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the devil went down to buffalo

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When the crops fail, Patrick knows that he is going to die.

This is the third year in a row that their crops have yielded little results, and they cannot survive on the charity of others anymore. He and his sisters and his mother will starve to death if he cannot figure out a way to feed them, which leads him to the most desperate of measures.

He slices his palm open, wincing as his blood drips into the roaring bonfire and onto the pages of his burning holy book. “Devil!” he shouts, voice shaking. “Devil, I summon you!”

“Shout any louder and you will wake your whole village. Do you wish to burn at the stake, boy?”

Patrick jumps, almost falling into the fire. A hand grasps his shoulder, pulling him back and spinning him around, coming face-to-face with the Devil himself.

Patrick expected a horned beast with a ghoulish face and the body of some sort of goat, but instead the Devil is a man, tall and thick, skin tan and jaw square. He is handsome, with a dark shadow of hair across his jaw and cheeks, brown eyes warm as he smiles at Patrick, exposing a set of imperfect white teeth.

“This is a trick,” says Patrick, unbelieving. “You cannot be—”

The man grabs his hand, expecting the minor cut still oozing blood. He licks his thumb and then drags it across the cut, Patrick’s skin healing magically in its wake, the blood disappearing. “Oh.”

The Devil grins. “What do you want?”

“I—” Patrick stammers. “I need—”

“I don’t have all night,” the Devil interrupts, smile dropping away.

Patrick swallows, steeling his nervous. “If our crops fail again my whole family will die. We won’t survive the winter.”

The Devil makes no movement. His handsome face remains neutral, passive. It’s not his job to care about the well-being of the human population.

“Listen, Devil—”

“Jonathan.”

“Pardon?”

“My name,” the Devil explains. “Is Jonathan.”

Patrick cannot read the Bible, but he knows his verses, and never has the Reverend James ever mentioned the Devil’s name as Jonathan. It’s a peculiar, human name that makes Patrick feel uneasy.

“Jonathan,” he says, voice betraying him in its shakiness. “I wish to sign my name in your book in exchange for a healthy harvest.”

Jonathan’s eyebrows lift slightly. There’s a scar just above his lip, and Patrick focuses there instead of meeting his eyes. “That’s all you want? A healthy harvest?”

Patrick lifts his eyes momentarily. Jonathan is looking at him intently, mouth turned up in a small smirk. Patrick lowers his eyes again, looking instead at the ground in front of Jonathan’s feet. Reverend James said that the Devil had red talons, like a bird, or hooved feet like a goat—but Jonathan’s feet are normal, clothed in a pair of fine leather boots.

He has to be careful with this demon; he must be specific. If he says more than what he means then Jonathan will use that against him. “I want a healthy harvest.”

“And that is all that you want?”

Patrick lifts his eyes again. Jonathan has taken a step closer, silent in the night. There are so many things that Patrick wants—gold, jewels, a home where the rain does not leak through the roof and the wind under the door, but he is already playing a dangerous game and risking eternal damnation for this one thing. “I want a healthy harvest.”

A hand grasps his chin, jerking his head up. Jonathan is right there, searching his face with dark eyes. Patrick can feel the heat radiating from Jonathan’s body, and he trembles, suddenly very afraid. The Devil himself is inches away, his thumb gliding over his bottom lip as he seems to stare right into the depths of his very soul, steeling ever secret of Patrick’s seemingly through his eyes.

“Just a healthy harvest,” Jonathan mumbles, voice low.

Please,” Patrick begs, feeling cut open and exposed. He wants to run, escape from Jonathan’s grip and his never-ending gaze, but his body is frozen in fear.

Jonathan smiles, and then he lets go of Patrick’s chin, the force of his gaze going with him as Patrick falls backwards and lands in the dirt. “Meet me at sunset at the fields. We will make sure that you have a healthy harvest.” He smiles again, and then he is gone in a blink of an eye, leaving Patrick alone in the dark of the night.

 

 

 

 

Jonathan is waiting for him on a stump in the middle of the fields just after sunset, dressed in a loose shirt and trousers and his expensive boots. His shirt is open, exposing his muscular chest and broad shoulders. He looks a man hardened by hard work under the unbearable summer sun. It makes Patrick nervous; he’d rather Jonathan look like an ugly goat-beast than a human being.

“Strip,” Jonathan commands.

“What?” Patrick replies stupidly.

Strip,” Jonathan repeats.

“You wish for me to remove my clothes?”

Jonathan stands from his stump, face hard and cold. “Remove your clothing or I will do it myself.”

Patrick remembers looking into his eyes and the feeling of helplessness as he was pinned there, his soul bared. He does not want to experience that again, so he starts with his boots, and then his holed socks, feeling Jonathan’s eyes watching him until he stands bare.

“The soil here is poor,” Jonathan says casually, closer now but not touching.

Patrick lifts his eyes from the ground, arms across his chest, trying to fend off his sudden coldness and shame.

“You’ve replanted here too many times. The soil is dead. Nothing here will grow,” Jonathan continues, using the toe of his boot to grind a hole into the ground. He kneels down, burying a trinket in the hole before covering it with dirt. “This charm will help the soil revive itself.”

Patrick nods at the explanation, but he doesn't understand his lack of clothing. “Why… why must I be naked for you to bury a trinket?”

Jonathan gives the dirt a solid pat and then he is there, in front of Patrick, using his wicked, cursed, magic to pull a scream of fright from him that gets muffled under the weight of his calloused hand covering Patrick’s mouth. “My trinket won’t work without virgin seed.”

Fear runs down Patrick’s spine like a flow of water, freezing him. Jonathan smiles, letting his hand drop from Patrick’s mouth, and then Patrick finds himself on his back, Jonathan’s weight pushing him into the dirt.

“I know that you are afraid of me,” Jonathan says, bearing his weight down. “But I am not the cruel master that your reverend makes me out to be.”

“You are a devil!” Patrick spits, feeling fear leave him momentarily. He might be a fearful coward in the face of the literal Devil, but he is not stupid. He knows what Jonathan means by virgin seed, and he knows by which means he means to acquire it. He will not allow himself to be—to be—

Jonathan’s weight lifts up as he rolls off of him. “I looked into the depths of your soul, and I know that there is a tenacious creature inside of you, Patrick Kane. I do not need a meek servant who won’t even meet my eyes.”

“This is cruel!” Patrick yells, thumping his fists against the ground angrily. “You are cruel.”

“I am the Devil,” Jonathan says, and Patrick can hear the laughter in his voice. It angers him into seeing red. His mind cannot conjure the Lord’s prayer in his anger to banish Jonathan, but he does have his fists.

He swings his leg over Jonathan's hips, lack of clothing be damned, and lands his fist right into Jonathan’s left eye—evil creature from hell who could torture him for eternity be damned.

Jonathan doesn’t seem surprised by the blow, but he lets out a roar of pain, grabbing Patrick by his hips and tumbling them until Patrick is under him again, Patrick twisting and kicking and even trying to bite. He will not be humiliated, not even by the Devil himself.

But Jonathan is strong, even for a man. He is taller, and broader, and his weight crushes Patrick under him until he is able to get Patrick’s wrists in one hand above his head.

Damn you!” Patrick curses, trying to kick his legs, but Jonathan feels like a boulder on top of him, trapping him. “Damn you, you fucking devil!”

Jonathan’s laughs echoes throughout the field. “You speak so sweetly to me.”

Patrick continues his struggle, despite how little leeway he is making. “No wonder God cast you from his kingdom!”

Jonathan’s face goes hard, his eyes suddenly cold. “I cast myself out, boy. Your book tells lies.”

Your book tells lies,” Patrick mumbles, finally, finally giving up. He feels exhausted, and it’s growing hard to breathe under Jonathan’s weight. He goes limp, looking over Jonathan’s shoulder to the darkening night sky.

Jonathan doesn’t let go of his wrists. Instead he shifts his weight down, forcing Patrick to spread his legs so he can settle between his thighs. The feeling of Jonathan’s body against his own makes him gasp, startled at the feeling, overly aware now that he is as bare as the day that he was born while Jonathan is clothed.

Jonathan’s face is inches away, close enough that they can share the same breath. Up close, Patrick can see various small scars dotting Jonathan’s admittedly handsome face. He is a seducer, a demon that wheedles innocent people into doing evil by using his looks.

Jonathan swipes his thumb across Patrick’s bottom lip, making Patrick gasp again, unfamiliar with the intimacy of Jonathan’s touch. He has never lain with a woman, let alone been this close to another man. Something stirs low in Patrick’s belly, his cock giving a slight jump when Jonathan grinds his hips down.

“This is wrong,” he says before Jonathan pushes his thumb into his mouth, settling on his tongue. It feels weird and somehow intoxicatingly strange, head fuzzy like he’s had too much ale. He aches when Jonathan pulls his thumb free.

Jonathan lets go of Patrick’s wrists and scrapes his nails down his chest, leaving behind sparks of pleasure in his wake. Patrick moans at the feeling, back arching, letting out an involuntary moan. Shame wells up inside of him, burning hot. “I have told you already: your book is full of lies.”

“Men are not supposed to—”

Jonathan smirks, eyes red. Fear wells up inside of Patrick, hot alongside shame. “I am not a man,” Jonathan says, and then his mouth is on Patrick’s, covering his keen of surprise.

Jonathan’s mouth is warm, tongue prodding into Patrick’s open mouth, swiping across his tongue. Patrick is frozen in shock, unable to do anything more than gasp and twist against Jonathan’s mouth, cock swelling between his legs like an unholy beast at the touch of a—from the touch of the fucking Devil.

Please,” he begs when Jonathan finally lets him breathe again.

Jonathan’s face is unimpressed, lips swollen. “We’ll have to work on that.”

Patrick breathes in lungs full of air, dizzy. “Work on what?”

“Your kissing skills, love,” Jonathan says, and then wraps one, big, calloused hand around Patrick’s swollen cock. Patrick’s head goes blank, the insult to his skills going in one ear and out the other, every nerve and thought in his head concentrated on where Jonathan is working his hand up and down, wet and slick like he’s dipped his hand in oil.

Patrick’s back arches, legs spreading open wider, mouth agape enough to catch flies. He rolls his head back, fingers digging for purchase in the dirt. Shame and fear and pleasure course through his body as Jonathan continues to move his hand. “Look at me,” Jonathan commands, voice sending a shock of arousal down Patrick’s spine to join the rest.

He rolls his head, unable to resist the command.

Jonathan’s eyes are back to brown, and they bare into Patrick’s soul as he twists his wrist, thumb dragging over the head of his cock in a way that makes Patrick shout and curl in on himself, coming with stars dancing behind his eyelids, unable, despite the pleasure, to look away from Jonathan.

Jonathan lets go of his cock without ceremony, fingers covered in Patrick’s seed. He stands, walking away presumably to where he buried the trinket. He drags his fingers through the dirt, muttering under his breath.

Patrick closes his eyes, sucking in air through his mouth like a man who’s gone without water. Shame continues to sit low in his belly as the sweat dries on his skin, making him shiver from cold. To touch oneself alone at night with improper thoughts is one thing, but to allow a man—

“I am not a man,” Jonathan says, drawing Patrick out of his thoughts. He is kneeling beside him, Patrick’s clothes resting in one arm. He cups Patrick’s face gently, running that damn thumb across his lip.

“How—”

“All that you are. All that you will be, are now mine Patrick. You will do well to remember that.”

Jonathan drags his hand up to cover Patrick’s eyes and then everything goes black.

 

 

 

 

“Patrick.”

Patrick jolts awake, fingers digging into the bed sheets below him, a yell just barely contained. The familiar ceiling above his head makes him dizzy, confused and unaware of how he came to be here.

“Patrick?” Jackie asks, hand on his shoulder, concern painting her face. “Are you alright?”

Patrick continues to breathe hard, lying back against the bed. His bed, the one he still shares with Jackie and Jessica. Usually he is awake before them, out in the barn tending to the cows before he goes to the fields. Jackie is already dressed for the day, frowning at him.

“I am alright,” he insists, closing his eyes momentarily. “What time is it?”

Jackie is still frowning. “It's midday.”

Patrick jumps up. “Midday?!” he shouts, almost falling out of bed in his haste to find his trousers and his shirt. “Why didn’t you—”

“Mama said to let you sleep,” Jackie says, handing Patrick his trousers. “She said you’ve been working so hard, ever since Papa—” she pauses, sniffling “—you are the man of the house now, and Mama said you deserve a day of rest.”

“Who milked the cows?” Patrick asks as he steps into his pants, feeling panicked. His sisters are still so young, and Mama has been weak ever since her bout of the sweating sickness last winter, and he doesn’t like them being out in the barn or the fields when he is not near. They are strong but they are only women, and any man could have stumbled upon them; he wouldn’t have been awake to hear them scream if need be.

“I did,” says Jackie, handing him his shirt.

“And the fields? Who are in the fields?”

Jackie takes his sleeping shirt when he throws it off, folding it neatly. “Erica and Jessica. That’s why I came to get you—”

“—you are not supposed to be in the fields without me, what if—”

Patrick,” Jackie interrupts, sounding exasperated.

Patrick pauses in getting his boots on. “What?”

“The crop. It’s grown. Double what we thought we planted, even the in the field where we thought the crops had all died. Mama said it was the rain last night—”

“It rained last night?”

Jackie’s brows come together. “Yes. It was a bad storm, heavy rains. You slept right through it.”

Patrick sits on the bed, boot in hand. Last night he remembers meeting Jonathan in the field, the trinket, his—his virgin seed. “It worked.”

“What worked?”

Patrick startles, somehow managing to momentarily forget that Jackie is with him. He swallows, hating to lie, but he cannot tell his little sister the truth. She would call him a heretic, or worse, a witch. “My prayers. I have been asking the Lord in my nightly prayers for his mercy, and he listened.”

Jackie smiles, sitting next to him and grasping his hand. “I have been praying for the same thing.” She squeezes his hand. “I know you will take care of us, but I have been worried about the winter.”

Something akin to guilt buries in Patrick’s throat. Jackie is a good girl, one with the Lord. Jonathan would never be able to tempt her sweet heart, not unlike him, a bastard who makes deals with the Devil.

He stands, pulling Jackie up with him, forcing a smile. “Come, our sisters must need our help.”

 

 

 

 

The crop is what Jackie said and more.

The corn and cabbage have grown in quantity and in size too, healthy as far as the eye can see, even past their fence line and into Mr. Smith’s fields. Some of the men from the village have come out to see for themselves, standing in Mr. Smith’s field looking puzzled by the turn in fortune. Mr. Smith was not on the verge of starvation this winter, but next fall would be a different story.

Erica and Jessica come running to greet them, their one and only wheelbarrow left full of cabbage in their wake. That wheelbarrow is all they have to carry their crops from the field, and it's all they’ve needed for the past few years.

“Patrick!” Erica shouts excitedly. “Look!”

Jessica laughs, jumping into his arms excitedly before she kisses his cheek. “Look at this good fortune!” There are tears in her eyes that she wipes away with her sleeve. They have not voiced their concern, but they have been worried about the upcoming winter. “The men from the village say it’s like this for everyone. Every field has yielded a good crop. No will starve this winter!”

Patrick can’t help but take in a shaky breath, fighting back tears. It worked. His deal with Jonathan worked, and his sisters and his mother won’t starve to death, and neither will the other villagers. He sighs a breath of relief. He sold this soul for this, a chance to keep his family alive.

“No will die this winter,” Jackie says, voice broken in happiness, holding Patrick’s sleeve.

Erica clears her throat. “Don’t be so naïve, Jackie. Someone always dies in winter. If they do not starve the sickness will—”

“Erica!” Jessica reprimands. “We must be grateful for what we have, and not think about what will come. The Devil will hear you if you put those thoughts in the air.”

Erica rolls her eyes, refusing to apologize.

“The Devil isn’t here,” Patrick says, voice suddenly feeling tight. Mama will not starve, but another bout of the sweating sickness will take her, and Patrick cannot—it has been hard enough without Papa. He cannot raises his sisters and take care of the farm by himself. “Take the wheelbarrow to the barn and come back. I will ask to borrow one of Mr. Smith’s.”

His sisters nod their heads, scurrying off to do what they’re told. Patrick watches them, swallowing tightly, trying to keep his heart from pounding in his chest.

He will do what he has to do to keep Mama alive.

 

 

 

 

Mr. Smith is in a rare good mood, and willingly lets Patrick borrow one of his wheelbarrows. He leaves his sisters to tend to the cabbages while he takes his wheelbarrow into the depths of the corn, ripping ears from their stalk moodily.

“You’re going to need a bigger wheelbarrow.”

“Shit!” Patrick yells, jumping a foot into the air.

Jonathan laughs, managing, somehow, to lean against a stalk of corn.

Patrick glares, ripping an ear from a stalk and throwing it into the wheelbarrow. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to see our work in person.”

“Our work?”

“My trinket and your virgin seed, of course.”

Patrick’s ears turn red, cheeks aflame.

Jonathan smirks at him, arms across his chest cockily. “Don’t be shy, I know that you liked it.”

“I did not!”

Patrick will not lie: Jonathan’s hand on him, his weight, his thumb in his mouth. It all felt good, but it was shameful, and if he wasn’t so sure that he was already going straight to hell, he would have never let Jonathan touch him in such a way.

Jonathan steps away from the stalk, invading Patrick’s space. Patrick feels his heart start to pound, and it's not in fear this time. He cannot fear Jonathan, not after what they’ve done. “You are a liar, Patrick Kane.”

Patrick lifts his chin defiantly. “What do you want?”

Jonathan lifts his eyebrows. “What do I want?”

Patrick sucks in a breath, feeling annoyance at the base of his spine. “My mother will not survive the winter.”

“I have provided enough food for you and your village. You mother will not starve.”

Patrick swallows. “Thank you, for helping the village as well.”

Jonathan shrugs lightly. “You only said only that you wanted a healthy harvest, you did not specify just for your family.”

“Still,” Patrick says. “It was surprisingly kind of you.”

“I’m sure you realize by now that I am not the monster that you men make me out to be.”

Patrick doesn’t agree, but he doesn’t disagree either. Jonathan has been kind, and hasn’t taken the form of a goat-beast just yet, but he is still the Devil, and Patrick doubts that he is not capable of imaginable cruelty. There is a reason why he was cast out of God’s kingdom, and it was not for his kindness. “My mother will not starve but she is frail, and if she becomes sick she will die.”

“You are playing God now, Patrick.”

“I was playing God when I asked you to keep us from starving to death.”

Jonathan searches his face, locking eyes, staring into Patrick’s soul. He dislikes it so much, being bared and open like this, not knowing what Jonathan is searching for but knowing that he will find everything. Every dark secret, every thought, every breath Jonathan will know. It is an act that feels even more intimate than Jonathan’s hand on his cock. “I will keep your mother alive through the winter.”

“And my sisters,” Patrick rushes. Specific. He needs to be specific. “And anyone in the village who is prone to sickness.”

“You are asking a lot of me, Patrick.”

Please,” Patrick begs, unable to break Jonathan’s hold on him, but he can soften his eyes and his face.

Jonathan sighs, finally breaking eye contact. “As you wish, darling,” and then he surges forward, claiming Patrick’s mouth in a kiss. Patrick opens his mouth to let him in, and then the world surges, and Patrick is suddenly is on his back, in a soft bed, softer and bigger than his own.

“Where are we?” he asks, sitting up on his elbows. This is not his room. It is too large, to nicely decorated to even pretend to be his two bedroom shack that he shares with his family.

“The Reverend James’s humble home,” Jonathan smirks, mouth at Patrick’s throat.

Patrick groans as Jonathan bites down on his neck, working the skin with his teeth. He raises his hips, cock already growing hard, the bastard traitor. Jonathan made no mention of virgin seed, but Patrick assumes there’s no other reason for them to be here. When Jonathan pulls his mouth away, Patrick is finally able to get some sense about him.

“We are not doing this at the Reverend’s house! It is unholy!”

Jonathan stares down at him. “You are being ravaged by the Devil. There is nothing holy about this, Patrick.”

Patrick turns his head away, arms across his chest. He hears Jonathan sigh, and then his head thumps painfully against the cold, hard ground, skin bare, scratched by leaves and roots and rocks. They are in the forest now, under a canopy of trees. It is late fall, still warm in the sun but uncomfortable in the shade. “Does this suit you better, my dear?”

It does not suit him better. The Reverend’s bed was the most comfortable bed he has ever been in in his entire life, not that he’s been in many.

Jonathan is naked above him, and that is distracting enough. He presses his weight down, bare skin on bare skin, his own cock, large even while soft, pressing against Patrick’s. Patrick keens, shifting his weight, chasing the good feeling, but his back scratches against a rock and he is reminded that he had a warm, soft bed to do this in. “Is the Reverend home?”

Jonathan laughs and then they are back in the Reverend’s bed, soft and warm. “This will do,” Patrick admits, cheeks aflame.

Jonathan laughs again, and this time Patrick is looking to see his smile.

The man really is handsome, especially when he is smiling. Patrick’s heart skips a beat, feeling lighthearted. He surges forward suddenly, arms wrapped around Jonathan’s shoulders, dragging him in for a kiss.

It's Jonathan’s turn to gasp in surprise, cupping Patrick’s face and licking into his mouth, taking control. He slides his tongue against Patrick’s before he sucks on it, drawing a keen out of the back of Patrick’s throat, desperate for more. Jonathan pulls his tongue back, mouth still against Patrick’s, breathing in the same air until Patrick takes the hint and sticks his tongue in Jonathan’s mouth, building a desperate rhythm with Jonathan’s lips and tongue, and his body too. He rocks against him, clinging at his first to his shoulders and then to his waist and hip, chasing the spark of pleasure every time their cocks brush together.

Jonathan pulls his mouth away, kissing down Patrick’s throat and stopping at his chest. He breathes warm air over Patrick’s nipple and then pulls it into his mouth between his teeth, nibbling gently.

Patrick moans, head rolling back, fingers digging into Jonathan’s hair, precome leaking against his belly when Jonathan rolls his other nipple between his fingers. It’s like his nipples are directly connected to his nipples, and every bite and flick of Jonathan’s tongue sends a jolt of pleasure straight to his cock. He had heard stories, in the tavern, about the whores—how’d they liked it if you played with their breasts, but he did not know that men too could be so sensitive there. “Jonathan,” he moans, back arching when Jonathan switches his mouth to his other nipple. He bites, hard, and Patrick’s breath leaves him, the need to come overwhelming everything else. “Fuck, please.”

Jonathan doesn’t leave his nipples alone. Instead he reaches down, hand slick with oil, wrapping warm and tight around Patrick’s cock. He flicks his tongue rapidly against Patrick’s nipple while he rubs his thumb over the head of Patrick’s cock and then Patrick is coming, toes curling, fingernails digging into Jonathan’s skin.

Jonathan continues to stroke him through his orgasm until Patrick can’t take it anymore, oversensitive. He pushes at Jonathan’s chest, trying to get out from under him. “Enough, please.”

Jonathan lets go of his cock to drag Patrick’s seed across his chest, smearing it grossly on his collarbone.

“You will clean that later,” Patrick says.

Jonathan huffs a laugh, cock still hard against Patrick’s hip. He kisses at Patrick’s throat lazily, and Patrick runs his fingers through his hair, feeling loose-limbed and relaxed, and this time shame does not sit low in his belly. He is going to Hell, he knows that already, and it is a sacrifice he is willing to make to keep his family safe.

He is too stated, anyway, to feel shame.

Jonathan’s attention to his throat eventually leads to Patrick’s cock stirring again, interest anew. “Jonathan,” he says, the skin of his throat raw. “What are you doing?”

Jonathan doesn’t answer. Instead he trails his fingers down Patrick’s chest, through the dried seed and down his belly, bypassing his cock all together. Patrick knows where his fingers are going before they even reach their destination, and he tenses up, gasping when Jonathan rubs the pad of a finger against his hole, slick.

“Jonathan?” he breathes, eyes locking with the demon, and for once, dislike does not course through his soul. Jonathan’s face is soft, almost fond, and it does not feel like he's prying for answers.

“I will not hurt you,” Jonathan says, capturing Patrick’s mouth in a gentle kiss as he slips a finger inside of him.

It feels weird, but not entirely uncomfortable. Jonathan works his finger in and out, kissing Patrick softly, sucking on his tongue as he returns with two fingers. This time it burns, and Patrick hisses.

“Quiet,” Jonathan says, stilling his fingers momentarily. “I said I won’t hurt you.”

“It hurts,” Patrick insists, even though the burn is letting up. Jonathan kisses his forehead, and then he bends his fingers and pleasure shoots through Patrick’s spine, feeling like its blinding him.

Fuck,” he moans, toes curling, pleasure rolling through his body in waves. Jonathan smiles down at him, watching his face, mesmerized as he drags his fingers out and then pushes back in, Patrick’s body giving little resistance. On every other stroke he twists his fingers, sending hot, hot sparks through Patrick’s body.

When Jonathan pulls his fingers out Patrick curses him, kicking at his side with his heel like some sort of horse. “What are you doing, you stupid oaf?!”

“I knew you were a tenacious one,” Jonathan laughs, and then the head of his cock is pushing against Patrick’s entrance, blunt and thicker than his fingers.

“I won’t hurt you,” Jonathan repeats, spreading Patrick’s legs open with one hand on his thigh, using the other to guide his cock in. It burns, burns more than his fingers, bringing tears to Patrick’s eyes. Jonathan kisses his forehead, pushing in and in and in until his pelvis is against Patrick’s ass.

Patrick feels so full, so aware of Jonathan’s cock inside of him, spreading him wide. Jonathan shifts, a shallow thrust, the burning giving way to uncomfortableness that doesn’t hurt, but Patrick lets out a hiss anyway, clutching at any part of Jonathan’s that he can reach.

“There’s my good boy,” Jonathan murmurs, his praise washing over Patrick. “You were made for this, I knew it, the moment I saw you.” He rolls his hips, pulling out until just his cock is inside of Patrick, and then he slides back in, the uncomfortableness giving way to a spark of pleasure.

“Fuck, fuck,” Patrick moans as Jonathan starts to build a rhythm, taking Patrick’s legs and hooking them over his shoulders until Patrick is bent in half, changing the angle, his cock hitting right there, right on the spot that sends electricity rippling down Patrick’s spine and into his toes.

“Jonathan!” Patrick cries, trying to roll his hips back, chasing the building of pleasure. “Don’t stop, don’t stop.”

“Darling boy,” Jonathan moans, sweat rolling down his forehead, over his skin, making it hard for Patrick to hold to him. “My, sweet, darling boy.” He bites at Patrick’s throat, raw from his earlier attention. “Wicked little thing you are.”

Patrick moans and moans and moans, cockhead dragging across Jonathan’s stomach, oversensitive. He will not last, he cannot last, not with the way Jonathan is slamming into his body, hitting his sweet spot on every other stroke while his cock drags between their bodies.

Jonathan lifts himself up, grabs Patrick by the chin and forces him to look into his eyes, baring his soul wide open. He stares and stares, hips never stopping, making Patrick dizzy and drunk, a warm, fuzzy, feeling washing over him until there is a sharp pain radiating from his right eye. He begins to cry, pleasure wavering. “Jonathan?” he asks, watching Jonathan’s hand lift, fingers working like they’re trying to pull something out of his eye. “It hurts, it hurts!”

Jonathan relaxes back on his heels, Patrick’s ass resting in his lap, hand around his cock as his hand continues to pull. He strokes Patrick's cock and despite the pain, Patrick feels his orgasm in the pit of his stomach.

Come for me,” Jonathan demands, cock hitting his spot and one brutal stroke of his hand and Patrick comes, white lightning hot just as Jonathan manages to pull a blue orb straight out of his eye, sending searing pain chasing after his orgasm.

Patrick begins to cry, overwhelmed, his mind going blank and fuzzy as Jonathan leans forward and kisses him, eyes locked, thrusting one, two, three more times and spilling his seed inside of him.

Patrick minds goes suddenly, darkly, blank.

 

 

 

 

When Patrick wakes, he is aware that he is in his bed, and not in the Reverend’s. Jessica and Jackie are sleeping soundly on either side of him, and Mama and Erica are snoring from their bed across the room. He is in his night shirt, and it is the middle of the night, and he has no idea how long it has been or how he got here, but he knows Jonathan has had something to do with it.

He climbs out of bed, feeling compelled to creep from the house and make the short walk to the fields despite the cold and darkness.

Jonathan is there with a small light, burying the orb he pulled from Patrick’s eye alongside the trinket. “I pulled the essence of your love for your family from your heart and put it in this orb. As long as it stays buried here and intact, your family will live long, healthy, happy lives.”

Patrick frowns. “Did you have to do it so painfully?”

Jonathan laughs, suddenly appearing by Patrick’s side, cupping his face. “I thought I was thoroughly distracting you.” He buries his fingers in Patrick’s hair, stroking. “I must leave you now, but only for a little bit.”

Jonathan kisses him goodbye and then he is gone, and Patrick does not see him through the winter, not even when the wind gets harsh and their home is buried under a mountain of snow. It is a dangerous situation, but Mama does not get sick, and neither do his sisters, or the cows and the fire, suspiciously, never once goes out, not even when no one wakes in the middle of the night to tend it. It is a reminder that Jonathan’s magic, for that is what Patrick supposes it is, is there to protect him.

It is a reminder that Patrick has not danced with the Devil, but spread his legs for the man instead. It would be a shameful reminder if Patrick’s belly was not full, and if he was not warm, and if his family was not healthy. He cannot be ashamed of what he’s done to keep his family alive, and if he must pay with his soul, than be it. Eternal damnation cannot be so bad, not if it requires spreading his legs for the Devil himself, which hasn’t been so terrible, all things considered.

They survive the winter, and so does most of the village. Anne Bishop passes in her sleep, but she was an old woman and no one had expected her to make it to this winter. They wait until the spring thaw to bury her in the cemetery, and Patrick attends, standing at the very back to make a run for it just in case he goes up in flames at the Lord’s prayer. When he does not catch fire, he sighs a breath of relief, and even dares to escort his mother and sisters to church that Sunday, but does not step foot inside the building. It is not rare for the men to miss services to attend to work, and he is happy for the excuse to stop at the church doors.

“One day you will have to actually attend, you know,” Erica jokes when he goes to leave. “With Papa gone, you will have to be the one to give us away.” And then she disappears into the church and takes a seat a little too close to Mr. Smith’s eldest son, Jacob. Patrick frowns, because when did that happen, and also because how is he supposed to escort his sister down the aisle if there’s a chance God will strike him down right there and then?

He returns home and attends to the barn, mucking out the stables. They have enough money now from the crops they sold for a horse and a cart he means to buy at market. Even if the crops aren’t good, at least Mama will not have to walk to church each Sunday.

Patrick miss Jonathan and has so many questions for him too, but he doesn’t know how to summon him other than burning a bible and slicing his palm open, but just thinking about the man has always managed to lure him out of the very pits of hell, so he does that, conjuring images of his smile and that fond look he gave Patrick.

“A horse? My, aren’t we rich now.”

Patrick startles, dropping his rake. “Christ!”

“Don’t use the Lord’s name in vain. He might hear you.”

Patrick picks up a pile of hay and throws it at Jonathan who laughs and avoids most of it. He is there in front of Patrick, cupping his face, kissing him softly. Despite himself, Patrick melts into the kiss, feeling himself melt for the Devil of all people. “I missed you,” he admits. The never ending fire, the food, the warmth of the night were all reminders of Jonathan.

Jonathan smiles, bright and happy. “I’m sorry I was gone for so long. You are not the only one summoning the Devil for his help.”

Something sharp stabs in Patrick’s throat, feeling like betrayal. “What did they ask for?"

“The same things that you did. A healthy harvest. Their family’s good health.”

Rage builds in the pit of Patrick’s stomach. To miss the Devil, the evil creature, he is a fool. “And did they have to give their virgin seed?”

Jonathan frowns, holding Patrick’s face still to stare into his soul. Patrick tries to turn his head away, but Jonathan’s grip is strong. “I do not need virgin seed when they sign my book.”

Patrick’s brows come together, confusion seeping into him. “When they sign your book?”

“When someone signs their name in my book, I use their soul as the equivalent exchange for what they want.” Jonathan’s own eyebrows knit together. “You never signed my book, Patrick. I had to use your seed as my exchange.”

“I never signed your book,” Patrick repeats.

Jonathan nods slowly, looking at Patrick like he is a simpleton. “You never signed my book.”

“Then . . . then why did you—you did your magic for me, without my soul. You said, all that I am, all that I will be, is yours, but you don’t own my soul.”

There is a blush on Jonathan’s face. “Yes, well, not officially, but I was hoping that, well, one day. . .”

“One day,” Patrick parrots.

“Will you stop repeating everything I say?”

Patrick shakes his head in disbelief. “If you don’t own my soul, then why did you help me?”

Jonathan shrugs. “I was going to have you sign my book, but then I looked into your soul, and I couldn’t find anything but good inside of you. I’ve told you before, that holy book of yours is full of lies. I am not the monster I have been made out to be. Yes, I have people sign my book, but only when their hearts are full of evil. Everyone else I help because I want to.”

“Because you want to,” Patrick chimes.

Jonathan nods his head slowly. “Because I want to.”

Patrick sighs a breath of relief. “I can walk Erica down the aisle.”

“What?”

“Erica. I can walk her down the aisle. There’s something going on with her and that Jacob Smith boy. I was afraid when the time came that I wouldn’t be able to step inside the church to walk her down the aisle because I had signed my soul to the Devil.”

Jonathan snorts a laugh. “You can dance naked in the pews if you want, but I don’t think you want Erica marrying Jacob Smith.”

“No?”

No,” Jonny insists. “I have looked into his soul and I have not seen anything good.”

Patrick does not mean to be that brother, but he cannot allow his sister to marry a man with a bad soul. “How much virgin seed will you need to keep that from happening?”

“You’re not a virgin anymore,” Jonathan reminds him, and then tumbles Patrick into the hay, for once using his actual body and not his magic. “But I think we can work something out.”

And then he kisses Patrick, and Patrick feels no shame. If he’s going to Hell, at least he’s going in a golden chariot with the Devil by his side.