“Demons will fuck anything.”

The voice breaks Cade’s concentration like a busted fire alarm. Coworkers, two cubicles down. He glares at his monitor and tries not to face the noise, but blocking them out proves futile. 

The clock in the corner of his screen ticks toward 10:49. Eleven minutes and he can take an early lunch. And by the sound of the conversation, it will take at least eleven minutes for these fuckers to move on. 

A second voice carries sheepishly over the cube walls. “Yeah, but don’t you have to go to their part of town?” 

“You know half the stuff you hear about demons is bullshit, right? They’re not allowed to hurt humans.” The first voice again, though Cade can’t place it.

Not that Cade could place anyone’s voice outside of his immediate team. Each group within the firm is siloed, restricted to their individual projects. Cade knows his boss and his three teammates; everyone else with a company email address is a non-descript gray face in his inbox. 

“And I’m sure demons follow every law to a T,” jeers a third voice. The trio cackle at this like it’s some well-known joke, but Cade doesn’t get it.

“Look, I’ve been to Hyral. It’s a whole other world, and they treat humans like… like kings. They love us. And why wouldn’t they? They get their own part of town and the laws let them use their magic so long as they behave.”

“Wait, you really went there?” The second voice again. 

“Yeah. This one club, Eros? It’s like a nonstop party. It’s always night and they have the best booze…”

The conversation softens as the three employees wander away. Cade’s shoulders slump in relief, though it’s not like he can magically concentrate now that they’re gone. He picks up his phone and checks his notifications—spam emails and DMs from the dating app he’d been using. Probably more prying questions about his junk. He clears the notification. No thanks.

Cade had moved to New Ceres half a year ago in an effort to save himself from hometown mediocrity, only to find mediocrity in the city wasn’t much different. He’d moved here for this marketing firm job that ended up being glorified data entry. For now it pays his bills and gets him health insurance.

At least there are art museums, plural. And a sprawling park across the street from his office building that shoulders a waterfront. 24-hour liquor stores. GrubHub. 

He’d thought dating prospects would be more promising, too. Bigger pond, more fish, right? More fish that might potentially want to fuck a trans boy from the country. 

No dice. Most wanted nothing to do with him after they learned what wasn’t between his legs. Others had questions he didn’t have the energy to deal with, answers he didn’t owe anyone. 

The computer clock now reads 11:00 and Cade pushes back from his desk, grabs his lunchbox from the communal cooler, and heads outside to the park across the street. 

He eats the crust off his sandwich before he gives into morbid curiosity. He opens the dating app and skims the unread messages. Is your dick real or fake? Delete. Pre or post-op? Delete. Don’t care what you got down below so long as you—Delete, delete, delete. 

Cade tears into the heart of his turkey and provolone sandwich. After overtime and a two hour commute both ways, he’s kidding himself to think he has the energy to date around. Even though he doesn’t exactly want a date. Doesn’t want a relationship. 

Demons will fuck anything. 

In truth he didn’t know much about demonkind, other than they’re real and they inhabit a section of New Ceres known as Hyral. They stick to their part of town as if quarantined, and they aren’t allowed to venture onto human streets without a permit. Humans can go to Hyral without any such paperwork, but it’s rare. There shouldn’t be anything for humans there.

But it’s Friday. Cade doesn’t have to come in this weekend and help his boss with last minute projects. By the time he shoves the last bite of sandwich in his mouth, he has an idea. Spur of the moment plans for the evening. 

After trudging through the rest of the workday, Cade stops at a corner store and buys a pint of bottom shelf bourbon. He takes his regular northbound train, but gets off at the central station. It’s a hub for every rail line, including the train to Hyral, aptly named The Black Line. 

According to a timetable Cade finds posted on the station’s wall, the train to Hyral runs every hour. He follows directional signs to an escalator that drags him deeper underground, where the ceiling above changes to glassy basalt instead of chrome and steel. His boots slap against the gray tile and echo off the walls as he wanders into the tunnel. 

He’s the only person—human or demon—waiting on the Black Line platform. He supposes that makes sense, since demonkind hardly comes to the human side of New Ceres. He sits down on a bench and considers that he’s never actually seen a demon. Can they change their appearance to appear human? To blend in? Would it be like walking onto the set of a horror movie where everyone’s done up in professional prosthetics and makeup? 

The train screams into the station at precisely seven. It looks like any other El train except the doors are covered in red vinyl, and the LCD box on the side shows the route name in symbols instead of letters. There’s no automated voice announcing the next stop, but when the doors slide open there’s an eerie chime that throws Cade’s hackles up. 

He could turn around, but he’d only return to an empty apartment with a head full of what if. 

Cade steps onto the empty train and heads for the corner, where the car connects to the next in sequence. He curls up on an isolated bench, taking swigs from the bottle wrapped in brown paper. The burn builds in his throat, boils in his stomach. He should have eaten, grabbed a protein bar from the corner store. 

As the train enters Hyral and breaks the surface of the underground, the sky darkens. Cade sits up and all but presses his face against the plexiglass window. The buildings below the elevated railway lean against each other like wayward drunks, dripping with loose power lines and crooked satellite dishes. The ground is slick with iridescent puddles, mirroring a mosaic of neon signs. Half the streetlights are out, and a persistent mist hangs in the air like a grounded cloud. 

He sees the tall, glimmering sign for Eros as the train slows into the first station. There’s no definite border to where Hyral begins and New Ceres ends. The chime sounds again as the train halts, and Cade hurries to his feet and onto the platform—

—right into a terrifying face full of horns and scales and two pools of ink for eyes. The first demon he’s ever seen, and he bites back a yelp. The demon tilts their head, but says nothing as Cade sidesteps them and mutters, “Excuse me,” and hurries onward. 

One he’s back on the ground, Cade walks in the vague direction of Eros’s sign. He can tell when he’s close. A block ahead, demons cluster on the sidewalk, and Cade is overwhelmed at once with the multitude of their appearances—horns, straight or corkscrewed or sawn short, protruding from their foreheads; their eyes are more pupil than iris, their skin shining in hues of purple, red, and gray. Some have hooves instead of feet, and wings like bats or ravens. 

The demons milling on the sidewalk notice Cade with equivalent fascination. A few hiss softly at his back while some regard him with idle curiosity. None of them speak to him, losing interest as soon as he leaves their periphery. 

Cade ducks his head and avoids eye contact before he slips through the club’s unguarded entrance. Inside it’s packed, and aside from the extremities in bodily features, it looks like an ordinary club. Strobe lights overhead, bass thick as thunder, the air replaced with sweat and perfume and fake fog. He covers his nose as he cuts around the club’s dance floor, down a hallway in the back. 

The first empty room he finds has a table in the center, a lopsided trash can, and a ripped leather couch to the side. Cade sheds his jacket, his pants, his shirt. He leaves his boots on, as well as his jock, and climbs onto the table. It wobbles but it holds his weight. 

Then he waits. 

The music thumps right along with his heartbeat. He can hear the sounds of fucking through the walls, mixed with screeching, shrill wails, terrifyingly birdlike. 

Someone shuffles in the doorway. “Oh fuck, look at this,” a voice says.

“Hold on,” says another voice. They whisper, or maybe the music is so loud it mutes regular talking. There’s a heavy pause before Cade hears them shuffle away. 

Cade’s eyes burn. Not even in a seedy demon club can he find someone to fuck him. 

Even swimming with booze, the rational side of his brain kicks in and he realizes this might be a bad idea. He could get passed over all night, or worse—he might get the shit kicked out of him. 

He lowers his legs from the table, intending to stand and put his clothes on, just as someone clears their throat from the doorway. 

Cade looks over his shoulder at the demon standing there, holding a drink in one hand. He’s dressed in a sharp suit like he’d just come from a funeral or the fucking opera. His thick horns bow from his head, and like every other demon Cade had seen for the first time that night, his eyes are black as the permanent night sky outside.

That’s all Cade takes in of the demon’s appearance before his head snaps forward.

The demon says nothing at first, but Cade hears the soft thud of glass against wood as the demon sets his drink down. He catches a glimpse of the demon’s black fingernails, the stripes of tattoo peeking from beneath the pressed cuff of his shirt. 

Cade’s legs quiver along with the ratty table as the demon slides a firm hand against Cade’s crotch. Then he squeezes. Cade swallows hard, waiting for the inevitable reaction of disgust. There would be no mistake.

The demon’s hand disappears as the bass picks up from the other side of the club. “I saw you come in,” he says, loud enough that Cade can hear him clearly. 

“I shouldn’t be here,” Cade says to the crumbled gray wall in front of him. He flinches as a throttled moan tears through the wall from the neighboring room. “I… this was a mistake.” He finds his courage to stand and face his demon visitor. The demon’s horns are nested in white hair, tinted pink from the neon light overhead. His eyes narrow despite his amused smile. 

“I’m sorry,” Cade blurts. “I should go.” He reaches for his clothes, face already in flames over the fact that he’d just apologized to a demon

But the demon shifts aside and blocks the couch. Cade clenches his fist and glares at the floor. This had definitely been a mistake, and now this demon was going to do god-knows-what to him. 

“Why did you come all this way, human?”

“I heard things,” Cade says after a beat. “Rumors.”

The demon hums. “Which ones?”

“That demons will fuck anything,” Cade says, seeing no reason to lie in case demonkind could sense that sort of thing. 

Now that he’s said it out loud, he expects cruel amusement from the demon. He’d been so desperately horny he hadn’t considered the rumor might have been embellished. None of the demons he’d passed on the street had looked at him like royalty. They’d been intrigued at best, hostile at worst.

Cade freezes when the demon’s hand slides under his chin and lifts his head so he’s forced to look up. Beneath the neon light, the demon’s black eyes are glossy, his face etched with surprising concern. The demon’s visage is human enough, and it doesn’t take long for Cade to adjust to the unique details. He imagines the demon’s face between his legs, his hands clenched around those two horns, and his cock stirs. 

He could be into this. Not like he had other options. 

“That’s what brought you here?” the demon asks. 

“Yeah,” Cade says, and a nervous laugh escapes him. “I can’t get laid on my side of town.”

The demon doesn’t smile back, but his thumb slides against Cade’s cheek; unexpected tenderness that Cade doesn’t know what to do with. He almost forgets to breathe. 

Then the demon releases him and steps away, giving Cade clear access to his clothes. “Leave if you wish,” the demon says. He sits down on the unoccupied end of the couch and rests his drink on one thigh.

“What if I stay?” Cade asks.

The demon smiles, baring fanged canines. “You’ll find out what’s rumor and what’s truth.” 

Cade blinks. Maybe he should be scared. Demons aren’t supposed to use their magic on humans, but this one could have done anything by now—overtaken his mind, turned him into a thrall. Fed on him, sucked him dry of blood or life force or whatever demons imbibed for nourishment. 

There’s also the fact that no one knows where Cade is because he hasn’t made any friends in the city, nor would he have told his parents where he was going. He wonders how long it would take his work to realize he wasn’t at his desk on Monday. 

But he’s not scared, in part due to the booze in his system. And he’d come all this way, after all.

Cade closes the door to the small room, then faces the demon, who smiles snakelike and feral. His black tongue slides along his lower lip, as if he’s weighing his thoughts. “Get back on the table.”  

Cade can’t tell if the room is spinning from the alcohol or the persistent bass through the walls or the demon’s overwhelming presence, but he obeys, once again facing the cracked gray wall as he climbs onto the table. 

Fabric rustles, then Cade hears the clink of a belt buckle. Hands grope his ass and spread him apart. The demon is silent as he inspects Cade thoroughly, pinching and testing his skin, touching him everywhere but his crotch.

The demon runs his thumbs up the insides of Cade’s thighs, then circles the globes of his ass with his palms. He spreads Cade again, then gives him a swat on one cheek. 

“Is this what you like?” the demon continues, slapping the other cheek harder. 

“Yes,” Cade says through gritted teeth, so quietly that he’s not sure the demon hears him. 

“Yes, sir,” the demon corrects. 

Cade feels his cock harden from the perfect concoction of humiliation and arousal. “Yes, sir,” he says. 

“Good boy,” the demon says, and then Cade feels something stiff slide between his thighs. “You feel that?”

“Yes, sir.” It’s huge, rubbing between Cade’s legs with enough friction to make his mouth part. 

The demon slips a finger into the strap of Cade’s jock and snaps it. Cade whimpers, wants more, and the demon laughs. “Like a bit of pain, human?” 

“Yes, sir,” Cade says, dipping his head lower.

“I’ll fuck that shyness right out of you,” the demon says, yanking the jock strap down to Cade’s knees. He slides two fingers between Cade’s lips, circling his cock. “So wet already,” the demon says, almost proud. “Spread your legs.” 

Cade does his best against the elastic of the jock, careful about how he distributes his weight on the flimsy table. He wishes he’d kicked his boots off. The demon doesn’t remove his fingers, presses them against Cade’s sensitive nerves with precision. “Good boy,” the demon says, and a shiver runs through Cade at the praise. 

He moans when he feels the demon’s tongue slide over his hole, fingers still deftly teasing his cock. Cade’s hips tilt, not sure if he’s trying to get more or less pressure. 

“Let me hear you, human,” the demon grunts, dragging his tongue along Cade’s tight hole. 

“Fuck,” Cade moans, his body pinched with heat. He’d stumbled headlong into this with one simple expectation: get railed by a demon. Not have a demon touch him and eat him out so fucking well. This is its own form of possession, one he has no problem submitting to. 

The demon pulls back, slaps Cade’s ass hard. “Bend over the couch.”

Cade slides from the table. It’s sauna-humid, his body slick as his knees squeak across the battered leather. He places his hands on the back of the couch as the demon moves behind him. 

Something hard and cool touches the small of Cade’s back. “Try not to spill it,” the demon says, then grabs Cade’s hip with one hand, spreads his lips with the other. There’s no warning before the demon slides inside, parting him to his depths so fiercely that he cries out. He squeezes the shoulder of the couch beneath his fingers, moaning as he’s filled up. The glass wobbles at the base of his spine. 

The pressure of the demon’s thickness shallows his breaths at first, even though the demon doesn’t move. Instead he picks up his drink and drains it, before tossing the glass to the floor. Instead of shattering, it tumbles into the darkness beneath the couch. 

The demon grabs both of Cade’s hips and drills forward, the movement toppling Cade as he catches himself against the wall with one arm. The demon’s pace begins steadily, like a steam locomotive gearing up with the weight of fifty cars behind it. The demon’s cock stretches Cade, feels too strange inside him to look exactly like human genitalia. Ridges press against his walls, the demon’s cock pulsing inside him like it’s damn near vibrating.

Fuck,” Cade groans. 

“That’s it,” the demon says, leaning forward to place one hand on the wall next to Cade’s. He pistons in and out roughly, exerting little effort. “Good boy, taking my cock so well. You came here because you needed this, didn’t you?” 

Cade flushes—compliments weren’t part of his expectations either. “Y-yes, sir,” he mumbles, and as the demon fucks him, the pressure and the friction reminds Cade how slick he is. 

If not for his precarious position, Cade would touch his cock, edge himself closer. But he’s stuck, helpless as he gets railed against a torn up couch and a blank concrete wall. 

Maybe not completely helpless, he realizes, as he presses both bent arms against the wall and pushes back, giving the demon more leverage. “Fuck,” he hisses. The demon doesn’t let up, hitting him so deep he feels like each thrust makes his stomach bulge. 

It’s almost too much, maybe even hurts, but it’s so fucking good. This is what he’d wanted, to be fucked so ruthless he can’t even think about work or loneliness or living in a city that threatens to swallow him up. It’s impossible not to feel insignificant on the train ride home, surrounded by the dense rush hour crowd as the El tears through the city. 

The demon’s movements slow, catching Cade’s attention. He looks over his shoulder as the demon pulls out and swats Cade’s ass. “Move.” 

Cade edges along the couch and the demon usurps the empty space. He peers up at Cade, a full smirk as he pats his thigh. “Come here, human.”

Cade drops his gaze as he straddles the demon. His bare legs brush against undoubtedly expensive trousers. His eyes waver on the demon’s erection. It looks bigger than it felt, perhaps because of the unique details—a defined, sculpted head that whips to a point, with smooth ridges no firmer than skin. 

The demon slides his hand up, digging his black fingernails into Cade’s throat. “Look at me.” 

Cade obeys, eyes wide as they careen into the abyss of the demon’s… four eyes. Two new pupils had sprung open, a total of four trained on Cade. 

“Do I frighten you?” the demon asks as his quad-eyes blink languidly. 

“No,” Cade says quickly. “It’s just different.” He swallows and his throat bobs against the demon’s palm. “I’ve never—you’re my first. First demon.” 

“Oh?” the demon asks. “How’s it going so far?” The demon’s other hand slides across Cade’s thigh and squeezes. “Am I meeting expectations?”

“Ah, um, yes?” Cade wonders why a demon would even care about their own performance. 

“I’m pleased to hear it,” the demon murmurs, his thumb finding Cade’s jaw again before his hand drops altogether. “Now fuck me.”

Cade shudders, reaching behind to angle the demon’s cock with his entrance. There’s less pressure as he lowers himself, but the demon is undeniably large. His cock ruts against Cade’s oversensitive insides. He lets out a shaky sound when he’s fully seated, his hands sliding up the back of the couch for support. 

He moves his hips, then his legs, and of course the couch creaks below them. Cade wants to laugh at the cliché, but he’s too hazy from being filled up, his lower half throbbing as he rides the demon. His eyes drop again, staring at the demon’s partially open shirt collar, where the low light catches on a gold chain each time Cade drives down.

“What did I tell you about being shy?” the demon asks, and Cade’s eyes snap up. The demon rests his arms on the couch back, arranged around Cade’s grip on the leather. 

“Good boy,” the demon says. “So obedient.” He reaches around Cade’s side, fingers ghosting over his hole. Cade’s skin crawls deliciously, his speed surging on the demon’s cock. The demon prods him, tugging a soft moan out of Cade as he pushes his ass into it on the downstroke.

“Delicate little thing you are,” the demon says, circling Cade’s rim. “You like that?” 

“Yes, sir,” Cade moans. “Fuck—so good.” 

The demon eases the tip of his finger inside Cade. He moans as he tilts his hips, his cock catching friction against the hot skin. The demon’s finger dives deep, then out, fucking him gentle and slow. Cade loses his rhythm somewhere, caught between hitting the sensitive target inside and fucking himself on the demon’s finger. 

His eyes wander to the demon’s horns, wondering what it would be like to hold on like reins. Would it hurt? Or would it be an insignificant pain like a fire ant bite? Or an itch? 

The demon tilts his head back. “Something you want?” he asks. 

Cade slows, grinds his hips so he doesn’t go completely still. “Those,” he says, staring directly at the horns. He lifts one hand from the couch and runs a thumb across the rigid surface. 

The demon’s mouth twitches. “What about them?” 

Cade drops his hand. “I…” Now all of a sudden he’s concerned about proper human/demon etiquette, whether it’s bad form to hold onto a demon’s horns while fucking him. 

The demon catches his hand. “What do you want?” he asks. “Say it.” Then he smirks. “I’m positive whatever it is, you can’t hurt me.”

Instead of verbalizing the question, Cade grabs both horns and watches the demon’s face for a reaction. There’s neither sneer nor scowl, but a tiny smile. It reads as encouragement, and Cade’s grip tightens as he lifts up. 

With the demon’s head leaned back, there’s enough resistance for Cade to pull himself up by the horns, as if they’re secured to the concrete wall. “Fuck—please,” Cade begs, not even sure what he’s asking for, only that he’s getting close. 

“Are you asking me to come, human?” The demon’s grin splits his features as all four of his eyes widen and swell. 

“Yes—fuck, yes sir, please let me come,” Cade groans, his rhythm falling sloppy and ill-timed. 

“Then make it loud for me,” the demon says, grabbing Cade by the throat again and squeezing. “I want all of Hyral to hear you.”

Cade lets himself go, squeezing the horns in his hands as he chases his own release. The demon’s finger and cock drive into him, his senses honed only to pleasure. His heavy breaths pitch to a blaring sound, filling the tiny room as he comes, spasming around the giant cock pumping him, around the finger thrusting in his hole.

He doesn’t stop, riding through his orgasm in a haze that’s half drunk, half lust, and some part of him loosens further when the demon below him murmurs, “Good boy,” and the hand around Cade’s neck drops to his hip. 

Cade catches himself on the back of the couch, arms straight as he pants. “Did—did you—” He can’t get the words out between breaths. 

The demon laughs softly, and Cade tenses when a hand brushes hair from his face. “You didn’t come here to please me, human,” the demon says. 

“I want to,” Cade says quickly. “I mean, it’s the least I can do.” 

The demon mulls it over, gaze holding Cade’s until he says, “On your knees, then.” 

Cade slides to the floor and tries not to think about what his skin touches. The demon stands and oddly enough, tucks himself back in before he says, “Close your eyes.” 

Behind the shield of his eyelids, Cade hears the demon pace the room. The light shifts, but he can’t tell why. 

Then, something heavy and tight drops around his throat, and Cade’s eyes snap open. The demon stands over him. His second set of eyes is visible again, and his horns look massive from the floor.

“What—” Cade chokes out, reaching up to his neck to close his fingers around a thick, metal collar. “What are you doing?!” 

“I told you I’d show you the truth,” the demon says. 

“Get this off me,” Cade snarls as he tears futilely at the collar’s edge. “I’m done. This is over. I want to leave.” 

“You had your chance,” the demon says. “And you chose to stay.” He crouches, leaning close enough that Cade can make out hints of red at the corners of his blown pupils. 

“I’ve felt your thoughts, human,” the demon says softly. “Felt the ache of your solitude, the dissatisfaction with the current state of your life. You need a purpose.” He raises a hand and nudges a knuckle against Cade’s cheek. “I can give you that.”

“Are you going to kill me?” Cade whispers as his head throbs. 

“No,” the demon says, and his feral smile returns. “I very much prefer you alive.”

“Then what?” 

“A contract,” the demon says. “Servitude. Submission.” His mouth tightens. “Purpose.” 

Cade closes his eyes. His mind lulls as resistance fades into a fog. It sounds… good. Wonderful, even. To serve someone, to have a reason for existing that he doesn’t have to figure out for himself. He wouldn’t have to go back to his empty apartment; wouldn’t have to sit at his desk and drown out loud coworkers or work overtime entering numbers into another fucking spreadsheet.

“Will it hurt?” Cade asks, his fingers flexing against his thighs. 

“Nothing you can’t handle.” The corner of the demon’s mouth ticks up. “Is that a ‘yes’?”

Cade nods.

“I need verbal confirmation,” the demon says, rising to his feet, “or the contract won’t take.” 

The calm that laps at Cade’s senses is unfamiliar. Before he moved to New Ceres, he’d obsessed over the decision for months; he’d thrown himself into research and tried to imagine every possible worst case scenario. He still can’t say if he made the right call. He thought the change in scenery would make him happy.

But here he is, kneeling for a demon, considering whether to give up his free will, all because he’d been desperate to get laid. 

“Will you submit to me?” the demon asks. 

Cade squares his posture and meets the demon’s eyes. “Yes, sir.” 

When the demon reaches for him and places a heavy hand on his head, Cade expects unbearable pain. But there’s nothing more than a pinch at the back of his mind, like the start of a headache when he skips coffee in the morning. A heady buzz follows and butters his limbs. He feels weightless, his worries a figment as his mind centers on a single priority. 

Cade drags his eyes upward, the demon towering over him like a monolith. He licks his dry lips and inhales deep. A single, succulent word rolls across his tongue. 

“Master.”

The demon trawls his fingers through Cade’s hair and murmurs, “Good boy.”


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