"Will it hurt?" I asked, unsure if I wanted the answer.

"It will, a bit." Sebastian answered. "But I'll be as gentle as possible."

"No, go ahead and be brutal. I want you to etch the pain into my soul as proof that I lived."

Sebastian's response was expected. His eyes widened in surprise, and then settled into approval. He knelt on one knee and bowed low to me.

"Yes, my lord." My three favorite words. I relaxed on the stone bench I was seated on and almost smiled. He truly was one hell of a butler to the very last.

Sebastian rose to his feet and pulled his glove off with his teeth to reveal his mark of our contract. I kept my eye locked on his as he slowly approached me and knelt before me. He raised his hand to my face. I did not flinch. Nor did I expect it when he caressed my cheek with the back of his gently curled fingers. He then slid his hand up beneath my eye patch, which instantly loosened. I closed my eyes as it fell and landed on the ground. I looked directly into his eyes. They were the color of fire. And there was an emotion in them that I couldn't put a name to. It seemed familiar, somehow...

His fingers slid through my hair to rest on the back of my neck. My eyes fell shut and I heard him say,

"Now then, Young Master," and his fingers slid under my chin to lift my face.

I braced myself. But what came next was not at all what I had been expecting. What I felt was… His lips gently pressed to mine. My jaw relaxed to allow his kiss. I accepted it as his apology, his thank you, and his farewell.

However, I had been expecting what followed.

Excruciating pain.

It shot through my body and my back arched. I screamed, but Sebastian swallowed it and rendered me unable to make a sound. I dimly noted that he was sucking from my mouth and that his hand was squeezing my jaw. I could tell that alone would've caused me intense pain, but I could hardly focus on that through the pain thrumming through my body. I felt blood being sucked from my lungs up through my throat and into my mouth. I nearly choked on it, but Sebastian continued taking from me. The back of my hands pressed against the seat of the stone bench and my spine would not relax. I found myself immobile, able to merely twitch with pain. The pain completely ruled my mind. I was overcome with it. I was nearly pulled into the darkness that threatened to engulf me when something brought me back to the surface.

A sound.

Sebastian… Had moaned.

My eyes shot open, only to fill with blood and roll back in my head. I felt the warm liquid running down my cheeks. Sebastian's hand went to the back of my neck and pulled me up to keep our mouths suctioned together. I was vaguely aware of his knees sliding to either side of my lap as he straddled my twitching body. His hand fisted around the hair on the back of my neck, and he moaned again. I honestly hoped he was enjoying this as much as I was not. He'd earned it, after all. I did not regret giving myself to him at all. Not even now. I discovered a sort of emotion within myself that somehow matched the emotion I had seen in his eyes earlier. It was almost like...

Just then, the pain began to recede, and I knew it was ending. It was almost over. Numbness started to take over my body, starting from my fingertips and toes and working its way up my limbs. I squeezed my eyes together and opened them to capture every last ounce of light.

Just as the numbness reached my neck, Sebastian broke contact and sat up. I blinked blearily, unable to move a muscle. My eyes found his face as he reached up his hand to wipe his bloody lips. My blood. It dripped from the corners of his mouth, down his chin. I watched him lick it off his hand after he wiped it off, and I wondered why he had stopped. I was still here, if only barely. He then looked down at me with a soft, uncharacteristic smile.

"For the record, Ciel…" My eyes widened. That was the first time he had ever called me by my first name. It was always 'young master.' He leaned in and whispered in my ear, "…you were utterly worth the wait." Then, I did smile.

"I'm glad," were my final words. He smiled and kissed me one last time. I kissed him back as best as I could in my weak condition, cherishing the few moments I had yet to live. His tongue had just started exploring my mouth when I heard a sickening, gurgling sound come from my throat. And just like that…

I was gone.