It had been a month since the first time, and Dan was due for a second visit. Lucifer had felt a buzz of expectation all day. He tried not to let it show, especially in front of Chloe, but it was hard to contain his good mood. As soon as their suspect was in cuffs, she pulled him aside.
"Lucifer, how about you take off early and I'll sort out the paperwork and everything."
"That's very generous of you, Detective. Is this my reward for that thing I did with my tongue this morning?"
She didn’t quite manage to keep a straight face. "Indirectly, yes. You've been bouncing all day. It's gorgeous, but it's distracting, especially as you're not mine tonight. So you can go home, and get ready whatever you need to get ready, and I'll come find you afterwards."
"I'm always yours, my love. Even when you're not there."
That earned him a proper smile. "It's good of you to say so. And I know that it's mostly true, but I'm coming around to the idea that there are parts of you that need a bit extra. So you go and play, and do what you need to do, and when it's over, I'll be waiting."
He wanted to stroke her face and kiss her, but she'd made specific rules about what was and was not acceptable at work. So he gave her hand s brief squeeze instead. "You're too good."
"I know. My soul is literally as light as a feather. But you have some wickedness to indulge in, so be a good Devil and make the most of it. Trixie's staying with a friend, and you can spend all of tomorrow tempting me."
"Mmm. I look forward to it." He grinned wider than he had all day. That was why she knew she didn't need to worry. She knew she was still his everything.
Lucifer had spent the last four weeks deciding what he was going to do next. He had considered flagellation, but it seemed a bit early days for something which might have certain sexual or BDSM connotations. He had decided against restraints for the same reason. Blades and sharp objects were out, because he'd promised no more scars, and while he knew he could do it without leaving permanent damage, he also knew Dan would keep wanting more, and if he looked up at him with that hunger in his eyes, there would be a strong temptation to cut just a bit deeper.
So he was playing it safe. What he had planned had taken a bit of preparation, but he was sure they would both enjoy it. If enjoy was the right word. When everything was ready, he sat at the bar and waited for Dan to arrive.
When the elevator pinged, something flipped over in his stomach. Dan walked out with a bag over his shoulder, holding the strap tightly with both hands.
“Hi,” he said, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.
“Hello,” Lucifer answered, and went to him, placing a hand on his arm. “It’s all right. You don’t need to be nervous. I promise I’ll look after you.”
“I know,” he smiled shyly. “I’m not nervous. Well, okay, I’m nervous, but I’m not scared. I trust you.”
“Good. Would you like a drink before we start? I wouldn’t recommend too much, or it’ll spoil what I have planned for you, but I think one should be safe, and you look like you could use a little help to relax.”
“Yeah thanks.” He dropped his bag at the end of the bar and followed Lucifer, who handed him a finger of whisky. He sipped it slowly, savouring the smooth taste on his tongue. “That’s good. Obviously. Feels warm in my belly.”
Lucifer smirked. “Hold onto that feeling. It’s about to get a lot cooler.”
"You refused the ice last time, so this time I've brought in an abundance."
“Isn’t that a little…”
“Not the way I’m going to do it. Finish your drink and take your clothes off. You can keep your knickers on.”
Dan dutifully knocked back his whisky. “Knickers is underwear, right?” he asked, as he untied his shoelaces.
“Are you going to sit and watch?”
“I can turn around if you want me to. But after last month, and everything that’s happened in between, I hardly think we need to worry about little things like that.”
He took off his socks and threw them in a ball at Lucifer, who caught them with a smile, and then carefully removed his shirt. He’d gotten into that habit remarkable quickly.
“It’s healing over nicely,” Lucifer commented, inspecting the marks he’d left. The brand had reduced to delicate red lines, a bonfire over his heart.
“Yeah, it is now. I think I jumped back into training too early, though, I busted it open at the gym. Started bleeding through my clothes, which wasn’t fun. I’ve been taking it a bit easier since then.”
“You should be fine to go back to your normal routine now. Keep it moisturised, though.”
Dan wiggled out of his jeans and folded everything in a pile on the barstool, and then followed the Devil back out onto the balcony and around the corner to the hot tub.
It was almost empty. There was about six inches of water in the bottom, and there was ice floating around in it. Set up beside it was a table with large jugs- the kind you might have full of cocktails at a party, and, somewhat worryingly, an ear thermometer. A hose pipe was also draped over it, with a trigger spray on the end. And then there was the ice machine- a huge thing like the one behind the bar downstairs- fully hooked up. It hummed slightly, and there was the occasional clunk as new ice fell down.
“Same rules as last time,” Lucifer was saying. “No begging, no calling on deities. Use the safe words. I’ll be keeping an eye on your temperature, and I’ll get you out the second you start getting too cold, no arguments. Twenty minutes should be safe enough with supervision, your fitness levels might get you a bit more. You’re not staying in there all night.”
Dan was about to question, but then he remembered who he was talking to. This guy knew what he was doing. “Okay.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll make sure it’s a suitably intense experience. Get in. Take a seat.” He went to the table and started scooping more ice into the jugs, topping them up with the hose. When he looked back, Dan was kneeling in the water. “That’s an interesting interpretation of sitting.”
“I’m not- I mean I didn’t- I can move.” He started to rearrange himself, but Lucifer held up a hand.
“I thought no role-playing.”
“I’m not sure that’s what this is, though, is it?”
“I have noticed, you know. You try to keep it subtle, but I pay attention.”
“The little offerings. The coffees, the treats. And you always do exactly what I say. It didn’t click at first, it was all fairly innocuous requests, but this last week I’ve been seeing if I could get away with a bit more.”
“I don’t mind helping out.”
“There’s helping out, and then there’s being a reliable go-fer. Did you even notice you were doing it?”
The water was freezing. His toes were complaining, and the rest of his skin was trying to get his attention and tell him perhaps he ought to be somewhere a bit warmer. “I guess, I was just trying to be nice.”
“But you’re not nice. You don’t do things like that naturally, it takes thought and effort for you.” Lucifer bent down at the edge of the tub, and Dan looked up at him. “You can look away whenever you like, but I’m going to ask you. Why are you making such an effort, Daniel, what you do want from me?”
Dan lowered his gaze, breaking the spell, embarrassed by the answer that came floating to the surface. But the desire was true, and if he wanted it to be fulfilled then he needed to be honest. He looked up again. “I want you to be my master.”
“I don’t know if I’m in the market for a slave,” his voice had a hard edge to it, as if the idea offended him.
“No, not a slave. A willing servant. An acolyte. Kind of like you’re my sensei in one of those karate movies. I want to show you respect and honour, because you’ve done something- you’re doing something- that makes a difference to me.”
Lucifer rose and took off his socks and shoes. Without speaking, he picked up one of the jugs and stepped down onto a bench inside the tub, still dry but within reach. He poured the water very slowly, trickling down the back of Dan’s neck. He watched him shudder, watched his skin grow pink in a long line that ran down his back. The ice clattered and splashed into the water. Dan’s breathing grew a bit more pronounced, but apart from that he gave no sign what was going on in his body. It wouldn’t be too bad yet. It would get worse soon enough. Something in his chest fluttered.
“I understand. I was a king you know. I had many loyal subjects, snivelling around my feet for scraps, for some token or sign that they meant something to me. But they were faceless minions. They all blurred into each other, after a time.”
“Not all of them.”
“No, not all. Maze was stood out. There were a few others. What makes you think you’re special?”
“Don’t play games, Lucifer. You’re not in Hell anymore. We connected, and you know it.”
“And the name you want to put on that connection is Master, is it?” He dipped the jug into the water to refill it.
“You feel it. You can’t tell me you don’t feel it; you don’t lie.”
He dumped the icy water straight over his head this time, and Dan coughed and wiped his eyes.
“How’s that for a feeling?”
Dan grinned, rising up on his knees. “So you don’t deny it then?”
“What would you have me say? That I want your worship? That I love the thrill of you bowing down to me? That the idea of you choosing to serve me, in spite of the fact that you now know everything-” he cut himself off abruptly, his chest heaving, as he went back to pick up more vessels and poured them both over Dan’s shoulders at once.
Dan looked up and spoke with chattering teeth. “All I want is the truth.”
“The truth is, my dear Daniel, that I thought I’d escaped Hell, but there’s a piece of it inside me, and I don’t know if I can ever get rid of it. I don’t know if I want to get rid of it.”
“So don’t. Feel it. Embrace it. Learn from it.”
“You don’t know what you’re saying.”
“So tell me.”
“I tried that. With Eve. She wanted me to be the Devil I used to be, in the beginning. Things went wrong, they went very wrong indeed.”
“You mean when you put a guy in the hospital?”
“Yes. And the rest.”
“Look, from what I saw when you were with Eve- wait… Eve Eve?”
“Of course, Eve Eve. Catch up, Daniel.”
“Right. I’m not talking about going all out irresponsible party guy. I’m talking about a controlled situation, here and now, between two consenting adults. Or one consenting adult, and one consenting immortal being with more issues than I ever thought possible. Hurt me. I know you want to. You know I want it too. We can put a label on it later, or never, but I am freezing my balls off in here, and I want to know just how much you can make it hurt before my time runs out.”
There it was. That hunger in his eyes, that yearning for something only the Devil could give. It burned through all Lucifer’s objections and reservations. He picked up the thermometer, grabbed Dan tightly by the hair, and stuck it in his ear. Satisfied that they well within acceptable parameters he went back for the hose.
Twenty-six minutes later, Dan was shivering non-stop, and his skin was pale. He ached everywhere, apart from his extremities which had started to feel numb. Lucifer took his temperature again. “Ninety-six. I’m getting you out. No arguments.”
“Oh shit, thank fuck for that,” Dan agreed quickly, but his body didn’t seem to want to move. Lucifer took his hands and guided him out the tub.
“Careful,” he said as they walked inside, still holding one hand, the other behind Dan’s back. Two pairs of wet feet slapped on the polished floor. “It can get slippery in here.”
There was a pile of large towels and blankets on the end of the sofa, and he wrapped Dan up in one and used another to dry any parts that were sticking out.
“You’ll need to take off your underwear. Then we get you into some dry clothes.”
Dan fumbled at his waist under the towel for a moment and then swore. “I can’t feel my fingers. I may need some help.”
“It’s fine,” Lucifer assured him, his hands sliding under the waistband and tugging them away with efficiency and nothing else.
“And just for reference, I’m really cold.”
He chuckled as he rubbed him dry. “I’m hardly judging, Detective Douche. I won’t say anything at all about baby carrots.” He held up a pair of silk pajamas. “Put your feet in.” Dan leaned on the arm of the sofa and managed to raise one leg at a time without falling over. Lucifer helped him into a padded robe with red around the collar, and then sat him down to put on a pair of fluffy socks. He picked up one more towel, smaller than the others, and wrapped it around Dan’s head. Once that was done, he put a blanket around his shoulders and made him lie down, covering him another.
“That should be enough to get you warmed up fairly soon.”
Dan nuzzled down happily. “How do you know about this part? The other part I get, but this is actually almost as good.”
“The thing to remember is that torture is a lot more effective when the tormentee has hope. Keep poking hot irons in their eyes, and eventually they resign themselves to it. Give them a break once in a while, let them think there might be an end to it, and it’s all the more crushing when the pain starts again.”
Dan stared, his mouth ajar.
“Too much information? Am I frightening yet?”
“No, not that. Just… fuck Lucifer. What did they make you do?”
“Rule in Hell. Which should say it all really. But you humans don’t seem to be able to comprehend how terrible a place it is. I suppose if you did, things would be a lot less crowded down there."
"How do you even begin to deal with that shit, man? I mean, what? Thousands of years? More?"
"Much more. But we're fixing things so you never have to find out what that's like."
"Right. Or was there something else?"
"You know there is." Dan sat up a bit straighter. "Last time, it was about the guilt, but this-" He shook his head. "I don't know how to describe it without sounding like some kind of junkie. It was more than just a rush. You were magnificent. I feel completely wrung out. I'm still shaking. I thought maybe the second time wouldn't be the same, but it was. And you were there with me, I know you were."
Lucifer licked his lips. "I was."
Their eyes met, and something in Dan yielded, like his soul was bowing down. "I know a part of you is still resisting. Maybe it has to stay that way. But all you have to do is say the word, and I am yours."
"Daniel." He said the name fondly, placed a hand on his cheek. "I wish it were that simple. But this is one desire I cannot grant."
"Not now? Or not ever?"
Lucifer let go and looked away. "I don't think it would be kind to give you hope. Bearing in mind what I've already said on the subject."
"That's not an answer."
"It's the best I can do right now." He stood and went to refill his glass. He came back with a mug of hot tea as well. "But I won't have any objections if you keep bringing me coffee and donuts."
Dan sipped the warm drink and smiled to himself.
"So," Lucifer picked the last blanket up from the end of the couch and sat in its place. It was bright red and it had sleeves that he put his arms through. "I've got all the Bodybags films lined up. Let's see how many you get through before you fall asleep." He held up a fuzzy arm and beckoned Dan into it. "It's okay, I won't bite. That's against the rules, remember?"
"But snuggling up in front of a movie is okay?"
"You're still shivering and I'm in the warmest thing in this place. Come on, I promised the Detective I'd look after you."
"Fine. But can I curl my feet under your legs please because my toes are still numb."
"I suppose so, if you must."
The nightmares were still coming. There had been a week, not long after the branding, when Lucifer had thought they'd gone, but they came back.
When Dan started falling asleep in his arms in the sofa, Lucifer carried him to bed, still bundled in blankets. He took his temperature again, and it was going in the right direction, but it was still a touch low. So he called Chloe, checked in to make sure she didn't mind, and then crawled into bed with him. He didn't tell her what they'd done, and she didn't ask. "So long as you're both okay," was her only concern.
Dan was woken by the sounds of cursing, to find Lucifer tense and shaking in his sleep. "Ssshhhh!" he whispered. "Shh, it's just a dream."
Lucifer woke up and opened his eyes. They were red and fiery.
"It's just a dream. You'll be okay."
He was breathing raggedly, staring at the ceiling.
Dan took his hand and squeezed it. "Hey, remember that time you had me pretending to be you? I sucked at it. I asked some guy what he desired, and he thought I was coming onto him. We worked pretty well together then."
"You ran off half cocked as I recall," Lucifer said. His voice was soft, and trembled a little. "I had to come rescue you."
"I was being you. Maybe I got carried away."
He chuckled weakly. "Except I don't need rescuing. Not usually, anyway." His face grew troubled again.
"No. Because it turns out you actually are immortal, and all those times we thought you were running off to get yourself killed you would have been fine."
He sighed. "I would have been if she hadn't come after me. I'm only vulnerable when she's around."
"What, like literally?"
Lucifer laughed. "That's a very apt phrase."
"I didn't mean it like that."
"I like it all the same. Thank you."
"For swearing at you?"
"For talking me down. Getting me thinking about something other than the nightmares."
"This happened last time too. It's not because of what we did, is it? Because if so, we stop. Right now."
"You'd do that for me? Give it all up?"
"I don't want to do something that hurts you. You might be physically invulnerable but there's other ways to harm you. I don't like the idea of that."
"You used to. What changed?"
"Me. My perspective. I mean, I thought you were just some rich guy who pretended he was the Devil to mess people with and get laid. That you didn't care about the people around you. I thought you were just using Chloe."
"I know. I see that now. I mean, I still think you can be a dick sometimes, but I know that you're not always doing it on purpose. There's other stuff going on and I don't understand half of it. And I guess maybe half the time, you just don't quite get humans."
"I understand more than I used to. I am supremely intelligent and I'm spending a great deal of time with your lot."
"See that's it. 'Supremely intelligent.' That's the kind of comment that used to make me furious. Like you're setting yourself above everybody else. But now I know that you're just stating a fact."
"I did try to tell everyone I was telling the truth. Not my fault you didn't believe me."
"I know. I'm sorry I didn't get it. I mean, if we had believed you, maybe things would have turned out differently…"
"No, Daniel, don't do that. Don't find another thing to get guilty about it, it's not your fault. There's only one person to blame, and I can personally assure you that he's getting exactly what he deserves."
He said it so harshly, so certainly, that Dan looked at him and knew it was true. "Good to know."
"And I'm sure Charlotte is having a wonderful time up in Boring City. Probably learning to play the harp or some such."
Dan chuckled. "Seriously? Do they even have harps there?"
"Wouldn't know, haven't been there in eons."
"I'm sorry, man, I didn't think."
"It's fine. Not like I want to be there anyway. And going back to your original question, no, the nightmares have nothing to do with us. I’ve been having them since I got back. Not every night, and some worse than others. To be honest, this was one of the minor ones.”
“Shit. What do the bad ones look like?”
“They come with claws and wings. Sometimes it’s hard to change back.”
“Like, literal wings?”
“What do they look like?”
Lucifer eyed him sideways, a hint of crimson glow around the pupils.
“Sorry. I guess that’s a personal question.”
“We should go back to sleep. I’ve got a busy day planned tomorrow.”
“Really? Anything fun?”
“My girlfriend’s coming over. I plan to shag her rotten. All day.”
“In a heartbeat. Not that I’d tread on your toes,” he added hastily. “I had my chance and I blew it. But she’ll always be something special.”
“For once, I completely agree. How are you feeling? All warmed up?”
“Yeah. I’m good.”
“So you don’t need to leech off my body heat anymore?”
“Well, you know. Maybe I’m a little chilly. We could probably curl up again, you know, just to be sure.”
“Good idea. I’d be in a lot of trouble if I let you catch hypothermia.”
“Right.” Dan lifted his head and Lucifer placed an arm under it. He snuggled into a surprisingly comfortable shoulder.
“You were good tonight,” Lucifer said softly. “You made me feel so powerful. I may have balked at the idea of being your master, but you were right when you said I felt something. I don’t know what the right name for it is, but it’s real.” He manifested a single claw, and let it graze over Dan’s back, enough to scrape the skin without drawing blood.
Dan inhaled slowly, and let out the air with a soft whine. “Amber,” he said, almost inaudibly.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”
“No, it’s not that. I like it, and I like the snuggles, but can we keep them seperate? Otherwise, well… let’s just say it could get confusing.”
“Did I just turn you on?”
“Do you even need to ask? I thought you could sense that kind of thing.”
“Humour me. You give me so many signals it’s hard to interpret them all.”
“Okay, yeah, just a little. But it’s nothing, really, can we just pretend it didn’t happen?”
“I think this is the kind of thing I’m supposed to report back to Chloe.”
“Right. Fine. But make sure you also tell her that I told you to stop at the first hint of it, and we aren’t going to do anything like that again.”
“You could write it up in a statement, if you like.”
“No. No, I don’t think so. Can we just go back to sleep?”
“Of course Daniel.”
Dan makes a friend.
Dan checked his tie one last time before he got out of the car. He was not looking forward to today. Giving testimony in court was never fun, but today he had to explain how a man had killed his own son out of prejudice and fear. A son who had chosen Lucifer over God.
As he walked up to the courthouse he saw a familiar face. The victim's friend and another Satanist who simply didn't look the part, except for the pentagrams tattooed on his wrists. He was sitting half way up the steps, gazing up at the sky, his elbows on his knees.
"Still praying?" Dan asked him. "Any answers?"
"Oh, good," his voice dripped with sarcasm. "Detective Dick."
Dan chuckled. "That's different at least. I guess I earned it though. Look man, I'm gonna do you a solid and tell you that you really don't want to hang out here. The press are all over this case, and if they find out you're involved they'll have a field day. Why don't you come inside?"
"Why do you even care?"
"Because I messed up. I know I said some stuff to you that was out of line, and I know now that I was wrong about so many things. I misjudged you, and you have a right to have your beliefs respected, and I'm sorry. But please, David, come inside. Because if the reporters find out who you are, they are going to expose you and fuck up your entire life."
He gave Dan a hard stare but at least he got up. They headed into the building together. There was still an hour before the trial, so they looked for a quiet corner to wait. They found a couple of chairs in an empty corridor and sat down.
"So, are you here to testify too?" Dan asked.
"I'm here for Martin." The victim. "I figure there should be at least one person here who cared for him."
"Shit, man I'm sorry."
"We were all he had, you know? It was bad enough when his family disowned him. We looked after him, helped him through. But then when his Dad found out about our religion…"
"I know. It shouldn't have happened. I promise, he won't get to do it to anyone else."
"Will he suffer? In prison?"
"Guy who kills his own kid? Yeah. It's going to be pretty bad for him."
"But we both know that's not the worst he'll have to face, right?"
David looked up at him. "What do you mean?"
"I mean… when he dies. If you believe in the Devil, you gotta believe in Hell. I don't know if they're gonna pop out his eyeballs, or take his skin off, or just make him relive his guilt on an endless loop, but he'll get what he deserves."
"You pretty much thought I was crazy before, but now you talk like you believe it's all true."
"Let's just say I had a revelation. And right now, I'm siding with your guy."
"You mean the Devil."
"Yeah. Satan. Lucifer." He hadn't seen him this morning. As he spoke the name, he felt an absence and wished he were there with him. Although, given the case, perhaps not. He might fall back into old habits and the guy could lose his eyeballs ahead of schedule. He smiled at the thought.
"I dunno. Maybe I'm starting to find a kind of religion of my own."
"You thinking about becoming a Satanist after all?
"Not in the traditional sense, but yeah. I think I am."
"Hey, none of us are exactly traditional. If you want, you could come along to one of our meetings, see what it's all about."
"Actually…" he was going to say no, that wasn't what he meant, but something tugged in his chest. His hand went to the brand, hidden under his clothes. He had spoken the truth when he said he wanted Lucifer to be his master. Bringing him coffee wasn't enough. Maybe these guys could help him understand a bit more, or they could learn from each other. "I think I'd like that."
The father still remained adamant about his not-guilty plea but the evidence and a last-minute testimony from Martin's mother were enough to put him away for a long time. His alibi proved too vague and there had been traces of blood on a pair of his shoes. Dan wished they could have learned the name of his accomplice, but he wasn't giving it up. The guy still believed that he'd done the right thing.
Dan took David out afterwards and made sure they both got really drunk. Something told him LUX was a bad idea, so they went to a bar that David knew well. They talked about Hell and Lucifer and they both had a lot to say. David ranted about religious prejudice and the fact that he had to keep his beliefs mostly hidden. Dan ranted about the failures in the justice system and how he wished there was more he could do.
"I mean, justice is all well and good, but there are times in job where I just want vengeance. Pure, simple vengeance. With hot pokers and shit."
David laughed. "Do you think Satan really uses hot pokers?"
"Only if you ask him nicely," he slurred.
"Oh, that's a whole different kind of Satanism."
"Yes. Yes it is. But it's one that's very appealing at times. The Devil… is very handsome. Or so they say."
"Hang on. You can't do that. You can't make the Devil into a sexual fetish- that's not cool."
"No! Not sexually. Very much avoiding anything sexual."
"But he's handsome?"
"Yes. And dating my ex-wife, so nothing sexy going on."
"Are we still talking about the same thing?"
"Maybe. I'm too drunk and I'm losing track. Maybe we should head outside and get some air."
"Yes! Air and nicotine!"
They stumbled out and David lit a cigarette as they made their way along the sidewalk. "So. Your place or mine?"
"I don't know where you live, but mine's a few blocks that way. Wanna come up for a bit?"
"Is there coffee?"
"Yes. And also more beer."
"Do we need more beer? I think I already had all the beer."
"You're right. We should do shots."
"Nnnoooo!!!! Seriously? I can't do shots. I have work tomorrow."
David put a hand on his shoulder and weaved sideways. Before Dan knew what was happening, he was pushed up against a wall.
"Okay, no shots. But can I suck your cock instead?"
"I- I… What?"
"Look, I know you've been giving off totally straight vibes all day, but you are really drunk and really hot and I figure there's no harm in asking."
"Um… I'm not…"
David shook his head. "No, don't start going all embarrassed on me. Sexual repression and puritanical bullshit is for the God squad. We're Satanists. What would Lucifer do?"
Dan smirked. "Lucifer would give you the best night of your life. I don't know if I'm up to that. Too much beer."
"So coffee and then blow job?"
The smell of smoke reminded him of Lucifer. "How about we start with coffee and I'll re-evaluate my sexual orientation along the way."
David let him go. "I'll take that."
They started walking. "So, no orgies but random sex with some guy you barely know is okay?" Dan asked.
"Isn't that like… using people?"
"Not necessarily. Not if you both talk about what you want from it, and show each other respect."
"Can I make a confession?"
"The last person I had sex with was a co-worker. A friend. I feel like I took advantage of her, and it got weird."
"I bet you just jumped each other in a moment of passion and neither of you had a clue what it meant."
"There's too many taboos around sex in our culture. People are free to do it, but not so free to talk about it, and then they do shit like that and it fucks them up. So here's what I want from you. I like you and I'd be interested to see what you can add to our circle. I don't want to do anything if it will change your mind about joining us. But like I said, you're a sexy guy, and I also think we could both enjoy a bit of mutual pleasure. We'll still be friends, nothing more, but if we both decide we like it, then we can talk about whether to do it again, no strings."
"That sounds… honest. Reminds me of someone."
"Someone has the right idea."
"Well in the spirit of honesty, I have never thought about doing anything like that with a guy before. Mostly."
"Okay, so there's this one guy, but he's with my ex now, and it's serious, and they totally belong together. And it's not even like I have a crush on him or anything, he's just kinda magnetic, you know? And we're close, and it's kinda intense, but not in a sexual way, except that one time, when he touched me, it was… confusing."
"Fuck man, that's messed up."
"You don't know the half of it. Anyway, the point is, I'm historically straight, and I don't know how I'm gonna react to being in that kind of situation. But…"
"But what? Full disclosure."
"Apart from that one time I mentioned, I've been through too long a dry spell, and I would really like to get my cock sucked."
"See, that wasn't so hard, was it?"
"I guess not."
David came to a halt. "This is me. Am I right in thinking you'll stay for a while?"
"Yeah. Coffee, right?"
"Sure. Coffee first."
It was a small apartment. Dan watched while David put the machine on, looking at him with a fresh eye. He was younger, late twenties, maybe- but old enough to know what he wanted. He had a slender frame, but the way he had shoved Dan against the wall suggested he wasn't as weak as he looked. His hair was cut short, and Dan imagined it would feel soft and velvety if he ran his fingers over it. From that thought, it wasn't too much of a jump to picture him on his knees.
"Am I s'posed to return the favour?" Dan asked as he took the mug and sat down on the couch.
"No. I mean, if you want to, I certainly won't object. But I get that the idea is strange, and if you're not ready to handle someone else's junk, that's cool. Would you be comfortable if I jerked off while I had you in my mouth?"
Dan took a sip of his drink. Once he'd gotten over the bluntness of the question, he considered it. "Honestly, I don't know."
"That's not required either. If you just want to sit back and let me do you, I'd enjoy that too."
"Because I believe in the freedom of pleasure. No guilt, no expectations, just a time to feel good about ourselves and each other. Your pleasure is my pleasure."
"And after I've gone, will you think about it, and… you know."
"Absolutely. That's part of the appeal."
He gulped another mouthful of coffee, turning things over in his mind. "Do we make out first?"
"Normally, I'd be fine with that, but I think it might make things weird for you. So I might just undo your pants and get my face down there."
"Is that a yes?"
Dan put his mug down on the table beside him. "Yes. Please."
Dan declined David's offer to stay and called himself a taxi. It was weird enough that he occasionally spent the night in the arms of one man; he didn't feel ready to do it with someone else. Plus, as much as he enjoyed David's company (and let's be honest, the things he did with his mouth) he wasn't Lucifer. What he had with Lucifer was something profound and unique, and he didn't want to cheapen it by sharing a bed with someone he barely knew.
When he woke up the next morning with a terrible hangover and got as far as the What the fuck did I do last night? moment, he felt a crushing weight of guilt nonetheless. He felt like he had taken advantage of the guy, or maybe it was the other way around. But random sex was never a good idea, right?
As if on cue, his phone buzzed beside the bed. I know you're probably having some kind of crisis right now, possibly about your sexual identity. Don't. Remember- WWLD?
Dan let out a half laugh. Thanks man. Needed to hear that. And thanks for last night, it was good.
David responded with a wink and a devil emoji, and told him not to forget the meeting later that evening. Dan stretched and got ready for work.
He was congratulating himself on making it as far his desk without losing the few bites of breakfast he'd managed when Lucifer strolled over.
"Morning Daniel! What, no coffee today?"
"Shit. I knew I'd forgotten something. I'll head back out." He rubbed his eyes and picked up his keys.
Lucifer pushed him back into his chair with one finger. "You don't look well. Bad night?"
Dan did his best to keep a straight face, but the left corner of his mouth snuck upwards in a flagrant act of betrayal.
"Good night?" The Devil smirked. "Yes, I'm very familiar with that look. Hungover but smugly satisfied. Daniel, did you pull?"
"Did I what now?"
"Pull. Get lucky. Do the horizontal tango- or possibly the vertical one?"
"Tell you what, I'll go and fetch the coffee and you can share the gory details when I get back. Maybe not too much detail, but just the basics." He strode off before Dan could say no.
Dan spent half an hour catching up on emails before Lucifer came back. He went straight to Chloe's desk, passed her a large cardboard cup and returned to Dan. The coffee smelled delicious, and there was a box of fresh donuts too. Dan reached for a cup eagerly.
"Ah-ah-ah!" Lucifer chided, holding it out of his reach. "First I need a name. Who was the lucky lady?"
"Oh come on, do we have to?"
"Do you want me to be your master or not? Now be a good little Douche and do what the Devil tells you. Spill."
"Okay, but not here, all right?"
"Follow me." Lucifer stood and led the way. "Good boy. Heel." He pushed open the door to the lab with his backside. Mercifully Ella was nowhere to be seen. "Name."
Dan hesitated. He really needed that coffee, but Lucifer wasn't going to let him off lightly with this one. He thought about the inevitable comments and jokes he'd get for at least a week, and found the idea of Lucifer teasing him more appealing than expected. He cleared his throat.
Lucifer's answering grin was full of immaculately shining teeth. He handed over the coffee. "Really? Branching out are we?"
"I was drunk and he made a very tempting proposal."
"Daniel, I'm impressed. So how was it? Did you make a fool of yourself or put on a good show?"
"I am the Devil, even if I've retired from Hell."
"But no, we didn't exactly have sex."
"So, you just jerked each other off? Frotting? It's terribly underrated, you know." He watched Dan's face go through a series of embarrassed contortions as he continued to list possibilities. "Those abs of yours must be excellent for dry humping. Sixty-nine? Oh yes, getting warmer. Blow job. Judging by your smug but ruddy complexion, you were on the receiving end."
"How do you do that?"
"Millenia of experience. I'm right then?"
"Yes, you're right."
"And you didn't reciprocate? Bad form, Daniel."
"He expressly said he didn't mind. Also, he took care of himself while he um… was down there." Dan almost burned his tongue in an attempt to hide behind his coffee cup. He was sure that this was just another way for Lucifer to torture him, but it was a bonus to their monthly schedule and he had no objections.
"He sounds very generous."
"He was," Dan smiled. "And he was so cool about the whole thing. Like, honest and straightforward. Doing his best to make sure I was comfortable with it."
"Sounds like you rather like him," Lucifer noted, opening the box of donuts.
"I think we're friends. With optional benefits. That's about all I can commit to right now anyway." He eyed the sugar coated rings hungrily.
Lucifer held one up. "This will be your reward if you answer a Question. You know the sort. Do I have your consent?"
Dan nodded quietly.
"Do you want to do it again? With David?"
Dan met his eyes and was transfixed by their dark depths. The question burrowed into his subconscious and sought out the answer. He let it in willingly, let Lucifer's power wash over him like a caress, holding on as long as could before he inevitably surrendered. "Yes," he breathed. "I want the chance to return the favour. I want to know if I can."
Lucifer smiled. "Well done, my little apprentice. Here," he offered a donut and Dan took it, his hangover strangely dissipating. "Eat that and take mental note, and I'll give you a few pointers."
Dan squirmed. If it had been anyone else having this conversation with him, he would have bugged out already, but who passes on sex advice from the greatest lover in history? So he ate his donut, and made mental notes, and endured the discomfort, or possibly relished it a little.
Our boys indulge in another round. Dan makes a proposal.
At their next monthly meeting, Lucifer made use of a selection of acupuncture needles. He carefully explained that just as they could be used to align the natural flow of the body's energy and help bring relief to a receptive soul, if used in another way they could interrupt that flow and do the exact opposite. He proceeded to prove that fact by inserting them at various points in Dan's scalp, hands and feet, with a delicate touch that gave the most delicious light pricks. But that was mere foreplay compared to the phantom pains that began to shoot through his back and then down his thighs.
Lucifer watched him doubling over and groaning and asked for permission to restrain him before he did himself a more serious injury. He nodded, and leather straps bound his chest to the wooden chair, and his arms, palms up and full of needles, were secured to the armrests. Lucifer bound his ankles together and placed them in a foot stool, and then spent another forty-five minutes rearranging and wiggling the needles.
It was forty-five minutes of exquisite agony.
Lucifer drank in his thirst for pain, devoured his cries and his contorted expressions, and embraced the darkness within. Pain was a part of him. Pain was what the Devil served and what he ate. Pain had been forced on him from the moment he fell, a constant companion that followed him wherever he went. From the lake of fire, to the many battles he'd fought to keep his throne, to cutting off his wings. And then the heartache of finding Chloe only to lose her…
One would think after so much torment, one would become immune to it, but no. He had fought and kicked back against it every step of the way until that final blow when he had accepted his fate. When he'd gone back. And everything about those final years of his reign had felt so wrong and so right, and the inner conflict hurt him in new and unexpected ways.
But right here, right now, with a willing servant, he had peace. He could embrace the pain and the power, the thrill and the release, and everything that he was could be satisfied.
He noticed Dan grow weaker. A living body couldn't take as much as an incorporeal soul. So he drew out one final scream and then carefully brought his energy back where it should be, slightly better aligned than when he'd arrived, and then removed the needles one by one.
He gave him water and untied him, and then carried him to bed. When he went to move away, Dan held on tightly.
"Stay," he pleaded. "I know it sounds dumb, but I really want to just hold you. Or maybe be held by you."
"I'm not going anywhere," Lucifer assured him. "Not after that. I was just going to grab a drink, but I can stay if that's what you wish."
Dan nodded and Lucifer lay on the bed beside him, both fully clothed. Dan leaned into his chest, and rested in the Devil's arms.
"Just to reiterate, now that you've acknowledged you're not completely straight, sex is still off the menu."
"I know. That's not why I'm here."
"Then why are you here? Apart from the fact that you're a masochist?"
"I don't know. I still don't understand what this even is, but I know I need it, and you need it, and I just want to bask in your glory for a while."
"Careful. Don't want you turning into a Satanist unexpectedly."
"Would that be so bad?"
"Considering half of them don't even believe I exist, probably so."
Dan could feel a button under his thumb, though it was hidden under an extra layer of fabric. He wondered about the sartorial need to make shirts that kept their buttons secret, but it most likely just came down to a desire for smooth lines. "What about my own special, unique brand of Satanism?"
Lucifer's arms tightened almost imperceptibly. "And what would that involve, precisely?"
"More of this. And more of those small offerings in the form of foodstuffs."
"How is that different to where we are now?"
"I know you've been teasing me about the master thing, but I would give you my eternal devotion."
"You have no concept of what eternal truly means."
"No, I don't. But you do. You're immortal, and powerful, and I cannot even begin to imagine who you really are or where you come from. I spent so long thinking the worst of you, but then when I found out it was all true, and Chloe brought you back…"
Lucifer smirked. "You still kept avoiding me until you showed up drunk."
"And you took care of me. In spite of the way I'd treated you. And I realised Chloe was right, you are a good person, or at least, not as bad or crazy as I thought."
"You were infuriatingly dense on the subject. But don't think that serving me now will gain you any special treatment in the afterlife."
Dan raised his head to look at him. "Is that what you think? That I'm trying to win your favour?" He shook his head. "Lucifer, I want you because you make me feel things… fuck. That's not right." He licked his lips. "Honestly- and I say this because I know honesty is your thing- I love you." He felt Lucifer's grip loosen, watched his face draw back, frowning. "Not like that. I'm not in love with you. I just love you. Like… well, not like I've ever loved anyone else. It's new, and different, and weird," his eyebrows went up, "but it's strong, and so real. It started when you marked me, but it keeps growing. And I think maybe I just want to worship you." He looked away, abashed at his own boldness. "That's weird, isn't it?"
Lucifer pulled him close and stroked his hair. "No. For some reason, from you, I don't think I would object. And I've been considering what you said last time. But a part of me still wonders… why me?"
"I cannot, for the life of me, even guess why you would have to ask that."
"Well, you know when I told you I hate myself?"
"Vividly. You said I was useless."
"Well, you were, but the point is, it never fully went away."
"That wasn't supposed to be funny."
"No, it's just tact is not even a thing on your radar is it?"
"Tact is just not saying true stuff. I heard that somewhere. Can't remember where."
"Daniel, I'm baring my soul to you here." Lucifer sounded slightly offended.
"You are. You're also completely self-absorbed, you don't think about the consequences of your actions, you have no regard for the law, and yet somehow you always seem to end up doing the right thing when it matters most."
"I have a very strong sense of morality. It's just not the same as yours," he said defensively.
"Actually, I think yours is better. I believed in the law, but I cheated it for my own self interest. When you break the law, you do it spectacularly, and because you know that you're doing it for a good reason."
"There's some laws I break out of self interest. Or sometimes just for a laugh."
"Yeah, but… you seem to get the spirit of the law without the letter of it."
"The letter of the law changes all the time, and varies from place to place. I'm more interested in getting justice."
"Right. Justice. That's something I want to learn from you. How to be fair and honest. And I want you to remind me how to enjoy life, because somewhere along the line, I forgot that. You're incredible, Lucifer, and I want to be yours, in whatever way you want me."
Lucifer placed a finger under Dan’s chin and turned his face back up to look at him. "I want you to be your own man. I'm not my father, I don't want that kind of blind devotion. I don't want you to start thinking I'm some perfect, superior being, because I'm not. Well, superior, obviously, and as close to perfection as one can get, but still fallible. Still… broken."
"I know. But you got a chance at redemption. And I'm looking for the same thing, and I hope that maybe we can find it in each other. Lucifer, you were a king, you probably had millions of subjects. And now that's all gone, and that loss of power has got to be hard. But I'm offering you power over me. Not in blind faith, but by informed consent, to serve your desires, to obey your commands." His eyes were so earnest, so intent, that Lucifer started to believe him.
"What if I told you to do something stupid, or abused that power to hurt you or others?"
"I'm not going to jump off a cliff for you, if that's what you're asking. Or strip naked in the middle of the precinct. But I'll help you. I'll support you. You'll be my Master, my King, but still my friend."
"Friend?” He stared up at the ceiling. “In my experience, it's difficult to be both. There will always be some conflict, some tension caused by the imbalance of power."
"Why would I fight my place when I've chosen it for myself? I'm not going to beg, I know that doesn't sit well with you. But the offer is there for you to take up whenever you want."
"What you're suggesting is… huge. More than just a master and servant. You want to be some kind of disciple."
"Yes. Yeah that's it exactly."
Their eyes met. Lucifer let the crimson glow fill his irises. Dan's breathing deepened but he didn't look away. "Daniel Espinoza, do you promise to serve me, to let me rule you?"
"Do promise to obey me, subject yourself to my will, but still point out when I'm being a dick?"
Dan smiled. "I absolutely will."
"And will you love me, unconditionally, in spite of all that I am?"
He raised his hand to cup the Devil’s cheek. "I'll love you because of all you are, not in spite of it."
"It's good to see you're disagreeing with me already. Very well. I'll be your Master."
Dan blinked to keep his eyes from spilling over. "Thank you." He buried his face back in Lucifer's chest. "So what should I call you? Your Highness? My liege?"
"Now you're just taking the piss. You should show your Master a bit more respect."
"Yes, my Lord."
"Ugh. No. Too many religious overtones."
"Sounds like a kink. Not that I'm against kinks in principle or practice, but Chloe might object to people thinking you're my sex toy. Are you sure you need to give me title?"
"Maybe not for public use. I can't very well call you Beelzebub at a crime scene."
"That's more of an alternate name than a title. I think if you must give me a pet name, you choose something personal to you."
Dan thought for a few moments. "Lord of my Darkness?"
Lucifer pressed his cheek into Dan's hair. "I think I like that one. You can shorten it to Dark Lord, I've had that one before, I rather liked it."
"Dark Lord," Dan breathed, trying it out. "That feels right."
His Master sighed. "How on earth are we going to explain this to the Detective?"
Lucifer had never imagined sex could like this. He had done it so often, in so many different ways, and it had all been wonderfully enjoyable. But having Chloe in his bed, having her limbs wrapped around him and her eyes locked into his, he was utterly lost. Their bodies moved together in perfect synchronization, they breathed as one, and he could feel her soul reaching out of her body to twine with his, as if her flesh was no longer enough to contain it. He pressed into her, over and over, the spiritual experience heightening the physical sensations for them both. He felt her orgasm build, tightening over his hard length, which on its own was almost enough to finish him. But there was something else too, something that nourished him more deeply. She shared her ecstasy in a kind of prayer, her love a tangible aura surrounding him. As he brought her to the point of release, her soul soared with bliss, taking him with her, and he was helpless to resist. He cried out and spilled into her, two bodies shuddering in unison, and she clung to him as he melted over her.
He lay in her arms as she ran fingers through his hair, both of them battling for oxygen. It was a while before either of them recovered enough to speak.
"Fuck," Chloe said. "I love you."
"Hhhmm. You've ruined me."
"I'm sure you'll recover soon enough."
"Exactly. I'm not supposed to need recovery time. I'm supposed to make you come at least five times before I'm reduced to this state."
"I don't think I'd survive five orgasms that intense."
Lucifer chuckled. "Well at least I can still deliver on quality if not quantity. It's ironic, the one woman I want to please more than anyone, and this damned vulnerability kicks in and reduces me to human standards."
"Lucifer, what you do to me is way beyond human standards."
"But I know I can do better. It's infuriating."
"It's necessary. One human, no matter how miraculous, is never going to keep up with your appetites."
"I suppose not."
She turned his face so she could kiss him. "I promise you, I could not be happier."
He smiled. "You make me happier than I've ever been." He kissed her again, tenderly, with gentle caresses of his tongue and a soft push of his hips that made her gasp. But in spite of his efforts, his body refused to comply, so he carefully withdrew and came to lie beside her, disposing of a very full condom. Between the way she made him vulnerable and the existence of Charlie, it seemed like an important precaution to take.
She leaned into his shoulder and curled her legs around his. "How's things with Dan?"
She felt his body stiffen with tension. "You want to talk about that now?"
"Sure. I'm relaxed and happy, it's as good a time as any. And after that I'm feeling very secure about your feelings for me, so tell me. Is it still good for both of you?"
He relaxed. "Yes. Very good."
"I've noticed how well you've been getting along at work. It's nice."
"Lucifer?" There was a note of warning in her voice.
She propped her arms in his chest and looked down at him. "What is it?"
"Dan and I are getting closer."
She lowered her chin thoughtfully. "That's good isn't it?"
"It's not a romantic connection, but it's becoming more than just friends."
"Do I need to be worried?"
"No." He placed a hand on her cheek. "Never. I'll never stop loving you."
"Then I trust you. You don't need to feel guilty or worried either. It was confusing at first, but I can see that it's helping."
"How do you mean?"
"Well, for a start, your nightmares are getting less. Particularly after you two have done your… thing. They start coming back near the end of the month, but then they go again."
Lucifer frowned. "Really? There's a distinct pattern?"
"It's my job to notice these things. And you're happier too. Not just your usual surface happy- the dark, broody undercurrents are waning. And Dan's happy too. I haven't seen him like this since… you know. So it's good."
Lucifer took a deep breath. "He said he loves me."
"There are many kinds of love."
"He asked me to be his Master. His king."
"I don't understand."
"Chloe, I said yes. I said he could be my disciple."
"That sounds almost like a religious thing."
"I think, in a way, it is. At least, it's not like any religion I've seen before, but it's the closest thing that might describe it."
She rested her head back on his chest. "Like I said, I trust you. If this is right for you, then I'm glad. But…"
"What? You have reservations?"
"Only because I saw how you reacted to those Devil worshippers a few years ago. You were so angry."
"This is different. He won't follow me blindly. And unlike those idiots, he actually knows me. He's chosen me, specifically, not some misplaced attempt at rebellion. I almost said no. At first the idea repulsed me, but he then he explained it, told me what it meant to him. And it made a kind of sense, on a basic, emotional level. I wanted it. I wanted that kind of devotion. I only hope you won't think less of me for agreeing to it."
She raised her head to look at him again. "Whatever he believes, that's his choice. And I know you wouldn't let yourself abuse that power. If it's a case of mutual consent, I won't object."
"You surprise me."
She shrugged. "I met your Dad. It kind of puts a new perspective on the whole concept of religion in general. If Dan wants to be your disciple, at least he's choosing someone tangible, someone who can actually help him, someone worth his respect."
"You think I'm worthy?"
"Of course I do. Lucifer, you're the most amazing person I've ever met."
"Well, this is unexpected."
She scoffed. "This was never going to be a normal, get married and have a couple of kids kind of relationship. Granted, I wasn't expecting my kid's dad to be worshiping my boyfriend, but it's far from the worst that could happen."
"I'm not fond of the term worship, but I'll let you off for lack of a better one."
She smirked and kissed over the rough stubble on his jaw, working her way down his neck.
"Detective, what are you doing?"
"Worshipping. In a way I know you'll approve of."
"But I'm not…" Her kisses kept moving down his belly, and lower. "Hnngh. Okay, maybe some of my stamina is returning."
Chloe gives Dan "the Talk."
Short chapter, but I've got a busy weekend ahead, and wanted to leave you something first!
The next morning, Dan appeared at Chloe’s desk with four cups of coffee. She smiled. This was beginning to look like a habit. But after last night’s conversation, she noticed the way he offered one to Lucifer first, with a smile a very slight bow of the head, and the way Lucifer trailed his eyes over him and inhaled, as if drinking all of him in. A part of her brain told her she should be feeling jealous, one’s boyfriend should not be looking at other people like that, but somehow her heart couldn’t quite summon up the emotional response. It was too busy having squishy, warm feelings, like at the end of a romantic comedy when the two characters finally admit they want to be together. She watched them gaze happily at each other for a moment that stretched out a touch longer than two colleagues who previously despised each other should have done, and all she could feel was pleased that they’d gotten so close.
Before they all got completely lost in the moment, Ella bounded over. Dan recovered quickly and handed her a drink. “Just in time,” he said.
She hummed her appreciation as she tasted it. “Okay, what’s the deal?”
“No deal, just my treat. Might become a regular thing.”
“Wow, that’s generous, this is good stuff. We’ll have to drink it on the way, though, case just came through. Let’s go, peeps.” She sipped her coffee as she went off to grab her kit.
Chloe turned to Lucifer. “You go ahead, we’ll catch you up. I need to talk to Dan.”
The two men glanced at each other nervously, and she shook her head with a smile. “Don’t worry, nobody’s in trouble. Go get the address from Ella before she leaves.”
Lucifer nodded and walked off, still looking a bit uncertain. Dan stayed, shifting from one foot to the other. “So um… we okay?” he asked warily.
“We’re fine. I just want to check in with you, make sure you’re okay.”
“Yeah. I’m good, actually.”
“Dan, it’s okay, he told me. About the way your relationship is going.”
“Oh boy,” he said, exhaling slowly. “I mean, I knew he was going to, but hearing it out loud…”
“I’m not upset. It’s just, I was there when it started, I saw how badly you’d been hurt. Both physically and emotionally. And I trust Lucifer to look after the physical side, but when it comes to emotions, he’s a bit of a dumbass. So, I think I just need to know for myself that this is something you really want.”
Dan took a seat opposite her, the place Lucifer usually took, and looked at her seriously. “I do. The last couple of months have been so much better.”
“You do seem a lot happier.”
“It’s not just happiness. I was spinning out of control. I didn’t know what to do with myself, I was scared I was gonna mess everything up again. And Lucifer… Lucifer was like a steady hand, he caught me, he saw me and he knew. He made me face up to some bad stuff. And now, I don’t have to worry about losing control, because he’s in control, and I feel safe and secure.”
She pressed her lips together, considering. “So, he’s like, someone you can be answerable to, someone who gives you boundaries.”
“Yeah. Something like that.”
“And you still haven’t had any more stray thoughts since that one time when you told him to stop.”
Dan grimaced. “Yeah. Just that once. And it wasn’t even a thing, more like a pre-thing, but I made sure it didn’t turn into a thing-”
“It’s okay, Dan, I get it. He’s magnetic. But you’ve proven that’s not an issue.”
She looked at him, curious. “You’re seeing someone else, aren’t you?”
His head rocked noncommittally. “Sort of. It’s not serious. Not like that. But we enjoy each other’s company.”
“Who is she?”
“I’d rather not say.”
“Someone I know then… It’s not Ella?”
“No. Definitely not.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Why the secrecy?”
“Because it’s someone that was involved in a case a while back. A case which is now closed, but we ran into each other, and got talking, and well, one thing led to another as they say.”
“But it’s not serious.”
“I am so not ready for serious right now, and neither are they.”
She leaned forward. “Dan.”
“You didn’t say she.” Chloe paused. “It’s a guy, isn’t it?”
He stared at his cup, turning It around in his fingers. “It is.”
He smiled. “So you trust me to let myself get tortured by the Devil, but you don’t trust me with this other person?”
“I know the Devil, intimately, I know he won’t hurt you. I don’t know this other guy.”
"He's one of the good guys, Chlo, I promise."
"That doesn't mean he can't still mess up. Just look after yourself, okay? And remember, if anything goes wrong, call Lucifer, I'm sure he'll come running."
"I will. Now, shall we go get some justice done?"
"Yes. I'll drive."
The days unfolded into weeks. Lucifer gave Dan a credit card, instructing him that it was only to be used for the coffees, and he was to continue buying the good stuff for everyone, but it needn't come out of his own pocket. Dan didn't even consider arguing, taking the card and the command as one.
Dan was feeling more at peace, better than he had in a long time. He enjoyed meeting with the other Devil worshippers, he liked their approach to life. They were honest about their desires, and their faith and their doubts. It felt like a support group more than a religious thing, except they met in their homes instead of a cold and lifeless hall. There were about a dozen of them in total, but they were seldom all there at once. Usually it was around eight or ten of them. A few were couples. They never forgot about Martin, and sometimes they worried about another attack. They welcomed Dan, saying that he helped them feel a little safer. He joined in the discussions, but not the prayers just in case Lucifer was actually listening. That would probably raise some awkward questions.
Dan felt like a part of something, a feeling he hadn't had since he quit the improv class. It filled a gap somewhere inside him.
And David… well, he was as good as word. There were no strings, no emotional complications. They got together a few more times- never overnight- and Dan managed to make use of Lucifer's tips and make a good impression. It was mutually pleasurable, but they tried not to make a regular habit of it. And David was clearly seeing other people too. They didn't seem to have any restrictions on that kind of thing in the group, even the couples would sometimes take another member home with them. Dan wasn't sure how he felt about that, but he knew better than to judge. He found the courage to ask David about it as they lay in naked, post-orgasmic bliss.
"I'm not the only guy who you do this with, right?"
"I've never really been good at casual sex. I'm not sure I could see different people like that."
"Who said it was casual?"
"What happened to no strings?"
"The two aren't mutually exclusive." He sat up and grabbed the kleenex, wiping their combined mess from Dan's belly as he spoke. "Just because you don't have a monogamous commitment doesn't make it meaningless. Take us for example. I'm not falling in love with you. But I do care about you, and I do respect you, and I value the way we make each other happy. We're good for each other right now, and it works. I'll never take it for granted."
"I get that. I think I feel the same way, though I've never thought about it in those terms." Dan looked around for his underwear. He'd lost track of it while they were making out. Although he still wasn't looking at men generally, kissing David felt good and it got them both in the mood. "Is that the same for the couples?"
"You'd have to ask them. But I do know that we all belong to each other. We love each other, like family. For some of us, it's the only family we have. Besides, monogamy isn't part of our religion. There's no reason you can't love more than one person. Or enjoy being with more than one."
"I dunno. I couldn't even manage to make it work with my wife, let alone inviting anyone else in to complicate matters."
"I always thought if you found someone that you loved, and you trusted them, then sharing that love with a third person would be more like a gift than a threat. But then, I've never had the chance at that. I thought, with Martin, maybe, but then he got taken away."
Dan turned with a sympathetic look. "Fuck. You never said."
"That's because I knew if I mentioned it, it would only make me more of a suspect. So I held it in. But we'd been seeing each other and it was starting to look serious."
"How did you deal with that? How did you keep going?"
"I had friends. And faith. It still hurts, I'm still angry, and I'm not ready to start anything new. But I know Martin wouldn't want me to stop living, to stop doing the things I believe in."
Dan located his shorts and pulled them on, thoughtfully. There was no reason not to tell him, so he sat on the side of the bed, David behind him, and said it. "I lost someone too. It almost broke me. But after I first met you, I reached out to Lucifer, and I found something. I have no idea what to call it, but it got me back on track." He laughed, self-mockingly. "She would probably implode if she saw me now."
"She was a bit more straight laced?"
"Not at all. She was a stone cold bitch, but then she got into some trouble, lost her memory, and decided to start turning her life around. So I guess she'd be proud of me for trying to make my own changes. But maybe not so much the way I'm doing it."
"I'm proud of you. You have changed, and I can see it."
"I was drowning. But I did my penance." He stood up and pulled on his jeans. "I'm a work in progress."
"Aren't we all?" David smiled.
Dan's smile grew as the elevator took him upwards. He wasn't even nervous anymore, there was only the thrill of anticipation, the knowledge that he was about to give himself over to someone more powerful, and the desire to be utterly wrung out to the limits his body could bear. Lucifer had been getting more adventurous in the months since he had accepted Dan as his disciple, relaxing into his role and making the most of their time together. Sometimes he teased Dan at work, remarking on his own superiority, or Dan's flawed humanity. Sometimes he made him perform menial tasks just to assert his authority- dropping a piece of paper and asking him to pick up, getting him to clean the break room or organise Chloe's desk. Dan did it all willingly, joyfully, knowing that the very act of obedience pleased his Master. But the best part was the rare moments when Lucifer praised him, told him that he'd done well. It made his chest swell and his heart soar.
He hoped he would be good enough tonight. He hoped he could please Lucifer so that he saw that smile- the one where they locked eyes and connected and the entire world fell away, lost in a moment of pure surrender.
His stomach rose and fell as he reached the top and the elevator stopped. The doors opened into his own personal paradise. It certainly wasn't Heaven and it was too good to be Hell, but it was where he could let himself be free to worship. He stood motionless at the sight before him- Lucifer in nothing but his dress pants and a smile.
"Chop chop Daniel. You can't stand in the lift all night. Where would be the fun in that?"
Dan swallowed, took three steps forward and fell to his knees. He did it without thinking about how hard the floor was in here, and the jarring of his bones whet his appetite further.
Lucifer smirked. "It's a touch melodramatic, but I appreciate the sentiment."
"Can I just take a minute here?" Dan asked, almost adding a please but catching himself at the last minute. His soul ached to beg, to grovel, but he also knew Lucifer would not be comfortable with it, so he settled for kneeling. "I have been waiting for this for a long time. I need to show you… something."
"Your respect? Your obeisance?"
Dan nodded, leaving his head lowered.
"Tell me," Lucifer prompted.
"I serve you gladly. You make me feel free. When I know that I'm yours, I don't have to worry about anything, I know that you'll look after me, no matter what. You're my Morningstar, so bright. You take my pain, and you make it real until everything goes away. You speak one word of command, and my doubts fly away. You saved me from myself, so I choose you, I give myself freely, I submit."
Lucifer walked to stand in front of him, stroked his cheek and lifted his chin. "Pretty little speech. Did you rehearse it?"
"No, Dark Lord. It just came out. I hope you don't mind."
"No, I don't mind. In fact, it pleases me."
Dan shivered with pleasure at the affirmation.
Lucifer noticed. "I know you want to please me. I see your dedication. I see all your acts of service and I understand what they mean. Tell me what they mean."
"They mean that I love you."
Lucifer didn't shiver, but he did take a deep breath, exhaling slowly. "I'm going to reward you for your service. Would you like that?"
"Yes, Dark Lord. Very much. What do you want me to do?"
"Take off your clothes."
"All of them?"
"You can keep your trousers on, but the rest goes. I need to keep track of the bruises."
Dan's breath caught at the last word.
"Tonight, my dear Daniel, I'm going to hurt you with my own hands. You've been so good lately, I decided you've earned a personal touch."
Dan screwed his eyes shut and put his hands together. "Thank you," he whispered.
Lucifer gasped. "Don't do that."
"Pray. It's eerie."
Dan quickly dropped his hands. "I didn't even realise, I…"
"Don't fret, my little Satanist. I suppose it's good to know that you can, but it's not something I can easily tune out, and if you start popping up in my head on a regular basis, I might go mad."
"What do you mean, that I 'can'? Can't everybody?"
"Fortunately not, or it would be a lot noisier in here than it is already. Prayer requires faith, ironically, a true belief that you'll be heard. Most of the utterances sent my way peter out before they reach me."
"Come on then. Clothes off."
Dan pulled off his shirt without standing up. "Sometimes I wonder if you just say that because you like looking at my body," he teased.
"You do have a certain appeal. But I want to keep an eye on you when I hit you, and I need to do it just hard enough to smart without doing you extensive internal damage."
"Because you're strong enough to do that," he considered as he dropped on his haunches to unlace his boots.
"I'm strong enough to punch straight through your ribcage and pull out your still beating heart, if that's what I wanted."
Dan swallowed again, fighting off a whimper. "But you hold back. You always hold back."
"More than you know. Sometimes I wonder if you get so caught up in what we're doing, that you forget who I am."
He looked up, sought Lucifer's face. "No. Not for a moment. You're the reason I'm here, Lucifer." He tucked his socks into his boots. "I mean, could you imagine how different this would be if I had gone to Maze?"
Lucifer barked out a laugh. "You'd have a lot more scars, for one. And you might not have lasted this long. She would have destroyed you on a weekly basis until you were no good for anything, and you would have been helpless to stop her. Also, there would be a lot less snuggling and a lot more shagging."
"I'm glad I chose you. It's much better this way."
"Shall we get on with it then?'
Dan nodded, taking in the way the furniture had been rearranged to create space, and the gym mats on the floor. He stepped into the middle of them.
"This will inevitably be a shorter session in terms of contact. But the pain will last. I'll start off gently, just to get a feel for you, but there won't be many heavy punches."
"Am I allowed to fight back?"
"You can try. I suppose a bit of a game could make it more interesting."
Dan shook himself out and shifted his balance into his toes, putting up his fists.
"Oh that's cute," Lucifer mocked. "Go on then, give me your best shot."
Dan swung and Lucifer dodged easily, moving just far enough out of the way that the blow missed by an inch. He tried again, and again, hitting nothing but air. "You're playing with me," he noted.
"Of course I am. It's all part of the fun."
Dan only grunted and changed tactics. He tried a series of hits in one go, but Lucifer escaped them all.
"You're persistent, but then you always were. What exactly do you expect to happen if I decide to stand still long enough for you to hit me?"
They carried on dancing for a few minutes, Lucifer letting Dan get warmed up, and then without any warning, he stopped dodging. Dan's fist collided with his face, and he moved with the blow, taking out some of the impact. Even so, Dan stumbled back, flexing his fingers and shaking his wrist. His hand hurt.
Lucifer just stood there, grinning, giving no indication that he had even felt it. "My turn," he said, and before Dan even saw him move, the wind was knocked out of him by a punch to the gut. He bent over gasping, but quickly pushed himself back up.
"If you've had enough messing about, can we get down to business?"
"You've made your point. I'm weak and feeble. You're immeasurably stronger."
Lucifer beamed at him smugly. "You're not wrong."
Dan braced himself to take another hit. The Devil's fist made contact with the side of his ribcage, pain blossoming and a pink bruise blooming. He managed to keep upright this time. The air whooshed out of him nonetheless, and he gasped to replace it and grabbed his lower lip between his teeth. It was good.
Lucifer circled him slowly, eyeing him, and Dan felt it his breath quicken. He waited for a blow that didn't come. Again the Devil walked around him, stopping behind and delivering a quick, sharp punch to the corded muscles of his lower back. Dan's spine curled away instinctively, but he straightened as swiftly as he good, replanting his feet slightly further apart and clasping his hands behind his head.
"Very good, Daniel," Lucifer purred with approval. "It's just delightful the way you wait for your punishment so eagerly."
"My punishment is deserved. My penance is my release."
"Your release? Naughty Detective Douche. I thought we weren't having any of that."
"Shit. I didn't mean-" Before he could finish, Lucifer hit him again, just below his armpit, and he groaned with the pain and the pleasure.
"The look on your face says otherwise. You crave this, you crave me, and you get a physical satisfaction from it. Not what you have with your friend David, but the need and its fulfilment are not as unrelated as you might think."
"Don't say stuff like that."
"Because this is not meant to be sexy. If it starts getting sexy, we have to stop. I don't want to stop."
"I think my body will get too old and frail before I've had enough."
"Good. I don't want to stop either." He took a deep breath and hit Dan again, harder this time.
Dan panted. "Shit, that's good!"
Lucifer's fingers traced lightly over the reddening skin. "I can carry on like this for a while, or I can hit you harder and stop sooner. Which would you prefer?"
Dan's mouth twisted upwards. "I dunno. Maybe you should give me one more gentle one to help me decide."
The Devil stood before him, an eyebrow raised in humour, and Dan looked straight back at him.
"Very well. Let's see if we can't wipe that smirk off your face, shall we?"
For a moment, Dan didn't twig what he was about to do, but then his eyes widened as the understanding hit him, a mere second before a hard fist crashed into the corner of his mouth. It spun him around and almost knocked him down, and he tasted blood. He pressed his hand to it and swore as if came away red.
He looked back up at Lucifer, breathing heavily. "Harder."
Lucifer smiled back. "Good answer."
Though he'd used the word "gentle" half sarcastically, he immediately noticed the difference when gave as much as he thought Dan could take. It felt like he was being hit by a comet, hot and forceful, filling his vision with bright stars.
The Master took his time, making sure his disciple was ready, pausing between each strike. Dan took three more blows to his torso and could feel himself swaying. They were so strong he was surprised that he couldn't hear his ribs crack. The pain was making him feel giddy. "...More," he gasped.
Lucifer watched him, assessing the damage. "One more, then you're done."
"Thank you Dark Lord." Knuckles pounded against his flesh, sending a delicious surge of adrenaline through him. "More…"
"No. You've had enough. I've pushed you further this time, we need to stop now." Still his eyes were scanning Dan's body, as if looking for a safe place that wasn't already changing colour. There was still a hunger in his gaze.
"More," Dan repeated. "I can take it."
Lucifer inhaled sharply. "No. You can't. Not without breaking something, and I mustn't break you."
Dan moaned. "Lucifer, please." He dropped back onto to his knees. "Please, one more, I'm begging you. I promise I'll be good, just one more, please!"
Lucifer's jaw tightened and his eyes began to burn. He grabbed Dan by the hair and pulled him to his feet, bringing his face in close. "What did you just say?"
Dan knew. He knew exactly what he was doing, how blatantly he was breaking the rules, but he was also keenly aware that Lucifer was not using the safe words, was not making any real attempt to reign him in.
"More, please… merciful Lord…" He only felt Lucifer's hands briefly on his chest before the ground disappeared from under him. Everything went sideways and he was flying, crashing, smashing into something that tore at his back, piercing and scratching as he tumbled downwards, landing on a narrow ledge that set his bruises on fire before he fell again, hitting the hard stone floor. And all he could think before the darkness took him was Holy fuck, this is awesome!
Any one for a slice of Crispy?
The only thing that went through Lucifer's mind as he watched Dan tumble to the ground amidst shards of glass and spilled whisky was Fuck. Fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck! He ran over to him, glass crunching under his bare feet but doing no damage, and felt for a pulse. It was there, still strong, and he could see his chest rise and fall as he breathed. Lucifer let himself breathe then, too, letting out the air with a string of expletives.
He'd fucked up. Badly. Dan was hurt- which was normal, but he was hurt more than Lucifer had originally intended. He'd let himself get carried away. Throwing Amenadiel into the bar was fun, and more in the way of a practical joke, or at worst a brotherly spat, but Dan was mortal and bleeding and if he'd broken him, he'd never forgive himself.
Vertebrae. Spinal damage would be the worst, he should check before he moved him. His fingers gently probed their way up Dan's back, sensing things no human could. Technically not a supernatural ability, but one developed over millennia of experience of human anatomy. Everything appeared to be intact.
He lifted Dan's head and wiggled his knees underneath it, letting him rest in his lap. He ought to get help. Get him to hospital. There would questions, but nothing a little Devil charm couldn't smooth over. He pulled a phone from his back pocket, staring at it blankly. 911. His thumb hovered over the dial button, but he had no idea what to say. Then he noticed the claw where his thumbnail should be. He cleared the number and brought up another one. There was only one person he could face right now. One who could help him find a way back.
"Detective…" his voice cracked. His breath came ragged, fighting back sobs.
Chloe knew as soon as the phone rang. If it had been going well, there would be no reason to call. But she wasn't expecting him to sound so broken. He couldn't get out more than one word, but that word was enough to know that something had gone wrong and he needed her.
"Maze?" she called. She'd made certain arrangements for when Lucifer and Dan had their "playdates." The first was deciding to call them that, because it made the whole thing easier to think about. The second was to persuade Maze to stay over once a month, so she could sit with Trixie if Chloe had to leave. So far that had just meant going for a walk around the block when she was too anxious to sit still.
Maze bounced down the stairs from her old room and poked her head around the corner. "What's up?"
"I need to go. If Trixie wakes up before I get back, can you tell her I've had an emergency and I'll be back as soon as I can?"
"Sounds ominous, but sure. Has Lucifer been a naughty boy?" Her grin showed she wasn't particularly concerned.
"That's what I'm going to find out."
She grabbed the backpack she'd been keeping ready by the door and went straight to the car. One of her other coping strategies when she started to worry was to visit the drug store and buy supplies for any eventually. She had all kinds of bandages and dressings, ointments and disinfectants, painkillers and ice packs. She still hoped she wouldn't need them.
The first thing Chloe noticed when she arrived at the penthouse was Lucifer's wings, huge and horned and covered in white feathers, a stark contrast to the seared red flesh of his back. His shoulders were shaking, making the huge appendages twitch.
The second thing she noticed was the destruction that had been wrought on the bar, broken glass everywhere. She walked over carefully to find Dan still lying amongst the mess, Lucifer stroking his hair. "Is he still breathing?" she asked quickly, hating herself for having to say it. For suggesting that he might not be.
"Yes," came the soft reply.
She had a pair of purple sterile gloves on by the time she reached their side and knelt down. "Can you tell me what happened?"
She had a pretty good idea, she'd seen how Lucifer liked to throw people around when he was pissed off, but she also needed to know how coherent he was.
"I… I got carried away. I didn't know what else to do."
"It's okay. You did right to call me." She rested a hand on his arm, getting a good look in his face, noting the way his eyes darted about. He was scared. Probably of himself. "I'm going to look after both of you."
He nodded quietly. She let go and looked over Dan. "Right. Blunt force trauma to the face the torso. Multiple lacerations to the back, some with remnants of glass still embedded."
"You sound like Ms. Lopez," Lucifer said, and then shut up when realised what that made Dan.
"Just keeping myself focussed," she replied. "You moved him?"
"Just his head. There's no spinal damage, I managed to get that far before I went to pieces."
"That's good. You did good, Lucifer. And you called me straight away?"
"Has he been unconscious the whole time?"
"Since he fell."
She took a breath, dreading the next question. "The bruise on his face, was that before or after he hit the bar?"
"Fuck," she pinched her nose, took a deep breath and carried on, checking for any signs of head injury, but it looked like his back had taken the brunt of the collision. She tapped his collarbone. "Dan? Dan, can you hear me? Can you wake up?"
He grunted and slowly blinked his eyes open. "Chlo? Wha'?"
"Shh-sh-sh. You're hurt. Obviously. I need you to let me help you. Will you do that for me?"
"Mmm. Yeah. Shit."
"First let's get you out of this mess." He'd eyes flicked from Dan to Lucifer and back again. "Lucifer, has he seen you like this before?"
The Devil’s panic eased a little now that Dan was awake. Chloe’s practicality helped too. "No. Not the whole monstrosity. This was another involuntary manifestation, I'm afraid. Doesn't appear to be going away yet, either."
"It will," she assured him, "once we've sorted everything out."
"What are you talking about?" Dan asked blearily.
"Can you keep your eyes closed while Lucifer carries you? I don't know if what you see will scare you or not, but until we've seen to your injuries I can't risk you freaking out."
"Devilish. Yep." She shrugged. "It's not so bad once you get used to it, but let's work up to that some other time, okay?"
"Okay." He closed his eyes.
"This could be tricky," Lucifer pointed out. "I can't put him over my shoulder because of the bruises, and I can't carry him like a baby without pushing more glass into his wounds."
Chloe sighed. "Piggy front it is then."
"I beg bet your pardon?" he said, just as Dan laughed. He put his hands on Lucifer's thighs and slowly lifted himself a bit, keeping his eyes screwed shut.
"Maybe I should just walk." He moved to stand, but as he sat up everything inside him started screaming objections and he groaned. Lucifer caught his hand, steadied him, and Dan sank towards him. Before Lucifer could warn him off, he had draped his arms around his neck and sank his face against his chest. "Woah. That was a bad idea."
Lucifer looked at Chloe desperately, waiting for Dan to recoil or scramble away. But he just held on.
"You feel different. Is this what I'm not meant to see?"
"Nngk!" was Lucifer's pained reply.
"Lucifer are you okay?" Chloe asked.
"Get. Your hands. Off. My. Spines," Lucifer commanded through gritted teeth.
He quickly held his hands in the air, still resting his head lest he start wobbling again. "My bad. Didn't mean to hurt you."
Lucifer and Chloe exchanged a glance in which they agreed not to point out the fact that this was a pleasure response and not a pain one. She also tilted her head and mouthed "sorry!" before she began to explain what a piggy front was.
Lucifer's eyes narrowed. "You want me to carry him like I'm about to bone him? And presumably put him on the bed."
She glared briefly at the ceiling, not wanting to put that look on him at this point. "You got him into this mess, you need to start accepting the consequences."
Lucifer huffed. "Very well. Hold on, little monkey, and try not to think about my hands on your arse." He carefully pulled him up into his lap, and then stood as Dan curled his legs around his hips.
Dan's brain briefly remembered putting David in a similar position before pinning him against the wall, but luckily his body was far too wrecked right now to make any kind of gesture towards arousal. Still, he clung to Lucifer’s neck and let himself enjoy the passiveness of being carried.
Lucifer sat him on the bed and guided him to lie down on his belly with gentle hands, and then perched awkwardly on the far corner. Chloe followed, pulling ice packs out of her back pack. She sat next to Dan and popped them one at a time, shaking them to cold before passing him one for his face and arranging the others by the worst bruises. Then she began a closer inspection of his back.
It required a few more deep breaths not to start screaming at the pair of them immediately. She got as far as Idiots! and then cut off her mental tirade. It wouldn't help either of them now, and it wasn't her place to judge. It felt wrong to see it from this side, but it was right for them, and up until now it had been helping them both deal with whatever issues they had in common.
The risk was if any piece had gone deep enough to cut into a major blood vessel or an organ. God, you annoying son of a bitch, please let it not be an organ. She knew it was dangerous to start pulling bits out, that it could cause more damage, but she couldn't see an alternative. They couldn't go to hospital, with Lucifer incapacitated the risk of exposure was too great. Besides, it didn't look that bad. Most of the pieces were small, and the few larger ones were sticking out a long way. She was mostly sure that nothing had gone too deep.
Probably best to get the larger pieces out of the way first.
"You need to pull all that shit out of me, don't you."
"It's going to hurt, isn't it?"
Dan's face was buried in the pillow, but she saw his chest expand as he took a deep breath. "Can Lucifer do it?"
Chloe's jaw dropped. "Seriously?" She stood, raising her arms and then dropping them loudly. "After all of that, you still want to play your little pain games?"
"It's not a game, Chlo."
"Clearly! This is getting dangerous, Dan, you can't keep going like this."
"It won't happen again. I made a mistake, I was being greedy, and I broke the rules."
"No," Lucifer rebuked him. "I did this. Of my own free will."
"You've both made bad choices tonight," Chloe said. "You've both hurt each other. I'm not sure if letting Lucifer do it is a good idea. No offence love, but you're obviously not in a good place right now." She turned to Lucifer, only to find his eyes blazing, and fixed hungrily on the wounds on Dan's back, his lower lip caught between sharp teeth. She knew that look- it was very similar to the one he got when she took off her clothes. "But you want to, don't you?"
"Yes," he admitted. "It was over too quickly tonight, that was part of the trouble. I still want more."
Dan lifted his face and turned towards the voice. "You mean, it wasn't just me?"
Lucifer looked down, afraid of the rejection, the fear he expected to see in Dan's expression. He heard the shuddering breath and shut his eyes.
"Master… Lord of my darkness…" he breathed, awestruck at the sight of him in all his monstrous glory.
"Daniel?" Lucifer turned back to meet his gaze.
Chloe stood very still, ready to move at the first sign of trouble.
"Lucifer," Dan reached a hand towards him, unable to move far.
He still wants me, Lucifer realised. Still, he hesitated, struggling to accept the reality. But the pull of that desire was still there, still strong. He shuffled over on his knees and took the hand.
"I got it wrong again. Will you forgive me? Will you help me make it right?"
They were looking at each other with complete devotion. She'd seen it when they spoke at work, but in this context it was so much deeper, so intensely intimate she felt like she was intruding.
But then Lucifer looked back at her. "With your permission, Detective."
She didn't know what to say. "I… um…"
"You can supervise, if you wish."
"You mean, watch you hurt him?"
"Hurting, helping. It's all part of the same thing. If it helps, you can think of the glass as a metaphor."
She chuckled a nervous laugh. "A metaphor. Like in the old days."
She was nodding. Why was she nodding? More to the point, how could she say no? "All right then."
Clearly she looked as uncomfortable as she felt, because Lucifer added, "You can tell us to stop at any point if you think it's too much."
"Could you get me something to put the bits in? There's a large ashtray on the piano that should suffice."
She went and fetched it while he adjusted his seat, kneeling beside Dan's hips. Chloe grabbed her backpack, put the ashtray in front of him and sat on the other pillow. Dan turned his head to one side, and she realised she could see both their faces.
"I'm going to take the largest pieces out first, so I don't knock them when I try to reach the smaller ones. Are you ready?"
"Yes, Dark Lord."
She saw a shiver run all through Lucifer's wings as he went to touch the first piece. She watched as he placed careful fingers either side to hold the skin in place, and then held his breath as he pulled it slowly away. Dan quickly buried his face back in the pillow, but not before she caught a glimpse of the way it twisted up. She heard his small gasps of pain- or was it pleasure? The tiny moan as the glass came free, that was definitely pleasure.
Crap. Was this what they'd been doing this whole time? Was this what it was like?
She watched Lucifer's face as he went for the next piece. His expression was harder to read when he was like this, but she could sense the intensity. He began to smile, without seeming to notice he was doing it. He was hurting Dan, and it was making him smile.
Except… Dan wasn't exactly hurting, was he? He was, on a physical level, but somehow he was enjoying it. The glass was a metaphor- of what exactly? Lucifer was taking out something that was harmful to him. Grief, maybe. Bitterness. Anger. Guilt. All the things that made him a less nice person to be around, all the things that had been eating away at him last year. He needed the pain in order to heal.
Lucifer was taking out much smaller pieces now, using his claws as tweezers to get in where fingers couldn't reach. Dan grabbed at the pillow, arching his neck, fingers twisting the fabric and groaning. She still wasn't sure if it was pleasure or pain. Probably both. Lucifer was so focussed he didn't seem to notice when the red skin started to fade away, dissolving behind glimmers of fire and returning to a more human form. It was only when his hands went back to normal that he paused. "Bugger," he said softly, and brought back just enough claws to continue his work. He growled at a tiny piece that seemed to have got itself stuck. "Hang on Daniel," he said. "You'll like this."
Dan's face lifted with an incoherent sound as Lucifer dug his claw into the wound. "Shit, fuck! That's good!" He grimaced and then relaxed as Lucifer held up the offending shard and dropped it in the ashtray.
"A bit bigger than it first appeared. Sneaky bastard that one. Detective, he's bleeding I don't suppose you've got any-"
She was already tearing open a packet of something. "Wound closure strips. Sterile dressings. Disinfectant."
"Aren't you prepared? Let's have all of the above." He held out one hand, the other still pressed into the slowly seeping wound.
"I can't sit still when I worry. So I go shopping. Just in case."
Lucifer smiled. "Right now, I'm very pleased you worried as much as you did."
"How bad is it?" Dan asked nervously.
"No need to concern yourself," Lucifer answered kindly. "It's nothing we can't handle between the two of us. We're almost done. At least with that much spilt alcohol we shouldn't have to worry about infection."
Dan chuckled, but stopped as it aggravated all his hurt.
A couple more fragments and it was done. They applied dressings over the worst parts, but there were a number of scratches that would be fine without. "There. All better," Lucifer declared, and he and Chloe tidied everything from the bed. "How do you feel about sitting up?"
"Do I have to?"
"No, but I think we're about to get told off, and I'm sure the Detective would prefer doing it to your face than the back of your head."
"Right." He sat up slowly, first coming onto into his hands and knees and then positioning himself beside Lucifer.
Chloe rolled her eyes. "That's not fair."
"What's not fair?"
"It's difficult to rant at you when you both sit there all calm and reasonable like that." Dan winced as he shifted his legs. "Actually, no, it's not difficult. You're a pair of imbeciles. What the actual Hell were you thinking? This could have been so much worse."
"It's my fault," Dan said. "I'm sorry, I broke the rules and I pushed him too far. I deliberately triggered him."
"Don't be ridiculous, Daniel. I take full responsibility for my own actions."
"Lucifer, you could have killed him!"
"No, Chloe. I was in full control. I threw him just hard enough to hit the wall, no more, no less. It was a conscious decision. Not the wisest choice, admittedly, but very appealing in the moment."
"How do you even get to the point where throwing your friend at the bar seems like a good idea?"
"Because I'm me. I'm impulsive, and not always rational, and I do love a dramatic gesture. I know better now, obviously. It won't happen again."
"We're still finding our boundaries, Chlo. You're right, we went too far this time. But you can trust Lucifer, he always looks after me. He won't cause me actual harm."
"What if you'd been at the other end of the room? What if he'd thrown you out the window, or over the balcony?"
"Then I would have flown down and caught him before he hit the ground," Lucifer said, his voice starting to show signs of tension.
"But you admit that what you did was wrong?" she pressed him.
"Yes! Why the Hell do you think I switched to scary Devil mode?"
She nodded quietly, knowing that at least meant something. He had scared himself, felt like a monster in the aftermath. "Okay. You're right. I should trust you. But…"
"But what?" Lucifer prompted, worried how she might answer.
"She wants us to stop," Dan said.
"Not stop, just maybe take a break? Just to give yourselves a chance to re-evaluate what you want from this… whatever it is."
Dan nodded. "Could you give us a few minutes, please?"
"It's all right love. I think you better wait downstairs for a bit. Daniel and I need to talk."
"Yes. You have my word."
"Okay. Call me."
As soon as the elevator shut, Dan flung his arms around Lucifer's shoulders. "Please don't make it stop. I need you."
Lucifer wanted to hold him tightly, to keep him close, but all he could do was stroke him very gently. "It's all right, my darling. It will be okay, I promise. We'll work it out."
"She doesn't understand. She can't possibly, she'll always think it's wrong. We might persuade her to let it go on for a while, but it can't be forever. We're kidding ourselves if we think we can keep doing this."
Lucifer took his face in both hands, pulled him back so that their eyes met. "Daniel, I promise you, we're not over yet. You've given me so much. You've helped me in ways you can't even imagine. I… I need you too."
Dan took Lucifer's cheeks in the same fashion, leaning together until their foreheads touched. "Master… I love you."
Lucifer breathed hard. He felt the same, but he couldn't say it. It was a strange kind of love, like something forbidden and yet pure and real. "Daniel. My dear disciple. Pray to me."
"I don't have any words."
"Words don't matter. Just let me feel what you feel."
Dan imagined holding his heart in his hands, and offering it up to his Master. He poured out his love and his fear and his pain, and Lucifer threw his head back, mouth wide, gasping. It was more powerful than he expected, so full of emotion.
"Enough!" he cried. Dan stopped before they were both lost in it. "That was…"
"Very." He ran his thumb lightly over the bruise on Dan's jaw. The word intimate was also floating around in his head, but there was no way he was saying that out loud. Still, it felt like it had changed everything. He felt sated, relaxed- like after a thorough shagging.
"Lucifer, what are we going to do?"
"We just have to convince her that it's all right. Luckily, I can be very persuasive when I want to be."
"We are talking about the one person who's immune to your charms."
"Yes, but not to my sexual prowess."
"So your plan is to screw her into submission?"
"No. Submission is your thing." Their eyes locked once more, a flash of red exerting dominance that left Dan almost boneless. He slid down to lie on the bed, unashamed.
"I'll just have to make sure she's in a good mood and tell her everything. Hopefully, this time she'll believe me."
"And when you say everything…"
"I mean how good you are for me. The way you empower me. The fact that with you, it's more than just self-acceptance, you make me glad to be the Devil."
"You don't get that with Chloe?"
"It's different with her. She makes me believe I can be better. I am better, because of her. I'm free because of her."
"You don't think maybe I'm dragging you backwards?"
"I think you're my foundation, the memory of my roots that I need to grow."
"That's kinda poetic."
"Doctor Linda's turn of phrase. After digging around in my psyche for many hours."
"You talk to her about us?"
"Of course I do, that's how therapy works. I share my doubts and she helps me see how perfect I am."
Dan smiled. "Come here, Mr. Perfect. I want my post pain snuggles now in case your girlfriend decides to kick me out."
"She can't kick you out, you're injured, and mine." He lay down beside him anyway. "She might as well try to kick out the piano."
Dan rested a cheek on his shoulder. "I don't want to intrude on your thing. I don't want to lose this, but I don't want to come between you either."
"You won't. Nothing can come between me and Chloe ever again."
"It must be wonderful to be so sure about someone."
"She literally went to Hell and back for me, Heaven too, if that's not enough to be sure, nothing is." He ran his fingers idly through Dan's hair. "I'm sure about you too, now."
"Should we call her back?"
"Ten more minutes."
You'll all be pleased to know, people are talking to each other, and making some sensible decisions. Well, potentially sensible decisions.
Fifteen minutes later Chloe was invited back. She walked across the space, working herself up to deliver the speech she'd prepared in the meantime, about how they needed to be more responsible and maybe they should reconsider the whole arrangement. But when she saw the two of them lying together, the words stuck in her throat. Dan seemed to have fallen asleep, his face relaxed and content, and Lucifer held him protectively.
They knew. They weren't children who needed to be told off, no matter how much she wanted to vent at them. They knew they'd done wrong, they knew the risks they were taking. But they chose to carry on anyway, so it must be important to them. She still didn't understand why, but she couldn't be their judge. It was out of her control.
"Detective?" Lucifer spoke softly, and she realised she had stopped at the top of the steps and stood there staring.
"You two look positively adorable like that." And they did. Her heart was melting.
"Would you like to join us?"
"You don't mind? I wouldn't want to intrude if this is a thing."
"It is a thing, but it's a thing that you're welcome to be a part of." He held out an arm and she snuggled into him on the other side, kissing his shoulder.
"I'm sorry I ranted at you."
"I deserved it. We both did."
"I got scared. Seeing you like that. But this… this is beautiful."
“So, you’re not mad?” he asked.
She sighed heavily. “I was, but I forgive you. I have to let this go. I’m not going to be the kind of interfering girlfriend who wants to control their partner’s life.”
Lucifer took her hand. “And I don’t want to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. But Daniel and I… it’s important to me.”
“I can see that. I freaked out, but when I watched you take care of him it started to make more sense.”
“Because even though you were hurting him, you changed back. Without even thinking about it, just focussing on Dan, giving him what he needed, it helped you feel better about yourself. I can’t argue with a walking metaphor.”
“You do understand, then?”
“I do. And I won’t stop you. If being with the best version of you means sharing, then I’ll share. I want you to be happy. And honestly, this is a lot easier to deal with than how you were with Eve.”
“I don’t think I was truly happy with Eve either. I was trying to be two things. What I have with you and what I have with Daniel are two distinct things, but they don’t pull me in opposite directions. You complement each other, each making me stronger and better in different ways.”
Chloe frowned, and sat up, moving over to inspect Lucifer’s feet.
“What are doing, Detective?”
“You should be bleeding. You carried Dan over the broken glass.”
“Maybe I’m tougher with my other face.”
She looked at him. “Can we check?”
“You want to hurt me, now?” he smirked.
“Not like that. It’s just- if I don’t make you vulnerable anymore, it would be good to know, right?”
Lucifer grew thoughtful. “Pass me one of those shards.” He still had one shoulder pinned under a sleeping Dan, so he raised his head and ran the sharp edge of the glass over his belly. Nothing happened.
They looked at each other and he tried again. Still nothing.
"What does that mean?"
"It doesn't mean I care about you any less, before you start worrying."
"Good to know."
He paused, considering. "I have a theory, but I won't be able to test it until morning."
"Can you tell me now anyway?"
"Only if you promise you won't let it upset you."
"I can't say what my emotional response will be without knowing what you're going to say. But I'll do my best."
"I think it's Daniel. I think he might be cancelling out your influence."
"You make me vulnerable because I care about you. Your opinion of me matters, it makes me question myself. When I'm with him, I feel… stronger."
"That… makes sense."
"I care about him too, of course, but it's not the same."
Chloe came back to curl up against him. "If it's true, I'm glad."
"Yes. It means I don't have to worry about you. It's awful knowing that you could get hurt just because I'm around. If Dan cancels that out, that's good news."
"You're taking a very practical perspective about all of this."
"I'm a very practical person. We'll have to test your theory before we rely on it, but if it works it's good to know I have a way to keep you safe."
"It really does make you feel better, doesn't it?"
"Of course it does."
"And you think it's a valid theory?"
"You're always a confident person. But when you're ordering him around, it makes you, I dunno, taller. More solid. Metaphorically speaking."
"Hmm." He leaned into her hair and inhaled her scent. He wanted to make love to her again, right there, because she was the most wonderful person he'd ever met. "I don't suppose you'd consider taking off all your clothes and sliding onto my cock?"
"I'm pretty sure if we tried that he'd wake up. And I'm still not ready for an audience, even if it's my ex."
"May I infer from that sentence that you think you might be ready in the future?"
"I have no idea these days. You have ways of tempting me to do things I never expected."
Lucifer grinned. "I'll take that as a maybe. Detective, you naughty little thing. Of course you know that whoever we invite to join us will never come close to being as good as you."
"I know. Which is why I'm not immediately ruling out the possibility. But don't start making any plans just yet."
"But I have so many plans. So many sweet delights that I can share with you. I want to give you every pleasure this body can experience."
"Pain for Dan but pleasure for me? I think I got the better deal."
"He gets what he desires. And so do you."
"Mmmm. Right now, I desire that we sneak off into the bathroom and you show me some of those pleasurable experiences." She got up and started walking down the hall.
Lucifer moved carefully, but Dan stirred. "Stay…" he said sleepily.
"I'll be back soon," Lucifer whispered. "Just off for a quickie in the bathroom."
"Have fun," he murmured, and went back to sleep.
When Lucifer caught up with Chloe she had let her hair down and was already unbuttoning her shirt. He caught her hands and kissed her hungrily, pressing his body to hers and pushing her back against the wall. The shirt quickly ended up on the floor and he made swift work of unfastening her jeans. He slid his hand down into them, over the lace of her underwear, cupping her and feeling her warmth. "Tell me what you desire," he whispered in her ear.
It might not have had the supernatural influence on her that it had on others, but when he asked her like that it never failed to get her wet. And the answer was always the same. "You, Lucifer. I desire you."
He bent down, getting rid of her boots and then throwing her jeans into the bath. She was already pulling at his belt and his trousers fell around his ankles. He somehow managed to locate a condom and put it on with his lips fastened tightly to her neck. She rose up on her toes, rubbing against his thigh and he bent his knees to let her squirm over his hip bone. His hands ran all over her body, tilting her head, firm on her back, grasping her breasts. He didn't need to ask when she was ready, he just knew. With a practised gesture he slid a finger under the crotch of her panties, pushing them aside, and then lifted her effortlessly. She threw her legs over his hips and he supported the top of her thighs, pinning her to the wall again as he thrust his way inside.
It had been a frantic scramble to get there, but once they were joined they both relaxed into the joy and the intimacy. She held tight to his shoulders and buried her face in his neck.
He plunged into her, quick and forceful at each peak, but slow and lingering on the withdrawal. Each stroke was both hungry and teasing, demonstrating his strength and his control. She was gasping and tightening within minutes. He kept up the steady pace until she had her first orgasm. Her fingernails clawed at his back and it was strange that it didn't hurt like it usually did with her. But he couldn't think about it long because as she came, she called out his name like a prayer and he felt all of her pleasure, intense and needy and delicious. He couldn't help but fall over the edge with her, groaning loudly, the force of his will the only thing that prevented his knees from buckling and sending them both to the floor.
He held still, but she writhed over him, her sensitivity greatly increased. It felt good. Very good. He moved again, testing, and laughed as he realised. His still hard cock dragged over her swollen insides and soon had her panting and crying out all over again. He kept going, building up speed until his hips were pulsing fast. He could feel the tension coiling where their bodies met, but himself back until she climaxed a third time, letting her convulsions draw out his own release.
"Can you stand?" he asked, lowering her legs carefully.
She moaned and shook her head, leaning into him. He put a strong arm around her waist to stop her falling, and withdrew slowly, making sure nothing escaped the condom. He got rid of it with one hand and replaced it with a fresh one. Chloe watched and groaned, not sure how much more she could take, but utterly willing to try.
Lucifer lowered them both to their knees and turned her to face the wall, still supporting her around the middle- for which she was glad because there was no way her legs would have kept her upright- and then guided himself back into her. His right hand reached in front of her and his fingers stroked and teased her clit. She placed her hands on the wall and held herself up as best she could. When her body was too wrecked even for that, he laid her in the rug and ruined her all over again.
Lucifer's skill in bed- and out of it- had been a thing that had never ceased to amaze her in more than half a year. He had taken her to heights she didn't know were possible, even though he complained it wasn't half of what he could usually do. Now she understood the difference. Or at least, she would as soon as her brain started functioning again. For now all she knew was sensation. Fullness, friction, skin and sweat. His breath and his groans loud in her ears, the slap of their bodies meeting, her own cries as wave after wave of bliss crashed over her until she couldn't tell where one peak ended and the next began. Her body was on fire, her cunt was starting to feel sore and her lips and neck stung from the roughness of his stubble. None of that mattered- her body interpreted everything as wonderful and all she wanted was to make him feel half as good.
She was coming again, her cries weaker this time as her strength waned, and she squeezed him as tightly as she could, sending him all the ecstasy that overwhelmed her senses. He plunged deep and held himself there with a long, wordless cry, collapsing onto her at last.
They lay together for several minutes, enjoying the closeness, with not a thought of reality to intrude on their euphoric haze.
"Oh my Satan!" she said at last. Lucifer chuckled near her ear.
"See? That's what's supposed to happen." He kissed her neck again, making her hiss. "What is it?"
"Just a little sore. I think I might be starting to get why Dan likes it."
"Oooh!" he said, his face lighting up. "Does that mean I get to punish you too?"
"Maybe if it's a nice, soft, vanilla version."
He growled. "I can arrange that."
"What is it about you two? What do you get out of it?"
"Power's a part of it. Not that I want power in the grand scheme of things, but he submits so willingly, gives himself over so completely. I gave up all my power because it was forced upon me, but he offers it as a gift, because he loves me. It does wonders for my sense of self-esteem. Plus it's invigorating. It makes me feel so alive."
"Is that why the sex is always more passionate afterwards?"
"It's like you're starving. Like you want to feast on all of my orgasms."
"I always do. But I think you're right. I do feel different afterwards."
"You're still you, just more so."
"I think we better make ourselves presentable and go check on him. There's a fairly good chance we may have woken him up."
"Oh crap." Her palm went to her face. "We totally did. That's embarrassing."
"No, I'm deadly serious. Why should you feel embarrassed or ashamed about enjoying yourself? Or expressing your love?"
"I don't know. It just feels kinda awkward. And I expect it makes him feel weird too."
"We could ask him." He stood up and turned on the shower.
"It is my job to torture him after all."
"There's a line."
"No there isn't. That's just something you humans make up so you can control one another. It's silly really. Come on, get clean. While I'm more than pleased with your current fragrance, I don't want my acolyte getting any ideas."
"I'm not sure if my legs are working yet."
His answer to that was to bend down and scoop her up in his arms and carry her into the shower.
Lucifer crawled into the middle of the bed, and Chloe got in after. They wore a set of red silk pyjamas between them- she had the top and he had the bottom.
Dan lay on his front with a pillow over his head.
"I'm sorry, darling, did we disturb you?" Lucifer purred.
"In what world was that a quickie?" Dan asked.
"What do you mean? It's not even getting light out."
"Anything that's not an all night marathon is a quickie in my book."
"Lucifer, stop teasing him."
"Why? He likes it. He likes it when I rub it in his face that I'm far more capable of satisfying you than he ever was."
"Hey, I'm fully capable," Dan groused, emerging from his hiding spot.
"You're not upset, are you Daniel? Not really."
"Not really. I'm happy for you."
"Good. I'll get you some headphones for next time."
"I've got a theory that means I might occasionally ask you to hang around while I fuck your ex-wife senseless. You'd do that for me, wouldn't you?"
"I have no idea why, but I will if that's what you want."
"Isn't his dedication charming, Detective?"
They both rolled their eyes at him. "How can you not say Chloe, even after… that?"
"I like it," she answered on the Devil's behalf, leaning over his chest to talk to Dan. "It's like a pet name. How can you agree to his request so readily, without any explanation?"
"I like it too," he smiled. "And I trust him. There must be a reason."
"It's because he's insatiable. And he's determined to destroy me with sex."
"I just want to make you happy, my love."
"You do. You make me very happy indeed." She smiled and kissed him.
"Am I supposed watch?" Dan enquired.
"No," Lucifer said. "Not the naked parts."
"That's something, at least. Are you done for the night? Can I try and go back to sleep now?"
"That's a good idea," Chloe agreed. "Tonight's been exhausting for all of us."
"I mean because of the whole Lucifer throwing you into the bar thing. We've been busy."
"You've been getting busy," he grinned.
"Lucifer, please make him stop."
"Daniel, I command you to stop teasing my girlfriend without my permission."
"Yes, Dark Lord," he agreed meekly.
Lucifer sighed. "I may have planned this poorly. I'm not sure how to hold you without hurting you too much."
"Okay first, it's never too much. But second, shouldn't you be snuggling your girlfriend?"
Lucifer gave her a questioning look.
She shrugged and lifted her chin from his chest. "I don't mind. I get to snuggle him every other night. Besides, you two are cute together."
After a few quickly aborted attempts to find a position in which Dan would be comfortable enough to sleep, they settled down facing each other on their sides, with Dan's head resting on his chest and their arms twined together between their bodies. Chloe leaned into Lucifer's back and held his shoulders. "It's okay. It's all going to be okay," she whispered.
She woke up confused, surrounded by feathers and struggling to breath. Lucifer was muttering in a gravelly language, and she heard Dan's breath, quick and shallow. She fought her way out of Lucifer's wings and leaned over him to see what was happening.
Scarred, clawed hands gripped Dan's wrists tightly. He was breathing fast but his eyes were half closed, as if he were enjoying it. She saw a line of blood trickle down his forearm.
"Lucifer! Lucifer, stop, wake up!" She was shouting, but she was frightened. Not of his face, but that he might lose control, might hurt Dan in a way he might regret later. She was frightened that he was still traumatised enough to be having more nightmares. "Lucifer, please wake up. You're not in Hell anymore, you're home."
He kept whispering in that strange, growling language, and she recognised it as the one the demons used in Hell.
"Dan, can you hear me? You need to be strong, you need to help him wake up."
Dan blinked and his breathing slowed and deepened. He tried to pull his arms free, but there was no escaping the force of the Devil's grip. Instead he opened his fingers and let them trace lightly over his face. "Lucifer? I'm here, so is Chloe. Come back to us. It's over. You're home."
"Lucifer, we're here, and we love you." She stroked his scalp tenderly. "Be still. There's nothing to fear. You're home, it's all over."
Lucifer's grip loosened, and he went quiet, looking at what he'd done. "It's not over," he said in hushed tones, "it's never over."
"It is for you, love. I got you out. You don't have to go back there ever again."
"Look at me. It doesn't matter. I can't escape, it's still a part of me."
"That's okay," Dan said, still caressing his cheek. "What happened to you is not the kind of thing you just get over. It takes time. It may take years, centuries for you, but it doesn't matter. You are strong and perfect and beautiful. You might feel broken, but you will heal. And in the meantime, we can look after you. You don't have to go through this alone."
"Alone… I was so alone."
"Not anymore," Dan and Chloe said together, and Lucifer crumbled and wept. They both embraced him, Dan around the shoulders and Chloe around his waist. Lucifer wrapped his arms around Dan and pulled him close. Dan winced and bit his lip against the pain that exploded from the wounds on his back, but made no attempt to move away. His master needed him, and he served willingly.
At last Lucifer took a trembling breath and let go. "I'm sorry. I thought the nightmares had gone."
"Don't be sorry," Chloe told him. "It's not your fault. Do you want to talk about It?"
"Not really, but I suppose I ought to. I was back in Hell, obviously. Caught in a loop. An endless repeat of… of some terrible things I used to do there."
"Things you don't want me to know about?" Chloe asked.
"Could you tell Dan?"
"If you can't tell me because you're worried that it will change how I see you- which it won't, by the way, but I want to respect your boundaries- will you talk to Dan about it?"
He looked at Dan, confused.
"I'd be happy to listen. If it helps. You know I won't judge you."
"Maybe. But not now."
"I'm always here, whenever you need."
"So I see."
Dan closed his eyes. "But I do think, maybe Chloe's right. Maybe we should take a break from the punishment for a bit. Just until we can work out this little bump in the road."
"I thought you didn't want to stop?"
"I don't. But I was out of line tonight, we both were, and I think we need to just take a step back, work out our safe zones and make sure everything's going to be okay when we start again."
"If we skip one, that gives us two months. That should be enough, right? And if it looks like it needs to be longer, we can decide that later."
"Two months. I can do two months. Chloe?" His voice almost sounded frightened as he said her name.
"I'm here." She adjusted herself to bend over and kiss him.
"I've changed twice in one night. Am I unravelling?"
"No love. It's just been a lot to deal with. We'll go see Linda tomorrow. It will be okay, I promise. If we can free you from Hell, we can deal with anything."
"Because I've got a miracle on my side."
"Exactly. A miracle and a very tenacious little disciple."
"Who both love you so much," Dan added.
"I don't deserve either of you."
"That's not true. You've suffered enough. You've earned your chance for happiness, and we are going to make damn sure you get it."
Lucifer closed his flaming eyes. "I'm still a monster."
"Yes. A marvellous, raging, powerful beast." He cradled the face of the Devil in his hands, fingers finding their way up the back of his skull. "My Dark Lord. My bright Morningstar. Everything that you should be, and everything that you needed to be. Beyond human."
Chloe let go of his waist to let her hands slide through his feathers. "But never all dark. I will always be here to help you find your light. You're the light bringer. The one who lit the stars. And that's still in you too, in spite of everything you've never lost it."
Dan's eyes went wide. "You… stars?" He couldn't stop the wave of adoration that flowed out of him. The epiphany of just how superior Lucifer actually was burned through his veins and filled every part of his being. It poured out with his breath, and Lucifer inhaled it like sweet incense, like nicotine.
Chloe recognised the reaction, and let her own love come out in a prayer. His face relaxed, his jaw dropped and for a few moments he seemed to glow. She worked her fingers in his wings and over his back, adding a physical sensation to the spiritual one.
They both kept praying, kept feeding him with love, and he kept drinking. It nourished him in ways he didn't even realise he needed. He had survived so long without love, it was no wonder it had taken him years to recognise it when he found it in Chloe. He let himself soar on it, like that first moment of getting high before his metabolism swept the drugs away. But this lasted. He wasn't sure whether it was an hour or a minute, but his whole body sang with it. He shuddered and felt a warm, wet sensation on his belly, but it was only one ripple of pleasure in a pool of ecstasy.
Still, Dan must have felt it too, because his hands moved and he quickly jerked away. "Shit! I'm sorry. I didn't mean… fuck."
"What's wrong?" Chloe asked.
The worship evaporated and Lucifer chuckled, still riding the high. "I think I just came in my pants."
"Oh, that's my fault," she said quickly, seeing Dan's distraught and guilty expression. "I was doing the wings, and I got a bit carried away."
"Wings can do that?"
"Her prayers were also slightly more amorous than yours Daniel. Don't worry, you're not in trouble. I could tell your intentions were pure."
Dan's face contorted. "Do you have a towel or something? I'm covered in your… um."
Chloe should have been upset about that. She should have felt jealous, her brain told her, so why was she laughing? Because I've just inadvertently had a spiritual threeway and I loved it? No. Maybe. Fuck, I've been dating Lucifer for less than a year, and I'm so relaxed I don't care that he just came all over my ex. Must be all the incredible sex I'm getting.
She got off the bed and ran to get a couple of washcloths from the bathroom. "Must have been a good one," she said as she handed them one each. "If you managed to squirt through your pyjamas and still get Dan."
"Do you know, I was enjoying the whole experience on so many levels, I didn't even register what was going on until after the fact." He groaned. "Now I need to get up and change, don't I?"
"Your clothes, yes. But that's all. I get the impression that Dan doesn't mind seeing you like this."
"I… um," he faltered, his brain so busy trying not to think about what he was doing. When he'd got the worst of the mess out of the way, he seemed to function a bit better. "I don't mind at all. I'm not sure how we can all fit in bed with the wings and everything, but we can work something out. How about I go wash up while you get clean pants on and then you hang out in your post-whatever haze."
"Very well. Fetch me something fresh to put on."
"Yes, Dark Lord." He stood slowly, wincing.
"Dan, are you okay?" Chloe asked.
"Shit. I've been beaten up and thrown into a bar. It hurts like Hell. But it's all good." He walked off gingerly, but with a smile.
Lucifer sat up, spread his wings wide and lay on his back. Once Dan had thrown the spare pyjamas at him and gone again, Chloe pulled back the covers and helped him change.
"I can do this myself you know," he objected half heartedly.
"I know. But you still look kinda blissed out, and the less you have to do, the longer you can enjoy it."
"Hmm. Won't argue with that. I have a feeling that could get quite addictive."
"We'll save it for special occasions or we'll never get anything done."
"You don't mind then? That I splattered Daniel?"
She shrugged. "Clearly dating the Devil is corrupting me."
"Are you one step closer to an actual threesome?"
She made a non-committal noise. "Being okay with you letting yourself go in certain company is still a long way from being okay with letting myself go in other company. Why are you so fixated on this, anyway?"
"Well, you know, threesomes. What's not to love? It's like chocolate cake, sweet and decadent and delicious, and you never know if you like it until you try."
"What if I said I had tried it, and didn't like it?"
He pulled her down into his arms, searching her face. "When?"
"During my acting days. I got my boobs out on camera, there's a whole world that goes with that, and I may have experimented in it."
He grinned. "Do tell. Girls? Boys? One of each?"
"Two guys. No high fives, but…" she thought about who she was talking to, and how he held nothing back from her. "I let the one screw me while I sucked the other off."
"Detective, I'm impressed."
"I wasn't. It was like a competitive sport for them. They treated me like an object, not a person."
"That's not what it's supposed to be done," he said, clearly angry at the men involved.
"I know it wouldn't be like that with you. But I had a sneaking suspicion that they were much more interested in each other than in me. If we invited anyone else to join us, I wouldn't want them to feel like that."
He frowned. "So your moral objection is not for the act itself, but because you want to be sure everyone involved has a positive experience?"
"Yes. And while I'm sure you could manage that no problem, I can't be sure how I would react, being with someone else, or seeing someone else doing things to you. It's complicated."
"I see. Detective, I only want to give you the best of everything. I'm happy to stretch your ethics when they're based on silly human prejudices about sex, but now that I understand your reasons, I'll stop pushing. Will you promise to tell me if you do ever change your mind?"
Dan's voice came from the direction of the bathroom. "I'm coming back, is everyone decent?"
"Yes, Daniel, it's perfectly safe."
He emerged in a pair of black pyjamas and hesitated by the side of the bed.
"Come on, get in."
Dan stared at the wing for a moment, but chose to obey. He lowered himself onto the feathers reverently. Lucifer carefully put an arm around him. The ridges on his chest were not the most comfortable pillow, but he was so warm and Dan was so tired it didn't matter. He was going to sleep in the Devil's embrace.
Lucifer inhaled deeply. "Daniel, you're leaking again."
"Just a little worship. Nothing to worry about. It's nice. Like a lullaby."
"Good. Because I'm not sure if I can stop it right now."
He kissed Chloe's hair. "I love you, Detective." He turned his face to Dan. "I love you too, my dear disciple." Another surge of pure adoration washed over him, and gradually waned until they all slept.
Dan confesses to his friend.
Lucifer's theory proved to be true. A few trips up and down in the elevator established the fact, but they decided to postpone working out the range until Dan was feeling a bit less broken. Chloe drove him to his apartment and made sure he was comfortable before she went home to Trixie.
Dan picked up his phone and called David. "Hey man, you busy?"
"Just catching up on boring jobs. I thought you had your thing this weekend."
"I did. But it got kinda messy, and now I'm stuck in bed, and I wouldn't mind some company. You know, only if you don't have other plans."
"Nothing I can't put off to spend the day with my sexy lover boy," he teased.
"I can't promise I'm up to much. I hurt everywhere."
"Yeah, I noticed that with you. Are you ever gonna tell me what this thing is about?"
"Get over here and I'll show you."
"Shall I bring lunch?"
"If you do, I'll owe you one."
"I'll take that."
David's eyebrows shot up when Dan opened the door. "Shit. You have been in the wars. Is it just your face, or did your pretty body get messed up too?"
Dan answered by closing the door and pulling off his shirt.
"Fuck! Who did this to you?"
"A friend. It was all consensual, before you ask."
"Good, because I'm all up for retribution, but I don't think I'm gonna fare too well against the guy who's tough enough to do that to you."
"You're not wrong."
"Is this what you were going to show me?"
"Yeah. This is my big secret. Once a month, I see a guy, and I let him hurt me." He walked back to bed, and David followed him, toeing off his shoes as he went.
"So you're a masochist? Why didn't you tell me? Think of all the fun things we could have been doing!"
"No, it's not like that. Pain and sex are both good, but separate, and it needs to stay that way."
"Wait, this guy you're talking about- its not that 'one guy' who's dating your ex? The one who's magnetic and intense?"
"Did I say that?"
"Yes. You were drunk."
"Yeah. Same guy."
"That's fucked up, dude. Remind me never to think about dating you. Seriously." He flopped down beside Dan and opened his paper bag, handing him a sandwich.
Dan stared at the food. "I told you it was complicated."
"And this time he beat you up. And what- cut your back? Those aren't whip marks."
"Threw me into some glass shelves. But I asked for that. Like, literally, begged him to keep hurting me."
"Why? You don't deserve that shit. You're not the bad guy."
"It's not because I feel like I need to be punished. At least, not anymore. It started that way- that's where my scars come from."
"I do love your sexy flame scars."
"I noticed," Dan smiled. "I just like giving him control. He makes me feel good."
"Now that's something of which I do approve. How does your ex feel about it?"
"I think she kinda gets it. She came over last night to help when things went wrong, and then we all slept in his enormous bed. But she knows he's… an unusual guy."
"I think you're about sixty levels beyond complicated," David declared, and took a bite out of his own sandwich.
Dan laughed. He had to remember to stop doing that. It still hurt. "At least we talk about it. You taught me that's important."
"Do they know about your religious conversion?"
"Sort of. They know who I believe in, but I haven't told them about the group. I like keeping it private, something that's just for me."
"Your secret Satanist friends. Do they know about me?"
"They know there’s someone, but they don't know it's you."
“Hmm. I think I like being the mysterious lover. And just what is it about me that's so scandalous?”
Dan didn't rise to the bait, growing serious. "Mostly, the circumstances of the case, and the events that led to my conversion."
David sighed. "I still miss him, you know?"
"I know. I still miss Charlotte too. But I like what we have."
"Friends with benefits still working for you?"
"Very much. Especially when the benefits include lunch and keeping me company when I can barely move."
"I know, I'm going soft. I might have to fuck you senseless as soon as you're better, just so you can remember what this is supposed to be about."
"Oh, you don't need to worry about that. I'm looking forward to having you ride my cock again as soon as I'm able."
David smiled and wiggled. "Hnngh. You are a such a service top. I'm not surprised you're also a masochist."
"I like making you squirm."
"And you do it so well," he said with a sly look. "But we need to change the subject before I start getting ideas."
Dan chewed his sandwich thoughtfully. “Did you ever hear anything about Lucifer creating the stars?”
“Huh. That’s a new one. Where did you get that from?”
“Must have heard it somewhere.”
They spent some time eating and chatting about the names of the Devil, how there were different opinions about whether they were all the same person, but Dan knew. Everywhere that people saw darkness, his Lucifer was the being who got the blame. He was the world's scapegoat, and it wasn't fair. He said as much. David agreed.
After lunch, Dan tried to lie down and get comfortable, but it wasn't easy. There were too many cuts and bruises. David went and fetched him more pillows from the closet, and piled them under his back. He lay half propped up.
David's green eyes lit up as he looked him over, and he smiled lecherously. "I know you said you weren't up to much, but…"
"I'm sore all over."
"I'm sure I could find a few places that aren't so bad." He took Dan's right arm and gently bent it to kiss his elbow.
Dan laughed hard, making the bruises on his abs burn, and let himself enjoy it for a minute. Lucifer's handiwork was going to linger for days. He should stop David before this went anywhere, or things were going to get confusing, but his slender friend was already on his hands and knees, hovering over him and leaning to kiss his forehead.
"Here? How about here?" He shifted again and kissed his eye, delicate and sensual.
A tiny moan escaped Dan's lips, and he felt the heat rush and gather in his groin.
David's hand moved down as he kissed the uninjured corner of his mouth, ready to tempt him but finding that it was unnecessary. "Well, it's a good thing you called. I think you definitely need a hand with this."
Dan moaned, aching with need. "Alright you win. Just…"
"What?" He worked open his belt and pulled it loose.
"Please, don't touch the bruises? They're… sacred. Unholy."
"Whatever you say, darling," David grinned. He popped the button on Dan's jeans and tugged them down. His length sprang free and bobbed for attention. It was met with an enthusiastic tongue.
Dan knew this was a bad idea. What happened to keeping things separate? But he was wound so tight after listening to the two of them make all kinds of noise the night before. He had squashed down the urges then, but they wouldn't stay that way, and he longed for release. He needed it. That's why he'd called David in the first place, right? Barely suppressed horniness.
Fuck it felt good. He wasn't going to last long either, which was probably for the best. Less opportunity for confusing thoughts. Of Lucifer in all his terrifying glory, of the feel of him between his thighs as he was carried. Of high pitched cries, and deeper growls coming from the bathroom. Of the feel of hot, unholy mess splashing on his belly.
"David, I'm- ungh!"
David swallowed and sucked, eaking out every drop of pleasure, and licked him clean. Dan stared up at the ceiling, catching his breath, trying to gather his thoughts, but they were interrupted.
“Wow, that escalated fast. I think you just went up a few notches on the complicated scale.”
“I don’t think things are quite as separate as you want to believe.”
“Well, at least I have a couple of months to detangle them. After last night, we decided to skip a month.”
“Because he threw you around?”
“Nngh. Yeah. Let’s remember that while I’m all post-orgasmic, that’ll help.”
“Maybe you need to stop fighting those urges and think about what you actually want.”
“No. If I do that, there’s no way it ends well. At best, I lose what I have, at worst, I wreak havoc on my entire family. So I’m going to keep shutting the door on those kinds of thoughts, and pretending everything is fine, and hopefully it will all work out okay.”
David rose up on his knees, walking his fingers up a winding, uninjured path on Dan’s chest. “Sounds like you could use a distraction.” He inched forward.
Dan grabbed his waist in both hands, pulling him closer. “Well, I guess I now owe you two, one for lunch and one for ...dessert.” He lifted David’s t-shirt and bent forward to lick his navel. Pain lanced through his body. Maybe blurring some lines wouldn't be too bad, just this once.
David hung around afterwards. He was never one to rush off, and he wanted to make sure Dan was okay. He lay on his belly, naked from the waist down, and scrolled lazily through his phone. "Hey you know what? I've got a friend coming to visit next month. If you're not doing your thing, how would you like to meet her?"
Dan gave him a sideways look. "That sounds like a set up. Are you sure you want to introduce her to someone this complicated?"
"Not like that, you moron," he laughed. "She and I share the same philosophy. And sometimes we share other things too." He put down his phone and looked at Dan seriously. "You seem like a sharing kind of guy."
"Are you inviting me to a threeway?" Dan asked after a brief pause.
"Yes. But not just any threeway. When we get together, we do it as a kind of religious offering. I still have to ask her if she'd be interested, but I wanted to run the idea by you first."
Dan reached out and ran his fingers over soft, velvety hair. "I seem to remember asking you if you did that kind of thing when we first met, and you flatly denied it."
"You asked if the group did it, which we don't. But sometimes people in the group do, and that's their personal business. Besides you were being a dick and I wasn't about to explain the difference between a stereotypical Satanic orgy and a Sharing."
"I'm sorry. So what does it involve?"
"Three believers. Prayers. We take turns- giving one person pleasure at a time and offering that pleasure up in prayer. We call it a Sharing because we share each other, and we share our pleasure with the Devil."
"Can I ask why?"
"There's a kind of intimacy to it. It helps us feel closer to him. You've been with us for a long time now, and I think you're ready for it."
"In spite of being complicated."
"I'm hoping it might help you get some clarity. Figure out what you actually want."
“What I truly desire...” Dan said, the words echoing in his head. The idea of the Sharing was appealing, and not just because he’d never had a threesome. He liked the idea of sharing intimacy with people who believed as he did. It wasn’t as though Lucifer would actually hear the prayers, anyway. He said they mostly fizzled out before they reached him. And going by the Devil’s track record, he wasn’t going to be upset about Dan seeing two people at once. “I think… I think I might like being a part of something like that.”
“Excellent.” David grinned and held up his phone. “Say cheese. I need a picture to tempt her with.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to wait until my bruises have healed?”
“Trust me, that’s not going to put her off.” He clicked as Dan smiled.
“Do I get to see a picture of her?”
“Sure.” He flicked through and showed Dan a picture of a lady with a cheeky smile and long, red curls. She wore a tight, fifties style dress which showed off her toned and curvaceous figure.
“Oh, wow. I really hope she says yes.”
Lucifer talks about his past.
WARNING: Lucifer is going to be describing things that happened in Hell. So it might be scary and it might be gross, depending on how squeamish you are. Proceed at your own discretion.
Dan was getting more adept in the use of concealer these days, but nothing was going to disguise the ugly purple splodge at the corner of his mouth. He started trying to cover it before he returned to work, but it was still very tender and the thought of doing the whole thing and then having to take it off again at the end of the day made him wince. Which was odd. He'd been enjoying the after effects of Lucifer's ministrations all weekend, but he still felt squeamish about doing anything to harm himself. It was reassuring to know he wasn't just a pain junkie- there had to be meaning behind the pain. Like the difference between just having sex and making love.
Okay, so maybe that's not the best kind of comparison. But still.
He hadn't heard from Lucifer since he saw him Saturday morning, but Chloe had messaged him to let him know everything was okay. No more flare ups.
He got to work and went straight to his desk, hoping to just get on with stuff and avoid any awkward questions. But when Ella came over to collect her morning coffee, her eyes widened and her jaw dropped. She hooked an arm through his elbow and dragged him into the lab.
She spun him around to face her. "Dan. Talk to me."
"Don't play dumb."
He touched the corner of his mouth gingerly. "It's fine. It's nothing."
She shook her head decisively. "That's not nothing. That's a facial contusion from an impact with some kind of blunt instrument, the size and configuration consistent with a fist," she rattled off, in an I-know-what-I'm-talking-about-so-don't-fuck-with-me tone. "In other words, who the Hell punched you in the mouth?"
"I dunno. I just got in a… bar fight, okay?"
"I fought a bar and I lost." The twitch of his lips he caused himself stung like a bitch.
"Dan, this is bad," she urged him. "Someone hurt you, and they shouldn't get away with it."
"It's not like that, Ella. It's fine, really. Let it go."
"Let it go? You're lucky you didn't lose any teeth!"
He heaved a sigh and relented, speaking quietly. "Okay, here's the thing. This-" he gestured at his face, "-this is something I wanted. Something I asked someone to do for me. It was all done with my consent."
Ella's eyebrows went up an inch. "Are we talking consent as in red for stop and green for holy shit that's good?"
"More or less," he said shuffling.
"Dude! You have a dominatrix?" She grinned and punched him in the arm.
"No, and don't do that."
She put a hand to her mouth. "Crap, I'm sorry. That's not like foreplay or something, is it?"
"No, it's not- shut up! You make it sound like a kinky sex thing."
"No. It's… it's complicated."
"Gotcha. Are we talking girlfriend material?"
"Ella, please, will you stop? It's a thing, a very private thing, and I'm suddenly regretting that we left visible marks, but then again, it was probably worth it, so-"
For a moment Dan panicked, but then he realised she was waving. Speak of the Devil, and all that. He reminded himself to breathe.
"Have you seen Dan's face?"
And panic returned. "Ella!" he hissed.
"What? You give me that nugget and then clam up? No way. I'm setting the master interrogator on you."
"Miss Lopez," Lucifer answered with a smile. "Daniel. Where's my coffee?"
"On my desk. I'll just grab it for you."
Ella caught his arm as he went to leave. "Nope. You've got juicey gossip and I need answers."
"Ella, come on, this is personal stuff."
"Do we not do personal stuff anymore? Come on. You looked after me when I was sky high. Lucifer, ask him about how he got his face messed up."
Lucifer thrust his hands into his pockets. "Do I have to? I'm not sure I'd like the answer."
"Yes. It's for science."
"How is this for science?" Dan asked.
"I'll let you know as soon as I have the deets."
"Okay, clearly you are not going to leave this alone, so here it is. I am involved in a relationship with someone which is very intense and very intimate, but not in a sexual or romantic way. I do care about them a great deal, and they care about me, and the arrangement is mutually beneficial and deeply satisfying. But it's not something I can talk about openly, out of respect for them. If it became widely known there would be negative repercussions for both of us."
"I was wrong," Lucifer admitted. "I do like that answer. Although I'm confused about the negative repercussions part. I mean, obviously you could become a subject of ridicule, but I'm not sure what the other party has to lose."
"I expect that they might object to being associated with me in that manner."
"I don't see why. It's only the truth, after all. Perhaps you're worried about being associated with the other party?"
"No! Not at all. It's just some things are better when they're kept private."
"If it continues, people are bound to find out sooner or later."
"I'll deal with that when it happens. Come on, before your coffee gets cold."
“Crap!” Ella grabbed him again as he went to move again.
“It’s a guy!”
Dan sighed with relief. If that’s all she had, he was safe for now. “Yes, it’s a guy. So what?”
“No, it’s just, I thought maybe Maze, but I guess not.”
Lucifer laid a hand lightly on Dan’s shoulder. “Come on, I think this interrogation is finished. Let’s go get my coffee.”
Ella watched them walk away, but something nagged at her attention. The way Lucifer hovered over him, almost protectively. The way Dan just did what he asked without complaining. Come to think of it, he’d been doing that a lot lately. She ran through the strange conversation they’d just had in her head and the pieces clicked into place. Damn!
Meanwhile, Dan sat at his desk under the stairs and passed the Devil his coffee.
Lucifer continued to hover.
"You know, if you want something, all you have to do is ask," Dan told him.
He sipped from his cup. "I was wondering if I could come to your place tonight."
"Chloe suggested we have a certain conversation. I thought you might feel more comfortable about it in your own home."
"You mean the conversation about your old job?"
Dan nodded. "I'd like that. But can it wait a few days?"
The crease on Lucifer's brow was tiny, but Dan noticed the change. "I don't want to scare you. If you'd rather not talk about it, I won't force it on you."
There were advantages to the slightly secluded position. "Dark Lord," he said softly, "I'm not afraid. I just thought that it's a kind of conversation that will be heavy on emotion. And if that's the case, it might involve some hugs, and I can do that a lot better when my bruises have gone down a little."
The crease deepened. "You are an oddity, Daniel, but I'm grateful for you nonetheless. Let me know when you feel ready."
"Yes, Dark Lord."
It was a week later when Dan invited Lucifer to his apartment. The marks all over his body were fading, and he made sure the whole place was spotlessly tidy. He also had David over for the weekend, to ensure that he'd worked off any remaining sexual tension. His friend had been more than happy to indulge him, and had stayed Saturday night for a second helping on Sunday morning. Neither of them made any attempts at snuggling.
Dan had also visited a specialist liquor store and splurged out on bottle of single malt scotch, knowing that even if it wouldn't be up to the standards of Lucifer's private stock, it would be less of an insult than anything else in the apartment.
He grabbed a burger on the way home, and had a quick shower and changed before Lucifer arrived.
The Devil didn't do nervous, though sometimes his efforts to seem happy and light hearted were slightly forced. This evening, he was strangely quiet. He sat on the sofa, sipping his whisky- which he admitted wasn't bad- and gathering his thoughts. Dan waited beside him until he was ready.
"I don't know where to start. There's too much. An eternity's worth."
"How about you start with the dream? You were speaking a strange language, what was that?"
"Lilim. The language of demons."
"So you were talking to a demon?"
"One of the lesser ones. He questioned my orders, in front of others, so I had to make sure he understood that was not acceptable."
"Is it something that really happened down there?"
"It never used to. But in the last few years, there were a few occasions."
"Time moves differently there. For you, I was gone six weeks. For me, it was three years."
Dan filed that bit of information as somehow important. "So what did you do to the guy who questioned you?"
Dan leaned towards him. "The point of talking about this is that you don't have to keep hiding all the bad stuff. It won't work if you don't talk about it."
"You sound like Doctor Linda. Not that I could share those kind of details with her."
"Which is why you're here with me. You have to trust me, Lucifer."
He stared for a moment. "The first time it happened, I hoisted the demon up in the air by one arm and pierced his belly with my claw. He knew better than to make a sound about it, and everyone present could hear the wet tearing of his flesh. Then I stuck my finger into the hole and pulled out most of his intestines. I told him to go about his duties. He had to carry his innards around in a basket until he dropped down dead."
Dan took a deep swig from his own glass but said nothing.
"The second time, I took a blade and sliced the demon's tongue right down the middle for an insolent remark. As if that wasn't enough, I also cut through both his cheeks to his lips. He couldn't even shut his mouth, and the blood flowed out like a waterfall. He never spoke ill of me again. He never spoke at all after that. I did see him try to eat once. He had to hold his jaw in one hand and move it up and down to make himself chew. The other hand was constantly busy trying to keep the food in his mouth as it tended to leak out the sides."
"If you're trying to gross me out, it's not working. I've seen horror movies."
"Yes, but the difference is, this is not just a story, Daniel. These are things that I've actually done. Shall I tell you about the time one demon refused to kneel? I smashed all the bones in her feet so she couldn't stand, then I smashed her hands and kneecaps so she couldn't even crawl. She had to wiggle around on her belly like a snake. The others found it amusing at first, and kept her as a pet to torture, but in the end they got bored and devoured her."
Lucifer seemed strangely detached. His legs stretched out in front of him, he leaned into the back of the sofa, waving his glass as he talked as if he were enjoying a pleasant after dinner conversation. But Dan knew there was more to it. He was being tested. This was Lucifer's version of sticking his toe in the bath to see if he would turn away in disgust. So he kept pushing.
"But you don't care about any of that stuff. You talk about it as if it were just some movie. This isn't the stuff that makes you freak out and wake up screaming in the night. You said you were caught in a loop. What does that mean?"
"It's one of the ways that we punish souls. We put them in a certain kind of cell, one that feeds on their guilt to create a reality in which they have to relive horrors of their own devising. It might be something they wished they'd never done, or some nightmare that preys on their deepest fears and insecurities. Hell digs into their subconscious and creates the worst tortures for them."
"Please tell me Pierce has one of those."
Lucifer gave a sly grin. "Sometimes. I was telling the truth when I said he was Cain. He's been alive for a very long time. So now time is his enemy. Every piece of food he tries to eat rots in his hand before he can taste it. Every person he tries to screw withers and decomposes as soon as he gets near. Every beautiful thing he looks at disintegrates to dust, and all his clothes are rags. His entire existence is decay and despair."
"But of course he's not just the first murderer, he was a manipulative arse-wipe that hurt a lot of people I care about. So I also spent a great deal of time removing his skin piece by piece. If I did it slowly enough, then one end would start to grow back by the time I reached the other, and I could just keep going for weeks on end."
"Fuck. Thank you."
Lucifer spluttered into his glass. "You know, that's the first time anyone's ever thanked me for skinning someone alive. Well, not exactly alive, obviously. Perhaps it counts as flaying a corpse."
Dan laughed, but there was little humour in it. "So maybe I'm less reformed than I thought I was. I like the idea of that kind of retribution."
"He did plenty to deserve it."
"So the cells where the loops play out, do they just work on their own, or do you have to create them?”
“Hell does most of the work. It almost has a kind of life of its own, and it consumes the guilt and sends it back tenfold. The cells are like its feeding trough. But I can tweak them, and so can some of the more powerful demons. Maze is very good at it, she has a great deal of imagination for torture. If we had to design a cell for everyone, we’d be run ragged. So they get put in there when they arrive, and the loop grows around them, like a dream. I don’t tend to interfere in them much, but if someone does something that I find personally distasteful, I might turn up the volume as it were. After how much he willfully hurt the Detective, I decided to do that very thing to Perry Smith, so I paid him a visit. You can imagine how surprised I was when your face turned up just prior to his demise.”
“Yeah,” Dan dropped his head. “Not one of my best decisions. But we’re not talking about me tonight, this is about you." He turned back to Lucifer, pressing for answers. "Your nightmares. Your loop. So what do you do to make loops worse?”
“Usually, find the thing they care about most, and make them watch as it’s destroyed. For some, it’s something immaterial. Their reputation lost, their secrets spread across the internet and everyone turning on them. For some, it’s their integrity. Doing the thing they feel most guilty about, betraying their own morality. If it was a lie, I might make it so they can never speak the truth. If it’s a person, they get to watch as their loved one suffers. Sometimes they make them suffer themselves." His eyes wandered up to the far corner of the room. "Sometimes, they might get stuck stabbing them in the heart, over and over.” He emptied his glass down his throat and Dan poured him another large measure.
“Is that what happened to you?”
“Not this time. That’s another story, which involves a number of facts I don’t believe you’re ready to hear.”
“Will you tell me one day?”
Dan moved closer and took his hand. “You came here to tell me your fears. But so far, it feels like you’re just trying to scare me, to push me away. You have to trust that I’m not going anywhere. I’m here for you, and it doesn’t matter what you’ve done.”
“I’m working up to it. You’re right in that I’m testing you. But it’s a part of the process, and I promise I’ll tell you why before I go.”
“Okay. So talk.”
Lucifer put down his glass in favour of holding Dan’s hand tightly in both of his own. “You know that I tortured people too. That I had a direct hand in causing pain and torment to the souls of the damned.”
“I know. That’s why I asked you that favour in the first place, right?”
“Indeed. But what I do to you is nothing compared to what I did to them.”
“I’m getting that impression.” He said it lightly, but his eyes were serious. He knocked back the last of his drink and set the glass on the coffee table.
“The thing to remember is that a soul is not physical in the same way as a body. As a celestial being, I can interact with it as though it were. That’s how I was able to take off Cain’s skin. Hell itself is a spiritual realm, quite unlike ours, and time is not the only thing that works differently there. I can do things to a soul and still keep them awake and aware long past the point a living body would have passed out or died.”
“What kind of things?”
“For a start, souls don’t run out of blood. And they don’t actually need to breathe, although they often still think they do. One time I picked up a whip, a terrible barbed thing, and struck a soul who was chained to the wall until he looked like a piece of raw steak. I kept going until the meat fell off, and he was down to the bare bones of his ribcage. He was still screaming.”
“Why? What did he do?”
“I have no idea. I just chose him at random. Someone was spreading rumours that I’d gone soft while I’d been away. I heard mutterings, and I knew that if I didn’t prove the rumours wrong, then the demons would try to escape again. So I stepped up my regime. There aren’t days and nights there, but you get a sense of time. At regular intervals I would choose a soul, take them from their cell, and torture them for an extended period just to prove a point. A very important point, but nothing more. It wouldn't have been as effective if I'd only chosen the worst sinners."
"And that's the stuff that happens in your nightmares."
"Yes." He fixed Dan with a stare from which neither could break away. "Burning oil. Shattered bones. Rivers of blood."
"You say it so easily."
"It was easy. That's what terrifies me. Not the things that I did, but that I did them without regret, without disgust or guilt. I'm afraid of the monster inside. I'm afraid that I will become nothing but darkness, a soulless demon, a creature without a heart." That was when his composure finally cracked. His voice trembled, and his face fell.
Dan left the sofa to kneel in front of him, holding his hands and looking up into his eyes. "You're not. You survived. If six weeks is three years, then I can't even begin to measure how long it must have been since the beginning. And yes, I won't deny you've done terrible things. Nor I will I justify them by saying you were forced into it. You chose from a number of bad options. But your story didn't end there. You escaped, you came here, and caused mayhem in all our lives. And that's not a bad thing. You still care, you always did. Your soul shines so bright, it's hard to look at sometimes. There's darkness in you too, but somehow you find that balance. Lucifer, you're not evil. I've seen evil, and I've seen what evil does, and that's not you."
"So what is the darkness if it's not evil?"
"Pain. Loneliness. Fear. Anger. All the bad feelings that haunt us. Look at it, feel it, learn from it, but don't let it make you doubt who you are."
"But I know what I am. The Devil. The Monster from the pit. Outcast and Fallen."
"That's what you were. But you were something else before that, now you're something else again."
"I Fell," he insisted, his voice straining as eons of pent up emotion threatened to erupt. "Literally, like a comet, a burning ball of feathers and rejection. My own Father ordered it, my own brothers and sisters carried out the sentence. I stayed in Hell for so long because I thought it was what I deserved."
Dan pulled him close and held him tight. "No. No way, you didn't deserve that."
"You don't know! You can't know."
"I know you. And I think Hell was probably feasting on your guilt more than any of the other souls in there. I get the feeling your suffering was the best meal it ever had. It's had too long to grow. But already, I can see it's shrinking. Keep holding onto the good stuff, the light, and the darkness will just slowly melt away."
Lucifer clung to him, as the storm inside settled. "You mean stuff like you? And Chloe?"
"Yes. Especially Chloe. She's brighter than anything, and she will never doubt you again. Ella too. And work. And your family."
"My family?" he said, pulling away, confused.
"I mean Amenadiel, and Charlie and Linda. Even Maze. They're all a part of you, a reflection of who you are." Dan pressed a thumb to Lucifer's cheek, catching a single tear as it fell.
"When did you get so insightful?"
"I've been talking to David a lot about this stuff. Darkness and evil, pain and sin. He lost someone too."
"Sounds like he's quite a character. He doesn't hurt you too, does he?"
"Why, would you be jealous?"
"It's your choice, I suppose."
"So that's a yes, then." Dan sat back on his heels, but stayed kneeling. "Don't worry. You're my only Master. My pain is all yours."
Lucifer have a small smile, and returned to his drink. "How do you humans deal with all the darkness?"
"We don't, always. It makes us do all kinds of bad stuff to try to make ourselves feel better."
"Like running to the Devil, you mean?"
"Actually, that was one of my better ideas."
"You have no regrets, then, about us?"
"None. I wouldn't trade you in for a million dollars."
"Come here," Lucifer instructed, patting the seat beside him. Dan, naturally, did exactly as he was told, and let himself be guided down to rest his head on the Devil's lap. He stared up at him, adoring, as Lucifer twisted a lock of his hair around one finger and then pulled. He hummed in contentment.
"It's going to be okay, Dark Lord."
"Is it? Sometimes it feels like I just run from one catastrophe to another. Everything I touch turns to ashes."
"No. Bad things happen to all of us, and you can't blame yourself. Chloe and I are cops, trouble tends to follow us. You've done a lot of good too."
"Like saving our lives, for a start. Saving Trixie. Stopped a while ton of bad guys. And of course, you've made Linda extremely happy, she would never have had her family without you."
"Are you happy, Daniel?"
"Very. I feel like I'm finally getting on top of stuff. You've helped me more than you know."
"And yet you still call me Lord of your Darkness. Does the darkness still trouble you?"
"It's still there, but when it starts trying to scare me, I just remind it that I belong to you, and it shuts the fuck up. Are you happy?"
"Yes. I think I can say with absolute certainty that I'm happier than I've ever been. I don't know how long it can last, but I intend to enjoy it as long as I can."
They stayed there quietly for a while, just enjoying the silence, the shared moment.
“Would you have any objections if I were to stay tonight?”
“Well, I have no intention of taking the couch. I know it’s not our usual arrangement, but the fact that you’re still looking at me like that, after all I’ve told you… well, it’s a rather unique feeling, and I don’t want it to end just yet.”
“Sure. I mean, of course you can stay. I mean, we will have to move to bed at some point, but right now, I just want to lie right here.”
“Lovely. That's one desire I would be delighted to fulfil.”
When the alarm went off the next morning, Dan awoke with Lucifer spooned behind him, strong arms circling his waist. He pulled his phone out from under the pillow and hit snooze. Lucifer sighed and hugged him tighter.
"It's a shame about the no biting rule. I could really sink my teeth into you from here, and leave a beautiful set of imprints on your shoulder."
Dan inhaled deeply and whined. "Don't tempt me. There's a reason she added that rule. She knows what it does to me."
"I see. So you've had these tendencies a while then."
"I've had suspicions. Things I liked, that were borderline acceptable."
"How on earth did you get to this stage in life without indulging your true desires?"
"I thought it was wrong. I thought there was something wrong with me for wanting it."
Lucifer loosened his grip and pulled Dan around to face him. "There's nothing wrong with you. You have a gift. You are truly remarkable, and I think it's about time I thanked you for everything you've given me."
Dan gazed at him, awed once more. "You're welcome," he remembered to say at last. But then he groaned. "We should probably get up for work."
"One moment," Lucifer said. His hand morphed and rested against Dan's chest. "I'd like to offer you a little something in exchange for last night. A reward, if you will, that you carry with you the rest of the day."
Dan looked down at the claw, his stomach tightening with want. "Please!"
He gasped at the first bite of pain as Lucifer increased the pressure, slowly scraping a thin, red line down his belly. It stung as it broke through the skin, shallow but just enough to bleed a little. He felt his head spin at the sight of one gleaming, ruby droplet. “Master,” he breathed, laying his forehead on the Devil’s chest. Lucifer held him for a few minutes until the alarm buzzed again. “Go and get in the shower before that closes,” Lucifer instruced. “The hot water should light it up wonderfully.”
Dan smiled, and obeyed.
Dan has a couple of friends over.
It doesn't exactly turn out as planned.
WARNING: This is Dubious Consent chapter.
Feel free to skip it if it's a problem. It's not exactly rape, it's not violent, it's not intentional. But... things are done without permission.
The day for the Sharing arrived.
Dan was nervous, but also excited. It felt like a date. Not exactly a romantic date, but even so he was emotionally invested. He booked the afternoon off work to give himself extra time to get ready. David had seen him in all states of disarray, but he had a new lady to impress.
David was first to arrive. He said Fiona was on her way. They sat and had a beer while they waited. David picked up Dan's hand and kissed it, planting his lips at intervals up his arm and inching his way closer. He pushed up the short sleeve of his shirt, a black button up with red starburst designs, and then tugged at his collar to bare the skin of his neck. Dan groaned and grabbed his hips to pull him astride his lap.
"Is it customary to start before everyone gets here?" he asked.
"Don't worry. Fiona won't mind if we warm each other up a little."
"Hmmm. I'm definitely feeling warmer."
There was a knock at the door, and David leapt up to answer it. "That'll be her now." He let in a stunning beauty a few inches shorter than himself. Her auburn hair was pinned up in such a way that curly tendrils tumbled around her face and over shoulders. She wore a form fitting black dress with buttons all the way down the front. There were three sixes tattooed on her upper arm, surrounded by deep red roses.
She dumped her bag, closed the door behind her, and flung herself at David, grinning with lips painted scarlet. He caught her face in his hands and turned it to kiss her. It was a kiss that lacked nothing in passion or enthusiasm. They stumbled through the room towards where Dan was sitting with their lips still fastened together and their hands already tugging at each other's clothes.
"Damn, I missed you!" David gasped as he bent to get his fingers under the hem of her skirt, pushing it up to reveal stocking tops.
"I missed you too," she said, busy with fastenings at his waist. Dan couldn't see from this angle, but from David's moan he guessed she already had his cock in her hand. "It's been too long. I'm ravenous."
"I'm hungry too. But let's not forget our host." With hands on her hips, he simultaneously pulled her skirt higher and turned her to face Dan.
"Hello host! I'm Fiona."
"I'm Dan, pleased to-"
He was interrupted by a loud gasp, as she rolled her head back and bit into her lip. "Oh, praise Satan!" she said happily.
"Praise Satan!" David responded, holding her close and moving slowly behind her. He leaned in to kiss her ear.
Dan sat there staring, at a loss as to what was expected of him next.
"What's the matter, Dan? Haven't you ever seen two people fucking before?" she asked.
"Um… not in real life, no."
"Oh, sweet little lamb! Come here."
"Why, are you going to sacrifice me?" he said, half jokingly. She laughed, but it was cut off by another gasp.
He stood and walked the few steps between them, David grinning at him over her shoulder all the while. His face smeared with traces of lipstick. She looked Dan up and down, her eyes stopping on the bulge in his pants. "Maybe not so little. Would you like to Share with us?"
"Yeah. I mean, please. I think I'd like that a lot."
"Do you… hhhnnnmmm." She interrupted herself this time as David pressed deep. She squirmed a bit and started undoing the buttons on Dan's shirt. "Do you serve the Devil too?"
"I do," he replied, tracing a thumb over her tattoo and daring to place a kiss on it.
"Do you worship him with all your heart?" She pushed the shirt from his frame, caressing him as it fell to the floor.
"I do." Just not right now. That would be highly inappropriate. He felt a little bolder, or maybe just even hornier, but he popped open the top two buttons of her dress and kissed both her breasts and filled his hands with them. It might have been a bit forward, but then she was screwing his lover less than a minute after entering his home.
She didn't appear to mind, making more happy noises. "Then get on your knees and worship, my dear lamb."
Fiona had arrived without underwear. He lifted the front of her skirt to find a tidy mound of ginger curls. Damn, it looked good. It smelled good too. He lowered himself to his knees and pressed his face there, kissing her as a mark of respect before sweeping over her with his tongue. It was a move meant to part her gently, but of course she was already open and being filled. His tongue brushed over David's cock as it slid in and out of her, slick with her arousal. David vocalised his appreciation wordlessly. Dan felt his own need surge and swell, almost to the point of discomfort.
Almost. But not quite.
He licked again with wide tongue, tasting both of them, and then let himself focus on sucking her clit. Once he had established the right level of suction, he experimented with his tongue, tapping, swirling and finally settling on a gentle rubbing which began to elicit the best response. He timed the motion with David's thrusts, as each one drove home with a little more force.
Fiona's fingers were twisting and pulling in Dan's hair, sending shivers down his spine. She stopped trying to talk and just let herself moan, without shame. He could hear David whispering his prayers behind her; though he couldn't make out all the words he heard a few of Lucifer's names.
Lucifer, who used to do this kind of thing all the time. What would Lucifer do?
Dan gently pushed Fiona's legs a little further apart. He let his thumb replace his mouth so that he could move back and really watch for a bit. He lowered himself onto his haunches and gazed up. David's cock was glistening, buried in pink flesh. He spent a minute or two just looking, marvelling at the sight of it moving in and out, and then reached up to touch the place they joined. Fiona was stretched taut around him, her softness the perfect juxtaposition to his solid length. They felt amazing. He kept one hand there, enjoying that feeling, and then turned back to keep sucking Fiona.
Gradually Dan's fingers crept back a bit further, seeking more of David, only to find he was still mostly trapped in his jeans. He somehow managed to keep his mouth where it was while he reached around Fiona, grabbed David's pockets, and pulled them down to his knees. From there, he snaked his arm between their legs again and gently cupped his balls, softly teasing them. David stuttered in his litany momentarily, and Dan made it his mission to see if he could make him lose it.
Ensuring his fingers were good and wet, he reached back even further, squeezing between his buttocks and toying with his entrance. The words of the prayer were dragged out into moans, and Dan pushed inward. David clamped down on his finger instantly. “Oh Dan, sweet Lucifer, fuck!” he cried, and Dan waited until he untensed before he stroked him inside.
Fiona’s voice rose as David began to thrust more urgently, and so Dan made an extra effort with his tongue. He wondered if he could get them to climax together. The trick would be to try to match David to Fiona’s pace. He didn’t know her responses as well, but he could tell she was getting closer all the time. If he could get David near the edge and keep him there, he was pretty sure he could nudge him over it at the right moment.
It was a challenge, especially with both of them moving so frantically, but the focus required took his mind off his own aching hardness. With his spare hand on her thigh, he could feel her muscles tensing.
“I’m… Satan, accept... this offering!” she panted, her body falling forward. Dan quickly raised his hand to catch her above the waist, and she leaned into him. He kept licking her softly, lingering and drawing out her pleasure as he twitched and beckoned David to follow. It only took a few more seconds.
“Lord Lucifer, accept this offering,” he intoned breathlessly, and his hips grew still as his body shuddered. Dan drew back gently from them both.
Fiona looked up, holding Dan’s shoulders for support. “Fuck, David, you came already?”
He smiled. “I’m still good. I came, but I didn’t ejaculate. Our so-called lamb stuck his finger up my ass. For a straight guy, he certainly knows what he’s doing.”
"How can he be straight if he's been fucking you all this time?"
"He's only gay for Satan."
"I'm not gay for… shut up."
“Cheeky lamb. I’m beginning to see why David wanted to Share you.”
“You’re welcome,” Dan said, wiping his lips. “Would you like to continue this in the bedroom?”
“Yes! I want to see what else you can do.” she followed him, slowly unbuttoning her dress as she went. “What's with the angel wings?”
“Wings?” Dan wasn't sure what she meant, but she was standing in her stockings and bra, and it was rather distracting.
“The scars.” Her fingertips ghosted over the marks on his chest, and he trembled.
“It's a brand. It's meant to be hellfire.” He looked down, trying to see what she saw. Once he'd found it, it was hard to unsee. There were two flames at the top, which could have been wing tips if the wings were extended upwards.
“Wow. That's some pretty hard-core devotion to get that much work done,” she noted.
Dan scoffed. “You have no idea.”
“Did it hurt?” Her hands were busy opening his jeans and getting rid of them, and he wasn't quite sure how much he should say.
“We're getting into personal territory now.”
“So I'm nosey.”
He turned to David, who sat silently watching. He was already naked, having discarded his own clothing on the way to the bedroom. He gave a small nod of encouragement.
“Yes it hurt," Dan said. His body was bare, and he trusted David enough to bare his soul too. "It was my first experience of Satanism. It was a revelation.”
He took Fiona's hands and pulled her into the bed. David wiggled closer with a fond look and started kissing him again. But Fiona's questions kept coming.
“Why would you get hellfire branded on your chest before you turned Satanist?”
“I was looking for answers. I found more than I bargained for.”
That seemed to satisfy her and she spread herself over him and kissed him deeply. “I like you. Can we fuck?”
"Isn't that why you're here?"
"I'm here for a Sharing. But that can take many forms. I wouldn't presume your consent to anything."
"What about David?"
"Don't worry about me. I'm happy to watch you guys for a while."
"He's a total voyeur. To be honest, so am I. I'm hoping when I'm done with you, I can watch you fuck him too."
"Shit. I better make sure I pace myself if I wanna last that long."
"Are you worried you're not up to the task?"
"Oh, he's up to it," David assured her. "This guy's got staying power. And abs of fucking steel." He licked said muscles greedily.
"And if I make you both come- again- what's my reward?"
"What do you want?"
"I might have to think about that while I'm fucking you both," he grinned.
"Let's not rush into that just yet," David suggested. "First I want to make sure you fully appreciate all the wonders of your first threesome."
They took turns kissing him, and then they kissed each other, and Dan wasn't sure which he preferred. It was extremely pleasant to press his lips against a woman's soft mouth again, but David was so familiar and knew exactly what he liked. Watching the two of them was highly arousing, and he didn't feel excluded when they did. There were always hands caressing him, grabbing him, and naked bodies pressed against his own. He felt like he was coming to life.
"Detective, we have a problem." Lucifer leaned his hands on Chloe’s desk.
"I need to get through to Daniel, but he's not answering his phone."
Chloe frowned, putting down her paperwork. "Yeah, he left early today, said he had an appointment. Is something wrong?"
"No. Quite sure he's fine, as a matter of fact. But I do need to speak to him rather urgently."
"Hang on, I'll try." While she sat listening to it ring, Lucifer grimaced. She put down the phone. "Are you okay, love?"
He shook his head.
"What's going on? Is it a, you know, thing?" She put a pointed finger at each side of her head.
"What's that meant to be?"
"Horns. I know, technically you haven’t-"
"Yes. Yes its a horny-" he winced at his choice of words "-horns thing. Obviously I have a certain reputation," he began, but was interrupted.
"Which aspect of that reputation are we talking about? The rich playboy one, or the evil incarnate one?"
He just glared. "Sometimes my inadequately informed fan club perform certain kinds of rituals they think I might like."
"Does this involve goats?"
"Detective, please! I'm trying to tell you something important."
"I'm sorry. Let's try again. What's wrong?"
"You know how I hear your prayers? Well there are others out there who can pray too. And right now they've decided that having themselves a little orgy might be something I'm interested in. Which is not usually something I'd complain about, because it's basically free porn, but unfortunately the guest of honour at this event is Daniel, and they're getting very amorous."
"Dan's in a Satanic orgy?"
"Orgy isn't completely accurate, there's only three of them, but I'm seeing things I'd rather not see."
"He's not going to answer his phone, Lucifer. Do you know where he is?"
She stood and picked up her jacket. "We might have to knock on the door."
“I’ll drive. We’ll get there faster.”
Dan was losing himself to the sensations of skin and tongue everywhere at once. There was a tangle of legs and the aromas of sex, and so many hands busy caressing one another. They writhed and pushed their hips together, moist heat and dripping hardness equally satisfying. But as the passion intensified, he wanted more.
"I need to be inside somebody, right now."
"Me first!" Fiona said playfully, rolling onto her back.
Dan moved over her. "Contraception?"
"I've got it covered," she assured him. "Now come closer, my lamb. Much closer." She wrapped her legs around him and guided him in. It was warm and wet and better than he imagined. He had gotten so used to the feel of David's ass, it seemed strange to be back inside a pussy. Strange, but good. So good.
"Praise Satan!" she breathed.
"Praise Satan!'" David responded. He lay beside them, eyes wide, and he stroked himself slowly.
Dan very intently pushed all thoughts of Satan out of his mind, focussing instead on the fact that he was lying between the legs of a truly gorgeous woman.
He lowered his chest onto hers, groaning as he felt the softness of her breasts under him, and kissed her again, tenderly. "We're going to start slow, or I'll be no use to either of you. Understand?"
"Got it." She tilted upwards very gently, taking him deep. He pressed back, and she moaned, still sensitive. "Damn, you feel good."
He leaned to kiss her neck, breathing steadily. Slow. He wanted to last. He wanted to enjoy her warmth and her affection and the whispers of her prayers as long as he could.
When things started to feel too intense, he lifted his head and turned to David. He returned the gaze, his lips moving quietly, his hand moving slow and steady. Dan kept eye contact with him, somehow sensing how much he was enjoying the performance and found he had more control. He let himself move faster, still very deliberately, and rode the wave of their combined pleasure.
Less than halfway to the apartment, Lucifer pulled over at a gas station, breathing hard. "It's no good. You'll have to drive."
She gaped. "You're letting me drive your car? How bad is it?"
He sighed. "Surprisingly, he's doing rather well. I know because I've now got both partners sending me visions, and I can feel everything they feel. Bloody Hell!" He scrambled out of the car and started pacing. Chloe quickly got out and came to stand next to him.
"Tell me what you need."
"I need it to stop. I need to block it out, it's…" he screwed his eyes shut, but then quickly opened them with a look of horror. "Nope. That doesn't help."
She looked around and spotted the door to the restroom. She took his hand and dragged him towards it, but it was locked. "Open it," she said.
He didn't argue. It wasn't the most pleasant place inside, but it wasn't the worst either. A bit run down but mostly clean.
"Detective, what are we doing here?" His breath was getting quicker, and shallow.
"Finding you a distraction." She pulled him close and kissed him. For a moment, he pressed up against her, and she could feel how hard he was, but then he pulled back.
"I can't. You don't understand."
"So tell me!"
"I can feel everything! I can feel his mouth kissing me, feel his weight on me, I can feel him inside and it feels so good, but I don't want it, Chloe!"
She caught his face in her hands, wiping away a tear as it spilled down his cheek. "It's okay. I'm here. I can't make it go away, but maybe I can drown it out a little. Would you like me to try?"
He nodded quietly. It wasn't a good sign, Lucifer was never quiet.
She kissed him again, sending her own prayer, full of pure love. He sighed in relief, but as he got closer, his hips started moving involuntarily.
"It's no good. I can still feel it. There's no escape."
"So let's go with it." She reached inside his jacket pocket and pulled out a condom she knew he kept there, holding it up between two fingers.
He looked so pained, she wasn't sure if she'd got it wrong. "I would be with you, but with him, too," he said.
"I'm okay with that if you are."
"I'm not entirely, but it's better than the alternative."
Chloe held the packet lightly between her teeth while she swiftly undid his trousers, and then tore it open to cover his length. He shivered at her touch; his cock was throbbing. She kissed him once more as she pushed down her own pants and then turned and bent over, gripping the sink.
It was difficult to take his full size without the usual thorough preparation he offered. Lucifer was large, and with all that was happening, it was difficult to get in the right frame of mind. Luckily the condom provided a little lubrication, but her knuckles whitened at the intensity of it. She forced herself to relax and concentrate on loving him. He needed her help. She thought about all the times they made love, the way he always took care of her desires. She pictured him naked, his face between her thighs, the skill with which his fingers curled inside her. It helped.
She stood a little straighter and reached back to touch his hip- partly to reassure him, but also to try and steady his rough, erratic thrusts. Pleasurable sounds leaked out of his throat, followed by pained noises. He hated this, she realised. He was being forced into it, having his freewill taken away, and it hurt him even as his body betrayed him by enjoying it.
She needed somewhere else to take him, mentally at least. Not the penthouse, too many associations. LUX, then. She happened on a memory and conjured up the image of the two of them on an empty dance floor, glitter falling all around them. Her prom moment. She focussed on the music, the feel of him close as they danced, the way her heart longed for him, even then. She prayed all of the feelings, and his arms tightened around her waist, his face buried in her neck. The movement of his hips evened out, pulsing to the beat of the song in her head. She kept him there, safe for a while, and it was becoming more of a pleasant experience. But then he moaned and whimpered, and sped up again.
“I’ve got you, my love,” she whispered. “You’re here, it’s just me.”
“No. No, she’s close. He’s going to make me come, I can’t stop it!”
“Shhh, it’s okay. You can come for me. Inside me. Just breath, don’t fight it.”
He started pumping wildly, smacking against her backside, playing out an echo of what was in his head. “Oh, bloody Hell, he feels good. Yes, that’s it Daniel. No. Not him. Chloe. Arrgh!”
“Lucifer, I love you!” she gasped, just in time, as he felt the pressure snap as the woman sent him every sensation of a truly intense orgasm. The pleasure took him straight over the edge, his cock surging with the release, but his devotee was still writhing and shouting far away in Dan’s apartment. He stood shaking until it subsided, and laid his forehead to Chloe’s back and sobbed.
“It’s okay. It’s over.”
She carefully disengaged and pulled the rubber off him, wrapping it up in a paper towel.
“It’s not okay at all,” he said as she wiped him over and pulled up his pants. “I’ve just been mind-raped by my best friend." His eyes fixed on a distant space. “And it’s not over either. There’s two of them. I think he’s going to do David next.”
“David?” Suddenly the pieces fell into place. Dan said his new partner was someone from a previous case, but she had never for one second expected it to be that case. He was the one who had convinced her to try praying in the first place. His faith was strong, which meant strong prayers, which meant… “We need to get back in the car and stop them before this happens again.”
Dan slowed to a stop as Fiona's cries waned. He gave one final push that made her tremble and then carefully withdrew. As he rolled onto his back beside her, David pressed up against him.
"Ready to go again?"
"Hang on. Let me catch my breath a second."
Fiona moaned contentedly and pecked at his shoulder. "You did good, lamb."
"Thanks." He turned to kiss her but David grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back the other way.
"Hey, she's made enough offerings. It's my turn now."
Dan kissed him lingeringly. His appetite was still strong too. "What did you have in mind?"
David's response was to pick up a condom and bottle of lube from beside the bed. "The usual." He ripped the packet open and put the condom on Dan, who knew what it meant. David was very sensitive after he came, but he still loved sucking cock. "Only this time, dessert will be served by two."
"You're telling me that if I hold out, you're both gonna suck my dick at once?"
"Yeah. Figured you might like to try that." He was smearing lube as he spoke.
"Hell yeah. Are you ready to get your brains fucked out?"
"Only if you're sure you've got your breath back." David straddled him without waiting for an answer, rubbing both of them together in one hand.
"I thought you wanted me in your ass?"
"I do. But I like the feel of you here too." He gave a few more tugs and then lifted his hips, rearranging their position and slowly sinking down. Dan always felt big at first, until he adjusted to the girth of him. But they were both extra horny today, and impatient. David breathed and took the stretch, wanting all of it. "Fuck that's good. I mean, praise Satan."
Dan held him by the hips, tilting carefully, his eyes fixed on him with an intense look. "You feel good too. And you look amazing like that." He loved watching him, the way his slender body rocked and rippled, the way his mouth hung open and his brows tensed. He gave himself over to desire, to feeling, to freedom. His hands were on Dan's chest, running fingers over the scars that might have fire or wings or both. It felt right somehow, as if honouring their shared religion.
David began to utter his prayer once more, but the words became intermittent. His soul never stopped reaching out though, sharing every touch, every sensation. Pleasure, freedom, desire- these were his worship, his offering. He felt like he could keep going all night. Maybe he would. Maybe they would rest and pray after this round, and the Prince of Darkness would grant them the strength to start again.
Fiona liked watching too. She enjoyed men of all shapes and sizes, and women too, but there was something so unholy about watching two men fuck. Perhaps it was the taboo, or perhaps the drive of pure testosterone- but it was also the vulnerability, the trust needed to open oneself to the possibility of both pain and pleasure. She often wondered if they had been designed to be tight to force them to slow down, to learn to appreciate and care for one another. Clearly they were made to pleasure each other in this way. But what kind of a god creates an act so beautiful and then forbids it? In Satan, they were free to live and love as they chose. Without rules, just the creativity of chaos.
She kept praying as she reached for David's cock, wanting to add her own touch to the picture. But though he seemed to be enjoying the attention, Dan touched her arm.
"Not yet," he said. "I'm enjoying this far too much to rush things."
"Dan, for Satan's sake," David whined, "please someone touch me."
"Soon, I promise." His hand curled behind David's neck and pulled him in for a kiss. The slight shift of position gave him a little more space so he could bend his knees, dig in his heels and put more power in his thrusts. He felt drops of precum falling on his belly and buried himself deep. He kept going as long as he could, but it was getting harder to hold on.
At last, he wrapped his fingers around David, smooth, quick strokes that made his breath quicken and his thighs tighten. Dan picked up the pace, his face contorting as held back his own orgasm.
"Accept… my offer- ahhhh!"
Dan felt his ass tense and quiver for a moment, and held very still as streams of white spurted over him. It was mildly disturbing that it was Lucifer's name that David called as he came, but the utter abandonment with which he did it was awe inspiring.
Dan held him while they both caught their breath, and waited for him to be ready to move.
"That was the most incredible thing I've ever seen," Fiona said with a smile.
Lucifer’s fingers were leaving dents in the dashboard. He was cursing non stop, but they were almost there. Chloe could see the entrance to the parking lot.
“We’re not going to make it,” he gagged.
“It’s not far, hold on.”
“No. No no no no no!” He grabbed out his pocket square and shoved it down the front of his trousers, his spine curling forward as his body was overcome a second time. “No, no, no,” he continued whispering as Chloe pulled into a free spot. She took off her seatbelt and helped get rid of the worst of the mess.
“Are they finished now?”
“They are. Dan’s still… by the look of things, he won’t be for much longer. At least I don’t have to experience that one directly.”
“What do you mean? He’s not praying?”
“Of course not. He may be a Douche, but he’s not that daft. Still, he made a choice to join in this little party. If we hurry, we might be able to stop him before I find out exactly what he tastes like.”
They ran through the corridors, but when they got there, Lucifer stopped with his hand on the door. Chloe wasn’t sure why, until she heard the all too familiar grunts and moans emanating faintly from the room behind.
“Did he just…”
“Yes. Under normal circumstances, I’d give them a moment to recover, but strangely, I’m not in a very giving mood.” Before she could say anything else, he slammed the door open.
Chloe rushed in front of him, pulling her gun, mostly out of habit, but also because she was pissed off. “Everybody back the fuck away from each other!” she shouted as she entered the bedroom.
“Chloe?” Dan shouted, embarrassed and confused and a little scared. “What the fuck?”
She holstered her weapon as the two guests scrambled backwards off the bed towards the walls. “I could ask you the same fucking question. Your fuck buddy is David fucking Collins? What the fuck were you thinking, Dan?”
It was difficult to answer, partly because of the craziness of the situation, but also because he had never heard her swear so much in his entire life.
Lucifer was right behind her, barely containing his rage. His eyes darted from one to the other, debating which one to punch in the face first. Not Daniel. He’d like it too much.
Dan still wasn’t sure what was going on, but he had a feeling that it was something very, very bad. “Lucifer?” he whispered.
David swallowed, wiping a stray drip from his face. “Lucifer? Your ‘one guy’ is Lucifer fucking Morningstar? The guy who makes a mockery of everything we’re supposed to believe in? I’m with her, what the fuck, Dan?”
Lucifer clearly reached a decision. He strode over to where David stood, placed a hand on his throat and slowly raised him up the wall. “Oh my dear boy, it’s much worse than that. I’m the Lucifer. The Devil himself. The one you’ve been praying to. And I have to say, I did not appreciate your little offerings.” His his eyes flamed on the final word, and David squeaked.
"I'm sorry if I offended, Mighty One! I didn't know. Please, be merc-"
"David!" Dan shouted in warning. "Stop begging or he'll put you through the wall!"
David obediently went quiet, but now Dan had Lucifer's attention. He let David fall into a crumpled heap and advanced on his disciple. "The only reason I'm not putting you through the wall right now, Detective Douche, is the fact that I know you'd enjoy it! I think we've all asked the question, now it's time for the answer. What were you thinking, hey? What did you desire to get out of this?"
Lucifer seized his bicep- his grip firm, but not tight enough to hurt. He didn’t want to give him that pleasure. "What's the matter? Feeling a little violated, are we? Look at your Master and answer!"
Dan cowered in the face of his roar, and his voice trembled as he answered. "I didn't know you'd hear it. They said it would bring us closer to you. I only wanted to feel close to you."
Lucifer appeared to soften, just for a second, but then his jaw tightened and he let go. "Then I know exactly how to punish you. And it suits me well, because in this moment I can hardly bear to look at you." He turned and walked to the door.
"Lucifer, where are you going?"
"Away from you!"
"Lord of my Darkness!" he called in desperation, knowing that it was all disintegrating around him and fearing the loss.
Lucifer froze mid step. He didn't turn, didn't raise his voice.
"I trusted you, Daniel. I loved you."
As he walked out, Dan felt his heart rent in two. "Chloe…"
She shook her head. "Don't. Right now he needs me a lot more than you do."
"I'm hurt. You hurt both of us."
"I still don't understand what's going on!"
"Ask your friends." She turned and followed after her Devil.
There was a beat after the door closed, and then Fiona dashed about grabbing clothing and hastily putting it on. “I do not know what the Hell that was about, but I am outta here. This is too weird even for me. David, are you coming?”
He sat where he had collapsed by the wall, rubbing his throat with wide eyes. “I may need a minute.”
“Fine. See you later.” As soon as she was dressed, she walked out.
Dan knelt naked on the bed, tears running down his cheeks. “David, what happened? What did you do?”
“I… I prayed. That’s all. I was worshipping while we all had sex.”
“So… he saw us doing it?”
“How is that even possible?”
“I don’t know. I guess you have a strong faith. You did say you believed he heard your prayers.”
“Yeah, but… him?”
Dan gazed down at the covers poking at the folds.
“You knew. You knew who he thought he was, and you’ve been hiding it all this time.”
“I found out the day we met. And what do you mean ‘thought he was’? He heard your prayers. Isn’t that enough?”
“His eyes… I’ve never seen anything so terrifying.” He buried his face in his hands. “This is too much. I can’t even think. I’m sorry, Dan I need to go home and try and wrap my head around… whatever this is.”
Dan helped him find his clothes, and then he too left without another word.
It was only by force of habit that Dan found his way to the shower. Once he was there, with water pouring over him, he fell apart.
Help comes from an unexpected corner.
Dan sat on the sofa and glared at his phone. It had been two weeks and no one was answering. Lucifer had stayed away from work for the first week, only to return and avoid Dan the second. Chloe just kept asking for time, but Dan was going out of his mind with the need for answers. He had a suspicion, but if he was right, he wasn't sure Lucifer would ever talk to him again.
He'd left several messages with David, but he wasn't answering either. He wasn't even posting in their online group. He was probably scared to come anywhere near Dan right now.
How many times can one person fuck things up so badly? He hadn't even seen it coming. And now he had nowhere left to turn. The one person who he thought would bring him redemption was the one person he'd hurt the most. How do you win someone back when they won't even look at you?
At one point, he'd been so disgusted with himself, he smashed his fist into the bathroom mirror. He stood there, staring at the broken glass, wishing he had the willpower to pick one up and slice it across his skin in penance. But all he could think about was the shattered glass in the Penthouse, and Lucifer tending his wounds, and he wept and wailed all over again.
So now he sat, and picked up his phone, knowing it would be blank, and put it down again.
There was a gentle knock at the door.
He got up and opened it to find David on the other side.
"Hey," he said, so surprised he couldn't think of what else to say.
"Can I come in?" he asked softly. He looked like he hadn't slept.
"Sure. You want a beer?"
"I had several already."
Dan handed him one from the refrigerator anyway, and they stood there, avoiding each other's gaze.
"Look, man, I know I've been coming at you with a lot of questions," Dan began, "but right now I'm just glad that you're here."
"You think you have questions?" He shook his head in disbelief. "I've had the biggest crisis of faith since Adam ate the apple! I've spent the last two weeks trying to come up with some other explanation for what happened last time I was here, but I've got nothing. So I decided maybe if you answer some of my questions, I'll answer some of yours."
"Sounds fair. What do you want to know?"
"Well, first there's the big one. Is he… and I can't believe I'm even thinking this- is he really the Devil?"
"Maybe we should go sit-"
"Answer the fucking question, Dan!"
"Yes. Lucifer is the Devil. He came to L.A. for a vacation and ended up staying and falling in love with my ex. And helping her solve crimes, bizarrely."
Perhaps he should have stopped at "yes." David seemed to be having a hard time processing all that. Dan put a hand on his shoulder and guided him back to the couch.
"Shit," he said as he sat down. "And you've known all this time?"
"Not always," Dan sat next to him, leaning his elbows on his knees. "I've known him for a few years, I only found out it was all true the day I met you."
"Long story. If you're still around later, I might tell you."
"So all this time, you've been coming to our meetings, and you knew Satan personally? Why?"
"Because he's important to me. And I wanted to learn about him, outside of the guy I see in real life. I wanted to know the legend. And I also needed to share with other people who saw him the same way I do. As my Master, my redemption."
"Except the difference is, you actually get to talk to him face to face. And he hurts you?"
Dan took a long drink from his beer bottle. "He used to," he said sadly. "But he hasn't even looked at me since… last time you were here."
"You've been asking what I did that night to piss him off so much. But we told you from the start what we were going to do."
"You prayed. I saw you, I heard you, but I didn't think he'd actually be able to hear it. He told me most prayers fizzle out before they reach him. But even if it didn't, why would he be so upset about that? It's not like he could see us, right?"
"Dan, I'm so sorry. I had no idea."
"So he did see us."
"It's a Sharing. We don't just pray in words, we worship with our bodies and share everything that we feel. He did a lot more than just see us. If what you say about him is true, he experienced all of it."
"What exactly does that mean?"
"Sensations. Touch. Audio. Visuals."
"So he was like, watching a movie of us-"
"No. More immersive that that. At least, that was the intention behind my prayer."
Dan thought quietly a moment. "So it was like, he was stuck in a VR of your head? With me… Fuck! No wonder he can't look at me."
"What are you going to do?"
"I have no idea. How do you apologise to the guy who's heard all the excuses millions of times before?"
"There are dark prayer books. I suppose you could try a goat."
"No. I'm fucking with you. I figured it might lighten the mood, and I have no idea what else to say."
"I'm sorry too. I wasn't thinking about how this whole thing affected you. How bad was it?"
"Figuring out the object of my religion is walking around in an insanely expensive suit? It's been mind blowing. Honestly, I haven't had sex in two weeks."
Dan turned and looked at him, and David looked back.
"Is this another attempt at humour?"
"Dan, Satan was here, in your apartment, and he had me by the throat. I haven't stopped thinking about it. And you're his… whatever name you put on this complicated thing you've got going on. If you still want me, honey, I am all yours."
The offer was completely unexpected, but then David was like that. Dan was about to refuse, but he'd lost so much and the thought of getting a part of it back eased the grief.
"Do you just want me so you can get closer to Lucifer?"
"You've been touched by the Prince of Darkness. You've been- fuck, was it him who gave you those scars?"
"It was." The memory should have been painful, but it still held sweetness, still took away some of the guilt.
"You're amazing. I want to know you." There was a tone in his voice that ached with yearning.
"Promise me you won't pray. At all."
"I promise. It'll just be us."
Dan took his hand and almost ran to the bedroom.
After a truly frantic coupling, both of them desperate to escape the confusion, David suggested they shower together. "It's going to be okay," he said as he rubbed soap on Dan's back, noting that the cuts had healed away to nothing.
"How can you know that?" Dan responded, cracking under the weight of his loss.
"Because I still have faith. The same faith that got me through when Martin was killed. And because if I remember correctly, you weren't the one praying."
"What's that got to do with it?"
"Look, if he was- I don't want to say freaking out because it's him but you know what I mean- maybe upset, by what he saw, then the person at fault is me. He may have been seeing you, but it was because of my actions."
"And he only punishes the guilty."
"Exactly. So once he's had time to get over it, I don't think he'll keep a grudge."
"So I shouldn't give up on trying to win him back?"
"Definitely not. It might not be exactly as it was, but you two were close, right? He said he loved you."
"Yeah. Past tense."
"In the heat of the moment. Even the Devil can't just switch off like that. I imagine he still cares about you."
Dan turned to look at him. "You think so?"
David took his face in his hands and pulled him close for a kiss. It was tender, caring, and the first kiss they'd shared that wasn't a precursor to some kind of sex. It made Dan's heart skip a beat.
"Careful," he warned. "You don't want to date me, remember? I'm beyond complicated."
David leaned into his forehead, water pouring down on their shoulders. He ran his thumbs over Dan's cheeks. "I know. I stopped thinking for a minute there. And even if I changed my mind, this is not a good time because you're kinda on the rebound. But Dan, you have to know that you're something special. You're smart, and intense, and you take chances."
"In other words, I make some truly epic bad choices." His lips hovered near David's. "And I think I'm about to make another one. Would you like to stay the night?"
"Maybe. Do we get to smooch and snuggle?"
"If you like."
"As long as you understand this is just another kind of physical pleasure, and emotional support. I'm still not going to be your boyfriend."
"Understood," Dan agreed, and kissed him again. But then he pulled back. "Shit, my daughter's coming round tomorrow."
"Does that mean I can't stay?"
"It means we won't be able to lie around having sex all morning. Chloe's dropping her off at nine thirty. You better have clothes on by the time they get here."
David grinned. "You're letting me meet your daughter?"
"Yeah, I guess I am."
"Awesome. Do you think it would be all right if I apologised to Chloe too?"
Dan almost said no, but David seemed sincere about it. "Yeah. I think that might help."
David pressed their lips together again. "It will be okay. I'll help you as much as I can. And I'm going to start by getting you clean, because we both worked up quite a sweat and I don't want to snuggle you if you're stinky."
By the time they crawled naked into bed together, they were both ready for more. It was less rushed; they took the time to fully enjoy each other. After a vague attempt at getting clean again, they fell asleep spooning. Dan held onto his friend, determined not to let him go. Wishing he could convince himself that he wasn't going to mess up again, but still aware it was a strong possibility.
What was it Lucifer had said? Enjoy it while it lasts?
When he woke up, David's ass was pressed firmly against his morning glory. He rocked into it lazily, checking his watch. It was almost eight.
David stirred in his arms. "Morning," he smiled as he twisted his neck for a kiss. Dan met his lips eagerly, his hips rocking of their own volition this time. He fumbled beside the bed for the lube and pressed up at David's entrance.
David tilted towards him, accepting wordlessly, and took him inside inch by inch. They both gasped and squirmed.
"Fuck," David swore. "I like waking up like this."
"Me too. I don't get to do this at my other sleepovers." Dan planted gentle kisses on his lover's shoulders.
"You mean the ones with your Lord and Master?"
"Yeah him. But let's not think about him now, just in case."
"Okay, but we are having a conversation about it later."
"Sure. So long as we get to keep doing this now."
"Hell, yes! Take as long as you need."
Dan's answer was a low rumble in his throat. "I could do this all morning, if we didn't have other plans."
"I'll bet we can get clean and dressed in an hour. So you have thirty minutes in which to ravish me."
"Should be plenty." He built up the pace steadily, making sure David was with him every step of the way. They came within moments of each other, Dan first, throbbing and grunting, holding himself deep while David spilled through his fingers with a wail.
With a hearty apology for the abrupt exit, Dan rushed to get in the shower, and then quickly dressed and stripped off the sheets when David took his turn. They both sat drinking coffee when Trixie and her mother arrived. Dan went to let them in and David went to wait in the bedroom so as not to surprise anyone before his friend had a chance to explain.
"Hey monkey!" he greeted his daughter with a hug, which she returned enthusiastically. "Hey Chlo, have you got a minute? There's someone here who'd like to talk to you."
She pulled at her jacket and crossed her arms over it. "Okay. But just for a minute. Lucifer's expecting me."
"Of course." His heart ached at the reminder, but he squashed it with a determination to make things better. "I know I've said it like a thousand times, but I am sorry."
"I know. He knows too, it's just…" she glanced at Trixie.
Their daughter sighed. "I know they had a fight Mom. I'm not stupid."
"I know honey, but it was a pretty bad one." Dan said. "Like when Maze said all those mean things about you, and you didn't want to talk to her for a while."
"I got over it. So will Lucifer."
"I hope so. Meanwhile there's cookies in the jar. Why don't you go put a bunch on a plate and fix yourself some chocolate milk?"
"In other words, jog on to the kitchen because the grown ups need to talk?'
"Smart kid. Go."
"I'm stuffing myself with cookies until you're done!" she cautioned as she went.
Dan got David in from the bedroom. Chloe stood silently, her arms still folded over her chest.
"Detective Decker? I just wanted to apologise. I had no idea that my actions would cause as much distress as they did. It was meant to be a gift, an act of love, and it didn't occur to me that he wouldn't want it. I've had to change the way I think about a lot of things recently, and I'll admit that I got it wrong. I considered praying for forgiveness, but under the circumstances, I decided it might be prudent not to invade his head again. If there's any way I can make it up to either of you, I'll do whatever it takes, just the same as Dan."
She looked from one to the other, and cleared her throat. "Wow. That's not what I was expecting."
Dan failed to suppress a smile. "Yeah, he does that."
"I would have thought after coming face to face with Lucifer you might have considered converting to Buddhism or something."
"Are you kidding? It was awesome! I got to meet my deity. How many people can say that? I mean, I nearly pissed myself, and I kinda swore and insulted him, but hey, I messed up so much that day I'm not counting."
Chloe's hand went to her mouth as she tried to hide a snigger. She took a small, hesitant step, hovered for a second, and then went and put her arms around him in a brief squeeze. "Thank you," she said as she stepped back.
"What's that for?"
"That was an excellent apology, and I'll be sure to pass it on when I have a good moment. I also have a feeling you're a part of how much happier and more stable Dan's been over the last several months." She sighed heavily. "But mostly, I'm just grateful I met you, because if I hadn't, Lucifer might still be in Hell. You got me thinking about prayer, and then I figured out a way to get him back and still keep everyone safe. So thank you. For helping me save Lucifer."
David's eyes bulged. "I what?"
She smiled. "Ask Dan about what happened that day. It's a long story, and I should probably get going. Can't keep the Devil waiting." She looked at Dan, and then gave him an awkward hug too. "I forgive you. It might take Lucifer a bit longer, but I know you didn't mean to hurt him."
"I would never-"
"I know. You were an idiot, but that's all. Stop being an idiot, Dan."
"Trixie, come hug me before I go!" she called.
Trixie came running in and embraced her. "Bye Mom," she said, her mouth full of cookies. "Who'th thith?"
"This is David, he's a friend of your dad's."
Trixie swallowed and grinned. "Hi David! Are you Dad's mystery boyfriend?"
Chloe watched the colour rise in Dan's cheeks. "And I'm outta here. Good luck!"
David seemed unfazed by the question. "Not exactly. We're friends, but I don't think we're gonna get married or anything."
"Okay then. I like your stars."
He extended his arms so she could see better. "They're pentagrams."
"Are you into magic and stuff?"
"Not exactly. It's more of a religious symbol. I'm a Satanist."
Trixie laughed loudly.
"Trix!" her dad warned.
"I'm sorry. It's just that Satan is basically my step-dad. And he's weird."
"Who, me or Satan?" David asked, grinning at her.
"Lucifer. But on second thoughts, maybe also you. Not in a bad way."
Dan, meanwhile, was looking perplexed. "Trixie, what exactly do you mean by that the step-dad thing?"
She rolled her eyes. "Don't worry, it's not like he proposed or anything. But he does spend a lot of time at our house. And he's not exactly typical dad material but-"
"Not what I meant, but okay. I mean, do you think Lucifer is the actual Devil?"
Trixie groaned in frustration. "Don't tell me you still think it's all an act? Or that he's crazy or something?"
Dan opened and shut his mouth a few times, but didn't manage to get a word out. David stepped into the breach. "Oh, he knows it's true. I think he's just surprised that you do too."
"Of course I know! He says stuff about it all the frickin time. And so does Maze."
"She's my best friend. And also a demon," she added casually.
David raised an eyebrow at Dan.
"Maybe if Lucifer ever speaks to me again, I'll introduce you to the whole gang. We've got an angel and a nephilim too."
"I was wrong. You're not just complicated. I don't think there's a word for how freaky this is."
"It's weird until it's not. And then every so often you realise who you're hanging out with and your brain melts a little, but you get used to it. So Trixie, what do you wanna do today?"
She grabbed her backpack and pulled out paper and markers. "We need to figure out a plan to get you and Lucifer back together. David can help."
"I dunno, Monkey, I upset him pretty bad."
She put the paper on the coffee table and started writing. "Step one: explain you didn't mean it."
"Wait," David said, "that can't be step one. Step one is to find a way to get his attention and make him listen."
"Right. Good point." She handed him a blue pen.
"Okay," Dan said. "I'll get some more coffee on while you guys work out how to fix my life."
"And bring some of those cookies!" David called after him. "I missed breakfast!"
"You can't have cookies for breakfast David," Trixie told him. "It's against the rules."
"I don't do rules. I'm a Satanist; I can do whatever I want."
"Cool. Can I be a Satanist too?"
"I dunno. Talk to your step-dad."
Linda helps get to the bottom of things.
Sorry, this chapter is a little later than normal, it was a busy week and I had a brain fail.
When the elevator doors opened, Lucifer thought at first the car was empty. He threw on his robe and wandered over to check. Two cups of coffee from the good place where he'd been sending Dan were carefully placed in a cardboard carrier so they didn't spill. He picked them up. One had the word "Detective" scribbled on the side, and the other was inscribed "Dark Lord."
He stared, knowing exactly what they meant, but unsure what to do about it. Chloe walked up beside him and rested a head on his arm. "He is sorry, you know. He didn't mean it."
"I know. Unfortunately that doesn't make it any easier to bear."
"Lucifer, you have to let go sometime. You can't keep holding onto this anger forever."
"Have you forgotten my track record? I don't have to do any such thing." He strode out onto the balcony poured both cups out onto the floor. "You can take your little offerings, and shove 'em up your boyfriend's arse!" he bellowed. "Again!"
Chloe went to run a bath. He'd be no use until he calmed down again, and if she got started, he might be tempted to join her.
When he got to work on Monday morning, Dan was waiting in ambush at the bottom of the stairs where he couldn't be avoided. On his knees. A few people stopped to gape at him as they passed, but he ignored them. His eyes remained fixed on Lucifer.
Lucifer paused his descent with his hand resting lightly on the banister. This wasn't some servile attempt to win favour. This was a bold and daring statement. Dan had been so coy when Ella asked him about their relationship, and now here he was announcing it for the entire precinct to see. Lucifer felt his chest swell with a feeling he knew all too well. Pride. Dan would never have had the guts to do this a few months ago. He had come so far, learning to be free.
But at the same time, Lucifer's gut wrenched with anger and pain. After all that they'd shared, Dan had been keeping secrets from him. Had betrayed his trust and taken something against his will. Something he had currently reserved for the woman he loved. That part hurt too, he realised as he stood there. He had given up other partners voluntarily, for her, and it made him feel like he'd broken a promise.
So he stayed exactly where he was, unmoving, waiting to see if Dan would give up. Ten minutes passed, and people were starting to gather and watch. Another ten and half of them walked away, bored. After thirty minutes, Chloe and Ella had joined the remaining crowd. The Detective placed a hand on Dan's shoulder.
"If this is some kind of game of chicken, I'll point out that you're both stubborn as mules and it could take all day. Dan, say something."
His eyes were still fixed on Lucifer, waiting for a command. But Lucifer was helpless against Chloe's desires.
"Speak, minion," he commanded, his voice a quiet hiss full of menace.
“I’m yours," Dan responded simply. "I will pay whatever penance you demand of me.”
“You just want me to punish you again.”
“I just want to get back to what we had. Even if it means we never do that stuff again, I just want my friend back.”
His resolve cracked, just a little. Besides, he could only work the silent treatment so long. “Follow me.”
Lucifer strode down the stairs and towards the evidence store by Ella's lab, not waiting to see if Dan obeyed. Because if he meant what he said, of course he would. He stopped by a bag of cocaine, and the only thing stopping him planting his face straight in it was the fact he'd also promised Chloe not to take anything from work. She had pointed out that if he kept stealing evidence, then some of the bad guys wouldn't get what they deserved. She was getting terribly good at manipulating him, and he completely approved.
Dan shuffled his feet behind him. Lucifer looked at the drugs longingly.
“It can’t go back to what it was. Ever. I’ve seen things I can’t unsee. I’ve felt you, I’ve tasted you. Every time I look at you, I remember. I was violated, taken against my will, and it was your face that I saw when it happened. I gave you so much. I told you my darkest secrets. I trusted you, and even if I could forgive you, that trust is broken.”
“I’ll do whatever it takes to earn it back.”
He spun around, anger rising up inside him again. “And then what? You think I can go back to platonic snuggling after I felt what it’s like to have you in my arse? You think I can torture you and resist the urge to command you to stroke my cock until you make me come?”
Dan's mouth fell open, utterly shocked by the confession. “I didn’t know…”
Lucifer slammed his hands into the shelves either side of Dan’s head. “I hated it. I didn’t want it, and I couldn’t stop it. But I also couldn’t help but enjoy it." The vibrations of his anger changed subtly, became something mysteriously charged and electric. "You were too bloody good. And I can’t help wondering… how much better it would be if you knew it was me you were doing it to.” His face was so close, and he gradually tilted his head and moved closer.
“No!” Dan blurted, his heart thumping so loud he was surprised Lucifer couldn’t hear it. “Red light, stop there, big no, no way!”
Lucifer took a step back scowling, and stormed off.
“Shit!” Dan swore to himself, realising just how badly he’d fucked things up again.
Lucifer barged into Linda's office without knocking. There was someone else on the couch, but he didn't have the energy to charm them off it. "You," he said, pointing at them, "out. I need to talk to the doctor now. I've got at appointment at two this afternoon, I'll swap you."
"Lucifer, we're in the middle of a session."
"Yes, which is why I'm offering him mine. Would you like a bribe as well? How does five hundred sound?"
"It's probably not a good idea to take that much cash, Steven."
"Oh, really? How about you charge his sessions to my account for the rest of the month then?"
"I'm okay with that," the man said timidly.
"Okay fine. I'll see you later, Steven. Lucifer, take a seat."
He sat down, leaning his chin on his folded hands, and pressed his lips together.
Linda waited a few minutes. "It seems like a bit of a waste to kick someone out if you're just going to sit there in silence like you have for the last two weeks."
When he still sat silent, she tried another tactic. "You know, Charlie's almost walking already. He keeps pulling himself up on the furniture and I think he might be ready to let go any day-"
"I tried to kiss Daniel."
Linda's mouth formed a silent o. "Would you like me to clear the rest of my morning?"
After a few phone calls, she resumed her chair and Lucifer told her the whole story that he'd been holding in since that awful day. She nodded and made sympathetic noises, but once he got going there was no stopping the outpouring of mixed emotions. And of course, being Lucifer, he was steadfastly refusing to admit to himself what was really going on.
"I can see how conflicted you're feeling about all this," she said. "You're understandably angry, and hurt, and you feel betrayed. What I'm struggling to understand is how we get from there to you trying to kiss him."
"Well, obviously I've been avoiding him since it happened. But he pinned me down-"
"Woah- is this a literal or a metaphorical pinning?"
"It's a turn of phrase, obviously. No human is strong enough to literally subdue me. But when I was finally confronted with him there in front of me, I just kept remembering… that… and temptation got the better of me. It's not as if I have much experience in resisting carnal desires, it's usually the other way round."
"Yes, but you said when you felt him… touching you, you hated it."
"I did. It was strange and repulsive. But unfortunately, it was also bloody good. And I don't want to think about him that way; I love Chloe and I'm so sickeningly happy with her, and I want to focus my attention on our relationship because it's the best thing that's ever happened to me."
"And yet… it was just a moment of weakness."
"I didn't know you had those. I thought you were the guy who went after whatever he desired."
"Are you suggesting that I actually desire Daniel?"
"Only you can answer that. But the fact that you tried to kiss him- hang on, what do you mean, 'tried'? That word implies failure, and aside from your miraculously immune girlfriend, I don't imagine you've ever failed to kiss anyone before."
"He said no. Quite vehemently, in fact."
"Really?" She sounded genuinely surprised. "Why do you think he did that?"
"Well, clearly, he just doesn't fancy me."
"Lucifer, everyone fancies you."
"So you think he was scared of me?"
"I think it's more likely he was scared of Chloe. Or, more specifically, of upsetting Chloe."
"But we've been very clear this whole time about the fact that what we have isn't sexual. Intimate, yes, but sexual, no. He just doesn't see me that way."
"Or, he's trying desperately not to see you that way because he knows it will be the end of it if he does. Maybe he's in denial and he's scared to admit what he wants, even to himself. Why else would he say yes to the Devil's threesome?"
"Because threesome," he said simply, indicating that the answer was in the question.
"But one where his partners were both praying to you?"
"You think he wanted me to hear it?"
"I think he wanted to believe he could share something with you, even if it was a step removed. He has told you he loves you."
"And I've said the same to him. But we can't be more to each other than we are now. That's reserved for the Detective. She's everything. She's essential."
"There are people who make relationships work with more than two partners. And to be honest, I'm impressed you've managed monogamy as long as you have."
"You think I can't be faithful."
"I think faithful might look different for you, is all. I know that you love Chloe deeply, and you always will, but I think that you have more than enough passion to care about two people at the same time."
"I'm not sure she'd be so happy with that idea."
"You won't know unless you ask her."
"And if she says no?"
"Then you talk things over with Dan and re-establish your boundaries."
"You make it all sound so simple."
She barked a laugh. "No. None of this is going to be simple. But with you, nothing ever is."
He broached the subject on the sofa, with his arms wrapped around Chloe after dinner. Trixie had gone to her room, allegedly to do some homework, but also potentially to browse the internet or catch up on the latest novel she was reading.
"I spoke to Linda this morning."
"I guessed you had. You were gone a while and you seemed much calmer when you came back."
"She pointed out a few things."
"Are you ready to tell me?"
"She thinks… things between me and Daniel might not be as simple as they once were."
"Mm-hm," she nodded patiently.
"Now that my wrath had subsided, I've come to realise that my feelings for him have… evolved. And that's not to say that I love you any less or would change anything between us, but…"
"But you've started to notice how he always makes you smile, and that you miss him when he's not there, and even though you feel perfectly complete and content when you're with me, your heart beats a little faster whenever he enters the room?"
"It does? I mean, do I?"
"Yes. You've had all the symptoms for a while now. That's why this whole thing has been so tough on you. You felt things you weren't quite ready for, even though a part of you wanted them."
He buried his nose in her hair, dissolving the tense knot in his belly. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Because you had to get there by yourself, or you wouldn't have accepted it."
"How can you be so calm about this? Are we talking about the same thing?"
She adjusted her position to look at him. "Yes. But say it out loud, anyway."
"I want my disciple back. I want to make him pay through the nose for what he did to me." His fingers tightened on her waist, and his voice grew hushed. "And then I want to shag him rotten."
Her eyes travelled down to his lips and back up again. "Can I watch?"
"I beg your pardon?"
She stroked his face. "I want to see what you do to each other. I was scared of it before, but since I saw you pull glass out of his back, I've been thinking about it, and I know there's nothing to be afraid of. I mean, we've already had a kind of three-way, albeit one that caught us all by surprise, but it's not such a huge leap to think about you being with him physically as well as spiritually."
"You're not jealous?"
"I was jealous when it started. But then I saw you together, and I knew there was no reason to be. He's not going to take anything away from what we have."
"But you've always resisted the idea of anyone joining us, even on a casual basis."
"Dan's not anyone. And the fact that it's more meaningful than casual actually feels better to me."
Lucifer pulled her close and kissed her deeply. "Detective, are suggesting we have a threesome with your ex?"
"I think I'll decide how much I want to actively participate once we get there. I don't know if I'm ready for him to see me like that again."
His face brightened. "How about if I put a blindfold on him? We could make him listen to us. And then when he's all hot and bothered, I'll show him what I can do to him, and you can watch."
She smiled, her cheeks taking on a rosy blush. "You know, we should probably make sure he wants this before we start planning too many details."
"Don't worry. Didn't he say he'd pay whatever penance I demanded of him? I'm having ideas already. Ways to make him prove he can be trusted."
"You're going to torture him, aren't you?"
"No," he grinned, "I'm going to make him torture himself."