Once a proud warrior, now a demon's whore.
Brenaith had once been a warrior of renown, companion to the King of Artepia. Now he suffered in captivity as a demon's whore, his country overrun by a race his people had not believed existed. Driven to the edge of madness by his tortures, the final blow comes when his master, a demon lord, gifts him as a blood servant to a Shadow Knight, Shaynith-una, a monster of legend that destroys even souls. Brenaith does not expect to survive the bonding by Shaynith-una, who is rumored to hold divine blood and is held in awe by other demons. But with time he begins to see Shaynith-una as more than the monster he is reputed to be. The knight is a demi-god. Half demon god, half elf, the son of rape and darkness, mind taken and molded by his demonic deity father. And Brenaith's fate and hope are both bound to Shaynith-una for good or for ill.
Can Brenaith break Shaynith-una's conditioning and discover what and who really lies behind the knight's facade...or will darkness always rule?
Reader discretion: contains dubious consent, intense emotional elements, and male/male love
Brenaith ran, his lungs burning, each ragged exhalation hanging in the cold air. He gave a whimpering cry as he tripped, and his weary body hit the forest floor hard, a sharp rock slicing deeply into his left palm. The pain barely entered his dazed consciousness as the many aches of his abused body melded into one.When he tried to get up his body failed him, and he lay there sobbing for breath, shaking with cold and fear.His terrified mind screamed at him to get up, and he managed to roll over, pushing himself into a half-sitting position, his back against the trunk of a great tree. He let his pounding head fall against the rough bark and closed his eyes for a precious second.Apart from his panicked breathing, the forest seemed soundless, barren, but he knew that had to be false comfort.Somewhere close, he would be tracking him, enjoying every moment of the chase. There could be only one ending. His only hope was to find a way to end his life. He searched for a cliff, water, anything that would bring swift oblivion. He had so little time…He cradled his injured hand against his chest. He was so cold the blood was barely flowing. If he just had more time, he could simply lie there and freeze to death, peaceful, beautiful.A tear ran down his cheek, freezing as it went. A surge of anger drove him to heave himself to his feet and stumble forward. What use had tears ever been?Sweet death. He wished he still believed in the gods, but such a comfort had long since been stripped from him. There was no one who cared enough to aid him even if he prayed. Certainly he had done so for five long years, and never had there been the least mercy. Whatever designs the gods had, Brenaith was not worthy of their concern.He staggered along, searching the unfamiliar countryside for the smallest sign of a river, a cliff side…The howl of a dog rose in the crisp air.His breath caught, terror surging through him. They had found his trail.No. Please, no.There—ahead—an anomaly in the landscape, a hill, rocky and broken. Perhaps it would have a drop-off.He forced his body onward, panicking as the earlier howl was joined by another, and then another.“Please,” he sobbed as he reached the base of the hill, his body on the edge of collapse. Just a little further, he coaxed himself. Just a little more…He cast a terrified look over his shoulder as the first black hellhound burst from the edge of the trees, reddened eyes fixed upon him.He scrambled up the steep slope, blood on the rocks under his hands, uncaring now of anything, gibbering fear driving him unmercifully.The sound of swift hooves on the frozen ground joined the baying of the hounds and drove Brenaith to a frenzy. He would not be taken again. He would not…An odd, whistling noise gave him only a moment’s notice and his body was too slow, too…The weighted ropes caught his legs, and he came down hard, his head striking the ground with a force that left him dazed. Blood ran down his forehead.Then the hellhounds were upon him.He screamed at the first bite on his leg, throwing arms over his head to protect the back of his neck as a second hound tore at his shoulder.A harsh voice broke through the tumult, and the hounds immediately released their prey, going to their bellies in instant submission.Brenaith collapsed utterly, cowering, crying now in great, gulping sobs, his eyes squeezed tightly closed as though he could shut out the presence of his tormenter.He had failed.The enormity of what this meant overwhelmed him utterly. There would be no mercy from Lord Stratlin, as there had not been for the last five years. Brenaith’s miserable existence would continue unabated.A great, mailed hand reached down and lifted him up with terrifying ease, dangling him, half choking him with his own clothing. He refused to look up, refused to meet those cruel, red eyes in the dark pit behind the visor of his captor’s helm that would glitter with triumph and the thrill of the hunt.Without speaking, his captor held him firmly, and Brenaith could feel those eyes burning upon him, their will suffocating his own.Then he was carried ignominiously back to where the huge horse waited. His captor mounted with Brenaith still in his grasp, and set him on his lap.Brenaith huddled into himself and started to shake as a mailed finger came beneath his chin and lifted his face.“Look at me, Brenaith.” The command was soft, yet with iron beneath the velvet tone.Brenaith opened his eyes at last, his will weak compared to the one who held him. He blinked away tears, his trembling becoming uncontrollable as he stared into the depths of those dark, red eyes.“My dear boy. I am hurt that you flee from my care. Have you not been my favorite from the beginning?”Brenaith made no answer, only swallowed with difficulty, waiting for doom to descend upon him.“I know you are grief stricken, but you must think, not just act. Now look what you have done to yourself.” Brenaith’s torn hand was turned palm upward and drawn to that smiling mouth, which opened to reveal sharp fangs.A long tongue flicked over the wound, then probed, making Brenaith whimper with pain.“Ah, your blood, my sweet one—never has there been another who tastes as you do. It is such a shame that your usefulness has come to an end. Still, gifting you to the sole remaining shadow knight will bring me favor and good will. To replace you, I will bring in more of your people to slake my hunger, more of those you and your little prince could not save. I cannot wait to see the despair when I announce your prince’s death. Who will they pray to now for rescue, hmm?”Brenaith managed to shake his head. “Please,” he whispered.The dark head bowed closer. “Please? For whom? Yourself? Or your people?”Brenaith could not answer.