Seduction of the Incubus

Seduction of the Incubus

a short story
by Jesse Colton

He spotted the young mortal man through a crowd. It had been at one of those silly conventions the lovers of fantasy in this time so loved, a gathering of human beings dressed in the raiment of wild fantasy creatures, raiment like that of the old eighteenth-century nobles that was made from cheap fabric and sewn together by amateurs, and then of course the humans who painted their faces in all manner of colors to appear to be various creatures. They wore contact lenses that changed the color of their eyes, they washed into their hair dye which changed it to unnaturally beautiful colors like that of the grass of the fields or the blue sky.

And amongst that crowds he had seen this young man, standing with a book in his hand, waiting in line to have it signed. His heart had been beating in anticipation to the meet the author, someone he admired, but his face had been the mask of tragedy incarnate, sorrow in his eyes and his pouty, beautiful lips. His bright blue eyes actually sparkled with tears, but from the emotions and thoughts he sent out without knowing it, Jared knew that it had nothing to do with this event, or the signing of the book, but a deep depression that suffused this young man.

Jared could hear his thoughts, but not so much as words, more like images and feelings that he caught from the young man’s mind. He had come here to this convention because he wanted to die. He would wander through the sea of mortals until he found one who would take his life. He had had a troubled life, ostracized by family, abandoned by friends, scorned by lovers, but he was so young still, only twenty-seven years old. But his mind was far more advanced than the mind of an average human, indeed he had been told at a young age that he was a genius, that his IQ soared above those around him.

And perhaps that was what had led him into depression, had ostracized him. The mortal man would think of new and exciting ideas that were met with mockery and anger by those around him. He questioned the ways of the world, he questioned the fabric of existence, but no one ever took him seriously. Every now and then the ones he himself referred to as “stoners,” they would listen to him, listen to him talk about how he believed that there was some cellular structure uniting and binding all living things, that it could be harnessed some day and used to cure any disease, to prevent death, to grant the unending wishes of human beings and give them the purest happiness of any living creature before then. The young men and women who sat with him on the carpeted floor of some apartment, intoxicated by various drugs, would nod and sigh in wonderment, though they didn’t truly believe a thing he said, they only wanted to experience some moment of pretend nirvana, transcendence.

His ideas had been laughed at. He had been a believer that the old prejudices against sexuality were obsolete, that incest truly harmed no one if two people chose not to procreate or could not do it, that transgender people should be allowed to express themselves in any way they choose, to have the body they choose, and even that gender itself was an obsolete notion, that there was no real gender, that people needed to move away from these ideas. He believed that there was no reason for a legal age of sexual consent, and that people could choose for themselves when they were ready to participate in sexual activity. He’d been labeled sick, a molester of children though he’d hardly ever had any sexual experience with anyone, and even then it was always people his same age.

This young man sought endlessly to question the world around him. He didn’t believe in anything. He believed it was just as possible that the table in front of him where the author whose book he held was sitting was made from cells and dead wood as he did that it was made up of some unseeable cosmic fabric and that all life was an illusion that each person interpreted differently. He didn’t truly believe that any living being was really a living being, he suspected they were all illusions created by his own mind and that he was merely some small cellular organism in the vastness of the cosmos, interpreting images around him as “people,” “animals,” “things.”

What a fascinating and lovable mind had this young man. Jared had sensed first not his thoughts, but his feelings. He sensed the great disdain this young mortal had for the world around him, he sensed his disappointment in life, his desire to leave this world, but he himself knew that he had no courage to take his own life. So he had come to a convention, a place where lovers of fantasy came to share their art, their poetry, their literature, their extravagant costumes, where they had parties that lasted all hours of the night to the thrumming “rave” music, intoxicated by the drugs they inhaled or swallowed. He would come and find some criminal who wished to kill him, or simply take enough drugs to die without knowing who he was or where he was anymore. But he had come to this place with a death wish, and he never intended to leave this place alive. Indeed he had kissed the door to his bedroom back home in his apartment in the city goodbye before he left, and reached down and petted his little cat on it’s head, whispering his goodbyes to the little animal.

As the young man reached the head of the line and politely spoke his name to the author who signed his book (“Evan, ma’am, just sign it to Evan”), Jared remained standing in the corner, staring at him, picking up his thoughts and his emotions. Jared himself was wearing simple clothes: blue jeans, a tight t-shirt with the name of some musician he’d never heard of printed on it, he’d only chosen this shirt at the store because he liked the calligraphy and the image used on the shirt, black boots, and a black leather overcoat. It was assumed he was in costume by those who attended, and passersby would grant him compliments on his “makeup.” He wore no makeup. His face was stark white, his lips a pale red, and his eyes had large pupils, with irises around them that were almost white, but had tinges of pale blue. He could hear in their thoughts that they thought we was dressed as a “vampire,” one of those silly creatures from old fiction that had experienced a revival in the fantasy world of these times.

But he didn’t mind. It was easier to blend in here. He didn’t have to try and come up with a clever explanation for who he was when inquisitive people asked him, he didn’t have to make up stories about skin or blood diseases to explain his hideous appearance. Oh, his face and his body were beautiful, yes, as they had been when he was human, but as drained and empty as he was now, he appeared a revanant, a walking corpse among human beings.

What was he, exactly? Well, “vampire” had certainly been a good guess. But he knew how these fantasy creatures gained sustenance, and it wasn’t nearly so crude for him. He didn’t drink the blood of his victims (though he had tasted it once, and was as disgusted as any human being might be), he didn’t even cause them physical harm. He didn’t need to use powers of persuasion to lull his victims into bliss, he gave it to them truly and purely, and took their lives when they were at their happiest, when they reached the moment of true transcendence.

And how he longed for this mortal young man. His body was attracted to his beauty, but his spirit was attracted to the mortal’s spirit. How melancholy was his mind, and how pure was his soul. Jared lusted after him immensely, wanting right now to snatch him out of this crowd and take him away. But that wouldn’t do, he could not be secretive that way, and it would cause too much trouble. He wanted to savor this moment, and savor this taking of life. For him, the victims were not truly victims at all. Sure, they died, they lost their mortal life, but they died for a purpose. They sustained him while feeling the most pleasure and satisfaction any mortal could ever feel. They died in a state of complete bliss, the gates of heaven opening for them.

Evan. The mortal human man with dark brown hair and green eyes, a lean body that beneath his clothes was covered in fine, dark hair. Even through his disdain for all things around him, Jared could sense Evan’s body picking up signals from the other mortals gathered around. He saw a young woman with breasts held tightly by scant fabric, dressed as some fantasy warrior, and his erection grew behind his jeans. He saw another person to whom his body reacted, a man walking around in absolutely nothing but a gold speedo, wearing a crown of laurels on his head and golden boots on his feet. He’d had a bulging member between his legs poking through the fabric of his speedo, and Evan’s erection had grown at seeing this, his heart beating faster and his head beginning to throb. Evan himself tried to put these thoughts out of his mind. The time for making love, he told himself, was done. It was time to die. He had come here because his favorite author had been signing books, and he would have a copy of his favorite book signed and dedicated to him, and he would die with that book at his side, however it happened.

Jared could respect that. He would honor Evan’s wish.

When Evan exited the building through the turning doors and headed for the lawn, Jared approached him. He gave him a simple tap on the shoulder, and Evan had turned, seen Jared’s ghastly appearance, and gasped. He put a hand to his fast-beating heart, “You scared me, man,” he said in a deep voice that was so gentle and sweet. It was calming to hear. “I guess you’re dressed as, I don’t know, an Incubus or something?”

Now that had been truly a miraculous guess. Jared himself was surprised and for a moment he almost let his facial expression betray himself. Then he spoke, “Something like that,” he said simply.

“Well, it’s a cool look,” Evan said politely, and then turned to walk away.

“Wait,” said Jared, and Evan turned around, “Are you here by yourself?”

“Uh, yes,” said Evan, and Jared could hear from Evan’s thoughts the secret desire that this man, strangely costumed or so it seemed, was some rapist or murderer who attempted to kill him. Jared would indulge this fantasy.

“Why don’t you come to my room?” asked Jared in a gentle voice.

“You’re asking me to your room and I just met you?” laughed Evan, “How do I know you’re not gonna chop me into bits and hide me in the floorboards?”

The funny thing about it was that as the words escaped his mouth, very convincingly making it seem as though he wanted none of it, Jared could feel Evan’s longing that it might happen. Evan had stopped caring about pain anymore, and he didn’t care if his death was painful or humiliating, he just wanted to die.

“Oh no, never anything so crude as all that,” said Jared with a smile.

Evan thought the strange man speaking to him was joking, but secretly hoped he was telling the truth. Jared was telling the truth, but spoke as though he were telling a joke.

Jared boldly reached out and grabbed Evan’s hand, and began to lead him. Evan followed without much of a word, and eventually when Jared let go of his hand, he continued to follow. They walked at a calm pace to the hotel where Jared had rented a room. He didn’t really need the room, he didn’t much like modern comforts, and preferred to sleep in the wilderness, but he had rented the room so that he might lure a victim here. And how simple now it was.

Neither of them spoke as they entered the hotel lobby, boarded they elevator, waited for the doors to open, and headed down to the room at the end of the hall. Jared used the little card he’d been given and opened the door, holding it open in a gentlemanly fashion for Evan, who slipped in past him and set his book down on the night stand, and sat on the edge of the bed, looking out of the wide window with it’s blinds pulled up.

The little hotel room had one large bed and a leather couch near that, along with a wooden stand that held a television, a closet, and a door to a small bathroom. The couch was perpendicular to the bed. Jared came around the bed and sat on the couch, relaxing with his arm on the arm of the couch, while Evan regarded him with curiousity.

“So, do you know why I’ve brought you here?” asked Jared.

“To have sex with me, probably,” said Evan in a voice that sounded vaguely disappointed.

“Would you like that?” asked Jared.

Evan shrugged. “I wouldn’t hate it, but I don’t really care anymore. I don’t care about pleasure or pain. I have a death wish.”

Interesting that he was so candid. Jared hadn’t expected that. Thoughts are always candid, words, not so.

“Why do you wish for death?” asked Jared.

“It’s too complicated to explain,” said Evan, “But suffice it to say I’m tired.” His eyes suddenly began to well up with tears like they had in line at the signing within the convention hall. The sun outside the window was already setting. “I’m tired of everything,” he choked through his tears.

“Oh, sweet boy,” said Jared with true compassion in his voice, and he stood up, walking to the bed and wrapping his arms gently around Evan, who laid his head against Jared’s chest, “Why do you cry?” he asked Evan, “When you say that you don’t care to live anymore? If you care not for pain or pleasure, why are you so emotional?”

“I wish I knew,” sobbed Evan, and he pulled his head back from Jared, wiping his tears and sniffing. Jared got down on his knee before him and smiled. He knew that to Evan, he looked terrifying, but Evan believed him to be wearing makeup, to be in disguise. He believed the terrifying white skin and the hideously white eyes to be trickery. He thought that Jared might shower all of this away and transform into a normal human being again. Well, he wasn’t entirely wrong.

“Evan,” said Jared in a quiet voice, “I have something to tell you.”

“How did you know my name?” asked Evan with a hint of fear in his voice.

“Oh come now, you wanted me to kill you when you met me, and you wonder how I know your name?”

“I didn’t really want you to kill me, it was a joke,” said Evan, but his voice didn’t carry any conviction.

“No it wasn’t,” said Jared. He placed a hand on Evan’s hand, oh this warm, delicate hand, covered on the back with fine little black hairs, the hair running up Evan’s arms and all over his body. He had picked up images of Evan staring at his naked form in the mirror, the young man dissatisfied by what he saw. But how beautiful he was.

“Now listen,” said Jared, “I’m going to tell you a marvelous secret. When you met me, you said that I was dressed as an Incubus, one of the demons of ancient times.”

Evan nodded, “Yeah, I don’t know why, it just seemed that way to me. You’re probably a vampire though.”

“Actually I am not, nor am I dressed in any costume,” said Jared with a smile, “I am indeed what was in those old times called an Incubus, though I go by many different names now. I don’t have a preferred name for what I am, because I never divulge it to anyone. But I am indeed one of those old demons who steal life from their victims.”
Evan smiled and rolled his eyes.

“You don’t believe me I know,” said Jared, “But that’s alright, you’ll know soon enough. Because I am going to fulfill your wish, I am going to kill you.”

Evan’s heart began to beat faster. For a split second there was hesitation in his mind. Now that someone had threatened to do it, did he really want it? But it took not even another moment before he came back to his old feeling. Yes, he wanted death. But he didn’t believe this person in front of him was a demon.

“I know you don’t believe,” said Jared, “But touch my skin, do you feel makeup there?”
Evan reached out and gently caressed Jared’s face. Jared closed his eyes, his own heart pumping. Oh, to feel the hands of this youthful man touching him was ecstasy. “No makeup, alright,” said Evan.

“I invite you to touch my eyes to prove I am not wearing colored contact lenses,” said Jared.
And Evan did. It was violating somehow to feel fingers pressed against his eyes, a slight burning sensation when they touched, but Jared kept his eyelids open. Evan drew back his hand. “You really look like this,” he said in astonishment.

“Yes,” said Jared, “And though I am but an ancient demon, I don’t have the powers your modern fantasy creatures have. I live only to take life and sustain myself, but when I do, I give that person who dies the most pleasure they have ever experienced.”

“You mean sex?” asked Evan.

Jared laughed a little. “Sex does not begin to describe it. I’m going to take your life, sweet, young Evan, but you will enjoy every moment. It will not only be painless, but you will see what you’ve dreamed of, you will see the cosmic fabric of the universe, you will understand all questions. I know this because they all do, when they reach the final point just before death, my victims. And I try to read it from their thoughts or feelings, see what they’re seeing, but I never can. I just know that they unlock some kind of answer when they reach that point, and then I take their life and I am sustained.”
Evan was silent.

“Do you believe?” asked Jared.

“No, not really,” said Evan, “I think this might just be a fantasy game you’re playing. But I wish it were true.”

“Come now, my beautiful, my love” said Jared, and he placed his hand on the back of Evan’s neck, “Let me show it to you, let me give you the sensations now, let me prove it to you.” He rubbed his fingers against the little hairs against Evan’s neck. “Is there anything you wish to be done before you die? Anything you wish to say, anything you wish for me to do with your body?”

Evan smirked. “If what you’re saying is true, then yes, just one thing. I want the book to be with me,” he motioned with his head toward the nightstand, and the little hardback book there, “It’s the only thing I brought with me. I want it to be with my body when they find it.”

“That is all you wish?” asked Jared.

“That’s all,” said Evan. He still didn’t believe.

That was alright. The time for doubt was passed anyway.

Jared leaned forward and pressed his lips to Evan’s.

Oh, the kiss. How Jared reveled in the kiss. It was the first and most sacred part of the ritual. The lips touching, the heat from the lips penetrating Jared’s entire body, making his hair stand on end and his penis become erect beneath these tight jeans that he wore. Evan moaned. It was beginning for him, the feelings that humans only knew when they were in Jared’s arms. The kiss was not just Evan’s lips pressed to his, but his spirit, his energy, passing out of his body and into Jared’s. Jared’s eyes opened during the kiss. There was no physical change in Evan but already a slight bit of color had returned to Jared’s eyes, he knew it and could feel it. They were a little bluer than they had been before. And as he kissed deeply, passionately, moving his lips against Evan’s, feeling the eager and passionate tongue of the young man penetrate Jared’s own mouth, he knew that color was returning, very slowly, to his skin. His white hair was regaining it’s dark pigment, but only very slowly.

A kiss was simply not enough.

With skill, Jared laid Evan back on the bed properly, his head laid on the pillow, Evan’s eyes closed as his body was filled with warmth and bliss. It was like a trance, this part of the ritual, the human being always giving themselves up, body, mind and spirit. Oh, he would be so gentle with this beautiful spirit, he would not tarnish or harm it, nor the body. And what a beautiful body it was, Jared discovered, as he unbuttoned Evan’s shirt and his jeans, removing them, pulling down the tight-fitting underwear and revealing the cock that bobbled up between his legs.

Evan was completely naked now, his head thrown back, his body slowly squirming in pleasure, filled with the warmth of the spell Jared’s kiss had cast. His figure was lean, and his body covered in dark hair, surrounding his small, pink nipples, leading down to his naval and trailing into his pubis, hair everywhere on him, covering his testicles and the base of his penis, his thighs, his legs, his arms, the tops of his feet and hands. Like a child Evan drew himself up with his hands under his knees and turned to the side, not in pain but in pleasure and delight, unable to speak, his eyes closed, and Jared saw his small buttocks, covered also in the black hair, and the separation there between them. He leaned forward and kissed Evan’s beautiful, plump little buttocks, and darted his tongue between them to the little opening, and Evan sighed and relaxed and Jared skillfully worked his tongue into Evan’s sex, lapping at it, tasting the tangy saltiness of it and the little hairs surrounding it. When Evan’s opening was wet, Jared teased it with a long finger, and let it slip inside just a little, and Evan turned over onto his back, hoisting his body up a little to allow Jared’s finger to penetrate him, and with his finger he felt the warm inside of Evan’s body, and rubbed with his fingertip the gland within, the soft little spot inside that felt as though it were swelling in pleasure. Jared smiled and removed his finger, and Evan whined, opening his eyes and looking up at Jared.

Jared put a finger to Evan’s mouth, and skillfully began removing his clothes quickly. Jared’s own body was stark white, but his stomach had well-carved muscles, his buttocks were hard, his penis was thick, his chest was broad. He knew that he was beautiful, and with his white skin he appeared like a statue. He laid down atop Evan now, feeling the warmth of this young man’s body against his own, the warmth held there in all the hair along his body, and how soft and luxurious was this body hair as Jared felt himself wriggling around it giddily, enjoying the feel of it, and bringing his lips to Evan’s again. He kissed Evan passionately, long and deep, and allowed his lips to move for kiss after kiss, Evan’s tongue lapping the inside of Jared’s mouth with complete abandon now, as he thrust his hips upward. Jared bit very gently on Evan’s lip.

He kissed Evan’s neck, sucking gently. He could feel the blood rushing to the spot where his lips sucked, he could feel the energy inside Evan’s body coalescing there, but this was only the beginning. This was not how it would happen. The energy would release inside of Jared at the very end, at the moment of transcendence. Still, a little color came back to his body, his white skin now looking less like that of a statue and simply very pale. He didn’t seem to be made of granite anymore. Jared didn’t have to see himself to know this, he’d seen his own body go through the changes before, marveling at it, but that was long ago.

Jared placed a kiss over Evan’s beating heart, feeling there more than anywhere the warmth, the energy, and the pure love radiating from it. They always fell in love during this, the old ritual, and they died in love too. Jared was happy it was that way. It was the most beautiful way to die. And he licked with his tongue Evan’s sensitive little nipple there next to his heart, and then the other. He moved down, feeling Evan’s cock slip past Jared’s own testicle and bob up toward his stomach. He leaned down and kissed the young man’s stomach, and there was a strand of clear fluid streaming now from the tip of Evan’s cock. He lapped it up greedily.

Traces of semen, of Evan’s seed. This was the sweetest taste of them all. This was the pure life force inside any man, his seed. To Jared it tasted different than it would to a mortal. Oh, the tangy taste was there, but it was so warm, almost burning in his mouth, and this was just the fluid meant to lubricate his penis, it wasn’t the true seed. That would be at the end.

Jared touched every part of Evan’s body with his fingers, avoiding the cock, saving it, massaging gently Evan’s fingers and hands, his arms, lifting him up and running his nails down Evan’s back, feeling the plump little buttocks with their covering of fine dark hair, and running his hands through the hair on Evan’s legs, back up across his stomach and his chest, breathing deep this young man’s scent.

He leaned down to Evan’s cock. He kissed it’s head. It was a beautiful member, not too long or thick, but perfectly proportioned and a little too big for Evan’s body, just one simple upward curve that was not too pronounced. His testicles were large, filled with seed, and burning hot, for this young man hadn’t experienced sexual pleasure in weeks. Jared leaned down and kissed the testicles, sucking on one and then the other, running his fingers gently along the soft skin of the scrotum, and down the trail of hair leading to Evan’s anus, penetrating it again with his finger.

Evan was circumscribed, and Jared shot his tongue out and licked the little gathering of nerves on the underside of the shaft, below the head. Evan moaned. Jared let his finger find it’s way deeper into Evan, touching again the prostate, the warm gland within him, and more of the clear fluid came rushing out of the tip of Evan’s cock. He licked the tip and then allowed it to pass through his lips, taking the whole cock in his mouth.

How warm, how delicious of taste and intoxicating of smell, this organ. The energy in Evan’s body was all concentrating here, in his penis and in his testicles. Evan’s body was positively glowing with color and the hairs on his body even seemed to darken. During these final moments when the energy was so freely moving through every spiritual chakra, every physical cell of the body, Evan was coming alive as he never had before.

Jared sucked hard on the organ, feeling it release more of that warm, flavorful liquid into his mouth, his finger playing gently within Evan, and then pushing hard on the gland, begging it for more of the liquid that now came in little spurts into his mouth. But it was not the seed, no, not yet.

Jared removed his finger and climbed atop Evan, whose head was lain back on the pillow, his eyes closed, lost in complete bliss. Evan’s body was alive with pleasure, every pathway inside of him allowing the blood to flow, the energy to flow, and as Jared reached down with his hand and pressed the head of Evan’s cock to his own small opening, he felt the burning ecstasy there, as no mortal would ever feel it with another mortal.

Jared let the wet cock slip inside of him, and it penetrated him easily. He breathed a sigh of deep pleasure and relief as the cock slipped it’s full length within him. Though Evan didn’t look up at him, his hands began to move up and touch Jared’s body, pinching Jared’s nipples, gliding down Jared’s abdominal muscles, and then finding Jared’s thick cock and squeezing it. A little fluid escaped Jared’s own cock.

Jared began to ride Evan gently, and then bucked harder. The cock inside him hit his own prostate, and the warmth there within him, inside his opening, was astonishing to him as it always had been. Every time Jared experienced this it was as though it was the first time. He threw his head back and reached down to hold Evan’s hands.

“Yes,” he whispered, “Yes, my sweet,” and Evan began to thrust hard inside Jared. “Pleasure me, and take for yourself all the pleasure you will ever know in this world, take it all, my love,” breathed Jared.

Evan opened his eyes now and moaned loudly, his lips moved as though to make words but all that escaped him was a meek cry of pleasure. Jared smiled. Evan’s entire body was glowing, his eyes were the deepest color green they had ever been, his lips becoming blood red, his dark brown hair full and luxurious, his skin animated, tanned, full of life. Evan’s cock pushed inside Jared again and again, hitting Jared’s secret little spot, making his entire body rock with unspeakable hunger, unspeakable pleasure, and he bounced on Evan’s cock, the young man’s body full of strength and he held Jared in his strong young arms, the sweat beginning to form along his body, in the hair of his chest and his stomach, and he breathed deeply and in bursts, noises escaping his mouth that no mortal ever made until he had reached this point. The energy was collecting there in Evan’s cock as he thrust, Jared giving himself over to his lover’s sublime strength, Evan’s body working frantically to gain more and more pleasure, his cock now nearing the point of release, and Jared felt it, the spiritual energy all through Evan’s body coalescing there inside his penis, his testicles tightening.

Evan screamed, an unabashed scream of undeniable ecstasy, and the semen burst from the head of his cock within Jared, streams of it jetting out within Jared, and Jared’s own body did the same, the orgasm touching his own cock and sending fluid out onto Evan’s stomach and chest, and from within Evan’s mind and his spirit Jared saw it, from within the roiling pleasure the shook Evan’s entire body from his toes up into his burning eyelids, concentrated there within his cock as more and more seed than he’d ever given released, Jared could see for a moment that great cosmic fabric binding all things, he could see the universe in it’s entirety through Evan’s mind, he could feel it, nirvana, ultimate transcendence, and Evan screamed again, his deep voice full of weakness and pleasure as his powerful cock shot more of the semen, Jared’s own semen rushing out of his cock that had never been touched, landing on Evan’s chest and on his neck.

Another jet of semen within Jared, another still, less this time, and then the final shot, and the warmth filling Jared’s entire body. He smiled and lifted his body from Evan’s cock. He got up from the bed and stood, naked. He wandered over to the door to the bathroom and saw himself in the mirror there.
Oh, what sublime warmth filled his body now, every muscle, every sinew, every pore tingling and warm, and there was his reflection. Great majestic blue eyes, deeply tanned skin, the hair on his body light brown, the hair on his head a deep brown. His body and his spirit were alive, the energy flowing through him entirely, the nirvana still touching him from within.

He smiled to himself in the mirror. Such beauty, his own form. How satisfying to see himself restored.

Jared opened the door to the bathroom and grabbed one of the towels, and came back to the bed, wiping his seed from Jared, cleaning his beautiful body, now stark white, drained of color, drained of life and spirit. His soul was gone from it now, and his colorless hair and colorless irises were just a part of a vessel that he had left. His energy was within Jared now, and as for his soul, should it exist, well, Jared knew no more than anyone else in the world might know. He arranged Evan’s body with dignity, and he placed the hardback book from the bedside table on Evan’s chest, above the colorless chest hair there, and folded Evan’s hands over the book.

Jared put on his clothes and walked to the window, looking out at the convention center. He had accomplished what he’d come here to do, he had answered the call of one who sought death and granted him divine oblivion, or divine absolution, Jared couldn’t know, for he was immortal, but still alive. He was as human as anyone else, really, he had been human once before he’d been given the curse. But no matter all of that now. It would be months before he’d need to take the energy from someone again, and yet he found himself feeling gluttonous. Surely there was another with a death wish, another who could be persuaded to give up their body, their energy, their spiritual being, for a moment of unparalleled pleasure?

With a gentle laugh to himself, Jared turned to walk to the door, but stopped to look at the body that had been Evan’s. He so hated to see the bodies like this after it was done, but out of respect, he closed his eyes and bowed his head. “May you find peace, little one,” he said gently, “May your soul find the answers it longs for, and may my gift to you be joy that you carry with you, wherever you go.”

Jared found himself shedding a tear, a fresh, salty tear, full of life and energy, out of respect and love for the boy. How he loved him, and how he would always remember him, the way he remembered every one of the people who had given to him their energy. He smiled. He walked to the hotel room door and opened it, then gently closed the door in reverence of Evan, and left to find another who sought release.

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