We were both silent then for a few minutes, before I spoke up again.

"Umm, so you are sure that you want to be like me, right?" I asked hesitantly.

She looked at me in surprise. "I mean, can you think of any downside to it? Other than having to keep my emotions under control, of course, which I kind of do anyway in public."

I frowned as I considered that. "Umm, no. I guess not. I certainly wouldn't choose to be normal, despite the problems that being different has caused me."

She nodded, holding my hand even tighter. "Then yes, I'm certain I want to be like you." She sighed, leaning back in her seat more, the black chest balanced on her thighs as she slid her butt out a little, my hands still in her grasp. "I admit I'm not sure how I'll feel about possibly needing to drink blood, but if Gabriella was able to handle it, then I feel like I should be able to as well."

I nodded.

She smirked then. "Plus, I might be able to show off a tan whenever I want," she said playfully. "Just kidding," she quickly added, before she even let me think she might be serious about walking around transformed.

I sighed. "Umm, so about that..." I began hesitantly.

She looked at me surprised, due to my tone. "What's wrong?" she asked seriously.

I leaned back more in my seat. "Well, Gabriella is the only other person I know like me at this point, so I don't know how you or Avery might turn out. However..." I paused. "Umm, well, Gabriella might not be entirely normal either," I admitted.

Serenity abruptly sat straight up in shock, almost knocking the chest off her knees from the motion. She quickly reached out with one hand to grab it, leaving us with our fingers intertwined, one hand each. "She's not normal?" she repeated seriously.

I shrugged, graying even more underneath my clothing from how we were now holding hands. It felt much like what a couple would do. "She's not entirely sure," I admitted. "That's why she needs to talk to her mom. Because supposedly she might be part-succubus."

Serenity's chocolate brown eyes widened, before she slowly leaned back into her seat as she focused ahead at the road. "Oh," she said simply.

"That doesn't bother you, does it?" I wondered seriously.

Her brow furrowed then as she thought about it. "Umm, I mean, is she safe to be around? Like, intimately," she clarified, glancing at me as her cheeks flushed slightly.

I sighed. "Well, we're really not sure. It's probably safe, since it sounds like her dad is a normal person, but Gabriella also wonders if that's why her mom..." My voice trailed off, realizing my sister didn't know that part yet. I quickly pulled my hand away from hers as I cleared my throat, prompting a confused look from her.

"What is it?" she whispered, turning toward me a little in her seat. "Was holding my hand too much?"

I shook my head. "Umm, no, it's just that her mom is apparently kind of kinky, and just thinking about it is making me embarrassed."

"Oh," she replied, facing forward again. "Gabriella did mention her mom was untraditional or something, didn't she?"

I cleared my throat, deciding to just get it out. "Umm, yeah. So, I guess her mom sleeps with other guys. And her dad is okay with it," I quickly added when she looked at me in alarm. "He, umm, kind of watches."

Holy shit, she looked shocked.

"O-Oh," she managed after a second, slowly turning her head to stare straight ahead again.

"Which is something I'm not okay with," I continued, just wanting to get that out there too. "Like, I already talked with Gabriella about it, and she agreed it wasn't something she was interested in either."

Serenity nodded slowly. "Yeah, I agree. Just thinking about it kind of makes me sick to my stomach."

I looked at her in surprise. "It does? How come?" I wondered. "Not that I'm complaining," I added.

She sighed, slumping down in her seat. "I don't know," she admitted. "Maybe because of how I really feel about you? Like, I've always tried to deny that I had any romantic feelings. You've always just been my little brother, and I felt like it was my purpose in life to take care of you." She sighed, turning her head away as she glanced out the window. "But if I'm being honest, you're the reason why I've never really dated. And for some reason, if I do seriously consider the idea of being with any guy, it makes me feel uneasy. Especially the thought of bringing a guy home to meet you."

I tried to lighten the mood. "So I guess you really didn't bring Nick over for a date then, huh?"

She scoffed. "Jeez, no. I mean, if I'm being honest, he is kind of cute, but I literally just met the guy and..." Her voice trailed off when she examined my reserved expression. "Kai, I love you. I didn't bring him over for a date, and I don't plan on hanging out with him again. I won't even talk to him outside of work." She sighed. "I just didn't want to lie by denying that he is good-looking, but he's got some major quirks to his personality that can be kind of annoying. And I've only known him for a couple of days now! He way overanalyzes everything, even when he's not working."

I scoffed. "Yeah, I kind of noticed that."

"Sorry," she whispered.

I shrugged. "Nothing to be sorry about. In the end, everything turned out alright."

She sighed heavily. "Yeah, I guess things could have been much worse," she agreed.

"Much worse," I echoed simply, causing us to fall silent again for a few minutes.

Considering we were closer to being home now, I decided to reach out and offer my hand again, prompting her to look at me in surprise, before giving me a warm smile and accepting it, intertwining our fingers like before. The intimacy of simply holding hands under these conditions was actually starting to affect me beyond just embarrassment now, my cock becoming firmer in my jeans, not to the point of having a full-on erection, but definitely bigger and more stiff.

Thankfully, she didn't seem to notice, appearing to be pensive again.

"So," she finally said hesitantly. "Back to Gabriella. Are you saying that she might look different than you because it's possible she's part-succubus?"

I nodded, clearing my throat. "Umm, yeah. Sort of. Then again, it's also possible that the method that I caused her to transform might have influenced it too."

"How so?" she wondered.

I shrugged. "Well, I did get blood in her body, but I didn't inject it into her bloodstream like Avery."

Serenity frowned at that. "And what about other differences?" she wondered.

"Like what?" I prompted.

She gestured with her elbow toward me, still holding my hand tightly. "Between you and her. Like, are her senses as strong as yours now? She seemed to know Avery was involved in the accident at the same time you did."

"Huh, that's true," I agreed. "Although, apparently Avery smells really good to Gabriella, sort of like how Gabriella smells really amazing to me."

Serenity nodded, but didn't comment on it. "But then, if you're thinking that her appearance might be related to her not getting the same kind of dose of your blood, then that would imply two things. One, if she's sort of 'less transformed' than she could be, I would assume that her senses should be a lot weaker than yours. And two, it might mean that getting more of your blood would cause her to end up looking more like you."

I frowned as I considered that, unsure of what to say.

"Honestly," she continued. "I don't think it makes much sense she would only partially transform from the blood. I think how she looks is how she was going to look, no matter how she received your blood, whether it's from her being part-succubus, or not. The only difference might be the speed of transformation, and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it takes less than ten hours for Avery to wake up."

I sighed. "Well, I'm not sure I would want to give her more of my blood to test it out anyway, since right now she can still technically pass as normal when transformed. But yeah, I think you might be right. Unfortunately, we won't know for sure unless you or Avery end up looking different than me too."

"And, unfortunately," she continued. "If we both end up with dark gray skin like you, then we won't know for sure, since we both would have gotten an injection directly into our blood stream."

I nodded. "I don't think knowing for sure matters too much though. Like, I don't plan on changing more people after this, so the only reason why it might matter is if it turns out that you and Avery surpass Gabriella in terms of senses or strength, or something. Then I could try giving her more blood if she really wanted me to."

"Or wings," Serenity added, only to look at me affectionately. "I kind of hope I get wings like you too. The idea that I might be able to fly is almost surreal to think about, but the idea that we might be able to fly together is kind of romantic."

My heart swelled at that thought, just the idea of flying with her in the sky. It was definitely an activity I enjoyed, but I'd never considered how lonely it was until just now. I gave her a warm look. "I'd love that," I admitted. "I really hope you can grow wings too." I then paused. "Speaking of which, when do you want to do that part?" I wondered.

Her brow furrowed. "Well, part of me wants you to do it as soon as we get home, but I realize that means I'll be asleep for the rest of the day." She sighed, giving my hand a gentle squeeze. "And we have a lot to discuss."

I cleared my throat, deciding to let her continue holding my hand, since we were so close to home, even though I was struggling to keep the graying underneath my clothes now. "Umm, yeah, makes sense. Plus, I don't want to have to leave you home alone in the event Gabriella needs me to pick her up."

"Oh, right. That's true," she agreed. "So then, I guess we're going to have to wait until Avery wakes up."

I knew she was right, but the idea of waiting made me feel uneasy.

"Dammit," I hissed under my breath.

"What's wrong?" she asked in surprise.

I sighed. "Well, I just feel really paranoid now, and I'm afraid something will happen to you, like you'll get hurt really bad, or worse, if we wait."

Serenity squeezed my hand again. "Kai, I know a lot has happened recently, but I think it'll be okay. That man who kidnapped me was likely the person orchestrating everything that happened the last few days, and he's dead now." She then sighed. "But I guess if you want to be on the safe side, then maybe you can hide me in my closet or something, and lock all the doors if you have to leave to pick her up."

I slowly took my hand back as I considered that idea, since we were finally driving down our street, close to pulling in. Really, there was no reason why I had to take my hand away, but I just felt so paranoid now.

When I made the turn into our driveway, I was almost relieved to discover everything as it should be, feeling as if there would be something amiss, considering the last couple of days had been so eventful. But there was nothing wrong at all.

When I parked the car, I even asked Serenity to wait for a minute so I could close my eyes and focus on my senses to scope out the area through my cracked door, but again there was nothing wrong.

When I opened my eyes again, she spoke up.

"Everything alright?"

I nodded. "Yeah, everything is fine. Just paranoid." I paused. "I think I'll call Gabriella to make sure she's okay, and then we can see what's inside the chest."

Serenity nodded, holding the small black wooden box up. "Sure. Where do you want to open this at?"

I shrugged, opening my door more fully. "Doesn't matter."

"Want to do it in my room then?" she wondered casually, only for her face to flush. "O-Open the chest," she quickly clarified, seeming to assume I misunderstood her.

Which, of course, caused my entire body to instantly shift, since I hadn't really taken it the wrong way initially, but now realized how that might have been interpreted. Normally, I wouldn't have thought much of it, since it wouldn't have been the first time we'd sat on her bed to talk, or to do an activity like wrapping Christmas presents. It was one of the reasons why I never worried about getting caught in her bedroom, because her door was always open to me.

But now, I couldn't stop thinking about what she was accidentally implying.

"S-Sure," I agreed, fumbling with my phone as I got out, to try to call Gabriella. "I'll be up in a minute," I added, turning away from her.

I heard her hesitate for a few seconds, just seeming to examine me before she headed inside, leaving the front door cracked open. My phone call with Gabriella wasn't long at all, with me just asking for an update to make sure everything was fine, and her wondering if we just got home or if we'd opened the chest yet.

I told her I'd let her know what was inside when we did, and then she wished me luck with talking things over with Serenity.

"And hey," she continued. "I really love you, Kai. I know a lot has changed in the last couple of days, but I'm really excited about the future. Excited to get to know you better," she added. "And I'm really looking forward to becoming friends with Avery too."

"I love you too," I replied sincerely. "And yeah, I guess I feel the same. Just nervous about the unknown is all."

She laughed at that, the sound adorable. "Well, of course you are excited," she teased. "What guy wouldn't be? I just wanted you to know how I felt about it."

"Oh, umm, right," I agreed. "Anyway, I guess I'll talk to you in a little while. Might be an hour or two, in the event my sister and I end up talking a lot."

"Sure," she replied. "Take your time. Love you."

"Love you too."

After we hung up, I heard my sister flushing the toilet in the bathroom upstairs. She then calmly walked back into her room as I opened the front door. Of course, I knew she wasn't thinking about doing anything unusual, since everything about her scent was normal now.

And her natural aroma was really comforting too.

Locking the front door behind me and heading directly upstairs, I found her on her bed sitting cross-legged with the small black chest in front of her. She was holding it kind of delicately now, tilting it so she could look at the bottom and sides.

I climbed on the bed too and sat in front of her, prompting her to hold it up.

However, I didn't accept it. "Want to do the honors?" I wondered.

She looked at me in surprise. "Oh, umm, I guess I could. I can at least put the combination in, if you want. But you should open it."

"Sure," I agreed, watching her as she set it down and grabbed the tiny lock. It was currently set on four zeros, but she quickly shifted the numbers to my birthday. Obviously, being that it was April and I'd just turned eighteen, the first number was a four. She then gave it a small tug, and it unlocked without a problem.

Serenity then twisted it toward me.

Reaching down, I unhooked the lock and opened the little latch, surprised when the lid stuck for half a second as I tried to open it up. I wasn't sure if it was sticking from disuse or what, but there was no evidence of glue or anything sealing it shut.

However, that brief thought disappeared when I laid eyes on what was inside. Honestly, I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but felt almost disappointed there wasn't anything overly interesting on first glance. The sides and top were black, while the bottom was a light tan, a single object inside.

A solitary black stone that was shiny, flat, and oval, almost looking like a piece of onyx for the theoretical heirloom we'd considered earlier. But that was it. No actual heirloom -- no necklace, hairclip, or anything else I might have imagined.

Just this stone.

Carefully reaching in, I grasped it in my fingers, and pulled it out, noticing that there was a sort of red wax underneath, that it had been resting in, likely holding it in place. Returning my focus to the shiny midnight stone, I held it in my open palm as I examined it. The whole thing was only about two inches long, and maybe an inch-and-a-half wide, as well as a quarter inch thick, making it fit nicely in my grasp if I turned it sideways.

But was this really it? And if so, what was the significance?

Serenity seemed confused too, twisting the chest back toward her. "That can't be the only thing," she commented, reaching her fingers in, picking at the red wax. "Oh!" she then said in surprise, pulling something else out.

I looked up, shocked to realize that she was holding a folded piece of old parchment the size of the bottom, the red wax actually a seal, making me feel kind of dumb for not realizing that the tan surface wasn't actually the bottom of the chest. But then again, the parchment kind of looked like it might have been added for decoration, sort of how velvet might be used nowadays to make the inside of a ring box look nicer.

My sister broke the seal without hesitation, only to pause, before handing it to me. "Sorry," she said sincerely. "I'll let you read it first."

I shook my head, focusing down at the stone in my palm again. "No, go ahead. Might be better if you see what it says, since it'll affect you less. At least that way you can warn me if there's something in it I might not want to hear." I sighed. "Like the reason why they didn't want me," I added quietly.

Serenity nodded with a sympathetic expression, before fully opening up the parchment and beginning to read it.

I tried to ignore her facial expression and scent as she started reading, but it was hard to not register her sincere shock. I finally glanced up at her when she abruptly covered her mouth with her hand, tears suddenly filling her chocolate brown eyes.

"What's wrong?" I said in alarm, concerned that she was reacting so strongly to whatever the letter said.

She finally just set it down, her initial gaze appearing as if she was giving up reading before finishing it, staring at the bed now with a defeated posture, her shoulders slumped.

"Sis," I whispered, reaching out for the paper, feeling confused as hell by the dramatic shift in her demeanor. She looked like she was shell-shocked now, just stunned to the point of numbness.

She didn't offer the letter to me, but also didn't try to resist me taking it, almost looking like she just felt empty now.

Part of me wanted to comfort her, but I also wanted to know what had caused her to be so upset. I wasn't sure I'd ever seen her react like this to anything before.

Taking a deep breath, I focused on the surprisingly elegant script, shocked to immediately realize it was a message from my biological father.


'Greetings, my son.

I hope this message finds you well.

My servant and his consort should have already disclosed your origins, but in the event he has chosen continued reluctance toward his familial obligation, passed down from his ancestors, I shall bestow upon you the most fundamental attribute of your circumstance.

You are the rare child of an Incubus, and as such you may have noticed a certain persuasion over those of the feminine sex. It will likely be subtle for you, being that you only have traces of my abilities, but I am sure with time you can learn to control your gifts.

However, in the event you have found your innate aptitude lacking, I have already prepared for you a gift: the young girl you will come to know as your older sister.

She is yours to have.

She will be your first concubine, and perhaps even your consort, if you are of preference.

However, at the adamant request of my servant, I agreed to only persuade the young girl to be reluctant to set her eyes on another man, leaving her free to cherish or loathe you. Perhaps you will accept the challenge to charm her yourself. Or perhaps you will fail and be required to seek your own path. The outcome will depend on you.





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