The Dark Bloom (The Faery Meadow Book 2)

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Chapter 21-Desire to Deceive

Before Lorcan, Cordelia and Colt headed out in search of Elaine, they debated who would carry her parents as they traveled.

Colt volunteered to carry them both. Lorcan knew his strength surpassed his own, but Cordelia looked disturbed by the idea and insisted she carry the mother. Colt didn’t argue against it, but he knew she would only have the strength to carry the sleeping faery for so long.

“What’s that?” Lorcan asked the demon with suspicion.

He was staring at the locket Colt pulled out of his pocket. It swung violently against the wind. After he tossed it to Lorcan, something on the locket scratched Lorcan’s skin. A drop of his blood fell onto the locket’s surface. Then it popped open in his hands and revealed a small image. Cordelia peered over Lorcan’s shoulder, watching closely as a scene unfolded.

It looked like the townspeople were in the woods, but different from the kind of wooded area right outside of Hunrel. Lorcan was greatly relieved when he saw a bunch of faeries surrounding the valley they appeared to be making camp in. Various pale-colored tents were strung up below the wide branches of the trees. Small little soft glowing white lights hanged above and between them all in an endless web.

The scene on the locket changed and showed Elaine in her tent, but she wasn’t alone. A heavy feeling settled over Lorcan. It twisted into rage as he watched Elaine, his mate, walk over to a tall man whose murderous gaze was directed at her.

“Demonic...” Cordelia muttered and Lorcan looked at Colt.

“That’s Viktor for you. Now, you can see I’m not making this up. He wants to use her to lure me to him.”

Lorcan looked back down at the locket. It looked like they were talking in a casual manner. Why wasn’t Elaine running from him? What sickened him the most was the look of relief on her face when she saw Viktor enter the tent.

Then he remembered what Colt said his powers were. Lorcan knew Viktor must have truly bent Elaine’s mind to his will. The locket, to his irritation, only revealed the scene though. He was unable to pick up their conversation.

He wasn’t able to watch any longer as the locket was snatched out of his hands.

“You’ve seen enough, now let’s go,” Colt stated curtly.

“What kind of false reality has that trinket shown me?”

Colt was growing irritated at Lorcan’s questions. He worried greatly for Elaine, but the silly faery refused to understand they did not have time to sit around and argue anymore.

“It showed you what has happened and what is going to, but the time the happenings occurred is beyond my knowledge.”

Lorcan’s left eye twitched. “I have made no deal with you. Give me her father. We’ll find her ourselves -- I know you still want her. She is mine!”

Cordelia rolled her eyes while Lorcan wasn’t watching. She was impressed though that he was still willing to fight to get Elaine back. The fight in him would need to go though soon, and as far as things were going...she knew it wouldn’t be long until then.

***

Elaine felt like she had been weaving flowers in her hair for hours. It was the only thing she could do to keep from having a nervous breakdown. The only way she was able to see anything now was because of the soft glow of the flame in the lantern hanging above her.

She looked at the silhouette again, it paused right in front of the tent. Her hands felt raw and she clenched her jaw scooting further back as Viktor entered. She didn't like how he walked right in the tent like he owned the place. A small part of him appreciated her moving to give him room for the tent was small.

Elaine looked up at Viktor, nervous he had done something unspeakable again to someone. Or had he saved his unhinged rage to pour out on her?

He glared at her like she was the one who killed him and not Colt. “You have no idea how many tents I had to look through to find you!” He looked back out the tent speaking with his back to her, “I must have tripped on fifty rocks wandering around aimlessly in the dark,” he sneered while looking out the tent and closing it roughly.

He turned back around and faced her with a scowl. His lips curved up into a smirk and Elaine felt ill. He looked at her parents like that before knocking them out.

“Sister, were you afraid all alone in here without me?”

“Stop calling me sister. You shouldn’t even be in here. Go...g-get your own tent,” Elaine huffed while crossing her arms and looking up at his huge frame. “I hate you!” she whisper-yelled feeling deeply disgusted.

The tension in Viktor’s face subsided as he pasted on a look of concern, “I ran into your lover,” the demon lied.

Inside, he was howling with laughter as her doe eyes swelled up with tears.

“W-who, Colt?” Elaine stammered.

“No! It was Lorcan. He was watching us earlier. After you walked away I went to speak with him.”

“He is not my lover. I thought he was dealing with Colt. What’s he doing here following me? Maybe he has come to take me back with him.”

Viktor voice turned demonic, “In your dreams, little faery.”

Elaine was reminded again they were completely different beings. He had been in hell and suffered in ways she could not even imagine. She wondered what the dungeons down there were like.

Colt had refused to tell her when she asked.

Suddenly, Viktor cried out and fell to his knees. Elaine thought he was pretending to be hurt and watched as he rolled onto his stomach where he remained still. Confused, she stood up and walked over to him with caution.

“Viktor?”

“My back...”

Abruptly, large golden faery wings ripped right through the back of his black shirt and one of the edges of his wings hit her across the face. Elaine stumbled back from the force. Her face stung from the impact.

“How...” she breathed out while brushing a strand of hair behind her ear. She looked down at him with open curiosity.

Oddly, he was still face down and not responding. She didn’t know why she was panicking. She rushed over to his side and tried to roll his body over. It was an awkward process much because his wings were still unfurled. Elaine thought with his weight, he might crush them.

When she managed by some miracle to roll him over onto his back, her face paled. His golden eyes were wide open. He was gurgling up a continuous stream of golden faery dust.

Okay, this is not good. This definitely did not happen to me when my wings first unfurled. Maybe it has something to do with him once being a demon, Elaine wondered.

She shook his shoulders, but wasn’t sure if she should keep at it. She could escape now maybe.

The glittering golden liquid kept bubbling out of his throat, dripping down the corner of his mouth and onto his chin. He coughed some up on her face. Elaine leaned back, hastily wiping it away and trying not to touch his wings. They kept twitching and bumping into her.

Viktor’s body suddenly stopped convulsing and his faery dust stopped flowing out of his mouth. His eyelids clamped shut and she watched him remain like that for a long minute.

Grateful that his eyes were closed, Elaine leaned over his naked chest and placed her ear against it to see if he was still breathing. When she found he was, it was too late for her to pull away because he grabbed her arms. With a heavy breath, he smashed her to his chest as he sprung upright into a sitting position.

Blood rushed to her face when she heard a sound rumble from his chest. At first, she thought it was just his stomach growling, but the same sound escaped her when she looked up into the demon’s eyes.

She pushed him away and scurried back into the tent seeing her wings glowing over her shoulder. His were glowing too.

What had he done? This certainly couldn’t have been her doing...

Viktor was oblivious to Elaine’s new tribulation. “They’re impressive, aren’t they?” he remarked while standing up and inspecting his wings over his shoulder.

The demon figured he would be getting his demon wings back, but he never saw any demon have such a vibrant color as they were now. They looked around the same size and shape as his old ones though.

“You’re a...faery,” Elaine deadpanned.

Viktor looked at his golden wings again and the strange golden substance that was smeared all over his face and chest. His face darkened on the young woman who dared call him something so pathetic as she.

He looked down his nose at her and Elaine went cold. He cornered her in the tent and then throttled her throat until she cried for him to stop. When he let go, Elaine was left a shivering mess clutching her newly bruised skin.

He laughed feeding off of her mental breakdown as he read through her troubled thoughts like a book. His laugh ended when he attempted, and failed, to summon his other power he was more natural at using.

“Give me back my powers, witch!” Viktor snarled.

Elaine remained in a fetal position looking up at him in terror. Then she considered his words. If he didn’t have his powers, then he wasn’t so strong now. Perhaps his anger was just a byproduct of his desperation to intimidate and control those around him -- her included.

She was confused by his strange turning into a faery, but stood her ground as she rose to her feet. She was desperate for answers and desperate to have some form of control over her own life. There was a small part of her that was more convinced after seeing Viktor turn into a faery that he must be her brother.

“I’m not a witch. I’m a faery,” Elaine informed him in a soft voice, “And so are you.”

Viktor crossed his arms watching her observe him.

After reading through her memories, he discovered his brother’s attempt at unmating her from the red-haired one. He knew Colt had it out to take her as his own, but after reading her mind, she appeared to still be hesitant to further their relationship. An idea formed somewhere in the recesses of his shriveled up dead heart.

“You’re right,” Viktor mumbled, “I think I really am your brother.”

Elaine didn’t know if he was being serious or not. She looked at the ground thinking if he was lying what he could possibly hope to gain by it. Meanwhile, Viktor took out the mirror shard from his pocket and stabbed one of his wings with its jagged corner. It was the only way he could make himself cry to gain her pity and control her emotions.

“I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” Viktor whispered sounding choked up. “How can I ask you to forgive me? I don’t even know what I am anymore.”

Elaine approached him cautiously. She was all too familiar with the feeling of knowing nearly nothing about what she was. She still felt she was clueless and even more so now that Viktor appeared to somehow be mated to her. The dark truth made her feel despicable inside like it was her fault somehow. When in reality, she knew she had nothing to do with it and believed he couldn’t have either.

It just made her more aware of how little she knew about what she was. She wanted to blame her parents, but Viktor was the one who held their lives in limbo. He was a vile man and she didn’t want to think she was related to him in any way. He may be crying now, but he would surely kill her the moment the atrocious fact that he was her mate surfaced.

She wondered if Lorcan or Colt would ever find her and how they would handle the truth. Would they even help her?

Elaine felt more alone now than ever. She was still afraid of the demon in front of her, but she also wanted to believe he could be the key to her answers if he truly were to be her sibling.

He was crying now after all. Could he really still be a demon if he was capable of such a human thing? If he had turned into a very real looking faery right before her eyes? She thought maybe all it would take now was just a little bit of convincing for him to agree to free her parents from their sleep spell. Maybe he was a late bloomer like her, but Elaine knew that wasn’t her biggest question. He had been in hell after all.

Her parents told her dead fae go somewhere else. It was between the human realm and hell, but the name of the very place escaped her at the moment. She wondered what Viktor had done in his previous life that was terrible to make him end up there instead. If he was her brother, maybe it was why her parents never brought him up to her.

She looked up into his golden eyes and watched him silently cry in what she thought was shame.

Viktor was covering his face once he knew she had witnessed his tears. He turned his face to the side, still crying a little from the immense pain in his wing as he started snooping around in her thoughts again. The lamp above didn’t do well to light up the area in the tent behind him. He stepped back into it to hide his satisfied smirk.

END OF BOOK 2

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