I shove the shower curtain aside, nearly ripping it from the rod. Not bothering to remove my pants, I climb into the tub with Halen in my arms. Her throaty whimpers guide me to press her back to the slab of marble, caging her body with mine.
I devour her mouth like a famished animal, every salacious desire rend from my being by the soft feel of her sultry lips. She needs me to chase back the darkness, and I’m the demon to do that. I’ll swallow every bit of darkness for her.
Her palms braced against my chest, she wanders her hands reverently down the hard planes of muscle, washing my skin clean as the warmth of the spray rinses blood between us.
I break away to tower over her, splaying my hand against her slick skin, streaking the crimson between the valley of her breasts in worshipful pursuit to memorize every beautiful, enticing inch of her.
And I glimpse her in my mind’s eye, with blood coating her hands, droplets splashed on her face, bathed in pale moonlight—a muse delivered to me to rouse my dead soul.
I had never wanted anything or anyone as badly as I wanted her in that moment, and I never stopped. Each day I waited for her, my hunger only grew. I want her just as badly right now, to the point I have to will myself to slow before I consume her in a fit of gluttony.
She yanks on the belt secured around my waistband, and I catch her hand. “Not a chance, sweetness,” I whisper across her mouth as I trap her wrists and push her arms above her head. “Let me work my magick and burn that drug from your veins, then I swear, I’ll fuck you until you literally see god.”
If I can’t make my muse commune with a higher power, then I’m not worthy of her.
Her gaze snares mine, a fiery current banked there affirming her own vow to break me. “The rite is to repeatedly arouse the ritualist-seer,” she says, arching her back until I’m forced to relinquish one of her wrists and cup her perfect breast, “to bring them to sexual exhaustion…never reaching orgasm.” She licks her lips in a sinful taunt. “Are you going to arouse me to near death, Kallum?”
I smile against her mouth. “Devious little sprite, if I deny you gratification for that length of time, that torture will damn sure kill me first.” I lower myself to take her peaked nipple into my mouth, sucking until she releases a strangled cry, then I swallow that lovely sound with a demanding kiss.
“Eroto-comatose lucidity is only one method,” I tell her as I clasp the side of her face, trailing my thumb down her wet lips. “I much prefer the practice where I exhaust you by bringing you to orgasm over and over.”
A state between awareness and sleep, induced to bring on a trance. Enhanced when the seer gazes at a sigil during the rite. Yet no matter the chosen practice, it’s the intensity of the act that conjures the magick, taking what’s present in the conscious mind at the moment of orgasm and reaching far into the subconscious.
A flame of hope is stoked by the chance such a state could elicit her latent memory.
In mirrored conflict, Halen touches my face, seeing right down to my core. “It doesn’t matter,” she says, her tone grievously fragile. “Whatever is in the past…leave it there.”
A raw ache chars my throat with the powerful hit of her melancholy. During our ritual, I could taste her desire and hesitancy equally as she battled her rational mind for control. Feeling Halen surrender to us now, here in this moment of time, is like the purest dose of aphrodisiac injected into my bloodstream.
Her hazel gaze beckons me to abandon my pursuit to bring her back.
She’s here with me now.
“I’m at your mercy, sweet Halen.” I dip down and taste her lips, then meet her eyes as I implore her, “Destroy me.”
And goddamn, she is divine torture as she does.
I drown beneath the torrent of her heightened emotions as she steals my breath with a sensual kiss, her body melding against mine seamlessly. My hands map her body, exploring with aggressive deliberateness to learn every curve and plane.
I lavish her neck with my mouth, my tongue delving out to taste her skin. The water does little to dilute the heady mix of Halen and blood, and it sends me into a feral lust, awakening the hedonist within. I kiss and caress tenderly, chasing each sweep of my tongue with a bite and scrape of my teeth to balance the edge between pleasure and pain.
She rakes her nails across my shoulder blades, summoning the fiend to my surface. I fist her hair and tilt her head back under the spray, granting myself full access to sink my teeth into her neck, feasting on her like a demon of the night. My goal to mark her as mine and override the imprint on her shoulder is a vicious demand.
Hauling her ass away from the marble, I glide my palm down the backside of her thigh and bring her leg over my jean-clad knee, spreading her open to me. I first trace the sigil on her sensitive skin, my cock damn near tearing through the confines of my pants in aching need, before I push my hand between her thighs and swirl my fingers over her clit. All sanity nearly shatters at the slippery feel of her arousal despite the water raining over her body.
A broken moan catches in her throat. Her muscles gather tight as she rolls her hips in needy undulations to speed my strokes, and when I slip inside to feel her tight cunt pulse around my fingers, I release a deep growl against the pocket of her shoulder.
Halen works her hips in perfect time to my building rhythm, fucking my fingers in abandon and killing me at the sexy-as-hell sight of her. She pushes off the shower wall and links her arms around my neck, unconcerned with the stitches or pain. She licks the sigil carved in my chest, tasting my blood and unleashing a depravity within me from the basest corner of my soul.
The primal urge to taste her on my tongue rears hot and violent to drop me to my knees.
Through the hazy curtain, candlelight bathes her glistening body as I kneel before my goddess and surround my mouth over her sweet pussy.
Fingers splayed in my wet hair, she tugs at the roots to deliver a hint of pain, igniting a bestial hunger to feel her tear me apart.
Her moans fall freely from her lips as I suck her clit into my mouth. I release a rough groan against her sensitive flesh, feral as I take her to the edge, again and again, until she’s writhing in delicious pain so deliriously intoxicating, I’m drunk on her. Her thighs clamp down hard around me as I feast on her, fucking her with my tongue as my goddamn cock throbs in pounding fury to feel her sheathed around me. I continue to consume her saccharine taste, punishingly bringing her to the edge of climax before battling my own animalistic desire and forcing myself to taper off.
I don’t stop until her cries for release tighten my skin in a hot ache. I don’t stop until her body is shaking and as wild as I feel. I don’t stop until the shower water starts to run cold.
When her knees buckle and she can no longer hold herself up, I sweep her into my arms and haul her to the library, our drenched bodies leaving a trail of water on the hardwood.
I shed my soaked pants before I spread the blanket on the floor in front of the fireplace hearth, then lay her down in the center, where I prowl over her wet body like a feral beast catching its prey. And her eyes pin me right back, trapping me above her.
“You tied me to a tree during the ritual because you think I’m dangerous,” she says, chest rising with her quick inhalations. “Capable of hurting you.”
Palming the side of her face, I stare into the glint of her irises reflecting the blazing fire. In my periphery, I catch sight of the fire poker, an object not unlike the one I witnessed her wield to mutilate the face of my adversary.
“Hurt me or fuck me, Halen. I want all of you. Every bit of your sweet torture.” I close the gap between us, kissing her lips tenderly before I bite into her lower lip so I can swallow her breathy moan.
As I rise up, I say, “Tell me what you want.”
Her swallow is forced. “To let go,” she says.
“You can let go.” I caress her cheek. “You can get lost, Halen. I promise, I’ll find you. I’ll always bring you back, sweetness.”
To prove my vow, I shift onto my knees and reach over to grab my discarded jeans. I pull the leather belt from the loops. Keeping my gaze fused to hers, I deftly wrap the wet leather around one of my wrists, then I place the end of the belt in her hand.
Halen lifts onto an elbow, her hand gripped around the leather. A trace of fear flashes in her eyes, gifting me a hit of her tantalizing honeysuckle and clove, before she tugs the belt to bring me closer. The uncertainty I feel in her is replaced by yearning as she secures my wrists together, rousing the deviant monster within.
She pushes her palms flush to my chest and guides me to lie back. She’s the loveliest thing I’ve ever seen as she mounts me. Straddling my hips, she drives my arms over my head, a silent command to keep my wrists bound.
Her mouth rests against my ear. “I never put the necklace back on because I’ve always belonged to you,” she whispers, and my fucking heart riots at her confession. “Just like the sigil on my thigh was always there, waiting for you to uncover it, for me to see.”
Carnal heat scorches my goddamn blood, my veins drumming with the ferocious beat of my heart, her words slaying me.
If I die tonight by her hands, I’ll savor every wickedly brutal second of that sweet death.
As she arches back, my cock is an impatient, greedy fucker at the taunting feel of her slick pussy nestled along my shaft. She bears down just enough to wrench a sharp breath from between my gritted teeth, and this brings a devious smile to her mouth that fucking owns my whole being.
I buck my hips up against her, rewarded with the salacious sight of her perfectly slight breasts bouncing. “Make me fear you, baby.”
She reaches above my head and grabs the glass of water. Dumping the contents to the hardwood, she then smashes the cup, selecting a shard of glass. I’m hypnotized by her every action as she methodically inspects the piece for slivers, then traces the soft pad of her finger over my chest, her gaze trailing behind the symbol she outlines. Her needy pussy grinding against me all the while, seeking friction.
The desire to know the thing she wants so badly that she’s about to brand it into my flesh is driving me right out of my frenzied mind.
Like the white flame burning at the hottest degree, we’re at a combustible state of change, our fiery alchemy transforming our elements into an elixir to sear us together. Pain and pleasure collide, energy exchanged and heated to molten intensity to purify our souls.
Her lips fall to mine, sealing a promise through her tender kiss, right before she pierces my flesh with the glass. My muscles tense as she slices a figure into the skin of my sternum, right above the skull of the stag.
The bite of pain is pure, erotic ecstasy, and she’s never looked more alluring delivering it. Her body sheened in firelight, the white streak framing the side of her face and daring me to wrap her hair around my fist and yank her down against me.
My wrists flex against the leather binding at the thought, and when she lowers herself to my chest and licks the beaded blood from my skin, I’m a man possessed, ready to tear through my binds and ravish her until she’s screaming my name.
As Halen laves the blood, she flicks her gaze up to ensnare me, looking so fucking sexy I clench my jaw, finding the will to keep myself restrained. And as she brings her mouth to mine, delivering the euphoric taste of her mingled with my blood, she mercifully sheaths her sweet pussy around the head of my cock.
I groan against her mouth. “Halen, I’m seconds away from chewing through this belt—”
She kisses me harder and sinks down around my rock-hard erection, eliciting a heated curse from my mouth at the feel of her tight warmth sheathing me to the base. She’s fucking perfect; designed by the gods themselves, made just for me.
Fighting the demand to grab her hips and rut into her like a depraved beast, I keep my knuckles pressed to the floor, driving my hips upward to meet each sexy roll of her hips.
And I’m so lost to her, spellbound. I can’t tear my eyes off her as she rides me, expertly rocking her hips, her eyes shuttered closed and her hair falling over her shoulders in wild waves.
God, so damn beautiful and mine.
She takes me with her as she gives in to her desire, panting sighs spilling free, her hands roaming my chest, nails clawing my skin to tease at her promised pain. Her fingers smear the pooled blood over my skin, the burn of the fresh cuts sparking untamed need to meld that fleshly pain to the anguish I always feel drifting below her surface.
To take us to catastrophic heights, to hear my name chanted from her sinful mouth and conjure a force of destruction all of its own to unhinge me utterly.
Halen rocks me into her with sensually slow undulations, shredding any sane level of control. I swear she’s fucking infusing herself beneath my flesh, tethered to my sinew. I follow her movements, an echo of my other half, to meet her on that higher plane.
“Do you trust me?” The words leave me on a rushed breath.
Her movements slow as she looks into my eyes, the question a bridge between us, my apprehension tangible and mounting until she lightly nods, whispering a simple, “Yes.”
Her want to trust me should be enough.
Yet the maddening way in which I crave to have her fused to my damn soul grips me wholly, and I bring my banded arms over her head and capture her lower back, hauling myself up against her chest.
“We’re about to find out,” I say, stealing her mouth in a fiery kiss to burn away the last remnants of my control.
Wrists bound, I pull her hips against me, driving inside her with a desperation to ruin us both. Her moans gather tight in her chest, falling and tangling with mine with each deeper thrust. She arches her back as I rut into her from beneath, her thighs splayed against me, my cock spearing inside her tight channel until her walls pulse around me, her orgasm hovering on the brink.
She bears down on top of me as she meets my fierce rhythm, her skin licking hot against mine to match the swelling flames of the fire.
“Goddamn …so fucking beautiful, you kill me.” I lick her breast, scraping my teeth over the peaked bud, loving the way she shivers in my arms.
“Kallum—” Her voice comes as a plea between clipped breaths, and I thrust harder, my body demanding her screams. She’s so close to breaking.
“Not yet, sweetness…” My voice is gravel as I deny her what we both crave.
Hands twisted in the hair spilling down the center of her shoulders, I tug her head back and drop my forehead to her chest, seeking the frenetic drum of her heart. I fashioned the idea of her from the most violent part of me, aware of the dangerous trade I was offering.
But my beautiful muse was so much more than I could have dreamed.
When she nearly slipped into the void, I used my own blood to charge that first seal on her shoulder. A damn hermetic seal, locking her up tight. But it’s what she needed at the time, after her mind refused to accept such a horrifying reality. The threat of her mental state unraveling was clear. So I made a choice to lose her in order to save her.
The most selfless I have ever been.
But I almost damned us both.
When our chaotic nature threatens to destroy us, we need a scapegoat.
There’s an exchange, the scales have to be balanced.
I would be that sacrifice. I would harbor the darkness for her. I would eat that pain to prevent her destruction.
“We are the high and low notes,” I whisper across her collar, fusing myself with her and invoking the dark spark of creation between us that can only be reached through violence.
And then violence itself becomes beautiful. It’s almost too lovely, like staring into the hottest flame of an ember, almost unbearably ineffable.
If she kills me in return, I hope she creates something just as lovely.
I tear a wrist free of the belt and whip the strap around her neck. I gather the slack in a fisted hand, choking up on her throat. Her striking eyes flare wide, her emotions strangle my lungs as she gasps for oxygen, sealing my throat shut.
Breathe, I mentally intone, allowing her to pull in a single breath past her constricted airway before I tighten the strap.
“Trust me,” I whisper over her lips, her fear and anguish choking my goddamn throat.
Halen doesn’t reach for the belt. Her nails dig into my shoulders, her inner walls clamp hard to nearly level me, but her gaze stays with mine.
I stay lost in her eyes as I fuck her, one hand fisting the leather strap, the other fastened to her shoulder from behind, forcing her down against me in ruthless need to sink deeper inside of her, delivering my ruthless offering to break my lovely muse.
It’s there in the spark that ignites in her eyes, the beauty in the chaos, the harmony, the melody, the burning ember I’m unable to define that I only ever see within her silvery gaze. The balm for her heartsick soul.
Peace is the balance to violence.
One cannot exist without the other.
One is the answer to the other.
As Halen is falling under, asphyxiation dragging her beneath consciousness, the surrender to her peace overwhelms her senses, and serenity sweeps through her with such power, damn near taking me under right along with her. I hold strong, letting my muse be swept out by the current.
Her wet eyelashes glisten as tears gather beneath her shuttered eyelids. The demand to taste her sweet tears rips through me with annihilating force, and I choke up on the strap once more, stealing any hope for one last breath…and the tears spill over, trailing down her cheeks in enticing, shimmering streams.
I hold her there, suspended between sleep and wake, heaven and hell, marveling at the tears streaking her face. So beautiful and serene, her features cast in unearthly perfection. I kiss her lips delicately before I lick the salty path of tears, tasting them on her skin and lapping at her like the fiend I am. I murmur a Latin chant, my vow to always find her in the darkness.
Then I release the strap.
She gasps in a breath at the same time I thrust deep inside her, shattering her from the inside out.
“Oh, god… Kallum—” she cries out as her inner walls clench around me, so goddamn tight, her orgasm spiraling her over the edge.
“That’s right, sweetness.” I groan and drive inside her in brutal demand, my fingers digging into her thighs to bring her down against me harder. “Commune with me, your fucking god.”
We are divinity.
An answer I’ve been searching for my whole damn life, found right here in her sweet embrace. The goddamn devil would need to rise from the bowels of hell to steal her away from me now.
Her climax climbs to a crescendo, her body trembling in my arms as I deliver relentless thrusts to destroy us in the purest state of ecstasy. The release of her pain is so fucking exquisite, it expels me right from the abyss.
As she begins to come down, her hips still writhing against me in desperate want of friction, her wetness a conduit to ignite my dark soul, I band my arms around her and thrash inside her throbbing cunt. My muscles are fire as she rends my orgasm from deep within me, my steel cock pulsing with my pending release.
“Fuck…” I groan. “Goddamn, I love your sweet, perfect pussy.” I drag my fingers down her back, feeling the tantalizing scrapes on her skin from where I bound her to the tree. I bury my mouth against the soft junction of her neck and shoulder, a growl wrenched from the base of my chest as I sink my teeth into her flesh. The sweet tang of blood takes me crashing to the depths, that pure hit of illusive satisfaction grasped for only a fleeting moment—but it’s fucking heaven as I come, spilling deep insider her, rocking her hips to fuck her deeper still and take all of me.
My skin aches, the fire in my chest dampened to a smolder as I caresses her back in gentle strokes, inhaling her sweet, addictive scent.
Her fingers curl into my hair as her languid body rests, draped around me. “I could stay here,” she says, clutching my heart in a vise.
I tighten my arms around her. “I’m never letting you leave.”
One reprieve where I kiss her slow and tenderly in maddening yearning, my appetite for her insatiable. Then I take her with ravenous hunger all over again.
I fuck her until she’s pliant in my arms and we’re a tangle of body parts, fighting to fuse closer, fading into one another. I let her shatter against me over and over, consuming her breathy cries, baring my soul to her and letting her fire cleanse me in a way no philosophical canon ever could.
I’m still inside her when exhaustion claims her body and she falls into a heavy sleep. I hold her to me for a while longer, memorizing the sensation of her skin against mine, the sound of her tiny breaths. Stroking the sigil on her thigh, unable to purge the desire for her from my mind.
This is my weakness.
I was never able to let her go.
Averse to remove my arm from around Halen and leave her like this, I place a gentle kiss to her forehead. But there’s unfinished dealings to address, and a holding cell I have to return to.
Using the dwindling candlelight, I stare into the mirror and reverently trace my fingers along the sigil she engraved in my flesh, a devilish smile twisting at my lips. My moon goddess branded me with her celestial crescent.
I blow out the flame and then toss the bloody cloth along with the rest of the used supplies in the fireplace, removing all traces from the mansion. Like the Harbinger never existed.
The darkest hour hovers on the horizon, a reminder that there are still things to handle before the light breaks. It’s always darkest before dawn—a summons to spark the blackest of magicks.