As a demon, Belial has existed for millennia. Having missed his first chance at bonding with his amina a thousand years before, and with his second thousand years of service coming to a close, he’s keen to seek out that special someone. He needs to bond with that one key person, binding him to the mortal plane and freeing him from the Horseman of War’s service. Before seeking out that special person, Belial heads up one last mission to incite a skirmish between a vampire coven and a group of humans. To his surprise, he scents his amina near the vampire coven about to be attacked. Belial comes face to face with the blood-crazed vampire Gabriel…who Belial learns was tortured and experimented on by the very humans set to attack the coven. For the first time in his life, Belial joins a side. While he might save the coven, can he figure out a way to save his own anima…giving them both a chance at a future?
Shocked, Belial almost didn’t react in time. At the last instant, he realized the vampire had his claws out and his expression appeared sort of glazed. Just in time, he grabbed the vampire’s wrists and pushed his arms up, causing the man’s hands to miss his chest.
As Belial tumbled backward and out of the tree, confusion and frustration raged through him. He knew vampires and demons had never been on the best of terms, but it still would have been nice if the man had spoken to him before attacking. While he certainly didn’t want to hurt his amina, it seemed the vampire didn’t share that sentiment.
Gonna have to change his mind somehow.
Landing hard on his back, the vampire on top of him, Belial grunted as the wind was knocked out of him. His training kicked in instantly, though. As he struggled to catch his breath, he lifted his arms, forcing the vampire’s hands back and up. At the same time, he bucked.
The vampire arched awkwardly, completely off balance.
Belial took advantage. As he managed to suck air into his lungs, he wrapped his right leg around the man’s thighs and twisted his hips. Rolling the male, he straddled him. He slammed the vampire’s wrists to the forest floor, locking them on either side of his head.
Snapping his head forward, the vampire opened his mouth. Belial just managed to jerk his torso up in time to miss having his throat ripped out. The click of the man’s teeth clacking back together sounded loud in the near silent forest.
Gaping down at the vampire, Belial almost lost his grip on the writhing man. “Shit!” he hissed. “Did you just try to bite me?”
When the vampire responded only with a feral snarl and continued jerking and twisting, Belial racked his brain. What the hell was going on with the vampire? He’d never seen one act this way, even in battle.
Of course. He’s not well.
Belial could have kicked himself... if he wasn’t so busy holding down the vampire. His master had told him his amina wasn’t well. However, it wasn’t normal for a vampire to become ill, so what the fuck was going on?
Using strength honed from thousands of years of battle, Belial slid the vampire’s arms up and transferred both wrists to one of his huge hands. He sprawled over the man, using his massive bulk to still the other man’s gaunt frame. Finally, he wrapped his hand around the vampire’s throat, digging his claws in just enough to sting.
To Belial’s relief, the vampire froze.
Peering down at the male, Belial took in his haunted expression. The vampire wasn’t actually looking at him, though. “I am not your enemy, amina,” Belial rumbled softly, trying to get him to focus. “I have no wish to harm you.”
The vampire’s lips parted and his tongue darted out, wetting his bottom lip. Belial felt the male’s Adam’s apple move under his palm. Finally, his voice raspy, he responded.
“Hungry!” The vampire’s nostrils flared as he inhaled deeply. “So hungry!”
Belial suddenly realized what the vampire was staring at. It was the pulse point in his neck. Coupled with the vampire’s words, an idea formed.
Smiling down at the vampire, Belial leaned closer. He tipped his chin up and to the left, exposing his throat to the man. The male’s head lifted, his mouth opened wider, exposing his fangs, and his breathing hitched with his obviously rising excitement.
When Belial tipped his chin back down so he could again peer into the vampire’s eyes, the male snarled.
Well, shit! The man really does want to drink my blood. Belial smiled down at the vampire. I can work with this.
“If you want to drink my blood, vampire, I’ll let you, but you have to do something for me.”
The vampire’s eyes narrowed. “Hungry.”
“So you said.” There was definitely something wrong with his vampire, but what? “Offer me your blood in exchange.”
Ignoring the vampire’s snarl, Belial ordered, “Repeat after me. Belial, I offer you my blood.” When the vampire just stared at his pulse point, Belial deepened his voice, putting more command into it as he repeated, “Repeat these words. Belial, I offer you my blood.” That seemed to get the man’s attention, at least, for his gaze slid up to Belial’s face. “Do it, vampire, and you may feed from my wrist.” With how the vampire was acting, there was no way he wanted him at his neck.
The vampire licked his lower lip again, slowly. His nostrils flared again as he blinked once, twice. Finally, he rasped the words.
“Belial, I offer you my blood.”
Belial had never heard sweeter words. Releasing his hold on the man’s neck, he lifted his wrist to the man’s mouth. He watched hunger cloud the man’s features as the vampire’s focus slipped to the vein pulsing through his wrist.
In the next instant, the vampire snapped his head forward and sank his fangs deep into Belial’s flesh.