Author's Note: Aw Hell, I'm just putting it back up. I have made some changes though. The first chapter was really bugging me the further along I went in the story. Evidently, it also bugged other people. There is a nifty feature on here where I can actually see how many have looked at each chapter and there were quite a few that never got past the first chapter. For the newcomers, it gets better further in. I promise.
For those that have read before, I know I promised a sequel and I do have it started. I had started writing it into the Fallen University series, then realized that no, I had some elements but it wasn't the story that I wanted to tell. I will be doing a sequel that will follow Serena and Sebastian, Ciel and Lucien and Edwin and Undertaker. As well as looking at how everyone handled the ending back in Victorian England. It's strange how the characters will take over your stuff.
I make no update promises, as I'm hoping to edit as I go. I am currently working full-time, writing the second book of the Fallen University Series and the first book of the White Rabbit Chronicles. Which should be out by the end of the August. I'm entering Tangled Mirror in a writing contest that has to be submitted on September first. Let's hear it for deadlines making you finish something!
Disclaimer: I do not own Kuroshitsuji or any or it's characters. I only claim Serena, Asta and the demons and descendants that I introduce. Fair warning though, I did use some of the world building and a couple of the OCs in the Fallen University Series, which is copyrighted.
The demon currently known as Sebastian busied himself around the manor as the rest of the house slept. There was no end to the list of tasks to be completed when one was working with servants such as this house employed. They weren't really necessary, so their ineptitude could be overlooked in most cases. He just needed them for extra firepower and keeping up appearances.
Lady Francis had mentioned how strange it was that he took care of the master and the house all by himself, cooked the meals and ran all the errands. The next day Sebastian had started looking for hired help.
He'd have to look for something else as well. Evidently, Lady Elizabeth didn't like that Sebastian was single. She had started during an unscheduled visit this afternoon. Not that she made any other kind of visit to the manor. Both she and his master were getting older, her friends were pairing off and Lady Elizabeth was already thinking of her own wedding. Not that it could be done this Season. Lord Phantomhive was only fifteen this year.
Lady Elizabeth thought it unusual that the Butler had no wife. After all, his wife would run the maids while he looked after the master and other business. It would help him, take some of the load off. Of course, if he waited until Lady Elizabeth took her place here at the manor Paula would make an excellent wife for him.
The conversation had almost been worth seeing the lady's maid turn fire red at the thought and stutter. Poor Paula had almost dropped the Lady's teacup and saucer.
He knew his human form was appealing. That was part of the point of it. People were so agreeable to the good-looking. His demon form would send them scream, even though he thought it had it's own dark appeal. To those willing to not run screaming. Even in the age of reason, superstition still had a stranglehold on most. Most were utter nonsense, but some still read true.
All Hallows Eve. Grim Reapers. Demons. Angels. Scientific thought taking over some minds were making it so much easier to move in the human world. So much easier to do business. Of course, it also made it harder to blend in at the same time. Once upon a time, it would not have been so hard to manipulate the humans. Now, they were more likely to see something suspicious. In the old days, they would have brought the church, blessed the house and been on their way. Now, they wanted to talk. To do tests on anything that didn't fit their beliefs of the world around them.
Lady Elizabeth's concerns would have to be addressed. He could easily find a human, another perk of an appealing form, as well as his position in the noble house. He could start screening immediately as a matter of fact, like a job opening. Maybe Mei-Rin would get her head out of the clouds that way?
Or he could simply call one of the demons of his house. That would make it easier on him. With a human wife, he would have to keep up the façade permentently, without even the sanctuary of his rooms. Not that he ever dropped the human face while in their world, but he would have to watch himself closer in private, to not give anything away. She also have to able to work around this lot and the constant danger that came with the House of Phantomhive.
One of his own demons would be a better option. Corrine was always a pleasant diversion that would make time on this plane more enjoyable. Especially since his current master had no interest in Sebastian's 'other' skills. Such a pity too. Ciel Phantomhive was certainly beautiful. The human actually had the beauty of a demon in his own frail, human body. And he was so much fun to needle. Seeing the hints of the deep wells of wrath housed within that soul was always a delicious pleasure.
Oh well, back to Corrine. Of course, she did come equipped with an attitude that would make being a servant difficult. Some days he thought she should have fed on Pride instead of Greed. No, she would cause problems with Lady Elizabeth which would endanger the whole endeavor. Perhaps Khepri, she could handle deference. But no, even with the current fascination with Egypt, Khepri's looks would bring unneeded attention. If only there were more female demons. For some reason, women only woke again about a third that men did. Something to ponder at another time and a mental note to check the Pits again when he returned home. He would need to make sure that this little problem didn't happen again. He was used to working alone, but there were others that brought members of their House when they took a contract.
He could ask his old mentor. Haagenti's house did have a couple females as well. But that would mean having to trade or make some kind of deal. Deals between demons normally took forever to work out. They were so good at coming out on the winning end negotiations were a bit brutal and time consuming.
Which left him back with the human option. The only option for a quick solution. He had a feeling Lady Elizabeth was perfectly serious about Paula. She was a pleasant enough woman, and he had a feeling she would be enjoyable in their bedroom, but she had the familiar mindset of one that clung to the old superstitions. She'd notice something and bring the wrath of Lady Francis down on them all. No, better to have this out of the way before that became a possibility.
So many problems. Why did everything at the Phantomhive manor have to be complicated? At least Ciel Phantomhive's soul would be wonderful compensation in the end. It was rare to find a pure soul that still wanted to make a deal. So rare to find one pushed to their limits, or at least what they thought their limits were.
Perhaps he had not come of this deal as well as he originally thought. His master had needed him, knew that he couldn't survive on his own. Sebastian would get an unparalleled soul, in terms of power and taste, but the complications and injuries he constantly moved through were starting to wear on even him.
Human it is. One that had a soul he could sip from on a daily basis. Yes, that would be wonderful.
********************************A Demon's Mate****************************
Serena Walton checked the mirror on the back of the apartment door to make sure that her pretty, black dress was laying perfectly. All she needed was to walk out onto the street with her skirt hanging in her underwear. Most girls would advise her not to wear undies at all with this dress, but that was so not going to happen. Her red hair was set in a lovely French braid that left some little tendrils to frame her face. A little bit of silver jewelry and a touch of perfume and she was ready to grab her bag before heading out the door.
She only had a couple weeks left in Tokyo on her student Visa before being whisked back to the US and her roommate, as well as fellow artist, had gotten tickets to see the newest Kuroshitsuji musical. Tickets that were almost impossible to get. It was a little embarrassing that Serena's favorite little obsession had become well-known to Akiko and her friends. Then again, they all seemed to be excited about the show, or maybe it was just a night out. They were all more into the nightlife scene than her. Serena would rather have been working on her final piece before leaving Tokyo and all it's wonders behind.
Not that she had even started a final piece. Something was going on with her submissions lately, too close to her roommate's pieces and Serena often was left scrambling to complete another piece to turn in before deadline. At least the school officials understood that she and Akiko shared an apartment and talked often of their shared love, so they hadn't accused her of cheating. Barely. Her final piece was a request, not really an assignment. Her current advisor wanted to see something that showed what she had learned during her short months here.
Serena had no clue what she was going to do, but was leaning toward an ink painting. The clean line and few brushstrokes were intriguing to someone who focused mostly on detail and depth.
A group of school boys in high school uniforms, pulled her out of her thoughts with a whistle as they passed. She rolled her green eyes but still laughed. Nothing was going to ruin tonight. The June air was warm, the sunset was beautiful and she was out of the studio for the night.
She could have gone to Italy, walked the ancient streets of Rome. She could have gone to England, touring the homes of masters. But something about Tokyo had called her when the options for study abroad had come up. Seeing the ancient temple to her right that looked over the modern streets, she knew that she had made a good decision. Being here had gotten her fired up, creatively speaking, and she had learned techniques that she would never have found among the homes and lands of the Old Masters.
No, this was the right choice.
**************************A Demon's Mate*************************
Ciel was quiet as his butler slid the deep blue coat that matched the rest of his suit over his shoulders. He was almost as tall as the demon now. A far cry from the child that had held the demon's coattails to stop him from leaving before their deal was made. Gloves were smoothed over his long fingers, now always clean, before his family rings were presented.
Yesterday was still bothering him. His blonde tornado of a fiancée had made another appearance, ripping through his plans and schedule as she always did. One of her inane friends was getting married in a few weeks and she had wanted to see him. Really, she wanted to be sure that she would have an escort other than her brother for the occasion.
He was too busy for this.
Not that Lizzy ever seemed to notice that fact. Couldn't she understand that they weren't children anymore? It wasn't just tutors to cut away from now, he had to reschedule business appointments, leave paperwork unread and unsigned until he could get her out the door. At least many of his business contacts were married and understood having to placate a woman.
He'd never have any peace when she moved in. An evil smirk reminded him that Sebastian wouldn't either. Lizzy had found her next crusade. But there was still something about the whole conversation that bothered him. The way the demon had so easily agreed with her, the way he had so elegantly accepted Lizzy's suggestions was all wrong. He wondered if the demon had told the truth when asked if he was married.
Only one way to find out. He had long ago ordered Sebastian never to lie to him. He just had to ask the right question. It was a lesson he had learned well over the last five years.
"Are you married?"
The demon smirked as he did up the coat's buttons. "I believe that I already answered this question."
"What is the demon equivalent of a wife?"
"Ah." Sebastian smiled as he went to retrieve the walking stick that was studded with blue stones at it's top. "You would be referring to a mate then."
"Yes. Do you have one?"
"Again, the answer is no. Why the sudden interest, Master?"
Ciel refused to cower at the look the demon shot him. "Lizzy brought it up."
"Yes, she is rather focused on your upcoming nuptials despite the years she still has yet to wait."
"If it happens at all." He pulled his gloves a little tighter.
"Are you planning on marrying someone else?"
Ciel's eye narrowed. "You know very well what I'm talking about. When my revenge is achieved, you will take my soul. Lizzy is planning a wedding that very well may never happen."
"Are you in a hurry to die, Master?"
"No," he snapped. "I'm not going to live in some fantasy world that my life will be long."
"The Phantomhive line will die with you if you do not marry and sire children," Sebastian said, more to himself than anything. "That seems a shame."
Ciel was annoyed and had a feeling the demon knew it. There was a levity around him that only occurred when he knew Ciel was losing his temper.
"Why don't we add a little to our deal."
The demon's eyes glowed for a split second, giving a glimpse of the being lurking beneath the pretty and polished surface.
"I have a new offer. If your revenge is achieved in the next couple of years, I will still wait until after your marriage and the birth of your heir to take your soul."
Ciel watched him carefully. "Why?"
"You are one of the most amusing masters I have ever had and there have been quite a few over the years."
"You enjoy being my butler?" He drawled in disbelief.
"Some of it. You are a brat and the manor could use servants that actually know what they are doing." Sebastian waved off the impending eruption he could see coming. "However, life here is never dull. As an almost immortal being with eternity before him, boredom is a constant nuisance. It is rarely, if ever boring around you, Master."
"If that's the case, then you should be offering to wait until my life is about to end naturally."
"There's no need to be greedy." The demon growled low. "Everything in moderation is a good way to live."
Ciel suppressed a shudder and turned away. "I'll consider your offer."
"Very well. I will await you in the breakfast room."
Truth, he was already wanted to accept the offer as the door closed behind the demon. But, there had to be some kind of catch. Years of being around the demon, being raised and taught by a demon, he had learned to deal.
Sebastian's offer afforded him some amount of stability. He would know when his life was going to end. His line would go on, something that the previous Earl's murderers had been trying to stop. Lizzy would still get her wedding and Aunt Francis would make sure that his heir knew what he needed to know to be the next Earl of the Realm and Guard Dog of the Queen.
But what did that demon really want out of this? Boredom was a hatred of his own, not that he often had time to indulge in it. But Undertaker had said something about Sebastian must be starving by now the last time they had seen him. Why would he voluntarily wait longer to feed?
He needed to think about this further.
****************************A Demon's Mate*****************************
Serena checked her directions before sliding the piece of paper into the little bag over her shoulder. She was always getting lost, but the theater should be straight ahead. If Akiko's directions were right. Her roommate wasn't much better at giving directions than Serena was at following them. The Japanese girl took for granted that everyone knew which streets and subways she was talking about.
Ahead, she spotted a marquee but she was better at speaking Japanese than reading it. The kanji for Kuroshitsuji she recognized though. She had made it. Yah, for both of them. The front of the theater was still only being used by passing pedestrians. Serena reached to check the time on her phone, still stowed in her purse and smiled at the poster advertising the show next to her.
Serena heard rolling wheels, like some kind of cart before she was knocked over. She expected to feel jar of bricks and mortar that made the old English-style building but there was nothing.
She just kept falling.
******************************A Demon's Mate***************************
"Have you thought about my offer?"
Ciel looked down at the demon buttoning his nightshirt. "Yes. But I have a question first."
"Very well." Sebastian stood and pulled the blankets down from the large bed his master occupied at night.
"How long did you plan on our arrangement lasting?"
"I see your point." He took a moment to remove the warming pan from the bed. "As a demon that focuses on revenge, I have learned not to make plans during a contract. I have been a part deals that lasted only days to some masters that I stayed with for decades."
That wasn't the answer he was expecting. Ciel stayed quiet as he slid between the warm sheets.
"Alright. I accept."
"Good." The demon's eyes glowed as he removed his glove with his teeth, the mark on the back of his hand glowing in the dimly-lit room. "Our mark with change with our new terms."