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Samot pressed harder against Samothes, twining their fingers together, wanting as much of his husband's warmth as he could get against his skin. With his ear against Samothes' collarbone, he could hear the beating of his heart underneath his skin — Samot loved this man dearly, wanted to devour him, the way he wanted to devour the world as a shadow, as a wolf wanted to devour its prey. That old violence was in his soul, and it was hard to ignore, sometimes.

He inclined his head to kiss the exposed line of Samothes' throat. Underneath him, he could feel Samothes' pulse quicken.

"Are you afraid?" Samot asked.

“Should I be?” Samothes responded, moving slightly to settle them both more comfortably. Samot nipped at Samothes’ throat again, could feel the movement under his lips as Samothes swallowed.

“Would you be afraid, if a wolf had its teeth to your throat?” Samot asked, close enough that the words vibrated against Samothes’ skin.

“I knew what I was getting into when I married you.”

Samot had to laugh at that, and sat back to look at Samothes, who was propped up loosely against the headboard of their bed, a pillow shoved underneath the small of his back. He was, as always, the most beautiful man Samot had ever laid eyes on — dark skin smooth and supple, muscular from work in the forge (but softened by a layer of flesh Samot loved to sink his fingers into), soft dark curls gently framing his chiseled face, illuminated by candles and moonlight — the most powerful man in Hieron, loose and vulnerable and warm beneath him where Samot straddled his waist.

An affectionate smile rested on Samothes’ lips. Samot loved him more than he could bear.

“My love, my light,” Samot murmured, running his claws lightly over Samothes’ skin, “I’m going to devour you. Are you ready?”

Samothes exhaled, slowly. “I am.”

An expression Samothes couldn’t quite interpret flashed across Samot’s features, and he leaned forward to kiss Samothes, tenderly at first, and then suddenly all teeth as he bit down hard into Samothes’ lip. Blood welled up immediately. Samothes twitched and gasped underneath him as Samot lapped at the wound, worried it with his tongue and teeth until neither of them could taste anything but Samothes’ divine blood. When Samot finally pulled away, his husband was panting a little — with pain or arousal or likely some mixture of the both.

Samothes opened his mouth to speak but seemed to think better of it. The look in his golden eyes was somewhere between fear and tenderness. Samot loved him desperately, wanted more of him — to have Samothes’ dick in his ass and his blood in his mouth and his flesh in his belly. He could feel Samothes was growing hard against his thigh, and shifted back to so he could reach down and touch him. Samothes exhaled audibly when Samot’s fingers grazed his cock, but Samot kept his touch light, bringing Samothes to full size with a few pumps of his hand before lining himself up.

“May I?” Samot asked.

Samothes nodded, not trusting himself to speak. His mouth was still full of blood.

Samot brought his hips down, drawing a moan from them both. The movement was an easy one — they’d had each other exactly like this innumerable times in the past, and he settled into the familiar pleasure of Samothes stiff inside him.

“It feels good,” Samot murmured, leaning forward to murmur the words into Samothes’ ear. He could see Samothes’ throat move when he swallowed.

Samot cupped Samothes’ face and kissed him deeply, then without further fanfare moved his teeth to the meat of Samothes’ shoulder and bit down hard. Too-sharp teeth penetrated easily into flesh, cut through sinew and muscle like a knife. Samot moaned as his mouth filled with blood. Samothes tasted like iron — of course, that's what blood tasted like, but it seemed remarkable all the same. Samothes gasped underneath him as Samot bit down harder — his mouth flooding with saliva in response to that decadent taste, that aching desire. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Samothes' hand clench into a fist against the pain, could feel the tightening of muscle under his teeth. Samot wanted to pull hard enough to separate sinew from bone — Samothes was all lean, hard muscle but Samot had never wanted the meat of any creature alive more.

Samot moved and bit down again. Samothes gasped — the pain was sharp and sudden when Samot’s teeth broke the skin, and then faded suddenly, giving away to an aching pleasure that suffused his mind, calmed him.

"Samot," Samothes said, softly.

Samot bit down harder and tore. Samothes cried out, twisting underneath Samot as he tried to suppress the urge to clap his hand over the wound, a ragged moan escaping his lips as he jerked his head to the side. Samot paused, savoring the taste, how it made him nearly dizzy with lust — he pulled back to study Samothes’ reaction, made sure Samothes was watching as he swallowed. Bloody flesh slid smoothly down his throat, and Samothes moaned, eyes fluttering. His flesh began to stitch itself back up instantly, and within seconds healed to unmarred skin, bloodstains the only evidence that there was ever a wound in the first place.

Samot wiped at his mouth with the base of his palm, and his hand came away bloody.

"You're a sight," Samothes said, softly. Blood — his own blood, Samothes thought — stood out stark against Samot's pale skin. Samot was swaying slightly where he straddled Samothes’ waist, and Samothes felt the absurd urge to try and steady him, even though he was still shaking himself. In the dim light, Samothes thought he could see his husband’s eyes flash violet behind his golden lashes.

“Careful,” Samot murmured.

It was a strange rush, to be hurt in this way, to allow himself to be harmed, to not struggle or push Samot away even as his husband smiled at him with a mouth full of pointed teeth — he loved Samot, loved the wolf that dwelled in his husband’s skin too, and tonight they would both succumb to it.

Samot licked his lips. Samothes was a god, and the shadow who was born to kill gods lived still inside Samot’s flesh, a vessel of materiality wrapped around an aching figment of Nothing. Samothes was a god and yet he tasted like any other animal.

“Close your eyes, my love.”

Samothes hesitated, but complied. Even with his eyes closed, Samot could see that his eyebrows were drawn together with anxiety. Samot leaned forward again and kissed along his jaw, still slowly moving his hips, mouthing sweet nothings against Samothes’ hot skin as he trailed his lips down to the crevice of his collarbone, seeking out another place to bite. His hands were flat against Samothes’ chest, and he felt that, in that moment, it would be so easy to sink his claws in and pry him open. “I love you so, so much,” Samot moaned, tearing over and over at Samothes’ shoulder with his teeth. Even as he ate, between chewing mouthfuls of sweet flesh, he mouthed words as he traced them on Samothes’ chest, Samot’s magic knitting tighter around them — something to suppress the pain, something to turn it into pleasure, something to slow the process of divine healing. Every bite drew forth a strangled cry, and Samot rode Samothes as he thrashed underneath him.

“It must be taking everything you have not to struggle,” Samot murmured, kissing Samothes again. Samot smiled to see Samothes’ expression as he panted for breath, his heaving chest and lidded eyes, his body covered with a thin sheen of sweat. “You’re so beautiful, my light — my undying fire,” Samot said, a playful smile flitting across his lips. He dug sharp claws into Samothes’ sternum, feeling a rush of both guilt and animal pleasure when he heard the bone crackle underneath. It was so effortless — was the king-god only human, after all?

Samothes cried out again, deep in his throat as he tried to suppress a prolonged scream, and he shook as he climaxed — Samot sighed with pleasure, warmth blooming where Samothes came inside him, and he shifted his hips slightly so that Samothes could slip out of him. He needed to move to get the proper leverage. He dug his claws in deeper. Samothes’ voice was already hoarse, and Samot cherished the sound of his ragged moans, and the sound of splintering bone as he carved Samothes’ chest open with his hands, peeling away skin and fat, tearing through bones with teeth and claws too sharp and too powerful for what his narrow human frame seemed capable of. He mouthed more words against Samothes’ jaw and his power, crackling like ice in the air around them, shifted again to hold Samothes in place. This was a more careful process, and Samot didn’t want a misplaced movement to ruin his pace.

His body ached with hunger. The taste of blood and flesh so dear to him was incredible — even as he pushed his hands into the wet warmth of Samothes’ abdominal cavity, he moved his mouth to Samothes’ arm and tore into the bicep — muscles that had held and carried him, and that now fed him. It seemed almost romantic. Samot ate, and he ate.

Under the influence of Samot’s magic Samothes could hardly process what exactly was happening to him — white-hot pain would erupt somewhere on his body, and then give way to a suffusive pleasure that flooded his senses, powerful enough to bring tears to his eyes. If Samot caught him with his eyes open he would urge him to shut them again, but a few times Samothes caught glimpses of his own ruined body, chunks of flesh missing, bones broken and visible. In his addled state it seemed more like a curiosity than anything else — he only craved the next bite, the next sensation. When he looked at Samot he looked more like a wolf every time.

And he was. Once Samot had pried open Samothes’ ribcage he didn’t need his hands anymore — the wolf’s muzzle offered him more reach, more teeth, a mouth more suitable for feasting. Pieces of blood-soaked sinew came out of Samothes’ chest with ease, and Samot chewed Samothes’ splintered ribs until he had licked them white and clean before hesitating with his open maw over Samothes’ heart. He had left Samothes’ organs in place, knowing that the freshness of his meal would be over quickly if he disrupted them, and in a way — he enjoyed watching the way Samothes’ breaths filled his lungs with air, the trembling of his beating heart… He dared to glance upwards. From the collarbone up Samothes looked simply at rest, eyes closed but still moving underneath his eyelids. Samot felt his heart twist with tenderness for his husband.

Samot opened his mouth wide and bit down. Samothes gasped and then let out a rattling wheeze as the breath left him, Samot having punctured the delicate membrane of his lungs with sharp teeth. With his final breaths Samothes managed to gasp out the whisper of Samot’s name before coughing up a mouthful of blood — that was alright. Samot would hear his voice again, soon enough. It would only be seconds before the flesh began to die, and Samot wished to hurry. Delicately, he closed his mouth around Samothes’ heart, still beating erratically. To feel it pulsating between his teeth felt so decadent, so intimate — Samot bit down, twisted, and the resistance was such that he had to sit back on his haunches and pull, and pull. Sinew strained, and the muscle spasmed weakly in his mouth before he had it, finally, pulled free of the cavity of Samothes’ body. As a wolf, Samot was large enough to swallow it whole.

It’s mine, isn’t it? My husband, my light, my love, my heart.

He swallowed. The organ slid wet and bloody down his throat, and settled heavy in his stomach.

And then he was human again. Samot sighed, finally sated as he sat back to look over his work. Samothes’ body — more of a carcass, really, half-devoured, bones picked clean in some places, the remaining flesh soaked with blood, head lolled lifelessly against the headboard — made a lovely sight before him. Samot knew very well that Samothes could recover even from this level of damage to his body, and lifted the magic he had put in place to slow the process of divine healing. He felt content, lazy with animal satisfaction, and simply sat back to watch the process, placing a hand inside the gore of Samothes’ ribcage and waiting as flesh began to stitch together around and beneath his fingers, devoured organs regenerating, broken bones becoming whole again, pushing his hand out and away, until it once again rested on the unmarred surface of Samothes’ chest. Samot almost wished it had left a scar, something to mark the occasion.

He knew it was over when he heard Samothes let out a long breath. Samot raised his eyes to see his husband whole again, breathing heavily, and gazing at Samot with some mixture of confusion and concern.

“Are you alright?” Samothes asked, even though he was the one who had been reduced to blood and bone mere seconds ago.

Samot blinked, and then let out a short, breathy laugh. “Of course I am, you fool — what about you, are you—”

Samot moved quickly to sit beside Samothes, and the tension broke as Samothes fell into his arms, toppling over weakly to rest his head in Samot’s lap. Samot’s hands were instantly clean of blood, his claws returned to well-kempt fingernails before he began to card them through Samothes’ hair, leaning forward to murmur reassurances into his ear.

“I love you, I love you so much,” Samot murmured, running his hands over Samothes’s skin and kissing the side of his head. “Thank you for taking such good care of me.”

Samothes laughed weakly. He was still shaking, but turned over slightly in Samot’s lap so that he could look at his husband and raise a hand to touch his face. “I would do anything for you.”

“I know, my love, I know — I’ve never known anything more. There is nothing more certain in my life than you. Can you stand? Let’s clean up.”

Later, both of them clean in a warm bath, Samot knew that the wolf’s hunger, the shadow’s hunger, was sated, at least for the moment. Samothes spoke idly about loose ideas for some invention or another he would work on in the morning, his head rested affectionately against Samot’s shoulder. His body, pristine and whole again. It was as if nothing had happened. The only evidence was the satisfaction in Samot’s body, and when Samothes leaned in close he wondered if he couldn’t hear Samothes’ heart beating in his stomach.

That was alright. A good husband would keep you fed — they both knew that.