Chapter Six: One Disco At A Time

TW: This chapter contains graphic sexual content.

Steven was a total dead weight. I just couldn't fly fast enough.

Behind me, I could hear a snap like skin splitting. It wouldn't be long until Meatsuit came after us. I wouldn't be able to go any faster when he did.

I was starting to seriously consider dropping Steven on a convenient rooftop and hoping his parents were near enough to help, when a pigeon flew past.

"Careful!" Steven shouted over the wind. He was clinging to me like a jellyfish in his panic.

"But I swear that pigeon just winked," I shouted back. He gave me a look like I was crazy.

The pigeon was keeping pace with us. Steven risked turning around to stare at it.

"Isn't that the—"

"Pigeon that smacked into the window in the office," I said. "Yes." It even had a couple of feathers ruffled from the impact.

"It's beckoning to us. Oh, hell, wait, why are we following it?" Steven's grip tightened painfully. "What if it's another trap?"

"Steven," I yelled, "your father is called the White Raven. What kind of animal is a raven? Use some common sense!"

"Well, sorry we aren't all magical!" Steven said. At least, that was what I thought he said— it was lost in a sudden roar of wind.

No, not a roar of wind. Our luck wasn't that good. It looked like Meatsuit was finally on his way.

I swore and tried to fly faster. Steven was surprisingly heavy, considering how gangly he looked. It was getting hard to carry him.

The pigeon suddenly banked. It was heading for an old concrete building with a big 'NO ENTRY: CONSIGNED BUILDING' sign on the front.

I followed it down. It veered away at the last moment, and a window opened on the second floor.

We landed none too gracefully. I dropped Steven at the last second, unable to hold onto him any longer. He sprawled on the mouldy carpet with a muffled oof. I hit my head on the window frame and landed right on top of him as he was getting up, flattening him back down to the carpet.

"Steven!" Ellen cried, shoving me off him. She grabbed him and squeezed him so hard that he choked. "Oh, Steven! Why didn't you stick to our plan? We were so worried!"

"Mom, I'm sorry—"

"Don't be silly," she said fiercely. "You were very brave. We're proud of you."

Steven looked understandably confused. "But I didn't do what you said."

"I know," Ellen said. "We know. Neither of us would have, either."

"We don't have a lot of time." Arthur emerged out of nowhere, startling me and Steven both. "We can keep the demon off for a while, but we'll have to fight him. Steven, we have to get you somewhere safe."

Ellen held up a hand. "Wait. First, we need to know— the magician, the one with the demon. Did you find out his name?"

"Yes," Steven said. "He's my manager."

Ellen and Arthur both frowned. Arthur turned and gave me a dirty look, which I didn't feel like I deserved in the least.

"Nothing to do with me," I protested. "I don't get to choose who summons me."

"What's the magician's name?" Arthur asked, still glaring at me.

"Sedgwick. Thomas Sedgwick."

"Sedgwick?" Ellen said, hand flying to her mouth. "That charlatan? The one who's been making all those demands of the Council?"

"Thomas Sedgwick," Arthur muttered. "I can't believe it. How on earth did he get the power? How did he get past my shields?"

Steven darted a glance at me. I had a very bad feeling about this.

Arthur, unfortunately, followed his line of sight. "Him?" he exploded. "Demon, what did you do?"

He raised a hand, and static crackled in the air. I backed away in a hurry.

"Dad!" Steven grabbed his wrist and pulled it down. "For god's sake, will you leave off him? It's not his fault."

"Listen to him," I said. "He talks sense."

"Kaz, shut up," Steven said, giving me a weary look. "He said it's something to do with— I don't know, I didn't follow much of it. Anti-magic? He makes a hole in your shields whenever he's around."

Ellen gasped. She suddenly looked a bit dangerous. "So Sedgwick was right? All that blabber he kept trying to foist on the Council about his research? He was actually telling the truth?"

She rounded on me. I was running out of space to back into.

"Demon!" she snapped. "Why didn't you tell us?"

She was even more terrifying than Arthur when she was angry. I hastily put my hands up in the air.

"I swear, I didn't know." I put my hand to my chest in the traditional pledge, trying not to look her in the eye. "News to me as well."

"All the more reason to send Steven somewhere safe," Arthur said. "As for you—" He gathered up his energy.

For the first time since this visit to the physical world, a drop of real fear ran into my stomach.

"Steven, please!" I begged. "Don't let him do this! Aren't we friends?"

"Dad, what are you doing?"

"Sending him back to Hell," Arthur growled.

"What? You can do that? So I didn't need the contract after all?"

"No, you complete idiot," I said, edging away from Arthur. "You do need the contract. Come on, Arthur Revence, don't do this. Please! I helped your son!"

"It's a little late to address me formally now," Arthur said. "Steven is— oh, Steven, let me go! It's for your own good!"

"What are you talking about?" Steven asked, struggling to keep hold of Arthur's arm. "Come on, what are you doing?"

I was this close to losing my temper. I'd just about had it with today.

"He is going to send me to the Pit," I said. "Eternal torture, you moron!"

"What? Oh, dad. Come on, don't do that. He helped me."

"He's the reason you needed helping!" Arthur bellowed, but he couldn't do much while Steven was still grabbed onto his arm. "You'd be safe without him! You realise what signing the contract means, don't you?"

Steven's face went completely blank for one terrifying moment. There was a deadly silent pause.

"Dad," he said finally, "I'm gay."

Arthur's hands froze. His arm dropped. Ellen just stared.

"No," Arthur said. "No, you're not. I know you." He glanced at me, face a mess of conflicting emotions. "He must have done something to you. You can't be."

"Will you lay off me?" I said, annoyed. "What the hell could I do? He is, take it from an incubus. Completely so. Your textbook Kinsey seven. Gay as a—"

"Yes, thank you, Kaz," Steven muttered. "I think that's enough."

"Steven," Ellen began.

She didn't get any further. At that moment, the pigeon flew straight in through the window.

No actually, I realised, not flew. It was chucked in— minus its head.

"Steven, brace yourself!" Arthur shouted. He grabbed for Ellen's hand.

A dark shadow loomed over the window. Arthur looked desperately between the window and Steven, and flung his arm out towards his son.

There was a flash of light, and Steven vanished. As the window shattered, I realised that had been Arthur's last chance to defend himself— and he and Ellen had sent Steven to safety instead.

I retreated into a corner as Manager dropped lightly into the room.

"Well," he said. "I was expecting something a bit more spectacular from you, White Raven, but this is rather shabby. No shields?" He glanced around the room and chuckled. "And no Steven, either. Never mind. Maybe I should take your wife as a hostage instead? She's not a prize, but she'll do."

Ellen drew herself up, strode across the room, and spat right in Sedgwick's face. Sedgwick stared at her like she'd just bitten the head off a baby.

She gestured with a hand. The room filled up with her power.

There was a swish like the sound of a falling guillotine blade. Sedgwick only just ducked in time to avoid decapitation as a bolt of white light passed over his head.

"Well, maybe not," he said, wiping his face with his sleeve. He looked a lot less smug, though. He was visibly sweating. "Before we start, I want to say that our master has some demands to make of you, White Raven. And of your Council, too."

"Whoever is behind this, we will find them and they will suffer," Ellen said, very softly. "But you will suffer more."

"You've grown old, Ellen St Carnow," Sedgwick said. "You and the White Raven both. You aren't even protecting yourselves. You've been in charge too long." His face twisted up. "And we won't have you ordering the rest of us around any longer."

"What I do is for everyone's good, Thomas Sedgwick," Arthur growled, gripping Ellen's hand. "I ended the feuds that had torn us apart for centuries. I stopped decades of war. If I had to tread on some toes to do it, so be it."

Sedgwick raised his hands, and the fight began.

I backed further into the corner, trying to make myself unnoticeable as spells started flying. One came straight at me, and I only just dodged it in time. All the same, there was a distinct sizzle as it burned through the end of my ponytail.

I didn't even notice Meatsuit until he was standing right next to me. Ellen and Arthur, still fighting Sedgwick, didn't turn around.

Without his meatsuit, I can't even describe what he looked like. Bits stuck out at impossible angles. Limbs vanished halfway down, only for the other halves to come out from somewhere else in midair. He was the colour of the way rot smells, and he smelled like the way a headache feels.

"If they didn't have enough time to protect themselves, they definitely haven't had time to change their defences," he said. His mouth wasn't equipped for human speech anymore— he was talking to me in the Old Language, or at least a warped bastard version of it. "Let's find your mortal friend, little magician's whore."

"There's no need to be rude," I said, although I was trying desperately to make myself a part of the wall behind me. I answered him in English. I never like to speak the Old Language. "I don't know where he is."

"They're predictable," he said. His mandibles clicked on every other word. "They don't have many safe houses. They aren't the all-powerful Lord and Lady any more, and they didn't expect me to leave Sedgwick with them instead of fighting them myself."

"Well, nice distraction," I said, before he picked me up and heaved me over— well, I suppose you could call it a shoulder. "Ouch! Be a bit less rough, will you?"

He jabbed me in the stomach with a bony protrusion before I could call out to Ellen and Arthur. I realised that he'd shielded us from them— they had no idea Meatsuit was even in the room. That was why they still hadn't noticed what was going on.

"If you tell me what to do again, I will pop out your eyeballs," he said, and vanished us.

-o-o-o-

Steven's ride had probably been easy as anything, considering it was Arthur Revence who'd vanished him, but I can't say the same for Meatsuit's magical skill.

It was like travelling through a cheese grater. Torture didn't even compare. When we came out the other side, it was like being put back together with an industrial welder.

"Ugh," I managed.

"If you're going to be sick, don't do it on me," Meatsuit said. "You don't even want to know what I'll do to you."

"Blurgh. Gnf."

We were travelling through the air over the English countryside. It was very quaint from this height, but I was in no state to appreciate it.

"Did you pick up any of his energy?" Meatsuit asked me. "You must have. Even if he didn't sign the contract."

"Scrnfl."

I didn't have the strength to resist when Meatsuit's magic prodded at me. It ripped right through my mind. The memory of Steven's taste from when I was sleep-drifting flooded through my mouth.

"Well, doesn't he smell nice?"

Meatsuit stopped, took a deep whiff of the air, and set out in a new direction. I realised we were already right over the town near his parents' house.

God. They'd sent Steven back to their house? They had far too much confidence in their own wards.

"Of course, I have to thank you," Meatsuit said, as we landed on their gravel drive. "I couldn't get anywhere near here without you. I can't believe we've been so stupid for so long. On the other hand, it's very easy to underestimate you lesser demons, isn't it? You don't exactly make it hard." He chuckled. At least, that was what I thought he did. It wasn't easy to tell.

He put me down. I tried to take a step and fell forward on my face. It hurt like a bastard, but I couldn't even move my arms to pick myself up.

"Dear me, you are pathetic." He picked me back up like a sack of potatoes and walked up to the front door. He didn't bother with the handle— he just blasted it right off its hinges. It hit the opposite wall in matchsticks.

It didn't take him long to find Steven, making himself buttered toast in the kitchen. Figured he'd be an anxiety eater.

Fortunately for Steven's sanity, Meatsuit snuck up from behind and whacked him over the head with a club-like limb before Steven could get a glimpse of Meatsuit's real form.

Steven slumped to the floor, out cold. I wished I could have done the same.

-o-o-o-

It didn't take him long to come round. He flopped like a drowning fish for a couple of seconds before he woke up properly.

"Oh my god, my head," he groaned. Then he straightened up, squinting blearily at me. "Kaz?"

"Mhmm," I said. I still didn't feel quite right after Meatsuit's little jump.

"Why am I tied up?" He struggled against the ropes for a few seconds before he fell back down again. "Ugh. I have a headache like you wouldn't believe."

"I'll trade," I mumbled. My hands were tied behind my back like his. The tug on my already-screaming shoulder muscles was agony— I'd almost take the Pit.

He pushed himself up with an effort and shuffled over to me, struggling a bit with his ankles tied together. He leaned against my chest. I was so weak that it felt like being pinned down with a tank.

"What happened to mom and dad?" he asked. He didn't look at me.

"Fighting Sedgwick," I said, slurring a bit. "Meatsuit took me here. Doesn't have his meatsuit any more, though. Looks horrible. Desperately needs some fashion advice."

Steven shot me a worried look. "Are you okay?"

"No," I said, shutting my eyes. "I'm not. Ask again in about a century."

He was quiet for about one blessed minute.

"How are we going to get out of here?" he asked, breaking the peace.

"Die," I groaned. "Seems like a good idea at the minute."

He nuzzled his head against my chest reassuringly. Felt like putting sandpaper to a fresh burn.

"We can't just sit here."

"No. We can lie here and try to pass out."

"Don't you have a better idea?" He slumped over and cradled his head between his knees. "Ugh. My head. What did he do to me?"

"He only hit you, Firelocks," I said, gently toppling over onto my side. By some miracle Steven managed to catch me in his lap before I hit the floor. "Don't be such a baby," I mumbled into his thigh.

"What, he's finished with the mind control?" he asked. It was a pathetic attempt at a joke, but in my state it still made me smile, just a bit.

"Seems so." Steven was sort of comfortable, if a bit bony around the knees. I closed my eyes again and made to go to sleep.

"Wait," Steven said, jerking me awake again. "He hit me."

"Yes, he did. Well done. Your faculties are returning to you."

"No, I mean, he hit me. What did you say on the train yesterday?"

"How long's your cock?" I buried my head in his jeans, trying to block out his voice.

"No. God. I mean about him not being able to touch me."

"Contract," I mumbled. "Only if you'd signed it. Be my ward until I leave." Then it dawned on me. "Oh. Contract."

He laughed breathlessly. "Do you still have it on you?"

"He didn't take it off me, far as I know." I levered myself up painfully into a sitting position.

Steven leaned around and patted my trouser pocket from behind his back. "Definitely something papery in here."

"Well, that isn't what she said." I half-smiled. "Steven, never let me call you a moron again."

"You will," he said. "Can I take this out for you? Goddamn. I don't have a pen."

I took a deep, resigned breath. "No. Hang on a second." This was going to hurt like god only knew, but hell take me, I didn't want to let Steven down.

I rolled my shoulders, squeezing my eyes up as another wave of agony washed over me. Then I twisted my hands up and over my head, back down into my lap.

"Sweet," he said. "You're double-jointed. I always wanted to be able to do that. Never could."

"I'm an incubus," I said, rooting in my pocket. "We're very flexible. Oh, fuck's sake, where are you, you little— ah."

"Good ah or bad ah?"

"Good, if you can find something to write with." I unfolded the contract and laid it on the floor between us.

Steven looked around the room. It was one of the bedrooms, judging by the treetops I could see out the window, but there was no furniture. No pens, either.

"You could do it the old-school way," I said.

"What's that?"

"Blood. What did you think I meant? Here, let me get the ropes." I got to my knees stiffly.

Shape-shifting my teeth sharp took away just about the last of my strength, but I managed it. I managed to chew through my restraints in about five minutes, then started on Steven's. I bit Steven once by accident, and he jumped, but didn't say anything.

"I can't believe he was that stupid," Steven said, fumbling the ropes tying his ankles together undone. "Leaving you with your contract."

"You thought he was smart?" I lay back on the floor and breathed. After a few seconds, I pulled myself together enough to drop the glamour again. Sharp teeth really get in the way if you leave them.

Steven shrugged, smirking a bit. He smeared his pointy finger through the gash I'd left on his arm and scrawled his initials on the paper.

"Is that it?"

"No."

"Oh." He blinked a couple of times, and then swallowed. "Oh," he repeated, more softly. "So you have to— right now?"

"If you want the protection."

He stared at the contract. "I shouldn't have shouted at you, before. I— I apologise."

"Forget it, lover-boy."

Steven glanced up and met my eyes. He smiled, just a little.

"Is it okay?" he asked.

I opened my mouth and shut it again. "Can I?"

He sat back, looking at me for a long few seconds. Then he nodded. "Yeh." He cleared his throat. "Yeh, you can."

I had no strength to make myself look human— he was just going to have to put up with the horns and tail. I leaned over and kissed him.

He hesitated for a second, then wrapped his hands round my arms and pulled me down to the floor on top of him.

The tip of Steven's tongue ran over my bottom lip gently. I opened my mouth and let him take the lead. I hadn't expected him to be much good— and he wasn't particularly— but it was wonderful.

The smell of his energy drifted around me like perfume. It was even better than when he was asleep. He smelled comfortable— like a favourite cardigan or cut grass in summer. He tasted like I thought home might taste, if I had one.

I didn't have time to process that thought. A problem was dawning on me.

My strength was starting to trickle back, the pain was easing, his lust was hanging heavy in the air, and it was getting more and more difficult to be as gentle as I wanted to be. I was so weak. I needed food so badly, and instinct was screaming at me to take it, Steven be damned. I didn't want to.

I balled my fists up above his head so he wouldn't see how much it was costing me to hold back. I tried to pull back from his mouth, and— Steven, the little bastard, he just moved his head right with me.

"Steven," I said into his mouth, rather muffled, "Steven, there isn't time."

He let my lower lip go with a wet, sucking noise. He looked a bit dazed. I hoped to god Meatsuit twatting him over the head hadn't affected his judgement.

"God," he said, and blinked a couple of times, looking more normal. "How long do we have?"

"As long as he doesn't realise we're not tied up any more," I said. "Sorry, Firelocks, but this has got to be business."

His jaw set. He shrugged. "Okay, business. Let's get on with it."

"Wh— oh, Steven, come on, I didn't mean it like that. If I didn't want to shag you, I'd complain. I mean, your hobbies are kind of boring, and you make lousy coffee, but you're alright. You're smart and you don't stand around like a damsel when you're in trouble. Also, you look cute in glasses. Are we going to get on with it or what?"

He raised an eyebrow at me.

I glared back at him. Honestly, I do not do romance, and this was not the time. If he expected anything prettier than that, he was going to be disappointed.

Actually, he looked a bit strained. I realised he was trying not to laugh at me, and felt a bit offended.

"That all true?" he asked, a smirk growing across his face.

"Cross my heart," I said. "If I had one."

He leaned up and kissed me again. I let his lips go as quickly as was polite and worked my way down his throat instead, nibbling a bit at his bobbing adam's apple. I unzipped his fly without looking, fumbling the button of his jeans open.

I sat back on his thighs and tugged his jeans down. Well, gosh. Seemed like he hadn't been lying.

"I like this," I said, cupping my hand over the tent in his boxers. "Very nice."

Steven just smirked wider, arching into my palm. I leaned over and mouthed at the cotton, leaving little wet marks on the material. His smile quickly vanished.

I eased his boxers down. Oh, god, he was nice. Uncut, long, and a bit on the skinny side, but I liked it. I flicked my tongue over the head.

The smell of lust in the air grew so strong that I could practically feel it, and I couldn't hold back any more. I swallowed him down, thanking all the powers that be for an incubus' lack of a gag reflex.

He pressed both his hands to his mouth to try to muffle the noises he was making. If that wasn't the sexiest thing I'd seen, I don't know what was.

We needed to hurry up. I worked my throat around him, pulling right back to tongue the head of his cock before swallowing him back down again. His moans turned to stifled gasps, and he arched up into my mouth. His energy swirled around me like a fog.

He had ridiculously more stamina than I'd expected. On the other hand, he had ridiculously more stamina than I'd expected. How was a dork like him doing this? Either Boston must have been really fun, or he'd spent his teenage years doing much more interesting things than I'd thought.

I couldn't wait for this thing with Meatsuit to be over. I really couldn't.

The smell of him went sharp, and he thrust up as he came. I was so caught up in his energy that I felt it too, like a bell ringing harmonics. For a second, I was weightless.

Then he came crashing down, and the link between us dissolved.

I felt wonderful. No, better. I hadn't even realised that I was starving hungry. I felt like I could take Meatsuit on and have strength left to lift a truck, as patently false as either of that was.

Or I could take my signed contract and vanish. But that would be a bastard thing to do. It wasn't like I was the rescue brigade by nature, but I didn't exactly like to dwell on what Meatsuit would do to him if I left.

For one— even if leaving gave him a bit of space with Arthur Revence's shields working again, it wouldn't take Meatsuit five minutes to realise I was gone, contact whatever other sorcerer was behind their little coup, and summon another incubus. No, this time they could do it right from the start and summon a succubus.

Another unpleasant thought struck me. If Meatsuit learnt that Steven had signed my contract, he might well just kill me and summon a succubus anyway.

"Why are you just sitting there?"

Steven was giving me a rather funny look. I realised I really was just sitting next to him, staring off into space.

"You alright?" he said. "This isn't some incubus thing, is it?"

"Nope. Just thinking." I flopped down next to him and wrapped my arms around his waist. He looked good, with his hair all rumpled up and his cheeks flushed. He almost looked sexy, as much as Steven ever looked sexy. "Just your awesome assets. Impressed me that much."

He grinned widely, then shifted me off him so he could hoick up his jeans. "That was, uh. Pretty good."

"What can I say? I don't lack for centuries of practice."

I made sure the contract was folded up small and tucked into my pocket well. Didn't want it to fall out where Meatsuit could find it.

What was Meatsuit thinking? He probably intended to see Steven's parents fairly soon. Sedgwick wouldn't keep them for long. He was weak, even with someone backing him up from the shadows.

Then what? Keep them locked out of their house and make them stay in the open long enough for the real sorcerers to arrive, maybe. Demand they hand themselves over, on pain of Steven's pain? I wouldn't be able to help Steven if Meatsuit was going to hurt him— I wasn't strong enough. The thought made me feel a bit sick.

It was just a waiting game until Steven's parents got here now. We'd have to just sit quietly and hope Meatsuit didn't come in to check up on us.

I looked at Steven, still fiddling with his zip with his back turned to me. A worm of worry was gnawing its way through my innards. After whacking Meatsuit over the head with a boiling kettle, Steven probably wouldn't get a whole lot of mercy.

God. It was going to be the longest wait of my life.

-o-o-o-

{A/N: I'm sorry for the wait on this one! Saying things like 'the hectic times seem to be over' is just asking to attract trouble, so I'll just conclude: the next one will not take nearly so long.

I also would like to say that I love you all like I love cappuccino in the mornings, and just so you know, that's an awful lot of love. I would cuddle you and offer you the world if I could.

I would also be pathetically grateful and moon-eyed if you reviewed, if you enjoyed reading this story so far! Every review makes my heart beat faster with adoration. *kisses*}