If you could only see the beast you've made of me
I held it in but now it seems you've set it running free
The saints can't help me now, the ropes have been unbound
I hunt for you with bloodied feet across the hallowed ground
-Howl, Florence and the Machine
Ethan laid unconscious while the others surrounded him, grasping hands and beginning to chant. Ripper’s body lit up with energy as he willed his magic into the center of the circle to complete the conjuring. Their voices fell as Ethan’s body sat up, staring at each of them in turn.
“Diedre…” he purred, “How nice to finally have a woman in these little trysts. I’m sure you will make a nice change for the men as well...they’re not always enthusiastic to worship me in the ways I require.”
Diedre looked toward the others, confused, as Randall and Philip shifted uncomfortably. Her gaze hardened on Thomas, but his expression betrayed nothing.
“Philip,” Eyghon made Ethan’s voice jagged and harsh. “You will be letting me in this time, won’t you? I have no space for cowards in my ranks.”
Philip’s eyes went wide as he began to sputter. “Of course, your most ancient, your most powerful Eyghon-”
“Ahhh,” Eyghon crowed, interrupting Philip, a wicked grin forming on Ethan’s face as he shifted his attentions. “Rupert. But of course you don’t go by that anymore, do you?”
Ethan’s body slunk forward on all fours, like a jungle cat unconcerned with its prey escaping. “I know who you are,” it taunted as it was inches from Ripper’s face. His heart stuttered, the thought of being with a possessed Ethan terrifying but still highly alluring.
It leaned in to Ripper’s ear, nipping it sharply before whispering, “And I know what you’re running from.”
Giles woke with a start, laying in still silence for a moment before realising where he was. He fumbled on his bedside table for his glasses, then switched on a lamp. He hadn’t dreamt of them in years...the nightmares post-Eyghon were relentless for a while, but eventually enough time and distance had allowed him to compartmentalise those memories. They might have been easier to escape if he’d performed dream or memory charms, but after Randall...Rupert hadn’t trusted himself with magic for a long time after that. Yet now he could still feel the power under his skin, as he had in the dream. He realised, too, his pyjama pants also felt tighter than was strictly comfortable.
“Oh, Christ,” Rupert sighed. Of course, he thought. His run-in with Ethan was two weeks ago, and now he was back in his dreams, making things wholly more complicated. He swung his legs out of bed, massaging the bridge of his nose and stubbornly ignoring the inconvenience between his legs.