Business and Sex

Timeline: Late November, 2007

Ramiel had been laying out plans in his study for weeks now, writing down ideas and taking notes on various things. He knew this would work and he didn’t even need it to be a huge success. He had been thinking that it would give him an outlet and that was what he needed. What he wasn’t sure of was wether or not the others would help out.

He had decided to talk to Lyla, a task that was normally easy. But lately he knew he had been distant with her. He had been feeling like she was not respecting his privacy. She seemed to snoop through his things whenever possible. It was irritating even though he knew why. Lyla had lost the security of being able to read minds.

It was in the afternoon when Ramiel tracked down Lyla on her way back into town from the woods. “Boo!”

Lyla was just putting her jacket on. She normally ran in the woods in her wolfish form. It was quick, very stealthy and ran easily even in the snow compared to her human form. Unfortunately, that meant she had to strip in the woods before shifting. She’d much rather shift indoors and the go out with her nice, thick fur to protect herself from the cold, but paws didn’t work doorknobs well at all.

So, her technique was to leave the house, then find a secluded spot to shed her clothes, then shift into wolf form. Leaving her clothes near a warm fire might have been desirable, but she didn’t trust leaving a fire unattended in this forest. All this meant that when she wanted to shift back to human form, her clothes were very cold and often damp.

Her teeth were chattering as she shifted her gaze to her newly arrived lover. “H-h-hi th-th-there!” she said cheerily despite the cold. Her face showed surprise, but she was pleased as well.

Ramiel laughed lightly at the sight of her chattering away. He took a few moments to weave the incantation and then touched Lyla on her arms. Within moments her clothes warmed giving her the feeling of a blanket warmed by a fire being wrapped around her.

“Is that better?” Ramiel continued to smile.

“Mmm, much better.” She hugged herself, luxuriating in the soft warmth of her winter clothes. “Thanks!” She stepped close to him and gave him a cautious, but quick kiss on the cheek.

Her bright, silvery-blue eyes searched his face curiously. “What brings you all the way out there on a cold November afternoon?”

Ramiels’ eyes penetrated hers. With a quick fluid motion he had stepped forward taking her into his arms. His lips locking hers in a deep kiss — a kiss that felt as though he had not tasted her in months. He pulled back whispering above her lips. “You.”

The sudden, welcome intensity had Lyla gasping and momentarily speechless. “Me?” She looked up at him, eyes dilated with affection. She held him as he did her and felt that school-girl giddiness that he alone could inspire in her

Ramiel pulled her close to him. “Yeah you.” He took in the scent of her. Nuzzling her a little as he did. It was one of the little things he had taken to doing for her, all the time not knowing if it made her feel good, or hate him. “I wanted to talk to you. If you have time.”

“Always,” she replied a little breathlessly. Her large eyes regarded his intently as she dared to wonder and hope what it was that he might want to discuss.

Lyla subtly activated her greatest power, that of reading souls. For a moment, she felt dizzy as she fell deep inside him and journeyed through secrets she had never realized existed before, secrets from so long ago that she was deeply shocked she had never seen it before now. Deep inside her heart swooned and staggered under the weight of the secrets Ramiel had buried so deep. But Lyla was a good actress. She let none of this new knowledge show on her face. What she had discovered was so shocking and so horrible she feared that if he knew she’d plucked his deepest secrets from his subconscious he might never forgive her. No, she decided, she must help him heal these wounds, not take them from him.

He smiled. “You want to go inside?”

“Sure,” she said. “Maybe we can have a little wine to warm our bellies as well as our skin?”

Ramiel walked with Lyla back to the house. He had a fire going in the study and poured two glasses of wine from the stock in the bar. Ramiel had selected a sweet red wine for them. He handed one glass to Lyla and kept the other for himself.

“I have been a jerk lately haven’t I?” He asked.

“I know you’ve been preoccupied with the fact that you’re going to become a father,” Lyla said. “You’ve been distant to me, but it’s okay. I understand a person needing space to sort things out.”

Ramiel smiled slyly.”Do you now?” He took a seat in the oversized chair across from Lyla. “But I am not going to be a father, and yes that has been on my mind. I find myself suprisingly upset with the thought of being shut out of the child’s life.” He rolled his eyes. “Anyway that has not been the main reason. There have been many.”

Ramiel let out a huffy breath and took a drink. He was acting unusually uncollected. “I’m sorry. That is what I’m trying to say.”

Lyla took his hands in hers. “Whether you are allowed to raise the child or not doesn’t change the fact that you are and always will be the child’s father.” She looked him in the eyes. “No matter what happens, you will always be that child’s biological father.

“Now,” she continued in a soft, caring voice, “tell me what else has worried itself under your skin.”

Ramiel looked at the ground slightly. “Actually I did not want to talk about my worries. I wanted to discuss business with you. Well a pastime really. Something that will give me something to concentrate on in the down time. Something to keep me from….” He let his sentence trail off as he closed his eyes. He could feel the cold emptiness in them. He felt the joy begin to creep back in.

Ramiel had been hunting lately to fill time and take out his frustrations. He figured it was better than letting himself take it out on friends and tag alongs. However it had occured to him that he was finding to much pleasure in it. His mind had been filled with images he had let go of a long time ago. Images of those boys and what he did to them and how he enjoyed it.

Lyla guessed, “To keep you from hurting people?” She knew something of that feeling. She knew how frustration and stress could seem to build and build until it seemed to blot out the sun. At its worst it made her want to kill and tear and… eat. And this was her nature. She understood that now.

Ramiel wasn’t werewolf, he was human so she knew it had to be different. Instead of red rage that slowly built until an outlet was found as happened with werewolves, she knew that for Ramiel it was a consuming emptiness, coldness that could only be filled with an intense emotion. And when he was in his deepest funk, she knew that it could be deadly emotions that he used to try to fill the void within.

Ramiel was silent for a couple moments before answering. “Yeah.” He took a long drink of wine, emptying his glass. “So what I was thinking is this, I am going to open a small shop that deals in special needs or interests of the supernatural kind. Nothing big. But those who need to find it will. Those who don’t know about the supernatural world will see it only as a trinket shop of New Age paraphenalia.

“I will offer to those who need it what they need. Like if a stink spirit moves in, a remedey for it. Of course I would have to go out to the site and verify what is there. And that is where I am hoping you and perhaps Chaska and Rey will help.” He smiled his best I will make it worth your while smile for her.

“I like it!” Lyla replied enthusiastically. “I’m in. One caveat — if James and the pack need my help, then I have to stop and do my part with them first.

“This is going to be great!” she continued with excitement. “I know just the right people to tell about it and get the ball rolling! I’ve got occult contacts spread out up and down the East Coast, sort of a smattering here and there, but once I tell them, they’ll let their people know and so on. Oh! and if you need reference books and research materials, I’d be happy to tap the people I’ve met along our travels and acquire some stuff for your shop. Of course, I’ll hold off telling anyone until you say you’re ready, though.”

Ramiel was still trying to shrug off his memories when he half-heartedly said “Good.”

Then he realized the possibilities. His eyes lit up.”That’s great!”

“I really do need a lot of materials, and books, and other stuff. Not just for the shop but for my private collection as well. You see I am not planning on this becoming a full time thing. Well not right now anyway. So there is no problem with you or Chaska, or even Rey I guess going off to take care of Pack stuff. That is your priority. Plus there is Michael, and in time I could learn to see ghosts and maybe even spirits as well. I just need the time.”

Lyla gave him a smiling nod. “Yes, I’d really like to help with your collection. I think it’s a good idea for everyone’s sake! Ooo! This could be fun! Are you going to want to turn part of the resort over to the your new store? I’d be happy to help with renovations. Oh! You’re going to need a name, too! And will you use your real name? Or another name? I’ve read in some occult rags that stuff like voodoo and such can do stuff to people if they just know your real name.”

Her excitement and explosion of questions seemed to have no end. “Oh Ramiel! Did I ever tell you what my pack name was?” She looked rather excited and proud to share it.

“No my real name is not to be used. Actually I would prefer it if you used a different name when reffering to myself and Michael to your contacts or others. I am called Camboin Astridir. I think I will call the shop Astidir’s. Simple enough I think.

“What is your pack name Lyla?” Ramiel was curious. He had no idea the wolves had shadow names.

“Camboin Astridir,” Lyla said, rolling the words around. “I like it. It’s sounds pretty.

“My Uratha name sounds… different in the First Tongue but it translates really well. I’m called Shadow Claw and this is the name I use when dealing with spirits and pack matters. And truth be told I like it a lot. I don’t mind being called Lyla, of course, or I would have asked people to use my pack name before now. But I would prefer if no one used my last name anymore. It’s part of my heritage and I would like to keep that secret as much as possible. Just like James — no one even knows his last name anymore. It’s just ‘Ironclaw’ now.

“And like Rose? That’s not her birth name. It’s the first part of her pack name, which is ‘Rose Bloodthorn’. Niki is Silver Claw and Selene is Red Moon, but they still use their first names a lot. Grey is… I don’t know. He stopped using his real name before he ever met anyone in our current pack so we all just know him by the color of his fur in wolf form. Bjorn is like that, too. James might know his birth name, but no one else does. We call him ‘Bjorn’ because he fights like a Norse berserk.”

“Cambion Astridir.” He repeated.” IS my shadow name, what all others save my closest friends shall know me as. For it is true that if you give your true name you give power over you. So do be careful of that Lyla. I trust you so I am not worried about it.”

He smiled a lusty smile.” Our shadow names come to us upon ascension, awakening. It is not so much our choice as the name wells up inside us and we etch into eternity. Do you know what my name means Lyla?”

She shook her head.

His smile widened. ” Cambion is the child of a Incubus and mortal. Astridir means beautiful god. So it could translate to beautiful god of lust.”

Lyla laughed. “Oh, that’s perfect! I like your name, Cambion.”

She grew more sober. “And thank you telling me. I won’t betray your name to anyone outside our circle.”

Lyla then moved off her chair to kneel before him in his overstuffed chair. She placed her hands on his knees and leaned toward him with a very serious look on her face. “You can trust me, Ramiel. I know you realize that, but sometimes it’s good to hear it. I want you to know that there is nothing you can’t trust me with. I know you are Mage and I am Uratha and that might mean that sometimes there are things that we don’t need to share or aren’t meant to know. But I want you to understand that I will always stand by you. We’re family and we’re lovers and we’re friends and no matter what has ever happened or whatever will happen, I’m here to support you and to listen. There isn’t an offense that can’t be forgiven and there isn’t hurt that I wouldn’t want to heal.

“So no matter what happens with Ariyah and your baby, or anything else that comes along or has already happened, I’m on your side. That means I don’t intend to ever stand here and demand you tell me all your secrets or betray anyone else’s trust by confiding in me. But it does mean that I will always be ready to listen when you do want to talk to me about things.”

Ramiel smiled delightlfuly when Lyla was joyed with his name. But then as she began to speak his eyes grew wide and glossy as he realized he had indeed been thinking of things he shouldn’t in front of Lyla. Did she see my thoughts? How could she? No my soul she read my soul, she knows. Maybe not, maybe not. Cross your fingers.

“Hey there serious. I know you will be careful and only refer to me as Cambion or Astridir around others. Well other than our friends who already know.”
Lyla sat back on her feet and tossed back her wine. It meant she had to drink it frightfully fast, but it left a pleasant warmth on its way down. One of the side benefits to being a werewolf was her metabolism — she knew that it took more than the usual amount of liquor to get her drunk these days and she didn’t want Ramiel to think he was drinking alone.

She smiled and looked up at Ramiel, then held out her glass. “More please.” There was a conspiratorial look in her eyes that was meant only for him.

“As you wish.” Ramiel took the empty glasses to the bar and filled them.

He returned to her towering over as he handed her the wine. “I love that look.” He smiled returning the promises with his own eyes.

He was sucking on his lower lip ever so slightly as he sat down again. It was something he did when he was thinking, but could be slightly erotic as it made one think of how he would gently suck on other places.

“You know I would love to make the old gift shop the store, but I think it might be bad to do such. How do you think it would effect things around here to have the shop on the grounds? It is such a large area it should not effect privacy in any way. It would be more cost effective that way too.”

He continued the conversation. He figured Lyla would accept that he was not sure if he wanted to talk about things. That if he really wanted to know this was something that was going to take a few more drinks and her patiently pushing.

“I think it should be here on the property somewhere,” Lyla said, “so that you can always keep an eye on what you have in the shop.” She sipped her wine and shift as he sat down again so that she could lean with one arm across his leg. “I think this thing could be really important to you and to us. And I think a person should always keep what’s really important close, don’t you?”

He looked down at her. “Then why do you keep so far away so often?” His devilish grin returned.

Lyla rolled her eyes and chuckled. “Hah hah, very funny ice-man.” She smiled back at him.

Ramiel squinted. “OOh she hurts me. ” He returned her smile and took a drink of wine. “So tell me Lyla.” He reached down tracing the back of her hand with his fingers. “What is it that you are wanting me to share?”

“Nothing,” she said, “if you aren’t ready, or if there just isn’t anything that’s bothering you right now. I’m just letting you know I’m here for you.”

She had a naughty smile as her eyes wandered down from his face to the place below his belt line. It was her way of letting him know her desires and mood.

Ramiel slid out of the chair and eased onto the floor between Lyla and the chair. Somewhere in the movement he sat his wine down securely without spilling any. He looked into her eyes and studied her for a few moments. Then he wrapped one arm around her waist, the other found the back of her neck. He pulled her to him as he kissed her. They were sitting so Lyla straddled him. Their groins touching she could feel him react to her.

Ramiel held her close to him after the kiss. His arms wrapped around her, his head laid on her shoulder. “I know you read me.” His voice was soft, quite and vulnerable sounding.

“I just care about you,” she said. “When you hurt, I hurt, too.”

Ramiel continued to hold on to her pressing his forehead against her shoulder. His hair cascading around them like a curtain. “What did you learn when you read me Lyla?” He was uncertain and it showed in his voice.

Lyla was becoming fearful now, but dared not pull away. “I — I learned what they did to you when you were young. I learned how you got your revenge. And I know you have doubts about the Dark Man.”

She began to cry. “I’m sorry Ramiel. I just wanted to help.”

Lyla felt a drop of cold liquid fall upon her arm as Ramiel stood. Silently he moved to the bar, picking up his wine glass along the way. He dumped the wine and took out a whisky glass. The ice clanked into the glass followed by the sound of liqiud. Ramiel finished the whiskey in one drink, then took the bottle in one hand, glass in the other, and sank to the floor, sliding his back down the wall as he did.

The sounds of liquid pouring into the glass could be heard. “Do you know how hard I have tried to keep that from you?” Lyla had never heard such pain in his voice.

Lyla wiped at her tears. “But… why?”

“I didn’t want you to know the real me. The monster.” There was a pause and the clinking of ice. “I am what we have hunted Lyla. The person I was in High School, the flirt, the brain, was an act. At least that is what it felt like. I took on a persona so I could do what needed to be done without being caught. So I could enjoy taking from them, destroying them.

“But I was caught by master Soshi. He let me finish my vengeance. A lesson he called it. One that I would understand in time. He was right about it. He took me in and trained me, taught me how to handle what I am. He always told me that the choice was mine to be monster or demon.

“I didn’t understand entirely but enough to see that he was giving me an option to get off the path I was on. Soshi told me once that I was not normal and I never would be, but that I could be better than what fate held for me. Jesus, I wish I could have understood then.

“He was telling me that I could stay as I was and be a monster that fed on the innocent, destroying for fun. I could remain what I was. Or I could choose to be a demon who fed off the monsters. But never an Angel, never one who held goodness and purity in their heart.

“Over time the persona became a reality. I changed thanks to master Soshi. Lately I have felt the monster stirring and wanting out. How could I let you see that? How could I let you know what was done to me? What I did?”

Lyla said, “Ramiel, I know that if people knew what you did they’d probably say it was wrong, that you shouldn’t have taken revenge.

“I’m not one of those people. We didn’t start out in this life trying to do what was right. We started out looking for revenge for what happened to Mom. Later we began to chase down and deal with every evil that we encountered along the way. I couldn’t tell then if we were fighting the good fight or just fighting to survive and to be honest, I still don’t know.”

She left her place on the floor in front of that chair and went to him. “And I don’t care. We’ll keep doing what we have to do because it needs to be done. Its who we are. If we stopped fighting for ourselves, stopped trying to stop whoever killed Mom from destroying more lives, we wouldn’t be the same people anymore.

“I know there’s nothing that will take away the pain of what they did to you, or the pain of knowing what you had to do to them to make it stop. It’s part of you and it’s shaped who you are. The best thing to do, the thing I want to help you do, is to learn to live with it so that it doesn’t rule your destiny, doesn’t make you into something you don’t want to be.”

He was sitting back to the wall. His knees were bent with his arms resting on them. His glass turned in his hands as he watched the ice move in circles. “Yeah, it happened more than once and I was not the only one they did it to. It did shape me in a way. It definatly shaped sex for me. But it did not change who I am. You did.”

He looked up into her eyes. His own were red and glossed with unshed tears. “It was not wanting you or Mother to know what I was that made me change, though I know my monster dwells within me and always will. I took innocent life though be it misguided. It has been so difficult to calm it lately.

“You know I don’t blame the Dark Man anymore. I don’t think he killed Mom, I don’t know. I am just not sure about him anymore.”

Lyla took him by the shoulders and looked him in the eye. “Whatever the Dark Man is, he isn’t our friend. He doesn’t help, and everything in his trail turns to death and ash. I do know that he brings out the very worst in humanity. There are bad people out there, but nothing like the kind of evil that follows in the Dark Man’s wake.”

“Then why are Daniel and Rey alive? Why didn’t he kill us by the lake? He helped then and with Daniel. How do we know it is the Dark Man who is doing these things? Maybe he is just drawn to it like we are?” Ramiel simply looked into her eyes.

“I’m not saying he’s good or bad,” she said softly. “Just that he’s no ally of ours. Look at the death that follows in his wake. I’ve seen it up close and personal when I used to spy on him with clairvoyance. We already tried stopping him once and it didn’t work, or it didn’t matter. No, we have to keep pursuing him because of what’s left in his wake. Because of what happens to people if we don’t. And ultimately, only the Dark Man really knows what happened to Mom, to Rey, all of it. Until we corner him and confront him will we ever learn the truth.”

“Okay.” He set his glass down.”It’s just that I don’t know what I will do when we do find him.”

Ramiel reached out to her, askin gwith his eyes or her to some close to him. “I won’t hurt you.”

She slid into him then and wrapped her arms around him to support him. She kissed him gently on the neck and traced a line of kisses to his jaw and finally his lips. She didn’t stop kissing him for a long time.

When she did, she said, “I know. And when we do find the Dark Man, we’ll beat the crap out of him until he gives us answers.”

Ramiel ran his hands over her body. He breathed in her scent and ran his fingers through her hair gabbing fistfuls of it. He bit her neck very gently and whispered. “I need you.”

She arched her back sensually. “I’m yours,” she breathed. She slipped one hand down his back, to his waist and then, with a sudden twist of her fingers, she had his pants unbuttoned. “And I want this.”

With one hand on her neck the other slid up her shirt and squeezed her breast firmly in it’s grip.

She sighed with delight and leaned in to kiss him. She grabbed hold of his lower lip with her teeth and gentle tugged before engaging to kiss him again. Her hand slid inside his pants and she whispered, “I love you, Ramiel.”

Ramiel moaned as she touched him. The need in his eyes grew, as did the need of his body under her touch. Ramiel was quick and liquid in his movements. He grabbed Lyla and turned her onto all fours. Tearing her clothes away he took her from behind, leaning over her so that his body covered the length of hers so he could feel every motion she made. One hand found the tender flesh of her breast as the other slid between the wet warmth of her, followed by his mass.

Lyla gasped and bucked with pleasure and moaned even as she thrust against him, wanting it more, harder and ever deeper. In a vague way, she felt the carpet digging into her skin and scraping away the top layers as she moved against and with Ramiel’s relentless thrusting. The seemingly far-away sting only drove her to greater delights and by the sounds she was making, Ramiel knew just how much she was enjoying herself.

With every moan she made Ramiel gave her just what her body was demanding. It was hard, and it was viscious. He fucked her without the love-making or gentleness lovers crave sometimes. It was just rough, hard sex exerting all the pain and frustration he was feeling. He turned the bitter cold into lust and pleasure for her and release for himself. He fed off her screams that were a mixture of pleasure and pain driving him to bring her again and again until her body could no longer take anymore.

Lyla let herself come and then again, hoping to take him with her through that emotional and physical high. When it was clear he wasn’t done yet, she called upon inner reserves to power her body to go further and used all her will to keep herself on all fours beneath him. A small voice in the back of her mind suggested that he might hurt himself by over-exertion but it was lost amidst the dizzying rush of more sex.

Her persistence and dedication to the art of sex finally paid off. With a final thrust that went deeper than she ever felt before, Ramiel had a shattering orgasm that triggered a new response of her own.

They collapsed together in a hot, sweaty pile and lay there for a while panting and enjoying the feeling of each other’s body’s. Lyla, face down beneath him, sighed in complete satisfaction.

A while later they’d cleaned up. Ramiel was keeping warm in a satiny robe on a chair with Lyla curled up in his lap. She’d left her torn clothes on the floor, preferring nudity a while longer. Her head was on his chest while she traced little doodles upon the skin of over his pectoral muscles while she idly basked in his presence.

“I love you too.” Ramiel said softly as he wrapped her in his arms. Holding her close was soothing.”You do help me Lyla. You always have.”

She clung to him, nuzzling close. “It’s what I’m here for,” she said softly. Then she looked up at him. “I have a present for you,” she said. “I was going to wait for Christmas but maybe now is a better time. Would you like it now?”

He smiled and kissed her gently. “If you wish you can give it to me now. But you never need to get me anything.”

“I know,” she said. She looked up into his eyes with those intent, silvery-blue eyes of hers. Her love for him was laid bare for him to see there, and her dedication as obvious and naked as her body was right now. “I just love to do it, when I find something worthy of you.”

She slipped off his lap and took his hand. “Come on, I’ll show.” She padded bare-foot through the room and headed for his room, leading him by the hand. They went inside his room and she made for the armoire. With a slightly giddy giggle, she opened it up. “I hid it in your own stuff. I figured you’d never find it there.”

She had to actually climb inside it and dig under hanging coats and jackets, amid shoes, spare blankets and a small clothes hamper. “Aha!” she exclaimed, having found her quarry. She backed out of the closet and it wasn’t until she turned around that he could see what she had in her hands.

It was a massive tome, with worn, leather cover and a hand-stitched binding made of some kind of stout sinew. There was a seal branded into the leather itself and while Ramiel didn’t recognize it immediately, he could see that it was the personal mark of some Mysterium Mage.

“I put out the call,” Lyla said as she presented it to him. “I’ve contacted every occult expert I met up and down the East Coast over the last five years to say I was in the market for authentic arcane texts, and to pass it on. A number of things, mostly fake, turned up. This is the first one that was real — or at least it was verified as authentic by Erin Creighton — and that I could afford.

“I was going to wait for Christmas to give it to you, but when you told me about your idea for opening a magic shop, I just thought, well you could really use this now rather than later.”

Ramiel’s eyes widened. “Oh Man!” He opened the book and flipped through it. Lyla could anticipate him drooling as he did when he got excited.

“This is amazing, thank you.” He placed the book on the bed and pulled her to him hugging her tightly.

She laughed quietly, very pleased she’d chosen well. She returned his hug happily. “You’re welcome, my love.”

“Do you know what it is?” he asked her as he pulled her to the bed to show her.

“I was told it is a book on investigation type spells, techniques meant to hone a mage’s skills. Erin said that it was written by a Mysterium mage and she said she was surprised someone managed to get their hands on it to sell. But she didn’t know how it found its way into my hands. See, there was an estate sale. Some old, rich guy passed on, I guess, and they had to sell his stuff by auction since there were no heirs that could be found. Anyway, a friend of a friend picked this up because it seemed to stick out. They couldn’t use it but heard I was looking for this kind of stuff, so he sold it to me, and you know the rest,” she said. She had a proud little smile as she told him the story.

He pulled her onto his lap. “Yes it is. In fact it is perfect timing as I have finally started learning my second level of space magics. I am an apprentice of that Arcanum. So this is perfect!”

He smiled. “Don’t tell Daniel, but with this level I can do some of the stuff you used to do. But that is not my focus. Well I do plan to use those skills with the shop to help find missing things for people.

“But it is important that those who don’t know about our world remain in the dark. So really I will only be catering to those who know how to find me when they need those services. If sleepers were to learn of our existence, the magic would go away.”

Lyla sighed comfortably. Being in his lap was one of her favorite places to be. She liked to imagine being submerged within his embrace, being nearly as close to being one with him as when they were having sex.

And she understood. It was much like the fear her own people, the Uratha, had of discovery; once people knew too much of them, it would spell the end of many things. “I understand. And I really could help if you wanted me to, by getting the word out to only those people that should know — my occult contacts, for example. That way, people would know to begin looking for you. But probably, we should get a name for your business. Then I’m sure you’ll want to protect it from magical spying, and stuff like that.”

Lyla paused to think about that a moment. “And you know what? I might even be able to contribute something to that by finding and dealing with the right kinds of spirits, if you wanted me to. There are some things I would need to learn, but I definitely enjoy exploring the limits of what I can and might be able to do.”

“Oh definatly on all fronts. Do you want to help me with a name?”

Lyla considered, then came up with a suggestion. “How about Astridir’s Magic?”

He considered it for a moment. “Wouldn’t it be best if the name was ambiguous?”

“Oh, right,” Lyla agreed. “How about something more like what you do but less revealing such as, the Parting Veil, or maybe Uncovered Mysteries? “

Ramiel rolled names around in his head. ” I like the sound of the Parting Veil. It is an innuendo itself. Hm, but I don’t know if that is what I do really. I mean I don’t part the veil of worlds. Why did you choose that one?”

“Because secrets and mysteries can cause another kind of veil to fall across the truth,” Lyla said.

“Then that will be the name. Parting the Veil.” Ramiel laid back on the bed keeping her on top. “I love this view.”

Lyla leaned down over him, letting her nipples sweep his across his cheeks ever so gently. “I like any view with you in it,” she said with a naughty smile.

He rolled her over on the bed so that he was lying with his body pressed against her and leaned on his right arm to gaze at her. He ran his finger through long strands of her hair. “You know I do have some heartaches over the child. But you…”

He ran the ends of her hair across his lips, taking in the scent as he did. “I would be nothing without you. If I ever lost you Lyla, I would grow cold and loose myself to the monster within me.

“I am grateful you can understand and accept what is happening in my life. Especially the unplanned. I just want you to know that no matter what you will always be my everything.”

Lyla ran the tips of her fingers down his chest to send a little thrill and shiver through his body. “I love you, Ramiel, and I always will. I can’t even imagine life without you. I know you’re here for me and I’ll do everything in my power to always give you what you need, to be there for you and to be who you need me to be.”

Ramiel kissed her deeply and traced the contours of her body with his free hand. He didn’t stop until he found a certain spot that made her back arch.

Lyla made a little gasp. She was already recovered and her body moistened in response to his touch, so she looked up at him hopefully. She breathed, “Mmmm, nice. I don’t suppose there’s any chance you could… again?”

He looked into her eyes. “I can go longer second time around.” He leaned in and kisssed her neck. He whispered in her ear.” This time I will be gentle with you my Queen. And pay proper respects.”

He slid down the bed parting her legs as he did. Ramiel kissed her gently and deeply. Using his tongue to bring sharp gasps frm her and his fingers moved in side her to make her arch her back and writh on the bed.

As he moved on to other parts, she raised her legs to clasp him around the hips. “Oh big guy, if you want to be gentle then do so, but don’t worry about that on my account. Making it rough just makes me feel more and want more. I love the rough stuff, so long as it doesn’t hurt you.”

She tightened her grip on him, pushing her pelvis into his so that she could feel the long, hard length of him on her belly.

His eyes narrowed in a very sultry and pleased way. “As you wish my lady.” Ramiel stood puling away from her and vanished into his closet. He returned with a black chest that was decorated with silver metal. A very pleased grin spread across his face as he opened the chest with what appeared to be a wave of his hand.

The inside of the chest was plush satin. There was a deep bottom and two trays that slid off to either side. The contents of the chest were many, and various. From clamps to handcuffs, leather straps and whips. From the bottom of the chest he pulles a spiked shaft. Though the spikes were rounded on the ends and made of cyber flesh. The center of the shaft was filled with ewhat looked liek pearls. It was large and sheer black and came to life with the push of a button.

He moved so that he was between her legs as he draped one over his shoulder and spread the other outward. “I will start with this my lady.” He shoved the vibrator into her and turned it on. The beads within gyrated in circles as he used his mouth to stimulate her clitoraly.

Lyla moaned loud enough to almost be a scream as the device rhythmically prodded her and stretched her in ways that was both painful and pleasurable. But Ramiel worked what felt like little miracles with his tongue so that she didn’t want him to stop or even slow down. As her body tightened down on the fiendish vibrator, her sensitivity grew in a sensual spiral.

Ramiel removed the device, licking it as he did. He moaned with pleasure as his tongue caressed it. He then tossed it to the side and took out four black straps. As he secured them around Lyla’s wrists and ankles, she could feel cold metal spikes against her skin. “Round two.”

He left her with each wrist bound to an ankle and unable to move without the spikes grinding against the delicate bones of her wrists and ankles. She arched her back and it pulled on the painful restraints, making her squirm with pleasurable discomfort upon the bed.

Then Ramiel returned with an array of goodies. A bucket of ice, a carton of ice cream, chocolate sauce, and whip cream. He retrieved a riding crop and crawled onto the bed with her. He leaned over her so she could see him. “This may sting a little.”

With a light flick of the wrist he smacked the nipple of her right breast with the leather of the crop. Followed in turn by the left. The sudden sting brought a sudden gasp from her. “Is that too rough my queen?”

“No, my love,” she said as she struggled faintly in the restraints. She leaned backward, as that was all the restraints would permit, to present him with her breasts again.

Ramiel repeated his actions, this time however he put more force behind his swing. “How about now?”

“Unh!” she gasped. “A little, my love.” Red marks flowered upon her breasts, but the faded and disappeared in only a moment. She sighed as her body reacted and regenerated the stinging marks upon and around her erect nipples.

“Hmmm. That won’t do.” Ramiel used the same intensity with the next three swings, pausing slightly in between. Enough for the sting to dampen but not fade. When Lyla cried out he picked up a small spoon of the ice cream and smeared it on her breasts. The cold substance melted slightly on contact . Ramiel leaned into her licking the treat from her nipples. Then he gripped her breasts, one in each hand. He sucked on each nipple switching back and forth as though they were the rarest of delicacies.

Lyla’s eyes rolled up as she shuddered with the pleasure following so closely to the pain and the cold. Her body quivered with readiness but she could do nothing but part her legs and sink into the bed.

With that Ramiel released Lyla from the restraints. While handing them to her he said, “Your turn. I regret that you never had the chance to enjoy me when I could control my pain tolerance. That in mind don’t do anything that would seriously injure me.”

Lyla lounged just a few moments longer, still enjoying the rush of adrenalin and endorphins. After a long moment, she said, “Deal. No breaking the skin, no internal bleeding. Anything that you know you don’t like? Or do I get to explore your boundaries?”

“If you find something I don’t like, I will let you know.”

Lyla had Ramiel stripped and then strapped him up spread eagle across the bed. She paused for a while to investigate the complete contents of his naughty little toy box. She examined each in turn, discarding some, and setting others aside. She mused over a little collect of sliver clamps and what looked like an undersized dildo. She smiled at that one, remembering that he liked the little toy.

But first things first. She climbed up on top of him and held his growing erection in her hands while she straddled his face. As she took him in her mouth and began to suck and lick, she lowered herself onto his mouth as well. She issued a single order, “Lick.” Then she began to ‘train’ him in his new roll. If he touched her with his tongue in a way she liked, then what she was doing with his member felt like heaven. If she grew bored or he did something she didn’t like, she bit him.

Not hard, but the first time was surprising enough to make him gasp in pain and move a little. “Bad Ramiel!” she scolded. “The puppy gets punished when he’s bad,” she said. Then she took out his little dildo, licked it in front of him so he could see, and then gave him a wicked grin and slid it into his ass as far as it would go, then wiggled it playfully for a minute. She watched his reactions carefully, testing to see what excited him and what didn’t.

She began his training again, but it was inevitable that she decided he needed more inspiration — the clamps were next and she put these on top little tips of his nipples.

Ramiel gave small noises of pain and pleasure as she touched and teased him. She kept it up for an hour until his body was shaking with sweat and need. And then, she knelt before him and gave him the touch of her tongue and mouth, playing gently with his toy as she worked him and at last allowed him his glorious release.

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