Chapter 1-A Ghost
A few days had passed since the town of Hunrel set off on their journey to Garned -- the closest neighboring town outside the city of Aeringdal.
There was no sign of Lorcan or Colt. The only thing Elaine had to go off of was Viktor supposedly seeing Lorcan at the last place they made camp, but that was miles away from where they were now.
Night drew on, the faeries had finished eating supper, which happened to be the last of their food. They expected to arrive in Garned the next morning.
Viktor sat down beside Elaine and crossed his legs, “I’m officially a faery now I assume?”
“Yes...I guess. I don’t know why your body went into that fit though. I’ve never seen that happen to anyone or heard of it. That didn’t happen when I got my wings,” Elaine explained while scooting away from him.
She wasn’t comfortable being stuck in the tent with Viktor, but he rarely stayed in it long and preferred to roam around the settlement.
Viktor yawned, and after a moment, made his own comment, “I suppose it was odd.”
His gaze traveled above Elaine’s shoulders and he narrowed his eyes.
“What?” Elaine said defensively.
“Show me your wings.”
“No. I’m too tired and you already have seen them.”
“What a selfish sister I have. I can see why Colt likes you. It’s too bad he’s hung up on his ego right now.”
Elaine scowled while crossing her arms. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Viktor mentally cursed at his slip of words. As far as the faery girl knew, he had lost his powers in his rebirth. “How do I put these things away? I don’t suppose I’m supposed to sleep with my wings unfurled,” he muttered back looking restless and ignoring her question.
He really acts childish sometimes. I can’t help, but feel like it’s getting easier to pretend he’s my brother though. It’s kind of scary, Elaine thought with a deepening frown.
She pursed her lips when Viktor wouldn’t remain sitting still, and for the second time since dinner, had managed to hit his wings against her face.
She tried to be patient, but it was hard to when she knew he was the one holding her parents’ lives in limbo.
“Just imagine them disappearing. Close your eyes, it helps.”
A few moments passed and he finally shut his eyes. After a couple of minutes, he finally got them to disappear.
“Now that that’s taken care of, we should get some sleep,” Viktor announced while laying down.
Elaine thought his horrendous temper seemed to have vanished since he bloomed into a faery. She wondered if it was because of the exhaustion he endured while turning.
Either that or it was all a pretense.
“I’m not sleeping in here with you. I already told you that. Now either get out or I will!” Elaine told the demon.
“Won’t someone get suspicious if they see you outside sleeping on the ground? They’ll think something’s up.”
Elaine frowned as she stood up. “I honestly don’t care. I’ve been in worse conditions.”
“Fine, I’ll go,” Viktor scoffed while standing up and ruffling his hair. “Surely it’ll be warmer by the fire pit,” he finished shortly with a sneer.
He stepped out of the tent and into the night.
Maybe I should have just went myself. I hate to admit it, but I kind of feel guilty making him stay out in the cold. That’s what he’s been doing the last few days anyway, Elaine thought to herself.
Even so, she settled back down on top of the soft rugs and stared blankly at the soft glow of the lamp above. Her thoughts drifted from her parents to Lorcan and Colt as her mind rambled on with various more worries, but the biggest one of all at the moment still bothered her more than anything, Viktor.
How much time has passed since her alleged brother had left anyway? Maybe a half-hour, maybe two hours. The air was getting significantly colder. With a shudder, she rolled over onto her side facing the back of the tent.
The shadows flickering across the lining of the tent eventually lured her to sleep despite the whirlwind of thoughts swirling around in her head.
The frosty grass crunched underneath Viktor’s shoes as he marched in the dark practically blind due to the lack of decent light around him. The stringed lights above him don’t do much to give him guidance around the endless clusters of tents. His only source of direction came from the dying glow of the fire in the center of their camp.
The lazy faeries didn’t bother to keep it burning through the whole night. Figures. I could be the one that does -- maybe I’ll earn some respect around here. I didn’t bother mentioning that to my dear sister. The men among the fae don’t exactly see my superiority thanks to this weak form I’m in. If I’m going to be forced to be surrounded by these faeries, now that I am one, I better start earning their trust. Elaine is quick to think that the other faeries see me as their own kind, but I know better. I’ve seen the glances and narrowed eyes aimed in my direction. I need to keep my act up, Viktor thought.
He was standing now in front of the fire pit. He nearly jumped back when he caught sight of a small silhouette on the other side of the fire pit.
“You’re Elaine’s brother,” the short fae said nervously.
Well, it’s good to know he knows his place. He should fear me, Viktor smiled at the thought.
“Indeed I am. Now tell me, what is a faery child doing out here on his own?” Viktor asked expectantly.
The last thing he expecting coming outside at this hour was some brat to chat him up the entire night. Even demons needed their sleep, eventually.
“Why are you out here? Why aren’t you with your sister?” the child shot back.
Viktor tossed some small sticks into the fire. “She snores. Now, tell me why you are out here.”
Mason looked shocked. “You’re awfully close to the coals. Aren’t you afraid of getting burned?”
I already know I can’t use my dreamwalking anymore, but I never gave fire a try. I know I can’t summon it, but I have yet to see if I’m immune to it. I’m tempted to grab an ember, Viktor wondered, but Mason was watching.
He withdrew his hands from the warmth of the glow and put on a fake smile.
“I think I’ll take fire duty off your hands. Off to bed you go. Your family is probably worried,” he urged Mason while walking over to him and pushing him off his log seat.
The faery child grunted in irritation when he fell on the ground. “Hey! Don’t push me around, I’m telling your sister.”
He scurried away from the fire pit looking up at the glowering man.
When the child began walking away toward the tents, Viktor thought he had won. However, Mason stopped in his tracks and let out a holler for all the faeries asleep to hear.
He was pointing his finger at something across the campsite. “Ghost! G-ghost! Look!”
Viktor ran over to him and muffled his yells. Then he glanced around quickly and thought himself lucky none of the faeries had left their tents to see what the yell was from. He thought it was a good thing the faeries were deaf after all.
“Silence. What are you screaming about?” Viktor asked Mason angrily.
The child ripped Viktor’s hand off his face with a frustrated grunt and took a deep breath.
“I saw s-someone in a w-white outfit. They were all the way at the e-edge of the woods,” the child stuttered while looking up at the towering faery man.
He glared at Viktor, watching him brush passed him and nearly knocking him to the ground.
“A silly hallucination. Now, go to your tent or I’ll tell your parents you were up and about when you were supposed to be asleep,” Viktor threatened Mason in a growl.
The child took the hint and to Viktor’s satisfaction, stumbled his way toward a tent and went inside. He stood there a moment to make sure the child didn’t come back out. He didn’t know if he had any more patience left and if he caught Mason following him he concluded he wouldn’t bother holding back his anger.
Out of boredom, he glanced to where the child was looking. As he expected, it was in the direction of Elaine’s tent. If he wanted to keep the fire burning he was going to have to get more wood anyway. So he thought he might as well take a look for himself.
Eventually, he made it to the edge of the camp and passed the last two rows of tents. He came across the tent Elaine was sleeping in. After taking a look inside the tent, he found his assumption correct after all.
No one was inside.
Viktor wondered if she was trying to run away. He grabbed the lamp inside of the tent for himself and stomped back outside looking into the woods. Seeing nothing but trees, he continued walking away from the camp and deeper into the woods keeping an eye out for the “ghost” while picking up firewood.
After flying over a small stream, Viktor believed he pretty much had the flying thing down for the most part. He decided he had enough of walking and took off from the ground again flying above the treeline.
Thanks to the lantern he held, he avoided slamming into the ancient trees and swiftly made his way through the woods while managing to not drop the wood he had already picked up.
Seeing nothing of interest, he turned around and began to make his way back toward where he came. However, he caught a glimpse of something white up in a tree branch below himself.
Floating downward, he found Elaine nestled up on a tree branch seemingly sound asleep.
No doubt she was the ghost the brat claimed to see. What is she doing all the way this deep in the woods? And she claims I’m the one always trying to run off, Viktor thought to himself while watching Elaine’s sleeping form.
He got a faint whiff of her intoxicating cherry and honey scent. He barely noticed the firewood fall from his arms as he landed on the branch on which she slept.
Viktor loomed over Elaine watching her wings move back and forth slightly as they were unfurled now. Her long hair dangled past the tree branch she rested on and her pink wings were glowing, illuminating her face. The bottom of her white skirt was covered in dried mud and she wasn’t even wearing shoes.
He thought now was supposed to be the time he fullfill his brotherly role and take her back to camp where the rest of the sleeping faeries were, but if she were to wake up she would only find some way to blame her predicament on him he thought.
He would just consider this as her thank you to him even though he was doing it without her consent. As far as he knew, he was still a demon at heart and wanted to make sure Colt would not only suffer physically when he got to hell, but mentally too.
She would never find out though because her soft breathing was a simple reminder to the demon that she was conveniently asleep. It was not like he was even attracted to her. He just wanted to see the look on his brother’s face when he told him what he had done.
However, he couldn’t fight off something else enticing him to desire to do such a thing either. The feeling was minuscule compared to his thirst for revenge though.
He set the lantern down on the edge of the tree branch. Then he bent down to her eye level and leaned in toward her face.
Then he gave her a quick firm kiss, pulling away shortly after. She shivered from the cold in her sleep. It was only a matter of time until she woke up. Unsurprisingly, Viktor didn’t feel any more attracted to her than he did before. He took it as them being incompatible, not mate-worthy.
It made him wonder even more why she was so intrigued by Colt.
Still, he was more happier than ever knowing his demon brother would be enraged when he found out he had kissed Elaine. Better yet, before Colt even had the chance to.
Viktor found nothing of value in her anyway, except for the glittering substance that came off her lips when he pulled away. He was licking his lip before he even registered what he was doing. He was certain it was hers, but he really didn’t know what it actually was.
He knew he had his own version of it now too, but in his memories, he did not remember seeing her giving off so much of it around her companions.
It intrigued him more than he liked. He yearned to return to hell to finish things with Colt, but the faery realm was freeing in a way he had not anticipated.
Something told him Elaine knew this herself. He hadn’t sifted through her mind again yet to see for himself. She looked less afraid of him now and acted it too. Was it right of him to still wish to use her and dispose of her when finished? He didn’t know, but he was unsettled by the fact that he was contemplating how much he should care.
What am I thinking? I don’t care what she thinks! When I’m done using her I’ll be back in hell and finally have my brother’s dead body to bury for good. I could care less about what happens to her when I’m done using her, Viktor smiled.
In a hurried manner, he scooped her up in his arms. Viktor was about to fly back to the faery camp when he saw Mason hovering in mid-air beside him. Viktor’s face grew red as rage clawed inside him begging to escape.
The child heard a purring sound resonating from the faery man who was holding his sister. Why was he doing a mating call on her? Mason had no idea, but he covered his mouth wondering if the creepy man had lied to him about his relationship with her.
Elaine wasn’t reciprocating the noise though so he knew they were not officially mated like his parents were.
“What are you doing?” the child asked in a small voice.