The Dark Bloom (The Faery Meadow Book 2)

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Chapter 5-Trail of Blood

When they entered the black brick building they walked up to the front desk. The carpet was blood red and behind the black marble expensive looking counter the demon sat reading a book.

Lorcan rang the little bell on the desk and Colt gave him a look of warning. The short demon behind the desk set down the heavy book he was reading and opened it on the desk counter. A bunch of names and numbers were scribbled in smudged ink in it. He flipped to a blank page.

Elaine thought it must be the guest book and she wondered how the demon knew their names as he scribbled them down on the page. She looked at Colt in wonder, but he just shrugged. Lorcan was eyeing up the strange looking candy in a bowl on the desk. He picked up a purple triangular wrapped piece of candy and stowed it in his pocket.

The demon slammed his book closed and returned to his stool without so much as sparing them a glance. His voice came out in a hiss due to his forked tongue he was shy to reveal. “Top floor for you lot.”

He plucked a rusty key off one of the multiple rows of keys hanging on hooks behind his seat. Then he the threw it over his shoulder at them.

Colt caught it knowing the faeries probably wouldn’t want to touch it. Metal was not deadly to them, but could irritate their skin.

Elaine watched the demon behind the desk curiously and then looked at Colt. She wondered if everything in hell was free or if a strong demon like Colt just had life easier there. After all, the demon girl said something about his high rank. The demons had backed off fairly quickly when Colt told them to.

“Let’s go,” Colt grunted.

She quickly followed him toward the elevator grateful demons were just as technology advanced as humans. She was worried about the flights of stairs they would have to walk since they were on the top floor.

Elaine saw Lorcan peering down the hallway next to the front desk, “Lorcan, come on,” she told him gently.

Lorcan nodded and took his good old time entering the elevator just in time before it shut.

They reached the top floor and entered their hotel room. Elaine thought the hotel room seemed similar to hotels in the human world. There were only two beds, but then she spotted the couch. She walked over to it and took out the cushions smiling. It was a pull out bed.

Some weird kinds of skulls were hung along the walls, but other than that, Elaine thought the room looked normal. She settled down on the couch and Lorcan sat down next to her. Colt locked the door and took a seat on one of the beds. He gave Lorcan a cold stare before speaking up.

“We’ll probably be staying here. No wandering in the halls without me. We might as well sleep now while he can. It’s only a matter of time before the witches get their hands on a portal,” Colt said while running his hand through his hair.

Lorcan nodded his head, but Elaine doubted he was even listening. He looked preoccupied bouncing up and down on the springy mattress.

“You really think they’ll come to hell just to get to me?” Elaine wavered.

He was watching Lorcan. “No, but we can never be too careful.”

“Okay. I’ll sleep here then,” Elaine told them.

Lorcan stood up and walked over to the other unoccupied bed. He sat down just as he dropped his glamour.his glamour.

“Stay in your demon form, faery,” Colt demanded.

Lorcan shifted back into his glamoured demon appearance.

Wait, he didn’t need any faery dust to do that. Was he just messing with me when he blew his on my face? I didn’t need him to blow faery dust on me to use glamour after all, Elaine concluded with annoyance.

She hoped he hadn’t done it just to spite Colt. She laid back on the bumpy old mattress. Her head rested against the back of one of the couch’s pillows. Soon enough, she heard the loud snores of Colt and Lorcan.

She didn’t want to fall asleep knowing Lorcan was struggling with their mating issue still. The trip to and through town had took its toll on the sleeping demon and faery across the room. It took its toll on her too though. The moment she closed her heavy eyelids she drifted off.

***

Elaine sat up in bed and scooted back against the backrest of the couch hearing the springs of the bed squeak beneath her. She heard something else too. It was the obnoxious snoring of her two companions.

She thought it must be late at night because out the window she saw a red moon in the night sky. The bed squeaked again as she stood up feeling the urge to use the bathroom.

She was tempted to wait it out and perhaps go in the morning, but her bladder was in pain. She would have to go now or risk wetting the bed. Unfortunately, there was no bathroom in their room and she frowned while sleepily walking over to the door.

She remembered Colt’s warning, but this was an emergency and she wasn’t going to take either man up knowing it would delay her in making it to the bathroom on time.

Without much further thought, she unlatched the lock on the door and slipped out of the hotel room. Quickly as she could, she made her way down the cold corridor finding a bathroom at the end of the hall. It wasn’t marked woman or men, but had some kind of blob shape sitting on a toilet with latin lettering above it.

She had to go so bad she just walked right in. The door swung shut behind her. The bathroom had stalls only and she thought it may actually have been the woman’s bathroom as she entered a stall grateful no other demons were using the bathroom, but her.

She was alone and thought it kind of nice as she did her business. When she was done, she flushed the toilet and left her stall to wash her hands.

The warm water of the faucet woke her up a little more. She looked in the mirror seeing her white hair fall below her shoulders. She was expecting it to look much messier and frizzy, but it didn’t look too bad. It was knotty though in the back and she tried to get the knot out while walking out of the bathroom.

She looked down at the ground as she left the bathroom. Red droplets of some kind of liquid coated the floor. She thought it was blood. The black tiled floor was covered in she noticed as she saw more of the droplets lead out down the hall to the right -- the way she came.

She was reluctant to go the way the blood led, but she had to get back to the room. Before she knew it, she had been so carried away following the trail of blood she long since passed her hotel room.

She was at the end of the hall now and turned around to go back.

Instead of running back to her hotel room, all could manage to do was just stand quietly staring back at the demon who faced her. His hands were dripping with blood and his black shirt was torn up. His smile was crooked making her heart thud heavier with dread. Unlike Colt, everything about the demon was demonic including his sinister smile.

She thought he may even be bigger than Colt. His head was inclined forward, but his eyes looked up at her through a hooded gaze. Elaine thought it made him look possessed. Before she could react, the demon man flickered out of sight disappearing into thin air. Suddenly she was shoved against the wall pressed up against the demon man’s chest.

Elaine went rigid hearing the familiar malice that always dripped off each and every word of his as he inclined his head forward.

“You’re no demon,” It was the same voice haunting her for years and she trembled beneath his unfaltering stare as his knowing laugh made her feel ill.

She whimpered feeling trapped beneath his chest and the wall.

“W-who are you?” Elaine whispered with terror.

He smelled like blood and rotten meat. She felt the urge to throw up and jerked her head away from his patronizing stare.

“I should be asking you that,” he laughed then gripped her face with a bloody hand.

She screamed, but he muffled her cries by roughly placing his hand over her mouth. Her head hit the wall hard and she saw stars.

The demon cocked his head to the side, but she didn’t know what he was doing holding half of her face with his one hand. It was slick with blood and she gagged as the demon man pulled his hand away. When his other hand left her mouth she blew faery dust on his face. He stepped back bewildered at first, but then his face contorted with rage. She had caught him off guard and it was enough for her to escape his reach as he furiously rubbed his eyes.

He coughed and a cloud of Elaine’s pink faery dust drifted away from his face and chest. She didn’t mean to blow so much on him. However, it looked like she had thrown up a bunch of the liquidity glitter all over him than the small amount she intended to.

Suddenly, he stood up straight and went still. Elaine quit watching him from a distance and ran the rest of way to her hotel room. She opened the door and slammed it closed locking it. She froze again seeing the doorknob rattle as the tall demon man shook it from the other side. Elaine staggered away from the door, but when the door went still her ears rang as a dreadful silence filled the air.

Heat fumed down her neck as she tensed hearing his voice sound so close like he was right behind her, “I’m going to kill that demon and your mate. How precious, you’re crying now. So sweet and naive....” He paused and Elaine felt him move closer behind her. His voice became guttural and barely audible for each word was spoken in such a low sinister tone. She thought she was losing her mind. The demon man couldn’t be real. He couldn’t have found her so easily, “It’s why you’re going to do everything I tell you if you want to see the light of day again!”

The warmth of his breath prickled her skin like poison his words seeped beneath the surface and threatened to close around her mind shutting out all sense of rationality. Something vile clung to the demon and threatened to consume her too if she didn’t move away.

Elaine screamed when something heavy landed on her shoulder. The light turned on in the hotel room and she turned around to see Lorcan give her a look of worry. Colt stood by the nightstand and narrowed his eyes at their hotel room door that was now left ajar. He marched up to a sparkling path of pink faery dust that led over to where Elaine and Lorcan were standing.

“You left the room,” Colt deadpanned, but his voice came out in a similar growl to the demon she just faced.

Elaine’s body still shook remembering the surreal encounter. When Lorcan hugged her she didn’t protest. He was warm, and despite his strangeness, felt safe to her at the moment. She just wanted to be near to someone and not be left to face another demon alone. The two watched Colt sniff the air as he stepped out of the room looking both ways down the hall.

When he came back, Elaine pulled away from Lorcan.

“It was a demon. The demon who has been speaking in my mind,” Elaine whispered.

Colt looked on edge, he spoke in a clipped voice, “What did he look like? Did he talk to you?”

“He was tall and covered in blood. He had this wild look in his eyes...” Elaine mumbled.

“It sounds like it could have been any demon. Are you sure it was the one speaking in your mind? What happened?” Lorcan asked with concern eyeing her faery dust on the ground.

Colt knew the smell immediately and was shocked Elaine survived unhurt. Just from the smell alone, he could identify the demon she had seen. He knew if this certain demon was, in fact, if what was also the one messing with her mind she was in more trouble now than ever. Demons all wanted out of hell and this one was no different. His heart hardened imagining what the demon wanted with Elaine. Surely, he guessed she would be taken advantage of the moment she was separated from them again.

He saw all her faery dust everywhere and grimaced thinking the damage may have already been done. He had hoped Lorcan would bring up the substance all over the ground, but it seemed he wished to remain in denial too. Despite Colt’s feelings, he knew she was indeed Lorcan’s mate. Deep down, he really didn’t believe the blood transfusion would seal his fate with her. He doubted she was his mate.

Demons didn’t have mates anyway due to their nature.

So to think she may have mistakenly mated one of his own was out of the question. Besides, they had enough trouble and it wasn’t worth it to worry about such ridiculous things. Colt thought the witches were where their concerns should be.

He didn’t have time to worry about what an old enemy of his was doing meddling with Elaine’s mind because the demon did it to everyone he could. Now that he suspected who was bothering her though, he could help her a little.

He didn’t think the demon bothering her was the one they were looking for and hoped they could forget about this encounter and just move on with things. Still, he had his own lingering doubts.

Colt was watching Elaine. “Some demons have different kinds of powers. They will try to not just attack you physically, but...psychologically too. You need to keep your mind closed by walling it up so no one else can see in. It may sound ridiculous, but if I may ask, did this demon touch your head?”

“Yes,” Elaine said in a hollow voice.

Colt paled and glared at the floor as he tightened his fists considering he may have been wrong about his earlier assumptions.

“Just imagine a wall around your mind and try to keep it up. You can’t go off on your own again. You’re lucky you didn’t get hurt,” Colt said carefully, but Lorcan was watching him closely seeing through his calm pretense.

Lorcan crossed his arms departing from Elaine’s side as he headed toward Colt, “What are you hiding, demon? You know who is screwing with her sanity don’t you?” The faery man questioned sharply.

Elaine looked at Colt while slumping down on the edge of one of the beds. He couldn’t scare her any more than she already was. Otherwise, she would surely try running away or wish to leave with Lorcan before they accomplished anything.

“No,” Colt lied smoothly.

Lorcan appeared to buy it and the tension in his body simmered down a notch. He stalked off ahead of Colt following the trail of Elaine’s faery dust into the hallway.

Seeing no one either, he went back into the room considering Elaine may have dreamed it all up. She could have been sleepwalking he thought because he had no other explanation for her leaving the room on her own account without even bothering to tell them, or more specifically, him.

He wondered just what was so terrifying about the demon Elaine saw because it hadn’t harmed her. It was just another reason why he was thinking she dreamed it up.

I’ll be sure to tell them I’ve found you, the demon man’s voice resounded in her head. She shuddered and looked over at Colt.

“The demon just told me he would tell them,” Elaine told Colt.

“It’s working with the witches? They must be here. What would a demon want with them?” Lorcan asked with suspicion while pacing over to the door again.

“Nothing different than any other demon. It wants out of here.” Colt admitted with growing worry, “What else did he tell you?”

She didn’t want to tell them the evil thoughts the demon shared with her. She also didn’t want to think about being separated from Colt and Lorcan again much because she never wanted to face the sinister demon alone again. It made her wonder why the demon had it out to kill the two of them. She didn’t know why it was choosing to plague her mind. If it really knew she was a faery then it should have known she would be no use to it.

It was Elaine’s turn to lie. “Nothing.”

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