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The Appearance Of Desire

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The warm breeze brushed against her cheek, softly ruffling her hair and invigorating her senses. She had always liked the excitement of the wind, the sensation of restlessness and endless possibilities. She steadied herself against the sudden bump as Mama Hawk trotted over a hillock, feeling rough stone tiles, scratchy lichen and spongy moss under her fingertips. Meliodas really needed to give this roof a good clean.

Merlin sighed as she scanned the horizon, watching the shadows gradually lengthen as the sun sank into the west. The Commandments had been revived, that was true, but she and the other Sins were on their way to Istar. It would not be long before they met up with the druids and gained the strength to match the demons, however powerful their foes might be.

Yet Merlin wished she knew what was agitating her so. Of course, she could take the demons on by herself any time. She hid the extent of her power, knowing that her comrades would feel unease if she showed her true hand, but that did not mean she would not annihilate the Commandments single handed if she had to.

Perhaps it was that which was the cause of the problem. Not for the first time, Merlin cast her mind back across centuries and millennia, back to a room in the demon king’s castle with a large chaise, over which had sprawled Estarossa. It was not something she wanted to do, but despite her many years it was one of the best examples of such an encounter she had to call on. She shook her head crossly as she remembered that day, and the way she had practically begged him to take her virginity. It was enough to bring a flush to her cheeks.

And yet… truth be told, Merlin had enjoyed the occasion. Estarossa was vulgar certainly, not to mention rude and conceited and generally an arrogant piece of shit. But he was undeniably attractive with his strong, muscular arms, toned chest and abs, and even the memory of the smirk on his face made her feel weak at the knees. With a snarl, she pushed the image away, determining to put the demon right out of her mind. He was a one off, a mistake, and nothing more.

Besides, he had nothing on Escanor. The blush which had heated her face deepened to a deep crimson as Merlin allowed herself to think of the Sin of Pride. Not at noon of course - he was far too monstrous a being at that hour - nor yet past evening when he was as feeble as any human who had ever drawn breath. But at four in the afternoon…

Merlin’s thoughts drifted to unblemished skin of burnished bronze, to piercing blue eyes and an adoring expression. She had never really been sure how she felt about Escanor, not when they fought alongside one another as colleagues and practically lived in each other’s pockets, but now that they had been apart for so many years she could hardly deny it. He was attractive and, as much as it pained her to admit it to herself, she thought of him more often than she would have wished.

Annoyed with herself, Merlin sprang to her feet, determined to rejoin the others in The Boar Hat. But then she felt the wind shift, the sky darkening in a way that had nothing to do with the coming of night. She drew herself up instantly, calling her powers to the ready, Aldan hovering above her hand as Estarossa swept towards her out of the sky, his dark wings retracting into his form has he landed without a sound on the Boar Hat roof.

“Are you alone?” he drawled, the smirk she remembered so well creeping over his lips. “Good,” he continued before she could answer. “I had hoped to find you here.”

“Get away from me, this instant.” Merlin drew herself up to her full height but, to her intense irritation, still Estarossa towered over her. The air crackled with her power as she added, “If you do not return to whatever hole you have crawled from, I swear…”

“Don’t make promises you have no intention of keeping. This faux hostility of yours is extremely dull.” Estarossa rolled his eyes as he stepped towards her, towering over Merlin and pressing into her personal space. “You know, when I had a look around that city of yours, Liones or whatever it’s called. And yes that was me,” he said with some menace, “I saw a number of things when I looked at you all after the doll knocked most of you out. And one of them was that you are incredibly lonely, locked away in your lab with no one to talk to but that brother of mine who cares nothing for you. How long is it since you experienced any romance?”

Merlin’s mouth popped open as she glared at the demon, feeling her breathing quicken and a little heat flood into her cheeks. But no, she would give this brute the satisfaction of seeing her rattled. With a snort of derision, she growled, “I will ignore your attempts to be deliberately insulting. We both know I could destroy you in any test of our strength. If you do not wish to end up as a pile of ash, I suggest you leave. Now!”

“You always did talk too much,” Estarossa groaned, and made absolutely not move at all to depart. “Listen, I have come to offer you… let’s say an arrangement. You have needs, I know that more than most,” he murmured as he wrapped an arm round her waist and, despite herself, Merlin melted into his touch.

“What sort of arrangement?” Merlin managed to stutter, emotions warring in her breast as she shuddered with both desire and revulsion.

“Well, I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” Estarossa leaned in towards her, whispering directly into her ear. “I know all about the human you long for. I can help you out with that. Give you some… gratification until you see him again.”

Merlin considered reaching out to slap the self-satisfied face looming over her, but the pull of his voice, the memory of the way he had moved inside her all those millennia ago, the curiosity that burned as she wondered what he would be like now he had attained his Commandment, was all just a little too much to resist. Misgiving burrowed like a tick into her thoughts, but she determined to push them aside as she allowed the demon to blow along the shell of her ear. In this moment, she wanted this, wanted him.

Before she could change her mind, Merlin stretched upwards to wrap her arms around Estarossa’s neck. He responded instantly, folding her into a close embrace as he pressed his mouth on hers, sucking gently on her lower lip as she sighed against him. He tasted the same, cloves and cinnamon and something heady like musk, and she eagerly opened her mouth so he could swirl his tongue inside her, the sensation of lava running along her spine enough to firm her resolve.

“There’s one condition,” Estarossa panted as he pulled away, Merlin almost squeaking in protest.

“What?” she demanded, her temper threatening to explode.

Estarossa paused and Merlin looked at him carefully, noting with interest the way he seemed to struggle to speak. “Do you remember the first time?” he rasped out as he ran his fingers through her hair. “You said… you mentioned…”

“Spit it out, Estarossa,” Merlin commanded as the demon ground to a halt. “We don’t have all day.”

“You said you could look like her .”

His breathing was ragged, his muscles tensed and dark eyes slightly crazed and Merlin gasped as she caught on to his meaning. “You want me to make myself look like Elizabeth?” she practically yelled, a bark of laughter escaping her as she saw the demon flinch with embarrassment. “The mighty Estarossa, wanting something he cannot have. That makes a change.” Her laughter turned cruel as she watched him squirm before his face contorted with his irritation.

“If you won’t, the deal’s off,” he ground out through clenched teeth. “It makes no odds to me. I can sleep with whoever I want. If I wanted a quick lay, you would be the last woman on my mind. But I want her and you are the closest I’m going to get. So, what’s it to be, mage? Do you want in or out?”

A smile curved across Merlin’s lips. “It could be interesting, I suppose,” she mused as she watched the demon before her, knowing she had him completely in her power. If she agreed, he would be in her debt forever, a strong enough motive to entertain his suggestion. Plus if it kept him away from the goddess, so much the better. “Very well,” she said loftily, enjoying the look of surprise that crossed Estarossa’s features. “But I have a condition too. I also want to… change your appearance. I trust in the circumstances that will be acceptable to you.”

“Agreed.” With that word Merlin’s smile grew broad, and she felt her form shift and change as she released her powers. Her dark hair grew thicker, longer, the silver strands glowing with the light of the stars and she watched as her skin grew more creamy, her body more curvy, her purple gown replaced with a simple white tunic and illustrious wings. She looked at Estarossa, who now resembled a puppy in heat, his gaze at her greedy and unmistakably lascivious, and the power she felt knowing he would do whatever was her command made her heart thrum with triumph and her head spin.

It was not a second later that she was in his embrace and he was kissing her fiercely and, unexpectedly, tenderly. He really loves her she thought to herself as he almost reverently ran his hands over her shoulders, down her arms, his every move careful, as if she were made of china.

Suddenly flooded with pity, Merlin reached up to cup the demon’s face, weaving her fingers into his hair. “Elizabeth,” he gasped as she ran her other hand down his chest, trailing her nails lightly over the exposed skin. “Are you sure… are you sure you want his?” he gulped as he peered into Merlin’s face. “I love you. I don’t want to hurt you.”

“I’m sure,” she replied, amused to hear Elizabeth’s gentle voice floating on the breeze. “I want you,” she whispered. Immediately, Estarossa descended on her mouth, sucking greedily on her as he moaned, the very air electric with his desire and need. His kiss was dark, intense, full of emotion and softness and Merlin let herself respond in kind. It was so different to their first time together, which had been nothing but selfishness from both her and him.

Lost in the taste of him, Merlin quickly cast another spell, keeping her eyes squeezed shut as Estarossa continued to kiss her, willing her magic to do as she bid. To her relief, she felt the chest under her palm expand, her partner’s sounds of contentment changing, growing deeper as she returned his kiss. She opened her eyes, her heart fluttering like a bird as bronzed skin and a handsome face with a tawny moustache honed into view, the dark blue suit replaced with a torn white shirt and brown trousers. All at once she felt her core throb with desire, her need for Escanor so sharp she could taste it.

Suddenly frustrated at the slow pace the other had set, she ran her hands down his torso, making quick work of the buckle of his belt. She grasped at the throbbing shaft, running her palm from the base to the tip. Escanor gave a stifled yelp, before thrusting shamelessly into her hand, and she could feel his member thickening under her touch.

Estarossa moaned with abandon as Elizabeth gazed at him with soft blue eyes, her touch like silk as she caressed his length. It was all he had ever wanted, all he had dreamed of as he had watched her and Meliodas lying in the grass, their arms wrapped around one another as they brought each other to ecstasy. She was here, and she was his, only his. Part of his brain warned him that this was the mage but he forced the thought out of his mind. It was of course Merlin with him, the shrewish chit with more brains than sense, but he would not let himself think of that. He would focus on Elizabeth and the way she stroked him to ecstasy as she flashed him her beautiful smile.

He waited until he could take it no longer. On the point of tipping over from need to oblivion, Estarossa grasped at Elizabeth’s hips, carefully settling her back on the tiles of the roof. She startled with the suddenness of his movement, and he grinned to himself as he pulled down her panties and spread her legs wide, the breath catching in his lungs to see her folds slick and flushed, laid out invitingly for him and him alone.

He dipped down to taste her, groaning as the aroma of thyme and sage filled his senses. It was not what he expected, but yet he lapped at her mound, lavishing her with all he had ever wanted to give her, ignoring his own throbbing need as he swirled his tongue over her pearl and she keened in delight. The feel of her fingers tugging at his hair was delicious, wonderful and he redoubled his efforts, wanting to give the goddess everything and more, needing to see her find bliss because of him, and not his brother. His breathing quickened as Elizabeth responded, her cries growing in intensity as she approached her end.

It was heaven. Merlin gazed down at the man between her legs, watching as Escanor lavished her with such dedication. He would be a considerate partner of course; he has always given the signs of being an ardent lover, with his sweet attempts at poetry and his constant attention. Her eyes fluttered closed as Escanor lapped at her unceasingly, surrendering to the sensations, gasping as the pleasure pulsing through her body grew and strengthened, her thoughts scattered on the wind as she fell over the edge. For the first time for many years, her mind lay idle, free from the drive to discover and know. Escanor moved his hands gently over her thighs, helping her come gently down from the high he had given her.

He wanted her more than ever. Watching her moaning quietly, an arm over her eyes, knowing that it was he who had brought her that pleasure, caused a fire to burst into life inside him. Now she was sated, Estarossa felt the strain of his cock as it pulsed, his mouth dry and the words stuck in his throat as he simply stared and stared at Elizabeth, committing every sight and sound to memory. I love you he thought, but gave no sound to the words, at the back of his mind knowing that it would be unwise to show his vulnerability.

His heart beats quickened as Elizabeth sat up on her knees, her legs folded prettily under her. His eyes widen as she reaches once more for him, pulling down his trousers and he gives a low moan as his length is freed from its confinement. His moans turn into sighs as Elizabeth takes him in hand, wrapping her lips around him and swirling her tongue over the head. He forced his hips to stay still, to treat the goddess with care, electricity running through his veins as he watched her working over him, her beautiful wings quivering with her movements and her eyes fixed on him. He reaches down to run his fingers through her hair, the silk of it heightening his pleasure as Elizabeth took more and more of him into her mouth.

The way Escanor was responding caused triumph to bloom in Merlin’s breast. She had wondered what he would look like, as she kissed and caressed him, as she ran her tongue along the thick vein which pulsed along the underside of his length. Beads of flavour dropped into her mouth, and she frowned at the taste of cloves, not expecting this from the human she cared for and admired. But the trembling of his the muscles in his thighs, the way he so gently stroked her hair, pushes her doubts aside and she swallows hard, sucking with pressure as Escanor groaned in abandon. He was close, so close, and she quickened her pace as she felt the God of a human hit the back of her throat.

Estarossa felt his knees nearly give way as he erupted, his vision fading to white as Elizabeth swallowed eagerly around him. The hand resting on her head moved down to her wings, the downy softness and strong, proud stems of her feathers grounding him back in reality. As the waves of pleasure subsided, he knelt down beside her, then he helped Elizabeth lie back once more, nuzzling into her neck as he peppered her with kisses. Her hands drew patterns on the back of his neck, pulling him closer to her, and he melted into her hold.

It was not long before the goddess was once more panting under him, returning his passionate kisses with an equal ferocity. It was without thought that he ran his hard length over her folds, his longing for Elizabeth soaring to new heights as she clung to his shirt and wrapped her legs around her. He entered her carefully, watching to see the ecstasy wash over her face as he braced himself on the fired clay tiles. He had lost count of the number of years he had dreamed of having her like this, every moment of his time in the seal lost in dreams of her. It was everything to him to see her flushed skin, the way she bit her lip as she tugged him towards her. Yet he forced himself to move at a steady pace, sweat beading his forehead as dragged out her pleasure, never wanting the moment to end.

Merlin sighed, biting her lip hard to prevent from crying out as Escanor moved so attentively over her. She clung to him, pulling him towards her, letting forth a cry as he ran his teeth lightly over her skin, moving her clothing so that he could knead her breasts. Was this not all she had hoped it would be? Her and Escanor, together, no cold words, no teasing. It was how it would be if she did not push him away. Her mind flew back to the many occasions they had spent together; she had put him off, knowing that his mortality, his closeness to death while she was destined to live in perpetuity should be enough of a deterrent for both of them. But here, as he moved with her, she found she could not care. She wanted him with a earnest desire unmatched by logic.

But the pace, delicious as it was, was entirely frustrating. Merlin rocked against him and Escanor shouted out as she quickened the pace to something like a frenzy. Sensitive from his earlier attentions, Merlin swiftly felt her orgasm building, her eyes fluttering closed as the waves of pleasure hit. Escanor tumbled over soon after, filling her with a satisfying gush as he too succumbed.

When she opened her eyes, Estarossa lay above her and she felt every nerve in her body shake with disgust. She moved from under him, taking some satisfaction in his slightly pained wince as he pulled out, and the look of horror that crossed his features before it settled into a sullen pout. Without speaking, he quickly pulled his clothing about him, hiding all signs of their activity as she did the same.

“The next time I set eyes on you, I will kill you,” Merlin spat as she turned away, determined not to give the demon the satisfaction of looking him in the eye.

She heard the snort he gave in response. “That’s my line, I think you’ll find,” he ground out, “particularly if you fall prey to my Commandment…”

“Fuck. Off!” she yelled, and she whipped round towards him to see Estarossa, wings spread, speed away from the Boar Hat. She watched his retreating form until he just a speck on the horizon; night had fallen as they had lain together and the deep blue of the sky was studied with stars, Britannia’s verdant landscape washed silver in the light of the moon. As his form grew smaller until she could see nothing of him at all, Merlin sat heaving back down on the roof, her throat stinging as her insides churned with regret. “I’m sorry, Escanor. I love you,” she whispered, her soft words floating away on the breeze.