tagBDSMThe Ritual of Binding

The Ritual of Binding


If anyone had asked Will for the complete list of what he would most like to be doing right now, 'sitting in the waiting room of Walsh and Holbien, Attorneys at Law,' would have come in under getting a long, slow root canal. He had just been here yesterday for the reading of his grandfather's will, but now it seemed that even death was not going to stop Grand-dad from pulling one last surprise out of his hat.

Mr. Walsh came out and met Will in the reception area after only a short wait. "Hello, Mr. Graham. I understand this is very unusual, and I thank you for coming on such short notice."

"Unusual is one way to put it. And how could I not come, after you called and told me there's a secret section of the will, only for me. It had better not be some secret stash of money he wants to give me - I couldn't keep something like that from the family."

"Nothing like that, I assure you. Before I give it to you, I am directed to give you this letter from your grandfather. You can read it in the board room right across the hall, if you'd like, and then come back to my office when you're finished."

"Thank you." The chairs in the board room were ridiculously plush, but surprisingly not very comfortable. Will tore open the envelope and read Victor Graham's final message.


Dear William,

People have often said that I lead a charmed life; even you used to say that I must have a guardian angel looking out for me. Well, I don't believe in angels, but the fact is there's some truth to the rumours. What I have to tell you now is going to sound completely insane, but I can assure you I have not taken leave of my senses. The simple, unbelievable truth of the matter is, I've had help, and now I want to offer that help to you. You are the only one I would consider giving this to, and I hope you will accept it. The amulet my lawyer is going to give you is the source of all the good things that happened to me in the last 20 years or so. There's only one thing you have to do, but it's important: once you have the chain around your neck, you have to turn the amulet over and let three drops of your blood drip into the three small indentations on the back. Once you do that, it is yours, and everything will become clear, I promise. I'm not going to try and explain it to you in this letter - I'm sure you already think I'm cracking up. All I can say is to try it, please, for my sake. I did, and I never looked back.

If you're wondering why I'm giving this to you, then there's something you should know. I've never shied away from saying what was on my mind, as you know, but there was one thing I could never say until now: ever since you came along, I have always felt closer to you than I did to your father. Don't feel guilty about that, it's not wrong - it's just the way it is. He never approved of the way I lived my life after my wife passed away. But you never judged me - you understood that my life is my own, and I always loved you for it. That's why I've decided to give you my most precious gift.

Even if you think I've gone around the bend, promise me you'll take my gift and do what I told you to do. It will be the best decision you make in your life, I guarantee.

Goodbye, Will. Thank you for being you.

Your Grand-dad, Victor.


Will had no idea how he was supposed to process all that. After taking a few minutes to compose himself, he walked back to the lawyer's office and knocked softly on the door. "Mr. Walsh? I'm finished."

"Good. Please, have a seat. I suppose there's nothing else to do now but give you this." He opens a drawer in his desk and pulls out a brown envelope, then hands it to Will.

"Can I open this here?"

"If you like. Victor said it was for your eyes only, but I'm acting as your counsel right now, so nothing I see or hear will leave this room."

Will opened the package and took out a fine sliver chain necklace, with a small pendant. It was also silver, just a simple flat disc around the size of a quarter. There were three small indents on one side, and two words crudely engraved on the other: Semper Una. He pointed out the words to Mr. Walsh. "That's Latin, isn't it? Do you know what it says?"

Mr. Walsh had to hold it up very close to his face to make out the inscription. "Yes, that's Latin. It means always one, always together. Did Victor's letter have anything to say about it?"

"He said it was his good luck charm, and he wanted me to have it." Will decided that was all he needed to say. No point having Grand-dad's friends thinking he was nuts. He put the amulet back in its envelope, and put it in his coat pocket. "Mr. Walsh, thank you so much for everything, but I'd really like to get home now. It's been a hell of a day."

"Of course, Will. We're finished here. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to call. And again, you have my condolences."


As soon as he got home, Will opened the envelope and took out the necklace. He held it up in front of his face and had a good long look at it. Then he looked up toward the ceiling and spoke out loud, "Grand-dad, I'm touched. This obviously meant a lot to you." He opened the clasp on the chain and put it around his neck. "Thank you."

The company had given Will three days of bereavement leave, and with this being a Saturday, he now found himself with some time on his hands. He considered getting together with some friends, but he was in no mood to go out and be social right now. "I'm always so busy, always running around. This will be a good chance to slow down, have some me time," he thought. There was that book he had been reading for months - he picked it up and sat down to finish it. But before long, he found his heart wasn't in that either. He kept fidgeting with the amulet around his neck and daydreaming about cutting the tip of his finger and watching the blood drip down.

Will took the necklace off and put it on the coffee table, then thought better of it and moved it to the dresser in his room so he didn't have to look at it. He turned on the TV and flipped to the movie channels. After searching through all the standard Halloween crap, he finally stumbled upon an old favourite, Aliens. He had come in right at the beginning of the first firefight between the aliens and the marines, and he was instantly engrossed in the action. But once the action slowed down, and the marines were just talking and making plans, Will again found himself thinking about the amulet, glancing towards his room, wondering what might happen.

He flicked off the TV in frustration. "This is ridiculous! And now I'm talking to myself, great!" He stomped back into his room, snatched the amulet off his dresser, and yelled at it. "All right, you want my blood? Will that get you out of my head? Fine, you got it!"

Fastening the chain around his neck as he went, Will walked to the kitchen to find something sharp. Steak knife? Scissors? No, just three drops, not a gusher. He dug around in the junk drawer, not sure exactly what he was looking for, until he saw the perfect thing - a safety pin. Moving quickly before he changed his mind, he poked his left thumb with the open pin. It hurt more than he thought it would, and then no blood came out. He squeezed it, but still nothing. Holding his breath and gritting his teeth, he pushed the needle in again, further. "Ow! God dammit!" At last, there was a tiny spot of blood. It wasn't enough to drip, and so, holding the amulet up with his other hand so he could see it, he smeared the cut on his thumb over the first indent in it's reverse side.

He waited for a moment, but nothing happened. He squeezed another bit of blood out and rubbed it on the next bump in the little coin, and waited. Nothing. He had to pinch a lot harder to get another drop out, but it was better that then poke the pin in again. A tiny drop seeped out of the already healing pinprick, and he pressed it onto the last indentation.

A moment passed. And then another. Will studied the little coin closely, looking for any sign that something was happening. Then he looked up and said, "Well, now I feel like an idiot. I hope you're happy!" He leaned over the sink and turned on the water, running it over his thumb. "I only did this because it's Halloween tomorrow!" Once it was cleaned off, he held the amulet by its edges and brought it to the stream of water to wash it off. As soon the water touched it, he heard a woman's voice cry "No!"

Will was so startled he fell on his ass, and then skittered backwards until his back was against his cupboards. "What the fuck?!? Who's there?"

He heard the voice again. "I'm sorry I startled you, but you were going to wash your blood off before the ritual was completed, and I don't know what would have happened if you did."

Will froze. He couldn't see anyone in the kitchen, although it sounded like she was right next to him. "Who are you? What the hell is going on?" He got up on his knees and peered over the top of the kitchen counter, but there was no one else around.

"I am Qarin, the spirit of the amulet. You have offered your blood and performed the ritual of binding. Now we are forever together, forever one."

"What?!? No, no, no, this can't be happening! I didn't know!"

"I'm not going to hurt you. Don't panic."

"Don't panic? Are you kidding me? I just summoned an invisible demon into my house! Now is a perfect time to panic!"

"William, I am not a demon. Do you think your grandfather would give you the amulet if it was demonic?"

The panic was receding from Will's mind, and he was able to calm down enough to think. "No, he wouldn't do that. All right, if you're not a demon, then what the hell are you?"

"I am a companion spirit. Some would call me a familiar. I'm sure you will grow to love having me around - Victor certainly did."


"I can hear what people are thinking. Victor was a fine salesman even before he found me, but with me he was unstoppable. Before you ask, I can't do it over the telephone or any of these other things you've invented to avoid personal contact; the person must be close by."

"Are you kidding me? Even if I believed you, there must be a catch. What do I have to do in return?"

"You don't have to do anything but let me in. Now that we are bound, I get to inhabit your body. You're not possessed, don't freak out, I'm just along for the ride - I can't make you do anything. You can't imagine what it's like to be a spirit without a body. I can't see or hear or touch anything in the physical world. All I can sense are energy vibrations, emotions. It's usually just a big muddle, but sometimes I get glimpses of people's thoughts. Now I can experience everything you experience, and every sight and sound is a treasure beyond words."

"This can't be happening. I need to sit down. I need a drink." Now that the shock was over and the adrenaline was wearing off, Will was feeling exhausted. He got himself a beer from his fridge and sat down on his couch. "Is this for real?"

"It's for real, believe it. By the way, you don't need to speak to me out loud - I'm in your head. You know what you should do right now? Get off your ass! It's Saturday night, don't you want to go out, be around people, eavesdrop on their thoughts? C'mon, it'll be so much fun. I've never been bound to someone as young as you before, I want to enjoy it!"

"Man, I want to, but I'm so tired. I need to sleep. We'll go out tomorrow, I promise."

"I know you're tired, but I think going out will make you feel much better. Once you get out there with the people and the music and the dancing, you'll feel like a million dollars!"

Will was dozing off right there on the couch. "Forget it, Qarin, I can't do it." He got up and made his way to the bedroom, almost crawling. "God, why am I so tired? It's not that late." The spirit kept pestering him to go out, but it took everything he had just to crawl under the covers, clothes still on, before sleep overtook him.


The little red numbers on the alarm clock read 9:03 when Will opened a bleary eye to check. His back and neck were sore, like he slept in an awkward position, so he decided he should get out of bed. "What the hell happened last night? I wasn't drinking, well just that one beer after -- holy shit!" The events of the previous night came rushing back to memory, and he reached up reflexively for the amulet while calling out, "Qarin? Are you still here?" More quietly, he added, "or am I totally losing my mind?"

"I'm here."

"Okay, at least I'm not crazy. Man, I can't believe how quickly I crashed out last night. And I still feel so tired - what's up with that? I slept more than I usually do."

"Here's the thing. I'm a spirit but I'm not a ghost - I am alive, and I need energy to survive just like you do. You kill other living things and then eat their bodies for food. I siphon the energy I need directly from the spirit inside living things. The problem is, I don't have any way to store energy - I have to feed constantly. But now that we are bonded together, I can give all my excess energy to you, and slowly draw it from you as I need it."

"So I'm like a battery to you. Nice, real nice!"

"I wouldn't have put it that way, but let's go with that. Right now, the battery is very low, so we feel tired. That's why I wanted you to go out last night. When people are out having fun, they're full of energy, and I can draw that energy from them. Once we do that, we're golden."

"And what happens to the people you feed off of?"

"They're fine, just tired like you are now. A good night's sleep is all they need. Remember, Victor trusted me - you can too. And believe me, once I get the battery charged up, you won't believe how you'll feel. You won't get sick either, and everyone will say you're glowing. Let me ask you, the last time you saw your grandfather alive, did he look like he was in his seventies?"

Once Will thought about it, Grand-dad had hardly seemed to age during the whole time he had known him. "So no one gets hurt, and I'll feel like a million bucks. Okay, let's do it. I just wish we could go out now - even after a good eight hours of sleep, I still feel like hell."

"Will, don't freak out when I tell you this, but that wasn't eight hours of sleep. That was twenty. It's PM, not AM."

"What?!? No, that can't be right. Sorry, I really tried not to freak out. All right, let's get moving!"


Two hours later, Will was through the line up and ordering a drink at the Lucky Lounge, after the biggest dinner-for-breakfast he'd ever eaten. It was already starting to fill up, and he was glad that he had arrived before it got packed. The music was darker and heavier than usual, but Will loved it - they must have brought a special DJ in for the Halloween party. There were a few really intricate costumes in the crowd that made him feel a little under-dressed in his jeans and Boy Scout shirt, but there were plenty of lazy people in surgeon's scrubs too. Once he got his rum and coke, he turned around to get a good look at the crowd, and his eyes were instantly drawn to a gorgeous blond woman in a pale blue Marie Antoinette costume, standing at one of the little drink tables by herself. It had a corset top pushing her breasts up, and a skirt that was floor-length in the back, and micro-mini in the front. Will looked around the club, but kept coming back to Marie time and again.

Qarin spoke up in his head. "Her name isn't Marie, it's Micah."

"So you're just listening in to people's thoughts all the time?"

"Yes, now that I'm bound to you it's much easier. There's a lot of background noise with so many people in here, but I could see you were interested in that particular girl, so I focused in on her."

"Micah, cool name. I can't believe she's here alone, she's incredible."

"She's not. Alone, I mean. It turns out Micah loves it when her boyfriend acts jealous, so she has sent him to stand at the bar and wait for someone to hit on her. Once someone takes the bait, he'll come over and yell at the poor guy until he runs away. Apparently it really turns her on."

"That is fucked up. Thanks for the warning."

"I told you you'd love having me around. You seem to be feeling better, too."

"Yeah, I'm not nearly as tired as I was. Have you been... feeding?"

"As much as I can. You have to touch someone for me to feed from them, but they have to be open to you - if they have their guard up, they instinctively protect themselves and I can only get a tiny bit. I've been getting some table scraps from people bumping into you."

"So, once the place gets busy, it'll be easier for you, right?"

"I suppose, but that's not really -- wait, that red-haired girl in the velvet dress, over at the bar? Do you find her attractive?"

Will looked to the bar and found who the spirit was referring to. She was taller than most of the girls here, with close-cropped, boyish hair dyed an intense fire-engine red. Her sheath dress was an emerald green, and clung to her very nicely. "She's gorgeous. Why, do you find her attractive?"

"Oh yes, she's overflowing with energy! She's exactly what I need. I mean, what we need. This is our chance - she can't find her money and she's getting really upset. You should ride up on your white horse and buy her drink for her."

"I could do that." He made his way through the throng of people at the bar until he was standing next to the redhead, then ordered another drink. While he waited, he watched her rummage through her purse and heard her chattering to herself nervously, "Dammit, I know I had more money in here..."

Will raised his voice to be heard over the crowd. "Excuse me, is everything okay?"

She looked startled by the question, and then answered him in an overly cheery voice. "What? Oh yeah, everything's fine! I just need to find that extra $20 I put in here."

When the bartender came back with his drink, Will paid him and said, "Put hers on my tab too."

"Oh, you didn't have to do that!"

"Don't worry about it. My name's Will."

"I'm Carmen. Thanks, by the way. I'm waiting for a friend - when they get here, I can pay you back."

Qarin's voice whispered in his head, "That's not true; she just wants to give herself an out if she needs it. Still, she's opened up a bit - touch her so I can feed. A handshake will do."

"Pleased to meet you, Carmen." He put his hand out, and Carmen shook it. Just has he was about to let her hand go, he felt something like a static electricity jolt, and a warm tingling feeling spread up his arm and flooded into his body. The shock of it made him lock his eyes on Carmen's and tighten his grip on her hand for a moment, and then he hurriedly dropped it and looked away. He didn't know what to say, so he took a long pull on his drink to try and cover his confusion. Carmen did the same, and it seemed she was a little disoriented as well.

Qarin was so happy her voice almost sang in his head. "Oh, God, I needed that! Was that as good for you as it was for me?" He could feel, rather than hear her laughing.

"That was awesome! Is it always like that?"

"Yes, but that was at the low end of how strong it can be. She only opened up to you a little bit, after all. We'll have to work on her some more, she still has plenty of energy to spare. Oh, this is odd - she felt the transfer almost as much as we did. Usually they hardly feel a thing when I feed, only the tiredness after. Maybe it's because you're so young, I don't know. But she's very curious about you now. She wants to ask you if you felt something strange, but is too worried it was just her and she'll sound like a flake."

He turned his attention back to Carmen. "Um, this is going to sound a little weird, but can I ask you something?"

"Please do." She turned to him with a trace of hope and expectation in her eyes.

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