“Thank you, Galik.” Brig hugged him and Van before they left. Once they had gone, he took Shana in his arms and just held her.
“I’ve missed you, too.” Shana smiled as she hugged him back tightly. “Let’s go inside.”
“I wasn’t sure I would ever see you again.” Brig carried her inside. “I never want to let go.”
“I’m not going anywhere.” Shana kissed him as he carried her up the stairs. He was as tender as always when he helped her out of and laid her into the soft sheets of their bed, kissing her like it was the first time again as tears ran down his face.
After sweet whispers and sweeter kisses, when Brig finally accepted he was not dreaming and was actually home and holding Shana in his arms again, Brig’s tears subsided and he fell into the gentle rhythm of the passion she offered. They were both so relieved, felt so fortunate to be together again that neither of them could stop smiling. Eventually they ended up laughing together as the laid in the tangled sheets.
“You want to go dancing?” Brig offered as he lit a cigarette for each of them and let her take one. “I need to move around, I’ve been stuck in a shitty little room for too long.”
“I can’t dance, Brig.” Shana laughed. “But we can go out if you want.”
“I’ll teach you.” Brig rolled over onto her and kissed her. She was warm and still smiling; she had managed to stay fed while he was gone. “Did you stay with Maefyl?”
“No, Raziel.” Shana corrected. “I wanted to be in Vex in case you managed to come home.”
“They take care of you okay?” Brig loved the feel of her skin against his. “I know Raziel can be a bit cold.”
“They were all very nice.” Shana took a drag of her cigarette and blew it aside. “They all wanted you back.”
“Why do you have to be so sexy, doll face?” Brig kissed along her shoulders as he reached for the ashtray and flicked the ash into it. “They were probably just flirting with you all week.”
“You’re the one flirting.” Shana smiled. “I thought you wanted to go dancing.”
“It’s early.” Brig grinned as he sat his cigarette in the ashtray and pushed into her and she moaned softly through her smile. He took her cigarette and put it out before he continued.
When they finally let each other out of bed and dressed, they headed out for a night of distraction. They both wanted the misery behind them, and she knew it would be a while before Brig would be comfortable talking about the things that had happened, a night out together would do them both good.
Brig took Shana to a small out of the way bar where they would be less likely to run into any leeches. He attracted attention anyway and the bar that had been almost empty soon filled with patrons brought out by news of the presence of a member of the Circle.
“Sorry.” Brig whispered to her ear as he tried to get her to move to the music. “I guess unless we’re home, we’re out of luck for privacy.”
“It’s okay.” Shana smiled at him as he tried to loosen her up. She was too embarrassed by her infatuation with her own husband to admit she had barely noticed the growing crowd. All see was seeing was Brig. He was back with her, and nothing else mattered. “I’ll get used to it.”
“As much as you love music and you have no rhythm.” Brig laughed as she stepped on his feet and fell against him. “You are positively awful at this, ShaSha.”
“Hey, I’m trying.” Shana giggled as she spun her around and pulled her close to kiss her. The jealous sighs and catcalls in the crowds drew them from their tender moment. “Want to take a break?”
“You can suck at dancing.” Brig took her hands and started to back off of the dance floor. “I’m allowed to be better at something. You can just keep being gorgeous, doll face.”
“Well if it isn’t ‘too good for his friends’ Brig and his book worm.” One of the leeches had managed to find them and of course had to start trouble.
“Back off.” Brig pushed Shana behind him to keep her from getting involved. “I’m not too good for anyone, I’ve been busy.”
“Fucking the bookworm and making powerful friends.” The leech laughed as Shana put her arm around Brig and he took her hand in his own. They had matching rings. “Married? Oh, that’s rich. Play with the humans too long? Do our girls fuck better?”
“That’s real nice language in front of a lady.” Brig reached for one of knives and smiled his boyish grin. “And Shana isn’t one of you.”
“Your little bitch is hardly a lady.” The leech laughed and Brig had enough. He drew his knife and lunged forward but instead of feeling it sink to the gut of an arrogant leech he felt Raziel’s hand on his wrist and watched as Galik snapped the boy’s neck and slammed his corpse to the floor repeatedly.
“Would anyone else like to fuck with the Circle?” Galik grinned as he wiped the splatter of blood from his face and Van rushed into his arms giggling.
“Jesus Christ, Galik!” Brig shouted instantly feeling ridiculous that he had used a long dead expression. It invoked more confusion than understanding of his shock at what had been done. “I wasn’t going to kill him.”
“I would caution you against using that term.” Raziel whispered. “That is a name that still stirs fury in some of those closest to you.”
“What are you doing here?” Brig cradled Shana’s face against him until Galik cleaned up the mess he had made. “You maybe want to do some damage control?”
“He was acting against a member of the Circle.” Raziel spoke loud enough for the shocked patrons to hear. He had locked them in for this very purpose, to make it clear that the attack had not been unprovoked before rumors circulated otherwise. “We are here to protect all of you, we risk much to keep you safe, our private lives are our own as are those we share them with. Insults and attacks against the three of us or those that belong to us will not be tolerated.”
Between Raziel and Galik, the bar was cleaned up and undamaged. The patrons who remained once the doors were reopened settled back at their tables and booths and cast glances at the demons of the Circle and those they would kill for.
“Why did you do that?” Brig sighed as he held Shana beside him and sat across form the others. “I was just going to scare him off. He was all talk.”
“It served to prove a point.” Raziel explained. “No one will touch either of you ever again. Not in this realm or any other. If anyone breaks this very simple rule they will answer, as Hiwai and Freya will, with their lives.”
“That’s a bit harsh.” Brig protested. “He was a kid and there isn’t a single life in Vex as vile as Hiwai or Freya, don’t feel inclined to kill off the ones we are supposed to be protecting on my account.”
“You disapprove?” Raziel remained a blank mask devoid of emotion as he made his point clear to Brig. “I risked much to secure your return. I could have easily left you to your captors, requested another third. As I have saved your life I have right to it. I will not have you go missing again.”
“Right to it?” Brig smiled at him nervously. “I already call you Lord and run your errands. Don’t expect more than that of me.”
“I said I have right to your life, not that I will make any claim on it.” Raziel told him. “I am merely pointing out that I could so that you understand my resolve in protecting what I have saved.”
“Fine, Lord Raziel.” Brig stared at him coldly. “I owe you for saving me. For bringing me home to Shana. But next time you feel like I’m in need of your protection, maybe you should ask me.”
“Don’t be shitty, Brig.” Van suggested and tried to lighten the mood. She stood and pulled Galik with her by the hand. “Raziel doesn’t want anything different from you than before, just say thank you so we can dance.”
“Go ahead. I think my dance partner is a little freaked out at the moment.” Brig hugged Shana and kissed her cheek before he turned back to Raziel. “I do appreciate what you did, Lord Raziel. I’m not trying to be ungrateful. I’m just not really thrilled with you killing and saying it’s for me, and I think anyone would be a bit put off when you tell them you own them because you did them a favor.”
“You misunderstand.” Raziel told him as he watched Van and Galik. Her determination to make him dance with her was yielding results and they were both moving beautifully. Raziel continued to try an explain himself. “Or perhaps I misspoke. I am not claiming you as my own, though it would make protecting you simpler. But our positions as they are makes me responsible for you.”
“But you made it pretty clear you could have left me to rot.” Brig tapped at the table. “Why didn’t you?”
“I did not want another as my Third.” Raziel tore his attention from Van and Galik so he could make his sincerity clear. His face still and calm, his voice as cold and emotionless as ever as he looked between them. “I may not have made it very easy for you to understand, but I think of you as a friend. I trust the both of you.”
“Thank you, Lord Raziel.” Shana smiled at him.
“Don’t call him that, ShaSha.” Brig hung his head. “It’s bad enough I have to.”
“Trust means a lot to him, Brig.” Shana lifted Brig’s face in her hands and smiled as she spoke. “I don’t mind giving him respect.”
“Your respect and discretion are all I ask.” Raziel added. “Aside from the duties your office requires, obviously.”
“Friends then.” Brig offered his hand across the table. When Raziel took it Shana laid her hand over both of theirs. “Just take it easy on the locals.”
“I will make an effort.” Raziel agreed.
“Your blood is awesome by the way.” Brig grinned as he squeezed Raziel’s hand. “Any chance I’ll ever get another taste?”
“I will consider it.” Raziel returned his attention to Galik and Van. They spent a few more hours at the small bar; the crowd growing and dispersing for their glimpses of the Circle went largely unnoticed as the Circle of Vex strengthened their little family. Frikk and Frakk kicked glasses back and forth across the table, Demise laughed from Brig’s shoulder and Galik and Raziel shared each drink. Van and Shana would twitter on girlishly while Brig tried to explain some of the finer points of human society to Galik. Raziel watched and listened, comforted by the rapport them and hoping that he would not regret the trust he was giving; that letting himself keep friends would be worth the risk.
“So I have a strange question for you.” Brig asked Raziel when they all left the bar together. “I slipped up earlier and said something a little embarrassing. You said it would upset people. Who?”
“Those are not secrets I can share with you.” Raziel carried Frikk and Frakk in his arm as Van and Galik pawed at each other. “I had forgotten humans once used the boys name as a means to swear and that you are old enough to have it in your vernacular. Just don’t make a habit of it, it is inappropriate.”
“Boy?” Brig laughed and poked at Demise vaguely recalling a story she had started to tell when he was barely able to keep himself from screaming. “I think maybe you’ll need to tell me those stories after all.”
“Maybe later.” Demise giggled. “They aren’t really my secrets to tell either, but I’ll think about it for another kiss.”
“Hey!” Shana pouted at him playfully. “Why are you kissing another girl? Do I need to be jealous?”
“No, doll face.” Brig turned and hugged her close, leaning to whisper in her ear. “You need to be in a rush to get home and out of these clothes.”
“We will see you in the morning.” Raziel had heard Brig’s whispers and thought it was time to part ways for the evening. He saw them off after they insisted on walking and took Galik and Van with him to his estate.
“Hell tonight!” Van pulled off her shirt and tackled Galik to the bed as soon as they arrived. “I feel a little better being naughty here.”
“You have the misconception that Hell is the home of evil; that Lucifer himself is evil, like Brig, you were born before Lucifer rose against Iehovah.” Raziel explained as he snapped the elastics from her pigtails and ran his fingers through her hair as it fell loose around her shoulders while Galik groped her and she sighed. “Neither is true. Lucifer is powerful, more so than any other, but he is not evil. He is cruel, but not evil.”
“He doesn’t really seem all that cruel either.” Van grinned as Galik detached her suspenders and used them to tie her hands before he sat up wriggling between her arms leaving her locked in an embrace around him. “Feeling kinky, Galik?”
“He is cruel and he is devious.” Raziel continued as he watched the two of them. Galik rolled Van beneath him and took a handful of her hair as he took Van. Aggressively, but carefully. His hands controlling but each thrust ended before it caused her pain, each kiss fiercely passionate but tender. Raziel smiled as he leaned onto the bed, he stroked Galik’s back and slid his finger’s over Van’s lips as she smiled. “He is also far to clever to leave things as they are.”
“Ouch, Galik.” Van winced as he got a bit too excited and dug his claws in to her shoulder. “Careful with those.”
“Sorry, Van.” Galik licked away the blood as the wounds healed and pleaded forgiveness. “I didn’t mean to. Don’t be angry, Lord Raziel. Will you still…”
“Shh. Be more careful, puppet.” Raziel pulled Galik’s hair as he moved behind him and kissed his neck. “I told you it would depend on more than your behavior, but you are doing very well.”
“You freed him?” Van smiled and hugged Galik tightly as she rolled her hips against him. “Then I don’t mind the claws at all.”
“He wants a reward for his efforts.” Raziel grinned at her over Galik’s shoulder as he folded his fingers over the hands bound behind Galik’s back. Each time Galik moved inside her, Van’s fingers tightened around his.
“What do you want, Galik?” Van panted as he brought her closer and closer, waiting for an answer that did not come until she did. “You are so amazing.”
“How kinky will you get for me?” Galik grinned as she looked up at him satisfied and he slowly started to build her passions again and slipped his thin tongue between her lips to claim her kiss.
“Ask, Galik.” Raziel slid his nails down Galik’s back gently.
“I want you both.” Galik whispered to Van.
“You have us both.” Van kissed the cool skin of his neck as his skin darkened a shade.
“He means he want to have us both.” Raziel tightened his fingers around hers until she looked at him. He then drew on his magic and from the edges of the headboard brought long cords into each hand. “He wants me to take him, as he takes you.”
“That might be a little weird for me.” Van could feel Galik’s silent sigh of disappointment but when he looked at her, he still smiled. Van pulled herself to kiss him. As she did Raziel unbound her hands and she thought Galik would actually cry. Van ran one hand up his long thin ear, letting it slip between her fingers as she pulled one of his arms out from under her. She laced her fingers through his and stretched her arm out for Raziel. “I didn’t say no. I just said it might be weird.”
Raziel slipped the cord around their hands and tied them together. He pulled Galik to kiss him before he bound their arms on the other side. Galik had done so well controlling himself, but he knew the potential for losing control would be far greater once he joined their passions.
Galik returned his kiss to Van, returned to making her moan as they laced together the fingers of their bound hands and he felt Raziel’s fingers in his hair and the warmth of his Master’s skin against his back. The sweet pain as Raziel took him and Van tensing as she once more screamed her unintelligible howls brought Galik to the first of many releases he would have between them.
Once Galik screamed for Raziel to stop, he laid aside smiling as he watched Raziel ravage Van until he could take her again himself. Eventually they laid in a tangle of sheets embracing and laughing at the sounds of Frikk and Frakk on the floor making every effort to exhaust one another. A nearly impossible feat that they were no less willing to try and accomplish.
“So no more hurting Galik?” Van ran her fingers over Raziel’s bare stomach and Galik stroked her hand.
“Not as badly.” Raziel hugged her gently to him and kissed her head. “He still needs more time, Galik has made centuries of progress quickly because he wanted for us all to be together. It will still be necessary for me to control him on occasion, but while we are alone like this I see no reason for it.”
“So was that too weird for you?” Galik gave Van a hopeful smile.
“It was different.” Van blushed as she thought of his face so filled with ecstasy. “But not too weird.”
“Did you enjoy it, puppet?” Raziel asked more directly, concerned for her desires as much as Galik’s. “If you did not…”
“It may take a bit of getting used to, Razzy.” Van pressed a finger to his lips as she interrupted. “It made Galik happy, I think we all enjoyed it. Just don’t expect me to volunteer for the role in the middle.”
“I would not.” Raziel laughed. “This was at Galik’s request. I am more than happy with each of you on your own and I make every effort to cater to each of your needs and desires.”
“Well that’s good.” Van grabbed a lollipop from the nightstand and snuggled back against Raziel. “I will definitely let you tie me up again, that part was fun.”
“Then I’m going to have all kinds of fun with you after work.” Galik teased as he poked her nose and hopped from the bed. He grabbed Frikk and Frakk from the floor and skipped from the room to relax in the bath.
“Thank you, puppet.” Raziel kissed Van before he pulled her from the bed with him. “He has been begging for it. Once he proved his resolve I could no longer deny him, but I told him it was your decision. I would not…”
“It’s okay, Razzy.” Van hugged him. “I love you both, I trust you both. Let’s go get all soapy in the tub, Galik promised to wash my hair.”
“We can’t have you miss that.” Raziel smiled and squeezed her against him and shifted them into the steamy air above the tub. They splashed into the water sending Frikk and Frakk into fits of laughter and making Galik smile wildly. Raziel laughed softly as they surfaced and he pushed the hair from her face. “You were right, puppet. That is funny.”
“You coming with me, doll face?” Brig wandered in from the bathroom in his towel and started to throw clothes onto the bed. He had not heard from Maefyl or Gabriel and he was worried about Raziel’s behavior. He hoped he had not gained Raziel’s friendship only to lose what little friendship he had with them. He was distracted when Shana wandered in and tossed another toothbrush into the trash and he laughed. “You know you don’t need to bother any more, right?
“Tough habit to break.” Shana folded her arms in front of her and sighed. She had already showered and dressed and had listened helplessly at the door as she heard him crying in the shower. Demise gave him words of comfort and Shana decided it was best to let him think she was oblivious. “You should be dressed already.”
“I’m working on it.” Brig tossed his towel at her. “Stop staring, I’m shy.”
“Such a tease.” Shana giggled as she sat on the bed and waited for him to dress.
“I know you were hungry.” Brig hated to make her remember her time in a cell and he knew it was going to open the door to questions he did not want to answer, but he had to know. He continued quietly, unable to look at her as he pulled on his shirt and fastened his belt. “Did they do anything weird to you?”
“No.” Shana crawled to the edge of the bed and hugged his back. “I was just tied up, Brig. My hero saved me in time.”
“I told you she was okay.” Demise fluttered to his shoulder.
“I’m not going to push you about this.” Shana hugged his tighter. “But I want to know…did she force you again?”
“No.” Brig was relieved on both counts. He had been spared the worst possible torture and Shana had been spared almost all of it. He turned to embrace Shana properly. “I’m no hero, ShaSha. You saved me. From them and from myself.”
“Okay you’re saved, now cheer up.” Shana slid back from his hug and held his hands. “Before your boss yells at us for being late.”