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"You fill me with horror!" Dr. Faust was unable to restrain Marguerite from tearing herself from his arms as she cried out her last words, in a final exertion that drained what little life remained in her poor body. She sank away from him to the stone floor of the prison, all mortal life extinguished.

Faust watched dumbly as Mephistopheles raised one mighty arm and pointed at her still, frail form. "Judged!"

But an unseen chorus of angels proclaimed her saved, and Faust felt the absence of her soul from the room as the body on the floor was reduced to only the flesh that would become dust. They had parted forever; where she had gone was the one place Mephistopheles could not take him--in fact, it was the one place that was closed to him forever thanks to the dreaded demon that now stalked toward him across the cell. "She's gone," Faust cried redundantly.

"I had hoped to take her as well," said Mephistopheles. "Two is better than one. But at least I have my original prize." He looked straight into Faust's eyes. "And you, I know I can always claim. You're spoken for."

Faust looked back at him uneasily, unsure of what was expected of him. Mephisto drew closer, breathing heavily. "We must leave this prison," Faust exclaimed, looking around at the four stone walls and the dead body on the floor. "There is nothing here for me now. And I can't bear to look at her."

Mephisto smiled with half his mouth, showing teeth, and his eyes glinted ominously. "As you wish, dear Doctor!" He waved his hand and darkness fell.

Faust couldn't see. "Where are we?"

"We are in my country," said Mephistopheles' voice from much closer. He was just behind Faust's ear. "You remember what I said about what would happen there?"

Faust remembered. The word Là-bas echoed in his mind over and over... there... THERE. "I cannot be dead yet!" he protested.

"No, and we can return to your world. But first, I want to amuse myself. Remember, I am sovereign here."

"I remember." Faust's heart pounded in his chest, higher and higher as if it would leap out of his throat. What the devil did the Devil mean by this?

"And you are subject to my wishes," Mephistopheles purred, close to his ear. Hot breath poured onto sensitive skin and Faust's body was filled with undefinable reactions.

"What--" Faust began to ask, needlessly, because he already knew. He could feel Mephisto's bulk closing in on him from behind. Instinctively, he moved forward, but was stopped by two large hands pulling back upon his chest and crushing his nipples.

Mephistopheles crashed into him like falling timber. A mouth like an animal's descended on his neck, wet and heated and hungry. Lips and lips and endless lips claimed every bit of skin as their own, and everywhere his curséd saliva fell, it left behind a stuporous oblivion, an obliteration of the self. This was not the numbness of pleasure, as Faust had known in Brocken Valley, but the numbness of apathy. His feelings were completely irrelevant, so he may as well have none. If those were Mephisto's hands gripping his thighs, it was of no consequence. If those were Mephisto's hips grinding against him, it was of no consequence. And if that was Mephisto's arousal thrusting against his rear, it was of no consequence. He did not exist; he was an object. He was observing from the outside and he was bored.

"Poor little human," said the deep voice into his ear as it used him. "It's called conservation of energy. The total amount of energy in the system remains constant. When you used Marguerite, and Helen of Troy, you should have realized there's no free lunch."

Had Faust cared, he would have protested that he loved Marguerite, or thought he did, even if he did it badly. But he didn't care. His body, somewhere miles below him in space, bucked into Mephistopheles' skilled hands until he was rocked by spasms. Even spent, it still hungered, and the hands did not relinquish it. They fed the flames and eagerly collected each surrender. Mephisto scorched off all his clothing, so that he felt the demon's skin on his at every turn.

Finally, Mephistopheles spun him around roughly, and planted an imperialist kiss deep into his mouth. Robbed of free will, he sucked at the forked tongue dutifully. He could feel the ruins of his dignity kneading now against Mephistopheles' own imposing demands, once again in pathetic imitation of the demon as he had been ever since handing over his immortal soul. The colliding of their arousals grew more urgent, and, with the arms of a puppet on a string, Faust found himself embracing the demon.

It was without end and he was lost within it.

"Oh, my Faust, beloved, rest."

He woke up sweaty and exhausted, in the dirt of the deserted Brocken valley. It was twilight. Or perhaps dawn. His skin hurt and he realized he was lying against the teeth of a rosebush.

The numbing effect of the saliva had worn off and he remembered everything. And as he lifted his head from the ground, he saw Mephistopheles sitting on a dead log not far from him, watching him with an expression that almost looked like--