A/N: Disgustingly short chapter, dreadful ending...ugh. =/ I'm afraid it's not perfect, but it does make the point, and it does tell the story, and Grell's emotions come through (in my opinion), and that's what matters. So. Here you are.
Chapter 5: The Terms of This Arrangement
But he didn't stay with me. He left me at home and went out still, so I found myself all alone again. My days were spent in lonesome solitude, just waiting for him to come home that evening. Of course, when he did come home, my attention stayed solely on him, and I couldn't even remember that I'd been unhappy before. Nearly every morning, though, I woke up alone, and I had nothing to do all day.
"You mustn't leave the house," he had told me. "It's dangerous, and I don't want anything happening to you. Besides, there's nothing out there for you but mischief. You'll get in over your head with another demon, and you certainly don't want that."
"All right, love. Whatever you say." Obedience like that seemed to please him, and he would...reward me for it.
"Where do you go when you leave?" After exhausting me so, he would let me lie against his chest and gently stroke his skin as we calmed down, so I took advantage of those quiet moments to talk to him (since he always seemed too busy otherwise).
"Here and there," he answered evasively. "Sometimes, I return to the human world for quick contracts."
"Contracts? But you aren't gone that long!" He shook his head at me and explained.
"A contract does not have to take years. In fact, most do not. It simply consists of the fulfillment of a human's wish. Once that is done, the soul can be collected quickly. Depending on the complexity of the wish, a contract can take a decade, or simply a few hours."
"Oh. I see. I didn't realize you could do it so quickly." So maybe that was where he went before, when we lived in Bristol together. After living with him in the demon realm for maybe a week or so, after all the time I had spent down there...our life together seemed so long ago. Did we ever sneak behind his master's back, kissing feverishly in the shadows? Did I ever go out to dinner with him and look into his sweet red eyes...? It had been a long time since I had seen his familiar "human" form as well...and it seemed like his attitude was different in his true form. Not vastly different...just... Well, maybe it was my imagination. I tried to stay positive, either way. And time was funny down there; maybe it was playing tricks on me, making it seem like he was gone longer than he really was..
But the fact that I was left idle for hours on end didn't help my time-perception at all. What could I do? No humans to kill, no people to interact with, no Sebby to keep my attention... I actually started to miss my assignments from the Reaper Court; at least that was something! I even found myself...cleaning to pass the time.
Not to say that my "master" didn't take care of me, of course. He brought me pretty red outfits (even if they were a bit skimpy), and once I reminded him that I needed to eat, he started to bring me food as well. Now and then, he would even feed me himself, and that was always nice...but something about his attitude seemed to have changed. He treated me sort of like a doll, admiring the way I looked, sleeping with me and touching me...but he didn't talk to me as much anymore. I had to try very hard to start a conversation, and when he did talk to me, he was terse and to the point. Maybe I had done something wrong...but I couldn't imagine what. I tried to be good, followed the orders he gave me, but his attitude never grew warmer. So I decided the best course of action would be to be as sweet as possible to win him back. He just needed to be reminded of how much I loved him, how badly I wanted to please him.
"Grell." I could hear him call for me from downstairs, and I immediately hopped out of his bed, ready to prove to him that I still thought of him the same way and that I wanted him to be happy with me. I hurried downstairs to meet him and immediately took hold of his arm.
"Welcome home, darling," I said cheerfully, clinging to his hand as we walked upstairs. "I've been so lonely all day. You should let me go out with you sometime!"
"I've told you before that you aren't to go out of this house," he said plainly. "It isn't safe." He sat on his bed, and I started to help him undress (as usual).
"I know, but if I were with you, that wouldn't be a problem," I argued, rubbing his shoulders lovingly once I had his shirt off. "If you're just going to the human realm, I could tag along and we could...maybe go out together once you finished with your humans..."
"When I leave, it's to attend to my own business," he informed me, seeming irritated that I was pressing the matter. "I couldn't be bothered to look after you."
"But what if I stayed out of the way? What if I were quiet and behaved myself?" I insisted, moving to sit next to him. "Please, Sebby, I've been so miserable all by myself-"
"Don't cal me that," he ordered, causing the mark on my neck to sting slightly, and I pouted.
"I'm sorry, master," I mumbled softly. There was silence for a few moments, and I fidgeted with the lace at the end of my nightshirt. Eventually, I cautiously tried again, "Listen, I promise I'll be good. You won't have to look out for me at all!"
"You have my answer," he growled warningly. "Let it alone."
"I can't! You've been leaving me all alone, and it's driving me crazy!" I complained. Trying to use my nature to my advantage, I took his hand and nuzzled my cheek against it. "Darling, please-"
"I've told you no!" He snapped, pulling his hand back and striking me across the face. When he did, his claws raked my cheek, leaving ragged, bleeding scratches. I was in shock. Why...why would he hit me? I wasn't doing anything wrong. We were just talking. For a moment, I stayed frozen, staring down at the bed while blood dripped down to my chin. My love seethed quietly, "It is a poor slave indeed that cannot follow such simple orders." His voice was so cold... One hand reached into my hair to turn me upward to face him, and his eyes flashed bright at the sight of my blood. Using his grip as leverage, he dragged me up and slowly lapped up a drop of my redness, causing a growl to rise in his throat once more. Without another word, he pulled me from the bed and led me out of the room so quickly that I could hardly keep up.
"Ow! Sebastian, where-"
"Silence," he commanded, and my brand burned hot to steal my voice. I found out soon enough where we were headed; he dragged me downstairs...and further down, into the basement. Even from my one past experience in that place, I feared it, so I naturally started to panic as the darkness closed around us.
"S-Sebastian...I'm sorry," I gasped, trying to control my breathing. "I'm sorry...! I won't talk about it anymore. I'll stay here and be good-"
"There's no point in begging," he said. "This is as much for my pleasure as it is for your punishment. As my possession, you will accept that." He dragged me to the wall and forced my arms above my head, locking my wrists firmly in chains that connected to the ceiling. My struggling did nothing but make the chains ring against each other, and I heard Sebastian laugh in the darkness. I had never been so afraid of him before... I heard movement in the dark, and a few torches dimly lit the room to reveal my love in his natural form, holding a long and lethal-looking whip in one hand. He also wore an unnerving smirk on his lips.
"M-master," I tried again, knowing he would respond better to subservience. "Please...let me down, and I'll apologize properly. You can use my body however you want..."
"Never fear, my pet; I plan to do just that." Ignoring my begging, he was now easily tearing my clothes off, shredding layers of silk and chiffon and leaving me completely bare, shivering in the cold of the room. He then started to circle me like a vulture, the loud clicking of his heels a warning of what was to come. Standing behind my back, he paused, and I steeled myself in terror, waiting for him to act...and finally, he did, bringing his whip down hard against my back. The lash cut into my skin, and I shrieked in pain. I had always professed to being a masochist, but there was nothingsexy about this situation, and I wasn't drugged up on kisses; there was no way I could enjoy it... Even after the blow was over, it stung fiercely and bled, leaving me constantly gasping and whining in pain. My cruel master's fingertips traced the wound, and I could hear him purr softly. Suddenly, another lash, right across the first, and I let out another scream.
"It hurts!" I cried, yanking at my bonds so they cut into my wrists. "Please, I can't!"
"Don't you want to please me, slave?" He was obviously making a point of not using my name, brutalizing me in more ways than one. The same hand which had hit me earlier took hold of my chin and turned me to face him. "This is how I want you. Screaming and spilling your precious red blood for me. You need discipline-" A lash across my chest, a sharp sob from my lips. "-in order to learn-" This time, he targeted my legs, forming a long, bloody gash across them both. "-where your place is now."
"I...I don't understand," I sobbed, unable to even look at him, my eyes blurred by hot tears. Where was the man I loved? Where was my sweet Sebastian...? "I-I thought you...wanted me... I thought you would...take care of me... Our contract...was love...it was to protect me...!"
"So it does," he answered, running his whip slowly through his hand. "But it is what it is. You are my property, not my lover. You are an instrument to be used in whatever way I see fit. Isn't that what you want, Reaper? Simply to be with me? I never promised you love." His whip came down across my back once more, but this time I was silent. It was starting to make sense. I had just been fooling myself to think he cared for me. He had bought me from a slave trader, the same way any demon would. He had branded me with his mark, and I was his forever...but not the way I wanted. I wasn't a lover to cuddle and comfort...but a tool. regardless of my feelings, that was the truth. Now that the had me and I couldn't leave, he no longer had cause to treat me kindly. He must have seen the look on my face from this realization.
"You understand now, hm?" With the end of his whip, he turned my face upward. "Say it. What am I?" I held his gaze and answered quietly.
"You're...a demon. A thing whose heart can't be swayed by anything, even the most powerful love in the world. You're my master. My owner. You are...deceptive..." As my eyes started to feel peppery with tears, I dropped my head. "...and I still love you." As much as I should hate him, as much as I wanted to blame him for everything he was doing...I just couldn't. My feelings for him were absolute, as true as they had ever been. He let out a soft laugh at that.
"Why do you think I want you?" he replied. "That love is what makes you such an ideal servant. You and I both know that as long as you're here with me, you'll be mine, body, soul and heart. Because of that, you want to please me...yes?"
"Yes..." Of course he was right. He was always right. He knew me so well...well enough to know that I loved him so unconditionally that no amount of abuse or mistreatment could change that. At the end of the day, any attention from him was better than nothing... "All I want...is for you to be happy with me."
"You can have that," he said smoothly. His voice was gentle now, both a threat and a promise, and I was in such shock form the pain that I was easily entranced. "Simply follow the orders I give, and all will be well. If you behave yourself, I may even reward you." It was almost astonishing how quickly I adapted to my new role of no longer being a person. It all made sense somehow. This was just how it had to be... If he wanted to strip me of my free will, I was in no position to argue. If being broken and wholly dependent on him would win me his attention, then I would be.
"I understand," I told him softly. My tears didn't stop, but I wouldn't argue anymore. "Do anything you want, master. I'll be good."
"Hm. I can see that you've learned; I've painted you with enough punishment for now." With a simple gesture of his hand, the chains binding me released, and I collapsed, but he caught me by the back of my neck and pulled me back up, dragging my lips close to his. "Again. Tell me what I am."
"My master," I breathed, clinging to his arm. "My love. Everything I need. Only you..." My arms shook, but I managed to cling to his arm, nuzzling slowly against his hand. Seeming satisfied with my answer, he kissed me slowly. When I was released, I struggled to stand up straight, the stinging pains all over my body making me pant deeply. Seeing that I couldn't walk on my own, he slipped his other arm under my legs and swept me up, careful not to jar my wounds. As he carried me slowly back upstairs, I stayed very still and savored the gentle contact that I understood was a treat. I gazed up at him silently as he walked, admiring him for his strength. Some part of me knew that he wasn't perfect...but for the life of me, I couldn't pick out a single flaw. He was true to his nature. All his violence was simply a part of who he was, and I loved all of him... I wouldn't change a thing. No, this was just how he needed me. And I had already sworn to be whatever he needed.
He took me to a different bedroom, not his own, and lay me down. I suppose he didn't want my blood staining his sheets... Much to my surprise, he sat next to me on the bed, observing my wounded body in silence. It seemed we were both considering the sudden change in our relationship, both seeing each other a little differently. His fingertips started to ghost over my skin, tracing the smooth parts between my lashes. When he spoke, he wasn't angry or growling, but purring happily.
"Some of these are very deep... You did surprisingly well," he informed me. I had done well. I was good, and he was praising me. How wonderful!
"I'm so glad," I answered breathlessly. He watched me for a few moments more, his cool pink eyes surveying every inch of bare skin, and I hoped he liked what he saw. After letting the silence hang in the air for a minute or two, he issued a new order.
"Go to sleep now." His fingertips trailed over the mark on my neck, and suddenly I felt so relaxed that I could hardly keep my eyes open, despite the pain.
"Oh...kay... Sebastian...I love you..." He didn't answer. In moments, I was unconscious...