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From my very first taste of Ethan, I'd known I was hooked.

I was an addict, after all, and it had never really mattered what it was - booze, boys, drugs, danger – I always just knew when I'd found what I needed, and that first hit was always everything. There's a wave of emotion that lifts you up to the Heavens and drags you all the way back down into Hell, and then you get addicted to that too. To the high and the low, because as deep as your addictions can bury you, you know that the next time you rise up, it's going to be spectacular. Euphoric.

The best fucking hit of your life.

I'd never really been that bothered about trying to deny my addictions before. Why would I? They were the fire in my veins that set aflame the ghosts of my childhood. With each pill, each line of coke, I watched the ghosts burn. With each sweaty, grubby moment of passion with a nameless guy that couldn't get enough of me, I rejoiced as the fire consumed everything. With every drink that sent me spiralling into oblivion, I just raised my glass to the flames and downed it.

With Ethan, things had been different.

I'd wanted to deny it. I'd tried to pretend that the touch of his lips upon mine and the taste of him on my tongue hadn't gotten under my skin. I'd tried to ignore the things he had said which still lingered in my head.

I'm in fucking awe of you.

He was different, and I wasn't even talking about the fact he was a demon – after all, let's face it, I'd never shagged one of those before, not to my knowledge anyway – but because he didn't see me the way everyone else did. He didn't see me the same way in which I saw myself. Instead of wanting to use him to help smother all the nasty shit that came with my existence, I'd found myself just wanting him. No agenda. No grand masterplan to self-medicate. Just him.

As I leant forward to kiss him again, he pulled back slightly and raised one hand, a gesture that looked almost defensive, as if he was warding me off. He didn't push me away, but instead was holding me at bay. He looked into my eyes. I could see he was torn between doubt and longing. He wanted me, but he didn't believe me. Searching my face, a small frown tugged on his forehead.

'Why aren't you disgusted?' he whispered. 'You should be repulsed by this face, these hands...'

I touched the hand he held up, brought it to my lips and kissed the blackened fingertips.

'You mean, like this hand?' I murmured. I kissed down to his palm, let my mouth brush lazily over the skin. A small audible breath escaped his lips as he watched me, half-hypnotised. 'I happen to like this hand. I remember how it felt when you touched me with this hand,' I said.

'Not this hand,' he argued.

'Yes,' I insisted, lifting my head again and linking my fingers with his. 'This hand.' I reached out with my other hand and touched his cheek, tracing the outline of his mouth with my thumb. 'This face. This mouth. It's still you, Ethan, and I still want you.'

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