Ten minutes after Judas' departure and there was still tension riddling my keeper's frame. It knotted his shoulders, tightening his body against mine until he was so rigid that I began to feel as if I was wedged between the counter and a brick wall. This time around, my squirming had nothing to do with lust; it was more from growing discomfort, since we hadn't yet moved from our positions. Joshua's silence made me cringe, and for the first time in a long time, I was afraid.

Scared or not, however, I finally mustered the courage to ask. Like hell I was going to let this guy flatten me into a pancake and not say anything. "You know we were joking, right?"

I expected him to jump; he didn't. Instead he straightened and moved away, occupying himself with rummaging through the cabinets and refrigerator. From the cabinets, he extracted a bag of chocolate chips, and from the refrigerator, a carton of strawberries. I watched with undisguised fascination as he went about whatever it was that he's fixing; and when I finally realized what he's fixing, the chocolate had already gone through the melting process in the microwave, the strawberries washed and meticulously cut.

Both ingredients were gathered in their own individual bowls; I reached out a hand to dip a finger in the chocolate, only to fall short as Joshua picked the assembly up and slid deftly out of range. I tried to follow, but he evaded again and again, looking down at me with a smirk. Eventually I stopped altogether and was left to scowl after his delectable backside as he retreated to the living room.

"Wash your hands first," he called over his shoulder, and my scowl deepened, though I hastily did as instructed and scrambled after him. I found him sitting sprawled on the couch, already helping himself to a handful of strawberries. I stood hesitantly at the furniture's foot, arms crossed over my chest, a scowl still on my lips. Watching him, waiting for permission to sit down.

But none came, even when my keeper's eyes were on mine. Until ..

"I told you. You don't need my say so if you want to sit on the furniture, Sasha. Out of the two of us, I can actually claim to be a real animal and you don't see me asking Rehan for permission to piss n' shit whenever I wanna, do you? Know why that is?"

Joshua beckoned me closer. I approached obediently, hating the feeling of self-loathing that sat heavily on my shoulders .. and then forgetting about it entirely, as I was suddenly pulled down into the weredaemon's lap. His legs parted, allowing me to nestle a place for myself between them. It was difficult, thinking of an answer to his question whenever he was close to me like this. It was like I was fucking Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. "Umm .. 'cos he'd prolly kill you?"

"Something like that .. forgot where I was going with that, tch. Sorry," he mumbled sheepishly, burying his face in the curve of my neck. I waited for his mouth to graze the flesh and was dully disappointed when it didn't happen. Instead he withdrew, reaching for one of the bowls that sat on the sidetable. "Want some chocolate?"

"Fuck, yes."

And just like that, everything else was forgotten. It was sort of embarrassing, how much I loved chocolate. I wasn't sure whether it was because before Joshua, sweets had been yet another thing I hadn't been allowed to have. No one but the lenient keepers wanted a chubby slave, and that wasn't my scene. No, my scene was the pimps and kinksters, where anorexia was your friend and ingesting anything beyond water and Ritalin a major no-no.

So needless to say, I was malnourished and disgusting. Joshua had made it a point in the past six months to make sure I ate well-balanced meals at least three times a day. Recently, he'd begun buying me candy and chips and other junk food; ensuring that I would have something in my stomach before midnight by handfeeding me. I should've found it repulsive, but instead I discovered myself looking forward to it with anxious eagerness.

His laughter warmed the juncture between my neck and clavicle, though I ignored it in favor of a greater priority––the chocolate. At first I couldn't spot it, but then he murmured a quiet here and I parted my lips reflexively, receiving his probing fingers happily. They were coated in warm, gooey chocolate; I uttered a loud, humiliatingly wanton moan, beginning to suckle hungrily. To my delight, Joshua slid his fingers in and out, allowing me better access to the digits' every inch as I hollowed my cheeks and fell into a disturbingly familiar rhythm, though I didn't realize why it was familiar until I heard a groan that echoed my own.

It reminded me of fellatio, dammit. I was behaving like a whore all over again.

And yet ... and yet ... I didn't care, because Joshua didn't care and besides, it felt so good.

Once I'd managed to lick and nibble every retracted his fingers one by one, he retracted his fingers, leaving me empty and agitated. "More?" My voice was a weak whisper. I made no attempt to disguise the raw want in my voice, deciding to let him interpret it however he pleased.

His arm twisted out of view for a moment and when it returned, it was with the same fingers coated in the same delicious chocolate, inserting them between my lips––and I met them with the same ready desire, feeling myself unraveling more and more as time went on, as we shared in the same languid pleasure as before; my tongue thrusting against his calloused fingertips, latching onto his wrist with fingers of my own and taking the liberty of setting the pace, readjusting it to my liking. And he let me, seeming all too willing to relax and lend me the reins, if only for now.

This time, however, when I sucked him clean, he denied me another round, instead fitting a morsel of luscious strawberry between my lips. I hummed with approval, chewing slowly as I dared peer up at him through my lashes, watching his relaxed expression and idly leaning into the hand he was using to rub circles into the skin beneath my ear. Was he trying to distract me? Never mind that it was working; I still wouldn't stand for it.

"You know, you never answered me," I ventured cautiously once I'd swallowed.

The look he gave me was all too familiar: lazy, lazy devil-may-care indulgence, the one he wore whenever he was about to spoil me against his better judgement. Uh-oh. "Didn't I?" As I continued to watch, he dipped his thumb in one of the bowls, coating a fleshy callous in a swirl of rich chocolate. My mouth watered, but I shook my head, knowing if I didn't press the issue, I'd never get an answer.

"No, that isn't what I meant. You never answered my question in the kitchen, about Judas and .. the things we said to each other."

His expression shifted, transforming into borderline boredom. I forced my resolve to remain solid. So what if he wasn't interested in talking about it? I was, and I deserved to have my opinion heard, whether he wanted to hear it or not. I stabbed him in the side with a fingernail, and was dully mollified when I felt him flinch. Stupid mutt.

"Oh, that. What, worried I'm jealous?"

I bit my lip. "Are you?"

Silence, his body stiff beneath mine. And then––

"Yes," he finally answered. "But not for the reasons you think. I know damn well you've never done anything with my idiot brother, because that's not the sort of thing you can hide, especially not from my kind. I would smell it on the two of you; and even if I didn't, someone else would. Family keeps track of family, after all."

Oh. "So why would you be jealous, then? I mean, if you know that I've .. that we've never .."

"Isn't it obvious? Because I want you all to myself."