You’d Better Begin the Prayer to Play

“The sub-elders that you’ve got working with us now, you mean? What of it?” Seranil asked, he started to relax but something odd made him ask, “Who saw you? What were you planning to do with him? What are you planning on doing now?”

“Full of questions tonight, aren’t you?” Zarentil said in a cool voice. “Little Elder Myro saw me with my subordinates – not the sub-elders. Those… folks see you as their leader. I’m referring, of course, to the reason why it’s so easy to make it look like demons attacked those who’ve… gotten in my way.”

“You have demons working for you?” Seranil asked in shock. “How did you manage that?”

“They’ve been working for me for quite some time, Seranil,” he replied. There was just a hint of gloating in his voice. “I taught you their language, remember? I showed you how to contact them… how to get into their realm.”

Seranil’s eyes widened as a thought struck him. He stumbled back and looked up at Zarentil with new fear in his eyes. “The demons united… under you? You’re their leader? But – but how?”

Zarentil shrugged and untied his robe. Seranil watched in a mixture of horror and fascination as the fabric fell loose. A small tail – unlike any dragen would ever possess flicked free of the fabric. “It’s all very simple, Seranil. I’m half demon myself and they respond to those stronger than themselves. The combination of the two magics makes me quite formidable, even compared with a much larger demon.”

Seranil swallowed several times before he found his voice. “You – you played me!” he managed finally.

Zarentil’s eyes narrowed in a sly smile. “Like a harp,” he confirmed.

Seranil sunk into the chair he’d so recently vacated. “You… my family… my wife… my children. My son… you promised to help me get him back. That’s why I’ve done… all of this. Where’s my son?”

Zarentil chuckled softly and shook his head. “Poor naïve Seranil,” he murmured. “He died years ago. He was a good lay, nice and tight; but just a little too… spirited.”

“You bastard!” Seranil shouted. He launched himself at the larger dragen but was easily caught. To his utter shock, Zarentil swiftly removed his clothes until he was a naked as the fire dragen. “Let me go,” he protested as Zarentil pushed him up against the wall. He gasped and struggled as a hand caressed his backside.

“Seranil,” Zarentil crooned. “I’d like to keep working with you. I’d love to let you keep your new family… and that sweet little girl from your first mate. If you become an obstacle, that won’t be possible, no matter how much I’d like it. Demons are telepathic and I can call down my hordes in a moment. Or you can behave yourself and become the figurehead leader of the dragens, understand?”

Seranil knew he was shaking but there was no way to still the tremors. His breath came in short pants. He had been such a fool. His mind went back to that day, almost twenty years ago when Zarentil had come to him. He’d said he wanted to give comfort and commiserate; now Seranil saw that the half-demon had seen him as the perfect pawn. “Alright, you win. Please don’t… don’t hurt my family. I couldn’t bear losing them – not again.”

“Shall I answer your other questions?” Zarentil whispered into his ear. He was alarmingly close. His hand hadn’t moved from Seranil’s backside. It was, in fact, circling ever closer to certain sensitive areas. “I was planning on doing to him similar to what I plan on doing to you now. You won’t lay eggs of course. Using the spell on you would kill you and you’re to valuable a pawn for that, even now. Since he knows more than he should, I’ll give him the same choice I’m giving you. You can do as I wish and live or you can fight me and die. What’s it to be, Seranil?”

“Please… I won’t fight you but please don’t – don’t…” Seranil trailed off as Zarentil caught his hips firmly. “No, no, please. No!” the smaller dragen screamed under Zarentil as the larger dragen began his assault in earnest.