“Where is he?” demanded the stranger. His voice was a growl, and those eyes were such a bright and deep shade of red that there was no mistaking what this man was.
He was a very angry shifter—the red in his eyes gave it away—and he was most likely asking about the dead fox.
No, not dead. The fox was inside of Tom's mind now, and it was curled up and sleeping peacefully, paying no attention to what was happening.
Or, no, that wasn't true, it was now Tom's familiar, his spirit guide, deamon, or whatever he wanted to call it, and he could summon it if he wanted. Did he even know how? He could hardly use his magic to light a candle. He wasn't very good at what he did.
The angry man in front of him didn't seem pleased when Tom didn't answer right away, so he shook Tom's shoulders with such a force that his teeth clacked together. “I won't ask you again. I can smell him in here. I smell his blood, and if he's not alive, you'll be joining him very soon.”
Tom could still hardly speak. The weakness in his body was still very much there, even though he felt about as well as he had a month ago, when the sickness was still setting in.
His new familiar was healing him. No wonder it was tuckered out.
Though Tom had wanted to die, he certainly didn't want that death to be brought on by the claws of whatever creature this man shifted into. That wasn't exactly an easy, pain-free death.
Noises sounded just outside of Tom's room, and then a lot of yelling.
The handsome shifter in front of him didn't turn his eyes away from Tom for a single second. Even when yelling and a whole lot of fighting seemed to be starting up just on the other side of the door. “Where is he?” the shifter asked again, and this time there was pain in his eyes, so much of it that Tom's heart ached for the man.
Tom swallowed, and then he nodded his head, but only because he wasn't sure how well he could speak.
He focused his energy inside of him and cupped his hands. He went inside of his head for only a half a second, but that time was enough for him to gently pet his hand over the fox's head, waking him up.
The ears of the animal twitched, and then it turned its pointed nose up to look curiously at him before it yawned and stretched its paws out in front of itself. Then it got to its feet and followed Tom out into the real world.
The fox materialized in front of both Tom and the angry shifter, and when the man saw it, the heartbreak on his face actually made Tom cry a little.
“Oh no, oh no, no, no,” he said, and the big man damn near crumpled as he looked at the fox, who stared back at him as if it didn't even know him at all. The fox was barely in the real world. No deamon could be. It was part of the in between now, unable to survive without Tom, and Tom could no longer survive without it. The creature almost looked like it was made of light, and its body had the wispy quality of smoke.
That had to be the absolute worst thing for this shifter to go through, the realization that his lover was dead. Tom just knew it. He knew that the man who had been sacrificed was this shifter's lover, and he felt the man's pain, felt his heartache, and he wanted so much to do something about it, but he couldn't. When the shifter reached his hands out and tried to touch the fox, it danced away from him and went to stand beside Tom, leaving an orange, smoky neon trail behind itself.
As if that was the reminder that the shifter needed of Tom's presence, his face melted into a slow snarl once more, and his eyes burned a bright red.
“I'm sorry,” Tom said, meaning it.
A strong hand struck out at him with the speed of a cobra, and strong fingers wrapped around his neck with the strength of steel, cutting off his air supply.
Tom gasped and tried to remove the shifter's hand, but the man was too damned strong, and Tom was too weak to come up with any spells. He couldn't even think of one that would be useful to him right now because all he could see in those eyes was extreme hatred.
“I should kill you. I should fucking kill you for what you did,” snarled the shifter.
Tom's heart beat furiously and his hands started to sweat as he attempted to pull the shifter off of him. He was so fucking afraid now, when all he'd wanted before was death. Now he didn't want it. He was filled with new life, and death was the last thing he wanted. He wanted to live, and he wanted to get away from this house and this crazed shifter.
He and the shifter stared at each other, and Tom had no choice but to hold his breath because of the way his throat was being held, waiting for the shifter to kill him.
At least that might teach his father a lesson about the sort of black magic he did.
The shifter yanked his hand away, and the pain in Tom's throat was so great that even as he sucked in a painful breath, he brought his hands up to his throat, as if he could stop his blood from spilling out of him.
His skin was still in place. His throat hadn't been ripped out. The shifter had just been overly rough with him.
As Tom gasped for breath, he looked up at the man was staring down at him, still with those angry, hateful red eyes.
“You're coming with me,” he said, sounding almost as out of breath as Tom felt, and then his hands reached down, and he grabbed Tom and picked him up, as if he weighed nothing at all.
He pushed his cock forward, slowly, slowly, listening to Tom's hiss as the crown of Derek's cock finally popped through his asshole.
Neither of them moved for a split second. Derek watched Tom's tight, pained face, waiting for him to relax.
When Tom stopped clenching his teeth, when his face didn't seem so tight, and he finally opened his eyes and took a breath, Derek figured that now was the right time to continue.
He didn't need to tell Tom to tell him whenever he was hurting. His face was so expressive that Derek would know it the second the man experienced any discomfort at all.
And there very clearly was some. Tom flinched from time to time as Derek sank deeper and deeper. His cock was being squeezed tight by that hot, wet space, and it was almost too damned much for him to deal with. Derek started biting on his own lip just to keep from coming.
And then he was as far as he could go. Balls deep inside of Tom's body, the younger man was breathing heavily beneath him as he slowly started to realize that he was all right, and not about to break in half.
Derek liked to think he had a big cock, as much as any man did, but he wasn't going to let his ego get in the way. He wasn't so gargantuan that he could completely wreck another man.
As Tom blinked, breathed, and then looked up and smiled at Derek, Derek realized that he was also all right. Even though this wasn't Akira, and even though such a short amount of time had passed since the man's death, Derek needed this. He needed to see someone smiling up at him, welcoming him into their body. He wanted the kisses, the intimacy. He wanted someone to care for, and to care for him, and even if Tom was just doing this because he was young and wanted the experience and nothing more, Derek would never hold it against him. They both needed this.
“I feel all right,” Tom said.
“You're about to feel a lot more than that,” Derek promised, and when he was absolutely sure that Tom's body could handle it, he pulled back, allowing the cooler air to touch the column of his slick cock, and just before he was all the way out, he pushed forward again.
Tom arched his back and moaned loud.
That was it. That was exactly what Derek had needed to see, needed to hear, for the last two months.
* * * *
It was too good. Tom couldn't believe how good he felt, and a piece of him thought it shouldn't even be possible, but it was better even than when Derek had used his tongue on Tom's ass.
He was having sex for the first time, and it was fucking great. Definitely not as scary as he'd been brought up to believe, at least not with this man. The pain had dulled to a soft burn, and that was the most discomfort he could feel—if it could even be called that at this point—as Derek pulled back and pushed forward again. And again, and again.
He seemed to be moving fairly quickly, but it still wasn't fast enough. That spot inside of him was being touched again, and again, teased by the head of Derek's prick, and with Tom's cock trapped between them, receiving friction from the movement of both of their bodies.
And that movement was so damned hot. Literally, Tom felt like he was burning up, like they were creating more heat by rubbing together the way that they were. He had an image of the two of them literally starting a fire, as if they were two sticks or something.
He'd seen one sorcerer do something like that. Light the person he'd been having sex with on fire as part of a ritual. Sex was used in all sorts of dark and light magic. There were so many spells that involved sex as one of the main ingredients that Tom had almost become afraid of the act itself.
Not with Derek. Derek was the best possible person there was to have sex with, especially when he looked at Tom like that, like he cared, and when he kissed Tom so sweetly, nudging his mouth open with the tip of his tongue, Tom was completely lost to everything the man wanted to do to him.
Derek canted his hips harder, faster, moving them at such an angle that Tom's own hips were lifted into the air, not as high as before, but his lower half was definitely no longer touching the bed.
And Derek slammed his cock inside of him with all of his strength. The man groaned loudly, again and again, and his sharp teeth formed in his mouth again, and still Tom was not afraid of him.
“H–harder, Derek, please,” Tom begged. He wished he had the guts to just yell at the man to hurry up and fuck his brains out, but he didn't have the spine to even speak like that while they were both in bed together.
Still, Derek growled and did as he was told. If Tom thought that the man was taking it easy on him before, then he totally took it back now because Derek slammed into him. It was almost like he was using all the strength in his body to do it, too. He was going all out and Tom found himself being fucked right across the bed. His head moved against the pillows, and he had to push them out of the way and raise his hand up to touch the headboard, pushing against it just to keep his skull from banging into it.
He was close, so close but it was still taking so damned long to get him to this point. He wanted to come. He wanted to come with Derek inside of him.