Songs of Sea and Void 4

Jocasta was finally, finally done with Max. For three weeks their town and their livelihoods had been suffering, and it was all very definitely his fault.

The day after Max refused to let Kadijah do her duty by the Leviathan, the local fishermen, freedivers, and scavengers went out as they normally did only to return within hours. She could still see their faces, pale despite their dark brown complexions with worry and trepidation in every work weary line as they, one after another, approached the Captain’s table and told their tales. Each story was different, and yet they were frightening in their similarities.

“The currents fight against us,” some said.

“The fish are nowhere to be found,” said others.

“There’s nothing down there; not even the plants can be pulled from their roots,” said still others.

“That’s nothing,” Max had said, uneasiness hidden from those who weren’t familiar with him by the easy confidence he layered over his every word, but Jocasta heard it, and she knew the others did, too. The festivities resumed, but the entire celebration held an undercurrent of displeasure, a thickening swell of malcontent that made every shout of praise ring false.

The Leviathan was not happy with them.

Still, the celebration had its appointed length, so the depth of the god’s pique wasn’t known until the long distance ships went out.

First to go out was Paolo, he and his crew shoving off as soon as the festival was officially over. Paolo possessed a spiritually sensitive soul, and he had been agitated ever since Max told the Sea God to fuck off. Two days out, he radioed back.

“The fish are here, but we haven’t caught a single one, not even garbage, not even our own bait! We can literally see them swimming in the fucking water next to us, and we’ve had mechanical trouble the entire trip.” He headed back soon after that report and hadn’t attempted to go out again.

Shasta was next to try, but she didn’t even get as far out as Paolo, only gone for a day and a half before she was calling back for help. Something, she didn’t know what except that it was huge and only surfaced in the dark of night, kept nudging them off course and had caused substantial damage to the ship. Max and his crew went out and towed them back home.

The rest of them knew bad signs when they saw them and did not even attempt to go out. They were cursed, or rather, one of their number had brought down the wrath of a god upon their heads, and he was too much of a stubborn, prideful ass to do what needed to be done to save them.

Jocasta wanted to empathize with Max, she really did, but she had a wife and two daughters to provide for. The bounty of the sea was what they survived on; a town like theirs couldn’t last long without it. He needed to stop this foolishness and relinquish his hold over Kadijah so that they could all prosper again.

That thought is what saw the thirty-three year old captain knocking on the door of Max and Kadijah’s house in the middle of the day. Her hope was that she would find the young woman alone in the house so that they could speak frankly about the situation. Maybe she could talk Kadijah into going to the Leviathan herself and ending all of this. After a few moments, the door opened to reveal Kadijah. Jocasta quickly looked her over, took note of the fading but still visible hickey on her neck, the dull quality to her normally vibrant brown skin, and the stress that dimmed her usually lively brown eyes.

“Oh, hello, Miss Jocasta, please come in,” Kadijah said, injecting cheeriness into her voice. Jocasta smiled warmly and pulled the young woman into a comforting hug before stepping in. The two settled on the couch after Kadijah set out cold water.

“Is Max here?” Jocasta asked, sipping her water and looking around. The living room was very cozy, decorated in warm blues and dark greys that gave it a dark and comforting air. It was offset by the large bay windows that let in sunlight and showcased a lovely view of the beach and sparkling sea, and plants flourished in every spare patch of sunlight.

“Nah, he’s on the Siren’s Heart at the moment,” Kadijah said, her keen eyes taking in Jocasta’s visible relief at that. She quirked an eyebrow, and Jocasta couldn’t help but laugh a little.

“I wanted to talk with you in private, “ she said, and Kadijah nodded, her eyes wandering to the open sea.

“I’ve already tried,” she said, chuckling darkly at Jocasta’s surprised expression.

“You came here today to ask me why I don’t just go to the Leviathan myself, and I’m telling you now that I have. I’ve gone to him every night. I’ve begged and pleaded with him to take me,” she closed her eyes, a hand fluttering up to the bite mark on her collarbone, gently stroking the raised edges of it, “and every time, he says the same thing. ‘There are rules, sweet girl, and I must abide by them. Max has to release you to me. That was the condition of atonement for your town, and if your end isn’t being met, then I cannot meet mine.’ That’s what he says each time. He won’t even let me touch him,” she said, eyes sliding shut and features twisting with something Jocasta thought must have been pain and longing.

She never truly understood the deep connection the sea nomads had to the Great Leviathan; her allegiance and devotion always had its root in the Storm God, though she gave the Sea God his due diligence. The Storm God, while present in the lives of her followers, preferred to keep them at an arm’s length while her followers lived. True union with her was to be found in the afterlife as part of the clouds and her never-ending dance with the seasons. Still, it must sting very much like rejection when the Sea God refused her touch, especially for someone as devoted as Kadijah.

“So, it’s down to Max?” Jocasta asked. Kadijah nodded, and the captain blew out an angry breath. They were doomed. There was no way Max would relent when it came to this. Even the youngest child knew that Max harbored serious hatred, resentment, and jealousy in regards to his wife’s devotion to the Great Leviathan. He was a man who always scorned the gods, never realizing that he was blessed by them, and now he could hardly deal with a world in which the gods scorned him. He would drag them all screaming into the depths before he surrendered anything to the Sea God.

“Have a little faith in Max, Miss Jocasta. He loves this town like it was his own child. He’ll do the righ-” Jocasta blinked, rubbed her eyes. In-between one second and the next, Kadijah had vanished. The air around where she had been felt strange when Jocasta swiped her hand through it, cold and hot at the same time, and she snatched her hand back.

“By the Void,” Jocasta breathed and dashed out of the house and towards the Siren’s Heart.

 

—-

 

Max was not a man who liked to admit when he was wrong. It was always a sour taste in his mouth, a churning in his guts that made him feel constipated. He typically avoided it at all costs. But that wasn’t something he could do this time. As more and more time passed it became increasingly apparent that their misfortune was not due to the classic whims of an unknowing sea. No, this had purpose and even malevolence behind it. The Sea God was punishing them all, and it was his fault.

For once, he was able to look at the situation without his ego in the way. He looked on the families that lived paycheck to paycheck, to the children without parents who depended on the revenue of the town for food and shelter. Their suffering, slight now but growing with each day they failed to bring in the many items they drew as a town from the sea, was apparent on their faces. As was their condemnation of his pride and selfishness.

What did it matter, he asked himself, that he hated the Leviathan and found him to be a cruel and spiteful god? His people lived and died by the god’s whim; he should know better than to antagonize such a creature. He did know, and he knew what he had to do, but it was hard, it was so incredibly hard, to relent.

Every night, he would pretend to be asleep as Kadijah snuck out of their bed and threw open the doors, rushing out into the night to the beach. He would follow silently behind her, hide behind an outcropping of rock, and watch as she softly called to the Leviathan. The god would answer, his form suddenly there among the gentle waves but too far for Kadijah to touch. She begged him each night to take her, and every night, the god would refuse, the regret in his voice obvious even to Max. There were rules, the god patiently explained each time, and because he abided by those rules, Max had to be the one to say it. Kadijah would sink to her knees in the sand then, her arms hugging her sides and head bent low. The god would meet Max’s gaze then, glittering black eyes all but saying that her suffering, all their suffering was on his shoulders. Max could not deny his part in it, though it pained him greatly.

He needed time to gather the strength needed to humble himself. He took to spending time on his ship, letting himself be soothed by its familiar rocking as he lay curled on his bunk. His crew watched him resentfully, and finally he told them his intentions.

“About time,” most of them muttered, but there were relieved smiles on most their faces.

And so, at about the same time Jocasta was knocking on the door to his house, Max walked to the edge of the Fish King’s dock and sat down. His feet, bare, dangled over the edge, and he stared at them.

“I know you can hear me, Sea God. We need to talk,” he said. A moment passed, the only sound the rhythmic push and pull of the water. Then:

“I wondered how long you would last, Max, First Among Captains.” The Sea God was next to him, his lower half submerged in the clear water, his upper half leaning casually against the dock. His head was tilted back, eyes closed as he basked in the bright sunlight. Max clenched his teeth.

“We both know that I don’t fucking like you, and the only reason I’m doing this is because it’s the only way to save the town,” Max growled, hands two shaking fists at his side. The Leviathan moved suddenly, gliding so that he was between Max’s legs, his face twisted into a sneer and void black eyes narrowed to slits. Max jerked away but was stopped by the hand that shot up out of the water and grabbed a fistful of his shirt, dragging him down until he was practically nose to nose with the god.

“And I think we both know that I could give a shit less whether you like me,” the whale god snarled, his voice so low and full of violence it shook Max’s bones, “the only thing I care about is that you give to me what is rightfully mine. I will have Kadijah, and I will have her impaled on my cock sooner or later, so do the right thing for your people and have it be sooner,” the god smirked then, and Max felt the air squeeze around him, narrowing his vision until all he could see was the black of the god’s eyes. Fear entered him then, and for the first time, it truly dawned on him that this was a god he was dealing with and not some merman or other mortal creature. The Leviathan released him, but Max was still pinned by his stare.

“Return Kadijah to me, and I will let you have the honor of raising the children I’m going to give her. You will always net the biggest and best fish, and your hull will never be empty when you come home. Give me what is mine, what you took from me when you had the gall to marry her, and all will be forgiven.” The Sea God said, finally releasing him fully. Max sucked in a breath and held it in an attempt to slow his racing heart. So that was what this was all about. It wasn’t him the Leviathan hated; it was the fact that he had taken Kadijah away. He would have done this to anyone she married, in any town she settled in. That did not comfort him.

“How long are you planning to come around?” He asked, flinching slightly when the god’s grin revealed those jagged serrated teeth.

“For as long as she’ll have me, and I think we both know she’ll have me for a very long time. Say the words,” the Sea God said, all trace of patience gone. Max swallowed hard, closed his eyes to blot out the sight of the god and told himself that it was for the sake of the town.

“You can have her.” He said. The air flexed around him, and when he opened his eyes, the god was gone.

 

—-

 

Kadijah opened her eyes and found herself lying in a nest of blankets in what appeared to be a cave. She sat up slowly, absently thinking that these were the softest blankets she had ever felt, and looked around.

The cave was lit by old whale oil lamps strategically placed around the space. They gave off either a bluish white or purplish white light, the two intermingling to create a surprisingly pleasant atmosphere. Just beyond the nest of blankets was a pool, lit from underwater by the same purplish white light. She couldn’t quite tell from her place in the nest, but she thought it might be some kind of passageway. Past the pool, more of the bluish white light filtered in, and she assumed that was from the mouth of the cave. Fleetingly, she thought about rising from the nest and at least seeing where she was, she didn’t remember leaving her house after all, but it was so comfortable, so much like the home she’d spent her entire life looking for, that she couldn’t bring herself to move.

“Kadijah. Come to me, sweet girl.”

She knew that voice! It haunted her dreams in the dead of night, and the touch of its owner’s hands still ghosted across her skin. She rose, stepping clumsily from the cocoon of warmth, and skirted the edge of the pool, her steps slow and unsure as she approached the mouth of the cave.

For a moment, the brighter light at the cave entrance blinded her. She squinted her eyes, focusing them on the dark figure sitting down on the ledge. It held out its hand to her, and she took it, immediately recognizing the Leviathan by the callouses on his fingers. When her eyes adjusted, she flushed, a happy smile shyly touching her mouth. He squeezed her hand in his and tilted his head out towards the scene around them. Taking the hint, she dragged her eyes away from him and gasped.

“Where…where are we?” She breathed. He hummed, a pleased noise rumbling from deep in his chest.

“We’re in the Void, my home.”

There was no ground beneath them or sky above them. All around them was the same bluish white light going on and on in every direction, broken only occasionally by floating islands. Some of these islands were barren outcroppings with only twisted pieces of driftwood scattered across their surfaces, and some were overflowing with plantlife. In the distance, whales and cephalopods glided through the air, the whale’s songs carried to them on the gentle breeze that seemed to have no end. She once again looked at Levi and sucked in a breath. Where his tail was there was a kind of shifting black smoke, and at times it looked as though he had legs in place of the tail. Looking at it for more than a second made her eyes hurt, and so she directed them to his face, which had a curiously vulnerable look to it.

“It’s beautiful here, Levi!” She exclaimed, eyes sparkling with wonder. A wide grin broke across his face, and it occurred to her then that the look on his face had been nerves over whether or not she would like his domain.

“I am glad you think so,” he said, entwining their fingers. The act, so simple, so intimate, made her heart pound, and she was suddenly nervous in his presence. She stared at their joined hands, wondering what all this meant. For weeks, he had refused her touch, wouldn’t even come within arm’s distance of her. Did bringing her here now mean that Max had finally relented? Had he given the bounty of the sea back to her people, or would that come after he had his fill of her? A hand cupped her cheek and tilted her head up so that she could meet his eyes. So many people had described his void black eyes as terrifying and unknowable, but she couldn’t disagree more. The look in them now was nothing short of tender.

“Your Max has graciously given me the honor of having you by my side once more, and so I have given the fish leave to return to their natural places,” he said, voice low as he pulled her close and touched their foreheads together. Her free hand came to rest on his bare chest, and her mouth parted around a relieved smile.

“I knew he’d do the right thing,” she whispered, eyes darting between his full lips and his intense eyes. It amazed her how badly she wanted him to kiss her, how anticipation burned low in her belly just from the thought of it. Would he take her as roughly as he had before? Or would he take his time with her? Kadijah found she didn’t much care either way just so long as he took her and soon.

“Your faith in him is truly admirable, my sweet girl,” he said, tilting her head back to expose her neck to his hungry mouth.

He trailed lingering kisses up the smooth column of her throat, sucking and biting, slowly reclaiming his territory. The faintest trace of Max’s scent lingered on her skin, and he had to briefly close his eyes against the possessiveness that overwhelmed his being and demanded that he go end the pathetic human creature that dared place hands, mouth, or tongue on this woman who had given herself to him. He shoved the urge down, reminding himself that he was above that level of vindictiveness. It was better for the human to have to watch as Kadijah’s womb swelled with his child; much more painful than a quick death would be.

She moaned, eyes sliding closed and hands tangling themselves in his dark, curly hair as she gave herself over to his touch. Why lie to herself anymore? This was what she had always wanted, had dreamed about in the dark of her cabin on her father’s ship as a teenager. The hope of it carried her through her college years, pushed many men and women away from her because she could not bring herself to lower her sights. That Max got her attention at all was the miracle.

Levi pulled her close, and it was only when her bare breasts met with his chest that she realized she was clad only in a pair of panties. She leaned back, certain she’d had clothes on just a second before.

“This is how you always look when you dream of me, and I’ve become fond of the sight. The rest of your clothes are in the cave, don’t worry,” he said, grinning at her embarrassed expression. He pulled her close once more, stroking a hand down her bare back as he set his lips and teeth to her collarbone.

“You knew about my dreams?” She asked, biting back a moan as he kissed his way to her breasts. She was on her back, their legs entwined as he hovered above her. His hands skimmed up her ribcage, testing the strength of her bones, before cupping her breasts. He bent down to kiss each hardened nipple before answering her.

“You were calling me so sweetly, how could I not answer you?” He said, rolling her nipples between his fingers and watching with fascination as she arched up into his touch. She could hear the truth of his words in his voice, in the longing he was trying to hide. How long had he watched her hungrily from the darkness of her dreams? Had he known, all this time, how desperately she ached for just the slightest glimpse of him in the wide expanse of the sea? Did he know that her eyes could hardly stand the sight of land, knowing that he would not be there? How she envied the creatures of the oceans their access to him!

Cool air brushed against her heated skin, and she shivered, the sensation too intense when coupled with his searing hot mouth suckling her nipple. He glanced up at her, black eyes matte with arousal, the sight of her breast in his mouth so erotic that she had to look away.

“Are you cold, sweet girl?” He asked, releasing her nipple to nibble and lap at the sensitive underside.

“Aaah, a little,” she said, squirming as his fingers trailed down her sides. He chuckled low in his throat, stretching his lean body out next to hers, inserting himself between her and the ledge. His arms slid under and around her, cocooning her in the heat that radiated from his body. She tilted her head up, her mouth parting as he ducked his head down to brush his lips against hers.

“Can you stand it a little longer? I can’t deny how much I’ve thought about fucking you right here,” he kissed her again, pulling her close and pressing the hard ridge of his erection into the hollow of her hips, “how good your gorgeous pussy will feel around me, your moans echoing into the Void for me to enjoy for eternity.” He shivered at the thought, his tongue pushing past her teeth and laying claim to her mouth. She clutched at his shoulders, arching into his embrace and moaning into the kiss. He ground against her, fingers digging into her skin, the friction driving him mad with lust. She hooked her leg over his hip, drawing him tight against her soaked panties, the only barriers between them her underwear and his dark pants.

Her hand wiggled between them, fingers finding and undoing the button to his trousers and tugging on the material impatiently. He laughed against her mouth, rolling her onto her back and settling between her legs, deftly pushing the material down his hips until his cock sprung free. She wrapped her legs around him, her heels digging into the firm flesh of his ass as he rubbed against her through her panties, the material so saturated with her fluids that it coated him.

“I can’t wait, I can’t, oh, I can’t, I can’t,” Kadijah whined, her nails biting into the sleek muscles of his back, his hips relentlessly dragging his length against her covered slit and driving her to distraction. He sank his teeth into the tender flesh of her neck, groaning when the taste of her blood exploded on his tongue. Everything about her was absolutely delicious, and he planned on sampling her over and over again.

“Now? Are you sure you don’t want to go inside where you’ll be warmer?” He asked teasingly, hissing out a laugh when she raked her nails down his back in reply. The look in his eyes intensified as he slowly pushed past her panties, the wide head of his dick just barely touching her dripping hole. He pushed in, just enough for her to really feel him, before retreating again, repeating the process again and again and hiding the vaguely sadistic smirk on his face in the crook of her neck as her frustrated whines grew in intensity.

“Stop teasing me! Give me all of it, now!” She finally snarled, eyes sparking with her displeasure. The fiery sight of her ire made his cock twitch eagerly against her, and he gripped her firmly by the back of her neck, flattening his form against her, his dick inside her only enough to stretch her hole.

“Why should I? You’ve been with him recently. I can still smell him on your skin, ruining your scent. You don’t need my dick, do you, love,” he growled, jealousy apparent in his deep voice, his hips pressing forward even as he tried to deny her. She writhed against him, her frustration turning into genuine irritation as she processed his words. Despite her growing frustration, Kadijah slowly smoothed her hands up his back, taking the time to feel the sweat lightly coating his skin. He was trembling above her, his hips subtly canting up and jerking back, as if it took everything he had to keep from fully seating himself in her slick heat. She ached, her pussy fluttering and flexing around his head, trying to pull him deeper inside. A part of her hated how badly she needed him, how empty she felt inside without him, but a bigger part of her reveled in the jealousy he was showing, in how badly he wanted her for himself. Was she wrong for liking it as much as she did?

Her hands left his back, briefly smoothing down his muscular arms before traveling back up them, wrapping them around his strong neck, watching as his eyes fluttered shut when she applied the barest hint of pressure, before stroking her fingers down the line of his stubbled jaw. His eyes burned her, so utterly black that no light escaped them. He looked at her like he wanted to devour her, and she, fool that she was, wanted him to.

“You know I need you, Levi. I belong to you, remember?” She said, and she truly meant it. Before anything or anyone else, she was his. He inhaled sharply, his hands grabbing hers and pinning them on each side of her head, his eyes narrowed and his sharp teeth bared in a grimace of pleasure as he snapped his hips forward, relishing her loud, pleasured cry as he filled her.

She had almost forgotten how full he made her feel, how every inch of him working inside her inflamed her nerves, spreading fire through her veins until all she could think about was the overwhelming pleasure he gave her so freely. The sounds he made her produce! Such raw, guttural noises of enjoyment, sounds that she would have been mortified to discover she was capable of in any other setting. Everything about it, from their entwined hands beside her face, the drag and scrape of her back against the rough rock of their personal floating island as he slammed into her again and again, the wet slap of his ball sac against her soft ass cheeks, to his panting, wet mouth as it moved against hers conspired to bind her more and more tightly to him until the very thought of being parted from him caused her soul to cry out in loss.

“You’re so good, Jah-Jah,” he moaned, hiking her legs over his shoulders so that he could penetrate her more deeply, hips pumping feverishly as his orgasm neared. She cried out raggedly, her eyes squeezed shut against the bliss building and building inside her. “You’re so, so good, so hot and wet for me, so fucking perfect.” He groaned against her thigh, voice muffled and slurred with pleasure, his strokes long and desperate as his balls drew closer to his body, his whole body bracing for orgasm. Not wanting to come without her, Levi flattened his hips against hers, changing his strokes to short, hard ones that rubbed his lower abdomen against the hard nub of her clit. She came with a choked gasp, her legs stiffening around him, back arching, and pussy pulsing around his rigid cock so insistently that he followed her almost instantly, her name a low hiss through clenched teeth as his dick jerked and spasmed deep inside her, shooting thick ropes of cum inside and making him shudder.

He rested against her for a while, giving her long, soft kisses, moaning lowly when she widened her legs and pushed her hips up against his, her inner muscles flexing around his length and coaxing it into hardening.

“You’re insatiable,” he murmured, slowly rocking into her. She bit her kiss swollen lower lip and peered up at him through long black lashes.

“I can’t help that you’ve hypnotized me with your dick,” she said, erupting in a fit of giggles at his incredulous look. He smiled, amused at her show of humor, and regretfully pulled out of her wet warmth.

“My silly little human,” he said, affection tinging his words, as he stood up with her in his arms and made his way back into the cave.

“Yours,” she agreed, and by the time he placed her in the soft nest of blankets and settled in, naked, behind her, she was asleep.

 

 

The very first thing Max did when he got home from the Fish King’s dock was pour himself a strong drink and dig out that book, that Songs of Sea and Void. He had to do something to keep his mind off of where his wife was and what that awful whale god was probably doing to her, and learning more about his enemy seemed like a smart use of his time. Perhaps the book would reveal some secret weakness the god had that he could later exploit to get him to back off of Kadijah and their town? Max could only hope.

He flipped through the small book, past the diagrams and hand drawn sketches and scribbled notes that read more like love letters than spells, until he came to a section titled, Receiving the Mark: Void’s Consort. Curiosity peaked, he read.

About once in every generation, a person with a stronger than normal connection to the Void is selected by the Leviathan to become his consort. The chosen person is then tested in three ways. First, comes a test of selflessness. The Leviathan is looking to see if the person is capable of being intimate with him in his mer form in front of a crowd for the sake of others. Secondly, if the person has a significant other (and they almost always do) the Leviathan is looking to see how deeply the person’s dedication is to either himself, if they are a devotee of his, or to the people they promised to lay with him for. The third and final test is the most difficult and the one that no one has ever passed. In this last test, the Leviathan takes the chosen person to the Void itself, and once there, he takes on his most monstrous form, a form that has been described as equal parts human, rat, and some unknown beast of the Void. It is in this form that he asks the person to willingly perform an intimate act on him. If they refuse, and all have, they are returned home, and their town fades into obscurity. No one knows what the true nature of the Void God is until you are staring at the black eternity of it.

The book fell from Max’s hands, and he leaned back, covering his face with his hands.

“By the Void, we were screwed from the beginning, weren’t we,” he breathed. He knew how much Kadijah loved that black eyed bastard, but he didn’t think even she was capable of having sex with some kind of human, rat, void monster creature. She had barely had the nerve to have sex with him in the mer form! He sighed.

“There’s only one thing I can do,” he said, ignoring his glass in favor of snatching up the bottle of liquor and taking long pulls from it.

“I hope she’ll be okay when this is over.”

 

—-

 

Levi considered the sleeping woman in his arms, for once very, very pleased with his choice. Over the countless years that sentient life had been blooming across Creation, he had been searching for a soul he could have as a companion. Sure, he had the company of the other gods, and sure, he valued his time alone, but even he knew that it was not good to go through existence by one’s self. The other gods, save Source of course, were all fleeting, their lives tied to their domains, and their domains tied to the life of the multiverse. Only she and he were truly what could be called eternal, being the representations of All and Nothing respectively. He could not be with her, of course: their natures directly opposed each other’s and could not mix except in the creation of souls, which took a bit of All and a dash of Nothing to create. In any case, he did not want her as she was a sister to him.

Besides themselves, the only other thing that was eternal was souls, but they had their own place for when Creation ended. For a soul to spend eternity with him, he would have to Mark it, to share a portion of his soul with it and to take a bit of its soul into himself. That wasn’t something that could be undone, and so, he tested each human that caught his interest. None had passed his final test, but there was always something in them that hinted at the coming failure, and so while he was disappointed each time, Levi could never truly say he was surprised.

But he had a good feeling about Kadijah.

She had never been afraid of him, not even as a child, not even as an infant had she cried or been distressed at the sight of him. When her mother placed her in his arms as a mere two month old, she had simply opened those big brown eyes of hers, took in his shark toothed grin, and supplied a gummy grin of her own. She had never hesitated to jump from her father’s ship and into his waiting arms, shrieking with glee when he tossed her high in the air only to fall with a splash into the waiting ocean below. She’d easily shared all her secrets with him, her dreams of a strange place where there was no earth or sky, only endlessness, and in the center of it all, an incessant singing that pulled at her heart.

Levi knew then that he would test her, and so he left, giving her a chance to live her life without him, to see if the touch of the Void would lessen with time. He caught himself hoping, for her sake, that it would.

The bond between them, forged by her mother when she was dedicated to him as a baby and strengthened by their years of play together, was always in his mind, a warm, comforting thing that kept him throughout the years away from her. He spent most of that time in the Abyssal plain, far away from sunlight, his material body floating frozen in the black waters while his mind wandered the seas and Void that were his domain. By the time her marriage rolled around, he had nearly convinced himself to let her pass through life untested. If her soul returned to this world again, he would find her, but for now, he told himself, he would let her live.

He was not prepared for the way her marriage bond compromised the bond he shared with her. It shocked him, like the time Stormie blasted him with lightning, slammed him back into his physical body, and he jerked, convulsed as her heart that had been so long in his keeping was forcefully snatched from him and dumped carelessly into the hands of some human boy. He gasped, sucked in water, expelled it as he shot towards the far off surface, fish and sea mammals scattering as they sensed his confusion, his rage, his heartbreak. He surfaced in the shallows that her new home overlooked, drawn to her like a moth to flame. His keen black eyes had stared unblinkingly as the hulking, awkward form of her husband mounted her in the night, his stare focused on her form.

Had she forgotten him so easily, he’d wondered, cocking his head as faint echos of her pleasured moans floated to him on the breeze. We’ll just see about that, he’d thought, swimming out towards open water and taking the tide with him.

He traced the raised bumps of a healing bite mark on her collarbone, darkly pleased with how well everything was working out. She had not forgotten him, had given herself to him freely and eagerly, had said she was his.

“Now it’s time to see how far that statement really goes, my sweet girl,” he murmured, excitement burning in his lower belly. He nudged her until she was just this side of wakefulness, whispered a set of instructions in her ear, then teleported himself to the “center” of the Void. There was no such center, not truly. The Void stretched endlessly in all directions, so any one place in it could be called the center, but this particular island was special to him.

It was to this place that he took all prospective consorts, here that he administered the final test, and it was here, amid the singing whale bones, that he would give his consort his Mark and bind her to him for eternity. His form shivered, the clean lines of it becoming soft as he shaped himself into something horrible to look upon. Kadijah was the one, he was sure of it. Even now, the scent of her wet pussy wafted towards him on the wind, hardening his already straining cock to steel. His mouth opened, a long, rat-like snout bristling with long, razor sharp fangs, and a long, low call left him, the sound vibrating the air around him, disassembling the islands and reassembling them elsewhere. He dropped into a low squat, rat-like, prehensile tail waving lazily behind him, hands braced on the ground between constantly shifting feet, erection quivering in the cool air.

Kadijah would pass. She had to.

 

—-

 

Kadijah woke with a start, her mind instantly alert and urging her out of the shelter of the nest. She stumbled out, looking around her with groggy eyes, wary of the incessant pull that was calling her out of the cave. Levi was nowhere to be found, and when she called for him, her voice only echoed back at her mockingly. irritated, she walked to the mouth of that cave, blinking owlishly at the drastic change in scenery outside.

Where before their island was isolated from the other rock groupings, several hundred smaller rocks had lined themselves up, forming a sort of spiraling staircase that went several hundred feet down, slowly forming into a much larger island that was at least a mile long and half a mile wide. She looked around, noticed that the bluish white light had darkened into a greyish black, that the rocks themselves were slick and shiny like obsidian, brittle beneath her feet like pencil lead. The whales that glided by looked hungry, their songs tinged with impatience, and the once gentle breeze had whipped itself into a strong wind that blew her braids in her face no matter how many times she pushed them away, the consistency of it hot and humid. Now that she was in the open, the pull on her was nearly painful, and she found herself flying down the steps, heart lodged in her throat every time one of them would shift and tilt under her weight but her entire being consumed with getting relief from the pain of the compulsion.

Twenty feet above the larger island, her foot caught on the end of one of the floating rocks, and she went airborne, landing with a painful groan on the hard surface of the island, sharp splinters of needle sharp rock imbedding themselves in her naked skin. She was still only clad in her navy blue lace panties which Levi seemed to favor.

“Fuck,” Kadijah groaned, resting her cheek against the hard stone. What in the hell was going on? She knew this had to be Levi’s doing. Nothing happened in the Void without his knowledge, so what exactly was the thinking behind this? Her breasts and stomach hurt from the force of her impact, and even without looking, she knew she had new cuts and bruises to add to the collection. What she wanted more than anything in that moment was to stay where she was and rest for the next decade. Her core was still achy and sore from taking Levi earlier, he wasn’t exactly small, and he had only just fit the entirety of his length inside her, and now he had her scrambling down unstable rock formations because he couldn’t be assed to simply wait around and take her with him wherever it was he needed her to be so badly.

She slowly rolled over onto her back, tamping down her ire and pitifully massaging the hurt from her breasts. The pull was not as painful down here, but it was still as strong, still as insistent. She would be able to ignore it for a short time while she rested and gathered up the energy to get up.

Kadijah.

Her ears pricked, and she sat up, looking around her. Had someone called her name?

“Levi?” She called out. The wind grew in intensity, pushing at her back until she was nearly bowed under from the force of it.

“Okay! Okay, I’m getting up right now,” she snapped, and the wind let up. She just barely refrained from rolling her eyes but got to her feet anyway. This was really too much.

In the center of the island rose two enormous slabs of rock that leaned against each other to form an arch. The center of that arch glowed a deep purple, and it was to here that the call pulled her. She walked toward it slowly, a strange apprehension beginning to fill her, especially as a dark silhouette began to break the purple light. She knew it had to be Levi, who else could it have been, but something about his form seemed off. Unsettling.

The purple light was coming from a shrine, an old thing made of driftwood and barbed wire draped with luxurious purple cloth, and in the middle of it was a necklace very similar to the one she currently wore around her neck. There was a faint, whispering singing coming from the shrine. Entranced, Kadijah forgot all about the dark figure to the left of the shrine, her mind zeroed in on touching that singing necklace.

“Kadijah.” Levi’s voice, deep, deeper than she had ever heard it before and sounding as if it were vibrating through the spaces in her atoms, stopped her in her tracks. Something was not right. Every primal instinct she possessed was screaming at her to run, run, run, but she was frozen, locked in place as a force greater than she could ever be compelled her to turn around and face her lover. She did, a scream catching in her throat and dying there as she took in the awful sight of him.

Gone was the handsome face she had become accustomed to. In place of it, there was  a rat head with at least eight (she counted eleven later, wet glistening beads set in a furry sloped skull) eyes and shark teeth so long and jagged he couldn’t properly close his mouth. A thick mane of wiry black hair, too long and kinky to be comfortably called fur, sprouted from the back of his head and under his snout and tapered off at his mid lower back and just under his pectorals, revealing the tawny skin of his muscular abdomen but starting up again as a thick trail of pubic hair that started under his bellybutton and culminated in a forest of black hair, his thick, straining erection, the length and girth of her forearm easily, and heavy testicles nestled in the center. His legs were an undefined reality of black smoke, furry hind legs, and what looked like tentacles. His arms were strangely human, well formed and defined, the fingertips topped with wickedly red, sharp claws.

“Oh, shit. What the fuck is – what the fuck?” She was trembling, her eyes darting between his rat head (he has a fucking rat’s head! How many eyes does he even need? Six, no eight! No, no…more than that.) and the twitching cock between his legs. It was huge, the head of it large and as wide as the palm of her hand. It curved up in a lazy arch, the head of it smearing his precum across the skin above his belly button. There was no way that was going to fit in her; she would be split in two. Her eyes darted up to his face, her knees weak and trembling as she was pinned under all those glittering black eyes. He stepped forward, a single step that locked her in place and focused all her attention on his words.

“It is my intention to bind you to me for eternity, Kadijah. I would have you as my companion even after your mortal life is complete, but to give you my Mark, to entwine our souls, I need to know that you truly are mine.” His voice once again seemed to emanate from within her very atoms, making her feel like her bones were unstable and the atoms liable to loosen their bonds with each other and dissipate. Her mind raced, turning over his words again and again, amazed at the implications of his words but unable to help the shiver of disgust that raced up her spine at the sight of him. He wanted to be with her, wanted her soul by his side for eternity, and she was able to admit that she wanted that, too.

That he was testing her now was apparent, and her spine stiffened in indignation that he thought something like this would be enough to put her off, but even as her courage rose, a small part of her, the same part that urged her to accept Max’s marriage proposal, the same part that always urged her to stop looking for the very god before her because he was not coming back, told her to turn away, to reject his offer. This was too much, what he was asking of her in this moment was too great a task. How could he ask this of her?

Am I a coward then? Or was I lying when I told him, when I told Max, that I belonged to him? Just where does my dedication meet its end?

“Release me, Levi,” she managed to whisper, and the force that held her was taken away. She thought she saw pain in those beady black eyes in the moment before she began walking toward him, and anger flared bright and hot in her blood. Did he think her so weak?

Once in front of him, she took a deep breath and pulled down her panties, finding it within herself to be vaguely amused at the sight of all those eyes widening and that terrible mouth dropping open in shock. She spun around until her back faced him and dropped to her knees, leaning forward until her head was pillowed on her folded arms, her legs braced open wide, and her ass sticking up in the air invitingly. Her heart thudded painfully in her chest, and blood roared in her ears.

“Kadijah?” Did she imagine the hesitance in his voice, the disbelief?

“No matter the form you take, I’m yours, Levi, so take me.” She said, unable to keep the tremor from her voice. There was silence, the only sound the howl of the wind and the singing of the whales in the distance. Then, he was flush against her, the wiry hair of his chest and groin prickling and tickling her sensitive skin, his breath hot and moist across her neck and shoulders, and throbbing erection hard and hot against her folds which, to her surprise, were slick with arousal.

“You are extraordinary,” he breathed, whiskers tickling her cheek as he pressed his face against hers, and she shuddered. Why in the Void did it have to be a rat’s head, she wondered miserably. She had a true horror of them.

He gripped her hips in his hands, the heat of them scalding, fingers digging in and holding her steady as he rocked his hips against her and coated the large length of him in her juices. The wide head of him prodded at her entrance, and she shivered in apprehension, sure that he would not fit all of that inside her. As if sensing her thoughts, one of his hands left her hip and came around to softly stroke the hard nub of her clitoris, making her jerk within the cage of his body above her. He shifted closer, his prodding turning into a slow, relentless thrust as he pushed his way inside her.

He was too big! Her back arched, fingers scrabbling for purchase on the barren rock as she withstood the force of his penetration. A wail, teetering on the edge between pain and pleasure, was torn from her throat, as he withdrew slightly and pressed back in, using her wetness to ease his entry.

“Relax, Jah-Jah, relax. I’m almost all the way in,” he crooned, his hands trailing restlessly over her body, squeezing her breasts, stroking her belly, hips, and ass, caressing her pouting clit and wet folds. She moaned, shaking her head and panting heavily.

“There’s no more room in me. You’re going to split me in two,” she whined, feeling her pussy tremble and contract wildly around the length buried inside her. He ran a hand down her back soothingly before hunching over her, entwining the fingers of one hand with hers while the fingers of the other hand delicately spread her labia apart, rocking forward and finally seating himself fully within her.

“Look at that,” he murmured, tongue rough as it darted out to lick a stripe across her straining neck. “You took all of me just like I knew you could.” She shuddered and dropped her head, whimpering as her inner muscles fluttered around him. He was so deep inside her, she could feel him in her abdomen. She felt speared on him, impaled, her entire being focused on him throbbing inside her.

He worked her slowly, driving into her with short, gentle thrusts, building her up, giving her a chance to adjust to him until she was dripping wet, her juices rushing out of her every time he withdrew, her hips meeting his with increasing force until he was ramming his entire length into her with each thrust, her ragged, desperate screams drowned out by his animalistic snarls of pleasure.

She was chanting his name, a litany of sobs and broken renditions that was more pleasant and beautiful to him than the songs of his most ardent worshippers. He rose to his knees, banding his arms around her, hooking her feet around the back of his thighs, and fucking her with long, thought stealing strokes as he lifted her up and down on his cock. She rested her head in the thick scruff around his neck, fingers twisting in the hair as she clung to him with all her strength.

“It’s so good, Levi, fuck, cum in me, baby,” she whined, her hips twisting to and fro as he fucked into her, his cock and balls wet with her juices.

“Gonna fill you up, gonna drown this pussy in cum till you’re fat with my babies,” he growled, pinching her clit between his clawed fingers, his lips pulling back in a victorious snarl when she stiffened suddenly, her hands nearly ripping fistfuls of his fur out as her orgasm overtook her, the piercing cry echoing thinly through the thick air of the Void.

He humped against her helplessly now, pressing her close to him as his climax built in his lower belly, control over his form weakening as his mind focused more and more intently on getting there. Never in his life had he wanted something so badly as he wanted to come in her, and as he fucked into her with increasingly jerky thrusts, all he could think was that he was almost there, almost there, almost –

“Kadijah,” he whimpered, pleasure making him lose that last bit of control over his form as his cock pulsed deep within her, bathing her sheath in wave after wave of hot semen. He fell onto his ass, his form once again that of a young black-eyed man, holding her close as he let himself fall the rest of the way onto his back. They lay there for some time, their chests rising and falling as they panted.

Kadijah stared up into the Void, watching idly as it returned to what she assumed was its natural bluish white color, the harsh wind dying down until it was once again a gentle breeze. Levi was absently massaging her breasts in his hands, and she was glad to see that they were no longer those bloody red claws. A sharp, burning pain on her left inner thigh threatened to rouse her from her utter exhaustion, but just as quickly as the pain came, it was gone.

“What was that?” She asked, her voice hoarse. Levi shifted beneath her, pulling his now soft penis out of her and turning her until she was able to look him in the eye. He brushed the backs of his fingers across her cheek, his eyes wide with awe and something infinitely more tender.

“That was my Mark. It’s a symbol of our bond. With it, your connection to the Void will grow, and when you die, you will come here and be with me,” he said, and Kadijah was amazed to realize she could feel his uncertainty. He was afraid that she regretted what they had just done, that even now she would decide that she didn’t want to be with him.

“Oh, Levi,” she said, shaking her head and allowing a snort of bemusement to escape her. His eyes widened, and she traced her finger over one of his heavy eyebrows. “You’re so dumb. Of course, I want to be with you. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.” She flicked him on the nose lightly, laughing again when he scrunched his face, and rested her head on his chest, her eyes growing heavy with exhaustion.

“I’m never letting you go,” he whispered. She hummed her assent and let blessed sleep overtake her.

 

—-

 

Levi was licking his way up her inner thigh, his tongue paying special attention to her still healing Mark, when her cellphone rang. They were sprawled out on the back of one of the whales, this one appearing to be some kind of humpback, as it glided with its pod through a maze of floating rocks. Behind them was a forest of giant, multicolored jellyfish, another creature that the Void claimed as its own. He was wedged between her spread legs, one hand lightly gripping her muscular thigh while the other was splayed across her belly. Her fingers were entangled in his soft, curly black hair, and she had been tugging on it in an attempt to get his mouth where she wanted it when the sound of her ringtone pierced the air.

Kadijah sat up, a confused look on her face as she looked around for where her phone might be. Levi was blissfully unconcerned, still blazing a slow trail up her thigh with his hot mouth. She pushed at his shoulders, and he grunted in annoyance, surging up from his place between her legs to rest his head on her shoulder.

“Was that my phone I just heard?” She asked. He shrugged, absently playing with her braids.

“Hm, probably. It’s been ringing on and off for three days now.” She gasped.

“Three days? How long have I been here?” She asked, voice tinged with hysteria. Levi groaned, something suspiciously close to a pout on his face as he pulled her close and shifted them from the whale’s back to the nest of blankets in the cave. Her phone was still ringing, and she snatched it up, shooting her lover an irritated glance as she did so. He met her gaze, completely unapologetic, as he slid into the pool, his legs merging together and forming the sleek shark’s tail of his mer form.

“Hello?”

“Kadijah! Thank the stars, I’ve been trying to reach you for days! Where are you?” It was Max, and he sounded near tears. Her heart twisted painfully at that, and the urge to hug him welled up.

“I-I’m with Le- I-I mean, the Sea God. How long have I been gone?” She asked, stumbling over her words as she remembered no one but her knew the whale god’s personal name. Max groaned, and she could picture him massaging his forehead in an attempt to gather his patience.

“It’s been two weeks, babe. How the -”

What?! Two weeks? You know what? I’ll be home in five minutes, bae.” She said flatly, hanging up the phone and glaring down at the suddenly empty pool of water.

Levi poked his head just above the surface of the water, watching her with wary eyes as she got up and started dragging her clothes on. Her emotions were a swirling mix of anger, shock at how long she’d been gone, love, and a smidge of amusement. She pursed her lips and shook her head at him.

“Has it really been two weeks, Levi?” She asked. He surfaced more, holding a wet hand out to her. She took it and let him pull her into the warm water.

“Well…thirteen days, but yes. The Void is outside of your human concept of time, so naturally it’s difficult for you to easily mark the passing of days,” he said as he crowded her against the rocky edge of the pool, pressing their chests together and forcing her to look up at him.

She admired the way his bangs fell in front of his eyes, the way the rest of his wet hair plastered to his skull and neck and framed his face, the way the water droplets glimmered like jewels on his tawny brown skin.  Her hands caressed his bare chest, unable to keep herself from touching him even though she was irritated with him, and unconsciously leaned into the warm hand that cupped her cheek.

“I have to go home, love. I have responsibilities.” She said. He touched their foreheads together.

“To that boy, that Max of yours?” He asked, voice a low, jealous rumble in his chest. She looped her arms around his neck, pressing closer than before. Their noses touched, and they were sharing each other’s breath.

“Not just to Max,” she said, eyes catching on the dark stubble shadowing his jaw, on the fullness of his lips, the blackness of his eyes. There were no whites in his eyes, just endless pupils, like a shark in the midst of a hunt. His mouth was always so soft and plush against her own, perfectly hiding the jagged predator’s teeth behind them, and yet he was so careful when he bit her. The pleasure always outweighed the pain.

“A human lifetime isn’t such a long time to have to share, is it?” She asked, and he sighed, mouth quirking up to reveal one sharp tooth.

“I suppose not,” he said, kissing her gently before shifting them out of the Void and into the small saltwater pool on her patio.

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