Devil in the Details

Yuber/Albert. NC-17. ~4800 words. Dubcon.
The thrill of a demon breathing down his neck.

Albert passed under a crackling torch, the pool of reddish light pushing furtively at dark shadows. For a moment, the curling smoke masked the reek of old sweat and fresh dung, and he could almost fool himself into thinking he were somewhere civilised.

The alley opened into the bazaar, its stalls closed and quiet in the night. He strode across the tightly packed dirt, confident that the nightwatch wouldn’t dare detain him. Endless whitewashed walls reflected the cool light of the moon, bright enough for the torches here to remain unlit. He far preferred ruddy firelight to the eerily detached shades of black and white, though the colours seemed appropriate for the mercenaries who drifted through the frontier city, with their morals painted grey and their flat eyes on someone else’s gold.

The inn was dark, the front door unlocked and the counter unmanned, a benefit of living in a place surrounded by three-foot thick walls and populated at any one time by at least half of the Southern Frontier Defence Force. Not perfect, but a hell of a lot better than sleeping in a tent in the middle of the Grasslands.

He climbed the stairs, boots loud on the wooden steps. Sounds carried easily on the still air, the brush of cotton against skin and the soft breaths of sleep, and over it all, the steady scrape of whetstone on steel, measured as a heartbeat.

Yuber sat with his legs crossed and sword balanced on one knee. Twin scabbards lay across the wide table, the black hat tossed negligently beside them and his coat slung over the back of another chair.

An automatic word of greeting died on Albert’s lips. It would be wasted on the likes of Yuber. He crossed the room, hardly surprised that Yuber waited until the last moment to murmur, “You should be sleeping,” and lift the blade to test one glinting edge.

“I hardly think you’re concerned about my well-being,” Albert replied, and turned, hands slipping into his pockets.

Yuber’s attention remained on his weapon, though he had the air of man who’d been patiently waiting for something, and someone. “How do you know?”

He didn’t know, he assumed, and that was a dangerous thing to do where Yuber was concerned. Albert let a small smile curve his lips, concession enough to his mistake.

“I could be very concerned about you,” Yuber continued, his tone subtly shifting into something more threatening. A week prior, perhaps two, and Albert might not have noticed. Now, the words of warning were unmistakeable, tucked under the guise of careless banter: take that to mean what you will.

“I’m touched.”

“By a bit of madness all your own.” Yuber stood, sword in hand, and moved toward him the way water flowed to the sea; lazy and inexorable, not quite indifferent. The thin shirt he wore left most of his arms bare, startlingly pale against unrelieved black. “If I asked you where you were, would you lie?”

Albert resisted the urge to step back, foolish pride making him hold his ground and meet eyes seen by too many dead men. “Could you tell if I did?”

“Maybe.” Cold steel touched his throat. Yuber smiled, genuine pleasure flickering behind the menace, and said, “Try it and we’ll see.”

“I’d rather not give you the excuse,” Albert said. He kept his hands in his pockets, face calm and tilted to Yuber’s. The blade slid against skin, drew a sharp line of fire and the quick rush of his breath. Blood trickled warm and wet down his neck.

Yuber wouldn’t be so stupid as to kill him, despite possibly valid suspicions and suggesting it one too many times for Albert’s peace of mind. For Yuber, near-eternal life meant suffering through several good doses of near-eternal boredom.

Letting out a slow breath, Yuber said, “Liar,” and drew in another. The air smelled faintly of copper. His gaze dropped to Albert’s neck, the muted glow of demon’s eyes briefly hidden by pale lashes.

When the keen edge pressed harder to vulnerable skin, Albert stepped back. As much as he had his family’s passion for strategy and his own driving desire for power, it was an affection for having his head firmly on his shoulders that kept him from the front lines. More than once, he’d wondered if perhaps he might be safer clinging to one of the lizards’ tails instead of bedding down less than a foot from Yuber, blood contract or no.

“You’re fond of liars,” he said. “More chaos for you to revel in.”

“I think you’re a liar, Albert,” Yuber said, voice hushed as if speaking to himself. “I think you’re more like your grandfather than you know.” He leaned forward, sword still threatening, and Albert’s gaze fixed on eyes coloured iceberg blue and spark red. “But I don’t think you’re an idiot.”

“It’s fortunate for me, then, that I’m not.” Word games were not the most intelligent course of action, but somehow, where Yuber was concerned, Albert found them impossible to resist.

Still, he couldn’t quite tell if Yuber were merely entertaining himself, or offering up a genuine threat. The thrill tripping down his spine felt too much like the short moments before his strategies unfolded: nervous anticipation, success hovering on the precipice of failure.

“Not a liar or not an idiot,” Yuber breathed. “Let’s see, shall we?”

The blade pressed to Albert’s throat again, forced him back step by grudging step until his back hit the wall. Real fear crawled into Albert’s throat, sharp and immediate. He froze with both hands lifted in an attempt to push Yuber away, though it was nothing but a useless, ineffective reflex.

Yuber touched fingertips to his chin, made him tip his head back and bare his throat. He swallowed, mouth gone from dry to wet in a heartbeat. Yuber’s head dipped, warm breath touched his skin, and his arms fell to his sides.

“What do you want, Yuber?” he asked, a stupid question born of desperation. Any control of the situation had long since been wrenched out of his hands. “Why are you here?”

Yuber laughed, and it felt like raw lust poured down his spine. Bloodlust or desire, he couldn’t tell the difference. “Because you called me, Silverberg,” he said. “Or did you forget that already?”

The tip of Yuber’s tongue traced the small wound on his neck, slick heat and a quick sting. Albert’s breath hissed before he could stop it. “That isn’t an answer,” he said.

Soft hair brushed his jaw. He glanced down, caught the flash of pink as Yuber licked blood from steel. Yuber treated killing as if it were sexual, reacted to sinking a sword into flesh the way most men did to a pretty girl in their lap. A line irrevocably blurred.

“There’s enough blood to spill here to satisfy me for now,” Yuber murmured. He shifted, cloth brushing cloth loud in Albert’s ears, fingertips trailing down Albert’s throat, picking lazily at buttons. “But that’s what keeps me here, isn’t it? Not why I answered your call in the first place.”

“Do you plan on killing me, or fucking me?” Albert asked, voice filled with as much calm as he could muster. It burned to realise he’d lost this game before it’d even started.

Yuber grinned. “Ask me which one I want more.”

It wasn’t worth it. Yuber wouldn’t kill him and risk losing an anchor to this world. Not with so much carnage close at hand. The longer he spent in Yuber’s company, however, the less certain he became.

Albert tried to force an even breath into his lungs. His skin crawled under Yuber’s splayed fingers. Heat sank through his shirt, through muscle and bone, flames licking at his heart. He clenched his teeth against a sound of pain and glanced down, expected the smell of scorched flesh, the shape of Yuber’s hand burnt black on his chest.

Yuber smirked and tore Albert’s shirt open. The material gaped wide, revealed nothing but a slight redness. Horrified, Albert found he couldn’t stop the fine trembling of his muscles.

“I remember you,” Yuber said, and propped a hand on the wall. Metal scraped stone, set Albert’s teeth on edge and another shiver down his spine. “The little boy fascinated by his grandfather’s new friend.” Dampened lips brushed Albert’s, slipped words into his mouth as smooth as the glide of Yuber’s tongue on his skin. “I told you that I’d kill you when I had the chance.”

Albert prided himself on his unruffled calm, his ability to deal with any situation rationally. But now thoughts screamed through his head, were snatched up and flung aside, scrambled by a simple touch and a word. He saw Yuber smile at him again, teeth bared before the kill.

Yuber’s hand clamped around his throat, jerked him forward and slammed him back. His head cracked against the wall, vision swimming as he grabbed at Yuber’s arm. Over the harsh rattle of his own breath, he heard the sword skid across the floor.

He clawed the hand at his throat, lashed out and felt fingers tighten like a vise around his wrist. Solid weight pressed him to the wall, pinned him far too easily. Yuber bit at his lips, gave him a kiss that was nothing but the crush of teeth and tongue.

Yuber purred, “Here’s your chaos for you,” and let go.

Albert hit the floor on his knees, pain radiating up his legs as he gulped down desperate breaths. A booted heel cracked against his ribs and sent him sprawling across the floor. He shook his head, frantically trying to get ahold of himself. Disgust rose in the back of his throat when Yuber crouched beside him and he cringed.

“How does it feel?” Yuber asked, negligently shoving Albert over onto his stomach. Brutal hands tore at his clothes, stripped off his coat and the tatters of his shirt. He struggled to stand, gasped as Yuber’s knee dug into the small of his back. “Can’t think, can you. Can’t plan.”

Yuber’s weight shifted, knee grinding harder against his spine, sliding up between his shoulder blades. He choked on a pained gasp and then couldn’t gather enough breath, lungs frozen and throat closed over with fear, pure and irrational.

He felt nails score his side, felt knuckles dig into his stomach as Yuber reached under him to tear at his pants. The weight holding him slid away and Albert surged up without thought, halfway to his feet before Yuber slammed a boot into his ribs again, knocking the breath from his lungs and him flat to the floor.

Albert rolled onto his back with a groan. He clutched his head, dug thumbs into his temples in an effort to ease the vicious throbbing behind his eyes. Minutes passed before he realised he could think again, mind still fuzzed at the edges but functional. Yuber crouched a few feet away, balanced on the balls of his feet, an arm slung casually over his knee. Just watching and smiling.

Albert swallowed, winced at the ache in his throat, and rasped, “What did you do to me?” Gingerly, he touched fingertips to his neck. Given a few hours, it would be nothing but a mottle of bruises.

“Chaos,” Yuber said, and rose, his steps eerily silent. Albert braced a hand on the floor, gathered his legs under him to stand. “If you get up, I’ll just knock you down again.”

Slowly, he eased down, his back propped up against the wall. Forced to stare up at Yuber, he felt truly vulnerable for the first time in his life. Even the demon’s arrival hadn’t turned his blood to ice.

“I thought you’d have figured it out by now,” Yuber continued. “Blood, death, slaughter – all trimmings. Delicious icing.” He reached out and Albert’s heart jerked in his chest, his gut twisting, muscles clenched with the expectation of pain.

Yuber ran a fingertip down the side of his face, traced the line of his bruised lips. “Terror and panic are real chaos.” Still smiling, he thumbed Albert’s bottom lip and leaned forward, hushed his voice like he was sharing a beautiful secret. “Violent, gruesome kills are just my favourite way of getting it. There are others.”

“You expect me to let you rape me.” As Albert said it, even as he’d thought it, he couldn’t quite believe he found the idea preferable to whatever Yuber had just done. The loss of control had frightened him more than the thought of handing his body over to Yuber’s pleasure. There was little comfort in that realisation.

Yuber hummed low in his throat. “Yes,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter if you say yes or no.” Knuckles stroked the side of Albert’s neck, drifted down to trail light caresses across his collarbone. “But it might be easier on you if you say yes.”

Albert let out a quick laugh, sharp and bitter. “After that demonstration? I’d hardly think you’d be–”

Yuber reached for his throat again, and instinct had Albert on his feet and darting aside, a curse on his lips as soon as he’d realised his mistake. Stone scraped his cheek a second later, stinging raw hurt, as Yuber shoved him face-first against the wall.

“I don’t think I’d want to kill you quickly,” Yuber murmured, body pressed tight to his. “You’re more fun than your worm-eaten corpse of a grandfather.”

Albert braced a forearm on the wall, telling himself he didn’t fight because there was no point. “No, I don’t suppose he’d have had time for your games.”

“But you do,” Yuber said, mouth warm and wet on the curve of his shoulder. “All those books and notes. You’re obsessed.”

Yuber’s knuckles tripped down his stomach, slipped under torn cloth. Teeth scraped the nape of his neck. He stayed rooted to the spot, breathing deeply, closing his eyes when his pants slid down his thighs. It shouldn’t have been so easy.

“What is it you want?” Yuber hissed. “It is a craving for knowledge? Power?”

Yuber pushed fingers into his mouth, pinned his tongue and kicked his legs apart. Albert sucked in a hard breath, heart beginning to pound against his ribs. Adrenaline, excitement, trickled along his nerves. The thrill of having a demon breathing down his neck.

Mouth to his ear, Yuber said, “You gave me a taste for your blood. Was it worth it?”

Albert shook his head, both denying an answer and trying to free his mouth. There were things he hadn’t learned from Leon, things he couldn’t find in the books or the tales. Things that he needed. He’d known it was a risk to summon Yuber. He’d known, and still, he’d done it.

Yuber had his pint of blood, had sliced Albert’s arm from wrist to elbow to claim it. Albert remembered watching red blood glisten in the firelight, feeling it flow hot down his arm to fall from his fingertips and vanish before it struck ground.

Fingers wet with his spit slipped between his legs, lazily curled, pressed tight to hidden flesh, and Albert roughly shoved the memory aside.

“You knew this would happen.” Yuber’s breath slid hot and thick across his cheek, intimate. Long fingers stroked tight muscle. He tried to block out Yuber’s voice, push it all aside, refused to accept he’d wanted something as perverse as this.

With a laugh, Yuber sank teeth into his shoulder, shredded the veil of calm Albert grasped so desperately for. Muscles tensed, his breath hissed, and Yuber forced his body open with two fingers shoved deep.

“You son of a bitch,” Albert gasped, fist clenched against the wall.

Yuber just laughed and curved his fingers, drawing them back, rocking forward again. The burn turned slowly to a dull aching, a brief hint of fullness, not thick enough, not hard enough. Yuber grasped his throat again, grip just firm enough to make it hard to swallow, and tilted his head back until his mouth fell open. The strain arched his spine, lifted his ass high. Braced on the wall, his knuckles turned bloodless white.

“There,” Yuber said. “Perfect.” A short pause, another slow thrust that Albert’s hips twitched to meet. “Maybe I should have had my dick down your throat first. You’d look good with bruised lips and come on your face.”

A quick coil of lust wound tight in his belly. His gaze flicked to the side, barely caught a glance of Yuber’s expression before soft lips touched the corner of his mouth. Yuber didn’t quite kiss him, just that ghost of a touch, and Albert felt his stomach wrench when he thought of turning it into one. He jerked away, and Yuber let him.

“Why bother with playing at seduction?” Albert asked, struggling to keep his breaths even. Yuber fingered him lazily, not really fucking him, not doing anything but making him too aware of pressure on the border of discomfort.

“All for you,” Yuber replied, mockery clear in his tone. “I plan on enjoying you, and I can’t do that if you’re bleeding and broken.”

The line of heat at Albert’s back vanished, his skin prickling in the cool rush. Yuber’s hand slid from his throat to his hair, stroked down his side to his hip. Blunt nails dug in, and Yuber jerked, kicked the back of his knee and bore him to the floor again. More pain, singing through his bones, and it still did nothing to dampen the tingling anticipation.

Yuber leaned close, spread fingers over the tingling handprint on his chest. “But when I want to,” he whispered into Albert’s hair, “I’ll kill you.”

Albert stayed on his hands and knees, sucked harsh breaths in through gritted teeth as Yuber knelt behind him and spread the cheeks of his ass. He could feel Yuber watching, feel his skin grow hot, tight, as fingertips circled his hole, dipped in, forced resisting muscle wide. Yuber had made no secret of wanting this, the chance to strip away Silverberg pride and arrogance, and Albert had handed it over to him without so much as a word of real protest.

“Down on your elbows,” Yuber said, grip biting hard into flesh, and Albert folded his arms, rested his forehead against them. He licked his lips and tasted salt. Yuber made some low sound of approval and stroked the curve of his ass, possessive, thrilling, demeaning.

“I should have had you when you were a boy,” Yuber told him. “Tight virgin ass split wide on my dick. But this will do.”

Albert let out a short laugh turned breathless when Yuber’s hand slid down, found his dick hard between his legs. The last tatters of denial slipped from Albert’s fingers, and he bit back a quiet moan. “I should have known you’d be that twisted.”

Yuber squeezed, grip smoother than Albert had expected, his heart stumbled. “Only for you, Albert,” Yuber murmured, the words slipping off his tongue so easily Albert couldn’t tell if it was truth or lie. “You used to sneak off and watch me kill the swine, didn’t you. Followed me wherever you could.” He lowered his voice, made Albert strain to hear the last, “Hand down your pants watching me jerk off.”

Albert groaned, tried to let Yuber’s words wash over him instead of beat like a cudgel into his brain. He’d shoved his childhood aside, followed his ambitions, pursued knowledge for the sake of what it could do for him–

Yuber’s thumb grazed the head of his cock and he muffled a groan in the crook of his arm. He hadn’t let himself think about his motivations. Luc’s insanity had been the perfect excuse. Yuber’s skills, Yuber’s abilities, to complement the woman’s magic. It had been so logical, such an easy conclusion to reach.

Yuber’s grip shifted, his hand gliding quickly over Albert’s cock, slicked with spit and precome. If he said anything more, Albert never heard it over the sound of his own rough breaths and choked-back moans. Yuber drove him to orgasm, gave him no time to enjoy the pleasure as it built or savour the moment it released. Everything hard and fast, a flash of pleasure, knife to the gut, that left him gasping.

“Unfair, isn’t it,” Yuber said, showing him fingers glistening wet. “You’re finished, and I haven’t even started.” A thumb touched Albert’s mouth, and he parted his lips, let the salt tang of his own come spread across his tongue.

“Then you’d best hurry up,” Albert suggested. He needed time to regain his balance, to re-evaluate himself. It would be a simple matter to deal with such a development given the chance, but it was a chance he wouldn’t have until Yuber had finished with him.

Yuber drew back, brushed come-slick fingers down his cock before sliding them inside him again, scissoring them wide. He drew in a short breath, felt another finger press between the two, circle the stretched muscle of his hole and slip deep. Ticklish pleasure clashed with the ache of being spread open, filled up, and brought a low moan from deep in his chest.

“So eager to have my dick up your ass,” Yuber hissed. A brief rustle of clothing, the wet sound of Yuber slicking a hand down his cock, and blunt heat settled beside the fingers holding him ready. His own dick still felt heavy, drying saliva and come cooling his skin. “Do you fuck as pretty as you look?”

Yuber didn’t wait for an answer, most likely had no intention of letting Albert formulate one. The seams in the floor planks bit viciously into Albert’s knees as Yuber rocked forward, the head of his dick slipping easily in. Then it was fingers digging into Albert’s thigh, nothing but pushing and shoving and fucking his way inside.

“So tight,” Yuber said, breathing only slightly uneven. “Don’t tell me this is the first time you’ve ever been fucked,” and Albert shook his head no. He finally had a moment to breathe, Yuber buried in him to the hilt and torturing him by doing nothing at all. “Just made for it, then,” Yuber said, and ended the reprieve with a snap of his hips. “Made to take it.”

Albert tried to swallow the sounds echoing in his throat, but Yuber wouldn’t let him, was all too happy to wrench them free with a hard thrust and nails clawing skin. Wood scraped his arms, tiny cuts that barely bled. He felt too full, stuffed with thick, unnatural heat, like he could reach down, press a hand to his belly and feel Yuber fucking him from the outside in.

He started to lose time, bits and pieces of it snatched away, his entire body focused on sweet friction, the backlash of pleasure when it turned into another stretch and burn. Yuber’s fingertips circled his hole, and he arched into the touch, hissed in satisfaction as Yuber laughed and forced fingers and dick inside him.

It was easy, so easy, to reach for his cock, jerk himself off as Yuber fucked him brutally hard. Yuber grabbed at his hand and twisted it behind his back, forced his chest to the floor. Albert cursed him, hanging on the edge of orgasm, and tried to shake free, or shove back onto Yuber’s dick, anything to make himself come. Yuber merely laughed at him again, a quiet, self-satisfied chuckle, and he could do little else but tremble with frustration.

Yuber pulled out slow and rolled onto his back beside Albert, warning, “Don’t do it.” His mismatched eyes glowed in the dimness, a slap in the face to remind Albert exactly who — what — he was dealing with. He lazily fisted his dick, his intentions clear, and Albert took a moment to catch his breath before crawling over him, straddling his hips.

Yuber’s hand drifted up his thigh, urged him forward, knees bent and legs flush to Yuber’s sides. He braced a hand on Yuber’s shoulders instead of the floor, wanting the feel of solid flesh and bone under his palm, and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Wet heat pressed against his hole, a teasing promise, but it was Yuber’s fingers that slid back inside him.

“Now you’re loose,” Yuber purred, stroking slowly, pressing against twitching muscle. “And there you go, trying to tighten up again.” He drove his fingers in hard and deep, wrenched a shallow grunt from Albert. “Not enough for you? It’s my dick you want, isn’t it.”

“Just finish it,” Albert said, a shuddering groan turning the demand weak.

Yuber grinned at him, and he felt the slippery head of Yuber’s dick push past contracting muscle. His hand slid off Yuber’s shoulder to the floor. It was too slow, stretching him open inch by inch, and he braced himself to sit back and make Yuber fuck him the way he wanted.

Fingers clamped around his wrists again, the sudden movement almost making Yuber’s cock slip free. Albert quickly bit down on a moan, shook damp hair out of his face, and met Yuber’s gaze.

Still grinning, Yuber pushed one of Albert’s arms behind his back, then the other, crossed and held them tight enough that the strain on his shoulders turned to an ache in seconds. He felt Yuber’s steady heartbeat thudding into his chest, measured and slow compared to the racing of his own. His face rested in the crook of Yuber’s neck, a parody of something intimate. The smell of sex and sweat and heat smouldering beneath skin filled his nose and mouth.

Yuber’s other hand gripped his upper thigh, pulling him closer, bowing his spine. It was difficult to get enough air, his breaths forced shallow and short. Albert felt dizzy, his vision eaten away by chunks, and he squeezed his eyes shut. Waited for the first hard thrust and still wasn’t ready when it came, and wasn’t ready for the next, or the next after that.

All he could hear were the sounds of flesh on flesh, harsh breaths and Yuber’s low, filthy words: still so tight, still writhing for it, fuck you loose, watch come drip down your thighs. Yuber’s thrusts turned sharper, more furious, as he slammed deep, tried to go deeper, his teeth bared in a snarl.

Albert felt Yuber’s dick twitch and swell inside him, felt the rush of wet heat. He muffled his own groans in Yuber’s shoulder as his own orgasm hit him hard enough to turn his vision white. Though the haze, he thought he should be ashamed that it’d been enough to push him over the edge, and he wasn’t.

Yuber’s cock slipped free, immediately replaced by fingers. Come seeped between his legs, forced out as Yuber kept fucking him. Groaning a harsh curse he rarely succumbed to using, Albert fisted his free hand in Yuber’s hair and jerked.

“Enough,” he breathed, not lifting his head to see the smug satisfaction he knew curved Yuber’s lips. “That’s enough.”

“What if it isn’t?” Yuber asked, but his hand fell away, smeared come along Albert’s side as he stroked it. “What if I want to keep you here till morning, until you’re as exhausted and loose as a cheap whore?” Nudging Albert’s face up with a shoulder, Yuber touched a finger to his bottom lip. “I still haven’t had your mouth. And I want it.”

Albert hefted himself up on one elbow and scrubbed a hand over his face. Later, there’d be time for barter, simply because Yuber enjoyed trades, but for now, his options were severely limited.

“Compromising my ability to wage this war breaks our contract,” Albert said.

“You won’t be doing much of anything if I kill you,” Yuber countered.

“Which also breaks our contract.” Albert allowed himself a small smirk, and chose not to dwell on the surreal feeling of carrying on a straightforward conversation while sprawled naked in Yuber’s lap.

“You’ll still be dead.”

“Regardless,” Albert waved it away. “This,” he said, and gave a vague gesture meant to take in their entire situation, “can become part of our dealings. With conditions.”

Immediately, Yuber said, “What conditions?”

“I want twenty-four hours to decide that.”

“Twelve,” Yuber countered again, hand stroking down Albert’s thigh, up to the curve of his ass and back again, a very deliberate distraction, if he allowed it.




Albert shook his hand free of Yuber’s hair and pushed himself up into a sitting position, still straddling Yuber’s hips. The shift of light in bright, vivid eyes told him that Yuber’s thoughts had strayed far enough from killing him for the time being.

It would be in his best interest to use those few hours wisely, as tomorrow would be another matter.


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