Malcolm Larsson sat in the jacuzzi tub, breathing calmly and idly scrubbing himself with soapy hands. The froth of bubbles around him stirred with each pass of his hands. The warm water was soothing, Yet it does not compare to Joe's touch.
The black cat, standing beside the sink, meowed as the demon faded from the mirror. And then it curled up, just as relaxed as Mal.
"C'mon, Mal. You gotta keep talking. I'm dying here, Mal," Mildred pleaded. Then, the sound of paper moving.
I wonder what she's drawing.
Mildred walked into the bathroom, put the lid down on the toilet and sat on the lid's soft cover. She folded her legs one over the other, tightening the wide, criss-crossing black netting that covered her legs, beneath her dark denim skirt.
Mal looked up at her nervously, his chest and head visible above the bubbles. He had been running a hand across his chest and another massaging his broad shoulders.
"Can I draw you, Mal? You look so serene. Keep talking, and I'll draw."
Mal smiled, Harmlessly eccentric. That's our Milly.
The cat leaped off the counter and curled itself up at Mildred's feet. She looked at him, holding the sketchbook upon her folded legs and a pencil at the ready. Her eyes, crimson with false lenses, made her look like she was always caught in the flash of a picture. Red eye.
"Joe ain't the hottest thing out there," Mal admitted, "But he's skinny like me - so skinny that every muscle on his body is unsheltered. There for the grabbing. And he's got abs, Milly. Small and loose, but they're there."
Mildred's eyes darted between Mal and the page, and her pencil began to draw faint outlines of the room and his body.
"His hands are like fire. When he touches me, it's soothing. Like sitting close to a campfire. Not burning, no, but - his touch just has this corona. Something, dare I say, magical."
"Perhaps," Mildred said, smiling wryly as her black pencil began to draw firmer lines, caressing the outlines she'd drawn before.
"And to have a man under you, submitting to you - Milly, it's just so empowering. Breaking into his tight flesh to satisfy your desires is... oh, it's fantastic."
The cat meowed, and then tucked its head back into its side, tale flopping against one of Mildred's heels.
"I want to do it again, Mildred. But this time, I want to let Joe have that thrill. I want to submit to him, Milly."
Mildred was focused on the drawing now, as Mal ran shampoo through his blond hair. Thinking of how he was once a light blond, and how now it had slowly browned with the hormones of youth.
"I want to feel another man in me, Mildred. I want to know how I made Joe feel, and relish it."
Mildred began to shade the walls, and Mal's chest, and the water. And then she turned the page towards Malcolm.
Mal was shocked. The sketch had no bubbles. It was just him, in the jacuzzi, naked. And the bar of soap, on the floor of the tub, was right where it was. The sponge, too, was at his feet as it was beneath the bubbles. How does she know?
Mildred grinned, slyly.
Embarrassed, Mal looked down to make sure that bubbles were indeed, still shielding her view of his erect penis. And, sure enough, there were bubbles everywhere, still blocking her view of everything that lay beneath the water.
Mildred tapped a finger against the side of one eyelid, still smiling. The red eyes ominously maintained contact with Mal. And she laughed, then, at his nervous frown. And laughter seemed to echo behind her from the mirror, "Hah hah hah... Oh, Mal... what can you do, my dear?"
Mal felt at a loss for words, and then finally he murmured, "I- I d-don't know."
The cat got up, stretching its feet, and then licked a paw, before sitting back down at Mildred's feet.
"My cat says you don't want your powers, Mal. But I think he's wrong," the make-up on her face made her look whiter than the toilet she was seated upon. The black lipstick, and ornate eyeshadow - gave her the look of something arcane. She stared him down for a good few minutes and then asked, "What did she give you, Mal? And what happened to Brittany?"
But before Mal could more than consider answering either question, a knock came. Not at the door. It came from the window, and drew the attention of the black cat.
Mildred got up, "Hobbes is here."
Oh great, Mal thought to himself with an edge of sarcasm, Hoban. And Mal could see, from the tub, the wall on Melanie's side of the room that met the edge of the building. They were three floors up, and he had no idea how Hoban could reach the window.
The window came up slowly, and a thick, muscular hand covered in three rings adjusted it into place. And then a nearly-shaved head peeked in, carefully, with a half-foot high mohawk. It was gelled in intimidating spikes, and fit through the frame without damaging any of them.
The cat meowed, and walked over to the window sill, below the emerging man.
His naked wide shoulders were covered in black tattoos, strange symbols Mal didn't recognize - descending down his muscular chest. Never got a good look at him after the games, he always stayed away from the locker room.
The man's arms, with black runes curling around the, pulled the rest of his hulking body through the window, pumping his biceps. Mildred moved into the doorway of the bathroom, and then closed the door behind her. Mal was left alone, in the bathroom.
He looked over at the sketchbook, where it lay on the toilet seat beside the tub. The drawing before his showed, a strange symbol that curved sharply in several places upon a circular frame. Witchcraft?
And he heard quiet voices behind the door, but he could not make out anything. Hoban had not seen him, that he was sure of. And there was something about the man that scared Malcolm.
Then, the clear reflection of the mirror rippled, and Mal's symbiote appeared once again. She was covered in white bubbles, as he was, and they looked odd against her blackened purple skin. Dark brown horns pierced through her matted black hair. And her eyes gleamed, a vivid shade of violet.
Mal put down the hand-held shower-head that he'd been using to rinse his hair out, and scowled at the demon, "What do you want?"
You can avoid this, my host. You can make this all go away.
"Make what go away? You?" And as he yelled at the mirror, Mal decided to finish what he'd come into the bathroom to do - relax. And so he carefully began to stroke his erection under the bubbled warm water.
Oh, you don't know what that lovely cat has planned for you, do you? You see, they're going to twist your words, Mal. Mildred blames you for Brittany's disappearance. And she knows better than to blame the demon inside you - we demons only draw upon the darkness that already exists within our hosts!
"You made Brittany disappear!" The water churned under his furious ministrations, and bubbles began to disappear, leaving a gray haze in the water.
"No, Mal. Joseph did!" The mirror rattled on its bolts as the demon actually spoke, shaking the whole vanity in a violent rumble. The high, shrieking voice had low undertones. The hand-soap slipped into the sink, and a bottle of scented body lotion tipped over.
"I don't believe that for a second. Joe loves Brittany, he'd never!" Mal kept pumping his right hand, up and down under the water, "Never. He regrets what he's done to her. Or did you do that, too?"
I've done many things, but I did not rape Brittany Sanderson, Mal! I'm no dyke of a demon, Mal. I'm like you - I like men.
No, you like to be in men. Fueled by anger, Mal kept yelling and attending to his own needs, "I thought you said I was straight before Mal screwed with me! You're full of it."
Please, Mal. We both know, at heart, I was just screwing with your petty little mortal brain. You're as sly as they come, Malcolm. You proved that tonight ! Pretty ol' Mildred sitting on the toilet willing to bang your brains out - and you didn't make a move!
"She wouldn't have, you liar!" The bubbles now clung only to the edges of the tub, at either side of Mal's reclined back and at the end, beyond his outstretched legs. And the steamy water in the middle churned frantically under every splashing movement of Mal's right arm.
Wouldn't she? Maybe you should get up out of the tub, for once, and put your ear on the door, eh? Do you hear what's being said, Mal? Do you know what that vile witch has planned for you? Revenge, Mal. She wants vengeance. In her eyes you've taken a precious friend away and stolen the dearest thing to that friend's heart. She's gonna make you regret, tenfold, what you did to Joe.
"You're just trying to sow discord! Shutup."
If I were you, I'd start praying to one of those gods of yours. And then the mirror went blank. And after a moment, cracks spread slowly across its face, shattering the mirror into several chunks. Only your powers can save you now...
Mal stopped in frustration, unable to focus in the eerie silence that filled the room. The voices beyond the door had also gone quiet. The bathroom was a bright white that seemed far too pure. And the cracked mirror reflected everything in a distorted manner - every part of the door opposite it was misaligned, in a different shard.
And as Mal's erection fell unwanted to the floor of the tub, he could hear the demon's projected voice echo in his mind, Only your powers can save you now...
Then the jets of the jacuzzi began to rumble, as someone outside the room had turned on the switch. Again, bubbles began to form. And the doorknob turned, as someone was about to enter the room.