The irritating ring of a bell continued to echo in the moments after 9:50am, promptly followed by the sound of sneakers on linoleum as students hurried to their third period class. The hallway was soon filled with pubescent teenagers of all ages and backgrounds, but given the requirement of uniforms, a person could unfocus the eyes and see nothing except continuous blurs of burgundy and light tan. And as Siegfried Gale leaned back against lockers of cold metal and waited for the nearby classroom to empty, he did just that, allowing his dark gray eyes to cross slightly in fuzzy vision. While watching the uncoordinated flow of blurred reds and browns, he dully wondered what would happen if someone accidentally let a bull loose into the hallway. It would be quite the bloody mess to clean, but Sieg was fairly certain that even the janitors would appreciate the abrupt decrease in gumming chewing, spray can wielding teenagers. Unfortunately, bulls in the city were a limited commodity and no one would ever believe that one could appear in a school by accident.
"What do you think – future Shriners of America or raging bull in the hallway?”
“He’s smiling. Definitely bull in the hallway.”
Without moving from his position, Sieg uncrossed his eyes and glanced to either side, but it made no real difference. At both of his sides stood a high school senior with the same six-foot-one-inch height, same wavy hair of light brown, and the same grinning face that could make an adolescent girl swoon. The Bailey twins were identical in sight and sound to those who encountered them, but Sieg had unique insight that revealed the truth that their similarities ended with those obvious attributes. Knowing of that difference, Sieg had valiantly tried to avoid the pair, but the twins had quickly latched onto the only person who could tell them apart without an ounce of effort, not to mention unwittingly providing entertainment for the popular pair.
“A-aw, he looks irritated. Did you steal his magic toys again?” the eldest twin, Caleb, asked his brother.
“Not since that last incident with those weird rings,” Tristan replied with a vague shiver. “I couldn’t get the damn things off my neck until Siegfried liked my apology. And let me tell you, soccer practice sucked with sore knees.”
Letting lose a growled sigh, Sieg pushed up from the lockers and slipped out from between the twins. “First of all, you deserved that pain. Secondly, don’t assume you know what I’m thinking. And for the last time, stop using my full name.”
Tristan promptly trailed after coffee-haired teen and followed him into the classroom. “But your mother loved the name. Wouldn’t she have been happy to know it was spoken daily?”
“Correction – she loved that Las Vegas hack. I’m just the unlucky son who got stuck with the name and a father who wasn’t brave enough to suggest something remotely normal.”
“It could have been worse,” Caleb commented as he followed behind. “You could have had a brother named Roy.”
Sieg grunted in reluctant agreement, silently giving the teen a point for that one. Reaching the far side of the room, he dumped his bag at the seat next to a wide window and placed a thick binder on top of the desk that had seen one too many accidents involving paint and plaster. Tristan was the first to reach the second chair at the wide table, leaving Caleb the option of sitting at the table behind them.
“God, I hate third period study hall,” Tristan complained with a stretch. “Intelligent seniors do fourth period study hall and use it to take a long lunch.”
Sieg scoffed at the common gripe. “I work a part-time job and actually find study hall productive. No one asked you to join me.”
With a slight pout, Tristan argued, “But you’d be lonely without us. It’s been six months since you transferred to this school and you obviously don’t make friends nicely.”
“And it hasn’t occurred to you that I have my reasons?”
“Cal never cared, so why should it?”
Recognizing the truth behind the statement, Sieg glanced back at the twin in question and retorted, “Because he’s a masochist and you aren’t.”
Tristan laughed while his brother didn’t deny the claim, Caleb’s confident smile unfaltering as dirty blue eyes met the harsh metal-colored gaze. Unable to look away, Sieg recalled the first time he had locked gazes with the twin who was anything but a typical high school student.
Transferring schools in the middle of the first semester, Sieg was in the process of being introduced to his homeroom class when he had felt a heavy gaze focused on him. Locating the source of those eyes had been simple, no other in the room having the same sense of honest threat as Caleb. And yet, Sieg hadn’t felt fear in the long seconds that they had stared at each other in silent appraisal. Instead, there had been a common understanding that the gray-eyed teen had never experienced – they both had secrets and neither wanted to be revealed for what they were - and Sieg didn’t know how he felt about having shared thoughts and fears with a dark soul like Caleb.
Waking at the sound of the school bell, Sieg looked away from pale eyes and ignored the quiet chuckle from the older twin. Despite the signal that third period had begun, the dull chatter in the room didn’t stop and the art teacher seated in the connecting office appeared to have no intention in quieting the noise. Accustomed to the situation, Sieg opened his binder and pulled out his calculus book to finish the homework assigned in the period earlier.
Tristan snorted in disgust at the sight of math that involved ‘the signs of the Devil’ as he liked to put it. Sieg fought a smile at the thought and wondered at the intuitive nature of the wholly clueless twin.
After almost thirty minutes and finishing his homework for two classes, Sieg found the surrounding atmosphere too distracting to continue with his studies. As with every other day, several girls in their study hall had migrated toward the twins and offered their worthless services in torturing. Sieg couldn’t understand why the brothers endured the overdone flirting – it was irritating and ridiculously insincere, but he chose not to comment out loud. Instead, he removed a sketchbook from his backpack and gently flipped through the pages of pencil and ink drawings, all of demons in various poses suiting the title at the bottom of the page. Eventually he reached the last drawing of a one-winged demon seated on a flat boulder and holding a staff of twisted wood, an incomplete drawing that needed the desired background before he could move onto the next picture. Twirling his pencil in momentary thought, Sieg set to work on the dead tree struck by lightning that would hang over the resting demon.
“Hey, what’re you drawing there?” Tristan asked as he leaned back in his chair to get a better look.
His pencil not pausing, Sieg replied, “A picture.”
“I think I already figured out that one, genius.”
“Say, isn’t that like a Tarot card or something?” one of the girls chipped in as she slipped around the front of the table. “That’s why you wrote ‘The Hermit’ on the bottom, right?”
Sieg glanced up and indifferently recognized the blonde-haired girl as one of the less irritating of the groupies. “Good guess,” he replied begrudgingly and returned to sketching.
“That’s kind of cool. Do you do readings, too?”
Inwardly groaning at the excited tone, Sieg wanted to deny anything related to the Tarot, but Caleb spoke out first. “Sieg’s almost scary when it comes to the Tarot. If you’re nice, maybe he’ll give you a free reading.”
“O-oh, would you?”
Sieg glared back at the twin, silently questioning what Caleb knew about his interests in Tarot. The smirking teen winked in response and waved his fingers forward in a sign to give the girl a break.
“Fine,” Sieg agreed quietly, “But I’m only doing this once.”
Ignoring the pleased squeal from the girl, Sieg fished out a pack of worn cards from the front pocket of his backpack and placed it onto the tabletop. “Shuffle and tell me what you want to know.”
The girl took the cards and shuffled carefully once noticing the torn corners and discolored imagery on the back of the cards. Not wasting too much time on shuffling, she placed the cards onto the table and requested, “Tell me when I’ll find true love.”
Briefly closing his eyes in boredom toward the expected question, Sieg reached out and took the deck in hand. Two cards were placed face down, followed by three cards in a second row, and a final card beneath that.
“This layout represents your past, your present, and the future outcome of your choices….” Sieg flipped the cards one by one, detailing the common past of fanciful thinking and desires when it came to love, and then moved into the present time of fast love and faster breakups, none with a chance of a future. By the time the final card was about to be turned, the girl appeared close to tears and Sieg knew that she wouldn’t be happy with the outcome of the reading.
Sieg placed a finger on the unrevealed card of the future. “If you don’t like what has been said thus far, then you must learn from it. Do that and this card will become meaningless.”
Blinking, the girl glanced up to meet gray eyes and smiled weakly. “You really think so?”
“Tarot does nothing more than to help you recognize the path you have taken. Change your path and the future will change as well.”
“Hn, I guess, but… Are you going to show me that card?”
Sieg shook his head and began to collect the cards from the table. “It would be of no benefit to you.”
Somewhat surprised, the girl eventually stood from her chair, the empty seat causing several calls of ‘me next’ despite Sieg’s earlier declaration that he would only do a single reading. Perfectly prepared to ignore them and place the deck into his bag, Sieg was surprised when a firm hand grabbed his upper arm. Glancing to the side, the brunet was curious at the oddly serious expression from the younger twin.
“Can you give a reading for me? Same question?”
The girls instantly agreed to the request, most likely eager for any possible insight associated with the attractive teen. It was ridiculous to think that the Tarot could offer dating tips, but Sieg wasn’t about to correct their naïve thoughts, especially when he doubted the girls even knew which twin Tristan was. Instead, he stared into blue eyes freckled with brown and Sieg found that he couldn’t deny the sincere request. He held out the deck and Tristan accepted it with a pleased smile. The twin then closed his eyes while shuffling the worn cards, his long fingers caressing the cards with every smooth motion.
Returning the deck, Tristan made certain to match gazes with the dark-haired teen. “Be gentle.”
With an eyebrow raised in an incredulous arch, Sieg replied, “It’s not my choice.”
Placing the cards in the same arrangement as before, Sieg didn’t hesitate before flipping the first two cards, somewhat surprised by the past revealed. “You have always known exactly what you’ve wanted, something more than a mere fantasy. And with that knowledge, you have been waiting with unfaltering patience for the suitable partner,” Sieg relayed, though he found it hard to associate to Tristan given his youth and general blasé attitude. However, when he briefly glanced up at the twin, Sieg noted the fond grin of someone who could recollect the past without a sour memory or a regretful choice. It was bewildering in more than one sense of the word.
Attempting to focus his thoughts, mercury-colored eyes shifted their attention to the first card describing the present. Fingers on warm cardstock, Sieg flipped the card and stared with slightly widened eyes at the revealed card, or rather the card that revealed nothing – the picture had vanished, the card blank except for smudges caused from normal wear.
“What the… Sieg, is this a joke? Why are you playing magic tricks all of the sudden?” Tristan asked with confused humor.
While the girls behind the twin began to ask if Sieg really did perform magic, the gray-eyed teen continued to the next card and flipped it to reveal yet another blank card, that followed by a third blank card. Moving hesitantly to the card that was to represent the future, Sieg turned it over and proceeded to stare at the image of The Chariot, a card of victory and control over the unknown destiny spread out before the driver and horse.
“Hey, that’s my future, right? What does the card mean?”
Though staring at the fantasy-based card, Sieg found his thoughts drifting to his planned version of The Chariot that would include an injured bowman along side a sightless driver. “It doesn’t matter when the others are blank,” Sieg lied as he promptly collected the cards from the tabletop and placed them in the middle of the deck. But before he could hide away the cards, Tristan stole the deck, careless of the damage he could have caused.
“Let’s see the trick, huh?” Tristan announced to the girls behind him, but his smug smirk evaporated when he shuffled through the deck and couldn’t find a single blank card.
“May I have my cards back?” Sieg asked with an outstretched hand.
“I don’t think so. Tell me how you did it first.”
Meeting curious dirty blue eyes, Sieg offered a slight smile and spoke the truth, “I’m a magician and I don’t tell secrets.”
Tristan pouted at the reply, but did return the deck of cards. “Prude. You wouldn’t even tell me how you made those rings smaller when I tried to pull them over my head.”
“Maybe your head got bigger,” the gray-eyed teen muttered as he placed his cards back into his backpack.
The period bell rang sharply, the scrape of chairs officially signaling the end of study hall. As few other people had even touched their bags, the room quickly emptied as Sieg took his time placing his sketchbook back into his backpack. Standing up and slinging the strap over his shoulder, Sieg was startled when a hand settled on his arm and pulled him back against a strong body.
“Meet me back here during lunch,” Caleb whispered at his ear, releasing the arm and stepping past Sieg before the coffee-haired teen could properly react.
Stopped in place, Sieg watched the older twin approach Tristan and wrap his arm around his brother’s shoulders. Unbothered by that close contact, Tristan matched his twin’s smile and asked something that Sieg couldn’t hear given the hallway noise. Seeing them side by side and with hardly an inch between them, Sieg understood why no one bothered to separate the two brothers – they were too much alike for common people to strain themselves and recognize that there wasn’t something quite right about them, something not quite… identical.
Weighted by knowledge that he never wanted, Sieg wrapped his hand tight around the strap of his backpack and forced himself to follow in the twins’ path. If there was one solace to the day, it was fourth period – neither of the twins cared for chemistry for a reason that had something to do with an old “Science for Kids” chemistry kit in their elementary school days. Sieg had never asked for the details concerning that day years ago. All that mattered to him was that he had a chance to think before meeting alone with Caleb.
The hallways mostly empty except for the few stragglers fishing in their lockers, Sieg walked at a causal pace toward the art room that was typically vacant during the lunch period. It was the reason Caleb had asked to meet there, and though Sieg felt much like a mouse walking into a steel trap, he was somewhat reassured by the fact that he had survived this particular trap several times before.
Opening the door to the art room, Sieg wasn’t surprised to find Caleb already waiting across the room. Light brown hair swayed gently in the breeze as dirty blue eyes stared out the opened window. Unsurprisingly, a half-eaten apple rested in his hand, Caleb having something akin to an addiction when it came to fruits. At times, Sieg found it disturbing what the tall youth would do for a handful of raspberries.
“What did you want?”
Without moving his gaze, Caleb smiled at the terse question. “No need to rush. Sit and have some lunch.”
“I haven’t bought my lunch yet,” Sieg said as he closed the door behind him and stepped toward the teen. “So I’d appreciate you hurrying this up.”
Caleb frowned as he faced the dark-haired youth. “Your father is out of town again? I thought he just got home over the weekend.”
“Yeah, well, a salesman’s job is never done,” Sieg muttered, hating that his simple comment about lunch had alerted the older twin about his home situation.
“If you want--”
“What I want is for you to tell me why you asked to meet,” Sieg demanded, interrupting the commonplace offer of dinner at the twins’ home whenever his only parent was away on business. It wasn’t that he didn’t appreciate the offer of homemade food, but after years of fending for himself whenever his worthless father would leave without warning, Sieg was almost afraid to experience a ‘normal’ home life.
Dirty blue eyes studied the younger teen, Caleb eventually pushing up from the wall as he chucked his apple into the trash. “Actually, I thought that you might have some things to ask me,” he commented while licking juices from his long fingers. “After all, Tarot cards usually don’t go blank by themselves.”
Mercury-colored eyes widened vaguely. “What do you know?”
“More than you,” Caleb replied as he hopped onto the table closest to the other teen and sat back in a relaxed pose. “You don’t really believe that human’s came up with the Tarot, do you?”
“I never thought about it.”
“Of course you didn’t, but that doesn’t excuse you from the fact that you should have. You aren’t going to find any answers in this life if you don’t start asking the questions.”
“You sound like a damned fortune cookie.”
His grin broadening, Caleb continued, “The Tarot serves the purpose you stated – to shed light on the path you have chosen in life. It doesn’t offer answers and it is forbidden to show any details concerning the future. That said, why do you think the cards refused to reveal themselves to you?”
Sieg studied the smiling teen, not entirely certain Caleb wasn’t playing some odd mind game. “It’s just a deck of cards, Caleb. They don’t think for themselves.”
“In the hands of any other human, that would be true. But you’re a magician with abilities descended from the sorcerers of old. Normal rules don’t apply to you.”
“Such as being lectured by a fugitive demon?”
Caleb chuckled at the retort. “Actually, most demons kill magic users before bothering to talk with them. It saves a lot of time and energy that way.”
Eyeing the older twin, Sieg looked deeper and gazed at the shadow-like soul hiding within the body that didn’t originally belong there. The demon’s soul was dark and unsettling in many ways, but Sieg knew that the ‘Other World’ invader had grown comfortable in his human guise. And while the demon may have had another name in the past, he was presently ‘Caleb’ in both name and existence.
His head tilted interestedly to the side, Caleb asked, “What are you thinking, magus?”
“Nothing important,” Sieg replied, and then with a sigh, continued their previous topic concerning the Tarot. “If you’re not full of shit and the cards were actually trying to hide from me, then that would imply that the future was about to be revealed.” At Caleb’s slight nod, the teen argued, “But I don’t understand what future could be read in the cards – they just give a bunch of generalities that can be read either way. And Hell, they already revealed the future – Tristan gets what he wants.”
“But the question remains – what does he want?” At Sieg’s frustrated glare, Caleb conceded, “Yes, he wants love, but who is a secret.”
“And what, those cards would’ve had a picture of the girl he wants?”
Caleb laughed as he slid off from the tabletop. “The Tarot isn’t that clever. No, it would’ve been the sequence of cards that would have been dangerous. A sequence that you would’ve easily recognized.”
“A sequence? But the only sequence I know involves my own identifying cards.”
Pressing a finger against the teen’s forehead, Caleb announced cheerfully, “Bingo! You win a cookie.”
“Wha…” Sieg knocked aside the offending hand, “Caleb, don’t be an idiot. Tristan likes women with big breasts and bigger wallets. Don’t you remember when he learned about those host clubs in Japan and actually researched a possible internship with one of them?”
“That’s a dream, albeit a disturbing one, but you are his reality.”
Scoffing an irritated, “Do you take anything seriously?” Sieg adjusted the strap on his shoulder in preparation to leave.
“He has always known what he wanted and has been waiting with unfaltering patience for his chosen partner… Isn’t that what you said about his past?”
“What does that--”
“Tristan isn’t a complex person. His desire for a lover is threefold: someone who can tell the difference between the two of us, someone he can admire for their inner strength, and someone of great beauty.”
Sieg rolled his eyes at the statement. “The only reason I can tell the difference between you and Tristan is because you’re a demon possessing a human body. It’s hard to miss.”
“He doesn’t know that and I would rather he didn’t find out simply because you need an excuse to avoid the truth.”
Sieg almost argued that Tristan had never ‘admired’ him for anything, but decided that there was a more important point before that minor detail. “Well, I’m certainly not the ‘great beauty’ that that playboy desires,” he argued while pointing at his chest. “See, no breasts. He also has a thing about blondes.”
“There’s more to beauty than what the eye can see,” Caleb stated with soft sincerity. “And if I was honest with myself, I’d have to agree with my brother’s opinion on the matter.”
“Okay, now you are worrying me.”
“But that’s the trick, Sieg – you should be worried. You know what I am and you knew from the beginning, but you never tried to exorcise my soul or kill me in my sleep. You’ve let me live with the single promise that once people start dying around me, you’ll come for my neck.”
Sieg glared at the teen of light brown hair, irritated at the constant reminder of the day he stupidly chose to let the demon live. “It’s not like you’ve done anything to deserve death - the body you stole was already dying within the womb and you’ve played a good son and brother if I’m to believe Tristan’s word. Fighting you wouldn’t have been worth the pain.”
Caleb grinned as he tapped the underside of Sieg’s chin. “And it’s that rare trust of yours that makes you beautiful.”
“It has nothing to do with trust,” Sieg argued as he knocked aside the hand. Watching the smirking teen back away in surrender, Sieg demanded, “What is this really about?”
With a skillful display of confusion, Caleb replied, “I’m not certain what you are implying.”
“Right, and it’s perfectly normal for you to try to force me onto your brother when he isn’t gay.”
“Are you gay?”
Clawing a hand into his short hair, Sieg fought to keep his voice at normal levels. “That isn’t the issue here. Why are you fucking around with me?”
“I haven’t lied to you, magus,” Caleb insisted as he leaned back against a table. “I’ll admit to not seeing it myself before you did his reading, but now that I think about it, I should have noticed it sooner. After all, Tristan would break a date to be with you and he never does that for anyone outside of the family.”
Mildly surprised by the revelation, Sieg asked warily, “Is that true?”
“Miss Cynthia Stevenson, two weeks ago Friday, 6 PM.” When Sieg was showing no memory of the day, Caleb supplied, “You were sick, your father was unsurprisingly out of town, and you have a bad history of taking care of yourself.”
“Wait a minute, I never asked him to come over. I didn’t even tell him I was sick – that was your fault.”
“Nonetheless, he cancelled his date faster than I could say that you looked listless during sixth period. Though I now understand why he was so irritated when I went with him to visit you.”
Sieg shook his head in disbelief, feeling more than a little unbalanced at the concept of Tristan canceling a date to spend an evening with an invalid. “Even if that’s true… Even if that idiot is fixated on me, that doesn’t explain why you’re so gung-ho to make me his bride.”
Caleb chuckled lightly. “Because you’d look good in white?”
Gray eyes gained a deeper hue of silver as Sieg glared at the twin.
“Alright, alright – I have a favor to ask.”
Sieg crossed his arms over his chest in a silent ‘I knew it’. “And what sort of favor does the Devil want from me?”
“Hey now, it’s only dangerous when the Devil offers to fulfill a favor, not the other way around,” Caleb retorted with a slight pout. “And you know that I, unlike the Devil, would repay you in full.”
Caleb sighed out a long breath and purposefully averted his gaze when he began, “I know I haven’t told you much about the Other World, and trust me, there’s not much that can be put into a traveler’s brochure. It’s a world of rock and dust where the few things that grow end up destroyed by war. The incredible thing is that no one cares, including my previous self. Everyone lives for themselves and trust is a game more than something honest. But there was one exception to that reality - siblings.
“You see, parents didn’t matter. I doubt my sisters and brothers shared the same two parents, but we still protected each other and fought for our lives when a random parent would happily sacrifice us to a nameless god. We were accidents in their eyes and only we cared about whether or not our sibling survived another day. And as we aged, we learned that making yourself vulnerable to anyone except your sibling was asking for a slit throat.”
“Vulnerable,” Sieg repeated in a murmur, not liking the direction of his thoughts. “Like while sleeping?”
With the soft smile of someone recalling good memories, Caleb replied, “I suppose we slept after sex.”
“Oh God, you want to fuck Tristan,” Sieg moaned as he pressed a hand against his face.
“Hey, some respect here. He’s my brother.”
“Don’t try to sugarcoat this one, Caleb – you want to fuck your twin… And wait, wait a fucking minute here. What does any of this have to do with the favor you want from me?”
His head tilted in an overly innocent pose, the pale-eyed teen said, “He likes you.”
“… No. No, no, no…” Before Sieg could turn and leave, Caleb grabbed his arm and forced him to stay in place.
“Listen to my offer--”
“God, Caleb, you first tell me that my ridiculously straight friend is lusting after me and now you’re suggesting that… that… What are you suggesting? That I get Tristan hot and naked and then leave him in your care for the night?”
“Well, not quite. You see, I doubt Tristan would do anything without you there.”
Mercury eyes widened impossibly large, and when thoughts of stabbing the demon entered his mind, Sieg knew it was no longer safe to stay. “I’m leaving,” he announced as he jerked free of Caleb’s hold and turned toward the closed door.
“I need him, Sieg, and I can’t have him without you.”
The coffee-haired youth scowled at the insistent plea, not quite certain when it became his problem to help the twins get… closer.
“I would offer myself as your familiar.”
Sieg froze at the proposal, a wholly unexpected deal from the demon.
“Think of it, Sieg. You’re a young magician with incredible powers and no assigned guardian. In other words, you’re a moving target that any magical creature would love to drain. With me as your familiar, you would inherit my abilities and my loyalty, and really, what is better than a demon to serve your every command?”
“… You’re not actually planning to obey my word, are you?”
“Well, that mostly depends on what you do for me.”
Sieg nodded and proceeded to walk away from the twin. “I have to think it over. Until then, I’d appreciate you not talking to me.”
“As you command,” Caleb replied with a smile in his voice.
Frowning as he opened the art room door, Sieg dully wondered why he was even considering binding himself to the demon soul hiding in a human’s body. It could only lead to trouble, a lot of headaches, and possible molestation on a daily basis, all in return for an unconditionally loyal bodyguard, the powers of the Other World, and the chance of a threesome being his first sexual experience.
Sieg sighed to himself and asked under his breath, “Is that last bit an actual benefit for dealing with the Devil?”
“… And then she asked if I’ve ever done it while dressed in my soccer uniform. Can you believe it? Even my coach heard it,” Tristan said laughingly as he kicked a beat-up soccer ball, forgoing the tricks he would normally do whenever girls hovered nearby.
Being a Thursday afternoon, Sieg walked alone with Tristan as they headed home for the day. Caleb was stuck in wrestling practice, but it didn’t matter much. The demon had kept to his word and hadn’t spoken a word to Sieg in the past two days. There were, however, many looks that ranged from hopeful to suggestive and Sieg was growing tired of the choice he had to make. It was much easier to act and regret the consequences another day.
“Hey, Siegfried, are you listening to me?”
“Blondie-girl wanted to know if you fuck people while dressed in your uniform. Great story.”
Tristan pouted at the sarcastic critique and shoved his hands into his pockets. “Everyone else thought it was good,” he muttered petulantly. After block of silence, Tristan looked over at the coffee-haired teen. “What’s your problem lately, anyway? Did you and Cal have a lovers’ quarrel or something?”
Sieg smirked at the twin’s odd insight. “Or something.”
“Damn, I hate it when you guys fight. I do nothing wrong and I still get abused because I look like him.”
With no desire to argue the valid complaint, Sieg forcefully moved his eyes from the rhythmic bounces of the soccer ball and casually studied the teenager at his side. Sieg didn’t know what to think as he gazed at the high school’s infamous playboy. Tristan was handsome, charismatic, and full of energy, there was no doubt about that, but Sieg had no interest in such obvious traits that attracted the always present fangirls. Instead, as he looked closer, Sieg smiled at the sight of dried grass clinging onto light brown hair and the streaks of dirt and sweat at his temple, giving Tristan a boyish air. Of more amusement was the way dirty blue eyes were in constant movement as Tristan followed the path of his ball, his soft pink lips tightening whenever the ball did something unexpected along the old sidewalk. It was a mildly addicting sight.
Shaking his head, Sieg pulled his eyes away from the younger twin and cursed Caleb for having no morals when it came to physical pleasures.
“So, is it anything you want to talk about?” Tristan prodded cautiously.
Sieg knew the teen was referring to his supposed fight with Caleb and nearly declined the offer of a friendly ear, but then recognized the opportunity for what it was. With a slight smile, Sieg decided to be straightforward – “Have you thought about fucking me?”
A weak ‘eh?’ was the only reply Tristan could form in the second before he completely missed his soccer ball and kicked a raised portion of the sidewalk. Efficiently tripping himself, Tristan had no chance of regaining his balance despite the wild waving of his arms.
Sieg slowed to a stop and turned to look down at the teen sprawled on the cement ground. “Well, that’s an interesting way to answer a question.”
Groaning in both pain and humiliation, Tristan raked back the hair from his eyes and gazed up at the looming teen. “Did you really just ask me if I, uh, wanted you?”
“Actually, I was just talking about sex. Is there something else I should know?”
Tristan sighed irritably as he pushed himself up from the ground. “You know, you really should learn to ease into questions like those. I could’ve broken something and there’s an important match next weekend. Coach Ricks would’ve killed you.”
Sieg shrugged, not convinced to change his blunt ways. “Then you aren’t going to deny it?”
Pale eyes narrowed in a cross between pain and deep thought before Tristan eventually replied, “I’m not going to deny it.”
“Why?” Sieg asked, unable to form a more detailed question about the entire situation.
Looking to the coffee-haired teen, Tristan smiled gently. “Well, it’s not that complicated, really. It’s like you said in that reading of yours – I’ve always known what I’ve wanted and you just happen to fit the bill.”
“What if you’re wrong?”
“Wrong? What do you mean?”
Sieg adjusted the strap on his shoulder before explaining, “I can’t tell you apart from your brother, Tristan. Rather, it’s Caleb I recognize and I know when you aren’t him.”
Something flashed in pale eyes before Tristan turned sharply. “Then it’s true? You and Cal have relationship?”
Sieg choked on his breath. “A relationship? God, you have to be kidding me.”
“But the two of you always wander off whenever I turn my back and Cal won’t tell me what you talk about. If it’s not about you guys hooking up, then what else could it be?”
“It has to do with the reason I recognize Caleb first. Other than that, well, it’s not my secret to tell.”
“So, if it’s not a relationship…”
Sieg waited for the rest of the sentence which never came. Instead, he stood in place while Tristan turned and faced the gray-eyed youth. The twin lifted a scraped hand and brushed his fingertips at the side of Sieg’s face, the heated touch lingering a few seconds too long to be a mistake or anything remotely casual.
Pulling back a step, Tristan scratched the back of his neck. “Sorry, I’ve been wondering for a while now if you’d punch me if I did something like that.”
“You’re not gay, idiot. Maybe confused for some reason--”
“And you don’t think I’ve been trying to convince myself of the same thing? But the moment I set my eyes on you or hear your voice even if it’s just on the phone… Nothing else seems to matter. Y’know what I mean?”
Sieg didn’t reply, his mercury eyes shifting as he considered that nothing had ever really mattered to him – his mother’s death, his father’s virtual desertion, constant moving whenever the last house was taken by the bank or burned to ash… It was all a load of shit no matter how he thought about it, but Sieg had decided at a young age that it was best to be apathetic when it came to life. After all, if he actually cared about any of it, he would have probably walked off a bridge years ago.
“So, you haven’t refused me yet.”
Briefly closing his eyes, Sieg said, “I don’t have friends for a reason and having someone more than a friend… I can’t put you in that position.”
“Hey, just because you don’t play nice--”
“I’ve made my decision,” Sieg said as he turned to continue their path home, all the while resisting the urge to comment that it was an interesting fantasy in the past two days when he had considered what it would mean to be seduced by the playboy. And while Sieg doubted his imagination was as creative as Tristan’s, he had to put it all aside, knowing the lesson that fantasies were just that and reality had no sympathy for those who dwelled too much in dreams.
Catching up to the slender teen after his moment of shock, Tristan asked, “So tell me if I have this right – you aren’t refusing me, but you also aren’t going to let me convince you that it’s alright to have friends and lovers?”
Tristan hummed at the answer, his pink lips slowly curling into a thoughtful smile. “You know, whenever people say that line, the situation really isn’t that complicated, but it’s easier to say the lie than to admit what’s really happening. It’s like in some of those movies where if the guy had admitted from the beginning that he’s a vampire, things would have gone a whole lot smoother than when he tried to hide the fact. But instead, he just tells the leading lady, ‘It’s complicated,’ when everything could be summed up in a few words, ‘I’m a vampire’.”
Fighting a laugh, Sieg looked over at the grinning teen. “You are scary at times.”
“Why? Are you vampire.”
“No, I’m a magician, remember?” Sieg replied, hating how it was both the complex truth and an undeserved lie.
Dark brows twitched into a slight furrow, but Tristan promptly masked the brief thought with a bright smile. “God, how could I forget? You still owe me a lesson about those handcuffs of yours. I don’t know how you got out of them last time, but I swear to use real handcuffs the next time you get sick.”
Sieg offered a slight smile and considered a suitable reply to the teen wanting him in handcuffs, but his attention was abruptly diverted when dark energy teased his senses. Coming to a halt, Sieg looked in all directions for the source of the bothersome energy, then turning sharply to look behind them. Mercury eyes immediately settled on a heavyset man standing about fifty feet away dressed in a lumpy overcoat and a ridiculous bucket hat that didn’t sit quite right on the man’s head. Actually, nothing about the man was ‘quite right’ and Sieg found himself moving between Tristan and the stranger.
“Hey, what’s wrong?”
“Stay behind me,” Sieg said as he let his bag slide from his shoulder and drop to the sidewalk.
The large man chuckled, a noise resembling stone grating against stone. “Morekal, are you letting children fight your battles these days?”
“Morekal isn’t here,” Sieg informed the stranger.
“Don’t try to lie, human. He’s done an excellent job of hiding his presence in that body, but I can still smell his scent.” The man removed a gun from his coat pocket, the action making Tristan curse sharply. “So, Morekal, unless you want this human injured, I suggest you come with your tail between your legs.”
“I didn’t realize demons needed to use guns,” Sieg commented with an interested smirk.
“When visiting the human world, human actions are occasionally necessary.”
“Hn, well, you still have the wrong person and I won’t let you take him to the Other World,” Sieg declared, the statement making Tristan place a hand on the teen’s shoulder and whisper a quiet ‘What are you doing?’.
The lumps within the heavy overcoat shifted as the demon grumbled in anger. “Very well, human. If you won’t let me have him, then I will just have to be rid of you first.”
The first shots from the gun sounded before Sieg could shrug off Tristan’s hold, but the squeezing hand did nothing to limit his movement. Placing a hand in front of his body, Sieg formed a small barrier of thick air that absorbed the three bullets that had been aimed for his heart, but a fourth bullet went high from a misjudged recoil. Seeing the bullet, but unable to do anything about it, Sieg cursed when Tristan cried out in pain. Closing his hand over the stopped and hovering bullets, Sieg looked over his shoulder and watched the twin place a firm hand against his neck, crimson blood oozing slowly across tan skin.
“Are you okay?” Sieg asked as he returned his attention to the stranger, the demon grinning literally from ear to ear.
Tristan coughed out a laugh. “I don’t see how any of this is ‘okay’, but I think the bullet just grazed me.”
“You’ve gotten weak, Morekal!” the demon mocked as he aimed his gun for another string of shots.
Sieg was faster at the draw, lifting his hand in the pose of a gun. Looking much like a kid playing cops and robbers, Sieg dropped his thumb to ‘fire’ one of the bullets in his hand, his aim true for the demon’s hand. The stranger yelled out in an odd language when he lost the gun and a couple of stubby fingers. Pig eyes then looked up in bewilderment as Sieg smirked and fired the remaining two bullets that had originally been aimed for his own heart. The bullets torn through the demon’s chest, thick brown gel squirting as the non-human stumbled back several paces.
With bought time, Sieg turned sharply and grabbed the old soccer ball from Tristan’s feet. Pressing his hands on either side of the ball, Sieg spoke a string of nonsensical words, the words unimportant compared to the focus necessary to control the magic around him. The soccer ball broke apart with a loud pop, each black pentagon and white hexagon separating to hover in midair. Sieg waved his finger in a small circle, the pieces of leather flying at his command to surround the two teens in a temporary shield.
Turning to face Tristan, Sieg wasted a moment looking at the slightly taller teen. His hand still firm against his neck, Tristan’s eyes were wide and shifted nervously as he watched the flight of leather around them; meanwhile, pink lips were parted as if ready to say something, but nothing was coming to mind. Shock was to be expected, but Sieg couldn’t afford the youth to be paralyzed.
“Are you still with me, Tristan?”
Dirty blue eyes immediately settled on the brunet, Tristan then saying dumbly, “You destroyed my ball.”
“I’ll buy you a new one,” Sieg assured gently, sympathetic to Tristan’s need to focus on the one thing he could understand within the impossible happening all around him. Removing his uniform jacket, Sieg said, “I’m going to send you to Caleb. Everything will be alright.”
“Wait, what are y-- Holy shit!” Tristan cried out as he ducked to the side.
At the sound of a dull thud and crackle of energy, Sieg glanced back over his shoulder and scowled at the sight of a large tentacle retreating from the shield of leather and magic. “Dumbass. I hope that hurt.” Looking back to Tristan, Sieg forced eye contact and repeated, “I’m going to send you to Caleb and he’ll keep you safe. Understood?”
Tristan shook his head. “I don’t understand any of this. How you are doing these things?”
“I’m a magician,” Sieg replied just as he had many times before.
Startled eyes gazed up at Sieg, Tristan’s expression one of disbelief mixed with betrayal.
“Sorry,” Sieg muttered before tossing his uniform jacket over Tristan’s head. After a moment of shock, the teen attempted to remove the interfering clothing, his free hand swatted away by Sieg. “I can’t look at your face while doing this, so please trust me.”
Surprisingly, Tristan relaxed at the plea and lowered his arm. “I trust you. I always have.”
Eyes of mercury wide, Sieg stared at the burgundy cloth that covered Tristan’s face, but he was quickly brought back to the urgency of the moment when gunfire sounded. Glancing back to check on his shield and noticing torn leather, Sieg knew he didn’t have much time to waste. Pressing a fist against Tristan’s forehead and placing his own forehead against his hand, Sieg closed his eyes and whispered words an old lullaby, hoping to calm his center while focusing on the task at hand. Picturing Caleb in his mind and filling his soul with the urgency of sending Tristan to safety, Sieg let his energy build until he could feel his skin burning with the strain of keeping everything in.
A quiet ‘Go’ slipped past his lips, and before he could open his eyes, Sieg caught his dropping jacket. Clutching onto the heavy material, Sieg looked at the spot where Tristan had been standing and sighed at the sight of newly bought sneakers that had been left behind.
“I really need to work on that,” he muttered before turning around and facing the impatient demon. Two large tentacles hung from the waistline of his baggy pants, one bearing burnt flesh as it curled slightly behind the demon’s leg. With a smirk at the sight of damage, Sieg met pig-like eyes and asked, “Why are you after Morekal?”
The demon pocketed his gun, the bullets emptied and obviously worthless. “He’s a criminal and his life forfeit. But the more important question is why a child magus is protecting a creature of black blood.”
“He’s a friend,” Sieg replied as he casually waved his fingers in a curve, the black pentagons responding as they flattened and began to spin.
“A friend!” the demon barked in a laugh. “Magi and demons don’t make good bedfellows unless…” Dark eyes abruptly narrowed in a thoughtful look. “Unless, are you the human he restored to life?”
Sieg focused a steady gaze at the demon and gave himself a second to absorb the new information before responding, “No.”
The dark pentagons flew forward at that moment, spinning and flattening to give the leather an unnatural edge. The demon’s tentacle rose sharply at the attack, defending their master and earning several deep cuts as they swatted aside the pentagons. Focused on his offense, Sieg didn’t notice a breach of his weakened defense until he heard the slither of slimy skin on concrete.
Sieg looked down to see a third, skinny tentacle slipping beneath the remaining hexagons protecting his body, and before he could react, the whip-like tentacle wrapped around his ankle and jerked him off his feet. Protecting his head with bent arms, Sieg watched his shield fall apart into useless bits of leather in the moment before he smacked against the unforgiving ground. Not given the chance to regain lost breath, Sieg was dragged toward the demon, a second tentacle suctioning onto his other leg, the goop of blood soaking past the material of his slacks and causing a burning sensation at his skin.
The demon chortled in victory, the grating sound inspiring Sieg to slice the creature’s thick throat once given the proper opportunity.
Twisting in an effort to slow his progress toward the demon, Sieg also used the distraction of wild movements to sneak a hand beneath the waistline of his pants. Retrieving the item hidden there, Sieg removed his wand that was nothing more than a stick he had found in his childhood and really liked for its deep cherry coloring. Sieg wrapped his other hand around the stick and pulled the wand from encircled fingers as if drawing a dagger from its sheath.
And when crimson metal shone in the afternoon light, Sieg grinned at the startled gleam to pig-like eyes.
Before the demon could react to the created weapon, Sieg bent forward to slice the skinny tentacle and then quickly shifted his hold to jab the knife into the far thicker appendage. A high pitched noise came from the creature, but not from the heavyset demon himself. Instead, tentacles flailed while retreating from Sieg, the end of the thicker tentacle being split in two and the brunet was splash with brownish-green slime for his efforts.
Grimacing as he wiped the burning goop from his chin and neck, Sieg scurried to get standing. With both feet on the ground and bent over, he never saw a fourth tentacle. Hit hard from behind, Sieg was lifted from the ground and slammed against brick wall. His cry of pain nothing more than air, Sieg crumpled against stone and focused all of his energy on remaining conscious.
“Stupid, stupid child,” the demon scolded in a low tone. With a paw of hand stroking his burnt and injured tentacle, the creature told it, “Don’t worry, little one. He will pay for this.”
The largest of the tentacles pinning Sieg and his arms to the wall, there was nothing he could do as he was pummeled by two of the cut and bleeding tentacles. Moving with the hits, Sieg whispered the words of a song that came to mind, forming weak shields of air that didn’t prevent the attacks against his body, but softened the blows. One particularly sharp hit landed against his eye, blurring his vision for several moments.
Eventually the hits slowed to nothing, Sieg confused until he noticed the skinny tentacle slithering to his wand returned from its dagger form. The oozing appendage wrapped around the stick and lifted it in front of the teen, swaying back and forth in a taunting motion.
“Shall we see how you like having your fingers torn to shreds?”
Dull gray eyes watched as his wand was lifted to the side and angled to land against his right hand. In pain and exhausted from the use of too much magic, Sieg reluctantly decided to let his shields fall to reserve his energy. It was fairly obvious that once his hand was mauled to the creature’s pleasure, the demon wouldn’t have reason to keep Sieg alive and that would be the better opportunity to focus on protecting himself and his life.
Terrified, but unable to look away, Sieg watched as the tentacle waved the stick back and forth a few times, much like a golfer preparing for a winning putt. Pausing one last time, the demon grinned a toothy smile and the skinny tentacle swung back…
…And continued to fly backwards as half of the slimy limb was severed from its base.
“Morekal…” the demon breathed as his ‘little ones’ screamed in agony over the apparent loss of their friend.
Standing between Sieg and the demon, Caleb lifted his hand and licked the brownish goop from long claws that looked more like small scythes than what Sieg had ever seen on the typical animal from the zoo. Other than that, Sieg was of the opinion that his ‘hero’ looked rather ridiculous at that moment – still dressed for wresting, Caleb’s three dark wings hung out and over the backside of his singlet; the left leg was torn up toward his bare ass to accommodate a waving black tail that split into two red tips; and tiny wings fluttered over the edge of bright blue wrestling shoes.
“What are you doing here?” Sieg asked wearily, tasting blood with every word.
Turning to the teen, Caleb grinned in a show of fanged teeth. “Only you would complain about being rescued.”
“No, I mean, Tristan--”
“Siegfried!” the twin in question yelled as he ran close, sliding the last few feet to kneel next to the dark-haired teen.
“Don’t touch him,” Caleb snarled in the moment before turning around and dodging a tentacle that had lifted high to swat the winged-demon.
Watching the speed and frightening accuracy of the demon he knew as a friend, Sieg relaxed back into the brick wall despite the eventually severed tentacle still pinning him to the wall, its suction cups not designed to release its prey easily. It was both awe-inspiring and terrifying to witness the powers of the demon, a creature Sieg should have exorcised or destroyed if he followed the code of a trained magician. More so, this was demon who had offered to become a familiar in exchange for a single moment of physical pleasure. And when Caleb proceeded to tear the tentacles from their master, exposing leg-like roots that flailed in all directions, Sieg wasn’t entirely confident he would survive being bound to the destructive demon.
Noticing movement from the corner of his good eye, Sieg said reproachfully, “Really, don’t touch me, Tristan.”
“But this has to be hurting you.”
“The blood is poisonous somehow. While my magic is protecting me, you’d be killed in a heartbeat.”
“Shit,” Tristan whispered, pale eyes narrowing in frustration before he looked toward the main event. “Is that really my brother?”
“More or less. He’s been in that body since the womb.”
“He… as in that ‘Mor-e-kal’ the bastard was asking about?”
Resting his head against brick, Sieg smiled softly at the angry tone. “Caleb is Caleb. Don’t worry about the rest of this crap, okay?”
“How could I not… Hey, wait a minute. Don’t close your eyes. Don’t… Shit, Caleb! Hurry the fuck up! Siegfried is…”
Dressed in nothing more than a towel, Sieg sat on the edge of his father’s bed and watched silently as Caleb placed an oddly sweet smelling concoction onto the burns that stretched across his calves. The rest of the burns on his arms and neck had already been treated, not to mention the numerous cuts and bruises that covered his body. Nothing had been too serious, but that didn’t seem to matter to the younger twin.
“Are you sure we shouldn’t call a doctor?” Tristan asked as he sat next to Sieg and handed him a glass of ice water.
“No doctor on this world knows how to treat the poison of a Tjarmet,” Caleb argued quietly, the same argument he had given twice before.
“I’m fine,” Sieg said quickly before Tristan could form a single ‘but’. “It’s getting late, though. Won’t your parents be upset?”
Tristan shook his head. “I called Mom earlier and got permission for us to spend the night here. I told her that you got mugged and reminded her that your father was still out of town. She promised to call the school tomorrow and say that we all have the chickenpox or something.”
“Who said I wanted you here?”
Tristan winced at the statement, but then noticed the slight smile as Sieg sipped at his water. “Asshole, be nice. I’ve had a fuck-tabular day and I’m still reeling from everything that has happened.”
Finished with his task, Caleb set aside the jar of questionable materials. “Would it help if we answered more of your questions?”
Tristan growled out a sigh. “Siegfried’s a Goddamned magician who actually does magic, and there are people and demons and who knows what else after him to either kill him or suck out his powers. Meanwhile, you’re a demon with wings and claws and fucking fangs that used the dying fetus of my real brother to escape the bounty hunters of the ‘Other Plane’ or whatever you call it. Given all of that, please tell me what questions I can ask that can make this any better.”
“I have one,” Sieg said, much to the surprise of both twins. Eyes of mercury focused on Caleb when he asked, “Did you bring Tristan back from the dead?”
Dirty blue eyes widened in shock, the expression making Caleb appear more like the teenager he was supposed to be.
“What… I don’t remember anything like that,” Tristan argued confusedly.
“You wouldn’t,” Sieg said while continuing to gaze at the older twin. “That demon mentioned how ‘Morekal’ had restored a human life and he assumed I was the one since he thought I was protecting you. But instead it was Tristan you saved, wasn’t it?”
“Don’t try to hide it, Caleb. If you used your magic to bring Tristan back from the dead, it’d explain why that demon confused him for you.”
When the brother continued to avoid an answer, Tristan prodded quietly, “Is he telling the truth, Cal?”
Caleb jerked at the call of his nickname and stared at his twin for a long moment before breathing out a harsh laugh. Pressing a hand to his face, he nodded. “It was shortly after I took this body. Whatever was wrong to make him sick also did something to you and I… It would’ve been lonely in there without you,” he finished in a murmur.
Once taking in that information, Tristan slid off from the bed and wrapped his arms around his twin’s neck while muttering something about worthless big brothers. Meanwhile, Sieg sipped at his drink and waited for unavoidable outcome of him being in the same room as the emotionally high twins. That moment came when Caleb pulled away from his brother and stared seriously into the teen’s eyes.
“I almost lost you today, as well as Sieg,” he added to the brunet’s surprise, “and it’s not settling with me in the least. I’ve never been someone who lives well with regrets and I know you’re the same, brother.”
Tristan glanced at Sieg and forced a smile. “He already refused me.”
“What?” Caleb blurted out as he also turned his gaze to Sieg, unsurprisingly stunned at the information which additionally had the meaning that Sieg was refusing the chance to have the demon as his familiar.
“He said it was ‘complicated’,” Tristan explained with a laugh. “I guess it helps that he wasn’t lying to me about that. I thought he was just saying it to avoid the whole homosexual issue.”
With a roll of his eyes, Sieg commented, “You do realize that the word ‘homosexual’ is hard to associate to a guy who spent most of last Christmas with eight ‘reindeer’ from a local sorority.”
The expected smirk of pride from the playboy never came, Tristan appearing serious for a change as he pushed up from the ground and stepped to the seated teen. Leaning forward with his hands at either side of bare legs, Tristan gazed directly into eyes of cool mercury. “You know, I just realized how things aren’t that complicated anymore. Of course I don’t understand everything yet, but I’m not scared and you aren’t going to get rid of me without a fight.”
While they were too close for anything else to be expected, Sieg still inhaled sharply when lips pressed against his, and when he instinctively pulled back, a hand settled firmly at the back of his head and kept him in place. It became quickly apparent that the rumors associated to the playboy weren’t pure talk, Tristan managing to coax the coffee-haired teen into opening up with nothing more than a thumb pressed against Sieg’s chin and a surprisingly dexterous tongue. Unable to suppress his moan, Sieg found it hard to remember the point he had been arguing and what reasons he had had when first refusing Tristan, but when he reached out and placed his hand at a long neck, Sieg cringed at the feel of gauze. He pulled back as best he could, but Tristan proved relentless once his hormones took over his actions.
Nearly flat against the bed and Tristan pressing forward with something that was most definitely not a roll of quarters in his pants, Sieg was forced to lift his glass and pour the remaining contents onto the teen’s head and back.
“Holy fuck!” Tristan cursed as he jumped back and shook the bits of ice from his shirt and hair. “Damn it, Siegfried, you could’ve just told me to stop.”
Sitting up and carefully readjusting his towel, Sieg argued, “With my mouth occupied, how exactly was I supposed to tell you anything?”
“He has a point,” Caleb commented, his chin propped on a fisted hand and pink lips set into an interested smile.
Tristan briefly glared at his older brother before returning his attention to the coffee-haired teen. “Maybe, but more importantly, did you like it?”
“… This isn’t about kissing.”
“No, it isn’t, but we have to start somewhere, don’t we?” Tristan asked with a hungry grin.
Sieg stared at the face he knew better than he wanted to admit, and though the playboy was making some sense for a change, he felt divided when he glanced down to notice that Caleb’s smile was hardly honest. It wasn’t a facade of hidden anger or even disguised lust, but something else that worried Sieg more than Caleb’s desire for his brother, and as the older twin glanced between him and Tristan, Sieg doubted that the demon recognized his own uncertainty.
“Are you refusing me again?” Tristan asked, trying to hide his disappointment.
“I don’t know. But what if… what if I care for the both of you?” Sieg said, hearing the words as they were spoken, but hardly believing that they had come from his mouth.
That same disbelief was reflected in the faces of the twins, a sight that made Sieg consider retracting his thoughtless words, but before he could find his voice, Caleb sighed loudly. “You don’t have to do this, Sieg.”
Tristan turned sharply. “Wait, you want Siegfried, too? Since when?”
“… It’s not Sieg I want,” Caleb replied as he met his brother’s gaze, dirty blue eyes firm and unguarded. “The idiot is trying to bring the three of us together because you like him and I… I love you as I shouldn’t per human rules.”
Eyebrows shooting up at the admission, Tristan stared in disbelief at the brother he knew, but for the second time in his life, he was seeing the demon within. “You want… to do…” Unable to say the words, Tristan pointed at his crotch, “That… with me?”
Flashing a hungry smile, Caleb stood up from the floor and brushed his fingers along the curve of his twin’s ear. Tristan visibly shivered at the touch and shied away, a move that was anticipated by the demon. It was a fast kiss, nothing more than a press of lips, but as Caleb pulled back from his brother, Tristan sported a hot blush that made him appear far younger than his seventeen years.
“Cal… I… I’m sorry, but--”
“I’m not an idiot, Tristan. I know that you don’t feel the same way and never will, but I can’t help myself. I only hope that you can tolerate this part of me.”
Tristan stared at his twin for a long moment before turning his confused gaze to Sieg. “You knew about this?”
“And what, you were hoping to get a threesome out of this deal? Maybe some kind of bragging rights?” Tristan demanded in a confused and hurt tone.
“It’s not like that, asswipe,” Sieg bit out, his eyes shining bright silver. “All I know is that you two are the only ones in my life who bothered to get close to me, and then suddenly, I’m willing to risk my life while trying to kill that damned demon who threatened your lives. It was suicidal and I’m usually a lot smarter than that.”
Tristan smile dejectedly. “I’m not talking about being friends who look after each other.”
“Good, because I don’t have friends,” Sieg argued without missing a beat.
“Siegfried, you’re about to make a big mistake here.”
“Well, if I am, then it’s that bastard’s fault,” Sieg said as he pointed to the older twin. “Two days ago, I was fine with tolerating the two of you barging into my life. It was irritating, but different compared to everything else I’ve dealt with. But then Caleb went and told me about you and I started thinking about why you would think that way, especially when I’ve been trying to drive you away… But, I haven’t been doing that, have I? Without realizing it, I’ve been waiting for you both outside of classrooms, I’ve slowed down when walking home so that at least one of you could catch up and walk with me, and I’ve told both of you things that I have never told another soul.
“Recognizing all of that, I can only assume that I want you,” Sieg summed up as he looked between the brothers.
While Caleb glanced secretively at his twin, Tristan had only eyes for the seated brunet. Hesitating before his first step, Tristan moved directly in front of Sieg without touching the slender teen. “My hair is still wet from the last time I tried this.”
“Last time you didn’t ask for permission,” Sieg retorted as he let his emptied cup drop to the floor.
Pink lips twitched into an almost smile as Tristan bent in close to his desire. Long fingers brushed aside coffee-colored hair from the curve of a small ear, and in a rough voice, Tristan commented, “I always thought it was odd when I could catch up to you after practice, even if the coach held me back. I never considered that you were waiting for me to walk home with you.”
“I didn’t intend--” Words were promptly lost into a kiss, something Sieg decided to allow given he wasn’t about to say anything important. Though woefully inexperienced, Sieg didn’t find it difficult to participate in the joining, Tristan transforming every clumsy move into an interesting sensation that coursed through Sieg’s entire body.
Eventually requiring breath, Sieg broke the kiss and leaned his head to the side when Tristan found other uses for his mouth and tongue. Though difficult to keep his eyes open given the onslaught against his ear and neck, Sieg peered over Tristan’s shoulder and met the eyes of the older twin. Shamelessly, Caleb was watching them with a pleased smile, but the quietness to his eyes told a different story.
Despite his fear of making an unwise decision, Sieg reached out a hand to the older twin.
Caleb showed his surprise at the silent offer, but didn’t waste time in accepting the proposal. Taking the hand in his, he sat beside the brunet and pressed a lasting kiss at Sieg’s shoulder.
Seeing this, Tristan straightened and asked, “Am I not enough?”
Sieg met the pained gaze of the younger twin. “I’m sorry for being greedy, but I need both of you to be happy.”
Tristan stared into the eyes of mercury until realizing he had already lost, and though visibly frustrated by the decision, he turned to his brother and made clear, “I just want Siegfried. We can talk about us another time.”
Caleb laughed softly. “Don’t worry about that, brother. Truthfully, I just want to make certain you don’t fuck this up. Sieg deserves only the best treatment for saving your ass.”
With a smile mirroring his twin’s, Tristan countered, “And that’s why I’m the one in the lead.”
At once, two pairs of identical pale eyes turned to Sieg and he winced at the desire reflected in their gazes. Too quickly it became apparent that he had gotten himself into something he had little knowledge about and wouldn’t be able to control, but as he was encouraged to move further up the mattress, Sieg soon didn’t have the mindset to care about the small details, including the fact that it was his father’s bed they were using. Hands caressed his body in all areas, torturing him in the more sensitive regions of his chest and sides. Caleb remained high as he bit and licked at his shoulder and neck, one hand focused on the task of playing with a taut nipple. Tristan, meanwhile, moved lower along the slim body, his mouth latching onto a particularly sensitive spot between ribs. His hand wasn’t any safer, his long fingers massaging a bent leg and traveling upward toward the towel that was poorly concealing Sieg’s opinion about what was being done to him.
However, when a hand grabbed onto the towel and began to pull, Sieg stiffened and stopped the removal of his only bit of cover.
“It has to go sometime,” Tristan commented with a laugh.
Struggling to sit up, Sieg was somewhat surprised to notice that both twins had already lost their shirts and Tristan was sockless. “I know, but… just don’t say anything you would normally say.”
With a Cheshire’s grin, Tristan nodded much like a child promising to not touch the cookie jar. He then pulled slowly on the towel, forcing it out of Sieg’s hand and helping it to unravel from its fold. The revealed sight, however, made the grin vanish into a surprised ‘o’.
“Shit, Siegfried – you’re huge.”
Falling back onto the mattress with an arm over his face, Sieg muttered, “I asked you to not say anything about it.”
Meanwhile, Caleb chuckled. “That’s a magician for you – they’re never quite what you expect.”
Tristan couldn’t seem to take his eyes off of the slightly swelled penis, at least eight inches in length. “How are you able to hide this monster in your pants? And do you realize that half the female population at school would pay you to ride this beast? You could fuck them blind!”
Sieg growled under his breath and considered calling everything off, but a finger running along the curve of his dick wiped his thoughts clean. Then a second finger and a thumb came into play, accidentally rubbing beneath the sensitive head while Tristan continued his examination. The most embarrassing, high-pitched sound escaped Sieg at the simple touch.
Tristan looked up at the noise, his expression of surprise quickly transforming into one of pure interest. “I wouldn’t have guessed you for the sensitive type, Siegfried. Tell you what, just ask and I’ll give you a real treat, something I’d do only for you.”
Sieg stared down at the teen that was purposefully rubbing his thumb in the most distracting way. “You don’t suck dick,” was the only comment he could manage.
“And that’s why you would be the only one, genius. But you have to keep making those noises, alright?” Tristan said as he moved between Sieg’s legs.
“Oh God,” Sieg whispered in the moment before long fingers slipped beneath his penis and hot breath caressed the responsive flesh. He attempted to squirm away, but Caleb helped to keep the slender teen in place with a firm hand at his wrist and an arm encircling his waist.
“Let him taste you,” Caleb said with a kiss behind a small ear. “Let him come to terms with what it means to love another man.”
Sieg didn’t have the chance to respond, his entire body tensing when a hot tongue stroked the tip of his penis. Abruptly, it seemed every sensing part of his body became focused on Tristan and the things he was doing between his legs. In his mind, Sieg knew the pale-eyed teen shouldn’t have been skilled at satisfying another man, but it was probably something he had experienced several times from various dates. And as he clutched at the sheets, Sieg felt the burn of jealousy for the first time he could remember, hating that he couldn’t really enjoy the tricks of the dexterous tongue, hating that Tristan had learned those tricks from one of the Blondies he favored.
Sieg opened his eyes to meet the concerned gaze of the younger twin, the eyes of blue and brown shining with a confused gleam.
“Hey, if you don’t like this, I’ll stop. Just say the word.”
The words were too tender, too honest for Sieg to reply with a lie. “It’s not that I don’t like it, but… you’re just doing what those girls have done to you.”
With a stunned blink, Tristan stared at his desire for a long moment before pink lips formed a slow smile. “You’re jealous?”
“… Do you blame me?”
His smile broadening, Tristan replied with a simple ‘no’ before returning to his previous task.
Despite his thoughts, Sieg’s body chose to enjoy the wet caresses of a strong tongue, the light grazing of white teeth, and the firm touch of fingers behind his balls. He was a teenage boy, after all, but compared to the times he had masturbated, his dick felt hot and sore in a sweetly painful manner. Caleb was of no help, the demon unabashedly watching his twin take in as much as he could of the hardened dick.
Arched back into the mattress and silently begging for release, Sieg closed his eyes and focused on the increasingly daring touches of the playboy. Then long fingers slipped down from teased balls and caressed the rim of his anus, the unexpected action causing Sieg to jerk from surprise and accidentally push deeper into the heated mouth. When the head of his arousal rammed against the back of Tristan’s throat and teeth dug into vulnerable flesh, Sieg was overwhelmed by too many sensations at once, and with a choked cry, the brunet came.
Tristan promptly retreated with hard coughs, the sight instantly worrying Sieg at the same time as Caleb laughed.
“Are you going to live there, brother?”
Tristan glared at his twin, and after a last series of coughs, he said, “Better to die from sex than from a demon with tentacles.”
“That isn’t funny,” Sieg argued, his voice low and hoarse.
“Not meant to be,” Tristan said with a smirk. Crawling forward on hands and knees, he hovered over the limp brunet before bending down to take claim of soft lips. It was a firm kiss, one of possessive intent, and when lips eventually parted, Tristan asked, “Can I have the rest?”
Sieg lifted his hand and brushed aside damp locks of wavy hair, the strands surprisingly soft between his fingers. Tristan angled his head into that touch and purred lightly in a manner that soothed away all of Sieg’s concerns. “Do whatever you want.”
Tristan smiled brightly before hastily moving back, but as he grabbed a leg and lifted it to his shoulder, Caleb cleared his throat in a loud and obvious attempt to gain his brother’s attention.
“What?” Tristan asked irritably.
“If you ever want Sieg to spread his legs again, I suggest getting that cream I used on him earlier and a couple of condoms.”
Dark eyebrows furrowed at the suggestion, Tristan seeming overly concerned at the concept that Sieg could possibly refuse sex if he didn’t listen to his twin. Reluctantly, he lowered the leg back onto the bed and moved off the mattress where he removed his jeans and boxers before fetching the jar of cream and his backpack.
At the same time, Caleb sat up and removed the last of his clothing before sitting back against the headboard. “Come here, magus.”
Sieg gazed dumbly at the demon before following the order, but before he could sit next to the teen, Caleb grabbed his upper arm and positioned the brunet to straddle over him. A large hand slapped his butt, making him glare at the older twin.
“Keep that tight ass in the air. It’ll make things easier.”
A small light went off in Sieg’s head, making him realize just how experienced Caleb could be. “How old are you?”
“An odd question at a time like this, but I suppose around hundred-fifty to two hundred years old in human terms. Why?”
“God, you’ve probably done this literally a thousand times, then.”
Caleb grinned a knowing smile before glancing over the brunet’s shoulder. “I would hurry, brother, or I may take Sieg for myself.”
“Don’t you dare,” Tristan growled as he crawled back onto the mattress and moved behind the slender teen waiting on hands and knees. “So now what, professor?”
“Stretch him out a little with the cream and use the condom. No one likes a lover who has fingers smelling like shit.”
Sieg felt his face and body flush at the words. “Do you have to be so crude?”
As Caleb grinned, Sieg heard Tristan chuckle lightly and say, “If he keeps making you red like this, then I’m not going to dissuade him.”
Sieg looked over his shoulder with the intent to argue with the younger twin, but at that moment, the cold press of fingers covered by a condom and healing cream stroked the rim of his anus. It was a very foreign sensation, one that became even stranger when the fingers slipped through into the tight passageway. A hand brushed through his coffee-colored hair and Sieg looked to Caleb for the unexpected touch. His expression changed from mocking to calming, Caleb mouthed the word, ‘relax’.
Taking the suggestion, Sieg leaned forward to place his forehead against the demon shoulder and made himself think of the various sensations as Tristan touching him and not as some foreign object invading him. It was difficult task, but then the twin landed against a special spot that had no place residing within his anal passage. And with a sharp breath, Sieg jerked backward in an instinctive attempt to strengthen that sensation. A quick learner when he wanted to be, Tristan focused on that spot within the brunet while he also lapped his tongue at the small of Sieg’s back, timing the dual sensations such that Sieg was driven to the point of panting against the heated skin of the other twin.
“I… I can’t… No more…” he begged breathily.
“You heard him,” Caleb said in a cheery manner as he continued to stroke his fingers deep in Sieg’s hair. “Time to move onto other forms of torture.”
“I won’t argue there,” Tristan replied as he promptly sat up and grabbed a fresh condom. After slathering on healing cream, Tristan moved behind Sieg and placed a hand on his erection to guide it forward. With the very tip of his length touching the rim of the reddened anus, he was interrupted by Caleb.
“Just as a warning, brother, once you do this with a magician, you’re not going to want another creature for the rest of your days.”
Curious, Sieg glanced up at the serious eyes of the demon.
Caleb offered no explanation, but that didn’t matter to Tristan as he laughed softly. “I think I might be alright with that.”
That being the only warning, Sieg reflexively tensed at the solid invasion of the hot erection that slipped into his passage. It wasn’t as forgiving as the bend of fingers, but the previous stretching had helped to the point of making it tolerable. Unaware that he had been holding his breath, Sieg gasped when long fingers curled around his slowly returning arousal and pressed it against something much harder. Glancing up, Sieg stared into the hungry gaze of the older twin.
“It’s lonely if I do it by myself,” Caleb said with a smirk before proceeding to stroke the paired lengths.
Trapped between the twins, Sieg groaned as Tristan wrapped an arm at his shoulder and the other around his waist, using the additional leverage to plunge increasingly harder and deeper. Meanwhile, Caleb had stretched back against pillows while stroking their arousals, offering Sieg the sight of ecstasy that must have been mirrored on his brother’s face. It was too many sensations for the brunet to handle alone, and as the energy built up within his chest, Sieg abruptly realized what Caleb had been referring to.
Out of his control, tiny threads of lightning formed first around his hands, and then crawled up his arms and over his shoulders. The first touch of his excited magic against Tristan’s hand was obvious, the teen groaning out and struggling to maintain his rhythm as the blue lightning twisted around his arm and seeped into his skin.
“Holy fuck, what… what is that?”
“A magician losing control,” Caleb commented uselessly. The demon then began to sit up and asked his brother, “Pull him back closer to you. I want to do something.”
Sieg wanted to question the intent of the demon, but Tristan reacted too quickly and he was pulled back into an almost seated position on the twin’s lap. Impaled too deeply, Sieg lost all breath as tendrils of more energy coursed over his body and slipped back to Tristan, the teen cursing hoarsely as his dick throbbed within the brunet.
“I’ll be quick,” Caleb muttered before bringing a finger to his mouth. Biting the skin, bright human blood slipped down the finger with only hints of black visible in the right light. A hooked and deadly claw slid out from the pale flesh, gleaming with the demon’s blood. Sieg realized Caleb’s intentions a moment too late and couldn’t stop the first slice into his chest.
“Shit, Cal, what are you--”
“Don’t do anything,” Sieg bit out, his entire body tense and still radiating energy. “If you distract him, it’ll make things worse.”
“But he’s…” Tristan tightened his holds as his voice wavered in distress. “Fucking Hell, is that calculus he’s writing?”
Sieg couldn’t spare the breath to console the younger twin and tell him that calculus was indeed the Devil’s magic. The cuts into his chest and the taint of demon blood made his head spin with magic that he wasn’t controlling. Abruptly, images of chains and barbed wire came to mind, something he promptly changed into soft leather and cold silk. He heard the laughter of the demon at the forceful transformation of the forming bond, a bond that was intended to be one of domination and not of mutation consent.
The last letter carved into flesh, Caleb sunk back into the pillows and replaced his now bloodied hand around their hardened members. “Shall we continue?”
Tristan murmured, “Pushy bastard,” under his breath before lifting Sieg and bringing him back down onto his dick. The spike of pleasure sparked something within the slender teen and encouraged his cooperation. Curling his legs into a more steady position, he then proceeded to use his own power to lift and lower onto the hardened member. Tristan pressed rough kisses and bites against Sieg’s neck, the unforgiving nips causing small noises to emit from the brunet, the unintelligible sounds gradually taking form of the twin’s name.
Eventually, Sieg curled an arm over his shoulder to grasp onto wavy hair in an attempt to form more of a connection between them, knowing the end was near and that the overflow of magic would probably kill him if he didn’t use the brother as a grounding source. As if working in tandem, Tristan bit deeply into the flesh of shoulder at the same moment Caleb squeezed a touch too hard with callused palms and the last restraint was broken.
Unashamedly, Sieg screamed out as his world briefly became nothing more than burning light and painful pleasure. After the initial flash of too many sensations, Sieg became aware that that not all of them were his own, the binding spell on his chest activating with the burst of wild energy. The foreign feelings of the demon were easily identified, almost human but slightly twisted in an unidentifiable fashion. But something else teased at the back of his mind, the muted emotions of something else, something without the spark of magic…
Eyes of bright mercury snapped open and focused on the demon in the moment before Sieg wrapped his hands around Caleb’s throat. “You idiot! What were you thinking to perform a fucking blood binding spell?!”
Choking slightly, Caleb pulled on the hands to loosen the not quite deadly hold. “I was thinking that you wanted me as your familiar.”
“Not with blood,” Sieg growled out as he pushed back from the demon, abruptly reminding himself that he wasn’t in the best position to be moving too much. “Tristan, are you alright?”
With a dreary ‘huh?’, Tristan continued to cling onto the slender teen. “… ’m tired… ‘n’ my shoulder hurts… for some reason.”
Still looking forward, Sieg saw the startled gleam of understanding in dirty blue eyes. Caleb looked to his shoulder and brushed the symbol that still smoked from the moment it was branded into flesh by magic – appearing something like a Celtic knot, ropes and chains twisted and intertwined to form the image that would look like a mere sphere to anyone else, but Sieg recognized the complex cage for what it was. Sieg glanced over his shoulder and gazed unsurprised at the exact same symbol located on Tristan’s arm.
“You idiot,” Sieg said tiredly. “While you may just be residing in that body, your physical blood is still identical to Tristan’s and that’s not to mention he was fucking me the moment the spell activated. Now he’s bound to me without a choice and without the understanding of what it means to be a familiar.”
“You’re pissed,” Tristan interrupted wearily, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “Royally pissed. Why?”
Sieg placed a hand on top of the teen’s head. “I’m not mad at you. Try to move and lie down for me, alright?”
Tristan nodded and slowly removed himself, whispering an apology when Sieg winced at the soreness he knew would only get worse by the morning. And while Sieg should have known better, he didn’t react fast enough when Tristan dropped down onto the mattress without releasing his hold on the brunet.
Lying on his side with Tristan firmly wrapped around his chest and Caleb fighting a laugh next to them, Sieg glared at the older twin. “This isn’t funny, Caleb. You have to undo it.”
“No can do. This sort of thing is permanent. Why else would demons like me avoid it like the plague?”
Sieg glanced down at the already healed and fading lines on his chest. While the mark of the familiar was meant to be dark and visible, the identity of the master was protected with the vanished formula. Sieg knew it, but the concept still didn’t settle well with him. “Others will recognize him as a familiar and you know damned well that Tristan can’t protect himself.”
“I’ll always protect him, just as I’ll protect you for the rest of your days.”
“You can’t always be there.”
“But you will be.”
Startled by the answer, Sieg stared with open confusion at the demon.
“He loves you. He has since the moment you called him a playboy with a runaway dick.”
“But… You want him,” Sieg eventually argued, after first making certain Tristan was dead to the world.
“As a brother, not a lover. And after seeing the look in his eyes when he touches you, I know Tristan is meant to stand at your side. Tonight, it was enough to make certain that he didn’t harm my precious master.”
Sieg continued to stare at the demon in human guise, a breathed laugh escaping the brunet in the moment before he covered his face. “Those damned cards. Tristan is truly the chariot driver who can take claim of any destiny he wants, but you… You’re his bowman, the one who tracks and lands the prey for the driver’s trophy room.”
Grinning, Caleb placed his fingers beneath Sieg’s chin. “And what lovely prey you are.”
Sieg swatted aside the hand, his incredulous smile dropping into something more serious. “Everything I know I’ve either gained from books my mother left me or from experimentation. I’ve never been trained, but if I’m going to have to protect my own familiar…”
“I’d be happy to train you,” Caleb finished with a fond smile. “Our magic is different, but I’ve killed a few magicians in my lifetime and I know what spells they used.”
His body relaxing at the offer of help, Sieg placed a hand on top of Tristan’s restraining arm. “This will be hard for him. He’ll have to cope with a brother who is really a demon and me being a magician, not to mention his master. When do you think he’ll figure out that I can give him suggestions?”
“About the same time he realizes that he’s reacting to your emotions. By the way, you are absolutely purring right now.”
Startled, Sieg tensed at the comment, his reaction causing Tristan to groan with disappointment and hug him tighter. The murmured plea of ‘one more kiss’ was too much for Sieg as he relaxed with a resigned chuckle. “A complete playboy. Why am I even bothering?”
“Because you know you could love him,” Caleb replied as he settled into a more comfortable position.
“… It’ll be complicated.”
“In all my life, I’ve never met a magician who preferred the mundane. Magic is controlled chaos and it’s the same with love.” Yawning lightly, Caleb closed his eyes. “Give it a try. Worse comes to worse, you’ll still enjoy some amazing sex.”
Sieg smiled at the typically worthless suggestion from the demon. Turning as best he could in his position, Sieg gazed at the slack face of the younger twin and thought about everything that had happened that day. It was a confusing mess of bloody violence, mixed emotions, and revealed secrets, but within it all, Sieg clearly remembered the seductive teen stumbling on his own two feet when asked if he liked him. The subsequent first caress of Tristan’s roughened hand was a burned memory against his cheek, and recalling the scent of blood and grass, Sieg knew he was in trouble.
The resting twins his only audience, Sieg complained, “It would’ve been easier if I had been a vampire.”
Author's Grumblings - And here was my submission to the fiction contest for Yaoi Con 2007. For some odd reason, there wasn't an anthology this year and I imagine I would've had a better chance at getting into that rather than placing in the fiction contest. Though, truth be told, I still haven't a clue if they even received my fic. I sent the submission before the original deadline and never received a 'we got your story' email. Two weeks later, I tried emailing through their website to ask if they received my fic since I've had bad luck with Yahoo Mail getting my file attachments people. No reply. So yeah, no fricking clue if my story got read and I'm too much of a chicken to ask for my score. I'm not in school anymore - I can't handle grades like I used to. =P
Anywho, I hope it was somewhat entertaining. I've actually been considering a sequel to this for the fun of it, but we all know how 'good' I am with writing anything for these original fics. SxS are my masters and it's so hard to rebel.