Chapter 2 - Deal With The Devil
Deal with the devil
Predatory wasn’t enough to describe the way Rama looked at him. Or he thought it wasn’t, because no-one had looked at him even remotely predatory before other than the guys who had stolen his lunch money in middle-school. And maybe he was loosing his mind because he couldn’t concentrate on anything and especially not on the demon who seemed to think of him as a particularly nice piece of meat.
“A virgin at twenty-three, its a rare treat really. Virgins have become so rare lately.” His smile was sharp and full of mocking teeth and for the first time Gabriel stopped looking at how handsome he was and instead saw how terrifying he looked.
So maybe that was part of the reason his voice piped up in defense before he could think better of it. “Not everyone can be a man-whore.” He avoided wincing only barely because he should know better than trying offense is the best defense on a man-demon who looked to be sex on legs. Part of his mind also wondered if he had no friends because of his mouth. Socially inept wasn’t enough to describe how bad he was at not being a total asshole. Accidentally mind you.
And then he was cursing at himself again because had that man just talked about his virginity as a treat?
“I know your name, Gabriel." His name sounded like burned honey on the demons lips and though he was vaguely aware that this attraction was dangerous he couldn’t remember why. When he registered what the man had said however, he let out a “huh” in confusion. Of course the man knew his name. He had told him.
“There is a reason why people don’t tell their name to demons, Gabriel.” He wished Rama would stop saying his name like that. Like it was precious and filthy and something you could hurt someone with. He wasn’t sure which part send shivers down his spine, but it did.
It was only after a too long beat of silence that he realized that maybe Rama was waiting for his response. “Why?” A raised eyebrow made him flush as he added. “Why don’t people tell Demons their name?” He wished his voice didn’t sound as high as it did.
"Because, little human, a name gives power over a being.” His smile turned just an edge cruel - or maybe he was just imagining that but what he wasn’t imagining was the hand that crept over his stomach.
He held his breath. Because this situation was already absurd and nobody had ever touched him like that. Not even remotely. Or accidentally. The only voluntary touch - beside Nonny’s bony hugs - he knew were the punches his bullies threw or the shoulders that people used to make way during rush hour. It was pathetic really. So he didn’t breath. The hand tickled and he wondered if he was supposed to step back or - he couldn’t really think. From the start this was hysterical and illogical. Who tried to commit suicide only to land on a hysterically good-looking demon who promised to grant him his desires? Of course, for the minor inconvenience of one curse. But really, how bad could one curse be.
“You humans really act like sacrificial lambs.”
And then his skin burned. The hand wandering his stomach becoming hot iron, the fabric that had kept it from his skin long since melted under its heat. But the burn didn’t stop there, twisting until it was under his skin and he couldn’t move and he couldn’t breathe.
If anyone had asked him what he assumed would happen to someone that had made a deal with the devil - he would probably have answered with damnation. The kind they talked about in church; someone that was unable to go to heaven when they died.
But not this.
Painful was an understatement in describing what his body felt like. The dull ache of cancer spreading inside of him was nothing compared to this.
He wasn’t sure for how long he couldn’t move, but the lack of air made him dizzy and his thoughts fuzzy, and when the hot fire on his skin and the burning under it finally died down to something akin to the pain of a sunburn he could breath again.
Maybe he had even wondered for a moment if it was Rama who had kept him from breathing - cruel and sadistic just as the church had framed demons - but he couldn’t be sure. Not really anyways. He had no power to judge Rama with and no weapon to use against him should he have done it for his own sick amusement.
Gabriel might not have been smart, but even he knew that it was Rama who held every bit of power in his hand right now. Because Gabriel had given it to him like a starstruck idiot that had never seen a pretty face before.
His mouth tasted like iron. The breath he tried to take turned into coughing instead and when he looked to the ground there was blood dripping down on it.
But at least he was breathing.
Nonny would have a stitch when she saw him covered in blood, he thought. She didn’t like when he got into fights. Even though this time it wasn’t really a fight and more of a selling my soul to a demon because I’m an idiot kind of thing. Had he lost his mind already? Or why did all of his thoughts sound hysterically detached from everything?
“Now, Gabriel. I think we need to get rid of that your name. It is rather offensive." He didn’t understand. But he barely understood what had happened since he had jumped to his death in a general sense so - “Are you even listening?” A hand grabbed for his jaw, fingers bruising his skin as they turned him to face the demon, his feet dangling under him uselessly. “Your name. I don’t like it. From now on don’t use it anymore.” His frown then turned mocking as he continued with a hum. “You said your name was Clayton, no? I like that. Little doll made of Clay - made by me." His fingers turned bruising once again as he met Gabriel’s eyes. “You may use Clayton, Gabriel Clayton Beauregard. That is an order I bind you to.”
Something inside of him snapped. Like his strings had been cut to make way for iron wires that wound around his heart and clawed at his throat. It was uncomfortable, constricting, humiliating, even though he didn’t understand why. But it didn’t hurt. There was no pain - only a sense of wrong and not right.
But whatever had happened had at least not been painful.
“As my little clay doll, with my blessing of longevity and inhuman beauty, it is only right that I curse you with something exquisite don’t you think little clay?” He couldn’t answer, his breath was coming in gasps and his eyes felt bulging behind the lids and it felt like he would feel better if he looked away but he couldn’t. Rama’s eyes were looking right through them, like they had caught on his soul with a hook that pulled him in tightly. Dangling like bait on a fishing rod.
“I cursed you with Lust, little clay, eternal lust that will never leave you satisfied. Lust that will warp your morals until they crumble to only leave desire.” His smile turned mockingly soft. “Isn’t that a nice present, little clay? I think it’s rather generous. Let’s see how far your greed will lead you."
He stepped back and the hook dropped. His eyes stopped throbbing and though his fingers were still shaking it wasn’t because of the demons gaze anymore.
It - It sounded ... sinful. But - not bad. Not like something that was worth offering two desires in return for. And that thought alone was what made his heart jump when he saw the predatory curl return to Rama’s smile.
“I gave you a nice present, so shouldn’t you give something in return, little clay?" He wished the demon would stop saying that. And - there was nothing to give he had already been cursed so what -
His eyes widened even before Rama started speaking once more, mostly because he had just realized how deep the trouble he was in truly was. If - if Rama could bind orders to his name. The name that Gabriel had clearly told him like an idiot ... hypothetically -
Maybe Rama had hoped for him to realize, because something akin to sadistic pleasure shone in his eyes when he chuckled, clearly not caring for or expecting an answer.
“Of course you should give a gift in return, little clay, but you have nothing. Your soul is mine, Your beauty is mine, Your name is mine - It’s all mine already. It’s really a tragic, little clay. What are we supposed to do about this?” The demons finger tapped against his chin in mock thought.
Gabriel swallowed, clenching fists that were too soft to be his own. Dreading whatever the demon was about to say.
"Maybe - I will put you to work.” He clapped his hands as if he had just made a great discovery. “I order you, Gabriel Clayton Beauregard-” Rama’s teeth bared and for a horrifying moment Gabriel saw himself mirrored in the sharp edges. “To satisfy each and every being I send to you, to pleasure them endlessly and forevermore.”
The mocking sound of Shakespearean English nearly distracted Gabriel from the order that Rama had given to him.
But before he could really consider it the vice grip of iron wire under his skin returned and wrapped around his body - the throbbing mark Rama had left as he had cursed him filling with wire until it locked the order in place and vanished behind the surface. Not gone. Just hidden until it was needed.
He was gasping for air again, but even though he was breathing it didn’t feel like he could breath at all. He - He had cursed him as a glorified prostitute? His head hurt. And maybe that was part of the reason why something in the back of his mind piped up with a glorious reminder of I’m still a virgin. Like that was the important part in all of this.
“You don’t look happy, little clay. Don’t you like my present?” The question sounded nice. Caring even. But the demons eyes had turned deep like an animal that was waiting for it’s prey to reveal weakness and Gabriel’s eyes burned and his throat ached but-
“I’m very happy.” He said. Because he had been bullied all of his life and he had learned to give in rather than to stand against and he was terrified because this was a demon and Gabriel had been an idiot to listen to his words. In the first place he should have just died and hoped that his sins were too small to keep him from heaven. But instead he had sold his soul - sold his body to a demon who wanted him to become a prostitute for him.
Gabriel did not hyperventilate. Because he knew better than to do that in a situation where you were already defenseless. But even he couldn’t keep his eyes from tearing up or his hands from shaking.
“Then, little Clay, maybe I should take a taste before I let the others have you- ” His mouth, filled with razor sharp teeth, was right beside his ear. Gabriel’s breath stuttered. “After all I cant give them a treat as rare as a virgin."
He held his breath, but that only made the sound of his own blood rushing in his ears louder.
“What do you think little clay? Should I take what’s mine?” Rama’s hand had returned to his stomach and this time Gabriel looked down. The fabric had long since been showed aside to reveal his skin, to reveal the mark that Rama had left. That his curse had left. He swallowed heavily and then - Rama touched the mark.
And the anxiety and terror he had felt changed.
All of a sudden it it was warm, hot, too hot and- it didn’t matter that this was a demon or that he had been cursed or that he couldn’t think. Because he was burning and he wanted. His insides were aching.
But he didn’t know what he wanted. Until cold lips touched his throat and relief washed over him like rain after a drought.
But at least he had enough presence of mind to know not to do whatever they were about to do in the parking-lot of a busy hospital.
“Not here.” He didn’t sound like himself. His voice sounded faint, which he could understand because he was feeling faint.
The hands on his skin tightened for a moment, turning bruising in a way that should hurt but that didn’t. “Please.” He added. ”Please.”
Rama’s arms curled around him as pressure build around them. It was blinding, his eyes hurting enough to force him to close them and bury his head against Rama’s chest.
The pressure disappeared as fast as it had come, and when the demon finally let him go it felt like his body had been burned and glued together again.
"Now, if you don’t have any other complaints." He sounded angry, or maybe just irritated but Gabriel was just glad that whatever was going on wouldn’t happen in a busy parking lot. His lips returned to Gabriel’s throat at the same time that his hands began wandering again.
His skin burned where Rama had touched him and his heart felt as if it wanted to jump straight out of his chest. He had never felt like this before.
Maybe if his head had been a little less fuzzy and his body had been feeling a little worse he would have tried to stop the demon, but he didn’t even consider that option. Right now, anything sounded better than stopping.
The mark on his stomach continued burning, pulsing in rhythm with his heart.
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