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  1. Demented

    Chapter 22

    Daaaaw thank you! Happy Turkey day to you as well!
  2. Nice to hear Florida Man is using his powers for good!
  3. Demented

    Chapter 22

    I'd be kinda worried about a person who'd say "You know who MY favorite MageCrafter character is? The psycho stalker bunny boy!" lol
  4. Demented

    Chapter 22

    Lord Baldric felt uneasy as he held Kotik against him while they lay in bed. At first, he had thought he had been using sex as a way of distracting his love from his worries, but in the afterglow he found himself troubled with his own concerns. First on his mind was Kotik’s recent awakening. He now had access to an entire realm of MageCrafting that Baldric could not help him with. He had no real experience with Esoteric MageCrafting like the Art of the Barbarian. If Kotik got into trouble with an item he made inside of him there would be little he could do to help him with that with the knowledge he currently had. What was worse, it seemed to augment the range and potency of his dominion over wood, which caused a whole other host of issues. How was he supposed to give Kotik a safe environment to train if Kotik had such diverse ways to make magic items? He could stumble into some serious problem with an item and trigger an Exhaustion curse or worse. As he lightly stroked Kotik’s head he couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by this growing responsibility he had over the boy. Cernunnos had made it very clear, Kotik’s protection and happiness was his responsibility now. He had to protect him from all comers that may try to take Kotik from him. “Are you sure The Old Man isn’t mad at me?” Kotik asked without looking up at Baldric. The old man had given him a simple cover story before he faded away. Due to his store being destroyed and his downturn in business, he was going to go back to where he came from for a while to build back up his funds. However he said that he would be able to see Kotik again eventually, so he didn’t have to worry or anything. Kotik, when he had realized he had destroyed the Tavern, blamed himself for The Old Man going away. This only deepened his depression from choking someone to death after so long. As much as the boy tried to rationalize that it was Babica, a truly evil woman, the way in which he killed her really ate him up inside. “Of course he isn’t mad at you. He cares very deeply about you. Just like I care about you.” It killed him that he couldn’t tell Kotik that the old man was his father. As far as Kotik knew he was just Giant Blooded. Thankfully the secret of the Old Man’s identity was going to be relatively simple to keep. At that moment, Baldric’s eyes went wide and a shiver went down his spine. The parallel mind that had been speaking with his father reconnected with him and it brought the worst news imaginable. There was so much bad news that happened in that one meeting alone that it was hard to process it all. Kotik’s awakening hadn’t just been enormous for one thing. His awakening had apparently been felt by every magic user and MageCrafter in the world, and international politics had gone into an absolute uproar when Baldric hadn’t been looking. How did he miss this? How did something this massive fly under his information network? Yet it didn’t stop there either. The High King of Felsalvia had decided to not only take a personal interest in this, he had sent a very threatening letter to the Silbel government and the Bertolde estate about how Kotik was his nephew and that he should be relinquished into his custody immediately. The High King never took interest in any affairs outside of his lair. Not since the Dark Age Wars. Yet he not only took a personal interest in this situation he seemed to know for a fact that he was related to Kotik. Which was almost certainly true considering the High King was a Gigantes and a True Dominion MageCrafter of Vines. His father might very well be blood related to Cernunnos. The sheer forcefulness of the letter and the speed in which his Ambassador was supposed to be arriving at the estate alarmed him greatly. “Lord Baldric? Are you alright?” Kotik turned around to look up at Baldric after he had felt him tense up while he lay against the older teen. Baldric tried to answer that he was fine, but then other Parallel minds started reporting in on the guests that were arriving. The guests that were arriving today. How had this gotten past his information network?! Baldric’s face went pale as images of the supposed Ambassador came into his mind. He knew what the High King looked like from investigations into the heroes of Old through interviews with citizens of the various undersea kingdoms. That was no ambassador. That was High King Vinal’s Avatar. He knew how to make a fully fledged avatar like the gods themselves. Not the pale imitation that Baldric could make with his ice and illusions. A true Avatar. This was not like with Babica Preja at all. Babica was a decrepit warlord who had long since lost the prime of her youth and the sharpness of her mind, and even with that it took years of preparations and study to make sure the victory was assured. High King Vinal appeared to be still in his relative teenage years despite being one of the heroes of old from the Dark Age Wars. Since he was both a Gigantes and a High Elf, he aged exceptionally slow even for a normal High Elf. He was genuinely powerful as well, as he had been one of the heavy hitters among the Heroes of Old who dealt the most damage against the necromancers with his weaponized Vines. The only reason why Felsalvia wasn’t named after him was because he delegated rulership to the Queen instead. She was his subordinate, and they didn’t even seem to like each other from the way she told it. He had to get up, putting Kotik to the side as more alarmed parallel minds of his started feeding in images and intelligence into his mind. High King Vinal was not the only one arriving at the estate. High Priestess Marigold from the Central Temple of the Golden Maiden was here, flanked by a company of paladins and clerics. This was in some ways even more alarming than Vinal himself because he knew so little about the High Priestess. He knew so little in fact he wasn’t sure if Marigold was a singular person or a title that has been passed down over the centuries since the Dark Age Wars. He knew she wasn’t a Hero of Old, but she arrived shortly after the Dark Age Wars and has been a central figure of the Goddess of Gold’s temple ever since. Count Raudh, who had taken a nap after their lurid threesome, woke up groggily at the sudden movement that was taking place in the room. Baldric could not pay much attention to that however, because his mind was being inundated by so many updates from his panicked parallel minds it was everything he could do to sift through the information. From what he understood, the meeting with these diplomats was going to happen soon. The Parralel mind assigned to his father was buying them time to think of a plan, walking slower than normal as he made his way back to his room, but the writing was on the wall. Lord Baldric needed to figure something out and he needed to figure something out fast. “My friend, what has come over you? I dare say I have not seen you in such a state before.” “Lord Baldric? Did I do something wrong?” Baldric snapped to attention, gesturing his hand to assuage Kotik. “No my sweet. It’s just…” His words hitched in his throat as he truly tried to process the ramifications of what he was contemplating here. Should he move forward with his contingency plan right now, he would in effect be kidnapping the nephew of a High Royal of another nation. Kidnapping that would be already on top of the enslavement that has already pissed off a very powerful Gigantes. Silbel would not stand by him to keep Kotik, but they doubly wouldn’t stand by him should he go through with this plan. Yet Cernunnos had left no room for question. Kotik was to remain with him. He could not just hand him over to the High King even if he was his Uncle. Surely such a god would not overlook such a thing from happening. If he had to choose between angering earthly nations and angering a literal god, he was going to go with the lesser of two evils on that front. There was more to it besides that. He could not bear the thought of giving up Kotik like this. Kotik was his to protect, his responsibility. “Shahnaz, could you come inside the room please?” Baldric called out to the door as he stood there with an expression that spoke to how hard he was thinking right then. Even as the tiefling entered the room the only thing that was on Baldric’s mind was how to go about this without jumpstarting a repeat of the Dark Age Wars. He was dancing so tentatively on the edge of making an international incident by trying to keep Kotik from Vinal. “Uh oh, I haven’t seen that look on your face in a long while.” Shahnaz said apprehensively as she closed the door. “What happened?” “It’s not good Shahnaz.” Baldric said, pinching the bridge of his nose as he did so, “We’re going to need to move up the time table. By a lot.” “Timetable? What timetable do you speak of Baldric?” Count Raudh asked with a raised eyebrow, “You’re speaking quite cryptically at the moment my friend.” “Lord Baldric, what’s going on? Why do you look so nervous?” Kotik asked as he clambered off the bed and got closer to him. The only person in the room who seemed to have a clue of what Baldric was even talking about was Shahnaz. She did not look too pleased with what he was suggesting. “Are you nuts? Right now? You realize we got foriegn dignitaries on our doorstep right now? The Maid’s have been shooting messages about it with each other all morning.” “They’re here to take Kotik Shahnaz, I can’t let that happen.” Baldric said as he began to pace again. He had his hands behind his back with an expression that was deep in thought, weighing the pros and cons about what he was going to do. “Yet at the same time I cannot just leave without saying a word either.” “Now hold on, why would they want Kotik?” Shahnaz asked with befuddlement evident on her features “Is this cause of that insane awakening of his?” “So this really is my fault.” Kotik slumped dejectedly as his fears were confirmed. “Not exactly.” He hesitated, wondering how exactly to broach this topic with Kotik around. Part of him feared that Kotik might actually want to go with Vinal the second he found out that he was his uncle. He never had a family like that up till now, and he craved and desired attention. Plus Vinal was someone who probably knew how to handle Kotik’s burgeoning powers better than Baldric did. Yet the words of Cernunnos quashed that train of thought. He was supposed to be the one to care for Kotik. He couldn’t just hand over Kotik to Vinal and expect things to work out. Especially not with their mission regarding silbel. “Alright everyone.” Baldric began with a deep intake of breath. “I cannot get into everything at the moment as it would take too much time to explain,” Not a lie, but still rather deceitful, “However what I can say is there are very powerful diplomats that are at our doorstep, one of whom has already made it clear that he’s coming to take Kotik away from us. We cannot allow that to happen.” “Alright my friend, what plan do you propose to not let such a thing transpire? Do you plan on meeting with this person to negotiate for Kotik?” “Something like that Raudh. I’m going to have a copy of myself and Kotik meet with them, however I am almost certain they will be able to see through my illusory creations almost immediately. When that happens I’ll have to hope they’ll hear my copy out about setting up a more neutral meeting place to talk. As a duke's son I have next to no negotiation power in this situation.” “What are we going to do while the copies are talking to them? Where will we go? To a teleportation cart?” Kotik looked quite alarmed about what was happening. Baldric shook his head at that. “No. We will be heading to my Lair, at which point I will take care of everything from there. However we have to move to the lair without being seen so the copies look convincing.” The bluish white haired lad faced the count and took a deep breath. “You do not have to come if you do not want. This is almost certainly going to cause an international incident to one degree or another, and coming with us is going to cause problems for you with your family.” “You know I am with you my friend, though I would appreciate a bit more elaboration on what we plan on doing.” Lord Baldric took a deep breath. He knew Kotik wasn’t going to like this one bit, but it was better to rip this bandaid off now before they actually started sneaking. “Once we are inside the Lair, I am going to activate it’s emergency teleportation feature and transport the entirety of it into the Undersea Kingdom of Triton.” “WAIT WHAT?!” *** The pink eared Hareling had quite the satisfied expression on his face as he snuck into the port city near the Bertolde Estate. The family he had traveled with had brought him a great deal of amusement as they each keeled over one after another. He had cruelly told the boy he had been petting in his arms that he would let the little guy live. The whole time they were traveling in that cart towards the port city, he told the child the exact moment their loved one was going to fall over dead, relishing and stoking the fear inside of the youngster as he watched one family member after another die in such a horrifyingly sudden way. Yet the boy was too scared to warn whatever family member was next, cause he was warned by the bunny boy who held him that doing so would kill himself. The boy had tried so hard not to get killed, crying silently even as his father finally fell over while leading their horses by the reigns, followed by the horses themselves keeling over and dying while still connected to the cart. "Go ahead little one! You were such a good little boy. Go run and be free now. Don't worry! You're safe now! You are You are! Be free!" Yelled this with mock friendliness as he ushered the boy to run away. The sobbing youngster actually thanked him as he turned and fled. The Hareling watched with such glee on his face as the little thing sprint away crying as fast as his little legs could carry him. He fled right until the Gias inside of him struck like a snake in the bushes, making the fleeing boy tumble lifeless into the ground. It had been so funny watching these humans be so afraid of him. These evil, awful humans who had made his life miserable for all those decades. Now he was their nightmare, not the other way around. He was the one with the power now! With that thought filling his mind he rushed forward and infiltrated the port city near the Bertolde Estate. While Harelings upper bodies were about the same strength as a human of a similar size and build, their legs were another matter entirely. They had rather impressive jumping abilities which allowed them to travel rather quickly over short distances and leap onto small buildings. They did not have the climbing ability of a Lynxian, but with some training they could maneuver around city rooftops with superhuman ability. The Hareling was also quite adept with using fear to manipulate crowds around him. Even hints of fear could be nudged in one direction or another. When he placed himself intentionally in a slave auction, he could exploit the bidder’s fear of not being able to purchase their frightened prize and compel them to fork over much more coin than they intended on spending. Sometimes he would stalk outside of a human family’s home for weeks, figuring out what fears gripped their family with his Hareling ears. Sometimes a spouse feared that their love was cheating. The Hareling had been able to take that fear and stoke it, growing it into a full blown paranoia which led to such delightful results. He had driven almost a dozen people in various territories in Silbel to slaughter their whole family and then themselves without even showing his face to the family or crafting a magic item inside of them. He knew for a fact that the Silbel government has been growing more on edge lately due to his efforts. He had used his abilities to terrorize everything from merchants to the barracks of low ranking soldiers and guards. Sometimes he would even scope out a prospective target to become one of his fear crazed super strong minions who would slaughter and keep slaughtering until they were put down like a rabid animal. It didn’t matter to the Hareling how long the minion lived. Even if the minion failed and was killed right away, it would raise fears and concerns among their ranks about traitors in their midst. Fears that the Hareling could stoke up into greater and greater realms of hysteria until they were executing each other for imagined treason. He was not here to play like that however. No, he was on a much more serious mission this time. His love was nearby and he had to find him and finally be together with his Silbel Strangler. He was so excited to see his love after so long. He wondered how much the lovely little cherub had grown since the last time he had seen him. He had been such an adorable little angel when he had choked that fat horrible man to death all those years ago, it was almost certain he had grown into a true beauty since then. There was quite a lot of fear and uneasiness in town. As his ears felt and listened around, he picked up that something had happened. He could tell it had to do with when his love called out to him with his fear and his power so forcefully. He had called to the hareling so loudly that everyone heard it as well! How romantic! His love wanted the world to know they were meant to be together! He was only too eager to listen and find out where his love was. Every fleck of fear in the air painted more of a picture for him to work with. The Bertolde estate had a Lynxian did they? A lynxian with Blue eyes you say? That had to be his love! He never broke into a noble estate before. Those were normally so heavily guarded. Normally he'd not even chance it, but for his love he would risk it all to be together with him! Then he heard them. Circus performers, his ears tuned into them and their light fears about how their private performance at the Bertolde estate was going to go. His grin widened so broadly as he crouched on the rooftop and prepared to sneak into the festive procession towards the estate. His love will not have to wait much longer! His love was coming to save him from these filthy humans!
  5. Working on the most recent chapter of MageCrafter. This one's got quite a few moving parts to it so It'll take a little bit.
  7. This classic came back in my mind and I thought it fit here lol.
  8. If there is anything I've learned in my time researching writing techniques and how different authors tackled their writing styles, it's this very simple concept that seemed to always come back to the forefront. The idea that if you set something up, you need to have at least one payoff for it. This is broader than just if you have a beginning you need to have an ending, or if you show a gun in the first act you need to use it by the third act. Every element you introduce into your story should be put in there with a payoff in mind. I think using this kind of thinking has helped me get through more writers block than anything else over the years. A setup in the way I see things is any element you introduce into a story. Lets say we have a character. He's in his mid twenties, an alcoholic, working a dead end job, and is just having a rough time at life in general. There is a lot in what I just said that set up things that I can pay off later in the story. That pay off doesn't have to happen in the characters future either. That payoff can come in the form of backstory, characters from his past, how his apartment looks, whatever. Any element that is birthed from the details you initially provided with that description pays off your set ups. Maybe we learn why he's already an alcoholic, or how he feels about being one, maybe he really wants to change his life but he's been stuck in such a rut he doesn't see a way out of it. You can further pay off that idea by showing his apartment strewn with empty bottles that he hasn't bothered to throw out, late bills piling up on his table that he doesn't want to look at, maybe angry people banging on his door that he owes money too. Not only are those descriptive elements payoffs, they are potential plot threads you can expound upon in the story. Each payoff to the initial setups can cascade into being their own setups and organically grow into a plot. By asking what the character really wants to be if he wasn't in this situation, you can have a payoff of opportunity for him to start changing his living conditions. Maybe he has this guy he really wants to date, but he doesn't want to drag him into the slovenly depressed lifestyle he finds himself in. Maybe him wanting to actually make something of himself encourages him to reach out to people who can support him into a new life. You can build a whole lot of hi-jinks into this, making it as dramatic or even as comedic as possible. Maybe he's got this friend who he asked to help him stop drinking, and that friend has taken his new duty in life to a damn near comical degree, crusading against every bottle that should dare touch his hand or mouth. He pops out of nowhere like a ninja to deal devastating death to Budweiser cans everywhere. Or maybe it's family who is trying to give him a second chance and it gets really dramatic cause he starts slipping back into drinking after something stressful in the story happens. I find this way of thinking about things really helps to bust through writers block. When you're stuck just ask yourself 'what have I set up in the story so far? what kind of payoff can I employ from the elements I already have to push this story into a direction I want.' Once you start thinking about it and asking questions about the elements you've introduced into the story, ideas will start to popcorn up for you pretty quick, at least in my experience they do. It's all about asking questions of your story elements and using improvisation to find the answers to those questions that'll lead to the continuation and ultimate conclusion of your story. Do you use this kind of method in your writing? Would you use it if you haven't before? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
  9. Universe, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? I have to ask at this point, cause today’s turning out to be a lot more shitty than I even initially thought it’d be when I left Dale and the apartment this morning. So far I’ve fallen down some stairs, found out my universe is scheduled for an apocalypse demolition by low skilled labor demons, I now have a local magic item dealer threatening to sick covens in the area on me if I don’t find a denizen to date and fall in love with, I did a nice thing for a would be carjacker which ended up getting me a ticket for my piece of crap vehicle, and THEN my aunt blows up that same vehicle with a kick not even an hour later. To top all of this off the most infuriatingly hot man I’ve ever met has decided to start courting me to make me hopelessly fall in love with him, and he even wagered that if I managed to fall in love with someone other than him he’d hold off on the apocalypse for the next one hundred years. We are currently waiting to be seated at this barely Italian restaurant. They serve an approximation of Italian food here of course, but everyone in the transaction knows that this isn’t what such dishes are supposed to taste like. You’re not here because you want to have the best Italian food; you’re here because you either cannot afford proper Italian food, don’t know what proper Italian food tastes like in the first place, or you simply don’t want to make it yourself and are willing to pay their prices to avoid your own kitchen. Wow Hunter, you might be thinking, you sure sound like a pretentious food snob right now. Listen, if there is one thing I miss about my family’s resources out of everything, it was access to their chefs. Holy crap do they have some top of the line people on their payroll cranking out some fantastic food all the damn time. I didn’t even know how good I had it in the food department until I started making my way out in the normal world and tasted this processed crap people call food out here. Do you have any idea how much sugar is in everything on store shelves? I swear you people keep wondering where this diabetes epidemic is coming from while doing lines of sugar like cocaine. My Aunt has been around long enough to go through a few famines and junk, so she is actually not as picky with food as you might think judging from her Marry Poppins like attire. Of course neither of us are eating anything at the moment because the line to get into this damn place is excruciatingly long. Did everyone want to eat at this place today or something? We have an elderly couple, a haggard looking mom with five rugrats screeching and jumping all about her while she struggles to find her wallet and her will to live, and a smattering of middle aged people who look like they are there on a sad and depressing version of a ‘date.’ These types of restaurants know how to exploit the old sunk cost fallacy don’t they? We make the people wait in the lobby just long enough where they get frustrated, but not so long that they give up and leave. If they leave they’ve decided it’s not worth giving more time. However there is this sweet spot where, If you hold them there just long enough, you’ve made them sink enough time into waiting for this damn food then they’ll actually spend more to make that time waiting worthwhile. That’s not even counting the time you end up waiting for the actual food to be made. That’s a whole other affair entirely. See, you know I’ve been waiting a long ass time when I’ve started concocting conspiracy theories about why I’ve been waiting a long ass time. It was right around the time my eyes started glazing into my eyelids when one of the worst things happened. “Oh my god Hunter!” Suddenly my body was tackled and hugged before I even had a chance to open my eyes. “I haven’t seen you in ages!” My heart leaped into my throat and my face heated up the second I realized who this was. Son of a bitch Universe, what the fuck man!? When he pulled back from his hug it almost hurt to look at the guy. He was taller than me, though that’s not saying much. In truth he’s a pretty short guy himself, however next to me his five foot six ass looked like a Harlem Globetrotter. He’s a skinny bitch, but he’s got padding in all the right places, especially towards his waist where, no matter what fucking pants or skirts this man is wearing it always accentuates his perfect buns. Yes I said skirts. See for awhile I had this stint where I kinda got swept into this, well, how do I put this exactly? I kinda did drag for a while! There I said it. I was at this gay bar one night getting tempted by all these normal gay dudes who wouldn’t be able to do anything for me in the bedroom, and I ended up hitting it off with some guys who cross-dressed on the weekends. They were so alive and energetic and excited with how they acted with one another I admit I got sucked in bad with the crew. I will also say that I can fuckin pull off some goddamn looks let me tell you the fuck what. However I had to stop going. Not because they were bad or anything. No nothing like that. I was starting to fall for a normal person. The normal person who was currently our Waiter right now. Fuck me this just aint fair. Why did it have to be this guy?! “Hey Felix.” I said, hating how my voice cracked looking up at that stupidly bright smile on his face. Fuck me, do you have to be such a ray of sunshine you asshole!? It would never work! “I didn’t know you worked here?” “Oh I just started doing this as a side thing gurl. Gotta supplement this bitches income somehow am I right?” Felix said this with a dainty move of his hand, leaning down to me and saying this in a hushed tone like he was letting me in on a little secret. All that before he snapped up and looked at my aunt with such a sparkle in his eyes that he damn near blew out the lights with how much energy it had. “Gurl, I adore everything about your look!” His hand gestured to my seven foot tall Aunt’s wardrobe fearlessly, beaming such a smile at her. “Honey you are a trend setter for sure!” “Oh Hunter I like this boy!” My aunt said as Felix sashayed off and gestured for the two of us to follow. God dammit why did it have to be him! Fuck! Stop swinging your perfect ass about like that you tease! You have no business being as attractive as you are. Hunter you might be saying, What is wrong with Felix? What scary dark past do you have with him? What made you have to stop hanging out with him and the other drag queens on the weekend? To which I have to reiterate to you that he is a normal person. As in not a denizen. As in as much as I find him attractive we literally cannot have sex. I don’t even mean that metaphorically either. Any movement inside of me that would cause the slightest bit of damage would halt a normal cock in its tracks. I’m literally not penetrable by a normal person back there! There is only one way Felix and I would ever be able to have sex. Only one way, and I would never do it to him. Cause if I did that to him I’d be dragging him into a world he knows nothing about just to fulfill some selfish desire of mine. I’d be no better than the assholes who try to turn me into a vampire or a shifter. In order for Felix and I to really date, and have sex, I’d need to turn him into some type of Denizen with enough strength to get past my non magical defense. I would need to do the very shit I judge my asshole ex roommates for. The scary thing was, it was getting really tempting to do so. Like, you don’t understand how much I was growing to like Felix. It was bordering on schoolgirl crush territories of heart throbbing. He’s just so energetic and positive and everything I’m not! it’s just intoxicating, you know? Like I actually felt more awake and happier after spending a night with him, like he recharged my goddamn positivity battery. It felt so nice. YET HE’S NORMAL. No Shifting, No Blood Sucking, no magic, none of it! Not only could he do nothing back there, I could actually hurt him if I got too excited in bed! It’s fucking not fair man! “Now ladies,” Felix leaned over the table and brushed his dirty blond bangs out of his face to speak like he was conspiring with the two of us. “normally I’m supposed to sell the food here like it’s the hottest thing since myself,” He had this smirk on his face towards the end saying he was half playing around and half acknowledging that yes he was that fucking cute, “but since I actually know Hunter here, just avoid ALL the stuff with red sauce. Bitch tastes like canned water. Their chicken Alfredo on the other hand? Shit, that was part of why I threw an application in here honey!” My Aunt and Felix hit it off instantaneously. They are like two peas in a pod, bantering and complimenting each other, ramping the energy each of them has up to such a point where I practically need sunglasses to deal with their radiant positivity. You’d think my bickering ass would hate a person like this but I really truly don’t! Believe it or not I actually like to be around glass half full people! The problem is I just cannot sustain that positivity on my own. It’s not natural for me. I need to draw that energy off of some energizer bunny of a person like Felix to maintain that good mood myself. I don’t know what kind of perpetual positive energy machine he’s got inside of him, but fuck would I want it. I can appreciate dark and smokey guys for sure. I’m not confined to liking one type of guy. If Felix was already a denizen I’d have eagerly and without hesitation dated him. Yet when he asked me out that last night I was with the group, it scared me so much I ended up never going back. Now I’m just so embarrassed. What’s worse is Felix isn’t even acting like I ditched him and the crew, he’s pretending like it never even happened! He’s just happy to see me! Fuck me! “If you’ll excuse me, I need to use the restroom.” I needed to get breathing room between Felix and myself. I couldn’t leave the restaurant cause my Aunt’s the one driving and I don’t have a car anymore. It’s driving me crazy being around him without him even asking why I left in the first place. Like I don’t feel guilty enough without him pretending like I didn’t do anything wrong by leaving him in the cold like that. Fuck me. I rush into the bathroom and start to just run water on my face, trying to calm myself down from being so worked up from seeing Felix again. I nearly jump out of my skin when I see The Devil from this morning standing with his hands behind his back like a perfect gentlemen. “Hello again Mr.Borisov.” That frustratingly hot deep voice intoned as he smirked at me through the mirror with his glowing yellow eyes, “I trust your day has been going well so far?” I crack the porcelain of the sink with my grip before I turn on the guy. “You’re really zero for two on this flirting business Devil. I thought you said you were good at this?” “I’m not here to Flirt, Mr. Borisov,” he raised an eyebrow and smirked wider on one side of his face as he said this, “I’m here to clarify some things you seem to be confused about.” “What do you mean?” “Well, you seem to be under the impression that I specifically said that you had to fall in love with a Denizen. I said no such thing. I merely said you’d need to fall in love with someone in this realm.” See now why does him saying such a permissive win condition for me make my stomach lurch in panic? He must know about Felix. He can read my mind after all, and who knows how deep in my mind he could actually go. For all I know he could know almost everything about me. “In a manner of speaking Mr. Borisov.” Cooed the Devil with that train of thought. Fucking hell I already forgot how disconcerting it was that he could hear my internal monologue. My body tenses as the devil moves his tail upwards and wraps itself around my waist, pulling me into him as he took my chin in his gloved hand and tilted me up to look at him. I try to push away but I might as well not even have my passive non magical defense with how useless my strength is against this guy. He leaned down till his face was mere inches from mine, heating my face up so much with a flush with how frustratingly hot I found this situation. “You adore Felix, you yearn for him, yet you won’t let yourself love him.” He spoke this so soft and sultry into my face as he gazed into my eyes. “You won’t let yourself love him because in order to do so you’d have to make him just like you.” He drew out those last three words, punctuating and pronouncing them so deliberately that it made my whole body shudder. “Yet you find me attractive and you know that nothing you do will hurt me. You don’t have to change me to allow yourself to fall for me like you would with Felix.” Fuck you eyes, why are you watering right now! Stop giving him the satisfaction! Why can’t I push this bastard away from me. “What was my wager to you Mr. Borisov? What were the precise words that I used when I started this little game with you?” How could I forget, his words had been rattling around in my head the whole day. ‘ I plan on dedicating part of my vacation to make you hopelessly fall in love with me.’ Those were his exact words. Those words that have been playing on repeat periodically since I heard them. Every time I fucking close my eyes I see this asshole. I am not looking forward to going to sleep cause I have a feeling he’s going to be there as well. “Precisely Mr. Borisov, I said I’d make you hopelessly fall in love with me. I was very particular with my choice of words. You see, Mr. Borisov. What does hopeless mean to you exactly?” His grinned widened as he loomed over me, his glowing yellow eyes flashing even brighter. “I don’t know what you mean. Hopelessly falling in love is just an expression.” “Is it? Is it really?” He leaned closer so our lips were so close to touching. Fuck why did he smell so good. “Hopeless means having no hope Mr.Borisov. You’ll fall in love with me not because I have to try particularly hard to court you, because if I truly wished to I’d be able to do so quite easily.” The fact that my face was on fire being so close to him like this made it disastrously clear to me how right he was, and that killed me inside. Was I this easy? Am I really so shallow that I’d fall for a literal devil? That thought seemed to have pleased the Devil quite a lot. “To be hopeless is to be incapable or unwilling to find a solution Mr.Borisov. Yet I’ll extend an olive branch to you as a show of good faith.” He spun me around and pointed me to the mirror, where he conjured up a reflection of smoke inside of it and created an image of Felix and my Aunt talking. “All you need to do to prolong this universe, just a little longer before it’s inevitable end, is to simply change your Felix into a Denizen and fall in love with him. Of course, you can’t just ask him if he wants to be one since he’s shielded by the collective unconscious. No matter how you’d end up doing it, it would be non consensual.” He seemed highly amused about that as he stroked my cheek. Damn him. Why the fuck is he putting this in front of me like this. Why was he even saying this like this was an option I’d even consider. “Because you have considered it Mr. Borisov, and it eats you up inside even contemplating it. It gives you such a delightful palette of emotions inside of you.” The Devil cooed into my ear. “You don’t have to do that to Felix however. If you simply give into your hopelessness and fall for me instead. You’ll know that you didn’t force me to change into anything, and you’ll find me just as attractive no matter what I end up doing after you give into your hopeless feelings for me. You already know what I am, just like you already know what you are. Yet Felix doesn’t know what you are, and without breaking through the mental barrier blocking him from seeing you for what you are, he’s going to remain in the dark about you.” I close my eyes tight so I don’t see the fucking pitiful look on my face. Stupid traitorous eyes were shedding tears, which seemed to delight the Devil so much. “I’ll also need to point out that you can’t simply turn Felix into a denizen for, shall we say, altruistic reasons.” I could feel his smirk even with my eyes so tightly shut. “You’d need to pursue him and do so in a way that is inspired by your genuine love of him. I will know the difference between you doing that and simply trying to buy an extra century for this condemned universe. No, Mr.Borisov...” He sounded so goddamn pleased with himself ”...you have to be JUST like the denizens you loathe so much to make it count. Does that not sound entertaining?” He asked that last part with a chuckle that finally sent me over the edge. I opened my eyes and threw a punch at the devil, but he had already vanished. Instead my fist hits the stall door and utterly shatters it and the stall itself with the aftershocks of the fist colliding with it. I can barely see how much damage I did cause my stupid tears are running so much. Fuck me!
  10. this particular cover speaks to me
  11. Captain Planet 🏳️‍🌈 He's our hero 🏳️‍🌈 Gonna Power Bottom this big Cheeto🏳️‍🌈 Nacho cheese, just watch it fly 🏳️‍🌈 He's fucking on the planets side 🏳️‍🌈
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