Katie Holt lived in a world filled with magic. It was wonderous and a tad bit overwhelming at times, and she loved it with all her heart.
Everyone’s main goal was to get better at magic, increase their magical level. And how did witches and warlocks everywhere manage to do that? Familiars.
Familiars came in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some were animals, some were spirits, and some were even humanoid creatures. Familiars were destined from birth, and the more magical power your familiar has, the more potential you have to make it in the magical world.
Katie’s father, Samuel Holt, had a black cat as his familiar, something very modest and with decent magical ability. Colleen, Katie’s mother, never really had a knack for magic so she never summoned her destined familiar. Matt, Katie’s elder brother, had gotten a snow white owl, a familiar with great potential but still somewhat common.
So it was with this knowledge that Katie wondered how she ended up with a demon, probably the strongest familiar someone could get, standing in the middle of her summoning circle.
Katie had decided to do the summoning in the forest near her house, making the summoning circle from rocks she had found by the river.
It had gone rather well, a bright blue wave of light enveloping the clearing Katie stood in, momentarily blinding the girl. When she opened her eyes a male stood in the middle of a circle.
His skin was tan and his hair was a dark brown, his eyes were a striking shade of blue and he wore black pants and a black sleeveless shirt with blue accents. His ears were pointed and two black horns were nestled on his head. A black tail flicked around lazily from behind him.
No words were traded for a few seconds, the only noises being that of the forest creatures around them until the demon smiled widely and stepped from the circle.
“About time. I was beginning to wonder if you would ever summon me, Katie,” The demon’s voice was smooth and sultry, filled with immense confidence.
Katie straightened up where she stood, demon or not this was still her familiar. “Yeah, um, I’m Katie. And you are?” She asked, waiting for the other to reveal his name.
The demon gave a toothy grin and pointed at himself. “I’m Lance, your familiar,” The demon, Lance, bowed his head and grabbed ahold of Katie’s hand, pressing a chaste and gentle kiss on the back of it.
Startled by the gesture, Katie ripped her hand from Lance’s grasp, stumbling back a few steps with a red tint to her cheeks. Lance laughed and Katie scowled in response. She flipped her long hair over her shoulder with a huff. “So you’re my familiar. How did I get a demon?” She asked curiously.
Lance just shrugged in response. “Simple: You have great magic potential.”
Those words filled Katie with pride and hope and she beamed. With a grin, Katie grabbed Lance’s arm, turning and dragging the familiar in the direction of her house. “Come on! Matt’s going to freak out when he sees you!”
Lance let out a laugh as he was pulled in the direction of Katie’s house. He let himself be dragged until the stood on the wooden porch, Katie excitedly pushing the door open.
This was amazing. Most of the best magic wielders had demons as their familiars. This spelled out great things for Katie. She barged in and dragged Lance to the living room where Matt was seated on the couch, watching some old cartoons.
Her brother perked up at her entry. “Oh, hey - Who is that?” Matt straightened up when he saw Lance, confusion etched on his face. “I thought you were going to summon your familiar? Unless…” He trailed off for confirmation.
Katie nodded proudly. She crossed arms with a smug look on her face. “This is Lance. He’s my familiar. Isn’t this awesome?” She asked, excitement getting the best of her as she began bouncing up and down slightly.
Matt jumped from the couch, ecstatic at the news. “Um, yeah! This is amazing!” He thrust a hand out for Lance to shake. “I’m Matt Holt, Katie’s brother.”
Lance chuckled as he shook Matt’s hand. “I know.”
Katie nodded. She had forgotten demons lived in a dimension entirely different from most familiars. Demons almost always already knew their designated life partners, and some spent a decent amount of time watching their counterparts grow.
Matt nudged her arm, taking her out of her thoughts. “You should probably go tell mom and dad,” He said with a grin.
Katie nodded, smiling as she guided Lance from the living room in search of her parents.
“Lance, what are you doing?” Katie inquired, an eyebrow raised as she observed her familiar.
Lance currently had a pan of something on the stove - she couldn’t really tell because it was also lit on fire. For having a fire so close to him, Lance seemed relatively calm. It was early in the morning, having been a few days since Lance had come into the Holt’s lives.
Lance smiled sheepishly. “I’m making breakfast for you, Pidge,” Katie rolled her eyes at the use of the nickname. After hearing Matt call her that, Lance had begun to as well.
Pidge gave the fire a wary glance as she took a seat at the table. “That just looks like fire if we’re being honest here.”
A pout crossed the demon’s features and he crossed his arms. “Rude. I’m going out of my way to care for you.”
“You do realize that’s just your job, right?” Katie snickered at him. It was in the familiar’s duties, though also in their human counterparts. Both parties had to care for each other for eternity. The whole, ‘till death do us part’ thing.
Still pouting, Lance snapped his fingers and the fire in the pan subsided. In place of the fire sat a perfectly cooked omelet. In a split second the omelet was on a plate in front of Katie, accompanied by bacon and a glass of orange juice. Katie raised an eyebrow before shrugging it off. She should have expected this.
“Thanks, Lance,” Picking up a fork that had appeared next to the plate, Katie got ready to dig in.
Lance chuckled and leaned down, pressing a kiss to Katie’s cheek. She jumped in her seat, looking at Lance in alarm. He only grinned and winked in response. “It’s my pleasure, Pidge.”
Face flushed red, Katie only turned to her plate, shoving a bite of omelet in her mouth. She chewed silently as she heard Lance chuckling to himself.
As the next few months passed, Katie came to realize Lance was very touchy. After the pair had gotten to know each other better it seemed as if there was no such thing as personal space. Like right now.
Katie was seated on Lance’s lap, a book on the history of magic in her hands as Lance ran his fingers through her hair. They were in the forest, their designated place when they preferred to be alone, just the two of them.
If this were anyone else, Katie would most definitely not be seated in their lap and letting the touch her hair. Lance though, Lance was a different story. Katie would be lying if she said she didn’t think of Lance differently as opposed to the other people in her life.
“What are you thinking out?” Lance murmured softly in her ear and Katie relaxed. Everything felt comfortable now. Intimate even.
Katie shrugged as she leaned back, resting her head on Lance’s shoulder. “Just thinking in general. Why?”
Lance chuckled. “You have your usually thinking face on. You know, when you’re supposed to be doing something and your mind decides to wander?” He reached up and pinched Katie’s cheek, laughing when she scowled in response.
Swatting his hand away, Katie straightened up. “Yeah, I get it,” She mumbled, looking back to her book and trying to focus on the words.
Silence enveloped the pair for a few brief seconds before Lance broke it again. “Say, Katie?”
That caught her attention immediately. It was the first time Lance had called her that since they had first officially met. She marked her spot and turned her head to look at Lance. “Yeah? What is it?”
Conflict was evident on Lance’s face. His mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water and his tan cheeks had a red color to them. “Can I - Well, I’ve been thinking…”
“That’s dangerous,” Katie snorted and earned an unamused look from Lance.
Lance sighed and ran a hand through his short hair. “You don’t seem to have anyone of romantic interest or even anyone who is a possible mate.”
Now it was Katie’s turn to blush. Where exactly was Lance going with this? “Yeah, what’s your point?” She asked carefully.
“Can I court you?” Lance blurted out, startling the both of them. Deciding this was a serious conversation that shouldn’t take place with her on Lance’s lap, Katie slid off and sat across from Lance.
Courting was how demons treated their potential mates. In human terms, it was a form of dating. As well as mates being the demon equivalent for marriage. For those with demon familiars, it wasn’t uncommon for the human and demon to develop feelings for one another. Katie swallowed nervously as she fiddled with the ends of her sleeves. “Lance, you do know what you’re suggesting, right?”
An offended look crossed Lance’s face and he crossed his arms. “I’ve known you much longer than you’ve known me. I can understand if you don’t feel the same - at least not yet. I hope one day you can. Because, Katie, I,” The demon took a careful breath, filled with anxiety. “I love you. I know you can’t say the same but it’s how I feel.”
Lance was right. Things were still so new to Katie, she didn’t have the advantage that Lance had had in their relationship in the first place. Though, she would be lying if she said she didn’t currently have at least an inkling of a crush forming in her for the blue-eyed male.
When Katie didn’t respond, Lance continued. “I just - I realized through the little things, you know? Like how sometimes you snort when you laugh and how you bite your lip when you think too hard. There’s so much more too. Even if I wasn’t your familiar, Katie, I’d still feel like this about you.”
That was a lot. Lance opened his mouth to say more and Katie raised a hand in response, effectively silencing him. Her heart was pounding in her chest, it sounded so loud in her ears that it was a wonder that Lance couldn’t hear it. “You’re right, I can’t say the same,” Katie said, and Lance visibly deflated. Katie bit her lip as she continued. “But I am willing to try. And maybe one day I will be able to say the same.”
Lance paused before a grin crossed his face and grabbed ahold of Katie, pulling her into a hug. “You’re so cute!”
Katie chuckled and returned the hug. “Yeah, yeah. Sap.”
After the exchange, Lance began to act differently. Not in a bad way but in a way where he took more caution when it came to Katie. He prioritized her safety above all else and began to bring her gifts, just random things.
Katie was slightly annoyed by how overbearing he could be at times but overall it was just endearing. Like where they were at currently. They were standing in a deeper part of the forest, hiding in the bushes as Katie scribbled down notes on a centaur that stood in the clearing.
She could feel Lance’s gaze on her and turned to catch Lance staring at her. He didn’t look away and neither did she. They just held stared, goofy smiles crossing their faces.
It was with this knowledge that Katie knew that she could definitely feel more than a crush when it came to Lance.