The relationship between Gerald and Damien has changed them both.
Pairing: Damien/Gerald sort of.
Rating: PG for creepiness
Disclaimer: not mine
Spoilers: Up to the beginning of book 3
Summary: The relationship between Gerald and Damien has changed them both.
Acknowledgements: Thank you to my beta reader Tehomet, who kindly read this even though she has never read these books. Any remaining mistakes are solely my responsibility.
Gerald Tarrant loved the taste of it, so succulent and delicious. No faintly remembered mortal sustenance could compare to even the most meager fair of his hard won immortality.
Fear; it was rich, full, and so very satisfying.
He was a connoisseur of sorts. Nine hundred years of trial and error had refined his taste. He chose his meals carefully, willing to wait for just the right prey to enhance his hunt.
He was a picky man in life and doubly so in unlife.
The beauty of his chosen victims was like the carefully prepared presentation of a gourmet meal. It only added to the feast. He liked them young, and tender like lambs. Moist eyes that would cry so prettily for him, soft limbs that would push and punch before relaxing in utter terror at the final moment before he consumed them.
All of them, everything they had to offer.
He was The Hunter. He had become a monster and he reveled in it.
It was perfection. He lived for it, the taste, the tears, and the blood.
Or he had.
Not since Damien.
But the priest had changed that. Their strange alliance had changed that.
The man was infuriating, his morals a tiresome nuisance. But he was useful. And because of those same strict morals Gerald trusted him, a very rare thing indeed. Damien was as incapable of betrayal as he was-- even of a man Damien saw as pure evil.
And as horrible as Gerald was, there was something much worse, and that was what they were fighting.
Promises had been made, and both men would stick to them. They could do nothing else. Gerald's pride and Damien's ethics held them together. They were comrades fighting for the same cause, if for different reasons.
A Priest and the Prophet doomed by his own religion. Gerald could not help but note how ironic that situation was, and to take some small amount of pleasure in the odd circumstances. To bad that Damien would not enjoy the irony. It was just one more difference among a myriad between the two men.
Yes he was infuriating, but so very interesting, defiant, strong, and yet weak in just the right ways.
Gerald knew that contact with Damien would break down Damien's morals until he could no longer tell right from wrong. It was what Damien feared most, and therefore what Gerald Tarrant would be for him.
It was in his nature.
But Gerald had never realized that it might work both ways.
That the alliance might slowly meld into something deeper.
Damien had willingly let Gerald feed on him. Not just once in their alliance but several times. The bond created between them was much more than Gerald had thought it would be.
It had a life of its own now, and grew stronger everyday.
The desire to feed, to connect through that bond in the only way left to Gerald was a constant distraction.
But he wouldn't change it, even if he could.
He savored the memories of their long voyage on God's Glory. The water of the deep eastern sea cutting him off from his food and power source, he had starved. The woman brought for the purpose of food could not sustain him. Her fear was pure but poor when compared to another.
Compared to what he really wanted.
The girl was not missed when she sacrificed herself to the cold waters. He had given her dreams of them for months, hoping, waiting...
Because he knew Damien would not let him starve.
With her death his fast had been broken by nights of gluttonous feeding. The meal made more memorable by the torture he had endured to attain it.
Every night, he could feel Damien waiting, sweating and shaking, hating himself for allowing the invasion. Dreading it, Damien's fear of the act itself only adding to the feast.
He devoured, and savored the taste he had thought of so often and yet had not had for so long.
He had not realized what Damien's fear would do to him.
The taste that would make all others pale in comparison. The robust wine of his fear tinted with a strong hatred of Gerald, a pinch of subtle reluctant admiration, and something even deeper.
Something like friendship.
It was Delicious.
Heady, smooth and rich in a way that none of the soft women Gerald usually preferred were.
It lingered in his mind long after he had so carefully sipped from the forbidden cup, and no matter how many soft lambs he killed in the many nights afterwards, the desire for an even more fulfilling meal was always there.
The desire for Damien was always there.
And the more of Damien's fear and blood he drank, the more he knew him, the more he wanted, and less like a monster he became.
Yet he couldn't help but think that the trade was fair.
The loss of Damien's humanity and the slow regaining of his own -- it was perfectly monstrous.
It was perfectly him.