The Gift of Rosiel: In the Devil’s Home
When Roxeen became aware again, he felt more than anything like a passenger in his own body. He was sitting, though he’d slumped over to the side, and the chair he was on was vibrating roughly in time with the rumble of an engine. He couldn’t see his surroundings; his eyes were closed and his eyelids didn’t seem to want to obey regardless of how much he tried to open them. Something smelled like lemon, in that vaguely synthetic way that air fresheners and dish soap had in common.
And nobody spoke a word.
He had to be in a car, quite possibly the one that had pulled up next to him on Dragonbird Lane, that much he could figure out. That suggested that it was a seat belt digging into his side. Where he was going, or who it had been that had grabbed him from behind when he’d tried to get away, was another question, though. One he didn’t have an answer for.
It wasn’t terribly long until the car came to a stop, though, and the engine turned off with a shudder. Someone unfastened the seat belt, and he felt himself fall like a log out of his seat without being able to do anything to catch himself. To say he landed in an uncomfortable position would have been an understatement in the extreme, but there was nothing he could do about it.
“Cress!” Raol’s voice. “Bring him inside.”
Whoever this “Cress” was, they weren’t particularly gentle as they moved Roxeen’s limbs into some semblance of order, nor when they then lifted the blond’s limp body. And it wasn’t as though the name offered any hint as to the person’s identity, not with Raol’s habit of giving his partners new names as it suited him.
He didn’t think to listen for the sound of the footsteps of this mystery companion of Raol’s for a hint, and had no idea how far he’d been carried when his bearer some short time later knelt down. Moments later he was dropped the last few inches to what he assumed was the floor of some room – it felt too even to be the ground outdoors – and if he’d had control of his tongue he would have cried out as his injured hand was caught under him.
The sound of four paws approaching made him mentally brace himself; he wasn’t going to let Raol repeat whatever it was the fox had done to render him this helpless. But this time, the touch of the raev’s nose to his forehead released the stranglehold on his consciousness, granting him control of his body anew.
Roxeen opened his eyes and rolled off his right arm with a groan, instinctively cradling it against his chest. Lying on his side he could see water-spotted drywall and a worn, stained vinyl floor, which his cheek was currently resting against. It was cold, as Erigineea went.
With a string of curses, he worked himself up first into a sitting position, and then to his feet, the last lingering traces of whatever had been done to his mind making him slightly unsteady. Raol, in the quadrupedal shape the raev unlike most of his kind preferred, was watching him with a mildly amused expression, a draconian and a female wyvern standing on either side and slightly behind the fox.
“You don’t need your coat indoors, Spot.”
“Fuck you. What’d you do to me?”
“Please, none of that. I’m just trying to help you.” Like in the past, Raol’s voice was soft, pleasant, soothing. Unless the fox had changed since then, it was all a charade, designed to make him drop his guard. “Take your coat off, Spot.”
He didn’t even bother responding, this time, just stood where he was, glaring at the fox. If they’d been outside, somewhere he was familiar with, he might have dashed for freedom, but he wasn’t stupid enough to think he’d be able to get away when he didn’t even know the layout of the building he was in, much less where it was.
For a few minutes, Raol sat there on his haunches, looking back with a hint of a smile on his muzzle, then his patience in the matter seemed to run out. “Cress.”
The draconian moved from its spot and toward Roxeen. He backed up, one step, then another, to no use. The jacket was taken from him, leaving him shivering in a thin, loose vest in what he suddenly realized was a rather drafty room. The draft, as much as the way the fox advanced towards him, drove the young man into a corner of the room, where he sat with his knees pulled up, his injured hand protectively pulled up against his chest behind them.
His hand was throbbing, the cast feeling too tight, probably because of swelling. The pain bothered him, but he could ignore it if he concentrated. Of course, concentrating on ignoring the pain also distracted him from trying to think rationally about his situation. It didn’t stop him from acidly glaring over his knees at the approaching raev, however.
“Come home, at last, where you belong!” Raol’s voice was seductively smooth, like honey or silk. Roxeen had fallen for it once, and wasn’t about to do so again; instead he concentrated on the pain in his hand. “Spot, Spot, Spot… My poor misguided, lost little puppy, how could you run away from me like that? You <i>need</i> me.”
He hissed, vaguely cat-like without any specific visible feline traits, his teeth bared and eyes shifting briefly towards yellow. “My name is not Spot, I’m not your property, and I <i>definitely</i> don’t need you, <i>Raol</i>.”
That put the raev’s muzzle only inches from his face. “I will pretend I did not hear that. Of course being away from me for so long must have affected your manners. Now be a good boy and apologize for your despiccable behavior.”
“No.” He met the fox’s gaze, refusing to look away or back down even when his eyes started to sting and water. “My name is Roxeen, I belong to me and no one else, and you, Raol, are a fine one to preach about manners after fucking kidnapping me. What school of etiquette is it that considers abduction corteous?”
A dangerous growl rose from the fox’s throat, and moments later the draconian was right by them, and its tail hit the blond man – flat side first, thank goodness – across the cheek hard enough to snap his head to the side.
Roxeen shook his head like a wet dog, and glared if possible even more venomously at the raev he was certain was responsible for his current predicament. It seemed like Raol, was similar enough to their first meeting around six years prior. Then, of course, Roxeen had initially been curious about the kind of activities the fox engaged in, while this time he knew from experience that such things held no attraction to him. Rather the opposite; any suggestion of bondage or dominance play he’d received since had only served to cause anxiety, to varying degrees.
He did know what buttons to push to jolt Raol out of his carefully-crafted role as the kind, patient benefactor, however, and wasn’t afraid to push them. True, the raev had a foul temper which he was none too impatient to kindle, but at the same time he figured weathering it would be worth it just to make painfully clear, beyond any doubt, that he wasn’t going to voluntarily submit to whatever the fox might have in mind for him. If he let himself be manipulated, he would just end up doing things he didn’t really want to, and most likely still triggering Raol’s unpredictable temper.
What worried him more was how, the first time they met, he’d been gone for days. Then, it had worried his father and the young man that shared their home, but hadn’t in itself been a cause for any major concern. This time, he had his ex-boyfriend’s daughters to think of, the younger of which was still reeling from the shock of being abandoned by her father. He couldn’t afford to be gone until Raol got bored of him, for Gail’s sake.
“You,” the raev growled, his fur rippling as his body reshaped into the slender but muscular bipedal form his mage-gift made him capable of taking. His eight white-tipped tails were stiff and quivering slightly in a display of annoyance. “You will call me Master, and nothing else, Spot. This time I will not tolerate your cheek.”
“Fuck off. You know I won’t call you that until I see it printed on your birth certificate.” Please, let Raven have the presence of mind to report him as missing if he remained gone for any length of time. He thought the girl was bright enough to figure something like that out, but she was only barely fifteen, and unfair as it was, she’d probably have her hands full trying to keep her kid sister from falling apart completely. “You know what my name is, and that’s the only name I plan on answering to. Keeping me here against my will isn’t going to change that.”
“Nonsense!” Raol looked down on his pale, skinny captive. “You will come to your senses soon enough, Spot. I’m only doing this for your own good, you know.” One of his hands, black-furred save for two white fingers, reached out and gently stroked Roxeen’s cheek. “Look at you, my poor puppy, so thin, run so ragged. What have you been doing to yourself?”
The concern was believable enough that for a few moments, the blond tilted his head into the caress. Then he caught himself and pulled back with a hiss.
The hand followed, blunt claws running through his near-white hair, voice hypnotically soothing. “Why would you hurt yourself like that, Spot? Just trust me, and I’ll make everything better. There’s no need to be so suspicious. I’m nothing like any of those people who made you clam up like that. Trust me, Spot, talk to me and tell me what’s wrong and I’ll protect you and fix you.”
“Fuck off with your lies,” the blond grumbled. “You know as well as I do that your actions did at least as much as anyone else’s to make me pull away. You fucking well <i>should</i> know, considering where Artemis went when she ditched your sorry ass. I was fine until you showed up; just fuck off and let me go home.”
“Very well, then.” Raol caressed his head one last time, then reverted to his natural quadrupedal shape. “I hear you still don’t realize your own best interests. I’ll leave you to think about it, while I attend to… Other things. Cress, come with me. Pawn, stay here and keep Spot company for now.”
Both of them bowed their heads and mumbled a subdued “yes, Master” in chorus so perfect it seemed rehearsed. It probably had been.
As the draconian followed Raol out of the room, the wyvern whom he’d called Pawn remained where she was, only stirring after the door was closed behind the pair and the lock had engaged. Then, she stepped closer, stopping five or six feet away to crouch down to his level, leaning back a bit against her tail as she did so.
Her interest made him uneasy, enough so to prompt him to twist around to lean his shoulder and cheek against the cold, dusty-smelling drywall. “Fuck off.”
“My name is Roxeen, nothing else.”
“Master will beat me if he hears me calling you that.”
He shrugged. “Not my problem. Since when does a wyvern care about pain? Most of the ones I’ve known cut their fingers off for entertainment.”
“It!ll be alright, you know.” The sympathy in the wyvern’s voice was stifling, and the way she inserted a wyvern click into her contractions was jarring.
“No, it won’t fucking be alright.”
He heard her claws click against the floor as she rose and walked closer, and tensed up, not quite sure what he could expect from her. Then, she knelt next to him and draped an arm across his shoulder, the membrane of her wing wrapping around him like an oddly warm blanket as she brushed her muzzle against his cheek. “Just don’t antagonize him and you’ll settle in soon enough. He!s not a cruel Master, but you have to try.”
“I’d hate to see ‘cruel’ if you call him anything but.”
“You!ll adjust,” she assured him, squeezing his shoulder.
He couldn’t help but smile, not because her words were comforting but because they were so naive. She obviously didn’t know about his background with Raol, or she wouldn’t have said something like that. But it was touching that she was so sincerely sympathetic. In a way, she reminded him of Artemis, Raol’s pet girlfriend the first time he met the raev.
“See, it!s not so bad. Chin up.”
Artemis hadn’t tried to make things seem better than they were, though. She’d made it rather clear, sometimes through words and sometimes through actions, that she was acting – and staying – partially out of fear for the fox. When she’d seen that Aligo, the young man who had been Roxeen’s surrogate older brother as well as lover at the time, was fully capable of standing up to Raol, it had only been a matter of time before she left him.
And despite all the good she’d tried to do for him in a bad situation, well… Roxeen still didn’t really like Artemis. She’d been as kind and considerate as she’d dared, especially out of Raol’s watchful eye, but it didn’t quite outweigh the treatment he’d suffered. That Pawn was showing him a level of sympathy he’d expect from a child wasn’t going to raise her any higher than Artemis.
He did have to admit that being mostly covered by her wing did wonders to keep the drafts in the room at bay. For someone so thin, who grew cold so easily, that was worth enough that he’d be willing to ignore how smothered it made him feel to have her so close to him.
He’d halfway dozed off when the sound of the door being unlocked made Pawn straighten up and start to pull back. When that didn’t make him visibly react, she nudged him. “Sp- Roxeen? He!s back.”
She’d been a little too slow.
The sheer force in the fox’s voice made Roxeen jerk around, just in time to see the wyvern scrambling to her feet, trembling. She stood there, head bowed, as Raol walked up to her. She remained in the same spot as his body shifted and he stood in front of her in bipedal shape, and she didn’t flinch when he lifted his hand.
“What did I tell you his name was?”
“Spot, Master.” Pawn’s voice didn’t quite crack. “I!m sorry, I won!t do it again!”
The raev’s hand connected with the wyvern’s cheek, hard enough that she staggered a few steps. He followed her, slapped her again, and she accepted the strike in silence, even as it knocked her against the wall. He came after her, and Roxeen felt a twinge of guilt. She was in trouble because she’d honored his wishes in spite of what she’d been told to do.
Once again the wyvern was sent staggering, the short claws on her fingertips scrabbling against the drywall behind her for a few moments before she regained her balance.
When Raol lifted his hand again, Roxeen was already on his feet. The strike hadn’t quite landed when the blond human grasped the fox’s wrist in his left hand and used the elbow of his right arm to knock him back against the wall. His lower arm pressed against the raev’s chest when he released his hold with his other hand and drew it back. Moments later, his palm connected with the side of the mostly-black vulpine mage’s muzzle.
For a few moments they stood there, staring at each other, then the fox seemingly effortlessly released a magical wave of static that made Roxeen jump back with a yelp.
“What is the meaning of this?” the fox demanded, his voice low, dangerous. Any time Raol didn’t attempt to sound pleasant was a time when you had to watch out. “You <i>dare</i> touch me, Spot?”
“I don’t give a fuck what you do otherwise, but you <i>will not</i> punish her for treating me like a person.”
“Are you trying to tell me what I can and cannot do in my own home?” Raol’s teeth were showing, and he reached out to seize Roxeen’s tie. “I think someone is forgetting his place. You, Spot… Need a reminder.”
“Leave me the fuck alone. I didn’t ask to be here.”
“That, Spot, is not an option.” The raev seized his right arm, just above the cast. “Cress, come here. I need this cut off.”
Roxeen tried to pull his hand away, but the grip around his arm tightened until all he could do was sink to his knees gasping in pain.
“I only wanted what was best for you,” Raol growled, using his free hand to seize a handful of the blond’s hair and force his head back until he was forced to meet the fox’s gaze. “You <i>asked</i> for me to show you, remember? Just for you to run off with that big, crude… cat. How do you think that made me feel? He obviously didn’t take responsibility for you; look at you! You’re skin and bones. I’m kind enough to make another attempt, and how are you thanking me?”
“Oh, fuck you, you’re an asshole, not a fucking martyr.”
“We will see about that.” Raol turned his head, looked over at Pawn who had slumped against the wall, staring wide-eyed at the scene before her. “Pawn! Go prepare dinner. I’ll deal with you later.”
The draconian didn’t wait for her to disappear before it lifted its tail to Roxeen’s plaster-encased hand. In the position he was in, and with his captor’s hand holding his arm so tightly, he couldn’t even put up enough of a struggle to shift his hand when the reptile’s tail spade cut through the cast like butter, sending it falling to the floor and cracking even further.
He had to admit that it relieved some pressure, but with the complications he’d suffered so far he would have liked the bit of protection offered by the cast enough to make it a pretty poor tradeoff.
That done Raol actually released his arm, though he retained his hold on Roxeen’s long white hair. “Now, I expect you to put some effort into making this up to me.” The grip tightened, turning his head to face the fox’s crotch. No naked flesh was visible, just the raev’s black, fur-covered sheath and balls, with no hint of excitement to change that.
Roxeen didn’t move.
The blond kept his lips pressed together, pretending not to hear the query.
“Get. Started.” A small jerk on the human man’s hair. “You know how to get a man hard, Spot, and don’t pretend otherwise.”
“Know, yes,” he muttered between clenched teeth. “Doesn’t mean I want to do it.”
“Get to it, or it’s going to be that much worse for you.”
Roxeen scrambled to follow when the hand in his hair pulled upward, and paled visibly when one of Raol’s blunt claws hooked into one of his nipple rings, tugging lightly on it. Had the touch been a lover’s, he would probably have enjoyed it, but the only thing he could read into the way the fox handled his piercing was threat.
“Have I made myself clear?”
Swallowing hard, the blond nodded. That threat, though implied, was clear enough.
“Good. Get to it.” Once again Raol pushed him down to his knees, his intent clear.
Roxeen’s left hand trembled as he reached up, ran it along the fox’s thigh, all the way to gently rub his sheath. In any other situation, with any other partner, he would have enjoyed this; he certainly was no stranger to giving oral sex on a basis that went beyond casual, to people who weren’t even aquaintances. But this… This was different. He wanted nothing to do with Raol, and he detested being robbed of his choice in the matter.
With anyone else, even on his knees in front of them, he was in control. They wanted something from him, and he had the power to decide whether or not they would get it.
Here, he had no control. The only choice he had was whether to do as he was told or risk his captor following through on that unspoken threat.
“That’s better,” Raol sighed above him, idly caressing his head. Some of the edge was gone from his voice, now, something that in Roxeen’s experience usually meant the person he was addressing was out of immediate danger. It wasn’t completely gone, though, signalling that he was still on thin ice. “You have two hands, though, don’t you?”
The thought of attempting to use his injured hand, where steel pins tried to keep the pieces of his broken knuckles in place, was anything but appealing. He wasn’t sure whether he was actually capable of moving his fingers; he could remember how much it had hurt when he’d first contracted that injury and he hadn’t been in any hurry to potentially experience that kind of pain again. “Be glad for what you have. I can’t use that hand.”
The grip on his hair thightened, wrenched his head up to face the fox who was, once again, snarling. “You better remember how very soon now. I’m tired of your excuses.”
“Why do you think it was in a fucking cast, you dimwit?” His hand was still on Raol’s sheath, very slowly coaxing the tip of his red length out of its furry cover. He didn’t dare do otherwise. “It’s fucking broken.”
“So you shouldn’t have broken it,” came the growled reply. “Use it.”
He shivered, very slowly lifting his hand, again not daring to disobey. Even not flexing his fingers in the least, the stress of cupping the fox’s balls in his palm made him gasp in pain, for a moment seeing nothing but stars. Teeth clenched against the pain he tried to fondle them, but it was too much.
His scalp burned from the pull on his hair when he doubled over, gasping for air. Let Raol be angry; he couldn’t do this.
And Raol <i>was</i> angry. The jerk he gave to attempt to get Roxeen to straighten up ripped out a fair amount of the human’s platinum hair, letting it fall to the floor in the next instant. He bent down then, his thumb and forefinger seizing the man’s jaw like a vice, tilting the blond’s head back until his spine protested.
“What, by Uwghlock’s bastard offspring, was that? What kind of trick are you trying to play on me?”
“I can’t help it.” Roxeen’s voice was barely a whimper, and he was shaking. “I tried.”
“It’s not your place to try, it’s your place to <i>do</i>. I decide whether it’s possible.”
Tears were, to his shame, welling up in Roxeen’s eyes. “I <i>can’t</i>! I broke my knuckles; it hurts!”
That only seemed to make the fox angrier. “Hurts? I’ll show you pain.”
Roxeen had no chance of resisting when Raol pushed him, sending him onto his back. Before he could even try to move, the fox’s knee was planted against his chest, and his hand seized the human man’s right wrist. The blond man’s eyes widened in horror as he saw Raol’s jaws part and felt his hand being mercilessly lifted closer and closer to them. When he felt the raev’s breath wash over his skin he squeezed his eyes shut, not wanting to see what Raol was planning to do on top of feeling it.
“You dragged this onto yourself, Spot. Open your eyes if you know what’s good for you.”
He did. Anything to get off easier, at this point. He could guess what Raol had in mind, but he didn’t quite dare believe it.
He saw the fox’s jaws close around his broken hand, quite deliberately aligning one sharp row of teeth with his knuckles.
Apparently that was enough for Raol, because he moved to sit next to the man, gently putting the hand he’d just bitten down on his lap and caressing Roxeen’s cheek with the back of his hand. “I’m sorry, Spot,” he crooned. “But understand that I had to do that; you forced my hand. I’m just looking out for your own best interests. You’re so tainted, so flawed, and you need me to make things right again.”
He couldn’t even whimper in reply, could barely make out half of the fox’s words with pain clouding his senses. As Raol sat there, caressing him with all the gentleness he’d just acted as though he was utterly incapable of, the searing pain slowly faded to an insistient throbbing. Maybe his features relaxed a little, then, not quite so distorted by pain, because when he opened his eyes, the fox was offering him a kind smile.
It was a lie, but at that moment he needed to believe the lie.
“Better now, Spot?”
He inclined his head slightly, didn’t want to do anything to discourage even the pretense of caring.
“I understand if that was a bit much for you, Spot. My poor puppy, I won’t make you work for your reward tonight. Consider it proof that I don’t hold a grudge.”
Lies and more lies. He still nodded.
He couldn’t muster the focus to protest when Raol’s hand ran down his stomach in a very good approximation of a lover’s caress. He didn’t want the attention, but he was weaker than his captor and had to admit that the raev, at least for the time being, held all the trumph cards.
That hand far too easily dealt with undoing his belt and the fly of the black dress pants that were part of his work uniform. Pulling his pants and boxers down didn’t take much more work.
“No,” the human whispered. “I don’t want…”
“You know me, Spot. I will be gentle. I am always gentle.”
Yet more lies, and it wasn’t the issue anyway. This time he didn’t nod, but shook his head.
He tried to resist when the fox had pulled his pants around his ankles and moved to turn him over. All the squirming he could possibly do without jolting his bad hand too much was still about as much use as a sheet of paper might be to stop a landslide. One hand planted firmly in the center of his back as his captor positioned himself was all it took to pin him in place, squeezing most of the air out of his lungs.
It didn’t hurt when Raol slid into him, at least not enough to overvoice the stabbing pain still flaring out from his broken and re-broken knuckles at the slightest movement. At least the act itself was every bit as gentle as the raev had promised, not so much thrusting as shifting slowly in him in short strokes.
He could feel the fox’s knot start to swell, and squeezed his eyes shut in silent protest at the wet warmth that soon thereafter started to seep into him. “No…”
“Shhh,” Raol whispered back, nuzzling the back of his neck. “You’re being… ah… very good puppy, Spot. That’s a good boy, make your Master happy and you’ll get your… ah… reward.”
Shivering both from the cold and in response to the hopeless situation he’d been put in, Roxeen could do nothing but to let the raev have his way. It seemed like an eternity before the fox stopped moving and rolled them both onto their sides, gently cradling him and nuzzling his neck, shoulders and cheeks while murmuring what was probably intended as reassurances.
They just made him feel that much more helpless, that much more violated.
“It’ll all be alright, Spot, I promise I’ll fix you. It’s not your fault what the world has done to you. Just let me take care of you and I’ll make sure that you’ll be what you’re supposed to be. I’ll help you.”
And he had no choice but to put up with it, try to ignore the throbbing of his injured hand, and wait for his captor to be able to pull out. All while Cress glared daggers at him from the spot where Raol had left it.