Kyle James was running from bullies. As per usual. He had actually begun to worry that his team of tormentors had forgotten about him when he passed them on his way to 7-Eleven and the leader, Johnny, had promptly led an attack. It was nice to be cared about. Kyle was glad that he’d been running from bullies for about twelve of his seventeen years, so it was more of an annoyance now than an actual threat. It also helped that his bearers of misery had repeatedly changed over the years, and they were typically nowhere near as fast as him.
He could hear Johnny and his cronies panting and falling behind him as he ran easily without breaking a sweat. He ran into an alleyway and abruptly stopped. In the middle of the alleyway was a doorway that looked like something out of Aladdin. It was in the shape of a giant lion’s head, the mouth wide open, stairs going down into it. Red smoke swirled out of the doorway smelling like sulfur, the entire thing giving off an air of menace and foreboding.
Kyle could hear his pack of predators approaching him and he shrugged apathetically and walked into the doorway.
Kyle was spinning and turning and twisting, sulfuric wind gagging him as he fell. (Or was he flying? He really couldn’t tell.) He felt like he was being pulled and pushed in every direction, the wind stinging his eyes with what felt like sand. He tried to catch his breath, but couldn’t manage it. His lungs became flat as sheets of paper as he fell and he wondered if he would land soon.
No sooner had he finished the thought than his body slammed into warm, smooth, black stone. He gasped and breathed heavily, lying still for a moment before he was able to look around.
He was in a large bedroom with everything in red and black and looking like someone had placed a state-of-the-art flatscreen in a room in a Gothic castle. Behind him and to his left was a sleek stone door and in the corner beside that an ornate fireplace with two armchairs and a sofa gathered around it. There was a long and tall bookshelf to his right made of what looked like bone and to the side of that was a huge four-poster bed with the curtains gently fastened to each sculpted post, the blanket swirling black and blood red. There were two more doors in the wall in front of him with the TV across from the bed and surrounded by more armchairs and another sofa.
“Who are you?”
Kyle bolted up to his feet, a stab of pain shooting through his ribcage, and saw a boy standing in the doorway to his left, a spacious onyx bathroom beyond him. The boy physically looked about the same age as Kyle, but his pitch black eyes looked timeless in some way. His thick black hair hung down to his shoulders, his bone white skin marked only by tattoos of barbed wire circling his eyes and forming a band around his throat. He smelled like steam and gave off an air of childlike curiosity, his black t-shirt and black pajama shorts with silver bats adding to the image.
“I asked you a question.” His tone and manner instantly darkened, his eyes piercing Kyle with an unspoken threat of violence.
“U-Uh, I’m Kyle,” he managed, blinking in confusion. “Kyle James.”
“How did you get here?” His voice had a strange magnetic, almost hypnotic, quality that left Kyle confused and struggling to remember what his own name was while at the same time needing to do whatever the mysterious boy said.
“I-I, um…” Kyle licked his lips and tried to not look at the boy’s unblinking eyes. “I don’t know. I-I saw a…entryway, I guess. I just went through it.”
“You just went through it?” the boy asked skeptically, folding his arms over his chest, showing off an onyx ring on his right ring finger with a spiral of the barbed wire tattooing his face, wrists, and (Kyle noticed in surprise) his ankles as well.
“I was being chased,” he told the boy, his normal confidence beginning to return to him. “Where am I?”
The boy just stared at him for a moment before swinging his head to his right. Kyle turned to look and gasped in shock.
The landscape outside the floor-to-ceiling windows was one of dust, fire, blood, and strange, black creatures flying or skittering or scrambling or even eating other creatures. Ashy smoke drifted across the land and directly below the window (about four stories down) was what looked like a fancy garden maze, but black and sick and dangerous-looking with bones stabbing into the air. The sky was bright red with a sun like a burning cinder. Rock formations and hills dotted the land, ash puffing up wherever a creature walked or landed and Kyle could swear he heard a grating scream of some sort through the window.
“You really don’t know.”
Kyle whipped his head back to the boy now standing beside him, his head tilted, creepy black eyes curious and large.
“Where am I?” Kyle asked again, a touch of panic in his normally-emotionless voice, realizing that he had drifted right up to the window.
“Can you not guess?”
Kyle looked back out at the desecrated land, burned and scarred, catching sight of one of the creatures and widening his eyes at its apparent mixture of a huge bat, a praying mantis, and a snake. His blood turned cold at the thought of where he might be and he wondered if he was right in his hunch. He’d been hearing most of his life that he would end up in Hell and he’d always said that he didn’t care, but he wondered if he would really want to spend all eternity in a place like this. Sure, he was in a house of some sort, but if he actually had to live here (if this was Hell), then he was sure that he wouldn’t be staying with the boy. He would be out there, alone, with disturbing creatures all around him and ash filling his lungs.
“Do you have a guess?”
Kyle turned back to the boy, a weird emotion spreading through his veins that he dimly recognized as fear. He hadn’t felt fear for years, but he was feeling it now, in this place that may or may not be the actual Hell.
“Are we in Hell?” Kyle asked quietly, his voice squeaking a bit.
The boy nodded slowly. “Well, we are in one of the many Hell dimensions.”
“There’s more than one?”
“There are many.”
“Who are you?” Kyle asked in confusion after a moment.
“My name is Damian Briggs. I am the Prince of Edom,” he said importantly.
“And this is Edom?” Kyle asked, gesturing out the window.
“And you’re the prince?”
“One of them. But, as I am the oldest son of Asmodeus Briggs, I am second in line for the throne,” he informed Kyle.
“Wait, I thought you said you were the oldest?” Kyle asked in confusion.
“I am the oldest son,” Damian repeated, his eyes flashing with a touch of impatience.
“But wouldn’t that mean—?”
“I have an older sister, Nix. She is heir to the throne.”
“So in this dimension—”
“In Edom, you guys have daughters as first in line for thrones?”
“Yes,” Damian said slowly, as if talking to someone with only half of a brain.
“So why does your dad rule?” Kyle asked curiously.
“My mother rules,” Damian corrected, more impatience leaking into his voice. “My father is a soldier, my mother, Satrina Briggs, is the queen and the ruler.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Kyle asked suddenly, fully turning to face the other boy, frustrated confusion in his voice. “A random kid just shows up in your room and you just explain everything to him?”
“I am far from explaining everything to you,” Damian said calmly. “Merely the basics. The knowledge would be—”
One of the doors on the other side of the room opened and a tall man came in, completely identical to Damian aside from his snow white hair that fell down his back in a sheet. He had the same eyes, the same pale skin, the same tattoos, and the same superior, confident manner. He wore a white suit, white tie, and white shoes and that along with his hair and skin would’ve made him look like an angel if the lines of his face were less severe and his eyes didn’t look like he was constantly thinking about torturing puppies. (Which he probably was, being the King of the Hell dimension.)
He immediately noticed Kyle and regarded him with some kind of mixture of curiosity, bloodlust, and sadism.
“Damian,” he said without looking at his son. His voice was, if anything, even more hypnotic than Damian’s, his eyes black holes that automatically began to steal away Kyle’s thoughts, bewitching his mind. “Who is this?”
“Father, this is Kyle James.” In front of his father, Damian’s head was bent submissively, his voice gentler. “He fell through some sort of Portal. I do not know how he—”
“Take him to the dungeons.” Damian’s father didn’t move his eyes from Kyle, but it was clear that he was speaking to the guards behind him.
“I do not understand.” Damian briefly eyed the guards in warning before looking to his father, his voice confused and slightly harder.
“Take him to the dungeons,” the man repeated forcefully, causing the guards to surge forward and grab Kyle by his upper arms.
“What? Why am I—?” Kyle asked in confusion.
“Let him go,” Damian commanded.
The guards ignored him and Kyle struggled a bit before a sharp blow to the head made him see black.
When Kyle woke up, his head was throbbing and he wasn’t sure his eyes were open. Everything around him was pitch black and he couldn’t even see his hands in his lap. He reached up (rattling chains that were apparently binding him to a warm, stone wall) and felt his eyes to make sure they were open. They were and he struggled to see even a hint of his hand in front of his face before sighing and dropping his hands back into his lap. Oddly enough, even though in the span of a couple hours (or more; he didn’t know how long he’d been out) he’d gone through a Portal into a Hell dimension, met the Prince of said Hell dimension, seen the King of said Hell dimension, and been thrown into a dungeon in said Hell dimension, he wasn’t at all freaking out or scared or angry or anything. Sure, his head hurt and he was a bit miffed that he’d been imprisoned without any explanation, but it wasn’t like he could call a lawyer or anything. And he couldn’t exactly pull the Constitutional rights card in a Hell dimension. Come to think of it, he was probably lucky that no limbs were missing… At least, not that he noticed.
His thoughts idly wandered to his father, who was probably still at work, as he most always was. He probably wouldn’t notice Kyle’s absence for days. He’d just wake up, assume Kyle was at school or something, go to work, come home, and assume that Kyle was asleep or something. That was how it had been since Kyle’s mom had left them when he was eight. Because apparently being around a gay child had just been too much for the poor woman to handle. He’d been bitter for years about it, but when he turned fifteen, he just decided that he didn’t care anymore. He didn’t care about his mother and he’d unintentionally stopped caring about his father. He knew that neither he nor his dad were happy and he’d repeatedly wondered why he didn’t just leave the house, so being somewhere else (even if it was Hell) wasn’t all that bad for him. He wondered what that said about him.
A door somewhere nearby screeched open and a beam of light sliced through the thick, smoky darkness. Kyle blinked in discomfort at the sudden light, footsteps sounding on the stone floor and coming closer until they stopped right in front of him. He slowly opened his eyes and saw Damian crouching in front of the cell he’d been locked in. The Prince of Hell (Edom, not Hell, there were many Hells) had traded his pajamas for a coal black suit and blood red tie, his eyes calculating and curious.
“Yes?” Kyle asked irritably after a moment of them just looking at each other. “Are you here for anything besides gawking at me?”
“Does it seem as if I am ‘gawking’ at you?” he asked calmly, tilting his head to the side.
“No, it seems as if you’re staring at me like I’m a fascinating experiment.”
“You are not.”
“Fascinating or an experiment?” Occasionally, when Kyle was tired and/or hungry and/or thirsty or a crappy combination of all three, his sarcastic, snarky side came out and he just said whatever came into his head with the sole purpose of pissing off anyone and everyone.
“You are quite fascinating,” Damian replied, sitting criss-cross on the dusty floor.
“Careful,” Kyle advised. “You’ll get your nice suit all dirty.”
Damian looked down at his suit before looking back up at Kyle, his eyes shining. “Kyle, I do not believe you should be in here.”
“Oh, well that makes two of us. But I think that’s normal: kid disagreeing with the parent or parents… So why am I here?” Kyle asked after a moment, his voice a bit vulnerable.
“Officially, you are in here because it is unknown how you got here. Your demeanor also raises suspicion.” He reported it mechanically, like he was merely a machine.
“My demeanor?” Kyle’s eyebrows crinkled in confusion.
Damian gestured to Kyle’s relaxed position; hands calmly folded in his lap, legs stretched out in front of him, ankles crossed. “You do not seem afraid.”
Kyle thought for a moment before saying, “I’m not, really. I mean, I… Yeah, no, not scared.”
“Why not?” Damian tilted his head and looked at Kyle in bewilderment. “You are in a Hell dimension, possibly forever separated from your family, you are chained to the wall of a cell, I am speaking to you through bars, and you are likely to be killed. How are you not afraid?”
Kyle took a deep breath and sighed, looking up at the dark-red-stone ceiling like he was contemplating life. “Well… I suppose it’s because I don’t care.” He looked back to Damian and the other boy looked like he was struggling to puzzle out some complicated math equation or something.
“What do you not care about?” he asked in fascination.
“Anything,” Kyle said with a shrug. “I don’t care whether I live or die—”
“Everyone cares about that,” Damian interrupted.
“Well, I don’t.” Kyle looked at him for a moment before continuing. “I don’t care about my father—who is really the only family I have—I don’t have any friends to care about, I don’t care about my future—if I have one anymore—I don’t care about my school or my town or anything really. I mean, the only way I maintain such a charming personality is by reminding myself that I am better than about ninety percent of the people in my town.”
“So you do care about them.”
Kyle looked at Damian in confusion and spoke slowly. “No, I don’t. I hate most of them.”
“But that is caring,” Damian explained. “Love and hate are not that far apart. You cannot love strongly unless you have hated strongly and vice versa.”
“Fine, it’s not that I don’t care about the people in my town, it’s that I hate them. I violently despise most of them and in school I fantasize about stabbing my pencil into their jugulars. Either way, I don’t exactly have a strong desire to go back there.”
“You wish to remain here?” The confused look returned and Damian’s sculpted black eyebrows moved together.
“I’m saying that if I remain here, if I die, if I go back, I don’t really care.”
“Why not?” Damian asked intently after a moment.
Kyle hesitated before saying, “Because there’s nothing for me there. Nothing good anyway. My mother left when I was eight—and I’m seventeen now—, my father is never there, I don’t have any friends because peer pressure’s a bitch, and the only people who actually pay attention to me are bullies who try to punch my face in and would probably beat me to death if they could.”
“Because unless love is between a man and a woman, it is not right.” Kyle spoke bitterly, turning to face the wall and sighing again, memories drifting through his head.
“Is that how it is in your world?”
Kyle turned back and was confused by the curious and unknowing look in Damian’s eyes. “Yeah. Is that not how it is here?”
Damian shook his head a bit. “No. There is no wrong kind of love here.”
“There’s love here?”
Kyle mentally kicked himself for not thinking before he spoke, but Damian just smiled gently. “Yes. There is love here. There is love, there is hate, there is fear, there is sadness, there is happiness. Any emotion can be dangerous, love most of all. When you love, you belong to someone, your heart controls your actions, and you will do anything for that person. You will even kill for them. It does not even have to be romantic love. The love for a friend or a family member can cause you to kill if it means protecting them. Romantic love can cause you to lie and if you love someone who does not or cannot love you back, then it causes extreme internal torment that could rival the torment suffered in Hell and its various dimensions.”
“You sound like you’ve loved before.” Kyle’s voice was quiet and serious, all the snark blown away by Damian’s words.
“I have many siblings and parents who—despite what you may thing—do love me and my siblings. I have heard stories of individuals who have murdered others, but they do not reside in Hell—there is a main Hell, which is the one taught to children as the place where sinners go when they die. Instead, they have risen to Heaven or whatever it is that is the opposite of Hell. Do you know why these individuals murdered, but did not fall into Hell?”
“Umm… Is it because they loved someone?” Kyle guessed, struggling to fully take Damian’s words seriously.
“Yes. It is. Every one of those individuals murdered to save his or her daughter or wife or husband or son. Humans are so facetious in that they believe that murder is either always right or always wrong. It is not that way, you see. Sometimes the taking of a life is an acceptable occurrence.”
“No argument here.” Kyle really didn’t care one way or the other if murder was wrong or right, he just didn’t really know what to say and honestly wished that Damian would get to his point.
“I digress,” he said slowly, his eyes wandering down the stone hall before moving back to mine. “I only intended to communicate the fact that there is no ‘wrong’ love in Edom, but rather I explained why love itself is a powerful force. I apologize.”
“It’s fine,” Kyle said in confusion. “So, are there, like, gay people here?”
“There are individuals that sometimes reside in Edom, sometimes other Hell dimensions, who love members of their own genders. And there are some who love members of the two main genders. And there are some who love members of all genders. And there are some who do not love members of any gender. For example, my sister Nix is not physically attracted to any individual she has met up to this point in time.”
“So she’s asexual?” Kyle asked, just to make sure he was hearing right.
“Indeed she is. I have seen individuals in Hell who are there because of what they felt was justifiable murder of what you would call ‘gay’ people. Admittedly, some murder is justifiable, but these individuals also suffered from the delusion that anything that differed from their perceived idea of normal was wrong and required extermination.”
“Yeah, that sounds like Earth.” The bitterness returned to Kyle’s voice, but he didn’t dwell on it. “Wait, you said ‘what you would call gay people’. If you don’t call them—me, I guess—gay, then what do you call them—us?”
“People.” His answer was simple, but Kyle just stared at him in surprise.
They looked at each other for a moment, Kyle’s chest tightening in a weirdly pleasant way, before Damian looked at the lock on the cell door and spoke up.
“We must get you out of this cell.”
“But I thought my ‘demeanor raises suspicion’.”
“It does. But I do not believe you to be harmful in anyway.”
“Wait, what?” Even though Damian was talking about Kyle’s life being spared, he couldn’t help but be a bit offended by the other boy saying that he was harmless.
Damian stood and looked down at Kyle, smiling a small, amused smile. “I believe that you would not harm anyone or anything without justifiable reason.”
“You seem very big on justifiable reason for the Prince of Hell,” Kyle noted curiously.
“Prince of Edom,” he corrected. “Gehenna is very different. Some dimensions do not care if an action is justifiable or not, but in Edom, we do care.”
“You guys are quite the saints,” Kyle said sarcastically, prompting Damian to look at him in confusion. “I’m joking.”
Damian looked down the hallway, looking or waiting for something. “Jinx, would you come here, please?”
Kyle heard heavy footsteps echoing in the hallway before a tall woman in thin black leather armor stepped up in front of Damian.
“What can I do for you, Prince Damian?” she asked obediently, her posture taut as a bow string, long blood red hair falling halfway down her back.
“It is my decision that this prisoner should be released,” Damian announced, gesturing to Kyle.
The woman—Jinx—looked to Kyle and he almost gasped aloud when he saw her slited eyes more resembling a dragon than anything else he could think of. She, like everyone else he’d seen, had pale skin (residents of Hell must not get out a lot), but hers was scarred; a thin line across her hairline at her left temple, her sleeveless forearms laddered with thin scars, the scar of a pentagram at the base of her throat. She wasn’t overly muscular, and that somehow made her even more threatening. With just her posture, her eyes, and the violent air about her, she managed to make Kyle feel like she would brutally torture and kill him if he so much as touched her arm. He supposed women really did run Edom.
“My Prince, I do not disagree with your decision, but I must remind you that the King ordered this intruder locked away for the time being.”
“And what does my mother think?” Damian asked politely.
“Your mother is in Gehenna.”
“So consult Nix, please.”
“As you wish, Prince Damian.” Jinx bowed and walked off.
“Why did that just happen?” Kyle asked after a minute of silence.
“Why did what just happen?” Damian asked in the same confused tone, turning to look at Kyle.
“Why did the King’s decision just get ignored?”
“I am not ignoring my father’s decision. I just do not think it is the correct decision, so Nix is being consulted,” Damian explained calmly.
“But…why? Your dad’s the King. Why would anything your sister says make any difference?”
“If Nix disagrees with my father’s decision and someone else in the family requested the consultation that led to that disagreement—as I just requested her consultation—then her decision overrules my father’s.”
“But he’s the King,” Kyle repeated in confusion.
“Yes. He is. But my sister is the Princess and, as you have learned, females carry more authority here.”
Damian shrugged simply. “That is just the way it is.”
Jinx returned a minute later with a tall beautiful girl surrounded by guards, male and female. The girl was a bit taller than Damian and looked to be about twenty. Her features were the same as her brothers except for the fact that her hair fell down her back in one long sheet and her features were cold and angular, her eyes blood red. She was clad in red and coal black robes, a silver barbed wire crown on her head. Her demeanor was also different from Damian’s; while Damian seemed approachable and relaxed, the girl—Nix—gave off an air of danger and menace, her hard, strict posture clearly conveying a sense of superiority and a distaste for anyone besides her and maybe her family.
“Brother, dear.” Her voice sent a chill down Kyle’s spine. It was like graveyard fog at midnight on Halloween, cold and mysterious and menacing. “Why have you called me down here?”
“Sister mine, I want you to order the release of this prisoner,” Damian replied easily, gesturing to Kyle.
Nix turned her eyes to Kyle and he couldn’t help but look away from her frightening gaze.
“Why would I order his release?” she asked, turning her eyes back to Damian.
“Because he did not actually do anything wrong. He just came through a Portal accidentally while he was running from people who were trying to hurt him. Not exactly a severe crime. I do not know why Father threw him in here in the first place.”
“He entered Edom under suspicious circumstances,” Nix told him.
“Yes, but is harmless. He does not care what happens to him at all. He is broken. And I think that he could be useful here.”
“Why?” Nix’s voice hardened even further.
“Because I would like to study him,” Damian replied simply. “You know I have been fascinated by humans for some time. And he is a cute human, so why not? Perhaps it was meant to be and that is why he was able to come through the Portal. I shall take full responsibility for him. He could be my pet. Besides, Mother occasionally emphasizes the importance of companionship.”
Nix considered it for a moment before nodding for the guards to open the cell. One of the guards opened the door and two other ones went in and undid Kyle’s chains, pulling him up and out of the cell.
“Thank you, sister mine,” Damian said, bowing a bit to his sister.
“Do not make me regret it, brother dear.” Nix turned and walked away, all but two guards following her.
The two boys looked after her a moment before turning to each other.
“Your sister is scary,” Kyle said, still a bit shaky from her intensity.
“My sister is a demon,” Damian said simply. “And enjoys being one.”
“She was wearing a crown.”
“Yes, she was.”
“Why aren’t you wearing one?” Kyle asked curiously.
Damian shrugged. “I do not want to. I have one, but I only wear it on especially formal occasions.”
“Prince Damian.” They turned to see Jinx looking at them almost emotionlessly. “May Zapherno and I escort you and your…companion to your quarters?”
Damian nodded. “You may.”
Kyle stayed close to Damian as the two guards led them up through the dungeons and into a long onyx hallway. They walked down the hallways and up a tall spiraling staircase and down another hall and another before coming to a door.
“Your services are appreciated,” Damian said, nodding to each guard. He opened the door and looked to Kyle, nodding into the room. Kyle hurried in and Damian followed, shutting the door behind him.
Kyle hesitantly went over and sat down on the sofa in front of the TV. “This is definitely the weirdest day of my life.”
Damian fell down on the couch beside him, putting his bare feet up on the coffee table. “Was there every any question?”
“No, not really,” Kyle sighed, suddenly realizing how dry his lips were and how thirsty he was. And hungry. “Hey, do you…? I mean, what do you…? Um…”
Damian picked up a remote control from the table, pressed a button, and a stone panel in the wall next to the TV moved, revealing a large, walk-in pantry.
“Feel free to have whatever you would like,” Damian said, putting the remote down and picking up a book.
“U-Um… Thanks.” Kyle got up and slowly went into the pantry, looking around a bit before taking a bagel out of a bag and grabbing a bottle of chocolate milk and going back to the couch.
“Why do you have actual food here?” he asked curiously, taking a bite from the bagel.
“We are demons, but we do consume food and drink.” Damian flipped idly through the book a bit before putting it back down and turning to Kyle. “Really, food is the only way we know much of anything about life on Earth. We do get to observe humans in Hell, but mostly they’re too busy screaming in agony to tell us much of anything about Earth.”
Kyle thought for a moment, considering what it would be like to only know humans from the food they ate. “So, what do you think Earth is like?”
“My sister, Jax, has a theory that you humans worship sugar and your gods are overly exaggerated drawings of animals,” Damian said seriously. “Nix says it’s pointless to speculate and that it does not matter what life on Earth is like. I, myself, think that most Earthlings must be quite obese for all the sugar-filled food that appears in our pantries.”
“Wait, it appears? You mean you don’t have people to actually go get it?”
“No, it just appears.”
Kyle decided to let it go and took another bite of his bagel.
“Why did you get me released?” he asked once he swallowed.
“Because you fascinate me,” Damian replied, his eyes glittering with curiosity.
“In what way?” Kyle asked cautiously.
Damian thought for a moment before saying, “In many ways. You are a human, you do not care about your life, you do not fear death, and you produce an interesting stirring feeling in my stomach. It is quite fascinating.”
“Wha—I-I produce a stirring feeling in your stomach?” Kyle asked in disbelief.
“That’s what I said.”
“O-okay, then. That’s…Okay.”
“Would you rather I have you thrown back into the dungeons and either tortured or killed?”
“No! No, I’m good. Hey, how does Nix become the Queen?” he asked, wanting to change the subject.
“Either when she marries—which is not likely to happen—, when our parents die, or when she turns two hundred and fifty,” Damian answers calmly.
“How old is she now?”
“One hundred and seventy-two.”
“And why is it such a big deal that I got here? I mean, I just walked through a Portal.”
“A Portal that humans are unable to get through.”
“But I got through.”
“You see the dilemma.” Damian gazed at him in curiosity, his eyes piercing Kyle in a not entirely unpleasant way.
“So, how did I get through?” Kyle asked curiously.
Damian looked at him without speaking for a moment before taking a breath and looking away. “I do not know. Perhaps we shall never know. I do not think that matters now.”
“You said you wanted me for a pet.” Kyle internally winced as he heard a note of anger enter his voice at the thought of being anyone’s pet.
“I said what would make Nix grant me my desire.” Damian was either unaffected by Kyle’s anger or didn’t notice it. Probably the former.
“So I’m not actually gonna be your pet?”
“No. Not unless you want to be.”
“Why would I want to be a pet?”
Damian shrugged helplessly. “Some people have unconventional desires.”
Kyle was silent for a moment before saying, “So what am I going to do here?”
“Stay by me,” Damian said easily. “You are now my responsibility, so you are to stay beside me.”
“Am I, like, gonna be your servant?”
“If I request it of you, then it will be expected.”
“Are you gonna request it of me?”
Damian tilted his head a bit, narrowing his eyes. “I do not know. I recommend we just wait and see what the future holds.”
Kyle nodded, smiling slightly at the realization that he was actually for once looking forward to something. “That sounds good to me.”