The garage opened with a flick of a switch on the dash. "We are home. This is where you live now." Azrael had been silent during the last half of the ride home, allowing the mageling a chance to work through some of the shock. The boy's apparent willingness to accept comfort from him greatly eased the tension that he felt.
It wasn't right, and he knew it. The boy should get the same care and treatment that all his darlings received, and yet he couldn't bring himself to even think about breaking this one. He was a mage. Even after being away from his old Temple for over three millennia, Azrael still could not bring himself to hurt one of the Priesthood, at least, not without, strong provocation.
"Nice house." Torin stood close to him. "Master."
"It suits my needs. Now, come. Let us take the girl downstairs so that you might try to heal her."
The girl whimpered as Azrael lifted her. Even in her sleep, her mind tormented her. Azrael came close to forbidding the mage to attempt to heal her, simply because he wanted it to end as quickly as possible. The weakness sickened him, but the pain that the mindless fear caused the girl, even in her sleep, sickened him more.
The hall light was on when Azrael opened the door. "Azrael?" Jenna asked. "Oh, my. What happened?"
"Nothing dear, I'll be along soon." He sighed. He should have known one of them would be upstairs. "Go back to what you were doing. I will explain it all later."
She looked from him to the girl in his arms. "Okay." The worry in her face bothered Azrael. He tried so hard to protect his girls from the darker realities of his nature. "See you later, right?"
"Yes, pet. Go on, go find Megel and tell him that I asked him to hold you."
Torin watched the girl head for the stairs. "Master, who is she?"
"That is Jenna. She is like you, a pet in my home." He moved down the hall for the back stairs off the kitchen. "And like you, she is very sensitive." He shook his head at Torin's unspoken question. "No, she is no Mage."
Torin followed, thinking about Azrael's words. Jenna, she was one of those that his new master claimed as his. For some reason Torin found the small, mousy girl's presence odd. She just didn't look like the type a vampire would claim. She was so ordinary.
Azrael, listening to his thoughts, didn't bother correcting him. Let the boy find out on his own how deceiving looks could be. Jenna, for all her mild and quiet ways was one of the strongest of his pets, when it came to devotion and love. "Open the door, Tori." He waited.
The room was small, a bed and table its only decorations. "How long do you think you will need to ascertain if you can help her or not?" The girl cried out as he lay her on the bed. Her condition was getting worse. Her mind was literally closing in on itself.
"I don't know, sir. A few minutes, if I can't help her." He ran a hand through his hair. "If I can, however long it takes, or you will allow."
Azrael straightened, reaching to touch Torin's cheek. "My word; if you can help her, I will grant you all the time you need. Or as much as I dare before you risk your own health." Such clear gray eyes, it had been long indeed since last he had looked into the eyes of a mortal that held such intensity. "I will go and inform my house of what has transpired. Do what you must."
Again, Torin willingly accepted the kiss, totally giving as he had sworn. "Thank you."
"Your free acceptance is thanks enough. Now, go do what you feel you must, while I go and put my tribe at ease."
Torin looked down at the sleeping girl. "So, Wendy, you finally tried your games on the wrong guy." He shook his head. He couldn't even give a valid reason for caring. He had detested her almost as much as she had hated him. She had tried to so hard, when he first started to work at their store, to snare him. And her interest turned to animosity when he refused to be used. It had been hell after that.
'Oh well, a life is a life' . The power that he had worked so diligently to train rose at his call. Healing was new to him, but it seemed to come with such an ease. An ease that none of his other talents ever came close to. Kat had called him a healer, pure bred, more than once. So now he pitted his budding skills against his first true challenge. He had to know if he could heal Wendy.
* * *
All, talking, stopped. As Azrael, entered, the room. Jenna had done as he had asked, and now sat curled up in Michael's lap. "There has been a change in plans." He held out a hand to his most fragile pet.
"Who are they, Az?" Jenna went to the safety of his arms, secure.
"The girl was to be one of the new house slaves. As a covenstead, I need to have a few that can be used as food for those who come here. But, unfortunately, she was as weak willed, as she was vain and power-hungry. Her mind has collapsed." He cupped Jenna's chin. "Stay away from the back room, dearest. It is not a pleasant sight."
"Are you going to kill her?" Morgan looked up from her puppy.
"Yes, child, I am." This was the part that he hated. "Forgive me, my darlings, I know how you hate to be reminded that I am not always as you see me. But it would be cruel beyond measure to let her live as she is, mindlessly locked in the hell of her own fears. Forget she is there. I will take care of it."
Morgan picked up the puppy and held her close. She had come to terms with the last deaths, and his abuse of Mark. But to know he was going to kill again. She loved him, with all her heart, but this frightened her.
"What about the other one?" Jenna had accepted the girl's impending doom calmly. She had learned early that death occasionally came in the guise of her Master.
Azrael looked to Michael. "Megel, remember the boy at the pet store? The one that was so helpful?"
"Yes, you had to make him forget certain things. Why?"
"Would you believe he is a Mage? A young one, still very early in his training, but gifted enough to see me. I had no choice. I needed to keep him silent. So I offered him death, or coming here and belonging to me. He is, at this moment, trying to heal the girl."
"A Mage?" David's voice was a whisper. "I thought all the true Magi were gone, or replaced by the candy-coated mysticism that pervades all the paths for the living."
Azrael nodded. "It does take a moment to fully believe, does it not? But he is a mage, a true one, and I have not only accepted him as a pet, but my apprentice as well." He eyes sought out David's. "He has my word, that as long as he continues to behave in an acceptable fashion, that I will not take his will, with one exception. No one hurt him. So, if you must press a little during his taking, he is prepared and willing."
"Understood." A mage, Azrael had found a mage. They were so rare, and he had one that would obey without question.
"Wait." Joseph shook his head. "Let me get this straight. You take off to buy Morgan a dog, next thing we know, Megel and the rest come home via the Dark Paths, so you can chase some bimbo." His face was a study in confusion. "And now you're telling us that whoops, the girl just isn't up to our brand of reality so you brought home a mage instead. A mage, what the 'fuck' is a Mage?"
"Cain!" David was shocked at his Fledglings tirade, but no more so than by
Azrael's dry chuckle.
"Do not punish him, Vincent. The situation is absurd. He is at least still honest enough to admit when he is out of his realm." Then to Joseph, "a mage is a magic user of old. They are born with gifts, one of, which enables them to manipulate the power of life to their will. This one is a boy, barely trained. But bright, by my own blood, his power is so bright."
"And he had accepted this?" Michael was envious. Magi were so rare, and most of the older Vampyr, he included, had come from them than from normal mortals. In days long gone, the Magi and the Vampyr were closely united.
"Freely, no coercion at all. Nor will I use it so long as he chooses to obey with his eyes open."
"And the girl, if he fails to heal her, what happens?" David knew that Joseph was hungry.
"Is yours." He looked around the room. "Where is your First-Born?"
"Gone out to eat. She's very good at it. She never feeds too much from one mortal, and they never know." The pride in his voice was almost a tangible thing.
"You have warned her about too many emotionless feeding?"
"Yes. She still feeds from one of us every week or so."
Azrael was about to compliment him, when he felt the mageling's mental scream. "Vincent, come." The two moved as one seeking the Dark Paths, to his rescue. Even as the boy slipped into the insanity that had trapped the girl.
* * *
The scene that greeted him was chilling. Wendy crouched, huddled in the corner, whimpering. Torin lay by the bed unconscious. "Vincent, end it." He spared the girl no more than a glance as he gathered his mageling to him.
David moved slowly. "Don't be afraid." He wondered if even his powers would make a dent in her terror. If she was as insane as Azrael had warned, she might be immune to him. "Look at me. Let me take it away."
She whimpered as he gathered her close. "It's all over now, dear," he whispered, pushing her head back. "No more."
Azrael was thankful that Torin was a mage. The training he had received had enabled his mind to break free, sending him into unconsciousness instead of being trapped forever in the girl's horrors. A stab of guilt hit home as he wrapped his newest one in his power. He should have never left him alone with her. Torin, he pulled him back to consciousness. *Torin, child, wake up. *
Torin came awake with a cry. "No, relax." Azrael held him as he struggled." It is over, ssshh, I have you."
"Wendy," he tried to move. "Please, she's. . . .."
"Ssshh, Tori, it's over."
He looked at Azrael, not fully accepting his words. "Vincent ended her pain."
Torin shuddered. He hadn't been able to help her. All he had accomplished was waking her, bringing her back into the hell she had been living in, and almost being trapped there with her. "You, you were right. There was, I, I couldn't do anything to help her."
Azrael held him, letting him draw what comfort and security he could from his arms. "I know, but you had to try. Had you not, you would have never accepted her death. Can you live with it now, knowing the pain she was in?"
"Yes." He tried to pull away. "Thank you for helping me. I, I'm all right now."
Azrael's arms tightened. "Be still, Tori." The boy's movements stopped. "Look at me, lift your hair out of the way. Give me your throat." His voice was soft, easy, and seductive.
"Now?" Here on the floor, a dead girl just a few feet away, "please, Master, not here." He wanted to be away from the death. "I--I'm not resisting. I just can't, not with her still here."
Azrael nodded. "I understand, pet." He let him go so that they both could stand. "Vincent, take Tori to my chamber. Stay with him. Do nothing until I return, but do not allow him to be alone." He brushed Torin's cheek with his fingers. "You go with Vincent. He will hold you until I return. I am 'his' Master as well. He will not harm you."
"Uh, sure, boss." He looked at the other vampire, trying to remember what his normal name was. "David, right?"
"Yes. Either name will do. Whatever is easiest for you." David smiled at Azrael. "He'll be fine."
"I know your Fledgling is hungry. Tell him I will be only a moment or two, then he can be fed."
"Take all the time you need, Azrael. Cain has asked to wait until we retire to feed, he wants some of my time." He laid a hand on Torin's shoulder. "We will be in your chamber."
Torin tried to keep calm as David walked him down the hall, but it wasn't easy. Wendy was dead. This man had killed her, had drunk her blood. And he would know the same fate very soon. Azrael's fangs were still in his mind's eye. He wondered what it would feel like. Would it hurt? How much would he take? Blood was a powerful tool. That was one of the first things he had been taught. That was why so many of the Dark Craft chose blood magic. It was so very powerful.
He felt the eyes on him as David led him into the room. "This is our Master's chamber. It is here that he handles most of his nightly dealings." David led him slowly to the couch. "This is Tori, he is Azrael's new mageling. Let's try not to overwhelm him, he's a little shocky."
Jason laughed. "Yeah, first night, I bet he is." He grinned at Torin. "Hi, I'm Jason. I saw you earlier."
"Uh, hi." He tried not to freeze as David pulled him into his lap. "I'm--my name is Torin, or it is now. He calls me Tori."
"It's okay, boy." Michael felt for the boy. "It really isn't as bad as it seems. You'll find living here to be much more pleasant than you guessed."
"As long as he teaches me, I'd live in hell." The words were spoken in haste, but they were honest. If, he could be, taught, by one such as his new master. He would be willing to live any way he had to.
"I don't think it will be quite that bad." Azrael returned, appearing before them. "I'm known for being a bit of a taskmaster at times, but I've never been accused of abusing my students."
"I--I didn't mean it that way." They could kill. He had seen it. He would have to be careful what he said until he could figure them all out.
Azrael snorted. "Relax, Mageling. I am not looking for a reason to end our agreement. It will take more than a careless word or two for me to strip you of your will. Try speaking to me as you would your previous Master, I will change it to suit me as we go along. Now come, it is time you and I had a chance to get to know one another."
Torin looked at him, his fear momentarily overriding him. He stumbled as he stood, David reaching to keep him from falling. "I'm sorry." He backed away.
"Boy." Azrael's voice was soft. "Tori, come here. Relax, you are in no danger. You have my word. Now do as I have said. Come here. There is unfinished business between us."
It was time. So far this night he had lost one teacher, his freedom and his life. He fought down his fear as he walked across the room, but now he would loose his soul. He knew it. He knew the power of blood. But the deal had been made. For his life and his craft he had traded, and now his new master would see that he paid in full.
"What is this?" Azrael chided softly as he helped his newest find a comfortable position in his lap. "Is this the same person who struggled so against me earlier? Who was ready to talk his way out of his dilemma when he learned he could not fight? Where is the bright boy I so admired earlier?"
"Scared out of his mind." Again, complete honesty. If his new master wished to be spoken to as he had to Kat, then it was one comfort that he could hide in.
The room echoed with, many, voiced laughter. "He's a mage, all right." Michael grinned at Azrael. "If I doubted it before now, I have seen my proof. No one but a mage would dare speak the truth so bluntly."
"I have told you, my pet. You have no reason to fear me. I accepted your oath. Can you not do the same with mine? Is it the pain you fear, you, one of the Magi?"
Torin looked up at him. "No, sir. Pain is of no importance. Pain I can live with." He looked down. "It's," this was not easy. "For the first time since Kat showed me how to focus, to define the strangeness that I felt--" He looked up. Dark gray eyes bright with unshed tears. "It's the not knowing, the unknown. You are something that I have no knowledge of or basis on which to start an understanding. I'm not afraid of death, or pain, or torment. These I have faced and overcome. It is what you are, what it means that frightens me."
Azrael nodded. This fear he could understand; forgive. The boy had not been taught of the things that did not belong in his world. "I see." A gentle hand under his chin. "Then we shall have to let you get to know what I am, so that you fear it no more. Lift your head, Torin; give me your throat. Let us mingle our blood so that you may know what it is you answer to now."
His body tensed as Azrael's fangs broke through the skin of his throat, cutting into the jugular. But the pain was short and quickly faded as his whole being became caught up in the wave of need that rose in him. His power rose, at Azrael's call. Linking with his greater force, until the two became one. As the boy held his new teacher, his master, his body was lost in pleasure so great it eclipsed all he had ever known. His soul and power, danced with that of his new lord's in a joyful rapture of ecstasy. Yes, this man was much, 'much' more powerful that Torin had ever believed anyone could be. And he not only let him feel his power, but let him join with it, allowing the young mage to grasp for the first time what could be achieved.
Part of him, the silent watcher that lived within all mages was aware of all of this, and of the sound of his shirt as Azrael ripped it from him, so that his hands could heat the flesh. Of his own hands fighting to do the same. The silent part, the point of all power within him, was silent no more as the final barrier broke and there were no longer two, but one.
*Azrael! * Michael fought to break through. The feeding was going on too long.
*Master! * David added his strength to Michael's. *Please. You will kill him. *
Together they battered at his mind, screaming and pulling, until finally, he acknowledged them and drew back. *He is in no danger. I fed slowly, * came his reassurances as the two pulled away, calming.
* * *
Torin fought to keep Azrael from pulling away. The separation was too soon. He did not wish to be alone again inside, not just yet. Never had a blending been so complete. Not once in all the time he had worked with Kat had their powers sung together as his did with his new master. And now, as the song ended and he was alone again within himself, his silent watcher longed for the music again.
"The mages of today have indeed lost much of what they once were." Azrael's voice was soft as he held the boy in his arms. "Much will you learn from me. Don't weep, little one, your power will sing with mine often. Now finish the link."
Unlike with the rest, he didn't use the knife, but instead bit his own wrist, drawing his blood into his mouth. He would feed his blood to the boy. He dared not lose himself again in the sweet glow of the life before him. It was too soon. The boy was not ready for the gift, and he was too caught up in the merging of power to allow him to drink from him without wanting to take him all the way.
This time there was only pleasure, intense, glorious pleasure, as Torin accepted the blood as well as the kiss, tongue seeking every trace, body burning with a passion of a like he had never experienced.
Four more times, Azrael drew blood and gave it to Torin. Four more times did he feed the boy's lust and want. Long had it been since anyone tempted him like this one did. Mages, oh Gods, but they were the finest of all pets, of all Chosen for Fledglings. And long had it been since he had had one of his own. "No more, little one. You are mine now."
Michael watched on, his heart aching with the power of the love he felt for his Sire. This was what the ancient vampire needed. These adoring pets of his were sweet, and there was no doubt that he loved them. But, this, boy would be a brother one day. And Azrael needed a Fledgling again, one to devote all his attention to.
"Vincent." Azrael broke eye contact with Torin. "Take him, hold him. Megel, I need." He dared not pour his passion out on the boy now. He needed strength. He needed power. If he took the boy now, he would crush him under his want.
"No!" Torin fought as David pulled him away from Azrael. "Master?"
"Silence." Michael grabbed his arm. "He's not rejecting you boy, but neither can he take you now. He could kill you in the heat. Go with Vincent. He will hold you. Let me give my Sire what he needs. Soon enough, he'll be back for you." Then his voice softened. "The power is strong after it mingles with another. He is a vampire. Our emotions, our desires, burn within us with a heat no mortal could stand if forced to bear it fully. Go on boy, seek out Vincent, take what comfort you can from one who does not crave you. Soon enough your master will have you. What is another hour?"
Torin stopped struggling and allowed David to lead him back to the couch, pulling the tattered remains of his shirt from him. "It's okay," David whispered softly as Michael followed Azrael from the room, putting space between the two. "I swear it is. You've pleased my master greatly. Anyone who does so is in no danger from me."
Jason watched as David held him, rocking slowly. "Maybe I ought to talk to him," he whispered to Amber.
"Yes, Azrael had to do something similar for Megel when he lost himself in you, but no one can stop him. You would be better able to explain."
Jason sat beside David. "Master, may I speak to him? Maybe I can explain things, so that he understands."
David looked at the young mortal. "Tori, look up, Jason wants to talk to you."
"Yes." The pained-filled eyes turned to him.
"Listen to me, it's not what you think. Azrael had to keep Michael from killing me a couple of times at the beginning. You've got to understand. You're kind of like me, but in a different way, if I understand it. I love Michael; I was the first human to love him. It hit him real hard. Love is a very strong emotion for them. He tried to devour me because of it. He wanted my love so bad; it blew his control to shit. Well, from what Michael tells me, Azrael hasn't dealt with another mage as a pet, or, Chosen if I read this right, for over four hundred years. That's a long time for anyone to keep part of themselves locked up inside. Now he has you and, believe me he likes it. He doesn't want to go too far. What good would it do him if he ended up making you a Capri Sun, (TM) just so he could fully merge with you? Afterwards he'd be alone again, and you'd be dead. So he's gone with Michael to get his head on straight, that's all. Don't take it as a rejection. He's not. He just can't do what he wants right now, and he needs time to get it clear in his head."
"Listen to him." David breathed a little freer. Jason had explained it perfectly and saved him from having to struggle over an explanation. "He's telling the truth. Right now, you're like a drug for him, a potent one, and he needs to remind himself that too much of you would only end up hurting him."
Torin nodded. The awareness he had of his Master now made understanding this easier. No, he was not being cast off; nor was this a rejection. Azrael had had to pull away or he would have killed him. "I understand."
"Good. You'll see, he'll be back soon enough and he'll show you." Jason patted his shoulder. "Just curl up here and rest. You're gonna need it."
"Thanks." The hand that grasped his was firm. The blue eyes that seemed to smile back at him were open and honest. Michael had been right. Living here was not going to be as hard as he feared. He'd learn to read them and how to make the most of his new life.
"Hey, you're family now," was the only thing Jason said as he squeezed Torin's hand once more before winking at David. "Later."
Maria came over with a glass of water. "Hello, I'm Maria. We share the same Master. He fed from you a bit more than normal, so you're going to need to drink a lot of water." She handed him the glass.
'Yes' , he was thirsty. "Thank you."
"No problem dear. Now you know me, so let me introduce you to the rest of his menagerie." She turned pointing to the short, mousy, elfin-looking girl. "That's Jenna. He went through something similar with her at the beginning. We were afraid he'd go mad trying to keep from taking her too far. She gave him everything. And the black girl beside her is Valerie. You've met Morgan, and the fellow who is holding her is Mark. See you're not the only boy he has. You and he should become friends. With all the females he has, you'll need each other."
"So I make number six. Low man on the totem pole, hu?" He nodded to each one.
"Not at all. I'm first. After that everyone is equal. There will be no jostling for position here. He'd not stand for it. Now, have you been introduced to everyone else?"
He looked around. "Sort of. He told me about everyone on the way here. I can tell which are vampires. And if that is Jason, then she must be Amber, Michael's other human, right?"
"Yes. I'm Amber. I used to belong to Azrael, but when Megel talked to your Master and he decided to take Morgan, he gave me to my master. He feels that with my personality, I'd be happier with Megel than with him." She smiled at Jason, leaning on him. "It hurt, and still does a little. But I'm beginning to believe he was right."
David motioned for Aaron and Billy to come close. "You know me. Anna is not here right now, but the one over, there; trying to figure out my last chess move is Joseph. His Kin name is Cain." Joseph looked up and winked. "This is Aaron and Billy. They're mine."
"Hi." They all lived here, and they all were, if he could trust what he was feeling happy. Then he looked at Billy, there was, something, wrong with him.
"Billy is a little slow. He'd been through a real rough time before he came to me. And I wasn't myself then, and well, by the time I bonded with him, his mind wasn't quite up to it. The blood helped to save him from going completely mad, like the girl. But it left him wounded. Be careful around him, and watch what you say. He doesn't understand a whole lot of the higher concepts and can be hurt easily by a careless word."
"Azrael can't help him?" He found it hard to believe that his new Master couldn't do everything.
"No. His mind is healed, or as healed as it's going to get. So we all protect him. Don't worry about it. He is fine. I will keep away all that could hurt him. He's happy. He smiled down at the boy. "Aren't you, baby?"
"Is Anna gonna want me tonight?" He blushed.
"No, I think you're sleeping with Joey and I. Anna has already claimed Aaron for the night."
"Oh," he beamed, "okay."
Torin watched him. The kid might not be a mental giant, but David was right, he was happy. They all were. There were some slight undertones of pain, but much less than what he usually felt in a crowd of people this size. It was like they all had found their place and lived to fill it. The last of the tension left his body as he smiled at all of them, letting David pull him back to rest against him. "Uh, Cain, have you fed yet?"
"No, but that's okay. I'll jump my master later tonight." Joseph made a snickering sound as he moved a piece. "There Davy, figure that one out." He bounded over, throwing himself on the floor at David's feet.
"Later, Joey, right now I have to comfort this one. He's new, and we're all a terrible shock to him." His arms tightened around Torin. "You're a virgin, aren't you?"
"Yes." He refused to get tense. If this were, what was meant to happen, he'd live through it.
"Too bad. I can't give you anything to fully take your mind off of things, but if you'd like, I'd love to at least begin." A hand on the fastenings of his slacks, "if you'd rather not, I understand. But I won't hurt you, and Azrael won't be mad. Let me comfort you my way, Tori."
David was a vampire. Torin's rational worked. He had been warned that this would happen, and that he was expected not only to allow it, but also to participate. So be it.
Torin moved his arms slowly, letting them encircle David as he turned. "My oath." He whispered.
"Oh no, little brother, not this time. You oath belongs to our master. I offer nothing more than friendship and comfort." No vampire alive would have thrown this one to death. Even now, the boy was trying so hard to live up to what was expected of him. The power in him burned, and as his mouth locked with David's and his hip's rose to allow Joseph to help undress him, David could feel its glow warm him. "Will you join me in friendship? No oaths, no threats, just two who are bound together in a common bond of brotherhood."
"Yes." Gods, he'd been horny before, but nothing that he had ever lived through prepared him for the case of blue balls he had now. And even though it was Azrael who had left him in this state, he'd let David ease it. If he didn't, he'd probably explode.
David chuckled at his aggressiveness. "Azrael didn't warn you of this little side effect of feeding, did he?"
"No." His breath caught in his throat. As suddenly a wet, cool mouth took him. He looked down to discover Joseph. "Man--oh shit--" This was too much. "Gotta remember to thank him."
No more words were spoken between the three, as Torin found himself lost in a haze of hands and mouths, and a need that burned, but would not be released.
* * *
The bed sagged, under the weight, as Michael pushed his Sire, friend, and lover, onto it. Feeding the hunger easing his needs. "Go on, Master." He pulled Azrael's mouth to his throat. "Go on."
* * *
Torin was half mad with a burning need, but no matter how much he wanted it, or how hard his two new 'friends' tried, he was caught just on the verge of release. Pleasure turned to pain as overtaxed nerves screamed. His moans began to change to whimpers, then to cries and he tried to push Joseph away.
"Stop." David caught his hands. "Relax, see Joey stopped. Ssshh." Poor boy, Azrael had started this, and it seemed only he could end it. Damn but the kid had to hurt. He had never seen anyone so drawn out.
Torin wanted to scream. It was so close. Release teased him, taunted him with the promise of pleasure so great that it would transform his life. But he couldn't reach it, no matter how he tried. "No," he cried as his body burned. "Please--Gods, I gotta--I can't"
"What's wrong with him?" Joseph was worried. He hadn't meant to hurt the boy, only to join his master in a moment of play. "Vincent?"
"It's going to be all right. Don't be afraid, either of you. It would seem that when our master locked power with the boy, he locked him in a cycle that only he can end. I know it has to be hell, but all we can do is wait. Soon enough he will return, and I'm sure once he does, this will end." He lifted Torin's tearstained face. "Later, I promise, I'll see our play through. I just can't help you this time."
"I can't take this." Torin reached for himself; he had to bring himself off. If he stayed like this, he'd go nuts. But the very touch of his hand sent pain shooting through his body. "Oh, damn."
"Don't." Again, David restrained him. "You'll only hurt yourself more." He held him down, trying his best to restrain his Master's new pet, without hurting him any more. *Master. * His mind sought Azrael's, to see how soon he would be returning.
*Now is not the best time, Vincent. * The touch that came to him was heavily laced with pleasure and lust.
*My apologies, to both you and Megel, but if you've gotten control over yourself again, I must tell you that you have a pet in great need of his master. *
*Have Maria take care of him, if he is too shy for you. I am. . . ., * He lost the thought for a moment. *Busy. *
*Azrael, * David knew he was pushing his luck, but the boy was in pain. *He can't, though the Gods as our witnesses, both Cain and I have tried. The boy has lain here, in my arms for the last hour or more, and is drawn so tight. I am surprised he's not leaking blood from the pores of his manhood. * He shifted Torin so he could hold him better. The boy lay against him, moaning in pain. *Master, I would never dream of arguing with you, but your word that he was not to feel pain is now being proven false. *
There was silence for a moment David beginning to fear that he had angered the Elder. *Take him. * The response was quick. *Forge a bond with him, he will then be able to. You are no mage. It will not do to you what it has done to me. Tell him that I am sorry. I will make it up to him, but if I touch him now, like this, he would either die, or join us. *
*Vincent, * it was Michael's deep calming essence that flowed over him. *Let the boy know that his master is suffering now. And until I finish ending his plight he would be no help to him. You are in Azrael's service; your Master is incapacitated at the moment. Take the lead. We will be back when and only when, I have my Sire at peace. *
David blinked as they broke contact. "Torin, Tori, look at me." He sat him up, trying to get him to sit on his own. "I spoke to Azrael. It is too soon for him. He too is in pain, and if he comes to you now, you would be mortal no longer. For there are only two paths leading from him at the present. One is death, and the other the gift." He smiled gently, trying hard not to show his fangs. "My compliments. You have indeed inflamed our Master. But he would not have you suffer. His word was you would feel no pain. So now I ask you, can I blood bond with you? It will temporarily over-ride your bonding with Azrael. I can help you. It was his suggestion. But along with his word of no pain was his promise of no coercion. You must be willing to have me."
"But," He didn't want to break his tie with Azrael. It hurt, but the pain was nothing compared to the joy of the power he had felt.
"Your tie with him will be reset. A blood bond with me will last no longer than it takes him to regain control." He motioned with a hand to Torin's painful erection. "Remember, pain was not part of your agreement. At least, not, this kind of pain, if I don't help you, well, Elders can be funny about some things. Do you really want him to go about feeling guilty for the pain he caused you for the next fifty years?"
"It won't?" God, but he wanted this to end. But he had sworn, given his word. He had already suffered the loss of one tie. One teacher thought him dead so that he would not be forsworn.
"No." Torin moaned. "Please, I can't." *Master, forgive me, I can't. *
*Damnation. * Azrael's mind was torn between pleasure and pain as he reached out to touch Torin. *Go ahead, Mageling. Vincent will not hurt you, and at the moment, you are far safer with him than with me. *
He had lost one; he would not lose another, even if it were only for a moment. *Take me. I will be like you. *
There was silence as Azrael pulled away from the boy. The child couldn't mean to offer himself. It was the pain between them that called for this. The ancient vampire knew it, even if the youngster didn't. He would not give the gift like this. Too many times had he heard of others making this mistake and the grief that followed. The boy's pain and his desperation were like cold water to him. The control he had lost so briefly cam slamming back into him as he refused the child's plea. *I come. *