m/m urban fantasy
Chapter 2: First Dream
Taylor undressed slowly in the dorm. His roommate was already asleep, clearly not suffering from nerves like he was. Jordan, his roommate, had made a quip about hoping to find a succubus in his dreams, climbed into his bunk, and started snoring before Taylor even had his shirt off. The cool night air caused a ripple of goosebumps to rise on Taylor’s arms and his nipples hardened as he pulled his shirt off completely. He toed off his shoes and socks, then pulled off his pants. He wondered if there were demons around them even now, watching yet invisible. He wasn’t quite sure what the limits of a demon’s power were, but he knew that just because they were limited to dreams didn’t mean they couldn’t affect the real world at times. He quickly pulled on a pair of sweats to sleep in, then climbed the ladder into his bunk.
Both he and his roommate had elevated their bunks and put their desks underneath so that they could fit a comfortable chair and television in their dorm room. Jordan could most frequently be found playing video games in the chair, which had become Jordan’s chair for the most part. Jordan was a relatively good roommate, but he did get on Taylor’s nerves at times and Taylor wouldn’t say they were exactly friends. Jordan avoided seeing him outside of the dorm, and when he had caught sight of Taylor’s imperfect birthmark he had started treating Taylor as more of a curiosity than a person.
Taylor sighed and pulled the covers under his chin. He lifted his wrist and stared at the birthmark. It was black now, but if he bonded with a demon then it would turn red, like a demon’s eyes. He had heard that unbonded demons had black eyes that turned red when they bonded with humans, and in demon society it was a status symbol to have red eyes. He didn’t know much about demon society, though, despite having grown up as a demonborn with a demon for a father. He, like most demonborn, didn’t really know his demon parent because they didn’t have a physical form. Physical forms were beneficial because they allowed the demon to exist in the human world, but unless the demon took on a human form – which only succubi and incubi did – demons with physical forms could not produce offspring. Only women like Taylor’s mother, who had a non-physical demon partner, or men who had a succubus for a partner, were able to produce the next generation of demonborn children. It was a strange system, one that the non-demonborn didn’t understand and often reviled, but it was what kept the demons alive.
He shut his eyes and tucked his wrist under his cheek. He was exhausted and worrying about demons was not helping him sleep. He didn’t know how he was supposed to fall asleep, and he only had three nights. What would happen if he couldn’t fall asleep? He would lose one of his precious nights and waste his first demon season. He heard footsteps and opened his eyes, rolling over to look at the room. It was dark, darker than he remembered. There was a floodlight near their window but it must have gone out. He squinted and could just make out a shadow outside the window. Just someone walking by. No reason for alarm. He closed his eyes and tried again to fall asleep.
“Taylor,” a voice whispered. It sounded like his roommate and Taylor buried his head into his arms.
“Not now, Jordan, I’m trying to sleep.”
There was a low chuckle that didn’t sound at all like Jordan, but when Taylor looked back at the room, it was empty. Jordan stirred restlessly in his sleep. Taylor shut his eyes once again and willed himself to fall asleep. If Jordan hadn’t spoken, who had? A demon? He was on the verge of sleep, he could tell, but he didn’t think he was already asleep. He wouldn’t be able to think this clearly if he were asleep. He opened his eyes to look again and gasped.
Everything around him was mist. The bed was no longer beneath him; he lay on a soft surface in the mist. He stood up, still in his sweats with no shirt. The mist was cool and moist, just like mist ought to be, and it hid his vision almost completely. He held his hand out and could just barely make out its outline. Then a hand darted through the mist and grabbed his outstretched hand.
Instantly Taylor tried to free himself and yank away from the strange hand, but it was too powerful. He heard that low laughter again and the hand released him, sending him several steps backwards. The mist began to clear and suddenly he saw that he was surrounded by voluptuous women who had to be succubi. Each varied in skin and hair color, ranging from normal tans and browns to pinks and blues and greens, and each wearing a matching gauze dress that revealed more than it covered. He gulped. He had seen succubi before, but never so close, and he was intimidated, embarrassed, and more than a little aroused. They danced around him provocatively and he wondered if they were teasing him or showing off and waiting for him to choose one of them, but they all seemed so similar and despite the pleasure radiating from him, he knew he didn’t want one of them. This was every demonborn boy’s fantasy, and he didn’t want it.
He turned, wondering if there was a way out of the circle of beautiful succubi, and he saw a lone figure off in the distance. He felt drawn to it, and knew it was the demon who had grabbed him earlier and called his name. He didn’t know if it was male or female, but he appreciated that it wasn’t throwing its sexuality at him like the succubi were doing. He broke through the dancing circle and heard disappointed sighs from the women, but his feet led him straight to the figure. The mist was too thick to see anything more than the vague outline of the figure.
“Who are you?” Taylor asked.
“In time,” the figure replied.
Taylor blushed, knowing he had made a mistake. Demons guarded their true names with their lives. Their human partners were responsible for choosing a name for them because their true names could never be spoken aloud. Taylor had often wondered what would happen if the human accidentally chose the demon’s true name, but he had never heard of it happening.
“You pulled away from me before,” the figure said.
Taylor couldn’t tell from the deep, sensuous voice whether the figure was male or female, but he knew he wanted to hear that voice talking to him for the rest of his life. This was his demon. There was no denying it.
“You surprised me, that’s all.”
“You have so many other options.”
“I don’t want them.”
The figure was silent, though Taylor thought it turned to face him. “Who do you want?”
Taylor blushed. He shouldn’t do this until he knew more about the demon. He knew that you were supposed to talk to your chosen demon first, understand what emotions the demon fed on, come to an understanding about how you and the demon would interact, lay some ground rules for behavior, that sort of thing. But this demon called to him deeply and he didn’t want to waste time with any of that. He wanted to belong to this demon whatever that meant, and besides, he didn’t think the demon would harm him. It was likely a beautiful woman who would mesh well with him, and perhaps even be able to take on a physical form. Not a succubus, or else she would be with the others, but not a normal demon either. He already knew they were compatible because of the way his heart sang at the sound of her voice, and the only question was whether he would risk joining with her without seeing her.
“I want you,” he said finally, firmly.
Her hand reached out again to take his, and this time he didn’t pull away. Instead, he studied the carefully manicured hands with black nail polish. She had strong hands, and she turned his hand over to expose the birthmark easily. She let out a gasp at the sight of the birthmark.
“This is destiny,” she said in a low voice.
She exposed her own wrist and he saw that she also had a birthmark, the same as his down to the hole in the middle. She laid it flat against his and it felt as though his skin caught on fire. He stared at the figure in the mist and two red eyes peered out at him. She pulled her wrist away and he stared at his birthmark, now a brilliant red. He wondered if he would have been able to partner with anyone besides the demon who had the same peculiar birthmark as him.
Then she took a step forward and the mist fell away. Taylor gasped. She was a he.
The demon was quite possibly the most beautiful man Taylor had ever seen. His face was delicately sculpted and his eyes smoldered red above a thin nose and full, dizzying lips. Taylor licked his own lips at the sight of them and wondered what it would be like to kiss him. He was built, too, with broad shoulders narrowing down to a beautifully tapered waist, and his hands, which Taylor had mistaken for a woman’s, had long, elegant fingers with that ebony nail polish. His voice, when he spoke, was low and melodic, and Taylor suspected the demon could speak to him for ages and he would never get tired of listening. But he worried about which emotions the demon would feed on. He knew they were compatible, but what exactly would their relationship entail?
“You have many questions,” the demon said. “Now that we are bonded, I can see into your thoughts quite easily. I have placed a shield on your mind so that no other demons may enter your mind or read your thoughts. Only I can exist here.”
“Thank you, I guess,” Taylor said. He wondered if other demons had been reading his mind before the demon had taken this step.
“We keep an eye on all of the demonborn,” the demon said as if in reply to his thought. “I have been watching you for a while now. I suspected you might be a good match for me, if you could overcome your fears.”
“Your fears of love.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Then you haven’t fully understood who I am. Earlier today you were quite thrilled at the thought of me.”
Taylor gasped and felt his cheeks turn red as he lifted his hands to cover his face. Had this demon been inside his head earlier in the day without his permission, listening to his thoughts? But what could he mean? Unless he was –
“You’re the prince?”
It came out as more of a squeak than a statement, but the demon understood and nodded. The demon wore a smile like a Cheshire cat.
“You’re an incubus!” Taylor continued. “But then why weren’t you like the succubi? Why were you alone over here?”
“Because I have other plans for you, plans you will enjoy,” the demon said, reaching to caress his cheek. “I feed off your pleasure, and you would not enjoy what they had in mind.”
Taylor knew his cheeks were on fire as he unintentionally leaned into the demon’s caress.
“But there is one thing we must do in order to cement our relationship. I must feed on you to establish the connection between us.”
Taylor shivered. All of his fears about demons came rushing back and suddenly he was terrified that the demon was about to rape him. But the demon cupped his cheeks in his hands, and leaned forward towards a kiss. Taylor closed his eyes, frightened that the kiss would lead to more, but the demon brushed his hair away from his face.
“Just a kiss, my human,” he murmured. “Nothing more.”
The demon’s lips returned to Taylor’s and Taylor tried to relax into the strange motion. He had never kissed anyone before and didn’t know what to do, but he had seen enough movies and read enough books to know that a kiss was supposed to be a lot more romantic than this.
Then the demon gripped him by the back of his neck and started kissing him in earnest and Taylor moaned against those skilled lips as his knees went weak. Fire danced along his lips and he eagerly opened his mouth, wanting to feel more, wanting to give pleasure and not just receive it. The demon’s long tongue wound along Taylor’s mouth until his knees trembled and threatened to give way, and he felt himself hardening. Still the kiss continued, and the demon held him up as Taylor’s body went limp with pleasure and the demon’s arms were the only things keeping him upright. The pleasure faded into blackness, into bliss, into deep sleep.