willowbee clutches his tail anxiously the first time that the mistress lays eyes on him. she has command of many demons that are so much more bigger, stronger, smarter than willowbee is. he has always been aware of that, ever since the mistress took her into her horde of demons. he wasn't scaly like some of the other ones; in fact, he had tawny red fur over the most of him, and eyes that were as green as the goblyn force at it's peak.
but the glasses he wore tended to make his already big eyes gruesomely bigger, in a way he didn't enjoy. they served to make willowbee look even smaller, less of a threat than the other, bigger demons at his mistress' beck and call. he would love to be a true threat like the others in her thrall -- especially the ones she kept in the depths of the oceans or the shadows. unfortunately, he was not; and what use was he, to be so small otherwise? he wasn't threatening to anyone, and his skills limited. to be called... to be summoned was an event.
hence clutching his tail when she looked at him. his fingers about trembled under her gaze. she was busy this night--an older, stronger demon had risen up, and the mistress was aiding in defeating him. already demons had been reporting to the mistress through the night, whispering of people being taken, of a potential swelling of the ranks. willowbee had been entirely ready to help until he had felt the mistress' call -- and part of him was thankful for it, despite his nervousness. being called meant being noticed -- and being noticed meant that willowbee could have potential to grow, to be more than what he already was or to have things that humans did. and one of his favorite things human had were scarves.
he'd already come with his own little collection of scarves, in fuchsia, periwinkle, and a deep forest green. his old master had been inconsistent with rewarding willowbee--but the demons who had persuaded him to join the mistress had told him that she was kinder, more generous. staring up at her from his position on the counter where he'd been summoned, his two little hearts in his chest were beating harder than ever in anticipation of what could happen, if the mistress would truly be as altruistic as promised.
admittedly, willowbee can't glean what she feels. the mistress looks down at him -- her expression (well, all human expressions, really) was hard to read. her mouth wasn't pulled into a scowl, and her demonic appearance didn't seem openly fearsome. her hand settles on one of his long ears (his previous master had called them "rabbit like") and her voice isn't a growl--it's softer, pleasant, "what is your name?"
"w-willowbee," he squeaks out, despite the effort to sound less like a toy, "the third, mistress." he wavered for a moment -- some demons said the mistress preferred to be called madelyne, and the others said she preferred molly.
before he is forced to choose one, her claw strokes the tuft of hair at the top of his head, twirling the red strands in her fingers. "willowbee the third, are you skilled in protection charms? do you have experience with human children?"
he chews on his tongue, nodding. "i-i cared for my previous master's four children! i protected all of them to the best of my ability, mistress, until i came under your care." he hopes a little, wanting to nuzzle his head beneath her warm hand, "i am at any service you seek." he peers up at her, tensing.
what the mistress doesn't know is that the children willowbee cared for previously, they had all been old enough to speak on their own, think on their own. he had been closer to a nanny than anything, and in charge of very little chores that meant that he would be out of the house.
she didn't ask for clarification, so he offers none. (because that's what goblins do: answer what is asked of them, and do not offer anything further. even someone as small as willowbee knew better.)
"i need your assistance in aiding my children, from here on out," she says, her glowing eyes focused on him. "my baby, lilith, and my son, gryffin. neither of them have any magic to speak of yet, willowbee the third. and i have enemies that are seen and unforeseen. i will give you all the means to care for them -- and if you fail me," her claws dig into his tawny hair for a moment, "i will rain a punishment on you that will make lucifer himself afraid. do you understand me?"
for his credit, willowbee makes sure to look appropriately afraid, squeaking out, "yes, mistress! i will not fail you!"
there's a strange sensation in him. as if something viscous slides down his spine. it is thick, fast, and willowbee flails in her hold. it takes a few moments before he's loosed --- and when he blinks, he realizes that there is more magic inside of him than before. he even feels bigger--no, he is bigger, reaching over three feet tall. he looks about bewildered for a moment, then remembers his manners and grovels appropriately before the mistress. "thank you! thank you mistress for giving me the power to assist you!"
he feels her hand pet him in a way that seems more affectionate than before, her thumb caressing the spot on his head again. "go with my blessing, willowbee. do not fail me -- and i want my son in bed by eleven."
the mistress kisses the top of his head -- and willowbee purrs, thinking of all the scarves he'll earn. maybe he would never be at the forefront of her horde, fighting her enemies. he would be somewhere better: in her home, close to her and her children. and that makes his hearts leap in his chest more.