It slid onto me, and I tried to see it as my uniform, tried to find the creases and patches, the buttons and seams, but the surface was alien to me, and as it conformed to my flesh, it began to shift and change further. My skin…like a bruise, all over, until it was no longer a pink, or the dark navy of the cured skin, but rather something purple and red, the hairs pushing their ways through, my hands still black, but the fingers too long, the nails nearly claws. I could feel it climbing up my neck towards my face, but it stopped before overtaking me entirely. Instead, I could see dark veins running up into my cheeks and neck, like an infection, but I felt stronger than I had earlier in the restaurant, I felt complete. That, and my eyes. They were black–entirely black, and yet I felt like I could see everything.
All my life, ever since I was a child, I had felt…two things, but I had never understood them as things until that moment. On one hand, a darkness. It had clung to me for as long as I could remember. At times, it manifested as someone else. An imaginary friend, or someone I saw in dreams. I was convinced it couldn’t exist, and so, it didn’t, but it had clung to me all the same. Tied to that darkness, was an anger, or a longing, or a hole I longed to fill, but not a hole in me, but holes in the world around me. People…doing wrong, doing ill. Or at least, it was tied to right and wrong in me, but now I see that was far too simplistic of a notion. It wasn’t morality that I wanted to fix, it was them! It was them that was wrong! There were rules, and laws…my rules and laws, they ought to have obeyed me, all of them, always, and if I had just listened earlier, if I had just listened.
I don’t look human, anymore. I think…I could, if I tried, if I…focused, but it feels too good, being together again, that I don’t want to, not yet. It feels better to be me at last, to remember everything that I am, and everything that I can do, to be able to hear myself fully at long last, to hear the law, feel it thrumming inside me. It was then, with my skin on, that I felt confident enough to confront whoever it was who had invaded my house. I checked the upper floors first, but nothing seemed to be missing or out of place. The same with the ground floor–though when Jules saw me, in the kitchen…he began to scream through the leather gag I had forced around his mouth. I ignored him–I’d brought him back to get information from him, to try and find the rapist, but I realized, with my skin on…that I could feel him, because we were the same. The same kind.
But he had claimed Jules, or rather, Jules had been claimed by one of his disciples, and so he wasn’t mine to have…though I could imagine plenty that I could do him. Still, any information he would have was rather unimportant–there were bigger questions I needed answers to now, and I imagined it was time to get them from the one person I knew who had them.
At the basement steps, I heard the moans coming from below, and realized what must have happened. My prisoner must have taken care of the intruder on his own. I stepped down into the basement, and saw what I began with–Marcus, on his knees in front of Cumster, licking at the biker’s cock where he was still handcuffed to the pipe on the wall, naked. Marcus’s balls were…engorged, much as mine had become, but then, that was what Cumster did, and he did it well. Such…a simple creature. I could see now, deeper inside him, how that singular drive had been nurtured and grown to eclipse all else inside him, like ivy choking out a tree until all you could see were vines. Overgrown, though. In need of a pruning, and a shaping. In need of law.
Marcus, I could understand him better as well, and Bernard too–what kind they were. The drive was there, but the material was lacking. A brick of clay that desired to become a sword. There was no helping men like this–they couldn’t sustain the form of what they most desired, and so there was nothing the bruiser could do for them. They lacked a solid will, and with no where for it to live, no law could shape them, and so there was little that I could do either. This, in some ways, was the closest they could get–well, there were things I could do to alleviate the misery, I realized, and perhaps it would be a kindness, in the end. After all, what kind of life could there be, knowing you had been rejected by us? Finding out that, after all of your searching and desperation, that your nature was such that you had failed before you had even begun to live? It was no wonder, they searched for him after he abandoned them (I don’t blame him for abandoning them, for no amount of explaining, no words can really articulate the loss, and the sorrow we feel as well) because how could you get so close, how could you think you had finally found your salvation, the hammer to shape you on the anvil of punishment, only to be tossed away for imperfections you couldn’t help? I do hope Bernard found some solace in a Master, somewhere. Marcus, in the end, had to be helped in other ways.