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SOFT CURVES. THE GENEROUS length of thigh thrown over the top of a crushed velvet duvet. Lace, black and immaculate, draping exquisite flesh, formed, molded. A silk nightgown, rucked up and sitting prettily around sheer lace clad breasts, straps fallen loosely off of delicate shoulders. Parted lips, stained red, soft as petals. Quiet breaths, deep and slow with sleep. Hair, pulled generously back, to expose the lovely skin of an untainted throat. A hip bone, exposed, curving downwards and disappearing into lace panties.

A sinful painting of innocence and desire, one that he couldn't have. One that he couldn't touch. One that he couldn't taste. One that he couldn't worship.

Diavolo sipped at his glass of demonus, eyes dark, mood even darker, and slacks growing tighter. He had emptied half a horn on his own, miserable and delighted in his own torment⏤only buzzed just enough that the creature dreaming away in his bed, on his sheets, and nuzzling his pillow was far too tempting to ignore.

The demon within him, where he hid all the dark thoughts and dark urges, purred endlessly, cooing and thirsting for the woman who lay innocently in his domain, trusting his security, his power, and his protection. A side that had already considered her as his and his only, one that never broke through the fake façade of kindness and empathy, and had devoured the image before him for hours, following every line and dip and curve, desperate to trace them with his fingers, mouth, tongue.

A want that he would not have fulfilled.

It had started innocently enough. A simple offer for her to sleep in his room, no hidden entendres, while the demons of the House of Lamentation grew drunk and incorrigible, unable to let her rest and bothering her endlessly with confessions of love and adoration. She had fled to him⏤him, not Lucifer or Barbatos or the angels⏤originally in search of a room of her own, where he had amusingly pointed out that they would track her down anyways, filters and common courtesy abandoned to demonus. She had frowned, mumbled about returning to the House of Lamentation, but he was already making the offer. She had accepted, nervous and hesitant, and guilty when he took the sofa at the footboard and let her have the enormous bed to herself.

Guilt that had vanished quickly as one night turned into two, two to four, four to twelve, and had been rapidly evolving into at least three nights a week, not just limited to balls and galas and parties, but meetings and evening tea and R.A.D assignments.

It was rare that she wasn't in his bed anymore, even showing up with a sheepish grin one night with an amused Barbatos at her side, requesting softly if she could come in. He couldn't, didn't have the willpower, to turn her down.

Nor did he have the heart to make her leave.

At first, he had ignored her, doing his work and allowing her to sleep. He didn't need rest as much as the others, functioning on power naps alone, and had no need for his bed as much as [Name] had worried over it. Except, as the months progressed and she still slept there, he found himself yearning to join her, to slip in beside her and allow his hand to run up the curve of her spine, dancing underneath the nightgown and bra she wore.

It was a hopeless desire.

As morning, or what would be considered morning in the Devildom, approached, she began shifting in her sleep. Mumbling, scrunching her eyebrows, huffing, her brain steadily adjusting to wake her up for the day.

Diavolo moved his fist from his cheek to rest on his mouth, knuckles turning white, as she rolled to her belly, shimmying for comfort, and hiked her leg up to the point where her knee nearly touched her breast. He had a clear view of the flesh that the lace panties were obscuring, his eyes sharp and keen, tracing the shadowed curve between ber hips, following the darkened line of a seam. He had to strangle the sharp inhale that threatened to expose him.

He took another deep swig of demonus, this time straight from the bottle. He wouldn't be able to last long if he continued looking. He reached down and palmed the length in his pants, still painfully hard, shifting and adjusting to make himself at least marginally more comfortable. It didn't work. He continued watching.

Her breathing hastened. She moaned and stretched like a cat, the muscles of her legs and stomach and back flexing, shuddering, relaxed and loose. She rose to her elbows and yawned, covering her mouth, and rolled to her back. Stretched again. And sat up, hair tastefully disheveled and silk nightgown creased and wrinkled.

He was disappointed when the gown fell, covering her breasts and stomach and the tops of her thighs, just shy of hiding the rest of her legs from him. She hadn't noticed him yet, rubbing the sleep from her eyes with a quiet, but pleased sigh, and as if forgetting where she was, shoved her gown up and dipped her fingers underneath those damnable lace panties, scratching at an itch just at the curve of her thigh. But the image was branded in his mind, imagining her fingers trailing far lower, brushing past sensible and bordering on erotic.

And then she collapsed back with a sleepy hum, only adding fuel to the fire of his fantasy, tangling her fingers in the soft pillowcase beneath her head. She wasn't asleep⏤the steady rise and fall of her breasts were too fast for that⏤but staring at the ceiling, radiating contentedness and satisfaction.

He only wished he could be the source of it.

"Too lazy to get out of bed?" He teased, unable to help himself. He watched her stiffen just a little, remembering, and then relax, waving her hand towards him dismissively.

"Your bed is too comfortable." Her voice was soft and sweet with the remaining dregs of sleep, hitting him right in the gut, blood rushing from his head to between his legs. "I could lay here all day and not get tired of it."

"I'm sure you would, if I let you."

She huffed, then, curling her toes. "I don't have R.A.D. It's my off day. And I don't feel like dealing with Asmo today."

"Should I be concerned?" Diavolo lowered his glass of demonus. It was empty now.

"Sometimes I just need a break… from all of them." [Name] reached up and adjusted the elastic of her panties. He heard the snap against her skin. "Would you hate me if I hogged your bed a little bit more today?"

"No. As much as you would enjoy that, I'm sure, the maids are due for the annual palace cleaning. I doubt it will be calm enough for you to laze around." His demon settled down enough where he felt he could approach her without the risk of rolling her over and ripping her panties off. He'd hate to ruin her image of him. He walked the side of the bed and rested a hand on her shoulder, to urge her to get up. She remained on her back, facing the ceiling. "Come, [Name]. I'm sure breakfast will be ready soon."

"I really don't want to." She looked up at him then, those [color] eyes wide and bright. "I want to stay here with you some more."

The words came out before he could stop them. "I don't think you'd like me very much if you did. You test the limits of my restraint too badly."

Her lips, still stained red and, he imagined, impeccably soft, parted in surprise. He detected the minute change in her demeanor, the sudden arousal in the air around her, and cursed to himself. He couldn't take those words back.

He'd just ruined his chances⏤not that he had any intention to use them⏤before the day had even begun.

"Shouldn't I be the judge of that?" Surprised, Diavolo met her gaze again, surprised by the stark indignation and lust in her eyes. "Don't make decisions for me, Diavolo. I'd rather make them myself."

"And if they're mistakes?" He challenged, his voice dropping as she grabbed his wrist, thumbing his pulse. "Ones you can't erase?"

"Then that's my decision," [Name] replied, holding her breath when he flipped his wrist and grabbed her hand, bringing her knuckles to his mouth in a scorching kiss. A promise and a warning. "I'm tired of everyone deciding what's best for me or what I should do, like I have no choice in the matter. Let me⏤please. Just this once."

He closed his eyes, the muscle in his jaw twitching as the demon rose once again, pushing past the carefully crafted veneer he had painstakingly maintained throughout their interactions.

"I can't." Diavolo gently tugged her hand away before he did something he regretted. He walked towards his seat, aiming for the bottle of demonus. He couldn't even look at her as he sat down, uncorking the bottle and hating himself for it. "This isn't something that can be forgotten about⏤"

And she was in his lap, sliding her bare thighs down his hips and straddling him. Her nightgown rode up to puddle around her hips as she settled her weight on him, pinning him to the chair. His fingers stilled on the glass cork.

"Explain it to me then," she said, smoothing her hand up his chest and neck. "Tell me what could possibly be so bad that you refuse to be with me."

"I could name…" his eyes darted over her legs and up her chest, scanning her face. "Several."

"I'm waiting."

Diavolo couldn't stop the growl that echoed from his throat in time.

"One, you're human. Very much so." His hand slipped up her thigh, digging into the artery there just at the junction of her hip. "You wouldn't be able to take me even if you wanted to."

She leaned forward and hummed in his ear, brushing her lips down the shell. His other hand came down on her hip, squeezing. "You'd be surprised at what I can take. Next reason."

"I'm a prince," Diavolo began next, forcing himself not to stutter as her mouth moved down to his throat. "I have duties and responsibilities that shadow you by far."

"A pity, but not good enough." Teeth scraped against the pulse in his throat. "Try again."

"God damnit, [Name]," he huffed, eyes squeezing shut when the heat of her seeped through his pants to his thigh, warm and inviting. "What will it take for you to see that this is a bad idea?"

She leaned back then, eyebrows furrowed, and⏤for a brief moment⏤hurt flashed across her face. His heart sunk to his stomach. Her hands dropped from his shoulders to rest lightly, hesitantly on his chest. "You… Did I⏤do you not want me like that…? Have I been reading you wrong this entire time?"

He swore he could have choked. "What?"

"I just thought…" [Name]'s hands drifted lower until she wasn't touching him anymore, knitting her fingers in his lap. "I guess I was wrong. I'm sorry, I'll just go⏤"

"No." He tightened his grip on her hip and thigh, forcing her still. "No, I just… I do want you." He sighed. "I do. I swear that I do. I just… this won't end well, or nicely, for either of us."

The [color] haired girl seemed to realize what he was getting at. She slumped backwards with a tiny frown, fingers clenching at the arm rest of his chair. "I guess you're right… I am leaving in a couple months. Then it's all over."

Diavolo could have punched himself for the sad look he had just put on her face with his words. All of the arousal and fight drained out of him and he reached forward, freeing her thigh, and clasped his hand around the back of her neck. He tugged her forward and buried his face in her shoulder, feeling her hold onto his shirt with an iron grip.

He couldn't do it.

"Forget it," he growled into her shoulder. He felt her stiffen in surprise, sucking in a sharp breath when he kissed her collarbone. "I'm not going to spend six months thinking about what could have been. I'd rather live and miss it when it's over."

"Are you… sure?" She sounded unsure now, rattled, and mumbled into his shirt. "If…"

"Of course I am. I'm a prince, and I know what I want and exactly how to get it."

The little yelp she made as he got to his feet, slinging her legs around his waist, was probably one of his favorite sounds in the entirety of Devildom. She wrapped her arms around his neck as he headed towards the side of the bed, dropping her down abruptly.

She landed on her back and propped herself up on her elbows, her breath catching as he undid the buttons on his shirt one by one, staring her down with the eyes of a predator. Her mouth went dry.

He didn't bother shrugging off the article of clothing and grabbed her calves, pulling her to the edge and into a searing kiss that knocked her nonexistent socks off. He pressed his weight into her, pushing her arms flat, the height of his bed playing to his advantage. Her nightgown rolled all the way up to her collarbone from the harsh pull, but she couldn't bring herself to worry about it, shuddering at the heat his bare flesh let off against her skin.

Diavolo broke the kiss before she could get over her shock and began placing hickeys down the side of her neck, marked with teeth and the sting of a bite that was surprisingly gentle. A breathy moan escaped as she raked her fingers up his stomach and chest to reach his shoulders, holding firm to his biceps. He managed to worm her out of the nightgown and tossed it aside, running his hands down the entirety of her body, following her hips and thighs.

"Diavolo," [Name] gasped, a bolt of pleasure running through her when his fingers darted between her legs to slip underneath the lacy panties she wore. His fingers were unusually calloused and felt like heaven as he dragged one between her lips, stroking through her heat and the wetness beginning to seep from her. "Mm, yes…"

He nipped her jugular in reward for the noises she made, withdrawing his fingers. She whined and would have dug her heel into his back if he hadn't brought those same fingers to his mouth and sucked her juices off one digit at a time. She watched with wide eyes, fingers digging into his arm, his pupils blown wide enough to obliterate the gold of his iris.

[Name] didn't protest when he leaned down and kissed her again, this time running his tongue across her lips. She tasted herself as she allowed him in, a clash of teeth and tongue and lips, and then he retreated once again.

He hooked his fingers in the elastic of her panties, thumbs brushing the muscles in her thigh. His eyes were dark and he seemed to be breathing a little hard. "Are you certain, [Name]?"

"One hundred percent," she whispered, and he pulled them down her legs smoothly, never breaking eye contact with her as they dropped from her ankles. He kissed up her leg slowly, lingering on her calf and working his way between them, teeth scraping over the inside of her kneecap.

His lips brushed the little divot where her hip met her thigh and then she was lost, dropping her head back when his mouth descended upon the throbbing pulse between her legs. He hooked his elbows under her hips and propped them up, smoothing his thumbs over the lace of her bra, squeezing hard enough to bruise.

[Name] rolled her hips into his mouth, hand darting down to fist in his hair. The growl he responded with thundered through her core and shot up her spine like lightning and just like that, the pressure began building, curling behind her naval.

She would have been embarrassed by the speed he had gotten her off with if the sharp gasps hadn't embarassed her just a little bit more. His tongue and teeth and mouth against her was bliss, and she didn't object when he pressed a thumb to her lips, raking her teeth over the pad and closing her mouth over it. She let out a particularly loud moan when she came, muffled over his thumb, and he immediately brought his other hand and slipped a finger inside her with a frightening smoothness.

"How are you doing, [Name]?" He questioned, his voice dark and lips shiny with her fluids. He watched her face, flush with blood, and the gasping 'o' of her mouth as he added a second finger, grimacing. "God, you're tight."

"Mm," she moaned as an answer and nearly bit down on his thumb when he pulled his fingers free of her, including the one in his mouth. "Diavolo, please…"

"Shh," he shushed and there was the rustling of a belt and his pants and he was looming over her, hot length pressing between her legs like she'd wanted. "We take this slow, alright? Don't force it. I don't want to hurt you."

[Name] nodded and he began peppering kisses across her face, positioning himself at her entrance. When he was in place, he reached up and held her face between his palms, pleased by the dark red flush that had taken over her cheeks.

"Whenever you're ready," he promised, smoothing back her sweaty hair. "Take your time."

"Alright," she whispered, blowing out a shaky breath. She took a few moments to herself, calming down her racing heart, and shifted her hips just a bit. He slid inside just the barest of centimeters. "Okay, I'm ready."

"Good girl." He pressed a kiss to her forehead and began pushing his hips forward. She gasped in his ear, burning her face in his neck, fingers gouging deep lines in his back that he would look at with smug pride later. "Break?"

"No." [Name] swallowed some of her spit. The stretch was a little painful, but he wasn't exactly small. Far from it, she could tell. "Keep going."

And then, after a few stutters, he was fully sheathed inside her. He didn't dare move, absorbing the heat around him, memorizing this moment and hiding his face in her hair. When she rolled her hips tentatively, testing out the soreness, she sighed, pleased, and the real dance began.

After all, this was just the beginning.