It was not long until the dawn. For Shido, this was both a relief and a hindrance.

He felt the night drag at him, making his eyes itch and long for sleep – yet it also meant several more hours before he would have the chance to drink again, and he would not stoop to ask Yayoi for her assistance when she had already given it to Riho scarcely an evening ago. He could wait another night; it had not been so very long, surely, since he had fed.

He heard a clattering come from the small kitchen, and then the low sounds of drawers opening and closing, water boiling. Sighing, he bent his head over his desk. Paperwork was tedious and did nothing to help his headache. Nor did it serve as enough of a distraction to keep his mind from his thoughts completely, but self-control came with practice. He would simply need to practice more.

Just out of his line of vision, a shadow moved. It melted away as soon as Shido focused on it, and the vampire rubbed at his eyes tiredly. Perhaps he should leave the rest for the morning after all, sleep off the-

The shadows formed again, this time to his right. Shido narrowed his eyes. He knew the trick.

"Show yourself!"

"Perhaps I will only if you agree to do the same… oh, very well." Cain materialised with all the noise of a whisper, and Shido's hands clenched.

"What do you want?"

"What a foolish question. I did say I would be back to fetch you, did I not?"

The shadows crept closer, darkening all that stood in their way.

Shido stood. "I'm not your pet, that I can be fetched. Leave now, or I will make you!"

"Pet?" Cain's look of astonishment was quickly replaced by amusement. "Never that. But you are mine."

The darkness loomed in front of him before swallowing him whole. Dizzied, swept by a sense of vertigo, Shido felt himself topple forwards. Anger gave way to fright at his sudden weakness, and he shuddered as Cain caught him, lowering him to the ground. The office disappeared completely as soon as his back was eased to the floor; a circle of light, trapping Shido and Cain within it, was all that was left of the room. The weight on his torso, driving the air from his chest, became solidified as Cain ensnared him.

"Yayoi!"

There was no answer, save Cain's smug grin.

"You belong to me." Cain did not speak the words like a persuasion, but rather as though they were simple statement of fact – the sky was blue, the sun rose in the east. Shido belonged to Cain.

"No! No!"

"You can't deny it. You can't deny me. I made you, and you are who you are because of me. You are mine, and mine alone."

"NO!" Shido clawed at him as the older vampire lowered his face, marking him with kisses that were calm and unhurried despite Shido's struggles. He had not bothered to pin Shido's wrists, and Shido flung himself against him, attempting to use his own bodyweight to tip the balance. Cain only pressed harder against Shido in return, sighing as if Shido's thrashing were a child's tantrum. His lips brushed beneath Shido's earlobe.

"Give yourself to me, Shido, just like you used to. Just the way it was always intended to be…"

Shido felt the panic rising like bile in his throat, and felt his fingernails tear through flesh. His eyes widened as Cain raised himself slightly, glancing in mild surprise at the palm of his hand.

"Shido, my Shido. Now see what you've done." Far from being angry, Cain sounded almost delighted. He held his hand up so that Shido could see the thin cut that had appeared, now gradually being stained with red as the blood began to seep from beneath the torn skin. "I suppose I can tolerate it. After all, we did always prefer a certain… roughness, to our games. Do you remember? Just like this. You, tempting me with your body, making me chase after you, inciting me to-"

"Get off, get off me!" Shido's voice rose to a scream as Cain trailed his fingers across Shido's jawline, tracing the curve of his neck, chin, mouth. The blood slipped downwards, following the course of gravity to dribble, warm and sticky, on Shido's face. As Shido's writhing became more desperate, Cain's tongue replaced his fingers, lapping languorously at his hand, and then at the droplets that still glistened on Shido's cheek. He cupped the other side of Shido's face tenderly.

"You do not know how beautiful you are when you fight me. I think you must do it on purpose. But understand that I do this out of love."

His mouth was firmly covering Shido's own before Shido had the chance to scream again, his tongue this time invading Shido's mouth. Shido's legs kicked futilely, hips bucking in a fruitless effort to throw Cain from him, and Cain groaned appreciatively as their bodies ground together – and then the first taste of blood rushed through Shido's senses.

His eyes widened, first in horror, then in something else entirely. Human blood was one thing, but this, this!- it would overpower him, and Cain knew it; knew that while a Maker's blood could not sustain his Consort's – for only human blood, thick and pure, could do that – it would never cease to spark a fire in the veins, overpowering all else. The power of will, of conscious thought, was not able win out against what made up a vampire's true essence. Resist as he might, Shido would not, could not, fight against the tides of his own nature, any more than the world could stop to spin.

Cain wanted to see Shido's face as it happened. He sat up a little, drinking in the expressions that warred with each other – fear, betrayal, pain. It would hurt, Cain supposed dispassionately, after so long. He wouldn't really know, but then, the pain was Shido's deserved punishment for defying who he was. A vampire was meant to drink nightly, and Shido had been purposefully starving himself. It would be like too much food to a malnourished human, the first gasp of air after nearly drowning. It would be impossible to refuse it.

Shido's lips were moving as he stared up at Cain, helplessly mouthing something as his body began to convulse. Cain stroked him, his healed hand smoothing Shido's hair, his forehead. "It will be over soon, my dear Shido. And then, we will finally be together again. Have you missed me?"

"N-no-" Shido's eyes were golden, his pupils slitted like a cat's, and his breath came hot and heavy over Cain's chest.

"Is it not enough? Shall I give you more?"

Shido gave a jerk as Cain slid over a little, his torso twisting so that his upper body now lay to the side. His neck was nearly flush with Shido's mouth, and he saw Shido's nostrils flare.

"Drink of me now, Shido. Want me as much as I want you."

Shido could hear Cain's voice, not just in his ears but in his head. The words meant little – he could feel a drunken haze settle over him – but they resounded within him, making his limbs twitch restlessly. There was not enough air; his lips parted to pant. He could smell it, sense it: the blood circulating enticingly just below Cain's skin, strongest where the pulse made the soft flesh there quiver with life. As if in a dream, he was vaguely aware of his teeth moving to graze at that spot.

Against his questing touch, it throbbed like a living thing.

All self-control was broken. Like a dam bursting, the urge to feed filled his mind, making him dizzy with need. The force with which his teeth sunk into Cain's throat, neatly shredding the barrier between him and his feast, made the blood flow freely. He suckled hungrily, a ravenous infant sating himself on the offerings of his kin. Only no child could crave as violently as he could, and no human body could react the way his was. It did not merely strain to be closer, closer! to the one restraining him; it contorted. His back arched impossibly, curving sharply enough as to lift his own weight completely from the floor for a few moments, before his arms lifted to crush Cain to him instead. He snarled his frustration at the constrictions of his clothing, but refused to spare the attention it took to see to them properly – he could not stop gulping at the wound that had so eagerly opened up under his thirst, shamelessly gorging himself. His tongue swept agitatedly at the gash as the blood began to slow – it was not enough. It could never be enough.

"Patience, patience", Cain chided him gently. "It is far from done."

But Shido would not wait. Cain lifted himself for a moment, pulling his cloak away as Shido clutched at him. His shirt was already torn; Cain clicked his tongue but smirked at Shido's impatience.

"This is what happens when one allows the values of the living to interfere with the hunger of our kind. We alone were meant to rule the night."

Shido could only moan as more fabric was slashed roughly open, Cain's hands roaming on his skin. He was burning, thrusting at the tension that declared him as its own, seizing at any part of Cain that he could grip with tooth and claw and frenzied greed. Lazily, Cain obliged him, and this time it was a wrist, slender and pale and full held up in front of him, driving him wilder still. It streamed heavily enough to make Shido gag at the taste, so deeply had he bitten, and he thought he was dying. Cain pulled his arm back slightly – the pain was nothing, but even a vampire could be weakened should he lose so much blood so quickly – and Shido tightened his hold, pulling the appendage closer. Cain rubbed insistently against him, distracting him, and Shido removed his mouth long enough to recognise the wetness, seeping down his chin and mirrored by a twin damp elsewhere, lower on his body.

"Mine."

Savagely, Cain claimed him, and Shido felt himself being ripped in two.

His name. Someone was calling his name. Shido opened his eyes at the same moment he felt himself being wrenched from his dream. His own agonised cry yanked him to full wakefulness, and as the taste of blood faded, his office swam into view. He pulled himself upright in a flurry, stumbled, leaned weakly on the desk as the trembles slowly subsided. His head was pounding fit to burst.

"Are you alright? You were… yelling, in your sleep." Yayoi gazed at Shido with concern masked by a professional briskness, the mug of coffee in her hand all but forgotten.

"Sunt bine. Este nimic... it's nothing." He blinked as his mind caught up with the words. What had he just said?

"Shido, you look awful. It's not nothing."

"He's hungry", piped up a shrill voice from behind him. "And he's burning up – I can feel the heat from here." Guni fluttered somewhat nervously in front of him, just out of reach.

"No, I-" Speech left him again, but the tremors refused to cease entirely.

"You need blood." The matter-of-fact way in which Yayoi spoke did not make his guilt any less.

"So do you."

"I have some to spare."

'Some' will never be enough. You need it all. Shido shook his head to clear it of the unwanted voice, remnants of a tattered nightmare.

"I don't want-"

"Don't be ridiculous." Yayoi was already pushing down her collar, and despite his statement to the contrary, Shido was already moving towards her. The floor felt evanescent under his feet, as though he were floating rather than walking. Guni's stare was at his back, calculating, but Shido could not bring himself to care as soon as his fingers met with Yayoi's warmth.

The dead will always feed upon the living. As it should be.

"Should we go to-"

"No." Shido's voice was hoarse, and although Yayoi willingly leant her head back, Shido found himself behind her, angling her more sharply towards him. His hands, bruising, dug into her shoulders possessively as his teeth pierced her neck. She flushed, all too aware of his arousal, allowing him this brief respite from shame as, in a state of fevered ecstasy, he fed.

Neither he nor Yayoi noticed the shadow disappearing beyond their vision, from behind the doorway and into the night.