The Dark Bloom (The Faery Meadow Book 2)

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Chapter 9-Dreaming Demon

When Elaine became aware of her dreaming, she was looking out into a landscape. However, her vision wasn’t clear like it normally was in her dreams or real life.

Instead, she felt like everything was fuzzy like static on the television set when it lost signal. There were colors though, but even when she squinted they still refused to form clearer shapes. Things were still identifiable though through her slightly smeared surroundings.

Elaine lifted her arm and saw it was a little fuzzy too; as was her filthy yellow dress from her birthday party. She was undoubtedly in hell, but it didn’t look like the part of hell she remembered the witches traveling with her in. In the center of the landscape was a large black brick tower amidst the desolate land she stood in.

A gruff voice came from beside her. “This is where we’ll find him.”

In the corner of her vision, she spotted Viktor staring at the same castle. Pins and needles formed in her feet at the sight of the demon’s invasion of her mind. She spoke in an undertone, “Get out of my d-dream...”

The tall demon crossed his arms as if in defense, but deep down he was feeding on her frightened stare. “This is the only place I can see where he is. My powers do not enable me to pinpoint my friends outside of hell. I am just making sure he’s still here --where he belongs,” Viktor vented defensively.

Suddenly, the scenery around them shifted. Their vision narrowed in closer to the castle, through the walls, and into its interior. Elaine couldn’t keep up with how fast Viktor was searching the inside of the castle. She thought she was traveling through time or something, but she knew she was only dreaming.

Soon enough, the scenery shifted into a dark room inside the dark castle. Elaine saw the soft glow of a candle illuminated the blurry figure sitting on what looked to be some kind of throne.

Her jaw dropped when she identified the figure as Colt. She already had a feeling he was some kind of higher up demon, but she wondered if is there even “royal” demons in hell.

He wasn’t wearing a crown or anything, not even fancy clothing she noticed as her vision cleared as the demon beside her intended it to.

“Is he the king?” Elaine asked.

Viktor laughed. “No! He only rules a small worthless section of hell.”

“Why wouldn’t he have told me he has his own castle and why...” Elaine began to ask, but Viktor spoke up.

“I don’t think you want to keep watching, I have gathered enough information to assure myself he’s where he belongs.”

“Show me Lorcan!” Elaine begged, but she doubted the demon would care to listen.

A woman appeared in front of Colt. Her red velvet dress clung to her body in a snug fashion and her hair was midnight black. She reached out a pale slender arm toward Colt and he took it. She sashayed herself over to him closing the distance between herself and the demon on the throne.

Elaine swallowed hard as she cocked her head to the side watching them both. She was beyond confused at this woman’s relationship with Colt. She could feel Viktor’s stare on her and hated him for keeping her captive in her mind.

“The girl will be as good as dead, my lord,” Silvia told Colt in a breathy voice.

“I’m sure she will be in due time. No longer will I use my powers for your little plot. I trust your witches will give you enough power alone. Reach the coven in good time and you will be rewarded as I promised,” Colt replied smoothly.

Elaine hugged her arms feeling cold and forgotten.

Silvia pursed her lips while looking over her nails. “Did you take care of that brother of yours? The last thing I need is another demon tracking me down.”

Viktor’s chuckle made Elaine’s skin crawl. She didn’t know Colt had a brother. She realized the witch had no idea he was already among them, but she couldn’t understand why Silvia didn’t know he was a demon. He must have been glamouring himself, but he had looked like a demon to Elaine. What did he look like to Silvia, a witch?

Colt's jaw twitched. “The last time I checked, he was in Heslin’s dungeon. Viktor has never left hell. Even if he was thinking about it, he would stay now that I’m here. He’s been after my head for a long time.”

Elaine wondered what Colt’s relationship with Silvia was. The witch got around she thought. First, she was interacting with Lorcan and now...Colt too. Elaine thought the witches were also looking for the demon, but now that they had caught her she knew they just wanted her death.

She thought it was strange how the witches were willing to work with Colt when his powers seemed more dangerous than Viktor’s. She still didn’t understand why they believed it was her fault a demon was messing around with portals.

She wished she had more time to talk with Lorcan about Silvia’s intentions, but she would have to wait until she could escape the witch camp.

Silvia frowned while stroking Colt’s arm. “Does he know of the girl? If he knows about her he’ll follow us to use her to get to you.”

“Let him. I have no sentiment towards her.”

Something in Elaine withered into dust at his remark. All this time, he was really lying to her and to Lorcan. He was the one that was leading the witches to her.

“I’ve heard of your brother. Wiping out villages of demons over some stupid trivial matter between the two of you. The last thing I need is for my coven to be made extinct because of some faery girl!”

Colt sat further back on his throne and put his ankle on his knee. “Like I told you before, Viktor would never leave hell now that I’m here. You’ve gotten rid of Lorcan for the time being. So I suggest you hurry and leave hell while you can.”

At his words, Silvia wrapped her hands around Colt’s neck leaning into his face. Soon enough, the two were flush against each other making out. Elaine’s breath caught in her throat as her face turned red. Her lip trembled as she watched unable to look away. She felt like her hopes had been trampled on and without Lorcan she’d be stuck in hell forever since Colt decided to turn his back on her.

“Still want to watch?” Elaine’s heart thudded heavily against her chest.

She forgot the demon was still with her.

“N-no,” Elaine whispered.

She felt like she was losing her mind and wasn’t all too sure what Viktor had shown her could be real. It felt real enough to her though. The scenery of Colt and Silvia vanished into darkness.

In the moment, Elaine felt how alone she really was. The new darkness around her in her dream felt like it was seeping beneath her skin and tempting to her heart to succumb to the dark depths the demon thrived in.

“How does Silvia not realize you’re a demon?” she asked in a hollow voice.

“It’s not just faeries who can glamour themselves and did you forget what I told you?”

“You want to leave the witches?”

“Now you’re catching on.”

“What do you want with me?”

“My brother won’t be leaving hell anytime soon it seems. Your innocence is what attracts my brother to you. He saw you as his redemption. Despite what you just saw him say he still wants you. You are nothing more to me than a means to an end so like I was about to say before, I will take you for myself. I will use you to get revenge,” His smile widened when he heard her gasp. He already knew the answer, but he asked anyway. “Do you feel scared now?”

“You’re just like your brother!” Elaine cried out.

“Oh, how wrong you are. Have I not told you nothing, but the truth? Everything I told you has unfolded right before your eyes. I will protect you so do not quiver around me so much. I’m supposed to be guarding you after all,” he said while watching her carefully, each word dripping with menace.

Elaine didn’t believe anything he told her. As far as she knew, it was all just a nightmare.

The demon’s voice turned guttural, “Now wake up. Although I will miss the feel of your body cuddling me in my arms.”

The faery woman went rigid hearing his sinister voice echo around her.

She opened her eyes feeling overly warm. It felt like overnight the temperature outside didn’t bother to drop and instead had heightened significantly.

A line of sweat covered her forehead and she sleepily wiped it away. She started to turn over on her side only to realize that she was trapped in place.

She glared up at the demon. She wanted to scream, but each breath she took was labored as the weight of her injury still put a burden on her body.

The best she could manage to do was whisper-yell, “Let go of me!”

When he released her, she gaped down at herself seeing her faery form revealed and quickly glamoured herself to look like a demon.

“There’s no use keeping your glamour on. They already know you’re a faery,” Viktor chided.

Elaine knew he was right and she quite frankly was too weak to even keep up her glamour anymore. She imagined herself in a simple pair of jeans and a light purple long-sleeved shirt. Her hair wasn’t the rat nest it always ended up looking and was now actually combed down neatly and parted nicely.

As she finished removing the glamour she noticed Viktor’s stare as his pale eyes scanned from her feet to the tips of her wings. A half smile formed on his face and he turned around to look outside of the tent.

Maybe he thinks after he kills the witches he can eat me, Elaine wondered with new fear.

Colt did mention part of his job included delivering dead faeries to hell. Maybe Viktor thought eating a faery would give him some kind of power. After all, a few days ago Lorcan had told her demons eat the fae -- even the kind Lorcan and her were.

Viktor closed the tent entrance and looked down at her cowering away from him in the corner of the tent. Her hands her still bound to the rope he held. There were small bruises on the side of her face from where he had grabbed her -- her glamour couldn’t hide that from him. She reminded him of a bird with a broken wing.

“Your kind don’t eat faeries do they?” Elaine asked with concern.

He was leering and a crooked smile formed on his face as he formed his answer. “I believe you mistook my stare for the wrong kind of hunger.”

His smile quickly fell though when he remembered sifting through Elaine’s memories earlier. He couldn’t remember much at all from his original life in the human realm where he assumed he originated. The other demons seemed to remember their life before and family members. He even discussed the matter with Colt at one point before they became rivals. The demon at that time told him it must have been the handiwork of a witch.

He suspected someone was screwing around with his life since his coming to hell. It would explain why he remembered nothing of his past before his arrival there. Perhaps it would also explain why he witnessed Elaine’s parents waiting so long to retrieve their daughter as he saw in her memories. He didn’t enjoy puzzles, but he had also seen his own self calling out to her too. He wondered if they knew anything.

They were connected somehow and whoever cursed him to hell must have known it. What he didn’t understand was why they were being brought together. It irked him that he was being used for someone else’s gain, someone, who, he was fairly certain was another demon.

He would find the truth for himself, but he already had his own suspicions much having to do with the picture frame he saw Elaine look at in her memories of visiting her family’s home in Hunrel. He was intrigued by it all, but didn’t really care what the case may be.

He was reborn in hell a demon and had no intention or care in the world to change. It was just one of the many reasons why he hated Colt. The demon despised what he was and got out on good behavior from Heslin while Viktor burned alive for years and years on end without an ounce of light to spare any hope.

So he eventually bent to Heslin’s will and behaved himself. When the old demon unlocked his cage, he went into hiding for a while naturally knowing the other demons would despise him for it. Viktor didn’t blame Heslin for doing his job, he blamed Colt.

After he saw him freely roaming around in his castle his rage was ignited for he hoped to find him in Heslin’s dungeon. It was despicable he still get to walk free, but he suspected the witches helped with that.

A witch walked in behind him and took the rope roughly from him. He watched as Elaine was dragged out and then waited a few seconds before following. Her strange glittering faery dust still coated the ground from when he managed to brush most of it off himself. A breeze drifted into the tent lifting some of the particles into the air high off the ground.

Viktor wrinkled his nose at first, but then the faint scent of cherry and honey wafted by him. His head fell forward and his gaze turned downcast. He looked sideways as a bizarre purring noise vibrated from his chest. A strange surge of hyper-awareness overcame him along with an unwelcome high of pleasure that seemed to have come out of nowhere.

His face darkened as he bottled up the feeling that easily got consumed by his deep-rooted anger and determination to not let anything hinder him from getting out of hell. For he knew the peculiar sensation had awakened something else more useful to him. Something dormant and long since awakened since he was cast away in the giant pit beneath Heslin’s dungeon. There were several levels to it and Viktor was placed at the very bottom.

He smiled at the little flame in his palm. It was all he could summon having been stripped out of his powers through years of torture, but one flame was better than none.

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