Forever Mine This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 29, 2012
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The woods closed in on him from all angles. The cold wind enveloped him in its chilled embrace, kept out by a pair of hands wrapped around his own body in an attempt to keep himself warm in his run. Run from the village and everything associated with it- his family, his community, his friends. His lover.

Stopping for breath, Alfred pressed his back against a firm tree trunk, sinking down onto the ground and folding his knees to his chin. He bowed his head and bit his lip to keep the tears from coming- they would only make him colder.

Matthew would tell him that he was being ridiculous, running away from everything he had known and loved and venturing into the depths of the forest at night. He would have held him close and made him feel needed in his special way, a comfort no one else liked to provide.

But things like that were the reason why Matthew was under the ground and he was in the middle of the woods without anything to call his own.

He never should have run away. He shouldn't have listened to Matthew's begging that he go save himself. He should have stayed and protected him, die alongside him. In the time his lover needed him the most, he left him behind.

Alfred curled further into his ball and blinked back the tears, swallowing thickly. He didn't see what he had done wrong- his whole life he'd been told to find love and create a family. Why was he being persecuted for loving his friend? Matthew could have easily been a woman if not for his male body. Why couldn't the others see that? Why go so far as to kill him?

A small sob escaped Alfred's lips as his whole body trembled, remembering the scene. The tender first kiss, the first touch. The cozy room in which they made love. The sudden unnatural heat that crept beneath the door, the paralyzing realization when the flames caught to the frame. The angry shouts...the blinding torches...the frenzied voice, begging him to jump out the window...

"Why the long face, mon cher?"

Alfred raised his head in alarm, eyes searching the horizon frantically for the source of the voice. The blue orbs settled on a tall and slim figure strangely dressed, very much out of place. A dark violet suit of matching jacket and pants in a cut Alfred had never seen before clung perfectly to the man's frame, a neat dress shirt and tie that were most likely sewn in a city finishing the look.

The man looked down at him with violet eyes matching his suit, his delicate face framed by wavy shoulder length blond hair that made him look like a woman at first glance. Alfred couldn't look away despite the weariness of strangers that had been instilled in him from birth, a fear from the corrupted souls in the cities pushed back by his natural curiosity. What was such a man doing in the forest in the middle of the night? Where was his horse?

"Who are you?"

The man chuckled lightly, a comfort to ears that had been exposed to hatred not hours before. "My name is Francis," the man introduced himself smoothly, bowing his head to Alfred, who only looked at him in wonder and slight embarrassment. No one had shown such reverence to him before, especially not someone who looked as grand and official as Francis did. What he had done to earn such respect, Alfred wasn't too sure.

Francis offered his hand to Alfred, smiling in a way Alfred couldn't help but take the other's hand and be pulled off the ground. There was something about Francis' demure and calm aura that intimidated him, a plain peasant boy, and yet pulled him in, lulled him into trusting this man he had never met before.

Before he could ask any further question, Francis kept his hold on his hand and took the other one, squeezing them slightly in his grip and tilting his head, looking intently into Alfred's eyes. Alfred on his part flushed from mortification, not used at all to the familiar gestures the man showed. He would have been stoned for so much if anyone from the village saw him like that. But try as he might, he couldn't bring himself to look away.

"You've suffered greatly, cheri," Francis regarded him sadly, letting go of Alfred's hands and looking him over, a thoughtful look featured on his face. He met Alfred's eyes once more, raising his brows. "What are your plans for the future, Alfred?"

Alfred took a step back, startled. How did Francis know of what he had just gone through? Most importantly, how did he know his name? Was he a mind reader? Such a thing was taboo in the village, an evil to be destroyed.

"What are you?" Alfred inquired lowly, brows furrowing as he folded his arms across his chest.

The other man smiled charmingly, exposing his pearly white teeth. "Ah, you're a quick one," he nodded approvingly. "Francis Bonnefoy, imp, at your service." He pulled Alfred's arm away from his chest and gracefully brought the hand to his mouth, brushing his lips fleetingly against Alfred's knuckles.

Alfred pulled his hand away violently, face red and mind reeling. An imp? Such creatures were real? He should have known not to venture into the forest. Yet he hadn't had much of a choice at the time. He looked the imp over sharply, frowning. He could easily overpower him if need be. "Go away," he growled, roughly brushing the back of his hand off on his shirt. "And tell the rest of your friends to stay away from me if they know what's good for them".

Much to Alfred's annoyance, rather than rush off with a frightened look, Francis raised his hand to his mouth and laughed, mirth appearing in his eyes. "Mon ami, you have me all wrong. I can do nothing to harm you." He straightened, tucking a strand of his hair behind his ear and smiling knowingly. "On the other hand, I can change your life."

Alfred, still miffed at the other's response, kept his distance. He knew that magical creatures usually lied to humans to lull them into trust, only to devour them later on. "I don't buy it," he informed the other curtly, leaning his back against the tree once more with a guarded look.

Francis' smile turned into a smirk as he stepped closer, ignoring the way Alfred's body froze and leaned in, meeting blue with violet. "I could help you," he whispered, a new enticing shine in his eyes. "I could make your village forget about you. I could grant you a new start."

He paused, giving Alfred time to let his words sink in before reaching his main allure. "Most importantly, I can bring Matthew back to life."

The urge to push Francis away disappeared as Alfred stared at the man with wide eyes, mistrust and hope clashing in his varying expressions. All his life he was told that black magic was wrong, something that belonged to hell and dragged all those connected to it into the fiery realm. But his injuries were still raw, and his lover's touch fresh in his mind. To start over, to be able to return to his village and have Matthew once more...

"Will he still remember me?" Alfred whispered, dutifully meeting Francis' eyes. A shadow crossed the other's face before he replied. "No, I cannot keep the memory of you in his heart. But don't you think it is for the best?"

Alfred closed his eyes, processing the information. If he agreed, he'd be able to go back to his village as a stranger and slowly earn their trust and affection. He would leave Matthew alone- he knew better than to tempt him once more. He owed his lover his life, after all. If he could repay his debt, see Matthew alive and well, smiling like he used to, he would be content.

"What's your price?" he asked softly, opening his eyes with a defeated look.

Francis' smirk grew as he pulled away, satisfied to have another deal written under his name. "You would give up your soul to Lilith and become her son, granted eternal life to walk the world as an incubus, tempting men and women alike into your bed, ruining them," he said smoothly, convincingly. He watched as Alfred's face lit up in alarm and then faded in resignation, curling his fists into balls.

"I'll do it," Alfred murmured, avoiding the other's delighted gaze. Francis snapped his fingers and bowed once more to the other man, hiding his smile. "Done," he said simply.

Alfred turned his head to ask what exactly was done, but saw no one. Francis had vanished into thin air, leaving Alfred alone in the dark forest. He blinked and rubbed his eyes, looking around him in shock. Had he been dreaming?


Alfred turned around to the soft sound, expecting to see Francis again but was countered by a new sight. His eyes widened and face reddened as he drank in the new figure, his whole being responding to the other.

A man slightly shorter than him with beautiful blond hair and enticing emerald eyes opened his arms to him, inviting him in. Without thinking, Alfred stepped forwards into the embrace, feeling his whole body swell with desire as he pressed against the slim figure, feeling the soft fabric of the other's velvet shirt beneath his arms.

He breathed in the heady scent of the man in his arms, completely taken by the strong and alluring qualities. He wanted to strip the man of his clothes, push him down onto the ground and make love to him, offer him his everything. Lithe fingers cupped his chin gently and pulled his head down to meet the other's gaze, entranced by the fiery orbs.

"Alfred, my son," the man whispered seductively, breathing shallowly before pressing forward and meshing his lips against Alfred's, raising his other hand to caress the other's cheek. Alfred gasped and shivered, wrapping his arms tightly around the man's waist and pulling him even closer, brushing his tongue against the one inside his mouth and invading the other's cavern, running his damp muscle against the perfect teeth, tasting him.

Light headed, a strange sensation he had never felt before came over Alfred. He felt as if he was shattering, breaking and evaporating into thin air. Into nothing. A moment later, he felt himself being rebuilt, a new fire and power pasting him together into a new being. No longer did he feel the cold around him. No longer would he face mortality and all that came with it.

A moment later he pulled away, taking in a breath he didn't need. The man in his arms looked up at him adoringly, purring in content as he ran his hand down Alfred's chest and stopped over the no longer beating heart, his other hand curling around the back of his neck. "Alfred, my love," he said softly, rubbing circles into the other's skin. "You're mine now."

Alfred was overwhelmed by a need he had never felt so keenly before, a drive of lust that pressed his hands downwards to cup at the other man's velvet-clothed buttocks, squeezing the skin possessively. "What's your name?" he whispered, pressing his leg between the other's.

The man chuckled and wrapped his arms around Alfred's neck, pulling himself up to whisper in his ear, lips brushing against the sensitive lobe. "Some call me Lilith, others call me Alu. But you can call me Arthur," he murmured, nipping the delicate skin and eliciting a delighted gasp from the other.

"Arthur," Alfred repeated, mesmerized by the sound of it on his lips. He immediately recognized this man, this demon of seduction, as his master. He would do anything for him, put the mortality he no longer possessed down at his feet if he wanted it.

Arthur smirked and pulled away from Alfred's grasp, licking his lower lip. "Corrupt the innocent for me, Alfred," he said softly, meeting the other's gaze with smoldering eyes. "Do unto them as you wish to unto me, and you will be rewarded."

Eyes following Arthur's distanced form, Alfred wanted to go after him, grab him and worship his every curve and crevice. But no matter how fast he ran, he could never catch up. No matter how much he wanted, he would never be satisfied. Arthur had disappeared just as subtly as Francis had before, leaving him alone in the dark.

Alone, to walk the never ending flow of time, in darkness and lust.

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