The Dark Bloom (The Faery Meadow Book 2)

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Chapter 6-Distracted

“It was only a matter of time until they found us anyway. I’m sure the witches have already found a portal by now. It is unusual that they found a demon to work for them though that fast. We need to leave here,” Colt sighed in agitation.

He started gathering some of his iron weapons on the floor into a pile. Lorcan’s red eyebrows rose in alarm seeing the sharp heavy objects the demon had kept hidden.

The faery man kicked the pile. “Now where are we going? Are we just going to keep running all over until we stumble upon this Heslin fellow you mentioned? We can’t run forever!” Lorcan retorted.

Colt became rigid with fury and stood up to his full height.

Elaine spoke up in an attempt to diffuse the tension. “Fighting between ourselves will get us nowhere. If we want to stay hidden we need to immerse ourselves into society, but maybe we should keep moving. Where is Heslin anyway? I just think we’ve drawn enough attention here. Is he in this town or another?”

She gulped remembering the demon she met on the way back from her trip to the bathroom.

“She’s right you know. Your demonic attitude is going to be a hindrance if our journey is to be successful,” Lorcan began, “How do we even know Heslin will help us? You could be lying and just leading us to our deaths! As far as I know, you’re the only demon who’s escaped into our realm!”

“Lorcan, please just be quiet. It’s not him. He’s been out of hell for years. The demon we’re looking for only escaped recently like the witches told you.”

“The best time to leave is as soon as we can. Heslin lives in this town over in a manor on the outskirts,” Colt said flatly.

He heaved his weapons over his shoulder and opened the door harshly letting it slam against the wall as he exited the room.

“I’ll be here for you, if not him. We’ll figure out what demon we need to find. I think it may just be the one you saw. If that’s the case, then things may be easier since you already know what he looks like. Once you tell Heslin, he’ll probably be able to identify the demon and this will all be over,” Lorcan whispered into her ear.

Despite her bitter thoughts towards Lorcan she couldn’t help, but feel satisfied at his small remark. She also considered the comfort she found in his words and nearness may also simply be a result of them being “mates”.

In her mind, she was no one’s mate and she was glad neither of the two men had brought it up much since they entered hell. Despite their little arguments here and there, Elaine thought the three of them were getting along much better than she predicted.

***

Since they left the hotel and had made it almost all the way onto the other side of the crumbling town. It took longer to make their way around due to it being the early morning when most demons traveled about in search of food or trouble.

Elaine’s feet were starting to hurt and she was so tempted to fly, but she still hadn’t perfected her skills yet. She also had a feeling her glamour may drop. Not many of the demons were flying around either and she thought she may draw unwanted attention.

She was starting to feel a little light headed. Lorcan slowed his pace seeing her beginning to lag behind him as Colt walked ahead of them. She swayed a little in exhaustion and Lorcan put a supportive arm around her shoulders.

“Thanks...” she mumbled weakly.

Lorcan stopped walking. “I think we should stop,” Lorcan suggested while supporting Elaine now with his arm around her waist.

She was too tired to bother swatting his arm away and leaned almost all her body weight against him feeling dizzy.

Colt looked over his shoulder at the two of them. “We’re almost there.”

“How close?” Lorcan wondered out loud.

“Five miles.”

Elaine sounded like she was wheezing and Lorcan knew why, but kept his mouth shut. She was in the blooming phase and would soon have his child if he didn’t keep his distance.

Enough of his faery dust had entered her once and he knew the demon hadn’t ridded her of it all yet. She would soon become pregnant if she took in any more of his faery dust. So he had to be careful around. No more sneezing or touching. After all, she was already showing all of the symptoms of a blooming mate.

He carefully walked her over to Colt and the demon man was skeptical watching the faery man give his precious mate to him.

“She won’t be able to walk that much longer.”

“Why is that?” Colt remarked while watching her fall asleep in his arms.

Her wings were like velvet. He grimaced hearing Lorcan make a strange purring noise as he eyed the sleeping faery woman.

“She’s my mate, demon. I think she still has too much of my faery dust in her system. I don’t want to risk making her carry a bigger burden than this mysterious demon issue has already put on her. She just needs to sleep a bit. Her body will recuperate in a bit, but I shouldn’t be the one to hold her right now if I sneeze or something...” Lorcan admitted.

Colt grunted glad he was spared the details, but he knew enough about the fae to get an idea of what Lorcan was getting at. He gladly carried her the rest of the way to the high-handed demon’s home. Heslin ruled a large portion of hell and even had his own big castle, but the demons knew it was nothing in comparison to other rulers of their world. So they referred to it as a manor since Heslin’s home was more frugal.

The walls of the stone manor were burned just like all the other buildings surrounding it in town. There were sheets of ripped up metal that formed the roof and rotting wooden beams held them up.

The manor was not exactly known for its outward appearance, but the massive dungeon that expanded underneath it and the rest of the town. it was a huge old prison where the worst demons were held.

The only way in and out of it was through Heslin’s home.

The demon was notorious for torturing the worst of his kind he was to keep an eye on. He also was a powerful demon enabled with the power to control hellfire and expel demons to do his dirty deeds in the human realm. The latter was exactly what he did to Colt, but Colt didn’t really think of it as a punishment. it was rare Heslin expel anyone and the last time Colt checked he himself was the most recent to be sent off to do the old demon’s work.

When they arrived at the manor, Colt shuffled Elaine into Lorcan’s arms. Her head lulled to the side in her sleep and her hair dangled over her face. Lorcan noticed how all the windows had black iron bars covering them. It was three stories high and the black double-door entrance Colt had opened already had a staked horned pig hanging over it that looked like it had died covered in black tar.

“Wait out here. This won’t take long,” Colt told Lorcan without looking back at him.

“No way. What if her glamour drops in her sleep? We’ll be spotted and killed.”

However, the demon was already walking inside the giant house.

Lorcan grumbled, but smiled down at Elaine as he managed to carry her over to the wall of the house. He slumped back against the wall with gloom feeling the eyes of the other demons on him who passed outside the manor.

His attention was drawn back to Elaine when he heard her mumbling incoherently in her sleep. He shook her shoulders a little and she woke up blushing when she realized he was hugging her against him.

She panicked while looking around wildly. “Where are we? Where’s Colt?”

Lorcan pointed to the building behind him. “He’s in there, talking to Heslin. He said he would be quick.”

“When did I fall asleep?”

“About a half hour ago.”

He sounded a little nervous and Elaine wondered if he was telling the truth. Suddenly, the front doors of Heslin’s home opened and Colt met up with him looking grim. Elaine bit her lip feeling like he didn’t find anything out by the way he was watching them.

She rushed over to him. “What did you find out?”

“He’s not home. His advisor is useless, they wouldn’t let me check his records without him present,” Colt told her.

“Sure, like we’ll believe that,” Lorcan scoffed.

Colt grabbed the collar of his shirt and demons crowded around the two cheering them on. Lorcan swung his fist and it connected with Colt’s jaw.

The demon snarled and flew upward with Lorcan. The two wrestled in air. Lorcan somehow managed to keep up his glamour as they crashed against Heslin’s home in a tangle of fists and cursed yells.

“Stop it you two!” Elaine hollered, but her voice was white noise among the dozens of demons watching the two go at in the air.

Some of the demons even joined in on the brawl. They flew upward and swarmed around Colt and Lorcan like gnats. Colt growled loudly and his shadows strangled the demons surrounding him and Lorcan. The demons retreated to the ground by way of his shadows. They ran off like animals on their hands and knees. Lorcan and Colt both looked beat up and still had yet to quit fighting.

Abruptly, she was pushed onto the ground by some unseen force. She tried to stand, but her body remained glued to the ground as a dark-haired familiar someone walked out in front of her. The witch’s magic kept her bowing on the ground and all Elaine could see was pointed black heels facing her.

“Ah. You were tricky to track down. Those two seem distracted enough. You’re a handful, aren’t you? I’ll fix that soon,” Silvia said with a smirk.

She looked down at Elaine as if she was gum under her shoe and perhaps treated her like it as she kicked her pointed heel into her stomach.

Elaine coughed up blood, but managed to lift her head up to see about ten witches around her. They wore robes of dark colors and mud-covered boots. Most of them looked older than her. She even spotted a couple of men among the group of witches. There was no way she could see herself taking them all down on her own.

She was surprised Lorcan and Colt hadn’t spotted the witches yet, but Elaine figured they were probably too carried away in their fighting to notice her new dilemma down below them on the ground. Sure enough, when she mustered the strength to look up into the sky she saw them still violently hitting each other and screaming.

One of the witches next to Silvia shrieked, “On with it!”

Silvia walked around her and out of her line of sight as her head was forced to look downward again. She stared helplessly at the ground. An agonized yelp escaped her when some kind of razor blade was mercilessly stabbed into her back. By some miracle, it hadn’t injured her wings, but her back still hurt awfully terribly. She became a sobbing and trembling mess in her new misery.

“That should keep you out of trouble,” Silvia smirked behind her. One of the witches let out a holler pointing at her feet. Colt’s shadows crept along the group of witches keeping them from running away. “Like we haven’t prepared for this,” Silvia added sarcastically.

She chanted a spell in another language and suddenly Colt and Lorcan emerged from the shadows. She must have warded off Colt’s power somehow with her spell.

At least the two of them aren’t fighting anymore, Elaine thought.

Silvia pulled out a piece of wool and threw it on the ground. “Don’t bother looking for us. We witches are much better at hiding than you.” Elaine heard the witch start to chant.

“Let her go, witch,” Colt commanded coldly.

She felt air rush by her and then the sound of Lorcan’s voice as he yelled, “Release her, now!”

“I don’t plan on seeing you again, Lorcan. Thanks for your help though. Go carry on with your fight now,” Silvia mocked.

The mer witch lifted her hand and Lorcan and Colt were flung far away from her group of witches and their newly claimed captive faery.

Elaine was able to lift her head a little and saw one of the male witches walk over to her. She stared at him nervously when he took out a big bag. Most of his face was hidden by a hood. She couldn’t even physically fight against him. She was still under Silvia’s spell that kept her still, but she had a feeling even if she wasn’t under the spell she wouldn’t be able to move much with the new injury in her back.

The male witch’s hood fell back a little as he knelt down near her. It was the same demon she saw in the hotel she realized with growing nausea. His hair was as white as snow and his eyes just as pale, similar to the other demons.

His eyes danced with something corrupt and rotten -- a craving for her suffering perhaps, but she didn’t know what he wanted with her. His movements were sporadic and unpredictable as his hooded gaze scanned over her rapidly several times.

He looked deranged. She thought his smile was unnatural and lasted too long. It made her want to turn invisible, but there was nowhere to hide now. Elaine shivered when his attention left her and she saw how seamlessly he put on an emotionless expression. The demon man appeared to be waiting on the witch to tell him what to do.

Silvia ordered him to put Elaine in the bag and the demon did as he was told. He grabbed her by her wings and Elaine screamed something awful as she felt like they would be ripped from her spine as he roughly handled her. She landed in a heap in the large brown sack. When she looked upward, the demon man closed the opening and picked up the bag with her in it.

She tried to remain calm and do what Colt had told her -- to close off her mind. Truthfully, it was hard to concentrate on anything though with the pain radiating in her back. It was all she could think about and feel. She quivered as her wings spasmed behind her in agitation at being trapped in such a small enclosed space.

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