“I really don’t like that you are fucking with him.” Maefyl burned his spent cigarette into nothing in his fingers. “At least you are waiting before you completely ruin things for them.”
“I wont let it ruin them.” Raziel answered coldly.
“What makes you think it would?” Van interrupted and pointed her lollipop at Maefyl to scold him. “You don’t understand. They both love him. Brig is just a stubborn prude.”
“With great hearing.” Brig shouted back at them.
“Can we just change the subject?” Gabriel sighed. “If we are going to spend this time together; can we all make an effort to remain friendly?”
“You were friendly enough today.” Maefyl looked at him crossly. “I don’t expect to hear anything from Mala for a few hours. I’m going to go home a while. You coming, Sany?”
“Sure.” Sanguine wriggled away from Frikk and fluttered over to Maefyl’s shoulder as he stood. “What are we doing?”
“Not being here.” Maefyl gave Gabriel an irritated glance and left.
“Good luck with your troubles, Raziel.” Gabriel stood somberly and let Gory find a perch on his shoulder. “I don’t envy your heart. Mine often aches after giving it to only one.”
“Lord Gabriel, Azrael is testing the both of you.” Raziel explained. “Maefyl does not want my advice in this, but I have some for you. Keep him close. Samael does not like to lose.”
“Does anyone?” Gabriel left Nihil to make his apologies to Maefyl.
“Can we take off for a few hours, too?” Brig stood beside Raziel with his arm around Shana. “There is no point in sitting around here.”
“You have a prettier piano.” Shana smiled as Raziel looked up a them. “And I’ve been practicing that pretty duet.”
“Neither of you listen very well.” Raziel stood and left a stack of large bills on the table. “Galik, take Van home.”
Raziel took Brig and Shana to their home in Vex.
“I meant…” Shana started to whimper.
“I know what you meant.” Raziel sat on the bench in front of her piano. He laid his fingers on the keys and started to play. “I am giving you both a chance to change your mind.”
“Can I get a drink?” Brig stretched his fingers over Raziel’s neck. Shana sat beside Raziel when he nodded and watched Brig tear into Raziel’s skin.
“Will you promise me something?” Shana laid her hand on Raziel’s. “I want to be yours, but I don’t want more than Brig has with you. Ever.”
“And just you.” Brig added as he wiped Raziel’s neck and crowded him between himself and Shana on the bench. “We like Van and Galik, we aren’t in love with them.”
“You realize your bargain is flawed.” Raziel turned his hand to close his fingers around Shana’s hand before he slid his other arm around Brig and pulled him close against his side. “I could force Brig to my bed and give myself the right to you.”
“I don’t think you would.” Shana lowered her eyes. “You said that you love him; I don’t believe you would hurt him.”
“You have so little understanding of how cruel I can be.” Raziel felt Brig’s tears on his neck as he hid his fear from his bride. Raziel could have all he wanted, but as he rubbed Brig’s back to comfort him he tried to convince Shana to reconsider. “You have a flattering faith in me; but if you give me this claim over you, I will use it.”
“You are trying bloody hard to talk me out of this.” Shana felt stupid suddenly and pulled her hand away. Maybe he only ever wanted her to use against Brig. “If you don’t want me just say so. I’ll get over it.”
“Women are so much trouble.” Raziel pulled Shana back by her hair and kissed her. He held Brig tightly as Shana fell to his passion. Raziel felt Shana lace her fingers into Brig’s across his back and he took the two of them home. As he laid them both onto the bed he heard Brig’s panic and stroked his hair. “I only brought you here to make you both comfortable, you know what I am going to do is painful.”
“Both?” Shana sat up and rubbed her arm anxiously. “He already has one.”
“And you felt his pain when I gave it to him.” Raziel smiled at her before he grabbed Brig by his ear. Brig tried to fight him off, but the pain quickly knocked the will to fight and the breath out of the vampire. “As you will feel this.”
“Why?” Shana cried and grabbed Raziel’s arm. “I offered me, not more of him.”
“I didn’t agree to your terms.” Raziel let Brig claw at him weakly until there was nothing left to fight over. Raziel stroked Brig’s face gently and let him start to recover from the pain and took Shana’s wrist in his fingers to take her offer. Shana wept as the pain burned through her and Raziel felt like he just became the monster so many claimed he was. “I warned you that I was cruel.”
“Damn it, Raziel!” Brig clutched the rings on his ear and hugged Shana through her pain.. “What the fuck did you just do?”
“Don’t ask me stupid questions.” Raziel crawled close to them. He pressed his lips to Shana’s as they trembled, then turned and kissed Brig. “I won’t make the same claim on Shana as it would destroy your own. Both of you get some rest.”
“I’m going to tear these fucking things out.” Brig shouted after Raziel when he started to leave the room.
“You can try.” Raziel grinned at him. “It will not work, the attempt will hurt the both of you, and I will punish you for the insult. But do as you wish. I’ll return shortly.”
“Fucker.” Brig kissed away Shana’s tears and wished he had left her alone when she asked him to. He had destroyed her life. “Are you alright?”
“That bloody fucking hurt.” Shana laughed through her tears and rubbed Brig’s ear. “And now I’ll have to get my ears pierced. Those are pretty.”
“That’s all you have to say?” Brig shook his head and they both leaned back into the bed in a relieved embrace and tear drenched laughter. “I love you, ShaSha. I don’t understand you, but I love you.”