The Midnight Visitor
Riven is tossing and turning in his sleep – his dreams filled with thoughts of Musa and Darcy. Suddenly, he feels the weight of something sitting heavily on his abdomen and pinning his shoulders against his bed and pillow. Riven opens his eyes to find himself staring into the face of a lioness-sized cat with brown and ginger fur but its eyes – even though they are now vertically slit – he recognizes.
“Darcy!” exclaims Riven.
“The one and only,” purrs the apparition in Darcy’s sultry and seductive voice.
“How did you get in here?” Riven asks the Mistress of Illusion.
“Silly boy!” replies Darcy with a slow double wink. “Don’t you know that bars, doors and walls are not a barrier to a Witch who wants what she wants?”
“What is it you want, Darcy?” demands Riven.
“Why, I want you, Puppy-Dog,” replies Darcy while looking hungrily down at him and licking her feline chops. “What else do you think I’d be here for?”
“No!” exclaims Riven. “I have gone back to Musa and we have exchanged vows with each other to wed.”
“What care I about any vows you made with a dumb pixie!” growls Darcy and Riven winces as he feels the claws of her hind feet beginning to dig into his abdomen.
“I have changed my mind,” says Darcy softly, relaxing her claws. “I will marry you, become your queen and even adopt a child as your heir, if that is what needs be done.”
“It’s too late for that, Darcy,” groans Riven. “We have been over this time and time again and we both know that this will not work out between us.”
“I could force you to want me,” says Darcy with cold eyes looking down into Riven’s.
“What? You think you can flip-flop my emotions as someone does with a light switch?” asks Riven.
“Something like that,” purrs Darcy with a nasty edge to her voice. “All it would take is a little scratch and a lick and you’ll be my slave forever. But I don’t want a mindless slave.”
“But then what is it you want?” growls Riven.
“I want you as you are,” states Darcy.
“Give it up, Darcy!” Riven almost yells. “For the Goddess’ sake, just give it up!”
“I will not ‘just give it up’,” is Darcy’s soft but cattish reply. “Tell me, Riven, and tell me the truth for I will know if you try to deceive me. Who is it you truly love?”
“It is you, Darcy,” says Riven softly while trying to bring her furry face lower to his chest and scratch behind her ears. “It is you whom I truly love.”
“I love you too,” breathes Darcy as Riven feels a furry muzzle nuzzle against his face, a warm cat’s tongue lick his cheek, the sensation of whiskers against his nose and the wetness of a nose purring into his ear. “Then why,” whispers Darcy, with almost a sob in her voice, “have you chosen a whimsy-flimsy, feather-brained pixie like Musa over me who is a real woman who can give you all she can and more?”
“It is the way it must be,” whispers Riven sadly. “There can be no other way.”
“Then you are rejecting me,” states Darcy coldly.
“It is not that I want to,” sighs Riven.
“Very well,” snarls Darcy, her claws digging once more into Riven’s abdomen. “If I can not have you then neither shall Musa. You have sealed Musa’s doom. She’s going to die!” and Riven is jolted suddenly awake by a vision of Darcy’s face, having mutated into that of a enormous hooded serpent armed with fangs dripping venom, that comes snapping for his face.
“This has got to have been a nightmare,” whispers Riven, shocked fully awake. But then he feels the warm moistness of something leaking over his thighs. He places a hand over his abdomen that he removes slicked with blood. “There has got to be another explanation,” he tries to reason, but then, as he moves to stand up, he feels something hard and sharp against his thigh. Picking up the object, Riven recognizes it as an earring that can only be Darcy’s and his hearts are seized by cold, dark talons of dread.