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Wrap the night about you tight — Do not fear the dark.

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The clock hands of the big church shifted slowly, patiently counting the passing seconds while the city slept.  A little bit more, just a few moments more until the time was right. 5 seconds left until midnight, 4 seconds left, 3, 2, 1…

The sound of the church bells echoed through the city, long, hollow, and sad. Along with it, the city shuddered when the darkness seeped out from the city's core.

The witching hour was drawing closer.

Perching on top of a rooftop overlooking the city sat a figure, his single eye observed the city keenly, breathing in the corruption that festered inside the city’s heart, choking it in its poisonous grip. He closed his eye, hearing the distanced, pleas of his worshipers, of witches and warlocks trying to summon him, chanting his name over and over again like a prayer, nourishing him with their selfish desires and black hearts.

Slade…

Deathstroke...

Master...

The sound of his name lingered in the air like fog, and Slade opened his mouth, his tongue dragged over his dry bottom lip. He inhaled deeply, feeling a shiver going down his spine when his nose caught a distinct smell.

Innocence.

A white heart beating unsteadily among the calm rhythms of evil individuals, an apprehensive bird unaware of the type of territory it was encroaching. Shouldn’t little birds be sleeping right now, not awake at this time of day when evil was at its strongest, messing with power beyond their control?

The wind lapped greedily at his exposed skin, combing through his hair like a hungry lover, growling when he paid it no mind, flinging its claws at him, digging sharp nails into his armor, scratching him hatefully. Slade ignored it. He had something more important to focus on. The quickening beats, and if he listened hard enough, Slade could almost hear the hitched breaths. The soul itself felt… cornered. A little bird flapping desperate wings, locked inside a cage of hatred and anger, unable to embrace the dark like how every other awake being seemed to be at this hour.

Hatred… Sorrow… Darkness… Please, help…

The plea was so pure, lacking finesse, a tangled mess of emotions and desires mixing in hazardously, calling out to every dark creature out there, from the simple monster lurking beneath the stairs to higher beings like Slade himself.

The desperate call rippled through the air. So strong that it likely spread out over the whole region. Whoever was calling out was in despair; they had to be, if such an innocent heart was seeking out aid at a time like this. Such idiocy and bravery, to call for help while not knowing the very first thing about rituals, for it was too inexperienced, raw, and without direction. Such a creature was just begging to be captured and ruined.

Slade exhaled slowly, a smirk spread across his lips, feeling the air around him get excited. Ripped. Tore. Corrupted. Killed. Wanted. Wanted. Wanted. It cried out in his mind and Slade made his decision.

He would seek this white heart out and make it his.

The only annoyance was that he wasn't the only that had heard the pure-heart cry out. In the back of his mind, Slade could hear other beings turning their attention towards the frantic desperation. They were all rearing their heads and clambering to pounce, to feel, to consume.

That wouldn't do. Lowly creatures wouldn't get their greedy hands on this one.

Slade pushed himself off of the current roof and landed smoothly on another one before repeating the process, making his way to the edge of city where the houses got gradually smaller. With one last flip, Slade landed soundlessly at the edge of the forest, observing the thick copse of trees. How amusing. Hiding away from the rest of civilisation screamed just how new this caster was. To flee from other humans to hide the use of magic was so amateur.

The pure heart was close now. The pounding echoed in Slade's ears as he slunk through the trees. He could taste it now too, the heady magic wrapping around him and tempting him closer and closer. His mouth watered, eager to meet this little bird.

He pushed through low hanging branches until he saw the faint glow of candles. With another step he saw the outline of the caster, his lithe body illuminated by the flickering of flames.

This close Slade could hear them chanting- could hear him chanting. His words stumbled and were off key, his breath hitching around the words as if it had never uttered a chant before. So intriguing.

There were other shadows lingering around the edge of the circle, waiting for the chant to end, waiting for the right moment to reveal themselves. Foolish beings, thinking that this would go unnoticed by him. He growled, low in his chest and threatening. This was his quarry. Whoever dare say otherwise would have to face him.

The wind howled at his expense, knocking one of the candles over and causing darkness to spill into the clearing. There were a few shadows that writhed and darted forward, trying to get the slightest taste of the white heart that was slowly being tainted with every utterance that came from the mortal. Slade couldn't believe the audacity that came from them. How dare such low beings ignore his claim? He growled again, louder, even more commanding this time and a candle flame dies as a shadow retreats from it, while another was whipped away from the circle and into a tree.

This time the other beings shrieked and retreated back to the abyss from which they came, the wind picking up and howling as they pull away.

The chanting stopped as the caster ducked down, hiding his face from the dust and fallen leaves kicked up by the gust of wind. He stood still, his chest heaving and the pounding became even more flighty than before. The little bird inside his chest knew that Slade was lurking around the edges, even if the caster himself did not yet.

The caster lifted his head when the wind died down, the last of the lowly beings having pulled away under Slade's will. "H-hello?" He looked around, spinning and almost knocking another one of the candles down. His blue eyes, wide and still bright with the touch of innocence, flicked around, like prey not yet realizing that it was already within the predator's clutch.

"Hello," Slade echoed the word smoothly, still blending perfectly with the darkness, observing the little bird as he whipped his head around, trying to identify where the source of the noise was coming from. He would fail in his task as Slade had not permitted his prey to feel his presence yet. While the caster was still nervously searching, Slade took the time to study him. He was young, not a boy, but barely a man, just passing that blurred line that separated a boy from a man, and it showed in the almost slender slope of his shoulders, the last bits of innocent charm touching the corners of his lips and the endearing curls of his raven hair at the nape of his neck. That was the end of the childishness though, for the sharp jawline decorated with the faintest dusting of stubble and the way his limbs had lost all gangly awkwardness spoke of a mature human.

Deciding that he had taken enough time, Slade stepped out from the shadow, silently appraising the way the young man flinched in shock. The shadows of the tree casted by the bright moon masked Slade's own shadow, a monstrous form of sharp claws and even sharper teeth. Stopping in front of the man, just shying away from invading his personal space, Slade allowed an eerie smile to cross his feature, his single eye almost glowing. "You called?"

To the young man's credit, he did not start running away from Slade. He did, however, stumble backward, knocking over the burnt out candle balanced cautiously on a large rock. He winced when his hand upset the sacrificial plate, causing the bowl of blood, the little dishes of rice, and herbs, the small bottle of milk to crash unceremoniously on the ground. The only offering still remaining was a little bird spread on the stone with a pair of scissors stabbed through its heart.

Slade let out a low chuckle and reached out a hand to catch the candle before it could fall but let the meager offerings tip over, eyeing it with an amused smile. "Careful now, kid, we don't want to start a witch trial early, do we? Being burnt alive is one of the most painful ways to die, don't you know?" He said, placing the candle back on the rock. "Well, well, well, what's a little birdie like you doing here at this hour of the night? Didn't your parents teach you that being alone right now is very dangerous?" He let the words curl softly, flashing yet another smile.

To Slade's endless amusement, the young man actually looked angry at that. There was defiance and fire entering his eyes, and he squared his shoulders, clenching his hands to hide the minutely tremors. "I-I summoned you. Now you have to do my bidding." He spoke, completely ignorant of who was standing in front of him. It was equally endearing as it was insulting. To think, someone thought they could summon Slade and make him do their bidding. No, people begged for Slade and if he was merciful enough, he might appear and grant them something. There was no such thing as a mere human being commanding him.

Still, Slade thought dryly, it was indeed a summoning ritual, and here he was, answering the plea. He supposed he ought to do the young man's 'bidding'.

"How may I be of assistance then, Master?" Slade asked mockingly.

There was almost something infinitely more exciting about the mortal's ignorance. If only he knew that Slade need nought but to lift a finger and his miserable existence would be wiped off of this earth with the barest of traces. Nothing left behind but a summoning circle and a dark red smear.

The young man gulped, his Adam's apple bobbing enticingly as he looked up directly into Slade's lone eye. "Y-you're going to help me."

"Oh really?" Slade drawled out, arching an eyebrow. He had to say that he was very interested to see what this young man actually had to offer, why such a pure hearted soul would turn to the dark arts so willingly.

“Someone wronged me." The young man blurted out, his fists clenching so hard that Slade could smell the slightest hint of blood. "And you're going to help me make him pay."

The corner of Slade's mouth curled up in mirth, a low chuckle rumbling up from his chest. "And why do you require my assistance for that?"

The young man's bright eyes flicked away, staring down at the unlit candle that Slade had placed back on the rock. Ah, there is was. There was that innocence, that hesitation hidden just under the surface of desperation, that white heart that called out and pleaded for a being such as Slade to heed its call.

"I don't..." A pink tongue slipped out and wet trembling lips. "I don't know where he is."

Slade leaned forward, excitement growing inside of him as the young man's breath hitched, struggling to stand his ground under Slade's attention. "You believe that I can find him for you?"

"I called for those that could help me find him. You answered, didn't you?" came the naive question.

"And what prompts you to think you can make me do anything?" Slade smirked.  

Blue eyes blinked at him in innocent confusion. "B-But I summoned you. You have to do my bidding now...right?" Oh how innocent he was. He wasn't even sure of his own information. While it was true that usual summoning spells for low level creatures would mean he was their master, Slade had decided to come here on his own. The young man had no such power over him.

"Well, Master..." Slade dragged the word out again, and the young man twitched, apparently knew when he was mocked, "Do I look like the monster under your bed?" He asked, the rhetorical question left unanswered in the air. Slade pursed his lips and decided to change the subject. "What’s your name?" Slade thought he would like to know the name of the person whom he was going to corrupt. A name to go with such a white heart and pretty face.

"Um..." The young man hesitated. "John. John... Um... John Son." The young man answered quickly, his eyes shifted around like a helpless mouse beneath the claws of a cat.

"Tsk, tsk, lying is a sin. Especially when you lie so poorly," Slade smirked. "Now, a real name please? Don't worry, 'John Son', I'm not low enough to use it against you." Slade inwardly grinned. Well, not low enough currently anyway. Who knew what Slade might have of use for such a pretty man's real name? Perhaps he could have turned him into a slave, completely helpless and enthralled to Slade's power.

...No, that would be boring. Slade had enough people for that task.

"Dick..." The young man finally mumbled, cheeks flushed with the embarrassment when he was called out for his little lie. "Dick... Grayson." He muttered under his breath as if he was hoping that the words would be lost in the wind.

"Dick," Slade tried the name, letting it roll on his tongue the way his followers usually prayed his, stalking closer to Grayson. He was rewarded with a full body shudder and another cautious step backward. "A pleasure." He purred, pulling away. "I can do many things very easily..." He started circling Dick, letting his power drape across the poor thing's too innocent heart, gently stroking his soul, cooing comforting words. "Make this person pay..." Slade's low voice rumbled near Dick's ear. "Is that what you desire, Master? I could string everyone they care for up. Maybe even make them watch. When I'm done with them, I can burn the house down so you can hear them scream in agony." Slade stopped behind Dick and wrapped both arms around him, breathing in his ear.

"Bind yourself to me, Master. And I shall be yours."

Dick tilted his head to the side, trying to move away from Slade's mouth. As if such minute distance would make a difference. "You don't need to do all of that."

"Then what do you wish for me to do?" There were mortals in the past that jumped at the opportunity to bind a contract with Slade. Some that knew exactly who he was, and others that were only interested in the power that he could have. He couldn't recall if he'd ever come across someone who summoned him that didn't want to use the full extent of his powers, but, then again, Slade supposed that Dick wasn't really like any of the people that had called for him before.

Even now, Slade could still hear their voices chanting his name, but it would all be in vain. Slade found a much more appealing person to entertain himself with.

Dick wriggled in Slade's arm, taking advantage of the loose grip and actually slipping down and out of the embrace that Slade had pulled him into. He turned back around, his eyes narrowed. "I want to know what this contract is. I'm not agreeing to anything until I know."

He wasn’t agreeing blindly to this. That much Slade could really appreciate. Not just like any other mortal running headfirst into just about anything that Slade offered them. Dick had been so nervous, his heart still pulsating quickly inside his chest. "You said you wish for me to help you with this man that wronged you, and I said that I would. Is that not enough?" Slade asked with a grin. He kept his distance, even as Dick took a step back again.

"No... It's not-" Dick shook his head, stepping to the side to pick the tome up again. "I didn't... I didn't call you."

"And yet, here I am." Slade held out his arms to the side and he slowly turned in a tight circle. "Do I not please you, Master?"

"Stop-" Gritting his teeth, Dick started flipping through the tome. "Stop calling me that."

"Isn't that what you wanted?" Slade asked. How fickle the mind could be. Although Slade supposed that that's what happened when one with a near complete pure heart was encountered with one of his kind. It was a good idea at first, right up until they actually had to face that which they had summoned.

 Dick lowered his head, his bangs hanging in front of his eyes, blocking Slade's view of them. It was the first time Dick deliberately broke eye contact with him. "I don't want a contract. I just needed someone to do my bidding."

"Didn't I say that I would do that?" By the way that Dick was flipping through the tome, he clearly stopped paying attention to Slade. With a scowl, Slade flicked his wrist, making the tome slam shut with such force that it fell out of Dick's hands. "Why do you hesitate?" He hissed out lowly. "I am here now, aren't I? Would you waste such an opportunity? Would you squander away your chance to rid yourself of this man simply because things didn't go the way that you wished?"

"No!" Dick shouted. He finally looked up at Slade again, his eyes wide and a frantic sheen to them. "No... I don't want that."

Slade smiled and held out his hand. "Just say yes, Dick Grayson. It's that simple."

Dick swallowed, opened his mouth to speak but closed it again with a snap. Slade could see his Adams apple bob with whatever word that he wanted to say. He turned toward the little offerings on the stone slab, his eyes lingered on the tome. "Fine," Dick whispered, reaching out to clasp their hands together in a quick but unmistakable handshake. "T-There." His voice tripped, clumsy like he didn't know how to say it. "There." Dick repeated softly. "I don't even know your name..." His voice trailed off, and an expression that looked like regret was on his face again.

"A little bit too late for that, don't you think? You should have asked sooner." Slade chuckled darkly. "I go by many names, but you may call me Slade." He said smoothly, lips quirking up dangerously as his hand snapped out and caught Dick's wrist in a vice grip, tugging him forward harshly.

Dick obeyed with a yelp, struggling to pull away in a futile attempt against Slade's inhuman strength. "What are you doing?!" He cried out in alarm, gasping when Slade suddenly pressed their lips together firmly, without hesitance. Another muffled protest on Dick's lips was silenced when Slade shifted his grip and his hand was wrapping around Dick's waist now, holding him close. He pulled away just slightly, allowing his breath to caress Dick's skin seductively. "Oh but don't you know? Sealing a contract with a kiss is how it's done nowadays." He whispered, their lips ghosting against each other with each word.

"Really?" Dick whispered, looking breathless. "I...I don't know how to kiss a man..." He said, looking suddenly shy. Oh but that was right, such a relationship was looked down in a human world, wasn't it? Such a perfect way to sin.

"I will teach you, Master." Slade's lips curled and they were kissing again, with Dick moving against his lips clumsily, timid from exploring something so forbidden and dirty. Slade had patience though and he gently coaxed Dick to open his mouth, sliding his tongue inside, licking the roof of his mouth, sucking on his tongue, nibbling on his bottom lip.

A harder bite earned a startled yelp from Dick and a burst of metallic flavor coated Slade's tongue, making him heady with the high of such pure blood. Dick was struggling in his grip now, the high of kissing giving way to the fear and the pain. However, Slade wasn't done yet. He bit down on his own bottom lip and resumed the kiss, trying to feed Dick as much blood as he could before Dick clamped down again.

When he was sure that Dick had swallowed at least some of his blood, Slade allowed Dick to push him away, touching his bloody lips while Slade wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "What the hell was that for?" Dick asked angrily.

"An exchange of blood to complete the contract, of course. What else do you expect?" Slade smirked, dragging his eyes downward. "Oh, are you excited?" He purred, licking his own lip, lapping at the healing gash until the taste of blood was gone. "Mnm, it's alright, kid, excitement is normal." He said, taking a step back. "Are you ready now?"

Dick licked at his lip, wincing ever so slightly and Slade focused on the tip of his tongue, stained red before it retreated back into Dick's mouth. "Ready? To go right now?"

Slade scoffed and he walked over to the stone once more. His mouth curled down as he looked at the offerings strewn on the ground, leaving only the tiny bird. He picked it up, moving the scissor side to side to pry it out of the tiny body. There was a squelching sound as he finally pulled it out and Slade chuckled lowly when he heard Dick trying to hold back a retch. For all of his bravado, Dick was still just an amateur.

Tossing the scissors onto the ground, Slade dug his fingers into the little bird and pulled out its heart. He held it up so Dick could see. "You kind of ruined it with your imprecise killing blow, but it's serviceable, I suppose." He popped the heart into his mouth and chewed it.

Slade felt around, trying to find if there was another organ he could munch on. It was just that the bird was so small. It would hardly even provide a snack for Slade. All it would do was leave the faint taste of blood. If only Dick had managed to kill a slightly larger bird, that would've been much better.

"Yes, right now. Would you prefer to wait? That's definitely not why you called me, kid." Slade dropped the body of the little bird onto the ground, making a point of stepping on it, the tiny bones cracking and snapping under his foot, as he moved towards Dick. "Do you want to wait?"

Dick's eyes flicked between Slade and the crushed bird. "N-no. I don't want to wait. I've waited too long."

"Then tell me the name of this person that did you wrong," Slade said.

"His name is... Z-Zucco. Tony Zucco." Just by saying the man's name, Dick's shoulder relaxed. The name held a lot of weight for him. It made Slade slightly curious about what had truly happened, but that wasn't a question for now.

"Do you have something of him or related to how he wronged you? It will make him infinitely easier to track." Slade could find a mortal just by their name, but it would take longer.

Dick's shoulders dropped. "No... I... I don't have anything to give you right now." He said, letting out a heavy breath. "What kind of 'something' are you looking for?" He asked, rubbing his hands to his pants, his fingers twitched as he fidgeted on the spot, torn between saying something and saying nothing at all.

Slade let out a frustrated sigh. "Do you know nothing of this, kid?" He asked, pursing his lips in annoyance. "Anything will do. Something that has a connection to this person that you seek." He said, "Your pet cat's rotting corpse, your first born, something that has a connection to him so I can follow that connection back. I can do this without the connection, but I think you want this done sooner rather than later, don't you?" He added.

"The...The cemetery." Dick said quietly, looking pale and shaking again. The corners of his eyes tightened and he adopted that angry look that pulled Slade to him the first time again. That little hint of darkness was so small, just lurking beneath the surface but oh, Slade couldn't wait to nurture it. It made him giddy with the possibility.

"Tell me which one and I'll take us there." He said finally, gripping Dick's shoulder to guide him. "Oh kid, you won't regret this. I certainly won't." He whispered to Dick's ear, making him shudder and try to turn around to look at Slade but Slade was shushing him again, using the opportunity to brush yet another feather light kiss to the back of Dick's neck. With Slade's blood already in Dick's veins, it should not take long for the corruption to take root.

Dick would make such beautiful art.

No, Dick Grayson was already beautiful art. Slade would just make that beauty shine in his own image.



Dick cupped the grave dirt between his fingers like it was something precious. "They are my parents', Zucco..." The corners of his mouth tightened, hatred entering his blue eyes. "Zucco murdered them." He said at last, dropping the dirt on Slade's outstretched palm. "He deserves to die. They were..." A sharp exhalation. "They were good people, and he killed them," He said angrily, gritting his teeth. "Make him suffer. I don't care how..." His mouth closed with a click and he placed a hand over it only to realize it was still dirty. With a frustrated sound, Dick dropped it, pacing back and forth like a caged animal. "Make him suffer."

It was a struggle for Slade to keep himself in check. Watching Dick pace, speaking so vehemently, and asking Slade for suffering was utterly intoxicating. If Slade were a lesser being, or even a younger being, this was the moment where he would've have jumped on Dick. Take all of the rage and pain and anguish and pull it all together, twist it, shift those raw emotions into heady pleasure.

He could feel his teeth lengthening in his mouth and his hands itched. It had been a very long time since Slade was even on the brink of losing control like this. How could he have known that it would come to this? That Dick would so easily shift from being frightened prey to a stalking predator.

Slade cupped the grave dirt in his hand, curling his fingers around it to keep it from slipping away. "We can make him suffer. Together."

Dick's eyes snapped up to him and he stopped his pacing, one foot hovering off of the ground. "Together?"

"Yes," Slade hissed. He moved in closer to Dick, standing off to the side and started to circle towards his back. Slade leaned in and Dick shuddered, his body trembling when Slade leaned in close to his ear. "I can make him suffer easily, but would you be content with that? Are you sure you don't want to make him suffer too?"

A soft gasp slipped from Dick's lips and he leaned back, resting his shoulders against Slade's chest. "Me?"

"I can trap him. Make sure he doesn't get away and together we can make him suffer. Why watch when you can join? Show him exactly just how his selfish actions have made you feel." Slade let his lips brush against the shell of Dick's ear and it earned him a broken moan. His eye fluttered shut just thinking of the possibilities of what he could do with Dick when he was in such a state.

Already, Slade was thanking Zucco for what he had done. Dick never would have resorted to dark magic otherwise.  That would've been a true shame. He had so many devoted followers and people sacrificing left and right, vying for his attention, but none had drawn Slade in like Dick.

"You mean... Kill him? Me?" The harshness of Dick's voice was starting to leave him, his white heart flaring up in an attempt to keep itself from being corrupted even further, struggling under the influence of the contract and Slade's blood inside of him. The valiant effort was admirable. Slade had seen more than enough people who crumbled easily. But Dick... Dick was resilient even if he didn't know it.

"I can help you. Guide you to prolong the suffering, prolong the pain." Slade reached around with his free hand and he let it slide over Dick's side and rest over Dick's bellybutton.

Dick's body shuddered again, even as he reached down to grab onto Slade's forearm. "N-no... Slade. I summoned you to do it for me."

He ignored Dick and began rubbing his thumb over Dick's shirt, only applying the lightest pressure so it would feel like a gentle tickle. "Going through the abdomen is a very effective way to hurt without killing someone. It takes them a long time to bleed out."

"Sl-Sla-" Dick's words died as Slade started moving his hand down. He let his fingers stray for a split second before he dipped his hand down to Dick's right leg.

 "There are a few places that you want to avoid. Like here..." Slade squeezed Dick's thigh and smirked when Dick's protestations died completely and he fully leaned back against Slade. He could smell the sweet scent of arousal in the air. As tempting as it was to move his hand to the left, Slade moved his hand up instead. He rested his hand over Dick's throat. "Or here."

It would be very easy to kill Dick right now, just a fraction of his strength would be enough to crush Dick's windpipe and a few more moments to watch the light die from Dick's blue eyes. It was a wonderful feeling to have someone so trusting that they were baring your throat to you. Slade couldn't resist squeezing slightly, feeling Dick gulp, the motion rubbed deliciously against his palm and Slade wanted to chase it with his tongue or his teeth. Not yet. Not yet. As much as Slade warred between wanting to take Dick and wanting to take his life right now, neither was a viable option.

 He pulled away.

 The unmistakable disappointment in Dick's eyes made Slade smirk.

 "Let me show you how it's done," Slade said at last. "In a world where the dark exploits every weakness, you are going to get yourself killed, and I don't want that," Unless it's by my hand, Slade added in his mind, placing his hands behind his back. "Let me show you how to properly do a ritual." He smirked, "The rush of power. That lick of darkness at the edge of your vision. Relish in how enjoyable it is, how beautifully it curls around you. Like a lover's caress." There was a pause before Slade huffed out a small laugh. "Do not fear the dark, but welcome its embrace."

"T-The proper way?" Dick asked, his voice wavered. "If it hadn't been proper, it the summoning wouldn't have worked, right?" He asked, ignorance colored his tone like he couldn't believe that he had done something wrong. "I did... A blood sacrifice and prepared all the things the ritual requires," He said uncertainly.

Slade dipped his shoulders. "And that's where you are wrong, kid. A ritual is never just a ritual. It's an art. You were lucky you caught my attention. The other beasts would have torn you apart without any regrets. Tell me, do you know why you have to give an offering? Why something so insignificant such as a bath before a ritual? Why milk? Rice? Herbs? Sigils? Chants?" He asked, lips tilting up in amusement.

Silence answered him.

"I can teach you that and more. Come along with me now, kid, and I will show you a new side of this world you can only dream of." Slade offered up his hand again for the third time that night. The first handshake, the trusting grip when Dick allowed Slade to take him to the cemetery and now... this. Third time was the charm after all. A third connection between them to mark the slow corruption of that white, pure soul.

Dick swallowed and reached out.

Slade glanced at the direction of the church. Time was rapidly running out. Slade would very much like to sink his claws into this innocent creature while the darkness was still at his command. Even more preferably when he was at his absolute strongest. They had the time if he played his cards right. He curled his fingers around Dick's hand, giving him a predatory grin. "You won't regret this, Master."

"I already have."


 

The bath was fun. Slade spent the entire time watching Dick with a poorly concealed smirk on his face as the other squirmed and flushed bright red, trying to focus on scrubbing his body clean instead of Slade's heavy gaze on him. "Why do I have to take a bath..." Dick had asked, staring straight ahead at the water swirling in hypnotic pattern like he could pretend he wasn't less than a foot away from Slade, naked. "Is this really necessary?"

"Of course, you have to respect the being you are trying to summon. A clean body is a sign of respect. Plus, it's not just water and you know it." Slade intercepted easily, slipping a hand into the warm water, inhaling the aromatic smell of herbs and oil. "Your body is an offering in and of itself. Treat it with care." He said, reaching over to trace down from the hairline at the back of Dick's neck all the way to where the water lapped at his skin. "You missed a spot." He purred, drinking in the sight and the delicious little squeak Dick let out.

It was amusing to watch Dick after that. He started cleaning himself quite a bit faster compared to before, like he'd actually been embarrassed by what Slade had done, but Dick never said anything. Just the little squeak and a darker flush on his cheeks than previously. A flush that wasn't just the result of the bath anymore. Slade decided to turn his back as Dick got dressed, the young man acting jumpier than before. Funny how his reactions were so different depending on the situation.

"I'm ready," Dick said after a few minutes and Slade turned back to him.

Dick was clean now and mostly dry, except for a few drops of water stubbornly hanging from the tips of his hair. "Good. Let's continue."

After that came the ritual circle and the chants. They return to the clearing from before and Slade enjoyed it too much when he held Dick's hand while he drew the circle, keeping it steady while Dick's breathing hitched with every softly spoken word in his ear. "Steady hand now, kid. If the circle isn't properly drawn, the ritual doesn't work at all or... worse, it does, it just draws in the wrong kind of attention." The look on Dick's face told Slade that yes, he was well aware that Slade was that wrong kind of attention. However, Slade had a feeling Dick probably didn't mind it all that much when Slade taught him how to chant, prying his lips open and watching him pant out the words, cheeks flushed and eyes dilated. It had been such a pity when Dick finally pronounced the words without stuttering. Slade had been enjoying it, too.

With the circle and chant completed, there was only one thing left; the sacrifice. The sheep had been easy enough to find, the animal beautiful with pristine white coat and carrying a youth inside. Slade conveniently failed to mention it to Dick though. He got the impression that if Dick knew the ritual was meant to offer the mother and her offspring, he would hesitate. Humans were such funny creatures that way. Killing humans for vengeance was acceptable, but killing an expecting mother of any sort made most hesitant. "This is where you will want to kill her. It guarantees a quick death and when you do ritual that requires a large amount of blood, the jugular is perfect to get it fast." Slade instructed, placing Dick's hand on the sheep's neck. "Feel her heart beating beneath her skin? Blood pumping, she's so alive right now. So strong." Slade's eye lit up, almost gleefully when Dick tried to jerk his hand back but the grip prevented him from doing so.

Far away, the church bells mourned again, three hollow sounds that rang loud and clear all the way to the clearing. 3 A.M. The Devil's Hour.

"Do it." Slade ordered, pressing the ritual weapon into Dick's hand before pulling away.

Dick's hands were trembling as he clutched the knife. Simple scissors would not suffice this time. Slade had given a ritual knife to Dick, an old token that he had once received from a devout follower. It was a sleek knife, the blade inwardly curved and the hilt made of dark wood with inlays. It was a beautiful and lethal weapon, but in Dick's hands it was currently as dangerous to himself as it was to others.

Slade stood behind Dick, wrapping his arms around the lithe mortal and gently massaging his wrists. "The blade is not only a tool. It's the extension of you and your will." The tremble lessened slightly, but the tight grip that Dick still had on the blade wasn't relaxing at all. "You want to relax."

"Re-relax? How can I do that?" Dick asked Slade, his voice pitched higher than usual. It wasn't so much fear as it was apprehension at this point. It was one thing to kill a small bird, but this was different.

"If you aren't, you might miss your target. Don't you want a quick and clean death for her?" Slade looked over Dick's shoulder at the sheep standing calmly inside of the ritual circle. The unnatural calmness of the flighty animal was Slade's doing. He didn't want Dick to get hyped up in the wrong way. That would need to be kept for their intended target.

"No. I don't," Dick said, his voice steadier, but still with the anxious tone behind it.

Slade pulled away. He took a step to the side and kept one hand on Dick's wrist while he placed the other on Dick's lower back, prompting another delicious shudder. Even through Dick's anxiousness, he was still reacting to Slade's touches. "I told you the best method for a bloody sacrifice. Now it's up to you to undertake it."

Dick closed his eyes and started taking a few deep breaths. The trembling slowly dissipated into barely a twitch and Dick's hands unclenched.

"Yes, that's very good," Slade whispered. He started rubbing Dick's back, moving his hand lower. His hand stopped just above the swell of Dick's ass and it pulled a breathy gasp from Dick. "One strike is all you need." Slade made a point of pressing down hard on Dick's wrist and lower back before he pulled his hands away, wanting the impression of his touch to still linger.

Taking a step forward, Dick held the knife by the sheep's neck, just like Slade had told him to. He stood in front of the docile sheep, one hand released the vice grip on the blade handle to gently run a hand through her hair, stroking softly. "I'm sorry..." Dick whispered, closing his eyes. He positioned the knife again, the grip slippery with sweat. With a sharp inhale Dick thrust the blade into the sheep, deep into the jugular vein, just as instructed. The pain broke Slade's influence over the animal and its nostrils flared before it reared back and started flailing. The sudden movement almost made Dick let go of the blade, slicked with sweat, still embedded in the animal.

"Push her down and pull the knife out. Let her bleed," Slade instructed, circling around the ritual circle. He watched Dick fumbled, eventually using one hand to hold the sheep in place and the other to pull out the knife. The sheep collapsed and writhed as its blood spurted from its neck.

 Dick was doing admirable well, even though his eyes were screwed shut and he was biting down on his lip. His arms were held rigidly as his side and his shoulders were hiked up. It wasn't until the sheep finally stopped moving that Dick's body sagged.

Blood from the dead animal spread on the ground, overlapping the chalk circle, moving sluggishly outward. Slade waited until it had erased the chalk before stepping inside, his hand eased the knife from Dick's tightly clutched grip. Blood from the dying animal coated Dick's fingers and when Dick moved to wipe the tears that had rolled down his cheek, the blood smeared a bloody streak across his damp cheek. "I killed her..." Dick whispered, staring down at the sheep, face pallid.

"You did. You did well." Slade complimented, supporting Dick's weight. "It felt good, didn't it? The rush of power over holding someone's life in your hand," He whispered, making Dick open his eyes and stared at Slade in shock.

"How could you say that...? I killed her in cold blood." Dick whispered, his body shook. "I killed another being in cold blood... For nothing..."

"Didn't you feel it? That rush of adrenaline?" Slade interrupted smoothly. "The heat spreading downward until you toes curl and you want more? He cooed, placing a steady hand on Dick's shoulder. "Don't you think that's something you could get used to? You're denying yourself something wonderful otherwise," Slade said, crowding up in Dick's personal space. He pointed at Dick's chest. "You liked it, a part of you even loved it. The darkness inside of you is why I came to seek you out," Slade lied smoothly. Now wasn't the time to tell Dick that he'd really become of his interest in Dick's innocent heart. Perhaps there would never be a time.

Slade turned Dick around and gently guided him out of the circle, a hand placed possessively on his lower back. For once, Dick seemed to take comfort in the grounding presence. "You have done well, it's time for me to take you home. When I find Zucco, I will seek you out. And then..." His lips brushed against the shell of Dick's ear. "Then, I'll let you have fun again.

"F-fun?" Dick asked. His voice still wavered, but his body was already starting to relax even more because of Slade's hand resting on his lower back. What just a few hours with someone could do.

Slade held back a smile. "Yes, fun." But first he'd actually have to find Zucco. With Dick's sacrifice and the components, it likely wouldn't take long to find the man that Dick was looking for. As long as he hadn't decided to move to the other side of the world. However, Slade doubted that. He covered Dick's eyes with his free hand and blinked. When his eyes opened again, they were standing inside of Dick's bedroom.

The bath off in the other room hadn't been emptied from before the ritual. Slade had been a little too eager to actually have Dick perform the sacrifice, so he'd whisked them away to obtain the sheep and get the ball rolling.

Dick became unsteady and Slade moved him to sit down on the bed. Mortals never seemed to get used to teleportation.

"I'm going to find Zucco and return in a little while. So relax for now, kid," Slade said, already pulling away.

Dick's hand snapped out and he grabbed onto Slade's wrist. "What do you mean a little while? I thought the ritual meant you could go find him right now."

"I am going to find him right now. How long it'll take me, I don't know."

Dick's mouth curled back into a frown. "But you will find him, right? I didn't...I didn't kill that sheep for nothing."

Slade patted Dick's forearm and pulled the young human's hand from his wrist. "I'll find him. It's just a matter of time," he promised.


 

It was an easy task finding Tony Zucco. He had not moved far. Slade had spent some time observing Zucco but was immediately bored by the man's unremarkable greed and cruelty. It wasn't even original. If he had wanted someone with such cruelty, there were followers of his that would provide better entertainment. Oh no, an already dark heart wasn't what Slade was interested in. Not currently anyway. He also had another perfect target he'd rather watch. A certain trapped little birdie.

Slade supposed it was cruel of him not to appear immediately once he had obtained the information. Technically, he was still acting according to the contract. He never did say how soon he would tell Dick of his findings. So, Slade opted to watch instead. Informing Dick of his parents' murderer could wait for a little while longer.

There was a time and place for everything.

Besides, Slade liked watching Dick. There was a different kind of frantic energy about him now. Anticipation and impatience mostly. He jumped at every sound and stayed inside his house for the day, alternating between flipping through the tome he'd used to summon Slade and pacing around. It was surprising that Dick hadn't vibrated out of his skin. That was how much nervous energy he was giving off.

Slade would've been content to watch Dick for hours, or even days on end, but he did have his side of the contract to fulfill. After that was finished, perhaps they could move on to bigger and better things. Much better things.

How could Zucco ever be more interesting than this? Watching Dick and his white heart that was slowly being swallowed up by darkness and corruption. The heart that Slade had been drawn to.  

Except Dick was so much more than a corruptible pure heart. No, Slade remembered the way that Dick reacted to his touch. The way that he almost melted into Slade's arms even when he was uncertain. He promised Dick that he would teach him new things and Slade would. He would teach him so many things if he had his way.

For now, he was going to have to settle for completely their contract first.

As soon as most of the lights in the other houses went out, Slade appeared in Dick's room. The mortal had gone to sleep as well, but it wasn't a peaceful one. Slade walked over to Dick's bed and watched him sleep, his brows furrowed and the constant shifting in his bed. Even when he was asleep, Dick was still restless. How very human of him.

With one look Slade could tell that, while the darkness in his heart had spread, it had only gone to a certain point. Even with his blood inside of Dick it had slowed down to a near halt. Even after only a few days. It was commendable how strong Dick's heart was, but it would lose in the end. That was its ultimate fate and no matter how much it struggled, there was only going to be one outcome.

Slade got onto the bed, hovering over Dick, who kept sleeping. He bracketed Dick with his arms and legs and leaned in closer. He could think of a way to see how his mark had left an impression on Dick. How his advances and promises had wormed their way into Dick's mind. Slade reached down and trailed a finger along the side of Dick's exposed neck.

He was pleased when just a simple touch elicited a full body shudder from his Master. 'Very sensitive,' Slade thought, pleased, when just a single movement prompted a full body shudder from his 'Master'. Weak tendrils of darkness curled around Slade's finger and broke off when he pulled his hand away. He stared down at Dick, debating on what he should do to have some fun. Finally, he allowed his index to coax in a thin layer of his power, the same type of spell that had kept the sheep docile but not enough of it to keep Dick fully unresponsive to his surroundings, just enough for a dull mind. "Wake up, kid," Slade whispered softly in Dick's ear, nibbling on his earlobe.

Hazy blue eyes opened dazedly, blinking at the sight of Slade looming over him. His face was tilted to the side to expose his neck, and he groaned sweetly, bucking his hips when Slade bent down to lick a stripe up Dick's neck and nibbled on his jawline. His sleepy eyes rolled up slightly while he fought weakly for control, catching sight of his own bedroom. "Slade... Is this a dream...?" Dick managed, his hand combed through Slade's hair and gripped the white locks.

"Yes." Slade lied easily, holding Dick's chin in a firm but gentle grip, making him look into Slade's eye, "There's nothing wrong with dreaming of us being together. A fantasy isn't wrong." Slade soothed in a low rumble, his hand gripped Dick's hip and lined up their bodies, guiding Dick into a steady rocking motion. "Tell me what you want," Slade commanded.

"Slade... Please... Don't stop..." Dick obeyed, and the obedience tasted sweet, so sweet, in fact, that Slade nearly broke his spell to let Dick know this wasn't a dream. And tell Dick he had given in to Slade in his waking moment, dazed, but awake. "Please... Slade..." Dick begged softly, a broken noise when Slade tightened his grip enough to leave behind a bruise, one Slade knew he would have to heal if he wanted Dick to remain ignorant of his intrusion.

"Good boy," Slade complimented, earning him yet another delectable noise when Dick keened. "Good boys get rewards." Slade whispered, pressing their lips together, licking eagerly into Dick's mouth while Dick submitted beneath him, spreading his legs and letting Slade do whatever he wanted. Their kiss was harsh, with Slade ravaging Dick's mouth and rubbing a knee along Dick's member until Dick couldn't even speak anymore, just a string of unintelligent, animal noises.

Slade purred, biting down lightly on Dick's earlobe and gave it a small tug, licking along the shell of his ear. "You are so innocent, little Master. Little bird. Didn't you know? The best sacrifice is the sacrifice of your own body." Slade said, pinning both of Dick's wrists down above his head, nuzzling into his armpit. "Is your body my gift tonight?" Slade hissed, purring.

"Yes! Yes it's yours!" Dick sobbed, aching for relief. "Please! Take my body!"

Maybe a moment of contemplation on Slade's part instead of pull away right after? Slade pulled away, channeling a little bit of his power to heal the small bruise on Dick's hips. "Not yet, kid. You are almost there. But not yet." He kissed Dick's forehead, almost tenderly, a mockery of a lover's affection before he sends Dick into a temporary sleep while he disappeared into the shadow. The moment he was one with it, Dick bolted upward, whining and sobbing. Just when Slade thought that Dick was going to pull his pants down to touch himself, Dick whined under his breath and squeezed his legs together as if he was trying to keep himself from touching his aching need.

 After everything, there was still hesitation from Dick. It didn't matter how complacent he'd been or how he'd been reacting to Slade's touches, Dick was being held back by foolish human notions. Even after he submitted to Slade. It didn't matter if he thought it was a dream or not, it was still something that he'd done. That didn't change.  

It took a while before Dick turned in his bed and tried to find sleep again.

Slade waited until Dick settled down and nearly fell asleep again before he stepped out, wandering over to the bed once more. He kicked the foot of the bed and watched as Dick shot up in bed again. "I'm back."

It took a moment for Dick to focus, but he turned to Slade. In an instant his cheeks reddened and he awkwardly shifted away from Slade, looking down at the ground instead. "You're back?"

"Yes. Did you think you'd dream of me coming back?" It was hard to hold back a smirk when he saw Dick's obvious hesitation. "I told you I'd return once I found Zucco."

"Did you?" Dick asked.

He raised an eyebrow. "I'm here, aren't I?"

Dick stayed quiet before he pushed himself out of bed, on the opposite side of where Slade was standing. He wandered over to a small table and traced his fingers over the tome resting there. "You've been gone for a few days. I thought I might've imagined it."

Slade moved over to Dick, standing right behind him, just barely keeping enough space in between them so they wasn't touching. The gentle, almost undetectable shudder that went through Dick made Slade want to reach out again and grab his hips. Hold onto them so tightly that he'd leave bruises again and this time he wouldn't waste the beautiful marks that would stand gloriously against Dick's unblemished skin. "I'm here. Are you ready?"

Dick pulled his hand away from the tome and looked over his shoulder at Slade. The fluster was gone now. Replaced by narrowed eyes and a sharp gaze. "Yes."

"Take what you need. Then we'll go." Slade stepped to the side so Dick could move away to grab the things that he needed. He was pleased when he saw Dick pulled out the knife that he'd left with him last time. The young man quickly got dressed as well, but not before looking at Slade for a split second and quickly moving away.

He let his eye linger on Dick's hips on the spot where the bruises would've been. Maybe he should've taken a moment to look at the bruises before he healed them. Now Slade had to wait until they got rid of this Zucco character. Only time would tell how long it would actually take. Dick had hesitated with the sheep, but this was different. Slade wasn't looking to interfere much at all if he didn't have to.

 He was going to encourage Dick, yes, but he was going to let the mortal take care of Zucco all by himself. It was what Dick wanted, after all. Deep down it was what he really wanted and Slade was only there to make his desires come to fruition.

 What happened afterwards, well, that was up to Dick, but Slade had many ideas of what they could do. If he played his cards right, Dick would fall right into his arms, just the way that he wanted him to.

When Dick finally turned around he was holding the knife tightly again, much like he had the night that Slade had given it to him. The staccato of Dick's heart was very distinct. It was beating fast and completely out of rhythm. Slade wasn't all too surprised that Dick would be nervous. From what he'd seen from Dick, that was his default when it came to things like this.

Slade stepped forward and placed his hand on Dick's wrist. "You're going to avenge your parent's deaths," he said.

 Dick's grip loosened slightly, but the tenseness was still present in his shoulder and his pinched expression. "I know. I know..." He sighed. "I just thought you'd be the one to do it for me."

 His heart was putting up a fight again, revolting more as Slade stood close and the darkness inside of Dick started to stir in his presence. "I told you we'd have fun. I promised I'd show you how." Slade reached over so he could brush Dick's bangs out of his face. Even now Dick looked ruffled, much like he had only shortly before when Slade had been kneeling over him.

"You did," Dick agreed.

"I'm going to show you how much of a gift it is and how rewarding it is," Slade said, echoing his words from before.

Just as he expected, Dick's body shuddered and his eyes turned away from Slade. The tip of his tongue came out and licked his bottom lip. "O-okay. Let's go."

Slade didn't need more encouragement than that. He wrapped an arm around Dick's waist, pulling him close before he moved them from Dick's bedroom to the room where one Tony Zucco was currently residing in.

Dick swayed against him slightly, still not used to being whisked away. However, the moment that he set his eyes on Zucco, Dick still against Slade and he frowned. "How hasn't he seen us?"

 It was a valid question. After all, they were standing right in front of a table where Zucco was counting some money. By all accounts he should've seen them. At least, he would've if anyone had just walked in like a regular mortal.

"I'm keeping us from his sight from now. I thought you'd want to look upon the man who murdered your parents first," Slade said.

Dick looked at him at that, eyes wide and there was something so innocent in that gaze that, for a moment, Slade could see the little boy who had lost both parents. "Don't look at me. Look at him. Memorize his face." Slade prompted, tilting Dick's chin down to look straight at Zucco. "Remember how he makes you feel." He whispered, placing a hand on the back of Dick's neck, guiding him forward.

 Dick took a deep breath, and looked at Tony Zucco, really looking at him. His face looked perfectly blank, and the only reason that Slade could detect emotions from him at all was because of their bond. Dick was angry and his rising hatred was delicious. "He..." Dick began, swallowing back down the sentence half way through.

"What did he do? Tell me about that night." Slade coaxed.

Dick's eyes didn't leave Zucco's form. "We were trapeze artists, my parents and I... We performed, in a circus, Haly's." Dick said jerkily. "That day, I... My Dad, he checked the ropes, he always checked the ropes to make sure that we would be safe." Yet another pause. "It was fine, I think. Zucco must have snuck in after that. My Mom fell first. I was waiting on the sideline for my turn when I heard the snap, and my Dad caught her and they were dangling there for a moment, they looked relieved. Then my Dad's lines failed, too. And they fell and fell and there was a dull thud." He laughed, a dry, humorless sound that rattled. His grip around the knife shifted to a more optimal position for stabbing. "I heard a lot of screaming. Maybe they were mine. My parents were just lying there. Their necks at an odd angle, still holding each other's hands."

The grief was almost cloying in how thick it was. Slade reached out to clasp a hand over Dick's arm. "You have your chance at revenge now. Your parents can finally rest now."

"Y-Yeah."

"You would be doing everyone a favor if this scum dies." Slade whispered. "He killed so many and looks how happy he is counting his money like their lives were nothing. How many parents and children have died in his hands? He deserves hell for what he did." He brushed his lips lightly against Dick's ear, whispering the last sentence. "He deserves hell for what he did to you."

Silence.

"Let him see me." Dick finally uttered, his eyes had taken on a look of determination now. "Let him see who will end his miserable existence."

Slade smiled.

"Yes, Master."

It was only a simple wave of Slade's hand and Dick became visible to Zucco, but Slade kept himself unseen for now. He was here for Dick, after all, and this was all about Dick's revenge. Slade would have his moment later.

For a mortal, Zucco had very bad perception. It took him at least half a minute before he realized that Dick was in the room with him. The man looked up with a confused frown and quickly shook his head, as if Dick was some sort of illusion. "How'd you get in here?"

"That doesn't matter." Dick pulled his shoulders back; that look of determination growing even stronger now that Zucco noticed him. He took a few steps forward and Slade made sure to stick by him, so Dick would feel his presence the entire time.

A stack of coins fell over as Zucco pushed himself away from the table and got up. "Who are you?"

The grief thickened and hardened into something much darker. Slade wouldn't quite call it hated just yet, but Dick was very well on his way. It was good that Zucco was stirring up these kinds of emotions within Dick; that would make this all the much better. Slade's mouth was already watering at the thought of what Dick would look like as he struck Zucco down once and for all. Then he would step in. Soon.

"Don't recognize me?" Dick spat out. "I've been told I look a lot like my father."

"Look, brat. If you turn around and leave then I'll let you go. No harm done," Zucco said.

"No harm done?" The low growl at the end of Dick's words riveted Slade. He placed a hand on Dick's lower back to encourage him to keep going. "No harm done?!"

Zucco slowly reached to the side. To grab a weapon of some sort, no doubt. Slade kept a close eye on him. Zucco was going to die tonight, even if he didn't know it. He'd let the man arm himself for now and maybe get a nick or two in on Dick, but Slade wouldn't let anything escalate over that. He was bound and obligated at this point. "Last chance-"

"You never gave them a chance!" Dick stepped forward and held the knife out, his stature threatening. With every word Zucco was only goading him on. At this rate, it wouldn't take much for Dick to snap.

The life of having to constantly watching his back had taught Zucco how to move quickly. A flick of his wrist had him drew the short knife, silver edge gleaming. "If you're going to try and kill me, then do it."

The badgering made Dick falter slightly. Likely because Zucco had used the word kill. Dick was very angry right now, yes, but he needed a little push in the right direction.

“You heard him,” Slade said. He walked from behind Dick and over to the other side of the table towards Zucco. Dick’s blue eyes followed him and moved between Slade and Zucco. “You said you wanted him to see the one who would end his miserable existence and now he has. Now… End it, Dick. For your parents. For you.”

Something briefly flashed through Dick's eyes, something that felt like hesitance and for a moment, Slade wondered if he would have to do this job himself but then Dick surged forward. He would miss. The angle was all wrong and he had hesitated one second too long. It wouldn't affect the outcome though. Slade was there to ensure that there would be only one outcome to this night. With a sure move, Slade's hand pushed behind Zucco, shoving him into the knife's path.

There was no sound when the knife pierced the flesh, only a pained grunt from Zucco. Time seemed to stop moving, with Zucco and Dick's gaze locking together. Dick's hands were trembling, badly. Then, it seemed like the universe had clicked back into place and Dick let out a cry, twisted the knife, yanked it forward before stabbing Zucco again. "This is for everyone you have ever harmed." Dick growled, shoving the blade forward. The third stab. "This is for my parents." Another. "And this. Is for me." The final stab, this time, Dick yanked Zucco's collar forward, shoving the knife deep into Zucco's body, right where his heart was supposed to be. "Look at me." He snapped. "I will be the last thing you see in your miserable existence."

Slade thought that Dick would look good when he killed Zucco, but he never expected it to be like this. The look in Dick's face, the one of raw determination, heartbreak, and anger all mixed together was stunning. A look that was enhanced even more by the few drops of blood the splattered on him with every stab and every pull of the knife. Even though it had been a clumsy start, any hesitation from Dick was completely gone now.

Not for the first time Slade found himself greedily excited that he'd managed to get his hands in Dick. That he'd followed that heart. He never thought that it would ever come to this, but these were the most pleasant kinds of surprises.

The light in Zucco's eyes had long left him. Even when Dick held onto him, shaking him, and telling Zucco to look at him. Zucco had looked at Dick in those final moments of his pathetic life. Easily reduced to nothing by a young man who he'd scorned years ago. Mortals' acts always came back to bite them. Briefly, Slade regretted his choice of allowing Zucco to die so soon, without teaching Dick about the finer art of drawing it out. However, the ferocity at which Dick stabbed Zucco... Slade couldn't say he regretted it.

Dick pulled the knife out again, clearly going for another stab, when Zucco's body crumpled and fell forward against him. The knife in Zucco's hands clattered to the ground. It almost fell straight down onto Dick's foot, but Slade flicked it away at the last second.

With a grunt, Dick bumped back into the table and it screeched along the floor due to the extra weight being pushed against it. Dick placed a hand on the table to steady to him and he tried to turn away from the body, which fell even further and crumpled onto the floor with a loud smack.

Slade closed his eye and breathe in the mixed scent of blood and magic hanging in the air. The contract had been filled, but Slade clung onto it, not wanting to let it, and Dick, go just yet. There was still more that he wanted to do with the bond between them. Letting the contract slip away at this point was not an option.

He opened his eye to look at Dick, eager to see the determination and happiness on his face again, but paused when he saw no joy on his face. Any predatory appearance that had just been on Dick only moments ago was gone now. That wasn't what Slade wanted. Where was the elation? That was how he would've felt, to rid himself of a thorn in his side, but then he remembered that this was Dick. Dick whose heart was now much like the first night when Slade had been summoned. His heart like a bird flapping its wings as it tried to escape from an ever enclosing cage. Somehow it still had a strong enough hold on Dick, making him lose any sharpness.

The knife slipped from Dick's slacked grip to the ground, a soft thud that was almost anticlimactic to the mess of blood and gore in front of the pair. Dick's blue eyes were wide, dilated from shock and terror and disbelief like he couldn't believe he just did this to another human being. Even from this distance, Slade could practically feel Dick vibrate on the spot. It was entirely too easy to imagine how his stomach must be rolling at this point, trying to empty itself while his white soul... Hmm, Slade didn't suppose it was so white anymore... While his bloody soul tried to find a way to deny reality, shielding away from the horror in instinct.

 Oh no, Slade could not have that now. Not when he was so close to completing what he had initially started, not when the victory was brushing against his fingertips as deliciously as the feeling of power rushing through his core. He stepped forward, crowding Dick's personal space in one single step, inhaling at the sharp, metallic smell of blood and the little splatters that decorated Dick's face. He looked like a child dirty after playing. Again, like a lot of things when it came to Dick, Slade thought it was quite endearing.

Slade took a hold of Dick's hand, smirking inwardly when Dick didn't make a move to jerk away from his touch, feeling the warmth of drying blood coat his own hand. He pulled the palm upward slowly, making sure Dick's attention was fully on him and not on the dead body in front of them. Slade placed Dick's palm to his lips, placing a chaste kiss to it.

There was a slightest hitch of breath from Dick and Slade opened his eye, pleased to see that Dick was staring at Slade's lips now, red from blood. The contact with Dick's hand made Slade's lips tingled from the residue magic. Without any hesitation, Slade took Dick's index finger in his mouth, wrapping his lips around the digit, dragging his tongue across the length and flicked at the finger pad, sucking on it to clean the blood.

"Fuck." came the breathless curse and Slade felt his lips pull into a smirk when Dick seemed to be staring at his mouth, completely transfixed. With a little nudge, Slade felt Dick drag his finger out before pushing it back in, a slow but intimate rhythm while Slade eagerly sucked on it.

One finger quickly turned into two and then three with Dick's breathing getting increasingly erratic but for an entirely different reason. Too soon, Slade had already cleaned all the blood from Dick's hand and he dropped it, shifting his grip until he had circled Dick's wrist and tugged him against his chest. He bent his head slightly, licking the blood on Dick's cheek. He brushed his lips lightly across Dick's cheek and whispered low and dirty in his ear. "You are beautiful, kid."

 That elicited yet another reaction from Dick, a full body shudder that prompted Dick to press their bodies together even closer.

Slade growled, circling Dick's waist possessively. "So delicious, I could just eat you," He said, scraping his teeth lightly down the column of Dick's long neck, breathing in the heady feeling when Dick gasped before mewling, melting in his embrace even further.

As Dick relaxed, his head tilted ever so slightly, exposing even more of his neck to Slade. As it was, Slade was a selfish being. An opportunity like this would not be wasted. Not when Dick looked ethereal, so stunning as he reacted to every little thing that Slade did to him, not matter how resistant he might've been before. His eye focused on a single, small smear of blood on Dick's neck and he wrapped his lips around the spot, tongue greedily lapping up the blood before Slade gave an experimental suck.

 Slade's eye fluttered shut as Dick, gorgeous creature that he was right in this moment, let out a breathy moan and his arms jerked up. One around Slade's shoulders and the other pressing a hand against Slade's neck, a light enough pressure applied that prompted Slade to suck again.

Dick's body jerked against him and the hand on the back of Slade's neck squeezed tightly to the point where Slade could feel blunt nails digging into his skin. With one final suck, Slade pulled away, much to Dick's displeasure if the high pitched whine was any indication.

 "I could eat you right now and you wouldn't stop me," Slade said before he kissed the red mark that he'd left on Dick's unblemished, sun-kissed skin. He licked his lips, chasing the metallic aftertaste of the blood.

Wondering just how far gone Dick was in the adrenaline, the heat of the moment, the thrill that came with taking a human life, Slade reached down and ran his fingers over the body right by them. He lifted his hand, focusing on how Dick's breath hitched and his eyes widened at the sight of the blood now covering Slade's hand. It wasn't as warm anymore, but it was still viscous enough that it slowly trailed down the palm of Slade's hand, spreading more and more. "Care for a taste?" Slade asked.

Part of Slade wondered if he might be pushing too far, but he needed to know. He needed to know if Dick would tackle this with the same ferocity as he had shown moments ago. As Dick had with this, killing a man because Slade had asked it of him to complete the contract between them. The drive that Dick displayed, the tenacity in the way that he did everything had drawn Slade in even closer.

Yet Dick did not say anything. His wide blue eyes were focused on Slade's hand. Once, even slowly following a droplet of blood as it rolled down Slade's finger.

 He wanted to know. Slade's gut burned as he moved his hand a little closer to Dick's mouth. Would Dick accept it?

Just as much as the suspension must be choking Dick as it was choking Slade, Dick made no move to take Slade's hand. In fact, Dick made no move at all, if it weren't for the hot air that ghosted over Slade's fingers, Slade would think Dick had even stopped breathing. Perhaps his little pet project needed a small push. So far, Dick hadn't recoiled from it which was definitely a very good sign. Plus, the arousal was still there if the flushed cheeks and dilated pupils told the truth.

Slade gently placed his fingers over Dick's lips, prying slackened lips open as he pushed a finger inside. For a long moment, time seemed to freeze, waiting for Dick to make the decision.

Lick.

A shy tongue snaked out at last to catch the fallen droplet, and Dick let out a small sound at the back of his throat. He pulled away much to Slade's disappointment, wiping his lips and turning his face away, avoiding Slade's eyes, teeth worrying his bottom lip like a meek girl. It made Slade want to take it in-between his teeth and nibble on it, making it kiss-swollen and tender.

Slade tilted Dick's chin back so their eyes, once again, locked. "Don't be like that now, kid. I know you like it." He rumbled, smirking when Dick flinched lightly like he had just been hit. "I told you, don't restrain yourself, your desires will give you power. Give in to me, kid." He murmured, offering the hand again.

 This time, the reaction came faster and more along the line of what Slade wanted, Dick took Slade's fingers in his mouth like a good boy, sucking on the digits, avoiding Slade's eye like he was ashamed of his own hunger, and oh, Slade's teeth bit down on his own bottom lip. The little nymph just nibbled on his fingers, a gentle, teasing bite that got Slade's blood to rush south even faster. Slade's tentative grip on his self-control had stretched very thin at this point, he didn't know how long he could hold onto it without bending him over and fuck into that virgin heat.

Slade pulled his fingers away, unable to take it any longer when Dick did a wicked thing with his tongue. Dick whined, a needy sound that rubbed Slade at all the right ways and Slade growled back, fisting Dick's shirt and tugged him in. "Slade, no, wait! I don-ooohh..." Dick's protested died immediately in a loud, embarrassing, slutty moan that got Slade's toes curling. Slade pressed their lips together, swallowing the end of the moan, licking and biting down lightly on Dick's bottom lip, encouraging him to let Slade in while one of his hands trailed across Dick's chest and flicked at one nipple before rubbing quickly to sooth the sting, smirking smugly when Dick hissed in pleasure and dug dull nails to Slade's shoulders and back, trying to find a proper grip.

Even as the magic of the fulfilled contract swirled inside of him, Slade found that he hadn't had enough of Dick. Not when Dick was slowly becoming more malleable in his arms and lowering his defences. Slade thought back to what he imagined Dick could be like based off of his reactions.

How eager Dick could be. Begging. Pleading. Sobbing. Calling out for Slade. He'd kept himself at bay for the entire night, but Slade couldn't let it go this time. There was no reason to. Why would he even bother with the pretense of holding himself back? He tugged at the hem of Dick's shirt, rucking it up. He let his fingers trail over Dick's skin for just a moment, eager to finally get a taste for it, before he pushed the shirt up further.

Dick gasped into the kiss. Not a gasp of pleasure this time, but a gasp of surprise and confusion. "What are you doing?" The apples of his cheeks were flushed and his pupils had dilated even further.

"Your clothes are in the way," Slade told Dick. He didn't have to take the shirt off, he could easily tear it open with his claws and rip it off of Dick's body, but he couldn't just do that. Couldn't risk the chance of shocking Dick out of the lull of pleasure coursing through him.

"What? No. Slade..." Dick's eyes flickered over to the body behind Slade. "N-no. I can't. No-not here. Not where I-"

Slade lifted a finger and gently rested it on Dick's lips. "Hush, little bird. No need to twitter about something so inconsequential."

"Inconseque-" Dick's mouth fell open. "I just killed a man. How does that not matter?"

 "You wanted to make him pay." Slade placed his hand flat on Dick's chest, feeling his fluttering of his heart through flesh and bone. "As of now, the deed is done."

Dick's eyes finally tore away from the body to look up away Slade again. They were filled with the slightest hint of fear.

Dick took a deep breath, his heart slowing, losing that frantic beat that accompanied it.

Slade watched him try to calm himself down. He was doing an admirable job, all considering. Mortals like Dick weren't often confronted with death in the way he just had. Not with the purity that his heart had been the first night that he'd attempted him summoning.

When it seemed that Dick had calmed down a little, he moved his hand up and flicked Dick's nipple again. This time actually touching it directly.

Dick's breath hitched and his heartbeat jumped again. "Slade!"

"You liked it before." Slade rubbed his thumb circularly over Dick's nipple, slowly feeling as it pebbled against the pad of his finger. Dick's hand slipped from Slade's shoulder, going to and grabbing onto Slade's forearm, but not pulling away.

It was as good a signal as ever. Slade pressed down hard, scraping his nail over Dick's nipple, barely giving the young man a chance to arch into the touch before he nipped along Dick's neck once more. He'd have to work Dick up properly again, get him moaning once more. There were so many different ways that he could do it. Dick's nipples seemed to be a sensitive spot, but Slade knew that he could find more of them.

 Humans had specific erogenous spots, each different for every separate person. Slade got it in his head that he was going to search Dick's body for as many as he could before he tired Dick out - something that he knew for certain that he was going to do.

Slade closed his eye so he could better focus on Dick's heartbeat and breathing as he trailed his lips over Dick's neck. The Adam's apple, the jawline, the cheek, behind the ear. It wasn't until Slade ran his tongue over the shell of Dick's ear that he truly got another honest, loud moan. As Dick's body unwound against him again, the thoughts of where they were and what they had done to get here hopefully far from his mind, Slade began lavishing attention of Dick's ear.

A lick earned him another breathy moan, running his teeth over it made a shudder go through Dick's body, and a bite got him a hoarse cry. Slade bit down harder and worried the cartilage between his teeth. Dick slackened even more against him, his body twitching and his reactions getting louder. He pressed himself against Slade and he could feel that Dick's cock was half hard. All from the attention that Slade had given to his ear.

Slade pulled away and nuzzled the top of Dick's ear with his nose, humming under his breath. "That's good, little bird. Press yourself closer to me."

The compliment got Dick to inhale shakily, and his hand trailed along Slade's muscular arm when Slade slipped a hand down the front of Dick's pants, groping him. "Slade, more," Dick cried out, unable to stop the lewd thrust of his hips.

Slade smiled to the shell of Dick's ear. "I live to serve." He whispered in Dick's ear, his other hand skimmed over Dick's button up shirt. "Let me show you how good this can feel."


 

The moonlight on Dick's bared skin accentuates every curve, every dip, every muscle, heightened even more by the glistening sweat that was a result of their frenzied fucking. With Dick sitting in his lap, Slade could drink in the breathtaking sight, watch as Dick's abdominal muscles jerked with the slightest movement inside of him, and how his mouth, now puffy and red with how much Slade had abused it, fell open for whines, gasps, and utterances of Slade's name.

Slade rocked up into Dick and his eye caught the way that Dick's marked up shoulders were starting to tremble. So far, Dick had been anything but passive as Slade fucked him, but Slade was greedy. He want more. He wanted to unravel Dick utterly and ruin him completely.

As Slade breathed in, he caught the scent of blood again and a passing thought quickly changed to action. He leaned back and slid his hand into the wound of the body behind him, digging in deep and rooting around before he pulled his hand out again.

"Dick," Slade said, waiting for those blue eyes, now nearly black from pleasure, to focus on him. He held his hand up and moved it over to his face, slowly running his hand diagonally down from his temple to his jaw, never breaking eye contact with Dick. The blood was stickier than before, having been exposed to the air for so long already.

He barely moved his hand away and Dick was surging forward, placing his hands on Slade's jaw and gluttonously licking the blood off. It was all too perfect. More than Slade could've ever wished for. "That's it, I know you want it," Slade growled lowly.

Dick whined, pressing their lips together with such force that the split in Slade's lips opened up again. Like he couldn't get enough, Dick immediately started sucking and chasing after Slade's blood.

Slade groaned, gripping Dick's hips tightly to keep him from squirming too much. He lifted Dick slightly and started fucking up into Dick with short, hard thrusts. The sounds that Dick was making were muffled because he wasn't letting go of Slade's lip, but Slade could feel the vibrations running through him.

He holds Dick's hips even tighter, not caring if he was going to leave dark bruises or not as he thrust up as hard as he could. The reaction that it tore out of Dick was the most gorgeous thing Slade had ever experienced in his life. Dick threw his head back with a sound that bordered on a squeal and his body jerked, tightening deliciously around Slade.

His face was a mess. The blood smeared around his mouth and even reaching up to the tip of his nose, showing just how desperate Dick had been to get at the blood on Slade.

 Slade chuckled lowly, his lips curling up in a smirk. "Why, little bird, you've made quite the mess of yourself."

Dick's fingers twitched against Slade's jaw. His right thumb pressed in and traced the corner of Slade's smirk. "S-Slade..." His eyes started gleaming as tears welled up into the corners of his eyes. "Slade, pl-please," Dick whined.

"Please what?" He turned his head, sucking Dick's thumb into his mouth, lapping that the tacky blood.

"Please!" Dick cried out, the tears starting to roll down his cheeks. "Please, Slade. Please!"

Dick's thumb slipped out of his mouth as Slade tilted his head back to look straight up at Dick. "Yes, master."

Bracing against Slade's broad chest was all Dick could do at that point when Slade started up the steady pace fucking again, grunting when he felt Dick try to clench around him, the tight, wet heat gripping on his member but Dick's strength was not a match for Slade and Dick was pulled off Slade's member roughly before he was pushed down on it again, the heavy rhythm made Dick's leaking cock slap against his stomach, the drooling head smeared pre cum between them. "Work harder for me. Don't you want me to feel good, too?" He asked, his own muscles tensed up when Dick's hips rolled deliciously. "That's it, good boy." Slade groaned, watching Dick's back arched, letting the moonlight reveal yet another angle. He looked wrecked. Slade preferred this image of him.

"Slade! Slade! More-Ah... Harder..." Dick gasped out, his dull nails clawed desperately down Slade's chest, trying to find a better grip but with Slade's body all hard muscles and sweat-slicked, it was hard to find a proper grip. Dick clearly didn't know what to do with himself or this new found pleasure, clawing and crying and begging, body flushed. It was beyond delicious. "Please, please! So close! Please!"

Ah, but that would end the fun much too soon. Slade's fingers dug into Dick's flesh, actually drawing blood but Dick was too far gone in the world of sensation to perceive it as anything more than pleasurable pain. Slade gripped Dick's hips tightly, preventing him from moving. Slade licked his lips, weaving a little bit of power into the air. Dick had yet to even witness the full scope of what Slade could do to him.

Dick's rim began to throb and itch with the sensation of a tongue tip tickling it, just enough discomfort for Dick to start struggling a bit harder in order to ride Slade, attempting to relieve it. His nipples were stiff and with another soft pulse of magic, the phantom feeling of teeth nibbling erotically on them made Dick let out a wounded mewl. The phantom tongue twined its way around the cock buried in his ass, scraping against his rim, tickling and flicking at his insides. The itch turned into a burning, insatiable need. It was so overwhelming that Dick fought against it at first, with Slade gripping his hips tighter and pulling him flush as he drove his cock impossibly deep, not letting Dick have the relief he clearly needed.

"You have such a hungry hole on you, Master." Slade groaned.

Dick struggled to move against Slade's hold, to fuck himself on the large dick. His buds were stiff and sharp in the cold, assaulted by relentless pinpricks of pain laced pleasure. He couldn’t help the moan that escaped him.

"Your moans are so sweet," Slade goaded. "Moan my name some more."

Dick flushed harder at the words, his nubs manipulated by invisible force and the itch was slowly growing into a burn, focusing on just that spot near his prostate. He focused on the ever present need to move, grinding and trying to bounce as Slade continued to hold him immobile. "Please...." Dick whispered. "Let me...I need to... I can't... too much... please..."

The force squeezed down tighter on Dick's buds, pull yet another broken cry from Dick and his nails raked down Slade's chest, leaving angry red marks behind. Slade groaned under his breath at the delicious hint of pain.

"My name," Slade said. "Speak it and I might just let you." He left it opened ended for Dick's pleasure stricken mind to figure out himself and, by the way that Dick's eyes fluttered shut, he'd already thought up of some of the possible scenarios.

"I..." Dick's eyes were still shut even as he spoke to Slade. His body tightened, as Dick undoubtedly had to force his mind to work with him instead of give in to the carnal pleasures that Slade was providing him with. "I a-am..."

"Yes?" Slade urged him on. It would be such an accomplishment if Dick actually managed to get a semblance of a sentence out right now.

 His hips jerked in Slade's hold; still trying to move even after being so unsuccessful with the way Slade was gripping him. "Me...Master, i-it's me."

 That wasn't what Slade had expected Dick to say at all. Up until now he'd been letting Slade call him Master, both seriously and jokingly, but he'd never actually acknowledged it before. Curious to see where this was going, Slade pulled back slightly with his power to give Dick a chance to really speak his words.

 "I am-" Dick whined, trying to grind down into Slade's lap as if he were chasing the phantom tongue as it settled, unmoving, inside of him. "I am the Master... F-fuck me and make me..."

 Well, that was a very simple request that Slade could follow, even if Dick hadn't managed to finish it. There was really only conclusion, after all.

"Yes, Master," Slade said again, this time with a rush of heat going through his own body.

 As any loyal servant would do, Slade obeyed. His power whipped around them, immediately picking up the ministrations deep in and outside of Dick. There was no more sense in holding back, no sense in not giving his Master exactly what he wanted. He'd asked for it, so he was going to get it.

 Dick's body immediately, deliciously, tightened around him again as Slade drove up into him, even harder than before and striking Dick's prostate head on, no pretense of teasing anymore. As he moved out, Slade had the phantom tongue lap deep inside of Dick, making sure that he was never without stimulation, making the burn inside of him grow and grow without a chance to even catch a breath.

 Dick moved himself freely now, alternating between meeting Slade's thrusts and trying to get away from the constant pleasure, all the time mewling and crying out, his breath hitching and hiccupping. “S-Sla….Please…Ple-!”

“So good. Dick, you’re so good.” Slade ran his tongue over a sweat drop trailing down Dick’s neck. “You’re going to cum on my cock, my tongue, my touch and nothing else. Nothing,” Slade growled before he bit down on Dick’s neck, his teeth the barest of pinpricks as even he was having problems holding himself back now.

“Slade! Slade, please! Slade! Slade!” Dick cried out, his back arching and his body tightening as the last cry of Slade’s name devolved into nothing more a broken shout.

Dick's cries drowned out most of Slade's grunt and the rest of it was muffled by the claiming bite Slade placed on the crook of his neck as Dick's body seized up and his hole clamped down tightly, making Slade's control snap. He was coming, too, flooding the inside of Dick's body in warm, thick seed. His rhythm stuttered before stopping completely, basking in the glow of the orgasm alongside with Dick, the sticky mess between their bodies spoke of Dick's relief as well. It brought a smug smile to Slade's face at the concept of Dick coming untouched. He might be the 'servant' but he was certainly the one who owned Dick completely.

 They sat lazily, with Dick leaning against Slade, his head dropped on Slade's shoulder, letting Slade support all of his weight. Slade hummed, his hand drifted slowly from Dick's waist to the back of his neck, playing with the little short strands of hair, fingers tracing small little patterns on the little patch of skin while Dick shivered, body still too sensitive after the explosive climax to do anything more than twitch in interest and take comfort in the action rather than being aroused.

"What now?" Dick asked after a moment. He sounded wrecked, voice hoarse. He placed a hand on Slade's chest, tracing the rough red marks he left behind. "Are we..." His voice trailed off. However, the question was still clear in the air. 'Are we done? Is this where we part ways?'. Before Slade could answer, Dick continued, his fingers curled slightly. "I don't..." The corners of his mouth twitched down.

"Of course not," Slade interjected smoothly. As opposed to Dick, he sounded utterly calm and in control. "We bonded. You are mine now, kid. I'm not letting you go until you learn the fine art of dark art. I promised I would teach you, didn't I? Let me be your guide. You trusted me once, you can trust me again." He smirked. "We can make this a pleasant experience, for both of us." His fingers tilted Dick's chin up so he could look at him properly in the eyes. "I can make it so good you forget your own name." He purred and was rewarded when Dick actually flushed. "So much for you to learn. Why would you want to limit yourself to just one ritual?" He hummed.

"Will this happen... again...?" Dick asked, gesturing vaguely toward their naked bodies.

 Slade's smile turned shark like, sharp enough to cut through steel. "Oh how can you ever doubt that?" He asked, his eye glimmered in the dark. "The next time, I will teach you how to last."