Chapter 28 - Beckoned
One moment Lillian was enjoying the intense pleasure she was experiencing with Draxus and then the next everything around her went black.
Her entire world faded from sight until she felt the pull to wake once more and her eyes slowly blinked open to meet an unknown darkened surrounding.
Looking down at herself she noticed that she was standing upright and she wondered where she was.
What had just happened to her?
Her answers would come soon enough.
A terrifying voice, like that out of a dark nightmare spoke, breaking the intense silence and alerting her to the new presence standing before her.
“I have searched so very long to find you, my dear... and now, at last here you are...”
As soon as she noticed the figure standing before her, she squinted her eyes to get a better look at who it was or if perhaps she could recoignise them.
But their surroundings were so dark and hazy, it was difficult to get a good enough glance.
“What are you talking about?” she asked.
Her voice seemed to echo after each of her spoken words.
“Where am I?”
Then she noticed them, the two strangely bright blue eyes staring back at her beyond the black shadow surrounding them.
Neon blue they were, with slanted black pupils much like a reptile’s eye would look.
She could only assume she were in some kind of a nightmare as she stood staring back at them with fear.
“You are between worlds Lillian, between the world of the living and that of the dead...”
“That’s... not possible.”
She spoke with apparent hesitation.
“Who are you anyway?”
The figure spoke and began to walk, moving slowly towards her with each step.
She could feel a strange eeriness radiating off of him, one that had all of her defences up.
“I have lived for thousands of years and I am known by many names; some you would not even be able to pronounce... But if you must know, the humans prefer to label me as King Xytsis.”
“Xytsis...” she whispered to herself.
Lillian tried to remember if she knew anything about who this stranger was, but there was nothing.
She had never heard the name before.
By now she could make out that Xytsis was wearing a long black robe with a large black hood sitting over his head and shadowing most of his facial features, except for his illuminated blue eyes.
His skin appeared extremely pale, almost white.
“Why am I here with you, between worlds?” she continued to query as she remained cautious of him approaching her slowly.
“What do you want with me?”
“You still don’t know what you are, do you?” he spoke as his eyes narrowed and she could have sworn she noticed him smirk.
“How important you are... how powerful you could truly be.”
Lillian became defensive as he was now standing less than a metre before her and she held both her hands out as she warned him sternly.
“Stay back! Don’t come any closer!”
King Xytsis tilted his hooded head in consideration of her warning.
He knew she had not yet learned how to properly harness her powers and that left her vulnerable to him.
He decided to go with a more diplomatic approach for their first meeting.
Lifting his right arm up, Lillian gasped in surprise as her right arm lifted along with his and her marking began to glow brightly as he began to explain in a little more detail.
“You bare the ancient marking of the Gods of Asrule, Lillian of Westoria, which makes you exceptional to say the least. You are the last remaining one chosen by the ancient gods to have their powers bestowed upon you. In short, perhaps the most powerful being in existence, excluding me of course.”
“How did you do that?” she asked, gesturing to her arm.
“My arm, how did you make it move like that?”
“A minor trick. One of many I possess.” he replied dryly as he dropped his hand and hers dropped down with it.
Lillian felt extremely vulnerable standing before this frightening stranger in an unfamiliar place, and worst of all, she was all alone.
She wished Draxus were there to protect her.
“Ah, pining for your lover to come save you?” Xytsis taunted, surprising her with his apparent ability to read her thoughts.
“I’m afraid it’s just the two of us, my dear. And soon...” he paused, looking down towards her stomach as he spoke the next part, “...I see it will become three.”
Instinctively and with concern she moved both of her hands to cover her belly from him as she swallowed nervously.
How in the hell did he know about that?
So many questions began to flood her mind as she learned more and more about this terrifying stranger standing before her.
“What is it that you want?” she demanded now, clearly growing frustrated by the situation at hand.
He did not reply straight away, instead he took a moment to gloat, staring back at her with such intensity and demonic fright.
As he finally spoke the repeating echo would follow soon after.
“Having searched for so long to find you, I simply had to meet you...” he explained with a stern expression apparent on his shadowed face.
“...and to pass on a message. One I hope you will take seriously...”
“And what message is that?” she asked with her brows raised.
“Prepare yourself, Queen of Westoria... For I come to claim what is mine.”
Her eyes widened and she sucked in a sharp breath as he suddenly appeared to burst into a mass of flames, bright and radiating heat even from her short distance away.
Taking several steps back away from him, she watched as the hooded figure seemed to give a devilish grin as the flames engulfed him entirely and then disappeared into thin air, taking Xytsis along with them.
Once again, she was alone in the darkness.
Before she could finish her shocked sentence she inhaled quickly and closed her eyes, opening them again what felt like an instant later to see what looked like two fuzzy figures leaning down over her.
From the soft feeling behind her, she assumed she was lying down on the bed.
She could hear them chatting frantically amongst themselves and after a moment, she could make sense of their words.
“My King, what happened?” a familiar voice asked, one she thought that she recognised.
“I have no idea, I think it was something to do with her marking...”
They paused mid-conversation upon noticing her starting to stir beneath them as she blinked a few more times until her vision returned to normal.
She groaned loudly as her eyes met his; Draxus leant over her with a look of concern painting his normally serious face.
“She’s awake!” Draxus announced as he reached down and placed his hand on the side of her face.
“My love, can you hear me?”
With one more blink, she slowly nodded as she replied with a softer than normal voice.
“Y...yes.” she leaned up as if she wanted to sit up, but a pair of hands forced her back down.
“No, no, please remain lying down my Queen.”
It was Doctor Parsons and he too had a look of worry.
“You’ve had some sort of incident. We’re still not quite sure what triggered it. How are you feeling?”
Lillian lifted her hand to meet her head as she replied.
“A little dizzy if I’m honest, and my body feels like it weighs a tonne.”
“Can you move everything, arms, legs, toes?” the doctor continued to interrogate her carefully.
“I think so.” she answered, checking all of her limbs were working.
Then it suddenly hit her and she gasped, holding her belly as she asked, “Doctor, what about the b...”
Draxus frowned as she paused, clearly missing something.
“What about what?” he asked inquisitively.
Lillian looked up at the doctor, who let out a sigh as he pursed his lips together tightly in the sudden awkwardness of their situation.
He had promised to allow Lillian to announce her pregnancy to Draxus herself, but as the royal doctor it was his duty to inform the King of such an incredible and important finding.
“I think it may be time...”
He placed his hand on her shoulder as he spoke down to her, then moved off of the mattress and make his way across to the other side of the room to give them their privacy.
Draxus watched him walk away and then looked back down to see Lillian sitting up beside him on the bed.
“Lillian, what’s going on?” he asked.
“Is something wrong?”
She immediately corrected him.
She shook her head and smiled.
“Of course not.”
“Then tell me what’s going on?”
He seemed insistent now.
“What is it you’re not telling me?”
Lillian could suddenly feel that her lips were dry as the thudding of her heart began to make her nervous.
She could feel a sudden lump formed in her throat as she fought to remain strong enough to break the news to him, her loving husband.
She sandwiched his hand between both of hers and pulled it slowly toward her, placing his palm down onto her still-firm tummy as she made her announcement.
“I’m... I’m with child...”
She watched his expression as soon as she said those words.
At first, nothing changed and he appeared to have not heard her.
But then suddenly he blinked a few times and looked down to where his hand had been strategically placed on her stomach.
His hand was so big it almost covered the entire area and he looked back up into her beautiful emerald eyes as they began to fill with tears.
“Well say something...” she demanded desperately searching him for some kind of reaction; any kind of reaction.
“Is it...” he trailed off and turned to face the doctor who immediately knew what he was about to ask.
“I believe the child to be yours, my lord.” he reported with a smile.
“By my calculations, the Queen is just shy of three months into her pregnancy.”
Draxus let out a large sigh of relief, as if he had been carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and had finally allowed himself to remove it.
With her being that far along into the pregnancy, there was no way that Rathman could have impregnated her.
The child was indeed his.
He was beyond thrilled, but his expression had not yet communicated that with Lillian, who was beginning to panic about telling him in the first place.
He would now alleviate her of that fear.
Reaching forward, he placed both of his hands on either side of her face as he lowered his head down to hover over hers, his lips brushing against hers as he stared deeply into her cosmic eyes.
“You have made me the happiest man, in the entire world.”
He spoke the words so calmly and casually she almost hadn’t understood what he said.
She hadn’t realised the sound left her mouth until it was too late.
“Lillian, not only have you remained by my side during such troubling times, but now... you’ve given me the greatest gift I could ever receive. You’ve made me a father.”
As she too let out a sigh of relief, her eyes closed and a single tear rolled down her cheek.
Draxus moved a finger to wipe it away as he smiled down at her, then moving in and placing his lips against hers, gently and tenderly.
The couple shared a truly wonderful loving kiss, which although only short, had meant more than any other they had shared before now.
The sound of the doctor casually clearing his throat caused them to cease their kiss for a moment as the doctor spoke softly while he headed for the door.
“I’ll take my leave. I’m on call if you need me for anything.”
As the doors closed behind him, Draxus and Lillian both smiled, continuing on with their tender kiss, and for a moment they seemed to forget about Lillian’s strange incident entirely.
But Xytsis’ words repeated over and over inside of Lillian’s head whether she wanted them to or not.
The words filled with warning of what was to come...
“Prepare yourself, Queen of Westoria... For I come to claim what is mine...”