August rolled his eyes as Jourdan moved to pour another nightcap. It was the five in as many minutes and, though Jourdan could no more get drunk any more than August could stop killing, the other man strength continued to diminish from lack of proper feeding.
Jourdan would never confess anything to that affect, what remained of the male’ pride a crucial part of his identity, but August had remained at his side for thousands of years, knew the cadence of Jourdan’s every breath.
There was nothing about Jourdan that escaped August ‘s notice.
As the thought crossed his mind, another realization struck. His obstinate concubine hadn’t fed in three weeks, his eyes sunken and dark, and his skin the color of aged chocolate. The simple fact that Jourdan could still function on any level was proof to the sheer strength of his will, as well as confirmation that he’d once again been defiling his magnificent body with the blood of human filth.
August’s wanted to snarl in violent repudiation, the mere thought of Jourdan’s lips at another’s vein set his blood aflame. He kept his irritation leashed; the small rational part of him acknowledging that it was he who forced the lilim to sink so low. It took an incredible amount of control, but then he was an expert in that regard, his darker half having been with him longer than most realized.
So soon after a feeding, however, the delicate balance between sanity and mindless rage was a tightrope. Only years of practice kept him from slipping his leash. The blood high seemed to only feed his darker half, a testament to his tainted blood, allowing it a solid foothold in his mind that never boded well for anyone.
Especially the man before him.
August could be brutally violent at times, there was no question about it, but he by no means enjoyed all the depraved things he had done. Especially when it caused him to hurt the only being in the universe that made him feel more than blinding anger and furious hate. He’d never speak a word of how he really felt to Jourdan, however; the male would only use it to hurt him again.
Another glass of vodka disappeared down Jourdan’s throat.
Augustine snatched the crystal decanter before Jourdan could take another drink, ignoring the male’s sound of protest.
Gifted to him by Jourdan centuries, the small, delicate glass container remained the single vestige from Jourdan’s old life on Lemurya. It represented a time when thing had been good, when August had been…better. True to his callous nature, August broke the damn thing when presented with it, offended that Jourdan thought him even remotely capable of appreciating something so fragile and easily broken.
The thing had shattered into a thousand obsidian pieces, and Jourdan had never said a word about it. Not even when that very same decanter had been back in one piece the next day, but August knew the gift hadn’t been the only thing he’d broken that day.
“Slow down, pet, all that poison will impair your ability to think clearly.”
Jourdan lifted his eyes lazily and what August saw in that glossy gaze made him want to smack some sense in the other man. But more than that, he wanted to hunt down that fucking witch and kill him for daring to upset Jourdan. It was illogical, of course; the witch’s concern for Jourdan seemed genuine, but that didn’t salve August’s need to hurt someone.
Then again, who was he kidding? He was incapable of clarity of mind when it came to his male.
“That’s the whole point.”
August shadowed as Jourdan placed his empty glass down on the black marble bar and headed for the bathroom, wondering just how much the male truly had drank. He took note of the short, choppy steps the other man took, the way he favored the right leg. Moreover, the edges of August’s own vision were beginning to blur, Jourdan’s weakness bleeding through their bond. August couldn’t afford to be in a weakened state.
Not now, not ever.
His enemies were legion, the line of those out there who would love nothing more than to catch him defenseless endless. Many would gladly sacrifice their own young if it meant just one moment of torturing him. Though he cared nothing for his own life, he could not fathom Jourdan’s death because of him.
August’s temper snapped before he could catch himself. “Stop being a fucking brat!” He mentally cursed himself, taking a long, deep breath before he spoke again. Jourdan never reacted to anger, would simply ignore reality and withdraw into himself further. “We don’t have that luxury- you know there are those out there that would hurt you to get to me! That goddamn witch-“
“Nahuel.” Jourdan volunteered without looking up from the sink he’d braced himself heavily on. “That witch’s name is Nahuel, and he is my oldest friend. You have no right to treat him as you did.”
August paused, for once considering his actions and how he had torn into Nahuel the moment he’d sensed what he was. It wasn’t his fault he didn’t like witches; they’d caused the bad blood, not him. And sure, maybe it was juvenile to hold on to petty grudges, but a witch had once stolen something very important from him.
His concubine may consider a witch friend material, but August had no such delusions.
Witches were treacherous wolves in sheep’s clothing, no better than the demonkyn they opposed. They waved the high and mighty flag in the public eye, but under the cover of the Moon they summoned the darkest of magick to carry out their own evil wills.
In all his centuries of walking the earth, August hadn’t met a single one worthy of his trust. Personally, they could all rot in Annwyn for all he cared, but for Jourdan’s wellbeing he thought grudgingly, he would stomach this one. The matter of another male in his territory, however, was an entirely different animal to skin.
“Another male was in my domain in my absence. What was I to think?” Irritation in every word.
He stalked around the bathroom as Jourdan reached into the glass ensconced shower to turn on the water, nearly falling in as he did so. August was at his side in a burst of speed, wrapping a single arm around Jourdan’s lean waist to steady him.
Jourdan clumsily shrugged August’s hold off, falling haphazardly into the wall behind him. A well-placed hand on the wall the only thing preventing him from face planting. “You will think what you will, Augustine. Nothing I say or do will change that.”
“Everything you say affects me.” August confessed absentmindedly, but his words were lost in the storm of shower water before they reached Jourdan’s ear.
August stood there as Jourdan stripped naked, exposing a well-muscled body rife with healing wounds, wounds put there by August’s own cruelty, and fumbled his way into the shower. He ached to join him, to remain and ensure Jourdan didn’t succumb to weakness, but he had no right. It was a most foolish thing to think- Jourdan did not want his help, would refuse it as he’d done just a moment ago.
Without a word August turned on his heels and headed out, intent on verifying Nahuel’s vision. He was no wounded dog to lie at his master’s feet and be kicked. If Jourdan did not want him there, than he’d be damned if he were going to sit around and wait like an eager pup.