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I wanna fuck you like an animal
I wanna feel you from the inside
I wanna fuck you like an animal
My whole existence is flawed
You get me closer to God

- Closer by Nine Inch Nails


"The absinthe connection is a two way process," the Naturalist had said, so now, leaning with your back against the well and a name on your tongue, you throw your head back and chug the bottle. 

You've done this a lot these past few, agonizing months. Your hunt for the Vake had brought you elsewhere. Or rather, the Vake's memories had brought someone else to you. You had wanted to get to know it so you could better hunt it.

You had not anticipated the dreams of a long lost lover, of candle-light and, bloody hell, the screams . A name that was swept away. You needed that name. It spiraled out of control from there but the voice you had picked up along the way kept encouraging you to drink the Black Wings Absinthe. 

You aren't sure when that voice stopped sounding foreign and started to sound like your own. 

Ah, have you gotten involved in a lover's quarrel? You laugh, drunk, and run a hand over one of the many scars you've collected. You could blame the Vake, blame Mr Veils. When you close your eyes you see the sky, feel the wind beneath your wings.

"Still dreaming of me? Bloody fool," you don't recognize your own voice because the words aren't yours anymore so why should your voice be? But even then the bitterness startles you, startles him .

You stand up on shaking legs and pour the rest of the blood-wine into the well. You feel the intoxication either way. This way just burns and you clutch the side of the well as you wait for the pain to pass. Alcohol poured directly into an open wound.

You close your eyes again and you see yourself bent over the well. You laugh again, hysterical. 

"About time," you drawl and those words are yours. Still the force of the impact makes you gasp. Claws around your neck, another set encircling your waist. A hot snarl right at your ear. The smell of wormwood and leather. 

"Stop this. Stop haunting me."

"I rather enjoy this one. It can get right under your skin. Pull the flesh from bone. Oh, love, how does it feel to be skinned alive? I would know."

"Hold your tongue, Seeker, or I'll cut it out," Veils growls, gripping your neck tighter. Blood bubbles up under its claws. You're hungry. 

"You came to me ," you reply, head rolling back against its chest. You loop an arm around its neck and Veils goes stiff. "I know what you did the morning you gave him away. Worse than Judas. He still dripped with your seed and you couldn't even tell him the truth. They said they would just take a little ," your voice drops, not yours, not human. 

You aren't sure why you call Mr Eaten a he but you are only mortal. There’s a comfort in being able to relate to him, to make him real again in a way you can comprehend. He allows it.

"You know more than most."

"I saw it in your memories," you correct. You guess that makes you the first with both sides of the story. You’ve seen Eaten’s and you’ve seen Veils’. You wonder if it will ever end, this twisted tale. Will either of them ever find peace? Will you ?

"Ah," Veils shifts behind you, the single sound a confirmation, a damnation. 

"You see his too. It's a two way street. The absinthe." You hear the Master lick its lips. "That's why you're here."

"I am here to kill you." And you know you aren't the first Seeker its killed. 

"Claim me first. Give me away like you did him. A kiss for coin, yes? Vake-the-betrayer, the Proud-Singer–" you sing the words, like him, playful and naive. Veils cuts off the words with a tight squeeze to your throat, pressing just at the front with its thumb. Your pulse races and stars explode in your vision. You hope Veils sees them too. It misses the stars so. You want to gift it that.

Oh yes, it would be rather ironic to die at its hands.

Veils presses you further down and you are practically head first into the well. Your reflection is wrong, twisted, and for a second you catch ears and fur. You read out like a madman to touch the water. The Master grabs your wrists, tugs them behind you and secures them with silk. It feels too soft on your scarred skin. Where are the chains? The teeth and knives? 

You recognize the sound of ripping fabric and the chill of your flesh exposed. Your body heats up. You want this so bad and you don't even know when you ended up falling in love. Where do you end and where does Mr Eaten begin? You aren't sure but it doesn't matter. You can hurt Veils this way. Be close to it and hurt it all the same. Perfect. 

"I love you, stillstillstill," you breathe, half, no, completely mad. And love and hate are so blurred and wrong. You hate and you love and you will never ever forgive. It hurts worse than a thousand teeth.

Veils already knows all this.

The Master shudders above you. "Damn you," it snarls, "Useless runt. Can't even die correctly." 

And you laugh. It sounds like it's coming from the well. "Kiss me. Please." 

It won't. Your body isn't right. It can't. 

"I'll kill you as many times as it takes," it growls, bending down to lick the blood from your neck instead. The claws that had been choking you press against your lips. You smell blood and quickly take them into your mouth. You suck them with no hesitation, trying to lick up every drop of your own blood. You're so damned hungry. 

And then hot-slick against your back. Veils grinds its hips against your ass. It doesn't remove its claws from your mouth, instead presses harder, grabbing your tongue and nicking it so blood flows. You moan. It shifts until its cock slips between your thighs. You can't take Veils girth, no matter how much you want to. Not in this form. 

Considerate even now. It will fuck you then damn you. Not any other order. Never any other order. 

"Candles, Candles, Candles," it sighs and yes, that's the name, that's the name . You can feel the name as it chants it. Your skin prickles with electricity and it burns . You can't bring yourself to care. You press your legs together, drawing a high pitched grunt from it as it thrusts, leaving your thighs sticky as its cock rubs against your sex. It occurs to you, vaguely, Veils doesn't want to hear your voice. 

That's fine. An echo comes from the well and it could be words but you can’t focus enough to try and understand. Veils snarls loudly, thrusting faster, teeth pressing to your neck. Everything is overwhelming. The taste of blood, yours, Veils', Mr Eaten's. The sounds of wet-sticky flesh and the sounds of the well. Something wet drips onto your shoulder. You didn't know Masters could cry. 

The well speaks again, a low coo. A mockery of comfort. An insult. Veils hisses, you feel its knot swell, spikes rubbing your thighs raw even with the slick. It grinds against you in ways that are both too much and not enough and you whine around the claws in your mouth. Your mind is swimming with a mix of hate and love and it will solidify into a tower of wax. You are drowning. 

Then pain, sharp, wonderful. It’s not death but it’s enough. Veils fangs break your skin, sink into flesh and down to muscle. It holds you there with mouth and claws. You see the stars. You are sure it can too. You cum with a cry, noise muffled by the fingers still in your mouth. You leak all over yourself and Veils yanks its claws from your mouth. Dazed from post-orgasm bliss you barely recognize Veils pulling away and then you're roughly shoved to your knees. 

"Wha–" you stammer before its cock is pressed against your cheek, smearing slick and precum. 

"I thought all you Seekers where hungry," Veils whispers harshly, claws grabbing your hair and tugging. Its robes are missing. It must have came here from hunting. You find yourself in awe of its size, the way it's fur glimmers like the night sky. Oh it's just like the first time all over again. You feel hot and its wings flutter in irritation. How can you read it? 

A sharp roll of its hips remind you that its cock is still pressed firmly to your face. You lick your lips, eyes darting to look at it. You are hungry and Veils is an offer you can't refuse. You take it into your mouth, gag reflexes long gone from all that you've went through while Seeking. Veils tastes like a home you can barely remember. It thrusts in, deeper than you would have taken yourself but the claws on the back of your head hold you still. You swallow, suck, and chance a look up. 

Veils is leaving over you, biting its lip as its wings tremble. Its muscles are tense and ears pressed back. There's such agony in its pose that you feel it in your own gut. Suddenly, Veils' grip tightens, claws seemingly searching for ears to grab onto. When it doesn't find any, its claws move down the side of your face. Thumbs pressing against the sides of your mouth, making you open wider and then with a grunt, it forces its knot into your mouth. 

"Just like that, Candles…" it groans.

Ah, right, you are not you. Not to Veils. Not to yourself. The twisting emotions in your gut aren't yours either no matter how much they try to be. 

You have enough sense to hold your breath. Drowning in cum doesn't sound like a way you want to go, ironic as it may be. It makes your jaw ache, its cock twitching down the back of your throat. But then it's cumming, thick and hot. You drink it down greedily, the taste making you dizzy. It's not flesh but it satisfies you for the moment. Veils dislodges himself from your mouth after, the last rope of its cum hitting you across the face. It pants, eyes glancing past you at the well.

The Master grabs you by the hair, dragging you up until your standing. "Will you go North?" It asks. 

"Yes," you say without a doubt. 

And Mr Veils, Vake-the-betrayer, the Proud-Singer replies, "Take me with you."