Demonic Submission Ch. 22byTheLastChaosLord©
My thanks to WanderingMindGames for her help proofing this chapter and helping me out.
Some people have made mention that they want to see the Clash soon, and I assure you, it will be the next chapter. It is already written and just being proofed now so you'll see it soon after you are reading this chapter.
This chapter will largely deal with Celestine and the choices she is forced to make, some of which are perhaps less noble then they might appear. Otherwise it revolves around a Confrontation between Navira and Tristan.
Hope you all enjoy, and as ever, suggestions and thoughts are welcome.
The shriek of metal on metal sounded in Celestine's ears again as the blade in her hand skidded off her opponent's small buckler. The thumping of her heart hummed in her ears relentlessly, like a barely audible whisper above her fast but smooth breaths as she darted back again avoiding her opponent, which was trying to cave her skull in with the small metal shield he bore. The blow was so close that Celestine saw her reflection in the dented and scratched but still polished surface of the small disk as it sang past her face no farther than a few inches away.
She put some distance between them, and took a moment to take stock of her surroundings as she circled slowly. She was several levels beneath the primary chamber of the Sovereign's lair, and another level below the bazaar she had been in last night. The pit she was fighting in was perhaps as large as a boxing ring, and not nearly as deep as the primary stage far above, but the ring like pit they were was big enough for their needs. The walls were smooth, and the pit could only be exited if someone threw her a line to climb up with. Above, surrounding the edge of the pit were numerous demons watching and cheering them on. No, that was wrong. They were not cheering for her, or her opponents' victory... They were crying out their desire to see the combatants bleed and suffer.
Celestine glanced up and saw Tristan watching her calmly, a firm confidence written on his features. She didn't know where that confidence was coming from though. As far as she could tell, she was losing. Yes, she had a long knife that was sharp enough to cut flesh like butter, but her opponent, Gurrak's mortal servant who had tried to force himself on her yesterday, was a trained combatant. Even with only the buckler for protection and offence, Celestine was very aware of the mismatch.
Her glance turned into a glare as she considered Tristan, and how the hell she had ended up in this situation...
"What is a Fell Born Tristan? What am I?" Celestine asked flatly, doing everything she could to keep the rampant emotions swirling around inside her from affecting her.
Damn it why are you bringing that up? Her inner voice asked desperately. Can't we just enjoy the afterglow of a good fuck and get some needed sleep?"
Celestine ignored her inner voice and shook off the gentle touch it tried to use to relax her. She forced herself to become tenser, like a coiled spring ready to snap. The day's events had left her reeling and distracted. They had left her unable to realize the gravity of what the Sovereign had said. But now that she had cleared her head, she recalled what Vestiem had told her, and that Tristan supposedly had the answers.
She watched as he stood somewhat stunned by her direct question. That in itself was proof that he knew what she was talking about, and it allowed anger to start flaring inside her. She could feel his mind working to try and answer her, before he suddenly cut himself off from her, providing more proof that he knew what she was talking about. After a few seconds more, he opened his mouth to speak, but this time Celestine cut him off, her voice firm and unyielding. "And don't lie to me. I know you know something about this... Vestiem said as much."
Tristan frowned for a moment, as if her words had annoyed him, but he relaxed a moment later and took a step towards her, holding out his hands in mock surrender, clearly trying to defuse the situation and get her to relax. It might have worked better, if he wasn't wearing his true demonic form... "Celestine, let's take a moment to breathe here. Tell me what he told you and we can go from there." He said with a gentle smile on his features.
She promptly wiped away his smile with her answer. "No. I'm not giving you time to think up some lie. Tell me the truth Tristan." Celestine's voice was, if anything, becoming more distant and harder still, giving Tristan pause. He had gained so much ground in getting her to trust and rely on him, but Vestiem had ruined all of that with a few words...
As she waited for his response, some emotion twisted inside her, growing stronger every time her mind circled around the knowledge that he was withholding information from her. She didn't understand what she was feeling. Or more accurately, she was keeping herself from understanding... If she acknowledged it, it would mean more than she was willing to accept right now.
Tristan sighed, clearly annoyed, though she could tell it wasn't directed at her. "It is far too late in the evening to go into that at depth Celestine. It will keep until the morning, so please go to bed and rest. I can tell you're exhausted and just standing up right now is almost more than you can handle. I'll explain this to you soon, just not now, alright?" He asked, clearly trying to get her to calm down.
Unfortunately it seemed to have the opposite effect. "Damn it Tristan, I said no! Explain it to me now. I know I'm tired but that doesn't matter. If this is about me, about... about why people slowly twist themselves into hating me than I need to know! Am I really responsible? Tell me, and no more evasions or lies..." Celestine demanded taking a step towards him, anger lining her voice, though it wasn't directed at him. Instead Tristan was surprised to realize it was directly inwards.
'Damn him' was all Tristan could think about. He had worked so hard to get Celestine's confidence in herself to the point where she didn't care what others might think, and now that had all gone to hell... Tristan shook his head. "Celestine, I've not lied to you about anything. Actually it would be fair to say that I've been more honest with you than I have been with any other mortal over the course of my life." He said, trying to keep off the subject of the Fell Born.
"And that's an accomplishment?" Celestine scoffed, clearly annoyed as she could see right through his attempts to evade her questions. "You don't keep your servants near you, and the ones you do have regular contact with, you tell them next to nothing. Sig was a perfect example of that. Please stop trying to dance around this and tell me!" Celestine pushed desperately. She didn't like to admit it, but every time he tried to avoid her questions, it felt like he was driving a knife into her back.
Tristan sighed. "Look... I know you are sort of a first for me. So perhaps it isn't a big deal to you that I can say I've been more open and honest with you than any other mortal. But it is for me. Usually I can't tolerate the presence of mortals for long so you can imagine how odd this is for me as well. Because of this, I'm taking things slowly, even though it might not seem like it." Tristan tried to explain.
"Slowly?" Celestine asked with dark amusement. "Tristan, you abducted me, molested me on at least a dozen occasions, let me watch someone I once called friend be turned into an incubator for the monsters you keep in your basement... All over the course of a few days... And now I'm told that some of that is my fault?" Celestine hugged herself and took a step back from him, slipping back into the shadowed corner. "Told that I might be a monster, responsible for ruining people's lives..." Her voice slipped further away, making Tristan grit his teeth in anger. She wasn't depressed, but it was clear she was thinking of ways to prevent it from ever happening again... including any drastic and tragically final steps that may require.
"You honestly think you are a monster? You, of all people?" Tristan shook his head and couldn't help but laugh at the thought. "Well that is ridiculous notion if I've ever heard one. You Celestine are no monster." Tristan said firmly.
"He said I wasn't human...." Celestine said looking to Tristan, confusion shining in her emerald eyes.
"Celestine..." Tristan shook his head and sighed. "First... You are most definitely human. Second, what have I told you about trusting demons? Think about it for just a moment... Vestiem is my kind's Sovereign... In order to have gained that position how many people do you think he's killed? How many lies and webs of deception do you think he's spun over the course of his millennia long life?" Tristan tried to coax, holding out his hand to her. Strange, that he would be holding his hand out to her, to pull her back into the light when his true goal was to drag her down into the darkness with him. Strange indeed... but sometimes you had to go back to go forwards again...
Celestine looked to his hand, as if she wanted to take it, but knew it was hazardous to her... Still, she reached out tentatively, but stopped as her hand hovered above his, as if she saw some new threat there... She looked up to meet his gaze again. She felt a shimmer of want and lust run through her as she met his beautiful eyes. Eyes that just minuets ago she had been staring into as he fucked her senseless and freed her from the terror that gripped her heart. "Is it possible to be human, and more?" She asked, her hand still hesitating to take his.
Tristan held her gaze for a moment, before a gentle and pleased smile began to spread across his features. "Yes Celestine. But that is not what makes me crave you every moment of every day." Tristan assured much to her surprise. He wondered for a moment if that was true or not. But he quickly decided it was indeed the case. Even before he ever suspected her of being a Fell Born, Tristan wanted her. No, that was incorrect. He needed her...
He felt her slip his hand gently into his, as if still expecting a betrayal or that he was going to suddenly change his stance. But instead he lightly closed his hand around hers, and pulled her from the darkness and into his arms. "There? Was that so hard now?" He asked smiling down to her as she blushed in embarrassment at his overly intimate gesture.
"You have no idea how difficult that was." She said coolly, still some distance between them in her voice at least. "Not all of us have your casual confidence. It is hard to trust you... After all, wasn't it you who told me not to trust demons, Mr. Demonic Lord?" She asked looking up to him, a slight grin on her features, but caution still lingered in her eyes.
"Indeed it was." Tristan responded, amused by her slight jab at him. "What a terrible corner I've pushed myself into." He lamented playfully. "However shall I earn your trust now?"
"You could tell me the truth." Celestine responded immediately. "Tell me about the 'Fell Born'..." she implored lightly.
Tristan lost much of his mirth at her request. His smiled lessened and his eyes became calculating. Seeing this Celestine began to pull away from him, expecting more evasion. It made her chest hurt and her mind spin slowly. For some reason she hated the idea of hearing more of his skirting around her questions. But just as she was about to turn her back on him he gripped her hand a little tighter and pulled her back to him. "I will." He said firmly. "But you must earn it." He said, his eyes urging her to meet his challenge.
"Earn it?" She asked perplexed. "I think I deserve to know Tristan... especially given it is about me." She pointed out.
"Perhaps you do." Tristan allowed. "If we were in your world still, the world of mortals and science and logic you would get your answers, but we aren't. We are in my world, full of monsters and evil deeds... a world where everything must be earned or stolen." He paused to let his words sink in, but after a moment more Celestine responded.
"What do you want me to do?" She asked coolly, wondering what he had planned for her. But then she wasn't doing this just for the sake of learning about what these "Fell Born" were. She was doing it to try and continue earning the Third Mark. Everything she did was to earn that, so that she could eventually turn it against him and rid the world of this skirt chasing monster... But she wasn't rushing, and the fact that this benefited her didn't hurt either. "You are not going to demand that I allow you to take advantage of me again? I think you've fucked me enough for today, thank you." Celestine had forced the words to be playful and have an air of seduction to them, or at least she thought she had forced them. She was surprised at how easily they came now, even though it was an attempt to make him lower his guard around her.
Tristan blinked at her brazen response and chuckled. "First of all, if you think all I seek from you is sex, you're wrong. Second of all, there will never be a point, under any circumstance, that I will feel that I have 'fucked you enough'. I meant what I said earlier Celestine. I have no intention of ever letting you go." He said with absolute honesty.
Celestine blushed lightly at his words and looked away, trying to hide her face. "W-whatever." She managed as she shook off his response and how it made her feel. "What do you want me to do to earn this information?" Celestine asked, blatantly trying to change the subject back to something she could handle more easily.
Tristan chuckled at her embarrassed response before answering her question. "Tomorrow you'll fight Gurrak's servant. You'll beat him, or I'll keep my information to myself. That will be the first step towards earning what you want."
Celestine looked to him confused and frustrated. "I have to kill someone to make you tell me?"
"No. You just have to beat him. I'll set it up so that he won't have any normal weapons, and that you'll have a knife. The both of you are marked twice, so it should be very hard for either of you to kill each other, even with the knife. Just don't go for the throat, head or heart and you should be okay." Tristan explained.
"Can I expect the same courtesy from him?" She asked dryly.
"Probably not." Tristan said with a shrug. "But you'll have a weapon and he won't, so you should have the advantage. You don't even have to use it if you don't want to; I just want you to have it on you." Tristan explained.
"Why? Why give me a weapon if you don't care if I use it." Celestine asked suspiciously.
"I'm not telling." Tristan said with a smile.
"Well that can't be good." Celestine said aloud as she watched him curiously. "Is there anything else?"
"Yes. I have several more conditions which you must commit to meeting before I even think about giving you any information. The first is that you must never speak about the Fell Born with anyone but me, and only when we are alone. The second condition will be something I will keep to myself until I feel comfortable announcing it. Is that acceptable?" Tristan asked as he cocked his head curiously.
"Are there more beyond those two?" Celestine asked bluntly.
"Of course. But few enough that you'll be able to manage them. Really only one or two more and you'll have the option to decline any of them if you feel they are too outlandish. If you do however, it will simply mean I won't share what I know." Tristan explained easily, smiling calmly as he held her lightly.
Celestine watched him for a long moment, knowing that an open ended situation like that could end up costing her a lot... "I'm walking into a trap, aren't I?" She asked, half amused half frustrated.
"Of sorts." Tristan admitted. "But don't worry; no harm will come to you because of it." He assured calmly.
"You don't inspire the greatest of confidence... You know that?" Celestine asked dryly. "Gah... In for a penny, in for a pound I suppose. Fine... But you better not be screwing around with me." She warned.
Tristan chuckled again. "No, I believe we concluded that activity a short while ago." He moved away as she blushed in embarrassment. He was thankfully looking away from her as he began to head to the door that joined their two rooms. "Now get some rest Celestine. You'll need it come the morning." He said easily.
"Fine... but... Just so you know. Earlier... that was just you taking advantage of me... I... didn't want that to happen. I was all out of sorts and... If not for Vestiem I wouldn't have been vulnerable like that. I wouldn't have let you take advantage of me..." She said clearly not totally convinced of it herself.
"Of course." Tristan accepted easily. "The thought of you wanting to have sex with me, and the concept of you enjoying it so much you nearly passed out on several occasions, while in your normal state of mind, never crossed my thoughts." Tristan said as he closed the door, grinning playfully and avoiding the spare pillow Celestine threw at him.
"Asshole..." She grumbled to herself as she sat back down on her bed, still wrapped in the sheet.
And you are a liar, and a bad one at that... Her inner voice sounded lightly, though she sounded highly pleased with herself. We loved every moment of it. We clung to him for dear life. Admit it, he saved us from the nightmare... and he did it with some of the best sex we've ever had. Just imagine what it would be like if we went to him willingly, with the soul purpose of a good fuck...
"Shut up." Celestine continued to grumble as she buried her head in her remaining pillow. Still, despite trying to push it out of her mind, the thought began to swirl in her mind... making her shiver in want all over again. "Damn it..." she whispered to herself. "I... want more..." she admitted, unsure of what that meant...
Rest was not something she got a lot of that evening... She spent most of her waking hours torn between two subjects: what a Fell Born could be, and the mind numbingly great sex that she had with Tristan... Even recalling it was distracting, and nearly cost her a wallop across her midsection from the buckler her opponent wielded with a fair amount of skill. Though Celestine could tell he wished he had a blade instead.
Their 'sparring match' had started that morning. Tristan had sorted it out with Gurrak and set it up so that her opponent would only have the buckler where she would have the knife she was now holding. They were told specifically that they were not supposed to kill each other; that this sparing match was just to see how skilled of a fighter Celestine really was. However, given the angry gaze of her opponent, she doubted that was actually how he felt about the situation.
Her opponent threw a backhanded swing with the buckler at Celestine after she dodged his last attack. However she saw it coming and was able to step inside and bring up one arm to guard against his haphazard attempt to elbow her when he missed his opportunity with the small shield. On instinct and the desperate need to gain some ground, Celestine cut at him with the knife in her hand before darting back. She was fairly certain that it hadn't made a telling blow though, as the cutting angle was too shallow to do any real damage. However when they separated she quickly realized that her opponent was now favoring the opposite side. What's more, she saw blood begin to trickle down his leg to be left in the sand.
Apparently he saw her take notice and snarled out at her. "It's just a flesh wound wench!" As if he needed to convince her.
For whatever reason, the sight of him bleeding and his words made her laugh some before she spoke. "Of course it is. This is just a sparing match after all, right?" She grinned at him as she continued to circle. She was pleased to see that her words had shaken him, likely putting the idea in his head that she wasn't trying as hard as she could have been.