Bloodletting

They have seen such horrors here, walking behind Death as he reaps a bountiful harvest, but this – this they could not imagine.

It is fortunate that their eyes are closed and sleep holds them fast. What the men in the ranks don’t know can’t hurt them. Or, rather, it could hurt them very badly – but not tonight. Tonight its hungers will be sated elsewhere.

Title: Bloodletting

Author: onstraysod

Characters: William De Lancey/Colquhoun Grant/Jonathan Strange/Duke of Wellington

Summary: Vampire!Wellington satisfies his hunger with De Lancey, Grant and Strange.

Notes: This story was written for the 2015 JSaMN Society of Magicians Halloween Party; it is part 4 of onstraysod’s JS&MN + vampirism series.  You can leave feedback for onstraysod here, or on Tumblr, where you can also read the other stories.

~*~

They have seen such horrors here, walking behind Death as he reaps a bountiful harvest, but this – this they could not imagine.

It is fortunate that their eyes are closed and sleep holds them fast. What the men in the ranks don’t know can’t hurt them. Or, rather, it could hurt them very badly – but not tonight. Tonight its hungers will be sated elsewhere.

“My lovely boys,” Wellington says in a lazy tone, and he sets his wine glass aside. The old Portuguese manor is furnished with the tattered remnants of a long-dead owner’s lost prosperity, and His Lordship sits at ease on a settee covered in faded red damask. His neckcloth is undone, his coat discarded, and he rolls up his sleeves as his gaze wanders over the two men on their knees before him. With a smirk he beckons, a slight flick of his wrist. “Come here, my dear Colonel.”

De Lancey goes forward on all fours, his eyes bright with adoration as he looks up at His Lordship. When he reaches the settee he dares to raise himself by sliding his hands up His Lordship’s thighs. Wellington brushes his thumb across the younger man’s plump bottom lip, letting the flesh drag a little beneath his touch. His gaze is on that mouth, that pretty young mouth, and his licks his own lips in sympathetic longing.

“What are you willing to do for me, Colonel?” Wellington asks, an edge of heat in his tone.

De Lancey’s eyes are wide, glittering in the candlelight. “Anything, my lord.” His breath catches in his throat as he speaks. “Everything.”

One of Wellington’s eyebrows arches and he smiles. “Everything, Colonel? That encompasses a great deal.” He takes De Lancey firmly by the upper arms and pulls him closer until their faces almost touch. Then Wellington tilts his head and ghosts the tip of his long nose across De Lancey’s cheek. The younger man trembles, his breath coming in hot gasps.

“I am yours to command, my lord,” he murmurs, daring to reach out again and lay his hands upon Wellington’s shoulders. “Please. Let me serve you.”

Wellington’s fingers run through De Lancey’s thick ginger hair; his mouth nuzzles against the Colonel’s neck as he replies: “As you wish.” A shiver passes down the length of De Lancey’s body as Wellington lays his tongue against his throat, passing it slowly, wetly, down along his skin until he finds the throb of the young man’s jugular vein. He lets it rest there for a moment and De Lancey writhes against him, anticipation setting him aflame.

Wellington holds the Colonel firmly against him, one hand on his hip, another clasping his jaw, and De Lancey’s back arches, a gasp escaping his lips, as Wellington’s fangs sink deep, deep into his flesh. Pain sears through the young man, seethes and courses through every nerve, tensing every muscle to the point of breaking, until it is suddenly replaced by a very different sensation. Wellington grasps his Colonel harder, tighter against him as he feeds, moving the hand from De Lancey’s hip up the path of his spine, into his hair, cupping his head as he sucks up the warm lifeblood that pulses out so readily, gushes over his tongue, expelled by the speed of the Colonel’s heartbeat. As euphoria supersedes pain De Lancey cries out weakly, grasping at Wellington in turn, fingers curling and digging into his His Lordship’s shoulders hard enough to wound; tremors echo through him until his whole body begins to convulse. His eyes are closed but his mouth hangs open, his breath pants out between wet lips, and his head falls back as he moans, heedless of the sleeping men outside, lost in this strange abandon. With a growl Wellington sucks harder, and De Lancey’s face pales to an ashen white in His Lordship’s grasp – then Wellington releases him, and the young Colonel falls backwards into waiting arms.

Breathing deeply, licking the blood that remains glistening on his lips, Wellington looks down at the men sprawled on the rug before him. Yes – there is adoration in De Lancey’s eyes when he looks at Wellington. But not love. That is reserved for the face that bends over De Lancey now, for the man whose arms cradle him, whose strong hands caress his cheeks. Colquhoun Grant cushions De Lancey’s fall, lets his superior officer’s head rest back against his bare chest, makes of his lap a pillow for De Lancey’s head, and De Lancey gazes up into Grant’s face with a floating, detached expression. Grant strokes his hair gently and, bending over, cleans the blood from the puncture wounds in the Colonel’s throat with soft, lingering licks.

“Grant,” De Lancey murmurs with a smile, his voice the satisfied purr of a kitten, his expression that of someone still wandering halfway between wakefulness and dream.

Wellington purses his lips as he leans back against the cushions of the settee, a drowsiness borne of satiation overtaking him, and something between approval and jealousy stirring in his still, silent heart. “Your turn, Major Grant.”

Grant looks up at His Lordship, nods once, then bends over De Lancey again and presses a gentle kiss upon the Colonel’s soft lips. “I must, you know,” he whispers, placing another kiss upon the tip of De Lancey’s nose, upon his brow and both eyelids. “You are too weak. I cannot–”

“Do not apologize,” De Lancey says, reaching up to touch Grant’s face. “It is only fair, after all. And I have seen the way you look at him.”

Grant does not reply. He lays De Lancey’s head carefully down upon the rug and rises as Wellington turns and gestures, again with that same lazy, imperious motion of the hand, towards the shadows at the edge of the room. “Come Merlin. We have need of you.”

Jonathan Strange walks slowly into the candlelight. He is shaking, but his mouth is set, his expression resolute. His coat is gone, his neckcloth removed, and he stands in front of Grant expectantly, his chest rising and falling with the rapidity of his breathing, a wild and dangerous light in his eyes.

“Do you consent, Merlin?” Wellington asks, his voice a sleepy rumble from the settee.

Strange does not take his gaze from Grant’s “I consent.”

Grant reaches out his hand and gently strokes Strange’s cheek. He holds himself in control yet, though watching Wellington feed upon De Lancey has aroused his hunger to a fevered pitch and need gnaws at him like an uncontrollable fire. “I will try not to hurt you,” Grant says, and leaning forward he touches his lips to Strange’s as if to seal a promise.

Strange says nothing but when Grant pulls away he takes the edges of his shirt in his fingers and tugs it wider apart, exposing a broad swath of chest. Grant watches him, motionless for a moment, before reaching out again to trail a finger in increments down his sternum. Then all at once the Major’s control breaks and he falls to his knees. He rips open the buttons of Strange’s breeches and pushes them down over the magician’s hips. Here is a landscape to explore at leisure, but now Grant’s only thought is to feed, and he goes immediately to what he desires. Darting forward suddenly he sinks his fangs into the most prominent vein in Strange’s groin.

The magician gives a hoarse scream and jerks back, but there is no escaping the vice-like grip of Grant’s arms about his waist, or the hand that grips his arse. He stiffens and gasps for breath as the pain seizes him, then falls suddenly away. Strange’s hands find Grant’s head almost of their own accord, his fingers burying themselves in Grant’s hair as the Major draws great draughts of his blood. He is aware of De Lancey and Wellington watching, eyes riveted upon him; of the pleasurable, envious expressions on their faces as they listen to Grant groan as he feeds, but Strange no longer cares. His mind is unmoored from his body, sailing high in another plane of existence, and he closes his eyes and rides the waves of lightness, only halfway conscious of the moans issuing from his own mouth.

Grant releases him suddenly, muttering an oath, and falls backwards upon the rug. He stares up at Jonathan, a look of astonishment on his face. He has devoured magic: he has tasted its sharp tang upon his tongue. He feels it, roiling and churning within him.

Though pale and weak, Strange keeps to his feet. He stands gazing down at Grant, mouth wet with Strange’s blood, and the magician draws his breath in great shuddering gulps. Wellington is suitably impressed by Strange’s resilience and he rises from his settee and approaches the magician, laying a hand upon his shoulder.

“Well done, Merlin. You have proved your worth to us this night. Never let it be said that the ministers sent you to the Peninsula in vain.” And Wellington sets his hand to Strange’s jaw and turns his gaze away from Grant, then takes Strange’s mouth, The kiss is deep, commanding, and Strange tastes De Lancey on Wellington’s tongue, and from the floor where he lays now wrapped in Grant’s arms De Lancey gives a yearning sigh as if he feels it.

Another relic of the old Portuguese nobleman who had once owned the manor is a massive four-poster bed, hung with blue brocade curtains. It holds four men that night, bare limbs tangled, hungers – for the moment – satisfied.

~*~

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