I want to change out of these damn clothes.”

Jimin wheeled around to leave that damned park behind forever, but Jeongguk stopped him with a hand on his elbow.

“While we’re here, you might as well see the differences.”

Unable to think of a good reason to disagree, Jimin let the demon guide him over to the water one last time.

Staring down into the depths, he could see the single horn curling around his temple, and as Jeongguk stepped up beside him, wrapping an arm around his waist, both of their eyes glowed a bloody red in the reflection.

Twin arousal surged from them both as Jimin yanked his gaze from the water to his companion, tracing over the features that had grown as familiar to him as his own.

Jeongguk’s gaze burned through him, stilling any motions he might have dared attempted, though it felt like second nature to turn to face the real thing and say, “You think I can do the lubrication thing, too?”

A startled laugh left Jeongguk’s lips, and he murmured, “Well, only one way to find out.”

The arm around Jimin’s waist tightened and then the hunter felt the way the world parted for them, becoming a series of passages that they, smoke and dreams and sin, could slip through effortlessly. No screams; no brimstone.

Jimin traced their instant path to Jeongguk’s apartment, swearing he could see past trails of theirs lighting the way, but before he could look around with his new eyes, Jeongguk’s hands were on him.

His hands dipped down to Jimin’s clothed thighs, greedy as they groped the muscle. One of the good things about being a ghost: You don’t lose your muscle tone.

Then, hands closing around the backs of his knees, Jeongguk lifted him to pin him against the wall, his lips following after to kiss the very air from the hunter’s lungs. It would have astounded him had he not also felt the bolt of desire surging through them like an electrical current, burning as they pressed their bodies flush together.

Jeongguk’s tongue pushed past his lips to tangle with his own, and Jimin’s arms reluctantly wrapped up around the demon’s shoulders to help hold himself up. Reluctant because he wanted to touch and claw and bite, marking the demon so all his paramours would know that he answered to someone else.

Something hot and wet slid down Jimin’s thigh and he keened into the kiss, the sensation vivid on his skin, like a lover’s tongue.

Drawing back with a satisfied smirk, Jeongguk asked, “Eager, eh?”

Jimin clawed at his back, knowing his nails caught the skin even with the demon’s shirt in the way. “There’s something—wet.”

Expression changing, Jeongguk’s eyes darkening, he murmured, “Oh, really?”

“Yeah, it almost feels like…Shit, it’s the slick, isn’t it?”

“Rocket scientist Park Jimin.”

“Shut the fuck up,” he hissed, baring his teeth at the demon.

Jeongguk laughed, a sweet, thrilled sound, and then they were scrambling for the bed, the demon depositing him before yanking his simple, black t-shirt up over his head.

Eager to follow his lead and finally cast off the clothes he died in, Jimin flung his jacket to the floor and ripped off his tank top, jeans, and boxers—only remembering to kick off his boots when the last two got stuck on them.

Of course Jeongguk witnessed the entire fiasco and winked at him, but once they were both nude, there was nothing else to do but fall back together.

Leaning like he wanted to scoop him back up, Jeongguk nearly fell back onto the floor as Jimin rose to meet him, his hands sliding up over his shoulders appreciatively as their lips met again, the hunter biting sharply at his lip for access.

When he tasted blood, a wild sensation of pleasure rushed through him and he crowded closer, leaving Jeongguk to grip at his back for desperate leverage as their cocks brushed, sending twin, choked moans into each other’s mouths.

Jimin partially hoped to be taken up against the wall and let out a purr of encouragement when Jeongguk broke their kiss and lifted him back off the bed, arms straining as they lifted his weight back up against his body. The hunter let out an appreciative chuckle as Jeongguk pinned him back against the wall, his legs snaking around Jeongguk’s waist as his lips dipped to the lust demon’s neck.

“Does this also make me a lust demon?”

Jeongguk grunted as he carried him back over to the bare space of wall. “Only half, if I had to guess. You still don’t feel the hunger?”

“Kind of feel like I’ll die if you don’t hurry up, but that’s more your failings than mine.”

Before the lust demon could more than bristle a little, Jimin bit down, teeth sinking into Jeongguk’s shoulder, drawing a shuddering gasp from the demon.

“Impatient little slut…” he hissed as Jimin dragged his tongue over the bite mark, the hunter shifting, feeling the demon’s arousal pressing to his ass.

His nails dug into Jimin’s back as slick dripped down his cock, urging both of them forward, Jimin whispering, “I love when you pretend that I’m not your favorite lay.”

His teeth found and bit down over another spot, sharp teeth breaking the skin again, and Jeongguk’s moan left with several expletives, his head thunking back against the wall.

“I don’t know why I condemned myself to an eternity of this.”

“Liar,” Jimin breathed, placing a gentle kiss over his collarbones. “Just like you lied about this form.”

He felt Jeongguk tense underneath him, so Jimin’s hand dipped back to grab for the lust demon’s length, letting the head catch against his slick, dripping hole, not quite slipping it in.

“If you really didn’t want this, I would look different now, wouldn’t I? I’m half lust demon. But I still look like me. And you looked like this while talking to that will-o-wisp demon.”

Jeongguk snarled softly, but Jimin combated the rising emotion by rolling his hips down, finding the right angle to press the demon’s cock up into him, rough noises of pleasure leaving both of their lips.

“This is what you really look like, isn’t it?”

“Shut—shut up,” Jeongguk grit out, hands like vices on his hips.

“Or what? You’ll kill me?”

Jeongguk’s hips snapped up, driving the breath out of Jimin, the hunter’s voice peaking at an octave higher than normal while he moaned.

That set them both off; hands clutched at each other, Jeongguk setting a harsh pace, hips snapping up into Jimin, filling the air with their panting and the vulgar, wet squelches as he fucked the hunter. The slide was better than Jimin ever experienced, his hole hot and open and easy, and he clung desperately to Jeongguk’s shoulders for something to ground himself with.

“Who could ever want an eternity with you?” Jeongguk grit out, hands unforgiving on Jimin’s thighs.

Jimin leaned up, fighting against the thrusts that jolted his whole body, and whispered “you,” before drawing their lips into the softest kiss they’d ever shared. It didn’t match with the roughness or the urgency, but Jeongguk understood, with their stupid new bond, what it meant.

Not breaking the kiss, Jeongguk stepped away from the wall and took them over to the bed once more, grumbling, “I can’t get enough leverage with you as a dead weight.”

“Mm,” Jimin kissed the corner of his mouth, letting the demon lay him back on the covers that he’d yearned to feel for the eternity he’d been trapped in an intangible body.

Jeongguk’s hands planted themselves on either side of the hunter’s head and their lips met again as he thrusted back into Jimin, the kiss a wild tangle of lips as he proceeded to fuck him until they both came, and then some.

Jimin would roll with him, fucking him long into the artificial night. And despite the uncertainty of his future, despite Jeongguk being the very thing he hunted for sport, Jimin was here, Jimin was alive.

Jimin wasn’t done just yet.

He offered Jeongguk a wild smile after his second or third orgasm—who had time to count?—full of promises both filthy and sinful and maybe even a little bloody.

Who knew: Hunting might be more fun as a demon.

Jeongguk returned the smile, and while they didn’t interlace their fingers, didn’t soften their kisses or touches, the bond between them glowed white hot, coaxing them forward, into the future.

To each other.