The mayor paced around fretfully once more, waiting for all the people of the town to amass the next day. He’d have to go about this carefully, after all accusing someone of being branded by a demon could be quite a touchy subject, but then the most of them already knew of the predicament he was in.
Again, he’d asked for the women to line up but all of them this time, excluding the ones the demon had disapproved of previously. Even the servants were present, nervously swaying as the mayor came to a halt in front of them, you in their ranks. You’d followed after your mistresses coach, not that she needed one as the town square was easily within walking distance.
“Now I’m sure you’re all aware why you’re here. The demon who helped build this church marked one of you. I don’t know who and that’s what we’re going to find out.” His shaking voice had evened out at the end, but he still looked a little pale as he quailed in his formal outfit.
They began to search for the marked one, stripping the girls until they were almost nude. You could’ve spoken up and said you had the mark, but unfortunately the little scar on your shoulder had disappeared along with the demon. It made you wonder if it hadn’t all just been a dream bought onto you by the steam of the hot water. Sometimes people got delusions because of that, you’d heard of stories before.
And also, if you did speak up that would mean that you were acknowledging the fact that you had been called the most beautiful of girls. And that would be terrible. You didn’t know what the other women would do to you if you insulted them that way.
God the inspectors were getting closer and closer to you. Wringing your hands in the rough fabric of your dress, you trembled as girl after girl was declared unmarked. Unfortunately, even though you were wishing for it with all your might, time didn’t make exceptions for anyone.
The pair of men stepped towards you, cracking their fingers as they started to inspect you, in a way not unlike the demon’s manner when he’d examined you. When their fingers started tugging at your clothes, you slapped their hands away and shied away from them.
Your mistress came closer to you, fury clear on her face. “Do what you are told.” She growled, slapping the back of your head with her fancy fan she carried everywhere with her. “N-no.” You whimpered, covering your body with your hands to the best of your possibility. “Are you going against an order?” She hissed, her eyes flashing dangerously.
Your silence only enraged her further, her breath coming in agitated sighs that echoed across the hushed whisper that had descended upon the crowd. She hit you hard, sending you to your knees on the ground. Winded, you clutched your sides whilst you started to sob. The men had taken this opportunity to tear you out of your dress, leaving you in only an underskirt.
They leered at you as they padded their hands around your torso. You didn’t care anymore, all you wanted was for them to be gone. Suddenly one of them cried out, holding his burning hand to the air. An intensely red flame covered his hand and you clapped your own against your burning shoulder.
The mark had returned! You realised this as you felt the curious shape on your skin again. Clutching your dress to your bare chest, you fell over when you saw the man being consumed by the fire, leaving nought but ash on the spot where he’d squirmed on the floor.
The crowd around you hurried to hide, staring at you all the while like animals being disturbed by a predator at night. Even your mistress had taken refuge from you, giving you a wide berth as the remaining man and mayor stared at you.
“I sought I’d told you zhat anyone who touched her vould be killed.”
A collective flinch and shudder went through the townsfolk as the demon placed his hand on your shoulder. “You have disobeyed me town mayor.” The albino devil glared at the man, advancing towards him menacingly. “So vhat shall I do to you?”
He froze when he felt a hand grasp hold of his foot. “D-don’t.” You pleaded, tear-filled eyes gazing up at him, begging in their own way. “Vhy not?! Zhey vere hurting you!” He barked, his eyes widening when he saw you cringe at his tone.
“P-please just do-don’t! I don’t want anyone to have been caused any more pain because of me.” You murmured, your strength and willpower giving up. He stooped down next to you as you collapsed, cradling you to his chest as he straightened up. The gentleness with which he held you surprised the still conscious part of your mind, you hadn’t thought he would have had it in him.
“Y-you can have her!” The demon’s glare snapped up at your mistress. “She’s just a servant anyway, so her life has little value!”
“You’re wrong.” His cool voice sent cold shivers down her spine. “Every life has value, every life has meaning. Don’t you dare make light of someone’s life!” He spat at her, his nose wrinkled as he took a look at the rest of the people.
“You scumbags don’t even deserve to look upon someone as pure as her. She is beautiful und you people are disgusting. I can’t leave her vizh you any longer.” With a parting glower he disappeared with you in his arms.
Wh-whaaaa! It feels so soft! I could stay here for hours!
Maybe I should wake up though, after all the last thing that happened was.... let’s see..... Of course! How could I forget? T-that fire killed him! And then.... the demon showed up! But what happened afterwards?
I don’t think anyone in the town has got a pillow this soft..............
Your eyes fluttered open to be met with the image of a fluffy white pillow. Just as you’d thought you’d never felt one so velvety to the touch. After a moment of snuggling with your new friend, you sat up and looked around. An unknown dress clung to your body and you stroked the fabric gently. Like the pillow it was softer than anything you'd ever touched and an ephemeral glow played about the white colour it had.
“Are you avake?” You jumped at the voice, turning to see the demon standing in the doorway just like when you’d first laid eyes on him. His clothes were loose and simple, his dark horns in stark contrast to his even paler skin. Was he ill or something? He looked a lot paler than last time.
“Y-yes, I suppose I am.” You muttered, watching as he came closer and sat on the edge of the bed. “E-excuse me but where exactly am I?” Inquiring this made him sit a little straighter. “From zhis moment onvards, zhis is your home!” He exclaimed, opening his arms wide.
“M-my home?” You echoed, your eyes darting around the room to take it in. Home. That was a word you hadn’t heard in a long time. You certainly didn’t associate your previous place as home. “But anyvay, how are you feeling?”
Smiling at his concern, you laced your fingers together still holding the cushion to your chest. “I think I’m okay..... It was you, wasn’t it?” You asked sadly, figuring the man’s death out. He nodded curtly. “I didn’t have a choice. He vas going to hurt you. Zhat mark, vell zhat is zhe reason it’s there. It tells me vhen you’re distressed.”
“I see.” You whispered in reply, still feeling awful for having caused someone’s death. “I’m a demon right? Zhat’s vhat I do. So zhere’s no need for you to feel bad, understand?”
Tentatively, he reached out and patted your head. As strange as it might sound, that did actually make you feel better even if it was only a little.
“A-actually I don’t know your name, do I?” You thought out loud, glancing up when he chuckled.
“Gilbert. My name is Gilbert.” He said with a grin. “I see. Gilbert.” You tasted his name on your tongue for a moment, muttering his name under your breath a couple of times.
His face heated up as he leaned forward and caressed your cheek. Staring into your eyes for a moment, he gave you a smile which quickly turned into a smirk. “I can make you scream my name if you like it zhat much.”
Blushing crimson, you stuffed the pillow in his face making him fall on his back on the mattress. Laughing loudly, he clutched his sides as he tried to calm down. “Mein Gott! You should’ve seen your face!”
“Th-that wasn’t funny!”
“Au contraire my fair little (y/n). Zhat vas hilarious!” He said as he sat up. Often he would slip into other languages he was often exposed to, the French for instance. His friends always teased him for that.
“How do you know my name?” You tilted your head to the side as you nervously played with the tips of your hair. “I know everzhing about you, Liebling. I know every single detail of you to your zhree measurements,” you blushed again,” your favourite food, your habits of taking long baths und how beautiful you are.”
One of his fingers trailed down your jaw. “Vhy is it zhat zhe roles have been reversed, hmmm? I sought zhe human vas supposed to be enraptured by zhe demon und not zhe other vay around.”
His intent gaze never left yours, the sensation of him touching your inflamed face tickling your senses.
All too soon he drew back, his own heart hammering in his chest. He coughed to break the spell you’d unknowingly put on him. “So vould you like a tour of zhe house?”
His open hand angled towards you, he watched as you took it with a wide smile on your face.