The Dark Bloom (The Faery Meadow Book 2)

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Chapter 12-Home and Alone

Lorcan was happy to state his case. It was fairly easy to get his people to side with him and pin Colt as the demon who had escaped. He had framed their voyage to hell to make it seem like Colt had taken Elaine and himself hostage in hopes of luring the witches who had summon him to their deaths there. The Aeringdal court bought it and gladly put the demon behind bars in their dungeon.

Even though Lorcan was royalty, they still took precaution to make sure Colt was indeed the demon Lorcan claimed him to be. After imprisoning Colt, they tortured him until his shadows reacted, but he somehow managed to keep his glamour up. They still weren’t really sure if he was a demon or not, but Lorcan’s detailed story had them convinced Colt was the person they were looking for.

Despite Colt’s predicament, he didn’t really blame Lorcan. One of them needed to walk away free and Lorcan had the odds in his favor. He rather him go to Elaine than no one which is exactly what he told Lorcan before arriving in Aeringdal. There were no hard feelings between them as they both knew there were other troubles to be more concerned with.

The sun was setting by the time Lorcan had readied himself to fly all the way back to Hunrel. He figured he would arrive in Hunrel tomorrow afternoon at earliest. It usually was a day trip from the city to any of the outskirting towns.

***

Elaine rubbed her wrists. The rope tying them together had been removed to her relief when she arrived back in the faery realm.

It had been a few days since Lorcan and Colt were taken away. It gave her a lot of time to think about things. She could only hope Lorcan and Colt would make their way back to her. They had yet to really explain how they tricked the witches and Colt barely mentioned his demon brother at all when they returned to Hunrel.

She had just finished eating breakfast with her family. The mood was pretty crumby because they were still upset with her decision to shut them out. She wasn’t talking much with them at all and poked at her cold sunny-side-up egg with her wooden fork.

She didn’t want to be down in the dumps anymore much because she really did want things to be right with her parents and her. She counted off the things to be thankful for in her head which were many more than she initially thought. She mustered a smile as she ate the remaining bits and pieces of her gooey egg.

After she helped her parents clean up the kitchen, she smoothed down the wrinkles in her grey corduroy dress. She had to admit, the faeries were very giving for the dress was just one of many outfits she was gifted for her birthday.

Beneath the dress, she wore a loose cotton slip with ruffled white long sleeves. Her shoes were made of washed black wood with some kind of sponge at the bottom to cushion her feet. A black ribbon was weaved where her foot would slip underneath nice and snug. They were sandals and she loved them the most out of all her gifts.

When she had changed before breakfast, she had looked in the mirror of her room and noticed not a trace of the injury on her back Silvia inflicted. When she touched the area, there was a dull pain, but nothing that brought too much discomfort.

Out the kitchen window, she could see the sun shining and it brightened her mood as she washed the dishes in the kitchen sink.

In the time since her companions had been made to leave with the guards, her parents had informed her more about the fae way of life including the whole mate ordeal. She found comfort in being more well informed, but something inside her felt like it was kind of too late. Lorcan was already her mate and her parents said they suspected Colt was too.

Even though she had no idea really how those sort of things worked at the time her parents had grounded her and she still had a few more days until she was free to leave the house.

She didn’t mind staying indoors for the first couple of days because it gave her time to really take in her new living space. The house wasn’t very big, and already after just a few days, she felt like she had memorized every detail of it.

She was sort of relieved the fae did use technology, but it was altered to suit their needs. The wires and metal were covered in wood or earthy materials to keep the metal from harming their skin.

It wasn’t deadly or anything, but her parents told her if she directly touched metal it would cause something similar to an allergic reaction that over time could weaken her strength depending on how long she were to be in direct contact with the metal.

When Elaine finished with the dishes, her parents left for work in town. They both worked at the bakery down at the eatery where she first saw them on their lunch break. She spent most of the day cleaning up things around the house and watching the birds jump from tree to tree outside.

The windows in the house were all open letting in the warmth of the sun she eagerly welcomed. She could hear the chirping of the birds and it did some good to bring her mind peace as it did now.

Soon Lorcan and Colt would be able to leave Aeringdal. Yes, she thought things would surely get better. They had to.

Someone knocked on the door and she set down a gardening book she was in the middle of reading. She looked out the window of the front porch and saw a young faery man with brown hair. Her parents weren’t home yet, but the man looked friendly and had a gift in his hands.

“You must be Elaine...” the faery greeted her.

Elaine remembered her father saying something about their neighbor watching over their house. “Yes. Nice, to meet you. James, right?”

“Yep. So what’s your deal with Lorcan? Word is he’s your mate and I’ll be honest I never took him as the kind to settle down. He’s always out of town getting into trouble,” James said while glancing over towards where Lorcan walked off.

“Oh! We’re just friends.”

“Friends, huh.”

“Yes.”

“Interesting...well, even though you don’t know me mostly everyone in town knows you. You know from your birthday and all. Your mom spent a long time planning it from what I’ve heard. I’m glad you made it safely back.”

“So um...the wards? There’s something my parents haven’t told me. I understand that they want me back at the house, but shielding the house? Is that really necessary?” Elaine asked him curiously.

He reached around her and shook the doorknob off the house as if testing its strength. “Look, I don’t know much about your family. I just did what I was told,” He let go of the doorknob. “That needs to be fixed. Someone could easily break it and get in.”

Elaine smiled. “Well, I’ll be sure to tell my parents.”

She widened her eyes seeing Lorcan land on the porch behind James.

“Where’s Colt?” Elaine questioned with growing worry seeing Lorcan was alone.

“Where are your parents? You shouldn’t be here alone,” Lorcan countered.

James stepped back in wonder noticing both their wings glow. Elaine had brushed off his mentioning of them being mates like it was something to be ignored.

Clearly, he thought the two had issues in their relationship. He flicked a piece of lint off his arm and stepped further back giving them their space.

“I’ll just be going then,” James muttered and Elaine turned from Lorcan.

She watched him fly out of their yard and over to the house right next door over. Lorcan ushered her back in the house speaking in a whisper, “Colt is willingly staying in the city until we find a way to clear his name, but let’s be honest. He’ll probably get out on his own. He won’t be there long, but we need to leave now. I only came back to get you.”

Elaine was wary about leaving with the red-haired faery again and she grew nervous noticing his lingering gaze. She knew he considered her his mate and probably out of courtesy was avoiding bringing that topic up. Hesitant, she stepped forward and with the intention of only giving him a brief hug. She hugged him and then went to move away.

However, she heard a low purring noise come from Lorcan’s chest and he had yet to remove his arms from around her. She blushed despite her frustration as a warm and fuzzy feeling grew within her.

She didn’t know if he was about to enter one of his weird trances so she spoke quickly hoping he would still hear. “I can’t go right now. I have to tell my parents first. Let’s wait a few minutes-”

Lorcan grabbed the side of her face gingerly and Elaine closed her mouth furrowing her brows when she saw him lean in. He proceeded to kiss her right on the lips and she gasped hearing the purring noise come from him again. His touch was soft and he pulled away before she could move away first.

His red eyes held her heart, but he looked away in shame and he clenched his jaw knowing he had stepped out of line. Lorcan turned on his heels ready to leave. Elaine grabbed his arm lightly.

“You couldn’t control it. I’m not scared,” Elaine told him.

Lorcan felt like they had this conversation before and he knew how wrong she was. He did control it and he wanted to do it again. He was starting to think she would never understand just what being mates was. For her it was easy, but for the faery men, it was much harder to fight the pull. He rubbed his face taking a deep breath.

His voice turned cold and he knew she would take it the wrong way. He wasn’t angry at her. He was angry at himself for putting them in the situation. “I’ll find a way to free us of it. So don’t pretend you aren’t disgusted. If you wish to wait for your parents, I will stay the night at an inn and come for you in the morning.”

She nodded her head while hugging herself feeling empty and...lost. She watched as the red-haired faery soared up into the sky without looking back at her as he drifted overhead of the small town.

Elaine hurried back inside and locked the door. She didn’t know what had gotten into Lorcan all of the sudden. She figured it was probably best that he stay somewhere else the night so her parents wouldn’t freak out. She knew he was still struggling with the weird mate bond.

She didn’t get much time to think anymore about it when someone knocked on the door again. Elaine could see a silhouette from the small square patch of stained glass embedded high up at the top of the door. Her father was the tallest faery she had yet to see so she assumed it was him. She opened the door and was glad her parents had just missed Lorcan’s arrival.

A small smile formed on her face as the crickets outside around them chirped in soft harmonies. A lightning bug flew up above them fluttering its small dark wings around the porch light.

The faery children weren’t running around at this hour of the night so the noises of nature were heightened and fine-tuned as their sweet melodies trickled through the air. The tree frogs croaked and an owl hooted somewhere above the house before it took flight into the night.

The rusting iron gate out in the small of the front yard swung back and forth in the wind alongside the flowers in the flowerbed. Elaine’s parents used the gate to keep the children and pedestrians from trampling over their plants.

Most faeries flew over such things with ease such as James and Lorcan had done themselves earlier. It was a fairly high gate and about as tall as her father who had told her just yesterday he was the one who had put it up. It swung open freely having its lock broken off for some time.

She looked up at her father noticing his golden hair was standing on end and some of it hung down over his eyes. She knew he and her mother were working all day and the days she had seen them come home they would be sweaty if not coated almost completely in flour.

He smiled tiredly when he looked down at her. He wasn’t standing completely under the porch light like she was. The lines in his face from age were hidden in the shadows of the night. It made him look a lot more youthful and young. She knew her father’s eyes were hazel, but a strange dark gold swirled within them now as he peered over her head and into the house as if looking for someone.

“Where’s Mom?” Elaine wondered.

He shrugged his shoulders looking unsure himself, but also unconcerned. They usually didn’t come home at the same time, but Elaine was curious because she was pretty hungry for dinner and her mother had said she would bring something home to eat.

She thought her father looked really fatigued and grumpy from being overworked at the bakery. Elaine beamed though when she noticed a chocolate chip muffin in one of his hands and walked ahead of him happily. He handed it to her just as he timely shut the door behind them when they entered the house. The muffin’s smell made her mouth water and it was even still heavenly warm from the bakery too.

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