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i know it's mad, but if go to hell, will you come with me, or just leave?

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- RYAN & DALLON -

Ryan had no idea Dallon could be so hot while in charge.

They had been introduced to so many people Ryan could barely remember any of their names- only the surprised looks on their faces. Somewhere deep down inside him Dallon preyed on those looks, so unbelievably proud of the man he could call his lover.

After making the rounds around the empty manor, Dallon had taken over and rhymed off demand after demand to the servants. Ryan was glad he'd taken over- Dallon's requests were making his head spin, and his body was still adjusting to the different climate of hell.

The firm edge to Dallon's voice made Ryan shudder, attached at the hip to the demon. Ryan was aching for Dallon to push him against the nearest wall and use that dominant voice on him, to mark him up and make him his. Dallon must have noticed his hungry eyes, assertive gaze softening whenever he looked at Ryan, catching his love in short kisses between sentences.

The power Dallon held made him lightheaded, one possessive hand on Ryan, the other one pointing while he ordered servants around.

This was their paradise, and Dallon was going to fix it up exactly how he wanted.

First, he would get rid of those unimpressive outfits the servants were wearing, and replace them with something more classy. Suit vests and slacks for the men, and flat, short dresses for the women.

Next was beginning on renovations, which were relatively easy because of the blank canvas they had to work on.

Dallon adored the way Ryan stared at him wide-eyed, gripping onto his shoulder.

With every passing second, Dallon's disbelief that he could live in hell with his soulmate grew, heart pattering with so much love it was hard for Dallon to contain himself. All he wanted to do was devour Ryan until he was a whimpering, red-faced and teary-eyed mess, begging for more.

But the bedroom was just as empty as the rest of the palace, something Dallon was prioritizing. Servants rushed around him like schools of fish as Dallon raced around, holding onto Ryan's hand tightly.

He still hadn't told Ryan that he was the cat all those years ago, and that he was the kid who caused Dallon to become a demon.

Though Dallon didn't feel the need to tell Ryan about that, or at least not yet. Maybe there would be a better time, but Dallon wanted to cherish every wonderful moment with his love right now.

They both ducked under a ladder, entering another bare room, a small cluster of people staring at a piece of paper.

"Mon dieu, what is this?" Dallon cut through the group of people, grabbing that paper out of their hands. "Ugh, look at this crown molding! Did anyone down here appreciate the renaissance era?"

Ryan stood behind them, giggling at Dallon's tone. He was such a snob sometimes, but Ryan loved that about him.

It felt like every breathing second all he could think about was Dallon, Dallon's pretty voice, Dallon's silky tendrils entwined with every inch of his body. Ryan felt foolish for thinking like that, but he had let Dallon kill him just so they could be together forever.

Speaking of Dallon being with him- Ryan's hands were fidgeting as dirty thoughts crossed his mind, staring at the back of Dallon's feathery hair, wishing he was holding onto that hair as Dallon's tongue explored his lower region.

Then Dallon was looking at him quizzically, and Ryan realized he was gnawing at his lip and staring at the demon provocatively.

"What are you thinking about, my sweet little devil?" Dallon didn't care that the group of workers were glancing skeptically at the two of them, exchanging odd looks.

"Oh... nothing, I was just thinking... will the bedroom be ready by tonight?" Ryan shifted his weight from one foot to the other, face burning red at the images crossing his mind.

Dallon smirked, pressing a quick kiss to Ryan's cheek. "I'm sure it will, my love. Then we can break into the bed, hm?"

Ryan's blush only deepened, grasping onto one of Dallon's hands, subconsciously thinking about the ring again.

"Are you hungry sweetheart? Do you want something to eat?" Dallon asked, gesturing for the servants to get back to work.

"I'm okay right now... is it alright if I go look around a bit?"

"Of course mon chéri, take as much time as you want. I'll be around, alright?" Dallon gave him another kiss before turning away to scold someone for not writing down the right shade of curtains.

Ryan peeled away from them and walked over to the window, gazing at the white residue the raindrops left in their trail.

It hadn't stopped raining since they got there, dark clouds blocking out all light, making it impossible to see what was outside. Ryan squinted and strained his eyes, hands pressed against the cold glass, leaving two foggy outlines when he pulled them away.

Disappointed he couldn't see outside, Ryan made his way down the hall, met with a curt nod from every occasional person he ran into. The red carpet beneath him turned into plywood as he walked over where they were tearing it up, murmuring an apology.

People were in little clusters all around the manor, discussing work details in hushed whispers, Dallon's new uniform swapped out for loose fitting clothes.

He was glad that Dallon was so hard willed, because otherwise, Ryan wasn't sure what decisions he'd be making. Ryan wasn't sure if he'd even still be living without Dallon.

He couldn't imagine what it would be like if his mom had died while he was still in Ronnie's band, alone. Ryan probably would have starved himself to death, laying in bed until he dissolved into nothing.

But Dallon had held him so lovingly, had fed him and coaxed him to drink water, had let Ryan bury his face in the crook of his neck when the thoughts became too much. He owed his entire live to the demon, and Ryan was still trying to figure out how this was real and how they could live peacefully together forever.

Ryan was so deep in thought he didn't notice the servant standing in front of him in the hallway and collided with him, making both of them stumble backwards.

"Oh- I'm so sorry!" Ryan stammered, holding out his hand to help the servant up.

"No- no! Uh, I'm the sorry one, y-your majesty." Panic flashed across the servant's face, making Ryan feel rotten inside. He had a nice voice too, one that was melodic and strong.

"Oh, please call me Ryan. I-I don't like the whole 'your majesty' thing..."

The servant nodded, smoothing out his the wrinkles on his grey suit vest, eyes darting around the room. "I'm Brendon... I was just appreciating the piano you guys have here."

Piano? Dallon had gotten a piano? But neither of them knew how to play.

"We have a piano? I never knew that..." Ryan's eyes caught the shiny black piano tucked away in a corner, dark in the absence of light from outside.

"I used to play a while ago, but I don't think I'll ever be good enough to play on something like that." Brendon had the same colour of hair as Dallon, heavy bags under his tired eyes, voice cracking with each word.

Ryan already felt terrible enough about being called 'your majesty', but having servants was a whole new level. He knew Dallon enjoyed having their little paradise and that all of the servants were in hell for a reason, but it still hurt his sensitive heart when he saw them exhausted like Brendon was.

"You can play it if you want... I'm sure you're great." Ryan had always loved the piano, the rich tone the notes gave off and the way the melody brought the room to life.

"Really?" Brendon's eyes lit up, walking over and sitting on the bench, running his hands over the polished wood. It made Ryan feel good inside to at least let Brendon do something he loved, even if it was a small gesture.

Ever since his mom died, Ryan had been trying to do what she would want, which was always the kindest option. Some of the pain had dissipated, but he still missed her more than words and honored her parenting.

It made Ryan feel like he was carrying on his mother's graciousness when he saw the giant smile on Brendon's face as he played the piano, a happy song that brightened the darkened room. If Ryan wasn't looking out he window, he might think the clouds had parted and the sun was shining based on the lightheartedness of the song.

Brendon finished with a final note before scurrying away from the piano like it was poisonous. "I've overstepped, your- uh, Ryan. Thank you for this, but I must get back to work."

He was gone before Ryan could assure him he didn't need to work so hard, leaving a tiny hole in Ryan's good mood. And besides, what would Dallon think if he was treating the servants so nicely? Ryan knew about his vendetta towards humans because of how they had treated him, and based on how careless Dallon was with his newfound power, Ryan didn't think he'd appreciate letting the servants off the hook.

Ryan wandered through empty rooms, only a few inhabited with people working. It was still hard to think that this would be his home forever, something that he hadn't considered very much.

As a former human, Ryan couldn't fathom nearly how long forever was. What if he got bored? What if it wasn't what he wanted?

He didn't want to upset Dallon. Ryan knew how much the demon wanted to spend every last day with him, and while Ryan wanted that himself, he wasn't sure the human part of him wanted it. It felt like only seconds ago he was sitting in bed with Dallon, agreeing to an eternity with him in hell.

Ugh, why did everything have to be so difficult? Hadn't Dallon promised that they could live worry-less here? Or was that the thing that worried Ryan?

As he strolled through the rooms, he noticed them begin to string together into something a bit more comfortable, adorned with fancy details.

Gold vines crawled through where the wall met the ceiling, every feature refined to perfection, just what Dallon wanted. Wealth and luxury seeped out of every item Ryan came across, whether it be the florid roses carved into every dark piece of furniture, or the baroque paintings of beautiful scenes hung on every wall.

Ryan found himself in the dining room, wine-red curtains drawn, a dazzling chandelier with gold limbs coiling around flickering candles. The room was dim enough that he almost ran into one of the chairs at the long table, making the bouquet of fresh roses sitting in the middle wobble, clear vase shining with droplets water that caught the light.

Ryan couldn't help but smile at Dallon's choice of flowers. All throughout their relationship, roses had kinda been their thing, from being on the bed during the wet dream to being engraved on the music box.

The music box was with Dallon right now- Ryan didn't want to put it down anywhere and have it get lost. It was a reminder of their bond even before Dallon had spoken a word, something that didn't need to be stated to make it true. In fact, their love was nothing but stronger in those silent moments, the ones where they could read it in each other's eyes.

Ryan walked around the room in time with the rain hitting the window, shoes shuffling quietly on the deep red carpet. He didn't know where they'd get new clothes, but he wasn't concerned. Dallon would take care of it.

A rumble of thunder reminded him of his own hunger, gnawing at his stomach. Thinking about his mom had dampened his good mood, a heavy storm cloud hanging over him just like the ones outside. He needed Dallon's love to clear the sky in his mind, to be his sun that would chase away the bad thoughts.

Thankfully, the demon wasn't very far away. Ryan found him inspecting a painting a few rooms away, tapping his foot and rubbing his chin.

"Dal, I'm hungry..." Ryan fell into his outstretched arms, letting Dallon kiss his forehead.

"What do you want for dinner, my love?" Dallon looked effortlessly handsome, a few stray dark hairs fallen into his face, the first few buttons of his black dress shirt unbuttoned and ruffled. Ryan ran his hands over his exposed forearms, dark shirt sleeves rolled up around his bony elbows, letting Dallon pick him up.

"Could... could we have cheap ramen? My mom used to make it a lot and I'm really missing her..." Ryan mumbled into Dallon's neck as he carried him through doorways, strong hands on his waist.

"Of course we can sweetheart. My little angel just want some loving tonight?" Dallon whispered into Ryan's ear, making him blush. Dallon always knew what he wanted.

Then they were back in the dining room and Dallon was pulling out a chair, scraping against the carpet. Ryan made himself comfortable on Dallon's lap before the demon rang a bell, it's tinny sound ringing out through the empty room.

A familiar servant came rushing in- it was Brendon, the one Ryan had ran into earlier. His eyes held sadness at the sight of the two of them fondling each other, Ryan's fingers woven between Dallon's.

"Yes, your... majesties?" Brendon hesitated, like he was unsure what to call them. Ryan's pink face only bloomed a deeper red, suddenly embarrassed of their position, yet it made no difference to Dallon.

Ryan felt like they were at the fanciest restaurant in the world as Dallon told Brendon what they wanted. In fact, Brendon's outfit was pretty close to something a waiter would wear at one of those expensive restaurants that Ryan avoided like the plague.

It was odd to see someone dressed so elegantly carrying shitty, five dollar ramen, but Ryan's mind was elsewhere.

"Can you eat now?" He asked Dallon, knowing his aversion to food. Ryan thought that maybe because they were in another dimension his tastebuds would have changed back to normal.

"I... don't know. Let's see, hm?" Dallon grabbed a fork and one of the bowls from off the table and took a big bite of the noodles, chewing with anticipation.

"Hey, they're good!" He had that giant grin that Ryan loved too see, swallowing down his bite.

While it wasn't the most normal situation, it seemed that they could live more normally here, where people didn't scrutinize Dallon's appearance. It was nice seeing somewhere where Dallon finally fit it, the way his shoulders were always relaxed and he was always smiling.

Screw all his other worries- Ryan knew that if Dallon was happy, he was happy too.

They finished dinner quickly, Dallon feeding Ryan spoonfuls of the thin noodles until he was full. Ever since Ryan was sick and Dallon fed him for the first time, he had taken up being fed. Something about depending on Dallon made Ryan's head go fuzzy, and taking care of his love made Dallon ecstatic, whether it be feeding him or bathing him or ensuring his general happiness.

That's why his heart grew heavy when Ryan returned to him with a small pout, grief pooling in his dark eyes. It made Dallon's stomach drop whenever his love wasn't smiling his beautiful sunshine smile, the one that made a dimple in his chin, the one that made his eyes crinkle. Dallon spent hours studying that smile, feeling it against his own lips, hands running all over Ryan's body. Sometimes Dallon nearly cried with joy when he was around Ryan, the fact that he lived with the love of his life astounding.

That didn't mean Dallon was happy all the time though. His terrible self hatred would sneak up on him in even the brightest moments, flooding his mind with its vile whispers. No matter how much he kept them at bay, they attacked him when he was most vulnerable, laying in bed with Ryan's head on his chest.

As a demon, Dallon didn't need nearly as much sleep as Ryan did, so his nighttime hours on earth were spent watching his love sleep, grinning at his adorable little whispers as he sleep-talked. It was always incomprehensible pieces of sentences Ryan never finished, cuddling in closer to Dallon as he mumbled nonsense. Dallon was always sure to keep the nightmares away from Ryan's unsuspecting mind, sometimes meddling with the dreams and placing pleasant ones.

But even while staring at something that made his heart flutter, his cute angel bundled up in blankets, the horrible thoughts still sunk their fangs into his rotten brain.

'One day Ryan will wake up and decide he doesn't want to live with a monster anymore.' The voice made Dallon toss and turn, but covering his ears with a pillow didn't silence its taunts. 'He's going to leave you. You're disgusting. Hideous.'

Thankfully, the voice had been quiet since arriving in hell. Dallon was praying it wouldn't return anytime soon, making his chest collapse like it was suffocating him.

Dallon pushed the chair out from the table, cradling the back of Ryan's head. The grandfather clock sitting at the other end of the room showed that it was sundown, even if the sun was nowhere to be seen behind the thick clouds.

"How about you go get undressed in the new bedroom and wait for me on the bed like a good little angel?" Dallon whispered into Ryan's ear, smirking at the way pink spread through Ryan's face.

He'd seen what his love was imagining earlier, fighting the urge to drop everything and please Ryan right then and there. They hadn't had sex in forever and Dallon's skin itched to hear Ryan's little whines and moans.

Dallon watched with a sly smile as Ryan left in the direction of the bedroom, giving Dallon one last look over his shoulder before disappearing.

He sat there, tapping his foot to an invisible rhythm, a song running through his head as he waited. The rain outside made for an excellent audience for his silent concert, humming along to lyrics he'd heard decades ago. Dallon could only imagine Ryan's reaction when he saw the room, how it resembled the one in the wet dream he'd given Ryan all those months ago.

Same white silk sheets, same ornate bed posts, same candles and wide window and rose petals. The music box was sitting on their bedside table, along with a bottle of lube Dallon had found and another vase of roses, petals coloured a blood red. Dallon had left a towel on the end of the bed so after they could go right to sleep in clean sheets, thinking of what him and Ryan would do on top of the towel.

At the thought of Ryan sitting on the bed naked, Dallon stood up, pushed his chair in and briskly walked to the bedroom, unbuttoning the last few buttons of his dress shirt on the way. Before Ryan's mother's death, every week he'd unbutton a new button until they finally reached an open shirt, revealing the white scars across Dallon's chest after an incident with a dog. He hated them more than anything, but Ryan had pressed his lips to them so lovingly that the hate dissolved into love, murmuring his sweet praise as he worked his way up the demon's chest, slotting their mouths together in a filthy kiss.

Dallon opened the bedroom door, expecting Ryan to be sitting there undressed with his red face, but instead he was sitting on the edge of the bed, fully clothed.

"What's the matter, my love?" Dallon closed the door behind himself, listening for the soft click as he locked it. Ryan hadn't been feeling the greatest earlier, and Dallon didn't want to pressure him into it if he wasn't feeling ready. "We don't have to do this tonight sweetheart if you don't want to."

"No, no, I just..." Ryan trailed off, catching his bottom lip between his teeth and avoiding Dallon's eyes. He loved it when his baby got all shy on him, face the same shade as the roses, the blush burning up the back of his neck. "I want you to undress me."

Dallon's smirk returned, kicking off his dress shoes and sitting on the bed next to Ryan. "I'd love to, my sweet angel. Little thing just wants me to treasure him tonight?"

Ryan nodded, climbing onto Dallon's lap as their lips met in a hot kiss, arms wrapped around Dallon's neck. Dallon's words alone had already gotten him going, leisurely rocking his hips into Dallon's abdomen, whimpering at the friction.

Dallon grabbed him by the waist and held him still, giving Ryan a warning bite to his lower lip.

"Good boy." He growled when Ryan's hips slowed, coiling a tendril around his wrist. "Do you wanna be tied up tonight baby?"

Ryan shook his head. "Is... that okay?"

"Of course it is darling, anything for my naughty little devil." Dallon felt a fire ignite in his gut as Ryan wriggled on his lap, opening his mouth for Dallon to slip his tongue into. "I saw you thinking those dirty things earlier, weren't you sweetheart? Just begging for me to savor your gorgeous body, hm?"

Ryan's blush deepened as Dallon begun to unbutton his shirt, another tendril weaving through his open fingers. Dallon's sugary praise was something he craved, no, needed tonight, and he knew Dallon knew that too.

"Oh, look at those pretty little tits," Dallon was staring at Ryan's chest, pulling off his shirt and letting it fall to the floor. The rain continued to slap against the window, open curtains hanging idle next to the grey landscape, the noise calming and tranquil.

Ryan's eyes widened at Dallon's language, a little gasp falling past his lips as Dallon pushed him down onto the bed and crawled over him, hair falling around his smug face.

An surprised whine came from the depths of his chest as Dallon wrapped his lips around one of his nipples, making Ryan curl his toes and arch his back. "Oh- oh my god Dallon!"

Dallon hummed in response, sucking softly on Ryan's nipple, tongue darting out to lap at the skin. It was pleasure Ryan had never felt before, brain falling into that golden haven that always came when him and Dallon made love, mewling as heat crawled up his spine and settled in his lower stomach.

Content with one, Dallon moved to the other nipple, tendrils pulling off the rest of Ryan's clothes. One leg positioned between Ryan's, he could feel Ryan's cock grow harder with every lick to his tit, pulling up fistfuls of the sheets as his cock spilled more and more precome.

"D-Dallon- oh fuck- I love you I love you!" Ryan cried, wrecked moans broken by his strings of swear words, letting himself fall apart in Dallon's grasp. Unlike other partners he'd had a while ago, he didn't have to worry about unraveling when he was with Dallon. He knew that at the end the demon would piece his mind back together, helping through the drop that case from being so high, kissing away any fresh tears. Ryan couldn't help getting so emotional during sex, but Dallon loved how much he said 'I love you' and how he sobbed into Dallon's neck when the pleasure was too big for his weak brain to handle.

Dallon moved away from Ryan's hard nipples, admiring how swollen they were, shining with his saliva. "Mmm, can I mark you up baby?"

Mind already halfway gone, Ryan nodded feebly, a little moan escaping him as a tendril dipped beneath his underwear and coiled around his cock.

Dallon climbed further up Ryan to plant his face in his neck, making sure his horns didn't hit him. There was something about leaving hickeys on Ryan that made Dallon's brain go light, whether it be the way he tasted under his mouth, or the way he wore them proudly the next day, faded into purple bruises. Sometimes if things were particularly heated, Dallon would leave light bite marks from his collarbones up to his jaw, making sure he didn't hurt Ryan in the process.

It made Ryan his- only he could touch his precious rose so tenderly, marked up for the entire world to see. Before meeting Ryan, Dallon didn't own very many personal items, and the ones that he did were often lost to travel.

Dallon would never lose Ryan. He was his for an eternity, his little angel, his love. No longer did Dallon have to worry about Ryan finding someone better and letting them touch him. No longer did he have to sit at home waiting for Ryan to return from the store, chewing down his nails until the ink of his blood would start to drip from the ragged skin, soaking through boxes of tissues in an attempt to hide it from Ryan.

As long as Ryan was marked up, everyone knew who he belonged to. He was all Dallon's.

He was all Dallon's.

Ryan squirmed and whimpered as Dallon started to suck the marks into the delicate skin of his neck, waves of possessiveness washing over him.

His, his, his. Ryan was his.

The tendril around Ryan's cock remained still- Dallon wasn't ready to play with him just yet. He was too busy drinking up Ryan's tiny whines as he licked a column up his neck, pressing his tongue against his Adam's apple.

Even though Ryan was growing restless, he knew that he had to be a good boy and not beg. It was so hard to not though- the dull light coming from the lamp on the bedside table was casting shadows of them on the wall, Dallon's body on top of Ryan's, making Ryan want Dallon even more.

When he was satisfied with the collage of hickeys on Ryan's neck, Dallon sat back on his haunches and held out his hand for Ryan to grab.

He pulled Ryan until he was sitting up, spreading his legs in desperation, waiting for Dallon to crawl between them and take him into his mouth. "Dal, please touch me-"

Dallon tsked at the whiny edge in Ryan's voice, even though he loved it to death. "Patience mon chéri, you don't know what you're getting yourself into. We haven't made love in a while and we're going to take it slowly, okay doll?"

Ryan nodded silently, a pout crossing his face as Dallon removed the tendril around his cock, leaving him even more desperate for attention.

"Can you move a little forward baby? Just until you're sitting on the edge- perfect sweetheart, just like that." Dallon guided Ryan forward, kneeling down on the ground in front of him. The sight made Ryan's stomach flip, the fires of his past arousal that had died out suddenly reigniting.

Dallon intertwined two tendrils with both of Ryan's hands, his own holding onto Ryan's calves as he begun to kiss at the inside of his thigh, leaving lighter marks on the sensitive skin. It had to be Dallon's favourite place to kiss other than Ryan's mouth, leaving a trail of hickeys on the soft skin. His head went static as he imagined what it would be like tomorrow morning, when Dallon would slip his hand between Ryan's legs and press against the marks, making him arch his back and groan. It always hurt a bit, but in the best way possible.

He switched from one thigh to the other, rubbing circles into Ryan's legs with his thumbs as Ryan watched carefully, holding onto the shadowy tendrils. The entire room reminded him of that wet dream, except this one was a million times better because Dallon was actually there, dark head of hair between his legs.

Ryan gasped softly when Dallon moved from thighs to mouthing at his cock through his underwear, making the wet patch on them spread.

"O-oh Dallon-" Ryan was straining to keep his hips still, golden drops of light raining down on his mind as Dallon licked at him from through his underwear. He was the evilest thing ever, teasing Ryan when he hadn't even been touched yet. "Dal, 'm ready, I can take it. Promise."

"Are you sure sweetheart?" Dallon looked up at Ryan with his moonlit eyes, lips red and wet from tasting Ryan's body. The sight made him tremble, rubbing the tendrils in his hands just to see Dallon lose all composure. "Oh- alright darling, I'll give it to you."

Ryan beamed with happiness, clambering onto Dallon's lap when he got back up on the bed, running his hand down the demon's chest. He always hated how Dallon didn't like his body while he loved Ryan's. Ryan felt it was his duty to love Dallon's just as much, tracing the scarred skin with his thumb, stopping to let Dallon reach for the lube on their nightstand.

"Awh sweetheart, you're already wrecked for me?" Dallon cooed when he slid down Ryan's underwear, wrapping a tendril around his leaking cock. "You've been such a good boy already, haven't you? Such a pretty angel, waiting so patiently while I play with you."

Ryan's blush returned at Dallon's shameless praise, hips stuttering into the velvety heat of the tendril, lips attached to Dallon's.

"Gorgeous little thing, sitting so quietly while I tease you. Such good behavior deserves a reward, don't you think so?" Dallon whispered into Ryan's ear, low voice making him shudder.

Ryan loved it when Dallon talked to him like that, asking him questions that they both knew the answer to. He moaned into Dallon's mouth in response as the tendril around his cock began to stroke him softly, heart tap tap tap-ing against his ribcage in tune with the rain outside.

"I think my little devil deserves everything he wants, everything his naughty mind thinks of when he thinks I'm not watching. Don't you think he deserves that baby?" Dallon popped open the cap of the lube and spread some on his fingers, reaching around behind Ryan to circle his fluttering hole. "I hope he knows how happy it makes me when I see him thinking his naughty thoughts, pretty little face all red because he got caught. He's got the most beautiful face every mon chéri, just to match the rest of his gorgeous body."

Ryan mewled at how thick Dallon was laying on the praise tonight, exactly what he wanted. It made his stomach ache with how much he loved it, unable to contain the happy noises he made in response, leaning forward into Dallon as his cold fingers pushed into him slowly.

"We're just gonna take it slowly tonight, aren't we baby? I'm gonna take my sweet time opening you up, making sure you're nice and ready for me to slid right in. I wouldn't want mon amour hurting one bit while we make love." Dallon pressed a kiss to Ryan's nose as he pushed in deeper, scissoring his fingers, making sure his movements were careful enough that Ryan wouldn't feel it too badly. Ryan only whined in response, body growing warm at Dallon's words, completely gone for him and Dallon wasn't even inside him yet.

"You've got the prettiest eyes in the world sweetheart, have I ever told you that?" Dallon spoke against Ryan's lips, slipping a third finger against the two working him open. "Gorgeous eyes, gorgeous tits, gorgeous ass. God, what did I do to deserve something as perfect as you?"

Ryan felt the pressure build up in his abdomen as Dallon's words seeped into his mind, on the edge of coming. He hadn't had sex in months and everything was so much, between the tendril around his cock, the fingers in his ass and how absolutely sweet Dallon was being.

Ryan had forgotten how soft and gentle Dallon could be when he needed it, murmuring praise after praise into Ryan's ear, tendrils keeping him in place. He hadn't let himself float in a while, but Dallon's words were only digging him deeper into that cloudy haven where all he knew was pleasure.

"My sweet little devil is getting all high on me, isn't he? His pretty eyes are glazing over, oh doll, he's falling into his sweet space. I hope he knows how much I love him when he's floaty, how I'll be right here to catch him when he decides to come back down." Dallon said, infatuated with how easily Ryan slipped into it this time. God, and he hadn't even come yet either. Usually it took him a few orgasms to make him high enough to fall into his happy space, but this time all he needed was Dallon's praise and a tiny bit of pleasure, becoming beautifully pliant on his lap. "You were gone so fast, weren't you baby? Just needed a little bit of love this time and you slipped right into your sweet space, god I love you."

Dallon began to rub his prostate when he found it, listening closely to hear Ryan's tiny moans, knowing that Ryan didn't even know what noises he was making. It was only when he truly let himself go that Dallon got to see the rawest side of him, the one where everything he did was genuine, filter lost to the haze of his sweet space.

The only thing behind Ryan's eyes was light as he came with a little whimper, too deep in to care much. It only pushed him further, burying his face in Dallon's neck for safety, trying to ground himself a bit. Sure, it felt amazing to float so high, but the higher he went the stronger the drop would be.

His attempts to keep himself grounded were futile, especially with the added lubricant of Dallon's praise, making him slip right back into the soft space. Later when he was out of it, Ryan would guess it was the mixture of his craving for praise with how long he'd gone without sex that let him go so high so easily, heights he'd never known before.

"Sweet little thing, making his pretty noises on my lap as I open him. I'll be right here baby, I'll always be right here for you when you come back." Dallon knew that Ryan couldn't hear him when he got like this, but it still made him happy to reassure his love.

One day, after the first time Ryan fell into it thanks to a night of nonstop pleasure from Dallon, he'd sat down with the demon and they talked about it. Ryan himself didn't exactly know what had happened, only that he'd felt really high, higher than the time he tried weed at one of Ronnie's stupid parties. It had scared him what happened after though, how he clung to Dallon like his life depended on it and cried for hours for him to not leave him.

It scared Dallon too, unsure why Ryan had gotten so emotional when he got up to get a washcloth to wash them up. Only after did they discover it was because Ryan had experienced a 'drop' when Dallon left, the chemical imbalance in his brain and the feeble state his mind was in that had assured him that Dallon was gone and was leaving forever.

Now, whenever he went all high and floaty Dallon called it his 'sweet space', and knew exactly how to coax him back down, to ease his mind when his continuous dopamine would drop. He would hold Ryan close when he'd come back to the real world, making sure that he never left Ryan's eyesight until he was 100% there, whispering reassurance that he wasn't going to leave, that he would never leave Ryan ever.

Dallon didn't know what type of drop was going to accompany Ryan falling right into it so quickly, but it his worries were dampened by how adorable Ryan was, making his soft noises and rocking his hips into the tendril. Once Dallon decided that he was open enough to not feel any pain, he lined up his tendril and pushed in slowly, watching as Ryan arched his back and whimpered.

"That's it baby, that's it. Breathe sweetheart, just take it in slowly, my sweet angel." Dallon could feel Ryan's legs quiver around him and he went deeper, holding onto his love's hand tightly. "Good boy, look at you taking it so well. I love you mon petit ange, I love it when you're high in the clouds."

Ryan only nuzzled further into the crook of Dallon's neck, a little cry of pleasure bubbling up as Dallon found his prostate again, rubbing against it. He could taste nothing but light on his tongue, stars tingling in his fingertips, letting Dallon carry him away. He had never trusted anyone else enough to even come close to slipping into his sweet space, but with Dallon it was different. It wasn't an embarrassment when he was with the demon- it made sex even more pleasurable, knowing how much Dallon loved it when he wasn't able to talk, how Dallon fed off of his pleasure for himself.

It confused Ryan- how could Dallon be pleased just by seeing Ryan overcome with too much pleasure to handle? It made Ryan worry that he wasn't doing enough, that Dallon wasn't getting as much out of sex as Ryan was.

But Dallon continued to spoil Ryan rotten, to help him slip into the headspace, to hold him as he fell from the clouds. And Ryan figured out that Dallon liked seeing him happy, liked to give Ryan more than he could take so that he could get to the heavenly space where he thought about nothing.

"My love, my little king, my sweet devil," Dallon muttered into Ryan's hair, sliding the tendril so that it hit his prostate every time, milking more and more sobs out of Ryan. "What do you think everyone would think if they saw you right now, perfect little thing sitting on my lap, so far gone he can't see anymore? You know what I think they'd say?"

While he couldn't make out Dallon's exact words, muddled by the thick veil of haziness that cushioned him, it always made Ryan feel better when he knew Dallon was talking to him, even if he couldn't answer.

"I think they'd be jealous sweetheart, jealous that they don't get to have a sweet little angel sit on their lap, making the prettiest sounds in the entire world. So high he can't talk, can't see, can't even think straight anymore because he loves it so much. I'm the luckiest person in the entire universe darling." Dallon gushed, praise after praise slipping out of his mouth. He still couldn't believe how quickly Ryan fell into it, so deep in love that he was numb to everything else.

This was his. No one else got to see Ryan happier than this, stars twinkling in his dark eyes, lips parted as his little moans grew louder and louder.

"My perfect little thing. You're so goddamn perfect my love, just a pretty little angel needing some pleasure." Dallon loved the way Ryan was gripping his shirt, sobbing softly into his neck as he came again, legs tightening around him. He knew his love was going to drop soon and wanted to hold on to the very last moments of his high. "Pretty little rose doesn't even know he came again, does he? Doesn't know how absolutely beautiful he is, all spread open on my lap for me to play with."

Face in Dallon's neck, Ryan began to give little kitten licks to Dallon's skin, trying his hardest to replicate the red marks on his own neck. He was weaker than Dallon, especially when he was gone, so his attempts at marks were smaller and lighter. It didn't matter to Dallon- he was overjoyed that Ryan wanted them to match, even when he was high.

"Oh baby, oh mon chéri, good boy," Dallon tilted his head back so that Ryan could reach more of his pale skin, unbothered but the horns poking him in the jaw. "Little angel is trying to mark me up, isn't he? What did I do to deserve something so perfect?"

Pleasure crashed over Ryan again, making his hips stutter as a small whimper fell past his lips, overstimulation sneaking up on him. He knew he was about to drop, seeking out the safety of Dallon's embrace to catch him and bring him back to normal.

Dallon could see it in Ryan's glazed over eyes that he was coming back to him, holding his love tightly as he pulled the tendril out of him and unfurled the one around his cock. After being so high, still being stimulated hurt instead of what it was supposed to do.

Ryan closed his eyes and let the waves pull him under, dopamine dropping in his mind as he heard Dallon whisper sweet things to him, but he couldn't hear what they were. Everything sounded underwater, and he was so cold, and so... alone.

He needed Dallon. He needed Dallon right now.

Tears stung at his eyes as he thought about how alone he was, how Dallon was probably going to leave him after he got so high. Sometimes it was Ryan's downfall, something he hated about himself, wishing they could just have sex like two normal adults.

"Baby, sweetheart, my pretty little thing. I'm right here doll, I'm right here and I'm not leaving, I promise." Dallon must have heard the tiny, choked-up whine that Ryan made, tears dripping down his face as he drew ragged breaths in. "Feel my heart baby, I've got you, you're safe here."

Dallon placed Ryan's hand on his heart, listening to Ryan's high-pitched cries, letting him bury his face back in the crook of his neck. He was grounding his love, trying to reach and bring him back to the real world with making him focus on real things. Sometimes it was his heart, or holding onto his hand, or the weather outside.

"I'm here sweetheart, I'm always going to be here to catch you." Dallon had always wondered what it felt like to slip into a headspace that was sweet and nice. The only headspaces he had ever fallen into were the harsh ones where bad thoughts met him at every turn, like sitting on a bed of nails where as soon as he was unbalanced he was impaled by darkness.

But Dallon knew he could never go to the sweet space with Ryan. It was his job to stay on the ground and bring his love back to him- if they both went, who'd be there to catch Ryan? And it didn't matter much anyways, Dallon loved it when Ryan visited his sweet space where the only thing he knew was pleasure. It made the demon try harder to get him there every night, feeding him praises until he eased right into it.

Ryan began to bawl into Dallon's neck, everything so much at once. Compared to his sweet space, the real world was too much to comprehend, something that frightened Ryan when he was coming back.

It hurt him when he came crashing back down, every memory, thought and piece of knowledge overwhelming his brain that had been calm just seconds ago. Dallon couldn't understand what it was like, but he always tried his best to talk him through it with soft words.

"It's okay to cry sweetheart, don't you worry about that. I know that you get so high you don't know how to handle it, hm baby? And you know I love you no matter what, especially when I get to be the lucky person to help you come back down." Dallon was still holding Ryan's hand to his heart, softly rocking them together, a smile spreading on his face as Ryan's cries slowed.

Dallon. Dallon was there, and he loved him, and wasn't going to leave.

"Dal..." Ryan said, voice soft. It took a little while for his full tone to come back, but Dallon cherished his small voice just as much as he cherished his normal one.

"There's my sweet angel. You were gone a while, weren't you darling?" Dallon knew that even if Ryan seemed steady enough, one wrong move could send him toppling back into a sea of loneliness where his cries were worse.

"Mhm... I-I liked it..." Ryan's face burned red at his confession. He still remembered the first time it happened, how embarrassed he was once he stopped crying, wishing he could hide away from Dallon. But Dallon had reassured him that it was alright to feel things so strongly, that he would love him no matter what he was doing.

"I'm glad you did sweetheart. You went so easily this time, you didn't even need me inside you, didn't you?" Dallon's words were soft and gentle, holding Ryan close and making sure he could feel him, could feel the tendrils wrapped around his wrists and back.

"I went fast... th-thank you Dal..."

"Oh baby, there's no need to thank me. You know how much I adore you when you get all sweet on me, don't you? I wish I could keep you like that all the time, have you sit on my lap and make your pretty noises everyday, all happy and floaty." Dallon found Ryan's lips in a chaste kiss, both of them smiling against each other at Dallon's words.

"I'd like that..." Ryan mumbled, catching Dallon's fingers between his own, letting his mind settle back into reality.

The sat together in silence, the only sound the soft pattering of the rain against the window and his deep breaths, holding onto Dallon's hand. The way the demon was looking at him helped his heart ease into the right place, where he knew that Dallon loved him and always would.

"Do you want to go get washed up yet, my love?" Dallon purred, one hand entwined with Ryan's and the other roaming up and down his thigh, rubbing grounding circles into the skin.

Ryan nodded, eyes still hazy and heavy-lidded even though he'd come back. He loved the heat that came with being high, skin warm against Dallon's as he picked him up and carried him to the washroom.

Dallon sat him down on the counter, making sure that he was in Ryan's reach in case he needed to touch him. Sometimes when Ryan would be coming back, he'd find it hard to believe that Dallon was real, and liked to reach out and feel him to confirm.

"Pretty thing..." Dallon murmured as he searched for a washcloth in the cupboards, feeling Ryan's hand in his hair, fingers outstretched around his horns.

The washcloth was cold against Ryan's skin, making him squirm and shiver as Dallon cleaned him. No matter whether Ryan made it to his sweet space or not, Dallon always took careful care of him after, making sure Ryan was healthy and comfortable.

"You made me very happy tonight baby, you know that? I love you so, so much sweetheart." Dallon pressed kisses to Ryan's body, working his way up until he was standing at his full height, picking Ryan up off the counter. "My little sunshine is still a bit gone, isn't he? Just needs a bit more love to bring him back to me."

Ryan stretched out his fingers for Dallon to slip a tendril through, head resting on his shoulder as he carried him back to the bedroom. His insides were still fuzzy, everything around him blurred and hazy, but he definitely wasn't gone very far.

Dallon dressed him in soft new clothes, making sure that his baby continued to hear his voice and hold onto his hand.

"You did amazing tonight mon chéri, you were the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Such a pretty little doll, aren't you?" Dallon cooed as he pulled a sweatshirt over Ryan's head, smoothing down his blue hair after.

It made Dallon's heart unbelievably warm knowing that Ryan trusted him enough to completely let go of reality, trusted with his life. Ryan knew that even if he had one of the bad drops, the ones where it felt like the world was crashing down around him, Dallon would hold him close and gradually help him back to the real world.

Even after reaching his sweet space and dropping, Ryan was still holding on to remnants of the high, that wonderful feeling of being completely safe, loved and happy.

"I'm going to go change in the bathroom, okay sweetheart? I'll be right behind the door, is that okay?" Dallon was kneeling in front of him, a kind smile on his face. Ryan nodded and watched as Dallon disappeared into the washroom with the towel from under them.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, Ryan kicked his feet up and stared out the window, soft pajama pants rubbing against his tired legs.

The storm clouds had finally parted, a crescent moon hanging in the dark sky, making the room shine with ghostly light. Ryan spotted a water bottle on the nightstand, clear water catching ripples of moonlight like pieces of silver, plastic reflecting the yellow light of the light. He reached over and grabbed it, taking a few big gulps.

Ryan always felt terrible that Dallon didn't want to show all of his body, but the demon assured him it wasn't because of Ryan. After sex, Dallon would only change in the bathroom or behind a closed door where Ryan couldn't see him, reappearing with a different outfit and a small smile.

His unsettled stomach eased when Dallon returned, wearing loose clothes. Ryan wanted to clutch to him and feel his thin figure against his own, their two hearts beating together.

"Hi cutie," Dallon dropped his clothes and the towel in the closet, joining Ryan on the bed, sweeping the rose petals onto the floor. "My love, my sweet little devil. How are you feeling?"

The sheets were just as satiny as Dallon's tendrils, helping Ryan get under the blankets and curl up next to the demon. "G-good. I love you..."

"I love you too, my pretty angel. C'mere doll." Dallon held his arms open for Ryan to crawl into, placing his head under Dallon's chin. "Adorable petit fleur, mon belle amour. You were perfect tonight baby, so damn beautiful just for me."

Dallon wanted to see the docile look in Ryan's almond shaped eyes everyday, the way his body molded so perfectly in Dallon's touch. He loved cuddling with his angel, stroking his hair and listening to the pulse of their hearts.

Ryan fell asleep quickly on Dallon's chest, all cozy and warm under the covers, limbs tangled with Dallon's. The demon followed soon after, but not before murmuring one last praise into Ryan's ear, even though he knew that his love couldn't hear him.

"I love you to the moon and back, mon chéri. I'll love you to the end of the world, and then we'll travel back in time and I'll love you all over again."

And for Dallon, Ryan's little snore was the only answer he needed.






"Dal... Dally, wake up..." Ryan murmured, watching Dallon's nose twitch in his sleep.

It was one of the rare mornings where Ryan woke up before Dallon. He loved these mornings where he could kiss Dallon awake and just lay there, listening to the sounds of them breathing, holding each other close.

Dallon's eyes fluttered open as Ryan softly kissed him, leaning into the embrace.

"Good morning, pretty boy," Dallon looked heavenly in the fuzzy morning light, hair all ruffled and messy against the white pillows.

Ryan's eyes trailed down his neck, surprised by the love bites that were blooming purple. "Dallon... did I make those?"

Dallon ran his hand over Ryan's chest, admiring the deeper plum marks on his love's skin. "Yes you did baby, and look, we're matching."

He blushed under Dallon's filthy gaze, letting the demon slid a tendril under his arm and pull him even closer. "Mm, Dal honey, I'm all yours..."

"That's right sweetheart, all mine." Dallon slipped his hand down Ryan's pants and pressed against the little marks on the inside of his thighs, making Ryan wriggle and stuff his face in Dallon's chest.

Everything from last night was still blurry in Ryan's memory, something that happened every time he went sweet. Dallon loved to remind him how precious and quiet he went, how he became so obedient for Dallon, like a lamb.

"You're so pretty mon chéri, I love you," Dallon kissed Ryan's hair, scratching his scalp around the horns.

"I love you Dal," Ryan beamed, pushing his head further into Dallon's hand, sheets tangled around their legs. "I love it here with you."

It was true. Nothing seemed better in that moment than him and Dallon laying together in the most comfortable bed ever, kissing lazily and sharing sweet words, everything Ryan had wanted in the past few months.

There had never been anyone else Ryan had felt so free with. With Dallon, he never had to hide anything, knowing that he'd love him regardless.

It made his soul carefree, days that weren't chained down by unnecessary worries about what others thought because the only opinion he cared about was Dallon's. And it was on nights like their previous, where Dallon gave him so many tooth-rotting praises he floated, that Ryan knew he'd never have to worry again.

"I love it too baby, almost as much as I love you." Dallon nuzzled Ryan's face and grasped onto his love's hand, heart overflowing with affection. "I'd love to paint you someday mon chéri, capture all that beauty with the brightest colours."

Ryan giggled, looking down in modesty. Dallon could be so wanton with his praise and it made him get shy every time. "Where would we even hang it...?"

"Oh baby, who said it'd be on canvas?" Dallon cooed. "I'd paint my gorgeous rose all the pinks and reds he blushes in, and then we could make love until we were both works of art, wouldn't that be beautiful?"

Ryan's face burned at Dallon's words, imagining Dallon brushing him so gently with paint, worshiping his body like he did every night. And when Dallon was satisfied with his masterpiece, he'd hold Ryan close and tell him how beautiful he looked, both of their skin slick with paint.

"Dallon... I'd love to be your pretty artwork..." Ryan was melting in Dallon's arms, rubbing up against the demon under the blankets.

Dallon had that mischievous grin on his face, the type that Ryan loved. "What do you say we continue what we started last night, hm doll? We have nowhere to be..."

Ryan gasped softly as Dallon's hand cupped his ass, a small smirk on the demon's face. "Oh, please Dallon, I wanna go sweet again."

Dallon ate up the pink shade of Ryan's skin and the possessive marks on his love's neck, grinning at how needy his baby was for it. "Let's see how quickly you go, mon petit étoile. I think that gorgeous ass of yourself would look perfect seated on my tendril, don't you?"

- BRENDON -

Brendon hated the new kings.

He didn't care who they were. He didn't care that he actually kinda liked the new uniforms, a classy replacement of the rags he wore at home. He didn't care if they spoke so kindly to each other that he couldn't imagine what type of people they were. Everything single tender moment they shared was a jagged reminder of Sarah, flames of anger that seared at his brain. Yet all he could do was clench his hands and let the fire die out, staring at them with a wicked hatred.

They thought that they were so powerful. Brendon knew that no matter whatever they had done to earn such pretentious behavior, it couldn't amount to what he deserved.

Brendon's life began with a hardship. His parents died when he was an infant, leaving him in the care of his estranged aunt. She had no business raising a child, but Brendon recognized that she always tried her best and ultimately shaped him into the giving person he was today.

He had met Sarah while his aunt was still alive, struck by her beauty since the first moment he laid eyes on her. They met at a grocery store, and he was so encompassed with her bright eyes and wavy dark hair that when her card got declined he paid for her food, even though his aunt would make him take double shifts at his job as a security guard.

His and Sarah's relationship only blossomed, sharing similar life experiences that drove them closer together. Brendon married her in a courthouse in December, the only place they could afford with a child on the way.

Then his aunt died and he lost his job, leaving him with a baby, a wife and a rundown apartment that was months behind on utilities. Every since then the crushing debt had only snowballed, keeping jobs for a few weeks before he'd be fired again for being late. Sarah's second birth was a lot more complicated than with Tyler, and the hospital bills resulted in taking out a loan he'd never be able to pay back.

There was no other choice than to steal for his family. The cold would slither underneath their blankets, wrapping around their lungs until someone would fall sick, which meant a brush with the inevitable death. The cycle never ended, his debt growing worse and worse and the days grew longer and longer. It kept Brendon up at night, pondering how he'd gotten into such a ratty situation where he had to commit crimes for his family.

And now, just the thought of Sarah sitting at home with Tyler and Abby, stomachs just as empty as their hearts? It was enough to make Brendon want to cry, covering his eyes with the thin material of his sleeves until the tears evaporated. No one asked what was wrong with him; no one cared. And the two assholes in charge got to sit on their high horse and be in love, while Brendon only suffered.

He hated them. Hated how odd they looked, hated how the held each other, hated how demanding and greedy they were. Just by looking at them Brendon could tell they hadn't had as rough as a life as he did.

Brendon was running around, figuring out things as he went along. It seemed everywhere he turned there were people working, talking in hushed whispers about the decor and such, scribbling things on paper. He had absolutely no idea what to do, and definitely didn't want to interact with either of them.

Wandering aimlessly, Brendon came across a piano, glossy black finish shining with distorted reflections of the candles. The candles lined the walls, tiny flames flickering in an invisible wind, wax dripping down the slender rods.

It gave the entire manor an eerie glow, like the type of haunted mansion Brendon used to read about in his aunts dusty old books. The whisper of a ghost, pianos that played by themselves, shadow figures that danced on the walls and a body that was painted with red handprints.

Brendon loved those types of books, one where the murder always ended up being by the grieving widow, but you only figured it out at the end. The entire house made Brendon feel like one of the phantoms that roamed the dark hallways, wearing an elegant suit vest adorned with spirals of golden thread, stitched into small patterns of flowers. Technically he was a ghost- he was dead, wasn't he?

Brendon was staring at the piano, imagining the type of sound he could get out of it. His aunt insisted he learned the piano when he was young, and one of his odd jobs was playing it at a bar. It had actually been one of his highest paying jobs with the tips, but sadly the bar got burned down, along with Brendon's treasured piano.

He was so wrapped up in his own world to noticed the man walking towards him, making both of them crash into each other.

"Oh- I'm so sorry!" The man stuttered as Brendon grasped his hand, getting back up on his feet.

Brendon rubbed his temple, taking in the man's appearance. Wait... this wasn't another servant. It was one of the assholes, the shorter one with the blue hair. Brendon hadn't wanted to talk to them, let alone run into one. "No- no! Uh, I'm the sorry one, y-your majesty."

An apologetic smile crossed the man's face, candles casting some of that mysterious glow on his opaline horns. "Oh, please call me Ryan. I-I don't like the whole 'your majesty' thing..."

Brendon tried to smile back, adjusting his suit under Ryan's gaze, stomach dropping at the fact that he was caught not working. "I'm Brendon... I was just appreciating the piano you guys have here."

Ryan's full eyes caught the beautiful grand piano, checkerboard notes just waiting to be plunked. "We have a piano? I never knew that..."

"I used to play a while ago, but I don't think I'll ever be good enough to play on something like that." Brendon felt stupid for talking to him. Why would Ryan even care if he was good at the piano? If they cared even the tiniest bit, Brendon would be back at home with his family instead of serving them.

"You can play it if you want... I'm sure you're great." Ryan shoved his hands in the pockets of his jeans and shrugged his shoulders, words surprising Brendon.

"Really?" Brendon nearly ran to the piano, memories of playing for drunk patrons flooding his mind.

He stumbled at the beginning of the song, shame creeping up his neck as Ryan watched. But as he went along, the song morphed into a happy ballad the regulars used to love. It reminded him of his sunshine waiting for him at home, heart twisting at the thought of waves crashing down in the ocean of Sarah's eyes.

Brendon didn't think he could handle another second of playing for Ryan. He hated him. Hated his partner, hated how much they shoved their love down his throat, hated how Brendon had to work for them.

But... Ryan wasn't the royal ass Brendon thought he'd be. He let Brendon off the hook for not working, and let him play the gorgeously strong piano. Every dance of his fingers held incredible weight, bold notes reverberating around the room, sustain pedal holding onto the melody until it faded into nothing.

Brendon couldn't stand the battle in his mind between hating Ryan or being thankful. Embarrassed for violating Ryan's time, he stumbled over his own feet backing away from the piano. "I've overstepped, your- uh, Ryan. Thank you for this, but I must get back to work."

He didn't look back, feet slapping against the carpet, winding down the many sets of wire stairs until he wound up in one of the common rooms. They were bland compared to the rest of the manor, rooms that had a beige couch, chairs and a table. Even the windows didn't have any curtains, forcing them to stare out at the thunderstorm outside, acid rain leaving the grass brown and shriveled.

Brendon hadn't tried very hard to talk to any of the others in his short time here- if he didn't make friends, he wouldn't feel terrible once he finally got out. He was going to figure out how to leave, he didn't care what it would take.

A few of them were sitting at the table, sharing mugs of coffee and tea, chatting quietly. Discreetly, Brendon pulled out one of the bare-boned chairs and joined them, only listening to their conversation.

"Ugh, did you see these stupid vests that new jackass wants us to wear?" One of them snarled, pulling at the vest. He looked like he had been stuffed into it, shiny threads struggling to stay together. The flowers sewn into the dark fabric looked like they had been trampled, terribly stretched across his chest. His burly nature intimidated Brendon, who was staring at his hands.

"Are you guys talking about Dallon and Ryan?" One of the women asked, crimped black hair shining with oil in the yellow light from above.

The burly one scoffed and crossed his arms, making his dress shirt tighter. "Yeah, the new king and his little pet"

"P-pet?" Brendon couldn't stop it from falling out of his mouth, shrinking under all their gazes. It was hard to remember that he was in hell, where other terrible people went for their sins.

The muscular man gave him a sideways glance. "Yeah, the smaller guy. Our majesty the asshole treats him like a fucking princess. Have you heard the way he talks to him?"

Brendon felt like withering away, not wanting to badmouth Ryan, especially like this. It made him uncomfortable to speak so grossly about Ryan who had just treated him so nicely, even if he still wanted to hate him.

"God, I hate how much they shove it down our throats. Makes me wanna..." The burly one gripped onto his travel mug, gritting his teeth. Brendon felt just as threatened as the metal did, creasing in his beefy hand. "Do something to him, y'know?"

It was horrible how they all nodded, sharing knowing looks that held dark secrets. As much as he wanted to despise Ryan and his partner's pretentiousness, he couldn't fathom what people in hell would do to someone who was actually kind.

"Yeah, show him that it's not all soft and easy down here." The woman with the black hair said, swishing around her mug of murky coffee water. "Anyways, break's almost over. I gotta go help Georgia with some tailor stuff downstairs, anyone wanna come?"

The small crowd all dispersed, people heading off in groups, leaving Brendon alone.

God, they were rude. Brendon didn't know what he had expected for people in hell, but he didn't think they'd be plotting something horribly grotesque for Ryan.

And if they didn't like Brendon, what would they do to him? Could people even die in hell? A nobody knew him here- his death would barely make a ripple in anyone's life. No one had even cared when he broke down crying in the middle of the thick-carpeted hallways. He hadn't even been here for one full day and he couldn't stand it.

Brendon slumped over the table, arms cradling his head. How had this even happened? How was he in hell, surrounded by people who were probably ex-convicts, scared for his own life?

He didn't know how long he had laid there, dizzy when he finally sat up, face red from all the blood rushing through his head.

Might as well work, shouldn't he? Ryan hadn't been the prick Brendon thought he would be, but there was no telling for the other one. He didn't even look like he was the same species as Ryan- but fuck, why did Brendon even bother wondering anymore? Nothing here made any sense.

Eyesight still blurry, Brendon shuffled out of the common room and staggered up the stairs, shoes making the metal material creak under him.

He was starting to get kinda hungry, but no one ever told him where to get food. Agnes or whatever her name was had left him alone, confused and disoriented.

The tiny twinkle of a bell knocked him out of his bubble, hunger nestling itself in his stomach.

Bell. Agnes had said something about bells, hadn't she?

Brendon sulked in the direction of the ring, dragging his feet along the carpet. Everything was insufferable here, and he didn't feel like working. He didn't feel like doing anything but getting home.

Ryan and his partner where in the room, sitting at end of the long table.

That icky jealousy returned, but this time instead of green vibes that sparked with anger, it only left Brendon... miserable. He tried to stop the grimace that grew on his lips, but it still surfaced, wringing his hands in sorrow.

They had everything they ever wanted, and Brendon couldn't even say goodbye to Sarah. It didn't make him mad anymore, it just left Brendon feeling empty.

"Yes, your... majesties?" The word still tasted sour in his mouth, hands clasped behind his back so they couldn't see him rub where his wedding ring used to be.

Ramen. They wanted ramen, Brendon's most familiar meal. Before stealing, he'd buy the little packets that costed 50 cents and they lived off of those for a while, before their water got turned off.

Even the thought of it was enough to fill his eyes with tears, threatening to spill. Ryan and his partner didn't seem to notice, murmuring quietly to each other, hands laced together.

Brendon couldn't let himself get wrapped up in the hurt. He had an actual job now, with an actual bed and new clothes and a shower that worked.

It took him a little while, but eventually he found the kitchen, mumbling to whoever was there, numb when they handed him two warm bowls. The smell brought him back to the late nights when the kettle would scream just as loud as Tyler did, when Sarah and him would pass the bowl back and forth, listening to the wind howl outside.

He left the two of them in the dining room, uncertain where to go. Everyone was busy working, and Brendon didn't want to talk to people in hell.

Brendon ended up wandering around the manor, ignoring the growling of his stomach, mesmerized by the tremble of the tiny flames. He also came across more spiders than he ever wanted to see, scuttling around in the shadows of the house, beady eyes shining with the same iridescence Ryan's horns had.

An hour later, Brendon found himself standing outside of their bedroom door, unsure what he was going to say. Thank you? You're not the asshole I thought you were? Whatever he was going to say, he wanted to at least apologize to Ryan, even if it was half-assed.

He reached out to open the door, hesitating when he heard voices. Brendon couldn't help but eavesdrop, pressing his ear against the door and straining to listen.

"That's it baby, that's it. Breathe sweetheart, just take it in slowly, my sweet angel." It came from a voice that wasn't Ryan's, accompanied by someone's soft whimpers.

Oh god. They were having sex, weren't they?

He backed away from the door so quickly you'd think it was a spider, scared of making a noise and disrupting them.

Fuck... Brendon didn't want to almost walk into that. He couldn't remember the last time him and Sarah had time for themselves- it must have been before they had Tyler, on that rickety pull-out couch where the bed springs creaked with every move.

Brendon hadn't felt this lost in his life, even when he lost job after job and had bills stacking up. He had family then, and it was the only thing he needed to keep him going.

He would've never traded his family for a life like this, even where he had clean clothes and a place to sleep.

People passed him by in the hallway, some of them giving him a concerned glance and others ignoring him completely. The knowledge that Ryan and his partner got to make love while he had to sit here, swallowing back the lump in his throat, focusing on not sobbing? It was too much.

Maybe it would be in his best interest to talk to other servants and see what they were planning to do to Ryan. Ordinarily, Brendon wouldn't condone anything of the sort, but he was desperate now.

He would do anything to help his family, even if it meant taking down someone kind. And how bad could it be? The people down here didn't seem like the type to think through an intricate plan- they'd probably rough up Ryan a bit, and be done for the day.

Brendon had no idea how wrong he would be.

- END OF ACT 2 -