The Dark Bloom (The Faery Meadow Book 2)

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Chapter 15-Troubling Truths

Cordelia was a lovely faery. Her parents raised her to be polite mannered. Lorcan couldn’t help confiding in her. He thought she was more soft-spoken than Elaine and was always willing to give him the time he needed to vent.

She was a good listener and he just needed to let out what he couldn’t admit in front of Elaine. He felt so unsure of himself around Elaine and felt like his feelings were eating him alive. The last time he interacted with her was a disaster and the small amount of trust he built with her shattered.

He shouldn’t have kissed her without asking, but he didn’t know how else to show her he genuinely cared.

Lorcan understood she wasn’t ready for a relationship and was willing to give her some space, but eventually, she would have to come to terms with him choosing her as his. He regretted referring to it as an accident and wanted to make it up to Elaine, but what could he do? She was always preoccupied with her own family issues...and the demon.

Lorcan was discussing his concerns about it all with Cordelia. She was wearing a yellow wool dress and black stockings. Her lovely brown hair fell over her shoulders in ringlets for today she had curled it. Her eyes were warm and a light brown tone.

Cordelia rested her hand on Lorcan’s bicep. “She’s selfish,” Lorcan disagreed, but Cordelia wasn’t finished, “She barely knows anything about you and hasn’t even asked about your background. Have you even told her about me yet?”

“No,” Lorcan said without missing a beat.

He had hoped to come to Cordelia for consultation, but instead, he was just getting more angrier and he didn’t know why.

“She should know about our arranged marriage,” Cordelia whispered while sliding her hand down Lorcan’s arm. She interwove her fingers with his and squeezed his hand lightly, “Don’t you think?”

Lorcan pulled his hand away from hers and Cordelia shook her head in frustration. They had gotten breakfast together and walked over to the library to discuss things. She walked away from him and leaned against a shelf of dusty books.

“You know, I’ve been working a lot lately and this whole thing happened out of my control. I do love you Cordelia, but in a different way from my mate. Elaine is literally driving me crazy, but even when I’m not with her now she’s all I think about. I want to protect her, but I also value my friendship with you just the same,” Lorcan defended.

Cordelia smiled a little at his revelation and made her voice sound a little cheery, “I understand. It’s just we were told such things from a young age...I have feelings for you too, but I suppose I have yet to understand what is like to have a mate,” She paused to consider her words. Then she looked up at Lorcan innocently, “I think I’d like to meet her. If I can match a face to your mate that would help me understand what it is you are really going through. I want to support you through this.”

“Of course! I know this is hard for you, but we can only blame our greedy parents. You know we have to pave our own path in this world. Remember when we used to sneak out and steal flowers from the florist down the block from the castle?”

The faery woman smiled. “How could I forget?”

Cordelia had not forgotten a single moment she shared with Lorcan. She remembered each innocent kiss when they were young teens. The laughs and giggles they shared together as they stargazed talking about their future were branded across her heart.

That was years ago, Lorcan had yet to appear to her since. He seemed to be in the prime of his life, but this mate of his appeared to snuff out the lively flame he always carried around when they were younger.

He was more serious now and level-headed. He had changed in their years apart, but it made him more alluring to Cordelia.

Her family adored him too. While Lorcan was away she didn’t have to work, but she greatly respected him for choosing a job reserved for the royalty like her. She didn’t like to get her hands dirty or deal with the estranged children the poorer of her kind couldn’t afford to bring back themselves.

Only the royal, or wealthy fae, could afford to rent portals from the witches or have maps leading to the whereabouts of greenmen scattered across their land. Both were commonly used to cross between realms.

Cordelia knew it was usually the younger couples who made such ill decisions to settle in the human realm or move back and forth. It was not unusual for a child to be left behind, and for the years the portals were closed off, many families did get separated.

It just made families like hers more wealthy.

After all, they themselves controlled the number of portals the witches were allowed to create. By doing so, they monopolized the portals and reaped the rewards with open arms.

Cordelia’s brothers and older sister had chosen to be deliverers. While they were away, she managed her family’s lavish portion in the great castle of Aeringdal. Their rooms were luxurious and constantly getting newly lavish furniture added into them from across the faery realm and human realm alike.

The rich were smarter and the poorer family’s like she knew Elaine’s was didn’t have enough money invested upon the child’s birth to have her returned to them immediately. Cordelia thought it was odd though because Lorcan told her Elaine was way older than most children brought over. It didn’t take families a decade to save up.

Normally, all it would take was about a year’s income to have the amount needed for one of wealth such as Lorcan and her to fetch their children. At most, it would take a poorer family three years to save up, but Lorcan told her Elaine was eighteen and she laughed at the number until he told her he wasn’t joking.

When Lorcan also told her about the demon trouble and the voices the girl claimed to hear Cordelia became skeptical. It made her think Elaine was a witch, but she would hold out on sharing her thoughts before finding out more about the one who had stolen her Lorcan away.

“You told her you’d come back in the morning, right?”

“Yeah, we better get going!” Lorcan said with growing excitement.

He was so relieved Cordelia was completely understanding and full of joy for him. It was nice to have someone like her around he could talk to about things he didn’t think Elaine was ready to hear.

***

Colt wasn’t sure about the sliced meat they found in the fridge. Elaine insisted it smelled fine and she tried to ignore the purple color of it. Her parents told her yesterday it was from some kind of turkey and that the meat was infused with berry flavoring and herb.

She opened the white and blue bread box and cut up a few slices of wheat bread for their sandwiches. One thing she enjoyed about the faery realm was how fresh their food was. She found a few slices of cheese and leafy greens. She made more sandwiches than for just the two of them and Colt was wondering if she was going to feed the guards he thought Lorcan planned to arrive with.

He didn’t know why else her mate was taking so long. The morning had long since passed and he and Elaine sat eating the sandwiches they put together. Elaine cut them in half so they were triangular-shaped. Colt ate five halves and Elaine was still nibbling on her first one.

Her face lit up when she heard a knock come from the front door.

She opened the door.

“Lorcan!” Elaine greeted.

She also saw a beautiful faery woman accompanying him with bright green wings.

Her hair shined like the models on her magazines she frequently read in the human realm. She had a bejeweled leather bag hanging off her shoulder. “Oh, what’s your name? I’m Elaine. Are you from the city? Your purse is gorgeous...” Elaine trailed off.

Elaine remembered when Lorcan took her to Aeringdal. All the fae there were dressed in beautiful garments and accessories like the woman standing in front of her.

In towns like her own though, seeing such exotic clothing was rare. She didn’t remember seeing anyone carrying anything covered in jewels or such shiny material as the lady in front of her.

Her clothes were mainly made of cotton or wool, but this faery lady appeared to be wearing silk and much more durable clothing.

Elaine marveled at her elegance and wondered if she could a job similar perhaps to see more of the city life. Cordelia took her time forming a response.

She was enjoying the poor girl’s appreciation of her wealth and almost pitied her for her naivety, “I’m Cordelia. I live outside the city, but I manage my family’s property in the castle as my day job so to speak.”

“The castle?” Colt chimed.

Lorcan watched Elaine bemused by her reaction to meeting Cordelia. He thought this was going better than he anticipated.

“Her family is royal like mine, but we’ve both tried our best to distance ourselves from them.”

“Wow...” Elaine breathed feeling shy all of the sudden.

Colt’s gaze hardened on Lorcan. “I’m so glad you brought her here,” he muttered sarcastically with a forced smile.

Cordelia grew nervous seeing the demon man turn his stare on her. Lorcan warned her about him, but promised her as long as she stayed near him she would be safe from Colt. She followed Lorcan as he went into the house behind Elaine.

Cordelia held back a giggle seeing the dainty random decorations scattered in the house. The wallpaper was peeling and faded in the kitchen where they stood and the window above the tiny sink was cracked.

The home smelled like mold, but she was unfamiliar with the scent. Nonetheless, it still made her want to gag for it was too sharp a contrast in odor from the perfumes she sprayed in her house.

Dried flowers and wicker basket hung up above her head and she nearly choked on a cloud of dust that descended on her when Elaine flew up to pull one down. She set the dusty basket on the table and Cordelia watched in horror as she placed the sandwiches inside the disgusting old basket without cleaning it.

They went outside and into the backyard to enjoy the nice weather while eating their lunch on the picnic table situated in the tiny front lawn.

When they sat down, Lorcan and Colt began eating. Elaine offered Cordelia a sandwich, but she waved off her waver. Elaine put it in the basket and tapped her fingers on the table anxiously. She didn’t know why Lorcan had shown up with his friend, but she figured it was probably because she could help them in some way.

“Do you know any way we can wake them up?” Elaine asked Lorcan after telling him what Viktor did to them.

Lorcan felt guilty for the new tired look in her eyes. He was furious when Colt admitted he could not guarantee his brethren stay in hell and that was before Viktor ended up in the faery realm.

Cordelia was the first to answer. “Perhaps you know,” she said with callous while eyeing Colt.

“No potion or spell a witch could do is going to fix it. He will eventually quit picking around their brains and they will wake up,” Colt explained.

“What does he want with her?” Lorcan snarled back while gripping the edge of the table. “He’s been spying on her life and twisting her mind. We should close all the portals to ensure he never gets out, Colt. I told you this from the beginning!”

“He thinks he’s my brother,” Elaine whispered while refusing to look at anyone.

Cordelia felt nauseous, she was tempted to fly right back to the city and give them the coordinates of the demon spawn sitting right across from her.

Lorcan had insisted he wasn’t the one they were looking for though. She didn’t really know what she was getting into, but the idea of traveling with Lorcan excited her. Plus, she was pleased by Elaine’s appearance. She was rather plain looking and fragile. Lorcan described her much differently, but Cordelia was relieved to find her quite more passive.

“What do you think? You saw the picture,” Lorcan asked Elaine curiously.

Her voice lowered remembering Viktor’s violent outburst that had knocked her parents out cold, “No. He’s just a demon out to make Colt suffer. Tell them, Colt. They should know about your past with him,” Elaine encouraged, but she wasn’t sure how Cordelia would take it all.

Colt grunted and stood up returning to the house without explaining anything.

They didn’t have time to sit down and make small talk. They should have left the house the moment he killed Viktor.

Colt looked back at them and aimed his icy stare on Lorcan. “We need to leave as soon as you’re done eating.”

Lorcan gave him a thumbs-up through a mouthful of bread and meat. Then Colt walked in the house and slammed the door shut.

The demon knew Lorcan couldn’t see how hurt he made Elaine by not showing up until now.

After he initially ate with Elaine before they arrived, she cried a little bit and he knew it must have been the mate bond kicking in. However, when Elaine saw Lorcan Colt noticed her wings weren’t glowing. Lorcan’s were glowing though still.

Colt doubted Elaine noticed, but he would bring it up when they had a moment to speak alone.

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