Coming of Age
A/N: Much thanks to tima rach on the Anime Writer's group for the beta help.
"Bride?" Raenef asked with a frown on his face as he discreetly removed his hands from Eclipse's. "I have to get married?"
"Not exactly," Eclipse answered as he closed his hands into fists while Raenef starred at him with quivering eyes. He felt wrong under that gaze; like for some reason he had betrayed his master and friend.
"What do you mean?" Raenef asked.
"There's no exact obligation for you to commit yourself to that person, you can have other…companions."
"Lovers you mean." The young demon interrupted.
Raenef looked away. "I don't get it, what's the purpose of this?" He asked in a dismissive tone giving Eclipse the urge to leave the room. "And why now?"
Eclipse stared at his liege. It was clear that this was the last thing Raenef wanted to hear at the moment, he had been so cheerful just seconds before. "Its custom," the demon answered. "For the creation of a true heir."
"Eh?" Raenef asked, looking directly at Eclipse.
Slight feelings of anger rolled off the demon lord until his servant could sense them. "Allow me to explain." said Eclipse. "Every Demon Lord has to have a true line from which an heir can be born."
"I'm not following you." Raenef said with a frown.
"On the night of the ceremony the woman you choose will conceive a child. That child will grow up and have children of its own, thus creating a true blood line for you when the time comes for a new Raenef to be born."
Raenef pulled back creating more space between him and Eclipse. "You want reassurance for when I die?"
"If, My Lord." Eclipse almost blurted; but he quickly remembered his position. This talk was going downhill. "Don't forget you're immortal."
Raenef rolled his eyes. "Then why bother?"
"Its custom…and a precaution. You're the fifth Raenef after all."
Raenef grimaced. "I don't want to get married."
"It's not a marriage, it's a union. Just one night," He paused. "Unless you want the person you choose to remain by your side."
"I don't want anyone." Raenef replied hastily.
"It is custom," Eclipse repeated. "The elders are already awaiting their invitations to the ceremony."
Raenef rose from the bed, the irritation rolling off him in waves. Eclipse remained seated, which forced Raenef to look down in order to meet his eyes. "You agreed in my place?" he asked, with disbelief on his eyes.
Eclipse almost looked away, but he reminded himself he had to do this. "It came as an order from Lord Aureleid."
"Aureleid…" Raenef let the name roll slowly off his tongue, as if it bored him to death. Eclipse sighed and after a few moments Raenef imitated the gesture as he sat back down on the bed. "This is really important isn't it?" he asked softly as he stared at the floor.
The silence grew after that, Raenef staring forward at nothing in particular as Eclipse kept his own eyes fixed on his young lord. Raenef's chest rose slowly with each breath, the pale skin showing through the loose midnight robes. The young demon turned suddenly, blinking his blue eyes at Eclipse and swiftly sliding across the bed, closing the gap between himself and Eclipse. The older demon shook slightly in surprise as Raenef raised his hands and laid them gently on both sides of his face.
"Eclipse, I want you to answer me honestly. Do you think is right? To bed someone without even knowing them…" Raenef moved his thumbs lightly across Eclipse's cheek, "What do you think I should do?"
Eclipse closed his eyes for a second as a small tremor went through his body. He swallowed hard slowly opening his eyes as he took Raenef's hands with his own and pulled them away from his face. "In matters like this is best to follow custom."
Something passed over Raenef's eyes and he instantly shook his hands away and stood up once more, crossing his arms across his chest and turning away from Eclipse. "Fine. Organize it," he hissed. "Do whatever you have to do. But I don't want to hear about it until it's done!"
Eclipse rose from the bed, extending a hand towards his master, "Raenef…"
Raenef recoiled at the gesture. "Leave Eclipse. I'm tired and need my rest."
The older demon stood there motionless then bowed even if Raenef couldn't see him. "As you wish, my liege."
Eclipse teleported himself to his room instantly. He could feel the beginning of a headache itching its way forward. The look of disappointment in Raenef's face was imprinted on his mind. When Raenef had touched his face he had almost forgotten what he had to say, what it was his duty to say. The event was tradition, going on for as far as demon lord history went, only a handful of demon lords had refused it and now their lines were extinct; either it was too late for them to produce an heir or they had died. Eclipse sat on his bed, massaging his temples softly in an effort to lessen his headache. He had been dreading this talk ever since he left the council, now it was over and as far as he knew, it had been a complete disaster.
Yes, Raenef had agreed to the union at the end, but it wasn't what Eclipse had expected. His young lord had always been lenient when it came down to official business, always responding with understanding and with a smile on his face. This was the first time Eclipse witnessed his master to react with such rejection.
He changed from his formal robes and slipped into his night ones. The robes were identical to the ones Raenef was wearing; he had purchased them on purpose after all. His bed suddenly looked incredibly appealing to him and as he sprawled himself on it he thought of Raenef. There had been something in his lord's eyes besides the anger and surprise. Something in Raenef's eyes seemed to scream 'betrayal'.
Eclipse groaned, tomorrow was going to be a long day.
Krayon smirked as he dangled his legs from the roof of the castle. "So Eclipse's little lord is reluctant about making a kid. Interesting." He jumped from the roof and landed nimbly on the ground below, making his way up to the room Raenef had so generously loaned to him if he ever was in the area. His relationship with Raenef and his 'family' could still be considered strained in some points even after six years. But for the most part it was a pleasant one, his recurring presence now accepted.
The halls were empty as he walked since the servants tended to avoid him. Which was fine by Krayon since he wasn't the sort to be bothered. He heard voices ahead and instantly recognized one of them as the cause of his somersaulting heart.
"Good evening, my darling," he smirked "going a little late to bed are we?"
Erutis and Chris stopped their conversation instantly. "Oh, it's you," Erutis made a face.
"If I didn't know any better I'd say you dislike me, Erutis" said Krayon as he imitated the look of a sad puppy.
"Six years and he's still doesn't get the hint." Chris said with a glare. Krayon turned to him with a blank face. The monk in training had a talent for getting on his nerves. Especially when it came to Erutis.
"Please don't start one of your 'things' now," Erutis interrupted "I'm way too tired for this."
Chris' mood changed, "Sorry," he scratched the bridge of his nose lightly then said, "I'm going to bed, see you tomorrow, Erutis."
Chris walked down the hall and the second he was out of sight Krayon took Erutis' hand and kissed it. She pulled back instantly, "No touching!" she snapped, "Chris is right, you need to get a hint."
Krayon just smiled at her, "I have all eternity, my beautiful one, you can't refuse me forever."
"We'll see about that."
She left with that parting line and as she left Krayon caught the lingering scent of her hair. It left a huge grin on his face and he headed on the opposite direction, but not before turning his head and look at Erutis once more, "We sure will."