All his life, Arsenius Bloodrayne knew he was different. He was the son of a pure-blooded demon and mortal man, which isn’t as uncommon as one might think. However, what’s different is his mother’s rank. She’s a servant to Lucifer. He’s feared because of it and no one, human or demon, wants to associate with him. Demons because of who his mother is, and mortals simply because they don’t understand his powers.
He was used to being alone. Arsenius sleeps with various people and doesn’t form attachments to quick fucks without a name, yet after six centuries of this habit, the warlock finds it getting dull faster than he would like.
He hates forming bonds with others. Humans die within a few decades, while other supernaturals get bored of people as easily as Arsenius does. Forming some kind of attachment would be hazardous to his well-being and lifestyle. Thus, the reason he sticks to his ways, even if he feels a bit hollow afterwards.
Arsenius does side jobs when he’s not having sex. His magical prowess is far beyond other warlocks because of his heritage, so he finds himself doing things no other magical being would. Things such as taming dragons, stripping a fairie of its powers, burning vampires with light magic… Some are dirtier than others, but money’s money. It’s his way of thinking and he sticks with it.
After all, some warlocks are known to lose their minds if they think too much on what they do.
Each day goes by the same. Arsenius is immortal, so his life will know no end. He wonders if he should do something to make one day a little different than the others, yet even living for nineteen centuries, he finds nothing. Each job is the same as the last, just different clients and people, and the fucking is getting stale. Warlocks have a healthy sex drive, but Arsenius feels his declining after centuries of doing the same thing, over and over, with no change.
It’s an average, typical day when he meets a mortal boy, the ripe age of sixteen, with midnight hair and luminescent blue eyes.
Arsenius never knew his life would be changed forever by a boy named Vin.
“Come again!” the warlock says with fake cheeriness, sagging against the door once it closes and letting out a loud sigh. “Vampires have the dirtiest jobs. Oh well, money talks, bitching walks.” Arsenius laughs as he counts the bills in his hands, snapping them away when he knows he has the right amount.
He moves towards his old television and flips it on his favorite channel, flopping ungracefully on the couch and stretching his legs over the edge. Now to wait for the next job, Arsenius thinks, putting his head against the back of the couch and staring at the ceiling.
For an hour and a half, he watches various comedy programs, finding the stupid humor amusing after a day of doing dirty work. However, his doorbell rings, breaking him out of his zen. Arsenius yawns, his canines glimmering a little in the faint light of his apartment, and gets up.
Opening the door, he’s greeted by someone he can tell by their scent is mortal. The raven haired boy shivers, his body covered in bruises and blood, and sky blue eyes stare up at his person. It’s an odd sensation, but Arsenius feels himself becoming overwhelmed by whoever this person is.
“Can I help you?” he asks, voice bland. He doesn’t offer anything in the ways of comfort, because it’s not who he is, but his heart pangs with a shred of sympathy towards the human. Maybe he was as misunderstood as Arsenius was. Highly unlikely, he thinks with a touch of bitterness and sarcastic humor.
“Um,” the boy says, voice heavy with a British accent. British? Why was he here if he was from England? “I ran here, sir. C-Can I come in? I promise I won’t disturb you.”
Arsenius sighs and moves away from the door, waving with his hand to signal come in. The human does so with a little bit of eagerness and the warlock rolls his eyes. He’ll never understand mortals, their way of life, or their fragile bodies. He doesn’t want to understand either, because if he does, he’ll feel something towards them and it won’t do to feel emotion towards individuals that die in less than a century.
“Don’t sit on anything until you get cleaned up,” Arsenius barks when the mortal moves to sit on one of his couches. “I don’t want blood staining my furniture.”
The warlock lets out his umpteenth sigh of the night and goes to his bathroom, returning with a few towels seconds later. “Here, use these to clean up your ungodly mess,” he mutters, turning off the TV which was still blaring comedies. Arsenius sits down on his favorite leather chair, watching with disinterest as the boy cleans himself up. “Do you live around here?”
“I lived with a few folks, but…” The human pauses, mousing his hair with one of the towels and wincing at the blood which comes out of it. “We were attacked. Everyone is gone, except me.”
Arsenius tilts his head. He’s heard the story enough. Some mortals are more evil than others, yet he’s never interacted for more than five minutes with someone who had it happen to them. He ponders how to respond, cat eyes staring at each of the boy’s movements. “You’re alone then. No family to go to, I presume?”
“No. My family is in London.”
“London, hm?” the warlock questions, nodding at himself. “How’s this; I’ll send you back to wherever your parents are, and you can live a happy, normal, mortal life, or however normal you can get after your friends were killed.”
The human blinks. “You can do that?”
“I’m a warlock, sweet cheeks. I can do whatever I want,” Arsenius says with more fake cheeriness, feeling emptiness lodge in his chest at the words. It was true he could do whatever he wants, but after doing the same thing again and again, there wasn’t much meaning to life besides work and sex. “Now, tell me where your parents are, and I’ll send you there in a jiffy.”
The human rattles off a street name Arsenius remembers from visiting the city years ago. “My name is Vin, by the way. Vin Lysan. Can I ask yours?”
Oh, the mortal has a name. Arsenius contemplates the advantages and disadvantages of giving out the information, but he shrugs at himself seconds later. What the hell? It wasn’t like they’d ever see each other again. “Arsenius Bloodrayne, at your service, love.”
Vin blushes faintly, yet the reason why he does is beyond the man. “Do you address everyone like that?”
“Most of the time. Why, does it bother you, little mortal?” Arsenius asks, voice flat and not giving anything away. “You’ll never see me again, I’ll never see you, so why does it matter how I talk to others?”
“Um, right. Forget I asked,” the boy mumbles, gripping his forearms. “Here,” he says after a few beats of silence, taking a pendant off his neck and giving it to the warlock. “I made this when I was a young boy. I want you to take it.”
Arsenius looks at the piece of jewelry. Some kind of gray material, likely hundreds of strings tied together, held a gold circular charm with a star on its end. “This is quite different than what I normally wear, sweetheart. What makes you think I will at all?”’
“You don’t have to,” Vin murmurs with conviction. “I want you to keep it so you can’t forget about me. You’re a warlock who’s likely lived through more lives than I can ever hope to. I want you to have some kind of reminder of the person you helped in his hour of need.”
The warlock stares at Vin, cat eyes wide. This human certainly is odd, Arsenius thinks, but puts the necklace on regardless. “I can’t promise you how long I’ll wear it for,” he begins, the corners of his mouth turning upwards to a little smile at the look on Vin’s face, “but I’ll wear it for fifty years at least.”
“It’s more than I could hope for,” the mortal says, tone dipped in happiness. Vin smiles and looks at the various pictures and trinkets throughout the apartment. “Are these from people you’ve known?”
“No, they’re things I’ve collected over the years. I have a weakness for material items, you see. Some of them might be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Arsenius answers, letting out a small, breathy snort at Vin’s curiosity. “Now then, commit this place to memory if you so choose, but it’s time for you to leave.” He opens a portal and nods. “Farewell, Lysan. You were a most interesting human and I’ll try not to forget you.”
Vin smiles faintly and goes towards the portal. He turns towards Arsenius and nods. “Thank you, Arsenius. I’ll never forget you in the decades I live.”
The portal closes once the human enters it and Arsenius sighs, looking at the necklace he realizes clashes with his fashion sense terribly. “Ugh, I have to wear this for fifty years,” he mutters, rolling his eyes. “A promise is a promise, and even though some call me spiteful, I never break my word.”
Life goes on after Vin leaves. Arsenius does his jobs and has more anonymous sex with mortals and supernaturals alike, returning to the routine he built for himself after centuries of doing so. However, the boy with black hair and blue eyes never leaves his mind. Sometimes, Arsenius swears he can see Vin in his peripheral vision, yet it always turns out to be a trick of nature or something of the sort.
He finds himself sleeping with those who remind him of the boy, either with the same bright eyes or dark hair. After realizing this, Arsenius grits his teeth at himself in disgust and decides not to have any kind of intercourse until his mind is clear of the stupid human.
His clients and the few people he associate with ask about the necklace, but all they get in response is a short reply of irritation. Most drop the matter, yet the few who press the issue get a ball of fire to the face.
After that, people know better than to question the man about what’s around his neck.
“A little of this and a bit of that…” Arsenius murmurs to himself, the needs for a summoning scattered throughout his apartment. This is what he does when nothing else is happening; he summons various creatures and speaks to them for a few minutes before sending them back to their world.
The things he summons tend to hate him. They tell him they’re often in the middle of something when they’re dragged from their realm to entertain a warlock for five minutes. Arsenius, in response, gives them a slow smile and says nothing, letting them realize who he was. Once they do, they shriek, stay silent, and offer no other comebacks.
It’s nice to have a mother who was feared and respected throughout the various demon and supernatural realms.
Arsenius’ eyes widen and cat eyes glow as the circle spins at rapid speeds for several seconds. Once it finishes, a boy appears in the middle. He wears a black top hat, flecks of red hair sticking out from the edges, and green eyes stare at him with annoyance. Clearly, this was a demon familiar which didn’t know who Arsenius is.
“What the hell do you want?” the familiar barks, irritation dripping from his words. Arsenius takes in the tail curled around it like a protective shield and takes a wild guess the familiar hadn’t been summoned before.
“You’re going to entertain me for a few minutes. You can go back afterwards,” the warlock says cheerfully, ignoring the glare sent his way. “You shouldn’t anger me, little demon. You know who I am, don’t you?”
The familiar hisses, the sound not unlike a feline’s, before it takes in Arsenius’ appearance. “You’re… Veronika’s son. Shit.”
“That’s right. Now, will you clean your act up a bit?” the man asks, smirking a bit. “I don’t want to send you back in a body bag, but I might have to if you keep up your attitude.”
The familiar flinches. “You’re her son, that’s for sure. You’re every bit evil as she is.”
“Good, we have that established. Tell me your name.”
“Zion. You’re a feline familiar, aren’t you? Your natural form is a cat, large as a lion, but you can shrink it to become the size of a housepet.”
Zion stares with an eyebrow arched in disbelief. “You know? Huh. What do you wish to do with me, o mighty warlock?”
“Nothing. I like learning about those who come from other realms,” Arsenius answers, reaching through the fire to pat Zion’s side. “Something tells me you want freedom from your world. I can provide it, so long as you obey me.”
Zion blinks. “Obeying you or obeying my masters; jeez, I wonder what could be worse.”
“I’m nicer than most demons in your world,” the warlock says with a shrug. “Besides, with who I am, none would dare approach you if I was nearby. It works more for you than me, am I right?”
The familiar licks his lips, a thoughtful expression painting its way on his face as he considers his options. “Very well. I shall serve you, Arsenius Bloodrayne, son of Veronika.”
“Excellent.” In seconds, the spell disperses, but Zion remains in the apartment. “Now, I should lay out a few ground rules. First, no attacking those who enter my abode. I do freelance work and can’t have a demon scaring off my customers.”
“What else?” Zion asks, pulling his hat down, tail flicking in a way which shows his mild interest and slight annoyance.
“You’re to remain in housepet size while here. No going in your biggest, natural form, or I’m afraid there won’t be an apartment left.”
“Uh huh. And?”
Arsenius looks at the familiar. “Under any circumstance will you ask me about this.”
The cat familiar watches as his new master points to a necklace. “Is that all?”
“Yes, you’re free to do as you like.”
Things become more interesting with Zion in his life. The familiar sometimes scares away people with his appearance, but those are mostly mortals who don’t offer much payment anyway. Other beings stare at the red haired demon for a few moments before going straight to business. Sometimes, the occasional female moves towards Zion’s feline form and gives it a firm pat before saying what they came for.
More of them came to his apartment to see Zion, and while Arsenius is initially annoyed they don’t bring business, he comes to like the companionship the strangers bring. Sometimes they sit for a few minutes and chat about unimportant things, but things all the same, and it starts to fill the void within the warlock’s being.
Two years, to the day, after Arsenius’ first encounter with Vin, the doorbell buzzes. Zion stretches and looks over the couch, confusion on his features. “Someone’s at the door!” he hollers.
“Coming!” Arsenius yells from the bathroom, exiting a few seconds later and fluffing his hair. He opens it, meeting familiar eyes. “What are you doing here?” he says with distaste, but nonetheless moving aside so Vin can come in. “I thought we established that night would the last time we see each other.”
“I’ve heard rumors about you,” Vin says, looking curiously at Zion, who bares his canines at him in response. “You don’t let anyone in your life. You fuck whoever moves and kick them out without so much as giving your name. And,” he adds when Arsenius opens his mouth, “people tell me you tend to have sex with those who look like me.”
“Where do you hear these blasphemous rumors?” Arsenius mutters, wondering who he would have to kill for a) finding Vin and b) telling him classified information. “You think you can save me, little mortal? You’re sadly mistaken. I’ve lived this life for centuries, and if I remember, your lifespan doesn’t exceed one.”
“Maybe, but you still wear it.” Vin points to his old necklace, a small grin pulling his lips upwards when Arsenius groans. “If you truly meant to forget me, you would have taken it off the moment I left. The one I heard about doesn’t keep promises to mortals he met in passing.”
Arsenius sighs and runs hands through his hair in exasperation. “The one you heard of would smite you on the spot for coming back, but you don’t see me doing that, do you?”
Vin laughs a little. “No, but if I was anyone else, you might have.”
“What are you, my mother who knows everything about me?” His eyes glow and lips pull back to an animalistic snarl. “Do not push me, mortal. I could do so many things to you, but I’m choosing not to… for the moment. However, say more of your stupid words and you’ll be a pile of bones and blood on my floor.”
The boy stares for a few beats of silence before placing hands on his hips, shaking his head in amusement. “You can try to scare me all you like, but it won’t work.”
Arsenius grits his teeth. “Fine. What do you want?” he asks, resigning himself to having this conversation.
“I want to show you the good in life,” Vin states bluntly. “To achieve it, I’m moving in with you.”
“Excuse me, you’re what?” The warlock glares, very close to making true on his threats. “No, you aren’t. I have all the companionship I need with my little feline friend here.”
Zion hisses his annoyance, but curiosity is on his face. “Why not let him stay with us for a month or two? You might learn to give a rat’s ass about someone besides yourself.”
“Oh look, my pet’s telling me what to do,” Arsenius mutters, crossing his arms and staring down at Vin. “All right. A month, that’s it. You have to leave afterwards, no questions asked.”
Vin nods, extending his hand. “I heard I can be quite good at convincing others, so let’s see how well I can live up to those expectations.”
The man rolls his eyes, but nonetheless shakes the human’s hand. “Let’s see indeed.”
It’s two weeks in their arrangement before Arsenius realizes he’s done something he swore he’d never do; fall in love.
He finds himself smiling at the little things Vin does, such as showing him his favorite cafes and taking him to local bookstores to read the odd book. Despite his initial disbelief towards the scenario, the warlock comes to care about others besides himself. He says hello to the locals at Mint Cafe, reaches for books children can’t get for themselves, and generally finds himself enjoying life more than if he was alone.
It was a humid summer’s eve when Vin gives him one of those looks which tell Arsenius all he needs to know. He scoots closer, casually resting an arm on the back of the couch they’re sitting on, and delivers a sharp bite to the mortal’s ear.
“You want me, don’t you?” he whispers, voice low. Vin shudders, making Arsenius smirk a bit. “I thought so. You figure you can change me by love, little boy?”
“There has to be a way to change your way of thinking,” Vin murmurs, teeth chewing on his bottom lip in what Arsenius guesses is a nervous habit. “Love is the most obvious.”
“Hm, maybe you’ll be the person to change my routine of doing jobs and anonymous fucks,” the warlock utters, giving Vin’s neck a brief squeeze before letting go. “You can stay for more than a month if you wish. Give your plan more breathing room, eh?”
The human smiles faintly and slaps Arsenius’ arm. “Maybe it’s already worked.”
“Maybe it has,” is all the man offers in response.
Arsenius learns many things about Vin in the months he stays. He’s passionate about literature, prefers women over men, and the ones who died two years prior were his good friends from childhood. The warlock feels a bit lousy when he realizes how cold he was towards Vin in the beginning, yet the boy waves him off.
“It’s okay,” he says, smile undoing Arsenius in more ways than he thinks possible. “We didn’t know each other back then.”
“If you say so, love,” had been Arsenius’ reply, causing the human to flush and cover his face in embarrassment.
Basete re-enters his life one cool spring night, where Zion went to sleep hours ago and Vin was dozing off against Arsenius’ shoulder. The vampire smashes the door open, making the man stare at her with barely concealed irritation. “Arsenius!” she bellows, small hands flailing for a few moments before settling down. “Where’s this demon and human you’ve taken in?”
“What the?” Vin mumbles, rubbing his eyes. He pokes his head out over the couch and stares at the brown haired girl curiously. “Isn’t it late for you to be wandering around?”
“Hmph. I may look young, but I’m far older than you, human,” Basete hisses, pointing a clawed finger at the warlock. “This is the mortal; where’s the demon?”
“Currently asleep, and I’d love to keep my apartment, so you won’t disturb him,” Arsenius replies, voice dipped in fake cheeriness. “Why don’t you tell me why you’re here, darling? Surely your escapades aren’t over yet.”
“I had to see who these people were,” the vampire mutters, sitting down on one of the older pieces of furniture. “Since when do you care about someone other than yourself?”
“Excuse me, but…” Both supernaturals look over at the boy, eyebrows arched in curiosity, and Vin blushes under the scrutiny. “Who are you?”
“I’m Basete, a vampire,” Basete answers, grinning, her fangs shimmering a little. “What’s yours, kid?”
“Kid?” At Basete’s annoyed stare, he coughs and says, “Vin. Vin Lysan.”
The girl tilts her head, green eyes looking as if Vin’s her next meal. She nods after a few seconds of tense silence. “If you can change this bastard’s way of thinking, you’re fine to me.”
“Oh, I feel the love,” Arsenius mutters, a breathy laugh escaping his mouth. “Why don’t you stay here for the night, sweetheart? You can leave and return to your journey tomorrow.”
“I think I’ll do that,” Basete replies, yawning and stretching out on the couch. “Night, boys.”
Arsenius knows of the unofficial war between humans and people of supernatural blood. He doubts Vin does; otherwise, why would he seek him out and risk his short life ending too soon? If he does know, for some reason, he wouldn’t be surprised, as the mortal does things most wouldn’t.
Maybe that’s the reason the warlock likes him so much.
Vin corners him a few days after Basete leaves, eyes wide with curiosity. “What’s this war about?”
“Something tells me you know a little, but not everything,” Arsenius replies, wrapping long arms around the boy and pulling him close. “Your kind thinks mine are out to kill them. We could if we wanted to, and some may be willing, but most want to live a peaceful existence, away from the world.”
“Those that don’t?” Vin questions.
“They go after some humans; mostly weak ones such as children or the elderly… sometimes the odd sick one as well. Their actions caused your kind to think all of us are like that. If a mortal so much as associates with one of us, they’ve signed their own death warrant.”
The boy looks thoughtful for a few beats of silence, but then he says, “I’m not leaving you.”
“I’m not. It’s only if they find out, right? I think I’ve finally begun to change your ways, and I’m afraid if I leave, you’ll go right back to your old, poisonous routine.” Vin wraps his wraps tightly around the taller man. “I’m going to stay here until I leave this world.”
“Is that so,” Arsenius murmurs, but a surge of love swells in his heart. “Very well, Lysan. You can stay until you’re old and gray, but don’t expect me to change you when you reach that age.”
Vin blushes and grins a little. “I’ll get Zion to do it.”
“Ew, no thanks!” the familiar says from his spot on the couch. “Do it yourself.”
Arsenius chuckles before capturing Vin’s lips in a short kiss. “I’ll use magic to make sure you don’t leak.”
The mortal makes a face. “Thanks for that.”
Years pass and Arsenius watches as Vin changes. He starts growing facial hair, which Vin removes if so much as a little bit shows. “I hate hair on anywhere but my head,” he offers when the warlock gives him a look of confusion and amusement.
“You’re such a girl,” Arsenius replies, but he tousles the human’s hair, a grin pulling at his lips when Vin bats his hands away. “Maybe it’s part of the reason I love you.”
Vin smiles, pressing a kiss against Arsenius’ cheek. “Well, good thing I love you too,” he says, a carefree laugh working its way out of his system.
Arsenius makes pocket universes for them when he feels they’re close to being discovered, much to Vin’s amazement. They stay there for days, sometimes weeks, and forget about the hardships the real world has.
However, when they return, it slaps them in the face. Vin, while he’s not with Arsenius, has to pretend he doesn’t know him around his fellow humans, something he says he hates. “I want to show everyone how happy you make me,” he mumbles as the warlock wraps him in the safe cocoon of his arms.
“I know, my little dove of love. I know,” Arsenius answers, snapping his fingers to shut the lights off. “Go to sleep. Things will look better in the morning.”
The next day, he makes another universe for them to live in, relishing in the smiles Vin throws his way as he runs on a sandy, warm beach.
Arsenius has secrets. Everyone who lives his kind of life does. Some were mediocre, but others could destroy the fragile life he has for himself.
He does dirty work. He kills vampires, stripes fairie folk of their powers, and burns werewolves with silver. That’s not the worst of it, even if it sounds terrible to many.
No, what’s the worst is his heritage. Son of Veronika Bloodrayne, one of the deadliest demons to walk Beherit, Arsenius knows what he’s capable of. He can kill if he pushes his mana too far.
People know who his mother is; however, they don’t know how powerful her offspring has become. He’s not as strong as she is, but strong enough he might be able to do serious damage to the king of the demon world. It scares him sometimes and it’s part of the reason he avoided people for several decades, centuries even, but one boy changed his outlook with simple determination to show the warlock good in the world.
He smiles faintly as Vin snorts and mumbles incoherently before settling once more. Arsenius reaches forward, resting his hand on the mortal’s black hair as if he’s grounding himself to the world and its inhabitants.
Vin would be gone in less than a century and leave the magical being alone. He was certain it would take years to find someone he cared about as much as this boy, if he ever does. Sometimes, he wonders if he could turn Vin immortal so he wouldn’t have to spend the rest of his life without this feeling. It would be selfish to ask, but Arsenius can be selfish when he wants.
“I’ll ask him tomorrow,” the warlock whispers to the spirits dancing on the air, and in response, they giggle and resume their dancing around his countenance.
It was late, later than Vin normally comes home, and something feels off with Arsenius. When the clock strikes midnight, he ventures out in the rain and searches, panic screaming through his nerves when he realizes he can’t feel Vin’s presense.
“He wouldn’t have left. Does that mean…?” Cat eyes widen in fear. No. They were so careful; it couldn’t happen. It couldn’t! “Vin! Where are you?!” Arsenius yells to the storm, getting no answer. He runs for what feels like hours before coming across blood running down the streets. The man’s stomach clenches in gut-wrenching terror and dread as he follows it towards a body.
Black hair. White shirt. Black jeans. Pale skin. It was… “No!” the warlock screams, kneeling next to Vin and gathering him in his arms. “Wake up, damn you!” he hollers, shaking him, getting no response. Arsenius’ eyes fill with tears as he buries his face in Vin’s neck, agonizing sobs ripping their way out of his throat. Vin was gone. Gone. The boy who gave his life some kind of meaning was ripped away from him forever, just when he was going to ask him to spend eternity by his side.
“Damn this world!” Arsenius yells, black sparks flying from his fingertips. He picks Vin’s lifeless body up and walks mechanically back to his apartment, swearing to Beherit and back he would get revenge on the putrid mortals who took his beloved away from him.
He slams the door open, making Zion start and let out a surprised mewl. “Arsenius?” he calls, eyes widening when he takes in the figure in his master’s arms. “That can’t be…”
“It is. Vin is gone,” Arsenius replies, voice flat and void of emotions. He sets Vin on the couch and his hands glow with pure, white mana. “Rlyos kytafz, ka fas sony swez zaid. Zyfk es sa wyojyf, qwyly wy tou maef wez dajyk afyz af swy aswyl zeky.”
With the last words of the spell fall from Arsenius’ lips, Vin’s body lifts up and his eyes open one last time. “Thank you for everything,” Vin whispers, cocooning Arsenius in his ethereal arms. “Goodbye. I’ll always watch over you, my love.”
“Farewell, my beloved Vin. May your soul rest peacefully in heaven,” the warlock whispers in response, tears falling down his cheeks as the mortal’s body fades from existence. “I swear, on my immortal life, my twisted and tainted soul belongs to you, Lysan.”