Pain. A burning, aching throb that wracked his entire body and left a dull roar in his ears. His head was spinning, and no matter how hard he tried he couldn't focus long enough to concentrate. Flashing colours swam before his eyes, accompanied by snippets of memory that refused to stay still long enough in his mind for him to make any sense of them.
He tried to move, and was rewarded with a fresh wave of pain for his efforts. He did however manage to discern that he was lying on his back somewhere uncomfortable and cold, probably a stone floor from the rough texture against his skin.
It was then that he realised he was stripped bare down to the waist, although he had no idea if he had been fully clothed before arriving here, wherever 'here' was exactly.
He finally tried to speak, to call out to anyone to help him, but he couldn't form the words correctly and only succeeded in emitting a hoarse groan.
It was then that she spoke for the first time.
'At last, you're finally awake...'
He tried to look around and see who was talking, fighting the waves of nausea that attacked him as he moved his head. He blinked rapidly and then screwed his eyes shut before opening them again slowly, and finally began to see his surroundings more clearly.
He had been right about the stone floor; in fact, the whole room seemed to be carved out of stone, a small circular chamber in which he was lying in the centre. Dull light illuminated the room slightly, although no fixtures were on the walls or ceiling and he could see no windows.
He tried to find where the speaker was, the owner of the low, sultry voice that had grabbed his attention, but his vision was still shifting in and out of focus and he couldn't quite place her.
'I thought you would never wake,' she spoke again, as he heard the ominous sound of approaching footsteps towards him.
'You must have been hit harder than I expected...'
He saw her now, or at least some of her. The lights in the chamber were shifting continuously, making the shadows dance and twirl around the form of the speaker, enveloping the sight of her from him. All he could make out were a pair of long, slender legs, bare so he could see the tanned skin. A pair of black stiletto shoes were worn on her feet, the echoes of the heels resounding throughout the room as she approached his prone form.
He tried to rise, needed to stand and ask questions and find out where he was, what had happened. After a moment's thought he also realised he needed to find out who he was as well.
The crooning voice was much closer now, and he looked up just as the shadows before him vanished.
And he saw her.
For a moment, his pain, the confusion he felt, everything was forgotten as he gazed up at the woman who stood before him. She was stunning, literally, with a lithe, slender form that held a suggestion of powerful athleticism. Her tanned skin gave her an exotic appearance, and the short black dress that clung to her curves served to accentuate this.
She had raven black hair that extended down over her shoulders and rested upon her firm, full breasts, and a seductive smile lay upon her full red lips.
'You must be in all kinds of pain at the moment,' she said with a light chuckle, tilting her head to the side as she gazed down at him, bringing her head down closer to his.
'I should know...'
It was then that he caught her gaze, and gasped at the fiery intensity blazing in those eyes. He had never seen eyes so bright, so fierce yet so enchanting at the same time, and as he became lost in those pools of blue luminescence, the memories returned.
He saw the flames that had surrounded him, could feel their intense heat searing his skin as he had pressed onwards to the goal of his quest. He remembered the smouldering ash that had choked his lungs and blinded his vision, the death grip in which he had clutched his sword with grim determination.
He remembered his mentor, the Seer Knight Alandros, urging him onwards as he led the way into the fiery pit, his gleaming white cloak somehow untouched by any of the nightmarish surroundings. He remembered the symbol of the Order emblazoned on that cloak being the only thing keeping his sanity in check.
But most of all now, he remembered her.
She was different now, assuming one of her human forms that had led so many astray and corrupted so many good people. But those eyes, they had not changed. They were still the horrifically enticing orbs of intense light that had burned into him before, destroying his inhibitions and fighting for his will.
He remembered Alandros's powerful voice breaking her hold on him, urging him to stay focussed and calling the charge to attack.
He remembered a battle, fierce and violent, the likes of which he had never experienced before. Then the flash, the blast that had swept through the air and smashed him into oblivion, where the darkness had welcomed him.
And he remembered the utter, complete despair he had felt as his consciousness left him, the soul searing feeling of failure.
They had failed. He had failed. He, the one known as-
'D-Daelo...' he whispered hoarsely. 'Daelo...'
She smiled wider, clapping her long-fingered hands together in mock applause.
'Well done! You actually know your own name. And here I thought all slayers were complete idiots.'
Daelo suddenly remembered what he was and sat up suddenly, ignoring the agony that ripped through him and clutching at his bare chest.
'Looking for this?'
He looked up at her and saw his Rosarius hanging limply from its chain in her grasp, his stomach sinking as he felt hope quickly dwindling away.
'Lovely little trinket,' she said in a conversational tone, watching the soul pendant twist slowly back and forth.
'Completely worthless now though,' she added, giving Daelo a wink. 'Looks like it couldn't withstand the power of little old me'.
He could see she was right. The gemstone set into the pendant was fused and blackened, and the once bright metal was now tarnished and dull. The blast that she had taken him with must have caused it, although to overload such a holy relic with enough demonic energy to destroy it completely suggested tremendous power.
She saw the look in his eyes and chuckled again, the dark, sultry sound causing his head to spin once more. He screwed his eyes shut and forced himself to concentrate, determined to resist her despite her abilities.
'I don't think we've been formally introduced,' she said, holding out her hand with that captivating smile still in place. 'My name is-'
'I know who you are,' he snarled, finally able to string coherent words together again. 'You are evil incarnate, the one who calls herself the black rose. A demoness, a murderer, a seductress, a liar, a succubus,' he spat the last word out as if the very mention of it left a foul taste in his mouth.
'Oh, petty titles and nothing more,' she said with a dismissive wave of her hand.
'My real name would reduce you to nothing more than a vegetable if I uttered it, and I certainly wouldn't want that,' she said, trailing a finger lightly down his chest. 'But I prefer to go by the name of Lucia Morgana. The 'black rose' I am known by is merely a moniker created by those who both fear and desire me.'
'No one desires you by choice, demon,' Daelo growled. 'You seduce them with your hellborn lies until they lie broken and lifeless.'
Lucia shook her head softly, chuckling at his words. Then suddenly, without warning, her hand shot out and seized him around the throat, impossibly quick and immensely powerful. Daelo felt as if the jaws of a huge beast had clamped down upon him, and he struggled in vain as his airways were cut off.
'It didn't take seduction or lies to leave that old fool you adored so much broken and lifeless,' she hissed in his ear as she brought her head close to his.
'In fact, it took only a miniscule amount of my power, like batting an annoying fly aside.' She grinned at him as the weight of her words sunk in and Daelo began to thrash about in rage as much as pain.
As quickly as it had happened, Lucia released him from her grip. Daelo collapsed back onto the floor gasping for air, his mind reeling at what the demoness had told him. Alandros? The great Seer Knight, his father in all but bloodlines, dead? It couldn't be. He was invincible. Nothing could even harm the great Alandros, let alone slay him.
'More of your lies,' he croaked, pointing an accusing finger at her. 'We were sent to destroy you and I was captured. Alandros will have returned to the citadel to gather reinforcements for your imminent death.'
Lucia sighed exasperatedly, as if dealing with a stubborn young child. Then, turning back towards the shadows at the other side of the room, she cast a ragged bundle onto the ground beside him and nodded towards it.
'See for yourself, if you will not listen to reason,' she said coldly, her burning eyes staring through him.
Daelo held her gaze for as long as he could before reaching out for the bundle. It was a pile of some sort of cloth that felt feather light in his hands despite its size. As he turned it over, he saw what he had dreaded and cast the cloth away as if he had been scolded.
'No...It can't be...'
Despite the ragged holes torn in the fabric and the charred, burnt appearance, he could still make out the symbol of the Order on the cloak, that which had once shone brighter than the sun itself.
'You would know more than me, but I think we both know that the vaunted Seer Knight would never be seen anywhere without the Shroud of the Order around his shoulders, would he?'
Daelo's fists bunched tightly and he began to shake all over with rage. With a snarl he leapt to his feet, landing a little more awkwardly than he would have liked but quickly preparing himself to leap at the succubus. He had failed Master Alandros in the heat of battle, and it had cost the Seer Knight his life, but he could still make this bitch from hell pay with hers.
Daelo rushed towards Lucia, the intended sweep more of a lurch as his body betrayed him again. He drew his arm back and aimed his fist at her smirking features, summoning all his strength for the blow.
She moved far faster than he believed anything could, human or not. One minute she had been completely still, watching him approach. The next, she had vanished, causing his fist to sweep through air and overbalance him from the force of the swing.
He stumbled forward onto his knees, his momentum carrying him towards the far wall of the stone chamber. Daelo winced as he awaited the imminent crunch of impact and explosion of pain in his skull as he ploughed into the wall.
It never came.
An instant before he crashed into the wall, Daelo felt himself plucked out of midair and pulled backwards, a pair of strong hands clutching his shoulders and placing him on his feet back in the centre of the room.
He found himself facing Lucia once more, who pulled him close and pressed herself against him, the single hand on his back holding him tightly to her. She leaned her head on his shoulder as her free hand cupped his groin firmly, provoking an involuntary gasp from him that curled her lips in a wicked smile.
'Mmmm, I love the feisty ones,' she whispered breathily, her tongue snaking out and dragging upwards across his cheek. Daelo tried to pull away but found he could hardly move at all in his weakened state. As Lucia began to trail the tip of her tongue down along his neck, he realised that even in peak condition he doubted he would be able to best her physically.
Still, this did not stop his efforts. Daelo placed both hands on her shoulders and pushed as hard as he could, but did not move her in the slightest. Instead, Lucia's own grip on him increased, crushing him against her voluptuous form. He knew what she was trying to do, and knew that in his current condition, she would succeed.
Daelo tried his hardest to resist, fighting to focus his mind through the haze of pain and exhaustion that permeated his thoughts. Already, he could feel his willpower ebbing, succumbing to her powerful enticements. Lucia sensed this and gripped his cock hard through the material of his pants, stroking his length with her thumb.
Daelo closed his eyes and tried to detach himself from the situation and free his mind, just like Master Alandros had taught him. But it was all for naught, as he could see her even in his head, wearing that wicked grin as she sensed his struggle.
Lucia's head was on his shoulder again, her sultry tones in his ear.
'Look into my eyes, Daelo,' she said, her voice like an enchanting mindsong. He could feel his body loosening, his concentration slipping ever faster. Before he realised what he was doing, Daelo had opened his eyes and was gazing into her vivid orbs, the shifting shades of blue mesmerising him and destroying whatever pitiful resistance was left in him.
'That's it...listen to my voice, let it guide you, lose yourself to my control...'
Daelo's head lolled slightly, tilting at an angle as he gave in to her, the inner voice that screamed at him to stop fading away into silence. His breathing was steadily increasing, and he could feel his member growing harder as Lucia firmly stroked and squeezed it through the material of his clothing.
He wanted more than anything to destroy her, to rid the world of a being of pure, soulless evil and avenge so many lives, but it was as if he were watching himself from outside his own body. His thoughts and actions were not his own, and try as he might he could not break her complete hold over him.
Lucia held his gaze for a long moment, studying his reaction, before pressing a palm flat against his chest and pushing him backwards, his body toppling like a mannequin with no resistance at all. As he hit the ground, Daelo had barely a split second to look up at her before Lucia was upon him, her legs straddling him as her hands tore eagerly at his pants.
Daelo lifted his head and tried weakly to sit up, but Lucia pushed him back down with a firm hand on his chest, a wicked smile on her face once more as she tugged his pants down and revealed his throbbing cock.
'It looks like someone's excited to see me,' she said with a laugh as she shifted her hips and began to grind back and forth along the length of his shaft. Somewhere in Daelo's clouded mind he realised that she wore no panties underneath the tight black dress, and a groan halfway between fear and pleasure escaped his throat as she coated his hardness with her juices.
'G-get the fuck off me...' Daelo hissed through gritted teeth, trying his hardest to move.
'Shut your fucking mouth,' Lucia gasped, clamping a hand down over his mouth as she continued to slide back and forth against his length, moaning with pleasure. The palpable hue of fear mixed with denied pleasure that was emanating from Daelo was feeding her with the greatest of sustenance, replenishing her like nothing she had felt in her hundreds of years preying on humans.
Lucia cupped Daelo's balls tightly in her free hand as she gyrated atop him, rolling them between her finger and thumb and chuckling darkly as a muffled groan came from him.
'You love it, my little slayer,' she moaned, lifting herself up slightly and grasping the base of his cock. 'And you'll love this even more.'
Daelo's eyes widened as Lucia sank down onto his member, engulfing his entire cock in one motion. He cried out with the amazing intensity of the sensation, fear gripping him as much as pleasure as he realised he had failed to resist, that she had him exactly where she wanted him now.
Lucia seemed to sense his thoughts and laughed as a tear ran down Daelo's cheek, the despair evident in his eyes.
'That's right, Daelo,' she hissed as she began to work herself up and down on top of him, her inner walls squeezing his shaft mercilessly tight. 'You're mine now.'
Daelo's head dropped back and his eyes closed, the myriad sensations bestowed upon him sending his mind whirling. He wanted to throw her off him but his arms felt like leaden weights, and he could not stop the betrayal of his body as the evil pleasure swept through him.
Lucia was moving faster and faster, pounding down hard onto his shaft as she used him for her pleasure, simultaneously drawing his own from him as his body gave into her irresistible power. Her hands were both flat on his chest now, and as he watched the long, maroon painted fingernails grew into horrifically sharp claws and dragged bloody lines across his skin, causing him to grunt in pain.
The addition of another powerful emotion from Daelo sent Lucia into a frenzy, and soon she was slamming onto him so hard that he thought she was going to shatter his pelvis. His cock was burning, throbbing agonisingly as her silky innards squeezed and massaged his shaft, seeking the release of his essence.
A deep throated growl was rumbling in Lucia's throat as she increased the pace ever more, her movements almost a blur as she fucked herself on his dick. Daelo's fear began to grow as he saw her changing into her true form, the real 'black rose'.
Lucia's skin was darkening, changing from the exotic tan to an obsidian sheen that was blacker than the night. The dress had vanished and her bare form was revealed in its horrific glory.
Intricate golden runes that made Daelo's eyes hurt if he looked at them began to glow upon her body and her eyes were blazing brighter than ever now as she approached her climax.
Daelo knew that he had to do something now before it was too late and he was lost forever. He took hold of her hips and pushed with all his might, desperate to free himself from her sex grip before she stole his seed.
Lucia cried out with further ecstasy as his fingers dug into her flesh, her own hands clamping down on top of his and holding them in place as she rode him relentlessly. Her legs somehow managed to wrap around his own, and he felt her powerful calf muscles pulling him as deep as he could go inside her.
'Give it to me!' she screeched, her mouth opening in the first waves of her orgasm and revealing the sharp fangs within.
'Give me your fucking cum now!'
Daelo's head thrashed from side to side as he fought a losing battle, feeling his release approaching ever faster. Lucia's inner walls were pumping his cock now as she held him fully inside her, the vaginal muscles rippling and stroking his sensitive shaft in long, slow motions.
Once. He groaned as he felt his balls contracting.
Twice. Her walls flexed for the second time and his cock felt like it would explode.
Three times. That was it. Daelo screamed in fear, despair, pain and, guiltily, the most intense pleasure he had ever felt. He bucked and writhed beneath her, his back arching and his entire body shuddering as his cock shot jet after jet of his hot seed inside her demonic womb, spurting more and more until he was sobbing with the pain.
Lucia threw her head back as he came inside her, a guttural, orgasmic screech of triumph echoing throughout the chamber. She continued to ride his pulsing, spurting cock as he lay beneath her defeated and broken, milking him for every last drop until he could cum no more.
Once she was satisfied that he had given her everything he had, she finally released him and slowly rose to her feet.
Daelo's vision was blurred with tears, his senses dulled and tinged with agony. He could just make out the wicked grin of Lucia standing over him; her black and gold skin sheened with what he assumed was the demonic equivalent of sweat.
'You're probably wondering why I didn't kill you as well as that bastard Alandros.' Her words sounded distant to him, as if he were listening to her from underwater.