Note: features acres of pale skin with strategically-placed décor.
Caleb had bedded countless women in his three hundred and seven years. He had, often unwittingly, seduced wealthy women, poor women, thin ones, fat ones, pretty ones, ugly ones, young and old in almost any situation one could think of. Yet, lying in Sage’s bed, beside April, his confidence evaporated to be replaced with the nerves and apprehension of a virgin.
Gently, he reminded himself, for the umpteenth time, brushing his knuckles over her cool, soft skin as she glanced up at him coyly with those huge, blue eyes. There was so much riding on this, he had so much to prove to himself and to April; that he could look after her, that he could be what she wanted and needed.
That she should keep him.
But building up to the main event was not something Caleb had had to do often; such was the perk of allure. He’d rarely paid attention to the needs of his partners as there was no reason to – anything was amazing to one trapped in the pink fog – and, thus, he’d already extinguished all of his tricks. April seemed happy and had obviously enjoyed his efforts so far but the knowledge that he was doing better than the last time didn’t soothe him any. It only served to make him more anxious about what was to come next.
Would he be able to maintain control? Would he hurt her? Would she understand if he did?
Would any of them realise how hard he’d tried to fight the beast?
Both terrified of and yet dying to partake of his primed beauty, he teased her thighs open. Initially she giggled as he shifted above her; covering her face and playfully peeping through her fingers. But the moment he touched her, her whole demeanour changed.
“Wait!” she said in a tiny squeak. “We need a… a…” she cringed as she whispered, “a condom.”
He stared at her for a moment, trying to gauge if she was joking, but it was hard to read her face from the glimpses between her hands, and her thoughts were only showing him a page from the flipchart.
“We don’t need a condom, April.”
I don’t believe you, she thought. It stung like a slap. She shifted beneath him, unable to look him in the eye. “Will you use one anyway, please?”
“I don’t have one.”
“Wyatt has some in his bedside drawer.”
“How do you know that?” he asked. She squirmed and he couldn’t help but smile. “An eavesdropper and a snooper, Miss. Moss? Is no secret safe with you?”
“Please,” she whispered. “For me?”
He sighed. He could do this for her, sure, why not? Maybe it would even dull some sensations and help him remain in control.
“Wait here,” he said, confused by the deer-in-headlights look on her face.
No man on earth had ever moved with the speed Caleb did when he sprinted to the next room to rummage in Wyatt’s bedroom drawer. Alongside a few rubbery objects that Caleb couldn’t identify he found the box of condoms and returned, not a moment later, to his bashful blonde.
Under her curious gaze he dressed for the occasion and then re-joined her on the bed.
The whole scenario was so familiar and yet so alien. April was completely different to anyone else he had been with; there was no racing heart in her chest, no ragged breath from her lips. She was cold and still, controlled and immaculate. It only made him want her more.
By that point, all his hesitation had gone. He fought to hold on to reason, to resist his urge to pin and devour as the animal within him insisted it had to have her. He prayed to the devil that she hadn’t changed her mind; he wasn’t sure what he’d do if she had.
“Ready?” he asked.
She gazed into his eyes and nodded.
Faith was aware that something had happened, but she couldn’t say what exactly.
“Faith?” Seth’s frantic voice sounded in her ears. “Damn it, don’t you dare close your eyes again.”
Her feet weren’t touching the floor, she realised. He was holding her aloft. He kept calling to her again, asking – no – demanding she stay awake.
“Fuck you! I’ll sleep where I want,” Faith drawled in a voice she didn’t recognise.
“Oh dear sweet Lucifer,” Seth gushed, his voice attacking her in a thick lungful of stale air as his hands tangled into her hair. “Thank hell. I thought I’d lost you.”
Why did he think…? Oh. Right. It all came flooding back to Faith, piece by gruesome piece. The visit to Joy, the attack that he’d no doubt orchestrated, the admission that he’d tried to destroy one of the very few good things in her life.
And how many others? What else had he done?
“You have lost me,” she snarled. She tried to fight from his grip but he was having none of it, keeping her clamped firmly against him.
“I’m going back to my friends, if they’ll have me. I’m going to go back and drink the gross blood bags and learn to control myself and forget that you even exist, you slimy, lying, deceptive twat.”
“What? No,” Seth said, the shock evident on his face and his voice unsteady. “No. You’re staying with me. You can learn to control yourself with me. If that’s what you want, I’ll help you.”
Faith laughed in his face. “Help me? You’ve done nothing but manipulate me, Seth. You say you can’t lie, but oh fucking boy, you can, you’re just extra devious about it. Sneaky. Like a sneaky fucking snake. She was right, you know, Lilith? She’s right about you – you can’t be trusted, can you?”
A hesitation before a forced admission. “I cannot.”
She smiled, feeling his grip on her tighten as she continued.
“No wonder everyone fucking hates you. Always fucking people over and drinking people dry. People,” she repeated in a whisper. “It sounded amazing, fucking hell it sounded so amazing, to be free, to be that carefree…” she faded out, the daydream swimming before her eyes. She blinked and it was gone. “But it’s not, free. It’s really, really not. Nothing is. You’re not free, Seth. You’re just lonely and despised. And the trade-off? This whole epic creature of the night shebang? It’s bullshit. Being a vampire is bullshit. I don’t even really have any fucking powers, unless being your doormat is a fucking power.”
He couldn’t look her in the eye.
“Nothing to say for yourself? No smooth answers? No apology?” She felt his arms tighten around her, his body started to shake, but nothing could stop her tirade. “You tried to erase my only happy memories. Memories of my sister. You set me up to hurt my sister. What kind of person does that?”
“And what kind of person lets you? I’ve just let you. Holy fuck,” Faith snarled. “I just let you walk all over me. Fucking hell, Mel was right. Fuck. Fuck. And I just went along with it while you killed people and screwed me over and fuck, what have I done? I’m a prawn. A prawn in your shitty, fucked up game.”
“Pawn,” he corrected softly.
“Seriously. That’s all you’ve got to say?” As he looked away, she shoved him as much as she could when one arm wouldn’t co-operate and the other was wedged between them, but he didn’t move. “You fucking asshole. How could you? You said you loved me,” she hissed.
“Utter-fucking-bullshit, Seth! Are you completely fucked in the head? You don’t know what love is!”
He pulled back enough for her to instinctively tuck her wounded limb against her, before changing his mind and drawing her back. His voice broke around a sound that was partway between a sob and a growl, taking her completely by surprise. He squeezed her close, too close, sending a shockwave of pain through her broken arm.
Oblivious to the pain he was causing her, or perhaps more likely, not caring, he only held tighter.
“Spare me the waterworks,” she spat, although she wasn’t sure there were any. “I’m going. Thanks for all the amazing sex. Hope you fix your jizz issue and find a new shirt soon because that one is fucking minging.”
The force of his embrace would’ve likely suffocated her, had she had functioning lungs. Instead she heard something in her back crack. And, metaphorically, something in her chest.
Faith was not heartless. She could feel the anguish bleeding through from the man who was attempting to smother her in an effort to retain her. It hurt like all hell. But it was too little, too late. She wouldn’t cave. Not now.
For her own sake, for Joy’s. Faith was done.
“Let me go, Grimm, or I’ll blast you with my brain.”
I can’t let you go.
Then you definitely don’t love me.
Riddled with emotions that she didn’t know how to deal with, Faith clung to the familiar one. Rage
“That proves nothing,” she hissed as she strutted to the door. “Nothing. I’m leaving. You’re not going to follow me and you’re not going to look for me. If you go anywhere near my friends or my family I swear I will make you regret it.”
Faith had never broken up with anyone before. Not in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship way. He just taken a huge shit on her and revealed himself to be a complete jerk. Was breaking up supposed to hurt this damn much?
She stomped on then stomped back just to add, “I hope you’re fucking happy.”
The tea was wearing off, April thought sadly, tracing again the patterns in the plasterwork of the ceiling and missing the way they had danced.
April’s eyes began to wander around the room, taking in all the strange items that Grandma Sage had on her walls. She had a large portrait of an elderly lady who looked like Broof on the wall behind Caleb’s shoulder. April wondered if that was Broof’s grandma, the one who lived in the forest and had a demon broom. April giggled, remembering Broof brushing her demon, BonBonSindyBelle away. But that also reminded her of why BonBonSindyBelle was there in the first place. Which reminded her of Mother…
Caleb made an angry little throat noise and April stopped staring at the portrait and instead looked back at his face. He trapped her lips with kiss and grunted as he continued loving her.
From the way Faith and the girls at her school had raved about sex, April had expected much more. But last time had been simply horrible and this time? Well, it didn’t hurt, but it really wasn’t very fun either. She felt like a caught butterfly, wings spread, being pinned to a corkboard.
But over and over and over and over…
She didn’t understand what all the hype was about.
Caleb made that throat noise again and lifted up with finality.
“Are you done?” she asked with surprise. She recalled that last time they had been in bed together, it had gone on for forever and every time she thought he’d finished, he’d started again.
Caleb looked like he was trying to choose his words very carefully, or perhaps trying not to lose his temper.
“April, what do want me to do?”
April shrunk back, surprised by his question. “What do you mean?”
“You said you wanted ‘gentle’,” he muttered in a low growl. “And yet you’re so bored you’re examining the bloody lamps?”
April hadn’t actually noticed what the lamps looked like. She resisted the urge to turn and peek at them. “I-I’m sorry,” she stammered, her voice small. “I guess I don’t really know what I want.”
Caleb thought for a moment, then smiled, but not in a way that met his eyes. “When Faith raved about sex, did anything she mention pique your interest? We could try that?”
April pouted. She hadn’t remembered telling him about that. Besides, she didn’t even know what half the things Faith raved about actually were, let alone if she’d enjoy them.
Her mind fluttered to the most recent conversation she could recall with her crude former friend, scanning it for anything that didn’t sound too awful.
“You should try sinking your fangs into Fringey at some point, Blondie. Don’t let him have all the fun.”
April looked up through her lashes at Caleb’s neck and fluttered her gaze to his face where he was looking back at her with a bemused expression.
“You want to bite me?” he asked with a little laugh.
April gently bit her tongue. She had no better ideas and she really was rather bored. “May I?”
Caleb looked unsure. “No one’s ever bitten me before and something is telling me not to let you,” he mused. “But then, Lilith always said my instincts were wrong.” He seemed to be lost in thought for a while, before making his decision. “Yes, alright, go ahead.”
April reached up behind his head and guided his neck down to meet her mouth. With the absence of a pulse to guide her, she pressed her lips along his skin in a series of exploratory kisses, seeking a vein to tap.
He chuckled low in his throat, bringing a juicy vein to prominence. Bingo!
“I thought you were going to bite me,” he teased, “not kiss me to — HOLY BLOODY BASTARD HELL!”
She panicked at his reaction to her bite and quickly pulled back while squealing an apology, only to find him yanking her back to him.
“No, don’t stop,” he growled, rubbing his neck against her face until she caught again. “Don’t stop. Oh my devil,” he groaned. His eyes rolled back into his head as he rocked inside her, gargling low in his throat, “Holy hell, April. Damn. This is as hot as hell.”
April couldn’t say that she really agreed. He’d dropped his full, heavy weight on top of her and was crushing her boobies in a really uncomfortable way. And his blood was so yucky – cold and sludgy. She had to suckle really hard to draw anything from him. It was like trying to get a super thick milkshake up through a tiny straw.
The effort was making her head spin.
She shifted her hips, which were beginning to ache having been pressed open beneath him for such a long while, and she wriggled her toes. This was even less fun than before, so she delicately lifted her fangs from him and pressed a sweet little kiss to the neat wound that she’d created.
Caleb immediately jerked back. “What are you doing?” he asked.
April sighed contentedly, relieved that he’d stopped squashing her, however briefly. She gazed up at him and smiled.
“I’m full, thank you,” she lied, in her well-practiced way.
Caleb shook his head angrily. His eyes flashed blue, briefly, and April’s stomach sank.
“But I told you… wait,” he paused and licked his fangs. He looked almost like he was listening to something, but there was no sound that April could hear.
“What’s wrong?” she whispered, alarmed.
“April, what are you thinking?”
April shook her head. “Nothing really… why?”
He stared at her intently for what felt like an hour.