Ben hated himself. He hated demons more, but that didn't stop the intensity of his own self-hatred from growing so volatile it was nearly blinding at times.

That was the only emotion he could sense clearly, even if he sometimes liked to pretend he didn't feel otherwise numb. He hated Josiah as well, and yet he couldn't bring himself to despise the demon quite as much as he hated himself in that very moment, while holding him in the bathroom stall.

It was the numbness and that alone that got him through the agonizing process of watching Josiah break apart before his eyes without being torn apart by an over-whelming guilt.

How could such a demonic creature appear so innocent? How could he stare back so needily, his soul so fragile that Ben could probably crush it with his bare hands?

Suddenly, he wanted to leave.

He didn't give Josiah an explanation. It just happened. As soon as they finished, he zipped up his jeans, grabbed his weapon, and proceeded to shove the demon back against the wall, giving himself enough space away from the demon. He didn't wait until Josiah was fully clothed to try and unlock the stall, struggling to find some distance between them within the stall.

He'd find another way... or at least someone else.

Besides, things were working out perfectly with the other demons around. He didn't have to pretend with Josiah, who was so pathetically soft it made the human nauseous. He just needed to be as far away from the demon before he did anything he'd regret.

The demons were stupid enough to believe he was a friendly being, yet here he was, staring at the broken demon before him and willingly taking advantage of his crippling loneliness. He could see it in Josiah's eyes... the desperate craving for affection... or validation... or both.

It was so obvious to him and would've always been so, even if Josiah didn't wear his emotions on his sleeve. That was the reason Ben had picked him, clearly. Ben had already known that the demon wouldn't deny him given the smallest of promptings.

He didn't bother to say anything to the stunned demon, far too preoccupied with putting as much distance between them as possible. The sight of the naked demon was already too much to bear and the fact that he'd allowed Josiah to clean the mess with his mouth was leaving a bitter tasted in his own.

He should've stopped him, yet he hadn't. Instead, he'd caressed the demon's hair while he came down from the high, still too dazed to process anything.

"You're incredible," Josiah had muttered as Ben thrusted into him, pinning him against the cold, hard tiles. He'd even wrapped his arm around the human's neck and pulled him close, giving himself so easily that it made Ben hard... so painfully hard. "Ben," he'd whimpered, arching his back.

Ben wanted to feel nothing, not the hatred that was slowly turning into raw pity. "You disgust me," Ben shook his head, shaking the memory away. "I—"


"I was just using you," Ben continued angrily, frowning at the demon. "Because I could. You're so desperate for attention; it's pathetic."

Josiah just stood there, holding onto his crumpled shirt. He'd been half-way from sliding his pants up, but he just let them fall and pool along his ankle once more, stunned by the human's words.

Hate? How could that even be, when he'd been holding him so warmly just minutes ago?

"Stop messing with me," Josiah tried, reaching out to shove him softly. He chuckled weakly as Ben gripped his wrist tightly, doing his best to remain calm. It was becoming harder for him to breathe, yet Ben wouldn't admit he was joking...

The Equity TrilogyRead this story for FREE!