Her Fated Haunting

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Chapter 6

Holding a nearly melted candle in her hand, Elyse slowly fumbled her way to the room next door where the scream had resounded from. The terrified screech still rang in her ears as she passed the dark hallway. It was so very cold.

Hesitation gripped her when she finally arrived before the door. Moans of sorrow were heard from within. What if she was too late? What if the demon had changed his mind and wreaked his havoc in the orphanage? Her pondering were interrupted when the double doors swung open. Big brown doe eyes were staring at Elyse with wariness. It was the little girl.

“Hurry up, Daisy. Bring those smelling salts. Chop chop,” the impatient voice of Madame Tildi rang out. Like a newly born calf, the child stumbled on her feet and ran past Elyse.

Inside the dormitory, all the beds were vacant. Everyone was awake and gathered near the window. All the girls were in their long sleeping gowns and staring worriedly as Madame Tildi gathered a whimpering Marcella in her lap on the ground. It was the sight of the unconscious older girl causing concern.

Marcella’ brunette locks had been chopped off.

The cut lacked any semblance of finesse. A cruel messy job that was clearly done in the name of revenge. Elyse had a presentiment no one in the room was responsible for this.

Marcella groaned again. “Shh, darling, shh, wake up now.” The older woman tried to gently jostle the girl, but to no effect. Marcella was still caught in the grips of whatever nightmare hunted her. A nightmare whose name was probably Azrael. Inching a bit closer from the threshold, Elyse detected the familiar scent of burnt cinnamon. It was so very faint that no one was going to notice it, but she knew what to look for.

The soft whispers across the room ceased when Daisy returned bringing the smelling salts with her. Opening the flask, she waved the contents over Marcella’s nose. The sleeping girl gasped, opening her eyes wildly.

“There, there, Marcella. You are alright now, you are safe. What happened to your hair, darling?” Madame Tildi pried quietly, caressing the scared woman’s cheek. Faced with this question, Marcella tightly shut her eyes and shook her head.

“Was it someone in the orphanage?” Madame Tildi’s tone was deceptively soft. The official cook of their orphanage, the respected lady was the mother hen of the orphanage while Sister Ann was gone on duty.

“I-I...”

Elyse held her breath. The moment Marcella opened her eyes, their gazes clashed. They both knew who the real culprit was. But who was going to believe them? Her once tormentor gulped, a haunted look entering her orbs. “I did this, Madame Tildi,” Marcella said, a tremor going though her. “I apologise for the ruckus I caused.”

Elyse did not linger anymore to hear the cook’s irked disbelief. She had a mission to accomplish– Azrael’s demented game of vengeance needed to be put to an end. Slipping inconspicuously from the dormitory, she headed for the attic.

No one was going to interrupt her demon summoning there.


Dodging yet another pesky spider web, Elyse carefully stepped over the various miscellaneous objects straying the floor. The attic was a sad maze of forgotten objects no one wanted anymore. She had been on the top floor before, but in the absence of day light, everything looked more grim, every creak in the floor, every tick of the broken grandfather clock, every sound of rats scurrying, amplified to terrifyingly loud levels. She held on to her candle holder tighter, willing it to continue burning a bit longer.

A dusty broken mannequin blocked her path, casting creepy humanoid shadows on the walls. She took right where a questionably grey mattress dominated the corner surrounded by heavy rolls of material. It could not get more comfortable than this.

Gingerly seating herself and putting the candle in front of her, she closed her eyes. She did not possess a spell book like Rosanna did, but Elyse suspected she would be able to summon the demon nevertheless. However she wanted to deny, there seemed to be a mysterious connection between them.

She emptied her mind and whispered his name. “Azrael.”

The candle light flickered out of existence while a small breeze tickled her locks. The attic turned colder, goosebumps erupting on her skin. He was here.

She opened her eyes and resisted the urge to shrink away from his intense perusal. He was kneeling on the floor, much too close for propriety. Not that she expected any for a demon.

“You need to stop,” she blurted out. The demon raised a fiery eyebrow, a glint of rebellion in his green orbs. It was a delusion to think she had any power over such a wild creature, but she had to try.

“How can you see my dreams? That was why you chose that specific punishment for Marcella, am I right?”

He nodded, his lips forming into a feline’s smile. “Think about it like this, Mistress. Demons are not from this realm and you are my only tether to this world. Everything I experience now is through you.” Sweet cinnamon perfumed the air when he raised one clawed hand to move her hair away from her face. His eyes were fixed on the blonde lock he held captive between his long fingers. “It is a very intimate bond,” the demon breathed out. For once, his pale face had no trace of mischief.

Elyse extracted her hair from his touch. “You need to return to your home then.”

The demon clenched his jaw and the temperature dropped even more in the attic. “I do not want to.”

Elyse would look further into how she could send him back, but for now she needed to make him stop hurting people. “Then you need to stop exacting senseless punishment.” Seeing his stubborn look returning, a scary fact in itself that she was starting to recognise human emotions in him, she quickly added. “Please, Azrael.”

His face softened ever so slightly. After a couple of beats, he agreed. “I accept, but with one condition, Mistress.” Elyse bit her lips, a movement his eager eyes followed. She had expected this and resigned herself to it. “Is this the part where you ask for my soul?”

His rich laughter surprised her. It did not sound demonic at all. She had to remind herself even the devil had once been God’s favourite son. Appearances were deceiving. “In the end, I shall have all of you, little bird, but for now I only ask for,” his rapidly glowing green eyes dropped to her mouth again ” a kiss.”

What a chaste request. Was that longing she detected in his voice? It was a small price to pay for the safety of those around her, so she accepted before he increased the stakes.

A look of pure delight crossed his face before he masked it. The demon surprised her by taking a seat on the dusty mattress next to her. He stretched out his powerful legs. Laid his open palms on each side of her outer thighs and waited. He had practically caged her in. Was he afraid she would try to back out of the promise?

Elyse was not a quitter. However, she was not quite sure how to proceed. She cleared her throat awkwardly. The annoying ticking of the horologe was maddening. It was clear he was waiting for her to make the first move.

She blew out a shaky breath. “Are you afraid, little bird?” One of his hands ghosted over her bare arm. “No, I am not,” saying the words out loud made her realise she indeed wasn’t. Being this close to him, in the semi darkness of the attic, it was almost easy to pretend he was just a gorgeous summer love, not the demon she had tied her life to. “I am just unsure how to begin this kiss,” she muttered to herself. Elyse mentally kicked herself. Why did she have to confess that?

A shudder of desire shot through him at her innocence and his mind exploded with wild scenarios. How sweet it would be to teach her then.

She gasped when his hands suddenly spanned her waist and brought her closer. “Let me show you. I will not settle for a mere peck,” he growled deeply. His voice was losing its humanity, but it was too late to stop. His hot mouth took control of hers. His sure lips were directing her movements, leaving her no choice but to obey, creating treacherous sparks of desire in her. He tasted like cinnamon, too. She gasped at the ferocity of his caresses.

She felt his claws comb her hair tenderly, trying to compensate for his demanding kiss. She sensed an inner battle in the demon, a reprimand to himself to stop and not overwhelm her with his intensity. The demon reluctantly wretched his mouth away from hers and moved his lips across her face.

“Say you accept me, Mistress. All of me,” he demanded. Obtaining no response from her, he pushed her further into the mattress, backing her into the moth bitten curtains. Through a pleasure laden mind, she heard his words.

“Say I am yours.” He pushed her arms above her head and held them there one-handedly. Azrael repeated the words, his touch growing frantic with her silence. His mouth touched hers briefly “Accept me,” he implored. His tongue licked her jaw possessively, making her gasp. His touch and words were too intense. A bonding frenzy had fallen over him.

He was asking too much. That was not their deal. Elyse tried to push him away, afraid of her body’s response. “Azrael, stop.”

She did not know, but in such a moment of vulnerability, a demon never took rejection from their masters well. Her escape attempt only stirred the demon’s worst fears. Azrael hissed at her, his mint eyes glowing ethereally in the darkness. She was not going to leave him. She was his, his sacrificial offering to do anything he pleased with. His female. He would make sure of that.

Elyse was panicking. The demon showed no signs of releasing her from his constricting embrace. He growled and hissed like an animal. Before he put his other hand firmly on her neck, strange glowing runes marked his palm. They looked very warm.

“Mine.”

A scream caught in her throat when his hand finally made contact. Searing pain burned at his touch. She could feel every indent of those strange symbols on his palm leaving an identical pattern on the column of her neck. As soon as it started, the pain ended, yet the memory of it still persisted. Tears rolled down her cheek as the demon rocked her like a new born baby in his arms, holding her closely to his chest.

Elyse was exhausted. And if looked deep within herself, her foolish heart was also feeling betrayed by what the demon had just done. To go from sheer ecstasy to extreme agony left her emotionally fragile. Whatever had just happened had taken all of her strength with it.

She surrendered to the welcoming darkness. The demon curled his body tighter around her limp one and allowed himself a few undeserved moments of being with her. He whispered softly:

“Forgive me.”

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