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Must Be Mine

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If it feels good, tastes good,

It must be mine.

***

There's a long held myth that all demons are dark creatures of sin. Merlin would have to disagree.

Sure, he was sarcastic, rude, and he was proud to say that he had been called a ‘little shit’ on more than one occasion, but he wasn’t particularly evil.

If humans knew demons existed, they would probably be surprised to know that demons aren’t evil monsters that entice good people to sin. On the contrary, demons were just natural creatures of the Earth who often preached that one should do what one wanted to be happy. They encouraged some mischief in between basic sins of wearing clothing of mixed fabrics and eating shellfish, but it was hardly a rockstar’s life. The life of a demon, especially Merlin’s, wasn’t all sex and drugs. Most of the time demons just ranted about the lack of basic sex education.

Before Merlin had come of age, he had been mostly in the business of snide remarks and pranks. But after Merlin had come of age, some things had changed. Depending on what form they took, demons fed off humans. It was a harmless symbiotic relationship. Demons would play a good prank or any other various forms of simple sin, and would gain energy from the human’s emotions. Before Merlin had come of age, he survived off the controlled chaos of pranks.  But Merlin had come of age, and feeding would never be the same. As an incubus, Merlin would now have to survive off lust.

When Merlin was in his human form he had eaten human food and had enjoyed it, but he knew that if he ate it now, it would not come close to fulfilling his hunger. Merlin had felt hunger before, a simple feeling in the general core of his being, but it did not compare to this.

On a human calendar, it had been a month since Merlin’s official coming of age and he was starving. No one was lusting after him, not even a glimmer of desire. Merlin had appeared in every city he could think of: Amsterdam, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and dozens of other cities across the globe. He tried just to attract the minimum attention from humans, just enough to entice a lustful look before moving on, but he hadn’t even succeeded in so much of a wolf whistle. Merlin had thought, naively, that once he came of age he would know what to do in order to feed. But incubi don’t have classes called How to Seduce Your Prey 101.

Merlin had tried being subtle, wearing things he thought would be attractive. The problem with slinking around on the streets, even in tight pants and a low v-neck, was that most people were too focused on where they were going to lust after him.  A few people would glance at him, think for a bare moment that he was attractive, but the thought didn’t last long enough to feed him. It was a drop in the ocean.

Merlin thought about figuring out other ways to feed, like other incubi but he didn’t think he would be very good at any of them. He could find a place to pole dance, but knew he wouldn’t have the natural grace that human women had. He would look awkward, clumsy, and probably hurt himself in his human form rather than gain anything from it.

Merlin had tried going to clubs to attract the attention of someone. Anyone. But Merlin wasn’t getting the right kind of attention. He bumped into people, spilled drinks, and didn’t know how to flirt. He was a mess. He didn’t know how he was supposed to have people lust after him when he could barely get anyone to look at him.

Merlin was new to the scene and he lacked the experience most humans had by his age. If he had been human he would be twenty years old, the age when people learned the ways of the world and exploring their sexuality. As an incubus he had been taught the basics of love and sex, but Merlin had never experienced them himself. Now he was starting to wish for a seminar on flirting.

He decided London would be his next city. His human form appeared in front of a club and Merlin quickly adjusted his clothing before making his way inside. It wasn’t a good start as he stumbled his way through the club.

He made it to the bar, but it only took him a second to crash into the first person he saw. Then Merlin had to open his mouth, because he forgot that insulting people wasn’t going to get him the right kind of attention.

“Oi! Watch it, clotpole!” Merlin shouted as he straighten himself after crashing into the man. Merlin knew his mistake as soon as the insult was out of his mouth. As the man turned around Merlin was only half worried about being punched. A punch wouldn’t hurt him the way it did a human, but the black eye that was sure to come from it would ruin his chances of flirting with anyone.

If he was good at seducing, he would have bumped into the man and then accidentally fell into him. But Merlin wasn’t good. Instead he had just glared at the man.

“Excuse me?” The man asked with a dangerously raised brow.

To say the least, the man was handsome. Strong jaw, roman nose, with blond hair and blue eyes. A man that any woman, man, or demon would call attractive. Damn it to Hell, Merlin was terrible at being an incubus.

“I mean-!” Merlin started, realizing his mistake and trying to correct himself. He softened features, widening his eyes. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to call you a clotpole.”

“A what?” The man asked, his brows pulling together.

“Nothing!” Merlin said, panicking. “I was just-” Merlin tried to lean against the bar, to casually entice the man, but his elbow slipped and he fell forward. It might have been smooth to have fallen into the man’s lap, but instead Merlin headbutted him. Merlin yelped as the man grunted in pain.

Merlin held onto the man’s shoulder to balance himself, “Er, sorry about that.”

“I think you’ve had enough to drink” The man said, moving Merlin from his shoulders, looking at Merlin as if he might pass out at any moment.

“I just got here!” Merlin said without any tact. He was beginning to get frustrated. He had just arrived in London and only five minutes later he had insulted the first person he ran into. The starvation was exhausting him and he wasn’t at the top of his game anymore. Not that the top of his game was particularly successful either.

Merlin slumped against the bar with a loud groan.

“Take it easy.” said the man, resting his hand on Merlin’s arm.

“This is impossible!” Merlin complained, mostly to himself. At the rate he was going, he would have to resign himself to living half starved, with only quick glances in the street and drunken gazes in pubs. He would survive but he wouldn’t be living.

“Having a hard night on the pull?” The man asked with a smirk, looking far too entertained at Merlin’s failure.

“Something like that.” Merlin muttered. He sat at the bar, wondering if vodka would solve his problems. He ordered shots.

“That bad?” The man crossed his arms on the counter and turned to smile at Merlin.

Merlin moaned over the first shot, the liquid burning on the way down. "If I’m going out like this, then I’m going out tasting like whipped cream vodka.”

“It can’t be that bad.”

Merlin leveled a glare at the man, “I’m going to die.”

The man laughed as he said, “Mate, you need a shag.”

“You have no idea.” Merlin said. At this point, lustful looks would do, but he was so deprived that being taken back to someone’s apartment would have been better.

Merlin was reaching toward the next shot, when it was snatched away. The man knocked it back easily but he grimaced as the liquor went down his throat. “Fuck, that stuff is horrible.”

“Hey!” Merlin swatted the man, “No one asked your opinion!”

"Look you obviously don't need any more alcohol."

Merlin might have been a little bit drunk, alcohol was surprisingly strong on demons, but he was clear-headed enough to glare at the man. "You're an ass."

"And I'm dying to know your plight." He held out his hand, "I'm Arthur. And you are...?"

"Merlin.” He said as he shook Arthur’s hand, “Absolute Failure and Insult Extraordinaire."

"Well Merlin, I would say I'd buy you a drink and hear your woes, but I think I'll just order you a soda and make sure you don’t fall on your face."

Before Merlin could protest, Arthur was already ordering two cokes and gesturing over his shoulder to a booth at the back. Merlin followed, mostly for the hope of convincing Arthur to buy him more drinks.

“Alright, Merlin.” Arthur said as he settled across from Merlin. "What’s your plight? Is it a girl?”

Merlin shook his head. When he didn’t elaborate, Arthur raised a brow. “A bloke?”

Merlin rolled his eyes. “Not that I have a preference, but no. It’s no one. I just…”

Merlin leaned back in his seat with a loud groan, shutting his eyes and trying to forget about the hunger for a second. It was almost impossible. He was so frustrated and tired. He would pray to Hell for just one lustful glance.

He groaned as he looked at Arthur. “I've got that lanky look going for me, right? The vampire look! People like that, right?"

“Plenty of people are into that, I’m sure.” Arthur added. “Not that I would know.”

Merlin whined. “No one wants me.”

"Well. I wouldn't say that."

“I’m going to die because no one wants me.” Merlin moaned.

“Hm, I’d have to disagree.” Arthur mused.

“Why is there no one on this sin-infested planet lusting after me?” Merlin dropped his head to the table.

“I just don’t think you’re looking hard enough.”

"Look, mate” Merlin lifted his head to glare at Arthur, who was leaning on the table and watching Merlin with a small entertained smile. “I think I know when someone is lusting after me. I am, quite literally, a sex demon."

Arthur laughed, the sound louder than normal as if it was surprised out of him.  “You’re a weird one, Merlin.”

Merlin watched as Arthur laughed at his expense, his eyes were half closed and his grin wide. As Arthur’s eyes ran over Merlin’s face, he lingered on his lips before locking eyes with Merlin. That was when Merlin noticed the energy. It was a constant stream of energy, slowly but surely running from Arthur to Merlin. From the moment he bumped into Arthur at the bar, Merlin had been feeding off of Arthur.

Merlin inhaled with surprise, "Oh."

"You're not very bright." Arthur said, still grinning.

"Stop insulting me." Merlin said, trying to order his thoughts. Arthur must have been attracted to him but wasn’t showing the same obvious signs.

"You called me a clotpole.” Arthur pointed out. “Whatever that is."

"Well sorry I don't know what I'm doing.” Merlin said as he figured out his next step. Should he stay here with Arthur for the rest of the night until he had his fill? Or should he go home with him?

"I can tell.” Arthur nodded, “Look I know when someone is trying to push themselves when they're not ready.” Arthur raised a brow and Merlin couldn’t help but feel caught. He had hoped his inexperience wasn’t so obvious. Arthur nodded, as if his question had been answered. “How about you just slow it down?”

Merlin contemplated the matter, biting his lip as he decided what was best to do. He could stay with Arthur for a while, maybe convince a few kisses out of him, and feed off Arthur's lust while he had his attention. Or he could try and find someone else who was willing to take him home. The latter option seemed like a lost cause at the moment.

Merlin looked back at Arthur, realizing that the constant flow of energy from Arthur hadn't stopped. It was like a low simmer of desire, filling Merlin's hunger gradually.

"Alright, fine." Merlin said with a sigh.

"No need to be overjoyed." Arthur laughed and held out his hand as he slipped out of the booth. “Come on, Merlin. I’m dying to see your clumsy arse dancing.” Merlin was about to argue, point out that his dancing was just fine, but Arthur was already pulling him out of the booth and onto the floor.

When Arthur dragged him further onto the dance floor, until they were completely surrounded by people, Merlin decided he was going to take back the upper hand. He pushed closer to Arthur, keeping face to face with him as they moved together with the beat under them.

As they danced, Merlin’s hands occasionally ran over Arthur’s arms and their bodies collided as people bumped into them. Merlin felt the energy seep into his skin as if transferring directly from Arthur. At first it made him lightheaded and the feeling was almost too much. He had been so drained and now he was suddenly filled with a spark that started at his core and spread across his entire body.

It wasn’t just coming from Arthus either. As if Arthur had been the missing piece, Merlin could feel the looks from across the dance floor, lustful looks that made him feel like he had never been hungry in the first place.

By the time Merlin and Arthur decided that they were done for the night, Merlin’s pulse was racing. He felt exhilarated. He grinned as he felt his energy completely return to him. Merlin whooped and laughed as he headed outside into the cold night. His breath was clouded as he let out another shout of joy. Arthur laughed, more at Merlin than with him. But Merlin didn’t care because he wasn’t dying and Arthur was still looking at him. The lust wasn’t obvious in his eyes, but Merlin could feel it all the same.

“You’re insane” Arthur grinned as he pulled Merlin away from the people passing by on the sidewalk.

“Shut up, you dollophead!” Merlin said, pulling Arthur close and watching as Arthur’s eyes widened with surprise. “Come on.” Merlin leaned forward, but was soon stopped.

Arthur’s hand was on his chest, keeping him from moving forward.

“Maybe another time, Merlin.” Arthur said.

“Wait. What?” Merlin gaped at Arthur. The idiot had been lusting after Merlin, not to mention flirting and dancing with him, all night and now he didn’t want to go back to his place?

“Go home, Merlin.” Arthur said, pulling away and holding out his hand to signal a cab. “Tonight was great. But don’t push yourself.”

“I’m not pushing myself!” If it hadn’t been for the fact that Merlin could easily feel Arthur’s desire for him, as strong as it had been all night, he would have questioned whether Arthur liked him at all.

A cab pulled up to the curb and Arthur held out a slip of paper with what Merlin assumed was his number. “See you again?”

Merlin thought about not taking the number, just out of bitterness, but he had enjoyed the night with Arthur. Plus, Merlin had gotten his fill and he didn’t need to go home with Arthur. He wanted to, after all Arthur was attractive, but he didn’t need to. Merlin took the paper. Arthur leaned forward, surprising Merlin as he pressed a kiss to the corner of Merlin’s lips. Then he pulled away and opened the cab door for Merlin.

“See you around, Merlin.”

“See you, Arthur.”

***

Arthur didn’t know what to make of Merlin. He was odd to say the least. In the first minute of meeting Merlin, he had stumbled into Arthur, called him a clotpole, tried (and failed) to flirt with him, and then started taking shots. He was odd to say the least.

Arthur could tell when a fresher was trying to get laid to prove himself. Arthur had seen it plenty of times. Whether Merlin was trying to prove something to himself or someone else, Arthur didn’t know but he only had to take one look to know that Merlin was in over his head. He was like a lamb to the slaughter. Arthur felt compelled to save him from his own idiocy.

There was something about Merlin that caught Arthur’s attention. Merlin was tall, thin, ghostly pale with pitch black hair. He definitely had the ‘vampire look’ as Merlin had said himself.

If Arthur were honest with himself, Merlin was beautiful. Merlin wasn’t the same kind of beauty as the girls Arthur had dated before, like Vivian or Sophia. They were beautiful of course, but in a different way than Merlin. There was something about the way his eyes that crinkled when he laughed or the raise of his brow after a snide remark. But Arthur also couldn’t keep his eyes off his long neck, sharp cheekbones, and full lips. He was ethereal.

When Merlin had pulled Arthur close for a kiss at the end of the night, Arthur had been so tempted. But Arthur knew that Merlin was still trying to prove a point, even if he didn't know it. He wasn’t going to let Merlin regret kissing him.

And maybe there was also a part of Arthur that was too afraid to lean in and kiss Merlin. Arthur had made it generally known while at university that he was interested in any gender, but he had only ever dated women. Taking Merlin’s kiss seemed too easy, as if Arthur needed to work harder for Merlin’s affections, especially when Merlin was standing there looking like a whole new world that Arthur wanted to explore. So he gave him his number and hoped he would call.

Merlin didn’t call and Arthur’s heart sank lower with every passing day. Arthur wondered if Merlin was still going to clubs to find someone. It was driving Arthur mad, so after two weeks of waiting for Merlin to call or text or show any kind of sign, Arthur decided to go back to the club with the hope that he would be there.

Arthur pretended for about ten minutes that he wasn’t there to look for Merlin. Then he decided he wasn’t fooling himself anymore. He headed toward the bar, scanning the crowd as he went. Arthur ordered a pint, looking up and down the bar. In the end, it didn’t take that long to find him.

He was leaning on the bar, an atrocious purple drink in his hand. He was wearing a black button up and Arthur’s eyes caught on the leather band and silver serpent wrapped around his wrist. After dating girls like Vivian who were haughty and always pristine about her appearance, Arthur was surprised that looking at Merlin’s messy outfit and rumpled hair would make Arthur’s heart jump in his chest.

As if Merlin knew Arthur was watching him, he looked up and searched the crowd until his eyes landed on Arthur. He smiled, wide and unabashed, before he stood up and made his way toward Arthur. It relieved Arthur to know that just because Merlin hadn’t called didn’t mean he wasn’t happy to see him.

“Arthur!” Merlin shouted and waved as he approached, as if Arthur hadn’t seen him across the bar.

“Still on the pull, Merlin?” Arthur raised a brow as Merlin finally made it, sliding into the open space next to Arthur.

“Maybe” Merlin said with a mischievous look that made Arthur far too curious.

“Let me buy you a drink.” Arthur said, and before Merlin could protest he called the bartender over and   ordered one of the sugary ones that he knew Merlin would like. Once the drink arrived, in its pink and sugary glory, Merlin didn’t look at all offended at having the ridiculous drink.

“I can’t believe you’re drinking that thing.” Arthur said, “It looks like pepto bismol.”

“You ordered it.” Merlin said, sipping at the frilly fruity mixture. he shrugged. “I like it.”

“No wonder you get drunk easily. Those things are a punch.” Arthur said.

“Come on, it tastes good” Merlin said, offering the drink to Arthur.

“No. No way.” Arthur said, laughing as Merlin pushed the drink closer to his face. “Merlin!” He started laughing so that even if he was willing to take a sip he wouldn’t have been able to. “Get that monstrosity away from me.”

“It tastes like gummy bears! Come on, just a sip” Merlin said, making his eyes wide and pouting. Arthur had no defense against that face.

“Fine.” Arthur leaned forward so that Merlin could hold the drink as he sipped it, keeping eye contact with him the whole time. The drink was sweet and not half bad, but Arthur made a big deal of making a face and complaining about the taste.

“You’re no fun” Merlin said, smiling like he knew Arthur was just messing with him. Arthur thought he might like the drink more if he could taste it from Merlin’s lips. He quickly pushed the thought aside.

The night was staring off better than Arthur had hoped and he was about to ask Merlin if he wanted to go to a booth, but something had caught Merlin’s eye.

Arthur turned around to see a couple people down the bar watching them. They had their hands over their mouths as they talked, obviously pointing at them.  He realized that they were flirting rather obviously, but he didn’t think they would attract that much attention. Now he realized that he and Merlin had slowly moved closer to each other, especially after Merlin forced his drink on Arthur.

The man next to them let out a wolf-whistle. Arthur groaned out in annoyance.

Merlin only laughed. Merlin’s eyes were alight and Arthur didn’t have time to realize that Merlin was leaning closer before his lips pressed to Arthur’s cheek. Arthur froze in place as Merlin’s hands rested on his hips. Then he saw Merlin’s wicked smile and Arthur spluttered and burst out “Merlin! You little shit!” Instantly his body betrayed him and his face flushed brightly.

“You’re blushing!” Merlin laughed.

“I am not” Arthur said, even though he knew he was.

“Oh my god and I thought you were so suave!” Merlin said.

Arthur rolled his eyes, even as his heart picked up pace. “Come on, let’s find a booth.”

“Oh, don’t think this is the end of that, Arthur.” Merlin said with a grin.

Arthur’s pulse raced as Merlin took his hand and pulled him through the crowd. He couldn’t tell if the pulse running through him was the club’s music or his own heart running away. Watching Merlin was like waiting for the right moment to take a breath and jump in. He had only met Merlin once, and he wanted to take that jump and see what that thing was about Merlin that made him so fascinating to Arthur.

As they pulled through the crowd, a booth in sight, Merlin looked over his shoulder at Arthur, his hand squeezing Arthur’s. The lighting bounced around the club and casted bright lights over Merlin’s face, making his eyes reflect gold.

As they talked in the booth and later on, danced in the center of the crowd, Arthur noticed more and more. Merlin didn’t seem to have a clue about the effect he had on the crowd. Most people eyed him and seemed to flock to him. Merlin didn’t even notice the people with hungry eyes who stepped closer to him and Arthur wondered if he didn’t notice or was ignoring them. Then there were some people off in the distance with their eyes aflame as they watched Merlin. Arthur couldn’t help but think again that Merlin was like a lamb to the slaughter. He knew Merlin could handle himself, more or less, but Merlin was oblivious on most nights.

By the end of the night Arthur was convinced Merlin was just odd in general. He said he didn’t have a mobile and Arthur wondered if he was just saying that because he didn’t want Arthur to call him, but then Arthur had noticed that Merlin hadn’t pulled out his phone all night and in those tight jeans Arthur really couldn’t see where he would put it.

“You sure you don’t want me to get you a cab?” Arthur asked, worriedly watching Merlin grin and wobble on his feet. In his drunkenness, Merlin slung an arm around Arthur’s shoulder and pressed close to him.

“Arthur.” Merlin murmured, as if asking a question or maybe stating something grand, but he didn’t say anything else. He probably had too many of those colorful drinks. Arthur would have to be blamed for that, but Merlin had insisted that beer was gross (which he had no shame in admitting).

“I’ll walk.” Merlin said. “You’re good.”

He probably meant that Arthur didn’t need to worry about how Merlin would make it home, but it just ended up sounding like Merlin was complimenting Arthur on his virtue.

Merlin pulled Arthur into a hug before turning around with a little bit of a wobble in his step. Arthur watched as he walked away, navigating the few people on the sidewalk outside the club. Someone walked in front of Arthur, blocking his view for a moment and when he looked back Merlin was gone as if he had disappeared out of thin air. Arthur tried to find him again, but he was gone. Arthur wondered if maybe he was drunker than he thought. He probably had one too many sips of Merlin’s frilly fruity drinks.

***

Merlin spent more time with Arthur than he had expected. The next couple weeks with Arthur were interesting to say the least. Between ordering sugary drinks, annoying Arthur, which was essentially the same thing as flirting with Arthur, Merlin also had to hide his true form. Merlin knew that he couldn’t tell Arthur that he was demon, because even if Arthur did believe him, most humans wouldn’t react well if they found out their new friend was literally from Hell.

In the long term, Merlin also found a fatal flaw in his plan. The last few weeks with Arthur had been great, mostly because he liked to spend time with Arthur, but also because Arthur had been his sole source of energy. Merlin felt like he was using him, even if he genuinely wanted to be around him.

Unfortunately, Merlin knew that his fondness for Arthur was growing past just friendship. He wanted to wrap Arthur in his arms, whisper jokes in his ear, and press kisses to his cheek just to watch him fumble.  But Merlin was a demon, and even if he could have that kind of romance, Arthur was a human and probably not going to like the fact that Merlin had been lying to him.

Plus, despite the fact that Arthur was attracted to Merlin, he had yet to so much as kiss him. Merlin had been flirting with Arthur for weeks, and Arthur had responded happily, but besides the peck at the end of the first night, Arthur hadn’t shown any interest. It was frustrating.

At the moment Arthur and Merlin were sitting at a booth at the club, like they normally were. Merlin had already downed his first ridiculous drink, though he wasn’t drunk yet. He would have to blame that on the fact that he had made Arthur drink some again. He always made a big deal about it and Merlin loved watching his horrible expressions, the way his nose crinkled and mouth turned down. It wasn’t attractive at all and that’s why Merlin liked it. Arthur made exaggerated ridiculous expressions just for Merlin, and it wasn’t flirting or seducing. He was just having fun.

Merlin was about to get up and order another drink when one appeared in front of him. He looked up at the waitress, probably looking more confused than he intended.

“Compliments from the gent over there” she said with a nod over her shoulder.

Merlin looked over at the bar, where a man was watching him, a smile on his lips and lust in his eyes. Merlin felt a jolt of energy. In his surprise, Merlin knocked the drink and spilled half of it on the table. The energy was like a spark, quick and sharp but gone after a moment. It was so different from Arthur’s, which was always solid and constant.

Merlin fumbled with the drink, managing to save half of the liquid before it spilled over.

“Smooth, Merlin.” Arthur snorted, already pushing some napkins over to him. “It’s a wonder you get drinks at all.”

Merlin rolled his eyes,  “Well, I am a sex demon after all.”

Arthur laughed, like he did every time Merlin made the joke. Merlin wondered if Arthur would ever believe him if he knew the joke wasn’t a joke at all.

“You think highly of yourself there, Merlin.” Arthur said.

“What?” Merlin said. “I’ve seduced people before.”

He hadn’t. Before he bumped into Arthur he had been starving. Even now it was a tentative kind of survival. Again he felt the guilt of using Arthur settle over him.  

“You’ve done no such thing, you liar.” Arthur said. “You’re just...”

“What?” Merlin asked, sipping his drink and raising a brow at Arthur.

“You’re an idiot.” Arthur snorted.

“Oh okay. Name calling, very mature. And what are you, an expert on seducing?”

Arthur smirked, “Well, I don’t want to brag or anything.”

Merlin snorted, knowing full well that Arthur had blushed bright red when Merlin kissed his check. Arthur was not as seductive as he pretended to be.

“Well, how do I improve my seduction tactics, oh wise and experienced seducer?”

Arthur set down his drink, his face determined as if Merlin had just thrown down the gauntlet. He slid around the booth so that he was next to Merlin.

“First off,” Arthur said as he pulled at Merlin’s shirt. “Roll up the sleeves.” He tugged up Merlin’s sleeves, running his hands over Merlin’s now exposed forearm. “And second off.” Arthur popped open Merlin’s shirt. “You should never hide a neck like that, Merlin.” Merlin felt a small spike of Arthur’s desire, but Arthur didn’t do anything but tap at Merlin’s shirt before moving on. “The rest, young grasshopper, is simple. Don’t spill your drink and don’t call someone a clotpole.” Arthur smirked at him, seeming extremely proud of himself.

Merlin rolled his eyes. “Anything else, wise one?”

“That, and draw attention to your lips.” Arthur said as he pulled back. He avoided Merlin’s eye as he said, “You have lips to die for.”

Merlin was thinking the same thing about Arthur. Then he remembered why he needed to seduce someone in the first place and the guilt came back. He couldn’t feed off Arthur for much longer.

“Thanks for the tips” Merlin said, but he knew his voice was strained. Arthur didn’t seem to notice. A moment later he excused himself to the loo, leaving Merlin alone at the booth. He tried to pull himself together, sipping at the drink as he tried to figure out what to do. There wasn’t much time to think though, because as soon as Arthur was gone, the man from the bar appeared.

“Like the drink?” The man asked.

“What little there is left of it.” Merlin said, trying to remember that flirting was supposed to be his speciality. He was reminded that he was still very new at this. It had been far too easy with Arthur.

“You seem the type to like those kind of drinks.” The man said, leaning forward and into Merlin’s space.  The man’s eyes ran over Merlin, and Merlin could feel the energy. It wasn’t as constant as Arthur’s, mostly little zaps and sparks, but it was something and if Merlin could stop being dependent on Arthur then he would feel less guilty.

“Yeah,” Merlin said, biting his lip as he tried to think what else to say.

He felt the jolt of energy and realized that biting his lips had drawn attention to them. Arthur’s advice wasn’t half bad. He pushed on, knowing that this was one way he could be friends with Arthur without using him.

Merlin leaned forward on his elbow “I do have a thing for sweet things."

It seemed to be working because Merlin instantly felt the slight increase of desire from the man, even if it was choppy in comparison to Arthur’s. Merlin wanted to grin in victory, but he kept a coy smile on his face instead.

“Let me buy you another drink then, sweetheart.” The man was practically purring and Merlin was eating it up. Quite literally.

“Who the hell are you?”

Merlin froze. The man’s eyes lifted. Merlin closed his eyes with a wince, knowing that Arthur was standing directly behind him. He didn’t need to turn around to know that Arthur was a commanding presence with his broad shoulders and cold glare.

The man held up his hands, "My bad. Didn't know you had a boyfriend." He stood up and gestured for Arthur to sit down. “Another time then, sweetheart.” He winked at Merlin before wandering back to the bar, and with every step Merlin could feel the lust fizzle out.

"What the hell, Arthur!" Merlin snapped, angry that his chance was gone.

"Oh come on, Merlin! He was a creep.” Arthur said, his voice pitching higher than normal.

"So what?" He hadn’t planned on flirting for long before escaping to find Arthur again, but Arthur had completely ruined his plan. "Is that a problem?"

"No!" Arthur said, red in the face. "You can do whatever you want."

“Wait, what did you think I was going to do?” Merlin asked.

Arthur glared at him, his lips tight. Merlin saw Arthur's jaw tighten and something flicker in his eyes. That was when the energy hit Merlin like a train. Arthur's want, his uncontrollable desire, was like a tsunami of never ending energy straight to Merlin’s core. It had always been a slow burn, but now it was like storm.

"I don't know." Arthur said between gritted teeth. "Guess I got the wrong idea."

Arthur turned and walked away. Before Merlin had a chance to react, Arthur was swallowed up by the crowd.

"Arthur!" Merlin shouted. He tried to push through the crowd, but it was taking too long and he had lost sight of Arthur. He didn’t have time. Merlin changed forms, vanishing instantly and darted through the room as mist. He caught up with Arthur in the coat room. Merlin appeared suddenly, from mist to solid matter once again, making him stumble into the coat room’s door.

Merlin grabbed Arthur’s arm, “Arthur”

Arthur jolted with surprise, “What the hell?” His brows pulled together, obviously surprised to see him. “Merlin, how did you- nevermind. I’m just going to go.” Arthur pushed Merlin’s hand away and pulled on his coat as he stepped out the door.

“Wait, Arthur.” Merlin followed him out of the club and into the cool night air.

“Look, Merlin” Arthur turned on his heel so that they were suddenly face to face. His jaw was tight as he spoke. “I know when I don’t have a chance, alright? I just thought- but it doesn’t matter.”

“Arthur, no!” Merlin said, “You’re my friend!”

Arthur winced and Merlin mentally kicked himself.

“That’s not what I meant. I mean I like you as a friend.” Merlin struggled to find the right words. “You’re a good person and that’s better than anything else.”

Arthur’s brows pulled together and now he looked confused more than angry. “What does that even mean?”

“I just wanted to…” Merlin pulled on his hair with frustration. “I feel like I’ve been...hanging on you?” His statement sounded more like a question as he tried to explain himself.

“Hanging on me?” Arthur repeated.

“Yeah,” Merlin said, not as sure as he had been.

“Merlin, if I didn’t want to hang out with you, I wouldn’t have. I want to be here with you.” Arthur said, looking a mix of annoyed and concerned.

“But!” Merlin said, “I’m just...you don’t understand- this is…” Merlin let out an aggravated groan.

Arthur’s brows pulled together and Merlin let out another groan of annoyance.

“Okay, I’m doing this.” Merlin said, mostly to himself. “I’m probably not supposed to do this, but fuck it.”

Merlin let down the glamor, revealing his true form. He knew that he didn’t look all that different than his human form. His features were a little sharper and his canines a little bit longer. To a human he would be just different enough to be off-putting.

Merlin lifted his eyes to Arthur’s, knowing the gold irises would be damning. Merlin kept his gaze steady, even as Arthur’s own eyes widened with shock.

“What the- Merlin?” Arthur breathed out.

Merlin took a deep breath and then smiled a little. “Would you believe me now if I told you I’m a sex demon?”

“A what?” Arthur squeaked.

“Incubus.” Merlin said. “Demon that feeds on lust.”

Arthur blinked, not responding.

Merlin took a deep breath. “Before I met you I was starving because I didn’t know how to flirt and no one was interested in me. Then you were there and I know you’re attracted to me because I can feel it. You’re like a constant warmth beneath my skin. And now I feel like I’ve been using you, not that it hurts you in any way! It doesn’t! But I feel guilty even though I really do like spending time with you. And you probably think this is insane, but I-”

Arthur shut him up with a hand over his mouth. Merlin blinked in surprise and watched Arthur with wide eyes. “Arthur?” He asked tentatively, his voice muffled by Arthur’s hand.

Arthur lifted his hand and moved it to Merlin’s shoulder. “You’re actually a sex demon?”

“Well, technically, a lust demon. Most incubi just walk around like normal people or they attach to a human and they feed just fine, but I kept messing up. Until I ran into you, that is.”

“Because I…?”

Merlin coughed awkwardly. “Because your lust is, uh, the most constant and strong…?”

“Right.” Arthur said, drawing out the word. “And you feed off that?”

“Erm. Well, yes. But if I wasn’t an incubus I really would like you all the same!” Merlin swore. “Incubi don’t normally talk to or even like humans, but I never minded it. And you’re just- You’re my best friend. And honestly I’ve never felt this happy with anyone, and-” Merlin paused, biting his lip. He tried not to blush, and failed.

There was a long pause. Arthur stared at him, evaluating him.

“Arthur?” Merlin asked tentatively.

“So you’re telling me that you’re weird even for a demon?”

Merlin couldn’t tell if Arthur was angry.

“Um. Yes?” Merlin cleared his throat. “Sorry, I’m confused. Are you okay with all this?”

Arthur’s hand moved from his shoulder to the nape of his neck. “I should probably be more concerned about the fact that you weren’t joking about being a sex demon, but honestly? I’m just happy that you like me.” By the nape of his neck, Arthur pulled him close and kissed him.

“Arth-!” Merlin managed to say before Arthur’s lips were on his. Then Merlin didn’t have much room to care, because Arthur’s hands were in his hair and his lips were insistent on Merlin’s.

Merlin melted, sighing into Arthur’s kiss. When he pulled back he asked, “You’re not angry?” as his lips hovered over Arthur’s.

“Not angry” Arthur said as he pressed another kiss to Merlin’s lips, “I have a lot of questions, but most can wait.”

“Which ones can’t wait?” Merlin asked cautiously.

“Being a...what was it, again? An incubus?” Arthur’s asked, and Merlin nodded, “Then, have you actually never been with someone? Or did you just say that?”

“Being an incubus doesn’t mean I just know how to seduce everyone in sight!” Merlin defended, even though he knew he was blushing with embarrassment.  “I just came of age! I’m new at this. Give me a break.”

With their chests pressed together, Merlin felt rather than heard Arthur’s laugh. “Somehow, Merlin, only you could be cuter after I find out you’re a demon.”

He couldn’t help the smile that spread across his lips. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Arthur leaned in and kissed him again. Arthur’s hands slid to Merlin’s waist, pressing him close.

Between one kiss and the next, Merlin asked, “Anything else?”

“Yeah” Arthur breathed over his lips. “Come home with me?”

“Are you sure?” Merlin asked. “You know I’m feeding off this right now.” As they spoke Merlin could feel the raw energy flow between them, more like the crackle of a thunderstorm than the low simmer of before.

“I don’t care. You can take all the lust or whatever it is that you want.” Arthur said. “As long as I get to keep you.”

Merlin couldn't help the grin that spread across him. Arthur rolled his eyes and tried to play it off with a scoff, but Merlin could see the smile tugging at his lips.

Merlin wrapped his arms around Arthur’s neck and kissed him until they both forgot where they were. The club music, the cold wind, and the people passing by all melted away. It wasn’t until Merlin pulled away again, that he noticed that it hadn’t just been the kiss, but everything was actually gone. They were in a building, somewhere in London (probably), but no where near the club. Merlin really needed to learn how to control that better.

When Arthur finally noticed the change in location, he let out a high pitched yelp. Merlin couldn’t help but laugh, and Arthur cursed at him.

“Merlin!” He shouted. “Did you do this? Where the hell-! Are we at my flat? How did you do that?”

“I think I was a bit eager to get back to your place.” Merlin said coyly. He had moved himself from place to place before in his demon form, but never with anyone else. It was good to know that he could, though he needed to find out how he did it. “And you were distracting me.” Merlin pointed his finger at Arthur’s chest.

“Don’t blame this on me!” Arthur said with an offended gasp, “I was just kissing you!”

“Look, are you going to complain? I just saved us time and a cab fare.” Merlin said, raising a brow and waiting for Arthur to complain. Instead Arthur just glared at him.

“A warning next time.” Arthur said, having the last word.

Merlin grinned. “Maybe.”

Arthur turned to the nearest doorway and pulled out his keys. Once inside and the door closed, Merlin couldn’t wait much longer. He turned Arthur around, and then holding onto his shoulders, he jumped and wrapped his legs around Arthur’s waist.

“Merlin!” Arthur shouted as he stumbled, dropping his keys to the ground. He slammed back into the wall and in his haste to keep both of them upright, his hands hefted Merlin up by his ass. Merlin tucked his face between Arthur’s neck and shoulder, laughing as Arthur widened his stance for balance.

Merlin didn’t give Arthur much time to yell at him though, because as soon as he could, he kissed Arthur. His arms wrapped around Arthur’s neck and he felt Arthur’s arms pull tight underneath his thighs to hold him up.

“I should just drop you, you little shit.” Arthur said as he broke the kiss and pressed his face into Merlin’s neck. Merlin shivered as Arthur’s teeth scraped across his collarbone.

“And what would that accomplish?” Merlin said as he leaned back his head for Arthur to run his lips over his neck. “You’ve got me in your arms, what more do you want?”

“Not to be attacked in my own bloody flat.” Arthur said, though he really didn’t seem to mind at the moment as he peppered more kisses to Merlin’s neck.

“Yeah, yeah” Merlin said with a roll of his eyes. Then, as Arthur’s mouth found a place near his jaw and ear, Merlin’s eyes rolled into the back of his head and he let out a quiet noise in the back of his throat.

“Bedroom?” Merlin asked.

“This would be easier if you walked.” Arthur said, still leaning against the wall for support.

Merlin sighed, “Fine.” He said, and squirmed until Arthur let him down. Then, without any warning, Arthur crouched down, wrapped his arms around Merlin’s waist and threw him over his shoulder.

“Fucking Hellfire! Arthur!” Merlin cursed as he flopped over Arthur’s back.

“All’s fair, Merlin.” Arthur said. Then, with a little heft that made Merlin grunt, he started walking. Merlin couldn’t see where they were going, but he figured it was the bedroom. All he could see was the floor and Arthur’s ass.

“Ah! Merlin!” Arthur yelped as Merlin pinched his ass.

“Hey!” Merlin yelled as Arthur retaliated by pinching Merlin’s ass.

Suddenly Merlin was being dipped and flung onto a soft surface and after he caught his breath, he noticed it was a bed. He looked up in time to see Arthur kick the door shut and flick on the lamp, casting a gold light on the crimson sheets.

Arthur pulled off his shoes and socks, and Merlin followed. He had his shirt halfway done when Arthur crawled onto the bed and distracted him. Arthur kissed him, pushing him down and running his hands over Merlin’s chest. The rest of the buttons were undone and the shirt was discarded.

Merlin’s heart raced as Arthur leaned over him, holding the back of head as he kissed him. Merlin could feel the lust, like stepping out of a snowstorm and into the warmth of a home with a blazing fireplace. It melted him to feel Arthur physically above him and to feel Arthur’s lust completely surround him.

“What do you want?” Arthur asked, his voice rough and his eyes half lidded.

“Haven’t figure that out just yet.” Merlin said, “Kiss me?”

Arthur did, until he was lying half on his side and half on Merlin. His arm wrapped around Merlin’s back and Merlin’s hands ran up his chest. Using both hands, he pushed on Arthur’s chest so that he was flat on his back, and straddled his hips.

Merlin looked down, looking at the mess he had made of Arthur’s hair and the way Arthur’s blush was spreading across his face and neck.

“What does it feel like?” Arthur asked, his bright eyes looking up at Merlin.

“What does what feel like?” Merlin asked, his eyes scanning Arthur’s broad shoulders before deciding on a spot on his collar bone to suck a bruise.

Arthur let out a sharp intake of breath, before clarifying. “The lust thing. What's it feel like for you?”

Merlin focused on trailing kisses down Arthur’s chest and sides, closing his eyes and feeling the energy with every kiss he gave. “Feels like… waking up on a warm morning after a long sleep. Or the adrenaline of doing something new. It's like a pulse. There isn't much of a human equivalent.”

“Yeah, there is.” Arthur said, “It's affection and excitement. It's falling in love.”

Merlin smiled as he noticed Arthur blush harder and tighten his lips. Merlin pressed another kiss to Arthur’s lips, “Not everyone’s like that.” He said over Arthur’s lips, “Sometimes it's like a zap of energy, but your energy is so soft and warm, always there without fail.”

Arthur whined a bit, as if embarrassed. “Merlin.”

Merlin grinned and raised a brow at Arthur. “Yes?”

“Shut up.” Arthur said, pulling him back down.

Merlin grinned against Arthur’s lips, coming to a decision. Arthur deserved to feel the same kind of energy Merlin felt every time they looked at each other. Merlin wanted to prove to Arthur that he felt the same way.

He pressed his hips down, and opened up the kiss until Arthur was arching his back, pressing to be closer to Merlin. Arthur’s hands roamed down his back, cupping his ass and dipping beneath his pants.

“Okay?” Arthur asked. Merlin let out a noise of approval and Arthur continued, his hands running down further.

Merlin pulled himself away, quickly shucking off his trousers and pants, and taking Arthur's off as well. Arthur moved so that he was leaning against the headboard, and Merlin straddled his thighs and wrapped his arms around Arthur’s shoulders. Arthur hissed as they slid together, and Merlin felt a burst of energy like lightning in the middle of a storm.

Merlin ground down, wrapping his hand between them and stroking until Arthur was panting into the side of his neck and his nails were dragging across Merlin’s back.

“Merlin” He groaned as Merlin moved away, quickly grabbing the lube off the bedside table.

Merlin started opening himself, closing his eyes and focusing on the feel of Arthur’s hands on his hips and his mouth on his chest. Then Arthur's fingers joined his, and Merlin had to let out a string of curses and caught a moan between his teeth.

Arthur pressed his nose into the side of Merlin’s head, where his hair curled around his ear. His breaths were harsh and his moans were whispered and Merlin could feel Arthur’s lips skim the shell of his ear. “Pretty good for someone who's never done this before.” Arthur whispered. Arthur’s fingers curled and Merlin choked out a surprised moan.

“I've more talent than you give me credit.” Merlin said, grinding down on Arthur’s fingers and pressing an open mouth kiss to his shoulder.

“Fucking hell” Arthur hissed.

Moving Arthur’s hand, Merlin leaned away so that he could properly reach Arthur.  He stroked Arthur’s cock in a loose grip, watching as Arthur clenched at the sheets and his thighs twitched as he tried not to move. Merlin opened the condom and rolled it on.

Arthur pulled him close, chest to chest, and pressed a kiss to Merlin’s lips. He waited as Merlin moved above him, his hands on Merlin’s back, running patterns along his skin. Merlin sunk down, feeling Arthur and his lust completely consume him in that moment. Merlin’s nails dug  into Arthur’s shoulders, feeling the waves of pleasure from his own body and Arthur’s. Then he started moving and the entire room felt like it was crackling with the spark of a fire.

“Oh, holy hell” Merlin cursed, closing his eyes.

Arthur held one hand on Merlin’s ass, the other behind him, gripping the headboard as if he needed to ground himself. The blush in his face had spread to his chest, his hair was a mess, and his lips were bright red. Merlin’s thighs quaked as he moved. He pressed his face into the side of Arthur’s neck, feeling Arthur’s pulse match the pulse of energy all around Merlin.

Merlin pressed down just as Arthur’s hand wrapped around his cock, and his breath caught. Arthur stroked him as he moved, and it felt like chaos. A moment later when he came, the sensation was like a ripple of electricity across his skin. He tilted Arthur’s head and kissed him, feeling some of the energy spread and crackle across their lips.

“Was that-?” Arthur asked, his question cut off as he groaned  across Merlin’s lips.

“Did you feel that?” Merlin asked breathlessly.

Arthur nodded as a moan rolled through him, as if he could feel Merlin’s energy. Arthur’s moan was choked off as he came a moment later, his lips pressed to Merlin’s.

It took Merlin a couple moments to come back to himself. They pulled apart, only long enough to clean up before lying on their backs and staring at the ceiling.

“Is that what it’s like all the time?” Arthur asked. Merlin turned his head to look at him. Arthur’s hand was behind his head and he looked happily surprised.

“No. It’s not usually like that.” Merlin said, curling onto his side and pressing a kiss to Arthur’s shoulder.

Arthur smiled as he rolled onto his side. He kissed Merlin softly, his hands running slowly up Merlin’s back and spreading across his shoulder blades.

Merlin fell asleep with his head tucked under Arthur’s chin and his arm around Arthur’s waist.

***

Arthur woke up as the light from his window streamed in. That, and the warmth of a body next to his. He blinked open his eyes, waking up slowly as he heard soft snores from behind him. Merlin’s arm was wrapped around Arthur’s waist and his face was nestled into the nape of Arthur’s neck.

He yawned and he felt Merlin stir behind him. A moment later, Merlin’s arms curled tighter around Arthur’s middle and he felt lips against his shoulder.

He turned his head to look at Merlin. “Morning.”

“Hey” Merlin said, his eyes half closed and his voice rough with sleep.

Arthur stretched and he felt, more than he heard Merlin’s whine. “Don’t move, you’re comfy.”

Arthur snorted out a laugh, turning over so he could face Merlin. “You’re ridiculous.”

Merlin huddled into Arthur’s warmth, pressing close and kissing Arthur’s cheek.

“You’re a cuddly demon.” Arthur said as he ran his fingers through the bird nest of Merlin’s hair.

“Yup.” Merlin said with a pop of his lips. After a pause, he asked “Still okay with that?”

“The cuddling part or the demon part?” Arthur asked.

“The incubus part.” Merlin said. “Because I can figure out another way-”

“No.” Arthur said quickly. “This is fine.  It’s not exactly a bad situation for me.” Arthur said, remembering last night from the way Merlin laughingly jumped into his arms to the way Merlin slowly kissed him until he was asleep. To make sure his point  got across, Arthur pressed a kiss to Merlin’s temple.

Merlin lifted his head, his gold eyes crinkling as he smiled. He pecked a kiss to Arthur’s lips and Arthur couldn’t help but smile in return.

“Coffee?” Merlin asked.

“I don’t have any.” Arthur said.

“That’s okay, give me a second.” Merlin said, and before Arthur could ask what he meant, Merlin disappeared. One moment he was there and the next he was mist that faded away.

“Merlin!” Arthur yelped. A beat passed and then Arthur felt something thunk near his feet.

“Oof!” Merlin flopped on his ass at the foot of the bed. Fully clothed and holding two travel mugs of coffee, Merlin said, “Never did get the hang of materializing. Usually I run into walls.” His eyes were blue again and he looked like he had when Arthur had first met him.

“Merlin!” Arthur yelped again, his heart calming after seeing Merlin disappear and reappear in less than two seconds. “Some warning!”

Merlin grinned as he set down the coffee on the bedside table. Arthur felt a crackle energy run through the air and Merlin’s real appearance was back, his eyes fading from blue to gold. He laid down next to Arthur, as if nothing had happened, pressing a kiss to Arthur’s lips. His lips tasted like mocha and his nose was cold, as if he had been out in the morning air.

Arthur’s heart raced. When he looked up, Merlin was grinning, and Arthur realized it was because he knew Arthur was effected by the sudden change.

“You little shit” Arthur said, pulling Merlin down and pressing him into the bed. “The coffee can wait.” Merlin laughed as he pulled Arthur down into a kiss.