Rex sighed as they climbed out of Gary’s car and trudged across the street. His skin itched, inside and out, with the hungry, gnawing need, getting bad enough now he had a headache, was getting tired. He swore he couldn’t go more than a full day without it getting bad—and never again was he going to abstain and make himself almost too weak to move.
He needed a good fuck, it was the only thing that ever made the deep, hungry ache go away—but he would not be able to trawl for something pretty and willing for a few more hours yet.
“Christ, you just got laid last night, Rex,” Gary said, looking at him in disgust—and jealousy. “Already you have that ‘need a fuck’ look on your face. Even for a guy you’re—”
“Shut up,” Rex snapped. “If you want me to help you finish your damned project, just shut up. I don’t need my supposed friend calling me a slut, just because I manage to get way more action than the rest of you. I told you, it’s not what you think. I just—need it.”
“Whatever,” Gary muttered, and turned angrily away.
Rex sighed and followed after him, knowing Gary was just pissed because Rex never had an interest in him. Once, he’d fucked Gary, and it had been a mistake. They weren’t lovers, they weren’t good for each other as lovers, but Gary refused to believe it—which really just proved his point all over again.
Stifling a second sigh, he finally looked up at the last art gallery they had to visit today. He knew Gary was interviewing people in each of them, but past that he hadn’t paid much attention. He was tired and hungry, and more than that he needed sex. It seemed sometimes that was the only thing that ever made him feel better.
The other galleries had all been uptown, a few in the fashionably shabby parts of downtown. There was plenty shabby, but nothing fashionable, about this area. It was completely run down, litter everywhere, homeless and loiters skulking on corners and in the ends of alleyways.
But the art gallery, simply and unimaginatively called The Gallery, was neat, even almost classy, despite the bars on the window and the dingy surroundings. It had a clean sidewalk, and was brightly lit inside and out. It was inviting, when the rest of the neighborhood made him want to get back into the car.
“Come on, already,” Gary said irritably, pushing open the door and motioning impatiently at him.
Sighing again, suspecting Gary would be moving out at the end of the month, Rex followed him into the gallery.
They stepped into a classy little sitting room, filled with couches, chairs, tables, and pretty paintings and decorations. The whole place smelled like strawberries, a bit like honey. His stomach growled—and, to his surprise, the gnawing, aching need for a fuck grew suddenly sharper.
He wished he knew what caused it; he’d been eighteen before he realized it wasn’t at all normal for people to feel the way he did. That he was weird. No one else meant it like he did when they said they needed to get laid.
“It’s missing paintings, I think,” Rex finally said.
Gary rolled his eyes, and did not reply.
Rex stifled yet another sigh. Yeah, he would be looking for another roommate in another week or so. It sucked, because he liked company, liked having a roommate, but they never lasted. They always tried to be more than friends, and that didn’t work, because the itch, the need, couldn’t be taken care of by just one person. He’d tried that, and it had nearly killed his lover, trying to keep up with Rex. That was when he had really appreciated just how different he was.
He just didn’t know why.
Rex had started to say something else, when a door in the back opened, and a man like no one he had ever seen slipped into the room. Tall, lithe, graceful as he walked toward them. His hair fell past his shoulders, loosely tied with a ribbon, beautiful waves of deep, glossy brown. He wore jeans and a short-sleeved, button down shirt in a shade of dark green that brought out the bright, vivid green of his eyes.
Want burned hot in Rex’s gut, in a way it never had before. It was distracting, made him too hot in his skin. He didn’t know what that meant.
“Good evening, gentlemen,” the man said, smiling in bland greeting at Gary—the smile froze on his face as he turned to Rex, surprise filling his face.
Then his eyes narrowed slightly, in a way that was another new for Rex—like he was prey, instead of predator. Even when the men and women he was with had the control, Rex remained in control. His companions of the moment only ever thought they had hunted him.
But this man…
Rex could not tear his eyes away, and he loved the way the man made him as nervous as he did hungry.
Then the smooth, professional manner returned, and Rex almost thought he had imagined the whole thing. “You look like students,” he said. “Studio and gallery interview time already?”
Gary laughed sheepishly. “I’ve been hearing that a lot today.”
The man smiled. “Well, we might complain, but art is art, and anyone in the art business loves attention. Not many students, however, find their way to my humble gallery. I’m a bit out of the main. But you are more than welcome to look, and ask your questions. Come, gentlemen, I will show you my paintings. All of the art is done by me; it’s a very private gallery. Too unusual in subject matter for more general consumption.”
“I see,” Gary said, but absently, more interested in digging through his messenger back for his notes and papers and a pen. He had wanted to be done and at home hours ago—but his ability to graduate was riding on the class.
“I’m Rex, this is Gary,” Rex said, and held out a hand. “Thank you for showing us around, taking the time to speak to us.”
The man took his hand in a warm, firm, lingering grip. “Silenus. Sil, please. It’s an old family name.”
“Sil,” Rex repeated, somehow reluctant to let go of the hand holding his. He was relieved and disappointed when Sil withdrew, and shook hands with Gary.
“This way,” Sil murmured, and led them through the door from which he had first come. “My gallery is much larger than it would at first seem. I’ve bought up the surrounding properties, and turned it all into my gallery; it’s a regular labyrinth of rooms, so do not stray too far.” He winked, and led them through a short hallway, and finally into a room that was obviously the start of the supposed maze.
“This is the first room in what I call the Temporary Galleries. The paintings here stay only a brief time, before they go elsewhere. As you can see, I work exclusively with people. You will find no landscapes or stills or abstracts here.”
There were ten paintings in the room—three each on two of the walls, and two each on the walls that also had doors. All of the paintings were of people in some idle activity, smiling in contentment, obviously happy in their own little worlds. A man reading, a woman sewing, another person typing, one watching a movie, taking a walk, fishing, gardening, working on a puzzle, and the last of a man dozing on a couch, smiling in his sleep.
Gary made a soft noise, and went to the image of the man typing, eyes locked on it. Rex looked more closely at that one, curious what had grabbed Gary so. The man was handsome, almost pretty, with red hair and blue eyes. Slender, almost skinny.
A superficial resemblance to himself, Rex noted, amused and weary all at once. Gary had always wanted something Rex couldn’t give. Rex looked again at the painting, and was stuck suddenly by a vivid image.
A bottle of wine, overturned. One wineglass knocked over, wine soaking into the white tablecloth, dripping down onto the floor. Soft moans, needy pleas, men too desperate for each other to make it further than the floor, their romantic dinner forgotten entirely. Wine, spilled in eager hast, soaked part of Gary’s shirt. Ben tore it off, lapped at his damp skin, sucked and bit, one hand around Gary’s cock—
Rex shook himself, banishing the unexpected imagery. Glancing hastily away from the Gary and the painting of ‘Ben’, he accidentally met Sil’s eyes, and was startled to see Sil watching him.
Then Sil smirked, looking extremely pleased. “Would you like to see more? I have other galleries, more interesting than this one.”
His words made Rex’s body go tight, made his blood heat. He glanced at Gary, who seemed oblivious to everything but the painting, then looked back at Sil.
“He’ll never notice,” Sil murmured, and motioned for Rex to follow him. Sil led them through several more rooms, never pausing, never looking back, explaining only that they were all still part of the ‘Temporary Galleries’.
Then they reached a closed door, made of some dark wood, and Sil pulled out a key. Opening the door and pushing it open, he looked over his shoulder and said, “These are the Permanent Galleries. The paintings here may go for a time, but this is the place they call home.”
Wondering what in the hell that meant, Rex nevertheless followed him. However strange everything had become, however out of his depth he felt—it also felt right, or perhaps he simply did not care if he was the proverbial moth.
Another ten portraits greeted him, set off by subtle lighting, like they were all sharing some sort of whispered secret. It made him itchier, hotter, hungrier than ever, made him want to take his cock in hand and stroke until he was sore and raw.
Especially as looking at each one, he caught flashes of how the person or persons in them liked to get dirty.
The nearest painting was of a woman, dainty and pretty, all fair skin and pale, pretty curls spilling down her body. She wore a light blue negligee, trimmed in cream lace, that displayed her wares better than nudity. Soft and sweet, the scent of vanilla and rose. Pliant, willing, always with a gentle smile and loving manner, a fond little kiss before she obediently knelt between his legs and wrapped her pale pink lips around his cock. Her breasts were soft and firm in his hands and she rose up and straddled him, and she made softy, breathy noises as he thrust up into her—
Turning away, Rex glanced at another portrait, this one of a man dressed in an exquisite three piece suit, every last bit of him perfect and in place—except for the hard, leaking cock pulled from his slack, fisted tightly in one hand. His expression was smug, like he knew whoever looked at him would do exactly as ordered. ‘Suck it’ Laurence said, and he did so gladly, hands tied behind his back, knees rubbed raw from the carpet. Only Laurence’s hand, grabbing rough hold of his hair, kept him in place as he took Laurence’s cock, licking, sucking, barely able to breathe as Laurence began ruthlessly to fuck his mouth—
Rex gasped as hands landed on his hips, Sil right behind him, his arousal as obvious as Rex’s own. “What the fuck is with this place?” Rex asked, half-thinking he must be drugged as hell, or having one hell of a dream.
Yet something in all of this called to him, to that part of himself he had never understood.
“You enjoy my art the way precious few can,” Sil replied, hands still firm and warm on Rex’s hips. “Would you like to see more?”
Rex wanted a real explanation, he wanted shit to make sense, but when he opened his mouth, all he said was, “Yes.”
Sil made a soft noise of approval, which for some stupid reason made Rex happy. “Then we continue,” Sil replied, and leaving a hand on the small of Rex’s back, led him into the next room.
The first portrait Rex’s eyes landed upon was of two people in something that looked like an old-fashioned time library or study. The first was a woman, seated in a high-backed chair. She was nothing like the last woman; there was nothing delicate or pretty about her. She was cool, striking, dressed in a sleek black dress that showed nothing, but hinted at everything. Her hair was also black, eyes dark brown. She held a glass of wine in one hand, extended so that the second figure could fill it—a manservant, immaculate and perfect in appearance, like he would not know how to look unkempt if his life depended upon it. In the woman’s lap, a whip lay coiled, almost as though it had been forgotten. “Again, Frederick.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Frederick replied, and let fly with the whip, striking his skin, making him cry out for more. Angelica licked her lips and drank her wine while she watched her manservant, now sweaty and aroused and completely disheveled, lash until Rex finally cried his surrender.
Almost panting, Rex shook his head, stumbled back, rubbed his eyes in a futile effort to clear his head. Turning away from Angelica and Frederick, his gaze landed at random on still another painting—this one of a beautiful matched set of men with dark hair, dark eyes, and dark, golden skin. They reclined lazily in a massive bed, the sheets hiding nothing, like cats simply waiting for dinner to stroll by. Sadir pounded into him, ruthless, demanding, taking his own pleasure, fingers so tight on his hips they would leave bruises. Sadir came with a hoarse, growling shout, but gave Rex no time to recover, merely withdrew his cock and moved aside, and then it was Satim pounding, possessing, greedily using his body—
Rex had never been so hard, so hungry and so starving and he did not know why he described it that way, except it always seemed to fit. “W-w-what’s going on here?”
Sil laughed, voice husky. “As you can see, my gallery is special. It caters to those with very specific wants and needs—from love to lust, and all the permutations and combinations those things might take.” He took Rex’s arm and led him to a bench. “Your friend, for instance—he was looking for love, a boyfriend to be his other half. He has found it tonight, in the form of the long-waiting and ever patient Ben.”
Rex smiled, bittersweet. “Someone who could be what I could not. I’m glad.”
“Expecting you to be like Ben, would be like expecting a shark to act like a minnow, my pretty little incubus.”
“My—what?” Rex asked, head jerking up. His heart began to thud in his chest, though he could not explain the reason for it. “Why do you call me that?”
Sil looked amused. “Have you never heard of an incubus before?”
Rex rolled his eyes. “Who hasn’t? Demons that sleep with human women. I guess they might sleep with men, too, I don’t recall reading that anywhere.”
Making a contemptuous noise, Sil sat down beside him on the bench. “That is not an incubus. That is a very watered down explanation of a true incubus.”
“So what’s an incubus?” Rex asked.
Smiling, Sil said, “An incubus is a being that literally feeds on lust and love. They crave sex, need sex, the same way people need food. But they also need affection, love, like a human would need water. But the truly fascinating part of an incubus is that they spread what they crave. That is, those who lie with an incubus, tend shortly to find or grow closer to their loved ones. I would wager that everyone you’ve ever been with, has found their one and only, or grown only closer to the loves they already had.”
“Dunno,” Rex said. “I know a few are happily settled now, but we don’t really cross paths much, you know?”
“They have,” Sil said. “Do you always feel unsettled, hungry, like some unnamable itch on your skin and under it?”
Rex drew a sharp, startled breath. “Yeah—how did you know that?”
“Your parents are probably separated.”
“Yeah,” Rex said, even more shaken. “My father kicked my mother out when I was ten. Called her a filthy slut who couldn’t keep her legs shut. Never saw her again. Stop putting up with him when I turned eighteen, and he said I was the same as her.”
“You’re a half-starved incubus. Technically, a half-incubus, but supernatural blood tends to win out and totally consume the human half. Incubus, especially those like you who don’t know what they are, tend to have variations of the same story.”
“Oh,” Rex said, feeling overwhelmed, but not able to freak out the way he probably should. “Are you an incubus?”
Sil laughed, but not meanly. He smiled warmly at Rex. “No, I’m a satyr—the leader of the satyr, though we’re all scattered about. ‘Silenus’ is as much title as name.”
“Oh,” Rex said again, unable to come up with anything else. “Why all this? Do you need lust like I apparently do?”
“No,” Sil replied. “Not quite the way you need it, though I certainly do need it. I also like to paint. As Silenus, I have a great deal of magic, but little cause to use it anymore. So, I have simply found a way to combine my talents and hobbies—magic, painting, and loving.”
Rex nodded, because otherwise he would just say ‘oh’ again. “Why—why are you showing and telling me all of this?”
“Because I’m in need of an assistant, someone to help me run this place, perhaps expand someday, reach out to still more people. Someone who can handle what I do, the nature of my work, the very carnal aspects of it. Someone who understands that is it my nature to love one, but also to love many.” He regarded Rex somberly, green eyes intense.
Rex’s breath caught in his throat at the words. “Love one, but also love many,” he repeated. That had always been his problem, the reason he did so poorly with relationships. Just one simply did not work for him, not the way others expected. “Why not get another satyr?”
“We’re…territorial, I guess you would say. We share gladly and eagerly, except with each other,” Sil replied. “That, and I am a king of sorts. For the others to touch what is mine…” He shook his head. “None of us would like it.” He looked at Rex again, somber, pensive. “You seem to be just what I am looking for.”
“But—but we’ve only just met—”
Sil cut him off with a warm, husky laugh. “I’ve been alive a long time, my pretty incubus. You’re exactly what I’ve been waiting for, trust me. But if you have doubts…” He moved fast, leaving Rex reeling, and then Rex was flat on his back on the wide, soft-cushioned bench. Sil’s body covered him, hot and heavy, hair tumbling loose to spill around them. His mouth was hot, so very hot, as it took Rex’s.
It was like no kiss he had ever had before—hot and dizzy and fierce, to the point he could not think, could not do anything but kiss fervently back and feel deeply every moment of it. So strange, when he could always think clearly, always focus, in the heat of passion.
He was not used to someone getting the better of him. It was the headiest sensation. Rex moaned and wrapped his arms around Sil’s neck, bring him even closer. Sil tasted earthy, almost spicy. Rex loved it, craved more, needed more.
It seemed like he had been fucking people since he was just barely old enough to do it—men, women, younger, older, in two and threes and on a very few occasions foursomes. He had lost count of the number of people he had fucked a long time ago.
None of those had ever felt like this. Just one kiss, and he was already feeling better than he could remember feeling in a long time. Then Sil’s hand slipped beneath this clothes, almost burning they were so hot. Soft chuckles slid across the skin of his throat, followed by the graze of teeth. “Do you want to be my assistant, pretty Rex. Hmm, lovely incubus? So rare to find one, even rarer to claim one. All who dwell here will be more than happy to feed you, all the happier because you are mine.”
Rex thought about it—the craziness, that this was probably a dream, that if it were real he would probably be leaving his real life behind.
And he should set his lust aside and think coolly, logically—but lust was part of him, even more than he had already thought.
“Is that a rhetorical question?” he asked.
Sil smirked, but said, “Then say ‘yes.’ Sometimes, magic requires certainties.”
“Yes,” Rex replied, never happier to say such a simple word.
Making a sound that was equal parts growl and purr, Sil bent and kissed him again, one hand going to Rex’s pants, grabbing him through the fabric, squeezing. “I can’t decide what I want to do with you,” he breathed against Rex’s skin, tongue sliding slowly, lapping in cat-like fashion.
“I think a good, old-fashioned fuck will suffice,” Rex replied, moaning, hips jerking as Sil continued to fondle him.
Chuckling, Sil nipped at his throat, his jaw, then took another hard kiss before suddenly withdrawing and standing up. “Strip, incubus. Show us what you’ve got.”
The word ‘us’ made him freeze with surprise, skin prickling as he suddenly remembered that the paintings were not mere paintings, but so much more. He felt the eyes, then, felt the lust and hunger of their audience almost like a touch. Angelica and Frederick, the twins Sadir and Satim, a pretty little submissive waif name Isabella, powerful Dominic who liked to have that power taken away. More besides, he could feel them all, see them, knew their wants and desires, what each painting would do to him when he went to them to play and feed.
Standing up, Rex pulled his t-shirt over his head and threw it aside. Then he got rid of shoes and socks, and pushed off his pants and boxers. He stood naked, hard, on display for the paintings. So strange, to be here and welcomed for what he was—because he could feel that too, amongst the lust. Welcome; there was no one here who would look at him askance and call him a slut.
No, he was an incubus. He was Sil’s Assistant.
“Beautiful,” Sil breathed, coming up behind him, arms sliding around him, a hand fisting his cock, moving with slow, teasing strokes.
Rex groaned and pushed back into him, trying to thrust into Sil’s hand at the same time. He reached up and back, touching the soft hair, clinging to him. “Sil—”
Laughing, Sil bit his ear, then let go of his cock and pushed him gently. “Drunk on sustenance, incubus? So much lust around, so much affection, you’ll soon forget what it was like to live perpetually starved.”
In reply, Rex could only moan again.
“On the bench,” Sil murmured in his ear, nipping it a second time before pushing him toward the bench again.
Not quite whimpering, Rex did as he was told, arranging himself on the low, wide bench, folding his arms and rest his head on them, ass in the air. He watched avidly as Sil stripped, broad and slim and fit, beautifully made, cock hard and heavy, leaking.
Sil paused briefly to bend down and kiss him, then vanished behind him. He smoothed a hand over Rex’s ass, and then warm, slick fingers were teasing, taunting, until Rex finally groaned loud and long, demanding Sil do something.
Two fingers pushed abruptly inside him, making Rex jerk. He groaned in need as they stretched him, cried out as they moved just right. “Sil—” he gasped out, panting with need.
Making that growly, purring noise again, Sil withdrew his fingers and slowly pushed his cock inside.
“Not enough,” Rex said, when Sil simply settled, didn’t move.
Sil laughed, and said, “Of course it’s not.” Then he grasped Rex’s hips tightly and began to move, pounding into him, taking him hard and sure and fast, like he knew exactly what Rex could take and would push harder still.
When they both finally came, it was the hardest Rex could ever remember coming, loud and messy and leaving him trembling. He panted heavily, reaching up with an unsteady hand to wipe sweat from his eyes, then tried to move, sort his limbs out.
Then Sil pulled him gently to his feet, tugged him close, and gave a long, slow, sweet kiss.
“So whatever happened to Gary?” Rex asked eventually, reminded belatedly of his friend. “You said something about Ben?”
“Gary is fine, and Ben will…he’ll replace you in life. Everyone will be happy, each having found his place.”
Rex nodded, and let thoughts of Gary slip away forever, content to focus on his strange but so right present. When Sil bent to kiss him again, he kissed back full measure, clinging tightly. When the kisses finally paused momentarily, he asked, “So what exactly am I supposed to do, as your assistant?”
Smiling, Sil said, “Get dressed—or not, if you prefer—and I’ll show you the rest of the gallery, explain everything to you. We’ll get you acquainted with your new home.”
Returning the warm smile, Rex went to retrieve his clothes and pull them back on—but only because he liked removing them.
Sil slid an arm around his shoulders, pulled Rex flush against his side, nuzzled his hair. “At some point, I shall also have to decide how to paint you. I think, however, we shall have to explore many options before I settle on a pose.”
The words made him shiver, made him smile—made him happy. Sliding his own arm around Sil’s waist, he let himself be led on to the next portion of the gallery.