The Dark Bloom (The Faery Meadow Book 2)

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Chapter 17-The Portal Search

Elaine was sitting at the kitchen table listening to Colt and Lorcan arguing.

Colt had arrived back at the house before anyone woke up. He thought they would be glad to know Viktor was in fact well confined in hell. Cordelia was sitting in the living room reading a book and pretending not to listen.

Lorcan scowled at Colt. “You do realize there is nothing stopping me from handing you over to the Aeringdal court. The point in you helping us was to pinpoint the whereabouts of the demon.”

“He is in hell where he belongs! Are you telling me you rather he return here?” Colt barked back.

Elaine sighed and patted his arm, but it did nothing to calm him down.

Lorcan scoffed, hardening his tone, “No, but you better come with something to show them otherwise they will hunt you down. I want you out of here, now,” the faery gritted out.

Elaine glared at Lorcan’s blunt demand.

“This is my house, Lorcan. Colt has done nothing but help us. We know Viktor is the demon they are after. Why don’t we just tell them the problem is resolved?”

“Because it’s not,” Colt corrected her lightly.

“I hate to agree with the demon, but we need someone to bring into the court. We can’t just think they’ll believe us because the demon and I are already blacklisted. Viktor must remain in hell, but we need something to show the court to prove my innocence...and Colt’s.”

Elaine got up from the table and poured herself a glass of water from the counter.

She couldn’t help feeling a little hurt because Lorcan had yet to inquire about what exactly went down last evening while he was away. She set down her glass of water feeling the chilly liquid seep down her throat and another feeling just as cold hold her heart ensnared remembering the twisted look in Viktor’s eye the moment before Colt arrived. She was sure he was going to kill her.

Her voice was soft, but her mind was a whirlwind as she turned to speak to them, “He must have used a portal to get here, right? We could start there. There must be one around here or maybe in town that he could have used. The court will be able to trace who used it. Will that be enough to give them?”

Lorcan jumped up clapping his hands together.

“Yeah! Let’s start there. Why don’t you and Cordelia have a look in town and Colt and I will scout the forest bordering it.”

Elaine looked at Colt and he nodded, but he still appeared to be angry at Lorcan. His eyes met her own as he stood sheathing his sword he was cleaning at the table. Lorcan itched the side of his head eyeing the weapon.

“Relax, Lorcan. It’s a custom order weapon. I won’t be getting it dirty. Otherwise, my clients wouldn’t very happy, now would they?” Colt said slyly.

“Yeah, whatever you say,” Lorcan mumbled.

Cordelia was still reading and Elaine wondered if she heard their plan. She walked over to her and the faery woman acknowledged her presence with a nod of her head.

“I doubt there are any portal’s in this town,” Cordelia began, but when she registered the look of confusion on Elaine’s face she felt the need to explain herself, “We aren’t in a very populated town. I don’t think we will find anyone who would even be able to afford one.”

Colt laughed darkly. “You think fae only buy portals? They are stolen much more frequently than bought.”

Elaine saw Cordelia raise her chin as if in disbelief. Then Cordelia picked up her bejeweled purse and tugged the sleeve of Elaine’s dress.

“Let’s go,” Cordelia grimaced.

She was pleased when Elaine followed right after her like a sheep.

“Let’s meet back at the house before dusk!” Lorcan called after them from the doorway.

Elaine gave him a hesitant wave, but Cordelia appeared to ignore him.

***

The morning had passed quickly as Elaine went into shop after shop with Cordelia. Most shop owners were quick to tell them they wouldn’t find any portals in Hunrel and that the city was the best place to find one for their use.

Cordelia had paid for their lunch at a cafe and the faery women were getting along well by the day’s end. Unfortunately, they had no luck finding a portal so far, but Elaine remembered what Colt had said.

They also weren’t even bothering to check the homes of the residents.

Elaine had suggested they try just going door to door to be certain, but Cordelia had her convinced no one in town would have one because the shop owners were the ones making all the money.

“Are you sure we shouldn’t check the houses?” Elaine asked her as they stepped back into her home.

They had gotten back before Lorcan and Colt. Cordelia was bottling up her irritation at Elaine’s pestering. Could the girl not see the poverty her own town was in? Her home was filthy and her clothes looked they were made of rag material.

She thought Elaine was a nice girl, but very stupid and dumbed down by her lack of knowledge.

Cordelia didn’t think they should bother trying to find a way to wake her parents because it was going to be expensive and more than likely a waste of time to try finding a witch who would be willing to undo a demon’s spell.

“No, but now that we have a moment to talk together there’s something I need to tell you,” Cordelia told Elaine while sitting down with her at the kitchen table.

Elaine leaned forward in her seat to show her she was ready to listen.

Cordelia feigned a smile. “Lorcan is in love with me. I came along with him because we're to be married. He’s engaged to me and he did share with me how you feel about him accidentally mating you. It will make things all the easier for us if you don’t bring it up. He’s really touchy about the topic of our marriage.”

Elaine pouted her lips while scratching at the table in denial. “H-he’s not my mate,” she stammered.

Cordelia managed a sympathetic expression while not bothering to correct her. She was thinking this was going to be more easier to do then she planned. The girl wasn’t even bothering to stand in her way. Cordelia thought she was a fool for not even arguing.

“Oh, so you want Colt?”

Elaine didn’t like the way Cordelia was watching her now.

“N-no, I care about them both, but I don’t want them in the way you’re thinking,” Elaine laughed lightly hoping the woman would drop it.

Lorcan is engaged? When was he going to tell me this? Yet, he calls me his mate. It was just a few days ago he kissed me, Elaine thought.

“Come on, he’s kind of cute. You should go for him,” Cordelia encouraged.

Elaine blushed at her statement that seemed to have come out of nowhere. She thought Cordelia was terrified of Colt and now she was encouraging her to further her relationship with him.

Cordelia’s mouth turned sour seeing the faery girl sitting beside her continue to scrape her index finger against a tiny loose piece of splintered wood on the table’s surface. The table needed to be sanded down badly.

When Elaine felt Cordelia watching her, she stopped picking at the wood. Her finger was covered in what looked like brown dirt similar to the bottom of her light cotton dress.

Cordelia saw she wasn’t even wearing shoes and the blonde faery girl swung her feet back and forth revealing they were black from dried mud and who knows what else. She wrinkled her nose feeling revolted at the sight of Elaine’s feet. Although, her own silver slippers did get some dirt on them too, but her feet tucked inside were clean.

“Where are your shoes?” Cordelia asked bewildered.

She almost felt sorry for Elaine and was also surprised she had only just noticed she was shoeless all day until now.

Elaine picked at the table again and it made Cordelia wonder if she was making her anxious.

“My mother’s wearing them. Her sandals broke a few days ago so I offered to let her use them for work,” Elaine answered quietly.

Just then, the front door opened and Lorcan came inside with Colt following behind him. The demon shut and locked the door.

Lorcan made a purring noise and Cordelia was listening carefully to see if Elaine would reciprocate the sound. She didn’t and Cordelia sat back feeling beyond confused as she looked up at the man she loved. Elaine’s wings weren’t even glowing, but Lorcan’s were.

“We didn’t have any luck,” Cordelia sighed.

“Neither did we,” Colt announced while appearing behind Elaine’s chair.

Cordelia shrieked not expecting him to so openly use his demon powers. Lorcan laughed at her reaction, but his face darkened when he saw Colt resting his hand on Elaine’s shoulder.

“We can stay a few days here. I want to scout the woods more,” Colt suggested.

Elaine hugged her arms unsure. She knew Colt was itching to leave the house, but she also knew how much she wished to stay and watch over her parents.

Lorcan stormed up to the demon shaking his head in disbelief.

“Who put you in charge?”

Once he got close enough, Lorcan shoved Colt away from Elaine. The demon remained quiet, and to avoid lashing out, Colt transported himself upstairs away from the red-haired faery.

“Lorcan you need to stop treating him like that,” Elaine warned him tiredly.

Cordelia nodded her head quickly in agreement and Lorcan raised an eyebrow surprised she was agreeing.

“Like what, Elaine? He’s a demon!”

“He saved my life while you were away. Did you know that? Viktor came here to kill me and he killed him before he got the chance,” Elaine told him off.

Cordelia departed from the table with her back turned to them. She smiled while sitting down on the couch in the living room and resumed pretending to read her book. She knew it wouldn’t be long before Lorcan would give up on Elaine.


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