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Drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart

My fingers claw your skin, try to tear my way in

- Howl by Florence and the Machine


Rumors amongst the Masters are such strange affairs. Mr Veils always thought them above such things. But gossip is gossip and it supposes it would eventually come to include their own. 

"Haven't you heard them?" Mr Wines asks.

"Of course," Mr Spices levels it with a look, "It would useless then, yes? Unable to reproduce? To lay eggs?" 

"We are in the Bazaar, not the High Wilderness," Mr Fires points out, a kind of smarm in its voice that speaks of its comfort in this prison , "I thought we left the old ways." 

"Still– a Runt? Here?" Mr Hearts taps its claws against the table. Ah, the way it says the word holds such disdain . Many clutches may have a Runt, but they have a tendency to die early, to have many weaknesses, to go against the Chain. 

There are still yet some uses for them. That unspoken knowledge sits heavy. Like as a bargaining chip to obtain a new city. 

Mr Veils cuts in, bristling, "They are rumors . We know not if they hold any truth."

A pause, pregnant and stale. "Then you will find out the truth," Mr Wines says. 

Mr Veils bares its teeth, "I am not getting involved in this–this drama ."

"It could become a liability. We have to know." 

It's true enough and Mr Veils deflates. Because they have to know if they have to give it a use.


Weeks spent faking some sort of kinship. Mr Veils pretending to be interested in candle-making. The smell makes its head hurt. Plans fall into place easy enough, though. A bit sad how simple Mr Candles makes it. It's lonely, Mr Veils realizes as it swallows a lump in its throat.

But aren't they all? 

"You made this? By yourself?" Mr Candles asks, eyeing the poorly formed lump of wax. "It's wonderful for your first attempt without me!" It brings the candle up to its snout, sniffing. It has no scent and it looks up at Mr Veils, awaiting an explanation. It's nice enough to not just claim Mr Veils fucked it up. 

"You have to light it. I don't think I used enough fragrance."

Mr Candles sets it down, digging out its matchbook. "An easy enough fix. What did you use for the scent, then?" It chirps lightly, to make conversation, lighting the candle.

"It's a surprise," Mr Veils tries not to sound annoyed, or worse, bored. Its eyes are trained on the other Master, not the candle. Mr Candles' lips curl over its teeth in a smile. It makes an uneasy feeling settle in Mr Veils chest. It's too trusting – naive. How Mr Veils wishes to show it why it shouldn't be.

It doesn't take long for the smell to fill the small room and it takes even less time for Mr Veils to realize, perhaps, it used too much pheromones. The smell is much stronger than it had anticipated. It quickly overwhelms the rest of the candles, nothing but a scent that triggers something deeply ingrained. It's natural and old. It had to be strong in the heavens to travel far. Laying eggs for their hoards had been an important part of their culture.

And why did it even matter now, here? Mr Veils misses the hunt and the song, not… this. Yet, still, a feeling of homesickness comes over it. It had not meant for the scent to affect it . It had always considered itself above such things. It had thought it took into consideration Mr Candles size, their differences, so that only the smaller might fall victim. Mr Veils had never been good at math. 

"Wha-what is it? It smells... familiar," Mr Candles eyes are glowing under its hood. It stumbles back slightly, sitting heavily onto its bed. It sweeps back its hood. "It's hot in here?" It's voice rises like a squeak, confused by its own feelings. Heating pooling in its gut. Instincts washing over it. 

Stars take them all. If the rumors are true this would be the first time it would have been exposed to pheromones like this. This is a mistake. Mr Candles is all white fur, too bright even in the low light. Rare. Weak. No wonder it couldn't hunt. Mr Veils licks its lips, blood pounding in its ears. Hunt . It steps forward. 

"I didn't realize you were…" it lets the words trail off. 

Mr Candles chuckles, soft and awkward, "I was useless in the High Wilderness. Here at least I can pretend to be worth something." A sweep of its claws towards the candles all around it, some lit, some not. None of them overpower the malformed mistake of wax and pheromones behind the two Masters. 

Why it? Why them ? It should not have agreed to this. Did the other Masters even realize how easy it is for Mr Veils to fall back into the old ways, into instinct and song and hunt?

Was that why ? Mr Wines could give into pleasures of the flesh all the same. Mr Veils could end up hurting this Runt . Oh stars and heavens, it is a Runt isn't it. They were right .

It probably should have blown out the candle but instead it stalks forward and has Mr Candles always been so small? Mr Veils places a hand on its shoulder, claws brushing against its thin neck. A shudder runs down Mr Candles spine, fur standing on edge. 

"May I see you too?" 

Mr Veils wants to say no, but the air is too thick with the smell, primal and old as time itself. It pushes back its own hood, tugging free the lace it uses to secure it and shuffling the extra layers of silk. Mr Veils had never felt stifled by all its exotic fabrics that make up its robes until now.

"Your wings," Mr Candles whispers, voice choked. It's instinct now, prove to it the strength. "I want to see your wings. Please." 

Did it know how much Mr Veils prided its wings? Mr Veils practically tears off the rest of its robes, wings spreading in a display of size, dominance and a threat . The whole night sky could be kept in the glittering pitch of leathery appendages. It sees Mr Candles lick its lips, eyes brightening. Mr Veils swipes out, claws ready, and slices its robes off all the same. It could make Mr Candles new ones. It wants to see its prey. 

And Mr Candles reaches out, unphased, to tug Mr Veils down on top of it. There's no stars in Mr Candles wings, but its fur sparkles in the candlelight like ice and snow. The tint of pink where its fur is thin and it's so small and delicate. Mr Veils rakes it's claws through Mr Candles fur, down its chest as it leans down to press fangs to its neck. It feels, it hears, the racing heartbeat. Mr Candles shivers, its own claws gripping Mr Veils shoulders. 

"I feel empty, Veils," it whines, hips tilting up and Mr Veils catches them, holds it tight. A growl leaves Mr Veils throat as it grinds slowly against the other Master's thigh. Its cock is already hard, slipped out of its sheath, and lays hot and heavy against fur.

"I can help," Mr Veils voice is sharp and feral, claws leaving marks, teeth threatening to break skin. It all makes Mr Candles shudder and hiss. 

Curators are not tender lovers. They don't mate for life. They don't make love . If they encounter another of their species it's to trade or brag or kill. They are long lived and don't often need to reproduce, besides to make eggs to hide their hoard and even that can be done asexually. Clutches are rare, left to fend for themselves. Some might take care of their young, but Curators are often solitary creatures. Mating is simply for fun . A type of hunt for pain and pleasure.

A long tongue leaves Mr Veils mouth, licking down Mr Candles chest, following taut sinew and lean muscles. Memorizing its build until a claw dips between its legs. 

Wet. Warm. Inviting. Like a candle dripping wax. Mr Veils claw moves up a bit higher, spreading wet folds only to find a bundle of nerves that makes Mr Candles keen sharply. It rubs the soft flesh again, just to hear the sound. But there's no sheath. The rumors were true. A Runt, missing part of the Dual Nature. Mr Veils mind races but it wants nothing more than to sink into that warmth. Like teeth into flesh. Claiming, ruining. 

Still, Mr Veils starts to question, "You don't have–"

And Mr Candles spits out a high-pitched reply, grinding itself on the claw against its cunt, "Yes, yes, I only have one set of sexual organs. I'm useless, as I said. So make use of me."

Make use of it. Oh, Mr Veils can do that. It presses a claw into Mr Candles cunt, twisting and spreading as the other Master whines and bucks under it. Mr Veils wings quiver with anticipation, bowing its head down to nip at Mr Candles' neck. The two of them trying to find a place between heated touches and flailing limbs manages to knock a candle off one of the shelves in the cramped room. Mr Veils catches it, a splash of wax falling onto Mr Candles chest. 

A bright spot of color, green, against its pale fur. The Master arches, a high pitched moan leaving its throat. Mr Veils feels its cunt clench, feels the heat and wetness peak. Oh? Oh .

A small smirk curls on its lips. "Kinky, aren't you?" Mr Veils purrs. 

"Quiet. More. Just– more." 

A low chuckle, "As you wish." A pause as it reaches for another candle, "I think red would look good on you. Could bring out your eyes."

Mr Candles is watching closely, biting its lip, and its cunt tightens in anticipation. The candle dips, wax drips. It hisses, hips rocking up. A rush of fluid and Mr Veils adds another claw, pressing hard to its clit. And who could have guessed the Runt is a masochist?

That's fine. Mr Veils is a sadist. 

It grabs Mr Candles wrist, tugging its hand away to pin it to the bed. It removes its claws with a wet sound, tracing the sensitive membrane of Mr Candles' wing with hot-slick-wet digits. Mr Veils' cock slips and grinds against its cunt. It doesn't enter, despite the need building up in the back of its head, the song of instinct. Hunt. Breed. Claim. Kill. A series of patterns left in wax across Mr Candles' wings to make up for the stars that it doesn't have. Different colors across its abdomen and thighs in a chaos of pain and pleasure. The Runt is quivering and squeaking by the time Mr Veils finally gives in. 

"Enough foreplay," it groans and Mr Candles mewls, nodding enthusiastically.

With no more warning, it takes Mr Candles' thigh into its claws, spreading its legs as far as they will go. Mr Veils sinks inside the wet heat slowly, snarling in pleasure as Mr Candles throws back its head and cums nigh instantly. A high pitched cry, claws raking down its back, and Mr Veils swallows down the sound by jerking Mr Candles chin up and kissing it. Fangs and tongues clash messily as Mr Veils stills to let the other adjust. Mr Candles is so small, helpless, beneath it. A fragile offering of wax to be melded by heat and force. The give of its hymen. And Mr Veils takes and takes until Mr Candles is sure nothing more and nothing else can fit.

"Tight," Mr Veils grinds out, vision blurring, " Relax or I won't be able to move." Finding words is difficult with Mr Candles' cunt still convulsing weakly around it after its orgasm. Mr Candles gives a nod, legs scrambling for purchase until Mr Veils helps it wrap one around its waist, the other still tightly grasped in its claws, keeping Mr Candles spread. Expiremently, Mr Veils presses deeper, drawing a gasp from the other Master. 

"D-do you have spikes ?" Mr Candles whines. Mr Veils chokes back a chuckle. The Runt has never even seen a cock of its own species. It doesn't help that Mr Veils is large and well-built, a hunter in its prime, even here where the rest have let themselves go.

"Does it hurt?" It grinds into Mr Candles softly, tilting its hips up so the action hits all the best spots inside. 

Mr Candles keens again, sharp and high as it presses back. "In all the right ways," it corrects, panting.

Mr Veils eyes flash down to take in the mess Mr Candles is right now. It memorizes the image, saving it. Chest heaving and dried candle wax across its fur and wings. A perfect, thin, weak neck straining as it wiggles its hips. The smell . The pheromones from the candle completely lost to the damp and delicious scent of Mr Candles' own musk and arousal. (– Ah, sandalwood. Mr Candles smells like sandalwood. Mr Veils can tell now when it's not overpowered by the wax and fragrances it works with.) It's so much different than a regular Curator's. So much more intoxicating. Mr Candles is practically fucking itself on Mr Veils cock, taking in the feel of each barb and ridge. 

Mr Veils wants it face down, ass up, but it will wait. Patience is part of the hunt. Although Mr Veils never had much patience. 

It shifts, pulling out. Mr Candles lets out a noise of displeasure before it's immediately cut off with a cry as Mr Veils shoves back in hard enough to knock the wind out of the smaller Master. 

"Oh, Candles, you're taking me so well ," Mr Veils purrs, throaty, almost a snarl, with deadly claws moving down to press against Mr Candles' abdomen, feeling the bump of its own cock buried deep. Mr Candles' ears press back in embarrassment, giving a slight huff. It rolls its hips, making Mr Veils growl. Warm-wet that reminds it of blood and flesh so tight and perfect, yielding to Mr Veils. 

It starts to move in honest, then, giving in to the primal, feral, nature of itself. Mr Candles meets each thrust, filling the air with wet, slick, sounds. Mr Veils' knot is swelling, rubbing against the slick leaking from Mr Candles' cunt. It's so wet and Mr Veils lets out a small sigh of pleasure. It wonders if Mr Candles can even take its knot. It's so tight already, near strangling when Mr Candles whines and clenches in its lust-haze. Mr Veils can't keep its own need at bay for long, not with the song leaving Mr Candles throat like prayer.

Claws wrapping around its neck. It would be so easy to kill (maybe maybe if it could die could it die?) Mr Candles shudders, close, panting out nonsense, and it's own claws leaving blood-slick scratches down Mr Veils back. It could break that beautiful delicate neck, cock sunk in deep, or it could bite and claim and taste bloodbloodblood. Leans down, licks, feels the pounding pulse of life. Mr Candles is alive, chanting Mr Veils name as it seeks its release. What a perfect song. A perfect hunt. Bright fur, burning cunt. A star. A star .

(–It's back in the High Wilderness, chasing, flying, and weaving between rocks and Mr Veils is free. It sings , claws finding the flesh of its prey, its mate , pulls it close and down. Wings snap closed and they fall fall fall.

Don't crash. Wings open, spread and invisible against the dark void, back up. They twist in a dance, rolling and snarling. This is the song of the sky. Chest to back, teeth at neck, hold it, don't let go. Closer closer closer.) 

Mr Veils thrusts sharply, knot forcing in with a wet noise and Mr Candles gives a high yelp. A burning stretch to join the burning heat boiling in its gut. Mr Veils grinds their hips together, seated deep and making every inch belong to it.

"Veils, oh, Veils, Veils . Right there. Right there. Rightthere ." Hot breath right next to Mr Veils ear and Mr Candles turns its head to the side, offers its neck in submission. Mr Candles is melting under its own heat. It needs release. Too much and not enough all at once. Mr Veils growls all the same, rolling and grinding as much as it can while knotted. 

And then the taste of blood. Mr Candles moaning, sobbing, begging. Flesh yielding to fangs and claws as it tightens around Mr Veils' cock. Wet-warm everywhere. Burning candle wax. The smell of sandalwood and life fluids – blood, slick, semen. Mr Candles climaxes hard, body trembling as it bows its back. Mr Veils swallows its blood, removing teeth to lick the wound lazily. Hips still moving relentlessly. Its hand snakes between their bodies, finds Mr Candles' clit and rubs. Its voice is hoarse, overstimulated, and it cums yet again so soon after the first. 

Finally finally Mr Veils follows over the edge, chasing that high into the void, letting Mr Candles’cunt milk it dry as they both descend. A drawn out snarl of a wild animal as it fills Mr Candles, leaking out around its knot. Mr Candles gasps and whines, squirming as the pressure becomes almost too much. Sticky and hot outside and in, wax and now cum. Mr Veils hisses, hushing it with licks and kisses to the wound at its neck. A nice lace collar would cover it, it finds itself thinking. 

"Easy, easy," it growls in warning, "Or you’ll get me excited again."

Mr Candles closes its eyes, trying to catch his breath as it stills. Their hearts beat in sync as they both calm down. The candle Mr Veils had made had burnt out some time ago, the only scent left is their own. It's calming, the ease after a successful hunt, throat raw from singing.

After a moment Mr Candles speaks, "Will you tell the others?"

"Don't ask stupid questions when I'm still stuck inside you."

"Then we may… do this again sometime?"

Mr Veils chuckles, "I suppose so."