Luc was having the best dream. A hot wet mouth was sliding over his body, licking and nipping at his most sensitive spots and making him squirm from the sensation. It wasn’t until his cock was taken in one quick swallow that he realized he wasn’t dreaming.
Blinking his eyes, he tried to focus on the dark head bobbing up and down.
“Fuck Bran, that feels sooo good.” He let out a low moan. His lover liked to hear his sounds when they had sex. The beauty of the man sucking him off was enough to send him over the edge.
Unfazed the werewolf swallowed all of Luc’s fluid without spilling a drop. When there was no more liquid, that amazing mouth lifted and gold eyes blinked up at him, heavy with desire.
“You taste amazing,” Bran said as the werewolf crawled up his body
Bran leaned down and kissed him. Luc could taste himself on his lover’s tongue something that excited him even as he found it mildly disgusting. He loved the taste of a lover but didn’t particularly like his own cum. A fact the werewolf was well aware of as he gave him a wicked smile.
“You taste better than anyone I’ve ever been with.” Bran said.
A knock sounded on the door.
Bran yelled. “Enter!”
Sal appeared in the doorway with a covered tray. “I thought you two might be hungry.”
“You’re a doll,” Luc said, sitting up in bed. He was starved. His stomach growled as he looked expectantly at the tray.
Unfolding the legs, Sal set the tray over Luc’s lap and lifted the cover exposing fresh-squeezed orange juice and tons of food. Thick slabs of ham, fried eggs, a pile of home style potatoes and a stack of buttered toast.
“I think I’m supposed to share this,” Luc laughed.
“Good thing. I don’t think you could fit all that into your scrawny body,” Bran said with a wicked smile.
Luc gasped in mock outrage. “Did you just call me scrawny?”
Bran scratched his heavily muscled chest and gave him a taunting smile. “Maybe I meant puny.”
Sal snatched the tray up just as Luc attacked Bran, finding his sensitive spots. He plundered the werewolf’s silky flesh until the alpha howled with outrage.
“All right, you win,” Bran said, tears of laughter running down his face. “I should know better than to wrestle with someone who knows where I’m ticklish.”
“Yes, you should,” Luc agreed. He settled back against the pillows and Sal returned the tray with an odd look in his eyes.
Luc tilted his head as he examined his old friend. “Are you all right Salvador?”
Sal gave him a half-hearted smile. “It’s good to have you back, Luc. We all missed you.”
“It’s good to be back.” Maybe he was being paranoid, but there was a little voice in the back of his head telling him something was wrong. Sal’s smile didn’t reach his eyes and the other man looked nervous. Luc shook his head at his stupidity. This was Sal, one of his closest friends; he would talk about what was bothering him when he was ready.
Smiling at Sal, Luc took a long sip of his orange juice. He savored the rich fruity taste, letting the flavor soak into his mouth before swallowing. After eating some eggs and ham, he took another sip of juice. A strange, odd note coated his tongue.
“This juice has an odd aftertaste. Different brand?” Who knew what the wolves were buying now? Wolves in general weren’t known for their love of fruit.
The werewolf nodded, but Luc could see beads of sweat dotting Sal’s brow.
It felt hot. No wonder the werewolf was sweating.
Luc struggled for a breath Feeling like he couldn’t pull enough oxygen into his lungs, he started to panic. Something was definitely not right.
His body began to go numb. He tried to grab at Bran as his vision greyed around the edges.
As he succumbed to darkness, Bran scream, “Luc, no!”
* * * *
Death wasn’t bad. He couldn’t die—well, not permanently. When Luc died, his soul returned to his childhood bedroom while his body repaired the damage. Lucifer had taken great pains to make sure his youngest son would always survive no matter what. Why he went to so much trouble was a mystery to Luc, but it came in handy more than once.
The only problem was that while his body rebounded from mortal death, his spirit went home—to hell.
Flames flared around Luc, but without his physical form they couldn’t touch him.
Luc turned to see his brother, Galthine, standing in his room. There was never a positive reason for one of his brothers hunting him down. Not to mention, Galthine seemed to know he was coming.
Galthine was monstrous. He was seven feet of rippling muscle with great horns piercing his skull and a pair of red, leathery wings tucked tight against his back. He was the oldest of Luc’s five brothers and the only one who could breathe fire. Something he did constantly during Luc’s birthday challenges.
Luc flinched at the memory of his last birthday challenge when his skin had been charred and crispy from Galthine’s flames.
“Come with me.”
Luc knew better than to refuse his brother without reason. He was glad his physical form was at the Pack house. His brother couldn’t harm him in this form, but it didn’t stop the memories. All of Luc’s previous birthdays began to surface. His brothers were not allowed to touch him outside of the challenge. If they did, it was reported to father and they were sent to the lowest hell for retribution.
Floating behind his brother, Luc followed Galthine into his private torture studio. Careful to look only at the ground, Luc didn’t want to see what caused the screams coming from the walls. Last time he was here, bodies were dangling from the ceiling by meat hooks.
“Happy Birthday.” Galthine’s smile was pointed and wicked. He waved his hand towards a hunk of red flesh lying in the middle of the room.
Luc’s vision couldn’t focus. What was that?
The blob gave a small moan.
“Who is that?”
“Don’t you recognize your old friend?”
The blob emitted a soft whisper, “Lucifer.”
Memories bubbled to the surface. “Carn?”
Galthine sidled up to Luc. “Don’t you want to heal him?” His voice was low and coaxing. He sounded sympathetic, but Luc knew pure evil lurked in his brother’s heart. “Your poor friend. I bought him from his master but I’m willing to give him to you for a birthday present.”
“What do you want?” His brother would rescue no one without a reason.
“I want you to use all of your energy to heal your friend and drain your reserves. In three days, you’ll still be weak, and I can break you like I’ve always wanted to.”
Startled, Luc turned to face his brother. “I thought you didn’t want me to stay down here. Stilne said you and the others wanted to keep me out.”
“Father changed the rules,” Galthine growled. “He grows impatient to have you as his right hand. He offered us an incentive. The one who breaks you gets to be the Third Lord of Hell. The ones who don’t will fall under his hand for punishment. I won’t go back under father’s hand.” Smoke poured out of Galthine’s mouth, but Luc could see the panic in his brother’s eyes.
It was a good plan. Luc had to admire the strategy behind it. He couldn’t leave his childhood friend bruised and battered on his brother’s dungeon floor, even if it meant his own downfall.
As soon as he made his decision, Luc could feel his body pulling him back. He must be healed already.
“Deliver him to the Pack house,” Luc said.
It looked as if his reconciliation with Bran wasn’t going to be long lasting.
* * * *
Luc’s spirit floated through the levels of hell following the call of his body. He didn’t run into any of his other siblings, but he knew Galthine was only the first to approach him. Three days before his birthday and Luc was now in the possession of a needy vampire, an injured demon and a soon to be angry werewolf.
He became aware of his surroundings slowly—air filled his lungs, sheets brushed against his bare skin and a pleasant soreness ached in his backside that oddly wasn’t taken away by the healing…but the crying had to go.
Whoever was wailing was really getting on his nerves. Even though he couldn’t die, being poisoned was really uncomfortable and it took a while for his system to fully regenerate. He hoped the crier wasn’t going to carry on the entire time.
“Shh. No crying.” Luc struggled to open his eyes, but his lids felt like they weighed a hundred pounds.
“He spoke. Master Nikkolai, he’s not dead.”
What was Jerrod doing at the Pack house? Surely, Bran wouldn’t let him stay.
Luc opened his eyes to see a tear-stained Jerrod kneeling by his bed and a hollow-eyed Nikko sitting close by.
Where was Bran? He tried to speak but the only thing that came out was, “What happened?”
Nikko’s face fell into hard lines. “Sal poisoned you, Bran killed him, and combined with tossing out Betsy, there was an uproar in the pack. He thought it best if you stayed some place protected while you were healing.” He continued in the same hard voice, “If you’d come here for dinner, instead of staying over to have breakfast with your ex-lover, you wouldn’t be in this position.”
“No one likes an I told you so,” Luc commented as he thought over what Nikko had said.
It made sense. As an alpha, Bran would only be comfortable if Luc was watched over by another alpha.
Nikko stared at him. “I didn’t believe him when he said you’d be fine. But then, I also didn’t know you were the son of the devil.” A sarcastic laugh burst from him. “I should have known you were too beautiful to not be an agent of hell.”
“I’m not an agent of hell,” Luc snarled. “My father just happens to be the devil.”
“Who’s going to try to pull you under in three days.”
Wow, Bran really did feel like sharing. Wait. “Did you say Sal poisoned me?” Luc tried to sit up but his body was too heavy. Merging the soul to the physical was difficult. “Why would Sal poison me? He knows it won’t kill me.” He’d had many conversations with Sal over the years. The werewolf knew that nothing would kill Luc.
Nikko’s voice was cold. “He was hoping to kill Bran. Now that you’ve bonded, he thought your temporary death would send him over the edge. It appears that one of your brothers told him if he killed Bran, Sal could be the leader of the pack with you at his side.”
“Me? I thought he was straight.”
“Bi. Don’t tell me you never saw him looking. I saw him staring at your ass at the club.”
Luc shrugged. “Everyone looks. It doesn’t mean they’ll kill my lover to have me.”
Jerrod broke into sobs. “You’re the best Master ever. I’m going to taste your food for you every night.”
Luc smiled. “Then you would be sick, and I’d have to cry at your bedside.”
Sniffling, Jerrod climbed up on the bed and hugged Luc, rubbing one tear-streaked cheek against Luc’s shoulder. “You would too.”
Luc patted the sobbing vamp on the head before asking Nikko. “What’s he doing here?”
“When you weren’t home in the morning, he came to check on you. Bran told him he brought you here, so he came over.” Nikko’s eyes indicated that there was more to the story, but Luc was tired and frankly didn’t give a shit. He was relieved when Nikko said, “Come, Jerrod. Why don’t you go down to the kitchen and find your master some nice broth? It will do wonders for him.”
The slim vampire jumped up eager to be of use. “I’ll be right back.” He gave a small tearful smile to Luc before running out of the room.
“Thank you. I don’t think I could handle any more waterworks.” Now that Jerrod was gone, he felt a little self-conscious without the smaller vampire as a buffer.
Nikko pulled his chair closer to the bed. “How are you feeling? All better?”
Luc nodded. “I’m fine. Did Bran tell you I can’t die?”
“He told me he still felt your link even while your body grew cold. Sal didn’t count on that.”
“What happened to him?”
Nikko gave a smile almost as evil as Galthine’s, his fangs peeking out. “Bran sent him to chat with your father. The Pack is cleaning up the mess as we speak.”
Luc fought back tears. Sal had been a friend for years. The loss of his friendship cut him like a knife. How long had the were wanted him in silence?
He felt the poison easing out of his system, he stayed lying down until he was certain he was toxin free. He started to sit only to have Nikko lean over and pin him down.
“You will stay right here and rest.” Nikko’s eyes glowed bright when he was pissed.
“I’ll stay right here and rest,” Luc agreed meekly. He tucked the blankets around himself and played possum.
He felt the scrape of Nikko’s stubble as the vampire whispered in his ear, “I’ll know if you leave this room, my love. I’ve put a guard outside your door, and he has instructions to only let me and your servant inside, and no one out.”
“Sneaky bastard,” Luc whispered, not bothering to open his eyes.
“Your sneaky bastard.”
He felt the soft brush of lips on his cheek before he heard the door close.
More tired than he wanted to acknowledge, Luc was in the middle of falling asleep when a harsh ringing sound filled the air.
A hole opened in the air beside the bed and Carn’s bloody body was tossed through the portal. The demon landed on the floor, leaving a long streak of fresh blood across the carpet.
Galthine’s head popped through the portal. “I followed your spirit signature, brother. Sneaky of you to try to escape me. Maybe you’ll make a good Hell Lord yet!”
Luc didn’t have a chance to contradict him before the portal vanished and he was left with an oozing bloody body on Nikko’s fancy carpet.
Nikko was going to kill him.
Sliding out of bed, Luc approached Carn’s battered body. At close glance, he looked worse. How was that even possible?
The demon was encrusted with blood from multiple whip marks. A pair of handcuffs had cut into his wrists and they were leaking blood over his broken hands.
Jerrod entered the room with a bowl of soup balanced in his hand. It fell to the floor when he saw Carn lying on the carpet. The fabric muffled the sound of soup splashing.
Jerrod crouched down beside Luc and asked in a whisper. “What is that?”
“A childhood friend.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Heal him.” Luc would stay in hell should his brothers break him, but he couldn’t let his friend die. Unlike Luc, the demon wouldn’t come back.
Carn’s breathing was slow. He wouldn’t last much longer. His remaining demon blood was the only thing keeping him alive.
“Thank you. Thank you,” Carn whispered as Luc came closer. The demon’s eyes were glazed with pain, but he focused on Luc as if he were a savior. “I kept hoping you’d come. I knew if you found out, you’d save me. Thank you. Thank you.” His neck was bruised, and his voice was a raspy whisper.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” Jerrod asked. “Nikko isn’t going to be happy if you heal a demon in his club.”
“I can’t leave him like this. I won’t leave a friend to bleed to death on the floor because it might make Nikko unhappy.”
With determination, Luc held his hand over the center of Carn’s body. He jerked as power pulsed from his hands and into the demon. Silver glowed across the demon’s body, magic filling the cracks in his skin. It was like watching a movie in reverse. The wounds sucked the blood back into the demon, sealing the skin over them. For a few moments, Luc lost all sense of self.
This was why he wasn’t a healer. He used too much power and didn’t know his limitations. Luckily, he never healed humans. They were too fragile.
“Enough, Master!” Jerrod’s voice snapped Luc back into the present. Carn lay before him, glowing with Luc’s power, convulsing lightly.
“Fuck me.” At the current rate of Luc’s incompetence, Carn would die from power poisoning. Luc placed his hand on the demon’s stomach. The power welcomed his touch and poured back up his arm.
The demon’s eyes snapped open.
Carn no longer glowed, but Luc knew the small amount of power he absorbed back wouldn’t be enough to save him from his father’s hands.
“Feeling better?” he asked his friend.
Carn’s nod was more of a convulsion then a motion of agreement. “Please don’t send me back, Luc. Please.”
“Carn, I can’t keep you. You know the laws. I will have to return you to your master.”
“You’re my master. Galthine gave me to you for your birthday, remember? That makes me yours. If you return me there, everyone will use me as a way to get to you. I’ll never have a moment of peace.” Carn gave him a sly smile. “However, if I’m yours, no one will touch me. I will serve you.”
“What would I do with a demon servant?”
“Please. I must be able to be of some service to you.” Carn’s face was desperate.
Luc looked away from the sight. “Can you feed my vampire?”
“Luc, you don’t have to do this,” Jerrod said. His wide eyes looked back and forth from Luc to the demon.
“Yes. I can feed your vampire,” Carn said quickly, as if sensing his opportunity was slipping away. “I’d be happy to feed him, fuck him, be his pet. Whatever.”
There was no way Luc would send a friend back into hell, not without a master to protect him. “Fine. I’ll be your master.”
The pain on his hand was familiar now. A demonic symbol glowed gold next to the small set of wings. Great. Now he was a vampire and a demon master.
Bran and Nikko were going to be pissed, Luc thought, before he passed out on the floor.