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It's All In The Wrist

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    They’d been going over the seemingly endless stream of items for half an hour now and it was becoming dull. The Merchant sniffed disinterestedly, shifting from foot to foot as Patches produced a few new objects from his pockets with a showman’s flair, each one more unhelpful than the last.

    “I told you, I’m not interested. I’m trying to hawk things myself, do you really think I’d want whatever detritus you've got?”

    Shrugging nonchalantly, Patches stuffed everything back from whence it came and ambled a little closer. Something about his ease made the Merchant uncomfortable, though he was not sure why. Patches was not a large man, even from regular men’s standard, his arms and legs skinny, and his armor was flimsy. Yet even with all that his skin remained unblemished, his clothing clean and without sign of having been mended. Any man who would make it this far up the Fortress without a scratch was someone to be avoided. Unfortunately that nagging little part of the Merchant that desperately clung to any interaction with those yet to hollow kept him from outright refusing the company, and so he dug into his own satchel and produced a handful of rings and ores to present rather unceremoniously to the man. Patches did seem to like that, his eyes lighting up.

    “Oh-ho! So I see, bruv, you’ve got a good thing going.”

    He came in very close, inspecting as well as one could without touching, and the Merchant resisted the urge to back himself further into his corner.

    “Those rings, especially. What glimmer!”

    Clearing is throat, the Merchant started, “They’re protective-”

    “Oh I know what they are.”

    Patches waved him off.

    “Perhaps we could arrange some kind of trade, hm?”

    His eyes were growing a little too large. The Merchant closed his fist around the cache.

    “I told you, I don't want any of your wares. If you’re just here to haggle, leave off.”

    It was easy enough to say, but inside his pulse caught a bit at the thought of again being alone. Patches straightened up, brushing down the hem of his tunic as he collected himself.

    “Fine, fine, I understand, a fella’s gotta work hard to keep his souls about him, after all.”

    He turned away, and the Merchant’s heart sank while at the same time he released a stiff breath. But Patches was not done.

    “Even so, there must be something I can offer you.”

    Now he was being dramatic again. The Merchant watched with vague confusion as Patches strut to and fro a moment, tapping his chin cartoonishly as he thought. Then he made a fist and smacked it to his palm decisively.

    “Ah, I do have one thing.”

    He spun back to the Merchant and snapped his fingers. As he did so he opened his hand and, seemingly from nowhere, a black burst ignited. The Merchant could not help but gape as a puff of humanity solidified within Patches’ palm. Recognizing his look well, Patches’ grin turned toothy.

    “There we go. Interested now, aren't you?”

    The Merchant swallowed thickly. It had been so long since he had found some of the dark soul, too long. Every day his mind grew a little more foggy, his memories a little further away. It was terrifying, the kind of fear that was truly unspeakable both in its name and nature, and seeing that wisp of clarity in Patches’ grasp was like catching a glimpse of land after years at sea. He had to steel himself to keep from rushing forwards and grabbing for it, every instinct inside himself aching to take in the humanity. A small, evil part of himself, one he tried his best to ignore, had an even worse hunger, gnawing at the base of his neck.

    “Hows about I give you this in exchange for a couple of those pretty rings, hm?”

    The Merchant nodded, mouth dry.

    “Fine. F-fine, whatever you'd like.”

    Or he could just take it. Bash Patches brains out across the stone wall, maybe even manage to suck some of the darkness out of him as he died. He shook the thought from his mind. No, he was better than that. He was.

    “I dunno,” but now Patches knew he had the upper hand, and he was milking it, “this is worth quite a lot. Was a real hassle to get, as well. You know how it is, I'm sure.”

    He did. Like a starved dog, he watched every movement Patches made intensely, muscles wound tight and ready to spring the moment he was given the sign.

    “Perhaps you could offer me a little something extra, to sweeten the deal?”

    Blindly the Merchant began digging in his bag for more, ores, a dagger, whatever he had, but Patches again stopped him, this time holding up his free hand as a physical sign.

    “Nothing like that, luv, don't worry. Only a little favor, nothing more.”

    By now the Merchant was hunched over a bit, heart racing as it hadn't done in months, years. He would have gotten to his knees and crawled if asked, begged like an urchin. Anything to stave off the nothingness.

    “What?”

    Patches smiled cruelly.

    “It does get lonely for us Undead outcasts, doesn't it?”

    The Merchant had no idea what he meant. He could hardly stand to think, not when being tantalized so. He just stared at him.

    “All I’m asking is a little closeness, if you catch my meaning.”

    It took him a while, but he did.

    “Now wait a minute, I…”

    He trailed off, realizing he didn't really have any good reason to object, but he had to anyways. Despite everything he still had some pride, didn't he? He was not sure he’d earned it, honestly, but still, the thought of laying with this man was not exactly appetizing.

    Patches retracted his hand, the humanity flickering away, and the Merchant nearly cried out.

    “That's fair, luv, if you don't need it that badly I suppose I cant force you.”

    He did, though, and the Merchant stepped forward, torn between pleading and murdering him on the spot.

    “Alright!” he said, “Yes, yes, alright, just tell me what you want me to do.”

    Leaning back against the table, Patches waved a hand at him lazily. It occurred to the Merchant that perhaps he had known all along exactly what cards he held, but that thought was one he didn't have time to process properly.

    “Well, for starters, lets see your pink bits.”

    That was not a way in which the Merchant had ever been previously propositioned, and he was not exactly sure how to proceed. The consideration was made harder still by knowing that humanity was still there, even if he could no longer see it. There was a way in which all Undead knew when they were in the presence of a dark soul, not quite by scent or sound or taste, but at the same time like all of them, and then some, a sense that did not exist until the day they had awoken with the dark mark branded upon them, and he could sense it now, wherever it was hiding, an extra burst of human essence somewhere about Patches’ person. He had indeed sensed it the moment Patches had arrived in his little hideout, but he had assumed, at the time, that it was simply an extension of Patches himself, as despite clearly being Undead the man was also quite well put together, his skin healthy and pink, his eyes bright and sharp. Knowing now, as he did, that this was a quality he himself could actually take and possess, however, was something else.

    “You want me to,” he licked his lips, trying to make sense of the request, “undress myself?”

    “That's a good lad.”

    Patches crossed his legs at the ankle, relaxed and full of himself. The Merchant might have hated him, if he had the mind to. Instead he began fiddling with the belt around his waist, terribly embarrassed and not at all able to stop himself. It was a lengthy process, one he had not completed in years now, not since long before he’d ever set foot inside this cursed tower with his brothers in arms, when they'd all still had hope and courage and each other’s company for fortify them. Out of practice, he fumbled over the clasps and hooks, trying his best to remember where each one was and how they worked, until his faulds fell to the floor with a loud clatter that made him flinch.

    “Come on,” Patches urged, “show us the rest.”

    The Merchant was fidgeting again, moving his weight back and forth between his feet.

    “You'll give me that humanity, right? When we’re done, I mean?”

    “Yes, yes, of course,” Patches muttered, gesturing, “get your pants off!”

    He was far from nude, still clothed in his tunic and underclothes, breastplate and all, but he felt immensely uncomfortable under Patches’ scrutiny. It was not that Patches himself was particularly threatening, but that the Merchant was unused to being looked at now, not by anyone with such clear, open eyes. Beyond that, he had not been undressed in years, not fully, and not around another soul. Not since his brothers in arms had fallen one by one to the treachery of Londor, til only a handful of them were left, preparing to take on that awful giant, and he, he had-

    “Come on, come on!”

    Patches clapped his hands, snapping the Merchant out of his reverie.

    “You're not so sweet looking as to keep my cockstand by face alone.”

    The Merchant grasped the edge of his gambeson.

    “If you break your promise, I swear to you now, you will never again see the light of day,” he growled, finding the fastener to his trousers. Patches’ smile grew. Pulling them undone, the Merchant slowly inched the fabric down to his knees, where his greaves prevented any further decent. He looked up at Patches from where he crouched, almost daring him to make a further demand.

    “Oh, that's nice,” Patches said, leaning back so that the Merchant could easily see the swelling in his groin, “show me what you've got on under there.”

    Lifting the edge of his skirts felt like lifting lead, tempting his muscles to quiver. He was still wearing his underthings, ratty as they had become with age, but the shame of being made to expose himself in such a manner was as frustrating as it was nerve wracking. Patches whistled lowly.

    “Look at you!”

    The Merchant resisted the urge to drop his tunic and rush the man. It was not worth the toll it would take on his humanity. He had to remind himself of this, over and over, as Patches leaned close again to take it all in.

    Patches wasn't sure how long this princess had stayed locked in his tower, but it hadn't had any effect on his figure, from what he could tell. The Merchant’s thighs were as thick as tree trunks, lined with taut muscle, hardly even scarred, and at the intersection of those thighs was a sight still more delightful. Barely contained by the threadbare fabric of his short braies, the Merchant’s substantial girth bulged out proudly, despite him being clearly less than enthused by the situation. His prick was so long he’d had to tuck it down the leg of his under clothes, looking particularly lewd after the years had eaten away at the cloth, giving just the faintest flash of pink here and there. He couldn't wait to get his hands on it, make this statuesque whistle bait squirm for him.

    “I’d always wondered if you Berenike’s were proportional,” he sneered. The Merchant balked, frowning deeply.

    “I don't recall agreeing to let you have a laugh at my expense.”

    Patches shrugged.

    “You don't have to do anything if you really don't want what I'm peddling.”

    The Merchant began to shift again, looking away, and Patches knew he had him.

    “Besides, luv, I’m not making fun. I mean it, I really do. Look at that pretty prick of yours, stuffed in there alone so long. Don't you want to set him free?”

    He really did not. The more things progressed, the slimier his guest appeared, but at the same time he knew damn well he was never going to say no. with a little grunt of acquiescence, the Merchant again bent low and this time dropped his braies, barely holding together as they sunk to puddle in his trousers.

    “There,” he snapped, unable to look Patches in the eye.

    While not at all excited himself, the Merchant’s cock was still a lovely sight, his balls heavy and hanging low between his thighs, long unspent. Patches had to resist hooting like the low class mongrel he was, dick jumping to attention. A body like this deserved to be attended to on the hour, not left alone and hidden in some dusty tower for the snakes to pick at. He was almost pressed to take his teasing further, ask if any of the nasty things had ever tried to get a leg over, but he knew he was stretching his luck as it was. This man might be meek in temperament now, but the hunger in his eyes was real. Trying to get a fuck off anyone this close to hollowing was asking for the inevitable bloody results, but Patches was more than familiar with the type. If worse came to worse, he’d gut the man, now that his soft bits were exposed, and get his rocks off while the corpse was still warm.

    Not enjoying the long stretch of silence as Patches just sat there with a growing bulge in his trousers as he ogled him, the Merchant cleared his throat.

    “Do you want me to actually do anything or am I to stand here til you mess yourself?”

    Patches guffawed at that, slapping his thigh.

    “Don't be such a crab, luv! I’m only appreciating the natural beauty on display.”

    He gestured to the Merchant’s bare crotch, as if he needed reminding.

    “Besides, while we’re here, hows about you give me a little show, hm?”

    The Merchant stared at him dumbly. Patches made a loose jerking motion towards his own crotch.

    “Get yourself hard, mate. Play around a little.”

    This was just adding insult to injury. The Merchant had half a mind to tell him to go shove it, that his dignity was worth more than this. Instead, he dropped his arms to his sides, flexing his fingers.

    “You want me to…” he bit his lip, already worried raw, and tentatively reached for his prick.

    Entirely unsure of himself, the Merchant wrapped his fingers around his flaccid length for the first time in longer than he could recall, and was immediately a little shocked by the sensation. It was not as though he had been particularly virginal before, nor was he a stranger to the routine of self pleasure, but the feeling, right now, when all his senses were primed with need for what Patches had, when fear and anguish had worn him down so low, was like being dunked into ice water, or set alight. He actually hunched over a bit, as if to defend himself from his own touch, shaken. Still, Patches sat there waiting, a look of total control smugly glowing cheek to cheek. The Merchant’s soul rumbled with hunger.

    Carefully, so as not to further frighten himself and ruin his chances at survival, the Merchant again grasped for his cock, this time holding it firmly in his palm. His gloves were rough and dry, banded by the metal of his gauntlets, but having something other than rotten cloth caress him was unnervingly pleasant. More curious than anything, he stroked himself once, briefly, remembering now the action of it, and reached down to cup his balls.

    “That's a good boy,” Patches said, almost unnoticed by the Merchant, “been a long time, hasn't it?”

    Too far along to deny he’d committed to it, he spat in his hand, twice, as the first time he produced nearly nothing, and tried to start a rhythm that would get the result Patches wanted fastest. He was clumsy, feeling almost numb in his fingers. If he didn't think about it, he could get himself hard, he was sure. Keeping his eyes shut tight, hoping to avoid losing whatever mild heat he managed to dredge up, the Merchant tried to keep his breathing steady, so that his heart might stop trying to break from his chest, and to remember the last time he had done this. It really had been a very long time, before he had been abandoned here. Only he wasn't abandoned, was he, because he had chosen to stay behind, a coward, too afraid to face what lay ahead, to watch as even Tarkus-

    Tarkus had held him like this, stroked his cock with his gnarled, hot hands. While the exact specifics of his technique were long forgotten, the Merchant knew it had happened, that it had brought him pleasure, and he thought he could see it, if he closed his eyes hard enough. The way Tarkus had pushed him against the wall and frigged his cock with firm, honest strokes. They had done more, as well, entangled together, their muscles flush and shining with sweat, rutting against one another. His cock had been massive. If he thought very hard, the Merchant could see him, as he had been then, dark and powerful as he pushed apart the Merchant’s legs and fucked him raw. In sympathy with the memory, the Merchant’s gut wound tight, his cock beginning to stand on its own.

    Yes, he’d fucked him hard, and often, perhaps with even kinder intentions than ‘fuck’ might imply. He was short for a man of their country but massively strong, and when he’d bent the Merchant over he had proven it beyond a doubt. How he’d slammed into him, until the Merchant’s legs could hardly carry him for days after, so that his balls were sore from cumming, and everyone knew exactly what they had been up to and how hot it had curled inside him. This, too, awakened something in the Merchant’s body now, a throb inside his ass as he recalled how wide he had once been stretched. With a low moan, the Merchant truly began to stroke himself in earnest, like Patches wasn't there at all, and Black Iron Tarkus was, and the world was not yet so empty and cold.

    Of course, Patches was there, hardly able to contain his glee at seeing the Merchant come apart at his own touch. There was no sell as easy as a desperate one, and this poor sod had it written all over him. He'd been hard and trembling almost as soon as he’d taken himself to hand, clearly engrossed in some fantasy, some forgotten pleasure made larger than life by his hollowing mind. Though much of his body was still concealed, Patches could see the tendons in his thighs stiffen, the energy in those muscles coming to life again. A little too much, in fact; if he did not remind his customer of their positions soon, he might find himself left behind entirely.

    “Slow down there, luv! I know I’m a right catch, but we don't want you popping off early, yeah?”

    The Merchant did not falter, but he did slow down some, eyes opening again with a bit of a start.

    “Sh-shut up.”

    “Hey now,” said Patches, standing upright again, “that's no way to speak to the man offering you such a rare and valuable commodity.”

    Seeing his approach, the Merchant reluctantly brought his movements to a halt, though his hand remained tight around his shaft, straightening up some. It was clear he’d brought himself close fast, precum already beading the tip of his deeply flushed cockhead. Lazily rolling his shoulders, as if this was not the first time he was about to get properly laid in more years than he could count on a hand, Patches swaggered within throttling distance of his lovely giant squeeze and gave him a saucy smirk.

    “I think its time you showed me a little gratitude.”

    Stiff and unmoving, the Merchant had to struggle with himself to keep his embarrassment from showing. He really had lost himself in the fantasy for a moment, and it genuinely frightened him. The physical side of it too seemed more intense than he could ever remember it being, even alone, the touch of pleasure after so much pain staggeringly strong. Despite his shame regarding their positions, he could not remove his hand from his cock. The hunger inside his stomach was clawing at him, throbbing, to that he could feel his heartbeat through the palm of his hand where he gripped himself.

    “Well,” he grumbled, “what, then?”

    Patches gestured to the table he had just been leaning against.

    “You've got legs for days, but it leaves me at a bit of a disadvantage. Show me that pretty arse of yours.”

    He seemed like he wanted to complain further, but resisted the urge, finally relinquishing his grip on his cock to cross his arms over his chest anxiously as he strode over to face the table. Getting to see those healthy thighs bared in motion was worth the short stride alone, Patches already making plans as he watched the Merchant’s prick bob with each step. He reached the table and bent over it, placing his hands firmly on the wood. He had not chosen a particularly revealing pose, still stiff kneed and at a height awkward for Patches to reach, but he could work with that.

    “Wider,” Patches chided, coming over and finally laying his hands on the Merchant directly, grabbing two appreciative handfuls of his muscular ass and prodding his toe against the Merchant’s boot to indicate the desired position. Grumbling but not fighting it, the Merchant spread his legs a bit as requested, the two of them taking a moment to indulge in a silent game where Patches continued to request more of him and he refused to move more than an inch or so at a time. It was almost petty enough for the Merchant to ignore the warm, living darkness he could feel wafting off Patches at his back, so close now he could nearly taste the softness of humanity. Even the clammy heat of Patches’ sticky palms on his buttocks could not distract him from that cloying need.

    When he reached a position that was satisfying enough, Patches took his time observing his catch. The Merchant was even more sumptuous from behind, with a thick, meaty bottom and his now fully exposed balls hanging below. Spoiled for choice, Patches almost felt paralyzed by indecision, though that could partly be blamed upon all the blood in his brain having traveled elsewhere. He pried apart the Merchant’s buttocks gleefully. The Merchant failed to stifle his little gasp, having been expecting it but still unprepared. He looked delicious, standing there nervously swaying his hips, his pink hole ripe and long untouched. If he squinted, Patches was sure he could see it quiver. He really couldn't be faulted for his desire in this case, not when the Merchant was such a clearly willing slut. Whether they admitted to it or not, Patches had an eye for picking out those among the throngs of dull and simple people who, while still dull and simple, possessed secret lewd qualities that elevated them above the average sucker in his eyes.

    With no warning, Patches dove right in. The Merchant jumped, nearly kicking out of reflex, mortified as Patches shoved his face in close and lapped across his asshole. It was not a cautious mouthing either, but a full on attack upon his sensitive skin, Patches closing his lips around the ring of muscle and suckling at it with keen precision. He had to brace himself against the table to keep from collapsing, the strange wet sensation wriggling inside of him far more intense than he had anticipated. His cock jumped between his legs, liquid fire running in his veins.

    “S-slow down!”

    He didn't really have any place asking this now, and Patches ignored him. He was a big, strong man; if he’d really wanted out, he could refuse at any time. Using his thumbs to pull the Merchant’s hole wider apart, Patches thrust his tongue in and out, relishing in the long-empty heat. While strong he was, the Merchant was sensitive, twitching and jolting around him every time he passed over some new tender spot. Every now and then he drew away to lick across the outside almost chastely, giving them both just enough of a break to let the Merchant feel how cold and empty he was without him before returning to probe him open a little more. It was almost surprising how quickly he reacted to the tease, even with his dick already hard, a solider boy like this. Within minutes he was breathing hard, almost whining if one listened closely enough, pushing back into every lap of his tongue. His hole opened easily, relaxed and wanting, clearly having been trained before by some lucky sod Patches would say a prayer for later. Without a single ounce of self consciousness, he set about turning this ass into a sloppy mess.

    Patches was a man of patience. His games, both benign and malignant, were played slowly and carefully, with the end always in mind. While the variables changed, the rules never did, and he’d had centuries to perfect his hand. Unhurried, he let the Merchant’s pleasure grow slowly, laving inside him and then pulling back before it became too good, very rarely rubbing one of his fingers down the crack of the Merchant’s ass to swirl about his wet hole before going back to licking like a cat at the cream. Perhaps as patient as he was, but more likely too proud and ashamed to admit he was feeling it, the Merchant kept his lips tight, only ever being bested by his moans when a particular spot was rubbed just the right way, or Patches’ hands strayed low enough to tickle his perineum, almost but never quite grazing his balls. In the brief moments when he’d pull back to catch his breath, he could see the way the Merchant’s fat cock visibly throbbed, lonely from being left untouched. It was immensely tempting, but he wanted to see how far he could push the Merchant before he broke, and given how quickly he seemed ready to spend himself earlier it seemed like his tool was off limits for now.

    The Merchant did not understand why Patches was playing with him for so long. While it had been easy to distance himself from the situation in his own failing mind when he been alone, it proved much more difficult with someone else’s hands and tongue on and in him. The Merchant had assumed that Patches simply intended to get a little show before plugging him, but now he was taking his time working him up to the point that he was uncomfortably hard and wanting and he did not like it. He didn't want to crave Patches mounting him like a beast, fucking away at his increasingly needy hole with whatever he had stashed away in his trousers, nor did he like how he was beginning to tremble where he stood, thoughts drifting to those rough fingers stroking and squeezing at his cock. He could, of course, have taken hand to himself again, but he’d already debased himself enough, and to do so when Patches was so close to him felt more shameful than he could bear.

    “Hurry up, would you?”

    He tried to pretend he couldn't hear the quiver in his own voice. Patches snickered into his ass.

    “Eager, are we?”

    Biting his lip, the Merchant rocked his hips side to side.

    “I just had assumed,” he paused, hissing out a moan as Patches rubbed circles over his hole with a thumb, “that you wanted to take part in the act yourself.”

    “There's nothing wrong with savoring it a little,” Patches hummed, just barely dipping his thumb inside, only to draw it out immediately. The Merchant could feel Patches’ smile widen behind him as his ass involuntarily clenched, trying to draw him back inside. Unable to answer in any way that would keep his growing desperation private, the Merchant held his tongue, locking his knees stiffly to keep them from knocking together when Patches again used both thumbs to spread him open. This time his ass was much more forgiving, the pucker parting enough for Patches to get a glimpse of the dark pink inside, flexing as strings of his own saliva glistened tantalizingly.

    “Don’t,” the Merchant started, not quite pulling away. Patches rubbed his spread hole absently.

    “Come now, enough back and forth! Do you want that humanity or not?”

    Biting his lip, the Merchant hung his head.

    “I do, just- don’t stare.”

    It was such a pathetic request that Patches felt a phantom wave of pre-orgasmic pleasure jump through his cock.

    “If we’re doing this deal, luv, I'll do whatever I damn well please.”

    To emphasize his point, he pulled back and slapped the Merchant heartily across his rear, making him jump with a squawk. There was no doubt in Patches’ mind that he would face little retaliation. He’d won the moment he produced his shard of the dark soul.

    He was right. The Merchant’s dick was painfully hard, every part of him primed for whatever Patches could give him. He was angry, and desperate, could still feel the buzzing presence of the humanity Patches held behind him, and more than that he was experiencing a throbbing he hadn't felt in ages. His armor, so long having served as a second skin to the Merchant, now felt heavy and oppressive. He wanted to remove it all, feel Patches lying lips kiss across his back, his hands pull at his nipples, which were now hard and itching against the fabric of his shirt. He hadn't even thought about them in recent memory, had hardly given the body he possessed beneath his shell thought beyond keeping it, and in succession his mind, intact. Now it was burning to be rediscovered, to be pawed at and abused. Even where Patches had struck him across the buttock stung with a heat that went straight to his dick, curved up and twitching against his belly as he remained bent.

    Patches had taken a small bottle of oil from his pocket and was now liberally rubbing the contents over his fingers while he watched the Merchant war with himself. It was as entertaining as it was arousing, especially as he rubbed over the slap mark he’d made, smearing slickness in his wake, and found the Merchant pushing back into his touch.

    “See, there's a good boy.”

    He pet the Merchant’s ass while two fingers from his other hand screwed into his asshole. There was little resistance, both due to his earlier teasing and the obvious eagerness of the Merchant himself, but he still gasped, clamping down around them. For an ass unused so long he was whorishly welcoming, sucking at Patches’ fingers even when they were hilted to the palm. Undead always had the most sluttish asses, useless but for receiving cocks now that they didn't have the messy business of food to deal with. The Merchant’s insides were silky and wet, giving easily as he stretched his fingers open. He turned them down to where he approximated the man’s prostate would be and was rewarded with a particularly powerful rippling of muscle and a surprised choking sound.

    “A-ah!”

    The Merchant immediately dropped his head low, unable to slap a hand over his mouth due to his need to remain supported upright but clearly wanting to. Touching that place inside him had nearly turned him feral, the blind, hollowed need eating away at him as much as the hunger for humanity now. He should have said something, should have told Patches it was too much, given him some kind of warning, but instead he pushed his ass out more, grinding against Patches’ hand, begging silently.

    “Yea, you want it, don’t you?” Patches grinned, stirring inside him a little longer before he slowly withdrew. The pink muscle clung to him all the way, till he hooked his fingers at the entrance and held the Merchant wide again.

    “I knew it the moment I laid eyes on you. You've probably been begging for cock off every traveler who comes your way, haven't you?”

    “Stop,” said the Merchant, not exactly sure to what he was objecting. Patches pushed his fingers back in, now three of them, and he eagerly jumped back to meet him. Instead of the quick friction he desired, Patches kept himself deeply seated, rubbing against his insides with slow, intense movements. The Merchant groaned low in his throat, riding his hand. Had Tarkus ever touched him like this, with these calculated motions? He must have, but the Merchant could not remember. His thoughts were becoming scattered and sparse, the gaps between them filled with a warm gray fog. Patches massaged at his prostate and he gasped wetly.

    “I cant,” he began, but was unable to remember what he could not do, “hurry up!”

    Patches pressed down inside hard in retaliation.

    “Good things come to those who wait!”

    Shut up, he thought, but moaned loudly instead. For some reason Patches’ blabbering on was growing incredibly irritating. That mouth could be used in much better ways, like before when he had suckled his asshole into a sloppy mess. To have that tongue back inside him along with his fingers, probing every inch… the Merchant squeezed down around him involuntarily.

    “Yeah, that's right,” Patches mumbled, stirring his fingers around until his motions produced a wet, lewd noise with each twist. Seemingly beyond argument now, the Merchant continued to sway his hips into Patches’ touch, his grunts of pleasure becoming less refined by the minute. It wasn't until his balls began to twitch up in the beginnings of orgasmic contraction that Patches pulled away, dragging a long near whine of loss from his victim. While not overly stretched, the Merchant’s asshole twitched out at him, so close to having cum that his ears rang. As quickly as Patches retracted his hand, the Merchant swung round and grabbed him by the wrist.

    “Hey!” he rasped, “I was-!”

    “Hold on there, luv!” Patches tried to pull away and found he couldn't. Still disaffected, he used his unencumbered shoulder to shrug affably, gesturing to his own bulging groin.

    “You want me to finish the job or not?”

    Now that he could see the Merchant’s face, red and dewy with lust, another pang of arousal pulsed through his cock. The Merchant’s eyes fell there as well, chewing his bottom lip as he considered.

    “Alright, yeah, fine then. Alright.”

    It still took him a moment to let go. There was a wildness in his gaze that had not been there before, his sclera reddened like he’d been crying. Patches knew the look well.

    When he was released, he wasted no time in undoing his belt. Still half turned to look, the Merchant panted with an open mouth as Patches drew his dick out. While nowhere near as impressive as the monster that swayed between his own two legs, seeing Patches’ cock spring forth, hard and hot, from within is trousers made the Merchant salivate. Again he reached back, this time not to grasp at Patches but to grab at himself, pulling back one half of his buttocks to reveal himself better, invite action faster.

    “I'm gonna need you to come down to my level, kitten,” said Patches, patting his ass none-to gently. Despite his brain slowly turning the phrase over with incomprehension, the Merchant instinctively squatted down as directed, the posture inadvertently exposing his ass and balls more. When he was appropriately lowered, Patches gripped his hips to stop him, oiling his cock up quickly. As fun as it was to play with the Merchant, he himself was growing tired of the games, ready to feel a warm, living body around him for once.

    He didn't waste time. When his cock kissed against the Merchant’s flexing hole, Patches plunged in immediately, being swallowed to the hilt first try. The Merchant gasped raggedly, arching back against him. It was deeper inside than his fingers had gotten, rubbing over every spot Patches had teased into awareness and then surpassing them, splitting open the long unused passage with a keen and welcome burn. He did not have to beg for more, Patches already pulling out with an obvious disinterest in his comfort which somehow only stoked the fire in his belly, heart beating wildly in his breast. He thrust back in with a wet squelch and they both groaned a little.

    “Damn, you’re really sucking me in,” Patches huffed, humping away at him.

    “Woulda thought you’d be a bit more crusty, in the state you’re in.”

    The Merchant did not have the wherewithal to argue, bouncing on his cock with enough force that Patches had to wrap his arms around the man’s midsection to keep from being bucked off. Despite his size, he was squeezing down around his cock like a vice, soft and velvety inside. After having been cramped in his pants so long, Patches indulged to his fullest, hiking his weight up as he clung to the Merchant and mounting him proper so he could fuck into him with full force. Sweat was gathering under the Merchant’s armor, dripping down his thick thighs. He must have felt quite stuffy in that heavy armor, and Patches considered briefly how much extra work it would be to divest him of it, before another vicious spasm around his dick banished the thought.

    “Be honest with me,” he said, barely keeping his voice steady between thrusts, “was it the humanity you wanted all along, or were you really looking to get a leg over?”

    Growling hoarsely, the Merchant did not reply. A slimy grin crawled across Patches’ face as he slowed his pace.

    “Speak up,” he cooed, “I cant hear you over the obscene din your arse is making.”

    Wriggling his hips, the Merchant managed to pry one of his hands away from the table where he supported himself to finally wrap around his own cock. He was still wearing his gauntlets, but even the cold, hard metal against his burning flesh was enough to make him cry out, both relieved and frustrated as Patches slowed more still.

    “I, ah, sh, shh,” he tried, the words not coming out right, all tangled about in his head. When he couldn't form a coherent sentence, he snarled, a sound almost like a sob if you listened the right way.

    “What was that?”

    Patches couldn't help himself. He dragged his hips back with a torturous sluggishness, watching the way the Merchant’s hole deformed out around him as it clung to his cock. The poor man continued to furiously tug at his dick, quivering and hunched.

    “Pl-ah, no, plea- I, it-!”

    The Merchant slammed his fist against the table so hard the wood splintered. A bit taken aback, Patches stopped entirely, which ended up being the wrong move as the Merchant growled, pulling off his cock with a wet pop.

    “Now, hold on a minute,” Patches said, already reaching for the knife in his waistband, but the Merchant was faster, whipping around and slamming him to the ground. With a startled yelp, Patches tried to roll, but the Merchant slammed a boot down on either side of his legs, blocking his immediate escape.

    “Fuck me,” he stammered, because he was really about to get killed for shagging poorly, which was not an ideal way to go, but then the Merchant squatted down. He was still facing away from Patches, as he had been before, so Patches got a great view of him spreading both ass cheeks with his hands and exposing his red and dripping hole. His movements were clumsy and frantic, rubbing Patches’ cock against his ass until it caught on the rim, and then, with a victorious grunt, the Merchant sat himself down to the base again.

    “Fuck me!” Patches said again, scrabbling at the floor to anchor himself as with wide eyes he watched the Merchant begin to forcefully ride his prick. His muscular thighs flexed as he rose and fell with remarkable speed, desperate to have more inside him, to feel the friction and the stretch. Even when he dropped his hands away from his buttocks to support his actions, Patches was now granted a perfect view of how his hole stretched around him, slick and flushed. Every time he plunged down, the Merchant’s heavy balls swung against his, taut with pent up jism. Never in his life had anyone been so eager to get at his cock, and Patches was living for it.

    Past the point of proper thought, the Merchant bounced his hips wildly. The angle he’d forced them into was a perfect one, pounding Patches’ cock against his prostate with each thrust. He could think of nothing but the sensation of being filled now, the vibrating humanity that Patches produced meshing with the desire for raw sex, as if taking his cock was the same as taking in the darkness, one end goal cocooned in pleasure. He fumbled for his own dick again, bouncing between his thighs where he crouched, squeezing it almost painfully in the unrelenting metal of his gauntlet. Letting out another guttural sound between grit teeth, the Merchant rubbed himself feverishly. Blood was rushing through his ears, saliva forming in his mouth and dripping down his chin, almost like he was alive again. He slammed his ass down onto Patches’ lap, fully encasing his prick, and gyrated his hips, grinding them together so that he could feel every ridge, every vein of the hard length along his insides.

    “S-settle down there, luv, you’re gonna break it off!”

    Patches was as turned on as he was terrified. It felt incredible, there was no denying that, but the Merchant’s substantial grip on his favorite organ was growing tighter by the moment. All that muscle was great eye candy until it was used to disadvantage him; now it was strangling the cum from his cock and he felt like his souls were going with it. He grabbed the Merchant’s hips with both hands, unable to affect his movement but at least having a grip on something.

    “Steady on!”

    The Merchant replied with a throaty huff, pulling himself up until the tip of Patches’ prick bulged out the rim of his hole, and then dropped down hard. Patches felt his brain jump into his balls. He had to regain some form of control before he himself became fuck-feral.

    “I guess I’m to blame,” he grit out, finding it hard to breathe, “for letting a slag like you have your way.”

    Growling, the Merchant worked his hips faster. Patches dropped his head back against the floorboards, but he didn't stop talking.

    “Don't deny it, dovlet, this ass of yours shows just how perverted you really are.”

    He lifted his hips into the next bounce, burying himself deeper than before, and the Merchant threw his head back with an open moan.

    “Sucking me in like that, like you cant live without cock in you. Act prissy all you like, I can feel the way you’re clenching down around me with every word, you filthy whore.”

    He wasn't lying. The Merchant was bearing down on him now, shivering noticeably beneath his palms. Sweat rolled down his back, from under his tunic and between his buttocks to add to the wet mess of their union. His hand worked his dick mercilessly, the metal of his gauntlet catching against his tender skin painfully but he was too far gone to stop. Precum was flowing generously from his slit anyways, helping to lubricate his movements somewhat, the sloppy sound mixing with that of his well oiled asshole lewdly.

    “Really, all alone in this tower, I would have thought you’d be tighter than this,” Patches continued, even as his eyes fell closed, too close to orgasm to focus on anything else, “Do you fuck yourself up here? Or do you let those poor sods out there have you? Those hollows… I saw one of your friends across the landing. Should I thank him on the way out?”

    They were all close by, their walking corpses a constant and deadly reminder of everything he had lost. The Merchant somehow couldn't find it within himself to be sad now, only reacting with a sudden spike in the heat in his belly. If they did come to him, hard and ready, would he be able to refuse? Just thinking of their solid lengths made his breaths come out as ragged cries, arching back to take as much of Patches into himself as possible. Tears were rushing down his face and he didn’t know why – all he knew was cock and cum and more friction, more touching. Rough, hollowed hands all pawing for him, free of the restraints of modesty and social custom, only wanting, needing to squeeze themselves inside his warm, wet body and find release.

    The though alone was enough, the Merchant pounding himself down with all he had as thick ropes of cum shot from his aching cock, painting the floor between Patches’ recumbent legs. The feeling of jism surging through his dick had his eyes rolling, his hips moving as if on reflex to keep the pressure inside him grinding at his prostate, milking himself.

    “Shit!” cried Patches, finally silencing his filthy mouth as the Merchant’s enthusiasm pushed him over the edge as well. Despite being pinned by those powerful thighs, he managed to thrust upwards into him in return, spurting his cum deep into the Merchant’s shuddering insides. It was a damn good orgasm, the strangely inhuman rumblings of his partner sending vibrations through his whole body. This heat, this violent life, was not something he was accustomed to fucking these days, and as he was wrung to his every last drop he reminded himself to do this more often.

    The Merchant too was reeling. He couldn't stop, the orgasm refusing to cease even as it became painful, his balls contracting hard and emptying fully. The sensation took him over completely, making his head spin, his body ache, so good and so overwhelming that he thought he might faint. With a few final, exhausted bucks of his hips, the Merchant finally keeled forward onto the floor, slipping off Patches’ dick. Laying on his chest, his ass still propped up on his knees, the last lingering dribbles of cum formed long strings between his prick and the floorboards, and Patches was treated to the sight along with his winking, reddened asshole. It took a long minute for him to recover, laying there on his back like he’d been struck, dizzy from his spending.

    “That was,” he panted, his blood singing, “decent enough.”

    Managing to sit himself up, Patches noticed with mild annoyance that the Merchant had managed to land some of his thick cum on his boots. Its not as though the look was particularly uncharacteristic for Patches, but he liked to have at least a little decency in his appearance when he was out drawing in fresh blood. Getting into a neat squat, he pulled a little of the Merchant’s tattered tunic from between his legs to wipe down his prick. The Merchant, still quivering with aftershocks, did not complain.

    Now he was faced with a choice. While Patches’ ego loved the concept, he knew he wasn't a good enough shag to have fucked someone into hollowing, but the shift in behavior towards the end of their little tryst was worrying enough that, despite his obvious fatigue, there was a good chance the Merchant would come after him if he tried to sneak off now. Patches had been on the fence the whole time about whether or not he was going to actually have to dish out his promised reward, assuming he could sneak out the door while his mark here was still recovering from whatever havoc he’d wreaked upon his ass, but now he was less sure. When his dick was reasonably clean and back in his trousers, he slapped a hand across the Merchant’s buttocks companionably, both to test his reaction and to get another nice feel of that sturdy rump as a memento. He groaned slightly, his balls twitching as if he could somehow force a little more from the devastating orgasm he’d already experienced.

    “Good show.”

    As he began to stand, the Merchant finally responded, rolling onto his side and smearing a good amount of semen on himself in the process.

    “Was that,” he swallowed thickly, clearly having a hard time finding words, “enough?”

    Deciding innocence was the best path to take here, Patches patted himself down, eyes averted.

    “Oh, yes, perfect, mate. You really got the ol’ blood pumping.”

    He sidestepped the speed bump, making his way briskly to the door while trying to keep from openly fleeing. The Merchant, however, was still aware enough to wise up.

    “No,” he growled, halting Patches in his tracks, “our bargain.”

    Ah well, it was worth a shot. As easy as it might be to pretend he hadn't heard, Patches own legs were honestly a bit rubbery. There was likely going to be a nice ass-shaped bruise on his pelvis for the next week, something he was sure to wear as a trophy in front of that scum sucking cleric back at the shrine. Nasty cockhead was always dropping sly hints about the various lads and ladies he’d accompanied into the Tomb, only to return without; it’d serve him proper to hear a story about a real fuck, one earned with barely any trickery, at that. Turning on his heel, he opened his arms in an exaggeratedly placating gesture.

    “Oh, of course!”

    With a flick of his wrist, he again produced the flickering darkness.

    “Silly me, almost leaving without giving you your fair compensation. That would have been a mess, wouldn't it?”

    The Merchant was not listening to him, eyes fixed on the humanity in his palm. So desperate was he for it that he did not bother getting up, scrambling across the floor on all fours. It was almost erotic, him with his sticky ass still bare, beginning to drip Patches’ spendings from his abused hole, but the hunger in his movements was jarring. Patches thrust his hand out quickly, almost fearing he’d lose it if he resisted any longer.

    Sitting up, the Merchant cupped both hands around the dark soul. It was electric against his skin, the entirety of the universe in his palms. Not waiting for approval, the Merchant took it into himself, flooded all at once with its cold comfort. To take humanity in was a feeling akin to awaking from a long dream, as if the world was suddenly back into focus, from a strange and empty landscape in which one questioned nothing to the complexities and conundrums of real life. With this clarity came the realization that he was crouched upon the floor, streaked with his own cum, having just fully debased himself upon the man before him’s cock like an animal. Patches could pinpoint the exact moment in his eyes that his heart stopped, mortified, and while it did not fully arouse him again the sight did send a final blot of warmth through his veins.

    “Satisfied?”

    Unable to meet his gaze, the Merchant flapped his jaw numbly.

    “I, uh.”

    He looked at the ground. Life was blooming in his throat, his skin softening, pink and moist. His asshole was still throbbing, cum now leaking from it liberally thanks to the aid of gravity. The Merchant felt fresh and new inside, the rot of Undeath sloughing off to allow his true self to again emerge, human still, and sullied with sin. Patches had that same filthy smirk on his face as before, when he’d first walked into the shabby enclave he called home under the pretense of having things to sell. And sell he had.

    “Yes.”

    Whistling cheerily, Patches made his way back into the madness of Sen’s Fortress with a skip in his step. This was what being a traveling merchant was all about. He was going to get such a rise out of those supposedly celibate idiots back downstairs.

It wasn’t until he was crossing the bridge back to the parish that he even remembered the rings.