Aeron walked down the city street, heading back to the portal after collecting payment for another wish. He was almost there when he was attacked from behind, something hard smashing into the back of his head. He didn’t go down, but twisted around and pulled out his gun. His vision was blurry, but he could still see his attacker. Before he could squeeze the trigger, a bunch of powder was thrown into his face.
“Tell your mate, he’s bad for business.” His attacker said.
He coughed as he inhaled and quickly pulled out the stone, calling the portal and stumbling through, tripping and falling as he closed it again. Marius heard his projected thoughts of panic, saw the images of the attack even as he ran to his mate.
“Ma…” Aeron said as he was helped into a sitting position. “Marius, head.” He coughed. “Powder.”
Marius helped him up, sniffing the powder clinging to his face. He recognized the smell. “Come, we need to isolate you and then I must find this man.” His mate had been attacked again and this time by some stranger.
“The lighthouse is the safest place.”
“The powder will have you attacking us among other things, you cannot be around Genya. I’ll patch your head up when we get to the lighthouse.”
Aeron felt fear rush through him. He wasn’t used to seeing his mate alarmed at anything. He knew whatever this powder was was extremely dangerous. Especially if Marius was concerned he’d hurt Genya, he loved Genya. Marius helped Aeron to the lighthouse, using magic to seal them in so if Aeron lost his senses completely he couldn’t escape. When they were at the top Marius began mending Aeons head. “I know that spell, you’ve sealed me in here”
“I’m sorry, this powder is going to make you more violent than you ever thought yourself capable of. It turns demons into insane, vile creatures no matter how good of heart they are. All you’re going to want to do is cause pain. It’s for your safety too”
“I’m not mad. If I hurt your brother or you…”
“If you hurt me don’t feel bad. I will know it isn’t you”
“still, it’ll crush me”
“It’s whoever threw this in your face that is to blame if I or anybody else gets hurt Aeron, please, stop with that. I’m already furious that this happened”
“who do you think would do this?”
“There’s quite a few possibilities but first things first, I need to do a few things to make sure you are as safe from yourself as possible”
“and everyone else” Aeron added sadly. Marius sighed “Just please, forgive yourself for whatever happens, for me”
“But what’s going to happen?”
Marius could see that his thoughts were chaotic as he thought of every worse case scenario. “Anger, violence, lust. You will be out of control and you won’t have a real choice in the matter. You may hang on for a bit, but eventually you will succumb to the powder.”
“Yes, it’s one of the reasons I brought you to this place. You will have no one here but me.”
“But…that means we…” He blushed through his fear.
“Perhaps, but only if I must. Please forgive me ahead of time.”
“I trust you, Marius, do what you must.”
“I will restrain you…” He glanced at him. “With chains.”
Aeron knew Marius worried about his past. “It’s fine, I trust you, I really do.”
“I hate this Aeron. Whomever is causing this to happen will be punished. He is going to pay with his life”
“You’ve been through enough. If someone has a problem with me they need to come to me, not be cowardly and hurt you” Marius finished tending to Aeron then cast a few more spells before starting to look extremely somber “I need to restrain you now Aeron” Aeron could already feel a change in himself. He could tell Marius’s spells were helping him but Aeron was still terrified of the anger swelling within in. Marius used enchanted chains to secure Aeron then sat just out of reach of him. “I love you Aeron. Hopfully with the aid of my spells we will get over this powder quickly”
Aeron started shaking as the powder’s effects became stronger and gritted his teeth so hard in his resistance that his jaw cramped. It was like a red haze slipped over his eyes and his vision became focused on Marius as a growl rumbled in his throat. He lunged forward, the chains bringing him up short.
“It’s okay, Aeron.” Marius said calmly and Aeron leaned forward so his arms were pulled back, but his face was closer. He growled again, teeth bared. Marius’s scent stirred up lust and he pulled with all his strength against the chains. “Stop or you’ll dislocate your shoulders.” Marius said as he read the turmoil in Aeron’s mind. Thoughts of domination mingled with memories of passion, making Aeron hungry.
Aeron kept pulling and Marius couldn’t just sit there and let him do something that painful to himself. He let him go, ready to contain him. Marius was scared too, scared he might accidentally hurt the love of his life trying to control him. He also worried about what memories of this would do to Aeron. He had done so much healing, he was living such a happy life now. Marius didn’t want him getting depressed. Aeron kept trying to strip Marius but he was keeping him at bay, not wanting them to do that like this. They had had sex many times before but Marius would only do that now if it was the only peaceful means of keeping him contained.
Aeron, though generally weaker, managed to slam him onto his back and Marius quickly threw him over his head and jumped on him, quickly flipping him over and pinning his wrists down. “Breathe, my love.” Aeron growled and struggled, managing to pitch him off. “Aeron, no.” He commanded as he brought up a barrier that his mate bounced off of. He got up, glancing down at his torn shirt. He was amazed at how much stronger Aeron was, especially when he was the more docile of the two of them. Marius could not wait to find the man who had done this. No doubt he was hoping Aeron would kill him for his interference in whatever business he ran.
Aeron clutched his head in agony, blinking and bringing Marius into focus. “Ma…Marius?” The jolt of hitting the barrier brought him a moment of clarity.
“It’s okay, Aeron, I’m right here.” Marius crossed over to him, gently sweeping hair away from his face. His scent hit Aeron’s nose and he shoved Marius away.
“No, just stay away.” He could feel it coming back and he backed away until he hit a wall.
“Aeron, it’s okay.”
“No!” He clenched his fists. “I don’t want to hurt you.” Pain shot through his skull and he tried to stay put, but he had no control.
A swirl of anger and sadness raged inside of Marius again as he watched the man that meant everything to him suffer. When Aeron was finally back to normal Marius just sat there and held him for awhile, comforting Aeron as best he could. “I’m fine Aeron” he soothed until Aeron was calm “I want to go with you to track down who did this”
“They might come and try to hurt my brother. You’d be helping by staying here to protect him.”
“what if they use that powder again?”
“I’m going to protect the house so they can’t get in. You and my brother will be locked safely inside”
“If Genya will be safe inside you don’t need me to stay”
“Please, I want it as a precaution”
“But I can help, I won’t get in your way.”
Marius could hear how upset he was and could see all the worst case scenarios running through Aeron’s head. He gently stroked fingers through his hair. “I know love, but your body and mind have been through quite a bit, you need rest. I know you’re strong, but please stay for me.”
“What if you get hurt?”
“Then I will come home and you can treat my wounds.” He kissed his temple then stood. “Watch over my brother and our home and when I get back we’ll spend a few days here at the lighthouse.”
He took his spells off of the lighthouse so Aeron could leave then began the next one, the ones that would protect his mate and his brother while he took care of the swine that hurt Aeron. He had gotten well acquainted with the foreign scent while he had been sitting with Aeron, waiting for him to come down off the powder. “there, go in and explain to my brother what is going on. Make sure he knows not to leave, especially not without you at his side. When he’s informed please go to our room and get at least a few hours sleep. Even if adrenaline is keeping you from feeling how tired you are you need it, your body is exhausted Aeron”
“I will Marius” Marius kissed him one more time “I love you more than you could ever know Aeron”
“I love you too” Marius took off and Aeron did as he was told. Genya surprised Aeron with his seemingly almost not existent worry “My brother can handle this. Trust him”
“You seem to have absolute faith everything will be okay?”
“My brother is not only incredibly ancient, he is incredibly powerful. He was powerful before he got this old and us demons only get better with age. Not to mention they hurt you, they should have known how mad with rage that would make him.”
“Will he really be okay without me there?”
“Of course, if anything he can act freely. He’s not a fan of showing you the darker side of him.”
“I’m not scared of it, it’s not like he’d hurt me.” He sighed. “I wish he wouldn’t worry.”
Genya smiled. “It’s good that you shake his confidence. He may not show it with how serious he can be, but the way you see him is important to him.” Genya patted his back. “Let me make you something to eat and then you can nap, Marius will be worried if you don’t.”
Marius used Aeron’s stone to open a door exactly where he had been attacked. He inhaled, catching that scent still lingering. This place had not been disturbed by man or nature so he easily found his prey. He let his consciousness expand out, taking in the thoughts of those around him. With scent and memories, he would find the culprit. He needed to interrogate him, to figure out who had sent him and why. The scent became duller as it mingled with those of the other pedestrians, but his nose stayed on track.
Genya and Aeron ate together then Aeron went to the room he shared with Marius and laid down. At first he wasn’t sure how he was expected to sleep but it soon hit him like an eighteen wheel truck. He couldn’t believe how tired he actually was. He didn’t have much time to think about it however, he passed out, falling into a deep sleep. Genya decided to sculpt to keep his mind occupied until his brother was back.
Marius’s pace hastened when the scent grew strong again and he was in a full sprint when the memories hit him of Aeron. He tackled the demon hard, so they both skid across the pavement. The demon just laughed “you got my masters message” Marius gripped his throat, he was in no mood for his petulant laughter. “who sent you”
The demon struggled to talk but Marius’s grip was too tight. Realizing this Marius released just enough for him to speak. “He wants to see you. If you let me up I’ll take you”
Marius growled, eyes shifting to black as he released the little worm. The demon stood and dusted himself off. “I’m surprised you’re alive.”
“And you won’t be for long if you don’t walk.”
The demon rubbed his throat and turned. Marius kept all of his senses open, listening for anyone who might try sneaking up on him. “That mate of yours must be weak.”
“We will not speak of him or I might break your neck. It’s not like I need you, the directions are clear in your mind.”
“Yet I live.”
“Resist me and that will change.”
“why do I live if you have no need of me?”
“I don’t kill unnecessarily”
“a very long time. I am done with your questions” He ventured testing him and asking another question. Mariu killed him on the spot, apologizing to Aeron despite the fact Aeron couldn’t hear him. Marius went the path he had seen in the demons head and was not surprised by who he found “You again?” Marius said abhorrently. “Is that any way to greet family?”
“You are not my family”
“we are blood bound are we not?”
“Blood means nothing”
“it means everything”
“What is it that you want from me, Cacus?”
“Is that any way to speak to your uncle? Sit and talk.”
“You are no family of mine, you do nothing but cause trouble. I should have known all of the problems I had been fixing were because of you. Every time I changed a life, another was suddenly in trouble. You’re a loan shark, a thug, a monster to people who can barely afford to eat. You’ve been terrorizing a world, using your minions to do the dirty work while you sit on your throne of pain and suffering.”
“Reading my mind? How rude.” There was a sudden blankness between them that sent a sharp pain through Marius’s head, but he didn’t flinch. “Do not think to toy with me boy. I will find that blue haired little murderer and give him to my men.”
“You will not touch him again, he belongs to me and no one else. I will kill you like I killed that lackey of yours, the one who dared to poison my beloved. I am proud to be a thorn in your side, I believe my parents would be proud. Father never liked you, too much of a bad influence, a monster he said.”
“He was weak and he made weak children.”
“I am only going to warn you once, stay away from my mate, my brother, my world and I will not kill you, but dare to even look at them and I will make you regret ever being born.”
His Uncle Cacus laughed, not feeling threatened in the slightest. He was the older, crueler and more experienced demon here. Marius had gone soft, had fallen in love so Cacus felt sure he could easily destroy his brothers offspring. “are you done?” Marius asked. Cacus stood “No, I’m not you pathetic little demon. I have my own threat and you should heed it. Stop making deals or the next time your little boyfriend is out of your sight the next time you see him, if you do, he’ll be mangled and well played with by my men. My favorite thing to do is try to beat my own record of how many times I can break a single bone. I have a number count for each one in the body”
“Shall we play then uncle?” Marius asked, a humorless grin pulling at his lips. “Perhaps I should start.” He stood, his hand darting out and wrapping around Cacus’s throat. “Perhaps your neck, but not enough to kill you, only enough to leave you paralyzed and helpless.” He squeezed and his uncle tried knocking him away, but Marius stood firm and dragged him across the table and onto the ground. “You think to threaten what is mine? Do you know what I could do to you? Do you know I could lock your soul away for all eternity? I’d put it in a bottle a keep it on a shelf where I could threaten you daily with banishment. I know the reaper you know, he wouldn’t mind.” He growled, eyes black pools of malice as he broke his uncle’s right arm. He let out a strangled cry of pain. “Not exactly satisfying, maybe I should cut you open and hang your intestines from the rafters.” He saw a flicker of fear in his uncle’s eyes. “The only blood that matters is the blood of my brother and the blood that runs through the veins of my mate, you are nothing but a disgusting little insect that my father should have ended.” He released his uncle and stood. “Do not test me again, Cacus, or I will paint this room with your blood.”
Cacus coughed. “Does he know…does that mate of yours know how monstrous you are?”
“He has known greater darkness than the beast that lives in me. Touch him or my brother and die, it’s that simple. I won’t even weep at your passing.” He looked down at him then held out his hand, casting a curse on him. “Every time you step out of line, a bone will break, have fun keeping count.” He straightened his shirt and pushed his hair out of his face. “I must get home now, I promised my mate some time alone, see to it that I never hear your name.”
HIs Uncle glared but did nothing as Marius walked out. He knew how excruciatingly painful it was when bones broke, it was why he favored doing it to others so much. He silently vowed to himself he was going to study and work on his magic until he could lift the curse and go after his nephew and his little family. Marius would regret not backing down and he would regret even more so laying a curse on him.
When Marius got home Aeron couldn’t get into his arms quick enough “You’re awake?” Marius said with concern and just a hint of reprimand “I slept a short while”
“Lets get you resting more” Marius said as he lifted his mate. Aeron smiled and laid his head on Marius’s shoulder. “did you take care of whoever was threatening you?”
“yes, if he’s wise he won’t bother us again” They settled into bed again and Marius asked “are we still going to the lighthouse?”
“Of course, I just want you to rest here in our bed a while longer”
“You should have taken me with you, I was worried.” Aeron snuggled close, his head resting on Marius’s chest.
“And what would you have done?”
He shrugged. “You know, glare at them or something.”
Marius chuckled as he let his fingers move gently up and down Aeron’s arm. “Your thoughts are incredibly amusing at times. I can see you now, hands on hips, staring down another demon, looking far too adorable to be intimidating.”
“I can be scary when I have to be.”
“Oh yes, as terrifying as a fluffy kitten.”
Aeron bit him and Marius laughed. “You’re lucky I’m tired, Marius or I’d show you.”
“Then recover quickly, I’d love to see how terrifying you can be.”
They laid their in silence for a bit then Aeron asked. “Who was it?”
“My uncle. Apparently we’ve been cutting into his business.”
“Did you kill him?”
“No, but I was tempted. Anytime it comes to you, I want to rip the heart out of the person who hurt you. I think you’ve turned me into a monster. Next I’ll be sprouting horns.”
Aeron let out a breathy laugh. “You’d look cute with horns.” He yawned and Marius kissed the top of his head.
“Rest now, you need it.”
Having Marius home and safe Aeron was easily able to drift back to sleep. Over the next weeks the two didn’t worry about deals. They just enjoyed eachother, spending nights in the lighthouse, making love in various places, going between being wild and passionate to sweet and loving. To both Marius and Aeron the other was their world and this time off had been very much needed. Not because they needed a reminder of how deep their love was, they both knew that well. They needed it because they knew their love was unlike any other and the two deserved a little time off to express it to one another.
~ The End