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A Study in Sin

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Rhyder met Jude in mid-July, at a party of a friend of Dylan’s. Never much of a party person, he hadn’t wanted to go to the party. The music, the smells, the atmosphere. None of it appealed to him. Not to mention, he couldn’t keep up with conversations with multiple people. Wishing he’d resisted Dylan and stayed home, Rhyder sat outside on a white wicker bench on the back porch, worn from weather and burnt from cigarette butts. He was absently watching a drunken game of cornhole when Jude sat next to him, smelling of weed and the ocean. The smile on his lips was lazy, laid-back.

Not particularly interested in meeting new people, especially people who weren’t sober, Rhyder looked away after one quick glance. Jude was not deterred.

“Enjoyin’ ya’self?” he asked. The way he talked is exactly how Rhyder imagined he would. Like calm waves rolling over sand, uncaring about what anyone else thought, relaxed, almost lazy. Shortened words and missing consonants because there was no reason to bother saying the full word.

Rhyder shrugged, refusing to engage in conversation. Jude didn’t take the hint. If he did, he didn’t accept it. Rhyder’s disinterest was a challenge. Jude mimicked Rhyder’s stance, leaning forward, elbows on his knees, and held out his hand as a greeting.

“’M Jude,” he said.

Unable to ignore such a forward gesture without coming off as incredibly rude, Rhyder took his hand in a firm handshake, though he avoided eye contact. The man’s hands were calloused and strong, his skin disconcertingly warm.

“Rhyder,” Rhyder mumbled.

“Nice ta meet ya,” Jude said. Introductions out the way, Jude leaned back on the bench again, throwing his arm over the back of it. In his peripheral vision, Rhyder could see Jude’s legs, toned calves and thighs, coppery brown skin, worn leather flip-flops on his feet. His muscles were impressive. Hazarding a glance, Rhyder looked over his shoulder to take in his full appearance.

Jude was looking at him with the same laid-back smile he’d worn when he sat down, but there was something else in his expression. Amusement. Like Rhyder’s attempt at disinterest was comedic. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, boasting a wide chest and shoulders, defined and toned muscles. Black tattoo ink decorated his shoulder and upper arm and scars marked his skin, giving him a tough appearance. His brown hair was pulled back into a bun. Rhyder didn’t mean to check him out, but he couldn’t help himself and swept his gaze over him. Jude’s body was made to be looked at, and Jude knew that. He flaunted it. Sitting with knees spread, arms draped over the bench, that teasing, alluring smile. Before he knew what was happening, Rhyder was sucked into conversation.

That meeting was three months ago. Autumn had crept in since then, turning the world brilliant shades of yellow and red. The air was crisp, not quite cold, leading in the coming winter. In the three months that passed, Jude had managed to worm his way into Rhyder’s small collection of friends. It wasn’t that Rhyder didn’t want friends; he did. But, he had a hard time letting people in, letting his guard down long enough to accept a long-term friendship. There was too much of a risk that he’d be hurt, so he kept himself closed off. Jude was undeterred. He forced his way in, kicking down the door that protected Rhyder with a charming grin that made Rhyder feel at ease.

Rhyder didn’t mind. Sometimes he needed that extra push to make a connection. He’d be lying if he said Jude didn’t make him uneasy sometimes – there was something about his grin, a grin like everything was his own personal inside joke – but Rhyder liked him. The smell of the ocean that seemed to follow him. His humor and the affectionate touches. The guy was hilarious and friendly. And, to Dylan’s delight, Jude managed to get Rhyder out of the house.  

Tonight, however, they were staying in, sitting on the beaten couch in Rhyder’s apartment, playing card games. Like most things in Rhyder’s apartment, the couch wasn’t a pretty sight. The upholstery was worn and faded and there were permanent crumbs under the cushions. As long as the couch functioned as a couch, Rhyder didn’t care what it looked like. There were other things in his life more important than a new couch, like food and hot water.

Jude was wearing the smile that made Rhyder uneasy. The everything-is-an-inside-joke smile.  The card game didn’t warrant that amount of amusement, and Rhyder was sure such a smile meant nothing good. He continually glanced up at Jude’s relaxed figure on the other side of the couch, silently questioning Jude’s soft chuckles. There would’ve been no cause for concern if Jude laughed because he had a mischievous card to play, but he had a terrible hand this round. He was losing horribly and didn’t seem to care even a little bit. For the past two games, Jude uncharacteristically hadn’t been competitive.

“Hey, Rhy,” Jude said, tossing down his cards after Rhyder unsurprisingly won the round of Uno. The tone was playful. Whatever was on his mind couldn’t be good.

“Yeah?” Rhyder said, pulling the cards into a neat stack.

“I have a secret ta tell ya,” Jude said. He scooted closer to Rhyder on the couch. “Well, more like show ya.”

“You better not take your dick out right now,” Rhyder warned. He was mostly joking, but he wouldn’t put that past him. It seemed like something Jude would do. He’d very obviously flirted with Rhyder since the first night they met, but Rhyder, unsure of what he wanted, didn’t always reciprocate.

Jude laughed, tossing his head back. He said, “No, tha’s not it, I promise. It’s this.”

Rhyder gathered the deck of cards and unceremoniously shoved them into their box. When he looked up, put off by Jude’s silence, his eyes widened, and he reeled back. Jude was changing, physically changing, right before his eyes. Changing into something human-esque but not entirely human. Two horns sprouted from his hairline, dark gray-brown, ridged and curling, ram’s horns. The coppery brown of his skin turned more copper than brown. And he seemed to grow, gaining another few inches of height and maybe muscle too, which was ridiculous because he was already huge. He blinked, and his irises were suddenly red with cat-like pupils. A lion-like tail swished behind him.

“What…?” Rhyder gasped. The gasp was more out of disbelief than fear. Jude hadn’t given him a reason to be afraid, but he couldn’t believe his eyes. He blinked a few times, convinced he was hallucinating.

Jude grinned, flashing white teeth and sharp, pointed canines, vampire-like. The grin was all it took. Rhyder was a goner. Perhaps he should be more afraid that a – a what? A demon? The horns and skin seemed to suggest that – was sitting on his couch, but he was distracted by how incredible Jude looked. Rhyder thought Jude was good-looking as a human, tanned and muscular, but that was nothing compared to this. The fangs really had an effect on Rhyder. If he’d been asked to list his turn-ons, he wouldn’t have thought to add fangs to the list, but his body was very clearly telling him that he was into them. Into all of it. Jude’s entire appearance. Without thinking, he reached out and touched one of the curled horns. The ridges were rough and textured.

Jude cockiness waned, his grin replaced by a perplexed frown. This was not the reaction he’d expected. He’d played this joke in the past because humans were just so fun to scare. But, Rhyder wasn’t scared. No tensing muscles, no surge of adrenaline, no flight or fight, no screaming. Jude had never received a reaction like this. Where was the fear? The terror?

“Are you real?” Rhyder whispered.

“Is this wha’ humans are like now? They go aroun’ touchin’ strangers’ horns?” Jude asked, pressing his mouth into a hard line, dark eyebrows bending into a frown, peeved that Rhyder was completely unafraid.  

The questions made Rhyder pull back and clutch his hand against his chest. He could feel the ghost of Jude’s horns on his fingertips. A weird disconnectedness seized him. Not a bad disconnectedness. It was like he’d stepped into another world, because he couldn’t reconcile the idea that a demon really sat on his couch. Impossible to believe and utterly fascinating. A demon. A demon sitting on his couch. A very hot demon.

As Rhyder gazed at Jude in awe, trying to decide whether he was dreaming or not, Jude regained his composure. With a wicked grin, he said, “My horns aren’ the only thing ya can touch,”

The comment made Rhyder’s cheeks turn deep pink and he curled into himself, knees against his chest. Could demons read minds? It sure felt like Jude was reading his mind, the way his gaze swept over him like Rhyder was a meal. Hungry. Amused. Rhyder covered his face and then peered through his fingers, trying to ignore how fast his heart was beating. Not from fear. From arousal. He was turned on because of a demon. Good God. Another thing to add to the list of reasons why he was fucked up.

“Really?” he asked, voice barely above a whisper. The offer to touch Jude…he wanted to accept.

Jude frowned for a second, his wide smile fading. He could smell Rhyder’s arousal, could hear his heart thundering beneath his ribcage. With his growling voice and hungry eyes, Jude expected at least a little fear from Rhyder. Maybe he needed to research humans more. This didn’t seem like normal behavior. Jude composed himself and nodded, his grin returning.

“You’re really a demon?” Rhyder asked quietly. He could feel his heartbeat in his fingers. Every inch of his body was beating. It was a wonder he could hear over the blood throbbing through him.

“Yes,” Jude grinned. Though he wanted a cowering-in-fear reaction, he could settle for flustered and ruffled, especially when Rhyder was looking at him through his fingers. Humans were strange and mystifying, but they could also be very cute.

Rhyder lowed his hands from his face and reached out again, pointing his index finger. Gently, he touched Jude’s bottom lip. His hands were rough by human standards, but to Jude, his skin felt soft. Rhyder moved his entire body closer, knees touching Jude as he examined his face with fascination. Again, not a reaction Jude expected. Rhyder was still flustered; Jude could see that from his flushed cheeks, could smell the pheromones. But, Rhyder ignored his shaky hands to indulge his curiosity.

Without meaning to, Rhyder straddled Jude’s lap, legs wrapping around his hips as he continued to touch his face. With his thumb, he rolled Jude’s bottom lip down to get a better view of his fangs. As reckless and thoughtless as he was acting, letting his curiosity control him, he had enough common sense left to keep from touching the sharpened canines. He put his thumb on Jude’s lip and lightly pulled his lip down to get a better view of the fangs. Jude let Rhyder touch him, watching Rhyder’s parted lips and wide eyes with fascination. He was just as curious as Rhyder, wondering what this human would do if no one interrupted him.

“Is this really happening?” Rhyder whispered. Jude’s skin was warm beneath his hands.

“Yes,” Jude breathed. Rhyder’s arousal turned him on. “Why aren’ ya scared?”

Rhyder shrugged and touched one of Jude’s horns again. Jude wanted a more satisfying answer, but he didn’t think he’d get one. What a weird human. While Rhyder touched his face, Jude leaned back on the palms of his hands. Wanting to return the physical contact, Jude sat forward and put his hands on Rhyder’s hips, causing Rhyder finally realized he was on Jude’s lap. The deep blush returned, and he swallowed hard.

One of the many perks of being a demon, Jude had heightened senses. He knew Rhyder wanted him. Conveniently, he wanted Rhyder. With a low growl that sent a shiver down Rhyder’s spine, Jude pulled Rhyder toward him, into a kiss. There was no resistance. Rhyder melted into Jude’s arms, lips pliant against Jude’s.


The relationship didn’t escalate beyond that for some time. Rhyder was still unsure of himself, unsure of what he wanted. When they made out on the beat-up couch, Rhyder tensed if Jude put his hand under his shirt or pushed his thigh against his crotch. So, Jude stopped pushing, though he did make plenty of sexual jokes that made Rhyder’s face flush and his heart race. If Rhyder wanted something more, Jude was sure Rhyder would ask for it.

They were sitting on the couch, watching Netflix, when Rhyder decided he wanted to take things a step further. Recently Rhyder got Jude hooked on crime dramas, which they’d binge-watch with Rhyder curled against Jude’s chest, snug in the crook of his arm. It became apparent that Jude preferred his demon from, and Rhyder preferred it too. There was no better cuddle partner than someone huge and warm.

Three episodes into Criminal Minds since Jude came over, and Rhyder had no idea what was happening in the show. His inner debate distracted him from the plot, preoccupying his thoughts.  small part of him insisted that fucking a demon was messed up. A larger part of him argued that if that was true, which it probably was, Rhyder didn’t think he minded being messed up.

“Everything okay?” Jude asked, pressing his lips to Rhyder’s temple.

It was the push Rhyder needed. Pulled out of his own head, reminded that Jude was really here next to him. Taking a deep breath to garner confidence, Rhyder lowered himself to the floor and positioned himself between Jude’s knees. Looking up at him, Rhyder put a hand on Jude’s inner thigh, watching as his raised eyebrows dropped and his lips spread into a grin.

“What’a’ya up to?” he asked. He reached out and pushed Rhyder’s hair away from his forehead.

“Um, I wanna…” Rhyder trailed off, eyes falling to Jude’s crotch. He assumed Jude would know what he meant.

Jude tilted Rhyder’s chin up, forcing him to look at him, and asked, “Wanna what?” When Rhyder hesitated, Jude leaned slightly forward and said, “I wanna hear ya say it.”

A tingling feeling ran through Rhyder as his breath caught. Demons must be able to read minds. Or have some intuitive knowledge about what humans liked. This was already better than Rhyder imagined it would be and he Jude still had his pants on. Voice barely above a whisper, Rhyder said, “I wanna give you a blow job.”

Sharp canines and sparkling eyes, Jude’s look of delight was menacing. It made Rhyder’s stomach flip, and he fumbled as he tried to get Jude’s shorts off. The demon assisted, and the shorts were tossed aside. No underwear. Unsurprisingly, he’d gone commando.

Rhyder slid his hand up Jude’s bare thigh, basking in the warmth of Jude’s skin as he gazed on him with wonder. Russet-red skin, trimmed, dark hair. Jude was flaccid, dick resting on his thigh, but Rhyder quickly changed that. He sat up on his knees and wrapped his fingers around Jude.

“It’s more normal than I expected,” Rhyder said, running his thumb over the underside of Jude’s shaft.

“What’does tha’ mean?” Jude asked, unsure of whether or not he should be offended.

“I don’t know,” Rhyder shrugged. “I thought maybe demon dicks would look different.”

“Have ya spent time thinking’ bout demon dicks?” Jude asked with a laugh.

“Well, yeah,” he said. “I figured one would probably be in mouth at some point.”

Cheeks as red as Jude’s skin, Rhyder grinned. He kept his eyes on Jude’s face as he bent his head and ran his tongue languidly from the base of Jude’s dick to the head. Jude’s cocky grin disappeared as he sucked in a sharp breath and watched Rhyder with awe.

Jude was bigger than any human Rhyder had been with, but that didn’t intimidate him. This was everything he’d hoped for and more. Jude’s fingers in his hair, his low moans and shaky breaths, the usual arrogance gone.

Jude had been with many humans (and many demons), and he’d learned to have low expectations. Some humans were great, but they didn’t have the stamina or passion of a demon. Rhyder though, he committed. Looking up through his lashes, he kept brown eyes on Jude’s face, each flutter of his eyelids driving Jude wild. Jude could feel the metal of Rhyder’s labret piercing against his shaft, warm from contact with Rhyder’s skin.  

Jude’s dick looked human, but Rhyder quickly found out that a demon’s orgasm was messier and warmer than any human’s. Rhyder nearly choked when Jude came, not expecting it. Gripping Jude’s thigh with his left hand, he breathed in deeply and then swallowed. Jude’s arrogant smile returned, and Jude wasn’t nearly as breathless as Rhyder wanted. He wanted to have an effect on Jude.

Rhyder sat back for a moment, breathing heavily. He was a sight. Pink lips wet from saliva and maybe cum. Hair tousled from Jude’s fingers. Shoulder rising and falling with each breath. Jude was about to say something, something cocky and teasing, but Rhyder climbed onto the couch and lay on his belly, lips on Jude’s dick again. Jude forgot what he was going to say. Even when his jaw started, Rhyder didn’t stop. Jude could get hard again shortly after he came, so Rhyder spent the next hour playing with him, alternating between using his hands and his mouth. Jude came three more times before Rhyder decided he’d had enough. The demon was thoroughly impressed.

Another few weeks passed before their relationship escalated beyond blow jobs, though Jude happily reciprocated. Rhyder unsurprisingly couldn’t go for as long as Jude could, but that didn’t mean Jude was disappointed. Humans had less stamina; he knew that. And besides, Rhyder’s reactions were worth it. Flushed cheeks, parted lips, fingers tangled in Jude’s hair. Teased and coming apart, his moans were music to Jude’s ears.

When Rhyder did ask to have sex, Jude was more than happy to oblige. It wasn’t what Rhyder had expected. After months of Jude’s rough kisses and penchant for leaving hickeys, Rhyder was prepared for rough sex. But, Jude surprised him by being gentle and sweet, afraid to hurt this fragile little human. The first time that was nice. And then Rhyder wanted more. After a few times of Jude being frustratingly tender, Rhyder begged. Really begged. Begged for Jude to leave bruises with his fingers on his hips and neck. Begged to be knocked around and marked. Every time they had sex, he begged for Jude to be rougher. Jude was never as rough as he could be, but Rhyder could take more than he would’ve guessed.

Most times, Rhyder fell asleep after, curled in the warmth and safety of Jude’s arms. Covered in bruises and marks, Jude’s claims on him. Jude would listen to his deep breaths and revel in post-orgasm bliss. When Rhyder woke up, he’d crawl out of bed and examine himself in the mirror. Bruises covered him. The dozens of marks always made him smile to himself.