Monthly Archives: March 2013

голод : Nikolai

“This is the head of our Circle.” Eternity began introductions as Nikolai straightened himself to answer the demon. “Kage Kagami.”

“Nikolai.” Nikolai finished her efforts not wanting to be introduced as the head of anything. He extended his hand as steadily as he could in the over-bearing presence of the Watcher. “Bezer and Azazel have quite a fondness for you, Lord Kagami”

“So you are the vampire Lucifer thought deserved the honor of leading.” Kage grinned as he took Nikolai’s hand and squeezed it hard enough to bring the vampire to his knees. “Amusing.”

“He is a Circle member, Kage.” Eternity reminded him. “You risk retaliation.”

“From this child and the cubs?” Kage pulled Nikolai back to his feet. “I quake with fear.”

“It’s fine, Eternity.” Nikolai insisted as the bones in his fingers healed and he stretched them out to rid himself of the ache. “I think it best if I wait for Bezer outside.”

“No need to wait.” Bezer called from the hall below. She arrived a second earlier with Eidolon. Seeing him face to face with Kage was the last thing she hoped to come back to. “Come on, Nikolai.”

“Just take him and go, Bezer.” Eidolon insisted as Eternity quickly informed him of Kage’s behavior. He passed Nikolai on the stairs and paused a moment. “I hope to see you again, but I’m afraid I don’t have time to be pleasant right now.”

Nikolai joined Bezer at the bottom of the staircase and barely heard the argument begin before she brought them home. She hugged him tightly once they were back in his office and he rested his hand on her back.

“Everything okay?” She asked.

“Well enough.” Nikolai told her. It had not all been as unpleasant as the last few moments. Kurayami was crude but provided most of the answers he looked for, even if he did not necessarily like them. Eidolon was remarkable and Eternity had been a pleasant surprise. “I hope you didn’t shorten your visit on my account.”

“No big deal.” Bezer assured him. “We ended up talking mostly anyway. And I felt bad for leaving you alone. Hungry?”

“I am.” Nikolai sighed. “I should go and take care of that.”

“I was offering to take care of it for you.” Bezer pouted. “Are you mad at me?”

“No, my pet.” Nikolai didn’t even realize the slip he had made. “I just have a lot on my mind.”

“I guess so.” Bezer giggled and leapt up into his arms wrapping her legs around his waist. She didn’t want to point out his mistake until he fed, if at all. He was pale and looked troubled. “Just drink and don’t worry, that fight wasn’t your fault. They’ve been fighting for a long time.”

Nikolai pulled her shirt aside and bit into her shoulder as he held her against him. His head swam with thoughts of the encounters the day brought him until the potency of her blood clouded his mind, he had almost hoped that he would be left to hunt alone but quickly realized this was the easier way to let go of the things that bothered him.

“Would it bother you if I asked you not to come over.” Nikolai asked sadly when he had finished indulging.

“Yes.” Bezer pouted at him. “But I get it.”

“I’m sorry.” Nikolai explained. “I may leave early and just go sleep for a change.”

“Okay. Get some rest.” Bezer had shifted them to his apartment and saved him the trip. She dropped to her feet and smiled up at him before she started to dissolve. “I can see myself out.”

Nikolai collapsed on the bed and let himself fall into sleep, Bezer’s blood had left his head clear enough to do so and he did not want to wait for its power to wane. He slept through the night and well into the next day before he sat up and looked at himself  in the mirror across the room and was suddenly disappointed with what he saw. He spoke quietly to his reflection.

“Time to grow up, Nikolai.”


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голод : Nikolai & Kurayami Mist

“Don’t worry vampire.” Eternity giggled as they made the short trip to the Circle building. “They are friends. Beyond that it’s just the physical that they satisfy.”

“Why would you tell me that?” Nikolai was a bit confused by her sudden explanation of the private affairs of the two demons.

“Because I am a fairy.” She pat his neck with her tiny hand. “We are very good at noticing things.”

“What is it you think you noticed?” Nikolai paused for her answer outside the door of the Circle building.

“Deny it all you want, vampire.” Eternity said as she tugged a few strands of his hair. “She cares for you as well. Let’s just go inside.”

The building was identical to their own in Golod. Nikolai climbed the stairs slowly as he followed the shimmer Eternity left in her the wake of her graceful flight as she led him to the only thing that distinguished the building from the one he had become so familiar with, the names on the doors. As he looked at the door he laid his hand against his chest, thinking of the page in the inner pocket there, and remembered what Artemis had told him. That their small family would offer no companionship.

As he knocked he hoped that Kurayami was more inclined to pleasant conversation when he had no audience to impress. The door opened and he was greeted not by the vampire but by another tiny companion. Instead of the simple pale beauty of Eternity that fluttered beside him, this fairy had skin that seemed to blush all over. Her reddish hue extended into her iridescent wings, and into the roots of her hair. The rest of her hair was dyed to match that of Kurayami.

“You’re guest is here, darling.” The fairy announced as she fluttered back to Kurayami.

“Thanks Demise.” The vampire smiled as she settled on his hand.

“Eidolon would like you to behave, Kurayami.” Eternity issued her warning from beside Nikolai.

“Just get in here, baby bat.” Kurayami commanded. “Have a seat and tell me how the fuck you knew my name.”

The door shut behind Nikolai and he took a seat in front  of Kurayami. Eternity joined him, resting on his hands as he folded them in his lap.

“That greatly depends on whether or not you are the Mist I was thinking of.” Nikolai explained. “I have only names to go on.”

“Just spill it.” Kurayami snapped at him.

“Excuse me a moment, Eternity.” Nikolai lifted his hands and let her settle elsewhere as he reached into his jacket to remove the folded page that contained his lineage. He slid it across the desk to Kurayami. “This will make it easier. It was left to me by Artemis.”

“Don’t know him.” Kurayami said as he unfolded the page and sneered at it. He pushed it back to Nikolai. “Real fucking cute. Maefyl is no father. Your list is flawed, baby bat.”

“Maefyl?” Nikolai retrieved the page and returned it to his pocket.

“If it’s the source you’re after, that would be him.” Kurayami glared at him. “But if that little note you‘ve been clinging to is the truth, he isn’t any more your ‘father’ than mine. Your family tree started with Reinn. I can’t believe anyone is still telling these stupid bedtime stories.”

“I thought we all descended from one.” Nikolai explained his ignorance. “Though I only know what Artemis told me.”

“Well he was wrong.” Kurayami laughed. “Maefyl had no children. He was the reason for it, but it was his friends that shared his gift that gave life to the rest of us. You have him to thank, that you will never meet the head of the family.”

“Then at least those stories were true.” Nikolai frowned. “Why would he kill his own?”

“Why don’t you fucking ask him that?” Kurayami screamed at him and knocked the contents of his desk to the floor with a sweep of his arm before he leaned back in his chair and glared at Nikolai again. “Send him my fucking regards. I wish you luck getting answers out of the arrogant fuck.”

“I’m sorry to stir up things so painful.” Nikolai sat still as the tiny voice at his ear instructed.

“Fuck you.” Kurayami ran his fingers through his hair.

“I hope you are enjoying you history lesson.” Demise scowled at Nikolai from the edge of the desk. “Was it worth upsetting him?”

“Cool it, darling.” Kurayami instructed and the fairy fluttered over to him and sat quietly on his shoulder. “You can find him in Osore. Have fun with that.”

“And Freya?” Nikolai risked another outburst to find out if he and Mist were the only two left.

“She might be around.” Kurayami offered his lack of interest as coldly as possible. “I couldn’t care less. Safe to assume it’s just you left, welcome to the family. Any other questions?”

“Not any I will bother you with.” Nikolai stood and offered his hand, he retracted it quickly after seeing the disgust on Kurayami’s face. “Thank you for your time, Mist. It has been enlightening.”

“Not that I care,” Kurayami cautioned Nikolai as the door opened, “But if you go to Osore, don’t expect a very warm reception and be wary of the bastard Maefyl is usually with.”

“I don’t know that I will go.” Nikolai tried to hide his disappointment, Artemis had been right. “But thank you.”

“Not the reunion you were hoping for?” Eternity asked as the door closed and Nikolai leaned on the railing of the balcony.

“I didn’t have high hopes to begin with.” He explained. “If he is this unpleasant, I can’t imagine what this Maefyl is like.”

“Not as bad as you might think.” Eternity laughed. “He is quiet. A little strange.”

“You’ve met him?” Nikolai asked as she slid down his hair and stood on top of his hand.

“Most fairies have at least some idea who he is.” Eternity told him. “He spends a lot of time in Itami. Home to most of us; but I’ve met him, yes. Eidolon knows him.”

“I don’t want to bother him about it.” Nikolai sighed. “Where should I wait for Bezer?”

“Why are you waiting for Bezer?” Nikolai hung his head at the sound of the voice. It didn’t belong to Eidolon or Mist, which meant his day was about to become unpleasant. Kage noticed the fairy in the company of the visitor and continued his interrogation. “And where is Eidolon, Eternity?”

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голод : Nikolai & Eidolon

A few months passed and tensions settled. Nikolai tried his best to maintain the farce of command over the Circle but insisted that the masquerade of being their leader ended when Circle business concluded. Svetlana was happier for the weekly visits that allowed her to indulge in her love of pain, and Nikolai accepted it as graciously as he could. He had been indulging as well, Bezer had become increasingly affectionate and spent large parts of her day at his side, regularly offering her throat when he tried to leave to feed.

Azazel and Bezer made frequent trips to another Circle. Sometimes together and often separately. Nikolai tried to understand their obsession for the demons there, demons they referred to as Watchers, but he had never met them and kept his thoughts to himself each time one or both of the demons said they were off to see Eidolon.

Azazel had been to see the demon in Tsumi the day before and had been grinning since. Nikolai still could not understand why Azazel and Svetlana enjoyed pain. While most others go out of their way to avoid it, the two of them seemed to seek it out as if gasping for air. He found it disturbing but no one could deny that the two of them were happiest after someone indulged them.

Bezer was sitting on the floor beside Nikolai as he checked through the stack of mail she had brought in with her. She occasionally leaned against his leg until he would pet through her hair and satisfy her need for attention.

“I think I might go see Lord Eidolon.” Bezer stretched as she stood and leaned over to hug Nikolai before she left.

“Would you mind terribly taking me along?” Nikolai pushed his work aside and smiled at her confusion.

“Why?” Bezer said finally when he provided no reason for the request on his own. Nikolai knew that her visits generally ended up being of an intimate nature and could not imagine what made him ask to join her.

“I just want to meet him.” Nikolai explained. “I can entertain myself elsewhere while you have your date. I’m just curious about the one who seems to keep you away so often.”

“I guess it’s okay.” Bezer agreed reluctantly. She didn’t want to disappoint Nikolai but wasn’t entirely certain how Eidolon was going to feel about the company. She took Nikolai’s hand as he stood and they arrived in the courtyard in front of the Circle building in Tsumi. “Please, remember to use his title. He might not be as insistent on it as Lucifer, but he…”

“I wont embarrass you, Bezer.” Nikolai squeezed her hand and she looked at him nervously.

“Maybe I should have checked with him first.” Bezer sighed.

“Checked with who, cutie?” The familiar voice behind her made Bezer’s tail twitch angrily. And Kurayami laughed at her reaction. “And who is the stiff?”

“Go away!” Bezer hissed at the vampire as she turned to glare at him.

“This is my Circle, Fuzzy.” Kurayami stepped in front of her confidently. “Just because Eidolon and you have a thing, doesn’t mean you have any say here. Now, you want to introduce me to your friend? Or should I just kill the fuck for trespassing?”

“Nikolai, this over confident ass is Kurayami.” Bezer smirked. “Feel free to ignore his idle threats as he has about as much authority here as I do.”

“Watch it, bitch.” Kurayami moved to shove her but Nikolai stepped in between them. Kurayami laughed. “How cute, baby bat here is your body guard.”

“I think that is quite enough, Kurayami.” Eidolon had noticed Bezer’s arrival in Tsumi and came to greet her. He was surprised that she had not come alone. He offered his hand to the young vampire that had been kind enough to come to her defense. “You must be Nikolai.”

“I am,” Nikolai took the demons hand cautiously. He was imposing but seemed to radiate warmth. Everything about him was perfect. He could see at least outwardly, why Bezer was so infatuated. “I presume, you are Lord Eidolon.”

“I have that burden.” Eidolon smiled before he turned to the vampire beside him that rolled his eyes at the greeting. “And this is my impossible colleague, Kurayami Mist.”

“Mist?” Nikolai asked. He remembered reading the name a thousand times. It seemed impossible that he could be the same Mist.

“What of it?” Kurayami stared at him.

“He isn’t worth talking to, Nikolai.” Bezer insisted. She would have continued to insult the vampire but a simple look from Eidolon changed her mind. “Sorry to bring him by so suddenly, Lord Eidolon.”

“It is no problem.” Eidolon smiled at the both of them and offered his arm to Bezer. “Join us for lunch, Nikolai.”

“I don’t want to impose.” Nikolai tried to politely refuse the offer, he knew Bezer had come for other reasons and he felt as if he was interrupting. “I don’t really eat anyway.”

“You wont be imposing.” Eidolon laughed. “I rarely eat. She is fun to watch though.”

“Oh, for the love of fuck. You are all so damn boring.” Kurayami exclaimed before he started to walk away. “Later, Eidolon.”

“Kurayami.” Nikolai turned a moment to call for the vampire.

“What?” Kurayami turned to answer sneering back at Nikolai as he did.

“I may need a distraction later,” Nikolai hoped there was at least some decency in the vampire. “Could you spare the time?”

“I’ll be in my office, baby bat.” Kurayami laughed and walked off. He was a bit curious how Golod’s vampire knew the name Mist. It could be worth an afternoon to find out.

“Come on, Nikolai.” Bezer insisted he hurry things along. “I want sushi!”

“Isn’t that raw?” Nikolai asked as Bezer took his hand. She dragged him along beside her still holding tight to Eidolon’s arm.

“I don’t see you cooking many of your meals.” Bezer giggled.

“She has a point, young Nikolai.” Eidolon laughed.

“I suppose she does.” Nikolai joined the laughter nervously, feeling terribly out of place as he walked with them. The short walk ended at a small outdoor café of sorts where Bezer pulled her chair close to Eidolon and let Nikolai sit across from them.

“Why do you want to talk to Kurayami?” Bezer asked as she looked over her choices on the colorful menu. “He is such an idiot.”

“No reason,” Nikolai was not fond of lying, but he wasn’t even sure he was the same Mist. He did not want to ruin her fun by delving into his past either. “I have not had very many dealings with other vampires. I thought it would be a good way to kill time.”

“There are far better ways to kill time than an afternoon with Kurayami.” Eternity giggled as she fluttered from Eidolons pocket and landed on the table. Nikolai stared at the tiny girl in shock. He had never seen anything like it. Eternity laughed as she walked closer and waved up at him. “Hello.”

“My companion, Eternity.” Eidolon explained as he noticed Nikolai staring. “She can join you when you go to see Kurayami. It would probably be best to not see him alone, and she can call for me if there are problems.”

“My pleasure.” Eternity bowed her head to Eidolon before she turned back to the lovely vampire. She would prefer not to hang about alone while Eidolon had his time with Bezer anyway. “If it is okay with you, of course.”

“I would be honored.” Nikolai said finally. “I apologize for staring. I was not aware fairies existed and you are very beautiful.”

“Thank you.” Eternity blushed. She walked close to his hand with the intent to walk onto it but he slid it away nervously. Her laughter was interrupted by Bezer squealing happily at the arrival of her food. Eternity took advantage of the distraction and flew over to sit on Nikolai’s fingers. When he noticed he lifted his hand slowly to get a closer look at her. “If we are going to be friends, you need to be less nervous.”

“She is not as fragile as she seems, Nikolai.” Eidolon explained watching the vampire’s reactions closely.

“I suppose I am being rude.” Nikolai sighed. “I don’t mean to be.”

“It’s quite alright.” Eternity smiled at him.

“I can see why the cubs are so fond of you.” Eidolon laughed. “Neither of them can seem to stop talking about their Nikolai.”

“I’m flattered.” Nikolai answered quietly, “Though I am not sure I deserve their admiration. They are far more impressive than I ever will be.”

“Try some.” Bezer stabbed a piece of her food and offered it to Eidolon. She frowned when he refused her offer and ate it herself. “You never eat.”

“Enough, Bezer.” Eidolon scolded and she blushed as she turned her gaze to the table. He laid a hand on her head to comfort her and continued his conversation with the vampire. “It’s impressive enough that you’ve won the affections of this one, but you seem to have won over her brother as well. You are far too modest.”

“You are nothing like I expected, Lord Eidolon.” Nikolai had expected the likes of Lucifer. Charming but cruel. Instead the demon that sat across from him was well mannered and kind. Nikolai admired his subtlety. His commanding presence was frightening, but the way he moved and spoke had put Nikolai at ease.

“You may have mistaken me for the twins other friend in Tsumi.” Eidolon laughed. “I assure you I am the lesser of two evils.”

“I meant no offense.” Nikolai stammered nervously and the fairy on his fingertips giggled. “It’s not that. I wouldn’t have asked to meet him. I just… I don’t know what I thought.”

“Relax, vampire.” Eternity insisted and fluttered to his shoulder. “If you had offended him, you would know it.”

“As she says.” Eidolon explained a bit more kindly. “I was not offended. And please, Eidolon is fine. Unless you prefer me to saddle you with a title as well.”

“No.” Nikolai sighed. “Thank you. I dislike the titles entirely.”

“So you were the other vampire that gave him all the trouble?” Eidolon laughed when he realized who he was sharing a table with. He recalled Lucifer telling him all about the other vampire he had to threaten into submission after they forced Kurayami to his knees. “I am impressed. So young, but willing to stand up to Lucifer.”

“It was stupid.” Bezer giggled. “But sort of sweet.”

“I don’t find it stupid at all.” Eidolon smiled. “It was ridiculous of Our Lord Lucifer to expect every vampire he deemed worthy to serve to just drop to their knee and swear fealty.”

“Only two resisted?” Nikolai was in awe of the casual way he spoke of Lucifer and feared the arrival he thought inevitable. “In all the world, two?”

“The other was, Kurayami.” Eidolon nodded. He could see the vampire had become uncomfortable at the mention of Lucifer. He liked this young vampire.

“That idiot stood up to Lord Lucifer?” Bezer asked before taking another bite. “He strikes me as a bit of a coward.”

“Self-preserving maybe.” Eidolon explained. “Complicated, arrogant, and most definitely more of a headache than I would like. But Kurayami isn’t a coward.”

“He’s still an idiot.” Bezer added. Eternity nodded at her from Nikolai’s shoulder. “See, she agrees.”

“Both of you, behave.” Eidolon insisted. “I should warn you, Nikolai. Kurayami is also quick tempered. If you do go to see him, keep that in mind.”

“I will keep things peaceful.” Eternity assured him. “If he knows I’m there, he wont do anything.”

When Bezer finished eating she clung to Eidolon and Nikolai tried to ignore the sudden jealousy that crept up in him when he saw the way she smiled up at the Watcher.

“I should excuse myself.” Nikolai stood slowly and offered his hand across the table to Eidolon. “It has been a pleasure.”

“It has. One I hope to enjoy again.” Eidolon told him. “I would like to speak with you more.”

“Gladly.” Nikolai  smiled and bowed his head slightly to excuse himself.

“Wait for me there, Eternity.” Eidolon added as he watched Nikolai take his leave and turned his attention to Bezer.

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Don’t Read? They will make snazzy coasters.

Book 1 :
Book 2 :

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голод : A Little Space

“Azazel,” Nikolai shouted after him. “We are not through.”

“Do something about it.” Azazel taunted from the hall.

“Get back here so we can finish this,” Nikolai demanded.

“What did you do now, Azazel?” Bezer giggled and peered into the hall. Azazel was leaning against the wall outside smiling. He winked at her as she looked at him. She whispered her concern. “You ever gonna give him a break?”

“Probably not.” Azazel whispered back before he wandered back to the doorway. He glared back at the Nikolai who stood behind his desk furious at the remarks he made. “Finish what? All you do is dodge my questions and refuse to consider…”

“Consider what?” Nikolai interrupted. “Accepting my position? What exactly do you expect? You came here insisting you needed to apologize and ended up starting another fight. I think you enjoy making me angry.”

“So you were mad.” Azazel grinned.

“And I don’t think very clearly when I am upset.” Nikolai admitted. “I don’t understand what you want.”

“So take a while to calm down.” Bezer stepped in front of Azazel and looked at him angrily. “And you let him. Talk about whatever it is that has you so wound up later.”

“Will you at least be reasonable if we try and discuss this later?” Azazel asked as his expression softened and Bezer hugged him. “I am sorry I got a bit carried away. I shouldn’t drag her into it.”

“No, you should not.” Nikolai sighed. He was still hurt by the harsh words, and now had growing concerns regarding the arrangement between Azazel and Svetlana. He needed time to think about all of it. “I don’t know if I want to postpone this discussion, but I agree it may go better if I have had time to think.”

“Wait outside a minute, would you?” Azazel asked his sister and waited until she had walked away and the door closed behind her before he walked over to Nikolai. The vampire tensed at his approach and he smiled at him hoping to ease the tension. “I am an awful friend to you. A terrible brother to her. I am trying to change that.”

“You have chosen a strange method for change.” Nikolai relaxed a moment and Azazel came closer and wrapped his arms around him purring. “And I can’t seem to stay angry with you.”

“Try harder.” Azazel laughed and stood back a moment before he finished his apology. “Just give me a few days. I need to clear my head and I think we could both use the space. Maybe I can figure out what I actually need to say to you.”

“I don’t feel the need to avoid you. I just don’t understand what it is you really want.” Nikolai told him. “But take the time you need.”

“Neither do I.” Azazel admitted to himself as he crossed the room and left Nikolai to his thoughts.

“So why wasn’t I included in your heart to heart?” Bezer asked as her brother returned to the hall. She was a bit hurt that he had not even told her what he was getting up to. “You have been so weird lately.”

“Me?” Azazel laughed. “I’m not the one fawning over a vampire.”

“Fuck off, Azazel.” Bezer glared at him. “You aren’t any better. You are constantly picking fights with me and go out of your way to agitate him.”

“You do realize he would be completely fucking worthless to you.” Azazel glared back at her. “He can’t even take care of a human girl, and you are far more demanding.”

“You have such a nice way of calling me a slut.” Bezer smiled at him viciously as she pounced on him and dug her claws into his chest. “And it’s cute how you are so concerned about Svetlana’s needs. You are such an ass lately.”

“What the fuck are we doing, Bezer?” Azazel hugged her tight against him as he bled from her claws as they dug deeper. “I hate fighting with you.”

“I know.” Bezer purred against him. She knew why he was so out of sorts. She was having the same problem. Demons tended to fall hard when they fell. And they couldn’t have chosen a more complicated set of cliffs to jump from. “I like them too. It’s not going to work though.”

“I don’t think anything ever will.” Azazel laughed hoping to chase away the tears welling in his eyes and teased his sister hoping keep her tears from falling. “You’re too high maintenance.”

“You’re just as bad.” Bezer forced herself to laugh but her tears fell anyway. “I don’t want to feel like this. I want to go home.”

“Maybe we should talk to Lord Lucifer about finding someone to replace us.” Azazel hated the idea but it might be for the best. It wasn’t a decision he wanted to rush into. “For now though I think we can take a few days off.”

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News : Edits

There has been a lot of editing to posts going up recently. Parts of scenes are being held back for content because some of it seems a bit to risqué for the blog. Some are being cut for the spoilers they contain to the novels.

Fear not, every letter is being saved elsewhere and will eventually be available in print. Including the entirety of the голод (Golod) story line while they take a few centuries to catch up to everyone else.


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голод : Establishing Authority

(scene beginning removed)

“Fuck.” Azazel sighed. He couldn’t seem to make his point as he stumbled over his thoughts. “I’m not trying to push you away. I told you I suck at this. It would be easier if you were one of us.”

“What would you say differently if I was?” Nikolai asked. He was unsure of what difference it could possibly make. “Just say what you need to.”

“It’s not a matter of what I need to say.” Azazel tried to explain his dilemma. “Its like I don’t know where to put you in the hierarchy. Bezer and I know our place around the rest of our acquaintances, friends or not we know who we are around them.”

“I am struggling with that hierarchy myself.” Nikolai told him as he thought of the complicated nature of his fragile relationship with Lucifer. He was only beginning to grasp the way demons interacted with one another, and still only had Lucifer and the twins to rely on for guidance. The lessers established within Golod were all to answer to him, but he couldn’t even bring himself to command them. Lucifer was clearly a superior, but he had no idea where he fell in regards to anyone else. “It is my understanding however that friends are supposed to be equals. Regardless of what they are.”

“That’s just not how it is with us.” Azazel continued. “I wish it were that simple. Most of our closest friends are also our Masters. As prone to casual conversation as they are to issuing commands. And then there is you.”

“That should make this simple for you.” Nikolai told him. “If you need to put me in some sort of list to be comfortable, I assure you it falls well under yours.”

“As long as you sit behind that desk and I sit in front of it, that gets a bit fuzzy.” Azazel smiled at Nikolai’s gesture. “As much as I appreciate you trying to simplify, it just isn’t that easy for me. I know damn well, no fucking vampire would stand a chance against me. I could tear through you like paper.”

“Thank you for pointing that out.” Nikolai sighed. “I know my supposed title is only for the benefit of equality between Bezer and yourself. Just disregard it and you have your answer.”

“Don’t be offended, stupid.” Azazel growled. “I don’t want to disregard it. I don’t want to be any better or worse than you. The only thing that would make this simpler is if you would man up and establish some fucking authority.”

“Why?” Nikolai was unsure of how to take the insults. “Would you honestly respect any order I could possibly give you?”

“I don’t need to respect an order.” Azazel leaned forward over the desk, “Just the one giving it.”

“I’m not comfortable with the idea of barking orders at any one.” Nikolai was confused by the demons sudden insistence on him living up to a title that was a farce to begin with. “Let alone someone who is well beyond my own capabilities.”

“I’m sure Svetlana would have to disagree.” Azazel grinned over at him hoping to stir up a bit aggression in the vampire. “You seem to have no trouble governing her life.”

“That’s enough.” Nikolai leapt up and took Azazel by the throat. The demon just smiled back at him unmoved by his strength but pleased by the effort. Nikolai tried to calm himself when he realized Azazel had only been trying to spur him to react. “Leave her out of this. Even if I thought it appropriate to give you direction here, your life is not mine to govern.”

“And hers is?” Azazel smirked when he felt the sting of the vampires fingers across his face. “You can do better than that.”

“I’m not letting you lure me into your fetish, Azazel.” Nikolai fell back in his chair, “If that is what this is about, I apologize, but I just don’t have it in me to be that cruel.”

“You didn’t answer my question.” Azazel stared at him across the desk. “While you’re at it, you can explain to me why you haven’t turned her.”

“I don’t feel the need to answer either question.” Nikolai spoke calmly but inside he was fighting his urge to attack the demon for prying into such things. “Svetlana is my concern. Not yours.”

“Except when she needs to get off.” Azazel giggled as he pushed on with the assault. The sudden knock at the door startled both of them and Azazel cursed his sisters timing as he stood and crossed the room to the door. “Morning Bezer.”

“Morning.” Bezer looked at Nikolai as he leaned his head against his fingertips and closed his eyes. “What’s going on?”

(scene ending removed)

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