It was the pale night of pre-dawn when one of my sigils flared. An intruder in my library. I threw on a robe and strode down to see the thief my trap had caught.
I padded across the smooth wooden floors of my treasure trove. Clicking my fingers, I sparked the lamps to life. I wanted to see my prey.
I found him in the third row of stacks, caught in the circle of my spell. He clutched the huge tome of Necromarteum to his chest as if the pages might save him.
I stopped and raised an eyebrow. My thief had good taste. That was an excellent book. I turned my attention to the intruder.
He looked young, but to my thousand year old eyes, everyone did. He was short and very slender. Someone had hacked night dark hair off fairly short, and it stood up crazily in all directions.
Dark eyes meet mine briefly before lowering to stare at the floor.
“What are you?” I demanded.
“Wolf shifter.” Answered the boy calmly.
There was only a faint scent of fear, and I was begrudgingly impressed. My demon form terrified most people.
But what was a werewolf doing stealing a book on necromancy? They were not renowned for being assiduous readers. He could be stealing to order, I supposed, but wolves weren’t known for being thieves either.
I assessed him again, drawing in tendrils of his essence and rolling it over my tongue to taste it.
“But something more.” I stated.
The boy didn’t look up from the floor.
“Necromancer?” I didn’t really need to ask.
The boy nodded and then swallowed. “Yes, sir.”
“Is it new?”
“Yes, sir. Just over a year.”
Well, that made a lot more sense. But something else was annoying me. I stepped up close to the boy. The magic trap had no effect on me.
“Who taught you to be so submissive?” I asked, pulling the boy's chin up to force him to look at me.
He stared at me in surprise. I watched him blink and then lick his lips. “My father, sir,” he answered.
I growled. “You owe no one your submission. It is yours to give of your choosing and only then. You are a mage, a necromancer. A person of power. Hold your head high.”
Dark eyes stared back at me. Astounded, intrigued. I could see he liked the ember I had given him. Satisfied, I nodded and stepped back.
“Omega?” I asked, just to be sure my deduction was correct.
The necromancer nodded, nearly lowered his gaze, but stopped himself.
He looked too young to have a mate, but I knew I was terrible at judging such things.
“Do you have an alpha?”
The necromancer moved one of his hands from clutching the book to his neck. As soon as he touched his skin, he flinched as if realizing he had made the gesture and he hurriedly returned his hand to the book.
“No.” he said calmly, holding my gaze. I could see the truth of his answer.
“Good, I don’t like alphas.”
The boy grinned suddenly, an amused, mischievous glint in his eyes. “Neither do I.” he confessed.
I grinned back at him. I was starting to like my night time visitor. I made a decision then, a little alarmed at the flare of happiness that it invoked within me. I wasn’t that lonely, surely?
“I can’t let you take that.” I said.
The necromancer nodded sadly and made to put it back on the shelf.
“But you can stay here and study it.”
Dark eyes blazed into mine. Utterly taken aback and tentatively hopeful.
“Really? si…” he stopped himself from saying sir, as well as stopping himself from dropping his gaze to the floor. Instead, he squared his shoulders and regarded me steadily.
I grinned. I did like this thief.
“I don’t need twenty-five bedrooms to myself. I can spare one. Come, let me show you one. You can start your studies tomorrow.”
The necromancer nodded and reverently placed the book back on the shelf. Treating the book with the respect it warranted. I liked him even more.
A few days later, I found myself humming as I studied. Silas the thief was sitting across from me, several books open on the table in front of him.
I glanced up at him, engrossed in his studies. His physical form was quite lovely. His mind was stunning. Quick, inquisitive, not afraid to ask questions.
His presence was soothing. He was quiet and calm. All in all, he was fantastic company. I was really enjoying having a study partner.
But right now he was annoying me. The scent of his hunger was tickling my nose and my sharp ears could hear his stomach rumbling.
“Go eat something!” I said.
Silas looked up from his book and flushed. He glanced at the tall window and the summer sun streaming in.
“It is easier to hunt rabbits at dusk,” he said.
I stared at him, aghast. What kind of terrible host was I? Had I not made it clear?
“I have a whole kitchen of food and a cook!” I exclaimed.
Silas winced. “I can’t pay you.”
Sheer exasperation flooded my emotions. “Do I look like I need money?” I said, gesturing vaguely at the mansion we were sitting in.
Dark eyes looked troubled then. “I didn’t mean…”
“Oh, shut up!” I interrupted. “I invited you to stay, and that includes feeding you. Now go take your noisy stomach to the kitchen.”
Silas stared at me in complete disbelief. It irked me that simple decency astonished this boy. How had life treated him that he thought people offering to feed him was incredible?
He stood up. “Thank you, Artemis,” he said solemnly.
I frowned and made a dismissive gesture, pretending to become engrossed in my book. I didn’t want him to see me blinking away tears.
The next day, he was restless again. I looked up from my book. He had been fidgeting and squirming for hours. His stomach wasn’t rumbling. He didn’t smell hungry, but a strange, alluring, enticing scent had started to roll off of him and was increasing hour by hour.
Suddenly, he swore and slammed the book he was reading down on the table. I raised an eyebrow, he knew better than to treat books like that.
He glanced at me and flushed. “Sorry.”
His eyes were a little wide and glassy.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, puzzled.
He didn’t meet my eyes. “Stupid heat.” he muttered sullenly.
“Ah” Suddenly everything made sense, and I felt a little dim. But I was still puzzled. Heats were part of shifter biology. I wasn’t aware they were anything to be upset about.
“I thought they had gone away forever. I thought the magic or… what happened.” he trailed away and gave a miserable shrug, his eyes fixed on the floor.
His words rolled around my head. Suddenly I roared, leaping to my feet and over to him. He jumped up, his eyes wide and fearful.
“Someone forced you?” I demanded to know.
Dark eyes stared back at me, and I saw the horror and the pain. He nodded, but I could taste the lie. There was more he wasn’t telling me.
“More than one person?” I asked, utterly enraged.
Silas winced and closed his eyes. I grabbed his shoulders.
“Come, we must go slaughter them at once!”
Silas chuckled and opened his eyes again, staring back at me with a shy, wry grin. “I already did that.”
Happiness and pride exploded in my chest, and I pulled him close to my chest in a tight embrace. He felt good in my arms. Warm. His scent was delicious. My cock stirred.
I sensed the moment Silas felt it pressing against him. He stepped back from my embrace hurriedly. He looked up at me, a mortified expression on his beautiful face. “I’m so sorry!” he gasped.
I looked down at my prominent cock, clearly pressing against my trousers.
“It’s stupid heat pheromones. I’ll go.” said Silas, and he made to leave.
I caught his arm. “Go where?”
He shrugged, “Find an alpha, I guess,” a wave of terror and dread so strong it nearly knocked me off my feet. I tightened my grip on his arm. He wasn’t going anywhere.
“No.” I said.
He just stared at me.
I pointed at my cock. “I have what you need.”
He flushed and looked away.
“I am your friend, Silas. Let me teach you this. Sex is one of the finest pleasures of being incarnate. Do not let them steal that joy from you. They took your past, don’t let them take your tomorrows. Let me show you what it should be like.”
Silas brought his gaze back to mine, a whole storm of emotions showing in his eyes. “How did you know it was my first time?”
I puffed out my chest. “Because I am incredibly intelligent.”
Silas grinned at my boast. I watched him puzzle over my words. His bright mind seeing the sense of it, but his wounded soul not able to give up his fear. I watched his curiosity grow. I watched it battle with his shame and his dark memories. He was so very scared, it broke my heart.
“I am not an incubus, but all demons are good at the art. I am a very experienced lover, Silas. We will go as slow, as gentle as you need. You will be in charge. It will be your kingdom.”
I was a far better choice than some uncaring stranger. I hoped that Silas could see that. My heart yearned to help him.
Silas held my gaze for a long time. Then he gave a tiny nod.
I grinned and led him to my bedroom.