It is a statement between two people which binds them together, whether it be business or personal.
It can be eternal. It can be ephemeral. Either way, a contract does its job to connect two individuals together.
If it be between a human and a demon, it is a life sentence.
A soul in exchange for undying loyalty and servitude.
It is a pact that only someone desperate enough would agree to.
Or determined enough.
She sits at her desk, body aglow in the dim candlelight. It is late--past midnight, for she recalls hearing the clock chime in recognition of the hour quite some time ago. She cannot retire for the night yet, however. Oh no; she has much work left to do. Papers to sign, documents to read, the usual thing for a business manager.
Yes, despite being a woman of such a young age during this time of controversy, she manned her family's business all on her own now. Well, not strictly by herself--she had the assistance of her butler, of course. One could not simply function on their own when operating such a large and successful business such as hers.
She sighs, pushing a strand of hair back and tucking it behind her ear, eyes studying a piece of finely-scripted parchment in a scrutinizing manner. "How do I respond to this? Demands for more shipments all across the country...do they not realize I am already filled up with commissions? I sometimes wonder how Father managed to deal with this..."
Her family is gone.
Father, Mother, servants...all gone. She does not exactly remember how it happened. All she remembers is gazing at the bodies strewn all over the manor in horror, unable to utter a single cry or scream for help. All she remembers is running across the cold floor, barefoot, and racing out into the rain as someone chased her from behind. Wanting to finish the job and rid the world of her as well, perhaps.
They had not gotten the chance, however.
She remembers a loud cry in the night, the raspy call of a raven. A deep and menacing croak that cut through the pouring rain, stopping her in her tracks. Feathers as black as the midnight surrounding her fell to the ground as crimson eyes pierced straight through her soul, seeming to beckon her forward.
"I can rid the world of all who oppose you."
That voice, so dark and deep and mysterious. Tantalizing and forbidden. Too captivating for its own good.
It was not a wonder that she was so inexplicably drawn to it.
"What...do you mean?" she asked, voice quivering and barely audible over the rain that soaked her to the bone, making her hair cling to her wet cheeks and her nightgown cling to every visible curve and dip of her body.
"I can help bring you justice. I can assist you in every way possible. Nothing will be out of my reach. The only compensation I require for a contract such as this?"
A laugh, so addicting that it ran a shiver down her spine.
Her answer came immediately without hesitation, tone more sure and certain than it had been only mere moments before.
That had been when her life had begun once more.
Now she slowly gets up and pushes her chair under her desk, not able to hold back a yawn in her exhaustion as the old memories slowly slip back under the mental carpet she has created specifically for them. She takes the waning candle in one hand and opens the door to her study with the other, feet padding softly across the carpet as she makes her way back to her bedroom for the night.
His voice stops her in her tracks as its silky tone wafts through her ears and wraps itself around her mind like a silk handkerchief.
A small smile creeps across her lips and she turns around, feeling the usual comfort at seeing his burgundy-hued orbs regarding her in that strange and nearly ethereal way they always did. Her gaze encompasses the rest of him; his devilishly handsome visage, his slightly messy but still somehow professional obsidian hair--like the feathers of a raven--and the black-as-midnight tailcoat and suit he wore with such a flourish.
His name escapes her smiling lips in a soft murmur, tone affectionate and slightly drained.
"My lady, you informed me that you would be in bed over an hour ago. I expected you to be true to your word." He frowns, smooth and sensuous lips curving downward. Oh, how she had dreamed of those lips touching hers just for a moment, to feel sparks shooting through her body like all those penny-romance novels described! Not that she would admit this, of course.
She lets out a small laugh and shrugs. "I apologize, Sebastian. I was busy trying to finish up some paperwork. We had quite the influx of shipment requests, after all. I need to complete them by tomorrow."
His frown deepens and he steps forward, the reddish hues of his eyes dancing like an inferno in the small flame of the candle in her hands. He places a white-gloved hand on her shoulder and gently gives her a small push. "I cannot have my mistress straining herself when she knows perfectly well that I am capable of doing such menial tasks myself. I am not one hell of a butler for nothing, my lady. Have I not made myself clear after all this time?"
She sighs, nodding her head in and allowing herself to be herded into her room without a complaint. "I just felt as if it was my duty, as head of the family business now. You know my stand on things, Sebastian."
"Yes, I do," he agrees quietly as he leads her to her bed, watching with an almost cat-like gaze as she heedlessly slips beneath the covers, laying her head against the pillow with another sigh and closing her eyes. "Shall I get you anything before you rest for the night, my lady?" he asks once he believes she has settled in.
She purses her lips in thought for a few brief moments, before a light flush blooms across her cheeks like a pale rose blossoming in the spring moonlight. "...a goodnight kiss?" she whispers timidly, having never made such a request of her butler before. He says nothing, and she opens her eyes to gaze at him, fearful that she has gone too far this time.
Instead, he merely smiles in a way she recognizes that he knows he is truly the one in charge in this contract. He is the ringmaster, and she is the puppet, no matter how any other way she wishes to see it as.
"...yes, my lady (name). A goodnight kiss will suffice."
Rubies glittering with superiority as they met with tentative (e/c) eyes, he leans forward and gently cups her cheeks in his gloved hands, lips melting with hers ever-so-softly. It is indescribable; indefinable. There are no words that could capture the moment, for it is everything wrong and right at the same time.
She feels empty when he pulls away, as opposed to the whole and complete sensation that had coursed through her veins when his mouth and hers had been one. Her cheeks are flushed darker, she is positive, and she merely gazes up at him in silence, one finger touching her lips in an effort to burn the phenomenal and wondrous feeling of his lips against hers into her body permanently.
Those same lips curve into a triumphant smirk, and he bows deeply. "Goodnight, my lady (name). Sleep well. I shall awake you when the morning comes."
With those words, he is gone.
She swallows and closes her eyes once more, leaning into the soft contours of the bed and tongue swiping over her now bare lips just one last time.
Yes, she may be the mistress to the butler, but he was the predator to the prey.
(Name) knew it. Sebastian knew it.
She was just a human. He was a demon.
Her soul was his.
Her heart was good as his as well.
This was their contract, however.
(Name) would not have it any other way.