“Don’t be frightened, little dove, he just wants to talk to you.”
Jaehwan was frightened, although he’d never admit it to anyone. Least of all his maker. Sanghyuk was so nauseatingly in love with his master that Jaehwan didn’t think mentioning the ancient demon's tendency for monstrousness to be a prudent course of action. If he had said something, Sanghyuk would probably just snap at him. Or worse.
“Did he happen to mention what about?” Jaehwan asked, clinging to his maker's arm and dragging his feet.
Sanghyuk gave a half-hearted shrug. That horrid collar was still around his neck and Jaehwan glared at it. He pressed a kiss to Jaehwan’s temple, smoothing down the young demon's hair. “He simply wants to get to know you better, little dove. We’re a family, and my master is, above all else, a sensitive creature. He doesn’t like the thought of you hating him.”
A sensitive creature, my full and shapely ass, Jaehwan thought mutinously. “What if he hurts me?”
“But what if he does?”
“He won’t, dove.”
Jaehwan grumbled. “Why doesn’t Shik have to come for bonding time then?”
“Because Shik doesn’t try to bite him every two seconds, dove.”
“So, this is a punishment? For wanting to protect myself and protect you?” Jaehwan asked, unwrapping one of his strawberry lollipops and sticking it in his mouth. He was trying to calm down, to relax, he really was. But one-on-one time with the Prince of Lust was about the last thing he wanted to have.
His maker sighed, pulling Jaehwan gently to a stop before the Prince of Lust’s bedroom. “No, Jaehwan. This is not a punishment. I understand the urge to protect your creator, believe me, I do. And you haven’t done anything wrong. But he is my master and you are my Bound. I want you to at least, if not like each other, then at least be civil. Does that make sense?”
Jaehwan squinted, debating whether it would be worthwhile to continue the argument or not, but eventually he decided to relent and just nod.
“Thank you,” Sanghyuk murmured, bending slightly to kiss Jaehwan on the mouth. He even let the young demon get a taste of venom. Sweet raspberry and sweet mint, it spread across Jaehwan’s pallet. Obscured the flavor of his lollipop. Eliminated everything that wasn’t Sanghyuk. Fortifying him. “I’ll be nearby so your craving doesn’t get too bad, dove. Only a few rooms away. You have nothing to worry about.”
With that, his maker knocked twice and pulled the bedroom door open, nudging the young demon inside with a final kiss on the cheek.
Jaehwan blinked around at the room, instantly overwhelmed with the jasmine and lavender perfume that was the Prince of Lust's signature. He felt his hands curl, the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Trying to breathe as shallowly as possible. Absolutely sure in the knowledge that he was being watched.
“Hello, little fledgling.”
The Prince of Lust dropped to the floor with no warning, landing in a crouch and smiling with too many teeth.
Jaehwan hissed, an entirely instinctual response, skittering so his back was pressed to the door. A quick glance up showed Jaehwan where the demon had been hiding. There was a small loft up near the high ceiling, adjacent to the wall of bookshelves and only furnished with an armchair and little clump of alchemical bulbs. He must have been skulking up there waiting just to give Jaehwan a scare.
“Why don’t you ever use my name?” Jaehwan snapped, glaring as the Prince of Lust slowly rose to his full height.
“Why don’t you ever use mine?”
Jaehwan snarled wordlessly. In truth, the reason he didn’t address the Prince of Lust by name was simple. Jaehwan didn’t want to call this evil thing the same name he called himself. It felt like doing so would bring him bad luck. Like it was an omen of something terrible. He preferred the boundaries that formality provided.
“Exactly,” he replied, after Jaehwan’s reluctant silence stretched on a beat too long. A smirk curved the corner of the Prince of Lust’s mouth. “You know, I once killed a hellspawn for daring to have the same name as me. Have you killed a hellspawn yet, sweet little fledging?”
“No,” Jaehwan grumbled, going stiff as the Prince of Lust led him further into the room. He was almost holding his breath by that point. The perfume grew stronger the deeper in he went, it was like walking into a cave full of night-blooming flowers.
The Prince of Lust sat him down on the edge of the enormous bed. It had a new coverlet on it today, Jaehwan noticed, and the emerald damask enveloped him like a cloud.
“A little birdy told me,” the Prince of Lust continued, settling himself beside Jaehwan and artfully arranging his long limbs, “That you enjoy venom. Is that correct?”
Jaehwan narrowed his eyes, but he nodded. Hands clasped tightly in his lap.
Smile growing wider with each passing second, the Prince of Lust plucked the lollipop from Jaehwan’s mouth. Jaehwan’s first instinct was to growl, and growl he did, itching to pounce and snatch his candy away.
“Hush now, if you sit quietly, you can have it back.”
Jaehwan stared at the lollipop sick, protruding from between the Prince of Lust’s perfect scarlet lips. He didn’t like having his sweets taken away. As a general rule, it was something he didn’t allow. Wonshik had tried it once and Jaehwan had nearly torn his arm out of his socket.
But this wasn’t Wonshik. This demon was scarier than Wonshik. Infinitely more frightening and infinitely more likely to cause him physical pain, and Jaehwan had figured out relatively early on that he was a baby about pain.
So, he hushed. He sat completely still, there, on the foot of the bed. Suppressing every instinct telling him to tackle the demon beside him and take his sweets back by force. Counting the seconds and holding his breath. Thank Lucifer that Sanghyuk was close by, because if Jaehwan had had to deal with the tapping right then, he didn’t know what he would have done.
“That’s a good boy,” the Prince of Lust hummed, giving the lollipop one last lick before handing it back. “Those are delicious, by the way.”
Jaehwan snatched at it, sticking it back in his own mouth before he said something he’d regret. But the flavor that bloomed on his tongue wasn’t the sugary strawberry he’d been expecting. Peaches. It was definitely peaches, with only the barest hint of sweetness. The flavor was nearly effervescent, and it possessed that certain something that only venom had. The purest, most delectable taste of sin.
The Prince of Lust's particular venom wasn’t like any that Jaehwan had ever tasted. Not that he’d tasted many, only those of his maker and brother. But the young demon concluded in an instant that this was different. It didn’t have the comforting quality of Sanghyuk’s raspberry and mint. Neither was it the soft romantic sense of Wonshik’s rose petal and white chocolate. This venom was purer. He could almost taste the peach fuzz. Like the essence of the fruit had been distilled. Almost compelling.
“How’s that, fledgling?”
Jaehwan only realized he’d begun to purr when he’d stopped. The Prince of Lust was still smiling at him, lovely and full of bemused curiosity.
“Yummy,” the young demon mumbled around the candy, feeling the venom begin to coat his senses. It had an addicting- there was something new in this venom. Something new that made Jaehwan desperate for a second taste. It was almost like the day of his corruption. That first time he’d imbibed Sanghyuk’s venom with his angelic eyes shut tight against temptation. Like he’d never actually tasted anything up until this very moment. Jaehwan tried to riddle that fact out and failed.
“Good.” The Prince of Lust nodded, sitting up a bit straighter and crossing his legs. “Now, another little birdie told me that you think I’m beautiful.”
Jaehwan opened his mouth to protest but the elder spoke again before he had the chance. “You don’t need to deny it, sweet little fledgling, it’s written clearly in your eyes every time you look at me. You think I’m beautiful and you hate me for it.”
Again, Jaehwan tried to snap something rude in response -that the Prince of Lust was a narcissistic sociopath, that he was just a creepy old demon who was jealous of Jaehwan’s youth and status as the baby of the family- but it was like someone had tied his tongue in a knot. The majority of his brain was still focused on trying to absorb the venom lingering on his candy, down to the last drop.
“Would you like me to teach you how to be beautiful?” the Prince of Lust murmured, nearly radiant as he flounced onto the center of the bed and sprawled out with his feet on the pillows, “I can teach you, if you’d like.”
“You-you c-can?” Jaehwan managed, once the very last hint of venom had been salvaged. He wasn’t entirely sure that he wanted to hear the things this demon had to say but it was... tempting.
Jaehwan thought of his brother, Wonshik’s' perfect physical beauty. And the way Sanghyuk looked at Wonshik. As though Wonshik was the most valuable thing in this plane of existence or any other. And, in contrast, the way Sanghyuk looked at Jaehwan. A mixture of ancient grief and newborn affection. The way Sanghyuk looked at his master wasn’t something to be contemplated right then, or Jaehwan would inevitably find himself attempting to fillet the demon alive.
The Prince of Lust hummed his ascent.
“Is tha-that your spe-special ability? Like Wonshik’s glamour?”
“No, darling. Glamour is different. It’s an illusion cast over one's features or the features of another. Like a veil. What I speak of is no illusion, physical alterations that won’t go away if you lose focus. It is simply a skill one can learn with a bit of practice and determination.”
Jaehwan took the lollipop from his mouth and looked at it. Frowned. “What is your ability then?”
“You tell me yours; I’ll tell you mine.”
Jaehwan frowned harder. “I’m Prince of Indulge-gence. My ability is acute sense of ta-ta-taste. Yours is s-something sex related, I’m guessing?”
“You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But no. I have been graced with the power of persuasion.”
“Oh.” The young demon hesitated, unsure of how nasty he wanted to be if there was still a possibility of getting another taste of venom. “Is that why Hyukkie fucks you even though you’re so mean to him? And how you got Wonshik to let you fe-feed off him?”
The Prince of Lust’s head lolled sideways and he met Jaehwan’s unfocused gaze. “No, darling. I don’t force anyone into bed. They always come of their own volition. And my puppy is a masochist.”
“Very simply, it means he enjoys pain, you understand? A bit of degradation never goes amiss with him either.”
“Oh,” Jaehwan repeated. He tentatively held out the lollipop, only half daring to hope. “Sweets please.”
“Sweets?” The Prince of Lust rolled over, propped on an elbow as he tied up his long hair with an emerald ribbon. Wonshik had offered to cut it for him, style it so it resembled the short crop of black curls depicted in the demon's various portraits, but the Prince of Lust had refused. Jaehwan idly wondered why. “You have the sweet right there in your hand, darling.”
“Venom,” Jaehwan corrected, “Sweet venom. That’s what I ca-call it. Sweets.”
The Prince of Lust watched Jaehwan for a moment, contemplative. Like he was trying to solve a puzzle that Jaehwan couldn’t see. Not that the young demon actually cared all that much, he was starting to squirm. Needing another taste of those delicious sugary peaches.
“Why don’t we make a deal, little fledgling?” the Prince of Lust replied, sitting up fully now so he could look Jaehwan in the eye. They were exactly level, Jaehwan staring blankly into those emerald irises he knew so resembled his own. He’d checked again that morning, though, in the mirror on the wall of Sanghyuk’s bathroom. Their eyes may be the same color and shape, but there was no wildfire burning behind Jaehwan’s own. None of the madness he could see in the eyes of the Prince of Lust. That was reassuring at least.
“A deal. You continue being such a good boy for me, nice and calm like you are now, and in return I’ll give you all the sweets you want.”
Jaehwan frowned again, thinking that proposition over. It seemed straightforward enough. He’d do his best to control his impulses, and he’d done okay at that so far. It wasn’t like he was about to sell his soul or anything. Jaehwan only wanted more venom. He’d manage. “Deal.”
“Good boy,” the Prince of Lust hummed, visibly pleased now as he took the candy from Jaehwan a second time, “I knew you could behave; it was only a matter of finding the proper incentive. Now, tell me your story.”
“We need to talk, Angel, get down here as fast as possible.”
A throat was cleared on the other end of the line and Hakyeon could practically hear Taekwoon’s frown. He got no response, not that he was expecting one, only the faint buzzing and then a noiseless blip that signaled the end of the call. Taekwoon had hung up on him.
The phone was a clever little thing that he and the angel had rigged up together several millennia ago. Not like those silly human telephones that worked with electricity or whatever it was. Taking the white phone off its receiver opened a minuscule portal so he could hear the angel's voice, and said portal closed again once the phone was back in its cradle. The arrangement worked both ways and the false prince had been grateful for the easy communication more times than he’d like to admit.
With a flash of white light that bordered on blinding, the archangel materialized just as Hakyeon was hanging up the phone.
“I didn’t expect you so quickly, Angel. Slow day at the office?” Hakyeon asked, a smile curving the corner of his mouth as he moved out from behind his desk.
Taekwoon gave a derisive little sniff. “You said to come as soon as possible. That happens to be now.”
“You come so obediently to my call, Angel.”
“No.” The archangel folded his hands behind his back, deep golden eyes narrowing the closer Hakyeon got. “Tell me what is so urgent.”
“Well,” Hakyeon hummed, sidling up so he stood directly before Taekwoon and trying not to snort as the angel took a step back, “It has to do with the sword you so carelessly misplaced.”
“I misplaced nothing. The sword was stolen, and you know that perfectly well.”
Hakyeon worried his lip between his teeth. It wouldn’t do to give the whole game away yet, considering how little of the situation he was actually sure of. But the depth and breadth of this colossal fuckup needed to be explained. How to do so that would leave the most lasting impression?
“Who is the last being you’d want running around free?” he asked, tentative, letting his gaze wander along the line of the angel’s broad shoulders. So delightfully broad.
“Other than Lucifer,” Hakyeon amended.
The archangel thought for a moment, those cats’ eyes sharp and brow creased in contemplation. A delightful mouth too, Hakyeon thought idly, eyeing Taekwoon’s lips that were currently pursed in annoyance. “I don’t have time for your riddles, false prince. If you aren’t going to tell me anything concrete, then I shall take my leave.”
Hakyeon clicked his tongue, extending a hand to grab the angel’s shoulder when he turned to go and then retracting it just as quickly. Not for his own benefit, obviously. He’d pondered on more than one occasion what it would be like to have this particular angel within arm’s reach. Specifically laid out beneath him in bed, those lanky limbs sprawling in every direction. But he knew that if he actually had tried to touch, Taekwoon would most definitely leave. And they still had business to attend too.
“Jaehwan, perhaps?” he promoted, hoping the angel would catch on quickly. That damned heavenly veil always made them so dull witted when it came to solving unpleasant problems. Angels didn’t solve problems so much as they smote them.
Taekwoon turned back around, eyeing the hand that Hakyeon still held half extended. Hovering in front of him like he was holding an imaginary drinks tray. The false prince let it fall to his side.
“Jaehwan has been ruined and is running around free. Sanghyuk saw to that. Sometimes I think that demon has a sixth sense, he so easily seeks out things I like and proceeds to ruin them.”
“Not that Jaehwan,” Hakyeon snapped, trying and failing to keep a note of impatience from his voice. “Although there’s a problem with him as well. I meant the other Jaehwan. The first one.”
The archangel’s frown deepened considerably. “You mean the Prince of Lust? He’s locked up in the void, and besides, that was Michael’s project, not mine. Go pester him about it.”
“Yes, he was Michael’s project. Michael, who recently retired from active duty, if that’s what you call it upstairs, to go work on one of you-know-who’s pet projects.”
“So,” Hakyeon replied, actively forcing himself not to appear anxious. “He’s out.”
“No, he isn’t.”
“Yes, he is actually.”
“I have scouts watching the temple day in and day out, false prince. If Jaehwan so much as breathes too close to the entrance, I’d be informed.”
“Listen, I know you don’t trust me-“ Hakyeon began, but he was interrupted by the angel’s quiet snort of laughter. “Of course, I don’t trust you. You are a demon and a liar.”
The false prince soldiered on, not allowing himself to imagine running his fingers through that lovely silver hair. Or pulling it. “And since Michael isn’t around at the moment, who would Jaehwan’s target be? Because he does have a target and he does want revenge. I haven’t even spoken to him yet, but I guarantee the truth of it.”
“I barely knew him before his fall, demon, so I say again, this isn’t my problem.”
The fucking infuriating little shit-
“Not you, which is a lucky thing since you’re already the main target for Sanghyuk’s hatred.” Hakyeon took a slow, deep breath. “You aren’t who I’m worried about. Your little deputy, the grumpy one who attacked baby Jaehwan on your orders.”
Taekwoon flicked the hair out of his eyes. “Why would you bestir yourself to care about the well-being of an angel? Please, for the love of the almighty, take care of your own and let me take care of mine.”
“Frankly, I don’t give a shit and you or yours, Angel! But I’m content with our current arrangement. You lot am staying upstairs and us staying down here. Separate but peaceful. It’s the best of a bad situation and if there is anyone capable of ruining that arrangement, it’s the Prince of Lust. And your deputy would be a powerful ally for him!” Hakyeon growled, finally losing hold of his temper at the blank expression on the angel's face.
“If you find this situation so upsetting, confront him. I don’t believe the Prince of Lust is free, but you seem pretty convinced. I don’t know what I can say to change your mind.”
“I cannot get in,” Hakyeon replied slowly, eyes falling shut on a sigh. “Sanghyuk knows wards that even I can't find a way to break. He’s locked up his home and locked both Jaehwan’s in with him. Not to mention Wonshik, although I don’t know what purpose his eldest Bound could serve in all this. But I know the Prince of Lust is back, Angel, I can sense him. I felt it the instant he arrived in my realm.”
The archangel shifted where he stood, rolling his shoulders and glancing around at the wide room. The grey paneled walls and black furniture. “You mentioned a problem with the other Jaehwan? Sanghyuk’s fledgling?” he asked in that soft voice. It was an obvious attempt to change the subject and Hakyeon allowed it for the moment. He clearly wouldn’t get anywhere until he could prove the Prince of Lust’s escape.
“Hongbin is not my deputy. We are of equal rank,” Taekwoon interrupted. Always so focused on semantics and minutiae. Fucking angels.
“Fine, Hongbin did something to the fledgling when you two broke into Sanghyuk’s home. I reversed it as much as I could, but his and Sanghyuk’s bond has been damaged, which was no doubt your intention. Not fully damaged, the bond itself still exists, but some small part has been lost.”
“And did you pause for a moment,” Hakyeon continued, smoothing down the front of his crimson blouse, “How that would affect the balance of Hell? What impact such a thing would have on Sanghyuk who, to reiterate, would love nothing more than to see you corrupted and rotting in the deepest circle of the void? Or, what it would mean to have an untrained, extremely powerful archdemon running around untethered? How vulnerable he would be to outside influences?”
Taekwoon blinked. Hesitated. “No.”
“Did you make this, then?” Jaehwan asked, running the silken belt of the Prince of Lust's silver dressing gown between his fingers.
They’d been talking for maybe an hour, Jaehwan explaining the mission he’d been sent on that ended with his corruption. That he'd been the best singer in Heavenly choir, that he was young, but everyone said his abilities were remarkably strong. And he’d listened to the few bits of personal information that the Prince of Lust let slip. How he used to enjoy crafting garments in his spare time. That he’d been best friends with the now deceased Prince of Vice, executed for crimes against the Almighty during his confinement. How he had no creator, had corrupted himself, just like every other demon who’d fallen during the first wave.
He was fascinating, truthfully, and so Jaehwan didn’t mind listening. The constant supply of venom didn’t hurt matters either. And he’d come up with a solution to their name issue. Jaehwan would call him Sir like Wonshik did, and he would call Jaehwan darling. Jaehwan was a duke of hell too, and so technically of equal rank, but he was still extremely junior to this ancient demon, so he didn’t protest the arrangement.
The Prince of Lust flexed his muscles with a deep, satisfied sigh. There was an elaborate casualness about him that Jaehwan didn’t quite believe. Like a facade. Even reclining on the bed as he was, legs crossed and eyes closed, the young demon could sense chaos lurking beneath. Tightly coiled energy that never went away. “I did, darling. Everything I wear is of my own design. Who made your outfit today?”
“Hyukkie,” Jaehwan mumbled, glancing down at the pink sweater and black jeans he was wearing.
“You always address your creator so casually, darling. You and Wonshik both. Not that it's much of a surprise, my puppy has never recognized any authority other than mine, certainly not his own.”
“He did once,” the young demon replied, finding himself squirming on the mattress. The venom was gone again, his lollipop had been finished ages ago and he’d begun licking it off the tip of the Prince of Lust’s finger. That didn’t make the taste last any longer though. “Hyukkie liked it when I called him master. I thought he was going to break me in half.”
“Did he now?” the Prince of Lust asked, smiling and cracking open one emerald eye. Jaehwan wanted to touch his hair but stopped himself. Touching the Prince of Lust’s hair would bring his hand too close to the source of that delicious venom, and Jaehwan didn’t want to test his impulse control.
The Prince of Lust rolled off the bed, flitting across the room in the time it took Jaehwan to blink. The movement was so startling that it startled a hiss from Jaehwan. A hiss he instantly regretted when a spark of black flame burned the exposed skin of his wrist.
“Watch yourself, darling, you were doing so well,” the Prince of Lust growled, so low and full of menace that Jaehwan nearly choked as he forced himself to quiet. He sat perfectly motionless and the slow breaths he’d been taking since he’d entered the room stopped all together. Eyes wide. Trying his utmost not to gasp at the pain. “Better.”
Jaehwan blinked hard. He squeezed his eyes shut and bit the inside of his cheek. The longing for venom combined with the burning was making it very hard for him to relax-
“Here little darling,” the Prince of Lust hummed, soft, right beside Jaehwan’s ear. Long fingers closed around his wrist, a cool breeze caressing his skin until all the pain had been soothed away.
A featherlight kiss was dropped on his cheek and Jaehwan opened his eyes once more. The Prince of Lust was watching him closely, tongue darting out and leaving a shiny patch of saliva on his bottom lip.
Jaehwan leaned forward before he could stop himself. Lapping up that tiny bit of venom with the tip of his own tongue. His whole body seemed to go slack as the flavor washed over him and the Prince of Lust didn’t protest right away. Hands curled around Jaehwan’s biceps and essentially holding the young demon upright. Peaches and a hint of sugar.
“See, darling?” he murmured, pulling back a few inches and leaving Jaehwan panting shallowly, “I didn’t forget our deal. Be good for me and you can have sweets.”
He giggled, a wild disconnected sound, and stood from where he’d crouched beside the bed. Taking the young demon’s hand and pulling him through a doorway on the opposite side of the room. It was a closet, apparently, nearly as big as the bedroom with racks of clothes lining all four walls. There was a wide diva in the center just as there was in Sanghyuk’s closet, but this one was covered in rich silver damask and emerald embroidery. And, unlike Sanghyuk’s closet, there was a gigantic gilt framed mirror before the divan, like the kind of tri-fold mirror humans had in those big department stores.
Jaehwan took all of it in, the range of colors and textures nearly assaulting his eyes, and then glanced down at his wrist. He hadn’t known what he was expecting. A ring of singed flesh marring his once smooth skin, black patches of char perhaps. But all he saw was a tiny scar. A perfect circle the size of his pinky nail, only a shade or two lighter than his normal skin tone.
“Let’s find you something better to wear, darling,” the Prince of Lust said, voice as soft as a lullaby. He flashed Jaehwan a full, ripe smile and it seemed to transform him. No longer so intimidating when he smiled like that. Simply beautiful. “My puppy is many things, but a designer isn’t one of them, and I can't have a member of my family walk around dressed like a fast-fashion manikin.”
He moved like poetry, first depositing Jaehwan on the divan and then swirling away. Perusing his racks of garments, fingers tripping over the fabrics, light from the alchemical bulbs reflecting off his silver silk like moonlight on open water. “I do think he was going in the right direction with pink.”
A few moments of restless shifting later, Jaehwan was instructed to stand. He lurched awkwardly to his feet, locking his knees, trying to quiet their trembling. Mind still muddled from that enchanting venom and the fresh memory of pain. The Prince of Lust damn near tore the clothing off Jaehwan, the sound of ripping cotton too loud in the otherwise quiet room.
In place of the sweater and jeans, Jaehwan was draped in satin. Only a simple tunic and trousers first, the slippery fabric such a light shade of pink it was almost creme. Other than the loosely laced V neck and the cinches on the cuffs, they reminded Jaehwan strongly of pajamas. But then over that went a robe of blush colored silk chiffon (or that’s what he was told the material was), more transparent than opaque, patterned in roses of the same hue. The flowers looked as though they’d been embroidered by hand and the bursts of emerald green of their leaves gave the thing a dazzling bit of contrast. All secured around his waist with an emerald chord. It was undoubtedly one of the most beautiful garments Jaehwan had ever seen.
“Pink is definitely your color, darling, what do you think?” the Prince of Lust asked, drawing Jaehwan back to the mirror once he was satisfied with the draping or whatever it was he was fussing about.
Jaehwan stared at his reflection in slight amazement. The color, a softer shade than his sweater, brought out a hint of pink in his cheeks. His skin was a bit brighter too, and the green of his eyes was more noticeable. But he was still a plain thing, and that reality only reaffirmed when he glanced to his left. The Prince of Lust was standing beside him, so darkly resplendent that the comparison made Jaehwan look almost sickly.
“It’s nice,” Jaehwan replied, plucking his sleeve and frowning at his feet.
The Prince of Lust crooked a finger and raised Jaehwan’s face. That calculating expression was back, like he couldn’t understand what Jaehwan was feeling but was trying to figure it out. Neither positive nor negative. A flat, base level curiosity. “You don’t like it?”
“I do like it, it’s lovely, but-” the young demon’s voice became a whisper, choked and tiny, “Even with the pretty clothes, you’re still so much prettier than me.”
“Close your eyes,” the Prince of Lust instructed, moving to stand behind Jaehwan and placing hands on his shoulders. Jaehwan complied.
“Now, take a deep breath.”
Again, Jaehwan complied, but slower that time. As soon as he inhaled, the intoxicating perfume of jasmine and rose overwhelmed his senses. He almost coughed. The sensation was akin to drowning.
Jaehwan did. It got easier with each lungful, his body beginning to adjust to the scent. Slowly relaxing. And there was a strange tingling feeling on his face, fingers running through his hair, electric current running across his skin. It made the young demon shiver.
When he opened his eyes and saw his reflection, Jaehwan accidentally gasped. The Prince of Lust had done something- his pallid skin was warmer like he’d gotten a light tan, cheeks fuller, lashes darker, lips a deeper shade of pink. His already sharp jawline was somehow more noticeable as well, and his hair... the previously monochrome platinum sparkled like someone had woven diamonds through the strands.
“What did you do?” Jaehwan asked, reaching up to touch his own face. Making sure it was real and not some kind of trick mirror. He still looked like himself, no mistake, but better.
“Magic, darling,” hummed the Prince of Lust, resting his chin on Jaehwan’s shoulder and eyeing his reflection, “Just a little demonstration of all that I can teach you.”
It occurred to the young demon that the prince of lust could be doing this for Sanghyuk’s sake. Being kind to keep his Bound happy. Sanghyuk could have asked him to do so, actually. But somehow, Jaehwan didn’t think so. That didn’t seem like the Prince of Lust’s style. He wouldn’t play nice for anyone’s sake if he didn’t want to, and he didn't really seem to care whether Sanghyuk was happy or not.
That was when Jaehwan realized he could feel it. Not the hand on his waist or the warm breath fanning out light across his cheek. Not the gaze dropping intimately down the length of his back a moment later. He felt all that, but he could also sense the Prince of Lust’s energy.
It was so subtle he could have easily missed it, as though the ancient demon wasn’t projecting on purpose. Soft heat settling in the pit of his stomach, fingers curling and uncurling at his side, an urge to touch and be touched in return.
A faint blush colored Jaehwan’s cheeks and the tips of his ears grew warm. There was uncertainty beneath the lust but not much of it. He could feel the prince of lust’s energy starting to feed his own, the careful control he’d been holding over his impulses beginning to crumble. Jaehwan was hungry.
He dropped his head back to try and get a bit of venom but suddenly found his chin held in a firm grip. Wild green eyes glaring at him. “Stop it. Now.”
Jaehwan tried, he really did. But even after all Sanghyuk’s instruction and Wonshik’s helpful tips, he could never get his mojo to settle when he wanted it to. He could increase it easily, more was never a problem, but the energy always had to burn itself out. “I c-can’t.”
Despite the growled command, Jaehwan was powerless to comply. He reached a hand up, the hunger inside him screaming for venom, but only succeeded in getting his arm pinned behind his back.
“I said, stop it.”
“I can’t! I don’t know how!” Jaehwan whined, wriggling to try and get free so he could pounce on the ancient demon. “I’m only a fledge still, I don’t know all the tricks you-”
Jaehwan’s attempted explanation cut off with a yelp. The Prince of Lust had momentarily released his chin and slapped him across the cheek. He could feel the skin their sting and he yelped again as the ancient demon held his face once more, fingers bruising hard. “Learn faster.”
The Prince of Lust’s own energy was getting stronger too and Jaehwan’s breath grew uneven. For lack of any other ideas, Jaehwan pulled his mojo inside himself. Letting it pool in his core rather than spill out. This wasn’t a solution so much as a delaying tactic, because the energy would have to go somewhere. He couldn’t hold it in for very long. But maybe he could distract the elder enough that he wouldn’t notice.
“Good boy,” the Prince of Lust murmured, letting Jaehwan go and carding a hand through the young demon’s hair.
As soon as he was free, Jaehwan basically threw himself on the elder, sealing his mouth to those crimson lips. He barely even noticed the giggles spilling from the Prince of Lust. Everything was obscured by that addicting flavor, peaches and a dash of sugar.
He purred as the ancient demon wrapped him in a tight embrace and pulled him closer. Jaehwan ran his hands over the hard muscle of his arms. Silver silk slipping against his fingertips. The Prince of Lust cradled the back of Jaehwan’s head in one hand, the other skimming smoothly up and down his side, caresses smoldered into Jaehwan.
In small, unobtrusive increments, the young demon began siphoning off the hunger still growing inside him. Releasing it in tiny blips that he hoped could go unnoticed as he explored the inside of the elder’s mouth with his tongue. Trying to drown himself in venom.
“You and my puppy really are two of a kind,” the Prince of Lust breathed, snapping his fingers behind Jaehwan’s back. The tunic and trousers abruptly vanished, leaving the young demon only covered by the transparent chiffon. Jaehwan couldn’t bring himself to care. “No control, and so needy.”
The Prince of Lust breathed warm kisses into Jaehwan’s neck, smoothed the slightly damp hair from Jaehwan’s face, softly caressing Jaehwan’s skin as he maneuvered them backward and collapsed onto the divan.
Jaehwan fell upon him like a starved animal. Ran his tongue up the Prince of Lust’s cheek so he could taste that perfect skin. Like almonds and shea butter. He yanked the ribbon from the elder’s hair and let it fall down around his shoulders, filling his hands with the indigo strands and smothering a groan.
Tiny random details became charged with overwhelming significance. The firm thighs beneath him. The sensation of the couch fabric rasping against his shins. The quiet tinkling of the alchemical bulbs bumping together above their heads.
“We really are identical, down to the last detail,” the Prince of Lust sighed, palming Jaehwan’s crotch over the fabric. A wicked little grin flit across his face at Jaehwan’s whimper. “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to fuck myself. Perhaps I’ll let you fuck me later, only if you’re a very, very good boy.”
Jaehwan made a low noise somewhere in the back of his throat, tugging at the prince of lust’s shirt. Wishing he could make the garment vanish as easily as his own clothes had disappeared. The Prince of Lust was no help at all. He just sat there, eyes half closed and an easy smirk curling his mouth as Jaehwan stood and yanked off his trousers.
Once his task was completed, Jaehwan stayed still for a moment. Staring at the ancient demon with breathless anticipation. Long dark hair draped about his face, swathed in nothing but perfume and a bit of fresh sweat, the Prince of Lust was a vision of absolute perfection. Jaehwan was so hungry he thought he might die.
“Come here, pretty little darling,” the Prince of Lust said, voice dipping to a husky purr. He took Jaehwan’s hands and helped guide the young demon. Situating Jaehwan so he was straddling him backwards. Legs spread and knees on the cushions. Back to the elder’s chest.
The Prince of Lust’s fingers were like molten iron against his skin. His hips. His abdomen. His thighs. Bunching the pink silk chiffon up around Jaehwan’s waist and crooning sweet words in his ear. Stroking Jaehwan’s cock, swift and smooth.
“Look how pretty you are,” he murmured, nudging Jaehwan’s cheek so the young demon had no choice but to stare at his reflection in the tri-fold mirror. He looked a mess, if he was honest, rumpled and flushed. But pretty too, he supposed. Nothing close to the darkly luxuriant being behind him, but still pretty.
Their eyes met in the mirror and Jaehwan bit his lip, watching as the elder easily pushed him up onto his knees. Watching as the Prince of Lust spit on his palm and slicked himself up, then did it again and ran those clever fingers over Jaehwan’s rim.
The young demon bit harder, tasting the salty tang of ichor as he was guided back. Sinking onto the elder’s cock with a low breathless whine.
“That’s a good boy,” the Prince of Lust purred, tilting Jaehwan’s head back and pressing a light kiss so his lips. He remained there, holding Jaehwan still. Hovering close so their identical pointy noses brushed against one another. “How do you feel, darling?”
“Full,” Jaehwan mumbled, pressing a hand to his sprinting heart. Lashes fluttering. “Warm.”
Time slowed to an almost painful crawl as he leaned in and they kissed again, soft and dizzying as venom coated his pallet. Heady effervescence mingling with the fissions of pleasure shooting through him as Jaehwan finally found the strength to move.
Jaehwan shivered as their tongues touched. Thigh muscles burning low as he lifted himself up and sank back down, then up, then down, then up again. The Prince of Lust had a hand in his hair, smoothing the blonde strands back off his forehead, the other hand flat across Jaehwan’s stomach with fingers splayed wide.
Opening his eyes, Jaehwan saw the Prince of Lust’s face just an inch from his. Lips still close enough to brush. But the ancient demon wasn’t looking at him, no, those wild green eyes were focused on the mirror.
The loss of attention had its usual effect on the young demon. Frustration surging inside him in an instant. Without even realizing what he was doing, Jaehwan let his internal dam break. Let the built-up energy pour from him like a tidal wave. Hunger and need sending him shaking.
“What did I tell you?” the Prince of Lust snarled, the hand in Jaehwan’s hair curling in a fist and yanking the young demon’s head back. He held Jaehwan completely motionless with the other, arm wrapping tight across Jaehwan middle. Still buried in Jaehwan to the hilt.
Jaehwan squirmed, or tried, dusky red creeping up his throat. He could feel the Prince of Lust’s unsteady breath against his neck. “Can’t he-help it,” he gasped, reaching back to touch the base of the ancient demon’s skull and bracing himself with a hand on the cushion. “Too full- lemme move!”
“No,” was the hissed replied, accompanied by another sharp yank of Jaehwan’s hair. “I am going to fuck you until you cry, pretty darling. I am going to keep you here until you’re too exhausted to come for me properly, let alone project, if that’s what it will take for you to learn to control yourself. Do you understand me?”
Jaehwan did understand, but at that moment he couldn’t find it in himself to care. A glance in the mirror showed the tiny patches of pink high on the Prince of Lust’s pale cheeks, a lock of dark hair across his forehead in rakish disarray. Charm personified, even then.
“Sir,” Jaehwan whined, face twisting as he tried to hold back his sobs. He rolled his hips as much as he could with his movements so restrained, which wasn’t much at all, but it was enough to give him the smallest sensation of the friction he craved. And, instead of trying to dampen his energy, the young demon let it grow stronger.
The Prince of Lust growled, too-sharp teeth piercing the flesh at the juncture of Jaehwan’s shoulder and neck. The young demon yelped at the pain but the elder didn't stop, thrusting up into him and leaving tiny silver crescents of ichor each time he bit into a fresh patch of skin.
Jaehwan cried out, fucking himself down on the elder’s length, eyes closed against the pleasure-pain of it. He lost himself to sensation, aching in the pit of his stomach, jasmine and rose perfume tangling up his sensorium, sharp fingernails digging into the skin of his soft tummy. The low groans spilling from the Prince of Lust’s scarlet lips. Indulging in a perfect, amorous frenzy.
Motionless and languid in the elder’s arms an immeasurable time later, Jaehwan tried to think. He couldn’t, not really, too oversensitive and the Prince of Lust's cock still hard inside him. Thoughts askew, like a row of toppled bookshelves. The books in disarray and detached pages lying helter skelter in every direction.
A new smell pricked in Jaehwan’s nose. Dirty paper, leather, metallic underneath. He blinked his eyes open just in time to see a blur of black and green cross the threshold before the Prince of Lust spoke.
There was an unmistakable note of command in the words and Sanghyuk froze. Halfway between standing and crouching maybe ten feet from the divan. He was still in his slacks and black button-down, just as he’d been when he left Jaehwan there that morning, but his jade green eyes were glazed with anger and some other emotion Jaehwan couldn’t name. And he smelled greedy.
“I could smell him bleeding, why is he bleeding,” his maker snarled, hands curled in fists at his sides.
The Prince of Lust giggled under his breath, thrusting sharply up into Jaehwan’s body, still heavy with exhaustion. The young demon whimpered around the venom-slicked fingers in his mouth.
“We are having a lesson, pet, and I’m not finished with him yet.” He stroked Jaehwan’s hair almost lovingly and nipped at Jaehwan’s cheek. “Either get out and come back when I call for you, or make yourself useful.”
“I don’t like to share, you know that-”
The word silenced Sanghyuk in an instant and Jaehwan blinked at his maker. A muscle twitching in his jaw and lips set in a firm line. The taste of peaches was almost gone and the young demon pawed weakly at the Prince of Lust’s arm, hand trembling with effort. Wanting more.
“Useful how?” Sanghyuk asked, nearly vibrating he was standing so still.
The Prince of Lust hummed, nibbling Jaehwan’s earlobe and thrusting up again. “Give him something to do with his mouth.”