Hello, again! Here is my submission for Freak-of-Spade's November Challenge! ...and goodness, this is the smuttiest thing I have ever posted. Urk. I'm not sure how I feel about it...I suppose I like it well enough (but it's definitely not my best). But, er...I hope you enjoy it nonetheless! :D Beware of smut and swearing!

My Lord of Shallot


Every night, I sit by my window and watch the light fly over the ocean over and over again, warning ships of the deadly rocks lining the seemingly innocent shore. And every night I wonder what it would be like to sit next to the ocean and feel the wind and spray on my face. But I know that's never going to happen. I don't remember the last time I left my house. I don't think I ever have. It's not like I need to; my lifestyle isn't decadent. I get all my groceries delivered, I haven't grown since I was a teenager, so my clothes all fit, and whenever I want to sell a piece of art, the gallery owner comes to me. To be honest, I don't think I would still be alive if these things weren't possible.

My fingers brush against the pages of the book in my lap, and I glance down to see the story of 'The Lady of Shallot' staring up at me. An ironic smirk curves my lips. If ever I've felt connected to a figure in a story, it's her. The only difference between us is rather than a mirror, I have a window…and unlike me, she has someone she loves.

Sighing, I close the book and set it on the window seat, standing up to go to the kitchen. My iron-cast kettle is sitting on the stove, filled with water for tea. Loose tea leaves and a pot are retrieved from the cupboard, and I carefully lift the kettle from the stove with a thick towel, pouring the boiling water in to make my tea. I have had the same routine for years: wake up mid-morning, make tea, read, work on my art, have a late lunch, work some more until night-time, have a late supper, read, make tea, then go to bed. The only time my routine's is interrupted is for grocery deliveries or meetings with the gallery owner. No one else ever visits me, the agoraphobic artist that lives next to the made, I head to my room, feet raising creaks from the old stairs. This house has two bedrooms, but since I'm the only one here, the other has been converted to an art room, and is filled with canvasses—blank, filled, and halfway there—, sketches coating the walls, and art supplies in a frenzy on every available surface. It's here where I create landscapes I've never seen, people I've never met, and imagine feelings I've never experienced. It's a beautiful lie that makes my living and provides my only diversion from an otherwise pointless existence.

Once I reach my room, I set down my tea and quickly light the fireplace, patiently coaxing the embers into flames. After some warmth has finally started creeping into the room, I take my tea to the chair by the window and resume staring out at the ocean, wondering if I'll always be alone.



Standing at the top of the lighthouse, I stare down at the little house, silver eyes fixed on one of the upstairs windows, glowing in the dark night. I have been sitting here since the sun set, watching the man in that house. And now I know for sure: he will be my first prey.

A light smirk curls my lips, and I leap from the top of the lighthouse, landing lightly on the roof of the small, worn cottage. If I couldn't see the light from inside, or the man lying asleep in his bed, I would assume the place was abandoned. As it is, this is the perfect situation.

Padding lightly across the shingles, I lower myself over the edge, toes finding purchase in the windowsill. Silently, I reach down to slide open the window, gracefully slipping inside once there's enough space. I could use magic to get into the man's room, but I much prefer using my amazing sneaking skills. Just because I'm an incubus doesn't mean I have to be flashy.

Inside is a good deal warmer than outside, and a shiver runs through me at the change in temperature. Setting both feet on the smooth wooden floor, I ease the window closed again, and turn to study my quarry.

A smooth, lightly freckled face puts his age from anywhere between sixteen and thirty. Eyes are the best indicators of age, but his are currently hidden behind lightly veined lids, thick lashes resting against his cheeks. Silky strands of brown hair halo his head and lay across his forehead, making him look younger than he probably is, an illusion not aided by the hand lying lightly curled on the pillow next to his partly opened mouth.

A stab of lust shoots through me and my smirks widens; I can't wait to make him scream.

Mind completely focused on my prey, I quietly walk over to the bed and crawl on top, moving closer to the side of sleeping man. This will be too easy.

Planting my hands on the thick blue comforter, I lean in, pressing my lips against his. I've barely begun to deepen the kiss, when something suddenly hits me in the side of the head, knocking me off the bed. I lie stunned for a moment, elbow aching from where it met the hard wood. I don't have time to recover, however, before I'm hit again in the face.

"Who are you?" yells a terrified voice, another smack punctuating the demand.

Shock overcome, I jump up, stumbling back as the pillow catches me in the side. Dammit, the first day as an incubus, and already I've screwed up; the prey isn't supposed to wake up!

The smacks continue raining down on me, keeping me from answering the man's question. Finally, growling in annoyance, I grab hold of the pillow, yanking it from the man's grasp, and hitting him back with it. Caught off-balance, he staggers backward, knees hitting the edge of the bed, which sends him sprawling on his back. He tries to reach for another pillow, but I quickly pounce on him, pinning his wrists to the bed.

"Stop hitting me with that damn pillow," I snap, lips curling back in an irritated snarl.

Panting, he stares up at me with wide amber eyes, face filled with fear.

"Wh-who are you?" he asks again, voice more meek and uncertain, now that I'm in control.

"My name is Niko."

"W-what do you want…?"

My smirk returns full force, and I bend in close, lips brushing his ear.

"I want you."

A surprised gasp escapes him and he stares at me in horror as I lean back.

"You…what?!" His eyes search my face, even wider than before. "What do you mean?"

"What do you think I mean?" I purr, trailing icy fingers under his loose pyjama shirt, along his side.

He shivers, biting his lip, a small moan escaping him. The sound goes straight to my groin and I grind my hips into his, latching my teeth onto his collarbone. A sharp gasp echoes around the room and he jerks back, dislodging my mouth.

"Stop!" he yelps, eyes frantic.

"It's your fault for waking up," I murmur, running my tongue along his throat, enjoying the way his pulse throbs beneath it. "If you had stayed asleep, you would have never known what was going on."

He's shivering beneath me, breath coming in short, terrified pants. I grin, letting my hand slide further up his shirt. Maybe him being awake will be more fun…

Pain suddenly explodes in my stomach, and I curl in on myself, groaning. My prey takes my distraction as a chance to escape, and quickly slides off the bed, running for the door. My eyes narrow possessively. Even if he did just knee me in the stomach, I'm not about to let him get away.

With a snarl, I fling myself off the bed and get to the door just as he's reaching for the doorknob. Before he can turn it, I've grabbed him and tossed him onto the thick rug in front of the fireplace. He lands with a dull thump, his face twisted into a grimace. Once again I have him pinned beneath me, except this time I make sure to keep his legs immobile.

"You're making this very difficult," I growl, silver eyes narrowed in annoyance. "If you would just relax, things could go a lot smoother."

"But, why?" he whispers, eyes searching my face, still scared. "Why do you want me?"

I nip at his ear, tongue tracing the lobe.

"Because you're lonely."

He doesn't say anything, but I can sense his surprise. I pull back, pressing a kiss to the corner of his mouth.

"Now, we can either do this here or on the bed," I murmur, lips brushing his skin. "I'm not picky."

He lies shivering for a moment beneath me, and I allow my lips to rove over his skin before he finally answers.

"Bed," he rasps, cheeks flushed and eyes closed.

I grin, standing up fluidly. "Alright."

I scoop him up, before carrying him back to the bed and dropping him among the tousled sheets. He bounces, looking slightly surprised, then nervous when I crawl on after him. But one brush over his mind and I know he wants this just as much as me.

My first instinct is to pin him down, rip off his clothes, and act on every dirty thought playing through my brain…but if I go too fast, it'll be done too quickly. I want to enjoy this.

And there's just something about the way he's looking at me…

I quickly shake my head, grabbing his wrists and pinning them above his head. I'm not gonna lose control of this situation just because of some wide amber eyes. I'm an incubus; I feed off sex. This man is my prey, and I'm gonna do whatever the hell I want to him.

He gasps as I claim his mouth in a rough kiss before pulling back and pushing up his shirt. He shivers as more smooth skin is exposed, and I can't help but kiss a trail up to his neck, letting my tongue trace the definition of his bones. Once the shirt's past his head, I twist it tightly around his wrists and tie it around the bars of the headboard, smirking at my handiwork. He stares up at me in light apprehension, lips parted slightly. But the way his cheeks are flushed and his eyes darkened…I've never wanted anything more in my life.

I trap his face between my hands, hungrily devouring his lips, practically purring when I feel the moans echoing through him. I let my fingers dance along his skin, tracing the outlines of his ribs, nails scratching down his sides. His breath hitches at the pressure, making his back arch up off the bed. I chuckle, burying my face in the crook of his neck, catching his soft skin between my teeth, biting, sucking, licking, until I've marked him as mine. I'm so tempted to draw blood, but I decide that it's too soon. If he doesn't enjoy himself, he won't give me as much energy.

The pants are slung low on his hips, stretching over the sharp protrusions that look like mountains against the field of pale skin. I trace the light trail of hair above the waistband, smirking as my teeth nip at his hip. He gasps, eyes squeezing shut, lips parted to free panted breaths of air. But other than soft moans and gasps, he is quiet. My eyes narrow to silver slits, nails digging into his hips; I want to hear him scream.

A surprised yelp leaves him, and I grin, dragging my nails down his legs along with his pants. And while I'm trying to go slow, I just can't control myself any longer. I quickly lean between his legs, wrapping my mouth around him without any warning, practically swallowing him. His hips jerk up as he gives a small cry, his head thrown back and mouth open. I scrape my teeth along his heated flesh, fingers tightly clutching his thighs. He's so lost, I doubt he even notices.

Just when he's about to go over the edge, I pull back, smirking at his annoyed whine. He looks at me, amber eyes pleading, mouth still open.

"W-why did you…stop?" he pants, cheeks flushed and highlighting his freckles.

"I'm not letting you finish this early," I reply, smirking.

Sliding my hands to the backs of his knees, I push apart his legs and hoist up his hips. Wrapping my lips around my fingers, I watch him with dark eyes as I run my tongue around the digits. He looks surprised and nervous all over again, but I don't give him the chance to protest before sliding a finger into him. He hisses in surprise, eyes clenching shut, which just makes me more eager. Shivering at the tight heat, I slide in a second digit, pushing deeper and enjoying the slightly pained moans escaping my prey. Suddenly, I crook my fingers, hitting the spot I know he never knew existed. His hips jump and a loud cry echoes around the room, getting closer to the scream I want to pull from him. Unable to hold back any longer, I lean forward, sliding something very different from my fingers into him. His eyes widen for a moment before clenching shut, lip caught between his teeth. I push deeper, a groan sliding from my mouth as my fingers tighten. He is definitely a virgin.

As soon as I think he's ready, I pull out and slam back in, making him cry out again. Each thrust becomes deeper and harder, while he gets closer and closer to screaming, his head thrown back, exposing the pale, vulnerable neck.

Control slipping with every movement, I lean closer, teeth closing around the side of his throat. It doesn't take long to finish him, and he comes with the long-desired scream, emotions I doubt he's ever felt before intermingled in the desperate cry. I'm not far behind him, my teeth sinking into his skin to the point just before blood. Exhausted, I collapse on top of him, face buried in the crook of his neck. However, within seconds I'm filled with energy, feeling as though we haven't done anything at all. Pulling back, I grin down at his flushed face.

"Hope you've got good stamina, sweetheart, because I'm not done with you, yet."

Enjoying the dazed look on his face, I swoop in for another bruising kiss, wrapping my fingers in his sweaty hair.

I am definitely enjoying this incubus thing.



My eyes slowly blink open, staring blearily at the window. Light's pouring in, staining the wood floor a warm yellow, and telling me that I am waking up a lot later than usual. I groan, pushing myself into a sitting position, which causes me to yelp in pain and collapse back on my stomach. Oh, owowow… What happened?

I squint at my back, blinking in surprise when I see scratches that look relatively fresh. Now, how did that happe—?



No. That was only a dream. There's no way…

…is there?

I take in my surroundings, noticing the dishevelled sheets, my red wrists, and several signs of some sort of activity. Not to mention my room smells like someone else.

I sit up again, slowly this time, wrapping my mind around the situation. This means that last night was real, and that a gorgeous man (although I hesitate to call him a man since he can't be older than twenty) really did—

My face flushes in embarrassment as I clap my hands over my mouth. Oh, my God. I had sex with a stranger last night. A stranger was in my house. And even worse…he was in my bed!doing things with me! Oh, my God! What the hell was I thinking?! I let someone I don't even know have sex with me in my own house?! I can't believe my first time was with a complete stranger! Some strange guy broke into my house and took my virginity! Oh, but even worse…I liked it!

Groaning, I drop my face in my hands. Oh, my Goood.

But even worse than that?

…I kinda want to do it again.

Feeling like slapping myself, I slide out of the bed, being careful not to jostle myself too hard, and set about gathering the sheets. I have to keep my mind on something else. Laundry seems like a safe bet.

Limping slightly, I drag the crumpled bedding with me down to the laundry room, where I throw it into the washing machine along with a lot of detergent.

Ugh, I can't believe I let that happen.

But he was so beautiful. A shiver skitters down my spine when I remember the way he tied me down and—

Shut up, brain!

I snap the washing machine lid shut with a scowl, turning the knob. This situation is too ironic for my liking. My xenophilia seems at great odds with my agoraphobia. It hardly seems fair that I'm attracted to foreign places and people, but I'm too scared to leave my house to explore them.

Although, apparently one explored me in great detail last night…

Gah, stop thinking about it!

Mood dark, I storm back upstairs (or as much as I can with the shooting pain…at the moment, I am very tempted to try human taxidermy on Niko if he ever shows up again), to sort out clothing. My pyjamas are where they were thrown on the floor last night, so I pull on the bottoms, and dig out an old sweater from my closet. I have a feeling I'm going to want comfortable clothes today.

After that, I decide to try to get back into some semblance of my daily routine. I make tea, then settle into my well-cushioned chair. Except instead of reading poetry or a soliloquy to lost love, I pull out a thick tome on mythology, setting it on my lap and searching through the pages.

There was definitely something odd about my stranger last night.


I bite my lip, studying the half-finished painting. I can't believe I'm painting him. Those burning silver eyes that stare out from the canvas, framed by that dark purple falling in choppy waves around his sharp face to his shoulders… Nowhere near the beauty of the original, but a very good copy.

My eyes wander to the window, staring out at the moonlight splashing across the ground, and the bright beam of light shining across the ocean. I'm never up this late, especially painting in the living room. Of course, the subject of my art tonight is not exactly a daytime creature.

Shifting in my seat, my mind wanders yet again to last night. I wonder if he'll be back again…

Ugh, I shouldn't think about that. I know what an incubus does. What happened last night had nothing to do with me; it was just from his selfish hunger. But what more could I possibly expect? I don't ever leave my house, so how could anyone be interested in me? Love doesn't exactly work for someone like me.

What am I even thinking? Since when does sex equate itself with love? And love? From an incubus? It was a one-night thing; I have to get that through my head and stop with these pathetic fantasies. Why am I even fantasizing in the first place? A demon broke into my room and had sex with me without asking. I guess I can blame all of those love stories I read…and the fact that he's the first good-looking man I've seen in years. The grocer's a crotchety man in his seventies, and the gallery owner's a woman. I suppose it's no wonder I'm so violently attracted.

Shaking my head, I pick up my paintbrush and turn my attention back to my art. Oh well. At least I have some interesting subject matter.

Suddenly there are icy hands on me, pressing against my stomach. I jump up with a scream, my stool toppling to the floor between me and my assailant. My eyes widen when I see who's in front of me, and a mixture of fear and lust stabs through me.

"Hey, Rowan," Niko grins, a hand planted on one exposed hip.

"You…you're an incubus!" I exclaim, pointing at him accusingly. I didn't actually mean to say that.

An eyebrow shoots up at that. "Uh, yeah…your point?"

Suddenly, I'm angry. It's really directed at myself for being such an idiot, but he's the cause of it in the first place. "My point? You were feeding off of me!"

The incubus rolls his eyes, kicking the stool out of the way. "It's not like it'll kill you."

I step back, watching him with narrowed eyes. "That's not what the book said."

"Books can be wrong." He moves closer, looking amused when I jump away, my back pressing against the wall.

"Why did you come back?" I demand, voice coming out a little more breathy than I'd like.

A wide smirk stretches Niko's lips as his pale hands plant themselves on either side of my head.

"For you, of course. Do you know how good I've felt today?"

I scowl, trying to move away. "So you've come back to feed off me?"

He nuzzles my neck, tongue flicking out to trace the still dark mark on my skin. "Mm, you could say that."

I push against his chest abruptly, sliding away when he's dislodged.

"I am not food!" I yell, hating that the logical part of me was right, that he is just interested in using me. "You can't just come here whenever you want and…and…drain my energy or whatever!"

He sighs, leaning against the now vacated wall.

"You seem to think you have a choice in the matter."

I stare at him in horror. "So, what, you're going to rape me?!"

He shrugs, silver eyes serious. "If I have to."

I take a shuddering breath, stepping backward and shaking my head. "You're a monster."

A scowl mars his beautiful features. "I'm a demon and you are my prey. If you won't let me feed off you willingly, I'll just wait until you're asleep. I thought this would be the more honest way, but if you're going to be difficult…"

I bite my lip, looking away. It would be easier to fight him if I didn't want him so badly. But am I attracted to him naturally, or is it because he's an incubus?

Does it matter?

"You're being way too difficult about this whole thing," Niko remarks, fingers tracing my cheek.

I jump, staring at him. "How did you move so fast?!"

He sighs, rolling his eyes. "Demon, remember? Now, enough of this already; you know why I'm here."

I scamper to the side, heading for my bookshelf. Think fast, think fast, think fast…

I snatch up the book on mythology I was reading earlier, and turn to him, holding it up.

"You're going to help me sort out books."

That throws him. He blinks at me in confusion, brow furrowed. "What?"

I shrug, pulling more books off of the shelves. "Well, it's been a long time since I organized them, and since you're here…"

I'm grasping for straws here, but I'm really hoping he'll go along with it. I don't know why I'm so worried…I mean, I know what to expect. It's just…well, he's a demon. I always knew they existed, but I never expected one to take an interest in me. And I know he's feeding off of my energy or whatever…he said it wouldn't kill me…and I don't feel any different…I was just really tired last night… But he's just using me, and I know if this keeps happening, I'm going to fall for him, and then I'm just going to get hurt. My psyche's already fragile enough without adding heartache.

How am I even in this situation?

"I'll help you sort books if you promise to repay me."

I frown, glancing at him. "Repay you? With what?"

He raises an eyebrow, and I blush.

"Oh, uh…right."

A devious grin curls his lips as he proceeds to remove books from the shelves. At once, I regret agreeing.

Maybe he'll forget.

I am such an idiot.

As we work, I can't help feeling uneasy. This situation is just too bizarre… I know why he's here, yet he's letting me delay it? He just told me he would rape me if he had to (of course, I suppose it wouldn't really be rape since I wouldn't stop him), so why is he allowing a delay?

"Hmph, most of the stuff in here is wrong," Niko remarks, sneering at my mythology book, his long fingers flipping through the pages. "I do not sleep with women and I am not trying to kill you."

He moves over to the fireplace, holding the book aloft, and I realize with a start he plans to throw it in the fire. Springing over to him, I yank the tome from his hand, glaring fiercely.

"There is absolutely. No. Way. You are putting that in there!" I hiss, holding the book to my chest protectively.

He raises an eyebrow, crossing his arms. "What's go you so pissed?"

I gape at him in disbelief. "You tried to burn my book!"

"Well, it's useless. Why keep it?"

Shaking my head, I return to my bookshelf and slip the mythology text safely in its spot. "That's not the point. My books are special to me, accurate or not."

There's a long moment of silence, and when I glance at him, I notice his face twisted in a thoughtful frown.

"It's because of your agoraphobia, isn't it? The reason you're so attached to your books. I mean, their about foreign places and stuff, right?"

Surprised at his insight, I nod silently, eyes slightly wide. I didn't even realise he knew about my condition…

"Well, I guess all these books make sense, then." Shrugging, he walks back to the bookshelf, silver eyes flicking over the neatly lined tomes. "Well, it looks like they're all organised."

"Yeah," I agree, stepping back to study our handiwork. It's weird how different the same books can look when they're in a different order.

"Well, you know what that means…"

A cold hand grabs my hip, pulling me around. Startled, I look up at Niko with wide eyes. Oh, I had forgotten about this…

"Er, why don't I pay you back another way?" I suggest nervously, trying to smile. "I'm a good cook—eep!"

He yanks me toward him, wrapping an arm tightly around my waist, while he grabs my chin, tipping my face up.

"I've waited long enough, and I'm not gonna wait anymore," he says, eyes dark.

He doesn't let me reply before devouring my mouth, nails digging into my side. My surprised yelp is muffled by the heated kiss, but it doesn't take long until I'm giving in, pressing against him, my hands trapped between us. He shuffles me backward until the backs of my knees hit something, and I lose my balance, falling back. He pulls back for a minute, and I look behind me, realizing we're on the window seat.

"Wh-what are you doing?" I ask, heart pounding. "The bedroom's right upstairs!"

"We're not going to the bedroom," he replies, pushing me down with a grin.

My eyes widen. "We can't do it here! We're right beside a window!"

He smirks, tangling his fingers in my hair so he can pull my head back. "There's no one there to see."

I struggle to reply, fingers curling in the cushions as his nibbles on my neck.

"That's…ah, that's not the…p-point."

"Of course it is."

A hand slides into my pants, and a gasp escapes me, which is quickly cut off by me biting my lip. Before I know it, I'm bare from the waist down, the heat from the fireplace keeping me warm. Niko's hands, however, are ice cold.

"God, you're freezing!" I hiss, shivering as his fingers trail up my thighs.

"Then I guess you'll just have to warm me up."

I snort, struggling to breathe properly. "That was so la—AH!"

My back arches up off the cushion as he presses icy fingers into me with no warning, the pain startling. I clench my teeth, trying to ignore it and keep my breathing even.

In and out, in and out, in and—

Apparently Niko has the same idea, except not in the respiratory sense. I can't control the whimpers and moans as his fingers leave my body and return, crooking and twisting to drive me crazy. Oh, God…

I'm just a twitching mess by the time he's bored of fingers and decides to switch to the real thing. I barely notice as my legs are spread, and if I did, I'd be horribly embarrassed. As it is, I'm pretty much willing to let him do whatever he wants.

He's more gentle than he was last night, at least in the beginning. There's still the pain, but not nearly as bad as before. Of course, as things get going, his control slips, and we became a mess of teeth, tongues, nails, mouths; I can't get enough of him, and he apparently feels the same about me.

Maybe it's because I'm not tied up, but tonight is even better than last. He's not the sweet gentle lover always described in stories, but I don't care; this is better. He's making me feel things I've never even dreamt of before, and I want more.

Gripping his arms, I pull myself up with difficulty and sink my teeth into his shoulder. He gives a surprised hiss, nails digging into my back, but doesn't pull away. It just seems to urge him on more, and I find myself pressed against the cold window, skin squeaking against the glass.

After what seems like forever, he slams into me one final time with a deep groan, making my muscles contract in response. My back arches as a hoarse cry tears itself from my throat, my eyes squeezing shut. Finally, my head clears slightly, and I collapse against the window, Niko leaning against me.

"You're amazing, you know that?" whispers the incubus, fingers playing with my hair.

A small, tired smile quirks my lips as I wrap my arms around him. "Thanks."

My eyes slip shut, the happiness not dwindling in the least. Even if I am being used…I am so glad to not be alone anymore.



I sit on the bed next to Rowan, watching him sleep. He looks just as beautiful as the first night I saw him, cheeks flushed a delicate pink. I get some satisfaction out of knowing that I'm the one that made him look so tousled.

I've been visiting the brunet every night for the last several weeks, and my fondness for him just keeps growing. I keep trying to convince myself it's just because he's my prey…but in the back of my mind, I know it's something else. But that's just stupid since I'm an incubus; the only interest I have in Rowan is the energy he gives me.

…yeah, I don't really believe myself, either.

Sighing, I lie back, wrapping an arm around Rowan's waist and pulling him closer. A slight frown mars his features, but it quickly disappears, and he snuggles against my chest, sighing softly. Smiling, I pull the covers up higher, resting my cheek against Rowan's soft hair. Somehow this seems to go against the whole incubus thing…but I just can't bring myself to care. Not much has changed between us, behaviour-wise; I still come here every night to screw him…and okay, so I've started sleeping over and sometimes staying for awhile in the morning…and we have long, sometimes heartfelt conversations…and sometimes I watch him paint…but nothing's different! He's still my prey, I still feed off of him...but only him. I bite my lip, agitatedly. I'm an incubus who only goes after one person. I don't think that's normal. I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to find as much prey as possible. But…I really don't want to. I like it here with Rowan. And it's not like he has anyone else to talk to…and I know he's pretty attached to me. I can feel it. I'm not sure how to react to that, honestly. But his infatuation is what allows me to keep coming back without difficulty, so I guess I can't complain.

My fingers trail along Rowan's side, tracing random patterns as I frown. I'm not entirely sure what to do about this situation, but I know I don't want it to stop. I doubt there is anyone else half as fascinating as the brunet…and as long as I can keep feeding off of him, what's the harm?

Letting out a deep sigh, I let my eyes finally slip closed, hand resting on Rowan's back. Looks like I'm spending another night.



After setting aside my finished painting, I stand up and stretch, peering at it in satisfaction. The colours are vibrant and dazzling, practically jumping off the canvas, and very different from my older paintings. Ever since Niko appeared, my art style has become more passionate and alive. He's in most of the paintings, either as part of the background or as the main subject. I've even managed to convince him to pose for a few (although he has trouble sitting still), although most are done from memory.

My art is not the only thing to change since Niko's appearance; I've been feeling more alive and happy with him around, no longer the hollow shell I once was. He may be using me, but I still enjoy the company. Although the first couple of days were a little rough, things have smoothed out. Yes, I'm still…nervous, doing things with Niko, but I don't mind nearly as much as I did in the beginning. Maybe it's because I've stopped trying to deny how I feel about him. As much as I've tried to fight it…I think I'm falling for the incubus. I look forward to every night, just so I can see him again, and I always find excuses for him to stay just a little longer in the morning. My paintings and thoughts are filled with him, and even my books have lost their appeal. None of them even come close to describing my emotions or situation.

I laugh a little to myself, shaking my head as I finish cleaning the brushes. God, I feel like some simpering maiden. If only Niko could see me now.

I jump as arms wrap around me and a kiss is pressed to my neck.

"Hey, princess," a familiar voice murmurs, hands running up under my shirt.

I shiver, leaning back with a smile. After reading through some of my books, Niko decided I'm like a fairytale princess trapped in her tower. It's a rather ridiculous nickname, but it seems to entertain him.

"You're early tonight," I comment, smiling. "I haven't even made supper, yet."

"Hm, well, my supper's right here…" he teases, running his tongue along my pulse.

A frown spreads across my face and I pull away. I hate being reminded that I'm nothing more than food to him.

"What's wrong?" he asks, confusion lacing his voice.

I shake my head, moving past him to the door.

"Nothing. I'm going to make dinner now."

I hear his footsteps behind me on the stairs, but I ignore them, heading through the living room to the kitchen. I don't get very far, however, before a hand's latched onto my arm, stopping me.

"What the hell? Why are you upset?"

I tug at my arm, trying to pull away.

"I'm not upset. Let go!"

He spins me around, grabbing my other arm to keep me facing him. He stares down at me with a glower, fingers tightening.

"I'm not letting go until you tell me what's wrong. You were fine a minute ago."

I refuse to look at him, instead staring sullenly at the floor. "Why do you care? I'm nothing but a meal to you."

He's silent for a minute, seeming a little stunned. Finally, he talks, tone disbelieving.

"You're upset about that?"

"Just forget it," I growl, yanking myself away from him.

"I'm not going to just forget it if you're gonna be a sulky little bitch the entire night."

I freeze, lips curling back in a sneer.

"If it pisses you off so much, why not leave?" I snap, glaring at him. "I'm sure there are plenty of other men willing to let you fuck them."

I storm past him, heading back to the stairs, but he quickly grabs me, throwing me up against the wall.

"Would you fucking stop it?!" he snarls, nails digging into my arms. "You're acting like I'm the fucking antichrist. You were fine when I got here!"

"Well, maybe that's the problem, then," I hiss, teeth gritted against his painful grip.

He stares at me in disbelief. "You want me to leave?"


I don't say anything, just staring at him stonily. His eyes narrow, a humourless laugh escaping him.

"If I leave, you're coming with me."

His words don't fully register until I realize he's dragging me to the door, my arm still caught in a bruising grip. Panic fills me, and I start trying to pull away.

"Stop it!" I yell, wide eyes fixed on the solid wood door. "Let go!"

"No," he growls, yanking me closer.

I watch in horror as he yanks open the door, revealing the small mud room that leads to the next and final door.

"Please, Niko," I plead, eyes filling with tears as my breath quickens. "Please, let me go!"

He pulls me into the small room, not answering. Tears start pouring down my face as my fingers claw at his hand desperately.

"Niko, please!" I sob, blood dripping from the scratches on his hand and arm. "Please! I can't go outside!"

"Shut up," he snaps, hand reaching for the locks of the heavy door.

The locks are all undone in seconds, and I fall to my knees, crying so harshly I can barely breathe. He's going to pull me outside and there's nothing I can do. Why won't he listen?! Why won't he stop?!

"Please," I whimper, arm stretching painfully as I slump closer to the floor. "Please, I'll do anything."

Abruptly, I'm pulled up, my face caught in a vice grip and tipped up, forcing me to meet Niko's darkened gaze.

"Stop being such a fucking idiot," he hisses angrily, lips curled back. "I'm not going to leave you, alright? I don't come here just because I see you as a damn meal."

"Don't lie to me," I whisper, tears still leaking from my reddened eyes.

"I'm not lying!" he cries, exasperated.

I search his face, not willing to give in to that faint glimmer of hope.

"I don't believe you."

He growls, suddenly picking me up and heading back into the house, door slamming behind him. Next thing I know, I'm sitting on the couch, Niko caging me in with his arms as he leans over me.

"What are you—?"

"I love you, alright?"

I stare at him, shocked. "W-what?"

"I love you," he repeats, cheeks flushing, although he keeps staring intensely at me. "And don't you dare say you don't fucking believe me, because I'm telling you the truth."

Minutes go by as I continue staring at him, stunned. Finally, I regain the ability to speak.

"You…love me? Really?"

He nods, face getting redder.

Suddenly, all of my doubts and anger slide away from me, and a smile blooms across my face.I throw my arms around him in a tight hug, laughing happily.

"I love you, too," I whisper, staring into his eyes with a bright smile.

He grins, pressing his lips against mine in a soft kiss and tangling his fingers in my hair. When he finally pulls away, I stare up at him uncertainly.

"Will…you stay with me?"

He laughs, resting his forehead against mine. "I already told you I'm not going to leave you. I'm never going to let anyone else have you."

I kiss his cheek, smiling. "I'm all yours."