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A Demon's Love

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               Life could never go backwards, of that, he was absolutely sure. Everything else? Taehyung had no fucking clue. Anything he knew about life was what the textbooks told him, but those were all written by them . And, if there was one other thing that Taehyung knew to be true, it was that a demon could never, ever be trusted to tell the truth. Demons had enticingly perfect bodies and utterly stunning beauty, but their insides were as black as the night sky, soaked with the poisonous lies they told.

                Humans, thankfully, lived separately from their demonic rulers. They had their side, everyone else had theirs. It wasn’t great on the human side of things, Taehyung would admit. The demons, for the most part, stayed out of the everyday lives of the humans. Humans still went to school, got jobs, got married, whatever. But, there were reminders of their neighbors everywhere. All human companies were owned by demons. All human schools were ran and regulated by demons. Everything had a demon fingerprint. It was easy to ignore, for some, but for others it was painful to live that way.

Some humans were of the ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ mindset, and decided to move into Domis. However, once they stepped beyond the tremendous black gates, no one ever saw them or heard from them again. There were rumors, of course, as to what became of them. Rumors of them becoming sex slaves, so hooked on drugs and pleasure that they don't even deserve to be called human anymore. Or, they became the personal pets of the demons, serving them and entertaining them. In Taehyung's opinion, this option was somehow worse.

                The world Taehyung lived in was full of filth. And he couldn't stand it.

                “Taehyung, would you care to discuss your opinion of the war?” Dr. Park’s lecture was suddenly directed towards him, and he blinked in confusion.  It was his last class of the day and all he really wanted to talk about was going home. And laying in his bed. And passing out until the next day of misery. If there was one thing he did not want to do, it was talk about the war the humans had lost all those years ago.

                Taehyung sighed. “Sure. What do you want me to say?”

                Dr. Park was a scared, diminutive man. His watery brown eyes were always darting back and forth, as if he was constantly worried a demon would pop up out of the abyss to terrorize him or take him away. He acted the same way many, many humans acted.  “Just say something good about it, Taehyung.” Dr. Park said, almost resigned.

                Not feeling like arguing, Taehyung resisted his urge to roll his eyes. “Fine. I really enjoyed the part when our Kind Rulers wiped out every single soldier, even the ones that were already injured and basically harmless. Also, when they built themselves an entire extravagant city right next door.” He tried to keep as much sarcasm out of his voice as possible. As much as he despised living under their shoes, he had to admit he was too much of a coward to speak out. As much as he hated his life, he couldn’t bring himself to die either. Taehyung was as much of a coward as much as the next human.

                His professor managed a weak smile. “That's my favorite part, too.” He lied. Like the lemmings they all were, the rest of the class chimed in with their less than enthusiastic agreements. Dr. Park glanced at the clock on the wall. “Well, I guess you all can go home for the day. See you all on Monday.”

                Not needing to be told twice, everyone rushed out of the room, all too eager to not have to pretend to love the demons next door. As Taehyung made his way out of the history department’s building and began to cross the wide open campus,  he tried to ignore the hulking blackened walls that loomed over the campus. The obsidian walls that ‘protected’ humans from the demons. Their blackened ugliness stood in stark contrast to the bright sun shining in the sky. He tried to keep the sneer off his lips. The demons were always watching. Humans were allowed to keep to their ways since the demons truly were not at all interested in ‘pathetic’ human lives. But someone was always watching, always listening. Just waiting for the moment someone slipped up. As long as everyone followed all of the rules and never, ever stepped out of line, everything could be fine.

                “Attention Student #2467: Taehyung.” The campus-wide loudspeaker suddenly crackled to life. Taehyung glanced around, as if that wasn’t his name. As if a demon wasn’t calling his name right now. “Please report to the president's office immediately.”

                And just like that, his somewhat comfortable life crumbled around him. His brain screamed at him to breathe, but the air around him was suddenly too thin and too little. Taehyung clutched at his chest, feeling the pounding of his heart. That silky, alluring voice on the speaker had definitely belonged to a demon, there was no mistake about that. He needed to move. He needed to run away. He...he needed to do something. But nothing inside of him was working. He was in complete neutral.

                “Taehyung.” A voice called to him from across the field. His head snapped up, his eyes darting around, meeting the terrified gazes of those around him. They were afraid for him, sad for him, angry for him. They knew that this announcement could only mean one thing. He had been caught. For what? Why? The demons were not a patient kind of creature. He had to go. He had to meet his fate. His schoolmates still stood, waiting for him. Waiting to watch him walk to the president’s office. It was all they could do for him. Watch. And remember.

                A sickly feeling came over him as he approached the president’s office. His skin suddenly felt clammy and crawled with bumps. His stomach knotted up, churning like rough seas. This was the end of the line for him.  

                “Taehyung, come in.” He heard the president say through the oak door.

                Inhaling deeply, Taehyung stepped forward and turned the knob. The normally kind face of his college president greeted him with terror, his eyes wide. Standing threateningly over the older man’s shoulder was a typical absolutely breathtakingly beautiful demon. The demon smiled in greeting, his teeth perfectly white and straight, opposite to the utter blackness of his eyes. “Kim Taehyung, it is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Yoongi.” His voice was deep and smooth, like a warm piece of dark chocolate.

                Taehyung’s jaw gaped open subconsciously. “Plea...sure?” He squeaked. This was not the reaction he had been expecting.

                The demon laughed and it was a gloriously throaty sound. “Of course, I've heard a lot about you from Dominic here. He has been singing your praises for the past hour or so.” Taehyung's eyes flicked accusingly to Dom and the man’s half-blind eyes held apology and grief. What had he told the demon? “Don't worry." The demon smirked. "You're not in trouble. In fact, you're being awarded a great honor.”

                Jaw still hanging wide open, Taehyung said, “I am?”

                The demon's smile widened at his confusion. “You are.” The evil one began to pace dramatically. “You see, we demons are a monarchical bunch.” He looked at Taehyung, a chuckle on his lips. “But you knew that since you're doing so well in school. Anyway, our crown prince is turning the mating age in a few days. The only problem is, he hasn't selected a mate yet. So, as per our traditions, his counselor shall find one for him.”

                “But...but I'm a human…?” Taehyung blurted without thinking.

                “I am aware.” The demon said, sounding resigned. “But after much searching, I think you are the only suitable match. My master insisted on a human since he prefers your type.” Yoongi seemed beyond disdainful of this fact.

                “Why me?” Hot, angry tears were welling up in Taehyung's eyes. He didn’t want to cry, he couldn’t cry. Not now. But his head was a mess. Foggy, hazy, dizzying...the demon’s presence was messing with his thoughts.

                The demon lost is smile in an instant. “I am not at liberty to share that information with you." His throaty voice took a turn for the threatening. "This is not an open invitation, human. You will accept this position as the crown prince's mate. Am I clear?”

                Various strangled noises escaped Taehyung's throat as his emotions reached their breaking point. “Clear…!? I’d rather die!”

                Taehyung’s head was smashing against the wall before he could even begin to regret what he had said. The demon was eye to eye with him, rage furling his brow, his slender fingers encasing Taehyung’s throat. “Don’t tempt me, human.” He growled. Taehyung's body trembled, his lips quivering, tears pouring out of his eyes. The demon holding Taehyung's life in his hands cocked his head to the side, smiling a bit to himself. “I looked hard for you, so I won’t...for now. But. Maybe I should scar that pretty little face of yours.” His once normal-looking nails grew about 3 inches.

                “Please wait.” Taehyung's soon-to-be killer turned to face Dom. “He didn't mean anything by it. He's just scared.”

                The demon turned back to him, his black eyes alight with red sparks of fire. “Just a small scar then.” He touched his nails to Taehyung’s temple and began to drag, digging Taehyung’s skin from his flesh. Taehyung couldn’t hold back his screams, his wails. The pain seared through his entire body. HE went limp, wanting to die. Have it all be over. Please. Just let him die. His vision blurred. Then black. Pain. Pain everywhere. The demon released him and Taehyung crumpled to the ground, his mind finally giving way.

                 "Pathetic."

Chapter Text

    Sunlight suddenly smacked Namjoon in the face. It wasn’t supposed to do that. He had a strict ‘no sunlight’ policy. He hadn’t even opened his eyes and his day was already ruined. With an obnoxiously loud groan, Namjoon rolled over so the light wasn’t hitting his face anymore.

    “Wake up, your Highness.” An airy voice ordered gently. His amber eyes flew open, crackling with angry energy. He was a prince. He did not take orders from anyone. Namjoon focused his anger on the other person in the room. One of the women he had been with last night was standing at the bedside, not a shred of clothing on her luscious body. There was a small smile on her face, but he did not share that same smiley sentiment.

    “What the fuck do you think you’re doing exactly?” He growled, his eyes narrowing.

    The woman’s serene expression faltered, worry creeping onto her beautiful face. “Uh, well…I had been watching you sleep for a few hours now and I thought it would okay to wake you up. I thought I would make us breakfast.” Her voice was weak and whining.

    Namjoon sat upright and looked around the room. The two other women he had taken to bed last night were nowhere to be seen. Just this one last stupidly annoying woman. He scrutinized her face and realized she was a new one. She didn’t know the rules. “Get out.” He ordered.

    “But—“ The woman started to argue.

    Before she could utter one more annoying syllable, Namjoon grabbed fistful of her long blonde locks and tossed her onto his bed. He could feel his eyes were burning, his rage coming to a head. Namjoon crawled on top of the woman. “Shall I fuck you and then kill you? Or should I kill you by fucking you?” Her eyes were wide, her mouth open in a silent scream. “Get. Out.” The woman gulped and closed her eyes, her body dissipating before his eyes. “Thank you.” He sighed and flopped back into his bed, desperate to fall back asleep.

    Demons, as a whole, were not known for being the nicest creatures. They didn’t hide it. They were proud of their ruthlessness, their trickery, their sorcery. Although they lived the life of luxury, many eons ago the demons had moved about the world as nomadic, pack animal-types. They had preferred to form small, close-knit covens and traveled together. During those times, the demons had lived in great fear of the humans. If a coven was discovered, the humans would rally and hunt down the coven and kill every last demon with silver stakes and silver bullets in their nasty weapons. That’s why they had to keep moving. They could never stay in one place for too long, lest they be discovered.

    But many centuries ago, a single coven leader grew tired of moving his family from place to place. One on one, the demons were clearly more powerful. Why should they live in fear of such inferior creatures? That coven leader met with other coven leaders and soon formed the largest gathering of demons in their glorious history. Eventually, the entirety of the demon race had come together and waged their war on the humans. Humans, being an arrogant, ignorant, and stupid bunch, actually thought they could win.

    They surrendered within 3 days. Their armies were decimated, their cities reduced to ashes, their population dwindled to the brink of extinction. In a rare moment of generosity, the demons had agreed to allow the remaining humans live on, so long as they never spoke out against the demons. Any act or talk of rebellion was an immediate death sentence, no trial, no jury. It wasn’t fair or just, but not a single demon gave a shit about any of that.

    Post war, the demons built their Domis, a glorious city of epic proportions. Within its brooding black, obsidian walls every demon could live their life without having to hide who they were. They could be happy. They could have anything and everything they wanted. Well...almost everything. The demons quickly realized they needed a leader. So many quick tempers and short fuses, the demons needed someone to defer to, someone to respect. A monarchy was born, beginning with that original coven leader all those centuries ago.

    And that’s where Namjoon fit in. The crown prince. He didn’t like the titles or the duties that felt like a ball and chain, but women gladly came to his bed every night so he really couldn’t complain.

    Amidst his dreaming, the door to his bedroom suddenly burst open, the heavy oaken door crashing against the wall. A young demon with a wicked grin on his face stepped into the room. “Your Highness! Are you awake?” He yelled, louder than necessary, his black eyes gleaning.

      “No.” Namjoon said, not moving.

      “I can’t imagine anyone could sleep through all this noise I’m making.” Namjoon hated every single one of the palace servants. They were rude, obnoxious, and always trying to get him to do things he did not want to do. And he didn’t want to do a great many of things. “Guess what day it is!” The servant continued to shrill.

      Namjoon peeped his eyes open to glare at the servant. “Jungkook. Do I have to kill you? Is today the day you have to die?”

      Jungkook’s twisted grin widened. “I’m sorry, that’s not the answer we’re looking for!” Of all the servants that he hated, Jungkook was quite possibly the most hated. He was unbearably cheerful and disgustingly perky. Namjoon had a hunch that Jungkook purposefully offered to wake him up every day just to annoy him.

      “Shut. The fuck. Up.” He growled, burying his head into his pillow. “What day is it? Piss the prince off day?”

      “Actually your Highness, it’s pick your mate day!” Jungkook chirped, coming to stand next to Namjoon’s bed. Without asking, Jungkook ripped the plush comforter off of Namjoon’s body. “There are a whole bunch of lovely demon women waiting to be surveyed by you. So get dressed and let’s go.”

    Namjoon sat up. “Tell Yoongi to go fuck himself.” Yoongi was technically the palace counselor, but lately he had been more of a matchmaker. He had thrown so many different women at Namjoon they were honestly just a blur. Namjoon knew his mating birthday was only a few weeks away, but he was not ready for that shit. No fucking way. Once a demon committed to a mate, they couldn’t have sex with another demon for the rest of their life.

    Jungkook sighed loudly. “Look, all you have to do is go downstairs, tell the women they’re ugly, and move on with your day.”

    Namjoon pondered this for a moment...was there a downside? Was there a catch? He glanced at Jungkook who was looking back him with his eyes wide, innocence radiating from their depths. “Fine. But still let Yoongi know that he can go fuck himself.”

    Jungkook grinned impishly. “I will let him know.” His wake up call finished, the servant bowed and exited the room.

    He laid there for a few more moments, thinking about much he hated this whole mate business. Everyone in the entire kingdom knew he couldn’t be satisfied with one woman. His father was the King for fuck’s sake. Couldn’t his father change the laws for him? Shaking his head, Namjoon rolled out of his bed’s warm embrace and quickly threw on some clothes. He made his way down to the Great Hall at a glacial pace. Much too soon, he arrived at the large doors and let out a long-suffering sigh. He could hear the women chattering away from the other side. So annoying. He flung the doors open with ease and the women instantly quieted.

      Yoongi, standing just a few feet from the door, turned to glare. “Your Highness, how nice of you to join us.” He said with zero sincerity.

      Ignoring him outright, Namjoon focused on the mass of women standing at attention. Their backs straight as pins, their chests not even moving with their breath. They were available in all shapes and sizes. No two women were remotely similar. Yoongi had really outdone himself this time. “All of you can go home.” Namjoon announced. The women, not prepared for this reaction, blinked at him, unsure if he was serious.

     “Your High--” Yoongi began.

     But Namjoon cut him off. “Am I not speaking clearly? Leave.” He put a bit of venom in his voice and all the women sprung into action. They were all gone within seconds. Namjoon turned, his smile triumphant. But Yoongi didn’t look pissy, he looked concerned. “What? Did you really think it’d be that easy?” He asked, grinning devilishly.

      Yoongi looked completely resigned. “You didn’t even let me explain why I gathered so fucking many of them. I know you have commitment issues, but now you've fucked yourself.”

    Namjoon was not liking the servant’s tone. “What?”

    “You’re stupider than you look.” Yoongi spat. “Now I have to pick one.”

      Namjoon’s rage at being called stupid was quickly overridden by the vague sense of fear growing in his heart. Yoongi wasn’t joking. “What?”

      Exasperated, Yoongi glared at his prince, his red-speckled black eyes blazing with exasperation. “Today was the last day that you could be free to choose a mate on your own. Now I have to go find someone. Whomever I pick…that’s it.”

    “Jungkook said I could…” That rat bastard. Namjoon felt his blood boil. “I’m going to kill him.”

    Yoongi put his hands up, sighing. “Yeah, kill him. Whatever. I don’t care.” He met Namjoon’s eyes. “Do you have any last requests for a mate?”

    Panicking, Namjoon thought as quickly as he could. He racked his brain for any and every mating law. There had to be something in them, something he could exploit. His father was always on him about not reading their laws. Now it was here to bite him in the ass...wait! Once a demon mate is chosen, sex with another demon is forbidden for the rest of the royal’s life. A demon mate. “Find me a human.” He declared boldly.

    Yoongi was physically repulsed. “Excuse me?”

    “I prefer a human mate. Find me a good human mate. Man or woman. I don’t care. They have to be human.” Namjoon said, suddenly feeling cocky.

      “But…why? You want some pathetic human? As your mate?” Yoongi seemed stuck somewhere in between dumbfounded and disgusted, oblivious to the loophole Namjoon was exploiting.

      “Yes. That’s what I want. I have spoken. Go forth.” Namjoon said, trying to hold in his laughter. He was a goddamn genius.

      Yoongi’s eyes narrowed before he bowed his head. “Very well, your Majesty.”

Chapter Text

               A sharp stinging sensation sent Taehyung back to the waking world, jolting him off the ground and onto his feet. He locked eyes with a person who was sitting next to him. Another demon. This one smiled, not unkindly. “It’s okay, I’m not going to hurt you.” He purred, his voice light and airy.

               Taehyung didn’t drop his guard. “Who are you?” He demanded, trying to sound fierce despite the gnawing pain on his face. He quickly flicked his eyes around the room, they were still in the president’s office. Although both the president and the demon from before were nowhere to be seen.

                The new demon held up his hands, showing he meant no harm. “My name is Jimin. I’ve been assigned as your bodyguard by the man who gave you that nasty gash.” He seemed apologetic, his expression sheepish. It didn’t make Taehyung feel any less shitty. It was going to take a lot more than a few sad eyes and apologetic glances to make him feel any better.

                “Bodyguard.” Taehyung said blandly, reaching his fingers to his face and felt wet, raw flesh. “Fuck.” He hissed.

                “You're under my watch now. I'm a palace guard and now I'm your bodyguard." The demon explained, apparently oblivious to Taehyung’s pain. "I don't want to brag, but I’m a very good bodyguard.”

                Taehyung stared at the demon with blank eyes, entirely unimpressed with his credentials. “Great.” He glanced down and saw that Jimin was holding a tube of salve in his hands. “Is that for me?”

                Looking a tad flustered, the demon nodded. “Oh, right. Sorry, I've never done this kind of thing before. I’ve never dealt with a flesh wound before...your president just kinda handed this to me. Do I jsut put it on or…?” His voice held a slight lisp, growing more prominent the quieter he spoke.

                Fighting the urge to roll his eyes, Taehyung held out his hand and waited for Jimin to place the tube there. He squeezed the tube and put the sweet soothing gel on his wound. He sighed with relief as the cooling sensation eased the pain. He handed the tube back to the demon who took it and crushed it into dust in his hand. Taehyung's eyes widened in surprise.

                The demon shrugged. "You’ll get used to this kind of stuff." Taehyung nodded, still slightly stunned at the display of demonic power. He had never seen it in person before. "Anyways, I was instructed to take you to your home so you can pack your things. And you have to change your clothes." The demon eyed Taehyung up and down disapprovingly.

                 "What's wrong with my clothes?" He asked, looking down at himself. There wasn’t anything wrong with jeans and plain t-shirt. It was the same thing all humans wore.

                 The demon snickered. "Nothing. You just look so...human. Yoongi gave me clothes for you to put on so that you look less human."

                 Less human...Taehyung felt his heart drop. He didn't want to be less human. He had never wanted to be more human in his entire life. “I am a human.” He grumbled.

              "That is devastatingly obvious.” The demon said with no hint of joking. “Trust me, you will understand once we enter Domis." He stood and grabbed the door. "Ready to go?"

              "No, but let's go." He said and the demon smiled wickedly.

              Taehyung led the way to his home. They walked in complete silence. He hated silence. Silence made him think. He didn’t like thinking. His thoughts were always dark, gloomy. Noise helped drown his thoughts out. The silence was growing increasingly uncomfortable, at least to him. Obviously they had nothing to talk about, nothing in common, but this was killing him. Jimin didn’t seem at all uneasy, so it was only him that was bothered.  “So...how long have you been a guard?” He blurted, needing to break.

                The demon glanced down at him as if he was strange in the head. “145 years.”

               “Oh.” Taehyung glanced at the demon’s face. “You look good for your age.”

               Jimin let out a big laugh. “I am considered a young adult in demon years. Our great King is 2,899 years old.” Demons weren’t immortal but they did live very, very long lives. Their outward appearance changed very little once they were fully grown, so it was virtually impossible to tell a demon’s true age.

              “You don’t hate humans?” Taehyung questioned. Jimin didn’t seem physically repulsed by him like that Yoongi guy did.

              The demon looked pensive. “I do, but I wouldn’t be a very good guard if I let my hatred get in the way of what I’m supposed to be guarding.”

              “But you don’t even know me…” Taehyung muttered.

              “And you? You’re a fan of demons?” Jimin countered.

              Taehyung opened his mouth, then closed it. He had a point, but still... “I think my hatred of demons is a bit more justified than your hatred of humans.”

              Jimin chuckled. “Maybe so, but there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it, right?”

             A chill ran up Taehyung’s back and the pair fell back into silence. His eyes might have been kind, but he was still a demon. They had no souls to speak of, not an ounce of genuineness anywhere in their bones.

             “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.” Jimin said.

             Taehyung paused and met the demon’s eyes. “I have a feeling that we’re going to be spending a good chunk of time together, so let’s try to get along?” He offered the only he could offer. It was partially selfish on his part. He could pretend to be friends as long as it kept him alive. Taehyung stuck out his hand.

             The demon's face held nothing but confusion, his eyes searching Taehyung’s for the trick. But there was no trick. If being a demon mate was Taehyung's fate, then there really wasn’t a whole lot he could do about it. Not without dying. Jimin cautiously grabbed Taehyung's hand. “I accept your petty human gesture.”

                “It's not petty.” Taehyung rolled his eyes. “Handshakes mean a lot to humans. Do you even know anything about humans?” He resumed walking.

                Jimin followed closely. “Well...no. Not really. The royal court passes around some stories of humans, but regular demons know next to nothing. The humans that come over to Domis don’t talk about their lives… Actually, even if they did, no one would listen. We do have schools though, but they are only focused on fighting or magick.”

                Taehyung knew the demons used magick. He knew that very well.

                “Demons can learn any kind of magick they want. The most popular ones are the more aggressive, fighting spells, but there are spells for everything. Pleasure spells, domestic spells, foreseeing spells, and the like. Some demons only focus on one type of spell, others like to diversify.”

                “So you guys really like fighting, huh?” Taehyung asked, trying to keep the quiver from his voice.

                Jimin couldn't keep the grin off his face. “Yes, yes we do. It's what we were born to do.”

                “Great.” Taehyung muttered, not at all impressed by his escort's inability to sense feelings. “Well, this is my house.” He gestured to the modestly sized hut he called home.

                “You live here?” The demon asked, his lip curling in disgust.

                Taehyung felt his pesky temper flare. “In case you haven't noticed, no one here is exactly living the high life. You have your brothers in arms to thank for our squalor. If you don't like it, then leave me alone.” He growled and then slapped a hand over his mouth. He should know better than to talk to a demon like that.

                Completely unfazed, and instead looking amused, Jimin laughed. “We'll make a demon mate out of you yet!” With that, he barged past Taehyung and entered his hut. “So small.” He exclaimed, while hunching over so as to not hit the ceiling.

                 Just having had his life be spared, he meekly followed the demon inside. It was the first time he had ever had a demon invade his space like this. The walls, which had always been just big enough, seemed way too claustrophobic. The air was too thin. Taehyung felt his stomach clench and his vision slowly began to blur. Jimin's presence was too much for him to handle in such a small space. “Uh..can you step outside?" Taehyung choked out.

                 Jimin turned to glare at Taehyung, thinking Taehyung was trying to escape. But, then he noticed Taehyung’s shallow breaths and pleading eyes. "Oh shit, sorry." The demon grabbed Taehyung's shoulders. "This might hurt a bit, but bear with it." Jimin turned Taehyung around and pulled the collar of Taehyung's shirt down. "I forgot to do this earlier." Jimin pressed a finger to Taehyung’s skin and he began to feel a sharp stinging. Before the stinging got too intense, Jimin stepped back and the air was immediately easier to breathe.

Taehyung instinctively slapped a hand to the back of his neck. “What was that? What happened?"

                 "Well...it's a mark. It's a type of spell." Jimin explained. "After a few of your kind entered Domis, we realized that humans couldn't handle being in close quarters with demons. They get sick and can't breathe and stuff. So, we developed this mark to alleviate the symptoms. Sorry I forgot to do it earlier." The demon shrugged apologetically.

                 He ran his fingers over the new indent in his skin. "It's permanent?"

                 Jimin grinned, probably thinking this development would make him happy. "Yep, you never have to worry about feeling sick around demons again."

                 "Let's get one thing straight." Taehyung glared into the demon's eyes. "No amount magick will ever prevent me from feeling sick around demons."

                 Sighing deeply and losing his smile, Jimin plopped himself down on Taehyung’s bed. "You humans are so dramatic. Hurry up, we’re late.”

Chapter Text

        Taehyung’s dark-skinned escort led him up to the massive, engraved, black doors. The doors to hell, as the humans called them. From the other side, Taehyung could hear women's voices singing demon folk songs. The songs of the demons were seductive and enticing, irresistible even. It was hard not to sway along to their drums and their cimbaloms and their furiously fast guitar. But, it held no appeal to him. They were singing their song of celebration; their prince had found a mate. Behind those doors, the entire demon kingdom was waiting to feast their eyes upon him. Waiting to see him, jeer at him, and curse him for being human.

        Jimin glanced over at him. “Try not to look so terrified.” The demon whispered, as if that was even remotely possible. A stupid, fear-driven idea popped into his head. He could run. Taehyung wanted to run. He didn’t know where he’d go or where he’d stay, but he could try. Anything had to be better than this. His body jerked, making a move to escape. Before he could even pick up his foot to take a step, Jimin’s powerful hand was on his shoulder. “Don’t make this harder on yourself. You’re gonna get yourself killed.” The demon spoke softly, pityingly. Taehyung wanted to cry. Why him? What the fuck was that damn prince thinking? Preferring humans…what a joke. “I’m opening the doors now.”

        The doors swung open easily despite their massive size and the roar of the crowd exploded, making his ears ring. Taehyung’s eyes were like saucers as he tried to process what all he was seeing. Such rich, colorful clothing. So many demons in one place. The roar of their screams and their music. Demons were dancing in small groups, the women were whipping their rose-colored skirts around and around. It was dizzying. It was too much. He was frozen in panic. The buildings were so tall. They loomed over the crowds, black and threatening. The lights were too bright. He began to shake, shutting his eyes from it all.

         Jimin’s hands found Taehyung’s shoulder again. He nudged Taehyung forward ever so slightly and Taehyung found himself grounded again. He found his breath again. Jimin pushed a little harder and the two began to walk down the aisle the still-screaming crowd had formed. Taehyung kept his head down, not wanting to meet anyone’s eyes. He couldn’t think of a single thing he had done to deserve this. Jimin’s hand never stopped guiding him along. If it weren’t for that, he would have still be stuck at the entrance gates. “If something wants to kill me, they could do it now.” He muttered to himself.

         “Don’t be ridiculous. I’d never let anything kill you.” Jimin whispered reassuringly. Apparently demons didn’t understand sarcasm. A few hundred more tortuous feet and Jimin pressed down harder on Taehyung’s shoulder, making him stop. They had come upon a small set of stairs. Beyond the stairs stood the most imposing structure Taehyung had ever seen in his short, unfulfilling life. The palace. Raw power and demonic energy radiated from the palace’s numerous pointed towers, the obsidian walls shined with the sun beaming. “Oh god.”

         “No god here. Let’s go.” The two made their way up the stairs and into the palace courtyard. Gathered all around the yard were various, elegantly dressed, breathtakingly beautiful demons. “Everyone here is a royal.” Jimin explained under his breath. “Not directly in line for the throne, but important enough to be here for this spectacle. They all live elsewhere in the kingdom, their own palaces, whatever. Do not anger them…” Jimin said, turning to look Taehyung in the eyes. “I do not have the authority to protect you from them.” His eyes were cold, serious. Taehyung nodded numbly.

        There were 2 luxurious chairs placed side by side in the middle of the courtyard. That same stunning obsidian stone garnished the thrones, a purple velvet covering the seats. Those chairs were worth more than this entire life...times one thousand.

        “Where do I go?” Taehyung asked, his voice barely audible.

        Jimin hesitated before answering. “Take a seat.” Taehyung glanced around, avoiding eye contact with the demons gathered. There were no other chairs except for the thrones and he wasn’t about to go sit in one of those. “On the ground.”

        Taehyung felt something similar to anger rise up inside of him, but his utter fear beat any anger back down into submission. “Oh.” He muttered and assumed his position on the ground. He was supposed to be the prince’s mate...and yet the floor was where he belonged in their eyes. He was still a human.

        Jimin left Taehyung’s side to go stand next to the thrones. “Attention lords and ladies!” Jimin’s voice echoed through the yard. He didn’t need to call attention. Everyone’s eyes were already glued to Taehyung. “Please gather around for the Inquisition of the Mate. His majesty the King is now entering.”

       The entire courtyard of demons immediately lowered themselves onto one knee. Taehyung clumsily followed suit as quickly as he could. An overwhelmingly heavy presence filled the air as a sharp-featured demon stepped into the courtyard. The King. He looked young, like all demons did, but his face seemed darker, more brooding. His eyes were entirely pitch black, no specks of color within their depths. Jimin’s eyes had been tinged with specks of green. Even the nastiness that was the demon from his school had had some red scattered like embers in his eyes. The King’s eyes were like endless black holes, brimming with hatred. He glanced briefly at Taehyung and turned his nose up in disgust. He sat down in his throne primly and looked to Jimin. “I can’t believe you’ve let a fucking human in here.” The King snarled.

        Jimin lowered his head. “I’m sorry, your Majesty. But, this human is to be the prince’s mate. He was selected by Yoongi.”

        The rest of the court slowly came out of their bow, Taehyung was too afraid to move, too afraid to breathe. The King made an annoyed sound. “Yoongi, that dumbshit. What was he thinking? Demons and humans can’t be mates.”

         “Well, Yoongi believes that this human will be able to mate with the prince. He has done extensive research and finally found a human whom he thinks can suite the prince. The prince requested a human and…”

        “Shut up.” The King barked. “Enough. Human!” He roared in Taehyung’s direction.

        Taehyung, unsure of how to speak to the King, looked up meekly. “Yes…?” He replied, voice noticeably quivering.

        The King smirked wickedly, the raw and unfiltered hatred in his eyes made Taehyung cower. “Do you know what it means to be a demon’s mate?”

        “No…?” Taehyung said, just waiting for the moment when the King grew tired of this facade and killed him on the spot.

        "I thought not." He said, his expression calculating. "Do you think you are worthy of being a mate to my son?"

        It was a trick question and it made Taehyung's body cold all over. There was no right answer. Any answer was sure to piss the King off. If he said yes, how dare he think a mere human is equal to the prince? If he said no, which was the actual answer, the King would kill him for being exactly what he was. With terror in his eyes, Taehyung glanced at Jimin. Jimin looked back at him with the same sense of terror.

        "What the fuck is going on out here?" A low, thick voice suddenly sliced through the awkward silence. The voice was his saving grace.

         Taehyung's head whipped in the direction of the voice and felt his jaw drop in awe. Though the man was obviously a demon, Taehyung couldn't help but feel something different about this one. He was was shirtless, exposing a bronzed, perfectly defined chest. His blond hair was ruffled and messy and yet, perfectly settled. His eyes were deep and limitless, their warm amber color shone in the sunlight. And there he was, the focus of the demon’s intense stare. The demon was beyond beautiful, he would admit that only to himself. Taehyung’s heart picked up speed, his skin itched with excitement. What was this...feeling? Taehyung shook his head, trying to get his strange thoughts out of his mind.

         "Ah, the prodigal son emerges." The King snarked. He gestured for the confused-looking demon to come forward. "My son. Meet your mate."

        The prince's amber eyes bore into Taehyung's. "That?" He said with a sarcastic laugh. "You're joking."

        Taehyung felt like sighing. Somehow this was the reaction he had been expecting. This was all some giant unfunny joke. "That's what I said,” the King said, sounding exasperated. “But Yoongi was apparently told that you demanded a human mate. And that..." The King said, jerking his thumb at Taehyung. "Is what you get."

        Several emotions played across the prince's face before an invisible light bulb seemed to go off over his head. "Oh...yeah." The prince nodded his head and surveyed Taehyung again, his eyes more calculating, analyzing this time. "Yes, yes. This is fine." The prince said to Jimin. "Set him up in the room next to mine."

        The King's lip curled up into a ferocious snarl. "That's it!?" He roared, outraged. "No questions!? Nothing? That human satisfies you?" The King stood and stomped over to him. This was it. This was the end. The blazing demon grabbed Taehyung by the collar and dragged him to his feet. "I will not allow it." He glowered and placed his hands onto Taehyung’s face. He felt the sting of tears begin to form in his eyes, but they didn’t fall. Instead, the stinging quickly grew into burning. Burning dryness, his mouth felt like the desert. Taehyung tried to form some kind of saliva, but nothing was coming.

       "How shall I kill you?" The King growled. "Dehydration or overhydration? Hmm?" Taehyung felt his entire body shriveling up from the inside, every ounce of liquid was leaving his body.

       "Father, stop." The prince said, sounding bored. "Just let him go already. He gets it. You're scary, alright."

       The King grinned and dropped Taehyung. As he hit the ground, vomit coiled it’s way up Taehyung’s throat. His body refilled with water at an alarmingly fast rate and most of it was coming out the wrong way. “Disgusting.” The King hissed before stalking off the courtyard grounds.

       The prince, as uninterested as possible, sighed like the weight of the world was on his broad, broad shoulders. "Jimin, get him cleaned up. This is so fucking annoying." He ordered before walking off in the opposite direction of his father.

        Jimin waited for the prince to be out of sight before racing over to Taehyung's side. "Are you okay? I can take you to our healer." His expression was worried. The kindness was back in his eyes. But Taehyung was immune to this false sense of comfort he provided.

        "What...happened...to...me...?" Taehyung struggled to form words, his stomach still rolling.

        "His Majesty is very gifted with water control spells. And since you humans are made up of so much water, his Majesty has developed some very...creative ways of torturing your people." Jimin explained as gently as someone could explain something like that.

        "Oh..." He breathed. "Awesome." His stomach flipped and he couldn't hold in his loud groan.

       Jimin ducked down and shoved his arms under Taehyung’s body, hoisting him up into his arms. "I know this is uncomfortable for you, but please bear with it. I will take you to our healer."

      Taehyung wished the King had just finished the job.

Chapter Text

    A few weeks after his ingenious decree, Namjoon was feeling pretty swell about himself. At least he had been. Until he woke up one day in the middle of the afternoon and the palace was deserted. He had originally been awakened by the distant screaming and roaring of what sounded like the entirety of Domis, but once he finally dragged himself out of bed, he found the palace hallways were eerily quiet. Not a servant to be seen, no cooks in the kitchen, no guards standing watch, no one. He couldn’t even find his father who usually liked to mope somewhere in the rose gardens.

    If it was a joke, it wasn’t amusing.

     “Where the hell is everyone?” Namjoon roared as he stood in the grand foyer, his heart rate quickening. He tried to keep his mind busy, but repressed memories began to play in the corners of his mind. The day was starting to feel a lot like the day his mother had disappeared. It had happened so many years ago, but the panic, the sorrow was painfully fresh. That day, Namjoon had woken up and knew something was different, something was wrong. His mother’s special routine. It didn’t happen that day. There was no slow, soothing transition into being awake, guided by her gentle songs. That morning, Namjoon had woken up on his own. Once he realized she wasn’t at his side, he had jolted out of bed and ran into the hallway. He raced through the palace, calling and calling, but no one came for him, no one replied. Everyone was gone. Most of them did return eventually. But not his mother. No. His mother had left him all alone. She disappeared without a word, didn’t even leave a note.

     Heart slamming against his chest, Namjoon ran outside into the front courtyard. He stopped dead in his tracks when he realized that the entire royal court was gathered. Apparently he had missed this memo. He glanced over and saw his father sitting in his throne with a worried-looking Jimin standing next to him. Jimin never looked worried. Everyone in the courtyard was focused on the person sitting on the ground. Namjoon stared and almost didn’t believe his eyes. A human. Completely bewildered, Namjoon stepped into the hot sunlight. “What the fuck is going on out here?”

     The human turned his head to look at him and Namjoon was momentarily frozen under the power of his chocolate gaze. He had never seen a human with such fire behind his eyes. There was fear there, unmistakable fear. But beyond the fear, there was a hawk-like focus, a deep quandary of stories waiting to be told. His eyes were alluring; they dragged Namjoon further into the courtyard.

     Namjoon shifted his focus away from the human’s eyes, and there he noticed a nasty, raw welt on the human’s face. The wound annoyed Namjoon. Humans were trash, but this one had looked good at least.

     “Ah, the prodigal son emerges.” His father sounded enraged, his pitch black eyes bubbling with demonic energy. “My son. Meet your mate.”

     Namjoon looked back at the human and had to laugh. “Excuse me?”

     The King sighed. “See? This is what I said. But Yoongi said you requested a human and I knew that couldn’t be correct…” His father continued to talk, but Namjoon tuned him out. Duh. In his earlier panic, he had forgotten what he had told Yoongi. He hadn’t really thought that Yoongi would do it, though. But now, he was faced with this human. Damaged, but still beautiful. Maybe Seokjin could fix him up a bit, get rid of that gash.

     “Yes, that’s fine.” Namjoon said, cutting his father off. “Jimin, set him up in the room next to mine.”

     Jimin nodded and started to move towards the human, but the King suddenly erupted.

     Namjoon watched with vague disinterest as his father ran at the petrified human and dragged him to his feet. The King’s magick energy rushed through the courtyard, a gust of wind ruffling the clothing of the gathered royals. They all watched with varying levels of delight. A live execution was a rare treat. He didn’t care if his father killed the human. It just meant they could delay his mating ritual and he could continue on with his womanizing ways.

     But then, he noticed something odd.

     Jimin looked panicked, jittery. His brow was furrowed, his hands twitching, magick sparks fizzling around his fingers. It looked like Jimin wanted to fight...for the human? Jimin, who had devoted his entire life to serving his father looked ready to defend this human. Something about the human had effected Jimin. Probably those eyes of his.

    “Father, stop.” Namjoon called out. The human’s eyes flicked to Namjoon’s face, relief filling his sharp features. He sighed. It wasn’t like he was doing the human any great favor. If his father didn’t kill the human at that moment, there would be another moment just around the corner. It was only a matter of time. The King dropped the human to the ground and walked off in a huff. Such a brat, as always. Namjoon watched curiously as the human vomited on the stone beneath his feet. Humans really were as pathetic and weak as the stories said they were. “Jimin, get him cleaned up. This is annoying.” He ordered and walked back inside the palace.

    From the window, he watched the normally expressionless guard race over to the human. Jimin looked deeply concerned and didn’t seem to know what to do with his hands. The demon’s lips moved quickly as he spoke to the queasy-looking human. Then, Jimin hefted the fragile human up into his arms. His eyes narrowed as Namjoon felt a twinge of something he hadn’t felt before. “He’s my mate.” He muttered.

    “Isn’t he a beauty?” Namjoon jumped as Yoongi suddenly appeared in front of him.

    “I hate when you do that.” He growled at the servant. “Go creep someone else out.”

    Yoongi grinned mischievously. “But it’s so much fun to scare you, your Majesty. Anyways, I think I’ve outdone myself this time.”

    Namjoon shook his head. “You really brought a human here to be my mate?”

    Yoongi’s stupid grin got wider. “Of course, that’s what you said you wanted." The matchmaker spoke with fake sweetness. "And I aim to please you, your Majesty. Trust me when I say that you will find this mate to your satisfaction.”

    Namjoon grimaced. “No fucking way. Besides, it's only a matter of time before my father kills him."

    “Oh I really don’t think that’ll be happening." Yoongi said.

    "What are you talking about?" Namjoon demanded, staring straight into the redness of Yoongi’s eyes. There was something the servant wasn't saying, something that only he knew about. “I know I said I wanted a human, but this is just a delay of the inevitable. There's no way my father will allow that human to live within these walls for very long."

    "Perhaps.” The matchmaker shrugged and disappeared in a puff of black fog.

    Namjoon groaned and rubbed his fingers against his temples. He had only been awake for about an hour and he already wanted to go back to sleep. He just wanted to sleep and forget all about that stupid human and his stupid eyes.

      "Your Majesty?" A meek voice broke the heavy silence around him. He turned to see an unfamiliar face.

    "And who the fuck are you?" He asked, not really caring.

    The diminutive demon bowed his head. “I just started here as a gardener." He explained. "Uh...I was walking through the palace to get to the east gardens and Jimin spotted me and asked me to find you and ask you to come to the healer's room." Great. Another long-winded servant. Just what the palace needed. "Uh...he said something about wanting to talk to you and something about a human." The servant’s lips seemed to curl up into a small snarl at the word ‘human’.

      Namjoon felt himself grow a bit irritated. "That's my mate you're snarling at, servant. Is that going to be a problem?"

      The already small demon shrunk even more under Namjoon’s angry gaze. "No!" He whimpered miserably. "I didn't know. I'm very sorry, your Majesty."

      Satisfied, but also confused at himself, Namjoon nodded. "Good. Keep your personal feelings to yourself. Now go water some plants." The servant scurried off and Namjoon began walking towards the healer’s house. He wanted nothing to do with the human, he was sure about that. But, he had always been a possessive person. Regardless of if he wanted the human or not, the human was still his. And he would not allow anyone to damage his property.

Chapter Text

     Taehyung felt so unbelievably uncomfortable in the demon’s arms, he couldn’t stop himself from squirming. The mark on the back of his neck was stinging and pinching. It wasn’t natural to be skin-to-skin with a demon. “Just bear with it a little longer.” Jimin muttered. “The hut’s right over there.”

     Grateful for something else to focus on other than the demon’s touch, Taehyung was a bit surprised. He wasn’t sure what he had expected from a demon healer’s hut, but he hadn’t expected it to look so inviting. The warm brown brick walls and expertly thatched roof, a small chimney poking out from the top, the hut reminded him of a fairytale. Light gray smoke puffed delicately from the chimney, filling the air with a delicious smell.

     “Smells like Jin is cooking again.” Jimin mentioned, smiling to himself.

     As they approached the door, it opened on its own to reveal a tall, kind-faced demon. His hair was pulled up into a ponytail, but it still reached down to his back. “Jungkook said you’d be stopping by. Come in, come in.” His voice was soft, an unwavering smile on his round face. Jimin entered the hut and set Taehyung down on a chair. “Hello, human. My name is Seokjin, but you can call me Jin.” The demon introduced himself.

     Taehyung glanced all around the tiny hut, his eyes wide with wonder. There were various herbs and flowers hung all along the walls. Messy, disheveled shelves brimming with books and miscellaneous vials filled with mysterious liquids took up the most space. At the center of all the organized chaos was a stone fireplace with a pot hanging over the flames. “This is Taehyung.” Jimin said once he realized Taehyung wasn’t responding.

     Jin’s smile faded for a moment. “So…who gave you that wound? The prince?” The healer asked, placing his fingers against Taehyung’s face. Taehyung winced in anticipation for the mark on his neck to start burning, but it didn’t come.

     Puzzled, Taehyung shook his head. “No…this is from...um...I think his name was Yoongi.” He said, his voice coming out weakly. Jimin nodded in agreement, clearly annoyed with his superior.

     Jin scowled. “Someone needs to teach that brat some manners. Well, this shouldn’t be a problem. We’ll get you back to normal in no time.” The healer turned around and started mulling around, talking softly to himself.

      “Um…can I ask a question?” Taehyung asked, glancing at Jimin for reassurance.

     Jin turned back to face him. “Of course. I have no qualm with you humans. I’m not sure how Jimin feels.” He looked to the guard and Jimin frowned. “Apparently his thoughts have changed.” Jin mused, sounding amused.

     “How come my mark doesn’t burn when you touch me?” Taehyung asked.

      The healer chuckled. “I wouldn’t be a very good healer if it hurt when I touched people, now would I? Doesn’t matter if you’re a human or a demon, I’ve only ever been able to heal people.” Jin sighed, sounding dismayed by this fact. “Oh well. Anyway, I know Jimin didn’t carry you all the way here just because of that cut on your face.” He looked at the guard pointedly.

      Jimin made an annoyed sound. “His Majesty the King is a little unhappy that Namjoon selected a human as his mate. And well…you know how he his.”

      Jin sat in front of Taehyung and cupped his face with one hand. His other hand scooped a blue liquid from a bowl and applied it to Taehyung’s wound. The liquid was ice cold, almost too cold. But before it could really bother him, Jin locked eyes with Taehyung. He blinked and the demon’s eyes lit up bright purple, covering Taehyung’s face with their glow. Time seemed to stand still as he lost himself in the demon’s eyes. And then suddenly, the glow was gone. Jin’s eyes turned back to black, only small flecks of purple floating within them now. “How do you feel?” He asked.

      Taehyung blinked a few more times and ran an internal diagnostic check on his body. He felt…perfect. “Good.” He answered, slightly stunned. “What was that?”

      “Magick.” Jin explained with nonchalance. “Magick isn’t always used to harm people, despite what you’ve experience so far.”

Before Taehyung could roll his eyes, the door to the hut exploded open making him yelp in surprise. Completely unbothered, Jin and Jimin bowed their heads respectively. The prince had arrived.

      Namjoon’s cool amber eyes surveyed the hut and then laid his strong gaze on his supposed mate. The demon’s unimpressed, disinterested eyes made Taehyung want to cower in fear. The man wasn’t his savior. He was just bored, apathetic, not wanting anything bothersome to happen. And by definition, Taehyung was very bothersome. But Taehyung wouldn’t cower anymore, he couldn’t. He had spent his whole life living in fear of the demons. Now was his chance to take a stand for all humankind. Taehyung straightened his posture and faced the prince head on. “Some gardener said you wanted to see me.” Namjoon said, not breaking eye contact with Taehyung.

     Jin cleared his throat uncomfortably. “Well, Jungkook told me your mate would be stopping by and I thought you might want to see how your mate was doing. Your father gave him quite the welcome.”

      The demon prince didn’t respond and instead walked toward Taehyung. His expression changing from bored to unreadable. Taehyung didn’t know what to expect. Every moment he spent in this demon world, he was more worried about being killed than ever. He hated it. He hated the prince. It was all his fault. Namjoon bent to be eye-level with him. “I’ve never seen a human with eyes like yours. They interest me.”

      Jimin and Jin exchanged glances and left the hut silently. Taehyung wanted to stop them, tell them to come back, tell them to save him. But, something stopped him. And that something was Namjoon. He looked away from the door and met the demon’s eyes. “Well, if that’s the only interesting thing about me why don’t you just take them from me and let me carry on with my life?” He blurted without thinking.

       Namjoon’s piercingly clear amber eyes widened for a second, surprise overtaking his sharp features. Taehyung’s life was about to end, he was sure of it this time. But then, the prince began to laugh. "You're a fighter." Namjoon’s eyes sparkled and a wicked smile quirked his lips. In that moment, the demon looked alive and almost...human. Namjoon reached out his hand to touch Taehyung and he flinched instinctively. The prince frowned. "I'm not going to hurt you, human. I need you."

       It was Taehyung’s turn to look surprised. "Huh?"

       The prince sighed and sat back. "Listen...I like having sex, okay? But once I pick a mate, I can't have sex with other demons anymore. Stupid, right? That’s where you come in. You're my loophole. The mating laws state that if I pick a demon mate, I can't have sex with another demon. So I picked a human. Well Yoongi picked you actually, so if you're gonna blame anyone, blame him."

        As Namjoon was explaining, Taehyung felt his blood boil as his pesky temper flared. He knew he shouldn't yell at the imposing demon before him; it was yet another potential life-ending mistake. But, he was starting to see red. "So...you mean to tell me that you dragged me from my normal, peaceful life free from all you fucking demons just so you could continue to fuck other demons?" Taehyung shrieked, unable to stop himself. "I'm here right now because you have commitment issues!?"

       Faster than Taehyung could comprehend, Namjoon had him by the throat and was dragging him from the hut. A moment later and the two of them were airborne, a mile off the ground. The demon’s eyes were blazing with fury, his expression murderous. Taehyung was stuck between needing to breathe and clutching at the demon’s arms, begging him not to let go. "Remember your place, human." Namjoon’s voice was guttural, animalistic. "I can kill you at any second." Taehyung's vision began to blur from the lack of oxygen. "But I won't." The demon said, loosening his grip ever so slightly. Slowly, Namjoon brought them back down to the sweet safety of the solid ground. "As I said, I do need you, however annoying you are." The prince's voice was suddenly gentle. "And now that you're here, you need me. Without me, all those demons outside the palace walls will just eat you up." Taehyung was shaking all over, unable to squelch his fear of the demon any longer. "So...repeat after me." Completely resigned, Taehyung nodded. "I, state your name." Namjoon spoke formally.

       "I, Kim Taehyung." He whispered, staring at the ground.

       "Promise myself to the crown prince and will serve him as a mate." Namjoon continued.

       A single, hot tear fell from Taehyung's eye. It was happening. He was signing his life away to a demon. "Promise myself to the crown prince and will serve him as a mate." He said with gritted teeth.

       The prince hesitated. "And now for the seal..." He lowered his face to be level with Taehyung's. Their eyes met and Taehyung felt an odd sense of intrigue, that stupid tingle coming from Jimin's mark once again. Namjoon sighed and tilted his head. He brought his lips to meet Taehyung's. The mark on his neck burned like fire and a fierce wind formed a vortex around the two of them. He wanted to break the kiss, wanted to stop the pain, but Namjoon's hands were grabbing the sides of his face. He pulled Taehyung closer to him and deepened the embrace, their tongues finally meeting. The heat from Taehyung's neck spread to his cheeks, his lips, his chest, all through his body. He felt like he was being engulfed by invisible flames. He wanted to scream.

       Namjoon broke the kiss and stepped back. The scorching fire immediately extinguished and Taehyung fell to his knees. A slow, lopsided grin spread across the demon's face. "You're mating marks are beautiful. I didn't think a human would get them, but it seems Yoongi was right."

       Physically and mentally drained, Taehyung glanced at the smug prince. "What are...you...talking about?" He panted.

      Namjoon snapped his fingers and a mirror appeared in front of him. Taehyung’s jaw went slack as he saw what was happening to his skin. Every inch of his skin was covered in thin, delicate shimmering golden lines. The lines formed stunningly intricate designs, every line meeting with another in an unending maze of elegant beauty. There were swirls and whirls and every last bit gleamed brightly in the sun. All too soon, the lines began to fade away. “Those are the mating marks. They form when two mates seal their contract. I honestly thought you’d die from them.” Namjoon shrugged.

     “So...what does that mean?” Taehyung asked dully.

     Namjoon smirked. “It means you’re mine now.”

Chapter Text

    Namjoon wasn’t super thrilled to be chasing after the human. He didn’t appreciate being summoned by Jin. And beyond that, what the hell was he supposed to do when he got there? Coddle the human? Tell him it’s okay? He didn’t have a coddling bone in his body. That’s why they hired Jin. Sure, there was apparently more to the human than what met the eyes, given Jimin and Yoongi’s odd reactions. He wasn’t sure what that ‘more’ was, but there had to be something behind his strong eyes. The human’s eyes seemed to burn with rebellion despite the situation he was in. Namjoon recalled the scene in the courtyard and found himself slightly impressed at the human’s composure. He had broken under his father’s torture, everyone did, but for the most part the human wasn’t a total sobbing, distraught mess.

    “Maybe…he can withstand the mating marks after all?” Namjoon mused. Seokjin’s stupid shack was so damn far away, almost at the very edge of the palace grounds. The walk over was giving him too much time to think.

    Once the weed-infested, overgrown hut came into view, Namjoon felt a strange sensation in his stomach. It was an unfamiliar feeling to him. He could hear Seokjin and Jimin’s voices chattering away. Then the human’s meek, but low voice spoke. Namjoon smirked and put his foot against the ancient wooden door. He reeled it back and then kicked the door open, making sure his entrance left as big of an impact as it could.

    The human’s eyes widened and he jumped off his chair, his hands reflexively raising in defense. Jimin and Jin paused calmly in their conversation, giving him no reaction. They simply bowed in greeting. They just weren’t any fun. He brought his gaze back to the human. Namjoon watched with amusement and fascination as the human’s inner monologue seemed to play across his expressive face. Reaching an internal decision, the human stood at full attention and met Namjoon’s eyes head on. That rebellion raged on in the human’s irises and Namjoon suddenly felt downright jolly. “Some gardener said you wanted to see me.” He said to Jin, not breaking contact with the human. Jin was saying something in response, but Namjoon immediately tuned him out. Instead, he took a step towards the human, who didn’t look all that pleased about it. That fire in his eyes burned a little hotter, a little angrier. “I’ve never seen a human with eyes like yours. I find them very interesting.” Namjoon said. How was it possible for a mere human to have such power in his eyes?

    Jimin and Jin quietly left the hut, sensing they weren’t welcome. The human’s eyes flicked to the door. Desperation swept through their mahogany depths. The human was alone with the big bad demon prince. Looking annoyed, the human met Namjoon’s eyes once more. “Well, if that’s the only interesting thing about me why don’t you just take them from me and let me carry on with my life?” The human growled and then immediately slapped a hand over his own mouth.

    Pleasantly surprised, and even more surprised that he found it pleasant, Namjoon let out a laugh. He wasn’t an ordinary human. “You’re a fighter.” He said with a grin. Namjoon realized that the scar that had previously marred the human’s face was nowhere to be seen, clear, softly tanned skin taking its place. Before he could stop himself, Namjoon reached out his fingers to stroke where the wound had once been. The human flinched away from his touch. Of course he flinched. Had he been given a reason to not flinch? “I’m not going to hurt you, human. I need you.” He spoke in his most soothing voice, not that it came out all that relaxing.

    The human’s bright eyes widened. “Huh?” Even the human’s confused face was good-looking. The human was owed at least an explanation since he had been dragged here unwillingly. Namjoon plainly explained his reasons for calling the human to the palace and the fact that he wanted to continue having sex with as many demons as he pleased. Instead of looking relieved, which was honestly what Namjoon had been expecting, the human’s tiny face unexpectedly filled with rage. “I’m here right now because you have commitment issues!?” The human screeched, his voice strangled.

    Unable to reign in his own anger, red raw rage flashing before his eyes, Namjoon grabbed the human by his oh so fragile neck and burst through the hut’s thatched roof, high up into the sky. It was his specialty. The spells of flight. The human’s face was contorted into the perfect image of terror, gagged and pained noises barely escaped his throat. Namjoon wasn’t going to kill the human in that instance, but the human didn’t know that.

    As he watched the human fight for air but also try his best to cling to Namjoon’s arms, he realized he still didn’t know the human’s name. Everyone else probably knew his name, he was probably the only one who didn’t. How annoying. Well...it was as good a time as any to try the damn mating marks. Namjoon slowly began to descend back to land.

    “Repeat after me.” He ordered once their feet touched the earth.

    His throat no longer being closed, the human took deep, gasping breaths as he hung his head in resignation. His feathery black hair covering his eyes. “I, Taehyung...” He muttered softly.

    Taehyung…Taehyung…Taehyung…Namjoon rolled the name around in his head. He liked the sound of it. “And now for the seal…” This was it. This was the moment of truth. Either the human burst into flames, or his body accepted the mating marks. He grasped the human’s shoulders, lowering himself so they were almost lip to lip. Promise myself to the crown prince and will serve him as a mate.” He continued the mating promise. Only hesitating for a moment longer, Namjoon closed the gap between them and their lips touched.

    Electricity jolted through him as the magick of the mating marks flowed from his body into Taehyung’s. When the human didn’t immediately catch fire, Namjoon deepened the kiss. That electric feeling grew stronger and stronger, buzzing around through his brain, through every cell in his body. And then, the human’s body responded. A slow, creeping, foreign feeling began to push back against Namjoon’s electricity. Time seemed to stand still as intricate golden lines began to form behind his eyes. The mating marks. It was happening.

    Namjoon opened his eyes and stepped away from the human. He watched with amazement as the dazzling lines etched their way into Taehyung’s tanned skin. They were beautiful. He was beautiful.

    Taehyung crumbled to his ground, obviously exhausted. Exhaustion was the best possible outcome, given that the alternative was turning to ash. The human looked up, a golden spark blazing in his eyes. "So what now?" He said, a surprising amount of strength in his voice.

    Namjoon held out his hand to the human. From that moment on, their fates were connected until eternity. "Taehyung, it's time for you to start your training."

    The human ignored the hand being offered to him and stood on his own. "Training for what?"

    "Mate training. There are duties you must perform as a mate. You didn't think you'd just be sitting around doing nothing, did you?"

    Taehyung cocked his head to the side. “I’ve been busy fearing for my life, I haven’t really had the time to think about what I’ll be ‘doing’ here other than dying here.” His brow furrowed a bit. “You've made it clear you don't want to have sex with me..." Namjoon nodded adamantly. "So, while you're having sex with other demons...I guess I can have sex with other humans then."

      "No." Namjoon said bluntly, immediately annoyed. He didn't care how hypocritical he was being. No mate of his was going to be fucking around.

    "No?" Taehyung questioned. "What do you mean 'no'? I think that's only fair."

    Namjoon grabbed his mate’s shoulder and guided him towards the palace. "I don't care what’s fair. If I see you sneaking off to go fuck some pathetic human chick, I will track you down and put you in a cage." The human sighed, visibly choosing to let the discussion go. It was a gesture that Namjoon didn’t like. His mate looked frustrated and he didn’t like that. Namjoon didn't know what it was like to be denied sex, but he could only imagine the horror. "Maybe after you complete your training...I don't know..." He muttered begrudgingly, not really wanting to agree to something like that.

      "Where are we going?" Taehyung asked, suddenly changing topics. His eyes were wide and full of amazement. Namjoon realized belatedly that a human had never been inside the palace before. To them, the structure must seem surreal. It was immaculate, luxurious, decadent, and grotesquely spacious; a stark contrast to the squalor the humans lived in.

      "Oh...right." Namjoon spread his arms wide, gesturing to the foyer they were standing in. "This is the palace. It's not the warmest place, but it’s home. I have to introduce you to Hoseok first, but after that I'll show you your room. If you want, you can redesign it to whatever you want." He mustered a small smile for Taehyung, hoping this might make him feel a bit better.

      "Anything I want?" Taehyung asked. "That would be nice." A glimmer of something like a smile briefly crossed the human's lips. The first smile Namjoon had ever seen from the human. "Who's Hoseok?"

      "Hoseok is in charge of training all the guards in the palace, and by default, training mates. He'll break down your lessons for you." Namjoon explained, once again leading the way. Taehyung didn’t look super excited about meeting yet another demon. But Hoseok was nothing to be afraid of. He was uncommonly kind for a demon, possibly even more than Jin. Despite his annoying specialty.

    "What exactly will I be learning in these lessons?" Taehyung persisted in his questioning.

    Namjoon paused, quite unsure of the answer himself. "Well...uh...spellcasting, combat training, etiquette...basic mate stuff." He said, assuming it was true.

    "I will do the etiquette and I highly doubt that I will be successful at spellcasting, but I will try it. However," Taehyung was angry again. “I will not be doing any combat training." The human sounded determined and Namjoon grimaced. Hoseok was kind. But he was still a demon. There was no escaping his training. Guard recruits dropped like flies under Hoseok’s training. Taehyung couldn’t drop though, he was stuck.

    "Okay..." Namjoon spoke slowly. "Well, you'll have to take that up with Hoseok."

    Taehyung narrowed his eyes at the door they had stopped in front of. "Oh I will." He said, sounding dangerous. Namjoon admired his mate...but also pitied him. He had no idea what he was in for.

Chapter Text

     Taehyung watched the demon prince swing open the giant doors, pure dread creating a nauseous feeling in his stomach. He had very, very strong feelings about violence. All humans did. They had seen violence, felt violence, lived in fear of violence. The thought of being trained in any kind of combat, made him want to run. Somehow he had accepted everything else that happened to him so far. He had accepted the whatever marks, even though they hurt like hell. When he looked at his arms, he was surprised there were no scars. It had felt like those lines were carving themselves into his skin. But as quickly as they had come, they left his body. Taehyung had accepted that...kiss, too. He had been in too much pain and too much shock to protest, but that had definitely happened.

     He shook his head. It was best not think about that. He accepted all things that had been thrown at him lately, but he wasn’t about to accept this damn combat training without a fight.

     The massive doors finally fully opened, revealing behind them a large gymnasium-type room. It was a far cry from the luxurious style that he had seen on their way over. But, there really wasn’t a way to make a gym very luxurious, he supposed. It was well-stocked. Lines of every workout machine anyone could ever imagine, boxing rings, the works. Taehyung took and a deep breath and detected the faint smell of chlorine. Maybe he could drown himself later..

    “Hoseok!” Namjoon called loudly, startling Taehyung a bit.

    A few short seconds later a light-haired, pleasant-looking demon stood before them, bowing slightly to Namjoon, though his sharp eyes were focused entirely on Taehyung. This demon felt similar to Jin in the sense that Taehyung didn’t feel like his life was in immediate danger. “You bellowed?” The demon’s voice was warm as he joked with his prince. “What’s this you’ve brought with you?”

    Namjoon gingerly put his hand on Taehyung’s shoulder. For the first time, the mark Jimin had given him didn’t seer with pain. Not even a little sting. Well, it probably wouldn’t make much sense if it still stung now that they were ‘mates’, or whatever. “Hoseok, this is my mate. Taehyung.”

    The new demon raked his eyes up and down Taehyung’s body and a smile slowly spread across his lips. He reached out his hand gestured for Taehyung to take it. “Excuse me for a moment.” He said, closing his eyes. The three of them stood in silence and Taehyung glanced up at Namjoon, who looked mildly unamused. A few moments later, Hoseok sighed. “I see you’ve been getting along well with Jimin. That’s nice.” He said, but the way he said it didn’t seem like he thought it was all that nice.

    “Well…he’s supposed to be like my bodyguard or something so...” If it was possible for a human to get along with a demon, Taehyung assumed Jimin was the closest thing he had to a friend.

    The demon smiled tightly. “I’ll take it from here, your majesty.” He said to Namjoon. Namjoon patted Taehyung’s shoulder, indicating he was leaving. Taehyung didn’t want to be left alone with an unknown demon. Panic quickly swirled through his mind. “You’ll be fine, human.” Hoseok chimed in, making Taehyung’s eyes widen. “Oh, didn’t his majesty tell you? I’m telepathic.” He said with a short shrug.

    “Oh.” Taehyung muttered, rethinking every thought he had ever had.

    “Don’t worry too much. I have to touch people first. So you were safe before this.” Hoseok said with a meaningful grin. Implying Taehyung better watch his thoughts going forward.

    “Don’t threaten him.” Namjoon growled, his amber eyes smoldering slightly.

    In turn, Hoseok’s eyes briefly tinged with an icy blue. “Of course, your Majesty. I would never.” If Taehyung had felt nervous about being alone with another demon before, now he was terrified. Namjoon gave Hoseok another stern glance and then left the gym without another glance at Taehyung.

    He wanted him to come back.

    “Take your clothes off.” Hoseok suddenly demanded.

    Taehyung whirled. “W-what?”

    Hoseok grinned widely. “Take your clothes off and change. Wouldn’t want the clothes Jimin gave you to get ruined, now would we?”

    “Ruined?” Taehyung echoed, stuck in neutral.

    Hoseok took a step towards him. “I won’t kill you. I don’t want to. I don’t care that you’re a human. Everyone who steps into this gym is treated the same way. I work them hard. No excuses. So drop any pretense you have not fighting the combat training. Am I making myself clear?”

    Taehyung nodded, miserable already.

    “Besides, you need to have it in order to protect your mate.” He said and Taehyung almost laughed, thinking it was a joke.

    “Protection? What protection could I possibly offer him?” Taehyung looked down at his scrawny frame and weak muscles. He wasn’t the least bit intimidating. He was an appetizer, not even a main course.

    Hoseok shrugged again. "It’s tradition. And just because you know something doesn’t mean you have to use it. We’re not going to ask you to fight battles or go to war, human. You wouldn’t be much use anyway. We’re just asking you to learn, and learn you will." The demon held up his hand and a moment later a long wooden stick appeared. “Am I making myself clear?” He asked, tossing the stick to Taehyung. Taehyung barely managed to catch it.

    “And what exactly am I supposed to do with this?" He asked, feeling slightly like an idiot holding the stick, eyeing it with suspicion.

      "Block me." Hoseok said, suddenly swinging a new stick directly at Taehyung’s feet. He was far too slow to react and Taehyung hit the ground, his breath caught in his throat. His eyes sparking with glee, Hoseok raised his stick above his head, spinning it like a windmill. As the demon began to bring the stick back down to strike Taehyung again, Taehyung managed to roll out of the way, the stick clanging against the concrete floor with a definitive crack. Hoseok shucked the broken stick away and a new one took its place. "Come on, get up!" The demon smiled from ear to ear.

      Taehyung spared a glance towards the door where his so-called mate had left from. Bastard.

      Beaten, battered, and bruised, Taehyung stumbled through the palace’s cold, marbled halls trying with all of his might not to just collapse on the ground. After several hours, possibly days, of Hoseok kicking the shit out of him, he got tired of winning and let Taehyung go. One day, he didn’t know how long it’d take, but he’d return the favor. He’d take that stick and shove it right u--

     “Ah, just as I was getting bored...a toy appears before me.” An unpleasantly familiar low growl asked. Taehyung felt the chill race up his spine, Jimin’s mark burning like crazy. He blinked and when he opened his eyes again, he found himself eye to eye with those dreaded red-tinged irises. “Don’t look so terrified, your Majesty.” Yoongi said with a sarcastic smile. “I do apologize for my behavior before. Sometimes I just get a little...angry.”

     Exhausted and sore, Taehyung’s lip curled into a snarl despite himself. “Then maybe you need anger management.”

       Before he could even finish enunciating the T, Yoongi’s fingers were wrapped tightly around his neck, squeezing with intent. "You really do need to watch yourself, human. It'd be a shame if some unfortunate...accident were to befall you." The demon's voice was cold like steel. "I chose you as the prince's mate because of your...special breeding." Yoongi's grip tightened, but suddenly that wasn’t the only thing taking his breath away.

       "You know something about my parents?" He choked out, trying to pry Yoongi’s fingers away fro his clavical.

       Yoongi’s smile turned downright wicked. “Of course. I’m very thorough.” He titled his head slightly. “Oh yeah, you wouldn’t know anything at all about them, with them having been killed and all.” As if his parent’s death was only an afterthought.

       Taehyung's thoughts jumped to one of the only memories he still had of his parents. A warm, round-faced man and a beautiful, smiling woman standing in front of him, playing a game with him, making him laugh with glee. He was only eight when his parents had been ripped away from him. His mother’s screams rang in his ears.

       "Yoongi...let go of him." Yoongi rolled his eyes and let Taehyung crumple to the hard marble floor.

    “Jimin, how lovely to see you. We were just having a little chat.”

    It was Jimin’s turn to roll his eyes. “Sure. And my pie won 1st prize at the bake sale.”

    “There’s a bake sale?” Yoongi chirped.

    Jimin scowled at him, unamused, as he bent to help Taehyung onto this feet. “I’m here to take you to your room. “I know you won’t listen, Yoongi. But I’d advise you to stay away from him. Since you clearly can’t keep your talons to yourself.”

    Yoongi laughed. “Well, come find me if you ever are curious, human.” The demon purred before disappearing from sight.

    “He's always been a little...mischievous." Jimin said, not letting go of Taehyung’s hand. He took care as they started walking to move slowly, cautiously guiding Taehyung down the hall.

    Taehyung felt the urge to spit. "You call that mischievous?" He asked belligerently, not believing his own ears.

    "Around here? Yeah, that's what I'd call mischievous." Jimin said simply. “He’s tough on the outside, but he’s really not all that bad. I’ve known him for thousands of years.”

    “A demon vouching for another demon’s character. Hilarious.” Taehyung quipped, and Jimin chose to ignore him.

    They walked up an ornate staircase in silence. “You'll be in the room next to the prince’s.” Jimin said when they stopped before a large wooden door.

    “Namjoon said I could decorate the room how I like…” Taehyung trailed off, not sure if that was asking too much.

      But Jimin nodded. “Sure, I’ll get an interior designer here to talk with you. Do whatever you want with the room.”

      Taehyung felt his lips curve into a small smile. He could make the room his sanctuary. “Thank you.”

      The demon suddenly seemed flustered. "Don't mention it. Here." Jimin pushed the door open and gestured for Taehyung to enter.

       Expecting a dungeon-like room with bugs, rats, and chains, Taehyung was stunned to find a calming, tropical-like paradise. The walls were painted a soft blue, vibrant plants and flowers lined the floor, with a palm tree standing tall in one corner. The carpet was as soft and warm like a sandy beach. The bed, oh god, the bed. It was the softest looking thing Taehyung had ever seen. Unable to resist, he launched himself onto the puffs of linens and practically melted into the warmth. He barely heard the door click closed as he quickly dozed off.

    Taehyung’s eyes flew open. He was on fire. His skin was soaked with sweat, his heart was beating erratically. He took deep, gasping breaths as the ceiling began to spin. He was dying. He had to be dying. He tried to move and involuntarily moaned so loudly, the whole fucking palace had to have heard it. He reached down and his dick was rock hard. “Fuck…” He moaned again, still trying to move. But every little move he made sent crippling shivers through his body. “What...is happening…?” He had to get to the bathroom somehow. He needed a cold shower or something. Anything.

    He reached the edge of the bed an hurled himself off of it, his face meeting the hard floor. Taehyung cried out in a mix of pain and unfortunately, pleasure.

      There was a loud crash as the door burst open. “TAEHYUNG!” Namjoon was suddenly at his side, an expression that almost looked like concern on his face. “What happened?” The prince reached out to help.

    “No…” Taehyung meant to sound forceful, but it came out so breathy, he could barely hear it himself. Not listening, or not hearing, Namjoon put a hand on Taehyung’s back. “Oh god…” He couldn’t help but moan. His skin was electrified at that touch, that brief touch.

    “Oh.” Namjoon said.

Chapter Text

     Namjoon turned away from the training area feeling as close to guilty as he had ever felt. Hoseok wasn’t going to kill Taehyung. Probably. It wouldn’t be because his mate was human, though. Hoseok didn’t give special treatment one way or the other. A small tick of pain jabbed into Namjoon’s legs as he heard Taehyung grunt loudly from the other side of the door. Maybe Hoseok would take pity…

      “Get up!” Hoseok roared and Namjoon grimaced. Or maybe not. 

      Figuring the poor human would need something to soothe the wounds he was quickly acquiring, Namjoon steered course back for Jin’s hut. When he reached the shabby shack, he didn't bother knocking and just walked in. Jin, in turn, didn’t bother to turn away from his large collection of odd plants, though there was a smile in his voice as he spoke. "Ah, the noble prince returns.” He effused, turning finally. “How can I be of service? You beat up that poor human again?"

      Namjoon frowned, not appreciating the sarcasm. "No. Hoseok is currently kicking his ass." He said with venom.

      Jin’s smile widened. "Well, that sounds like fun. Don’t tell me you’re here for salve for the human? I never thought I’d live to see the day when you were concerned for someone else’s well-being…” 

     A low growl was stirring in Namjoon’s throat and Jin held up his hands in surrender. “I joke, I joke.” 

     Namjoon watched the older demon putz around while muttering to himself. Jin threw a few herbs into a bowl and picked up his charmed pestle. He smashed the herbs down and after a few moments, he turned back to Namjoon. "Just tell him to eat this before he goes to sleep. He should feel fine in the morning. Let him know that he can always ask for more. I'm sure Hoseok isn't done with him yet."

      Taking the bowl from the healer’s hand, Namjoon marveled at what was inside. The herbs had been crushed up into a fine powder, which Jin had then shoveled into an easy to swallow pill form. No wonder his father had fought to have him work at the palace. "Thanks...I guess. “ He muttered quickly before leaving. He made a beeline for Taehyung’s room, not wanting to get caught being nice to his mate. As he placed the pills and the note on Taehyung’s nightstand, he felt a little bit of pride in himself. “I’m an excellent mate.” He said aloud, puffing out his chest. Taehyung should be so lucky to have such a kind and considerate demon as his mate. 


      Night fell and Namjoon felt himself grow restless. Taehyung had passed out soon after his session with Hoseok, so he hadn’t been able to check on him. Maybe that’s why he was unsettled? But, it felt more like there was an itch he couldn't scratch, his skin was alive and hot to the touch. There could only be one reason for this...so he rang for a servant to come to his room. Within a few moments, Jungkook was at the door. "My liege?" The annoying demon spoke with a smirk.

      "Call Chiva for me." Namjoon ordered, having thought long and hard about who would satisfy him the most. He was feeling frisky. Chiva was always up for a rough and wild time.

       Jungkook blinked. "Seriously? What about...you know?" He asked, his eyes shifting towards the room next door.

       Namjoon waved his hand, blowing off his servant's concerns. "Loophole. Call Chiva."

      "Loophole? What the fuck's that mean?" Jungkook asked, not budging.

      The prince sighed, his irritation growing. " It means that I can still fuck whomever I want and I want to fuck Chiva. Now !" He roared.

      Clearly not buying it, but not wanting to lose his head over such a small issue, Jungkook reluctantly bowed out of the room.

      Hornier than he had been in a long time, Namjoon quickly stripped down and laid himself on the bed. He was like a present for Chiva. She should be rewarded for being his favorite. After what felt like an eternity, a familiar scent wafted into the room. Chiva's perfume. "Took you long enough." Namjoon practically purred, grinning into the empty space before him.

      Chiva returned the smile, dropping the magic veil she had placed around her. Invisibility veils were her specialty. "I didn't think you'd be calling anymore." The seductress cooed with a deep voice. She was barely clothed in a sheer, cream-colored robe. The revealing ensemble allowed Namjoon to view her amazingly round breasts and incredibly inviting slit. Namjoon shuddered at the thought of plunging into her, making her scream his name.

      Namjoon ran his tongue over his own lips. His eyes were hungry. "You really thought some human mate could satisfy me?" He said, his voice already husky with lust. "He's just a loophole. Now come here." He grabbed the demon woman's hand and pulled her onto the bed and on top of his hips. His body's reaction was instantaneous. Her warm folds rested on his growing erection.

      Chiva smirked. "So sorry I kept you waiting." She whispered in his ear, nipping at his skin, causing his breath to catch. It was no wonder she was his favorite. "Let me take care of that for you." The demon woman slid back off his hips and began kissing her way down his body.

      Just as Chiva was about to take his dick into her mouth, a slow sense of panic and fear began settling into his mind. The feeling confused him and for a moment, he tried to ignore it. And then, sharp, throbbing pain jolted through his brain like an electric shock.

      Namjoon shoved Chiva off of him. These...these had to be Taehyung’s sensations. “I have to go.” He threw himself out of the bed and stumbled into some underwear. He glanced back at Chiva who looked mildly enraged, clearly not amused. But Namjoon couldn’t pay her any more attention. 

      He bolted from his room and rounded the quick corner to Taehyung’s room. He tried the handle, but it was locked. Of course it’s locked. Swearing to himself, Namjoon forced some magic into his shoulder and he slammed into the door, blowing it wide open, almost snapping it off the hinges. Namjoon’s eyes immediately locked onto Taehyung’s crumpled form on the floor. “TAEHYUNG.” He shouted, moving to be by his mate’s side. “What happened?” The human looked so petrified and pitiful, Namjoon couldn't help but to reach out.

      "No..." Taehyung's voice was thick and low. Namjoon cupped Taehyung’s chin. "Oh god..." Taehyung moaned, his breath was hot. 

      Namjoon blinked, his initial panic settling. Taehyung wasn’t in danger, but...how had he become like this? And then his heart dropped as he suddenly remembered something his father had mentioned. On the first night of mating, their bodies will go into heat. Namjoon met Taehyung’s glazed eyes. “Oh...you're in heat."

      "I'm scared..." Taehyung panted. His eyes were just begging Namjoon to do something. Anything at all.

      Namjoon knew what he had to do. He really, really didn’t want to, but it was the only way to make this situation go away. "I'll make it better." He whispered, closing the distance between them, bringing his lips to Taehyung’s. Namjoon shoved his tongue inside the human's hot mouth. Taehyung practically melted into the kiss, whimpering with relief. No matter how the human felt about Namjoon before, those thoughts were far away from his mind in that moment. He was a slave to pleasure now. Taehyung groaned loudly against Namjoon’s kiss, his hands roaming Namjoon’s body without thought. 

       "Hands or mouth?" Namjoon mumbled around the kiss. Seeing as how Taehyung was in such pain, Namjoon was feeling generous.

       "Please...mouth..." Taehyung begged, sounding so utterly desperate for release. Namjoon couldn't help but want to give it to him.

       "You better enjoy this, human because I will never do this again." He hissed as he lowered himself down to Taehyung’s cock, leaking pre-cum. Namjoon had never sucked a dick before, but there was a first time for everything. Namjoon blew lightly on the tip and Taehyung’s body spasmed. Namjoon grinned wickedly. Maybe he’d let himself enjoy this, too. He stuck out his tongue and licked the human’s cock from base to hilt, before finally taking it all into his mouth. Whimpers kept escaping Taehyung’s mouth, as his body writhed, unable to stand the pleasure. Namjoon moved his mouth up and down, up and down, pressing his fingers into Taehyung’s hips to keep him still.

       "Namjoon...sorry...soon..." Taehyung dug his nails into Namjoon’s shoulders, both pushing him away and keeping him close. Namjoon found these cute, virginal reactions very amusing. He wouldn’t stop until Taehyung came. Taehyung cried out, and hot liquid burst into Namjoon's mouth.

       Not knowing what else to do, Namjoon swallowed the cum. It was salty. "You came a lot.” He said, breathing hard. “That good, huh?" He smirked as he wiped his lips. 

       The human lay panting underneath him, humility slowly creeping across his face. “S-sorry…” He said in a small voice. "Really sorry.” He looked everywhere but at Namjoon.

       Annoyed again, his feelings of lust and affection quickly leaving him, Namjoon grabbed the human’s chin. "Look at me." He ordered. After hesitating for a moment, Taehyung took a deep breath and met the demon’s eyes. "This is nothing to be ashamed of." He said, gazing into the human's incredible eyes. "I forgot to mention this and should have warned you. But don't look so embarrassed. What are mates for?" He tried to joke. 

       Not looking any less mortified, Taehyung nodded. "Okay. Uh...well...this is awkward."

       Namjoon stood. "Try to get some sleep. Jungkook will wake you up in the morning." He cleared his throat. "Uh...we don't have to talk about this again...if you don’t want to...just pretend it didn't happen...or something." Namjoon walked out of the room and didn't look back. He closed what was left of the door and sank to the floor. "I am losing my fucking mind." He said and he truly started to believe it.