A Deadly Sunlight Kiss
Walking into the night club called Noir, I was immediately swathed in darkness. Secretly operated by some of the darkest and evilest members of the fey world, Noir was known for being a place where anything, everything and anyone was fair game. It was hot spot for Night fey, fairies that thrived on dark vices. It was also where I was supposed to be meeting up with the demons.
The demons were Night faeries, but a special kind. All of them had been mortal once. They’d been lured in by the world of fey, by the darkness of the night, and been turned into faeries. They became super strong, super-fast, super wild. Unbeatable and immortal. But there was a price. Their immortality relied on them continually draining energy from other faeries. They had to constantly hunt down fey, spend time around fey, to stay alive. It gave them a pretty dark reputation, because not all the faeries they got power from survived.
But I’d spent enough time to with them to know they weren’t nearly as dangerous as they seemed. We were friendly enough that I didn’t need to worry about being attacked. What I did need to worry about was school boy joking, constantly being hit on, and overall stupid males.
It took me all of two seconds to locate the demons. They’d obviously already had a few drinks, because they were loud and boisterous in the corner they’d taken over. As I made my way over, I quickly saw why; an intense card game was under way, and by the looks of the cash on the table, there was fair amount of money at stake. When they saw me though, they were quickly distracted. In typical drunk man fashion, I was greeted by a variety of wolf whistles and claps. Liam, known among the demons as the number one playboy and attracted to anything female, grinned at me widely.
‘Oh man. We should fight more often if this is how you’re going to make things up to us.’ He said with a chuckle, and the men around him nodded in agreement. I rolled my eyes. My fitted blue dress did show off a lot of skin, but at least half the females in the club were wearing clothes even more revealing. As for our ‘fight’, it barely counted as one. The incident he was referring to was earlier today when I had accidently set fire to a boxing bag in the gym we’d been exercising in. It wasn’t technically my fault; over the last few days I had been fighting to control the flame of sun power growing inside of me. Power the Sun King had given me. Power he was hunting me for.
‘Oh please. I’ve seen you with women wearing a lot less clothing than this.’ I replied, and he smirked.
‘Maybe. But half the time they’re trying to run away from me. You don’t look like you’re running.’ He retorted. It was my turn to smile.
‘No. In fact, I need some boy toys to keep me company for the night.’ I said. Everyone at the table froze in surprise. To someone not in the know, they would think I was offering to be romantic company. But I wasn’t. The demons sought touch from so many faeries because they needed the energy of fey to survive; and I was offering mine. It wasn’t something most faeries did. It wasn’t something I usually did either, because I was a halfling. Half fey, half mortal. I didn’t usually have enough stamina to withstand the strength of the demons. But tonight I had the energy of the sun burning through my veins. It had me shaky and hyperactive, and they could take it away.
‘Really?’ Nate, who was few chairs down from me, asked. I nodded and everyone grinned.
‘Well as tempting as that offer is Cassie, there aren’t any boys here to keep you company. We only got strong manly men available here.’ Liam said, lifting his arm up and flexing his muscles. Cheers and yells of approval from the rest of the demons followed. I couldn’t help but laugh.
‘I think I can handle it.’ I replied. Cameron, a blond haired demon who I was friends with, was the one closest to me. He reached an arm out to grab my waist and tugged me quickly onto his lap, pulling me tightly against his chest. A few seconds later, he let out a happy sigh.
‘Wow. You taste amazing.’ He said, making everyone at the table chuckle. According to the demons, every person’s energy had a flavour or taste. I wondered if it was the sun power inside of me that Cameron liked so much.
‘I’m serious. You’re like a cocktail.’ He pressed his nose to my neck and breathed in deeply. ‘You’re strong too. Really strong.’ He said with a bit of confusion. I guessed that answered my question about whether or not he could sense the energy of the sun. Across the table, Nate raised his eyebrows at me.
‘You got anything to tell us Cass? Maybe to do with making fire out of nothing?’ He asked.
‘Or about the Sun King? I heard some crazy rumours.’ Liam added. I groaned.
‘Do I want to know?’ I asked. He shrugged.
‘Depends on whether or not it’s true.’ He replied. I groaned. That didn’t sound good.
The Sun King. My new enemy. A few days ago, we had run into each other. I had fast talked my way away from him, but not before he had touched me. It had only been a grab to the wrist. It should have been nothing. But that one instant of contact had woken up something inside of me. Something that was growing, something that was burning, something that I couldn’t control.
The Power of the Sun. Power he wanted, needed, more than anything. Power that he had spent centuries searching for. He thought the fact that I had the power inside of me meant that I was destined to be his Sun Queen.
But I would not, could not, be her. I had told him so. I had screamed my defiance at him. But it wouldn’t stop him. He would still pursue me. He would come and find me tonight, I was sure of it. Once you attracted the attention of a faery, it wouldn’t stop until you belonged to them. And Regan was a King.
Kings always got what they wanted.
‘Fine. Tell me. But I need a drink first.’ I said. I moved to stand up and head for the bar. However, the hand around my waist wouldn’t let me go.
‘Oh no. You’re staying with us.’ Cameron said. Then with a grin, he grabbed his beer bottle from the table and held it out to me.
‘But don’t worry. We’re going to take good care of you.’
Over the next few hours I was shared around the demons in a weird mimic of pass the parcel. If I hadn’t volunteered myself for this, I probably would have been annoyed at the fact that they argued over ‘who got to have me next’. Being a person who frequently got into trouble for being too dominant, being treated like object grated on me. But I had agreed to this, and I could stand being submissive for a while if it got me what I wanted. And it did.
The demons were draining my energy, and having established that with the sun power inside of me I was strong enough to withstand them, they weren’t holding back. After less than two hours with them, I was feeling almost normal. I wasn’t semi-glowing in the near darkness of room, and I didn’t have to fight to sit still. With their hands on my skin, I no longer felt like I was going to burst.
It was wonderful. I could relax against whoever I was sitting on – currently Liam – and enjoy the card game of bullshit that was currently being played. I could enjoy the drinks the men kept providing me with, which were an unofficial thank you, without worrying. I was able to have unrestricted, honest fun. And it really was fun. The demons were always good to hang out with, and I was happy as we played and bantered. I had long since lost track of time, pleasantly tipsy on the alcohol in my system.
But despite the fact that I was as distracted as possible, I still felt it the moment the Sun King walked into the club.
At first I didn’t realise it was him doing this to me. All I knew was that something was wrong. I was edgy and energetic again. It was almost like an itch, except it was inside of me, making me shift and fidget. Despite Liam’s protests, I wiggled my way out of his grip, desperate to move. I barely paid attention to the people I was pushing past as I moved through the club.
It was happening again. Just like earlier today when I had set the gym on fire, I felt too hot, too twitchy. I was losing control again. The faint glow around my skin was growing more visible. But why? I wasn’t upset like before. I wasn’t angry. So what was wrong? What was happening?
Clenching my hands into fists as I tried to stay calm, I was almost at the bar when I noticed it. The sound of a commotion near the entrance on the other side of the room, and faint golden light. It could mean only one thing.
The Sun King was here. He was here, and he was the reason I was suddenly out of control.
Scowling, I stalked over to the bar and drew the attention of the nearest bartended. I need a drink. A strong one.
‘Can you tell Kirk that Cassie wants a bottle of poison?’ I yelled over the pounding music. Kirk was the head barman, and kept a secret stock of alcohol that was available only by request. He could get me something that would get me drunk. And I really really needed to be drunk for this. However, the man in front of me didn’t look like he was going to help me. Rolling my eyes, I pulled a note out of my purse and shoved it into his hand.
‘Tell Kirk. He’ll understand.’ I repeated, and this time he nodded and disappeared. I sighed and leaned against bar, anxiously running my hand through my hair. This wasn’t going to be good. The Sun King and I hadn’t parted on good terms. So far we hadn’t even managed to say three sentences to each other without arguing. And I had been pretty insulting. But I didn’t regret it. Not one bit. He deserved it.
I could feel him behind me now, his power rolling over me in waves. I clenched my teeth and fought against it. He was trying to charm me, pulling on the power we now both shared. It was a dirty trick. If I hadn’t been used to constantly fighting faery allure – as a halfling, I didn’t have the immunity normal fey did – I probably would have already fallen into his arm right now. As it was, I had to hold onto the bar counter to keep myself upright and stop myself from moving. It took every inch of my concentration.
And it meant that when the King stepped forwards and slipped his hand around my waist, I didn’t have the strength to push him away. Against my will, my whole body shivered at the contact.
‘You can pretend to ignore me all you want, but we both know you can’t.’ He said as he turned me to face him. We were just inches away now, and in the darkness of the club I could see that his skin was faintly glowing, just like mine. I opened my mouth to protest his comment, but was distracted when his free hand suddenly moved forward to brush through my hair. Instinctively I slapped his hand away, but that turned out to be a mistake. Because now my hand was trapped in his iron grip, and he was pulling me even closer so that he could gently kiss the tips of my fingers. The intimacy of the gesture shocked me, as did the tingles that resulted from the touch.
‘This would be so much easier if you would just stop fighting.’ He murmured, his burning golden eyes smouldering as they stared at me. Finally gaining control of my mouth, I snapped back in reply.
‘That will never happen.’ I said firmly, but The Sun King didn’t look perturbed. Instead, he smirked.
‘Never is an awfully long time.’ He replied smoothly. ‘And you and I will both live forever. You think you can last that long?’ He asked, raising an eyebrow.
‘Are you so desperate that you’re going to spend eternity chasing someone who doesn’t want you?’ I retorted. He chuckled, his grip on my waist tightening.
‘We both know that’s not true. You might have convinced your brain you hate me, but your body says differently.’ He answered. I pursed my lips in irritation.
‘Perhaps. But I have this thing you might have heard of. It’s called Self Control.’ I said in a fake sweet voice. For the first time since he’d arrived, his smile dimmed. But the next second it was back in place, as he started to reply… only to be cut off by a third voice on the other side of the bar.
‘I’m an angel!’ Kirk announced loudly, striding over towards us. In his hand he was clutching black bottle, the drink I had asked for. Poison was a code word for night fey liquor that burned like crazy, thanks to all sorts of secret fey ingredients. Turning away from the Sun King, I gave Kirk a large smile. Not only did he have exactly what I needed, he had perfect timing.
‘You’re amazing.’ I said warmly, handing over a fifty and leaning over to gently kiss his cheek. It wasn’t something I would usually do, but with the Regan still holding me tightly in his grasp, I felt like showing off. As Kirk passed me the bottle, I snagged a clean glass from the counter and poured it full of dark purple liquid. However, in the second before I grabbed the glass and downed it, it was quickly snagged by the Sun King.
‘Hey!’ I protested, reaching out with the hand he had finally freed. He easily avoided me, raising the glass to his lips and drinking, his expression smug. I had to give him credit for not choking on the burning alcohol, as most fey would have. But that didn’t stop me from furiously glaring and shoving against his chest.
‘What are you, five?’ I snapped in irritation. He grinned.
‘Try five hundred.’ He replied, and I scowled in response. Giving up on the glass, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of a fight, and I grabbed the full bottle from the bench instead and swallowed down a few gulps. It was then that I noticed Kirk was still there, his eyes narrowed as he watched us.
‘What?’ I asked. Kirk gave the Sun King a careful look, then spoke.
‘I’ve heard that there was an unusual amount of sun fey around the neighbourhood today, Cassie. They were asking all sorts of questions.’ I blinked in surprise. Regan had been using his people to try and find out information about me. It was an obvious move on his behalf, but I hadn’t expected it. That was worrying. I couldn’t let my guard down around him. But very quickly, my concern turned into curiosity. I was very careful to keep my secrets hidden. Had the Sun King actually found anything?
‘Is that so?’ I asked, twisting to face Regan. He didn’t look the least bit bothered to be caught spying on me. ‘You have an entire court at your disposal and this is what you use them for?’ I asked. He shrugged.
‘You belong to the Sun Court now. It’s my business to know things about you.’
‘Well you’re not doing a very good job learning, otherwise you would’ve have found out that I belong to the Night Court, not yours.’ I said firmly.
‘That’s not what you said yesterday.’ He retorted. ‘You and the Night King had quite an argument.’ I frowned. Damn, I had hoped he wasn’t paying attention to that. Yesterday I had fought with the Night King, Hadrian, about a secret that I definitely didn’t want Regan to discover. If anyone knew, I would be killed.
‘What he and I talk about is between us.’ I replied.
‘Not when he threatens to kill you.’ The Sun King replied strongly.
‘He didn’t threaten to kill me. He threatened to destroy everything I own. That’s completely different.’ I countered. He rolled his eyes.
‘So we’re just going to ignore the fact that he attacked you?’ Regan replied angrily. It was almost as if he actually cared about my wellbeing. Except it wasn’t me, but my new powers, that mattered to him.
‘This has nothing to do with you.’ I snapped.
‘You are mine now, Alana. Everything you do now involves me.’ He hissed. I glared. There was nothing I hated more than people trying to control me. And he used that name, the name only my closest friends called me. He wasn’t allowed to.
‘Don’t call me that.’ I said fiercely.
‘It’s your name.’ he said, sounding confused.
‘I have many names. Pick a different one.’ I growled.
‘I want to use this one.’
‘I said no!’ I all but shouted, both of us breathing fast. We were once again chest to chest, our eyes locked in a furious battle of wills. Then all of a sudden, the Sun King’s gaze was softening, a sly smile stretching across his face.
‘Fine. I’ll choose a different name.’ He said smoothly, pausing for beat. I sensed that a ’but’ was coming, and judging by his grin, I wasn’t going to like it.
‘But only if you come and dance with me.’ I fought to keep in my groan. No. Not that. It was bad enough fighting his allure when his arm was wrapped around me, but if we were dancing it would be so much worse.
‘If we’re dancing we won’t have to talk anymore.’ He offered, seeing me hesitate. I kept my face expressionless as I fought it over. Not having to bicker anymore would be a relief. And I did like dancing. But I didn’t want it to be with him. And I was pretty sure I would give in to his sun power. Yet I really really didn’t want him to call me Alana. I couldn’t have him force away into that part of my life.
‘One song only.’ I bargained, making my voice firm. The Sun King shook his head.
‘Three.’ He replied. ‘But I’ll let you have your drink back.’ I scowled. I’d been hoping to limit the time so there was less of a chance of me being overwhelmed by him. But Regan’s expression said he wasn’t budging. Damn. Could I last ten minutes? Maybe. Maybe not.
Guess I was about to find out. I yanked the glass out of his offered hand, quickly draining its contents. Then before I could set it down on the counter, the Sun King was pulling me into the crowd of dancers.
The music was even louder here, the bass all but shaking the building. With dozens of bodies moving to the beat around me, I found myself automatically starting to move in sync. When we reached the centre of the mob, we finally stopped and Regan pulled me tightly against him, my back against his chest. The sudden contact made me gasp. Being so close to him, touching so much of him, made me feel like I had been set on fire. I barely even noticed his mouth at my ear and his grip on my hips until he spoke.
‘Dance with me, Serena.’ He murmured, slowly starting to move behind me. Instinctively I started swaying in rhythm, my head leaning against his shoulder. The entire length of our bodies was pressed together now so that there was not an inch of space separating us. Sun power was flooding between us, sending tingles and jolts throughout my body. It was like we were no longer two people anymore, just one. The beat of the music felt like it was pumping in my veins, the fire of the drink I had just sculled burning inside of me along with sun energy. As our hips rolled in sync, pleasuring overriding everything else, I couldn’t think anymore, only feel.
I was lost.
All my thoughts of time, all worries and inhibitions, fell away beneath his touch. Being in his arms was pure bliss, his power drawing me in and pulling every particle of my being towards him. And giving in to it was wonderful. Moments ago I hadn’t wanted to dance with Regan, but now I was terrified of ever stopping. There was nothing better than this. Nothing else mattered.
We danced to song after song together, never parting. When Regan’s grip on me changed, one of his arms sliding around my waist as his free hand slid up and down my body, I sighed in contentment. The feeling of his fingers trailing over my bare arms, my thigh, had me mesmerized. I had no idea how much time passed, had no idea where we even were. There was only him. His hand brushing my hair away from my neck, baring my throat so that his fingers could trace along it.
A cold hand clutching onto my neck like a vice, fingers gripping so tightly I could already feel myself bruising. Sharp nails stabbing into me, drawing sticky blood as I screamed–
Like I’d been doused with ice water, I jerked away from the Sun King. My chest was tight with fear at the memory that had just taken over me. The world around me was spinning, my legs weak as they struggled to hold me up. I was confused, so confused. But I was free again. I was no longer under Regan’s spell. I could once again remember exactly why I hated him.
When he slipped his arms around me to draw me back into the dance, I pushed him away.
‘No.’ I gasped, turning to face him. ‘Leave me alone.’ I said forcefully, almost having to shout over the roaring music. Almost tenderly, Regan reached out and took my hand, despite my protests.
‘I can’t! Don’t you understand? No matter what you do, you can’t get out of this. We are bound together, forever.’ He replied, his words fast and urgent. I shook my head.
‘No. I won’t. I don’t want to.’ I answered, my words slow and almost slurred. I was no longer lost in a daze of sunlight, but I was still drunk.
‘What do you want then?!’ Regan snapped back in irritation.
‘For you to go away.’ I murmured, and without wanting to I found myself relying on the Sun King’s grip on my hand to keep me upright.
‘That’s not possible. I’m sorry, I am. I don’t want you to be unhappy. But you’re the Sun Queen, and I’m the King. I need you.’ He replied softly, but I shook my head again.
‘I can’t be who you want me to be.’ I mumbled as I shook my way out of his grip and walked away. But before I could get move more than three steps, his arm was catching me around the waist and turning me back to face him.
‘If you leave here I’ll follow you. You can’t get away. No matter where you go, I will always find you.’ His golden eyes were fierce as they gazed down at me, enforcing the truth of his words. I could not escape. Maybe if I wasn’t drunk and if I had time to plan, I would have a chance, but not now. I was stuck, and we both knew it.
‘So what now? Are you going to kidnap me again?’ I asked, my voice sharp and managing to shake. Thanks to the injuries the Night King had given me after our fight yesterday, I hadn’t been able to stop Regan from taking me back to his home against my will.
‘I didn’t kidnap you, I healed you. You are important to me. I care about you. I’m not the bad guy you think I am.’ He said, and I fought the urge to roll my eyes. His words meant nothing. Faeries couldn’t lie, but there were excellent at twisting the truth. Regan was not good. He hurt people. He controlled people. Even now he was using his powers on me.
‘If you make a deal with me, I’ll leave you alone.’ That made me pause, my dark thoughts disappearing.
‘What?’ I replied. Hadn’t he said the opposite just a moment ago?
‘Not permanently, but I can give you a day or two. If you give me something in return.’ Regan offered, his voice smooth as honey. I couldn’t do anything but stare dumbly at him in response. He couldn’t be serious. This had to be a trick. He was going to ask for something big, something awful. He was moving closer now, one of his hands slowly coming up to cup my cheek.
‘A kiss. One kiss and you can be free for a day.’ His whispered. I gasped and stumbled back, but he moved with me. He was so close, power seeping into me where we touched. My head was spinning from alcohol and the power of the sun. I couldn’t think. I didn’t know what to do. I knew kissing him would be a bad idea, but I couldn’t for the life of me think of a reason why. Dancing with him had been amazing, surely kissing would be even better. And then he would go away. I would make him promise to leave, and after just one moment of weakness I would be free.
‘Your vow. I need it.’ I managed to stammer, and he grinned. He was leaning down, his forehead pressing against mine so that there was only an inch of space between us. All I could see was his big gold eyes, smouldering as they looked down at me.
‘I vow that if you give me a kiss, I will leave your side and not return until after midnight the day after tomorrow.’ He glanced down quickly to check his watch. ‘That gives you just over 24 hours.’ He said, and I nodded distractedly. Faery vows were unbreakable, but they were very dependent on wording. Usually I would have paid more attention, would have check his words for loopholes and tricks that faeries loved. But right now, I didn’t have the brain power or the will. I was putty in his arms, leaning heavily against his chest.
Then his lips found mine, and I was gone. I had thought the flow of sunlight between us had been strong when we were dancing, but that was nothing compared to this. He was pouring an inferno into me, tingles and flames burning through my veins. And then suddenly he was taking it all back. His mouth was devouring mine as he drank the sun energy from my body. His lips were burning as they danced with mine, as a rush of heat and fire and power flowed from my core. Then I was falling, limp and boneless, and though my eyelids were closed I could still see his fiery gaze.
There was nothing in the world but his glowing gold eyes that were burning with fire.
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