BDSM Library - Beginnings - Dark Love 1

Beginnings - Dark Love 1

Provided By: BDSM Library

Synopsis: A dark tale of domination and love begins with Dark Love 1. BEGINNINGS. The world of vampires and their bound mortal slaves is begun. Love, domination, oral and anal sex, are all part of this delightful tale. The first of the trilogy deal with SM/BD/DS. A truly romantic tale, but one that also has rape, incest, slavery torture and snuff.



Written By; Veronica Leigh Marquette

Lightly Edited By; Ravyn

(Author's Note) Okay, this time I do believe I am going to get it all out first so I don't have to keep going back and repeating myself.

*****NO ONE, and I do mean NO ONE.***** Under the age of eighteen or who lives in area's where this sort of reading material is considered illegal should read ant farter.

Now having said that, if you are still with me, the material within these pages is Fiction. Thus saying, anything any resemblance too anything or anyone living or dead, or in the vampires case, Undead are purely coincidental. I mean let us all be real for just one moment. This is a vampire erotica, as in smut. True high-class smut, but it is smut nonetheless.

So, now that I have your complete and undivided attention, have fun.

Vampire's and Mage's and Blood Bond's oh my.


The Erotic Adventures of the Undead

Coming Home


'There has got to be a better way, ' crossed the vampires mind for the millionth time as his teeth broke the plastic of the blood bag, and the cold, thick fluid filled his mouth. 'Jupiter's balls, I wish getting a meal wasn't so hard. ' Disgust filled him briefly before he lost thought and gave in to the rapture that his kind always experienced when, feeding.

Images shifted and he relaxed. How long had it been since he had last hunted? Twenty, or was it thirty years? Thirty years of living on cold, lifeless, blood. No heat, no passion, just cold little bags. It 'had' to change. He could not continue to live like this.

His name was Michael Brook, or at least it was now. Too many years had passed since he had used the name of his birth. So many that there were times he could not recall it without seeking his journals. So many years, so many names, and it had all come down to this--a half-life of sneaking into blood banks and hospitals for the nourishment he needed

"Argh." He threw his arm over his eyes. He noticed he still held the empty bag. With a snarl of disgust, he hurled it from him. Never, in over eleven hundred years, since he first embraced the night, had he ever regretted his choice, before now.

'Now' , the word echoed in his head. Now it was too dangerous for his kind. The world was to crowded. Long gone were the days when you could just pick up a bite in some dark corner or alleyway. 'Now' , you had to research your victim, lest you accidentally feast on some slumming aristocrat, and bring your whole world crashing down around you ears. People might disappear every day, even now, but you dared not let them find the body. Science, damn those questing mortals, enabled them to list, categorize and catalog each and every part of the body, including the amount of blood in one's veins. The news media made peculiar, unusual deaths public knowledge.

No. Hunting was not the answer, but an options of hunting animals or others of his kind were not to his liking either. Michael had never been able to stand the blood of lower animals for long. It wasn't the same. And unlike those younger hunters, he would never hunt his own. None of the Elders would. It was genocide. Though the Vampyr were not by nature social creatures preferring to hunt alone or in small groups or covenstead's, they all were linked to each other and every needless death weakened them.

Alas, short of risking discovery by hunting, or an existence on cold, lifeless blood, what was he to do?

'Enough', it was time to seek his Sire. The Elder would give him some clue. You did not live to be over three thousand years old without learning how to survive.

Michael's body became still as his mind reached outward. The tie of Sire to Fledgling was the most powerful of all a vampire's connections with his people. Never wavering, never weakening, even as the years rolled by and the time between the two grew. The Vampyr had few weaknesses--fire, sun, and starvation of course-but these were well known. The one thing, that, most hid, would kill to protect, was that link between Sire and Childe.

None of the Vampyr bred indiscriminately. To do so would be folly. Once a, mortal, was Chosen for the Gift, fate was set. They had to be survivors, fighters, and loners.

Willing to stand as a single being, alone, answerable to no one and nothing through out the ages. With one exception: Vampires never stood against their Sires. Run, yes; hide, always. Once the training was complete and they were able to walk free, communications were rare and usually fleeting between adult and Sire. This was the way of their breed. It was law. No adult vampire could or would have contact with their Sire, except in emergencies, until they themselves had achieved Eldership, somewhere roughly around a thousand years. For no matter how old or how powerful the vampire, in the presence of his Sire he was the Childe again, the Fledgling, and, those, old ancient fears and needs rose to capture him once more. None but an Elder Vampire could resist the urge to bare his throat and bend to their will once again.

So, it was not, without great trepidation, and more than a little fear, that Michael sent forth the Summons that would connect with his Sire. *Azrael, * his mind cast forth into the darkness.

The ancient vampire's presence was felt long before the soft caress of his mind. *Yes Childe, what has you summoning me? *

*I need you, Master. I cannot bear my existence any longer. * He opened his heart to the one that gave him the Gift, raised him to be what he was so many years ago, counting on the tie of Sire to Childe for the comfort he needed.

A rush of concern so strong it brought tears to his eyes washed over him. He had been right. Azrael would not let him continue like this. *Come. * A single word of command before the link swelled and Michael felt himself being pulled along the Dark Paths. The room around him dimmed and faded as he gave himself to Azrael's summons


Light assaulted his eyes as he regained form. He blinked, trying to adjust his eyes to the brilliance. Tears the color of blood welled in his eyes. "Gods, Azrael."

"Yes, it takes a moment to adjust, does it not?" A voice behind him as a gentle hand rested on his shoulder. "Come, Megel, sit down and tell me; what has sent you into this spiral of despair?"

'Megel'. The first of many names, the one that he, held, onto the most. Not, because, it was his birth name, it, wasn't. But because it was the name his Sire had given him on the night of his rebirth.

Michael sat, so he wouldn't be looking down at the Elder Kin before him, surprised as always by the renewed realization that he was taller than his Sire. That was the effect Azrael had on him.

Michael sat there looking at Azrael, noticing that his old Master had not changed in appearance in all the time he had been gone. He was still shorter than he was by more than a foot. The same soft brown, loving, eyes set in a face that was, to him, so beautiful that it made him want to weep. The high sweeping brow, the narrow nose and high cheekbones fit so well with the poutish mouth and pointed chin, all framed in soft flowing curls that seemed to almost tumble down his back in a glowing silken wave, shiny and warm, begging to be touched.

The love and total devotion that he felt for the old vampire rose in him, as well as the deep soul-pain and lonely despair that had sent him looking for the only immortal he trusted without reservation. "Master." The pain in his voice was heart wrenching as he fell to his knees before Azrael, gripping his hands. "I cannot stand this era. There is no joy anymore."

Azrael stroked his hair, looking down at the first of his brood, his precious Fledgling, his First-Born. "Poor pet, come, you are too old for this display. Stand. I will not have you groveling, not even to me." It was one of the main reasons they drove their Fledglings off once they became adults. The love was too strong, the need to bend, too submit, too great. If the Fledgling was never driven out, never learned to live, their whole race was doomed.

Well, Megel had lived, had existed without his help for a little over a thousand years, and with the exception of a single call, had done it all on his own. Perhaps it had been long enough. As a member of the Vampyr, he was now old enough to be considered a true Elder. Perhaps now he would be able to keep him with him for a while, just like the old days. The memories and whispered promises for the future were sweet.

Michael rose, ever glad that his nature prevented him from blushing. "Still treating me as if I were eleven and not over eleven hundred." He smiled.

"Well, act your age, and I shall treat you as such." The Elder vampire returned his smile. "Now sit, relax. Before you tell me what has sent you to me like this, have you fed?" Azrael sat on a couch.

"Well, actually," Michael looked down at his hands, "that's what brought me here," he began, trying to formulate the words to explain.

Azrael held up one slender hand. "Wait." His tone was soft, but brooked no argument. "Let me summon Maria." A brief moment as he sent the call. Fury filled his face as he thought of what could have reduced Michael to begging for food.

"No, Azrael," he began. His master misunderstood. "It is not a lack of food that disturbs me, but how I am forced to attain it."

The confused look on Azrael's face was almost comical. So little baffled his once-master and now oldest friend. But before the Elder could form a question, a soft voice from the door drew their attention. "You called for me, love?" A woman, a 'mortal' woman, entered the room.

"Ah, yes precious." Azrael held out a hand to her. She came to sit beside him. "This is Megel, I know not what he calls himself now, but Megel is the name I gave him. He is my eldest Childe." Then to Michael, "this is Maria. She lives here with me." He cuddled the young mortal close.

Michael looked at her. She was not a tall woman, maybe 5'4," with large brown eyes and soft brown hair that fell to her shoulders. Her face was heart shaped with arching brows and a cherub like mouth. 'Delicate' was a good word for her. "She knows?" He couldn't believe it. A mortal knew of their existence and was alive and unchanged. And yet wore no collar.

Azrael laughed, patting Maria on the leg. "Of course she knows. All of my pets know. How else could I feed from them? You mean you 'do not' know?" A look of understanding fell over his face. "How could you? It has been many, many years since last you have come to me. How have you survived, Megel?"

Michael do nothing more than sit there,, mouth agate. Azrael kept mortals, fed from them in his lair, and was at peace with this. "I-I have been living off of blood stolen from hospitals and blood banks. I'm going crazy from it." The enormity of his degradation was painful. He, a once-proud hunter, reduced to prepackaged meals.

"Blood banks." Azrael's tone spoke of the horror and disgust he felt. "Hospitals. Oh, Megel, I have failed you. I should have thought. You should have been tracked down, things explained. We have taken to keeping mortal pets now, we Elders. Hunting is becoming too chancy. Word was spread through the net, I felt certain you would have learned of this." He reached forward, grasping the younger vampire's hand in his. "What have I done to you? How long have you been living like this?"

Michael sat holding Azrael's hands, looking into the pained and horrified face of his Sire. "Almost thirty years. Such a short time in my life, I know, but I swear. If I have to feed that way again, I'll go mad. It's never enough. It sates the hunger, keeps my darker nature at bay, but the heat, the joy--it's as dead as the blood."

"Thirty years." Azrael's soft, sweet voice was reduced to a strangled whisper. "You have held no one for thirty years. Megel, how is it you have retained your sanity? I would be a raving mad thing. The others would have to hunt me out and destroy me. What have I done to you?" It was his fault. He should have made sure, hunted him down and set him on the path himself. But he had respected Megel's flight, held to the laws, refrained from contact. He had set this course, and his actions now reaped a terrible reward. There was a glint of madness in his Childe's eyes, a tremble to a hand that was once so beautifully strong.

Michael looked longingly at Maria. "Azrael, Master." He licked his lips. "Will she--may I--to feel the life again, please. I'd gladly give you again the one hundred years service, just for a taste."

"Of course you can, anytime. I feed so infrequently now that the four I keep are more than enough." He turned to the girl. "Maria, love, he is dear to me. I will not let him harm you. You know I will never let anyone harm you." His voice was soft as he gathered her hands in his. "Do this for me. Grant my Childe your life's blood. I will see you well rewarded."

Maria looked from him to Michael and back. "For you. If any of the others asked I'd say no, but for you gladly." She loved the old bloodsucker. He had given her a home, saved her from an abusive father and a life that had been doomed to be both painful and short. For him she would do anything. For the simple taste he gave her of his blood she would lay before anyone. With his blood came his love. She was bound to him, and as long as he kept her she would never sicken, and age was almost a thing of the past. His blood would keep her young for a long time, and once the inevitable began, it would not be swift enough to keep her from asking for the sweet, gentle, death he had promised.

"Go on, Megel, she is yours, but control yourself. Her life belongs to me, and I cherish it."

Michael fought the urge to snatch her warm body to his, allowing her instead to move into his arms, rest in his lap. "Oh, you are beautiful," he said as her hands pulled his head down to her exposed throat, Maria offering herself to him, freely.

He heard the tiny gasp as his teeth broke the skin, but that was all. After the first taste, he knew nothing else. Only the joy, the heat, the life that had been denied him for too long. He felt her heartthrob with her blood, his body lost in the pleasure of the exquisite joy of her essence, her soul. Never again would he return to the dead blood, any more bags of cold life. He sobbed against her flesh, his voice a gurgled cry as he fed.

*That is Enough, Megel. * Azrael's command, his will, forcing the younger vampire to, pull, away. *I know. I feel your pain, but you can not take more. It would weaken her. *

It was the hardest thing he had ever done in his life; pulling away, licking her throat softly till the blood stopped and the wounds healed. Had it not been for Azrael's will, enforcing, his own, he could not have done it. Too long, it had been too long. He had no control now.

Maria looked up at him, her eyes soft with the heat that his feeding had left her. "Thank you." Her mouth was open and eager as she kissed him, tasting her own life's blood on his lips. It was the one thing that had made the decision to bond to Azrael easy. The incredible joy, and the delightful pleasure, that she always felt when he granted her the honor of his hunger.

Michael caught her face in his hands; mouth feeding on hers as the wonderful bright life that had once been in her now coursed through him. "No, beautiful, it is I who thanks you."

"Let her go, Megel." Azrael's voice broke through. "You must let her go. Your control is not strong. She has given you life. Do not reward her by denying her hers."

Michael pulled away. "Yes, you are right. Thank you, Maria, there are not words to tell you what you have given me. But you should be away from me now. My Sire is correct. I have no

control, and would grieve if my lack cost you your life. Flee from me, sweet, go back to your master."

Azrael took her into his arms, cradling her head against his shoulder. "Do not be afraid, my precious love. Megel will regain control quickly. We will keep him here with us until the threat he poses to humanity is leashed. I will not let him harm any of you. You know this. I am his Sire. My will shall always be stronger than his." He drew a thin steel blade from his boot. "Drink, precious, allow me to reward you." He opened his shirt, and with it, drew a small deep line into his flesh over his left breast. Blood welled from the cut as she lowered her lips to drink. "Yes, go on, pet." His head was thrown back as he gave her a taste of his power, lost in the joy of the exchange. "I will come to you tonight. You will know my love, for now I burn with it."

It was never enough. Maria knew the cut was healing even as her mouth locked onto it. But it was all she had these some precious few sips from the creature that held her life. She moaned as she sucked, biting his flesh. She wanted more, always, for only when she was like this, held in the vise of his grip, his very essence flowing into her, that she truly believed she was loved. It flowed into her with his blood.

"She has a blood bond with you." Michael was amazed. "Yet she is mortal."

"Of course she is, and a delightful one at that. I would have to drain her to the point of death and then force my own blood back into her veins, as I did with you, to transform her. She belongs to me. My blood is in her. Neither she nor any of the others will ever betray us, for to do so would mean her death, a painful, brutal death. Do you not remember? You were mine for over two years before I offered you the night."

"So is she to become my sister?"

"Gracious, no." Azrael hugged her once more. "Go rest, pet. I will come to you soon. Let me get Megel settled, first"

She smiled her eyes bright. "It's about time, love. You're going to have to do something about this soon, take a fifth. A man this time, or the girls and I are going to attack you. You have gotten lax Master, and we suffer for it."

He swatted her as she rose. "Yes, I guess I have been neglecting my duties to my ladies. Alas, I am only one man. Perhaps while Megel is with us, we can see about giving you four a chance to store up on affection."

"Just so long as you remember that we still need another. None of us seek any man other than you. It would be impossible, but if we had one here, who understood . . ."

Azrael shook his head, smiling with tolerant affection at the girl. "So I am to blood bond with some poor male, solely to give my precious four a play-toy. We shall see. I do not need a fifth; my needs are small enough that I have no fear of feeding too often from any of you. But perhaps I could work something out. Now go, I will see you shortly."

She stopped at the door. "Azrael." She turned to look at him. "I love you."

Azrael returned her smile, a triumphant gleam in his eyes. "Never doubt mine." They were his, body and soul. Never would they dream of thinking a thought that he would not approve of. For they were his, and freely called him, Master. "Oh, the life. We must show you how to claim mortals for your own, Megel."

"But you said she's not, Chosen. Without the promise of life eternal why would she be willing to . . ." It confused him. Why would anyone be willing to be a walking meal without the incentive? Oh he had seen mortals that would blindly obey them, had helped his Sire with their taking and control. But to keep one un-dominated and unchained in his own lair?

"You forget the power our blood has, Megel. Though immortality will never be hers, I have granted her more years that she ever dreamed possible. She will live to be over one hundred fifty, and remain as beautiful as she is now. And once the deterioration sets in, she will be spared the ugly months. For I will drain her, let her die as beautiful as she lived."

"She knows this?"

"Oh yes, she begged me to take her quickly at the first onset. The aging will be cruel. She wants no part of it."

"So that's the way of it; you appeal to their vanity."

Azrael shook his head. "Much more than that, Megel. I saved them each from lives both brutal and short. I granted them safety. No one will harm them ever again as long as I live. I offer them comfort; I offer them my love. You know well how feeding affects a mortal. When I go to her tonight, she will be ready for me. I have had them attack me after a feeding before. So you see, my offer was too fine. They all gladly gave up their freedom and their lives to me in exchange." He had to admit to himself, it was a wonderful set-up. As he explained it to his First-Born, he was again filled with the overwhelming sense of self-gratification.

The thought of someone harming Maria disturbed Michael. She was the first mortal he had ever known that not only knew what he was, but was willing to let him feed from her with no promise of eternity. He felt a surge of protectiveness. "So is the animal that abused her so still walking around in the light of day?" Michael asked in a voice sounding of darkness.

Azrael's smile turned cold. Yes, Megel did see the advantages to this. The freedom of never hiding, of the willingness of a bonded mortal. It easily replaced the thrill of the hunt within him. Total adoration and submission were as heady as fear and flight. "No. At Maria's request, he died. But I never drew the first drop from him. It is very important to win the respect and gratitude of your pets quickly. It helps them during the first few months that they are bound while you sleep, until the change completes itself and their minds become yours."

"You tied them up?" Michael had a hard time seeing Azrael bind anyone. When he had served his time in the beginning, he had merely been locked in a room.

Azrael saw the direction Michael's thoughts were going even as he thought them. "Yes I know, it was different for you, but you were to become one of us. I had to let your pride and self-esteem remain intact. But they will never become one of the Vampyr. I had to convert them totally. That is where they have gotten this belief that I am ignoring them by my lack of amorous activities. For the first year, I spent time with them each night, dominating them completely until they were mine without thought. They would never dream of disobeying me, for not only do they know how swift their punishment would be, but even more importantly, so much of my blood flows in their veins that they could not conceive of failing me, for to do so is akin to failing themselves."

"You made them your slaves?" Yes, oh yes, the thought ran like quicksilver through him. To own such as she who had granted him his sanity's return.

"No, you were my slave, one of my own whose life was mine. Maria, Jenna, Valerie, and Nicole are my pets. Just as you would with a hound, when I trained them it had to be to my will and word. Though I found no pleasure in my discipline, I knew that if I failed to housebreak them properly, we all would be sorry later."

Michael moved forward quickly, so fast that only one of his own; kind would see him move, to grab Azrael's hand. "Teach me how to do this, Azrael. I must have this."

"How often do you feed now Megel, once, maybe twice, a week?"

"I am having to feed every three days on the blood from the banks. It was always never enough, and with no life, it only kept the darkness chained. I was never at peace."

"Once you become accustomed to feeding on live donors again, you should quickly reduce your hunger to once a week or so. You need at least two, or better three at the beginning. Once you have mastered your lusts, you can drop it to two and let the third finish out her life. Although if you removed one, it would drive home to the other two the fact that they are replaceable. It is sometimes a good idea in the beginning to remind them of their place in life."

"Have you ever--?"

The look Azrael gave him answered his question before his Sire could form the words. "Me, starve one to death? Gracious, no, I have killed thousands of them in my lifetime, hundred of thousands, but to viciously torture one to death like that. Monsters they call us. And a monster I would be in truth if I could do that to one of my sweet charges. But you are not I, and in your youth, brutality might be a means you need to use until age and power enable you to possess them as fully as I do."

Michael shook his head. "No, you don't give yourself enough credit Azrael, Master." He tilted his head ever so slightly in respect. "You trained me well. There is no mortal alive that can refuse me anything I desire, if I choose to take it. Nor would I be any more able to torture one of them than you would. I have never condoned cruelty to animals. So how do I do this?"

"I would suggest at least one of the three is male. Dominating a member of your own sex is thrilling in its own way. Especially, if he is heterosexual. They struggle so with their new life and its needs at the beginning." He stroked Michael's cheek, smiling softly. "When they do finally give themselves to you freely, oh, my precious Childe, the feeling of joyous power. It far exceeds anything you have ever felt, and from that point on they might laugh with you, talk to you as if you were their best friend. But in the dark, as they offer their throats to you, and beg your touch, the sweetness of that first feeling will echo again. For a man will submit himself more completely than a woman, solely because they were never taught how as they grew, and so they learn it as an adult." He looked at Michael, a soft, far off look in his eyes as he recalled the first time he had fully taken him. "I have never felt again what I felt that first time you came to me without being fed from first and begged my passion."

Michael closed his eyes as those old, powerful memories rose in him again. It had taken him over five hundred years to undo the need to bare his throat in submission to his master, and now those feelings surfaced again as he lifted his chin to Azrael's seeking mouth

He welcomed the sharp pain as Azrael's teeth broke through his flesh. It ran like lightning through his body to shoot through his loins as his life became part of Azrael's in this, the most intimate of moments. No lover's embrace was ever so total as when one gave oneself up to feed life to another.

Azrael had missed this so much. Maria was right; it was time to choose another male. Oh, to have one that he could totally possess. Could his surrender be sweeter that the one he had now? Was it possible to even come close? He had to know.

He straddled Michael, pressing him back against the couch as their mouths locked together, feeding as much on his power as Michael drew from him.

"When?" Michael's body was no longer his. His whole core zeroed in on the Elder, his Master, and his life.

"Now," Azrael pulled away, with Michael almost drawing him back. "The night is early. I know where to go. Let me teach you how to pick out those who will welcome the offer once the shock of the abduction wears off. I may grant Maria her request, yet. You have just reminded me how much I love you."

"Now?" Could it be so? Was life really going to be that kind to him?

"Yes, now. You will stay here with us until you have finally broken him or her, and Chosen a second and third, so that you do not feed from her too often."

"Him, if I am going to do this. I might as well be like you, and my first be male. That way he will have my full, complete, and undivided attention."

"Excellent. Now remember, it is not good to take them younger than eighteen or nineteen. You want them to look old enough to be away from their families. There is an area close to here where runaways and the like congregate. They seem to migrate together. Safety in numbers, I suppose. Remember to cloak yourself. Only your intended victim must know that you have chosen him. No one must remember our being there."

"Yes, I know, of course. Now, Azrael, let's go now." The Elder Nightwalker nodded and took his hand as they fled this plane of existence to walk the Dark Paths.


The street around him was filthy, the buildings a crumbling shadows of their former usefulness. Michael had once hunted in such places. He looked around at the people; the ones that belonged here, the ones who were here of their own will, and the ones that came here because they had nowhere else to go. The number of the latter was frightening. So many lost, so many left out.

A car pulled up and the back door opened. A blond man, a boy really, fell from the car. Michael tuned his hearing to hear the driver's cruel laughter as he hurled money out the door, promising to see the boy again the following week.

He touched the boy's mind, feeling his despair, his needs. Yes, this one would accept him, would do anything to be free from the hell he was forced to subject himself to, for the pittance he made. "Him." His voice was a whisper to Azrael.

The Elder looked at the young man. Feeling what his Childe had felt; not only the fear, the pain, the desperate need that forced him to sell his body for the money he needed to live, but also a deep soul-tearing depression that had begun and would in the end kill this lovely youngling. "Yes, go. I seek my own. I shall return to my domain, later. See you there."

Michael knelt beside the boy, picking up one of the loose bills and presenting it to him.

Blue eyes, so clear, so bright, so full of pain and fear met his. They flicked from him down to the hand that held the twenty. The boy reached forward quickly to snatch it back.

"Relax." Spoken in a voice so soft the boy had to strain to hear it as Michael's will began to press, gently, down on his. "I won't harm you. I want to be your friend. How much?"

The vampire felt the boy's gaze change as he sized Michael up as a customer. "Depends what you want me to do." Michael smiled. The lad's voice was soft, traces of a Southern drawl still present. It was a beautiful sound.

"I want you in my bed." Michael leaned forward slowly, a touch more will, careful not to move too quickly. Fear was not what he wanted. This was not a kill; this was a hunt of a different kind. "Come home with me, pretty boy. I'll give you five hundred dollars and I promise, I won't do to you what the last did." He motioned to the bruises. "Five hundred dollars, and all you must do is give yourself to me."

The boy closed his eyes, fighting the fear that was only a heartbeat away. He had already turned three tonight, but this one was clean. If he had to be rammed again, at least this one was clean. "Five hundred dollars. I don't know, man, that's a lot of money. What do you want for that?"

Michael pressed again. This one could not get away. Already he wanted him so badly that it was almost a physical pain. "You, I want you, totally, no reservations. I want to feel you, have you, and own you completely. Come on, pretty one, and say yes. I offer a warm bed, food, and a shower. No back seats, no parks, no eyes, and no witnesses. I won't hurt you. I only want to love you. Say yes. Take the chance. If you please me half as much as I believe you will, I will be willing to come to you again."

Five hundred dollars, that was almost as much as he made some weeks. But it was too much; this man wanted something real bad to offer this. His soul was at war; the money was good, but he might not live to spend it.

In the end, the need for money won out over fear for his life. Without money, his sister would be taken from him, and would die alone. He pulled himself up, moving closer to Michael. "Is your place close?"

"Yes. Just around the corner a bit." Michael helped him to stand, wrapping an arm around his shoulder as he led him along. No one saw anything. He was never here. He pushed everyone's attention away. "Don't be afraid, precious. I promise, no harm will befall you."

They faded as they turned the corner. Michael returned to Azrael's home.

* * *

He had to hold the boy still as they materialized in Azrael's chamber. "Be still, boy." His will pressed down on the boy's mind, forcing his struggles to cease. "I gave you my word. I will not harm you. Trust me." His voice was soft, a silky compelling whisper that stole the younger man's ability to think.

A gasp from behind him had Michael swinging himself and the boy around. "Wh-Who are you?" A girl, maybe seventeen or eighteen by looks, with red shoulder length hair stood in the doorway. "Where is Azrael?" she demanded, voice rising as she went for the chain at her throat.

Michael recognized the charm. It was infused with Azrael's power, letting any of his, breed that saw this one, know that she was under his protection. Had he been any other than who he was, the power would have forced him to flee. But he knew that force, had worn one of those same charms for over a hundred years, still had it in his possession should he ever be outnumbered.

"I have no war with you." He held the boy tighter. "I am Michael. Azrael calls me Megel. He is my Sire. I am welcomed here." He let the force of the charm wash over him.

"Nikki!" Maria hissed, moving to cover the charm with her hand, blocking the flow of energy. "That's Azrael's first, the one I told you about."

The girl blushed, looking flustered. "Oh, I did it again, didn't I?"

"You have to chill out. You almost scared twenty years off of me." Maria fussed. "Do you have any idea how angry our Master would have gotten if the charm worked on him like it does all the rest?"

Michael shook his head, shushing her. "No, she did right. Your first duty is to your Lord's domain. With a few exceptions to the rule, unless they come with Azrael's permission or at his request, with him here to greet them, they should not be here."

"Who's that?" Maria pointed to the boy, who was still held in Michael's arms. He was silent, but his eyes spoke of great fear. "Did Azrael take our request to heart already?"

"Yes, and no, pet. This one is mine. Azrael is still hunting." His words brought a whimper of fear from the boy.

"Master," Maria didn't even think of refusing him the title "let us talk to him, explain his new life. He is like Jenna was when Azrael brought her home, so afraid, so lost. It was Nikki and I who were able to explain it to her and ease her fears." She stepped close to him, unafraid to lay a hand on his arm "I know you can steal his fears from him, but my master found that it is easier on us if you let us lose them naturally."

Michael looked down at the boy in his arms. "What is your name?"

"J--Jason." That soft Southern drawl again, laced heavily with sweet fear. Michael closed his eyes, savoring the forbidden feeling. He had spent so much of his life trying not to frighten people, to protect himself. This new rush of fear, fear with no dangerous repercussions was an exotic thrill. His head moved slowly, downward, and he bared the boy's throat.

"No." Nicole stepped forward. "Take me, Master. Let us explain it to him. But if you take him now, you might as well go all the way. He won't ever be of any use, he will never give up his fear freely."

Michael's head came up at her words. "My, my, but aren't you the brave one? Thank you for reminding me. I promised him I wouldn't hurt him, and I won't." He pulled away, letting Jason stand-alone. "I thank you for your help. I will let the three of you talk." He stepped back into the shadows, there but not there.

Jason spun around, watching him pull away, fading to just a dim mark against the wall. "Where did he-?"

Maria and Nicole took him by the arms and led him to the couch. Both spoke softly. Reassuring him that there was no need to be afraid. That, they, were like him and couldn't hurt him.

"Where did he go?" He still glanced desperately around, eyes resting on the shadow. "Is that him? What is he?"

"Ssshh, it's okay. Yes, that's him. He's giving you breathing room for a few minutes. Relax, it's okay." Maria tried to soothe him.

"What is he?" Jason's eyes were wide. The guy couldn't be human. He had to be some sort of alien. If he were, what would happen? Was he here to do experiments on humans? The fear in his belly grew. Was he to die?

Maria pulled his head to her breast, stroking his hair gently. "You know what a vampire is?" She bit her lip, waiting for his response.

"He's . . ." the whites of his eyes stood out as he began to tremble more forcefully. 'He's a vampire, oh God, oh no'. He was going to die. He knew it. They thought they were vampires. They would kill him and drink his blood.

Both girls held him, preventing him from pulling away. "Relax, honey, you're safe. Wait, hear us out." Maria whispered, over and over again.

"What goes here?" Azrael had returned alone. "Maria, Nicole?"

"Not now, Azrael." Maria hushed him. "It's Megel's new one. We're explaining things to him." She spared him a look of beseechment. "Please, Master, a moment alone. Mercy."

Azrael nodded, looking to see where Michael was before heading to join him.

Jason was almost hyperventilating. "He-he just appeared."

"Yes, they all can do that. I think it's so they can annoy us by popping in at the worst possible moments." Maria smiled at him, trying to relax the situation. "My name is Maria, this is my friend Nicole, but we call her Nikki."

"Why?" He kept his eye on the spot where both vampires disappeared. "Why am I here, what does he want?" The sudden change in his face spoke of the sudden reminder of what vampires wanted. "Oh."

"Yes, 'oh'." Nicole laughed. "My reaction was a little like yours. It took me forever to get past that part of our arrangement."

"Yes, and Azrael was more patient with you during those first months than I could have ever been." Maria eyed her. "Now, did I hear you tell Megel that your name was Jason?"

Jason looked at her, then Nicole. He could run. Maybe get away before the two came back. He was a little weak, but they were only two girls, he could get by them. His eyes searched for the door.

"No, Jason." Michael appeared again. "You can't run. You are my guest here, and here you shall remain." He stood in front of the door.

"You mustn't do that," Maria hissed at Jason. "If you want to live, you had better listen to me." Her tone was threatening

Jason looked at her, his eyes betraying the almost mindless fear that gripped him. The guy had just appeared there, they could be anywhere. Deep in his soul came the chilling realization that they 'were' vampires. "Live?" He moistened his lips with the tip of his tongue. "I'm gonna die, aren't I?"

Maria shrugged. "That depends on you and how you act. Now, will you listen to me?" She patted his arm, trying to give him some of her strength.

He shook his head, trying to focus on her. "If I do, what's going to happen?"

"I'll tell you why you're here, and what it means. After that, it depends on you. If you behave, then I promise you it won't be bad. But if you fight, I can't swear he won't just kill you. They can do so quite easily."

Jason locked eyes with Michael, trying to gauge by the man's look how much danger he was really in. Michael's soft smile, displaying the tips of his fangs, did not do anything to help his peace of mind. "Okay, I'll listen," he said, defeated. He knew he was dead. When his actual end would be he didn't know, but he was dead.

Maria sighed in relief. "Good. Now first, I am going to get you something to drink. This will be easier to digest if your nerves aren't so tight." She caught his chin in her hand. "Please don't do anything while I'm gone." Her eyes locked with his. "Promise me."

"I--I'll stay, I promise." His soul reached out to her. She sounded so concerned for him. Like she was trying to help him come to terms with this. If it were true, maybe he would live.

Michael bit the inside of his lip as he worked delicately on the young mortal's mind. Just a touch, he dared no more. Let the boy think this was his idea, let him feel in control of his mind. But gently, slowly, and with almost an artist's touch he began to re-shape the new one's mind.

Maria drew his attention as she stopped before him. "Master, please, I know I have no right to ask anything of you. I'm Azrael's, but please, show pity. If he resists, do not hurt him. Give us a chance to make him understand." She held her head up, eyes meeting his. She might belong to Azrael, but she was not cowed.

Michael smiled down into her eyes. "I give you my word, I won't harm him, for now." He stepped aside allowing her into the hall. "I am not heartless to his fears. I'm never maliciously cruel."

Maria smiled back at him. "No, I guess you wouldn't be. I just couldn't see anyone Azrael loved being like that."

He touched her cheek, smiling. "You really do care for my old Sire, don't you? You're not here out of fear, are you?"

"Don't misunderstand me, Master. I am very afraid of what my master could do to me if I went against him. But I love Azrael. He saved my life, gave me hope. No man other than he has ever touched me and not made me want to die. I know that as long as I am here, and obey my Master always, my life is one full of love and plenty. I would die for Azrael, if it came down to it. Were he hurt or whatever, and he needed my blood, my life, to live, I'd bare my throat." She lowered her eyes. "I have no life without him. I am his always."

Michael sighed. Oh, to have this total devotion. She was more than he had ever dreamed possible. Now to have the boy, to one day command this much power.

"Go, pet, fetch what you must. I'll watch him until you return. I won't let him be harmed."

Maria hurried down the hall. Poor kid, this couldn't be easy on him. Azrael's friend, Megel, still wasn't altogether sane. She had heard what he had lived through. He was a live wire for now. It wasn't going to be easy on the boy. Maybe Azrael would let her see if she could let him work some of the past loneliness out on her. She didn't believe she would be in danger.

Azrael didn't keep much liquor in the house. None of them drank much. But there was one decanter, filled with deep red liquor that he had used often in the early part of her training. It was very potent, and helped to dull the senses quite a bit. It would take the fight out of Jason, and make his surrender less traumatic.

"So, you love me." A soft voice as arms wrapped themselves around her. "I heard what you said to Megel. Do you really feel so?" Azrael kissed the back of her neck, arms pulling her back against him tightly.

Maria squirmed a little until Azrael lightened his hold and she could turn around to face him. "My love." She smiled pulling his face to hers. "I didn't lie to him, you know I didn't. You are all we have. I think if you pushed us out now, we'd be totally lost. Jenna would probably die within a month, long before the wasting could begin. You wrought your magic well, Master. We are yours totally, and will freely admit it." His kisses were light and teasing, forcing her to lean closer, mouth seeking his, lips parting to beg for his tongue. She loved this, when he would hold her and love her. No man alive had ever made her feel the way he did. His mastery was soul lifting. In his arms she knew that she was safe, and that she was wanted.

"After tonight, I want you and the girls to make sure Megel is taken care of until his new one is able to give him his full devotion. I want him made to feel welcome. Will you do this for me?" He unbuttoned her blouse, exposing her breasts to his hands and mouth, tongue teasing a rosy nipple.

"Yes, Master," she moaned. She was spared having to ask, and between the four of them, they would be able to allow the boy time to get on his feet.

"What would I do without you?" He kissed her as his right hand slipped under the elastic of her skirt to part her lips softly. "Always thinking of ways to make my life easier, aren't you dearest?"

Her arms locked over his shoulders as she leaned forward into the power of his hand. "You--oh, Azrael, Master." It had been weeks. She didn't realize how much she missed his touch until now.

"Go, finish with the boy. But know this Maria, I want you. I have your scent, I have your taste, and soon I will have your body. Go about this knowing, feeling, my desire, and know that soon." He pressed her against the wall, thrusting his fingers deep inside her as his mouth closed on hers with almost brutal force.

Maria gasped as he pulled away, fading from sight. She trembled under the power he had flooded her with. Yes, she would be reminded of his mastery soon enough. She hurried a little wobble in her step.

* * *

Michael sat beside Jason, and smiled down at him. Taking in his looks, fully, for the first time. The soft blond hair, the blue eyes the country-boy good looks that were so charming. "I know that telling you to relax, that you have no reason to be this afraid is a waste of time, but I'm telling it to you, anyway. If all I had wanted was your death, I could have done that where you were. I want your life, Jason, your continued good health." He cupped his face, frowning when the youth jerked away. "Don't do that, Jason." Again he reached out and cupped his face. "Be still. You're not in danger."

"What--what are you gonna do? What do you want?" His voice cracked.

"I'm going to keep you with me. I want you. I did not lie when I said that. I want you to be mine. I will give you a comfortable life, money, a home, food, anything your heart desires. I am not a complete monster. If you are good, your life will be happy."

"Why?" He couldn't understand why. If this guy was a vampire, why did he want to keep him? Why didn't he just drain him and, it, be over?

Literally reading the boy's mind, Michael said, "Because hunting is dangerous. I need to feed to live. So I will trade you a life of comfort and safety, for your blood. I have not killed in over three hundred years. Thereis no need. I don't require that much."

Jason fought down his instinct to bolt away. This 'thing' was going to drink his blood. Was going to keep him like food stock, a walking diner. "No," he croaked.

"Yes, Jason." Again, just a touch as he pulled the boy to lean against him. "Don't do this. I won't hurt you or take much of your essence. You won't be weakened. Maria will return soon, but no matter how much you argue, the fact remains that you belong to me."

"Please," the word was torn from him. His freedom was being taken from him, his life stolen as he watched on helplessly.

"Master," Maria appeared at his shoulder. "Allow me, if I may."

He smiled up at her as he rose, pulling away. "What have we here?"

"It will help him. I swear it will make it easier. Azrael gave it to each of us in the beginning." She stepped closer to him. "After we have taken care of your new friend, may I speak to you?"

"Is there a problem, sweet?"

"No, not at all. I only want an opportunity to offer our help while he adapts. You cannot spend the time you want with him yet, his fears are too great."

"Are you offering yourself because you wish to, or because my master ordered it?" He parted her still open blouse to reach for her breasts.

"He did ask if we could do this, but I want to." She pressed into his caresses. "Nikki will come to you after the boy is put to bed. She owes you for her sassiness."

"Yes." He pinched her nipples lightly before releasing her. "I do have to tame that spitfire don't I? Thank you Maria. Go talk to him all you want. I'll stand out of the way."

Maria sat beside him, smiling. "See, he's not a bad sort if you're good." She held out the small glass. "Drink this, Jason. It will help you to relax."

"What is it?" He looked at the red liquid. It didn't look like anything he'd ever been served before.

"A liquor. It isn't going to hurt you. It just helps you to relax. Please, Jason, don't force the issue. Everything is going so well, let's not spoil it now."

He took the glass and drained it in three swallows. "Thank you."

She patted his arm. "Good boy. See it's not so hard. Did Nikki tell you anything while I was gone?"

"No, I didn't have a chance." Nikki smiled at him. "His master sat beside us and talked to him."

"What did he tell you, Jason?" She brushed the hair from his face.

"That he--he's going to keep me here so that he can feed off of me." He realized the totality of the situation as he explained it. Then it dawned on him. "He, you let him touch you." A vampire had been playing with her body.

"Yes, they tend to do that, but look." She parted her blouse, showing her breasts. "There are no marks. He didn't hurt me."

"But he's a vampire." He was beginning to be afraid again. There was more to this than just the blood. "Vampires don't . . . do they?"

"Oh, yes." Maria laughed, totally charmed by his naiveté. "Azrael is wonderful."

"I'm gonna--" He stammered, shocked by his own stupidity. He'd come here to let the guy fuck him, but now that the truth was out he had lost sight of that possibility. "He's gonna keep me as a." He couldn't say the word.

"Slave?" She finished for him. "No, we're not slaves, or at least not to them. A slave is someone who was your equal that you have dominated. We're like dogs or cats to them, a cute pet. Good for food, and, amusement, nothing so formal as actual slavery, you're going to be his toy, his pet."

Nicole wrapped an arm around him. "Oh, don't look like that. It's not a bad life. You were a prostitute, weren't you? Selling your body to live. This isn't far from that in some ways. But the difference is you won't have to go back to the streets to live. We are all well cared for here. Food clothes, a home and freedom, as long as we do as we are told. Our life is great. I got to finish school; I shop, play tennis, get nights out, and I always have the things I need. I don't have to spread my legs to strangers to get it. Azrael cares for us, and we love him."

He listened to her words. A good life, no more tricks, bed, food, money and all he had to do was let his vampire master feed off of him and fuck him. How bad could it be? If he were going to die, he'd die. He wasn't stupid; it could happen quickly, and there was nothing he could do about it. But if he gave in, and let him do this, maybe he'd live for a while longer. "What happens?"

Maria sighed with relief. The boy was thinking. Either that, or Megel was better than she had thought. "For the first month or so, until you've proven that you're his totally, you won't be allowed to leave the house without him, and at dawn when he goes to bed, you will be chained to yours. It's only for a little while. You've got lots of time afterwards to make up for it. How old are you?"

"Nineteen." He looked at Michael, weighing his survival chances.

"So after you've proven you're his, you still have one hundred and fifty years or so to enjoy it."

"A hundred and fifty!" His attention snapped back to her.

"Yes." She grinned at him. "He will blood bond with you, give you some of his blood. It will change you a little. You get to live about another one hundred and fifty years. You'll look like you do right now, in the height of your good looks. You'll never be sick or old. It's really one of the best parts of this agreement." She laughed at the look on his face. "How old do you think I am Jason?"

He looked at her hard. "My age, maybe a year or two older."

She shook her head no. "Would you believe I'm almost fifty two? I've been with Azrael for over thirty years. Valerie is the youngest. She's only been here about twenty-five years, and she's almost forty-five. I'm telling the truth. I have a driver's license from when I was normal with my birth date on it. I was born in the fifties."

"What happens after a hundred and fifty years?" He couldn't think about this right now. It was too incredible.

"Then you begin to burn out. You age years in a matter of months. Azrael warned me it wasn't pretty. But if you are good and do what you have been told all your life, I'm sure Megel will do as Azrael plans and take you quickly."

"He'd kill me?" Again the cold fear.

"You should beg that he does. He's giving you over twice what you could dream of getting. In the height of your youth so you can enjoy it to the fullest. He deserves your life by then and you should be happy to give it." Maria's tone was firm, and her look grave.

She had a point. It really was intriguing. "Only for a month or so?"

"Or until he is satisfied that you are his." She lowered her voice. "Don't fight his will, Jason. Let it dominate you freely. To fight is hard and painful. You can't win. But if you just allow it to happen, it's wonderful. I can't see anyone my Master is linked to being cruel. He will make it well worth it."

"And if I don't agree?"

"Then it will be forced on you anyway. He could take your will and make you want it. Or he could kill you and get another." Her tone was flat. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound cold, but those are the hard facts. You either agree to do this freely and keep your mind and soul, or he takes them and you're never anything more than his puppet. Or he kills you. He can hurt you, Jason, please believe that. If you don't do what he wants, he can hurt you and hurt you badly." She looked at him, trying to see if he would go freely into this, or if they would have to watch him be reduced to nothing.

He looked at her, mouth trying to work, but nothing came out. It was too much. As it finally sank in he came to believe that he was hearing the truth and the tears finally came. He couldn't fight the reality any longer. He belonged to this man, this creature, whether he wanted to or not. "I don't wanna die." He cried into her shoulder. He wanted to live, but to live he would have to give up everything, even his life.

"Now is the time to talk to your master." She lifted his face. "Now, while he is in a compassionate mood due to your ignorance.

Ask him what he expects of you, now much length there is for your chain."

Jason turned his head, almost against his will, to where Michael stood. "I-I don't remember your name." The words were hollow sounding as he tried to figure out what this man would expect.

"Michael, or Megel, but for now call me 'Master'. Perhaps later in private, in my arms you may use my name, but until then, 'Master' or 'Milord' will do."

"Master." Oh, the horror in the word the boy spoke. The subtle resistance in the tone, almost as though his body was lost, but his soul rebelled. The boy might meekly bend his body to him, but the prize, his soul, was still to be gained.

"Can you walk, Jason?"

"Yes." He rose as Michael motioned.

"Yes, 'Master' , Jason. Do not forget. It is too soon to be forced to punish you."

"Yes, Master." He wiped the tears from his eyes as he came into Michael's reach.

"I love your voice, Jason, so sweet and Southern. Where did you come from, pet?"

" Here, Georgia--" a hint of a pause, "Master."

"Good. See? You can learn easily. I want you to listen to me, Jason. I have no intention of hurting you. I want you to be happy. Happy is good for both of us. If you are content with your life, then you will be more ready to respond to me." Michael pulled him close. "Like when I offered to spend the night with you and you pressed yourself against me."

"For five hundred dollars, I'd have been willing to do almost anything, Master." He trembled mostly from fear and confusion, but there was a small part that was excited.

"Yes, but now you're getting much more than just the five hundred dollars. I'm well off Jason, you'll never want for anything again." He looked to his Sire. "Will you watch over me, in case I lose control?"

"Yes, I will not let you go too far." Azrael appeared in the room again.

Michael stepped away, taking Jason's hand. "Come, let me taste your life, and give you a sample of mine. Be linked to me, Jason, bond with me by our blood." He led him to the bed in the corner of the room. "Sit, my pet."

Jason had no will. All he could do was look up into Michael's eyes as his knees gave out from under him. He couldn't pull away, couldn't cry out. His soul raged as his body leaned into his captor's arms, rubbing the span of his back as his mouth opened beneath Michael's cool lips, dueling with the silkiness of his tongue. "Please." His soul cried that word as his head lifted to expose the column of his throat to a seeking mouth. The kisses and the nuzzling made him ache with want and shame. His soul waged a losing battle as the first sharp pain of entry took him.

Michael felt him stiffen beneath him, but he only held on tighter, letting the power and the life that was his new pet flow into his mouth with his blood. He felt the boy's body tremble and, cling to his, but he also felt Jason's soul rage in rebellion, a losing, frightening battle that fed his dark side with joy.

As he pulled away, he felt Azrael's pleasure at his control. He took the little blade that his Sire held out to him. As he opened his shirt, he explained. "Listen to me, Jason. I will cut myself, and you will drink. Finish the connection with me. Belong to me body and soul." A red liquid line appeared as Michael cut himself deeply. "Now."

Jason's soul rose up to rage one last time as he resisted, but as Michael touched his face, pulling his head down to the cut, his life faded a little as his soul lost the battle. As the blood touched his lips and he began to draw on it, his innermost self screamed in agony.

Michael moaned low at the intense pleasure of the act. A hot mouth drawing his life. Yes, this was the answer. No more being alone, no more lifeless little bags. Oh, the heat, the passion. He wanted to feel Jason under him so badly that he ached with it.

"Enough." He forced Jason's head from him. "There is no more for now." He licked the blood off the boy's face. "You belong to me now, little man. Do you feel my power inside you? You are mine, for if you left now you would die, painfully, and there is nothing anyone could do to stop it unless I grant you more of my blood."

"Master," the boy cried clinging to him. His whole world was turned upside down. He--he needed something more now. He wanted this. The horror of the realization left him crazed, but he wanted him.

"Nicole," Azrael touched his second oldest pet on the arm. "Take Megel down to one of the rooms so that he can put his pet down for now. The when he is finished, take him to the back room so he can rest come daylight. I have no idea, for I have not looked, what, has, transpired while I was gone. But if you have been up to your old ways again, I expect you to make it up to Megel, before he sleeps, or you and I shall have a long talk."

"Yes, Master." She lowered her eyes.

"Go, Megel, get the boy somewhere so that you can enjoy his charms. I have faith that you will not harm him."

Michael stood, pulling Jason with him. "Come with me, pet, trust me."


Nicole walked silently before them. She did not know this one. She had no idea what punishment he would exact, but Azrael had been quite firm. Whatever the price, she had best be willing to pay. "Here, Master. This can be hisroom." She stood by the door. "There is a chain on the bed, and the door locks with a bolt from the outside."

"Wait here, I will be along shortly." He looked down at her. "Don't panic, Nikki, I understand, I'm not overly distraught with you." Michael brushed her cheek with his fingers before turning to lead Jason into the room.

"No, please." Jason pulled away when he saw the bed. "I won't fight you, I swear."

"Hush." He pulled the boy to him. "The rules are quite simple. Until the bond sets in fully, and your soul belongs to me as much as your body, you will sleep chained. There is only one that you must wear after I am gone. It has enough lead to allow you to move to the water closet there. I will make sure you are fed before I leave, and that the girls bring you food during the day until I rise." He pushed him towards the bed. "Take off you clothes, Jason."

Jason's movements were slow, not forced, but shy and fearful. He'd been rammed before. It didn't even hurt much anymore. But something warned him that this time would be different. Deep inside, he knew it would be the beginning of the end.

The boy was beautiful. Michael already knew the scent and feel of the long, pale hair had gazed into the clear, light blue eyes. A face so young so clean, with strong high cheekbones and a pleasing hint of budding maleness. He caressed the body with his eyes. Jason had kept himself in shape, but it wasn't the top-heavy masses of muscle that would mar the perfection. Just smooth, sleek lines, whispering of the youthful muscles beneath. Sweet buttocks that begged to be stroked matched by the beginnings of an erection in an equally lovely penis, such a beautiful prize.

Michael made soft fussing noises at the obvious marks of abuse on Jason's back, buttocks and thighs. "Poor pet, who hurt you so?" He touched the marks gently.

"A regular." Jason stood still under the feeling of hands on his body. Past experience had trained him not to move at this point. "Once a week, he gave me a hundred and fifty dollars to let him whip me. I was coming back when I met you," he whispered softly as Michael lifted him and laid him out on the bed. "I won't have to do that again, will I, Master?"

"No, I won't let him touch you again. Though I believe that under the right circumstances you would enjoy certain pains, a whipping is not one of them. I will only truly harm you as punishment." He began to undress. "Are you going to need that Jason? Will you continue to be as sweet as you have

been? Must I prove that I will hurt you?"

"No, I believe you," he babbled, as he fought and won over the urge to jump from the bed as Michael came close. "Master?"

"Call me Michael here, or Megel, as the rest do. We are alone, and I would much rather hear you call my name as you give into my passions. Up with you Jason. Go fetch a wet cloth. We will need it soon. Use the facilities if you must."

Jason obeyed, relieved that Michael would think of something as simple as that. He was well aware of how messy this sort of thing could get, and his master's calm, ease and preparations spoke volumes of his experience. He wasn't the first he'd had, and that added to his slowly growing feeling of security. He wasn't to be whipped. As long as he was good, there probably wouldn't be much pain. Maybe, just maybe, it would all be okay.

He jumped as Michael poked his head in. "I'm sorry, did I startle you? There should be a small brown jar in the cabinet there, bring it as well, I just remembered that you and I, will, need it. It is one of the few drawbacks of loving a man."

"What is it, Master?" He stopped. "I mean, Michael?"

"Cream, a lubricant. What, these beasts that have been using you never bothered to ease entry?" The thought was horrifying. No wonder the child was so fearful. How much pain had been forced on him?

"I didn't know." Jason relaxed even more. He was going to use a lubricant. "I used condoms most of the time. They came with their own." He blushed as Michael led him back into the bedroom.

Michael pushed him back on the bed, hushing the single whimper that escaped his pet as he lay down beside him. "Relax, Jason." He took the cloth and laid it with the jar on the nightstand. "Your body is beautiful. I will enjoy loving it and you." He smiled down brushing the hair from Jason's brow. "Open to me, pet. Let me love you."

He fought the urge to panic as whisper light lips brushed firs his forehead; then closed over his. He cried against Michael's lips, a mouth both, hot, and, delightful, on his throat. Kissing and biting gently. Was Michael going to bite him again? Would the intense heat and desire be there again? "Please." His hands caught Michael's head, fingers tangling in the dark tresses. "Oh, please."

Michael lifted his head to look down at his pet. "Ssshh, no, pet, I've taken all that I dare from you for now. You are weak. Too much would only weaken you more. Wait, I promise. Later I will grant you my hunger again."

"Later." It had to be later. He wanted to feel that again, because it made everything all right. His soul couldn't war against it. He needed to feel that again, the feeling of absolute powerlessness. To know that he had no say could not refuse. It eased the pain and guilt.

Michael was pleased by Jason's whole-hearted response to his advances. The cries of pleasure as he worked his way down the young body beneath him. No, frightened whimpers or shy responses, no, this boy knew what was happening. He was not a timid virgin, like he had been the first time Azrael had forced him to his bed.

Images ran through his mind as he felt hands on his flesh, that, were eager to return the caresses. The years faded like seconds and again he was a young mortal boy enslaved by his vampire master and forced to his bed and to his lusts. "You want this, don't you, Jason? Tell me you want this."

"Yes." His breath was a hiss. "God, yes, Michael, please." What was this? Was the game changing already? "Michael?"

"Oh, hush, pet." He captured his lips once again. "Now is not the time to balk." He reached for the small jar. "Here, let me feel your hands on me, Jason. I want you, and I must have you."

Trembling fingers encircled him, as Jason pressed up against him, mouth-begging attention as his hands worked, stroking shyly as the pale yellow cream coated him. "Now?" Jason had never wanted this before, but now the desire ate at him.

Michael moved slowly, lifting Jason's legs over his shoulders. "Have you been selling yourself for long, pet? Does entry still pain you?"

Jason cried softly as his muscles gave way to the intrusion. "No, oh, God." A wave of heat rose up from his groin to roll through his body as another crested with Michael's movements. Each thrust rubbing against his prostate brought another wave as intense and powerful as the one before, leaving him open and begging for more.

Michael fought himself. He had to watch his strength, be mindful that the boy beneath him was mortal. He could hurt him very badly. He looked down at him, opening his mind. "You are mine," he whispered as Jason's eyes met his and the boy felt Michael's full power, his will, crushing, and all thoughts of resistance. 'Yes' , he surrendered, he belonged to him, would do anything to please him.

"Say it," again the whisper. "Tell me that you are mine."

"Yes." He cried out as the waves of heat rose in frequency and strength as Michael's thrusts picked up speed and force. "I'm yours, please, Michael, Master." He stiffened as his orgasm blazed through him, leaving a feeling so pleasurable it almost hurt in its wake. He screamed Michael's name, reaching, needing to hold him.

Michael gave himself to this glorious surrender, his hips moving in hard fast thrusts as he joined his bedmate in the sea of ecstasy.

Jason attacked him as he pulled out, arms locking around his neck, mouth hot and demanding on his. "Yes," he chuckled, lying over the boy, pleased to see how much his attention had brought him. Tomorrow he would have to win the boy again, but for now, he was his completely.

Jason relaxed a little in his arms when he realized that Michael wasn't pulling away, but held him in the same desperate fashion that he attacked him. "Let me stay." He begged. "Please."

The vampire, who, was now his master chuckled. "Ssshh, yes, you're going to stay, pet. What reason do I have for letting you go?"

"Stay with me, please, Michael. Don't tie me up, yet. Stay with me just a little while."

Michael pulled away just a bit. "Take the cloth, clean me first, then give me your hand, pet. Let me chain you to the bed. I'll hold you until you fall asleep." Eyes met again as Jason felt his resistance fade. "You will not harm yourself, do you hear me? If you so much as think about it, I will chain you spread-eagle to the bed as punishment."

Jason moaned under the force. "I swear, I won't." He tried to pull away. "Please, Michael, I promise." It hurt this crushing force. "Please." He pushed against Michael's chest, trying to get away from those cold blue eyes and the terrible power of his will.

"Stop, Jason." Michael's hands locked around his wrists. "You must never fight me, understand? As long as you obey, bend to my desires, life will be good. But resistance stirs my darker nature. Remember what I am, always. Be ever mindful never to anger my Dark Self. I would grieve if I hurt you in a fit of anger."

"Please." Jason froze, fear winning again. It rose like a tide to drown him. "Please."

Michael released him. 'I've frightened him,' a twinge of, self-disgust. Breaking him was not as easy as he had thought. He wanted him, but he wouldn't have him as a lifeless blood donor. The thought of this one being nothing but a breathing blood bag sickened him. "I have frightened you badly, and that was never my intent. I only wanted to make sure that you do not do yourself grievous harm while I sleep." Coddle the boy for now. See if there was a way to repair the damage. "Be patient with me, Jason." He handed him the cool, wet cloth. "I have never done this before, so I am, of course, going to try my best to do it well."

Jason stared at him. He was apologizing, admitting that he was wrong. "I . . .." What could he say? "I won't try anything, promise."

Michael smiled. "I found your response to be delightful. I did not touch you, yet you achieved release." Cool fingers stroked his belly as Jason hurried to finish with his task, moving downward. "Are you always so responsive?"

"No." Honesty, he never, not since he started selling himself, ever achieved orgasm, unless his trick worked with that goal in mind, which was almost never. "I--the guys that I did--they weren't--it wasn't like this. They gave me money. I did what they wanted. But I never--." He moaned, feeling himself harden again. It was so strange. Part of him wanted to bare his throat, give in to anything that this creature wanted. Only to see him smile and it frightened him. No one had ever touched him like that before. He had made sure of it. No emotions, no caring, not ever.

"How could anyone touch you and not want to see you like that?" Michael's voice soft in his ear. "Your passion is beautiful. It thrills me to see you beneath me, feel, your, life in my hands. I will always find this pleasing, and as you grow to know me, and grant me your trust, I will show you sweetness like you have never seen."

Tears came again. It hurt to be like this, wanting yet not. It would be so easy to just give in, let him have him. He didn't want to resist. He wanted to be anything that Michael wanted or desired, and that hurt. He had spent so many years fighting to be free, that now--. "I'm sorry." His voice broke.

"But please, don't do this."

Yes, he still fought. Michael was pleased. Surrender too soon was not what he wanted. He wanted the boy, but only after he had fought all his demons, lay the past to rest. "Don't do what?"

"I'll stay with you, I'll be good, but don't take my soul. Do anything else you want, but let me be me."

"Jason." He felt the boy's resistance melt under his kiss. "I must have you. Your essence, your life must be mine. I can never allow you your freedom without it. Don't fight the change so. It is not painful. Just open to me, let me do what I must." He tightened his grip as he caressed him. "Like now. Let me love you, open yourself to my lusts. You want it, I feel your desire as I feel you."

Yes, Jason's mind screamed as he moaned, hips rising in tempo with the firm hand. He wanted this again. Like this, in the moment of passion, he could forget what was really happening, and Michael became his lover and not his owner." Michael." The very sound of his name was arousing.

"Yes, precious? Is my touch pleasing? Be my love here, tell me what you enjoy." It took everything he had not to sink his teeth into the boy's sweet flesh, not to possess him totally.

"I--," Gods, it was hard to think with what Michael was doing with his hands and mouth. "Let me--I want to touch you. Do you feel this like I do?" He fought to keep his hands at his sides, when all he really wanted to do was attack his bedmate, to hear him sob with the wonderful feelings that a lover could give.

"Touch me, Jason. I enjoy the feeling of hands on my body as much, if not more, than any mortal alive does. Don't be shy. Shyness is not required. Be as wild, as wanton, as you wish. I will welcome your response always, never doubt that." He stopped his play to pull the boy close as he laid back.

"Do you--" he blushed. "I always heard that vampires couldn't."

Michael laughed. "I've made love to you once already, Jason. That question has already been answered. Yes, I gain great pleasure at the joining of bodies. We are a very sensual people."

"Do you--. Were you born like this?" His head felt good resting on Michael's shoulder. The arms around him were comforting.

"No Jay, once we become one of the Vampyr, all life is ceased. I have no seed. My release is like my tears, blood tinged. " His lips brushed the top of the boy's head as Jason's hand shyly reached down to touch him. "I became what I am a little over eleven hundred years ago. I was almost your age. Azrael took me to be his pet when I was fourteen. I became his Childe, at sixteen."

"Sixteen?" He sat up and looked down at this creature.

"Yes, but don't think that way. Remember sixteen meant a great deal more then. I was a man. Life expectancy, at least in the lower classes, was thirty-five." The boy looked good as he sat beside him, his hair a mass of waves around his face. "Come here, Jason. I liked you better in my arms."

"You don't look sixteen." He was having trouble understanding what all this fully meant. "I mean you don't look old or anything, but you, if you were one of my tricks, I'd take you to be twenty four or twenty five."

"We do mature slowly over the years, and I've led a difficult existence over the last thirty years or so. It is telling in my appearance. I will look a little younger as I grow stronger again." The boy couldn't keep his hands to himself. Even as he lay, listening to everything Michael said, his hands reached to touch, to feel, to entice. "If you keep this up, Jason, I must warn you, you will have to see it to its finish."

Jason couldn't help himself; he smiled. This was just too weird. Here he lay with a vampire, a 'vampire' , for Gods sake. A creature that had every intention of keeping him in chains for months, or however long it took until he was convinced that everything was the way he wanted it. It was so scary it made him want to scream, yet he smiled. "I don't want to sound like I'm telling you what to do or anything, but I'd like that."

A soft chuckle. "In this, my pet, you can be as demanding as you like. Always for good or no, I will never deny you this."

The feeling of safety, that seemed to surround him, allowed Jason to think of something beyond himself. He stopped, thinking of his sister. "Michael."

"Yes, Jay, what's wrong, what happened?" His eyes opened and focused on the young troubled, face beside him.

"Now, you know that I belong to you. Do I have to give up all of my life? Like my sister, will I ever be able to see her again?"

Michael shook his head. "No, Jason," his voice was soft. "Your past life is over. From now on, I am your family. Even when we go out and we will. I promise you, no one will ever recognize you. It's an illusion, glamour that my kind places on mortals. If we didn't, eventually some people might figure it out. I'm sorry, pet, but it has to be." He was prepared for a fight.

No, he couldn't do this. He couldn't let go yet. She depended on him. "Master," his voice was almost a whisper. "Please, I'll give in, I'll give you everything, no fight, but please don't tell me I can't see my sister. She's all the family I have. It won't matter. She'll never know."

"Years, my love, years will pass and you will not change. How can she not know? No, this is for the best. I know that it is painful. I, too, was faced with this loss."

Jason pulled away, pain on his face. "But you don't understand. Please, Michael, it's not for long. Jenny is dying. She has cancer. She won't live out a year." He had to make him understand. "Please Michael." He bent,

kissing him. "I'll do anything you say, I promise. I won't argue, ever. Please, let me see her, she's got no one else."

"What happened?" Could he insist the boy give this up? How could he demand loyalty freely given if he stole the girl's last months from him?

"Brain tumor. It's why I quit school and sold my body. I had to. The insurance paid for most of it, but there were still bills. If I leave now, she'll end up in a hospital somewhere, surrounded by strangers. There's no cure, no hope, but she can't go to a hospital, she wants to die with a little dignity." He nuzzled Michael's throat, planting soft kisses from his ear down along his jaw line.

"If I do this," Jason was damned distracting, the little sneak, "allow you to continue to see your sister, pay to keep her cared for, you will give yourself totally, no resistance ever?" Michael knew that if he gave in now, with as hard as the boy was working to sway him, that every time Jason wanted something, this was how he would choose to soften him up. He shouldn't let him

get away with this, but it was a small request, and the youngster was trying so very hard to seem eager and willing.

"Anything, I swear it, Michael." He trailed lips down his chest, seeking the taste of his skin. "Tell me, what do you want me to do?"

'Bravo' , Michael mentally applauded as soft, unbelievably warm lips found him. He would have to make the boy beg more often. "I will consider it. Show me how willing you, are, and I will see it done. I will make sure you never have to sell what belongs to me, and I will allow you to go visit her, as often as possible until her death. But you must always prove that you are mine, because if you fail, I can stop this immediately."

Jason pulled away, slightly, to kiss the head of the slick glistening shaft in his hands before looking up at Michael. "See where I am. I will always be here, or in any position you say. Forever, I swear it. Let me care for Jenny, keep her safe and I don't care what happens to me. You won't have to force it, I'll give myself to you."

"Then, yes, pet, I will allow it. I will call tomorrow evening after I rise to start the ball rolling. Maybe in a few days you can take me to meet your sister, so you can see her."

Jason nodded, bending his head, his mouth lowering again. "Thank you."

Michael lay there, letting the boy play havoc on his senses. Oh, he was a darling. Yes, he definitely would have to make sure that he had things to beg for often. Maybe he could make him beg every time he wanted to see her. "You just continue to show me this enthusiasm. Every time you do, I will consider giving you time with her."

Jason caught the implication of his request. He had been right in trying to sway him. Michael was not so different from some of the men he had known; he liked it when he begged. "Then we might as well move in with her, because I plan to keep showing you how enthusiastic I am." He smiled softly. "Master."

He moaned softly. It would only be right if he shared this prize with Azrael, at least once. His Sire would find this to be as pleasing as he did. Yes, this was indeed better than the thrill of the hunt. "Go on, Jay, let me feel you. Take advantage of what your efforts have bought."

Before now, Jason had hated fellatio. There were times he'd taken a money loss and let some guy fuck him just so he wouldn't have to use his mouth. But this time, he wanted it, needed it almost to the point of obsession. "Master?"

"What, now, Jason?" Would the boy never finish this?

"One more request, please. This one you'll like." He lipped his cock lightly. "Jenny -- they said there would be a lot of pain. There won't be a need for an autopsy; they know why she's dying. If I don't let them, they can't

know. If it, you know gets real bad . . ."

"I will send her to sleep softly. Yes that I will do gladly. I hate to see any poor creature suffering if I can ease the pain." He pulled Jason up into his arms. "You don't have to beg for that. That is a promise I give you. No matter what, when it is time, she'll go without pain."

There was nothing else that Michael could have done that would have sealed it like this. But the simple gesture, the promise that his sister would not go like they had warned, screaming or drugged to her teeth, marked Jason's soul sold as surely as any contract with the devil. He laid his head on Michael's chest, pulling back his hair to expose his throat. "I'm yours."

*Azrael! * Michael couldn't help himself; the absolute surrender drove him forward, his arms tightening as his teeth broke through and blood, sweet hot life, flowed into him.

*Again, tell that boy he is playing with fire. * Azrael's mental laughter echoed in Michael's head as he felt control return. *You must tell me what it is you did to bring him to this point so soon. *

*Nothing a simple kindness to a dying sib. * He shuddered as the wounds closed. *Thank you. *

*I am aware of your state. I will keep an ear out for now. Once you have reclaimed mastery of your hunger, I will back away, but for now, as long as this child you have taken for a pet continues to throw himself at you, I had best be ready to intervene, unless, of course, you decide, to try a, new, pet. *

*Be ever vigilant, Azrael. I have no desire to replace him. * He felt his masters presence fade. "You must be careful, pet. It has been a long time since I dealt with humans. You continue to show me your throat like that, I am afraid I might take your life quite by accident."

"I'm sorry." No, he didn't want to die. He would have to learn how to behave around this one. "I only wanted to show you . . ."

"I know, Jason, I know how much it meant to you to say it. Never doubt that. I accept your offer. Now, you were in the process of showing me how grateful you were."

Jason laughed, bending to kiss his new lover. He couldn't see him as an owner. It hurt so much that way, but, as, a lover, protector, and yes. He knew that he needed to come to terms with the reality of the permanence of his ownership, but not right now. It was enough that he knew it, and acknowledged it, without having to think about it.

Michael closed his eyes, shuddering in ecstasy. For over thirty years he had lived without a lover, mortal or Kin. The whole glorious brightness of the situation heated his soul. He would make this boy love him. And after him, two, maybe three others. And unlike Azrael, he would make certain that they never went without the fullness of his attentions.

* * *

Jason cried afterwards as the manacle locked around his wrist. For a few moments he had forgotten what belonging here meant. But now, the cold iron around his wrist drove home the reality. "Please." He clutched at Michael's arm. "Don't you believe me?"

Michael batted away his hands. "Ssshh, hush this silliness. It is too soon. What you mean now and believe, might change as you lay here. So, for now, we play by the rules of this game. Later will come soon enough."

"You're leaving now aren't you?" Fighting was useless. "Please, Michael, stay a little longer. Please, I--I'm afraid of this place."

"There is no one here who will harm you. You are safe. Now sleep. I will be with you as soon as dark descends. Food will be sent. You won't starve. I'll release you soon, and then, if you are good, I'll take you to dinner." He smiled waiting for the obvious question.

"But I thought you didn't." Dinner, going to dinner with a vampire. It was almost as weird as snake shoes.

"I don't. Oh, I can still consume food, but it only sits there until I rid myself of it. But I still enjoy the taste, the flavor. An all-liquid diet can be limiting, even if it is as sweet as your blood. Now sleep. I must go attend to a few things."

"What happens now?" Jason watched him dress. "I mean, I know I'll be here, or wherever, but what happens?"

"I fatten you up, and you become my lover, of course. We will paint the night red," he chuckled as Jason rolled his eyes. "So to speak. It has been over three decades since I was a part of the evening life around me. We will explore it together. Trust me, by the time I send you to bed at dawn, you'll be ready to sleep. The chains will only be a minor nuisance."

"So I get a vampire for a sugar daddy." This was just too much. "Who would have ever guessed?"

Michael leaned over him. "You are incorrigible. Kiss me good night and get some rest. Tomorrow is the start of a new life for you, and I want you to rested for it."


Nicole scampered to her feet as the door opened. She had begun to believe that he was going to spare her. But here he was, and it was only three. He had about four hours before the day would force him to sleep.

He chuckled at her thoughts. "I hope you didn't think that I had forgotten you. Why, Nikki, would I do that to you? Leave you to Azrael's displeasure?"

"I'm sorry, really I am. I didn't know who you were. I didn't connect what Maria had said to you. I didn't mean you any harm."

"I know, I approve of your quickness to protect Azrael's chamber and home. No, I am not upset with you." He stroked her cheek, "but unless I make at least a token gesture of discipline, my Sire will feel it necessary to deal with you."

She lowered her head. When would she learn? She was faithful to Azrael. He knew she was. She'd never hurt or betray him. But her rashness got her into more trouble than anyone her size should be able to get into. "If you follow me I will take you to the dungeon." A room Azrael had outfitted to punish them for their failure.

"No." He bent nibbling at her ear. "Your room, sweet. I need nothing to deal with you. Believe me, you will be handled well."

The house was quiet as she led him down the hall. Jenna and Valerie were out. Maria was with Azrael, damn her luck. So, alone, in a silent house, she led this one, her master's first, to her room. She was fully aware that, if he failed to deal with her to her master's satisfaction, she would see the dungeon yet. Was that how it was to be? Megel playing with her, but not sufficiently to satisfy her master? Was she to be punished twice this time? That would be her luck. She had to learn not to jump at everything.

"This is my room." She opened the door, stepping back to let him enter.

It was decorated in dark, woods, green, and burgundy. Good colors for her. Michael looked around. No, Azrael did not short his pets, from the stereo entertainment system to the computer and library. Everything that modern technology could offer to make a room comfortable.

Nicole dimmed the lights. "I know how light sensitive you must be," was her only explanation.

"I see Azrael has spared no expense."

"No, he is generous to us. I have no complaints." She stood looking at the floor, unsure what to do.

"Yes. I, too, was spoiled unbelievably when I belonged to him." He sat on the bed. "Go on, Nikki, prepare yourself for bed."

She moved to her dresser. "Do you wish me to dress for bed?" He nodded "What color would you prefer?"

"Black, I think." He watched as she began to disrobe. Yes, his old master had it made. Four, he couldn't believe it, 'four' sweet pets all at his beck and call. His eyes gleamed as the black silk chemise slid over her white skin. Soon he would feel that flawless flesh. But first, how was he to punish her? "Do you have a belt, Nicole?"

Her green eyes flashed with fear. "Yes." Would he beat her with her own belt?

"A thin one, pet?" He drank in her fear. It was sweet. She knew what could happen, and she stood there. He admired her bravery. "Fetch me a thin belt and remove your panties." She moved slowly, hating each step as she pulled a thin black belt from a drawer. "Bring it to me."

"Please." She handed him the belt. "Don't hurt me."

"Your panties, Nicole. Give them to me."

The thin cotton briefs slipped down her legs. She trembled so badly that she dropped them. She did not know this one, knew nothing of his intent. Perhaps she should have begged for Azrael to deal with her. At least with him she knew what would happen. His hand caught hers as she handed them to her. "Come closer, lay on the bed."

She lay face down, readying herself for the beating that she knew was coming. Would he cut her? The belt was so thin. "No, Nicole, on your back."

Her eyes widened. The tears that she had fought down for the last few hours brimmed. "Please, Megel, don't." She rolled over.

"Hush, Nicole." He parted her legs. "Open yourself for me, lift your gown past your breasts. Let me see you."

She cried as she obeyed and closed her eyes to his gaze, preparing herself for whatever torments he had planned.

"When I was younger," his voice was a soft whisper, "I, too, acted without thought. There were times I was sure I would either die or I would drive Azrael mad. So I am not surprised to see him with another. It is a challenge to break such a wild spirit."

He lay, by her, looking down. "Take your hands, pet, open yourself to me, let me see you." He turned her panties inside out, letting the crotch cover his fingers. "Before I begin, tell me; where might I find a scarf?"

"In the same drawer I keep my belts." She lay there, legs parted. Chemise hiked up to her chin, fingers exposing her private self. A scarf, would he blindfold her, tie her up? It wouldn't be so bad if she knew what was happening. But she had no clue.

Michael stood over her, a long silver scarf in hand. He couldn't decide where to look first. The face, that was so fair, and so much in fearful pain? His gaze traveled down her smooth neck, caressing the curves of her creamy shoulders. Along her arms, watching as her trembling fingers strove to keep her open to his gaze. Oh, the things she could do with them.

Her breasts, then, firm rounded mouthfuls that needed no support. The curves of her chest, her tight abdomen, and no flaw anywhere just smooth, firm flesh.

The perfection of her sex, soft red curls crowning delicate pink flesh. Lovely, rounded hips, and a sweet bottom that lay hidden from him, but that he knew would fit well into his hands.

"Now, lift your hips, open yourself fully to me." He laid the crotch of her panties over, her, open gaping sex. "Tell me if I hurt you. I want to know how much pressure causes pain." He began to stroke her through the cotton, rubbing the material against her moist flesh. The touch started light and grew in force and exploration, thrusting his panty-clad fingers deep inside her, listening to her soft moans as the pressure grew.

"Master, please." He crushed the tender, sensitive flesh against her pelvic bone. Waves of agony coursed through her body.

"So, now it is painful. Good. I won't hurt you severely. I know where the level is and can alter." He pressed down a little more, listening to her agonized cry. He pulled back his strength, just a little, as he continued to molest her. "Do you know why I am giving you this?"

"No." Her hips rose against Michael's fingers, gyrating slightly.

"So that you will fully appreciate it when I whip your sex. I want you to feel it to the fullest."

She knew begging wouldn't help. Just as she knew no matter how afraid she was or how much she wanted not to let him have his desire, it would happen. Her body would respond to his caresses, even as her mind screamed 'No' . Even now, she could feel the pressure building as her juices flowed, wetting the cotton of her panties that rubbed against her.

Michael watched as she opened beneath his hand. Slowly, against her will, fighting it each step of the way, she went. Her cries were victories, for each was well fought for. The tremors in her body as the pleasure grew to release were hard earned, for she struggled with every ounce of her will not to give in. He bent to kiss her. "Is my touch pleasing, Nicole? Why struggle so? The sooner you give in to the inevitable, the sooner it is over." She moaned softly against his lips.

"Please, Master." She shyly reached to touch his face. "I'm sorry, please." She wanted to beg. To plead, for mercy, but her body stole control as again he brought her to release. "Oh--oh--yes."

"You are lovely." His mouth brushed one breast, then the other. "Your passion is sweet. I will enjoy giving you what you desire, but first let me take care of your discipline." His hand pulled away, drying her sex with the cotton of her panties. "Open your mouth, Nicole. I will gag you now."

She choked as the sopping material was forced into her mouth. 'No, oh no, please' . He couldn't mean to do this to her. But as he tied the gag in place with the scarf, she realized that yes. He would do this. Nothing Azrael had ever done had prepared her for this.

"Suck, Nicole, taste yourself. See how sweet you are." His voice was soft, commanding. Tears flowed down the sides of her face as she obeyed. "I'm going to whip you now. Only, ten, to fall on each breast and twenty on your opened sex. Be quiet, and I will end it there, but if you cry out or make a sound, I will double it." He pulled the black silk of her chemise over her face. "Remember, I have sharp ears, so you need to show a great deal of control." He lifted the belt. "Spread your lips wider for me. I don't want to miss."

Her whole body jumped with the first blow, the tongue of the belt landing squarely on her swollen pleasure point. There was no way she could take twenty, not and remain silent. But she knew the cost of failure. Her teeth clamped down of the material in her mouth in an effort to remain silent, body twitching as the blows fell fast and hard. Never, again, unless she knew for fact that it was an intruder, never again would she threaten one of the Vampyr.

"I am pleased with you, Nicole. See, you do know control if you only try." He lowered his mouth to tease her aching sex. She hurt so badly. Azrael had never hit her like this. There were no words to describe the pain. But as the cool lips touched her, tongue stroking the sensitive flesh, feelings so intense it took almost superhuman strength not to scream, flooded her groin, flowing out in a single rolling wave of heat to encompass her whole body.

Michael felt her give in, as muscles spasmed and her fingers tangled themselves in his hair, holding him there as she rode the wave out. He wanted her now, so badly. He would have to finish with her punishment quickly. He had to have her.

"Now, let's finish this." He cupped her right breast. "Soon. I feel your want. I burn, too. But let us finish with the necessities."

Bad enough that he would whip her, but did he have to entice her first? Her nipple hardened under his gentle caress. Warmth and a strange feeling of joy coursed through her body. He would hurt her yes. She knew that. But afterwards, the promise--she needed this. It had been over two months since Azrael had done anything more than hold her as she drank from him

A pang of guilt; how could she want another? Her master was good to her. When he held her, there was no description of how much she loved him. But even though she ached with need for him, her body burned as a traitor to the manipulations of another. Tears welled in her eyes. Would he see this as a betrayal? She loved him, but was her love as strong as she though, how could he be her world if another made her mad with lust, too?

Suddenly, Azrael's presence surrounded her. She could feel his gentle amusement, his love. *I do not doubt your devotion, pretty one. *

*Master! * Her mind cried to him. He was listening in; he knew what she was going through.

*Of course I am listening in. Do you think I would let, him, or anyone, take one of mine and not keep tabs on the situation? Rest, relax, and enjoy yourself precious. Megel is one of my, blood, he is as much a part of my life as you are. Share his life with me, as I share yours with him. * His presence intensified for a moment, giving her the feeling of his arms around her, hugging her with carefully guarded strength, before fading.

"Is my Sire content that you are well?" She nodded not surprised at all that he knew. "Very well, we begin." And again the blows so, hard, that the stinging burned. Her mind went numb, arms locked between her legs, nails biting into her tender flesh as she fought the urge to scream. He had not hit her so hard before. He was pushing her, to see how much she could take, but would she fail? If it went on much longer, she would.

It ended as it became too much. The last blow fell with Nicole thanking God, for if he had hit her again she would have screamed.

There was no reprieve or rest. He pinched her left nipple, feeling the flesh tighten under his hand. Again, the blows, she had done well so far. He had really been expecting to have to keep his promise and double the whipping. But she had surprised him and took it well. "No more." He kissed one breast, then the other, rubbing gently. "Let me un-gag you. I return your voice, cry if you need to." The gown was pulled down as he reached for the scarf. She spat the material into his hand, glad to have it out of her mouth. The sobs came hard as she felt him pulling her closer, letting her curl against him and draw strength and comfort.

"Go on, let it out, it is over. We will not speak of it again."

She pulled his face to her throat. "Please, Master."

He had fed more today than he had in years, but that did not slow him as his fangs broke through the skin and sank into a vein. The ecstasy was absolute. With no real hunger to drive him, he was able to lose himself in the glory of the power.

*Enough, Megel, * Azrael's mind was soft on his. *I have let you gorge yourself enough. This is the fifth time you have fed today. *

*Fourth, * his mind reached in response as he licked the wounds closed. *The first does not count. It never did more than keep me alive. It never fed the power or the heat, it couldn't. Besides they keep offering themselves to me. Tell me, if you dare, that you too don't take advantage of the situation to bathe your soul in the excess. *

*Very well, but no more for a few days. You are going to bleed my girls dry. You need to see about finding one or two more, three, actually, since you are becoming such a glutton. It should be no hardship since that one you have now has proven to be the world's easiest conquest. I must say, Megel, I am impressed. *

Azrael's pleasure was all around him. He straightened his spine under it. *Even now, as he tries to sleep, he thinks of you. He is yours completely, no doubt. *

*Beginner's luck, * he pulled away from Nicole, regretting the need. He would have to hunt once more. Find a place where one mangled body would only be news for a short time. If he didn't put his dark side totally down again, he would end up harming either Jason, or one of Azrael's pets.

*Be careful, * was Azrael's only warning.

*I will. I won't make that mistake. I have no intention of getting on your bad side. Wars among our kind have been started for less. *

*Enjoy yourself, Childe. I will see you when the sun sets. *

He came back to himself with Nicole in his arms. She was warm and obviously pleased to be there. "Careful there, love," he chuckled as she bit at this throat. "I don't think Azrael would approve of my becoming your master full time."

"Oh, pooh," she kissed him. "As if I could bite you hard enough to draw blood. I tried to kill Azrael once, when I first came here, and could not even scratch him."

"You tried to kill Azrael?" He pulled away so that he could look down at her. "And you lived?"

"Well, of course I lived, my master wouldn't kill me. I was angry about Jenna." She blushed. "I used to have a jealous streak in me. Maria was his first, and Jenna the new one. I felt left out and hurt. After he finished with me, I was quiet about Valerie."

"My, but you are the little spitfire, aren't you?" Jealous, she had been jealous. It was amusing. Who would have ever thought a mortal would be possessive of one of his kind?

Nicole leaned forward into his chest. "So, is my punishment over, or is this part of it, too?"

He looked down at her a slight frown of his face. "What do you mean? And quit shielding yourself from me."

A minx smile flashed across her face. "Are you going to throw me on the bed and ravish me or not?" Her mind opened freely, and her, desire washed over him like a tidal wave.

Put like that, how could he refuse? "You are going to pay," he laughed, moving quickly to pin her to the bed, hands pulling at his clothes, trying to remove the confining garments.

He entered her with no warning, but she was ready, her scream of fulfillment echoed through the room as she gave herself to the desire that had been building in her.

* * *

The room was dark as he appeared, but Michael could see clearly as he looked in on Jason. It was late. Soon he would have to retire to his bed. But the boy's misery clouded his mind. "Jay?"

The figure on the bed jumped at the noise. "Michael?" There was fear there, clear and defined.

"Who else would it be? Why are you not asleep? Lying here worrying about things you have no control over is foolish. You need your rest." He moved to sit on the bed. "It's almost dawn, pet, time to put your concerns to rest until night."

The chain rattled as Jason sat up. "I can't sleep." The soul-shattering pain that was in his voice was enough to bring tears to Michael's eyes. "What have you done to me? I can't stop thinking about you." He shuddered. "I'm not gay. I let guys fuck me, it was for the money, but why can't I see you like that? Why do I want you so much?"

"You want me?" The small smile and nod were true. He wasn't just posing. The thought that already the boy wanted him, without his coercion or insistence.

"Want you?" Jason almost cried. "I keep thinking about it, how it was, what happened. What tomorrow is going to be like? It runs around in my head." His words were accusing, as if he believed Michael had done this, planted the feelings in him. The thought was too close to the truth for Michael's comfort. He had to calm him.

"Come here." Michael held out a hand, letting his new pet seek refuge in his embrace. "I didn't know you would feel this way so soon. I knew that I had to drive home the reality, but your total acceptance was unforeseen. Does your wanting me bring you pain? Is it not better that, if you must belong to me, that you want it?"

"But I'm not a faggot, don't you see, you've made me into some sick queer who wants to. . . .." He hid his face in Michael's shirt. "I never liked it before. Why me? What is it about me?"

Michael stroked the boy's hair. It didn't matter how bone-weary he was. He would not leave him like this. "First, pet," he soothed, "you are not sick. There is nothing wrong or perverted about what we shared. It was beautiful. And to be truthful, I don't know if you will ever respond with desire to any male who is not a vampire, or at least not without my influence." It was a lie, the boy was quite 'gay' . But it was a lie that would stand for now. "It is our nature, and you are caught up in it. Second, I chose you because had I not. You probably would not have lived much longer. Remember that death is in our nature, and we can feel it as it nears. The first gentle brushes of its presence touched you. Boys like you die out in the street every day. Think about it. If you had died, who would care for your sister? Do you hate life so much that you would rather lose it than be here with me?" He cupped his chin. "If you seek death, pet, tell me. I need to know this so that I can steel myself against it until the urge passes." He wiped the tears away. "I do not want to hurt you, Jason, so let there be honesty between us."

Blue eyes full of confused pain stared up at him as Jason shook his head. "No, I don't wanna die."

"I am glad. You have given yourself to me, and I wish to keep you. Now what do you need? What is it that I have failed to say or give that will ease your pain?"

"You can't." That was the worst thing. He knew that for all that his new master was or did that there was nothing he could do to make this any easier. "I - I know you're being nice. I've been thinking and I can understand why you have to do this. Can't have bloodless corpses showing up all over the place. You've even been real nice about it, so it's up to me. I have to come to terms with how I feel." His voice a whisper, "Michael, I - I understand why, but what if I freak? I'm so messed up inside right now. You gonna kill me if I lose it?"

"'Kill you?'" Michael's voice was soft and gentle. "Jason, I will do anything in my power not to kill you. I understand that the beginning is never easy. I will be patient. As long as you try to overcome this, I will show you kindness. If I have to punish you, I will be merciful. But you must always be open with me, never close your mind or be afraid to talk to me. We will work through this together. You and I, along with any other I take. I promise you." He hugged him tighter. "Now you must sleep. I can't stay any longer. The sun is up, and I am fast going down. So it is time to put your fears aside. Lay down Jason, let me help you."


"Go to sleep." Again his will flowed over him, overpowering his little lost one. "You will rest until I come for you. Sleep precious, sleep."

It was like someone had switched the boy off. One moment he lay there full of questions, the next, his breathing was soft, his face fully relaxed for the first time this night as he slept. "Poor love, wait, we'll make everything right. Even if I have to dominate you and force the change myself." He was a little surprised as he bent to kiss him good night to feel a response. But it pleased him. "See you in a few Jay. Pleasant dreams."

* * *

Azrael looked up as he became aware of both Jenna's and Valerie's return. "It would seem that all in my home are now in it in truth." He smiled down at Maria, who lay curled up against him.

She nodded. She had been noticing that Jenna and Valerie, were, spending more and more time together. "They were out, on a date."

"Yes, I had assumed that was where they had gone. Do you mind, precious, if I call Nicole to us, or should we ask them to go and keep her company? She has been punished this night, and is alone."

Maria looked thoughtful. "Let Jenna and Val take care of her. I kind of like having you all to myself. I don't get this chance often, anymore."

Azrael chuckled, kissing her. "Greedy thing, that is what you are." But though he fussed at her, it pleased him that she wished to be with him like this, that after over fifty years she still longed to be exactly where she was.

She cuddled up closer to him as he reached out for Jenna. *Darling. *

*Az. * her response was immediate.

*Nikki is alone tonight, and I have had her punished. Could you and Valerie, see it in your heart to go to her? Maria is, with me and I am feeling, particularly, greedy tonight. *

*Of course, that was all Val and I had planned on doing tonight anyway. Sure, she can join us if she wants to. *

*Then I leave it in your hands dear. See that she is taken care of. * And with that seen to, he could now return to the woman in his bed.

* * *

Nicole looked up as her door opened. "Hi." Jenna followed by Valerie slipped in. "Az said you were spending the night alone. Want some company?"

Nicole smiled at both of them, gratitude in her eyes. "Yes, oh, hell, yes. I thought I was going to be forced to sleep alone tonight, what with Maria sleeping with Azrael."

Valerie began to pull Jenna's clothes from her. "Nah, we would have stopped by, even if Azrael hadn't asked, just to make sure you weren't alone."

Nicole moved from the bed, reaching to help Valerie with Jenna's garments. "You guys spoil me."

They both laughed. "Well in a house where we out number him four to one, we sort of have to look out for each other." Jenna pulled her close. "Azrael told me you got punished again, what for this time? And if he punished you, why didn't he see to you?"

Nicole sighed as familiar hands touched her in ways she had once never believed possible before she came here. "He didn't. Megel, his First-Born, he is here now. I did a stupid thing, I forgot that Maria had told me he had come home, so when I saw Megel, I used the charm against him. Thank God it didn't work, or our master would have been a whole lot more upset with me than he was. It was Megel who punished me. Azrael has been with Maria all night."

Valerie made a tisking noise in the back of her throat as she pushed them both, back, towards the bed. "High strung as ever."

Nicole tensed just slightly as Jenna's fingers parted her sex, reaching to arouse her. "What is it, honey?"

Nicole sighed, as the pain she had feared didn't come. "Nothing, he just whipped me and I was worried that I might still be sore."

"All better now, right?"

She nodded, welcoming her friends, sister, and lovers into her arms.

Valerie, who had always noticed how easily fair skin was marred, and in her discovery was ever glad of her dark skin, touched Nikki's left nipple lightly, cautious of the bruising there. This Megel had whipped her, but, good. She was glad that Azrael had never seen reason to do that to any of them. She lowered her mouth to take the place of her hand as she reminded her friend of some of the more pleasant things that could be done to her.

Nicole sighed as both her lovers attacked her body with the intent to bring joy, and nothing else, proving that they loved her in a way that transcended verbal speech. Without words, they began to love each other, lying on their sides, forming a circle of heated and pleasured flesh.

Nikki moaned as Valerie began her play, even as she began the delightful torture that she had planed for Jenna, and Jenna, moaning, moved to tease Val. Each was intent on giving more than they received, and in doing so, received far more than they thought they ever could.


Consciousness came slowly. It felt different; waking was no longer a dreaded thing. He felt more like his old self than he had in a long time. Just the thought of that sweet boy who slept nearby and the promise of others, made him want to shout his joy from the rooftops. He would have to take his new one out tonight and pamper him. New clothes, a good dinner, perhaps a show, then maybe a nightclub where they could dance and he could woo Jason with shameless abandon.

*So you are awake, finally, and unbelievably full of yourself. * Azrael commented. The amusement in the older vampire's thoughts brought a chuckle from Michael.

*And hello to you too. Yes, I'm awake. I'll be down soon. I must go and wake my pet. I have such a night planned. It will be good to actually live again. *

*Bring him by before you leave. I did not get a chance to really meet him. I will have Valerie bring a light meal for him to the den. He is going to be starving. *

*Thank you. * He rose and stretched. The blood he had consumed the previous night was still potent. He felt the life within him glowing. A shower, then it would be time to care for his little friend.

* * *

Jason sat up blinking as the light came on.

"Up, boy," Michael commanded, bouncing into the room. "Come, you must be famished. I am so sorry I forgot to order you food, as I promised. I'll be more careful in the future. Quick shower and shave, and I'll have you fed. Azrael has asked one of his to fix you something." He tossed a pair of jeans and a T-shirt on the bed. "Come on, blue eyes, time to get cleaned up." He stopped the patter when he saw Jason's awed, surprised stare. "What is wrong?"

"It was all real," the boy said. "It wasn't some weird dream or fantasy." He showed honest surprise. "You're a vampire, and I'm here with you."

Michael threw his head back and laughed. "Yes, pretty one, I'm real and you are here, now hop." He held out a toothbrush and toothpaste. "Hurry, go bathe. I must not only get you fed, but you must feed from me."

Jason rose to head for the bath, when the clank of his chain reminded him. "Can I be free, now?"

"Oh," Michael pulled out the key. "I'm sorry, Jason. Now quick, we have a long night."

But instead of hurrying, Jason reached out to touch his arm. "Good morning," he blushed, "Master."

Michael brushed his lips against Jason's "Good evening, love, now go. I'm anxious to be off."

Jason moved in a daze. He had been ready to accept anything his master came up with, but the free, friendly greeting wasn't what he had envisioned. It was as if Michael had rewritten the

script. He was a 'vampire' , for Gods sake. He should be dark and mysterious, with a heavy Eastern European accent. But, no, he behaved, for the entire world, like a college student.

The water was hot and helped him to focus his thoughts. Sleep had helped to brighten his outlook. Okay, so he was really living with a vampire now. Maybe he was nothing more than a glorified pet, but he believed Michael, and knew he'd live longer and better here, than free anywhere. The very, thought, of Michael. And, their relationship created a pleasant tightness in his groin. No one had ever made him feel like that before. He smiled. His mind was definitely heading for the gutter.

"All right," Michael said, amused, "enough of that, later. I swear, is that, all you want me for? Now hurry pet. We won't always be so rushed, but I overslept and I don't want to miss a moment of my return to life."

Jason turned off the water. "Me? Let's remember who offered whom five hundred bucks." The shower curtain parted. "For future reference." He accepted the towel. "If you do that again, not so much. I was desperate. I'd have gladly taken a hundred dollars and let you do anything."

"And I would have offered more if I had had to." Michael thought about it. "But perhaps you are right. Too much makes people suspicious. I saw it in your eyes."

"Yeah well," he mumbled around the toothbrush. "You learn the hard way fast, the more money, the more they expect. When you're used to getting thirty to fifty dollars a trick--" he spat out the foam "--you see what I mean."

"I do. What decided it for you?" Michael enjoyed the view as Jason walked around naked.

"I don't know, really. Maybe it was because I really needed the money, and you looked so concerned." He smiled and shyly reached for Michael. "And you were clean. So many of them aren't, you know."

"So you said 'Yes' because I bathe regularly." Michael's laughter felt freer than it had in years. "My, but you have such a small list of requirements."

"No, that just decided it. The money was the key. Between the insurance and Mom and Dad's Social Security, Jenny's medical bills are covered and she'll get all the care she needs. But rent, food, and nurses, for when I'm not there, add up. That takes money. We don't have much, and our place isn't large, but it's clean and in a good neighborhood. My folds didn't have life insurance, stupid of them, I know. But they were planning to go in a crash either. So, money like what I needed to keep her up I can't get even if I worked two jobs at my age. So I did the only thing I could; I made it the quickest way I knew that didn't involve drugs."

"Does your sister know?" Michael held out the jeans. They, were, an old pair of Azrael's--a gift--that had been too large, besides, denim was beneath him.0

"Yes." Jason pulled on the pants. "It didn't take long for her to figure it out. But what could we do? She's my baby sister."

"How are you going to explain where the money is coming from now?"

Jason stopped shirt halfway on. "I'll tell her as much of the truth as I can. I got myself a rich boyfriend. She thinks I'm gay anyway, because of what I let men do to me."

"Boyfriend?" It was so quaint; he was being passed off as this child's 'boyfriend' . "I personally prefer the word lover. I'm over eleven hundred years old. 'Boyfriend' is a term that really doesn't apply to me."

"She's sixteen; you say lover and she's gonna think boyfriend." He dropped and groped for his socks and boots.

"What happened?"

Jason paused. That wasn't a question about Jenny. "Excuse me?"

"You have changed. You aren't terrified anymore."

Jason shrugged. "I'm a realist. I can't stop you; you've proven that. If I tried to run away or tell anyone, that is, if I could find anyone who would believe me, I'd probably be toast. You can read my mind. I started this so I could take care of my sister, and that's what I'm doing. Believe it or not, but the thought that you plan to use me as dinner is not near as scary as some of the things those guys did to me." He lifted his chin to lock stares with Michael. "I don't know about the hundred and fifty years or any of that. But I did feel something when you bit me, and then when I--you know, when you cut yourself--that was the most bizarre thing I ever felt in my life. So here I am." He didn't flinch when Michael pulled him close. "I gave my word. I'm yours, so I might as well come to grips with it."

"I'm glad." Michael gave him a light kiss. "Although I do hope that you decide later that there is more to your willingness than just your sister." It was too soon for true devotion or love. "Now come, you have to be starving."

* * *

Jason looked around him as they walked down the hall. He'd been too scared to see things clearly last night. The hallway was half-paneled in dark wood, with pictures that looked genuine and valuable. There were assorted knickknacks on wood tables or small stands. Nothing overly showy, but you could tell that the house's owner had money 'and' taste. "Nice place."

"Yes, Azrael is so fussy about the decorations. I'm not so picky. You'll have to change your living space to suit you, when we go home. Me I'm content with a bed in a dark room, and a big screen TV with an overstuffed chair in front of it. The rest does not touch me much."

Jason shook his head. He should have known. He would wager money that if he tried to hang a picture, his new master would hyperventilate over the hole in the wall where the nail went in.

Michael picked up that thought, and chuckled, to himself.

They entered the den, and Jason almost laughed. Azrael looked like a vampire poster.

"Good evening," the older vampire greeted. He sat on the couch, with a young black woman curled up against him on one side, a pale, elfin-looking girl on the other, with Maria on his lap and Nicole leaning against his leg. A large television was on. "Join us. I have just been catching up on the daily news with the girls."

"A sultan in his harem could not look as smug as you do."

"Smug, I? I am not the one who's pet kept my host up all night with erotic fantasies. Shield him or move him farther away from my resting-place. If you do not, I warn you that you shall end up sharing him."

"As long as you don't end up snatching him, I don't care. He's delightful and very giving. You will be as pleased as I am." He pulled Jason closer. "Pet, this is my Sire, the one that gave me the gift. My Sire, Azrael."

"Hello, pet. Jason, correct?" The boy was adorable. 'Too bad I did not see him first' .

"Yes sir." Okay, what do you say to the next up in line? "It's good to meet you sir. Your house is really nice."

Azrael chuckled. "Oh, my, Megel, he is a joy. Relax boy. Call me Azrael. No need to stand on formality, unless your lord orders it. He is your master, not I".

"You are the master of this house and all within it," Michael said, tilting his head to Azrael. "For now, unless it is in the privacy of the bedroom, or in the world outside, he must learn the proper way of communicating."

"Oh, dear. Jason, you have me to thank for this. Megel, who you know as Michael, was my first. I wanted to do everything right back then. I have mellowed in my old age. He will, too, one day, but for now, he is somewhat younger than I am when I took my first. When you measure time in experiences rather than years, we were about the same age. So for now, he is going to follow the formula to the letter, even down to chaining you at night even though it is plain that you are completely his. I know it will seem cruel, but really he is only going by what he was taught. So, if you must be aggravated with someone over it, it really should be me."

"I understand, Master. Don't worry about it. I'll wait." He looked at Michael trying to get him to see how much he accepted this.

"I am glad. Now eat, and welcome to my house. Until you leave, treat it as if it were your home. Within its walls and grounds, you have all the freedom that Megel gives you." He indicated the women. "This is Maria and that is Nicole, I believe you remember them." He put an arm around the elfin woman. "This sweet thing is Jenna and my dark beauty is Valerie. They will become your friends."

"Is he going to be one of us?" Jenna asked, smiling at Jason. "Or is he off-limits?"

Michael pulled Jason close in mock protectiveness. "Get these women another man, Azrael, or start pleasing them more often. The boy is mortal and I'd like to keep him the way he is, and not worn down to a husk."

"Megel let the boy play. It would be good for him. Or do you plan to limit it to just the ones you choose?"

"Yes, for now, unless you call for him of course. It's a new life, let his adapt slowly." He pushed Jason towards the small table against the wall. "Go eat, love. You're safe here, surely you know that by now."

It was Jason who reached to pull him close, and it was Jason's mouth that demanded, tongue seeking the erotic play of his. "Know it, Master, I live it."

Michael cupped his face gently. "After you feed from me this evening, you will see your sister. I will allow you to gather some of your clothes. Not many, because we will go shopping tomorrow night. You can put her mind to rest. While you eat, I will make a few phone calls to get her moved into a nice place closer to here. She will have proper care at all times."

Jason's face lit up like a Christmas tree. "Michael." His voice choked with emotion. How could this man, who held his life the way he did, be so kind? He couldn't figure out what he did to get this so soon.

"You are yourself," Michael said kindly. "No matter how hard it is for you to live with this, no matter how frightened you are, I was once where you are now. I well remember the fear. You are yourself, and you respond to me honestly. For this I would grant you anything to see you smile."

'So this is what love feels like' . Jason held him, feeling the strength of Michael's arms around him. He loved this creature. How, or why, he couldn't grasp yet. Was it because Michael was the first person to really show him an ounce of kindness since his parents died? Was it because Michael seemed to understand, or because being owned hurt less if he loved his owner? There was so much there, but whether he understood it or not, he knew what he felt. "I--" He lifted his eyes raising them to meet the dark blue ones of the man who held his heart. "I love you."

Emotions so strong they were painful flooded Michael. The boy loved him. A mortal, one of the creatures that had hunted his kind for centuries, loved him. He lost all thought and sank his teeth into Jason's neck, trying to feed on the love

*Megel, NO! * Words a mental slap that knocked him away from Jason and to his knees. He saw red as his sight swam. *Control. *

"Michael?" Jason stepped towards Michael. What had happened? Had he done something?

Azrael grabbed him. "Do not move, boy." He pulled Jason back. "Maria, hold him."

"But," he tried to pull away, fear again. What did he do wrong? "Michael?" His voice was pain itself.

"Mind me, pet," Azrael said. "You are in no danger. Your master felt your words fully. He will cherish your love, but you are the first of your kind to show him this. For more years than you can imagine. I, and others of his kind, were the only ones who knew what he was and loved him anyway. He could hurt you in his ecstasy. Please step away. Go eat. I will help your lord. Trust me, little one. Do not fear so. I give you my word as master here, no harm will befall you or your beloved master."

"Go on, blue eyes, I'm fine." Michael picked himself up off the floor. "Thank you, Master."

"None needed. I know what it feels like. I only wish my Sire had been there the first time. I killed my first love in the heat of joy. I would never wish that on you, my first and most loved."

Jason didn't ask any more questions. Michael's reminder, 'Always remember what I am' , rang in his ears. But he couldn't believe Michael would hurt him. He just couldn't.

"Azrael." Maria grabbed a napkin and pressed it against the gash in Jason's throat. "Azrael, he's bleeding badly."

'And I didn't even know it' , Jason realized.

The Elder looked. "Oh, you poor thing." He went to Jason, held out a hand. "Come here, pet. Let me help you."

Jason looked at Michael, who nodded and smiled. "Okay," he half-whispered. He trembled as Azrael's cool mouth closed on his neck. The sweet sensations that accompanied Michael's feeding filled him briefly as Azrael drank for a moment, and then pulled away to lick the wound closed. He couldn't help it; he clung to the older man, guilt at what he saw as an unfaithful act to his lover paining him. But he had no will. His mouth opened freely under Azrael's. He held him, letting him do anything he wished.

Reluctantly, Azrael let go. "Guard this one, Megel. Mark him with your power. I have a few spare charms. Set one now. There are many of us in this town, and now that he has, been, Chosen, he shines like a beacon." He wiped the tears from Jason's face gently. "You will one day be Kin. There is no way Megel could deny you the gift eventually. You will be my First-Born's First-Born, a fine son. Know this always; as such, should you need help and Megel is not there, my domain is yours, my power and protection a right."

Jason's soul fought again. Not to resist horrors to great to imagine, but to keep from betraying the one person besides his sister that he loved. "Master?"

"Go on, precious, my blue eyed love. Azrael is such a part of me, and I of him, you would have to be dead not to feel the pull. There is no shame, no betrayal. I love him more than I do life. How could you not?"

Nicole took Michael's arm as Azrael held Jason. "He's going to be like Jenna," she whispered. "When Azrael brought her here, and she learned to love him, she gave him everything. I love him, we all do. We love him so much, but Jenna, if he died tomorrow, or cast us out, she'd die of a broken heart long before the wasting began." Her eyes were soft. "You are a kind man. I know this. I've felt you. Jason will do well with you."

Jason lost himself in Azrael's warm and passionate kisses. There was no shame, no cheating. He loved Michael, and Michael loved this man as much as, if not more, than him. Surrender was more than just his word, now. He had sworn to give freely, but compared to his submission now, the vow was a shadow.

"Oh, are you going to be a trial." Azrael murmured to him. "Your emotions are so strong. They will beckon Megel to you. I must be doubly vigilant till he takes his joy to a higher level and no longer tries to bleed you dry twice a night."

Jason went to answer him, when suddenly if felt like every nerve in his body was dipped in acid. Azrael's touch became agony. Whimpering, he pulled away.

Michael didn't need to be told what was happening. The boy needed more of his blood, needed it now; he tore at his wrist with his teeth, opening a vein as he snatched Jason from Azrael's grasp. "Drink. Hurry pet."

The agony stopped with the first swallow and a rush of pleasure and desire so great it was actually a physical blow swept over his as he clutched at his master's wrist. He sobbed. Mouth hot on, Michael's flesh teeth biting and gnawing, drawing the life from his master.

"All right, pet. Draw back, now." Michael urged Jason to let go. "Wait." He took the knife Maria presented, opened his shirt, and cut a deep gash into the flesh above his breast. "Now," he said, allowing Jason a full measure of both peace and pleasure.

"All better now, Jay?" He asked, as Jason finished. When the boy nodded, he said. "From here on, at first waking, I promise."

"Is it safe to be held by you now?" He didn't want to move just yet.

"I won't harm you again, Jason. I swear it. No matter how much I want you, I will not hurt you, never again." He knew that he would keep his word. He could not betray the complete trust he had been given. It was too precious, too sweet. Hunting and wild feedings no longer lured him. He wouldn't have to kill again to end the stirrings. His darker side was a peace. True possession was his.

"I love you." Jason broke. "God, I love you."

"Are there any more like him at home?" Azrael asked as he dug up one of the many charms he still kept on hand. He was honestly amazed. He had not thought to see such surrender again so soon. "Here you go, Megel. Fix this with your blood and power. It should keep the Rogues and Renegades from daring to touch him."

"Only his sister, and the poor thing is dying." He commented as he did as he was bid, and set up a charm for Jason that would place him under his protection. It was such a shame too. For if she was anything like her brother. She would be a mortal worth possessing. Then the thought struck him. 'Megel, you are an idiot' . "Azrael, I have a thought. Do you think--? Could it be possible--?"

"Why not? Our blood cures everything, even AIDS."

"Jason?" He tilted the boy's head up, locking the charm around his throat. Could he give this? Would the boy accept his offer?

"I will take her." Azrael's voice was soft. "You can not, not and be with him, but I will."

"Jason, would you, would it hurt you if we offered your sister this life? It would grant her all the time it has given you. I haven't hurt you. Nikki, even though I punished her last night, can tell you that I am not brutal. Azrael is much the same. Could you accept this, without pain? If you cannot, I will not force it."

"She wouldn't die?" The thought of Jenny, living. Of her learning to laugh again maybe, find, love. "Who would--would it be Azrael?" His fingers locked around the charm at his throat. He could feel the power of the charm in his hand. He had been marked, he was protected now, and he knew he had nothing to fear, ever again.


Jason looked at the Elder vampire and his four women. "Michael, can't you take her?"

"No, Jason, I can't. I would if I dared, but it wouldn't be right. Remember how you felt last night? If there had been another with you, what would you have done?"

"Oh." He blushed, knowing full well what would have happened, and silently thanking Michael for being conscious of it, too.

But there were other considerations. "She won't be hurt, will she? Please, Master, she's only sixteen. She's never even had a boyfriend before. She's been fighting this tumor for over three years."

"Did I hurt you? Did Azrael when he held you?"

Jason shook his head, "No."

"Then know that she is safe." Michael caressed Jason's cheek. "Experience is what counts here. Mine. I didn't harm you. We won't harm her."

"Megel." Azrael placed a hand on the boy's shoulder. "If it will help, you can take her innocence. Surely the lad believes you to be incapable of rape."

"Azrael, will you come with us? As sick as the child is, I would rather not bring her by the Dark Paths in ignorance."

"I will."

Jason was looking from one to the other. This was working out, much, better than he had ever hoped. Of course, Michael would be Jenny's first. He was gentle and kind. He would do everything to guarantee that her first was memorable.

"Megel, since you are giving me this child, I would like you to have Nicole. I do not need more than four. And, since Jason will one day be my Grand-Childe, I would give you this."

"Master?" The look of pain of Nicole's face as she threw herself at his feet was pitiful. "I'm sorry, I'll be good, 'please' , don't push me out. I love you. Why, what did I do? I paid for my wrong, I won't do it again."

"Nicole." Azrael dropped to one knee and lifted her face. "I can not give you what you need. I am older. I have mellowed much. You need a firmness that I simply do not worry about anymore. I felt you with Megel and you have not been that wildly free with pleasure in a long time." He brushed away her tears. "Now stop this foolishness. This is for the best, and we both know it. Go to him. You are rising in rank. Even though Jason is first, he will not be a pet now, but his slave. He us his Chosen. When he becomes one of us, then you will be first in Megel's house."

She looked at him, face wet with the tears that ran down her cheeks. "You don't want me?"

"It is not a matter of wanting you, pet; it is a matter of practicality. Think, Megel cannot take the girl. So I must or she dies. That means little to one of my kind. Death is a way in our lives. But what about you, you are mortal pet, and so is she. Would you doom her to an early grave?"

Michael motioned to the breakfast table. "Go and eat, Jason, and don't be too upset by all this." He indicated Azrael and Nicole. "Things will be fine."

Jason sat, trying not to feel guilty. He wasn't sure if he was going to be able to eat, but one bite of the sandwich convinced him otherwise.

"You do not have to do this Azrael." Michael protested for the girl's sake. "I can't take Nicole away. If you get a male or two, the ladies won't have to be ignored. You might have to feed a little more often, but I don't see how they would see it as a hardship."

He shook his head. "No, this is for the best. Will you take her Megel, treat her as well as you have your precious one, there?"

"If you are determined to do this, I will. That way I only have to train one more." He smiled at Nicole. "I trust her. She will behave."

"Then feed from her. Grant her your life's flow, and remember that she will be like Jason for a month or so. Be prepared to share your blood. If I get; a male or two', as you put it, to go with the new one, we will have enough bodies in this house to safely feed while we get past the first stages."

"Come here, Nikki." Yes, he would do this. To have not only a slave but a pet as well, opened up such wonderful possibilities. Could he sway her like he had Jason? Find out the most important thing she wanted, and help her to attain it?

"Will you have me?" She was crying softly. "I am not so good as you well know."

"I want you. And your fire will not anger me quite the way it does Azrael." He kissed her. "Offer me your throat. Let me make you mine. I shall rename you so that your life will start anew."

Her chin lifted. A new name, she would not be allowed even that one reminder of her years with Azrael. When Michael's fangs pierced her skin, however, she forgot her resentment and sadness. It felt so good. She locked her arms around his neck and gave in to it.

Azrael looked down at Jason, who was devouring his food. "I am sure Megel will see you fed again."

"Thank you," he said automatically, still thinking about Jenny. She would live. It would be hard for her at first. Maybe they'd let him help her to learn to accept this.

"I have a small request. When Megel takes her maidenhood, will you welcome me? It has been a long time since I was with one of my own gender. Time I got back into the 'swing' , as it were."

"If Michael says yes, I'd be happy to." And he would be, no questions asked, he'd love it. "Ya'know, Jenny is going to bust a gasket. She has all kinds of book about vampires, just loves them, err, you . . ." He floundered as Azrael chuckled. "Anyway, this will be a dream come true."

Nicole clung to Michael as she drank, reveling in the always-fresh vigor it gave her. She wanted to throw him on the floor and take him, but she knew she would have to wait.

It was so confusing. Azrael had turned her out. Even in her desire, it hurt so much. Would Michael do the same? Was, she destined to be passed from one to another because of her unruly nature? 'I must try harder. I must make my love as perfect as Jason's' .

"I will call you Amber, for the glow in your hair." Michael knew she would be touchy for a while. It couldn't be easy to go from one master to another in the same night. "After tonight, I will see to it that you get as much of my time as Jason does, but I must go now. You will stay in your room, for now, until I am certain that your pain is fading."

"Will you chain me, Master?" She cringed at the memory of cold iron on her skin. "Please. As Azrael said, I'm high-spirited, but I promise not to run. You have my word."

"No, Amber, you won't be chained, but for a while, I will lock your door. Not long, but for a short time."

No, chains 'thank God' . But would she be alone? She glanced at Jason. "May I stay with him? Please, Master. Don't make me stay alone. I'll be good, please."

He kissed her. "Yes, Jason and you may share a bed. Now go, I have to hurry. Tomorrow and from here on, I will take you both out when I go, and I will have not only my Chosen, but an adorable pet to show off."


The drive to Jason's house started quietly. Azrael drove. Michael sat in the back of the limousine. Jason pressed against him. He wanted to let the boy feel close to him. "Do you know where we are going?" He asked his Sire.

"Yes, I took the directions from your slave's mind." He turned onto a side street. "Do not take this wrong, Megel, but I think that changing Amber's name so soon was a mistake."

"Perhaps, but I felt she needed a new start. If it becomes obvious that it pains her greatly, I will retract it."


"Master." Jason laid his head on Michael's shoulder. "You 'will' let me tell her, won't you? Let me explain things?"

"Yes." The honesty in Jason's kisses was heady. "Tell her everything you feel she needs to know. I won't take that from you."

Jason leaned forward and faced Michael. He was still so stunned at Michael's gift that he was paying for it the only way he knew Michael would like. "I, Michael, let me . . . We've got a while before we get there." His

hand stroked Michael's crotch. "Please."

Michael looked at the space around him. It would be a bit cramped, but it could be dealt with. "It might be a little uncomfortable."

"Not for what I have in mind." Jason grinned at the lifted eyebrow. "Lay back, Megel, let me do you."

"Be free, love, anything your heart desires." The absolute willingness was the greatest aphrodisiac Michael had ever felt. Soft, gentle hands unzipped first his pants, then reached for his hardening cock. He moaned softly as warm, wet lips took him.

Azrael looked back at them through the mirror. "If this child is half as loving as her brother, then Jenna will have a soul sister," he commented, pleased with his Childe's good fortune.

Jason didn't bother to tell them that Jenny was much more emotional than he was. If she fell in love with Azrael, she would only be happy in his arms. Let him learn that all by himself.

Besides, to talk, he would have to stop doing what he was doing, and he didn't want to do that. Michael was his now. He didn't understand, but he loved this creature.

Michael tasted so good, clean and strong, with a soft, musky sent that made his manhood feel uncomfortably snug in his jeans.

Michael came, heard a soft cry of pleasure, felt the mouth on his throbbing erection sucking harder as fingers found his balls. Gods, this was heaven.

'Blood' , Jason thought. 'It tastes like blood' . His mind, his body, sang at the this and he came caught between the pleasure he felt at giving his master this, and the intense erotic joy that he felt every time he fed.

He gasped as Michael pulled him up, forcing him back against the seat, hands and mouth returning the glorious feelings. "Michael, oh, God." He came again at the touch of Michael's mouth on him, cried out and thrashed in sweet throes of passion. "Please, make love to me. Please, Master, I need you. I don't care if it hurts."

*Megel, there is a jar of lubricant in the side pocket of the door, * Azrael thought casually to him. *I will drive slowly. Shall I take another turn around the block? * He was glad of the limousine's tinted windows, which offered the two lovers privacy.

"Roll over." Michael reached for the lubricant with one hand while the other yanked the denim past Jason's hips. "I want to hear you cry out, pet. Let me feel your lusts." The slick feeling of lubrication coated him, but nothing compared to his entry. Jason was still tight. The boy's cry of fulfillment removed all reservation, as he began to thrust.

Jason could have screamed when Michael pulled back and almost out. He didn't want to be separated. His protests turned to whimpers as his lover teased him with light half movements, which only made him want more.

He did scream, as Michael thrust hard, burying himself deep in the warm recesses of his rectum. Some how, though Jason didn't understand how, Michael's powerful thrust struck his sensitive please gland hard. A hand locked on his straining erection as he pulled

away again, only to drive his power home again and again until Jason was sure he'd die. But, oh, what a way to go. "Please, yes, 'oh God yes' , harder, please, Michael, harder, make it hurt." He wanted it all, no restraints, no half gestures.

No words were needed as Michael fed the boy's lusts, listening to his sobs of pleasured pain. Oh, exploring this with him would prove to be a wonderful journey.

Jason came as Michael exploded, with feelings that ripped through him almost rendering him unconscious. It was wild, the pain, the pleasure, and the complete domination.

"Clean the seat, pet, lick all your traces away." Michael gently bit his ear. "Last night, had I known what you were giving me, I might have killed you in joy." He smiled as Jason bent to obey without hesitation. "But now, I have better plans for you."

"Please." He went up into Michael's lap. "Michael, I love you. Do anything, I don't care, just love me."

"You will be mine." Michael said. "A more fitting slave never lived. The things I will do to you! We will explore so many things together. You will come to live for my slightest smile, my touch will be more important than food or sleep." He kissed him hard. "Blow me, Jason. Clean me with your mouth. Show me how much you want to be mine. Be my slave. Let me see you grovel Lose yourself in this to me."

The taste was bitter as Jason licked and sucked his master, and he had to resist the urge to retch. But nothing mattered now. He would be like Michael one day, have his love for eternity. He saw how Michael was with Azrael knew what eternal love was like.

He caught one ball, then the other, in his mouth, sucking and biting lightly before taking his master deep in his mouth, relaxing his throat so that he could take Michael to the base. It was the one thing he knew he could do. It was something that he had went out of his way to avoid, he almost never gave anyone, a full and complete blow.

Michael almost came off the seat. So few had ever been able to do this. He was almost ten inches from base to tip erect, and as big around as his wrist. Yet this child, his love, was doing just that. He cried out, letting the boy have him as the burning heat flooded from him to his love.

Azrael finished an, extra three turns around the block. He glanced in the rear-view mirror. Jason lay in Michael's arms, still half-dressed, with his jeans at his ankles. "Time to dress, love. We are here."

Michael helped Jason dress before struggling into his own pants. "Jay, will it be difficult for you? Shall we wait outside until you have her calm?"

"No, let me introduce you as my lover, first. Let her see that I am happy before I tell her all the truth."

Michael nodded, opening the door. "Let's go."

* * *

Jenny fretted. Jason hadn't come home last night. Would he ever return? What had happened? Where was he?

She went to the window for what seemed the millionth time. A black limousine pulled up, and a dark-haired man got out. Jason followed him.

"Jay!" she called as she ran out to meet him. She threw herself into his arms. "I was so worried."

He held her gently. "Why, baby?" He asked, kissing the top of her head. "I've stayed out all night before."

"But last night was that pervert's night. You didn't come home and I thought maybe he'd hurt you, or kidnapped you, or . . ."

"Well, he didn't." Jason walked her back to the door.

She looked at the man who followed. Another left the car. "Jason, who are they?"


In the living room, she clung to Jason and studied his escort. The one who'd come out of the car first was tall, maybe six feet, with blue-black hair and very blue eyes. She noticed how the sharpness of his jaw line seemed to contrast with the fullness of his mouth and the softness of his eyes.

The second was shorter, slim, with dark hair. She couldn't decide if it was black or a really dark brown, and brown eyes. A pointed chin and hollow cheeks gave him an almost elfin/androgynous look. Of the two, she thought him to be the best looking.

"Jenny, this is Michael." Jason said, reaching for the tall one's hand. "I, well, he's my lover. I brought him home because he wants to help you."

Jenny blushed. It was one thing to know what your brother did at night. But it was all together another thing to know who he did it with. "Your lover?"

"Yes, I, I fell in love, Sis. Michael is the greatest guy alive. He's come to--."

"He, and you-he's-you are--" she just knew she was turning redder every second.

"Yeah, we're doing that too." He smiled. "Don't look that way, honey. He's not like the others. I'm going to live with him. He's going to take care of us. He promised me."

She looked at both of them, a fear surfacing. No, he hadn't, he wouldn't, would he? "You sold yourself to him, didn't you? He gets to do things to you and in payment we get 'cared for' ." She rounded on Michael. "You bought him, didn't you?"

"No, little one, I did not." Michael caressed Jason's arm. "He's mine, yes, but by love and by other things that have little bearing on my willingness to help you. Your brother gave me his love. That means more to me than all the money in the world. You are his only family, the only other person who I know who shares him."

She might only be sixteen, but Jenny could interpret expressions. "Really?" she asked Jason. Tears started when he nodded. "Thank you." She hugged Michael. "Now when I die, he won't be alone."

"Come on, Sis, let's go talk. The hired help gone for the night?"

"Yes, I got tired of dealing with her, so I lied and told her that while she went to the store, you called and were on your way home, and she could leave."

"Well, let's talk." Then he stopped, turning to acknowledge Azrael. "Sorry, sir, I forgot, Jenny, that's Azrael, a friend of Michael's, and also of mine. He's real nice, Jenny, you'll like him."

They sat on the living-room sofa. "What's up, Jay?"

"I need to tell you something, but I'm not sure how to go about it." He looked at the ceiling, then down at his hands. "First, I want you to promise me you'll listen to everything I have to say. Please, let me finish before you ask any questions."

She had always been very close to Jason, in some ways closer than a brother and sister should be. She felt his discomfort and could see that something bothered him, a cold feeling began in her stomach. "Jason, are

you, is there something . . ." She paled. "Oh God, you got 'AIDS' !"

"No." Jason shook his head violently. "No, wait Jenny, it's nothing like that. Please, just promise me."

"Okay." She felt confused and a little scared.

"The creep had just dropped me off last night. Michael out, of, nowhere he helped me to gather the money that had been thrown at me. He asked me to spend time with him. He looked so concerned, so kind, that I accepted." He smiled at Michael. "There was just something about him made me say yes. I didn't know what I expected, but he was offering five hundred bucks." He nodded at Jenny's gasp. "Yeah, I know, I figured it would be ugly, but we needed the money."

He stopped trying to formulate his next words. "Jenny, I've never lied to you. You know that. So please, believe me when I tell you that everything I'm about to tell you, is the truth. Don't be afraid; don't worry; just believe me. Believe me when I tell you we are safe. No one will ever hurt you." He took her hand in his.

"He didn't want to hurt me, Jen. Michael, he's, well, he's a vampire. So is Azrael. Michael needed a," he blushed, "a pet, from which he could feed. He offered me a chance to live a long, healthy life, full of hope and love, in exchange for my freedom and blood."

Was he serious? Vampires were mythological creatures. They couldn't exist, could they? "Jason?"

"I know. It's a lot to swallow, but it's the truth. They've both bitten me. Michael, who is my master, he gave me some of his blood, twice so far." He decided not to mention the accidental feeding that came with the blowjobs. "I won't age, baby girl. I'll live to be one hundred and fifty years old, and I'll

look like this until age starts creeping in.

"I was real scared at first. I mean, he's a vampire. But when I told him about you, he offered to take care of you for me. That way you wouldn't end up locked away in some hospital dying among strangers." He looked down. "Jen, he promised that, at the end, when it got really bad, he'd come and end it for you. So then you'd go quietly and gently." He wanted to make her understand. "And he would, Jen. You wouldn't hurt a bit. It's the most wonderful, relaxing feeling you'll ever have."

Jenny blinked, startled. She tried not to get hysterical. Jason said he loved Michael, and that Michael was a vampire. The vampire now owned him, and had agreed to kill her. "Jason, is he gonna kill me now?" Her voice was tiny.

"No, Sis. Just wait. I'm not done." He turned looking for support. Michael came and sat behind him, wrapping an arm around his waist, offering it.

"I never wanted your life, Jenny." Michael said. "I only promised your brother that, when you could not bear the pain any longer, I would let you sleep quietly. Your brother had offered himself to me, and I was so touched that I would give him anything to show him how much I honored his gift."

"Which brings me to why I'm telling you this." Jason stopped long enough to kiss Michael. "The blood they have, the stuff in their veins, it can save you. It can cure your cancer and give you a hundred and fifty years of life, free of pain and ugliness. Azrael has offered to take you as his, protect you, care for you, and keep you safe."

"Take me?" She looked at Azrael. He looked like a handsome, distinguished gentleman in his mid-thirties. Could he possibly really be older?

"Yes, child." Azrael knelt in front of her. "I would take you for mine, become your master, as Megel, who Jason calls Michael, is his. Can you live with this proposal? Your brother is sweet, and neither Megel nor I want to see him in pain. So, will you come with me, give up yourself to me, give me your love, your body, and your blood? In return, I will see you well cared for and loved always. A life such as you have never known will be yours for the taking."

"Jason," she looked from him to Azrael and back, "really, they really are--?"

"It doesn't hurt. He won't hurt you, Sis, watch." He looked at Michael. "Master, may I show her?"

"Go on," Michael urged. "One little sip won't hurt you. Let her see that Azrael is kind."

Jenny gasped, then cried out in as Azrael bent Jason's neck back to sink his fangs into the tender flesh of his throat. "No, please." She reached to push him away.

"No, Jenny." Michael's voice was soft as he restrained her. "You can't. If you knock him off balance his fangs could rip out Jason's throat." He stroked her hair, trying to calm her with as little pressure as possible. "I care for my slave. He's in no danger. See, Azrael has already pulled away."

Jenny froze in his arms. They were vampires, real vampires, and they were here for her. Jason had met, and belonged to, a real vampire that had a friend who wanted to do the same to her. Her fear and surprise were blunted by the look of joy on her brother's face. "Jay?"

"I'm fine," he said, pulling away, his face a bit flushed his breathing shallow and rapid. "See? I told you; he's great. They won't hurt you as long as you are cool."

Azrael shushed him. "I do not think that is necessary. I am sure any punishment she receives will be light. She will probably never need more than a stern word or an occasional spanking. Do not frighten her more than she already is." He let Jason return to his master. "So, pet, is your fear so great? Your brother wants you to live and be happy. Will you allow him his wish?"

She bit her lip. It was like a dream come true. "If you bite me, then love me, give me some of your blood, will my headaches go away? Will I really not die in a few months?"

Azrael knew that she wanted this. "Give me your life, Jenny. Let me put you under my protection, call me 'master' and I will swear this. I will grant you its continuance. I will care for you, and you will never feel alone or unloved. Call me 'Master' , let me be such and the pain is over." He had refrained from using his power up until now, allowing the girl to make the first overture. Now he pressed down with his will, lightly and skillfully, turning her mind towards the decision he wished. Her desire to live made it easy. She would never suspect that she had not made the choice herself. "I know you are a virgin. For Jason's sake, Megel will take your maidenhood. After that, I will see you cared for and loved always."

"You can--," she squeaked in surprise, then blushed. "But I thought that, I mean, that vampires couldn't . . ."

He chuckled. "Of course we can, Jenny. We are a sensual and passionate people. We are sterile and immune to all illnesses, but blood flows to that part, and the pleasure is great." He reached for her hand. "Say 'yes' , Jenny. Come into my arms. Let me make you mine." She was a pretty little thing. "I will be gentle. You will not regret your trust."

"Say, yes, Jen," Jason urged. "I'll call Dr. Ramon and tell him that you're going away with Michael and me, to spend the last months before it gets bad, living far away from the painful reminders. That you want to travel, or go into the woods to die. It happens all the time. He even suggested something like that, remember?" His voice was soft. "Don't be afraid. You won't be a virgin anymore. You won't die without knowing love."

"You won't hurt me?" She trembled and cried as Azrael pulled her close. "Please, I'll be good, just don't hurt me."

"Will you call me 'Master' ?" He asked, kissing her. "Give yourself to me, body and soul?"

"Yes," she whispered, giving in to the softness of his lips. She'd only been kissed once, and it was nothing like this; so warm, so sweet, just enough pressure to excite her without frightening her.

"Lift your head." His voice was soft and gentle. "It only hurts for a second." His smile was meant to reassure, as his fangs came down.

She felt his teeth on her neck, then gasped as he bit. She cried out once, and then--.

Masturbation had been out of the question for the past half a year or so. Her pain medication interfered with sensitivity. But even when she had, the feelings that she gave herself were nothing compared to this, and as he cupped a breast, gently stoking it with careful passion, she was lost.

He finished drinking, and licked the wound in her neck closed. She reached for him, but he opened his collar, and using his own nails, opened his jugular. "Drink," he urged.

She pressed her lips to his neck. How would it taste?

A bolt of exquisite pleasure shot through her as her mouth covered the wound. She had an orgasm as she held on to him, as she tasted his blood. The pleasure at once frightened her and awakened her.

Azrael let her drink. He pulled her head up only once, so that he could reopen the wound, allowing his wounded little one her full measure. "Enough now, precious, it's over."

She looked up first to Azrael then to Jason. He had watched her pleasure, her response she, blushed bright red.

Azrael smiled. "Do not be ashamed, pet. Your brother will never touch you, of course. But you will see each other from time to time in varying stages of dress, or lack thereof."

"You okay, Jenny?" Jason asked from where he leaned against Michael. There was no way for the vampires to know it, but seeing each other naked didn't bother them. Back before their parents died, they had belonged to a nudist colony.

"I won't die now?" She asked Azrael, confused but trusting. That had been fabulous.

"It will be some time before you will be healed. For about a year, you must feed from me nightly, as I feed from you. But the blood you have taken will begin to heal you." He stoked a breast through the thin cotton of her

T-shirt. "Did you enjoy it, pet, was it as delicious for you as it was for me?"

She moaned, "I--" It felt so good. She had been crushed to learn that she would, because of her illness, die a virgin. That hurt in a way she didn't understand.

"Then you will go with Megel and let him take your maidenhood?" He ripped her shirt easily, but slowly. The hand that moved slowly from her throat, down her chest found no bra, just nipples that grew hard under his tongue as he seduced her. "Say; 'Yes, Master'."

"Yes, Master." She cried under his touch. She wanted this so much. But, "please," she said, catching his hand. "You, please, let it be you."

"Jason?" Azrael looked up at him. "I gave my word, but she has asked. I will not hurt her. She is not my first virgin."

Jason had agreed earlier because he knew that Michael would be gentle. But it was obvious that Jenny wanted Azrael. No sense in beginning her new life all wrong. He shrugged. "It's her life, Master, and your business."

The Elder vampire smiled happily. "Where is your room, sweet? Before we leave here, let's finish this."

She pointed. "Down the hall." Her voice rose as his mouth returned to her breasts. "Please, oh, please." Her eyes closed as he slipped a hand into her pants, pulling them away, leaving her naked before them. "M-Master, not here."

"Jason, are you satisfied that she wants this?" Azrael let her pull closer, hiding her from all eyes. "I will take her aside and love her. Do you feel comfortable with that, or do you want to watch to know I will be gentle?"

Blushing, Jason shook his head. "No, I'd rather not. Her room is the one on the right." No, he didn't want to watch his baby sister have, sex. He understood the why and how, but he didn't want to see it. "If my Master doesn't mind, I'll call her doctor and tell him she's leaving for, oh, I don't know, Switzerland, that we're going on a European tour."

Azrael stood, holding the naked, frightened, but aroused girl in his arms. "One hour," he vowed.

Michael pulled him close as his Sire took Jenny away. "You won a point with my Master."

"Are you happy with it?" Jason felt safe. "May I call Dr. Ramon and tell him we are leaving?"

"Yes, go on, I'll be here for you when you are finished."

* * *

Azrael laid Jenny on the bed, leaning over, kissing her lightly as he undressed. "How many boyfriends have you had, pet? Or are you completely innocent?"

She smiled. "I sort of had one, once. I was fourteen, and he was a patient at the same cancer clinic." She blushed and looked away at his aroused state. "He kissed me once, but it wasn't anything like what you did."

He leaned over her, lips soft and coaxing, drawing a response. His tongue traced the contour of her lips before seeking entry to mingle with her sweet warmth. "So my kisses please you, or am I frightening you?"

Jenny shook her head as she reached up and stroked his cheek. He was so incredibly good-looking, and he wanted her. Her, sick as she was. And after connecting as they had, she wanted him more than she had ever wanted anything in her life. She might be a virgin, and young, but there was no woman born of Eve who had ever mistaken this feeling.

"I--I know it will hurt," she said looking anywhere but at him. "Jason explained things to me. That girl's hurt the first time, but that it gets better. Just like when he lets guys do it to him; it hurt the first time, but now he's used to it."

"Jenny," he chuckled, kissing her again, "the pain will be brief, a flash, nothing more. Then there will be pleasure. Trust me." He took her left breast into his mouth, tongue playing with the ring in her nipple. Pretending surprise, he said, "My, but this is sweet. Where did it come from?"

"I saw a woman with one in one of Jason's magazines, and I liked it. Jason found a guy who would do mine on his signature as guardian." This felt so good. Words just couldn't describe it. She'd never dreamed that it would feel like this. "I wanted to get the right one done, but my doctor thought I was too sick and I might not heal right."

"I will have it done for you, precious. Promise." He turned his attention to her right breast as his hand parted her legs. "You are wonderful. I am glad I chose to take you."

Jenny lay beside him, not quite shy, but reserved. No one had ever touched her this way. The sensations that coursed through her body with each lazy, gentle, stroke were from her darkest fantasies. It was so hard to believe that she was here, and that the man who made her skin tingle and brought pleasured gasps was not only a vampire, but also now her master. But he was. She knew and accepted it. Tomorrow had meaning again. For the first time in over a year, tomorrow had meaning, and it was because of this man.

He kissed a line down from her chin, down her chest, teasing first one breast, then the other. He then moved down her stomach, relishing in the gentle swell of her belly and dip to her sex.

She almost sat up as his finger parted the folds of her femaleness and tongue stroked the tender flesh within. "Oh, my God," she moaned. Her fingers locked in his hair. This was too much, too intense. Nothing in his presentation had warned her of these feelings. "Please--I--what--God." What started out as a pleasant feeling soon grew into a pressure, a pressure from deep inside her womb that began to build. An ache that caused her to thrust forward, reaching, straining, nearing something that she didn't understand, but wanted. And as the building pressure broke through and her body became locked in an overload of sensations that left her sobbing mindlessly for release, Azrael moved forward slowly. She was ready for him. At this point one brief stab of pain could easily be overlooked. Later, tonight, in his own bed, he would teach her his body, but her gift of her innocence was enough for now.

The pain was sharp. She cried out against his lips as the mark of her virginity gave way, and he buried himself inside her. "I am sorry, love, but there was no way to ease it. Better a quick thrust than to prod and so prolong the pain." His mouth softly teased hers, trying to entice her again. "Better?"

"Yes." She gave into his kisses. He moved slowly, a wonderful, slow, gentle friction that sent electrical pulses all through her body. He might not be human, but he was better than any fantasy lover she had ever dreamed could hope to be.

Azrael continued to move slowly, until she was relaxed beneath him. "Are you ready for me precious? I want you now." He thrust hard, heard her gasp as she clung to him, and fed the flame.

* * *

"Thank you, Dr. Ramon." Jason tried not to choke at Dr. Ramon's sympathy. "No, she's already packed and waiting with my lover." He grinned at Ramon's renewed surprise. "He's a good guy, no we won't be back, or at least she won't." Again he almost cried as the doctor expressed sympathy. It had almost been real; a few months more, maybe a year was all that she had had. "You've been good to her, you'll never know what that means to us. She'll always think well of you, and I will spend the rest of my life, thankful." Again, the wait, "I'll give her your love. Thank you, Dr. Ramon, God be with you." He hung up the phone, turning to sob into Michael's chest. Less than five hours ago, his sister had been dying. Now, she, would live, God, what a relief.

Michael lifted him, moving towards the couch. "Go on pet, cry, it has been a soul-tearing time for you." He held him, rocking slowly.

* * *

Jenny stretched. It had been wonderful. She had always known that sex would be fun. Jason had explained things in detail to her, showing her a man's body and explaining how a woman responded, but somehow she didn't think he fully grasped the situation.

"Did I hurt you, child?" She was still weak. Azrael looked down at her, noticing for the first time how wan she looked. It would take time, but he would see her strength built up again.


He stroked her hair, and it moved. "What happened to your hair, love?" He asked, pulling off her wig. She was bald, with only a little wisp of hair along her former hairline.

"Chemo and radiation." He'd helped her to forget the wig, but now she couldn't face him. Her hair was gone. She turned away, ducking her head. "Please, don't look at me. I'm ugly."

"Nonsense," he said, meaning it. "You are not ugly. It will grow back, and until then, I will not have you wearing a wig. Be yourself."

"But--" She was ashamed of her looks. Women weren't supposed to be bald.

"Your appearance does not repulse me, sweet," he soothed, stroking her head. "We'll shave this little leftover hair off, and then it will grow back at the same time. You are still lovely to me. I want to see the real you. Time is all you need. Your hair will grow again. I will feed you and help you to regain your strength and looks." He knew how ashamed she was of her looks now. It was important to make her understand that it wasn't important to him. That she would be cared for and loved for herself, and that she was beautiful just the way she was.

She looked up at him, confused. He was so beautiful. How could he look at her now, skinny, no boobs, no hips, fish white and bald. "You--you don't care?" she sniffed.

"Of course I care, but not because you are bald, precious. It was not your fault. It is a mark of pride. You were willing to fight, to do whatever you had to do to live. Be proud of that. I know there are a great many who would have lain down and given up."

"Please," she begged. "Please, Azrael, let me have my wig back. I feel so ugly like this."

"Why? You have a nice shape to your skull, and your face is fine-boned. You are quite lovely without your hair. Perhaps we should tattoo your scalp. It may take many months before the blood fully heals all the damage and your hair starts to grow."

She looked up at him, trying to determine if he was telling the truth or just being nice. The thought of a vampire lying in bed with her, and trying to spare her feelings, was a wild one. "Please."

"No. Do not ask again pet. I have made up my mind. No wigs, no lies. I accept you as you are." He held her as she cried, stroking the soft, smooth skin of her scalp, planting playful kisses all over her head. "Now answer me sweet, did I hurt you badly? Will you welcome my touch again, or have I

frightened you?"

"Did I do all right?" She cuddled close, rubbing her cheek on his shoulder. "I mean it was great, but I don't know anything, was I horrible?"

Azrael chuckled. "No Jenny, you were not 'horrible' . You were honest in your response. You were wonderful. I will teach you how to return my affections later tonight. You have good instincts. You are as open and loving as your brother."

"Jason explained sex to me when I was fourteen, just after my parents died. I wasn't totally stupid. I knew where babies came from and all of that, but I didn't quite get what was so great about it. My grandmother lived here until last May, when she died, and she wouldn't answer my questions. She said it was better that I didn't know. I'd never have a husband, so what I didn't know I wouldn't miss. Jason argued the point. Well, to make a long story short, one day when she was out shopping he took me into his room and told me all about it." She blushed brightly. "Though I'm going to have to tell him, he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to how a woman likes it." The blush deepened as Azrael laughed. "He even showed me how to touch myself."

"Your brother is a sweet boy. Not many brothers could look at the situation you were faced with and get past all the social taboos placed on siblings to show you what you needed to learn."

"Like I said, I wasn't totally blind and stupid. I spent many summers, before I got sick, with my parents at a nudist colony. I knew what everything looked like, and theoretically how it all worked together. I just couldn't figure out what all the big deal was." A soft, girlish giggle, "now I feel real dumb. Had I known it would be like that, I'd have started jumping boys at twelve."

He felt her shudder as his mouth devoured hers. She was as loving as any pet could be. "Later, pet. Once we are at home, I will take up where your brother left off, and teach you all the things he never could." He felt himself

harden again as she pressed her slender body against his. She had gifted him her innocence. He was her first, and, with maybe the exception of Megel, and any other male pets, the only man. "Perhaps," he murmured, his mouth moving over her face, down her throat, "now is as good a time as any. I want you, Jenny. Is it too soon? Will you give yourself to me again now?"

"Can I touch you?" She wanted to so badly, she had been curious for so long. "Please."

Azrael lay back, pulling her with him. "Give me your hand, love." He kissed the palm. "I will lie here for you. Feel free. Ask any question. Touch any part of my body you wish. I am as much yours as you are mine." He wiped a stray tear from her cheek. "But first, let me gift you with this; a new name, to start your new life. Jenny died this night, and will never return. You are not the same, poor, little sick girl who was waiting to die."

"A new name?"

"Yes, I do not usually do this, but it is appropriate for you. I will call you, Morgan, the German for 'morning' , a new day." He smiled as she sat up.

"Do you like it, pet?"

"Morgan. I like it, Azrael. Thank you."

"You are welcome, sweet. Now go on. Touch me. I grow anxious to feel your hands on my body."

She giggled nervously and reached out to touch his cheek. He was gorgeous. She knew several of her friends who would kill to have him, and he was hers. For a century and a half, he was hers. The thought thrilled her. She was his, always, and he was nice. No asshole teenager, no abusive drunk, he held her life and he made her feel safe.

"I want you to kiss everything that you touch, Morgan. Let me feel your mouth as well as your hands." He caught the hand that rested on his cheek. "Kiss everything, pet. Learn my scent and my taste."

She turned a bright red. "You want me to blow you." She couldn't look him in the eyes.

"I hate that term, but yes, I want to feel your mouth on me. Touch and taste me." Move her on. "Tell me you love me, Morgan. Tell your master how much you love him."

She slowly leaned forward, cupping his face in her hands. "I love you." She spoke softly, and met his eyes. "I love you, Master. Do you love me?"

"Yes, pet. I am becoming quite fond of you, and will grow to love you dearly. Take my promise, I will always love you."

He was a little surprised at the passion that was present in her kiss. Her aggression was nearly wanton. He let her make the moves, opened his mouth to her tongue as it bravely sought entry. Oh, she was such a delight.

Gently, her hand trembling, she stroked his right nipple. "When you touched me like this, it felt great. Do you--does a guy like this?"

"Yes," he whispered as her mouth replaced her hand. It had been centuries since anyone moved him like this. Not even Jenna, who gave up her whole identity to him, had ever made him feel like this. She was so young, so innocent. Virginal, in so many ways, yet so eager, it took all his self-control to keep from throwing her down and taking her. "You do that well, precious. I long for your touch."

She went for his throat, kissing, licking, biting, and throwing shyness to the wind. Her hands stroked down his chest and abdomen, exploring every contour. Mouth and tongue followed. This man, this creature, saved her life, gave her so much that she would have lost. She'd do anything he asked of her.

Shyness returned when she wrapped her fingers around his erection. "It's so big," came, the classic virgin's awed remark. "I'm glad I didn't get a good look at it before we made love." 'Made love' . What a wonderful, phrase, it was. "I think I might have freaked out."

He chuckled. "Thank you for the praise, pet. But never be afraid of me like this. I will never hurt you with it, not intentionally."

"Master," she bent to kiss the tip. "Are you gonna, I mean a hundred and fifty years is a long time, are you gonna teach me things?"

"When it comes to our nights, Morgan, I will teach you to welcome my touch any way I choose to love you. I will teach you everything. We will explore many different types of pleasure. Some will be both joyful and frightening. Some may even hurt at the beginning, but never always. Time is on your side. You will come to love, and beg for, anything I grant you."

She was glad. Now that she had felt this, she wanted to explore anything two people could do to each other to bring pleasure. She stoked his penis, smiled as he groaned. "Yes, go on, pet. I need to feel your mouth on me."

His hands locked behind her head as her mouth took him. It was wonderful. She was so incredibly eager to please. It was so different from when he had first taken his girls. None of them had been innocent. They all had been forced to learn the ways of men at an early age. But his new sweet pet, this was all new to her. She had never touched a man before, so her innocent advances were delightful torment.

She pulled away, resting her head on his leg as she continued to play with him, watching it jump, hearing his gasp as she gently squeezed his balls. He liked this, she could tell, innocent though she was. He moaned and whispered words of encouragement as she continued to caress him.

She wondered what it would taste like, if he came, as his hands directed her to take him in her mouth again. Would it be gross or what, and if she really hated it, would she still have to do it?

"Yes, pet, you will please me with your hands and mouth at least once a day. But it is not like you think. Trust me, you will love it." He didn't laugh as she froze. "I read your mind, Morgan. Your thoughts are open to me." He couldn't stand it any longer. "Come here, you can finish this later."

Her legs opened freely as he pinned her to the bed. His first thrust caused stars to twinkle behind her eyes. God, this was great. He could do this every hour on the hour forever and she would welcome it.

Azrael froze inside her, buried deep, not moving. "Do you like my love, pet?" His mouth was almost brutal this time. "Beg me to take you. No, half effort, this time, no shyness, beg me to make you mine."

"Yes," she shifted her hips, trying to thrust up. It only buried him deeper. "Please--oh--God--Azrael, please!"

"Call me 'Master', Morgan. No shyness this time, tell me what you want from me."

"Please, Master." She could have screamed. "'Fuck me', please, oh, Master, now."

"No, pet." He kissed her cheek. "Do not use those words. I will never 'fuck' you. That is too cold, too heartless. I will love you, and always make love."

She broke down into tears. It was the last thing she had thought he'd say. "Master," she whispered, "please, make love to me. I'm begging, please I--I need you."

This time there was no holding back. He fed his love into her freely. Thrusting with a force that stunned them both.

* * *

Jason jumped at the scream. "Jenny!" He tried to rush to save her.

"No, pet," Michael caught him.


"That was a scream of passion. I feel no wrong." The vampire held Jason in a steel grip. "I swear it."

"You sure?"

"Yes. Listen. See, no more, just the one. Azrael can be quite talented when he wants to be. Your sister was a virgin, untouched. I'm sure he's going out of his way to make sure she thoroughly enjoys herself." Jason's protectiveness could be a problem. "Jason, you must let go. She is your sister, but she's no longer your responsibility. She belongs to Azrael now. To do with as he sees fit."

Jason looked down. "Yes, Master." This was going to be tough. 'I don't have any say with her, now' . Azrael could, and would, do whatever he wanted to Jenny. "I love you, I believe you, but--he really won't hurt her, will he?"

"Not without reason." They could hear the soft noises from the bedroom. Her voice rose occasionally, begging for more. "See, she is fine." The sounds had an erotic effect on him. His mind touched Jason's lightly, easing his fears.

"If he is half as good as you are, she's better than fine." Jason worked his fingers into Michael's hair. He loved feeling the long soft mane. It felt like silk in his fingers. "I can't stop touching you."

"Then don't, I love when you do." Would there be time? "I want you. Will you undress for me?"

Startled, Jason pulled back. "Anytime, always, but what if--"

"You and Jenny must get over that. You will never be asked to touch her or her you. But you will have to learn to accept it."

Jason stripped quickly. "Where do you want me, Master?" He dropped to his knees before him.

"On the kitchen table." Yes, he would have to explore this submissive side fully with his lover. The boy would learn to bend to his every desire.

* * *

Azrael helped Morgan pick out clothes, taking over her makeup as he teasingly flirted with her. "See, precious, you are quite lovely." She beamed at her reflection in the mirror, feeling beautiful for the first time in years.

* * *

They walked into the kitchen just as Michael took Jason. "I see that we were not the only two to take this time to share our affections," Azrael remarked in a tone that suggested that this was as common as talking about the weather. He smiled down at his new pet as she blushed. "He's not being hurt."

"You gonna do that to me?"

"Yes, eventually, but not until we've explored a bit more." He pulled her close. "Watch, pet. See that you are not the only one who is well loved. Watch your brother enjoy his master."

She felt like a Peeping Tom as she obeyed. Azrael moved her closer so that she could see every move, from Jason's shudders of pleasure, to Michael's hand as it stroked him in rhythm with his thrusts. Their mingled sounds of pleasure were exciting.

"Go get a washcloth, Morgan." Azrael whispered. "When Megel is finished, you will offer to wash him. Show him that you are helpful. Let them know that their request that I care for you was a good one."

Jason felt Michael cum as his release took him. He sobbed his pleasure. This man, his master and lover, would never deny him this, and it was wonderful.

Michael withdrew and pulled Jason into his arms. "I love you, pet. Remember that, if I forget to tell you enough."

Jason smiled up at him. "I know."

"You are both turning positively hedonistic," Azrael chided. "Let the boy be for a while, Megel. He is not going anywhere. You do not have to wear him out."

"Yes, I know I should go easy on him," Michael admitted, "but he drives me mad. I can't seem to get enough of him. Besides, I had to give him something to do to keep him from rushing in and disturbing you." He grinned. "When she screamed that once, you almost had an audience."

"Really? Jason, surely you do not think I would hurt her?" Jason mumbled something at his feet. Azrael patted him on the shoulder. "I understand, boy."

"Thank you, sir."

Morgan returned with the washcloth.

"Let her clean you up, Megel," Azrael suggested. "If he does, we will be here half the night."

She reached; out suddenly shy, to wash Michael's manhood. "Oh, thank you dear," he encouraged. Such wonderful hands she had. "You are such a sweet thing. Perhaps if Jay is ever successful and gets Azrael into the bed, you will spend time with me."

"I--uh," she looked from him to Azrael. What was she supposed to say?

"I wouldn't hurt you, Jenny. You would feel safe and loved in my arms."


"Excuse me?" He didn't understand.

"My name is Morgan. He, my master, he gave me a pretty new name to go with my new life." She pulled away, turning to Jason. "I love you." She broke down into tears as she threw herself into his arms, heedless of his lack of clothes. "He gave me a new name, say's he'll always love me." She looked up at her big brother, he that had always taken care of her. Sold his body to make sure she was kept up sold his soul for her life. "He made love to me. Me!" She thumped herself on the chest to emphasize. "He likes the way I look, I don't have to hide this." She pointed to her head. "Wants me like I am." She was almost hysterical as Jason rocked her gently in his arms letting her cry. "Thank you, thank you."

"I love you, squirt. You're my sister, my only baby sister. I've loved you since Mom and Dad brought you home from the hospital and laid you in my lap and told me that I was your big brother and it was my job to help take care of you. You'll be happy again, and for that I'd have sold my soul to the devil." He looked up a Michael. "We were just lucky and got angels instead."

Azrael came up beside them. "Are you all right, precious?" He didn't pull her away from her brother. He didn't have to. She turned to him freely, letting him hold her.

"I'm taking Jason." Michael strove to keep his tone light as he dressed. "He's starved, we're going to go and eat. Then maybe we'll go dancing. Do you want to come along? Or will you take the car and go home?"

"Morgan, do you want to come with me, or would you like to go dancing with Megel and Jason?"

"I'm not old enough for the places they can go. I can't get in."

"Yes, you can." Azrael loved breaking some of the more trivial rules of mortals. "Trust me. No one will stop you from doing anything you want. I could strip you naked and take you in the middle of the dance floor and no one would notice. I am a vampire, pet. I have powers that protect me and mine."

Morgan looked at her brother and Michael. "Do you mind?"

"Not at all." Michael said. "Say you'll come. Join us, Master, I've been missing life for so long."

"Very well." It was good to see Michael enjoying himself again. "Are you hungry, Morgan?"


"Then let's go."


Full of Chinese and still blushing from Azrael's flirtatious nature, Morgan entered the club on her master's arm. It was still difficult to believe that no one saw her, but as Azrael led her into the room, the bouncer's eyes simply moved over her and stopped on Michael and Jason, who were immediately carded.

"I'll be back in a moment." Michael needed to rid himself of the food he had eaten. "Jason, stay with Azrael."

"I still do not understand your love for the stuff," Azrael commented, shaking his head. He'd lost interest in food shortly after becoming a vampire.

"I just do, okay?" Michael smiled. The argument was an old one. Azrael had spent part of Michael's century of service trying to break him of eating food. It hadn't worked then, and it wasn't going to work now. He made a short bow and stepped away.

Morgan looked around. The club was a large room, with tables and chairs clustered around three sides of a stage-like dance-floor. Booths lined the walls, except for large double doors that led to the garden. There were a lot of men in the club, and they were all together. "We're in a gay club."

"Why, yes, I believe you are right." Azrael couldn't help but tease the girl. "You and I may be for all intents and purposes invisible, but Megel wants to flaunt his new pet. He wants others to look at him in lust and envy." He winked at Jason. "He is quite infatuated with your brother."

"Could I really attack him on the dance floor and no one notice?" Jason asked.

"No, not you. Megel wants people to notice you. Look around you, already men see you."

Jason looked around. Men were looking at him. Some were simply looking, warming up their pick-up lines, while a few had a cruel glint to their eye. They made him glad Michael returned at that moment. Oh, he wanted them to see him, his ego needed their admiration, but he wanted them to see him with his new love.

Michael was surprised in the strength in Jason's arms when he held him. "Shall we dance?" he asked, feeling Jason's fear, and deducing the cause.


It was wonderful, the song was slow, and Michael held him close as they slowly swayed to the music. They were together, so close. It was beautiful. He ignored the openly lustful looks of some men preferring to, lose, himself in the beauty. "Michael," he breathed.

"Yes." Michael opened his eyes and he looked down at Jason with a look of pure pleasure.

"I'm really going to live with you for one hundred and fifty years. That's a long time. You won't get tired of me, will you?"

"It's not a long time for one of my kind. We live for a very long time. We don't know how long our lives really are. Many of us have been killed, and some have committed suicide. The oldest one I know is almost sixteen thousand years old. She's a recluse, now, and too old to need a lot of blood. She might need to feed once a decade."

Jason didn't want to think how long that was. "Wow."

"Yes. Why are you asking, pet? Have I somehow made you feel that I would ever throw you out?"

"No." Jason moved closer. "It's just that--Azrael did. He gave you that girl. I was just wondering."

"You will never have to worry about that. Nicole was not compatible with my master. Their differences would have eventually made living together difficult. Yet he did not want to just cast her off to die, and she would, when the need for his blood came. He loved his pet, and there is no doubt to him or to me, she tried. But they just were not meant to be a pair. He gave her to me, knowing that I was far better suited to her. I will be more apt to come up with the correct ways to break her."

'Break her'. The words made his blood run cold. "You're going to hurt her, aren't you?"

"No, not really. I'm not Azrael. I happen to approve of, and enjoy, her quick temper. I like a good fight every now and then. But I will have her; she will be mine. Unlike you," Michael's smile made the world light up, "she will fight giving up her total self. Azrael is lenient in that. He's reached an age where eccentricity is expected, so his lightness of his hand is overlooked."

"I wouldn't worry about it." Jason said, grinning. "All you have to do is pin her to the bed for a few hours. She'll do anything to stay."

Michael laughed, bending to nip at his nose. "You are-" He froze, senses open.


Vampires, three of them, they had just arrived, and they stood not thirty feet away. They studied him, suspicious and curious.

He risked a look. The Sire was blond-haired, with gray eyes, about his own height. His Brood was an odd pair; a cute young man, who looked even more a boy than Jason

did. With mouse-brown hair, dusky skin, and a nose ring and a tall woman with long, flowing, brown hair. Lovely figure, *peace. * He sent to them, softly. *I am here to enjoy the club, nothing more. *

*Who are you? * The woman demanded. *You are not from here. *

*I am Megel. My Sire is Azrael. I am visiting. I will not poach on your territory. I am not moving in. * He moved off the dance floor slowly. Jason held tight to his body, away from the three.

*You're Azrael's? * The Sire asked, leading the other two over. "Good evening," he said aloud, bowing slightly when he reached Michael.

"I was not aware that there would be any Kin here, or I would have announced myself." Michael motioned for Jason to a chair. "I am called Michael."

"I'm David. This is Anna, my First-Born, and Joseph." When Azrael came over, he said with respect, "Hello, Elder."

Michael relaxed. These weren't rogues, the castoffs from careless blood. This Sire had been trained. It was doubly apparent in his acknowledgment of Jason and Morgan. "The two children, they have been marked. I assume they have been taken?"

"Yes," Azrael motioned for them to pull up chairs. "This is Morgan. She is mine. And that is Jason, Megel's Chosen."

David nodded to both mortals, smiling, his eyes locking with Jason's. "Hello, little brother." Then to Azrael, "Anna and Joseph are my Brood."

There was something familiar about the young Sire's energy. "Who was your Sire?"


"Ah," he nodded. Yes he knew that pattern. "And how is the old girl? I have not seen her in over 300 years."

"She lives in Canada now. She mentioned you when I moved here. She told me that this was your area, and that I wouldn't have any trouble from you as long as I left you alone."

"She was right. I do not hunt for food anymore, so I have no problem with you being here, as long as you are neat."

David chuckled. "I have never hunted. But we keep the riffraff out. I like this place and won't have trouble."

Looking at the young vampires, Azrael said, "You are quite young to have two Fledglings. You seem barely old enough to be out alone."

"I am one hundred and fifty-one," David said, straightening in his chair.

"I was with Sharra for almost sixteen years before she gave me the gift. I was an orphan. She was practically my mother before she changed me. I served my time well."

Michael laid a calming hand on David's arm. "Yes. You've been trained well. My master was not implying that you were incapable, just noticing that you were young."

"Excuse me." Anna said. This was going to be a long, boring talk on the politics of the Undead. "If you would like, these two can go with us and dance. Give the three of you time to catch up."

Michael and Azrael looked at David. "Let them play," the younger vampire said. "No harm will come to either. I'm nowhere near your league. I'm the least of your worries."

"Go on, you two," Azrael said, kissing the top of Morgan's head. "Have a good time. Adult talk always bores the young."

"Both of you, stay with them," Michael urged. "If you separate, the illusion could be lost."

"Don't take too long." Jason said, leaning over to kiss Michael. "Master."

Joseph chuckled. "I'm impressed. He's a sweet boy." He held out his hand. "Will you dance with me?"

"No, Joey." Anna pushed Morgan toward him. "This one is still very young. I think dancing with me would embarrass her."

"No, it wouldn't." Morgan blurted before she knew what she was saying. "I mean, if you don't mind, I don't." There was so much she wanted to explore.

Anna laughed, pulling her into her arms. She draped one over Morgan's shoulder before turning back to the table. "Elders," she said with a nod, to Azrael and Michael, "what liberties, if any, are permitted? If the song is slow, may we hold them and show our pleasure?"

"Oh, the lustiness of youth," Azrael's voice was low with soft amusement. "To be your age, again. My dear, just try not to bump into anyone or draw attention to your activities."

"And don't go any farther than they are comfortable," David warned, giving Joseph a meaningful glance. "We don't know how long their lords have held them. You might frighten them."

"Of course," Anna huffed, "Master." She bent and kissed him on the cheek. "This isn't the first pet we've held. You know that."

The sternness in David's face melted, and Michael could see how young this one really was. No wonder he struggled so to do everything by the book. Michael was certain that both Fledglings' training was extensive.

After the young ones left, the three men shifted into relaxed, yet alert, states. "Now that the kids have gone off to play," David said, "greetings Elder and Sir. Forgive the challenge, I meant no disrespect."

Michael waved it away. "I was a stranger in your territory, a potential threat. You would have been unforgivably lax had you not. And please, forgo the formalities, we are out to have a good time. My master named me Megel."

David smiled and relaxed even more. "And mine gave me the name Vincent."

"It suits you better than David." Azrael commented.

"Thank you, but David was the name I was born with. Among mortals, it is less painful. Vincent is a name too close to my core for just anyone to use."

The Elder vampires nodded in complete understanding.

Azrael took up the conversation. "I wish I had known of you sooner. Perhaps I am getting odd in my old age, but I would have enjoyed running a covenstead. You must come and visit. Stay as long as you wish if you would like. Your pets could get to know mine."

Vincent had been taken aback by the open display of friendship. Sharra had taught him that their kind was mostly solitary, which was why they took pets and passed the blood for companionship and food. Yet, here was an Elder, a highly respected Elder, offering his home, offering to open a covenstead, a house for the Vampyr.

Reading his thoughts, Azrael waved a dismissive hand. "Oh, pooh. Sharra and I go way back. Our Sires had the same Sire. We were practically raised together. I would be craven indeed if I did not offer my hearth and help to her Fledglings. You are allowed to seek out other adults for aid you know, just not your Sire." He grinned. "Besides I have four female pets and three of them are complaining that they are not allowed to see enough of me to suit them. Morgan has just been taken, so I will be spending most of my time with her for a while."

David laughed. "Joseph and I will offer what assistance we can. I'm not sure if our pets are what you would consider suitable for your ladies' needs, but if you ask, I offer them."

Michael laughed. "Listen to the two of you. You are making plans to open a den of iniquity."

Both men turned to look at him. David's eyebrow raised. "And?'

"Where are you going with this, Megel?" Azrael finished.

"Nowhere, Jason will love it." He turned to seek out his Chosen.

Joseph smiled down at Jason. "You seem nervous. You haven't been dealing with our kind for long, have you?"

"No. Yesterday was my first time." He grinned back, glad that Joseph had noticed and seemed to understand his feelings.

"And your master lets you out of the house already? My, but you are good. Your master must be very talented."

Jason nodded grinning. "Sinfully so."

To Joseph's credit, he tried not to laugh, but he only ended up choking on his amusement. "I envy your master. You are a doll." He kissed Jason lightly, pulling back a bit to see if Jason would protest.

"Hey," Jason was a little startled by the quick kiss, but he recovered quickly. "Where are you going?" His hand reached up to pull Joseph's face to his. Okay, so maybe he 'was' gay.

Joseph added strength to the protective illusion around them. Now was 'not' the time to draw attention.

Jason moaned softly under the kiss. Joseph cupped his ass and ground his pelvis slowly against Jason's. "Would your master allow me to take you to the side? I won't hurt you."

Jason looked up catching Michael's eye. He wasn't surprised to see his, Master watching him. *Yes, pet, go on and enjoy. I know you are mine. I'm not jealous. *

"I'd like that. He doesn't mind." His arms wrapped around the vampire's neck as they kissed.

"Follow me." They went to the double doors.

* * *

Morgan watched them leave. "Where are they going?"

"Probably to a quiet corner. That boy is too much a temptation for Joey." She hugged her. "How old are you?"


"How long have you been with your master?" 'This girl is very young' , she thought. 'She must be new' .

"He did it a few hours ago. Jason is my brother. He talked Azrael into taking me. So I wouldn't die." She pointed to her bald scalp. "Brain tumor."

"Oh." Anna laughed with embarrassment. "And here I thought you'd done that to your hair because you liked it. You are so pretty like this. I never imagined that you were sick." She looked closely at Morgan. "Though now that you have told me, I can see the marks of the illness. Forgive me; I'm new to the Vampyr."

"You really think I'm pretty?"

"Yes. You're adorable. I like it." She lifted her chin. "Have you ever been kissed by a girl, honey?"

"No." Morgan shook her head. "Before tonight, I was a virgin. Too sick to be interested in guys." She was both excited and nervous. Would Anna do it; would she kiss her? What would it be like?

"Would it bother you if I did?" Anna asked. "Can I take you aside, like Joey did your brother?" She stroked Morgan's Cheek. "I'll show you something like you've never dreamed of."

Morgan bit her lip. Did she dare? Did Azrael want her to? It had seemed to her as though he'd given permission. If she refused, would she be disobedient? Or should she accept? She wanted to accept. "I--let me ask."

*Go on pet. * Azrael's mental laughter sprinkled across her mind at her surprise. *I have kept an ear out for you. I will be here for you if you need me. Go on and have a good time, you need to learn this, anyway. *

"And?" Anna urged. She recognized the look of communication. She'd worn it often during her first months with David.

"No one will see us?"

"Not a soul, pet." The girl was plainly intrigued. "The only ones who could see us are our masters. Not even the cameras will pick it up. So, will you come with me?"

Morgan smiled, nodded, felt a blush cover her cheeks. "I don't know anything," she warned.

Anna pulled her close as they headed for the garden. There, bushes and paths were arranged to make private little spots. With her illusion, they would be as alone as if they were in a bedroom.

A few couples were taking advantage of the privacy. They passed Joseph and Jason, who hadn't wasted time. Jason, naked, sat on Joseph's lap, impaled on his hardness.

"I see your little one is as friendly as my new friend," Anna remarked, gently squeezing Morgan.

"Yes," Joseph murmured, running his lips down Jason's spine. "The Elders sure know how to train their pets. I envy them this devotion."

"Well, maybe if our master makes nice, we'll have others of our kind to socialize with." She grinned as Joseph thrust up, causing Jason to cry out softly.

"I'm not hurting you, am I?" Joseph asked, concerned. "Were you a virgin last night?"

"No, God, no." Jason didn't want to start thinking how off 'that' question was. "Please." His whole body stiffened as a firm, cool hand found him and began to set up rhythm.

"See, your brother is fine," Anna said, seeing the expression on Morgan's face. "Joey would rather die than hurt him. If he did, David would probably see to it, personally." She led Morgan to a bench. "Will you sit with me, honey? I won't do anything to scare you. Just tell me if I move too fast."

Morgan let Anna pull her onto her lap. "You're gonna--you wanna do that--don't you?" Homosexuality had never really bothered her. Jason had carefully explained it to her, back when she first found out about his night job. But the reality was not what she'd expected. Anticipation, nervousness, and excitement mingled.

"Only if you say 'yes' . Would you like that? It's different, of course, but very nice." Anna didn't use her power. She tilted Morgan's chin so that she could kiss the girl lightly. "Say, 'yes' , Morgan. Let me make love to you."

Morgan opened her mouth to Anna's seeking tongue. One of the woman's cool hands reached under her blouse, reaching for the back of her bra. "It's in the front." She giggled, helping to unbutton her shirt.

"Let me." Anna caught her hands, kissing them. "Just lay here and let me. Promise that you'll tell me if you don't like something. Don't be afraid. I've already fed tonight. I won't hurt you."

Morgan froze. "You're a vampire?" She had misunderstood she thought that Anna was like her, a pet. She had been wrong.

"Yes. I thought I told you." Would there be a problem? She let Morgan sit up. "I'm David's Fledgling, I've only been a vampire for four years, but I am one. Does it matter?"

"Are you gonna bite me?"

"No!" She shook her head forcefully. "Your master would feast on my soul if I did, and rightly so. No, baby, I only want to hold you. Nothing more I won't, let anything bad happen to you. I promise."

Morgan sighed and relaxed. "Okay." She leaned back into Anna's arms. "I'm okay, now."

"You are so pretty." Anna finished unbuttoning her blouse. "Poor thing; you're skin and bones. I hope that master of yours plan on fattening you up."

"He says so." She looked down as Anna unfastened her bra. Fascinated by the hand that gently touched her. It felt different from when Azrael had touched her. Not better, not worse, just different. "Can I touch you, too?"

"Wait. Let me finish my play, first. Then we will explore your new interests." She pulled at the ring gently. "This is pretty, too."

Morgan wanted to agree, but all she could do was moan and hold onto Anna's head, as a warm mouth opened to lick and nibble at her breasts. It was wonderful.

She lifted her hips freely as Anna struggled to remove her pants. "Stand up, baby. Let's get you undressed. I want to see you."

She looked around shyly. "No one?"

"Will see us, I assure you. Now come here. You're so pretty. I am glad that Azrael saved you. It would be such a waste of beauty to let you die." The girl really was quite lovely, in a delicate way. "You might want to ask your master if he would like you to shave this," she suggested, hand covering Morgan's sex. "I find that most men, be they mortal or no, find it to be very pleasing." Anna's kiss was light as she warmed the young mortal in her arms, her fingers seeking the sweet warmth as Morgan's thighs parted. "You have just become a woman?"

"Yes," Morgan moaned low, as soft, firm, cool fingers found her.

"Do you like it? Should I stop?" Anna thrust deep, her thumb zeroing in on Morgan's center of pleasure.

"Yes, it's, God, Anna." Morgan's arms wrapped around her, fingers twining in the woman's hair as she pulled her face down, kissing with hungry want. This was cool; in one night she had been saved; met and belonged to a vampire, a real one; lost her virginity; gained a hundred and fifty years, and now was getting to explore the other side, too. She'd have to tell Azrael how much she liked this, and thank him.

Anna wadded Morgan's clothes to make a pillow. "Straddle the bench, Morgan. Let me love you." She leaned down to kiss her, running her hands up and down her body. "I'm going to make love to you now, sweetie. Let me show you such wonderful things."

Morgan reached out to touch Anna's left breast. The woman wore no bra, and she could feel the cool flesh through the thin silk. The nipples hardened under her touch. "Hurry." She wanted to touch her. Azrael had shown her how much fun touching was. Her natural desire and curiosity grew stronger.

'Gods, she's a treasure' . Anna was amazed as she moved down Morgan's body, making love to the sweet girl's breasts, listening with growing pleasure to Morgan's soft whimpers of excitement. She would have to beg David to let her find herself a little pet like this.

She could taste the remnants of previous sex, but it only added to the moment. The child tasted sweet. Her responses were honest as she cried out, begging for more, no shyness, no restraint. Yes, she would have to have one of her own like this, sweet and innocent.

Morgan couldn't believe how if felt. It was so different, yet so much like when Azrael had done it. She loved it, but deep in her soul she wished it were Azrael making her feel like this, and not the new friend.

*Ssshh, * Azrael sent. *I will always make you feel wonderful. Enjoy your time for what it is. Do not worry about me. Have fun. *

Morgan gasped as every muscle in her body began to tense. She felt herself building for release, going higher and higher. She made a, soft, mewing sound in the back of her throat, as breathing became hard.

Her voice echoed through the night as the point broke and the ecstasy slammed back down into her body. Hands clutched at Anna's hair as her body throbbed and pulsated in wild abandon.

Anna held on, tongue flicking fast and hard against her clitorisorisoris, fingers thrusting with frantic rhythm. The child was so open her pleasure so incredibly complex. After she left tonight, she knew two men who were in serious danger of rape.

"Please--" The build and release came faster, one following hard on the other. The pleasure became sweet pain. She loved it, wanted it, but it was too much. "Oh, 'please' !"

Anna slowed, opening her mouth to capture the tender flesh with her teeth, refusing to just pull away. She could feel the little girl sobbing beneath her. "You are so sweet." She kissed her throbbing sex softly before moving up to kiss her. "Are you all right? Ssshh, why the tears? I didn't hurt you, did I?" She fussed. "Tell me. You should have told me. I would have stopped."

"No--oh--no." Morgan blushed. "It--it was wonderful. It just--there, at the end, I--I wanted to lose myself in it, but it was too much."

"You should beg your master to tie you down and take you to the final point. I believe you would like that." Her skin was so soft. Anna really did envy the Elder this pet. "Thank you, sweetheart. I enjoyed myself greatly."

"But you didn't," how could she be satisfied now?

"Not yet. I hoped you would be willing to love me, too." Now they were in new territory. It was one thing to allow this to happen, but to actively take part?

"I'm not real good. I don't know how." Morgan pulled Anna's blouse from her skirt. "I've never--"

"Nonsense." Anna removed her blouse. "I found you quite marvelous. Honest desire is so much more important than skill, Morgan. Skill can be taught, but desire and want? That, my dear, must come naturally. Just do what you want, what you think would feel good. I have faith in you."

Morgan was fascinated by the size of Anna's nipples, by her breasts. She ran her hands over them, sucked hard, using her mouth and her jaw muscles. Azrael's nipples had been tiny, the breasts flat with muscle, but these were wonderfully huge. She could latch onto one and feel it harden in her mouth.

She was on fire. She wanted this, so badly. Her fingers fought with Anna's buckle as she finished undressing her new lover.

Anna cried out as Morgan's mouth covered hers. The girl was wild. She 'did' want this. There was no doubt in Anna's mind now, as she attacked her with one intent and one only; to see her taken down the same path that she had so recently been led.

It was unlike anything Morgan had ever thought. The scent was erotic, causing her groin to spasm again. The taste was without comparison. She licked greedily, sucking on the swollen pleasure point as her fingers slid in. She hoped that Azrael's other pets were into this. She would love to be able to explore this to its fullest.

Anna rode the waves out, lost in the wonderful feelings that had been gifted her. "Enough, baby." She pulled her away. "Come here."

"You liked it, didn't you?" She pinned her down, kissing her. "I heard you."

"Liked it, baby? Your master is indeed fortunate above any other. You were wonderful. I am honored that you gave yourself to me and were willing to gift me with your first. I strongly hope that it won't be our last."

"Me, too."

A rustle caught their attention. "Are you two finished?" Joseph asked as he and Jason stepped around the bend. Jason was still locked in his arms. "I haven't heard you respond like that in a while."

"I enjoyed myself immensely." She drew Morgan close. "As did you." Then she grinned at Joseph. "I seriously need a man right about now. I'm sure my sweet one here does too. Is the boy any good?"

"Is that so, sweetheart?" Joseph knelt in front of Morgan. "Do you want me to ease your needs, or do you plan to run to your master for that?" His smile was soft. "Or maybe you'd prefer Jason, you know him."

She shook her head. "He's my brother."

"Oops. Forget I suggested that. Do you want us to take you back, now?"

"I'm sorry, but..."

"It's okay, honey," Anna gave her another hug. "Here, let's get dressed. Naturally you want your master now. This is still all so new for you."

* * *

Azrael welcomed Morgan into his arms as she pulled close. "I felt your pleasure, pet. I enjoyed it." He kissed her. "Ssshh, it is all right, I'm here."

David looked at his two. "Azrael has offered us his house. He will open a covenstead. How do you two feel about that?"

"I'm for it, if he doesn't mind all of us." Joseph smiled at Jason. "I personally would like to see how they train. You should have seen this boy."

"Are you ready to go, pet?" Michael smiled down at Jason. "Or do you want to stay and dance some more?"

"Go home." He nuzzled Michael's neck. "Pin you to a bed and rape you."

"Oh, my. I've created a monster." Michael loved it. "Will you three ride with us? Once you know where it is, you can walk the Dark Paths to get your belongings."

"Are you sure of this, Elder? It is an honor for sure, but do you truly wish to open your lair?" David wanted to make sure.

"I offered it, did I not? I am of the age where there are damn few who would try to force anything on me. There is a small few that are older and more powerful. But, unlike foolish renegades, we avoid crossing each other."

"Well," David said, "they didn't cross my lines twice. Sharra lent me her strength when I first came here. I used it to clean up the lowlifes from my," he stammered a bit. "Your territory, I fed well for a while."


Morgan rode beside Azrael in the limousine, head against his chest. David was on the seat to her right. Anna and Joseph were in the back with Michael and Jason. She was tired, but happy, and wanted to stay where she was, close to her master.

"I will not put you to bed, yet, precious. I know how upsetting all this is at the beginning. You can rest in my lap while we talk. I shall not send you away till morning, and I must seek my own bed." Azrael kept a close ear out for her needs and emotions. She was still sick, regardless of his blood, and needed pampering. He had given Megel and Jason his word that he would care for her, and care for her he would.

"I love you," she said in a tiny voice as she snuggled closer.

"Are all your pets so free?" David watched the display, openly jealous. "Would you show me how you do this? Mine are mine because it's either death or me. Yours are yours."

"I make them completely mine. She is completely mine heart, body and soul. You have to break them first. The blood helps, but you have to force the issue."

"How so?"

"I train my pets. They will do anything I tell them to. They do not enjoy facing my displeasure. For a month or so, I chain them while I sleep. It helps to drive home the message that I own them. I am gentle and kind. Even in punishment, I forgive them and take them back. They respond well."

"You're gonna chain me?" Morgan asked, scared.

"Only one wrist. I believe you are my pet, precious. But until the domination is complete and your soul is mine as well as your body, I remove temptation. Don't be afraid, my darling. It does not hurt. I will not chain you until I go to my rest, and will release you upon my rising."

She lay back down again. Begging would do no good; she would be chained, anyway. The thought was a weird one. She was afraid, of course, yet also excited. She would be held captive, chained to a bed, and she couldn't get away. It was almost like one of those cheap bodice-rippers she read.

Azrael smiled. She would be such fun, learning all her desires and exploring her fantasies. "Rest against me, darling. Tell me, did you enjoy yourself as much as I think you did?"

She blushed as she smiled. "I, yeah, it was really fun. I didn't know it would be like that. If I'd have known how much fun it was, I'd have been chasing guys and girls at twelve."

"Be glad you are sixteen. Younger and you would have been too young for me to take. Your age is part of what saved your life. I am glad I was gifted with your innocence. I would have missed it greatly if it had been given to another." He felt possessive of her. For the first time, he felt possessive of a pet. 'It must be her virginity' . Nothing else about her was any different from his other ladies. It had to be her near-total innocence and naiveté.

'Have I found my next Childe' ? He wondered.

Jason liked being in Michael's lap. It felt so safe, and he knew it was no hardship for his powerful master. He had been telling Michael what he and Joseph had done. Noticing that his master liked to be told these things, he whispered all the things he wanted his master to do. "Please, I want it to hurt, I want to feel you like earlier. I want to belong to you," he finished breath, hot on Michael's cheek.

Michael looked at Anna and Joseph. "Forgive me for being a poor host, but as soon as I get this one home." He trailed off and grinned at Jason.

"His mouth has gotten his ass in trouble again, I see." Joseph chuckled. He had suspected as much about Jason. " 'Poor host' , nah. Don't worry about it. I've seen how good your boy is. I understand completely."

"When we get home," Michael said in a low, cold voice, "I'll take you Jason. Remember that. I'll tie you down to the bed and make you know who your master is." With those words, he flipped Jason over and spanked him, just hard enough for him to feel it.

Jason cried softly. It was the most stimulating thing he'd ever felt. "Master," he sobbed, giving Michael the tearful response he wanted.

"Yes, I am going to make you completely mine," Michael continued, rubbing Jason's ass before spanking him harder. With each blow, his, own, needs rose.

David had watched, impressed. He turned back around and said to Azrael, "Break them completely, huh? This is going to be fun. I have seven, six males and one female. I believe I am going to enjoy this."

"If you wish, I will help you. We all will. If you do this correctly, you will have them eating freely out of your hand within a fortnight."

"Thank you again, Elder. Living with so many young ones, I forget what it is like to deal with one of the ancient ones."

* * *

Azrael's three met him at the front door. Maria spoke first. "Is that her, love? Oh, poor thing." The women clustered around Morgan as they entered the front hall.

"Yes, my dear. Morgan, this is Maria. She is my first pet and in charge of my home. Those two are Jenna and Valerie, they are your sisters now."

Jenna wrapped an arm around Morgan. "Master, she is tiny. She needs to rest and build up her strength."

"I agree. I turn her over to you three during the day. Make sure she eats well and take her out for some sun. Not off the property, the back yard, and on a leash. She must be chained for a while, but she also needs sun and fresh air."

"Master," Maria drew Michael's attention with a light touch. "Nikki--I mean, Amber--is in her room, heartbroken. May she come out, now?"

"Yes," he reached out, gently, with his mind. *Pet, I am home. You can come out, now. *

"Maria," Azrael said, "this is Vincent. He goes by his human name of David. He and his Fledglings, Anna and Joseph, are coming to stay here. They will be bringing seven half-trained pets with them. We are opening a covenstead, you girls will get the company you so crave."

"Master," she curtsied to David.

"Hello, Maria. We won't be a danger to you."

"I know that. My master cares for me well." She smiled. More vampires, 'male' vampires, maybe now she'd get the attention she needed. With Morgan here, not even her place as first would get her more than a few minutes of Azrael's time every now and then, at least for a while.

They went to the stairs that led down. Morgan had seen a two-story house before they entered. Did Azrael live in the basement? She entertained a brief, amusing picture of a basement done up like a vampire's castle, then banished it. He probably had a complete house downstairs for himself.

Another short hall, and a beautifully made wooden door, that opened onto a lush, expensive room.

Morgan would admit that she wouldn't know Chippendale from Chip and Dale, but the place looked expensive. Cream walls, walnut molding along the ceiling, walnut baseboards, wooden armoires, sideboards, cupboards, display cases full of crystal, glassware, and china, a wood floor with an Oriental carpet in blues, reds and greens. The carpet pattern didn't look anything like the ones sold in stores. "Cool," she approved.

"Master." Amber stepped shyly into the room. She would be good. She would be very good. Then she saw the newcomers. "Who are they?"

Michael let her draw closer to him. "This is Vincent, but he prefers David. These are his Brood, Anna and Joseph." He smiled down at her, his smile freezing when he saw her face.

No, he hadn't! She hadn't had a chance to prove herself.

"Amber?" He asked softly. Then, "Nikki?"

"Please," she begged, pressing so close that she lost her footing. He tried to hold her up. "Please, Master, I'm sorry." Her voice rose, drawing attention. "Don't do this. What did I do wrong?"

Michael tried to get her to stand up so that he could look her in the face, but she refused to let go. "What? Baby calm down. What are you talking about?"

She looked at David in horror. "Please don't send me away, again, Master. I'll be good; I'll do better. What did I do, Michael? You haven't even given me a chance. I'll be good. I'll love you."

David looked like he'd been hit. "What is she talking about, Michael?"

"Wait a bit, my friend." Michael gathered Amber up and guided her to the couch. "Amber, precious, David is not here for you. He and his are guest's here, nothing more. Azrael is opening a covenstead. I just accepted you, pet. What possible reason would I have for throwing you out? Trust me, Amber, trust me."

"They're not here for me?" She began to relax. "I'm sorry, I just thought since Azrael forced me on you, that you'd found someone."

"Azrael didn't force you on me, Amber. He asked if I would have you. I accepted. I didn't have to, but I wanted to." She sighed under his kiss, gave in to his advances. "Neither you or Jason are getting much rest, tonight. When you go to your rest in the morning, you'll be happy

Household crisis averted, Azrael noted. "David, you know where we are. How long will it take you to move?"

"Less than an hour. We're still living out of suitcases." He smiled apologetically. "I am still trying to gather enough money for our own house." He hugged Anna. "I've just contacted Aaron. He is starting to pack."

"Good, I am anxious to see you settled. I will be here when you return. Just come right on in, but please announce your coming so that my new one is not frightened by your sudden appearance."

Valerie made fussing noises over Morgan. "Azrael," she chided, "that child should be in bed. She's worn out, can't you see that?"

David, choose to politely disappear at that moment. "We will return."

"Valerie," Azrael said, "I am not going to chain her, yet. She can rest in my lap. I have been doing this for much longer than you, and do not appreciate your criticism." His tone was dark.

She dropped to her knees. "I'm sorry."

Azrael looked down at her, silent for a moment. "I have been remiss in my duties to my ladies. It has become obvious that without constant attention and handling you all begin to develop a sharpness of tongue that I do not care for. I will see that something is done to keep you all sated and in line. For now, however, I am going to see if I can convince Megel to let his two enjoy themselves in my sight."

"Jay, Amber?" Michael smiled. It would be nice, a pleasant diversion. "Will you perform for us?"

Jason nodded freely. As though in front of Azrael was so much different than in the back seat of the car. Amber blushed but said yes. It wasn't the first time that he had asked to watch as she pleasured one of her sister pets.

"Is performing for you all we're allowed to do?" Jason asked, taking step towards Azrael. "Master, wouldn't it be better if we performed 'on' you?"

What, a, temptation, "perhaps that can be arranged. Let us see how my little one here holds up." He stroked Morgan's head. It would not be long before she was completely his. He would do a double nightly feeding, to speed her along.

Michael took a comfortable position on the couch. Azrael sat in his favorite chair, Morgan in his lap.

Amber was not going to be easy to bring over to him, Michael thought. She still suffered because of what she saw as abandonment. He would have to break her to his hand. To do so, he would have to be much harder than his Sire had been. But he would have to be careful. He wanted to break her to him, but he could break her totally if he wasn't cautious. He did not enjoy the thought. "Amber, Jason, take off your clothes," he ordered, keeping his voice pleasant. "Amber, during your retraining you will not be allowed clothing in the house." He checked her soft cry of protest. "'And' you will stop protesting my orders. You will now be required to make yourself available to any and all within the walls of this house. It is time you learned humility, young lady." She flinched, but made no sound.

*Should I do the same? * Jason could see how much it bothered her, and hoped that she wouldn't feel singled out if he also had to go naked. *Please, Master, if you can hear me, let me do this. It will be easier on her. *

Michael smiled at him, nodding pleased with his Chosen's forethought. *Yes, Chosen. Both of you, during your initial training, I want to see you both willing to follow any order I give.*

"Thank you." Jason wasn't ashamed of his body. His manhood was proud and hard already.

"Take her. Lay her on the floor, and seduce her. Show Amber how much of a darling you are. Share your love."

"Don't be afraid," he told Amber, taking her into his arms. "I won't hurt you. We share a master. Let's be friends."

She looked pleadingly at Azrael. How could Azrael have done this to her? She would have done anything for him. "Please," she begged, pushing Jason away, "don't do this."

Now was not the time to chastise her, Michael knew. It was all so new. "Amber, precious," he said gently, "you're going to be sharing a room with Jason for a while. Don't you think it would be easier to accept if you knew you were safe?"

She didn't want to be safe with him. She wanted Azrael back, but she knew he'd not have her. She was too much a trial for him, had driven him away with her willfulness. "Okay." She dropped her arms. Fighting was useless.

Jason laughed at her. "Thanks, Amber. Make me feel real wanted, why don't you. You're the first girl I ever made it with who protested."

His humor helped a little. She sat on the floor with him. "I'm sure your ego will survive."

"Yes, but it's gonna be bruised. You want to be responsible for that?" He lay her down and straddled her. "Oh, the rejection! I might never recover."

Amber looked up at him, giggling. She couldn't help it. He was really quite nice. At least, if she was forced to share herself with someone, he was nice. She studied his erection. Would it be like it was with Azrael or Michael? Michael had been the first man to touch her since Azrael had saved her from death.

She licked her lips. "Come here." She reached out, tugging him forward as she scooted down. If they wanted to be entertained, then by God, she'd give them what they wanted. And she didn't care if both of them heard every thought she had.

Jason watched, stunned, as her head came up, her mouth taking him into her. "Oh." He thrust into the wonderful warmth. "Yes. Harder, baby, go on."

Azrael chuckled. As much at Amber's thoughts, as at Jason's whole-hearted response, "I must say, Megel, he is a physical one is he not?"

"Yes, I am very fortunate. No cringing, blushing virgin."

Morgan raised her head from Azrael's shoulder. "I resent that." She pouted a little, lips pulled together. "Was I a cringing, simpering, wuss?"

"No, sweet, you were wonderful," Azrael placated. "I was pleased with your open, honest enjoyment. Never doubt that. Now rest. It has been a busy night for you."

"I don't wanna go to sleep, Azrael. I want to stay with you."

"Who said you were leaving? I promised you would be with me till the sun's rising, but if you do not rest, my other pets are going to make a fuss. Close your eyes, Morgan, take a nap."

"It must run in the family." Michael laughed openly as he watched Amber blow his Chosen. Yes, they would do fine as soon as they became used to all the changes.

"Baby," Jason's said, voice tight, "I'm gonna," the heat took him.

She swallowed greedily, fingers squeezing his balls, trying to drain every drop.

"I'm gonna make you scream," he promised, voice hot in her ear as he pinned

her beneath him. "Lock your fingers in my hair, and let me have you." The kiss was brutal, passions high.

"Yes!" She gasped, as teeth sank into a nipple, not hard, wonderfully firm, without pain. Her body came alive under his, his hands and mouth seeking to pull her into his pleasure.

Her cry sounded through the room as Jason's mouth locked onto her clitorisoris, teeth pulling hard, adding pain to the pleasure as her hips bucked upward encouraging him.

"Please." It hurt. He was almost brutal. But she wouldn't ask him to stop. Nothing could make her push him away. Pain or no, this was heaven.

"Up." He pulled away. "On your knees, baby." He pulled her hard against him, hands forcing her knees apart. She was so wet as he slid in. "Have you ever," he asked, "been fucked in the ass, before?" Her cry of denial as he thrust was all the answer he needed. Azrael had never done it. "Master," he asked, looking at Michael, "let me. Please."

"No, Chosen. Leave that for me. But please, finish your play. You both seem to be having such a wonderful time."

Amber sighed. He wouldn't do that. She didn't know how long a reprieve she had been granted, but Jason couldn't do it now.

Then all thought left her again, as fingers found her sex and stoked her in time with his thrusts.

Azrael was so caught up in Jason and Amber's play that the soft touch on his mind startled him. *Elder, may we enter? * David asked.

*Yes, come. * He looked down at Morgan. She had fallen asleep. They would not startle her. "Michael, they come."

Coldness filled the room and a crowd of people appeared.

"Oops." Anna giggled at the obvious interruption.

Jason froze, arms locked tightly around Amber. He looked questioningly at Michael.

"Go on, pet. They live here now. Finish your play."

David grinned at Jason and Amber. "Did we come at a bad time?"

"No, not at all. We were just enjoying some erotic amusement. It is another plus of having so many pets in the house." Azrael's eyes scanned the mortals behind the vampires. "I must say, Vincent, they look terrible."

"I have to keep then in this state. If I let them remain as healthy as yours I would end up hurting them in their struggles. As, is I don't dare feed from them as much as I need, what with Joey's hunger and mine. If it weren't for Anna being able to hunt, so that I could feed off of her, I'd probably be insane now." He shrugged. "This way they're docile. There are several that refuse to accept the facts, still."

"Get rid of them." Azrael advised. He rose and set Morgan in the chair. She curled up, reassured by his smile, and promptly dozed back off. "You can choose more pets, so can this sweet sister, and train them correctly. If you need more because of you age, we will work something out. I have not had a working bond with Kin since my last left me. You will not need as much that way."

"You what?" He pulled back, yanking both Anna and Joseph behind him.

Michael came to his feet, ready to step between the Fledglings and his Sire.

"Oh, please," Azrael said, and waved him back. "If I had wanted you as slaves, do you seriously think you would have stood a chance against me? Or that Sharra would do more than fuss at me? I'm serious about opening a covenstead. I only offered a blood-bond to help with the dire situation you have gotten yourself in. I will not have these animals in my home the way they are. They will distress my girls."

"Master," Anna laid a hand on his arm. "He's got a point. The three of us, combined, couldn't even slow him down."

"You're mine." He hissed. "I made you, I mastered you. You are mine. No-one will take you from me."

Michael moved like lightning across the room and grabbed the vampire by the throat. "If my master or I had wanted your Children, we would have taken them already. You are in his territory, and as senior Kin, he could. Now back down, boy, and think, before your mouth gets you killed."

"Stop it." Anna jumped Michael, trying to dislodge his grasp.

"No!" Jason's voice echoed as he leaped into the fray. He didn't understand anything that had been said, but this bitch wasn't going to jump his master, not two against one.

Azrael caught him before he could reach them. "No, boy. Back away. Your master is in no danger. That Childe is not even enough of a nuisance to draw his attention." He held Jason, honestly pleased that the boy was willing to defend his master. "Now, if everyone would kindly calm down, we will continue this conversation. Megel let him go. He is on edge right now, and rightly so."

Michael released David, and reached around to pull Anna of his back. "Hello, pretty one, did you want my attention?" He smiled, fangs showing plainly.

"Megel." Azrael's tone was firm. "Let the girl go."

The room was silent as Michael returned to his seat, arms open motioning Jason and Amber to come to him.

"So, are we calm now?" Azrael settled in his chair again, pulling Morgan against him.

"I meant no disrespect." David was quick on his feet. His life hung in the balance now. He had challenged not one Elder, but two.

"My dear boy, if I had thought you were seriously challenging me, it would have been my fingers around your throat, not my First-Born's. Now sit. Let us see if we can talk this through like rational beings, rather than silly children playing 'King of the Mountain' .

"I agree." David turned to the seven behind him. "Down," he pointed to

the floor. Six sat immediately scared into compliance by the added vampires. But one, a boy with dark hair and eyes, braved his master's stare. "Go on, Aaron, sit, baby." David reached out to stroke the boy's cheek. "Live or die tonight, I won't let them hurt you." This was the only one of the lot that he really cared about. The only one who didn't resist him at every turn.

"So you 'do' know how to encourage loyalty." Azrael's tone was pleased as he turned into the gracious host, motioning for them to sit across from him. "You are just young, don't feel too badly about the others. These two are fine examples. You have done well with them. You are just too lenient on your pets."

"What do you plan, Elder?" David asked, returning to the subject at hand.

"Nothing, absolutely nothing, I have no need for your service. I have four sweet pets that see to my needs quite well, but what of you? You can not hope to keep up with the needs of your office. Each pet you add, along with your Younglings, means you loose a little more control. Will you listen to my suggestion? It is only a suggestion, not a requirement. As I said, I do not need your life's service." David nodded. "Good. Now I assume at your age, you're still feeding nightly, correct?"


"And those two, the girl has been able to fend for herself?"

"Yes, most of the time. She still needs a phenomenal amount of blood. Twice the amount she needed when she fed from me, even more because I am feeding off of her as well."

"How many pets have you killed?"

"I loose, on average, one or two a month."

"That bad?" Azrael clucked. "Very well, this is the offer I make you. Your Fledglings are yours of course. The boy could not survive another's blood right now. The girl, once you stop feeding from her, should be able to survive on her hunts, or pets, if she chooses. You the same, if you are willing to bond with me. I am like your master, a true Elder. Rid yourself of these pitiful excuses for pets and choose two or three others that are tractable and sweet. Between them and a nightly sharing with me, you should be able to control yourself and care for the boy without the dark fear I see in your eyes. Killing disturbs you."

"And in return?" David looked at Joseph. It was becoming harder and harder to feed him and keep up with his own needs.

"Oh, the usual one hundred years service. Call me 'Master' . Accept my will. Nothing too great for one who will see eon's."

"And Sharra?"

"Will come to terms with it. I am older than she, and not your Sire. This practice of a Fledgling running off, completely alone from all Kin, is a new one. Flee your Sire of course, but it was always my impression that once a newly freed adult, you should seek out an older vampire as advisor, or mentor. I did, Megel did, all the Elders I know of did." He smiled. "After all, what good is being an Elder if you can not enjoy some of the benefits; children that you are not truly responsible for; youngling's that you can send away if they get on your nerves too badly. If you wish, Vincent, you can say no. The offer of sanctuary is still open, as long as you avoid bringing danger to my home, and never hurt one of my pets."

David looked around him. If he stayed here, claimed sanctuary, would he be able to keep from killing one of the mortals here? Would his tendency to kill his own bring danger to his Kin? But was he willing to bow again. He'd been a slave for over one hundred years. Was the offer worth it? "And you will leave Lilith and Cain alone?" He asked, indicating Anna and Joseph.

"Unless they violate the rules, they are not my concern. But warning; keep, your Brood in line."

David ran a hand through his hair. "I'm not worried about that." He glanced at his group. "And them, do I have to sacrifice all of them?"

"No, only the ones that you do not want. They cannot all be unredeemable."

That was true. He reached for his favorite. "Aaron, come here, baby."

"Master?" Unlike several of the others, he hadn't found slavery to be a great hardship. He had learned quickly that the most difficult ones didn't last more than a month or two. He had no intentions of dying any time soon, so he bent willingly.

David caressed the line of Aaron's jaw. He had come so close, more than once, to killing him. Of them all, this boy was the one it would really hurt to ose. "Sweet-heart, you don't know,, you have no idea, how close I have come to killing you." He felt the boy tremble at his touch.

"Do you need my life, Master? Are you going to kill me?"

"No." David hissed, dropping his hand. "Others have died to keep me from you. I could never hurt you. Anyone but you." It was decided, and he knew it. He couldn't take care of Joseph any other way. He'd already killed too often, once even come close to taking Anna's life. "No, Aaron, I don't want you to die. I'm entirely too fond of you for that."

"And us?" The speaker was a black-haired man in his twenties. Hate filled his face and voice. "You're going to kill us aren't you, been planning it."

"Silence!" David commanded, leaping to his feet. "You--you are food. You had your chance, Mark. All of you did. You resisted; refused to be mine."

"I'll kill you." Mark promised his voice cold. "Know that, you damned monster. One of us is going to die tonight." He'd had enough. He wasn't going to let that freak, touch, him again.

"So be it." He turned to Azrael. "A gift, Master. I wouldn't touch him if I were starving, and the only other was my favorite here. Feed well, Master his life is forfeit tonight."

"Accepted. The others?"

David looked at them. "Billy?" A small blond boy looked up at him, a trapped expression on his face. Mind-killing terror emanated from him. "You've been fighting me for a week. Which way do you go? Will you be good now, or do you want to follow Mark and his idiocy?"

The boy looked from Mark to the vampire. A week ago, he'd been a runaway,

with no life or anyone to miss him. David's offer of a bed and food in exchange for sex had looked like a lifesaver. It wasn't until David had taken him home that he'd discovered the true meaning of the offer. He'd been struggling against it ever since. But now he had a choice, live or die. "I don't wanna die," he whimpered.

"Will you stay with me? Will you stop fighting us?'

"You gonna bite me again?"

Azrael cleared his throat. "Vincent, far be it for me to tell you how to keep your pets, but I have noticed that none of these chattel are bonded to you."

"Of course not. I don't intend to give them the gift."

"You do not have to. But your blood would be an incentive. It grants them many years of youth. I have discovered that the promise of a century and a half of health and beauty, makes, them more agreeable. Bonding also helps them to recover after each feeding. You can feed from a bonded pet every two or three days, instead of every ten with an un-bonded one--unless you want to kill them."

David looked stunned. "'Bond' with them?"

"The ones you would keep, yes. It links them to you, makes their will much more obedient. Mine would never dream of disobeying me; they are too much a part of me."

Such a simple solution, yet he had never thought of it. It did explain the others in Sharra's service. He wondered why Sharra had never pointed it out to him, or had she and he not been aware?

He looked at Billy. The boy had reacted more out of fear than, anything, else. What the others would do if granted a further century didn't bear consideration. "Billy, will you join Aaron and stay with me?"

The boy was near tears. "I'll be good, I promise David, please don't kill me."

"I won't. Come and sit by Aaron." He looked at the other five. Mark glowered back. "We'll feed well tonight, Master."

"So decided. Megel, if you permit, let Amber take our pets out. They do not need to see this. It will not take long."

"You two go with them." David told Billy and Aaron. "You too, Cain, I'll feed you again soon, okay."

Michael quite purposely refrained from showing his fangs as he smiled down at her. "Amber, go take those two, see about getting them a snack. I'll call you soon."

Amber nodded. She had no desire to watch. She'd seen Azrael kill before.

Joseph misinterpreted her fear. "It's all right. I won't hurt you," he soothed. "My master would have my ass, if yours didn't first."


When the door was closed, Azrael rose and went to the five. He looked at the big, dark-haired one. "His name is Mark?"

"Yes, Master. The worst of my lot, I've let others die because I couldn't stand to touch him. A more arrogant, vicious bastard you'll never meet." David would have spat, but manners were hard to break once they had been drilled into your head for over a century. "I try to take my food from the dregs of society, but I never realized how low some humans can go."

Resentment, anger and unacknowledged fear burned in Mark's eyes. Black hair, brown eyes. With high cheekbones and an aquiline nose worthy of a Native American. But those broad shoulders and rounded muscles were of European decent. "Mark, come here."

"Go to hell."

Oh, what a will, and what a delightful lack of remorse. "You will quickly discover slave, that I am not as fastidious as your former master. Unlike him, I have no aversion to your type of filth. I have fed from such as you over the millennia." He smiled. "If anything, taking you out of this life will be a service I perform for humanity." The smile disappeared and his eyes hardened as his will locked down. "Now, 'come here' . You will obey me. Fight all you want, I will enjoy your struggle, but in the end, you will 'obey' ."

Mark had been forced before, but never like this. It had always been a battle for David, with Mark being able to at least put up a good fight. But now--even as he swore at the monster before him, he came to his feet like a puppet.

Azrael walked around Mark, taking stock. "Did your Master ever take you to bed, boy? Are you well-used, or are you a virgin?" The look of revulsion on his face made Azrael laugh. "Oh, what to do? Maybe I will let you live. But only because breaking you to my hand shall be so much fun." He came, almost, nose-to-nose with Mark. "Believe me, boy. You will learn to welcome me, to beg for my abuse." He reached out, taking Mark's face in one hand, slapping him sharply when he jerked away. "First things first; 'never resist' . I will do whatever I want with you. Accept that, now. If you refuse, your life will be painfully long and devoid of all joy."

"Kill me." Mark's voice was strained. Every ounce of willpower that he possessed went to resisting the compulsion to, throw, himself at this creatures feet and beg for mercy. "Get it over with. I'll never be willing. You'll have to force me every time because I hate you." The hate had saved him from David.

Azrael slapped him to the floor with a single blow. "Come now," he purred. "Do you seriously think I care whether or not you are willing? Or that I even want you to be? I love a battle, but you see that I have precious few chances for one. By all means, fight. I will enjoy the agony you experience with every moment of pleasure you feel. Trust me; you 'will' bend to my desires." And he desired this mortal very much, now. He ached with anticipation.

"No!" It was ripped from him. He would not give in.

"Yes, even now you lose. Now go over there and sit. I will deal with you 'after' I have fed."

Mark moved. It wasn't until he was sitting in the chair, looking at the last four, that he realized he had obeyed. He tried to get up, to move so much as a finger, but his body would not obey. He was trapped.

Again, David gave Azrael first pick.

The petite blonde girl looked up at him with a look of fearful hatred. "Is the girl disposable?" Azrael asked.

"Lil, she was your catch," David turned asking his First-Born. "You want her? Or are you as fed up with her as I am with them?

"He wants her, he can have her. A more vicious, scheming bitch you'll never meet." Anna smiled as the girl broke down into tears. She had given her every opportunity, and the girl had slapped her away. Well, at least her blood would be useful.

Azrael moved across the room as a blur, grabbing the girl in a brutal, painful grip. She screamed once as his teeth tore at her throat, then there was silence.

Mark watched the slaughter. He'd seen others die, when David had over-indulged, but never like this. It was cruel, cold. He felt his guts twist. He should have been one of them. Been allowed to die, to be free, but the damned demon had other plans for him. He grimaced and tried to turned away as David dropped Eric and reached for Scott.

"No, please, Master," Scott whined as David bore down on him.

"Too late, Scott. You should have submitted." His hand snaked out to snatch him. "Now you pay." He trapped the struggling boy against his chest, lost in the glorious blood-thrill that filled his whole being. The heat pulsed in him as Scott's heart frantically pounded against his chest. Unlike the others, Scott never stopped begging, not until he died.

David was lost in a haze of pleasure and blood as the body slipped to the floor. Everything was beautiful, for the first time in so long. He saw things clearly. "Lilith, come to me." He reached for his Childe.

"No, Vincent." It was Azrael who approached. "It has been too long for you. You are lost. Come here, little one. Finish the need." He gathered the younger vampire to him and let the greedy mouth lock onto his throat. "Yes, little brother, take what you need."

The first taste was like acid burning down his throat. The Elder's blood was so powerful, so unbelievably, wonderfully powerful. He felt himself swoon as he clung to the man who held him up.

"That is the way. Go on. Do not be afraid. You cannot harm me." 'Poor youngling, the Elders are getting lax in their responsibilities' . This should have never been allowed to progress to this point. The Laws were to be balanced with common sense. "Enough. Time to pull away, dear one." He slowly lifted David's head, allowing the younger one to nuzzle his throat, licking at the still bleeding wounds. "All better, now."

"Thank you." His mouth opened under Azrael's welcoming kiss.

"My joy. Although I have no need to bond with any of my kind, it will be nice to have a Childe around again. Perhaps it is time I began to hunt for another. All my Brood are grown." He kissed David once more. "Now speaking of Children, you need to go feed that Childe of yours. He has been promised a real meal. While you do that, I will attend to these." He pointed to the floor, where the four lifeless bodies lay. "Megel, call your pets. Tell them to return with the others."

David was in agony. He had over-fed. His body felt swollen, a fine reddish sheen left his skin glowing. He had never feasted so well.

*Jay, baby, bring, the re st back to us. * Michael gently pushed David into a chair. "Do you need my help?"

"No, I will be fine. Joey will take care of the excess."

"Be careful not to let him gorge himself." Michael warned.

"I will be back in the proverbial flash." Azrael said. He and the corpses faded from the room.

"Davy," Anna asked, throwing herself into his lap, "do you mind if I snatch Billy? I feel full and sassy."

"Sure. Just try not to wear the boy out, he's new." He tasted blood as he kissed her, his First-Born, his love.

The door opened as Joseph herded the five into the room. "Master?" he asked. Nostrils quivering. He could smell the blood that filled David.

Anna moved so that Joseph could get to David. "Yes," David said. "Come, darling, feed." He held out his arms. "No reservations tonight, drink your fill."

The Fledgling vampire almost attacked him in his haste. The blood was so strong. It was like liquid fire as it filled him. Not since his first night had it felt like this. His master had always been so careful, giving him just enough to contain him, but never enough to quiet the beast. But now he drank freely.

Sex was never this good. He felt so alive, so strong. Would it be like this, now? Would he be able to drink freely in the future, or was this just a one-time thing, due to the excess of blood?

David sighed. The pain was fading. "Enough, Joey." He pulled away. "Cain," he whispered. "Stop now."

"Damn." He felt foolish. David hadn't had to use his Vampyr name to control him in a while.

"I know, the new way will take some getting used to. But I promise you, Cain, you will never go hungry again. I swear, I will take better care of you."

Morgan saw Joseph feeding and remembered how she had felt when Azrael had given her blood. Then she realized that the others were dead. Vampires could kill. "Jason," she said in a tiny voice, "where's Azrael?"

"He stepped out for a moment." Michael locked eyes with her. Yes, the first time a mortal faced what they could do, it was terrifying. But he had his hands full with both Jason and Amber. "Sit down, honey. Your master will be here soon."

The room was cold to her as she huddled at one end of the love seat. She looked at Mark, who in return stared back at her with hate in his eyes. "What are you looking at, bitch?" He snarled.

"Silence!" David snapped. "She doesn't deserve your hate. Leave it for your master, boy."

"Fuck off." Mark spat.

"Now, now; misbehaving already?" Azrael asked reappearing. "I must do something about that mouth of yours."

"Yeah," Mark sneered at him. "You can suck my cock, you fucking perverted monster."

Azrael threw his head back and laughed. "What a charming offer. Perhaps later, but for now be silent." He turned his back on him.

Mark opened his mouth to tell Azrael what he could do with his order--but couldn't speak. He was trapped and mute. The other one had never been able to do this. Fear, his secret companion for weeks now, embraced him fully.

Afraid now, Morgan looked up at Azrael. He had given her back her life, had been so kind. She hated the reminder that he was not just some sweet fable come to life, but also a well-cloaked nightmare.

"What is this?" He was truly hurt when she cringed away as he sat down. "Poor little one, come. I am still your master. I will not hurt you." He stroked her head. "Did you not understand when I told you what I am? I am a vampire, Morgan. Although I have chosen not to kill these many years, occasionally I must."

"Perhaps we should have waited, taken care of the problem without their knowledge." Michael was glad that he was Kin. The grip his two held him with would have prevented airflow in a mortal.

"No, they must come to accept it. With the opening of a covenstead, we will have to collect more for food. Others of our kind will come, and when they do, our pets will not be able to care for them."

"You're going to kill again?" Morgan squeaked.

"Ssshh, listen to me. Do you not kill to live? Did your food not once live and breathe? There is little difference. You need to accept this Morgan. To the Vampyr, all mortals are food. I care for you and would never allow anyone to harm you, but that does not take away from the cold facts. In the food chain, you are meat." It was the one thing that hurt him still. Telling one of his darlings the true facts of life. "Now, I have no need to feed from those I will keep below, but others will. But hear me pet. Only those who deserve death will be taken animals, murderers, drug dealers, rapists, child molesters and the like. Any poor souls that we discover in our search will be brought here to be trained as pets, but I will not hurt them."

"Will I have to see it?"

"No, you will never see it, not ever. You did not tonight, did you?" She shook her head. "Now, are you going to have faith in me, forget the ugliness and be happy again?"

"What about him?" She gestured to Mark as she relaxed. Azrael was very good at control, and she melted under his soft gaze, loosing her fear.

"Oh, I plan to keep him. He is a challenge. Do not worry yourself. When I am finished, he will be as sweet as you are." *Relax, pet, forget the ugliness, just relax and accept. * A mental command to enhance his will. *Those from below are not like you. They deserve what is coming, believe always believe. *

Both Michael and David were doing something much like this with their own charges. Putting down fear, placing distance, giving a value to each life, and marking some greater and some less.

"A moment, pet." Azrael said to Morgan, laying her aside. He walked to

the desk across the room to retrieve a small dagger. "Vincent, it is time that you make those two yours. Remember; they must drink from you nightly for several months, until the change take complete effect,"

David nodded taking the dagger. "Aaron," he called, his voice soothing, "come here, baby."

Trembling, the boy obeyed. He didn't quite understand everything that had happened. All he could comprehend was that David had spared him, but was now holding a knife. "Davy?"

"Ssshh, Hon, come up here in my lap."

"Did I do something wrong?" Aaron wasn't sure he could, or should obey this time.

"No." David lowered the dagger. "The dagger is for me, not you." Aaron looked so very young when he was scared, but his brown eyes were also beautifully large and liquid. David wanted to see them soft with love. "If I had known that a bonding did not mean the gift, I would have made you fully mine a long time ago." He motioned again. "Come. Let me gift you with my blood. It will guarantee that you stay as beautiful as you are right now for around one hundred years or so." He brushed the hair from Aaron's eyes. "You 'do' want to stay with me, don't you, baby? Have the time, be my love?"

Aaron was stunned. "You'd do it, wouldn't you? Give me this?" He started to cry. "I try to do what you want. I don't fight you. Please, I want it. I'll stay with you." He pulled his hair aside, tilting his head to expose his throat. "See, Davy, Master, I'm willing."

Any other time the exposed flesh would have been more than David could have resisted. But now, it was merely lovely, not a temptation. "Then drink, baby, be mine. But know that once I give you this, you can never leave me. Even if I offered you your freedom, like I had promised, you can't go. You will be mine for all your life. For unless I continue to feed you my blood, you will die. Now once again, knowing that your life will be mine forever, knowing that I will own you, care for you and keep you till the day that the blood no longer stays death. Will you give me your soul baby? Will you be mine?"

Aaron had never kissed David with anyone but Anna, or Joseph present. He was shy about this part of their relationship. The others had taunted him too much for his willingness to submit. But now, it was a new day, a new life. He sobbed against a hard, unbelievably warm mouth. David was hot. For the first time since he was taken, he felt true heat from his master. "Yes, oh, yes, Master. I'll be yours, I swear it."

"Then, baby, take what is being offered." The knife cut deep into the vein above his left breast. "Drink."

Aaron's mouth covered the wound. A small gasp of shock as the first taste passed his lips. After all the times that he had swallowed back his fear and exposed his throat to be fed off of, he was the one feeding. "No," he whispered as the wound closed.

David sighed, enjoying the lingering feeling. "Yes, I know, just a taste, but one that, once taken, makes you crave more."

Aaron attacked him. Hands moving under his shirt to caress his skin, mouth hot and hungry on his or moving to bite sharply at his throat, knowing that it would please his master.

David held him for a minute, enjoying the sweet aggressions his darling pet displayed. "Wait," finally he pulled away. "Soon, okay, Hon? Let me offer this to Billy, and then we'll see, all right? Go curl up with Joey, he'll hold you for now."

Billy had watched everything, heard everything, and was terrified. He was more afraid of what David would demand of him than he was of anything else. Would it be offered freely? No it couldn't be that easy. He had fought and resisted too much. He lived now, only because out of the rest, he was the least vocal. He eyes closed briefly as David motioned him to come close. Now would be the telling mark. What would he have to do or promise to be given this? "M--Master?" He was like ice as David pulled him up into his lap.

"Do you want this, Billy? You've been so hesitant before today. Will you freely go all the way? No more crying no, more, struggles? Will you welcome me, let our time together be mutual, no more rapes?"

"I promised that last time," he stammered. Something was wrong here. "I didn't fight you last time, master, didn't even think it, I swear. Didn't you like that? Did I forget something?" Relations with men were so few, that he was honestly worried that he had failed to do something.

David pulled Billy's head to his shoulder, stroking his hair gently. "I told you how much I loved it, precious. I'm just making sure you understand what will be expected of you for this. And, not, just me, but, Anna and Joey, as well. Plus, any vampire that asks for you. You were a virgin when I took you. You offered yourself because you were frightened and hungry. I want you to be able to accept your new life totally."

"Are they gonna bite me, too?"

"Perhaps someday, but for now, I need you and Aaron to keep up with my needs."

"Do I have to do this? What happens if I say no? You still gonna let me go one day, like you promised?"

"I'm not sure, Bill. I wouldn't kill you if you didn't want me, just as long as you were willing when I came to you. But I'm afraid that, without the added strength given by my blood, you would weaken and die."

'Die' . There was that word again. He had run away from home, away from his father who beat him. Had he stayed, he would have been dead. Now he was in the same boat, again. Live or die. "Okay, I'll do it." 'Why not' , he rationalized. At least David didn't hurt him much unless he fought back. "It won't hurt will it?"

"No, baby, it won't hurt." Again the blade "go on Billy, drink."

Aaron watched as Billy followed the command. "It's not going to be easy on him." He spoke softly, more to himself than anyone else. "He's terrified of men. David was in bad way that first night. He freaked and ended up hurt. It took three nights to get him to obey without punishment." He could, if he

wanted, still hear Billy's pleas to be let go, and his cries as David and Joseph raped him.

Joseph smiled. "Well, give him a few days. Now that David's back to his old self, he'll easily seduce the boy." It was a statement he could make with certainty. When he had first come to David, at Anna's invitation, David had been so different than how he was now. He had been patient, gentle and loving, as he taught him the ways of the flesh. "How are you?" he asked Aaron. "This night has been pretty traumatic for you."

"I'm fine, now." He closed his eyes as Joseph's hand found the snap on his jeans. "Don't, Joey, please. Not in front of everyone."

Joseph looked around. Azrael was engrossed with the little bald girl. Michael was with his two, who were naked and actively being affectionate. "In front of who Aaron? Look around you. It's not like it used to be. They're kids like you, pampered play toys, relax." The zipper slid down with no resistance. "You know you like it, so why argue?"

A tear slipped down his cheek. He couldn't stand this. Alone, in a bed, was one thing. He loved it, then. But here, like this, he'd accepted David's offer, to escape this sort of thing. "Please, Master."

"Aaron, you have to relax. It's not like that. We won't sell you. You know that."

"Aaron." David looked up from Billy, who lay curled up, in his arms. "Hon, look at me. You are a pet, now. You are going to have to accept this." His tone firmed. "Until I say differently, you are forbidden clothes. Let him up, Joey, so that he can undress." His eyes grew sharp at Aaron's cry of protest. "And let him blow you once he is."

Aaron looked at him, horrified. Forbidden wearing clothes. Blow Joseph, in front of everyone. He couldn't mean to do this to him. "Davy," he pleaded.

"Up with you. Don't argue again, or I will punish you more. Now go on and do what I told you." Then, with a softening gaze, he looked down at Billy. "You too, off with these rags. Anna has asked for you tonight. You haven't been with a woman yet, have you?"

"No." He moved slowly, as if drugged. The blood had removed the last of his fight. He felt numb.

"Azrael," David's voice held a note of worry. This was not normal. When Sharra, had gifted him with his first drink, it had been fabulous. Anna and Joseph had bounced off the walls at their welcome. Even Aaron, normally timid and shy, had almost sexually assaulted him.

Azrael watched Billy undress. "It has that effect on some mortals. He will spend the next hundred and fifty or so years quite happy. Just do not expect too much from him. He will do whatever he is told, just that, and be an absolute darling in the bed. But his mind will not be able to function as it once did. He will be completely dependent on you for the rest of his life."

"I didn't mean to hurt him, I swear." He was appalled by what had happened.

"No one is accusing you of malicious intent. His mind was weak. This was too much. Do not fret yourself so, Vincent. The boy will sharpen over the next few months, but will always be dependent on you for everything. Be kind. At least he will never need punishing again. Just make sure you keep him from harm. I do not rightly think he would be able to understand the why and

wherefore anymore."

"He's like Cally was, isn't he?" Michael looked at the boy hard as he slowly removed his clothes. "One too many traumas, his mind had fled, and the blood helped to protect his sanity." His thoughts went back to a slave, one that had been in his home when he was still Azrael's Fledgling. His master had, accidentally, broken her mind before he had had a chance to blood bond with her. Forever denying her the chance to be anything more than just a pet.

"Billy?" David moved slowly to take him into his arms. "How do you feel?"

"Feel?" The boy's eyes had a lost look to them. "Great, why?" He tried to focus on his master. "Did I do something bad?"

"No, of course not. Why don't you go curl up with Anna, she'll take care of you."

"Really?" He smiled softly. "She's pretty, Master. Is she gonna let me sleep with her?"

"Why don't you go talk to her." He cupped the poor boy's chin. "And you are right, she is very pretty, now off with you." He would have to be careful with this one. If he hadn't punished him so severely, frightened him as much as he had, he might not be this way. "I will take care of you, Billy, I promise. You'll never be hurt again."

"I know that." The clarity of his voice surprised David.

"Now go."

Anna let him sit beside her, before pulling him into her lap, hushing his protests that he was too heavy. "No, pretty boy, you're light to me."

"Anna, be gentle with him always." David watched Aaron as he finished with Joseph. "From this point forward, anyone who hurts or frightens him will answer to me."

"Agreed." Azrael had once had a young mortal like this one. She had been a sweet girl. So promising as a future Fledgling. His guilt over driving her mad was still sharp. Murder, he could live with. He was a Vampire. It was a part of his life, at times one must kill to live. But he had pushed her too far, and her his slave. "As master of this house, I grant him complete protection and immunity. The children will care for him, Vincent, during the day, and at night if ever one of our own kind does him wrong, if you cannot seek justice, I will."

"Don't worry, David." Michael honored his personal choice by using his mortal name in mixed company. "It's not like we would welcome Renegade Kin. It was unfortunate, but it happened. I'm sure you will make his life one of comfort, and as pleasant as possible. Let it rest for now." Michael untangled himself from the two bodies that had latched on to him. "As for now, I am taking these two and seeking out the dungeon that Amber has mentioned. I am in the mood for some amusement."


"It's a play room, Vincent. I use it occasionally for bed games or punishment if punishment is needed." Azrael gathered Morgan's sleeping form close. "It is just a few hours before dawn. Let me escort you to rooms for your pets, and show you the inner sanctum. Megel has taken the back room as his own. Then I will go tuck this one into a warm bed and give her the attention she needs."

"So I'm the odd man out again," Joseph laughed. "We have got to do something about this, Davy. I'm getting blue balls."

"You are welcome to join me." Michael smiled softly. "You've alreadysampled my Chosen."

Joseph looked at the two mortals that stood so close to the Elder vampire. "Are you sure, sir?"

Michael turned on his charm, deepening his smile. "Call me Michael, or Megel, if that feels better." He looked down at Jason. "Love, why don't you show my little brother that he is welcome. You know him, Amber does not, and asking her is too cruel yet."

Jason winked at him. "Promise me something, Master."

"Name it, I am in a generous mood."

Jason stepped closer, pressing his body against the other man's, hand reaching to pull his face to him. "Tomorrow," lips demanding, "is mine."

Michael chuckled as he crushed his Chosen to his chest. "My word, tomorrow night from sunset to sunrise, you will have me. We will go out and enjoy the evening. Then we shall return here, and," Jason's sob was silenced by a brutally possessive mouth.

David smiled as Jason latched on to Joseph. "See, baby," he brushed the top of Aaron's head with his lips. "It's a new life for us. You don't have to hide anymore. No one will make fun of you."

Aaron moved even closer. "Make love to me." After the blood, he needed him, needed him like he had never needed anything before in his life. "Like that first night, when you made me yours."

David rose, the boy in his arms. "I'm ready, Master. Where do we keep our pets?"

Azrael chuckled. "Come. Megel you will lead that one to rest when dawn comes?"

"Yes, or he can sleep the light hours with me." Michael smiled at Jason. "Jay, go tell your sister good night. You won't be seeing her till dusk."

"G'night, Jenny," he hugged her. "Oops, sorry, I forgot. It's Morgan, right?"

"Yeah." She kissed his cheek. "He says it's German, for 'morning' ."

"Sleep well, squirt. I'll see you later." He hugged her tightly. "Be good, okay? I'd hate to see you hurt."

She giggled. "Don't worry. I'll be an absolute angel."

Azrael went to Mark. "We go now. You will follow behind me, on your hands and knees." His eyes bore into him. "Do you understand?"

Mark opened his mouth to curse his captor, but found no words. He tried again, but Azrael's will beat at him. "Yes," he groaned. "Yes, Master." The words were forced out between clenched teeth.

"Not good enough. You must learn who owns whom here. I will punish you for your misbehavior. Now, you will follow me, on your hands and knees. Do you understand? He touched Mark's cheek. "Make me believe you are willing to obey."

It was pure agony. Fighting David had never been like this. "Master," he choked back a sob. "Yes, I understand."

"Good, now follow, and keep your head down. Do not speak unless spoken to. If I have to take your voice again, you will lose it for a long time."

"Master," the word hurt, but he had to try to get through to this monster. "Please, I beg you." He dropped to the floor. "Kill me."

"No, I want you to live. I plan to break you. The sooner you accept me as you lord and master, the sooner I will show you kindness. Now, be quiet, slave, or I will double your pain." He turned, ignoring the rebellious look the young man wore, knowing full well, the boy would follow.

"Enough you two," he fussed at Jason and Morgan. "You are only saying good-night, not good-bye. It grows late. If you want any of my time before I sleep, Morgan, we must go."


The floor was cold under Mark's hands and knees. He followed Azrael, fighting each movement. He could not refuse this new creature. Fighting was useless, but he couldn't give in. If he did, he knew he would lose his soul.

Azrael dropped Morgan off at her room. "Morgan, pet, I am going to leave you for a while. I have to deal with this one, but I will be back before sunrise to tuck you in. I am sorry. I had wanted to spend more time with you, but alas, there are times even I can not have my way."

She pouted playfully. "I guess I can't take all your time, can I?" She looked at Mark, on the floor. "Don't hurt him, Azrael. It's not his fault. He doesn't understand." She didn't understand why she was concerned about this man, but she was.

"I will not hurt him more than I have to." Her selfless request touched him. "I give you my word. Now, go curl up and get some rest. I will hurry with him."

"Good." Her laughter sounded through the hall as he hugged her and playfully nipped at her throat. She was such a sweet thing. "Hurry back." She kissed his cheek,

"I will, pet. Of that you can be sure."

* * *

Michael led his three into the dungeon. "My word," he exclaimed, looking around. Azrael had created a small dungeon--a real one. The bed resembled a rack, although he didn't see a winch. There were restraints on the posts, and odd devices hanging from the headboard. There were also chains on the walls, and a table equipped with restraints to hold a body in any number of positions. The only modern, and interesting, touch was the shower in the corner. There were restraints in the stall, and a hand-held showerhead. Michael chuckled. He knew the many uses of that one particular piece of equipment.

Amber held back her tears. It had been months since her last visit here. It had hurt so much last time. Would he make her suffer again? "Michael." She huddled close to him. "Master, please. Can I ask a question?"

"No, pet, I'm not going to torture you. I only want to play. I swear, precious, I won't hurt you, ever, without cause. I have none." He hugged her. "Like now, I am interested in this set-up. Tell me about it. Has Azrael ever

used this with you?"

Her voice sounded hollow as she answered. "Yes." She shuddered. "Please, Michael--Master--don't do this to me. I won't argue. I'll be good. Don't hurt me." Her voice was the tiniest of whispers as she pressed against him.

Michael put an arm around her, and smiled softly, making a conscious effort not to show his fangs. "Unless I prove to you that I won't hurt you, you'll continue to fear me. Pet, why can't you believe me? I punished you last night. Did I hurt you greatly? Were you left unsatisfied?"

"No." She knew he would use the shower on her. His interest was too great. "I-you were kind. Azrael would have punished me differently, but it would have been worse in the end." She was resigned to what he would do. "Do you want me to show you the attachments?"

"Will you do this freely, or must I order it?"

She stepped into his arms. "I will be good, but Megel, please, I trust you."

Michael turned to Joseph and Jason. "You two play as you will." To Joseph, "be careful how you toy with my Chosen. He has a taste for sweet pain. That can heighten the pleasure, but stay mindful of his limits. I will be cross with you indeed if you push him too far."

Joseph was no fool. This vampire, right now a gracious and generous host, was old. He had never met another of his kind, other than Sharra, that was as old as this one, and his master's new master. Cross Megel? Not on his best day, "my Sire gave me the name Cain. I offer it as assurance that I would never harm him. You obviously mean to make him a little brother. I'm no Renegade."

"Your master is young, but he trains well. Go enjoy, I will be with you later. Since you give your word that my precious one is safe, so I give mine that no harm will ever come to you in your time with me." He accepted the younger vampire's kiss, feeding it with his own hunger and power. "Have fun."

Jason wormed an arm around Joseph. "The bed, please," he whispered. He wanted to feel his new friend again. Michael was wonderful. No one had ever made him feel like that. He loved him, so much that it hurt. But Joseph was fun, almost like a pal.

Joseph cupped Jason's face between his hands. "You'll have to tell me what you want, baby. I've never done anything like this before. I don't want to hurt you, so you tell me."

Jason pulled him towards the bed. "It's okay, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do."

Joseph laughed. The boy was just too adorable. "Oh, that's not the problem, little brother. I want to do a lot, I'm just not sure what you want." Aggression was never easy for him. Maybe this was a good time to practice. It would please David to no end to see him take the initiative. "I saw your Master spank you earlier." His hand cupped Jason's balls. "Tell me, pretty boy, tell me you'd like that."

Jason moaned pressing closer. "Yes," Oh, 'God, yes' . When Michael had earlier, it had felt so bizarre. It had hurt, of course, but it made the blood in his vein's race, and driven home his desperate need for sex. "Please, Joey, Master, make me cry. Take me."

"You'll tell me when to stop. Promise me, when you've had enough, you'll tell me."

"If I don't cum all over you first." He wanted this so much. His only regret was he'd probably have to wait until tomorrow before he could be with Michael again. But as the old saying goes. 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and other parts harder' . "I trust you."

The young vampire laughed. "With a master as old as yours? Yeah, I bet you do. Well, come here baby, I plan to see how hot I can make you."

Michael chained Amber to the shower wall. She fought to keep from begging her master to stop. He had been kind. She had watched him all evening. He wasn't cruel. But, chained, she could only feel fear.

"You are beautiful, Amber." Michael pulled away to undress. "You will love our time together. I promise. You must learn to trust me. I know you derive no pleasure from pain. Why would I want to hurt you? I prefer my partners to be lost in the joys I give, not horrified."

"I'm trying, really I am." She cried softly. "Please, Megel, believe me."

He stepped closer, concerned. "Why my true name, pet? Are you so afraid of my touch that you feel the need to draw my full attention to it? I feel your fear, pet. Believe me, I will prove it to be groundless."

"I'm sorry." She moaned as his teeth sank into the tender flesh of her throat, feeding slowly, drawing her into the warm, pleasant haze of want all mortals felt after feeding

"Don't be." He licked her throat, waiting for the wounds to close. "I enjoy the sound of my name on your lips. Call me Megel, if you wish, for that is who I am." He reached for the showerhead, ignoring all the many attachments. "The water will be warm, pet." The water flowed. "Warm, but not hot. I want you to enjoy this." He stepped back for room, brought the showerhead down, and parted her lips so that the forceful stream would be more effective. "I will take you tonight, both in your delightful sex and anally." His lips hushed a whimper. "I won't hurt you, Amber. Trust me, I am strong. You will feel no pain." He kissed her again. "But for now, let me drive you wild."

It was too much. The feeding, her own desires mixed with the pressure of the water, drove her to climax almost immediately. She cried out as the waves of pleasure began to rock her body. This was her greatest fear, for the last time she had been here, Azrael had tormented her for hours, driving her to unconsciousness four times before he showed mercy. It felt so good. But she knew how quickly the pleasure could turn into pain. "Please," she moaned, leaning forward, her mouth seeking his. "Please, Megel."

"Ssshh. What is it, sweet?" He pressed the showerhead against her, listening to her cries. "You need me already, Amber? But we have only just begun."

"Please." She wanted him. Gods, how she wanted. She didn't care how he took her, the need for his body was great. "Now."

Michael unchained her, welcoming the press of her body as she held him. "Up, pet." He lifted her, bringing her down on him, impaling her on his need. She cried out, softly, wrapping her legs around his hips. He had freed her. He hadn't hurt her.

In the corner, on the bed, the spanking was rapidly becoming too much for Jason. Joseph had spanked him soundly. His ass burned with greater heat than ever before. "No more," he whimpered as another stinging slap fell. "Please." But his pleas were ignored. "Master."

"Ssshh." Joseph held him over his lap. "Don't cry, Jay." his hand stroked the heated flesh, enjoying the curve of Jason's buttocks. "I heard you." His tone became mildly scolding; "All this fuss over a little spanking?"

"It hurt." Jason winced as Joseph pulled him up to sit in his lap.

"Poor kid." Joseph laughed. "Beg a spanking, then complain. Make up you mind, kiddo, either you want to be hurt, or you don't."

Jason blushed. Joseph was right. And besides, after some of the perverts he'd sold his body to, the pain in his backside was nothing. Could, he, be spoiled by Michael already? "I'm sorry. I panicked."

"Why?" Joseph turned, laying him on his back. "I'm not going to do anything to you that you don't ask for. Your master would string me up by my balls, and then mine would skin me alive. You have no idea how safe you really are. One does not damage the Chosen of an Elder." His grinned, a comical, lopsided grin that Jason immediately liked. "At least, not if one wants to continue living. Or un-living, in our case."

"Joseph--" Jason's mouth covered his. "No more talking, please." He wanted more. The spanking might have hurt, but it had driven home the need for more. "Let's fuck." He knew the difference between lovemaking and what he was offering. But he didn't love Joseph.

'God, to have a few like this', Joseph was amazed. "Jay," he asked, pulling the young man down with him, "have you ever taken a man, before?"


"Good. Let me be your first." Joseph smiled, reaching to touch him. "I much prefer the bottom."

Jason moaned as he pulled away. "Roll over, Master." Jason looked down at the waiting, ready Joseph. He would like this. How many times had he wondered about it, as his face was pressed into bedclothes or the vinyl of some guy's back seat. "Please, Master. I need you now."

Joseph chuckled, moving his hips invitingly. "Then Jay, be my friend. Let's enjoy this together."

* * *

Azrael stood over Mark, who lay motionless on the floor. "So, how shall I punish you?" He walked around his rebellious new pet, whose eyes fought to keep him in sight. "It should be horrifying enough to make you believe me, but not enough to destroy your mind, like that poor pet of Vincent's." He rubbed his chin, thoughtfully, before making his decision. "Rise, Mark. Remove your clothes. You do not deserve them."

This time, Mark didn't fight. It would be a waste of time. This beast wouldn't kill him. Not yet, anyway, so why bother? He was going to be tortured. He knew it. And there wasn't anything he could do about it. But even as he obeyed, he locked gazes with Azrael. Message, clear, in them, 'you might make me do anything, but I hate you, and I will never stop hating you' .

"What a fiery thing you are." Azrael snickered. "Go on, give me all the knife-filled looks you want. They will not hurt me. But after tonight, unless you want to suffer pain like you have never known, you will learn to look friendly. You might not feel it, but you will learn to make me believe you do." The smile on his face would terrify a mad dog. "If you do not, slave, I will make you wish you had."

Mark stood naked and defiant, not caring what this monster did to him. He would never let Azrael think he wanted him. *Go on you, bastard. * The thought was clear. He knew full well that the vampire could 'hear' him. *Do your worst, I will never welcome you. Remember that you will have to take what you want from me. I will never give it. *

The wall met his head with jarring force as Azrael's teeth sank into his throat. Yes! He rejoiced, 'kill me. Go right ahead, if you'll just kill me' ! It was the one nice thing about the vampires. If he had to choose a way to die, this would be it, his body reacting of its own accord, holding the ancient one to him. His body lost in the intense pleasure of the act. Yes, this was a wonderful way to die.

But Azrael had no intentions of killing this one. He would blood-bond with the incorrigible youth, force his will on the rebellious one in a, way, Mark would be unable to understand, or resist. "I told you, Mark," he said softly, with the tone of absolute supremacy, "I have no intention of taking your life." There was a tone of finality to it. "I want you, boy, and I will have you." He ran his hand down Mark's back, over his buttocks, tracing the line of his hip.

"NO!" Mark cried as a hand found him. "Damn you, why won't you kill me?"

"Because I find no pleasure in fucking a corpse." He chuckled at the horror on the young man's face. "Yes, Mark, now you know. Before long, I will take you. I will steal the only innocence you have left. And believe me, you will find it as painful and as horrifying as you fear. It will be a long night for you, your first in my bed. But for now," his fingers tightened on Mark's erection, capturing his balls, "we will go to the bed. I will give you my blood, and then." Pressure sudden, incredible pressure as he squeezed. Mark cried out in pain. "Feel it. Get used to it. Become acquainted with it. Because if you do not learn to give me what I order, it will be the only feeling you will have for a long time." Still gripping Mark's testicles, he headed for the bed, dragging Mark behind him.

There was no fighting, now, as Azrael pulled him towards the bed by his balls, crushing them in his grip. "Don't fall," Azrael advised. "If you fall, it will only be worse, for I will still drag you to the bed. Believe me, boy, you do not wish that."

Mark screamed at the twist of Azrael's wrist. He knees buckled, but he refused to fall. If he did, this mad thing would drag him by his balls. "Please." He cried now, pain the only thing he felt. "Stop, God, don't."

Azrael released him so that he could fall onto the bed. "Begging already? Good." He smiled softly as he drew a knife from a drawer. Not a dagger as earlier, but a nasty, curved kukri that could make quick work of man or beast. "I love the sound of it. Beg me again slave. Beg me to make you mine, or I will cut your manhood from you." Mark's horrified gasp prompted another chuckle. "Yes. You would die from that, would you not? But I could prevent it. Remember, no-one bleeds to death around a vampire, unless the vampire wants it. I want you to live." He leaned forward forcing Mark to meet his gaze. "So, shall you be a man, or a eunuch?"

No force, for the first time since David had given him to this mad thing, there was, no, crush of will. He would have to do this freely, or as freely as anyone faced with the threat of emasculation can make a decision. "I hate you," he spat, wanting to fight this creature, and knowing he couldn't. "Take me.

I'll do it. But I hate you."

"Oh, come now." Azrael laughed and grabbed Mark's penis. He held the knife just inches from the base. "That is not a beg. Perhaps if I removed this unsightly affliction, you would loose some of your fight." The knife pressed against flesh, drawing blood.

"No." Mark dared not move. That blade could come farther down at any time. "Please. I'm sorry." He screamed. This beast was going to cut his dick off. "Master, please, take me. I'll do it, what ever you want, but please -- " He almost fainted as the blade moved. "I swear it! I want you! DON'T!"

Azrael pulled the knife away, gathered a few droplets of blood and mixed it with his saliva to heal the wound. "You want me?" He smiled, tasting the fear. "Say it again, dog. Make me believe you."

Mark swallowed, pushing all thoughts of resistance away. This wasn't David. David had been so easy to put off. This one didn't care if he hated him. The beast found it amusing. This one could do whatever he wanted. "Yes," he said, trying to convince, himself, as he spoke. "I want you. Please, Master, tell me what to do."

Azrael was amused by the sudden change of heart. "And you swore that there was nothing I could do to make you bend." He held up a finger, silencing Mark. "I would not, if I were you, my boy. Your capitulation is the only thing that is keeping your--what is the modern slang? -' Family Jewels' from being cut off at the base."

Mark lay on the bed, staring up at Azrael, shocked. The beast would make him obey by threatening him with emasculation. Would he do it? Could any man, alive or--like this creature--do that to another man? Rape, torture, and even kill--but emasculation?

He almost convinced himself that it was a bluff, almost, and then he looked up into Azrael's eyes. Old, ancient eyes 'my God, he'd do it' . He bit back a cry as the reality filled him. If he didn't do everything he was told, he'd be . . ..

"Yes. Now you understand your situation." Azrael motioned Mark to sit up, and sat beside him. "Oh, do not look so stunned. Only a fool would have not thought to use your own masculinity as a means to control you. And boy, best you learn now, I am many things, but I am not a fool."

"What--what do you want me to do?" For the moment, all thoughts of fighting, resistance had gone.

Azrael unbuttoned his shirt partway. "You will bond with me tonight. Nothing more, if you go freely to my control, I will only beat you. Resist and." He reached to touch him. "You know what will happen."

Mark swallowed back a plea. He had lost. He knew it. Once he drank from Azrael, he would be a mindless puppet like the rest. If he refused, he would be forced to do it anyway, and unmanned for his troubles. Perhaps, if he did this freely, he wouldn't end up completely brainless. "Okay, I'll do it."

The hand that stroked him became hard again, reaching to capture his balls. "You will do what?" Azrael's hand tightened.

Mark didn't scream, for that he was proud, but a moan of pain did slip past his lips. "I'm trying. I'll bond with you. I swear. I'll drink." He gritted his teeth. "Master."

"Good. See, that was not as hard as it seemed, was it?" Azrael's hand became gentle again. "If you please me further, I might even allow your deflowering to be pleasant. I reward good behavior just as quickly as I punish bad." He pulled away. "Come, drink." The blade cut, deep into his chest, blood welling.

Mark hesitated just a moment before obeying. A fleeting thought crossed his mind, as he let his mouth close over the wound; what 'would it taste like' ?

His head swam and his body burned, as the blood flowed into his mouth. Never before had he felt like this. The power, the force, the energy, ran through his veins, leaving him clutching at the creature whom held his life.

There was no going back, now, no reprieve. He would be owned for the rest of his life, however long or short that it might be. He would be broken, whether he fought or not, and he would, in the end, beg this man to do anything he asked. The end was here, and he couldn't stop it. He didn't want to.

For the first time in his life, he welcomed a man's kiss. Freely feeding on it, wanting it. Mouth opening to taste the warmth of the other's, his arms locked around Azrael's neck as the vampire pulled him close. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew he should resist, but he couldn't, he, was, trapped, now, by both fear and this new need.

Azrael wisely refrained from laughing at his triumph. He knew how fragile his control was right now. Although he had every intention of breaking this troublesome mortal, now was not the time. The battle would resume, soon enough. But for now, he allowed the boy to seek his mouth and hold him, a reward for his willingness.

Rational thought returned and Mark almost leaped away from Azrael. "What-- wait--what did you do to me?" he demanded, angry and confused.

"I made you mine. You belong to me, now. There is nothing you can do to escape, for without my blood, you will die." Azrael brushed a lock of dark hair from Mark's face. "Do you still wish for death? If so, you may have it. All I have to do is withhold my blood."

"Die?" Why now, what was this? He had begged and been refused so long, why now?

"Yes. But I warn you. It is not a pleasant death. It takes a month to six weeks for the blood to burn all the life out of you. That is what it is, a flame inside, burning you up. Do you wish this?" His voice was gentle. "Without nightly feedings from me, you will begin a slow, agonizing death. You will scream for release until the end."

Now, Mark jumped away, almost falling to the floor. "You're going to do that, aren't you?" he accused. "Killing me quick isn't good enough. You're gonna make me suffer."

"No. It is up to you. You will beg for my blood every day. Not to is to, consign, yourself to torment worse than any punishment I could devise. I leave it up to you. If you want to live, you shall ask. If you do not want to live, you will die. From now on, I will not force my blood on you." He opened his arms. "Come back into my arms, pet. It is safer here."

Mark looked from him to the knife. "No," he whispered.

"Yes, boy. Come here. If I have to retrieve you, you will not like what happens."

Mark moved slowly, hating himself for his fear more than he did the monster before him.

"Good boy." Azrael's arms tightened gently around him, holding him in his lap again. "Is there anything I can grant you before I punish you?"

"Grant me?"

"Yes," he smiled softly. "I am not completely immune your struggles. Bonding is not easy for one such as you. So I will grant you one small kindness before I deliver your beating." Again he reached down and touched Mark. "How long has it been since you were allowed pleasure? Vincent hated you so, I cannot see him seeing to your needs."

Mark stiffened in his arms. What he had most feared was about to happen. David had never done anything other than feed. 'This' one planned on making a damned pervert out of him. "No. I don't want anything from you," he hissed. "Just beat me and get it over with, Master."

"Now, now, do not be this way. You should snatch what grace I offer. If I thought that you did not want this--" His hands warmed Mark's skin, and his voice grew hard. "You do not want me to think you are resisting, do you?"

Mark wasn't stupid. He heard the warning in Azrael's voice. He either convinced this mad thing that he wanted this, or he'd end up with a quick sex change. "Why are you doing this?" he whispered. "Why make me ask for it? Just do what you want. I don't care, but making me beg." He looked away, and down. "If I beg, I die inside."

Azrael grinned. He was reaching the boy. Vincent just never gave him a chance. Soon he would be his, as much by his own admission as by fact. "Yes, boy, but better the little death than what will happen if I feel you are refusing me." He looked down at the erection in his hand. "Your body finds pleasure, even if your mind rejects it. Would

it not be easier to allow me this, to enjoy what kindness I grant?"

Mark was ashamed at his body's response. He didn't want this, didn't want to admit that anything this 'thing' did had an effect on him. But his body had a mind of its own. "What do you want me to do?" He closed his eyes as he gave in. The hunger, the need, ate at him.

Azrael stopped his play long enough to put away the knife. He had won for now. True, it had been with force and threats, but it would soon be freely given. "What do you want? I believe you mentioned a 'blow job' earlier. Would you like that? Or do you need my full attention? If you ask for it, I promise

I will not hurt you." He lay Mark on the bed and leaned over him. "Would you like that, pet? I will make it wonderful, but only if you allow it."

Allow it. He would have to allow it. Mark licked his lips. He wasn't a fool. He knew what was being asked. But could he do it? He'd always hated faggots. Any man who would let some guy do him up the ass was a sicko pervert. Now he was being forced to be one. It made him want to vomit, and yet, he wanted to submit. "Is that what you want?" His closed his eyes as he lay there. "I--I'll do it, but."

"But what, pet? Come tell me your fear. If you are afraid of the pain, I promise. I will not hurt you. Forget my earlier words. There will be almost no pain. But you must ask for it. I offer this just once. If you do not take it, I will not be so kind next time. Mark, it can hurt greatly at the beginning." He admired Mark's body. The young man was beautiful, as strong as he looked, his manhood tall and proud. Oh, the things he could do with such a darling pet.

The silence lasted far too long for Azrael's comfort. What was his pet thinking of, now? "But I'm not gay," Mark finally said, revulsion in his tone. "I'm not a faggot. I don't like it. The thought always makes me sick."

Oh, this was lovely. Not, only was the boy heterosexual, but a homophobe as well. It could not have been better if Azrael had planned it. "Were you sickened when I kissed you, pet? When I touch you now, like this, are you in danger of soiling the sheets?" There was more than just a hint of sarcasm tohis voice.

Mark almost assented, then stopped. A blush rose on his body as he realized that no, he was not sickened. He had gave himself to the kiss, had welcomed it, and now, if anything, he wanted to finish this. He needed it, more that he had ever needed a woman before. He didn't want to admit that he felt anything. "No," he whispered, not certain which question he answered.

"Poor pet, you have no idea what is going on, do you? Would you rather I made it easy for you? I can, you know. I can make you want this, take away the shame for now. Would that be better? All you have to do is ask me." Azrael's lips traced the line of Mark's jaw. "Tell me you want me to take your will. I promise, you will love it."

A break, Mark couldn't believe it. He was actually being offered an out. It would be easy, then. He could submit, and not be responsible for anything that happened. He knew that Azrael was telling the truth, that if he asked, Azrael could make it so he wanted it. He almost agreed. He wanted to so much, but again he stopped short. He didn't want to be a mindless puppet. That was what he hated most about all of this. He had always acted by his own decision. "No," he said sighing. "If I have to do this, I'd just as soon do it as me, and not one of your zombies."

"Are you asking me, pet?" This was more than Azrael had ever hoped for. There had been others, as rebellious as Mark, who had wanted the oblivion. This boy wasn't a coward. He was willing to go forward with his eyes open. "You are mine. Do you want me to prove it?"

Mark's fists clinched as he gathered himself. He either said 'yes' , gave in, or he'd end up being fucked anyway. But if he refused, Azrael would make him pay and pay big. "Yeah," he sighed, fuck it, he might as well get something out of it. "I'm asking."

Azrael threw his head back and laughed. "You sound like I am making you beg to be tortured." He stood and smiled down at his pet. "Come, slave, undress me. Show me you want this." He held out a hand as Mark sat up. "Let me feel your hands on my body. Join me in this."

Mark stared at him. He had been expecting to be fucked, plain and simple, not take an active part in it. But he should have known that it wouldn't be that easy. Not only did he have to bend over. He had to open his mouth.

"Having second thoughts?" Azrael's eyes and tone hardened. "Do not tease me, boy. It is all, or nothing. I am being over-generous right now, and I do not have time to be any more giving. Morning will be here soon, and I have yet to tuck in my sweet one. Come here. I will not ask again."

"Jeez," Mark commented as he obeyed. He wasn't ready to fight again. He'd lost the last round, and knew it, but couldn't yet accept that he had lost the war. "Gimme a break, will ya?" he muttered as he fumbled with the buttons on Azrael's shirt.

The slap knocked him back onto the bed. Azrael straddled him, holding him in place. "Give you a break?" His hand locked around Mark's throat. "You are a fool." Fingers tightened as he struggled. "You have no idea how much of a break I am giving you." His eyes bore into Mark's. "Can you possibly comprehend the power I command? With a thought, I could crush your mind and leave you a drooling simpleton. Or I could lock you in a hell from which there is no escape. You play a dangerous game, slave." His face was inches from Mark's. "I had so hoped that you would be wise. I could have taken you, you know that, instead I allow you to remain whole, and how do you thank me?" Again he slapped the young man. He struck again and again, knocking Mark's head side-to-side.

Mark tried to push Azrael away, but his efforts only further angered the vampire. "Don't," he got out, flinching as the hand pause over him. "Please," he begged, defeated and terrified. "Please, Master."

"What game do you play now?"

"No game," he swallowed blood. "I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to be a jerk. I don't know what to do, okay? I've never done this before." Slowly, knowing, the abuse could begin again, he reached for Azrael. His head ached. No one, not even his father, had ever hit him that hard before. "See." His fingers reached for the fastenings of Azrael's pants. "I'm trying, Master. Please help me."

Azrael watched with unconcealed curiosity as, Mark reached to pull his manhood from the restraints of his garments. "I see." And he did. He had lost his temper and lashed out, when his pet had done no more than reach out for help. The words were unfortunate, but only a common phrase that expressed his ignorance. Guilt, now, at the red marks that would become bruises, and the blood that trickled from Mark's lip. "My apologies, pet. But you must be more careful with what you say. I demand respect at all times."

Mark nodded. He wouldn't need another reminder. "I'll be careful."

The hardness in his hands was cool to Mark's touch. He'd noticed this, the few times that David had fed from him. A vampires body temperature was lower than a normal person's was. "May I ask you a question?"

Azrael moved off of him slowly, sat beside him, and caught his hand. He gently and reassuringly squeezed Mark's fingers. "What is it you wish to know?"

"What's your name, I--" Mark flinched at the frown. "Forget it, Master, I won't ask again."

"Why do you ask?"

Would the beating start again? "Never mind. It's not important. I only figured if I was going to, you know, do this, that it would be cool to know your name." He watched Azrael's hand, jumping back as it reached to stroke his cheek. "Please, don't. I won't ask again."

"Azrael." The vampire leaned forward to lick the blood from Mark's lip, then kissed him softly. "My name is Azrael. Would you prefer to use it? If you promise that you will be good, no fighting, I will allow you the freedoms I allow all my pets."

"I don't know if I can." Mark admitted. "Please, wait, I'm trying, but."

"Tell you what. I will punish you first, then take you. You will go to your rest with the memory of pleasure, instead pain. Your efforts are well received, pet. I will try to curb my anger at you while you learn."

'Punished' . The word chilled Mark's blood. He was to be punished. Azrael's attack had shown him how much force the vampire could command. "Do you have to? I'm sorry. I won't do it again. I might not go into this easily, but I won't cuss anyone, I swear. Please, Azrael. See, I'm begging."

"Hush, you 'will' be punished. If you regret your actions, then the punishment will be more effective. But I shall grant you one last kindness. It will be bare-handed, over my knee, instead of with a belt across your back." He laid a finger over Mark's lips. "Ssshh boy, any argument now will only worsen it."

Humiliating. He was to be spanked, like a bad boy. A beating would have been better. At least then he could have held on to what was left of his pride, but no, a spanking. "Okay." He bit his lip to keep form doing anything stupid. His balls were still aching from the earlier abuse. The knife was still too close for comfort. And he knew his master--yes face it, his master--would hurt him. Azrael had proven that. Abuse, emasculation, rape, but not death, he was ashamed at how much of a coward he had been, but he'd do anything to keep from getting fucked up again.

"Lay over my knees. Show me your willingness to obey." Azrael couldn't wait to get his hands on this one. To see him, cry with pleasure and shame. He knew that Mark, no matter how much, he tried, would hate every caress, despair at any kindness. It threw him into territory that he couldn't understand. Abuse he feared, and would fight to prevent, but pleasure- 'that' was where the true torment would lie. For Mark would enjoy it despite his aversion. "I will allow you to cry, but there will be no begging until it is over. Every word you utter will add five blows to the fifty you are promised. Show me that self-control you pride yourself on, or we might be here till dawn and you will miss your one opportunity for a painless deflowering."

Mark's obeyed, keeping his mouth shut. Accepting his fate.

His breath, was, knocked from him by the first brutal blow. 'Kindness' , his mind screamed. 'My God, he thinks this is a kindness' . He had never been beaten like this, each blow sounding into the quiet, the pain unlike any he had ever been forced to endure. It mingled with the horror and degradation of being spanked. But this was no spanking; this was a beating. He'd not do it again, he swore to himself, screaming as Azrael's hand reached under to ravage his manhood, squeezing his balls to the crushing point.

Azrael added strength to the blows as, Mark cried and squirmed, but the boy didn't pull away. "Be still, Mark, or I will have to hurt you more."

Mark was beyond thought, or reason. The pain had pushed him into a dark corner of his mind, one that he had hidden in as a child, when his drunken father would abuse his mother and him. His screams were reduced to mindless whimpers as Azrael delivered the final blow. He slid to the floor, curling up into a protective ball, arms locked over his head.

"Mark," Azrael knelt beside him. "Come here, pet. Let me hold you."

"No!" He struggled blindly as Azrael pulled him up. "Please, please Daddy, don't hit me again. I'm sorry, I won't do it no more, I promise, I'll be good." He was out of his mind.

Azrael went cold at the words. He should have known. No one grows to be so hate-filled without reason. "Ssshh, stop." His power pressed down just enough to break the resistance. "Mark, pet." He reached out to lift the young man's chin. "Come back. Your father is not here. The punishment is over. Come back to me."

Mark's eyes slowly lost the wild look. "Please." His voice was harsh from screaming. "Don't, please, I'll do it. Anything, fuck me. Anything you say. Just don't send me back there again."

"Look at me." Enough of this; he would not have a pet of his, not even this one, afraid of past haunts. "Listen to me, pet. No more, be good. Be sweet, no more." He silenced the sobs with a mental command, forcing quiet on the younger man. "There is no pain, other than what the spanking gave you. And that brings warmth to your groin, makes you need this even more. The rest is gone." For now, he had won. How long his victory would last was uncertain, but he was willing to bet that Mark would never fight him as he had fought Vincent.

Mark's arms moved of their own volition. They circled Azrael's neck as his mouth opened under the demanding lips. The agony in his groin was gone, leaving only a need, a need so great that it surpassed anything he had ever felt. No woman, no matter, how pretty or experienced, had ever made him feel like this. "Yes." He buried his face in the long silkiness of Azrael's hair, as again a hand found him.

"It is late, my sweet pet. If I stay with you any longer, I will not be able to tend to Morgan."

"But--" Mark froze. "Please, don't. I did what you said. I didn't say anything." Azrael would rape him, now. That had been the threat. But he hadn't broken the rule. Why was he being punished now? "What did I do?"

"Ssshh," arms tightened around him as he cradled the now-frightened boy. "Wait, let me finish."

Mark hardly breathed.

"Good. I have no intention of breaking my promise. I have to take you with me." Azrael waited, letting the new information sink in. "If I do this, pet, allow you near my new love, can I trust you? You will sleep with her. When I leave with the dawn, it will be to rest. If I allow this, can I count on you to be wise?"

It confused Mark. This man kept switching from kind too cruel and back again. He was lost in the switch. Not even his father had been like this. "Wise?"

"If I allow you near my little one, will you disappoint me? Can I trust you to be good? If you hurt her while I sleep, I would be very upset with you." The threat was there, clear and unmistakable.

"I--" Mark stopped and thought about it. If he behaved, he would at least not be alone. "I promise."

"You will like Morgan. She is a sweet and exceptionally loving girl. I would rather the two of you share the daylight hours, but only if I can trust you not to hurt her."

A little of his spunk returned as he sat up and pulled away. "Be serious, man. There is no way in hell I'm gonna do anything you don't like." He tried to smile. "I know what you can do, and I'd just as soon not live through that again."

"Good, then let us go. She probably thinks that I have forgotten her." He lifted Mark's chin. "Always remember, this; any time the two of you play, you be gentle with her. She is still very weak, recovering from cancer. I do not mind if the two of you choose to be close, only that you be careful." He stroked his cheek. "You can be gentle, can you not?"

"Yeah, I won't hurt nobody, I swear." Mark closed his eyes and pressed his face into Azrael's hand. He should feel humiliation, but at that moment, all he felt was glad to be alive.

"Good boy. Now down. You will still crawl." He shook his head at the hurt look. "Oh, I am pleased with you, never doubt that but let us be honest; you still hate me, and if you could get free, you would. We both know it. So until the last of your rebelliousness is gone, you will crawl everywhere. You will remain without clothes, and will obey anyone who speaks to you, Kin and kine alike."

"'Kine'?" He had never heard of that word before.

"Yes. It is what you, our pets, are. It is an old word for cattle."

'Wonderful' , "Master, do I have to obey everyone?" He knew that David hated him as much as he did him in return.

"Yes, pet, anyone. But do not be afraid, no one will hurt you. If you are bad, it is I who wields the whip." He pulled back. "Down pet, let us go."


Mark crawled as quickly as he could behind Azrael, hoping beyond hope that no one would see him. This was just too much. He had never been so humiliated as he had been tonight. What more would he be forced to bear before he paid the bill? And David--it didn't matter that Azrael had promised that he wouldn't let anyone hurt him. He knew David. It would be only a matter of time before David got him. David would eventually get over his aversion to touching him, and then.

Azrael shook his head. The boy had no faith in him. Well, no matter, that would change. He paused at a door and knocked on it lightly, before entering. "I hope the accommodations are to your liking," he smiled at David, who lay on the bed, curled up close to his pet.

"Yes, thank you, Master. I've convinced my pet here that things are looking up." He looked at Mark. "I'm surprised he's still alive."

Azrael was genuinely surprised. "Why would he not be? Really, Childe, he is not as bad as you made out. A firm hand was all he needed. He is becoming quite a darling." He smiled down at Mark. "Come here, pet."

David wasn't just amazed at what he saw. He was floored as, Mark allowed himself to be pulled into Azrael's arms. There was no control used. "How?"

"You just never gave him a chance. He is quite sweet once you get past the hate."

"Mark." David didn't know what to think. He had felt certain that if anyone could push an immortal into a fit of rage, it was this one. But then, by the look of him, battered and bruised, Azrael had had a time of it winning.

"Master?" He looked at David from the safety of Azrael's arms.

"So you finally gave in." He laughed. "Azrael, I am impressed."

"Thank you." Azrael smiled. "Vincent, I want him to hear this, so that he believes me. He is afraid of you. Your animosity for him is fact. He is worried that you will take your revenge."

He nodded. "The thought has crossed my mind. Am I to assume that it is a no go?"

"Very much so. I have promised him that no one but I will ever harm him. So I want him to hear me as I tell you. If you wish to amuse yourself with him, he will of course obey. But- 'do not hurt him' ."

David nodded. "As Joey would say, 'got ya' . I won't hurt a hair on his head. My word."

"See, pet." Azrael smiled up at Mark. "Now, you go over and ask his forgiveness. That way it will be over and it will not haunt you."

Mark looked at Azrael, before going to kneel by the bed. "David, man, I'm sorry."

David looked down at him, trying hard to believe that anyone had been able to bring about such a change. "I don't believe it." He just couldn't believe that Mark, of all people, was kneeling here apologizing. Anyone else, yes, but Mark?

"Please." Mark knew what would happen if he failed to convince this one of his sincerity. "Come on, David. Don't do this, man. I was wrong, I'm sorry. Please, you'll get me beaten again."

"You're serious. Azrael really bested you, didn't he?"

"Yes sir."

David sat up on the bed, swung around to perch on the edge, looking down at Mark before reaching to pull his head forward. "Kiss it, pet." He thrust gently against his lips. "Go on, take it into your mouth. Don't be shy. I won't ask you to blow me, tonight, but I want to see you do it."

Mark wanted to die right then and there. He wanted to say, no, to pull away and lash out. But he knew that doing that would only get him killed. So he sighed, and obeyed. His kiss was stiff, and when he took David's cock into him, he broke down into tears. He knelt, tears streaming down his face, with David's hardening erection in his mouth.

"Go on Mark, suck on it." It was more than David could have imagined. No wonder the Elder hadn't, killed Mark when he was offered. Aaron had never really put up a fight, aside from the first night, when he had reacted out of ignorance and fear. But Mark had been a fireball. "You do know, Mark, that with a little time, you could become very good at that," he praised him.

"Vincent." Azrael could have kissed the young vampire. Mark was completely vanquished now. "Much as I enjoy watching my boy pleasing you, I must go. Tomorrow evening, you can play with him all you want. I'd most enjoy watching you, of all of us, commanding him. He owes you much for his misbehavior."

"Gladly, Master." He touched Mark's cheek. "Pull away, Mark. Come kiss me goodnight."

'You'd think that if I could blow him, kissing would be easy' . Again there was a war in his soul as he let the hard maleness slip from his mouth. He stood, allowed David to pull him close. It was being asked to reach out this way that was harder. Blowing David meant that he was ordered to perform, but as his arms locked around the vampire's shoulders, and their tongues met in a mutual sensual dance, he knew that to kiss was an agreement of two persons, a sharing. He didn't want to share this. The shame rose as he nuzzled David's neck, biting lightly at the base of his throat.

"Azrael, he is wonderful, I applaud you." David released him.

"Thank you. I will see you at dusk." He motioned for Mark to drop and follow him.

The cold of the floor helped to cool Mark's body. He burned with self-disgust. Shame was too light a word for his feelings. He had enjoyed the feel of a cock in his mouth. Savored that taste that still teased his senses. The kiss had made him ache with a want that overwhelmed him, riding roughshod over the shame and humiliation that he had felt.

Azrael chuckled to himself as the younger man's thought played out. This was going to prove to be very interesting. He had not seen a pet this disturbed by simple pleasures in a long time. The boy would provide hours of entertainment, at least for a while. He would break Mark slowly, allow him to hope, just to watch how he struggled to hold up under the strain when it was yanked away. He might even begin to love this one as he watched him suffer.

* * *

Morgan sat up in bed as the door opened. "Azrael?"

"Yes, sweet. Were you expecting any other?" He waited for Mark to crawl in before closing the door. "I told you I would come before light. Did you doubt me?"

She looked at Mark. He was a mess, both sides of his face red, with bruises forming. Azrael had beaten him. "No. It's just so late, I wondered." Why was he here? She wanted to ask, but wasn't sure she wanted the answer.

"The sun can not touch me here, and I am old enough that I can remain awake after sunrise, if I so choose." He moved to sit on the bed beside her. "Mark will be staying with you when I go to sleep. There is no reason why you two should sleep alone." He pulled her close. "This is so very new to you, and you are so young. For a while, the daylight hours will be hard for you."

"But he's--" Mark wasn't like the others.

"Pet," he chided, "surely, you do not think I would allow anyone near you who would harm you? Mark might be a bit rough around the edges, and it might be a while before he is as sweet as you are. But believe me, he knows what will happen to him if he hurts you. Trust me, Morgan. You are safe. The two of you will be able to enjoy the hours in solitude."

She crawled into his lap. The thought of spending time with Mark didn't thrill her, but if there was nothing she could do about it, there was nothing she could do about it. "Make love to me." She needed to feel wanted right now. Everything had changed so much. Her head swam with it.

"I will, of course, but I promised my boy here my time, first. Would you join us, let him taste the sweetness of your sex while I enjoy him? Since he is my pet as well, he has every right to share you."

"I have to sleep with him"

"Yes, sweet, you do. You have to share yourself with anyone in this house, save your brother." He searched her face. "Am I going to have problems with you because of this?" He put just enough warning into his voice, to let her know that arguments were not allowed.

"No." She trembled now. He could kill. And while she believed that he would never kill her, she wasn't foolish enough to believe that he wouldn't punish her if she went against him. "I promise."

"Good." He hugged her tightly. "I am pleased to see your willingness to obey. Such sweetness is always rewarded." He kissed her softly, feeling her body press against his. "Lay back sweet, let us show our rebellious one how wonderful this life can be."

Morgan lay back, watching Azrael. "Watch, pet. See how well he obeys."

Mark looked up at this. "Master?" What would he have to do now?

"Undress me, pet. You were anxious to put your hands on my body. Let us see that willingness again." He held out a hand and pulled the boy against him. "I want you." He said, in a soft whisper that held promise and threat.

Mark closed his eyes, accepting the situation. There would be no turning back, despite his disgust at the whole situation. 'Okay, he wants me. Fine we'll see how much he likes it when I don't fight' . He ran his hands under Azrael's shirt, as so many of his girlfriends had done to him. Hope flared. Maybe this wouldn't be so hard. 'After all, I've taught more than one girl what to do' .

Azrael was a little surprised at the demand in Mark's kisses. He'd been sure that he would have to walk his new one through this step by step, but Mark had leaped in with both feet. Hands hot on his skin as his mouth drew much-needed passion. "Down," he whispered against Mark's cheek, "let me feel your mouth on me, pet. I am pleased with you."

Mark struggled with the buttons of Azrael's pants in his haste, tasting the hardness as it leapt free from confinement. He was torn between the intense erotic stimulation of the sent and taste, and the horror of his actions. No, he pushed the negative emotions away. 'I'll worry about what all this means later' . For now, all he wanted to do was get this done, to end the ache in his gut.

He pulled away for a moment and wet the middle finger of his right hand. Azrael was obviously gay, so Mark counted on him enjoying this. He blindly with his finger wet, began to rub his master's crinkled bud. Then with a hope that he wouldn't be frowned at, he slipped the finger into Azrael's anus. Azrael's moan of pleasure was heady. 'Yes, enjoy. Be happy' . He thought, as he thrust shyly.

*I am, pet. You are proving to be well worth the trouble. * Azrael's thoughts were soothing as he reached to pull him away. "Do not be so shy, Mark. You could never hurt me." Azrael held him for a moment, letting his actions relay how pleased he was. Perhaps the boy wouldn't have to suffer. With the right amount of pressure, this one could be as sweet as any, of his, darlings. "On the bed precious, lay down, let me show you the same."

Morgan moved over as Mark hurried to obey. He had done it. It would finally end. He wanted this. Oh, God, how he wanted this.

Azrael stepped from his pants and lay over the boy, pressing him down into the bedding. "I am going to drive you to such heights. You are going to thank me for this, boy. Trust me." Then to Morgan, who sat watching. "Straddle his face, love. There is no reason you should be left out. Enjoy this with us."

After a moments thought, she straddled Mark, facing away from Azrael. Mark grabbed her hips. "I won't hurt you." His eyes met hers. "I won't." He pulled her down to his mouth, fingers parting her nether lips to allow his own lips, and, tongue access.

Morgan cried out softly at the touch. Sex was still new to her, but she was learning what felt good. His mouth and fingers, sucking and thrusting, felt wonderful.

Azrael nodded to himself. Good, there was not going to be a problem. Mark understood what was expected, and Morgan, sweet darling child that she was, was as willing and wanton as she had been earlier. Oh, the nights he could look forward to as they became used to their new life.

Mark tensed as he felt Azrael's fangs gently rake up his cock. He froze, waiting for the pain. But nothing happened, except the powerful feel of drawing, and a gentle hand on his balls. He was ready, now, if it would only end. His cries opened his mouth farther, allowing Morgan to feel more of his mouth as his teeth and lips locked around her clitoris, fingers thrusting in time with the maddeningly intense movements on his need. 'Don't stop' , he prayed. 'Please, God, don't let him stop' .

She shouldn't have been worried. stopping was the last thing Azrael had in mind. The boy was responding so well, so freely. Morgan's cries served to mingle with the pleasure of his deeds to bring him great satisfaction. Once Mark was given all he had, the boy would be willing to do anything to feel it again.

"That's it, baby," Mark's voice sounded out over Morgan's moans. "Open up, cum." He thrust his fingers faster, teeth latching on to her clitoris, holding her in place as his tongue began rapidly flicking over the very core of her pleasure.

Morgan screamed, as her hips thrust down and she rode the waves of heat that rose from her groin to swell through her whole body. The intensity of her pleasure was so great, so all encompassing, that for one brief second she would do anything to show her gratitude.

Mark's choked cry followed hers, as the heat finally released, and the mouth that pulled on him with painful force took him to the end.

"Do not move." Azrael straddled Mark, his body pressing against Morgan's. "I am going to take you now, my sweet one. Your cries have inflamed me." He bent her forwards, holding her up so that Mark's mouth could continue to work its magic, even as he filled her. "Mark, pull your hand away, pet, let me give her this."

Mark felt the additional weight as Azrael's hard maleness took the place of his fingers, but it wasn't crushing. He was lost beyond all rhyme or reason. Joining Azrael in making love to this woman was the most wonderful thing he had ever felt.

Morgan was drawn tight, lost in the cresting waves of heat that battered her body as the thrusting cock forced her against the mouth merciless in its demands, and as Mark's hands rose capturing her breasts in his rough caress, she became a mad thing. Lost in a continual wave of joy, she shrieked once as her pleasure reached a point that snapped something deep within, driving her to unconsciousness with the glory.

Mark felt her slip just before Azrael snatched her up, holding her to him as he too gave in.

"Poor thing." He brushed the hair-wisps from her face as he held her limp body. "We were too much for her, it would seem."

"What happened?" Mark pulled himself clear. His confusion became fear as he looked at her. "I didn't do anything." Would the hell start again? "I swear I, didn't, hurt her." He would be blamed. He knew it. He always was. "Please, Azrael," he begged, hands covering his groin as he retreated on the bed.

Azrael gave him a brief look. "Hush, Mark. This is not your doing. She has had more of my blood than you have. It tends to intensify everything. You are in no trouble, I promise." He brushed his lips over her brow. "Wake up, sweet," he urged, giving just a tiny push to her. Too much could be damaging. "Open your eyes, pretty."

A sigh escaped her as she returned to consciousness. "What happened?" There was no fear, just confusion.

"You fainted, sweet. We were too much for you. Your body is still so new to my power. I should have been expected it and been prepared." Azrael smiled softly. "Did you enjoy yourself, Morgan? Mark needs to know that he caused you no distress."

She moaned as she stretched. Every nerve was still alive and tingling warmly in her. "It was great." She turned her head to smile at Mark. "It was wonderful, really."

One could almost see the tension flow out of him. Regardless of Azrael's reassurances, Mark had refused to relax till Morgan had agreed.

"Pet, you are going to have to learn to have faith in me." Azrael extended a hand, allowing the younger man to curl up next to him. "Let me lay Morgan down. It is your turn. I have promised you this." He smiled warmly. It would feel wonderful to have this one under him.

Mark swallowed a lump as he watched Azrael settle Morgan on one side of the bed, fussing at her to rest. A low, anticipatory hum filled him. Now, it would be now.

Azrael smiled in admiration at Mark's beauty. He hadn't been wrong about this young man's build. Such power and grace. How could anyone who saw it not want it? "Come to me," he said kneeling on the bed and pulling the boy down.

'No words for now' , Mark prayed. He knelt before Azrael, his hands moving down his master's back to grasp the hard half-moons of his buttocks, grinding him slowly against his own groin. They kissed, Mark moaning softly as Azrael's finger found and teased his virgin hole. Words would spoil this, would force the truth to be known again. He wanted this now. Not because he had no choice, but because he needed it, and he

didn't want to be reminded of his true purpose.

The aged vampire did not know whether to laugh or applaud Mark's new wantonness.

Azrael turned him gently, hand reaching to smear the slick moisture seeping from the tip over the head of his shaft, mingling with the traces of his pleasure with Morgan, to lubricate himself for entry. He had won for now. The boy in his grasp was ready. His body pressed back against his chest of its own accord, arms reaching up around his neck, pulling him even closer in his need.

The sweet, gripping tightness of his muscles sent pulses of painful ecstasy shooting through his hips and chest. He fed all this pleasure back into his lover, flooding it over the natural discomfort of first entry. Mark gave a low, open-mouthed, cry as Azrael thrust forward sharply to bury himself to the base.

The feelings were fabulous. Mark couldn't believe this, could not accept it. He bucked back against Azrael with every thrust, mouth reaching to meet his master's, as Azrael's fingers tightened around him, setting up rhythm.

"You feel so good, pet." Azrael nipped the back of his neck. "It has been long indeed since I felt such sweet tightness. The pleasure I am gong to have exploring it is going to be beyond your wildest fantasies."

Mark only whimpered low as his orgasm rushed through him, leaving him unbelievably vulnerable in its wake.

"Down." Hands pushed him forward, forcing his face into the pillows as hands grasped his hips and the thrusts became harder. He cried out with new force as he was driven hard into the firmness of the mattress.

Azrael released his passions, driving harder and harder into the hot, rough heat that was his lover. He allowed all his power to fill him, branding Mark, driving home his ownership in a way that stripped the few illusions from Mark's soul. Mark's half-coherent pleas were music as he came, losing himself in the moment of passion's pinnacle.

Azrael pulled away for a moment afterwards, to clean himself, then to return to do the same to his pet. He was very pleased. The boy had done wonderfully. "Did you like your reward, Mark?" He pulled the young man into his arms.

"Yes." He blushed. "Thank you."

"Was it all that you feared?"

"Yes." He buried his face in Azrael's hair. "Worse, much worse."

"Why? I did not hurt you." He wanted to hear the boy say it, know that he knew it freely.

"No. I--you made me like it. I loved it. That's why it's worse. If it had hurt, I would still be in control. I fought, but it was wonderful. I lost myself in it."

"Would you have rather I hurt you?"

"No, almost, but no. I know what you can do." He pulled away a little. "How about you, Master?"

"Are you asking me if I enjoyed myself?" Azrael asked, amazed. "Of course I did. If, I was, not completely satisfied, we would still be busy. I promise you many hours exploring these mysteries." He sat up. He was fully aware of how late it was for him. "But, alas, for now, I must sleep. It's very late. Run, relieve yourself before I chain you."

Mark was too tired to argue. "Yes, sir." He obeyed shoulders drooped and head down. He had lost. No doubt, about it, no hope of winning. There was no going back, no rescue. He would be anything Azrael demanded. He had no choice.

Azrael lifted Morgan into his arms, kissing her softly. "It is bedtime, pretty one. I will not be able to chain you both, so I want your word, you will be good?"

"Good." She giggled. "Where would I go?"

"Nowhere." Good, she understood. He was worrying for nothing. This one was very much like her brother. He would not have any difficulties from her. "Try to be understanding with Mark. This is very new to him. During his time of adjustment, we need to support him as much as possible."

She nodded. It worried her a little, to be left alone with him, but Azrael promised she wouldn't be in danger. She had to trust him. "Can I get a shower before I go back to sleep?"

"Of course you may. Within this room you have full freedom. There is even a razor in there, so you can shave the rest of this hair off like I had suggested. I will leave Maria a note to bring food later. I am sure you will be hungry." He tweaked her nose before looking at Mark. "Oh, finished I see. Well, come here, I am in something of a hurry." Mark lay where Azrael pointed, eyes closing as his wrists were manacled. "Soon, you will only wear one, but for now we both know it is best to remove temptation."

"I know." What could he say? Left up to his own devices, he'd be stupid, and he knew it. "What happens tomorrow night?"

"We will continue your training. Consider, if you can, ways of placating me. For I will not tolerate argument, and I fear you will be punished nightly for a while."

"You're going to beat me again?" Mark tensed. "I don't get it. I thought I did what you wanted."

"Yes, and I am very pleased with you. But until you tame your mouth, you will be dealt with severely. Tomorrow night, if you fail me in any way, I will let Vincent have you, and allow him his aggressions." Mark's eyes widened. "Within reason, of course. He will not be allowed to mar your skin, or do any real damage. But I have proven that you can cause someone quite a lot of pain without hurting them severely. But if you are good, and obey without fuss, you will have an evening full of pleasure as you entertain us." Azrael bent and kissed him. "Morgan has gone for a shower. She will be back soon. Sleep well. Perhaps the two of you will become good friends. Just remember, hurt her, and I will make you wish you had never been born."

"I know." Why did he have to do this? Couldn't he just let it lie? Promise in one hand, and threats in the other. "I don't know why you're worried, Master." He said, hurt and bitter. "It's not like I could do anything right now, anyway."

Azrael patted his cheek. "I know I must sound cruel to you, but I want you to understand what is at stake for you. Remember my warning, and all will be well."

"I will." Like he could forget.

"Well. I am off for now. You two get some rest. I will be with you as soon as the sun sets." He touched his cheek once more, bending to kiss him, before pulling away to dress.

Morgan lingered in the shower. The water felt good as she washed the sweat from her. She was sore, but the memories of how she got this way were wonderful. She lived with a 'real vampire', one that had given her back her life, and made her feel secure, for the first time since her parents died.

Limp strands of hair fell to the shower floor as she removed the remains of her hair. It was still hard to believe that he didn't find her ugly. The loss of her hair had been the worst part of her illness. She used to have such pretty hair. Well, it would grow back, and she'd never cut it again.

She then remembered what Anna had said about her pubic hair. Carefully she shaved the light down that covered her sex. She caught her breath at the slight tremors that shot through her as she touched herself. 'Oops, got to be careful here' . She was still sensitive.

Mark had closed his eyes, hoping for sleep, but opened them when he felt a shift on the bed. "You cut off your hair," he commented.

"Yeah, might as well. It looked silly. I'm hoping that it all grows back at the same time." She looked at the bed. "I guess I have to sleep next to you. There's not enough room on the bed the way you're tied up for anything else."

Mark shrugged. "Sorry, but I couldn't do anything about it."

"Do you mind?" She pillowed her head on his right shoulder.

Mark shifted, and to his surprise, fount that the chains had enough slack to allow him to wrap his right arm around her. He held her close. "Nah, it's kind of nice, after everything, to hold a girl."

"He's really not as mean as you think he is." She was very conscious of their undressed state. "I mean, he could have made us sleep alone, or denied us anyone's company."

"I know. I figured it would be a whole lot worse than it is. But I still hate him, and he knows it."

"Why?" She sat up. "Why bother, he isn't going to let you go, you know that. Whether you like it or not, you're here. Wouldn't it be easier to just accept it and let him make it fun?"

'Just accept it' . God, she made it sound so easy. "I can't, not yet. I'm not one to let anyone hold my life," he said bitterly. "Yeah, I know. It's stupid, but that's the way I am."

"I'm sorry." She crossed her legs and looked down at him. "I hope it works out for you. I hate it when I'm reminded that he can be mean."

Mark laughed. "He can be, can't he?" Change the subject before he said something stupid. He shrugged. "You want to sleep, or ball? You'll have to be on top but that's cool."

Morgan looked at him. Was he serious? Why would he just offer it like that? Azrael had been so sweet, so loving. Anna had made her feel cherished, but Mark only wanted to ball. She almost snapped at him, told him what he could do with his suggestion, but with insight a little beyond her years, she realized what he must be going through. Would it be so bad? Would it make her what he thought she was if she said yes, or would it help? Maybe a girl was just what he needed right now. A reminder, that, he was still a, man.

"Sorry," he apologized. "It was just a thought." She wouldn't. Why the hell had he asked? Why should she? He was nothing to her. He was just some asshole that made her happy home a trifle less happy.

"I'm not real good at this." She laid a hand on his chest. "Believe it or not, but before tonight, I never did anything."

"No shit? You're kidding right? A pretty thing like you, what, all the guys you know gay or something?"

"No, too sick. When you're fighting to live, sex isn't all that important." She blushed. "You really think I'm pretty?"

"Sure. Hell girl, look in a mirror. I've never been much for bald chicks, but you look real tasty." He reached up to stroke her head. "And you taste as good as you look, too."

She was bright red. No one had ever talked to her like this so blunt, so to-the-point. "Thank you."

"So, let's ball. I bet you're still real tight." His hands moved between her legs. "You shaved," God, what a turn-on."

"Do you like it?" She trembled under his touch.

"Yeah. I bet he will too. That's why you did it, right?" She nodded. "You ever blow a guy before?"


"You know what sixty-nine is?" When she shook her head he couldn't believe it. "Wanna learn?"

"What is it?"

"Crawl up here. Straddle my face, like you did earlier. As I eat you, you blow me. We both get off." He wished his hands were free, or there were at least a foot more lead in his chain. As it was, he could lower his hands to his sides, but he couldn't move any further if he sat up. "Sorry, babe, but you're going to have to do most of the work. I'm a little tied up, if you pardon the pun."

"You don't think he'll get mad, do you?" She didn't think there would be a problem, but the possibility gave her pause.

"Don't see why. As long as I don't hurt you, he said he didn't care." He shrugged. "I may be an asshole, but I won't take out my grief for him on you. So," he reached for her. "Come on girl. You have no idea how much I want to fuck you."

"Mark," she lay beside him. "Do me a favor. Don't call it that. Azrael hates it, and so do I. I'll make love to you, I'll even blow you, but don't call it fucking."

"Sure baby, making love does sound better." He didn't much care what she called it. But maybe she had a point. So he'd use those words instead. Why not, if it makes her happy? She was going to be his only human contact for a while, or at least the only one he'd get to really know. So why not make her happy?

"I won't hurt you like this, will I?" She threw a leg over him.

"God, I hope so." He reached to pull her hips down. "Blow me, baby, I need you."

It was so easy. She leaned forward as his fingers parted her lips. Who would have ever thought?

For a beginner, she wasn't bad. Maybe he'd be given more time with her. She was more than willing he'd teach her how to love a man. "Suck it, baby," his voice was husky as she gladly obliged him. "That's it. Harder." 'Yes, that was it' . His mind went white with pleasure as Morgan drew as hard as she could, tongue slowly lapping the sides as she did. But as he began to sample her sweetness, she lost control again. Oh, well, technique and control would come. Until then, he'd get her off, then ball her silly

Morgan whimpered as his teeth raked over her sensitive flesh. "Ow!" She jumped against the pressure, causing Mark to accidentally bite her. "No!" That hurt! She jumped away.

Mark's mind went blank with fear. "Oh, shit, baby, I'm sorry." Would she believe him? "Please, honey, I didn't mean to hurt you."

"You bit me." She stood, there, hand over her aching sex.

"You jumped, I wasn't trying to hurt you, it was an accident. I didn't realize you were still that keyed." 'Please, oh, God, Please' . He knew he was fucked now. "Come on, baby, let me make it up to you."

*Morgan, precious, * Azrael's thoughts flowed over her. They were a little vague around the edges, like he was only partially there. *Go on, sweet, I am here always. My pet, he didn't mean to cause you discomfort. He is a little heavy-handed. You are young and new to this. It won't happen again. *

Mark's heart almost stopped as Azrael's presence surrounded him. *Boy. *

"I'm sorry." He looked around wildly. Where was he? "I swear it, man. It was an accident. I wouldn't hurt her on purpose." He felt tears sting his eyes. He was ready to cry, and it humiliated him. "Come on, man, Master, I swear it. I'm not lying. You know I'm not."

*Relax, Mark. * Azrael pulled the force of his sending. *I, know what happened, pet. I won't punish you for something that was not intended. But be careful. She is very young and naive. *

"Where are you?"

*I am in my chamber, sleeping. I can speak to your mind as easily as I read it. Just focus your thoughts. I can hear them. *

Mark closed his eyes. *You believe me, don't you? * His hopes and fears punctuated his words.

*Yes, boy. I know you had no desire to cause pain, only pleasure. But remember that she is very young and very sensitive, less force. *

*Yes, sir. * He felt his pulse slow.

*Soon you'll be mine, and you won't need to feel this fear. Now, go and ease my precious one's misgivings. Use careful force if you need to, but prove to her that you will cause her no more pain or fear. * The connection broke.

"Morgan." Mark took her hand and pulled her trembling body against his. "I'm sorry, baby girl. It was one of those things that sometimes happens until you learn your partner." His grasp tightened as she tensed. "Don't do it, baby. I gotta prove that it was a fluke. You know I do."

"Master!" She cried out as she struggled, but Azrael was silent. "No." What if he hurt her? Azrael wasn't listening. He was going to let Mark do anything he wanted.

"Morgan." Mark rolled on top of her, pinning the kicking legs to the bed. "Don't be this way." He was very careful how much force he used. Just, enough, to hold her in place, but not enough to hurt her. "Mo, listen to me, please."

She froze suddenly, eyes wide and staring. Much like the eyes of a rabbit caught in headlights. A soft whimper escaped her throat.

"Ssshh. It's okay, honest." He brushed his lips against her cheek. "I won't hurt you, baby. I told you I wouldn't. Let me do this, let me prove it." His own position was uncomfortable. He was too far down on the bed, the chains were crossed and tangled and made his arms ache.

"Please," she whisper-whimpered softly. "I won't fight, I won't tell Azrael anything. I promise. Please, Mark, don't hurt me." She hoped he believed Azrael would be unhappy if he hurt her.

"No, baby, I want you to tell our master." He chose his words carefully as he pulled her body up towards the head of the bed so that his chains had more slack, and his arms greater movement. "I want you to tell him I did as he said, that I proved to you that it was an accident, that I won't hurt you."

"He'll be angry." She wasn't listening. "You hurt me--he'll--you know what he can do."

Mark realized that she wouldn't listen to him as long as he held her down. "Morgan, hush." He kissed her, to silence her pleas. "Now listen."

"Please." She swallowed back tears, breaking down now would only steal what little control she had left.

"Morgan," he whispered in her ear as his lips brushed her cheek. "Baby, I--be quiet." He held himself, there, cheek pressed against hers. "That's a girl, now listen. I'm going to let you go I can't prove anything like this. So I'm going to have to trust you." He swallowed. "If you believe that I hurt you on purpose, you can jump from the bed and sleep on the floor until he gets up. And then he'll make me pay for it. Or you can let me prove how much of an accident it really was, and I get to keep my skin. Which will it be?" He released her arms and held himself up, allowing her enough room to wiggle away. He flopped onto his back, untangling the chains, then grabbed the pillows and thrust them under his head. "Okay kid. It's your ballgame. Azrael told me to prove to you that it was an accident, to show you that I won't hurt you. Now, I'm no fool, and I don't think that you are, either. So we don't need to guess what'll happen if he finds out I fucked up and didn't do what he said. And since he's not listening right now, he won't have any idea what happened. And believe me, he's the type to hit first, and ask questions later." He smiled, trying to win her over. "Did it hurt that much, girl? Where's the blood? Because if I don't do what he said, he's going to skin me alive and cut my dick off."

"He'd what?" No, she refused to believe it. "You're lying, how dare you! Yeah, I believe he'd kill you, but he'd never do--. Don't you ever say that again," she yelled at him.

"I'm not like you, little girl," he shouted back, fear stealing his calm reason. "I fought, remember. He's already beaten me. Look at my face and my ass if you don't think he'd do anything to me he wanted. He'll cut me, Morgan. He 'will' do it. I ain't lying. He'd do it."

*Enough, * the thoughts flowed over both of them . *Mark, you are right. In some ways, you are not like my girls. But I will never punish you for something you have no control over. Morgan, just because I do not answer, does not mean that I am not there. Go on. Curl up with my boy. Relax; he will not harm you anymore. Both of you must calm down. You are making sleep very difficult for me. No more, Morgan, do as I have said. Any more arguments and I will punish you both tomorrow, night. As it is, I may still spank the two of you for simply being annoying. Now mind me. * The sending cut off.

Morgan climbed back into bed, crying softly as Mark, pulled her close. "I'm sorry." She was terrified.

"It's okay. He can just build a bridge." He let out a long sigh. "If he's angry, I'll let him beat me. You're still too sick for his temper." He couldn't believe what he was saying. This kid was nothing to him, but he knew he'd do it. He'd never hit a girl in his life. It was the one good thing he could say about himself. The only thing, if he thought about it. And by his reasoning, if he could refrain, then by God, so would his master. "I'm sorry, Mo, I didn't mean to hurt you."

She looked up at him. "It hurt. I'm sorry for freaking, but it hurt."

He smiled lopsidedly. "Can I kiss it and make it better?" He lowered his head. "Reach up here, baby girl." The, chains were a bitch, but Morgan was a little calmer now, and freely turned so she could look down at him. Her kiss was open and welcoming again. "You gonna let me do what he said, now? I promise I'll be careful."

She nodded. "Let me go first, Mark. I can't seem to concentrate on what I'm doing when you're doing it, too."

He was stunned. "You want to blow me?" Surely she didn't mean that. His luck wasn't that good, was it?

"I'd like to." She bit her lip. "You're not mad at me, are you? It was my fault. I'll tell him it was."

"Nah, I'm not mad. Don't worry about it. He won't kill me, and I don't think he'll cut me. He said he wouldn't. I've got to learn to believe in something. I've lived through one of his spankings so far. I'll live through another. You just be real sweet and let me deal with it." He moaned as her fingers found him. "Baby girl, do me a favor, huh?"

She looked up. "What?"

"Forget the blow job. Climb on board. I wanna make love real bad."

She smiled pulling herself up to swing a leg over him, a mischievous glint in her eyes. "Let's ball."

Mark's laughter mingled with hers as she sheathed him. Sliding down to rest on his hips, moaning as she began to move slowly.

Mark knew he would go nuts at this speed, but he kept silent. If he was going to be driven out of his mind, this was the way to go.

Hands reached to pull her forward. "Come here." The rough whisper of a man's voice sent shivers of delight down her.

Mark looked up into her face that was lit by the soft glow from the bathroom light. She was beautiful.

Her skin glowed a pale white, soft and warm to the touch, as his hands moved over her throat, moving to caress her arms, fingertips tracing over her skin, as she rode him.

The small breasts that bounced before him drew both his gaze and touch, as his lips locked onto the right nipple and the left breast filled his hand. Fingers, moving to pinch the nipple, lightly. Before opening to take the full breast in to squeeze. Then his fingers returned to the nipple.

Morgan grew frantic, as her motions grew quicker. Her breasts were so sensitive to the feel of hands and mouth, that was what brought her to the point of crisis, even more so than the wonderful feeling of having him inside her.

The short, slow, downward thrusts became frenzied as Morgan came. Her virginal muscles locked down on Mark's shaft, making him cry out in part pleasure, part pain.

Morgan shrieked as fingers bit into her skin and the easy thrust that once encouraged her along, now pounded up fast and hard. The feelings that raced through her body stunned her.

"Come on, baby, cum with me." His thumbs found her, and began their torment.

"No," she cried out as the feelings that had taken her over, began to become pain. A pain unlike anything she had ever felt before. It was a pain that she wanted, craved even, and at the same time, hated.

"Yes," he hissed. "Come on now, baby, don't stop now." If she did, he would explode.

Nails bit into his chest as she clawed at him, fighting him. She couldn't, it was too much. No one had ever pushed her this far. Both Anna and Azrael had stopped when she had begged them to, but Mark was heartless.

The pain was the final key. Mark thrust up, his hands moving over her hips, pulling them downward. He came.

And despite struggling, and in spite of her fears, she did cum again. It was glorious. A feeling that swept through her that stole her breath and her mind.

They lay there. Both lost for words, and neither caring. Silent and peaceful, they were content to lie quietly.

They had lain as such for several minutes before Mark broke the silence. "Damn, baby girl, but you're dangerous."

She slowly lifted up, to sit over him. "Me?" Her movement caused her muscles to tighten again.

"Oh, Damn." He moaned. She couldn't be serious. There was no way he had anything left. "Yeah, you. Please, baby girl, have a heart. I try anything else, and it's gonna kill me."

She nodded in complete agreement as she pulled away. She didn't think she could stand anymore tonight, or was it today? "I'm tired." She shivered.

"Well then, pull the covers out from under me, and let's get some sleep." He sat up so that they could begin to pull down the bed. "And Morgan." He caught her hand as she stood. "Thanks, baby girl, I needed that."


Azrael stood over his newest two as they slept. Their arms and legs were intertwined. Mark's chains, almost, tying them together. This was a good sign. He had hoped that what he had started in Mark's mind would take without any need for greater effort. "Good evening," he said, sitting gracefully on the foot of the bed.

"Azrael?" Morgan sat up and tried to pull away from Mark. A comical struggle to untangle themselves, removed all dignity. She grimaced slightly. The chains had been fun last night, when Mark had used them to keep her against his body. Now they were a bother. "It's night, already?" She shed the last loop.

"Yes. I did not peek in anymore after I went to sleep. What time did the two of you finally call it a--day?"

"I don't know." Morgan admitted.

Azrael looked at Mark. "It was probably around ten or eleven." Mark looked up at him. "Master."

Azrael nodded. "So you have not chosen to forget. Good. I am pleased. I would rather not have to harm you." This was going to be even better than he anticipated. Was Mark really that weak-willed, or was he, Azrael, a better master than he thought. "So, were you finally able to prove to my sweetheart here that you would not cause her pain?"

"Several times." Mark grinned. Morgan blushed. He held up his hands. "Can I be unchained, please." He swallowed. "Or are you still planning to punish me for disturbing you?"

"I honestly have not made up my mind." Azrael pulled out a key. "Are there going to be anymore of these little episodes?" He looked at them both. "I am not mad at you Mark, you sought to obey me. Morgan here, on the other hand . . .."

"Master," Mark said, rubbed his wrists, "if you feel that someone needs punishing--well, I started it. I hurt her." He laid a hand on Azrael's arm. "I didn't mean to, Master. You know I didn't. But it hurt, and she's a little girl, she didn't know any better."

Azrael was awe-struck. This was not his doing. This was a character trait of Mark's own. "Why, Mark--chivalry from you? I would have never guessed it."

"Yeah, well, I'm an asshole, but I ain't never hit a girl before. My old man used to beat my mom and me. I'd never do that."

"Kiss me, and show me that you are still my obedient pet, and I will let it go."

Kissing was easier today. It was as if his mind had accepted this new reality as he slept. There was no fear, none at all, he had come to terms with the fact that he had no life now. Or at least none outside what Azrael chose to give him. "Master?" There was no tremble in his voice as Azrael tilted his head back. "Master, are you going to?"

"Yes, pet. I must." He placed light kisses along the base of the young throat. "Will you fight me this time, or will you welcome me?"

"Do I look like I'm fighting?" God why did, it, have to feel so good. "Master."

He gasped as Azrael fangs sank home, then, like the night before, and the few times David had fed from him, he was lost. Soft whimpers escaped him as he held Azrael's head at this throat. "Please." He didn't want it to end, he held on as Azrael tried to pull away. "Please."

"Ssshh, it's all right, pet." Azrael kissed him. "Poor lad. You cannot fight it. It is in your veins. Your blood is sweet, I will cherish your life more than you ever have." He opened his shirt, reaching for his knife. "Will you drink freely this time? No threats?"

Mark didn't use words, just his body. His mouth closed on Azrael's tit, biting and sucking. He was no fool. He hadn't survived as long as he had by being stupid. Even though a part of him still hated this, was disgusted at what he did, a greater part understood that he either gave in freely, or suffered. "Master?"

"Yes, pet." Azrael didn't move. Let the boy play this out, see where he was going.

"Am I doing right?" He was careful with his words. But he needed to know what the Vampire wanted. "I--I give, Azrael. I'll be good, but--"

"Ssshh, Mark, pet. I'll teach you. I promise. And yes, you are being very good. Now drink." He cut himself over his left breast, severing the artery there. "Drink boy."

The pleasure was sharp. Mark sobbed against his Master's flesh. Two, maybe three, sips. "No," he bit at the firm skin of Azrael's chest. "Master, please."

"Pull away. Just for a moment." Azrael cut himself again, deeper. The extra blood would deepen the tie, leave Mark that much more helpless. "Yes, that is the way," he crooned, joining Mark in the pleasure of the blood.

"You gonna do it?" Mark tried to pull Azrael's shirt off, sought to warm his flesh with his hands. "I--" he began, and cried out as Azrael pushed him to the bed, hands seeking his growing maleness. "Please, Azrael, don't make me beg. I'll do it. See I'm willing."

"Later, pet, I promise. I'll see your willingness rewarded. You may entertain us tonight. But Morgan needs this as well." He kissed him. "I promise you boy, if you keep this up, I will not break you. I shall not have

to. Give yourself to me freely. Let me leave your will intact. Now, while I feed Morgan, I want you to masturbate. From here on, unless it is while you sleep, or shortly after waking, I want to see this hard and ready at all times. I will punish you every time it is not." He stroked him. "You will clean up after yourself with your own tongue every time you achieve release. Do you understand?"

"Yes." His voice was soft. "I have to keep it up or be beaten, and I gotta eat my own cum. I understand."

"And here I thought I would have to beat you to make you mind. What happened, pet? Why the change of heart?" Azrael wanted to hear this.

"I don't understand what you mean. I--I gave my word. I said I'd obey." He looked up at Azrael. Lost in the feelings his hands were giving him. "Do you want me to keep on fighting? I--if beating me is what you want I'll fight, but--" He swallowed back a lump. "Don't cut me. Please Azrael. I'll do anything, but don't cut me."

"Ah." The threat of emasculation was his focal point. The boy would do anything he had to do to keep from being unmanned. "Soon we will join the others. You will go to your old master and beg him to take you. Offer yourself to him and be willing to suffer or enjoy anything he desires." Azrael's strokes were slow and powerful.

Mark moaned. "Is he gonna--I'll do it--but he hates me. He'll--I mean--" He shuddered. "I'm going to-"

Azrael bent to take his release, swallowing the victory with Mark's semen. "I told you pet." He slapped him gently as he pulled away. "No one will hurt you, I am far too pleased with your acceptance to allow it. Learn to trust me, Mark. I will never go back on my word as long as you are good."

Morgan watched as Azrael dealt with Mark. It was going to be all right. Mark wasn't fighting, and Azrael seemed happy. "My turn?"

"Yes. I will not have you suffering. Come, offer me your throat, and accept my blood. Then I will have the two of you fed. We will spend a quiet evening at home tonight, unless either Megel or Vincent insists on going out." He lifted her chin, kissing her throat briefly before sinking his teeth into her tender flesh.

Her blood tasted different. Healthier, already the change in her body was taking place. His blood was killing off the cancer, leaving her whole.

She shuddered under him. This was heaven. As he gently pulled her head to his chest so that she could accept his life-giving blood, she came, an exquisite climax that left her clutching him.

"Again, pet? He teased. "I offered Mark my blood twice, do you need more?" The few sips they took were no hardship for him.

"Please," she moved her head long enough to let him cut himself again, but he wasn't quick enough in to pull the blade free. It sliced her lip as she hastily bent to drink. "Morgan?" He dropped the knife at her cry of pain. Her mouth had been cut badly. The blade was very sharp. "Ssshh, poor dear," he soothed kissing her, licking the blood from her mouth as he held the wound shut, waiting for the properties in his saliva to perform their magic and heal her. "Ssshh, wait. It's all right." More licking, more soft kisses. "All better, now?"

She nodded absolute trust in her eyes. It had not frightened her. "I'm sorry."

"No bother. It was an accident. Here try again." And this time she waited until the blade was well free of his chest, before she bent to drink.

* * *

"I am very pleased with the both of you." He lay with them after Morgan fed, allowing him the leisure of quiet. "Your willingness and openness are treasures to me. Treasures that should be rewarded." He grinned at Morgan. "What would you like as a prize, a reward for your sweetness?"

"A present?" She sat up and looked down at him. "You'd get me a present?"

Azrael laughed. Oh, how sweet this little one was. So young, she had suffered badly, but unlike the rest, it was not by the brutality of others. "Yes, a present. You will discover that I am famous for spoiling my pets quite rotten."

She thought it over. She knew what she wanted. Would he? Could it hurt to ask? "Anything?"

"Within reason, of course." He was curious, but as he was here, and she was safe, he refrained from looking into her mind.

"I--" She grinned. "Can I have a dog, Azrael, a puppy? I--Sheba died a couple of years ago, and well, what with my being sick, and my parents dying, we could never afford to get a new dog." She bit her lip.

"What kind of dog would you like, baby?" He found her request charming, a pet, of course, what else? It was in keeping with her personality. "Please do not tell me you want some mongrel or one of those vicious little lap dogs."

"No, Sheba was a Mastiff, a huge, black, beast. I--could I have another? It won't be too big. I will house-train it, feed it, clean up after it, I promise."

'It won't be too big' . Azrael was amused by her words. He had owned mastiffs large enough to pull wagons "A 'real' dog. Yes, pet, we will see to it. It is only a little after six. I woke early. Mayhaps we should dine quickly and catch the mall before it closes." He kissed her nose before turning to Mark. "What of you, pet? What prize may I offer you?" He stroked his cheek. "Please, do not ask for your death."

"Would you give it to me?"

"If you ask, yes. I offered you anything. Do you still seek it?" He rested a hand on the side of Mark's face. Now he would see what he had accomplished. "Have I been so cold, so uncaring, that you can not bear living here with me?"

Mark closed his eyes and turned his face slightly to press against Azrael's hand. He could die now, be free. He had prayed for this. But here, in this bed, he was finally being offered it, and the thought brought him no joy. He had accepted this life. He knew it. Had known it this morning. Gone to sleep sated and feeling safe for the first time in years. Knew it again when Azrael's blood flowed into his mouth. It was the blood, it made you part of the vampire, made you want to be with him. And he did, he hated it as much as he loved it. The old way of thinking was dying. Struggling, but dying. Soon he wouldn't mind being here. Did he want it?

The answer brought tears to his eyes and shattered his old self. Yes, he wanted it. He wanted to be here, to learn to live like a decent human, to laugh at good things, to be safe.

He turned and let Azrael pull him close. Burying his face in his long soft, sable, hair. His soul was lost, it was no longer his, and he didn't care. "No." He whispered. "I don't want to die anymore." He felt a shudder of pleasure run through his body as his mouth opened to Azrael's lips and tongue, eager for his taste.

"Then what would you have?" It had worked. The boy accepted this for life, and he was forced to acknowledge it.

"You." There, it was out. "I know I don't deserve anything but the worst abuse you could dream. I--I did horrible things before David took me. I've stolen and I've killed. I hurt a lot of people. And I know I've been a real jerk here, but--" This was the hardest thing he had ever done. "Please, I want you. Love me if you can, even a little."

Morgan cried as he spoke, as Azrael pulled him even closer, wrapping his arms around him, comforting him. "How horrible." She reached out to gently touch his arm. She had grown up surrounded by so much love that it hurt to hear anyone beg for it.

"I know." His said, voice devoid of feeling. "I have no right to ask, but--"

"No," both Azrael and Morgan said at once. "No, Mark," she went on as Azrael watched her, "it's not your wanting love that is horrible, it's that you have to ask."

"Yes." Azrael smiled at Morgan. "So you 'do' understand, precious." She was a dear and absolute darling. So much like her brother. "Mark," he gently tilted the younger man's face up, "will you be mine, freely, do anything I say to please me always, gladly and willingly?"

"I can't think of doing anything else." Did he dare hope?

"Then yes, you shall have my love, as much as any of my girls. You will be safe, cared for, protected and loved until the day you die. I will always love you. But that is not a reward for good behavior. That is your right and privilege as my pet. Now tell me, what would you like as a present?"

Mark thought about it for a moment. So far, so good, this might not be quite as bad as he had feared. "Can I walk, please? I don't mind being naked so much. I'll live with that, but I gotta walk."

"Yes, I grant you that, gladly." He noticed, with pleasure, how aggressive Mark's kisses had become since last night. "Now, when I go out with Morgan to fetch her prize, will you stay with Vincent if he is here, or Megel if he is not?"

Mark nodded. He would just have to trust Azrael to keep them from chewing him up. "I'll be cool."

"Good. Let us go. I wish to hurry home. I look forward to many hours of pleasure locked between the two of you."

* * *

Michael was cuddling with Jason and Amber in the living room. Becoming more intimate when David and his brood entered the room. "Has the Master not returned yet?" David asked.

"No," Michael replied grinning. "He's with Morgan and that one you gave him last night." Michael smiled at Anna as she sat beside him. "Did you sleep well, brother?

"Very much so. When did you bring Cain to us? I was up late with Aaron, but I don't remember you coming in."

"On my way to my rest this morning. The sun was fully in the sky before I sought my rest. At your age, I am sure you had been asleep almost as long as he had by that time."

Jason pulled away from Michael, draping himself over Joseph's lap. "You owe me another night, Master." His tone was teasing, but it caused Joseph to look down, fidgeting.

David looked from his Fledgling to the boy in his lap. "What did you do Joey?"

"Nothing. I didn't do anything." The embarrassed look deepened.

Anna laughed. "My God, David, the boy is blushing. I didn't think we could anymore."

"He's not fully Kin, yet, Lil. He won't be till he comes off the breast. There is still a little humanity left in him." A smirk, "so," he continued, choosing his words carefully. "What didn't you do?"

Michael decided to help Joseph. "Sleep took him at a rather inconvenient time." He smiled at Jason. "Cain, tell my boy not to sulk too much. I assure you, I made certain that I finished what you began. I won't have it said that I'd sit back and let anything one of my own began remain unfinished."

"Hello." Maria entered the room, followed by both Valerie and Jenna. They carried trays of food. "Here. We brought food for them." She bent and kissed Michael.

"Why, thank you, sweetheart. That was kind."

"This is my home, and I take care of it and all who are in it." She squealed as Michael pulled her into his lap, then reached for him, sweet and eager under his attentions.

"Go on, all of you, eat," he chuckled nibbling at Maria's neck. "Have you eaten, too, dear?"

"Yes. We had dinner an hour or so ago. We're used to eating together. But now we have to go back to a later supper, so we can eat with the house."

Michael smiled at both Jenna and Valerie. "Come here, you two. Join us." The two were no less willing than Maria had been. "You three have been so helpful, I thank you." Poor pets, perhaps he would see if he could talk Azrael into letting them spend time with Jason and himself. They were practically starving for affection. Not love. They were assured of that, but simple affection.

"And what goes here?" Azrael's amused voice came from the door. "Trying to snatch my pretties from me, Megel?" He entered, sending Morgan and Mark to eat.

"Simply marveling at how sweet they are, Azrael. Perhaps they need a little attention."

"Well, then," the Elder vampire agreed, "with all the men here now, they should go about getting some." He opened his arms, and the women leaped from Michael to come to him. "Hello, my darlings."

"How is our new little sister?" Maria kissed him, followed by Jenna and Valerie.

"Fine. She is much better. How are the three of you? I do not mean to ignore you. But I have been rather busy the last two nights."

"Don't worry about it, Azrael," Valerie laughed. "We know where we belong."

"I am glad. Now that we have a covenstead and more men, you can get more of the physical side of love."

"You mean, scratch our itch." Jenna hugged him. "We can ask, really?"

"Any male here, as long as their Lord doesn't mind. As for mine, I am sure Mark would gladly spend time with you three."

"If Jason is not with me, I guess he is free if he wishes it. Maybe trying to dominate all his time would be selfish." Michael almost laughed at the look of gratitude on his pets' face. "So, you decided that you like the feel of a woman as much as me?" Jason and Amber had been adorable.

"If they are not afraid of me, I would welcome them." Joseph smiled.

"Billy and Aaron are free as well, when they aren't with me." David looked at Billy, who sat leaning his head against his knee. "Would you like that, little one?"

"Anna was nice to me." He smiled. "I like girls." He blushed.

Azrael threw his head back, laughing at the boy's comment. "See, my darlings? Plenty."

David watched Mark as he ate. There was something profoundly different about the young man. It was as if he had completely changed his persona. "Master," David looked to Azrael. "I must confess; I am truly impressed. He is so different."

"Why, thank you. I am pleased with his response. He came to peace with this, and is ready to embrace it."

"I would have killed him."

"Yes, but I found a better way." Azrael stretched. "I am taking Morgan out for an hour or so. Would you care for him while I am gone? He owes you the finish of what you began last night."

"Yes," David smiled. "I'll keep him."

"Now, do not forget what I said last night. Do not hurt him. If you choose, to, dally with him, all well and good. But be sure that neither you, nor anyone else who touches him, cause him true pain."

"And he will welcome this with you gone?" It was still beyond his belief.

"Mark," Azrael reached for him. "Pet, will it be hard for you to be good while I am gone?" He brushed the hair from Mark's dark brown eyes, smiling. "Will you test Vincent's patience and honor?"

"I don't need to answer that." Mark smiled back. "You know as well as I do what I feel." He took Azrael's hand, went to him. "Should I show him?"

Azrael felt the length of Mark's body against his; the hardness of his manhood as it brushed his belly. Tasted the desire in his kisses and heard his needs in the soft whimpers of want that slipped from Mark's throat. "Yes. Go, before I forget my promise to Morgan and take you myself." My, but he was a temptation.

Mark met David's eyes as he knelt between his legs. His gaze never wavered as he slowly undid David's belt, unzipped his pants, and freed his maleness.

His eyes did close, finally, as he bent to take the hardening piece of flesh into his mouth. He wrapped his arms around David's hips as he began to blow him.

"God," David moaned, as, Mark's head bobbed up and down, his mouth hot and hard on his erection, pulling more and more until he felt like his whole organ was in a sweet, hot, wet, delicious vise. He looked down at Marks head. "Look at me," he said, voice husky.

Mark's head cocked slightly to one side and he opened his eyes. The raw want and, hunger, David saw brought him to release. He cried out softly as he fed his pleasure into the void within Mark.

"Do you feel secure that he will behave?" Azrael was pleased. Mark actually grinned as he licked his lips.

"Go, Master. He will be safe here. I will care for him and protect him as if he were mine and precious to me."

"Come, Morgan." He looked down at what she wore, T-shirt and jeans. The T-shirt was old, and the jeans might have been Jason's castoffs. She deserved her own clothes. "Maria, tomorrow afternoon, wake this one up and do something about her choice in attire." He would try to remedy some of it tonight, but he had no talent in choosing women's clothing.

"Yes, love."

"Come precious. Shall we go shopping?"

Michael looked from Jason to Amber. "Is, there, room for company? My Chosen here has nothing fit to wear. Last night, I promised to remedy that."

Azrael shook his head, chuckling. "I should have known that you would spoil him. The Gods know I spoiled you. Yes, by all means bring your two and come with us. The more hands, the better." Then to David, "Vincent, the house and my pets are left to your keeping."

"Don't worry, Master. Everything will be as you left it."

* * *

When Azrael had left, David looked down at Mark. The youth still knelt, watching him. He had become wary again. "Relax, Mark. I just told Azrael that I wouldn't hurt you."

"I know." The wariness faded, and Mark smiled softly.

"What did he do to you?" Anna asked, amazed.

Mark shrugged, and smiled at her. "He made me want him." It was so unbelievably simple.

"Yeah. I know the feeling." Joseph agreed. So did Anna.

David still didn't understand. "But 'what' did he do? I tried. What did he do that I didn't?"

"He didn't give me a choice. He made me choose between him and hell. He was going to cut me up if I fought. Then he offered me a chance at the one thing I had begged for, death. I discovered after all that I had come through, I no longer wanted to, and I didn't need the fear of death to make me do what he wanted. I wanted him and would do anything I had to get him." He looked at David. "He made me want him," he moved closer. "And through him, all of this." His hand found David again as they kissed. "Do it, please. I don't care if it hurts. Let me make up for being such a dick. Please, man. I need it so bad." Marks fingers spread the reddish fluid that seeped from David's tip over the head. "Please."

It would have taken a will greater than. David's to resist such an offer. As he entered, he wanted to sink his teeth into the firmness of Mark's muscular throat, but he held back. It would be folly to break his word to the ancient Kin. "Oh, God." Mark had been a virgin last night, and was still so incredibly tight. "I'm not hurting you am I?" His voice was ragged with pleasure.

"Please," Mark gasped. "Now, yes, oh God, now." He didn't care if it hurt. He wanted it to hurt, to feel the total possession. "Now."

"Yes, now." David agreed, and began to move, feeding the lust that burned, letting pleasure begin to heal the bad blood between them.


Azrael listened to Morgan's constant babble as they shopped. The trip had brought out a side of her that Azrael hadn't fully appreciated.

She was a teen-ager.

She gawked at clothes, at music tapes, at all the bright and fancy trinkets and baubles. She carried on about fanciful girlish concerns, argued with her brother, and amused Azrael to no end. Despite her illness and her new life, she was for this moment showing him her inner self of youth and innocence.

"I'm taking Jason, and going to see if I can find him something a little more suited for him." Michael said.

"Are you sure the two of you are just shopping?" Morgan teased. Every time Jason so much as smiled at Michael, she had quipped that they would disappear from mortal view to ball.

"Yes, dear, I am." Michael wanted to put a little room between Jason, and his sister. She seemed to be full of mischief tonight, and hell-bent on embarrassing Jason at every turn.

"I will call you when we are ready. See what you can do about thickening his hide a little." Azrael had watched, and yes, 'enjoyed' , his newest little one, reduce her older brother to a blushing, stuttering, nervous wreck. "I, for one, know that he is not ashamed of you, but his behavior could be misread by anyone who did not understand."

Michael chuckled. "He's young, and besides, there is not a brother alive that wants to be on the receiving end of his teen-age sister's abuse. At his age, it is hard enough to think about your sister even 'hearing' about some of the things she has baited him with, much less knowing about them, first hand." Michael felt for his Chosen. His age was not an easy one, even without all the added stresses living with a vampire could create.

"You both might as well get used to it." Amber felt brave for the first time since Michael had taken her. "She is a teen-age girl. That includes giggle fits, off-colored jokes, and discussions about the one thing a girl her age lives for . . . boys." She smiled at Azrael. "Although, in her case, it's men. 'Definitely' men."

"Hey, look." Morgan looked at the glass front before her. "Slinky things," To Azrael. "May I?"

"Well, on that note." Michael said, choosing to flee. "Call us when you are ready."

* * * It took much longer than Azrael had planned to get to the pet store. Once Azrael had allowed her to start shopping, Morgan went a little, nuts. And as he signed yet another credit slip he rationalized that allowing her to shop would give him a taste for what she wanted to wear, and he could refine those choices to suit himself.

He was pleasantly surprised to see that she was easily directed to the charm of flowing peasant skirts and blouses, tight-fitting trousers, to other blouses of lace and silk. Her choice in undergarments, 'the ones she would allow him to see' , ran from usable cotton to tantalizing wisps of fog. Her nightwear was varied; simple teddies, silk short sets and cotton nightshirts in white and light blue. With the one exception of a dark blue nightshirt with stars and moons patterned on it, she chose no other color.

* * *

He was still smiling over the purchase of Tasmanian Devil slippers as they entered the pet store.

"Excuse me." He cleared his throat, gaining the cashier's attention. "Do you have, by chance, any mastiff pups?"

A young woman, with bleached blonde hair, and a vapid smile, turned her questionable charm on him as she smiled what was in her mind her most winning smile. "Why, yes, sir, we do." Azrael had to resist laughing in the young mortal's face at her obvious appreciation of his appearance. "Male or female?"

There was no need to guess, or even look at Morgan. He knew what Morgan would want. "Female. Preferably black."

The giggling sales clerk led them towards the back. "You are really going to like this one. We have several. They're thirteen weeks old, with their first set of shots." She escorted them into a small room. "If you will wait here for a minute, I'll go fetch one."

Morgan rolled her eyes, snickering. "'I don't eat meat'," she said, in a voice that mimicked the addle-pated clerk's, "'I'm a veterinarian'." She giggled mindlessly and twiddled at imaginary hair. "Please," she asked in a normal voice, "where 'did' she come from? She's a walking stereotype. Bet her boyfriend's a jock."

To Azrael's credit, he didn't laugh as the clerk returned with the pup, though his restraint was no mean feat, for Morgan's witty commentary had struck too close to how he felt about the girl. "How charming." He smiled as Morgan's eyes lit up when she took the dog. A Neapolitan mastiff, he thought, or a mix of mastiff breeds.

"She's beautiful." Morgan struggled valiantly to hold the wriggling pup and love it at the same time. The pup, in its turn, tried to lick her face and play.

Azrael gave up trying to hold in his amusement, and laughed at Morgan as she wrestled with the bitch puppy. "So, is that the one you want, precious? They have others, if you wish to look at them."

Others 'right' , Morgan was in love with the puppy. "I like her. Can I have her, please?" Again the charm of her true age came out, as she looked up at him with an expression that could only be summed up as a pout. He was completely captivated by her charming mix of innocence and flirtatiousness, one moment the sweet schoolgirl, the next a minx.

He reached down and touched the side of her head. "I told you, dear, I would get you the puppy you wanted. If that is the one you have chosen, then she is yours. But first, may I see her for a moment? It's better to make sure that we are compatible, now." He took the pup from her. The small ball of fur growled instinctively, but after a brief moment, whimpered and licked his face. Dominance was settled. "There we go. We will not have any problems out of your pet, now. She and I will get along fine."

The sales clerk giggled, annoyingly, again. "Wow. How did you do that?" She breathed heavily, trying to entice Azrael with her considerable physical charms. "It was like, you know, you have some sort of real power."

Azrael mentally clamped down on Morgan, to keep her from pouncing on this child. She was possessive. He hadn't credited her with that emotion, and the strength of it, and her dislike for the clerk amazed him. *Be nice, * he warned, before turning his attention back to the girl. "Nothing special at all, my dear. I have worked with animals for years. I simply know how to handle them." He mentally shook his head as she smiled, flirting with him again. Poor, deluded mortal, she had no idea what she was playing with. He was beginning to want to see how far she would be willing to take it.

He 'reached' out gently, curious to find out how much of this young woman's behavior was real, and how much was feigned. He was angry to find out just how bright, yet shallow, she really was. She made much of her living off older men who wanted some young meat. She would, he thought, learn to dance to a different tune if he were her master.

A slow, easy smile fell over his face. Why not, now that he had a covenstead, he would need kine for the Kin to feed from. Why not her? As food stock, she would at least serve a purpose in life rather than continue to leech off of wealthy men. "I wish to thank you, miss--"

"Wendy. Wendy Arnell," again that damnable giggle. "My friends call me Winny."

His smile deepened. He moved a calculated fraction in her direction. "Thank you, Wendy. You have been so helpful." He wasn't close enough to be threatening, but if she was fishing, it was enough to let her know he was on her line.

"I like to see good people get good pets." Again, that deep almost gasping, breath. "Your daughter will love her."

The smile on his face stayed pleasant, with difficulty. "Morgan is not my daughter. Her brother is my beloved's latest plaything."

Again that obnoxious giggle, Azrael swore to himself that he would break her of that irritating noise first thing. "So, you have, like, an open relationship, huh?" The implications in her tone were nauseating.

"Yes. I suppose you could call it that." He raised a hand to stop her next babble. "Morgan, precious, go fetch what ever you think your pet needs." Then again he turned his full attention on the shallow, vain, and petty piece of meat in front of him. "And you? What sort of relationship do you have with your lover?"

"Oh, we date other people. I'm not ready to be tied down to one guy yet." She lowered her voice, looking around her. "Though I got to say this, you are the best-looking thing to walk through my door in a long time."

Azrael threw his head back and laughed. She was shallow, but with work and time, he could make her into a worthy pet for one of his Kin. "Why, thank you. Flattery will get you many places with me, my dear."

She smiled what he assumed was her promise of erotic adventure's smiles, as she turned to the counter to take care of other customers. Yes, he would have this one. Not because he wanted her for one of his cherished pets. She wouldn't be, but because as one of the house-slaves. She would actually do something worthwhile. *Megel, * he 'reached' for his First-Born.

*Sire? * The response was immediate, if distracted. Amber was modeling some very interesting garments for him.

*I am ready to go. Would you please come to the pet store and help Morgan collect her belongings? I have a distraction that I would like to see to its end. * He opened him mind to Michael, letting him see and know through his eyes.

*I will hurry Jason and Amber along. It shouldn't take more than another fifteen minutes. * Michael's amusement and disgust flowed back with his thoughts. *Mark will be disappointed that he is not going to be the night's entertainment. *

*I will make it up to him. * He, broke contact as Wendy turned back to him, a slip of paper in her hand. "And what is this, my dear?"

"My phone number." She let her fingers linger on his.

He let her hand remain in his. "What time do you get off?" A touch of will, the lightest of brushes, "I would like to continue our conversation, uninterrupted."

She looked at the clock, almost nine. "I get off in ten minutes." She looked around for Morgan, who was with the help of another clerk, gathering supplies. "What about her?"

"Michael will take her home. He is here with her brother, shopping. He should be along soon enough." He tucked her number away. "Then you will have me, all to yourself."

She giggled 'again' . "Cool, well let me finish up here, then we can go . . . .." she winked at him. Azrael couldn't believe it. This child actually winked at him. "Somewhere, and you know, talk."

Azrael fled, but with dignity, looking for something, anything, to put, some, distance between himself and this creature. If he killed her, he would be doing the world a favor. She was a slut. There was no other word for her. 'What, were her parents, thinking of when they chose to breed' ?

His course took him past a cage of kittens, small, bouncy fur balls that caught his eye. He preferred cats. They were less dependent than dogs, and they reminded him of his youth.

"Can I help you, sir?" A young male clerk stood just to his left, voice friendly, but not over-eager. His body language spoke of self-confidence not normally seen in a man his age.

Azrael motioned at the glass. "I was just observing." One in particular caught his eye. A small, yellow and white ball that, seemed, hell-bent on beating up three other kittens. "How much are they?"

"Twenty-five dollars. But they've had all their shots, and they've been de-wormed." The young man smiled a little more. He could smell a sale from this one. If he could just get him to actually hold one, it would be as good as done.

Azrael gave the clerk his attention. Young, yes, perhaps in his early twenties, surely no older, eyes a dark, almost pewter, gray that seemed to take in a great deal. "You read people well."

The young man shrugged. "I know animals, and what people go with which. You have 'cat-person' tattooed on your forehead."

Azrael was charmed. "Then far be it for me to ruin your reputation. Let me see the yellow and white one." Such, a refreshing change from the vapid vamp at the counter. This one was one he would choose for a pet. But no, the boy had a bright future, one that didn't need interruption by his kind The kitten attacked the clerk's hand the moment he reached for him. "Come here, you." He laughed as the kitten tried to crawl up his arm. "He's everyone's favorite. I'm afraid we've spoiled him rotten." He handed him to Azrael.

"He is quite charming." The kitten sank its claws into Azrael's coat sleeve and began to purr as he petted it. As always, he was stunned by the sound that came from the kitten, a loud, raspy, constant rumble, much too great a noise to be coming from a creature this small.

'KA-CHING' ! Went the cash register in the clerk's head. "He likes you." It was a sale, or he didn't know his business.

"Well, you might as well show me where the supplies for him are kept. You are right, I must have him." He hoped that Mark was a cat person as well. This darling piece of fur was a gift, to ease his disappointment at not being the center of attention tonight.

"What are you doing?" Michael appeared at his side.

"Buying a kitten for Mark." He held up the ball of fur. "See, is he not adorable?" Michael accepted the tiny life into his hands, so that Azrael could take things from the clerk.

"This is the best kitten food on the market today. Its base is rice, which helps with digestion. We feed it to all of them here, so he won't have to change foods, unless you prefer something else." The clerk didn't think money was an issue with this man, so he had collected a small mound of things from kitty litter to vitamins. "There you go, sir. Everything to make him happy."

Azrael shook his head. "And to think, when I was a child, our cats ran free in the streets, and scrounged for food." He passed the young man his Visa card. "Here, and please add whatever my girl has bought for her new pup on it as well. Then I will sign it."

Yes! It would be his sale. It would make Wendy nuts. The guy she had been trying so hard to jump gave him the sale. There really was a God, and he was on good terms with Her for the moment. "I'll be right back."

"He's going to remember you." Michael warned softly.

"Of course he will. Wait." He looked over at Morgan, who stood with Jason and Amber. Each loaded down with packages. "I see I was not the only one spoiling my pet tonight."

"Jason needed clothes, and Amber needed to feel some of my favor tonight. I am still almost a stranger to her."

"Well, as soon as he has Morgan's things bagged, take them home. I will be along soon enough. We shall see how long it takes me to break that annoying piece of meat. She is, by far, the most obnoxious female that I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with in many centuries."

The clerk returned, grinning. "Do you want to see the amount, or should I keep my hand over it?"

"Please. Just let me sign the damned thing and get it out of my sight. The things I do for my lovers." He looked at Michael, mischief in his eyes. "That boy of yours, he had best be worth me spoiling his family so."

*You know he is. And so is she. * Michael grinned back.

The clerk returned Azrael's card. "There you go. She's all ready."

Azrael read the nametag on his shirt. "Tony," he said, placing a hand lightly on the young man's arm. "Listen to me." His power captivated the young mortal. Something skittered around the edge of Azrael's awareness, but he couldn't read it. "You know me. I have been in here many times with my lovers, all male. You did not notice anything out of the ordinary tonight, nor will you have you any reason to think of me in the coming days." He moved a little closer, hiding them from prying eyes with his power. "Your life burns brightly, boy. I would not take it from you if I could prevent it. Remember that I am your friend. You have nothing to fear from me or my kind, ever. We have no wish to take one so gifted from this world." Then he withdrew his mind. "I want to thank you, yet again, for being so helpful." He smiled as the boy blushed under his gaze. "I have no idea what I would do without you. You always seem to know exactly what I need for my zoo."

Tony laughed. Would this guy never give it up? Every time he came in here, he flirted with him. It was worth it this time, just to watch Wendy make a fool out of herself over this guy. As if it wasn't as clear as the nose on her face that he was gay. "Any time. I'm always here."

Michael and the troop left, each weighed down with bags and boxes. Azrael was ever grateful that he had amassed the fortune he had over the years. It was becoming more and more expensive to live.

A hand on his shoulder, "I'm ready to go." Wendy almost pressed her body against his.

"Then, my dear, let us be off." To the world around them, she was leaving with a large man, dressed in biker leathers. No one would ever connect him with this woman. "My limousine is parked outside. I am sorry, but my driver is off tonight, so I will have to drive. I hope you can wait until we get somewhere more appropriate to continue our conversation."

He winced at her giggle. "A limo. You must really be rich." He could smell a hunter a mile away, and this girl was definitely one.

"I suppose that I am. I really haven't thought about it. Shall we go?" If he could get her to the parking lot, he would take her.

She followed him on his arm, prattling on about her likes and dislikes, practically trying to sell herself to him. Azrael swore that once he made her his, she would never, sell, herself as such again.

"Enough." He turned to her as they stepped out into the night air. His illusion masked their presence. "You have babbled quite enough, girl. You will be silent."

Her face changed from confusion to embarrassment to anger. "Excuse me?" She tried to pull her arm from him.

Azrael tightened his grip. "I said, be silent. I realize that you are not the most intelligent creature born to man, but even you should understand that."

"Let me go." Anger was replaced by fear. Who was this man? What did he want? She struggled to free herself. "Stop it. You're hurting me."

Wendy cried out as Azrael pulled her down against him, her height forcing her to bend down a little. "You do not know what pain is, girl, but believe me, if you fail to obey me, I will teach you."

She looked around at the people exiting the mall around them. Didn't they see what was happening? Nobody could just stand by like that. This was 'Georgia' for God's sake, not New York. "Help me," she screamed, fighting as Azrael held her. "Please, somebody, help me."

Azrael let her cry for help. "No one can hear you, girl. No one can see you. Scream all you want. No one will save you. You are mine, now. Live or die, you will always be mine."

She went mad, lashing out, kicking and screaming, trying to break the hold this madman had on her. In all her life, nothing like this had ever happened. Always, she'd been able to get away, to talk her way out. She kept fighting, trying to break his grip. But it was no use. Nothing she did fazed him. The grip on her arm only tightened.

"Are you through, yet?" Azrael's tone was mocking. "I grow tired of your noise. You are mine, and no one will gainsay my right to you. Best you learn that now. If you fail, I will be forced to teach you better. That is something you do not wish to experience." He smiled a deadly smile.

She stopped fighting, blue eyes wide with near-mindless fear. She didn't know who this man was. He couldn't be human, no way. She had hit him, clawed and kicked him, yet no trace of violence was present. "Please." She still pulled at the arm that held her. "Don't hurt me. I'll do anything you say. I swear, just, 'please' . . ." her voice broke in a sob now. "Please, don't hurt me. Don't kill me."

Azrael smiled broadly, revealing his fangs. "Trust me, dear. Killing you is the farthest thing from my mind."

A whimper broke in her throat. "What are you?"

"A vampire. You, my dear, are going to be a slave in my house." He pulled her along as he began to walk to his car. "I am opening a covenstead, and will need mortals from which my Kin may feed. It really is something of an honor. Not every mortal is fit for the position."

A vampire, she'd heard of them. This thing that dragged her along was a vampire. She cried in earnest, now. He was going to drink her blood, feed her to others like him. "No!"

The hand that held her relinquished its punishing grip and the other came up to slap her to the pavement. She screamed in pain as her head struck the cement. She lay, clutching it, sobbing with pain and fear.

"I will not tolerate any more resistance from you." He reached for her and dragged her to her feet. "If you wish to live, girl, you will behave."

"Please," she shrieked, as he ripped off her shirt. "Please, don't."

He raised his hand threateningly, watching with pleasure as she flinched. "You will take off your clothes, here and now. You will stop this incessant noise, or I swear to you, I will kill you now and feed you to the ones I have at home." He let go and stepped back. She fell. "Obey me."

"Please," she screamed, backing, away as he took a step towards her. "I'm doing it." Her fingers fumbled for the front fastening of her bra, all thoughts of resistance gone.

He, watched, as she struggled with the garments she had probably easily discarded a hundred times before, amused at the mess she was making. Perhaps he was wrong. Perhaps the only use he would have for her was to feed the Fledglings in his care. "I grow impatient with you. If you wish to live, you are going to have to learn to be quicker in following my orders. Now remove your shoes as well, and stand before me, hands behind your back. Let me see what I am taking home to my Kin

She almost threw a shoe at him as she obeyed, but the look on his face stopped her. He would kill her, no doubt. "Please." She stood trembling, nails biting into the flesh of her arm as she waited for his response.

He touched the swelling cheek, tisking as she flinched. "Do not move, Wendy. Your life depends on it." She was not unattractive, in her own way. Yes, there were many of his kind that would find her pleasing.

It took everything she had not to scream as he cupped her right breast in his hand, pinching the nipple firmly. "I assume you are well-used. I will not have to warn any of my people to be gentle with you." He lowered his hand. "Open your legs, Wendy. Your body is mine to do with as I please." He came close, letting her feel his body against hers as he molested her with his hand.

Her body betrayed her. She moaned as his fingers found her most sensitive, tender part and pressed against it, stoking her with careless strength. "Yes. I see. You are nothing more than a bitch in heat. Trust me, 'dear' . I will see that you are well-ridden." He smiled cruelly. "You have no fear of that, of course. Sex has been your Chosen tool for too long. It will be amusing to see your response when it is used on you." He backed away and wiped off his hand. "Down with you, hands and knees. If you insist on acting like a bitch in heat, then I will oblige you by treating you as such."

"Please." She dropped, arms wrapping around, herself, as she began to sob, her whole body shaking with her terror. The world was stripping off its mask and leering at her. "I'll be good, I promise, I won't do it again. Please, let me go home."

"Now, now, my girl, I cannot do that. You know what I am. I could not let you go free, even if I wanted to--which I do not. No more of this nonsense, you will crawl behind me, and we will leave here. If you fail to obey me once more." He let it hang.

The asphalt cut into her hands and knees as she followed him. He was going to kill her. There was no doubt in her mind. He would kill her, but not before he tortured her. The reality of it sank in finally, throwing her whole world into shock.

She had never been stable. Even her parents, who loved her to the point of obsession, could agree. Her world was what she had made of it, and she hid from its ugly realities with her shallow venality. Faced with a vampire, something so far outside her understanding, her instability overwhelmed her.

The car door opened. "In you go, be a good girl, and crawl into the back for me." He followed her in. Her fear called to his darkest nature. None of his cherished pets had ever feared him like this, even in the beginning. "Come here."

She pressed against the other door, head shaking. She was trapped, now. He would hurt her.

With an oath, Azrael reached forward and yanked her to him. "Forgetful piece of trash. I see that I must be firmer with you, until you learn your place." His fangs extended fully. All semblance of humanity fled his face as he pushed her head back, exposing her throat.

Her scream at the pain of his fangs was cut short as the heat and pleasure of the feeding took her. She moaned softly, pressing against his body as he fed. Shame and terror battled in her mind as she gave into his demands, and the last dregs of sanity fled her.

Azrael thrust her away in disgust. Not only was she a worthless piece of flesh, she was now not even good for feeding. Her mind as weak was as her morals. He resisted to urge to strike her as she huddled in the far corner of the seat, whimpering.

She was mad. There would be no help for it. The knowledge had been too much for her. Well, better he know it now, that to discover it later. There was no help for it. He would have to take her home and allow Vincent and his First-Born to feed from her, what a waste.

"Wendy." He reached for her. Ignoring her mindless terror as it washed over him in waves. "Relax, I won't hurt you." He pressed against her mind, forcing a calm on her, and then . . . "Sleep girl, it will all be over with soon, but for now, sleep." Next time he chose one for his house, he would stick to the kinds he was most successful with. "We're going home now." He almost felt pity. "There, we will put an end to your terror."


Michael and his brood returned to his Sire's domain. Morgan still wrestled with her pup. "So, Vincent, how has it been?"

David looked up from where he and Aaron sat, watching as, Mark was ordered to perform, yet again. "Fine Megel, where is Azrael?"

"Oh, he had a few things to do before he came home." And the tale of the girl and Azrael's intentions was told.

David nodded. It made sense. If Azrael really were opening a covenstead, he would need more humans to feed his Kin. "So, we are to expect a guest for dinner?" He grinned at his own joke.

Michael grinned nodding. "So it would seem, so it would seem." He moved to the couch, dropped the bundles beside it, and sat down. He had to lighten the mood before Azrael returned. Too many new ones a great many of which had been with them only days.

"So," he smiled down where Valerie and Mark lay locked together in passion. "What have I missed?" The kitten curled up against his chest, purring.

David looked at him, chuckling. "Oh, I'm amusing myself and our pets with Mark. We are testing the depth of his submission."

Michael nodded, yes, this he understood. "How has he been so far?"

"Let the girls come sit with me, and let him answer that."

Michael nodded to both Amber and Morgan. "Okay, Vincent, let him show me how submissive he is."

Mark lay beside Valerie, gasping for breath. He had never been so worn out before in his life or at least not the way he was now. He didn't know if he could still move, and yet, David was getting ready to order him up once again. "Please, Master," he begged, not at all ashamed to do so. He had done more in one night, so far, than he did sometimes in weeks.

David made a tisking sound as he rose to come to where he lay. "Mark, where is your spirit of the game? Were you not the one who swore his submission was complete?" He bent and helped Mark back up to his knees. "Go on with you, pet. Neither Megel or Jason are going to hurt you."

Mark knelt at Michael's knees, resting his head against them.

Jason snuggled closer to Michael, eyes wide with curiosity. "Master?"

Michael looked down at Mark. "Let's see what the boy has in mind, love. Who knows, given the right incentive, we might be amused after all." He pulled away from Jason, leaning down to pull Mark up to him. "Look up, pet, see what your master brought you." Dark brown eyes met his.

Mark looked up at him noticing the kitten. "Master?"

"Azrael thought perhaps you would like a pet. Take him and put him away for now, the return to me."

The kitten fussed only for a second as Michael handed him over. "Hurry, boy."

Mark was confused, but he obeyed. "Master?" He returned, kneeling, again at the vampire's feet.

Michael lifted his face. "Thirsty, pet?"

Mark nodded. "Parched." He smiled. "About to die to be honest."

Michael chuckled. "Now," he pulled him closer, "We can't have you doing that, now can we?" He felt the press of hot flesh against him as the lips beneath his parted and welcomed his tongue. "Vincent, would you hand me the knife?" He smiled down at Mark. "The night is young, it is far too early for you to be calling it quits now."

* * *

Tony helped lock up the pet store, muttering about Wendy and her hormones as he did so. All, that flirt and bother, and then leaving with that biker. Some girls had no brains or control.

He couldn't help but notice the limousine parked in the middle of the parking lot as he came out. 'What the' , it wasn't normal, who would leave a vehicle like that here?

He almost returned into the building to call the police, when he noticed Azrael exiting from the back seat. 'Oh, it's him' . Tony relaxed and grinned. The guy probably had one of his numerous lovers in the back. It was almost funny. The guy had money, looks, and charm, yet was always flirting with him every time he came into his store.

Ah, well, it was none of his business. He almost turned away, heading for his car, when his inner warning system went off.

He looked around. Trying to gauge from what direction the trouble was coming. There was nothing. Nothing visible, but there was something there, just at the edge--he invoked his inner sight, seeing the world around him now with more than just his two eyes.

'Power' . The warning in his head was almost maddening as he looked at himself. He was surrounded by residue. Someone had whammied him. Who and when were at the front of his mind as he looked around for the threat. They were obviously still present, or his warning system wouldn't be acting up. Then his eyes fell onto Azrael.

It was this man, the queer. The powers around him were staggering. A haze of red heavy energy emanated from him. Oh, Shit. Instinct took hold as his shields were raised. Whatever the guy was, it was not something he was ready to take on.

Azrael looked up, alarmed as he felt first the brush against his own shields. It had been so long since he had felt the invoking of mage sight. He almost passed it off as nerves. Then the feeling was accompanied by the calling of shields. Sloppily constructed and incredibly noisy, but shields none the less. His eyes scanned the area, coming to rest on Tony. 'My goodness and what do we have here' ?

The boy was a mage. A true mage, though obviously new, to, his, vocation, incredibly loud, and barely trained. Who would have ever thought, after all these years, that the Magi were still in existence? But they were, and here was a young baby mage, fully shielded, and with Sight, before him. Azrael cast a minor summoning, to draw the youth close.

And, to the young man's horror, it worked. Tony fought the pull that dragged him to this stranger. No one had power like this. His best defensive spells could only slow his pace, not stop it. He redoubled his efforts, throwing everything he had into fighting the inevitable.

"You might as well save your strength, boy." Azrael advised, with an amused chuckle. He added just the lightest brush more power, and the boy's resistance ceased. "So, Mageling," Azrael smiled. "And here I thought there were no more of your kind alive."

"Why are you doing this?" Tony felt the last of his struggle fade with the new power. Whoever this man was, there was no other that he had ever heard of that would beat him. "I have no war with you."

Azrael nodded, granting him that. "Nor I you, but you have recognized me for what I am. Surely you know what that means?"

His captor was a black magician. Tony's heart constricted. The man was, had to be a black mage. "Okay," his head bowed. "What do you want?"

Azrael almost laughed at the young man. This mageling thought him to be a 'black mage'. "Well, you are bright enough to see where there is no chance. So tell me mageling, what do you have to offer, that is worth your life."

Tony relaxed just a little. The man was talking to him. Hadn't done anything more than summon him, yet. "Nothing, you know that." Unlike so many of the new-age groups out there, Tony didn't fear the dark arts quite the way they did. He knew for the most part, those who walked them wanted nothing more than to be left alone, not desiring conflict any more than those of the white. It was only the ambitious and young that ever caused trouble. He wasn't sure of the mage's ambition, but this one wasn't young. "I mean, what can I give you that you don't have already? I'm nowhere near your league, and if what I have seen is any indication, then neither is my Master."

"You really do not know what I am?" There was honest surprise in Azrael's voice. He brushed against Tony's mind briefly. "No, I see you do not. Well this is rich."

"No, I suppose I don't." The ease of breath Tony thought he had constricted again.

"Your teacher has failed you, mageling, if he never thought that you would need to know of my kind and how to protect yourself."

Tony pulled all his power back, dropping useless shields, throwing everything he had into his inner sight. His shields came back up almost as quickly as they went down. "What are you?" The being in front of him wasn't human.

"Oh, do stop that." Azrael's hand rose, and with a careless gesture, shattered Tony's protections. "It's been more years than you can imagine since last I used my arts, but as rusty as I am now, you are no still match for me." He held out his hands. "So mageling, what does your sight tell you I am?"

"I don't know." Excitement entered his fear. "You're not human. So, what are you?" Here was something that was new, and he had to know what form a creature was before him.

Azrael snorted. 'Just like a mage, to be thrilled by a new working, even as

it killed him' . "I am of the Vampyr, a vampire. You conceal yourself well. Had I known you were a mage, I would have taken steps to guarantee that you never guessed my true nature. But now I can no longer blind you. You know what I am, you are on guard, and your very nature now protects you from my illusion."

"Okay," he licked his lips, trying to keep his voice calm as he reached blindly for Kat, his Master. Someone needed to know what was happening. It was his only hope.

"Do not try that," Azrael chided, stifling the cry before it could launch. "We must not involve others in this. Would you have another's death on your soul?"

Tony fought and won over the urge to panic. "So." He took a deep breath, facing Azrael. "Are you going to kill me?"

Azrael sighed. Good, the boy was thinking. 'I could make him into one of the finest Mages of this century' . "That depends on you, Mageling. My hunt this night was for another, but alas, she proved to be useless for my needs."

"Wendy? But she left with, Ah." A simple enough illusions to cast. Then the rest fell into place. Azrael's earlier words echoed in his mind as he merged it with the new information. "Did you kill her?"

"No, at this moment she is asleep in my car. But yes, she is to die. Her mind snapped under the knowledge of my true nature." He held out his hands, shrugging. "She is quite mad now." Azrael stepped forward. "So, Mageling, you have a choice. You can join her in death, or you can accept me as your master. I promise you, I can train you to be more than, you, ever believed possible. I, too, am of the Magi, though in my age we were also called priests." He felt the boy's arm flinch under his hand, and he drew nearer, mouth just inches from his ear. "Remember I promised that you are safe from me, that I would rather have you as a friend. Allow me that, Mageling, for I am loath to have to be your enemy."

Death wasn't an option for Tony. His will to live too great. But what would this one before him demand? "You--I will not be forced to lure others to you, will I? Be responsible for their deaths?" No he didn't want to die, but neither could he live if his life meant that others would lose theirs.

"No, child. I would never ask that of you. You are a white mage. Asking that of you is the same as killing you. You would die before submitting to it."

Tony swallowed back his fear. He wouldn't be asked to help him kill. "I won't have to betray my people, will I?"

"Absolutely not, I too was one of the light in my youth."

"My oaths. Must I forsake them?"

"Again, absolutely not." Azrael was pleased with the young man. It was becoming more and more obvious that he was one, not only with a brilliant gift, but a quick mind as well.

"My master?"

"Child, your teacher is safe from me. I will harm no one you hold dear. I want your submission, but not over the bodies of your people."

There was only one thing left. And he knew the answer even as he formed the words for the question. "Belonging to you, accepting you as my master, does it mean I have to get used to taking it up the ass a lot?"

The smile on Azrael's face was serene. "Absolutely."

Tony waited for the 'not' to follow, but as seconds passed, it became obvious that it wasn't coming.

Oh well, homosexuality was a lifestyle that he had never even remotely been interested in. Looked like that was now going to change, if he wanted to live. He would have to give his new Master whatever was deemed the price for his continued life and learning.

"Do you have any more questions for me? Is my offer tempting? I will not ask much of you, just your word. Accept me as your master. Obey my will. Allow me to let you live. For if you break pact with me, I will have no choice but to strip you of your powers and make you a slave of my house." His tone softened as he pulled near, again. "Let me grant you the honor of my teachings, join me in the joy of learning. The things I will teach you, the wonders you will see the, miracles of life at your command. Knowledge, more knowledge than you would

ever dream." His fingers brushed Tony's cheek.

Tony took a deep breath, closing his eyes as the hand continued to caress his face. "And if I keep faith with you? Obey you as my Master. Your word that I will be just that, your apprentice?"

"My word Mageling." Azrael knew, this one he would love.

"Then I will make to you the same oath I did my teacher." He knelt. "My life, my will and my obedience will be yours. I swear on my body, my soul and my power."

It was too rich. Go out to, reward, one pet. Choose another, and lose her, and come home with one like this. One he would make Kin. He could not let one like this, so powerful and so open, whither and die. "My name is Azrael. As a token of my pleasure at your submission, you may use it as freely as you do 'Master' . And we will call you, Torin, or Tori for short, after one of my brethren from when I was young and in the priesthood. Will you accept your name?" So far he had not once been forced to use his power. Eventually he would, and he wondered how long it would be. With the exception of removing the pain of the boys deflowering, he would never do so unless he was forced.

"Does all my past die tonight?"

"Yes, you will be reported missing, just as the girl. No one will ever find you, of that you can be assured. I will sever you link with your old master. It is better he think you dead. Let him mourn your passing and go on

with life."

"She." There was honest pain in his voice. "Her name is Katherine." He looked up, face of an angel. Eyes clear and true no resistance, no deceptions. "She will never know I broke my oath to her will she? That I have taken another as my teacher?"

"No, pet, she will never know. She will feel the tie as it is severed, and she will believe you dead. Fear not, child, the break will be quick. I will give her no reason to add the pain of believing you suffered to her grief. I am not a monster. I regret that this happened. As I said, and you may believe this, I was content to let you live without this knowledge. It was fate that threw us together, not any action on my part. I would never force one of the practitioners of the art to my dominance unless I had no choice. I will not make you suffer because of it. My word, on 'my' life, 'my' blood, and 'my' power."

"Thank you." Torin's head bowed as Azrael stroked his hair, waiting as he had so often with Kat, for permission to stand.

"Come on up, boy, we should be getting home. Both Morgan and Mark probably believe that I have forgotten them." He helped the boy to stand. "On the drive home, I will tell you of your new family, and what is expected of you." Gently Azrael cupped his face. "Do not fear me much, Mageling. I have no reason to hurt you, and as long as you keep faith with me, I never will. Should you give me some cause to punish you, you will find that both the delivery and the forgiveness afterwards are swift. I have walked the earth for over three thousand years, had scores of mortal pets and sired nine children of the Vampyr, seven of which still live. Megel, who you met tonight, and who I called by his mundane name of Michael, is my First-Born. He is my most beloved, and you may ask him anytime, freely, without fear or reprisals of my nature and temperament." Slowly, he pulled the boy forward. "Ssshh. It is all right Tori. You are safe. "A brush of his lips, lightly teasing. He would never let the boy fear attack, and later, in his bed, he would treat him with the same gentleness that had claimed so many of his precious ones. "Will you accept this? Wrap your arms around me, and share this moment with me before you leave your life behind?"

He felt the boy fight the tears as he took a step, eyes lifting to meet his. He could read the pain, the sorrow, in them, but surprisingly enough, no fear. That was gone. "I'm sorry," were Torin's only words, as a single tear slipped down his cheek, then his mouth covered Azrael's, accepting his fate.

Azrael accepted the kiss as what it was, another oath. Another promise, that he would live up to his word. And the respect he felt, not only for the boy, but the woman, who had begun his training, grew. "Open your mouth, child let me taste your tongue."

Tony, who would now only think of himself as Torin, or Tori, as his new master decreed, was a strong empath, but never before had he ever felt emotions from anyone as strongly as he felt them from the vampire. The pleasure at his acceptance mingled with the regret for having to alter his life, as well as the intense physical enjoyment of the kiss. They combined and washed over him, leaving him feeling humbled and a little less apprehensive of his future. Surely his new Master, Azrael, would not be too hard on him. No one who could feel this purely could be evil.

He returned the kiss freely, without shyness. Fingers locked in Azrael's hair. Devotion he knew well, and he would learn whatever he needed to learn to do what he must. "Azrael, please. May I ask a final question before we go?"

"Yes Tori, ask."

"When you--" he blushed "--when you chose to take payment for my lessons."

"I promise you, Tori, when that time comes, there will be no pain." Azrael brushed the wetness from his cheek. "I will refrain from dominating you, from taking away your freedom of choice, as long as you obey me. My word, as long as you keep faith with me, it will be by your own choice."

"I won't give you reason to believe I broke pact with you. My word." And this time it was he who brought their heads together, no incentive, and no requests. "I swear it. Before tonight, my master never had reason to think I would fail to keep my end of the bargain." Eyes lowered, as the pain of his loss struck home. He had just bought his life and training, but at such a cost. He was forsworn now, an oath breaker, a warlock

"Torin, look at me. You are not in violation of your oath. Surely your teacher would not want you to die. You had no other option, and as of this moment have no other master." Azrael pulled Torin close, arms wrapping around to give support. "Once I have broken your tie with your old master, you are blameless, and free to accept me as your master, freely and without taint." He felt the shudder that ran through the boy in his arms. "Hold on to me, Torin, there will be some pain. I am sorry, I would not hurt you, if I could prevent it." He felt the boy stiffen, heard the small strangled gasp of pain as he severed the tie between the boy and his human master.

It hurt. Oh, gods, it hurt. Torin felt lost, alone. He had never realized what Kat meant to him before now, when it was too late. "It's gone." The words were more an accusation than a question.

"Yes, child. You are free of all ties and obligations, other than the ones you have with me." Poor youngling, Azrael swore he would see this bright life happy again. "Are we ready to go? Or do you need a moment to mourn the passing?"

"No." Torin locked it all down. Now was not the time for this. Later, when he was alone, he would cry. But for the moment, his life called him on. "I am ready, master."

"No, Tori, you are not. Mourn if you need, but you must let go. For if you do not, it will eat at your soul." Azrael felt the battle going on inside his new pet, the pain and the need to hide from it. "Cry, I will not begrudge you the tears, or your love for the woman who started you on this path." He slowly helped Torin to the ground, holding him as the tears came. "There is no shame in how you feel. The honesty of your grief proves more to me of your worthiness, than all the power in creation."

Torin couldn't stop the tears, or the pain that flowed from him in waves. He had traded everything for his life and his craft. His family, his friends, the teacher that he loved more than life, had given it all up to the creature that held him, stroked his hair, and whispered what words of comfort that he could.

The emptiness in his soul reached for this kindness. Let the emotional support his new master offered fill the void. Holding on as he gave in to the kisses that were meant to comfort. Welcoming the strength that surrounded him.

Azrael paid no mind to the time as he held his pet. Time had no importance now. The only thing that mattered was helping the youth, purge, himself. If he was unable to let the past die and go on freely, then he was useless as a mage, and a danger. "All better, now?" Azrael smiled down into Torin's eyes as he brushed the tears away.

"Yes, Master." And he was. Azrael had been right to insist that he purge himself. The pain was still there, but it didn't eat at his soul. He really wasn't close to his family, his father had left when he was little, and his mother didn't have time for him, nor had she understood him. His studies kept him busy, so he really had no close friends, no one to miss him, and Kat. . . ., he was dead to her now. "Thank you."

"For what? Not being a monster?" Azrael laughed, kissing him again softly. "Now come, it is time to leave,"

* * *

Michael watched. Both pleased and amused as both Jason and Jenna attacked Mark. It still surprised him, even knowing how powerful Azrael was, that, Mark had given in as he had. But it was a good thing. So he welcomed it.

Mark didn't know who to hold, or who to kiss first. He had been drowning in flesh for the last couple of hours. If he had been worried that by living here, being owned by a man would limit his time with the ladies, this night had eased his worries. Even as Jason toyed with him, he could hide himself in the warmth of another woman. He could learn to live with this. As he moved to fill her, being filled in turn by Jason, it was fast becoming a life he could learn to love.

* * *

Torin tried not to notice Wendy's naked body in the back seat. She looked dead, and he couldn't stop staring until he saw her chest rise slightly. "Does she have to die?"

"Unfortunately, yes. I would have rather had her for a pet. I am opening a covenstead for my Kin. I will need mortals as servants and food. Her mind was weak. Would you have me let her live with no sanity?"

Torin looked at him, reaching to lay a hand on his arm. "May I try? I've had some success with healing. Will you let me see if I can help her?"

Azrael knew there was no hope. But killing so upset those of the light. What could it hurt? If the boy accepted that there was nothing left, he would not mourn her death too much. "Yes, if you feel you must, then by all means feel free. I give you my blessings. But if you cannot."

"Then it's better if she died. Not even Wendy ever did anything to deserve that."

Azrael could see how having this one was going to be such a joy. He would fit in so well with his girls, and would give Mark a brother to help him share the emotional ups and downs of his new life. "I suppose now would be a good time to explain how my home works."

"Please." Dark gray eyes, so full of curiosity and hunger, rested on him as Torin gave Azrael his complete attention.

"At present count, not including you, I have five mortal pets. Four girls and Mark, these five will be your family, for they are all mine. Maria is my first, and unless one of my Kin countermands an order she gives you, you obey her as quickly as you would me. Then there is Jenna, Valerie, Morgan, and Mark. You will share your life with them, and eventually your love." He let it sit for a moment. He wouldn't rush the boy.

"At the moment there are four of my Kin in my home. There is Megel. Who is called, Michael, in the outside world. You may call him either if you are not using 'Master' . He is my First-Born, and has with him two pets. Jason, who is Morgan's brother, and Amber. They are sweet children that will quickly become your friends. Jason is Megel's, Chosen, and the one he will make 'his' First-Born, one-day.

"Then there is Vincent, who is called David outside, and his two Fledglings, his children. Lilith and Cain, or Anna and Joseph if you would rather. They have with them two pets, Aaron and Billy." He stopped and looked at Torin. "Am I going to fast for you, pet?"

"No, sir. So far, so good." He quickly memorized all the names, and who belonged to whom.

"Vincent is serving a one hundred-year-service to me in exchange for my assistance as he grows stronger. He is quite young for an adult, barely a hundred and fifty. His Fledglings are mere babies. Lilith, is four and Cain is still young enough to be locked to his Sires throat. He is not quite a year yet."

Torin caught that. "Wait, please. 'Locked to his throat' . Explain."

"Yes, a true Mage." Azrael chuckled. "The first year, while the change takes place within our bodies, the only blood we can stomach is from our Sire. It is a very uneasy and stressful time for a young Fledgling, because his whole existence is dependent on his maker, and should something happen to the Sire, the Childe will die."

"Okay, got ya." He had not known of vampires before tonight, but he swore he'd learn everything he could about them, if for no other reason than to be able to serve his new Master to the fullest. "Can I ask a question? Where did you come from?"

"The Vampyr did not come from this world, or not entirely." It had been many years since last he had been asked to tell this tale. "Our forefathers came from another world. This world was hard for them, and after the crash, and the first sunrise, which killed so many, they were only twelve."

"I don't understand, why did the sunrise kill them?" Torin listened with rapt interest. He knew he was hearing something of importance.

"Legend will tell you that it is the purity of the sun that is our death, but that is not correct. There are several bandwidths of ultra-violet that exist in the light of your sun that are deadly to us. This we inherited from

our ancestors. So once they were faced with only a handful of survivors, just two that were female, they knew that they were doomed.

"Thousands of years passed, and the Vampyr began to worry. There were no children. Now as a race, they were extraordinary. Gifted with mind gifts, and almost immortality, they were loath to let their race completely die out. So after it was finally decided that they could have no more children on their own, they strove to breed with the closest thing similar to them." Azrael paused, letting Torin come to the conclusion needed.

"Humans, right?"

"Yes, good, you see where this is headed. Unfortunately, the first children they alter and bred, they stove for fertility and ended up with monsters. The first Vampyr were not killers, and it caused great pain to be forced to end the lives of these poor beasts."

"But they tried again, right? They would have to." Torin was captivated by the story, in spite of his nervousness.

"Yes, the second attempt resulted in three sons. Whole and sane, but

sterile, after that, they admitted defeat. They believed they were to die out."

"So what happened?"

"Enzymes. They had not counted on the bestial nature of the mother race. Humans were still so close to their animal roots. The children had a dark nature, and due to their mixed heritage could only accept nourishment in the form of blood. The Vampyr struggled to train their children to be humane, to respect the life that gave them nourishment."

Azrael looked at him out of the corner of his eye as he drove. Yes, the boy was holding up well. It pleased him to see how strong his new pet was. "They taught them laws, and codes so that they might live and grow with honor and decency. Just think Torin, if a mortal hits you it would only hurt, a Vampyr could knock your head from your shoulders. They accepted that these children, would, be the, last of, their kind. But they were wrong."

"So what happened." The knowledge he was learning thrilled him.

"No one is truly sure. The truth has long since died out. But legend says that one of the three, a young Childe fell in love with a mortal woman, and in the act of that love lost control and bled her almost to the point of death."

"Man that had to suck."

"Yes, and in his panic, that Childe sought to return the blood he had taken, by forcing it back through his fangs. The change was total. She began to become Vampyr, and after a year, was."

"So that is how vampires were made. Yeah, I can see it."

"The father race was, of course, distraught. This gave them a completely different problem. So again laws were made, as to what would and would not make a suitable Childe. To this day, we live by those laws. And that, my curious Mageling, is how we came to be."

"Thank you." It helped him somewhat to know that his knew master wasn't a demon, or some beast.

"Now." It was time to finish his introduction to his home. "When we get home, you and I will share what is called a blood bond. I will drink from you, and then you will accept my blood in exchange."

Torin gasped. "Wait, I--Are you--Am I--" No. This wasn't part of the agreement.

"No child, relax." There was still fear, well hidden, not easily seen. Azrael knew he would have to be careful with his mageling, take that extra step to fully explain things. "I would have to drain you to the point of death, and then force my blood back into your veins. A blood bond ties you to me. It will make you completely mine body and soul. My blood will grant you greater control over your powers, as well as a hundred and fifty years of perfect health and beautiful youth. You will live for the next century and a half as lovely as you are right now. It is a trade we make to the mortals we keep to feed from. We do not have to kill to live, and in this age, try to do so as little as possible."

"This is part of my payment for training? You will live off my blood?"

"Yes, but try not to worry so. There, is no pain other than a brief flash at the initial bite. Then, I promise you, you will enjoy it." He was anxious to see how his mageling reacted to his first feeding.

"Do the rest feed off of me, too?"

"No, only I, for now. Once more of my Kin begin to come, you may be asked to grant them your blood. But no one will hurt you. Believe, that Tori, you will be safe.

"You will recognize all the Vampyr as master, as is law. You will share yourself with them and show them the same respect as you show me. I understand that at first it will be difficult for you, and I will insist that they allow you to talk your way through the first few times, and that you are treated as gently and carefully as is needed. It will only be difficult for a short time, and then the blood I give you will make the contact not only necessary, but very pleasant."

"And the others, the ones like me. I--do I have to--" he blushed.

"Yes. You will not deny your love to any in my home." Azrael reached for him as he stopped for a traffic light. "Come here, lean against me. You are frightened, and I did not want that."

Torin obeyed, fighting the trembling in his body. "Not frightened, I mean, not much. More nervous than anything, I--" he took another deep breath. "I'll do it. Just try not to expect a whole lot of finesse out of me at the beginning. I've slept with a couple of girls before, but nothing hot and heavy. My training kept me fairly busy, and Kat doesn't sleep with her students."

The rest of the drive was silent. Torin was stiff against Azrael for the first few minutes, but as he berated himself for his unwillingness to comply, began to relax. He had his life, an obscenely long one if what Azrael said was true, with greater power and a better teacher. What more could a mage ask for? He couldn't, think of any of those he knew that would have turned down an opportunity like this, even if they had to sleep with half the city. So, as his soul finally came to terms with this the silence in the car became peace, and the body, which, he rested against became comfort, and the ride to his new home was one he made with anticipation.


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. *


Torin almost flew from David's arms as Azrael, naked and still glowing appeared before him. "Ssshh, Tori, it will be all right." He gathered the boy to him, hushing his cries of pain. "I will end this, I will see you through."

"Here." He pulled his dark blond hair from his throat. "Now-please, Master--Gods, do it."

Azrael led him to the bed in the corner, turning away from everyone. "No, little one, one day, when you are ready, I will make you my Fledgling. But not now, not like this." The boy's pain was heart breaking, poor child. "Relax, precious. I will see your pain put to an end. Never again will you feel this,

I promise."

He screamed as the pain broke from him, Azrael holding him down, hands gentle as they gave him the end that he had begun to believe would never be his. The waves of it shook his body, as they rolled through him in a long, powerfully intense tide.

"Ssshh, I know." There was nothing Azrael could do to lessen this. It was more than just a physical need. Power flowed from his pet as well. The child had indeed been in dire straits, but slowly, and with a gentleness that he was not aware he had, he helped to ground the mage, and set his loyalties for life.

Every nerve in Torin's body ached as he lay with Azrael. It felt like he had been working in circle for days. Now as he lay, quiet and grounded again, he realized where the problem had stemmed. When he had merged his power with his master's, he had taken a charge. The greatest charge he had ever been faced with. He was surprised he wasn't shocky or his channels burned because of it. "I don't understand." He looked up at Azrael, absolute trust in his eyes. "If I had that kind of charge, sex is a grounding, why couldn't--"

"Because neither Vincent nor Cain are magi, Tori. How could they tap and direct the power? They have no concept of what it is. Had you been farther along in your training, you would have been able to direct it yourself, but there was too much." The boy felt good beside him. Soon he would make love to his little mageling. Hear him cry with pleasure, not pain. "I will make certain from here on that you never walk away from me with more than you can handle again."

Torin reached up, capturing Azrael's face between his hands, mouth open as it covered his. The desire was still there, power too, but this time it would be a blending and grounding, one of pleasure and of joy. He chuckled as Torin's tongue played with his fangs, and his hand found his hair. For now, to the boy, he was not just a man, but his master, his teacher, the one who held his life, and he was paying homage to that power.

Torin felt the hardness against his hip as he moved closer, pressing against Azrael. His master had told the truth. He would learn great things from him, and in return he would give him anything that he desired. And for the moment, he knew his master desired this. The hunger in his kisses told him this, the hands on his body and the hardness that pressed urgently against, him spoke of its truth. His life was safe, his mind his own, and the promise of power was being realized. So he returned each kiss, moaned under the fingers that heated his skin, and gave, himself, over freely. Never would his master doubt his devotion.

The feel of Torin's teeth on his throat was erotically stimulating. It was as if the boy realized that strength was welcomed here. The pressure that Azrael found so pleasing would have drawn blood and pain from a mortal. There would be no shyness from him, no timid advances. He had given himself to this and would see it through. But for all the strength and abandon of Torin's play, Azrael's touch was gentle. Later would be time for testing limits. For now, the boy had suffered enough for one night. Let him feel only pleasure.

"Oh, damn." Torin's body shuddered as Azrael pinned him to the bed, taking his time to return the advances. "Christ, that feels good."

Azrael's soft chuckle blew air against the side of his face, as his mouth left a trail of small passion marks along the line of his throat. "I will take that comment as assurance that I am not going too fast for you."

"Fast?" He focused on Azrael's words, which was by no means easy. "No, not at all." His breath caught in his throat as the mouth that had felt so good on his neck began to move downward, over his chest. "Please." His voice desperate as a cool, wet tongue stabbed at a nipple, sending tiny pulses of electrical pleasure through his body, before the mouth that teased closed over the nipple and bit and sucked with careless passion.

The boy was so physical, so unbelievably responsive. Azrael promised himself, as he continued down his young lover's body, that he would see this natural responsiveness nourished and trained. This boy was to be his next Childe, both him and Morgan, and as such would need to be thoroughly versed in all the delights he reveled in.

Pleasure, mind-numbing pleasure, shot through Torin's loins as his master's skillful mouth and tongue began to tease him. And like earlier, it was heaven, but unlike the first, there was no fear this time, no withholding of release. His voice announced to all the room his ecstasy as his orgasm blazed through his balls and out the head of his member in a painful explosion.

He could taste himself, his semen, on Azrael's lips and tongue as his master moved up to kiss him. "Are you ready for me, pet?"

There was no shyness, no hint of reservation in his response as he lay there, his fingers tracing the outline of Azrael's mouth. "Yes."

Azrael turned his head slightly, catching one of Torin's fingers between his lips, drawing it completely into his mouth as his hips pressed down, grinding against Torin's pelvis. "Close your eyes and rest for a moment. I must go. There is something I need for you. Relax," he laughed, as Torin threw his arms around him, holding tightly. "It will only take a moment." He bent and kissed him deeply, before pulling away.

"Okay, boss, I'll be here." He lay watching him move away. 'I'm going all the way with this. He'll come back, and there will be no stopping it' , he thought to himself, pleased to find that the thought of his new master taking him like this did not frighten him. If anything, he was happy to do something that would please him. And yes, it probably would hurt a little, but he would live with it. After all, guys do this all the time, so he knew it wouldn't hurt too many times. Hell, if the last hour, was any indication, he'd probably learn to love it.

He watched as Azrael stopped to speak softly with David, smiling down at Joseph who lay curled up in his lap. There was a weird form of peace here, and it all centered on this man. Azrael ruled his house well, and all within in it were at peace.

Joseph rose and came towards him as Azrael left the room. "Feel better now?" He threw himself on the bed beside Torin. "Azrael asked if I'd like to join the two of you. I still owe you the finish of what we started earlier."

Kat was right, Torin thought to himself as he welcomed Joseph into his arms and returned his kisses. 'All humans are inherently bisexual' . Had someone told him this morning how his day would end, he would have thought them nuts. Him, even a 'little' gay, but maybe he should have listened to his old teacher more when she tried to explain that sexuality and magic were not only compatible, but that the gender of your working partner meant little to nothing.

"I see you wasted no time." Azrael returned, sitting on the edge of the bed, watching the two, play.

"Did you get what you went after?" Torin moved, pulling Joseph with him, making room for his master.

"Yes." He laid a small brown jar and a wet cloth on the table beside the bed. "Do you need more time, pet? I would greatly love to have you under me, but if you need more time, I will be patient."

Torin shook his head, pulling away from Joseph to reach for Azrael. "I'm ready."

"Then look at me. Let me command your mind on this alone. I'd rather you feel pleasure than pain."

Torin almost refused him. He'd like to think he was man enough to face it. But he didn't. That kind of thinking was stupid. If Azrael could keep it from hurting, then why suffer? He was quite certain that there would be pain enough in his lessons to suffice. He lifted his eyes to Azrael's, letting his master see the trust there.

*There will be no pain. As long as it is for pleasure, that is all you will feel. I promise you. The slight discomfort you may still experience will be easily washed away by the joy. *

"I believe you," his voice soft as he felt himself being pulled back into the security of his master's arms. The force that weighed on his mind was gentle, but he knew that his master could never force his mind or him without him knowing it. "I trust you."

Joseph joined Azrael in making love to Torin, pressing against the younger man's body as Azrael turned him. "Kid," Joseph bit at his neck playfully before capturing his lips, "you are going to love this."

Torin allowed Azrael to manipulate his body into the position that his master desired. Feeling the press of Azrael's chest as he leaned back on his knees, Joseph being ever so helpful in holding him there, his mouth beginning to blaze a shockingly cool, immensely pleasurable trail down his body.

Azrael reached for the little brown jar. "I'm going to touch you now, Tori. Relax, lover, I will be gentle." His hands parted the trembling virgin cheeks. "Deep breath--"a single cream-slick finger rub slowly against Torin's virgin bud. Slowly soothing away the tension. Before the finger began the easy and slow entry, past the tightness of his muscle. "Relax Tori, it's only my finger. I have done this many times, you are safe," he whispered softly, as his hand began to move slowly. "You have impressed Vincent. He asked about you." He felt Torin shudder as he teased him, allowing him to get used to something inside him.

"Yeah, he's a nice guy." He was so tense. Between the feelings that Joseph was giving him as he blew him and the new, strangely pleasant feeling of Azrael's finger as it thrust inward, he had, trouble remembering to breathe.

"Yes," a second finger joined the first. "Relax, Tori," his voice soft in his pet's ear, breath heating his skin as Tori moaned. "I had to explain to Cain why he failed with you." The slow gently thrusts of Azrael's fingers began to take an ever darker sweet pleasure as his fingers began to stroke the sensitive gland within Torin's body. "Poor boy thought he had done something to cause you pain. Is it painful, Tori, are you ready for me now?"

"He--it--" thinking, was becoming hard. This felt so good, and as Joseph moved to take all of him deep into the tight, wet, cave of his mouth he cried out, hips thrusting up. "Damn--yeah, now-- I need . . ."

Azrael quickly pulled away to coat his own hard maleness with cream. "Relax, love, let me make love to you, now. It is time that I make you completely mine. Surrender to me my beautiful angel, join me in this." He could feel Torin tense just a little as he parted his cheeks, pressing forward slowly. "Deep breath, Tori, relax, you must relax." He thrust deep, breaching the virginal barrier with one quick motion.

Torin cried out, caught between the glorious feelings Joseph was giving him and the strange, darker pleasures that filled him as he felt his master enter him. "Jesus!" He sobbed, amazed at the combined feelings.

Azrael laughed. "Is a god of celibacy. Why on earth are you calling Him, now?" He pulled back slowly, before thrusting again, filling Torin. "You are so tight. I am going to lose myself in you."

Torin cried with each thrust. It was the closest thing to a religious experience that he had ever had, as each slow thrust stoked his prostate and he loved it. The slight burning that had been present at first quickly faded under the pressure of the erotic sensations that brought him crashing down into one orgasm after the other, hips rocking back and forth between Joseph's greedy mouth and Azrael's hardness. His life was complete now. He was sealed to his master, wed to him in a strange rite of passage. His voice rose once more, blending with Azrael's as again he reached the final pinnacle.

Azrael listened to Torin's cries become a little incoherent as he began to feed the passion between them, adding power to the long thrusts that rocked Torin's body with their force. "Lean forward." Breath ragged, he needed to release himself into this boy. "Take Cain into you, share the pleasure he has


'Yes' . He blindly, instinctively, leaned forward, feeling the body under his, touching Joseph's stiff rod before lowering his mouth. Nothing other than the man behind and the man beneath mattered now. This for the moment was his world. And as Azrael's thrusts forced his hips down, and his organ deeper into the willing mouth that suckled it, he gladly imitated it.

Afterwards he lay between the two vampires, sated but confused. "Ah, my fine Mageling, that was sweet." Azrael slowly withdrew, pulling Torin up so that Joseph could rise to join them. "Was it as I promised?" He couldn't stop touching the boy. Even after such a glorious fulfillment, he still hungered. "I fear I have become enamored with you."

Words were impossible as Azrael lay him back, his mouth and hand roaming his body, drawing out whimpered moans, proving to Torin with actions that the night was far from over. The things he would do to this boy, the pleasures he would grace him with. "Rest for a moment." His mouth; brutally, demanding, for the first time. "Cain, go return to your master, there will be time for the two of you to play later." He moved to pull away, but the hand on his arm refused to release him. "Pet?"

"Don't go yet, just a minute more." His dark gray eyes so full of confusion, his emotions jumbled.

"Ssshh," Azrael whispered, fingers curling around his chin. "Child, I'm not going anywhere, and neither are you. You are mine, and you will be mine until the day you die."

"Take me." Torin tried to turn his head. "Now, please."

Azrael looked at him, holding his head in place. He could, he could take the boy right now, and gladly. What a fine Fledgling he would be. But no, it was too soon. The boy was merely stunned by the power. He would grow to regret any hasty action. "No, Torin, not now. One day I promise. You will be mine, I will grant you that final step, the gift. But you must wait for that day."

"Why?" What was wrong? He knew Azrael wanted to. Why wouldn't he do it? What was holding him back?

"It is too soon."

"But, why?" Again he tried to turn his head, but Azrael's fingers held him still. "Haven't I proven I'll keep faith? What's wrong, what am I doing that I shouldn't? Or am I not doing something I should?" He looked at Azrael, eyes pleading. "Why not now?"

Azrael pulled away, standing over him. "You have done nothing wrong. Your offer is sweet. But I say no. And I will not be questioned." Then his voice softened. "You have only just come to me, Tori. Give it time. The Vampyr are careful in our breeding. It is how we have lived so long. Too many times have Fledglings been made in the heat of the moment, and all too often they regret it, becoming bitter, pained souls, looking for peace and finding it not." He reached for the cloth on the table, cleaning the traces of their lovemaking from himself. "Live your life, enjoy what is left of mortality for you. It would not matter if I gave it to you now, or in a hundred years. If you truly wish it, it will be yours." He lifted a finger to touch Torin's lips, silencing protest. "Think about what I have said little one, and mention it to me no more this night."

Torin bowed his head. "Yes, Master." He would have his wish. One day, Azrael would make him like he was. He would have to be content to wait for that day. Well, waiting was half a mage's life. He should be used to it by now.

Azrael tossed the cloth on the table and reached for him. "Come, let us join the rest. The night is still very young, and I would enjoy watching the others as they play."0

* * *

"There he is, Billy, ask him yourself." David pointed to Azrael as he and Torin approached them. "Master, my pet wishes a word with you if you will hear him."

"Do not be silly, of course he can speak to me. They all can." He turned to Torin. "Sit down, pet, I will be with you in a moment."

Billy watched as the Elder vampire took his seat. "Master?" His dark eyes were shy.

"Come here, pet. Do not be afraid, I world never hurt you." He held out a hand, gently pulling the boy into his lap. "What is it, sweetheart?"

"Davy say's you're why everything is so nice now. That you took us in and made all the bad stuff go away." The look in the boy's eyes was pure worship. "You even made Mark be nice."

"Yes, I took your master under my wing. And yes, Mark is one of you now."

"Thank you." He bit his lower lip. "I--nobody is sad anymore, nobody cries. He says no one will ever hurt us, that I'll never have to be afraid again."

Azrael pulled the boy against him, arms wrapping protectively around him. "That is correct. If anyone ever hurts you, and Vincent is unable to make them pay for their crime, I will. You are under my protection, because your master belongs to me."

"And I can love and be loved by anyone here. That I can curl up with anyone." He looked down blushing. "Even you."

Azrael laughed. It was just too charming. "Billy, are you asking me to make love to you? Is that why you are in my lap?" The boy nodded, blushing even more. "I am touched, precious, I would like nothing more than to hold you." Azrael looked at David. "Do you mind, Vincent? Your pet here has asked so sweetly I find I am unable to refuse such a darling request."

David nodded smiling. "Tori can come and sit with me. He knows I won't bite him."

Michael looked up from Jason. "Vincent, if it is all the same to you, would you hold Jason? I would like some time with the boy."

"One warm body is as good as the next when they're not mine. Sure, Joey tells me he's a darling."

Azrael looked at Torin. "Go on, pet, go be with Megel. He is not only my First-Born, but a mage as well. I am sure you will find your time with him to be wonderful. Show the same willingness as you showed me, and I promise, you will be well rewarded." He smiled as the mageling nodded.

"Go on, Jay, go beg David to have you. Submit to him and let him take what he will." Michael winked down at him. "Have fun, baby."

Azrael smiled at Billy, a warm and loving smile. "Make love to me." Billy's world was simple, now. love and being loved. It was one of the few things he understood. He was loved, and he was safe, and never again would anyone treat him like his stepfather had treated him. "I--I don't even mind that it hurts a little, at the beginning. It feels good in a funny way."

Azrael lifted him and carried him to the bed in the corner. "I will make love to you completely, precious. Relax." And he began to help the boy disrobe.

* * *

David was surprised at the wantonness of Michael's pet. Even Mark's kisses had been submissive. Jason's was one of hunger and demand. "Master," he licked at his throat, hands reaching to stroke his chest, "may I blow you?"

"Not yet." He kissed him once more. "Your master ordered you to submit to me, pet. Now, on your knees, beg me to relieve my passions on your body, to punish you for failing to obey your master."

Jason wasn't afraid, how could he be, he loved this. "Forgive me, Master." He dropped to the floor. His hands clasped behind his back. "Will you accept my submission, Master? Will you have me? I was wrong for failing to obey, will you punish me for it?"

David removed his belt from his pants, which lay with his shirt on the floor. "You have a choice, pet." His voice was soft. "Twenty lashes on your back and ass, ten on your balls. Which one will it be? If you choose the first, not only will I punish you with the belt, but I will rape you as well. If you are brave, and truly remorseful for your crimes, you will accept the ten and I will make love to you."

Jason moaned softly. "I--I will do it Master, if you want, I'll accept both, I was wrong." His manhood throbbed with painful want. "But please, make love to me first. I'll suffer anything you want, please." He looked up at David. "I need to so bad, Master, it hurts."

David dropped to his knees, reaching for him. "Turn around, Jason. I will help you."

* * *

Anna returned, amused by the goings-on in the Elder's home. "Hi," she smiled down at Michael. "And who is this?" She nodded at Torin, in his arms.

"You missed quite a bit tonight, dear. This is Torin or Tori as my Sire has decreed. He's Azrael's new Chosen. My master found a mage while out shopping, and brought him home." He patted the cushion beside him. "Join us."

"A mage? But--you mean to tell me there is such a thing?" She pulled her blouse free, undressing.

"Oh, yes, and this one has become my Sire's latest passion. It will be good to see him with someone to devote all his energies to." He pushed Torin into a sitting position. "Tori, this is Anna, she is David's First-Born. Would it trouble you if she joined us? She might not be a mage, but I am sure you would find any time spent in her arms to be well worth the effort."

Torin decided, as he nodded, that beauty must be a requirement for vampires. Of the four he had seen, none of them were anything but gorgeous. "Hi."

* * *

Billy cried softly as he made love to Azrael. He still couldn't believe that the master wanted him to do this. "Am I--" he shuddered, mouth hot on Azrael's neck. "I'm not hurting you, am I?"

"No, child." Azrael turned his head so that he could grace this one with a smile. "You are not hurting me. Quite the contrary, I am enjoying myself greatly. Go on precious, make love to me."

* * *

Jason cried out in pain, even as his body gave into the sweet pulses of orgasm. His rape was brutal. David had to hold him up, for without his aid he would have been knocked to the floor with the first thrust. "Please." He sobbed. "More, Master, please." He cried out, almost screaming, as a hand brutalized his throbbing member.

David's teeth sank into Jason's throat as he came. Control was gone as the sweet, hot nectar filled his mouth.

An enraged roar as he suddenly found himself knocked across the room. "How dare you?" Michael pulled Jason into the protective circle of his arms.

Lost in blood lust, David rose snarling, to be brought to his knees by Michael's will alone. "Insolent pup." Hands reached, fingers closed around his throat as Michael lifted him, holding him dangling above the floor. "I could kill you now, and be well within my right." His fangs extended fully, all look of humanity left his face.

"No!" Aaron threw himself against Michael. "Please, don't hurt him, please." He pulled on the arm that held David. "Kill me, instead, don't hurt him."

"Megel," Azrael's hand closed over his arm, forcing him to lower David. "Release Vincent. I will see that punishment is delivered for his harming your Chosen." The fingers relaxed reluctantly. "Go tend to your wounded one. I will see to our careless Kin."

David fell to the floor, Aaron pulling him close, crying. "Davy?"

"Ssshh, it's all right. Go to Anna." He held the boy for a moment. "Go on, I will be fine."

"So Vincent, what have you to say for yourself?" Azrael stood before him naked, eyes blazing with anger.

"Forgive me, Master. I--I lost control. I have no excuse, no plea for mercy. What must I do in payment for the crime I have committed?" His head hung low. He had committed one of the few great sins, had harmed, another's, Chosen.

Azrael turned to where Michael held the frightened mortal, Torin adding his power to the healing. "What say you, Megel? Do you seek the traditional punishment for his crimes, or will you allow leniency?"

Michael had never heard of Kin attacking another's Chosen. Renegades yes, but never Line-Kin. "What is the traditional punishment, Master?" The wounds on Jason's throat had been nasty. His pet, his Chosen, was weak from loss of blood. "Drink, precious." He ripped his wrist open with his fangs, to offer strength and life to his love.

"Branded outlaw, banished to be hunted by all. His Brood would be yours, his pets as well, to live or die as decreed by old law."

"No!" Both Anna and Joseph practically flew to put themselves between David and Azrael, "Master, please." Anna was nearly hysterical. "Megel, I--I'll offer myself, be your slave for eternity. Don't kill my master, don't banish him."

"No, Lilith, let me." Joseph used her vampiric name. "If anyone must suffer, let it be me. If Vincent is outcast, I'll die anyway, so please, let me." He looked first to Azrael then to Michael. "Masters, he needs you, needs this place. Let me go for him."

Jason reached up, touching Michael's face. "Michael, don't do this. He-you, lost, control too, remember? I seem to bring out the beast in your kind. Please, for me, if you care for me at all, don't send him away. Don't kill anyone else."

"Well, Megel, it is up to you. Shall I kill him or banish him?"

Michael slowly stood up, lifting Jason carefully. "Tori, would you hold him for me? I fear for his health right now. Will you use your powers to strengthen it?" He smiled down at the young man as he nodded, positioning himself on the couch so Michael could lay Jason in his arms.

Michael looked at David. "I won't demand his life. Jason is right, he does submit so completely. Nor will I require that he be banished. He is young, barely old enough to be walking free. He is a Childe."

"So what do you demand?" He walked to where Torin held Jason. His power aiding in strengthening the boy's weakened system. "Here, Tori." He rested his hand on his shoulder. As he allowed his own power to flow into his Chosen, helping to aid in the healing. "There is no need for fear, either of you. Jason, you will be fine. Tori is a healer."

"Vincent, choose. You have four, two Brood and two pets. Someone must pay for the pain and wrong forced on my Chosen. Which one will it be? Let you feel the horror, the anger as someone in your care is threatened."

David looked around, which one? How could he just order one to die? His eyes went to Anna. 'No, I can't, not her, any but his First-Born' . Then his eyes turned to Joseph. It wasn't fair. He had only begun the path. It was not right that he be denied it now. Slowly he turned to Aaron, who lay against him, holding him protectively. His love for the boy made the thought of watching him die painful. And slowly, almost against his will, his eyes sought out Billy, his wounded one. The one he swore no one would ever harm. He closed his eyes as tears. The color of blood streaked his face. "Aaron." The voice, a whisper, one that was, of soul rending pain.

To give the boy credit, he didn't scream or cry. He lifted his head to look David in the face, a hand reaching to gently brush the tears from his cheeks. "Yeah, Davy?"

"Go." He fought down a sob. "Go precious, I--you are Megel's now. Go to him. Forgive me, my love, but I cannot let Lilith or Cain go. Billy, I swore."

Aaron looked lost for a moment, as if he didn't understand what had happened. Then a look of understanding and resignation fell over his features. He had always figured that one day he would die. That one of them would kill him, but not this soon. "Master." He swallowed back a lump. "Hold me, please."

"David, don't." Joseph touched the boy's hair. "Vincent---Master. We both know that he is your next Chosen. Don't do this. I'll go. It doesn't matter. You warned me that the first year was dangerous. That a lot died during it. I'll go. Let him stay. You love him like you never loved me." He reached out and kissed his master. "My final gift to you, because I love you like I've never loved anyone before in my life." He stood, reaching for Anna, giving her a brief but fierce hug. "Take care of him for me. Don't let him watch--please."

Anna dropped to the floor, to block David's view. Aaron wrapped his arms around his master, fighting with Anna to keep David down. "Let him do this. Let him finally have some dignity. Vincent, let him give you this."

Michael felt grudging respect for David, grow, again as Joseph stood before him. He did not kneel, but nodded his head marginally. "So, how do you plan to do it?"

"How does any of our kind claim another, little one?" The smile was soft. "Vincent, do you accept that he is mine, totally, without reservations? You have lost this one. His life, his blood, is mine?"

"Yes." The sound was of pain unconfined.

"After this night, we will speak of it no more. You will accept this as just atonement for the wrong you committed? There will be no dissension in my master's domain? Your Brood and pets the same?"

"Yes." The pain grew.

"And you will remember always what happened here. Never forget, lest this happens again?"

"Yes. Damn you, Megel, do it." His head rose. "Torment me all you like with it afterwards. But don't do this to Cain. I was at fault, not him. Get it over with!"

Michael nodded. "Very well."

Joseph didn't even have time to cry out as Michael snatched him up, his body slamming against the rock-hard wall of the Elder's chest. But it wasn't his throat that drew Michael's mouth. Confusion clouded his thoughts as he answered the kiss. "One more question, Vincent, and I will let it rest." He smiled down at the confused Fledgling. "Will you remember what you have sworn to this night, in a few months when he is no longer dependent on you, no longer locked to your throat? When I can finally make him my slave completely, will you honor your word, or will there be war?"

A look of pain and hope warred on David's face. "You--Megel, you won't kill him?"

"No, I don't kill Kin. Had I known the boy was your Chosen, I would have insisted on him, and then made you watch as I took him. But this Childe is Kin. I follow the old ways. He has committed no wrong. He has impressed me with his dignity. But he cannot be totally mine, yet. He's still on the, breast, so to speak. He is still your Childe. He is tied to you, and will have to drink from you to live."

"Will he always be your slave, Megel?"

"No. Eventually I will grow weary of it, and he will be free. But he'll be an adult long before then. Now, do I have your word? Can I trust you, or must I forbid all contact between the two of you, save feedings?" He kept Joseph locked in his arms.

"My word."

"He's not going to be happy for a while." Michael looked down at Joseph. "I know it seems cruel. But Vincent had to be made to pay. And by rights, I could still demand his Chosen. But I won't. I would much rather have you."

Joseph looked at him, confusion and fear still bright in his eyes. He wasn't to die. He was to belong to Michael, be property. He looked around at David. David had never wanted to change him. He had begged, pleaded with him for months, even, enlisted Anna's help. Now he'd lose the only man he had ever really loved. "Davy?"

"I'm sorry, Cain." David rose slowly. "God as my witness, I'm sorry. Hate me all you want, I deserve it. I've made a royal mess of things." He resisted the urge to reach out and touch him. "Megel, you have my word. I claim him as mine no more. I'll see to his feedings for the next few months, until he no longer needs me. Then, if you want, I will leave. But promise me one thing. Promise me you won't be cruel to him. I know you can be, all the Elders can if they want. But he didn't do anything wrong, I did. Please remember that."

Michael released Joseph. "Cain, will you bend to me? I own you now. Your life and its continuance are mine. Will you make me regret allowing you to live?"

Joseph turned, reaching out to David. "Do you want me to do this?" Tears welled as David nodded. "Then I'll do it." He turned back to Michael, head bowed, trembling for a moment, before he slowly dropped to his knees. "My life is yours, Master." And the tears were freed.

"Vincent." Azrael's voice was soft. "You and I need to talk."

"Yes, Master."

"You have violated the sanctity of my lair. Destroyed the peace."

"Yes, Master."

"You have lost a Childe to prevent a war, a war that you would lose." The soft voice was death itself. "I am very displeased with you."

"I have no excuse, Master. I was wrong." What more would he be forced to lose. What price would Azrael demand?

"Megel, are you satisfied? Is the Fledgling payment, or do you wish that I beat my 'erring slave' ?" The words were spat out in cold fury. David's eyes widened. He had sworn service to Azrael, but he had believed it was the service he had paid Sharra. Now he knew different.

"Let the boy be, Azrael. He's sorry. He won't do it again. We are doing nothing more now than frightening the little ones, and that is cruel. Forgive him; take him back into the fold. It is over." Then to David, "you don't have to leave, youngster. Cain would never forgive either of us if you did. We are even, you and I. It's over. We shall speak of it no more."

Azrael nodded satisfied. "So be it." They had weathered their first problem and it was over. He knew that he should be prepared for more disturbances like this. The young always acted first, and then thought about it.

Michael leaned down and took Jason from Torin. "How do you feel, precious?"

"Tired." He smiled up at him. "I'll try not to be so attractive next time." He snuggled closer. "But it's not my fault you folks keep deciding I'm good enough to eat."

Michael chuckled, hugging him tighter. "I'm going to put you to bed now. And you must drink a lot of water. You need to replace the fluids in your body."

"Jason?" Morgan stood near, fear for her brother plain on her face.

"I'm all right, squirt. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine."

"Did he hurt you bad?" She glared at David, anger bright in her eyes.

"Nah, I'm okay. I just gotta quit looking so edible to them, that's all." He touched her cheek. "Michael won't let anyone hurt me, baby. I believe that, trust me on this."

"Morgan, precious, come here." Azrael gathered her close. "Your brother was never in danger. Vincent could never have killed him. We would not allow it. Forget about it for now. Let Megel care for him. You come be with us."

Joseph stood quietly as Michael fussed with his Chosen. He was a slave now. The word kept ringing through his mind, over and over. 'A slave' , for how long? What would the Elder expect of him? He had not agreed when Vincent had begged him not to be cruel. Did that bode ill?

Torin got Michael's attention. "Master, if you wish, and my master allows, I will stay with Jason tonight. Make sure he drinks plenty of water." He looked shyly to Azrael. "Would that be all right, Azrael?"

Michael smiled at his Sire. "If the boy is willing, I'll let him go with Jason and Amber. Later, once my boy is asleep and well on the road to recovery, we can fetch him."

"Oh, very well. A healer, I should have known. Four hundred years since my last mage, and I get a healer." He shook his head, the amusement on his face taking the bite out of his words. "Go on with you. I'll come for you myself in a few hours."

"But I'm not that tired." Jason didn't want to be separated from Michael. Despite his brave words, he was very frightened. "Please, Megel."

"Ssshh, hush. You must rest, now. Allow your body time to recover. You aren't going to be alone. Amber and Tori will be with you. If you need me, you have but to call." He kissed the top of Jason's head as it rested against him. "Cain needs me right now, Jay. He's very confused. It cannot be easy for him. He has lost his Sire. Let me comfort him. You know you're safe. You know I love you. He is still unsure."

Jason nodded. It was just like Michael, he was going to pamper Joseph. "Okay, I'll go to bed, but promise you'll stop by before you sleep?"

"We will. Amber, would you go with Tori and make sure Jay drinks several glasses of water? Hold him for me?"

"I'll take care of him." She felt much better now. Michael was kind.

"Good girl." He helped Jason to stand as Torin helped hold him up. "Are you going to be all right, pretty face?"

"Yeah, I'm not as bad off as I look. I'll be fine."

"See you later, then. Go rest. We have all of eternity."


Joseph watched as Tori led Jason and Amber from the room. The finality of his life finally sank in. He was Michael's slave. His only hope was that Michael would treat him as kindly as he treated the others.

"So, Cain, or do you prefer your mortal name?" Michael turned his attention to the Fledgling. "Oh, please, don't be like that. I have no intentions of hurting you any more than you have been already."

"Cain is fine, Master, or Joseph or Joey. Anything you want." He, trembled, so hard his teeth rattled. "Forgive me."

"For what, pet?" Michael chuckled. "For being afraid? Childe if, I were in your shoes right now, I would be a groveling mess. No, there is no need for apologies. We are going to be fine. You just wait. I am not quite the heartless beast you must see me as now. You may still love Vincent, be with him if you are not with me. Your surrender was sufficient. I believe you will abide by it." He reached for his hand. "Come here."

"You don't mind?" He had been sure that Michael would never let him close to David again. "Master, truly?"

Michael's gaze sought out David's. "Vincent, why don't you let your Chosen come here? I think Cain and you need to put this to rest."

David held Aaron protectively. "We are even, Megel? You and I?"

"I won't harm the boy, Vincent. Enough has been said. Enough pain. My word, I will be as gentle with your pet as I am my own." He pushed Joseph forward.

David pulled away from Aaron. "Go on, baby, go be with Michael. I need to talk with Joe."

Aaron glanced over at Michael, then back to David. "Will he--?" then in a softer voice. "Are you?"

"No," David touched his cheek. "You are mine, Aaron, and you will stay with me. Cain made sure of that. But there is a hurt between us now. One, that must be dealt with. If we don't begin to heal this, it will kill Cain as surely as the sun. I am his Sire."

Aaron nodded. He owed it to Joseph, was still alive, because of him.

"Don't be afraid." Michael reached for him as the boy came close. "No one is going to hurt you, or your master." He led him to the couch. "I won't touch you, if you do not wish me to. You can sit with me while they talk." Michael's eyes rose, seeking out the other of David's pets. Billy sat watching all of this, eyes bright. Anna was soothing him. "Lilith, bring the boy and come here. Let Vincent and Cain have a moment of privacy."

She did as he bid. "Come on, honey." Billy was frightened. He had just watched his master and Joseph almost die. He let her lead him, but held close to her, seeking protection. "It's okay, sweetie, he won't hurt you. I won't let him." She smiled up at Michael, a little ruefully, to take any threat of challenge out of her words. She understood what had happened. Her Sire had started drilling Kin ethics and manners into her the very night he made her. She knew how lucky they all were.

"I'm sorry." David held Joseph in arms that trembled with the desire to claim him again. "I ruined everything. How you must hate me."

"No." It felt good to be here. David held him so rarely, always reserving the greater part of his affection for Anna, his First-Born and most loved. "I'll never hate you. I owe you too much."

"Owe me?" David laughed bitterly. "Oh yes, Cain, you have so much to, owe, me. I took your freedom, your life, I begrudged you my love, and now, when you are so close to beginning to be able to enjoy what you are, I snatched it all away with my lack of control. Yes, lover, you owe me quite a lot. I should think you will be paying me back for all my gifts--" the words were bitter "--for quite some time."

"Vincent." Joseph's fingers reached for, the, back of David's neck, rubbing the base with a firm relaxing, pressure. "You saved my life. Cleaned me up. I wanted, this, remember? Had to beg for months before you would even consider it. You warned me that Anna is your first, she's still under your protection. I knew I would always play second, but I had that chance because of you." The truth behind his words was almost painful. "Megel won't hurt me. I still have eternity to look forward to. I just changed masters, that's all." His arms tightened. "But you're the one that made me. He might own my body, but my soul is yours."

"No," David lifted his face to smile at his Childe. "You're wrong on that, Cain. I gave you back your soul the night I made you one of us. For the first time since you took your first breath, you belonged solely to yourself. Your body and life are the only things I ever owned. You were your own driver. Before tonight." Fingers moved to dry tears. "That's what I am the most sorry for."

"It's okay." Joseph whispered. "We'll be all right. I still love you. He won't take that from me. His word."

"And I will strive to prove that I love you more than you believe." It would be all right. He believed that now as they held each other. It was going to be all right.

Michael raised his eyes from where he had been looking down at Aaron, and caught Billy's gaze. "You stare at me so child. What is it?"

"David said all the bad things were over," a whispered accusation.

"Yes, well, he also attacked someone I love. If anyone hurt you, he would be honor-bound to seek justice. I have the same responsibility to Jason. I know it is hard for you to believe, but I let him off very lightly. I could have demanded all of you, and made him watch as I killed you. But what good would that have done?"

"Michael." Anna hushed the boy in her arms. "Forgive him. He doesn't understand. I do, Joey does, but he's not one of us."

"I'm not mad at him, Anna. I don't begrudge the boy his questions." It had taken Michael years to learn to smile without showing his fangs. "It has not been an easy life for any of them. We should expect, when we have a little dilemma like this, that they are going to be greatly affected by it."

Anna nodded, relaxing a little more. "I have a question myself. Once you learned that Aaron was his, Chosen, why did you still insist on keeping Cain?"

"I honestly can't say for sure. Perhaps it was because angry or no, I really had no desire to kill, or it could have been that Joseph's sacrifice touched me. Or maybe it was that Jason had begged me. I don't know Anna, I have no clear answers."

"What happens, now?"

"Well, the hurt between us will begin to heal. Once David and Joseph put this behind them, we will all be able to breathe a little easier. I will take him aside to collar him. He's been through quite enough tonight, without public humiliation. I only hope Azrael still has some of my old collars. He may have had them melted down after I left. I'd hate to use a plain leather one, it's an insult."


"Joseph is my slave. I own him completely. Azrael has accepted David's one hundred years service, but that is different. He is young. It is common practice for the young ones to serve the old, in exchange for protection and learning. Joseph will be my slave for a long time, even for us. He has no rights. Even Mark has more freedom than he does. I won't hurt him. Abuse is not in my nature. But I will hold him, and he will obey the law." The tone in his voice warned Anna that no amount of begging was going to change his mind. Joey would be treated as nothing for a long time. He would have no life.

"It will kill him," was the only thing she dared say.

Michael reached out and laid a hand on her arm. "No, I won't let that happen. Wait. Tomorrow night will be different, you'll see." Poor girl had no idea what a mature vampire was capable of doing. "He will be happy with me, and I will be kind to him. You are worrying about nothing. He will be as well cared for and protected as any of you. I promise."

Joseph pulled away from David. "I gotta go." The very act of separation was painful.

"So soon, love?" He tried to pull him back.

"Yes. He hasn't called me yet, but he's about to." He turned, looking at Michael, who had been testing his awareness with the lightest of touches. Michael nodded, smiling with approval.

"Are you going to be all right?" David knew what Joseph was looking forward to, even if the Fledgling didn't. "Don't argue with him, Joey. I know it will seem cruel, and it will seem unfair. But don't fight him. It would tear me up to see you punished."

"I'll be good. I promise."

"Be better than good, be fabulous. Give yourself to this. It's the only way."

"I will." He hugged him once more. "I gotta go."

David watched him return to Michael. 'What have I done' ? The words were torment. 'I've damned my own to hell' .

Joseph knelt beside Michael. "Thank you."

Michael slowly raised his head from Aaron's shoulder. "The two of you at peace, now?"

"Somewhat," he stared at his hands, "Master."

Michael reached out, brushing his new charge with a light mental touch. Yes, the boy would heal, and with what he planned on doing later, would be all right. "Aaron, go return to your master. Lilith, your Sire needs you."

"May I tell Joey good-night?" She rose.

"No. He's, had enough emotional trauma for one night. Tomorrow, you can spend some time with him. For now, it's best I take him away for a while."

"Just a hug. Please Michael, I always tell him good-night."

Michael sighed. Maybe he was going soft. "Oh, very well, but try to refrain from any hysterics. I am serious, the boy has been through enough, tonight."

"Thank you." She fought the urge to burst into tears. "Sleep well, baby." She kissed his cheek, wiping away the tears. "It gets easier, you wait."

"Joey?" Billy looked from him to Michael. "May I?"

Michael gave up. He might as well surrender to the humor in the situation. "Yes, go on, both of you." 'Why is it that all human males at this age are so damned adorable' ? "But only if I get a sample of your sweetness, too."

Billy looked away, reaching for Joseph. "Good-night." He let the younger vampire hold him for a moment. "I love you."

"I love you, too, Billy. I'll see you tomorrow. Who knows, maybe, if my master is in a good mood, he'll let me join in the play." He kissed him briefly before pulling, Aaron close.

"I'm sorry." Aaron felt guilty. He had been supposed to die. Joseph had traded himself for his life. "You didn't have to."

"Yeah, I did." The smile that had finally won David over touched his lips. "Believe me, this is for the best. Don't worry, I'll be fine."

"Please." Billy reached for Michael. "Don't let it go back to the way it was."

"Ssshh." Michael was pleased to see that the wounded one didn't flinch from his touch. "Don't cry, pretty, I won't let it. No one will hurt you. Your master has sworn this. His master has seconded it. You alone are safe from harm."

Billy looked up at him, eyes focusing as he had one of those rare, brief moments of mental brilliance that one such as he sometimes had. "Would I do?"

The boy's sudden change caught Michael off guard. "Would you do as what, Billy?"

"As your slave?" He bit his lip. "I'll be good, won't cry. You won't hurt me. Davy will believe that. Joey won't be sad." Already the lucidity was fading.

"Billy, no!" Joseph reached for him. "Michael, Master, please, don't listen to him." Damn one already so damaged by them to what Michael had in store for him? They all thought him blissfully unaware of what was to happen, but he knew. And deep down, David knew he knew. He had been warned earlier about staying close to home once his year was up. Until he was a little older, he would be a prime target for Renegade groups.

Michael heard and felt the knowledge, even as Joseph recognized it. "No, Billy. I'm sorry, pet. But Joseph has already offered, I have accepted it, it's over." Then he reached out and stroked the boy's cheek lightly. "But you 'are' right, I would never hurt you."

"Please." He was in tears. "Please."

"Vincent. Come and get your pet. He needs you." Michael gathered the sobbing youngster close. "Don't cry, Billy, I won't hurt him. I'm not a cruel man."

"Billy?" David knelt beside where Michael sat the boy in his arms. "What happened?" He touched Billy's mind softly. He had to be very careful with this one. "Oh, you poor dear." He took him from Michael. "It was kind of you to offer, but you're human, sweet. Michael will hold Joseph at least twice your life span, if not more. You won't live long enough for it to be a fair trade."

"Billy." Michael rose, pulling Joseph close. "You must not do this. Any more crying will do nothing but upset Cain even more. Let me take him away, and calm him. We'll talk tomorrow. I'll listen to what you have to say, and explain my reasons to you. Your dedication and sacrifice deserve an open ear. We will talk." Yes, he would let the boy voice his beliefs, make his offer, and listen to his reasoning. And then he would gently, with as light a touch as possible, make him understand why it could not work, without once belittling anything the boy felt, *with your permission, Vincent, of course. *

*Of course, * David felt all, the, tension leave his body for the first time in hours. There was no way that a vampire that would, go, to such lengths to ease the emotional distress of a mortal, would do his own kind grievous harm.

Michael felt David's emotions changing. *I am glad you understand now. I was concerned what the worry would do to you until you accepted it. * A brief mental brush, almost like a kiss, and then he pulled away.

"Promise?" Billy sniffed, rubbing his eyes. He, looked, for all the world like a little boy. Michael was suddenly tempted, almost willing, to make the trade. The child was just too darling.

"No, Megel." David tightened his grip around Billy. "He is under my protection. What I did was wrong. I have no excuse. But do not make me forsake my word."

Michael closed his eyes briefly. "You are right. I don't know what made me think that. No, I would have killed your Chosen for what you did. But make you forsworn? Never." He shook his head. "I will explain it all to you tomorrow, Billy. That is, if you still have any questions after your master here finishes talking to you. But for now, I am taking my new one here." He purposely refrained from using the word 'slave' . "And we are going to go somewhere quiet so that I might explain how his life is to be."

Joseph felt a pang, and remembered that he hadn't fed yet. "Master."

Both Michael and David turned their heads, but Michael was the one to respond. "Yes."

"I," he ran a hand through his hair, "I'm sorry but--I" He wondered if Michael would make him go hungry tonight. "I haven't fed. I was waiting for later, alone, but." He was visibly trembling. "Please, Master, I'm hungry."

David looked at Michael. "May I?"

"Yes," Michael 's tone was sharp. "Of course, you may. Jupiter's Balls, Joseph--Cain--you haven't, didn't, do anything wrong. I will not torture you for revenge. Vincent has paid for his mistake. It is over. Feed. I'll never force you to go hungry. No matter what you do, I'll never starve you."

"Go on, Cain." David pulled Joseph's mouth to his throat. "Drink your fill. I fed well tonight."

Michael reached for Joseph the moment he lifted his head. "Enough. Come, no more delays."

"Good night, Michael." David rose, acknowledging Michael's command.

"Rest well, David." He turned towards the bed there and Azrael. "We will talk tomorrow night, Master."

"The items you seek are in a chest in the dungeon. Never fear, I do not have any made of leather." Azrael's soft baritone voice held a note of amusement.

"Sleep well." Michael read into his master's words the needed information. "You may walk, Cain, follow me." He turned to leave. "I want to stop in and check on Jason. I know he is fine, but I would still like to see it with my own eyes."

Joseph, who was honestly, scared almost out of his mind, drew a glimmer of hope from Michael's words. Michael was for all intents and purposes a, gentle, man when it came to the needs of those he was responsible for. It spoke greatly for a gentle breaking.

Michael stopped and turned to look at him. "You know what will happen?"

"Yes, Master." He didn't need to ask for an explanation of the question.

"It won't hurt as long as you don't fight me. I will use a light hand if you give yourself to it freely."

"Will there be any of 'me' left?"

"As much as I can protect. I'll leave your personality as whole as possible, your feelings and identity the same. There will be some loss, but you will not end up like Billy. I swear it. If it came down to that, I'd take your life myself."

Joseph's body shook for several moments as he fought emotions that threatened to overcome him. "Thank you."

"Wait here for me. I'll be back. As soon as I check on Jason." He tilted Joseph's chin upward. "You will not move from here."

"Yes." Joseph could see nothing but Michael's eyes, feel nothing but the desire to stand where he was. "I would have obeyed."

Michael stepped closer, brushing his lips across Joseph's brow. "I am sure you would have, Cain, but I would rather be safe than sorry. I have no desire to punish you."

Joseph stood alone in the hall. The pressure to remain still was almost painful. Already the change was taking place. Joseph couldn't see Michael using this much force on anyone but a slave. And the sadder part, to his mind, was that Michael had used it as a kindness, to guarantee there would be less pain later. His heart broke. Nothing much mattered any more. Whatever Michael would do to him, he would accept. There was no other way.

* * *

As Michael closed and bolted the door he asked, "is Jason--?"

"Fine, curled up asleep between Tori and, Amber. I told you he was recovering. All three of them are well on their way to putting this behind them." Michael released the pressure that had held him.

"I'm glad." He followed Michael, each step bringing his doom closer. Could he really do it? Could he let Michael take him completely, give up all right to free thought? Be nothing more than, a, mindless slave? Fear-filled questions made his mind a blur. The resolve he had only moments before was gone.

"Don't be afraid." Michael opened the door to the dungeon. "We won't be here long, and I won't take you here. I'm only here to retrieve a few items." He looked around the room for the chest.

The metal collar was a heavy band of silver. It opened with a key, and the ring mounting in the center concealed the hinge. "Good." Michael released the lock. "Lift your hair, Cain." The collar fit comfortably around Joseph's throat, resting at the base, over his jugular.

Joseph panicked. Collared, he could not blood-bond with David. It was the final straw. "No, please." He pulled at the collar, trying to rip it from his neck.

"No, Cain, the collar stays." He pulled Joseph's hands away. "Put your hands behind your back." Iron manacles with two feet of chain between them were locked on Joseph's wrists, chaining his arms down and slightly behind him, reducing him to a defenseless prisoner. "I won't keep these on for long, just until I have broken you."

"Please." Joseph backed away from him. "I--I can't."

Michael yanked the younger vampire close. "You have no choice, Cain. You are my slave." He kept his voice soft. Michael just didn't have it in him to hurt the boy. "Be still." He tightened his grip as Joseph struggled. "Cain, stop this."

"I can't. Please, I'll do anything you ask." All his bravado was gone.

"Don't make me hurt you, Cain." Michael's fangs extended as he turned the full power of his will on the Fledgling. Joseph's face blanked as the force came down.

A whimper was all the sound Joseph could make. Every ounce of his being was focused on the man before him. The world was gone. His life had no meaning outside this moment. Every hope and dream he had ever had suddenly became wrapped up in the essence of his master.

"I am going to release you, now." The words were soft in his ear. "You will follow me quietly. We will have no more of these little outbursts. If you fail me this time, I will have no choice but to punish you." He withdrew his power. "It's up to you, boy. Do I hurt you? Will you obey?"

Joseph almost fell as he was released. Michael caught him, holding him up as his body was wracked with sobs. "I'm sorry." He was too close to the danger point. Too near to having every last glimmer of who and what he was ripped from him. "Master?"

"Are we going to be wise, now?" Michael found no pleasure in this part of the process. He would have just as soon not do it.

It took Joseph a moment to answer. Michael was beginning to believe that there might still be a problem. "Yes." Joseph looked up. "I--I'm sorry, Master. I don't know what came over me. You can let me go now, I--I'll follow."

Michael brushed his fingers against Joseph's cheek, a gesture that he had drawn such comfort from when he had been Azrael's slave. "Would it help, is it a kindness, if I promise not to take your name? I can you know, but I won't. I will not take anything from you that I don't have to." He noticed the tremble again. "Ssshh, relax, Joey."

"I'm sorry, Master." He was in tears again, but he didn't fight. "I'm trying, I swear I am."

Michael felt sorry for the youngster. Not, even, Kin a full year. 'Poor Childe, I will have to be very careful with him. He knows just enough to make this a horror for him' . "Cain." He let the boy draw comfort from his embrace.

"Master." He felt Michael's arms around him, the power of his grasp.

"We will go to my resting place, now. Will you walk freely, or do I need to lead you?"

Joseph looked at him, fear, pain and sorrow radiating from him in waves. "I will walk." His pride was the only thing he had left. He fought to hold onto it. He would, in the end, be nothing more than a groveling shadow, but he'd hold on to what was left of his dignity until Michael stripped it from him.

Michael was amazed as they walked. The boy, who by all rights, should, have been a wild thing. Fighting with all he had against the imminent doom of his fate, walked beside him, collared manacled, but head held high. The more Michael saw of his new slave's inner self, the more he swore he'd not see it shattered.

He didn't have to break him completely. There would be no need. Just enough to control his natural vampiric nature, make him dependent on him, drive home the need to please, and nothing more.

* * *

Joseph almost panicked again as Michael led him into the darkened room where a single large bed and a nightstand the only furniture. "Relax, boy. Fighting is the worst thing you can do, now."

"I won't, I swear." He closed his eyes, forcing every ounce of will into the self-control exercises David had taught him.

"Will you go freely to this? The less resistance you put up, the easier it is. I would just as soon not hurt you." He smiled as Joseph nodded. "Good, very good. Now listen to me, Cain. Take what comfort you can from these words. I will not break you completely. I do not want a mindless slave. I will leave you as much yourself as I can. This I swear. I only want your devotion. The only command I will force on you is your need to please me, nothing more. Your will outside of that will be your own, your responses your own. I will leave your love for your Sire and family whole and intact. I will allow you your dreams and your hopes. You will be my slave of your own free will, save your need to please me."

"Thank you." He almost fainted from relief. His master was the most wonderful, the kindest and most, understanding.

"You will, of course, be forced to obey any and all who live within this house. Now and ever, when I return to my domain, the same will apply there. When we are out, you need only obey those you know are either Kin or the mortals connected to them. Even the pets I allow you to take for your food, you will call 'Master' ." He gathered him close. "With one exception, you will call all 'Master' or 'Mistress' ."

"And that is?" His mouth reached for Michael's, for some comfort.

"Call me Megel, always. Even when you must beg, I grant you this out of respect and as a reward for the selfless gesture you have made this night. You will make a fine brother. You have what it takes to command the greatest honor and respect one day. I will see that your training continues, even as my slave. And I promise you, when I free you at last, you will be able to stand as equal to any around you. I would not have you a cripple."

"Megel?" He couldn't believe it. He had prepared for the worst but--.

"Yes, Cain?"

"May I ask a favor from you?" He lifted his eyes. "Please, one small thing before you take my right to voice it."

"Yes, ask anything of me at this moment. If it is within reason, and my power, I will grant it to you."

"Make love to me once before you do. Please, I want to feel you once as myself completely." Emotions powerful beyond his belief threatened to overwhelm him. "Please, Megel, Master. Don't make me beg. Please, just this once."

"Turn around, Cain." He released the manacles. "I won't break you until we go to rest. For this night, we will be equals and lovers. You may be as free as you wish, save for one thing." He turned him back around. "Though I love the feel of hands and mouth on my body, you must be careful not to bring me to orgasm with your mouth. I am much older than your Sire. Enough of my blood would be present to sicken you. So if I tell you to pull away, you must."

"Yes, sir." He had his wish. He had time. "Hold me."

Michael was thrilled. He would have never put Jason at risk, his love for him too all encompassing. He was glad things had worked out the way they did. The Childe was going to prove to be worth as much love and protection as any could ever hope for. "Would it frighten you if I asked my Sire to join us? I would have him see how perfect you are. But I will not insist if it would cause you pain." He led him to the bed. "Besides, I must blood-brand you, and would prefer to have him here, so that there will be no pain." He lifted Joseph's chin. "I will not have you hurt, if I can prevent it, ever."

Joseph shuddered in his arms. "I believe you, Megel. I won't fuss. If you want the Elder here, I will be more than happy to have him here." He lifted Michael's hand, kissing the palm, before pressing it to his cheek. "One more question?"

Michael pushed him back on the bed, sitting beside him. "Cain, you can ask all the questions you want."

"Even though I am your slave, and I will be programmed to want to please you, you're not going to deny me your love are you? I'll be 'able' to love you, right?"

Emotions in the Vampyr were strong. Anger, hate, joy, and love; they were all quick to flame and burned brightly.

"Wait." Michael bent to kiss him. "When my Sire is here, I will answer that question. I want you to have a witness and promise to my answer." He pulled away smiling. "One moment, Cain." He turned his mind to his friend and Sire. *Azrael? *

*Yes Megel. How is your new Slave? *

*Fine, reassure Vincent that he is fine. Would you come and join us? I have promised him I will wait to break him until time for sleep. And when I do, I would rather the brand not cause him, pain. So will you come and share his last night of freedom with me? *

*Why thank you, Megel. I would greatly enjoy that. And yes, of course, his branding will be painless. Anything else would be the last word in unspeakable cruelty. I am proud of you, my son. You have shown me that I raised a fine man. There is no way I could be more proud of you than I am right now. Your control and understanding have been exemplary. Vincent is going to be well because of your careful handling. May I bring him with me? If you are allowing the Childe one last night of freedom, let him hold his Sire too. *

*Wait, I will ask. He's a little shaky right now. * He broke contact. "Cain, Azrael has asked if it would be all right if Vincent joined us for this last night of freedom. I will remove your collar if you wish, allow you to blood-bond with him one last time." He made a shushing noise as Joseph tried to speak. "If it would be painful, I won't allow it. I only want to see you happy for now."

"Please." He broke into tears, reaching for Michael, needing to be held. "Oh, please, yes. I'll do anything you say, always, you've been so good about this. Please, Megel, please."

"Ssshh, hold me, draw strength. I will never deny you this." He rocked him slowly. *Yes, tell Vincent that if he wants to join us, Cain will be overjoyed. *

*I will be there, soon. * Azrael smiled down at the two who lay curled up against him. "I must go help Megel with Cain. The two of you stay here with the rest. I'll leave you in Lilith's care." He smiled, hugging Morgan closer. "You know her, precious, you know she will not harm you."

Morgan grinned, reaching to kiss him. "Is he all right?"

"Yes, Megel is very gentle, you know that. You've seen how he treats your brother. He will not harm the Fledgling. He has no war with him." He looked to Mark. "Will you be all right, pet?" The boy had proven to be as lovable as his girls are. "Oh, and before I forget, where is your kitten? Was he to your liking?"

Mark grinned, blushing slightly under the direct gaze of his master. "Yeah, I like cats. How did you know?"

"I did not. I simply found him to be adorable, and knew that you would like him. Where is he, what have you decided to call him?"

"Locked up in the bathroom. I was afraid with all the activity going on, that someone would roll on top of him." He blushed even more.

"And, come on Mark, what did you call him?"

"Renfield." His eyes lit up as Azrael laughed. "Well, I didn't think Dracula was a name that you'd like, and well, I do live with vampires, so I figured what the hell, it's funny anyway."

Azrael shook his head in utter amusement. "Well, he is 'your' kitten, call him what you will. I must go. Behave, both of you." He disengaged himself from his two, and took up his robe. "Vincent."

David looked up from his three. "Yes, Master?"

"Megel has asked me to come and be with him and his new slave. He is allowing Cain one last night of freedom before taking him. I have asked and been reassured that if you wish to join us you are welcome. It would be a good thing, Vincent. A healing that would settle the pain between the four of us, will you come?"

David's face played through several emotions. Azrael watched his face closely as the emotions from shock to love, danced through his eyes. "And Megel, he doesn't mind?"

"Not at all. Come; allow your Childe to see you recovering from this, before he can no longer appreciate it. Enough pain."

"Go on, Master." Anna smiled. "I'll take care of Aaron and Billy."

"Are you sure honey? You've been through quite a shock too."

"I'll live. If Joey's new master is kind enough to allow you one last night with him before he takes his soul, you need to do this."

David held her close. "I love you." There was pain in his voice, but joy as well. "I will return. Bring the boys. We shall all sleep in my chamber, tonight, and from here on. At least until the fear they feel has faded a little."

"Lilith," Azrael asked, "would you mind if I left Morgan and Mark in your care as well?"

"I will take care of them, Master." She went into his arms. "They know me, there should be no fear."

"There is not. Thank you dear." He kissed the tip of her nose before lowering his mouth to her lips. "Come, Vincent, Megel is waiting."


Joseph was confused with the events of the evening. The last hour or so had left him at loss. He had been sure, when David attacked his new master's Chosen, that he would die. But he didn't, Michael wouldn't kill one of his own kind. And then, the fear of being broken. Of being doomed to spend countless years as nothing but his half mad slave. But again, Michael had promised to stay his hand as much as possible. And now, as he laid in Michael's arms, feeling the strength of his embrace, the desire in his kisses, he was being given one last night of freedom, to be loved and held.

But the greatest shock was Michael's gift, to be allowed to hold David once more. To feel the bond, to make love freely, just one last time, before he became Michael's slave in truth.

A soft cry slipped from him as his hips lifted to meet Michael's fingers, which had wrapped around him in a strong, firm grip. Right now, he needed this. So much had happened. He needed to lose himself in the blissful pleasure that was being offered.

"Lay back, Cain." Michael wanted to encase him in a warm web of emotions for the moment. "Don't be afraid. I only want to make love to you."

"Please." He was right. Michael was much stronger than David was.

"You will not achieve release until I allow it. Enjoy." His mouth closed on Joseph's throat, fangs piercing his skin, allowing the glory of the feeding to warm them both. Just a few sips, just enough to lock his new one in a haze of desire so strong that it was painful.

"Please." Joseph's voice was but a whisper. Never had he been drawn out like this. The pressure, the pleasure, kept building until his whole body was part of the need. "Please--Megel--I" The dam burst and he sobbed against him. The fear and the pain, the long nights of worrying, everything that had hurt him, that he had walled up inside himself. The nights before David, when the only time he didn't feel worthless was when he was so wasted he couldn't think.

And then he had been granted what he wanted, but with it came so many things that he still bled from. The fear of capture, the longing for the love that David was never able to give him. The change the, long nights of hunger, when, he was only allowed to feed enough to keep the pain away. The hope of a new life, and his final agony of slavery, all poured out of him.

Michael held him, letting him purge himself of all the wrongs he had been forced to suffer. Suffering along with him, as only another of his kind could. "Go on, pet, let it out. No more, I swear, I will, never, let anyone ever hurt you again. Not like this."

"Please." He needed him now. "Please, Megel, please." He cried out as Michael laid him back on the bed, lying over him, hands still teasing, still stroking with incredibly pleasurable pressure. "Now, please--now."

"Yes, baby, now." Michael moved down his body, to take him, drawing with deep powerful suction as he released the hold, letting the boy's release be the final cleansing he needed. Holding his hips down as Joseph thrashed beneath him, crying out in ecstasy.

* * *

Afterwards he lay in Michael's arms, too stunned to speak. His body literally vibrated with pleasure. He took hope in it. Surely Michael spoke the truth. Why would he lie? He wasn't going to hurt him. He wasn't going to destroy everything he was. True, his life was no longer what he had hoped for, but it wouldn't be hell, either. For this alone he swore he would not only go into this freely, but would stun his new master with his willingness to please him. He would only be happy if his master was. He swore to himself, he'd do anything to make his master happy, anything at all. Even if it meant allowing him to tease and torment him like he did Jason.

A soft knock on the door brought him mind back to his surroundings. "They are here." Michael smiled down at him before looking up. "Please, come in."

Azrael was pleased to see how well they looked, all things considering. "Greetings. Is there still room for Vincent and myself, or have you changed your mind and plan to keep that delightful boy all to yourself?"

"You are always welcome in my bed, Master." Michael pulled away from Joseph, shushing his whimper. "I'm not going anywhere, Cain. I know what condition you are in. You are safe, relax."

"Megel?" David still couldn't believe he had been invited.

"You too, Vincent, join us. He needs to be allowed to see that you still love him, and that I welcome that love."

Both Azrael and David removed their clothes, David almost ripping his from his body. "May I?" He reached for his Fledgling, his Childe.

"Wait, I have something I must say to him, first." Michael pulled Joseph up and held him in his lap. "Cain, I want you to listen to me. Hear what I have to say, with both our Sires present to guarantee that I live up to it." He motioned for them to come and join them on the bed. "Azrael, will you stand witness to my word? Vincent, will you hear it?"

"Always. I have never known you to break it." Azrael smiled down at Joseph as David's soft reply was almost drowned out by his.

"Then hear me, pet. Yes, I will always love you. No matter how much I love my Chosen, my soon-to-be First-Born. I will never begrudge you the love that you so desperately need. You've been denied it for far to long. When I take you, I swear this, though you will be forced to desire to please me in all things, I will never force you to love me. That will always be yours to give or hold as you choose."

"I hear you, Megel, and stand witness." Azrael's voice was soft as Joseph broke again, huddled sobbing in Michael's lap. "Poor, heart-wounded Childe. Your master will help you to learn to live again. I will support you as much as he does as long as you live within the walls of my lair."

David watched Michael with Joseph, amazed at the lightness of his control. David knew what slavery meant for his kind. He knew what Michael could demand of his Fledgling. Yet, something didn't make sense. "Megel?"

"Yes, Vincent?"

"Answer a question for me. What will happen to Cain, tonight? Just so I know what to expect when I rise tomorrow. I have seen slaves before, killed a couple when I cleaned up my," he stopped. "Azrael's territory." He ran a hand through his hair. "I know what happens. Are you attempting to whitewash it all for Cain's peace of mind? Because, if, you are, you're doing him an injustice, he knows what will happen, he knows what is expected. Don't lie to him."

Michael nodded at him. "You are right, he does deserve to know the truth. I have told him the truth. As long as he gives himself freely, does not fight me in any way, I will leave his mind, his identity, and as much of his will intact as I can. His only command, other than acknowledging those who are master and mistress, will be to please me. He must, and will, strive to please me as best he can, for only when I am happy will he, be. Nothing more, he will be blood-branded with my mark so that all will know that not only is he property to a Vampyr, but to an Elder who will take a dim view of anyone harming him. He will wear a collar and be at my beck and call. Nothing more, I will not take his name, his mind, his feelings or joys. I will protect him as surely as I protect Jason or Amber. I will finish his training so that when I do free him he will not be crippled, and I will do this all because I am impressed with him and would not be the one to take such a promising Fledgling and clip his wings."

David was stunned. He had never dreamed that anyone could be so kind. Sharra might have, but he always saw her in a different light from others of his kind. Perhaps she wasn't, perhaps this was the way all Elders were, "but."

"You dealt with Renegades and Rogues, Vincent." Azrael motioned him to join them. "Sharra did you a disservice by never allowing you a chance to observe how others who are trained live. Forgive her, for she has cause to distrust. But not all of us go mad with age."

"Your oath, Megel, give me your oath. Cain will not end up like those mindless things I killed."

"You have it. On my oath, should his breaking cause that, I will kill him myself. I will not leave him a cripple. I have already sworn this to him."

Azrael shook his head as he pulled David into his lap. "Enough. We will discuss this no more. The boy knows what is coming. But for now, let us enjoy the pleasure he has been promised."

David reached for him. "Cain?" Pulling his Childe close as Michael released him. "Ssshh, don't cry."

Joseph pulled David's face to his bared throat. "Please, now."

David's fangs extended, but he didn't move. "Megel?" He had walked that road once tonight. He wasn't about to go down it again.

"Go, share your love with your blood. I plan to do the same with my Sire. He is free for now, to love who and how he wills."

David moved, pulling away from Azrael, pushing Joseph back on the bed. "Drink, baby." He thrust his wrist forwards against Joseph's fangs as his own sank into the flesh of his throat. Linking the two together as they both fed. Sharing the joy, the purest ecstasy, becoming one in a fashion that transcended feeding, and linked them soul to soul.

Michael knew what his Sire wanted, even as the Elder leaned back against him. It had been more than a thousand years since last he had held him like this. But his body reacted as if it had been only yesterday. And when his hands guided the one creature he loved more than anything, more than even his own life, down, filling him with his own maleness, he felt the joy that he had missed. "Now," he whispered, brushing the hair from Azrael's neck before letting his lover capture his wrist.

He never felt the pain as Azrael sank his teeth into his wrist. He was lost in the sweet power of the blood that filled his mouth. It was the truest form of lovemaking that two Kin could ever share, to join both physically and by blood. He could die now and go happily, but death was not to be his. No, life, was all the sweeter and he drank as the pleasure stole his mind and he lost himself in the bright white light of joy.

Two vampires could, if they were so inclined, do this for hours. But the intensity of the pleasure soon became vulnerability that only a few would willingly open themselves to. That was why only those who were either true lovers or Sire and Childe ever blood-bonded for more than a brief moment. It laid everything open, left nothing hidden, exposed strengths as well as weaknesses. Minds, hearts, and souls merged until soon the two no longer knew who was who anymore.

David held his Childe, amazed at the strength with which the younger vampire loved him. He didn't deserve it. "You're almost free of me, lover," he whispered. "I feel it, it is only a matter of days now and your transformation will be complete."

"No." Joseph cried. "I got four more months before I have to stop. A year, you said." What would happen when he no longer needed to feed from David?

"I said about a year, sometimes more, sometimes less. I think your body had to compensate for the fact that I never was able to give you all you needed."

"It's too soon."

"I can't help it. I'm not even sure that you couldn't stop now and live." He knew how much the first break hurt. He had lived through it with Anna just a few years ago. "I'm sorry, baby."

"No." Joseph couldn't accept this now. "Don't say that. If you--if I--please. Don't, not yet."

David held him. "I'm sorry, Joey, really I am."

Michael pulled himself out of the pleasure-dulled daze he was in at the pained sound of his new slave's voice. "Cain, what is wrong?" His voice thick, his eyes still lost in the haze of the bonding.

"Please." Joseph was frantic. "Don't say it, please, Davy, don't!"

"Vincent, why is your Childe hysterical?" Azrael pulled away from Michael.

"He is coming off his need for me," was all Vincent would say. "It's only been a little over eight months, but."

Azrael was confused by both their fears. "But that is good. It means the bond was well taken. It does not always take a year. Megel only fed from me a little over six months before his connection was set. This is not something to fear, it is a joy."

"Cain." Michael knew where his fear was. "Come here, precious."

"Please tell him he's wrong. Please." He moved slowly, hating to be separated from the one person he loved more than life. "Please, Megel."

"Look at me." Michael brushed the tears away. "You're right, Vincent. The change is complete. Your Childe is one of the Vampyr now." Of all times for this to happen now was not it. "Cain, don't carry on so. It is not the end of the world."

"But he--" Joseph babbled as Michael held him, stroking his hair. "I can't change now. I've lost everything."

"No, you have not." Michael's tone was sharp. "Why would you say that? Now you have not only your love for your Sire, but you and I can be lovers fully and completely, as well as slave and master. Do you think me so cold as to forbid you any dealings with your love? I gave my word."

"But I can't--"

"After tonight you were not going to be allowed to do more than feed from him anyway. In a way, this is a kindness. If you can't bond with him, the feedings would only make you want him all the more." Too much, too fast. The boy was too young for this. Michael was seriously worried for him now. "It's all right baby. Really it is. You will see."

"Perhaps I should leave." David tried to leave the bed, but Michael's hand restrained him.

"No, Vincent. Leaving is not needed, Cain just doesn't understand, that's all. He is afraid that now he will be forbidden all but the briefest of contacts with you. The three of us need to come to an understanding, or I will have to take him from here to keep from destroying the peace of my Sire's home."

"This is ridiculous." Azrael's voice was a study in disgust. "There is not a pet or a slave in this house that is not available to any of my Kin here. Why would that change? The boy will, after tonight, have only one desire, and that is to please his master. Why should that interfere with anything he has with you?" He gave David a look of utter contempt. "Think about it. Every time one of your pets spends time with another, do you not feel it? Megel is much older than you are. His senses are more refined. So if Cain is dallying with another will he not feel the joy, be pleased with the pleasure that his slave feels and shares with him? Enough of this foolishness, it is the boy's last night of freedom. Let him enjoy it."

"Cain, stop." Michael's voice held a desperate note. "I promise you, as long as I live here, and long as Vincent remains, I will not forbid your love. I promise, believe me." If they weren't careful, this could crush the Fledgling.

David watched, silent, Joseph's pain his pain. "Megel."

"Yes, Vincent?"

"Take him. If you are telling the truth and our love will not be forbidden. Take him, remake him as yours, and remove my mark. Do not make him stand-alone now. He is orphan, I claim Sire no more."

Michael nodded. "I will, soon, but Jason is to be my First-Born. As soon as he is mine, then I will take Cain. I promise." He had wanted to wait before making Jason his

Fledgling, but now he couldn't, and hope to keep Joseph from fading.

"Why should you wait?" Azrael reached out and stroked Joseph's hair. "The boy would be adopted, not a true Childe of yours. He is Vampyr already. Vincent is right, take him. Your boy is not ready, nor should you rush his rebirth. If you are hesitant to do this, then let me. If the prospect of sharing him does not bother you." He smiled. "I'm greedy. If I take the boy, then you will be forced to remain with me for quite some time."

"No, I'm not hesitant to take Cain, nor do I need a reason other than love to remain with you. If my adoption would not deny Jason the position of first, then of course I will remake him. Allow him to carry my mark as well as my brand. But what of him?" He pulled Joseph away, forcing him to look up. "Cain? I would never force a Childe to do this, not one that is already Vampyr. But you need me now. The loss you have suffered is too great. I won't keep, you, from Vincent, you know that. Is there any other reason why you would resist?"

Joseph looked at David, hateful pain in his eyes. "You'd break even the last thread." His words were a hiss. "I love you, David, have always loved you." Then to Michael, "yes. If he doesn't even want to claim my birth anymore, yes."

"Cain," David reached for him.

"NO!" The younger vampire pulled away, seeking what comfort he could from Michael. "I'll be a slave soon enough, but not yet. You're free of me. You don't have to fake it anymore. You got what you wanted, you have Aaron, you, have Lilith. Don't lie to me anymore." His voice rose. "You owe me that much, David. If I'm to be thrown, away, at least be honest about it. I'm going to be a slave, a, nobody. So you don't have to play nice anymore." He struck out, hitting David in the face.

"Cain!" Michael reached to restrain him.

"No, Megel." Azrael laid a hand on his arm. "The boy is not your slave, yet. You gave him his freedom for now. This is between him and Vincent. Let them work it out. If you do not, there will never be peace here, and I will be forced to drive one of you out."

David looked at Joseph, his face full of sorrow. "Do you feel better now, Cain? If hitting me will lessen the pain I have caused you, feel free. But you are wrong. I do love you. I don't want to throw you away. If I thought you would heal, could go on like this, I'd fight Megel tooth and nail to keep him from breaking our final bond. Go against law, be sworn Renegade. But you can't. The very fact that you believe I would forsake you to this end proves it. My blood flows in your veins. You might be Michael's slave, but you're 'my Childe' , you won't be a slave forever, we both know this. One day I would be able to claim you again." The tears flowed unchecked. "Hate me if you want. I deserve it, for the mess I have made of your life. But you must accept that what I do now, I do out of love. Anything less would be a lie, and I have never lied to you. I might not have been able to give you what you craved, the love that you needed when I made you. But you knew that then, I never misled you. Why would I start now?" He held out his arms. "Hit me, beat me, I will never stop loving you and deep down, I will never stop hurting for what I have done to you."

Joseph threw himself at David, sobbing with pain and fear as his Sire, held him. "I'm sorry," such a tiny voice. "Don't cry, Davy, please. I'm sorry, I take it back, I love you."

David rocked him, lips pressed to his forehead. "I know baby, I know." He looked at Michael. "Don't hold this against him, Megel."

"I won't." Michael smiled at him. "Better he get this out now, before he is no longer able to."

"He'll be okay, now." David lifted his chin. "Won't you, baby?"

Joseph pulled away, brushing the tears from his face. "Yeah, I'm sorry I lost it."

Azrael chuckled. "Don't be, Childe. All in all, you have held up under the pressure quite well. Vincent may have been reluctant at your birth, but believe me when I say this, consider well the honor it implies. Had it been I that you had sought the Gift from, I would have given it, freely and with joy. You do us proud. Vincent has no idea how fortunate he really is." His fingers tightened around the curve of Joseph's jaw as the younger Kin kissed his palm. "Such a lovely Childe."

"Cain." Michael's voice was a whisper. The caress of it made Cain whimper softly as he moved into the outstretched arms of his master. "Be my Childe. Allow me to burn away Vincent's mark. If you do this--," he touched Joseph's cheek, "then my Childe is all you will be. Give yourself up to me, all of you to my bloodline." Michael could feel the vibrations of Joseph's body as the boy trembled in his arms. His arms lifted to wrap around Michael's neck even as his fingers tangled in his hair. Pulling Michael's head against a bared throat. "Call me Sire."

"Yes." He sobbed as the pain of Michael's teeth lashed through him as they broke the skin. "Yes."

David watched as Michael slowly laid Joseph down as he drained him, his heart breaking with each swallow of his lost Childe's blood. Joseph wouldn't be a slave now. For this, David was overjoyed. But never again would Joseph look to him with those great adoring eyes of his that seemed to light the room every time he called him 'Master' . That devotion belonged to Michael now. "He will be good to him right?" He turned to Azrael, seeking comfort from the Elder.

He did not have to wait long. Azrael pulled him close, holding his head pressed against his shoulder, hand stoking his hair gently. "Yes, Childe. My First-Born will guard his life as closely as he guards his own. I know his nature well. I created it."

Michael looked down at the boy beneath him. "Are you ready?" His voice throbbed with power. The blood burned within him. "Be mine."

Joseph moaned weakly as again Michael's fangs sank into his flesh. But this time blood flowed back into his veins, granting him life.

This time was different. When David had given him the gift, Joseph had believed that nothing could ever touch the joy he felt. But now, as Michael's blood replaced David's and the mark of his power burned away the old, Joseph felt as if he were on fire. The strength of the blood was so much more that he had ever dreamed possible. It captured him, held his being in its glorious fiery grasp, bringing gasps and cries from him as he gained strength.

Joseph cried out, arms reaching to hold Michael to him as his new Sire pulled away. "No." He, burned now, hunger was everything. He had been given enough to make the transformation, but not enough so that he was up to strength.

"Relax, Cain." Michael gathered him slowly, twisting to pull the boy, his Childe, into his lap. "You were already Vampyr. Too much of my blood, unprocessed, straight into you veins is not good." He smiled down into beautiful brown eyes that looked up at him with worship and need. "You must feed, now, precious. Finish the bond, take from me."

Joseph caught a hand full of Michael's hair, rubbing it between his fingers before burying his face in it. Relishing the long silkiness of it, the smell, the texture; his body pressed against his new master's, his Sire's, his every gesture one to offer homage to the power that held him now.

"Now, Childe, feed, I feel your hunger."

His body shook with the first sweet, hot, electrified drops that touched his tongue. It was life. It was heaven. His mouth drew greedily, filling with huge, inferno-hot infusions. It was the most exquisite pain. It burned him, bringing every nerve alive, tingling through his entire body, drawing him closer to becoming the very force that radiated from his Sire.

*My Childe, * the soft whispered thought touched him as Michael opened his mind to him, linking them together more fully. *The cycle is complete. You are my Childe. *

*Sire. * Joseph's arms tightened as he pressed himself even further into the body of his master. *Father. *

*Yes. Sire. Father. Friend. * His heart burst open with joy as the final barrier between them fell and the two became one, *Lover. *

Azrael watched tears of pride and love on his cheeks. His First-Born, his, most, precious of all children, was a Sire now. The circle had been completed. And even though he know he would feel pride beyond measure when Michael finally gave the gift to Jason, thus creating his first true Childe, it would not move him in quite the same way as his Childe's love and wisdom moved him now. "Try not to weep, Vincent. It is complete now, and it is beautiful."

And it was. David felt the pain lessen a little as he watched the two, his sight picking up more than any mortals as he watched the brilliant light of their essence throb in unison, as Joseph's blood and line finally became Michael's. Joseph had been changed fully. No Vampyr would ever be able to tell that Michael was not or had not been Joseph's first and only Sire. "He'll call you Gramps if you're not careful." He smiled, just a little melancholy. "Cain's like that. Evil sense of humor."

Michael felt Joseph withdraw. He moaned low enjoying the warm kisses and silkiness of his tongue, as they kissed. "All better now?"

Joseph looked up at him, eyes unfocused, face smeared with blood. "Sire."

Michael bent, licking the blood away. "Yes, precious, I'm your Sire, now." Eyes lifting to meet Azrael's "Are you satisfied with my decision?"

"Completely. He will make a fine Grand-Childe. I am very proud of you, my son." He tightened the grip he had on David as the younger vampire hid his face in his hair, hiding from the pain he knew he would feel when he looked at Joseph again. "So, what are you going to name your son?" He hushed David as he moaned.

"Cain is a good name. I have grown accustomed to it. He will keep his name, a permanent reminder of his first Sire and first love." He cupped Joseph's chin. "Unless you want a new name?"

"No." The absolute goodness of his Sire amazed him still. "I would rather you didn't, if you really don't mind."

"Believe me, Cain, if I minded, you would know." He looked up at Azrael smiling, content and truly at peace again. "So Azrael, first a covenstead, then a youngling, now a Grand-Childe, what could possibly happen next?"

Azrael nodded, acknowledging the strides that had taken place over the last few days, as well as hinting with a look of plans to come. "The mind boggles, my love. The mind boggles."


The house was quiet. The monumental changes that had taken place between its walls over the last few nights had no effect on its tranquility. As far as the house was concerned, it was just another day.

Azrael lay in his private sanctum, body calming for rest, feeling the pressure of the sun on his fine sensibilities. Checking in on each of the members of his home.

Megel and his new one were quite happily lost in each other for the moment. It was a good match, for that he was thankful. The Childe wouldn't mourn his lost life much or often. Azrael had faith in Michael's ability to bring Joseph through this.

David had wept for a bit afterwards, but even that was healing. It hadn't taken much, just a bit of tolerance on Michael's part. Soon the haunted look in his charge's eyes would fade, and David would be at peace.

As for Anna; the girl was like every other female known to man. On one hand, she was overjoyed that Joseph was no longer a slave, yet on the other, the chit sobbed for hours over his loss. Azrael came to a conclusion; it didn't matter if a man was one hundred or one hundred thousand, no man ever really understood how a woman thought.

The rest were settled as best as he could expect after such an explosion. Poor Maria, his precious one felt guilty that she had not been present to keep an eye on David, sure that if she had not retired, had been present and doing her job, guarding all within his home, that she could have warned someone before David lost complete control. Again, like with Anna, it had taken forever to calm and console.

His mind sought his newest one, his mageling and Chosen. The boy was finally asleep. The excitement had kept him stirred for the rest of the night, until finally Azrael had to have him dosed with his special potion, just to see the boy relax. Trust a mage to let his own excitement push him into instability.

He smiled as he touched the boy's dreams. Oddly enough, they were as erotic as Jason's had been, which surprised him greatly. He had assumed that Torin, for all his willing devotion, would within himself be shy. If his dreams were any indication, shyness was not going to be something that Azrael was going to have to get him past.

Each touch pleased him more. His house was almost three times what it had been less than a week ago. But as his mind brushed and settled each soul within its confines, he was content to believe that it was all for the best.

And what was it he had jokingly said to Michael earlier, when asked what was next on his list of things to accomplish? 'The mind boggles' . He chuckled to himself as he settled down preparing the summons that would sound out to all his kind, telling them of his presence and his aim. 'The mind boggles' . No truer words were ever uttered, by Kin or kine. For, with the coming of a new day, he would commit himself to, an, act that defied the orderliness of his past years, and bring excitement back into his life, where for so long there had been only quiet.

Yes, the statement does indeed fit. 'The mind boggles' .

Review This Story || Email Author: Veronica Leigh Marquette