Everything was fine. Supposed to be fine, anyway. It was a Saturday, late in the evening; and as seemed to be quickly becoming the standard routine for the weekends, I awoke cocooned in the folds of a big, cozy bed, feeling oddly well-rested. Feeling good, actually. Real good. Sitting up, I stretched my arms out wide, inhaling on a huge yawn ... and then immediately regret it, 'cos fuck me, some motherfucker was cooking breakfast. Specifically, bacon. I rolled over and pressed my face into the pillows, fighting the strong urge to gag. In the name of all things holy, what sort of malicious demon would possess a man to make bacon at –– I lifted my head to glance at the clock residing on the sidetable and groan once more –– six thirty in the goddamn evening?!

Not Joshua. Of that, I was certain. That lazy bastard didn't do shit at home beyond fuck me into the mattress and pay the bills, and now that I thought about it, that was probably for the best, 'cos deducing from what I'd learned in the last six months of the weredaemon's various talents and gifts, cooking was most assuredly not among them. In fact, I was almost ninety-nine percent sure that it maintained a pretty high ranking on the list of things that Joshua did not, would not, never had and never would do in his life, right up there next to pussy. At home, I was the one who did all the cooking, cleaning, and all the rest of the domestic chores.

For whatever horribly inappropriate reason, this amused me and I allowed myself to indulge further, unconsciously taking strength in the bold thought patterns. Wiggling out from under the bedcovers, I threw my legs over the side of the bed and tumbled rather gracelessly onto the floor, dragging myself over to dresser. By the time I had settled on an outfit –– fucking Joshua, spoiling me with all these nice clothes, tch –– the clock read a solid seven 'o clock and the nauseating stench of breakfast had retreated, if only by a bit, but nevertheless enough that I no longer felt like turning myself inside out just to get away.

But really, just who the hell did Joshua think he was? Six months and he was already treating me like a .. a .. piece of woman property! It wasn't right, dammit, and I argued various points of the matter with myself all throughout my shower, vaguely disgusted at the realization that underneath it all, when push came to shove, I probably wouldn't give two shits if Joshua thought of me as a chick. Never mind that I was ninety nine percent certain that the bastard was a flaming homosexual – so long as he didn't hurt me, he could think whatever he wanted. Now that wasn't right.

Was I really so damaged that I would give up my sense of integrity and self-respect in exchange for a life of simple kindness? Had I really been hurt that bad? The questions nagged at me; I bit my lip against them until blood mingled with the suds, suddenly cold despite the shower's cascading warmth. And then I smiled, bemused. So, six months of gentle handling wasn't enough to fix things, to fix the hurt that I carried around and would probably always carry around, 'cos if six months of this, of normal life without abuse around every corner, wasn't enough to make me forget, then I doubted anything would.

Toweling off and stepping out, I continued getting ready – prepping, Joshua called it. Shit, maybe–maybe he did think I was a girl? Distaste curled low in my stomach and I realized that I'd been wrong earlier; I did care what the older man did to me. I didn't want him to have any illusions about .. about whatever it was that lay between us and although I wasn't sure whether it was because somehow, against all odds, I had finally found someone who treated me like I was something precious, but regardless, I wanted––I wanted him to want me for me, whoever that was.

Who knew, though? Maybe I was overthinking things, maybe .. maybe it was just a weredaemon thing, the feminizing?

"Hey, princess," greeted a familiar voice, jolting me rudely from my thoughts. I realized belatedly that I'd reached the bottom of the staircase and now stood on the edge of the kitchen territory, staring at where my keeper's elder sibling sat, leaning against the marble counter, watching me as intently as I was watching him. Him, with his white-blond hair and pale eyes, the color of stormclouds. He looked absolutely nothing like Joshua, who sported an auburn-reddish mane cut short and worn shaggy, its ragged ends frosted with silver, the rest of it streaked carelessly with black; olive-hued skin and alarming eyes that, while also pale, wasn't at all the color of stormclouds. No, his personality was stormclouds. His eyes .. his eyes were burnished a liquid gold, like sunbleached pennies.

I always thought of coins whenever I thought about my keeper's unusual eyes. It was stupid, but sometimes it even kept me up at night, thinking about them .. thinking about him. And with him sound asleep right beside me, too. We always slept together, even when he didn't want to fuck. I would often wake with his arms thrown around me, my face buried in the muscular curve of his shoulder, breathing in his scent.

As my mind whirled with thoughts of Joshua, my body took another course of occupation entirely. It had registered the term of endearment even though the rest of me hadn't and in response, I found myself bristling indignantly. 'Cos damn it, there it was again, the feminizing! Fuck, maybe it was a weredaemon thing. Never mind that all terms of endearment rang feminine; I still didn't like it and therefore refused to tolerate it, not even from a creature who had several feet and a good hundred or so pounds on me. I was a guy, damn it. Was it really that hard to see?

I darted forwards and slugged Judas viciously in the forearm, allowing my actions to betray my agitation. Of course, I wasn't stupid; I made sure to move out of range with equal speed, hastily ducking away and taking shelter behind the counter, just in case the larger male decided to reciprocate. But he didn't, and after a brief pause, I peeked over the countertop, faintly relieved and largely wary when I saw that he hadn't moved.

No, the bastard was grinning at me, pink lower lip jutting out in a mock pout as he pretended hurt, making a show of rubbing at where I'd hit him. "Hey, that tickled," he complained, his grin widening to flash a bit of fang as his eyes snagged on mine. Asshole. "What was that for?"

"That was for being a retarded fucking freak and making breakfast at an ungodly hour in the evening, you fuckhead," I returned sourly, climbing onto one of the bar stools when I was sure he wasn't going to come after me. "I hate that shit. It's gross. And I am not your fucking princess, so stop calling me that."

"Aw, princess. I never knew you liked my cooking so much. Want a piece?" To my horror, Judas leaned across the counter, a morsel of bacon in his hand. He all but shoved it up my fucking nose and I flipped out, recoiling violently, a hand flying over my mouth as I felt myself falling backwards ..

.. into a pair of strong arms. Joshua. I nearly sobbed with relief when I recognized the poignant, musky scent that bespoke of my keeper, a sharp whiff of expensive liquor and pine needles, the scent that had been denied to me upon waking up. For a moment he held me suspended on my heels, arms hooked beneath my own. It was awkward .. and then it wasn't, as I was suddenly seated firmly on the bar stool once more. I wanted to cry again at the loss of his attentions and I almost did, except––

Oh. Oh. There was no reason to cry, for I hadn't lost anything. Joshua was pressed up behind me, his breath unfurling in wet huffs against my neck as he feasted lazily on my jugular, the callouses on his fingers digging hard into my skin as he held me fast, hands latched securely upon my hips. Suddenly Judas and his stupid bacon didn't matter so much. Maybe it was because I knew Joshua would eat the bacon for me; or maybe .. maybe it was because my nerve endings were on fire, because dear God in heaven, Joshua was eating me, his mouth suddenly on mine, the sinuous motions of his tongue against my own hot and possessive, coaxing from me a low-pitched moan. I responded eagerly, creeping a hand up over the corded sinewy muscle –– mmmm –– of his shoulder as I tried simultaneously to get more of him and to turn on the bar stool so that I could better press against him. My attempts fell short, however; for suddenly my mouth was abandoned, Joshua's attentions withdrawn. His hands were all that remained on me and his eyes, liquid-gold hues staring down at me with obvious amusement. I warned him with a scowl not to laugh and to his credit, he refrained, though he couldn't help the smile that curved his lips.

"Good morning, baby," he whispered throatily. I squirmed back against him with a low-throated whine, and at that, he did laugh, easily holding me firmly in place on the bar stool. Pressing a wet kiss to my temple, murmuring in my ear for me to behave myself. His little joke wasn't funny, though –– he knew I didn't like breakfast in the evenings or hell, breakfast at all.

"Oh, it's far too late for that." Judas. He hadn't left, I realized with a faint scowl, twisting slightly to peer at where the flaxen-haired weredaemon stood, leaning casually against the stove. A cigarette was pinched between his slender fingers; he snorted out a lungful of smoke, and I curled my upper lip in disgust, although what I really felt was envy, with such violence that I almost fell over again. Fuck me sideways, but I wanted a hit of that. I wanted it bad. It had been what, six months since my last smoke? I'd had to quit cold turkey; that shit hadn't been fun. "He's been flirting with me ever since he woke up."

Oh, God. This again? Ew. "You're a delusional fuck," I hissed angrily, though I wasn't really angry. This wasn't the first time that the claim had been made against me; and it wasn't the first time that Judas had made it. Because he wasn't a total fucking creep, I allowed it, perceiving it for what I presumed it to be –– a weredaemon's way of joking and, in certain cases, legit flirting. I'd seen it in play amongst the others –– namely, the innermost circle of Delaneys –– numberous times and had long since become used to it, as well as the seriously fucked up dynamics that seemed to be commonplace within the wolfish species.

And sweet Jesus, the kink. It could be found in abundance here. Incest between metaphorical brothers, for one, bloodplay for another, and dear God, the golden showers. I mean, it wasn't anything that I hadn't been paid to endure myself before, but the fact that I had done it didn't mean I'd liked it and it seemed like every time I ventured out of the cabin, I encountered two guys spilling some kind of bodily fluid on one another. Really, there was only so much an ex-prostitute could take, and when Joshua had made it clear he wasn't going to hurt me for speaking out against shit that bothered me, my tolerance level of such things from the outside world had decreased dramatically. If Joshua said I didn't have to put up with that shit, then I wasn't going to.

Joshua nudged me from behind; I started guiltily before settling, reaching up to swipe wearily at my still sleep-crusted eyes. Ew. How had I missed that in the shower–?

Hmm? Oh, I was supposed to be paying attention. Judas was talking. I forced myself to tune back into the present events, abandoning my mental rambling. " .. that wasn't what you said when I had you bent over the kitchen table," he was saying, his grey eyes smoldering from behind unruly bangs.

"Right. Excuse me. The correct dialogue for that occasion was what, 'do me harder, you big, sexy stud'? I screamed, didn't I?" Instead of rolling my eyes like I wanted to, I feigned dreamy pleasure, as if I were remembering. Across the counter, Judas smirked.

"Oh yeah. You did. Loud."

Around me, Joshua's arms tightened. He was getting jealous; I couldn't tell you how I knew but I did, and God, why did it make me so fucking happy? I caught a glimpse of Judas waggling his eyebrows, though whether it was directed at me or his younger brother, I couldn't tell. Yet I dissolved into scornful laughter anyway, well-aware of what he was implying despite the fact that he hadn't said anything aloud. It was the same thing as what he'd been suggesting all month––a threesome. Pervert.

"You are so full of shit, man."