The Pleasure of Pain
A Valentine's Day Story
Xelloss loved this day.
It was a day of contrasting emotions, of strong passions, both of pain and pleasure. First was the pain, sharpening his senses so that he might grasp at pleasure which would follow. He was grateful for that advantageous order; it made love possible for the demon. But, what was pain and what was pleasure? Looking back, didn't pleasure precede the pain? Did one enhance the other? Was pleasure for one responsible for the pain of the other? It was a complicated day full of uncertainties.
"He's been dead for nine years today. Did you know that?" she asked.
Xelloss reached out with a free hand. He touched her crimson hair, inflamed like a heart congested with blood, the clouds alight at sunset, or like the roses hidden behind his back. Absorbing Lina's grief on the anniversary of Gourry's death, lent Xelloss the energy to accept her love.
"Yes. He died valiantly sword in hand, a better death than to suffer infirmity in his decrepitude."
"You're right. He'd be a very old man now, if he still lived."
Xelloss judged the time to be right. The glow from the sinking sun highlighted his skin, lending it the warm cast usually absent. He presented the bouquet and lay it on her lap.
"Will you be mine?" he asked softly.
Her delight on receiving his gift prickled at his perceptions, but as she carried a stem to her nose, she jabbed her finger on a thorn. "Oh!"
Her tiny surge of suffering washed away his previous discomfort from her joy, if only for an instant. A ruby drop of blood beaded on her finger tip. Before she could wipe it off, he grasped her hand in his, lowering his lips to hover inches above.
"May I?" he asked first before accepting her gift.
His lips enclosed the injured flesh and sucked the digit inside the moist, warm cavern of his mouth, his tongue tickling along the way.
"Nice," she giggled, wrapping her other arm around his waist in a loving embrace.
He winced imperceptibly under siege from her happiness, and then countered with an attack of his own. Xelloss grazed the wound with his sharp teeth, tormenting her minutely.
"Hey! Ouch! That was uncalled-for!"
"Sorry," he murmured softly, pulling away. "But you didn't answer me."
"No matter." His manner was unconcerned, but then he enveloped her in his arms and stared into her widening eyes. "Now, you're mine."
He could feel her heart pound harder, faster against his chest. Her little body tensed in his grasp. He bathed in her fear a moment, lapping it up. His eyes held hers as the sun dipped below the horizon, plunging his features in stark relief– the black fall of hair against his pale skin, full lips stained red by her blood curling up in a smile– which he knew made him appear more threatening and evil. Fear, distress, and dismay tingled his palate delightfully.
"You are mine. My Valentine. You accepted my flowers and I your gift, so now you are mine. What did you think I meant?"
"Oh, yeah. Heh, heh..." Lina chuckled lightly. "Today's Valentine's day. Slipped my mind!"
Ah, the pleasure of love made tolerable by a generous sharing of pain.