The Dark Bloom (The Faery Meadow Book 2)

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Chapter 11-The Trespasser

Time was different in hell. It was quicker, but by how long, Elaine was uncertain.

Along with her, Lorcan and Colt had arrived at the very place they vanished. They were in Hunrel again, alongside the great big white tent still occupying the town park. It was where her parents had set up her eighteenth birthday party.

The tent was empty, but there some streamers still hanging loosely around it that fluttered up off the ground in the breeze. The sun was still rising and Lorcan and her sat down on a wooden bench while Colt touched up his glamour. His hair was its dark blue-black again, but his eyes remained pale.

It was nice to not have to keep up her glamour anymore. She felt bad for Colt not being able to freely walk around in his own skin.

Elaine heard a low purr come from beside her and wondered if a cat was lying beneath their bench. She looked under it and saw nothing but lush green grass. Lorcan grabbed her hand and clutched it to his chest. Her mouth opened in her own bewilderment hearing the noise again.

It was coming from him.

His chest vibrated against the sound. She furrowed her brows at the glassy look in his eyes. “What was that?” she asked slowly.

Colt snapped his fingers in front of the faery man. Lorcan jolted upright and released her hand while refusing to look at her. He scratched the back of his head as his face grew red in embarrassment.

Then he rubbed his chin with a tight-lipped smile. “Nothing.”

“Nothing, Lorcan? Your purring!” Elaine argued wondering what had gotten into him.

He was acting like an animal and it weirded her out. Lorcan didn’t appear disturbed by his strange behavior nearly as her. She stood up getting away from him as the sound of his purring died down.

Colt sighed looking skyward. His voice was clipped, “Your parents should have told you about this. He has it in his head now your his mate. You need to stay away from him, otherwise, he’ll take advantage of you. You saw it yourself -- he has no control over his instincts when it comes to you.”

Elaine watched Lorcan approaching them. “I am no one’s mate,” she scoffed.

“Didn’t you notice I healed your wound? While we were flying to Colt’s castle, I had showered my faery dust over you --”

“You what? You’re forcing this mate thing on me,” Elaine gritted out.

“What’s done is done,” Colt grunted.

Elaine looked at Colt not liking the bitterness in his tone that seemed to be aimed on her too now and not just solely Lorcan.

She followed Lorcan and Colt back to her home where her parents gave her a scolding for abandoning her birthday party. On the way to the house, the trio debated whether to lie to her parents, but Lorcan insisted they tell the truth to avoid further drama with them.

To him, they were still a means to an end and he was still a little grumpy they never paid him for his efforts to bring Elaine home to them. He felt he had no control over the demon situation. At least they knew who it was now though. As far as Lorcan was concerned, they were both guilty just the same.

“H-hell? You took our daughter to hell on some wild goose chase just to find a nameless demon. I’m calling the court!” Elaine’s mother gasped in shock and fury.

Her father wouldn’t quit glaring at Lorcan. “Let’s let them finish explaining themselves.”

“Firstly, you can’t send me to a court because I’m a royal deliverer. Not all deliveries are successful. It’s the risk you took hiring me.”

Colt frowned knowing Lorcan’s words would not help anything. “We know who the demon is. So we will just show ourselves to court.”

Elaine’s mother ignored the offer and pointed to the door where her husband stood greeting the Aeringdal soldiers; they had come to escort Lorcan and Colt on their way to Aeringdal.

Elaine knew Colt wouldn’t put up a fight. Otherwise, he would expose himself. Lorcan wasn’t even fighting them off because they weren’t being so rough with him due to his status. They grabbed him by the arms and then another three guards followed behind with Colt.

“No!” she yelled in protest seeing the armored guards swarm into the room like angry bees.

“We’ll be back!” Lorcan assured her.

Colt gave her a grim look before he was pushed out the door. When the guards left with them, she turned to her parents who both were holding her back from following her friends.

Anger stirred within her. Not just for her mother for calling the court, but for the way they handled coming back in contact with her for years. She felt alienated and betrayed by them. It was as though she was a means to an end and whatever identity she formed in the human realm was the closest thing she could come to terms with. She was a foster child there and still felt like one even as she stood in front of her birth parents.

Her mother turned hysterical, “You have a lot of explaining to do young lady. Two mates?”

Elaine’s mother had seen her wings glow in the presence of both men. Not only that, she could hear the red-haired faery softly purring around her daughter. Since Lorcan had left first, she watched her daughter’s wings glow once. They glowed again though when the demon exited the house too.

“Leave me alone,” Elaine mumbled while drifting away from them.

She flew up to her room and closed the door to the small space. It wasn’t long before she heard her parents yelling downstairs. She truly did feel this was just another foster home.

***

In a world somewhere below the depths of the faery realm, the bright yellow crescent moon hung on high above the Hallowed Wood. The air smelled of dead rotting hay and sickly sweet caramel that wafted away from the village’s sweet shop to the rolling hills surrounding it. The town of Hegley Hallow was silent in the night, but beyond the hills around it, something was very much awake.

Viktor had no idea how he had ended up in such a place. He held the mirror shard out in front of his face skeptical of its powers. In its reflection, he saw his demon form and quickly glamoured himself while watching his surroundings with suspicion.

Tall needle-leaf trees and other deciduous pines crowded around him. A mist coated the ground, and beneath it, the brown dead grass crunched as he walked blindly through the woods.

Every now and then he had spotted a random pumpkin sitting at the base of a tree. It made him believe he successfully had left hell because such lively looking plants were foreign to hell. Everything in hell was dead, but here, the plants looked much more alive.

Eventually, he wandered over to an opening in the trees. He walked over to the clearing and realized he was standing high up on a hill. He considered it to be the human realm indeed because there was so much farmland, but no houses were in sight. He had already tried to summon his wings once, but they refused to cooperate.

The hills from where he was standing and looking out seemed to cover the horizon. A humungous shadow stood on one of the hills in the distance. Viktor watched if miraculously move on its own as it appeared to levitate off of the ground as it slowly made its way about the hills. Several mini dark shapes hovered around it like ducklings and the shadow -- the mother goose.

Eventually, the shadowy shape blocked out the light of the moon and froze in the middle of the field right below him. Viktor wasn’t familiar with fear, but he was evidently powerless not having the ability to summon his powers or fly away. He was holding another method of escape, but it was forgotten as he realized the giant shadow was nothing but.

It was wearing a giant cloak and its pointed top was actually its hood standing on end. The little mini cloaked figures he guessed to be around normal in height. He thought they were people, but the huge thing that stood in their center he was certain was not.

The giant cloaked figure’s head leaned back as if it were peering up at Viktor from its position in the field below the one in which he stood looking down at the otherworldly sight. Viktor couldn’t make out their entire face, but the shadows veiling the huge figure’s mouth disappeared.

Needle-thin greying and yellowing teeth curved upward into a growing crooked smile. Viktor had seen many demons in his life, but never one like the one who had spotted his position on the hilltop.

“H-hey easy now...” Viktor grimaced when the figure’s giant arm swooped up to him and snatched him up.

He was too afraid to look up under the hood of the figure’s cloak again and instead watched the ground far beneath him. The other smaller pointed hooded figures wheeled a shiny circular shape beneath him. He had an inkling it was a portal, but he had no idea why they’d have brought one all the way out here. It made him wonder if these demon things were expecting his arrival.

He roared with new agitation and panic, “Where the hell am I?”

“Nowhere you belong,” the mayor replied thickly.

Then he dropped the demon.

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