Who: Ezra & Nazareth What: Appeasing the monster When: February 12 - backdated Where: Their home Rating: High - NSFW (mentions of blood) Status: Complete
Ezra hummed softly to himself.
The tap at the kitchen sink was warm. They had dishes but only a few considering Nazareth didn’t eat the way that he did. Often it was lonely, taking meals on his own, but in the years since his acquisition Ezra had come to learn to cope.
Lithe fingers scrubbed patiently. The song his vocal chords emitted was an old lullaby, a soothing tune his mother used to sing to him before bed or when he was afraid. He rinsed the dishes, setting them aside to drip dry.
It wasn’t uncommon that the house was quiet. Nazareth slept most of the waking hours while Ezra worked at the library. It was better for both of them that they didn’t interact, it never went well or in his favor.
The water in the basin bubbled as he pulled the drain. The muscles in his back and shoulders ached, tense from lifting and shelving books but he loved the job dearly. It gave him purpose. Life.
That evening he wore his hair long, the feather of a Great Horned Owl woven into the dark strands. Ezra gripped the lip of the sink and he watched the water tornado down into the drain. He would go to bed soon.
His humming stopped.
Nazareth was a man, and just barely that, of little words and a lot of pointed looks. He’d forgotten to lock the aviary again, and almost made a point of telling Ezra this, but the vampire seemed to be in a decent amount of spirits. He was cranky to put it into simple terms, but he wasn’t unreasonable despite the nagging voice telling him to spit filth at every opportunity.
He was spoiled and he hadn’t been anyone’s son in a very long time. He got what he wanted simply because he deserved it or someone had wronged him in some way. He had the stare of death and a long list of names of graves to piss on.
He moved with some grace on those long legs, his hair falling so sweetly from that perfect style. He could almost be mistaken for human if he wasn’t scowling at the air around him. He wasn’t interested in owl blood, but he was always fascinated by him. A pretty thing to have in one’s possession.
Any blood was good blood. He couldn’t even fool himself, he gorged on it at every opportunity. It kept him young and his mind sharp for all those cutting words.
“Why did you stop?” He asked, abrupt. His eyes were cold, but the question was like a child’s. He could never hypnotize an owl. His mother hummed while she worked. He hated her, so he flayed her back open as she prayed and tied her to a tree for the wolves- all that just to see her lungs. So she would stop humming. It was nice coming from Ezra though.
He swallowed thickly, the muscles in his arms tense. “Because the song was over.”
Ezra’s eyes darted sideways as he beheld his captor, a man who loved no one and nothing, trying to make himself relax. Nazareth moved quietly and even in spite of his good hearing he was apt to be snuck up on once in a while.
He released the countertop, turned slowly and faced the other man. The vampire. Ezra hated him and he was aware Nazareth knew it. He didn’t really care.
Unsure as to what to say he stood there silently, waiting.
“It was pretty,” he concluded, and perhaps the nicest thing Naz had ever said to his captive. He was free to come and go, but he was property. The vampire shrugged a shoulder, leaning back against the counter and rolling his neck until it popped. Even vampires had their problems.
Sleeping in a coffin wasn’t comfortable, but it was necessary when you needed to recover from a bad night. His fingers dug in deep, manipulating the muscle in the back of his neck. He needed to feed and he’d be as right as rain.
Maybe find a doped up hooker.
His eyes fell onto Ezra, his hackles immediately raising when he found the stare on him. “Don’t you have something better to do?”
Ezra turned away at that look. He’d learned early on not to challenge Naz.
“Yep.” Silently, like a ghost, Ezra began to move away. Out of sight, out of mind. Whatever Naz did was none of his business and he never asked. It was better this way, if he got out of sight quickly.
Heading for the door Ezra sighed softly. It was the same night after night, never good enough and always in the way.
Naz watched him with some unknown purpose, his eyes flashing dangerously as Ezra made his escape. That just wouldn’t do. He was in the doorway when the shifter arrived, his lips quirked in amusement. His mood always changed at the drop of a hat. He had a pretty face, strange and intense. And always that dark cloud over his head.
He leaned in, getting very close to Ezra. He could hear the blood being carried through his veins and that was his favorite sound. It was a bored, sluggish pace. Ah, he was bored with him. No longer afraid.
“Boo,” he whispered, or was that who? He tended to sound like the world’s dumbest owl when he asked ‘who'. As much as Ez hated him, he protected him with every fiber of his being. “Little bird, flying the coop so soon? Come have a drink with me, read me one of your books.”
He stopped abruptly. The door was blocked.
Ezra’s eyes flickered up, meeting Naz’ gaze before he glanced down at the floor. His eyes lifted again as Naz leaned in close. At that boo he flinched. Naz was dangerous.
There was some gratefulness there, as cruel as Naz could be Ezra had a life of protection. He did what he wanted most of the time, he had no complaints about his life (the small part of it that was good).
He nodded. “Okay. What do you want to hear?” Naz was particular. When he was in a good mood Naz humored him.
The vampire smiled, beckoning him into the sitting room and dropping unceremoniously onto one of the couches. This entire room be had built for Ezra. All the books he could want, old, new. Naz went to auctions (but really, he just had people for that). His fingers drummed impatiently on the arm of the couch, and that expectant look he cast the other young man was nothing short of genuine excitement at the prospect of being read to.
“What have you got for me?” Unless it was history. He’d lived too much history to hear it repeated back to him. He settled his feet onto the coffee table, leaning back into the cushions like some spoiled house cat.
He could eat later.
Ezra followed like a ghost, sliding down the hallway into that sanctuary built for him by a man he loathed. All the time books came, old and new.
Clearing his throat he swept into the library and up to a shelf, plucking a book from the shelf. Ezra turned, stood and looked at Naz for a moment, studying the man. He opened the novel up to a random page and began to read:
”I dreamed of the sea by the full light of the sun, but such a sea I’d never known.
The land was a great cradle in which this sea moved, as the sea at Waikiki or along the coast south of San Francisco. That is, I could see distant arms of land to left and right, reaching out desperately to contain this water.
But what a fierce and glistening sea it was, and under such a huge and pure sun, though the sun itself I couldn’t see, only the light of it. The great waves came rolling in, curling, full of green light for one instant before they broke and then each wave did a dance-a dance-I’d never witnessed.”
Rushed and Ezra wouldn’t even sit with him. It was infuriating. He couldn’t understand what he’d done to offend him so. That was the lie he’d told himself everyday. His eyes lifted to meet the shifter’s and a touch of a smile played at his lips. He hadn’t seen the ocean, nor the sun in quite some time.
He tipped his head back against the couch and he listened, gathering images in his mind. He could almost smell the salt in the air. He lived through the words. “Are you bored, little bird?” Came the question, Nazareth was halfway to Bermuda.
The command had the book snapping gently closed. He carried it in a hand as he moved toward the touch as instructed. The next moment he was sitting down on the couch next to Naz, book set aside.
“With what?” He inquired patiently, “With you?” Vampires were boring creatures, beings that experienced only half of the world. “Why would you ask that?” For what it was worth Naz had his good moments but Ezra needed more.
He waited for further instruction, curious as to where this was going.
“Sometimes I can’t sleep,” he ran his fingers through his hair in that dramatic fashion. Turning his undivided (and unwanted) attention onto his captive. He hated that word. “You wake up, go go to work at a book mausoleum, you come back, you clatter around the kitchen cooking when you know we have servants.”
Did he have fun? Without him? Nazareth's eyes narrowed. He dug his fingers into the material of his sweater, holding himself like no one dared. He wasn’t jealous. Maybe a little. Ezra had never expressed interest and he wasn't interested in starting some romance novel at this point in his life.
“I’m bored,” he pointed out, eating away at the back of his lip until it bled. And hungry. He was hungry. He listened to Ezra’s veins, carting around those blood cells. He didn’t have to wonder what the owl tasted like. He knew. He was salivating at the idea, but his many years gave him excellent control.
Ezra studied Naz.
“You’re capable of doing things for yourself just like I am,” he explained softly. Who cared about servants? He came from money, that didn’t mean he had to depend on other people. Book mausoleum. Ezra would’ve laughed had it been anyone else in another context.
That hungry look he knew; Ezra had come to learn a lot of expressions of Nazareth’s over the years of their being together. He knew what buttons to push, when to stop, when to go…
He tilted his head exposing that long neck ever so slightly, “Do I bore you?” Tempting danger, he was but once the feeding was done he could sleep. Ezra was exhausted after his day at work.
Not in the slightest. Naz had a way of making people feel like the only individual in a crowded room. Once he had his mind set, there was no changing it. His teeth ached like he had a cavity. He couldn’t ever remember having one. He nearly bit straight through his lip, eying not Ezra’s face but a prominent vein on his neck.
The ones beating gently underneath the skin of his wrists. He watched him through a predator’s gaze. Leaning closer and closer. Ezra didn’t bore him in the least. He was treasure.
“C’mere, little bird.”
Tempting fate was not wise. Ezra knew Naz could kill him in an instant if he wanted to and it often surprised him that the vampire hadn’t already. Their relationship was tumultuous but Ezra was grateful to be alive. Things could be much worse.
He knew that look. He hated that look.
Shifting closer, Ezra now closed the distance between them. He turned his head slightly to look up at Naz, waiting to see what the vampire had in mind.
“I’d never hurt you,” he reminded him. That expression written across his face was concerning. The hunger in his eyes deep and longing. He gave a full bodied shudder, trying to restrain that animal instinct to sink his teeth in and eat until there was nothing left.
Ezra was treasure. He was to be treated with care. There was nothing else like him. The vampire lifted his hand to his lips, turning it over and grazing his teeth over his wrist. The subtle pulse under his skin was tempting.
He waited. He always waited for his permission.
Ezra said nothing in reply. Nazareth had been hurting him silently for years, oppressing him, keeping him like a possession. There were times of consideration, like this one, and his conscious mind knew that no matter how much he took from Ezra the monster inside Naz was never satisfied.
“Go ahead,” he managed, finally after a moment, eyes fixed on the vampire. Those fingers were cold, he shivered.
And, like always, Ezra turned his head and looked away. He didn’t like to watch.
Nazareth's nails bit into the skin before his teeth ever did. Ezra had turned away from him like he was some sort of monster. No amount of that allure would make him eat now. Being silently called out on what he was really was enlightening and enraging. The shifter’s arm was carelessly dropped and in his fit, Naz rose from the couch and sauntered from the room.
He shattered the mirror in the hall along the way, putting his fist right through it and ripping the offending thing from the wall. The maid let out a shriek and he pointedly told her to stop that banshee wailing or the the fuck out of his house presumably for another job. He paid well.
He was not a monster.
But his humanity had left him long ago.
He had half a mind to grab her and get every last drop of blood from that terrified face. The noise in the hall stopped save for her quiet sobs and Nazareth beckoned her closer. Closer still. She brushed her own hair away from her neck and craned up toward him. The vampire stooped to look at her, his eyes dark and dangerous.
“Get your whore neck away from me before I snap it.”
And that was his promise to her. His eyes lifted where Ezra was in the library, “go to bed, little bird.”
He couldn’t have helped his reaction even if he’d wanted to, it was a natural reaction that he’d tried to suppress time and time again. Ezra hated that process, loathed it.
He felt the moisture prickle in his eyes as that wrist was dropped. Ezra let it fall and closed his eyes as Naz left the room. There was no relief in that absence. The sound of shattering glass and screaming only made it worse.
Ezra did not go to try to defend the maid, he’d learned not to do that long ago. Instead he sat and listened, eyes finally opening. He turned and stared straight ahead at the library with his hands folded in his lap.
At the command to go to bed he nodded and rose, robotically. He turned and headed off silently in the direction of his quarters, sliding past Naz like a ghost.
Nazareth watched him leave, getting scent of that blood again. Oh how he wanted to chase that desire. That fire had died down and seeing Ezra only fanned those flames once more. Just a nip- he told himself. Just a nip. He followed him down the hall and up the stairs, pausing when he got too close.
It only took him a few minutes to realize what he was doing. When the top step was reached on those winding stairs, his arms went around him- gently as you please.
He never apologized for his outbursts, but he’d never laid a violent hand on him. He brushed that hair aside and pressed his lips to the juncture of his neck, “I’m not a monster, Ezra. Don’t look away from me.”
As soft as a shadow Ezra padded down that cold, marble corridor. The rugs did no justice to take from the iciness, the paintings and furnitures a facade to conceal that frozen exterior.
He ascended the stairs and once he reached the top he found himself very close to the vampire again. Letting himself be tugged into those cold arms Ezra looked up at his captor, his arms lifting to encircle Naz’ waist loosely.
Ezra was afraid, always afraid, but Naz never laid a hand on him which he was grateful for. He tilted his head for those lips, “I won’t.” He would try not to. He made no promises.
Nazareth normally fed off that fear, but something about Ezra being afraid of him put him on edge. He hesitated which wasn’t his usually grab and go meal. The bite was so gentle that it could’ve been considered loving if the two didn’t hate one another, the vampire didn’t have it in him to care like that anymore.
The first taste was always thrilling.
He lapped up his meal, sinking deeper into the flesh and drawing out what he wanted. He never took more than necessary and it was hard not to. His finds trailed up his back, holding him flush against that skinny frame. There was power behind that movement.
In the times he’d fed Naz the bites had usually always been gentle, as if the vampire was saving the last of those niceties to use in the event no other meal was available. Honestly he was glad that the process wasn’t painful, that would’ve made the task all the more unbearable.
His head tilted to offer Naz enough room to properly feed, his fingers curled into the fabric of Naz’ shirt holding the other man as close as possible. While this wasn’t ideal Ezra craved physical touch and so he didn’t mind the nearness. Naz’ skin would warm and be more inviting once he’d drank enough to sustain.
Ezra couldn’t have broken away even if he’d wanted to. And part of him did want to, but he didn’t try. “Naz,” he groaned softly, there was a small amount of pleasure in that act and he couldn’t help being starved for that physical affection. It was hard to date other people when you lived with a possessive vampire.
He warmed as he drank, borrowed body temperature. Cold hands, warm heart, he’d tell his victims. The groan hadn’t gone unheard. Nazareth had been possessive of him, sure, but he encouraged him to go out and seek out a partner. He let him go as quickly as he’d taken him victim, tearing himself away before he finished what he started.
He’d always been a messy eater, covered from nose and dripping down his chin was red, red blood. He licked his lips slowly, his eyes following the line of Ezra’s body. “Are you still bored, little bird?”
A slow drop of blood landed on the floor between them and he scanned the bite he’d taken out of the young man. It was healing. He’d made sure of it.
His heart always raced when the blood was taken as if the muscle was desperate to make up for the lack of vital essence. He would be light headed for a while but that feeling usually went away fairly quickly.
Shaking his head, Ezra pressed a hand against the already healing wound. That blood was warm, he could feel it until the skin knitted itself back together. He looked down at the bloody fingertips.
Owls were natural predators, he knew what it was like to seek prey.
He made sure to keep hold of Naz lest he topple over from the blood loss. Ezra did not need to fall down the stairs and they were at the top.
Nazareth pulled him close once more, fingers running through the dark hair as he soothed him. He never took more than he needed and he was starved, but his treasure was more important. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, licking over that warming skin. Waste not. He gently tugged Ezra back to his own room, settling him at the edge of the bed.
He’d give him the master room. Naz slept in the basement where the dark things were. He brushed the hair from his face and looked at his pointedly. “You’re fine.”
His movement was slow but easy, Ezra allowed Naz to guide him down the hallway and into that bedroom he’d been given. It was a large room, far too large for just one person and often it got lonely. He’d decorated it to his liking, but it always felt so empty. Those fingers in his hair, now warmer, had given him some peace. For now.
Sitting on the edge of the bed he tilted his head so that he could look up at the other man. “I’ll be alright.” He would, in a little while. Unlike Nazareth he was much more fragile.
“Are you going out tonight?” The question behind it was obvious - would Nazareth go out and kill, hunt, feed again? Not that the business of the vampire was any of his but he wanted to know so he could brace himself for the sadness those innocent victims would bring. He couldn’t imagine a life of taking.
Nazareth had taken so much life that it was like merely smacking a fly with a swatter. No regard. He smoothed out the worry in his face with lukewarm caresses. He would go out and feed. He didn’t have to answer to him. He didn’t answer to anyone. “I’m going out,” there was the faintest hint of an accent in there. He wasn’t from America but he’d spent his undead hours there.
“You’ll be fine. I will too,” he promised with what could be considered a smile working its way onto his lips. “They’re only hookers, you know. They don’t care, otherwise they would’ve picked another profession.”
Ezra only nodded.
He couldn’t stop Naz from going out or hurting anyone. Ezra had no power over anyone, nor did he want to. It must’ve been a miserable life being a vampire. He saw no value in it. Life ended, that was part of the cycle.
Leaning into that touch, he looked away. “Sure. They had it coming,” he breathed softly, knowing that Naz could hear him just fine. He felt tired but wouldn’t sleep for a while even after Naz left to feed again. His mind would roll over the events of the evening, he would think about the women that Naz was targeting.
Nazareth patted his cheek, barely able to contain that wicked grin and that was the image he left him with as he turned to walk out the door. There would only be one victim that night, a girl with pink hair and too skinny for her own good.
Ezra was glad when Naz was gone. He watched the other man leave and once that presence was lifted he exhaled a sharp breath. He hated this house.
Slowly, he worked out of his shoes and his clothes and he curled into his bed, letting sleep overtake him.