Demon Gates (Helena Hawthorn Series #2)

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Stages Of Madness pt. 2

Lucious hit his head against the stone wall over and over again. The pain was constant now. His throat was parched and aching. His hands were bloodied and formed fists between his thighs, but no relief came. The floor was littered with his fingernails which he tore off once they finished growing back—a short-lived pain that distracted him long enough to forget the thirst for a brief second or two.

He heard a sound of the lock turning and his eyes darted in the direction of the door.

Tanya entered the cell with a tray. She placed it on the ground, pushing it his way. “Here’s some water. It’s not blood, but it’s something.”

“Tanya, I. Need. To. Feed,” he spoke in a hoarse voice.

Her blonde brows knitted together. “I can’t do that, my love. Alexander’s orders were clear.”

“Fuck Alexander,” he snapped and kicked the tray with his bare foot. The glass smashed and water spilt on the floor along with dozens of shards.

“I’ll clean it up,” she said.

He glared at her. “Leave!”

“Lucious, please, I’m trying to help you…”

“Get out, Tanya. Bring me one of Alexander’s whores if you wish to help me,” he snapped.

She backed out of the cell. The lock fell into place and, once he was satisfied she had retreated far enough, he gathered the shards, drawing them towards him with his foot.

He opened his mouth and dropped the glass shards on his tongue before he bit down. The sharp ends cut his gums. Blood filled his mouth, and he revelled in the taste of it.

“Lucious, are you awake?” a female voice drew him out of his sleep.

He stirred, and his eyes lazily fluttered open. Once his sight adjusted to the dimness of the cell, he frowned. “What are you doing here, Zafira?”

“It’s been three days. I’ve come to help, obviously.” She brushed her perfectly manicured fingers along his swollen, cut lips. “You truly did a number on yourself.”

“Leave me be,” he grumbled, moving his face away from her touch.

She grasped his jaw, causing the glass in his mouth to slice the inside of his cheek. He cried out in pain, and she released him.

“I’m sorry. I thought you would have spat the shards out by now. It’s hard to tell what’s where with all this blood.” She motioned to the bloodstained clothes and pools of dried blood on the ground.

“It does not taste the same.”

She sat next to him and pulled him down until his head rested on her lap. Her nails ran through his hair in a motherly fashion. “Why didn’t you take her to bed or anyone for that matter? You knew if you were to eradicate the blood out of your system and refrain for a few days thereafter, you’d be fine. Why drive yourself into such a state?”

Lucious caught her hand. Using the wall behind him for support, he sat upright. “I will not touch her unless she asks it of me.”

“How noble of you.” She twirled her dark curls with her index finger. “Why don’t you take me instead? Alexander gave you a time limit. She will go with the hunters to Vienna, and you can do nothing about it.”

“Zafira, I cannot—”

“Sure you can. We have spent many nights together or has your memory of our passion become clouded by the thirst?”

“That is not what’s important here. I will conquer this by myself.”

Zafira shifted closer to him and ran her hand down his chest. “You are mistaken. I have seen your future with her, my dear Lucious, and it is bleak. Do not cling to her and fight this bond between your souls because, one day soon, she will take your life.”

Lucious studied her. “What do you mean?”

“It is as it sounds. She will be the one to kill you with her own two hands. I don’t know when, but it is a vivid enough vision to tell me that it’s within the next year or two.”

He studied her dark eyes, seeking anything that could prove her words to be false. Zafira’s visions were never wrong. She never faked the information she had seen, yet this could be her tactic to separate him from Helena. He couldn’t figure it out as it was becoming hard to think. He had not fed in three days and the constant yearning for blood was relentless. How long would it take him to rid his body of Helena’s blood—a week, two? Did he have enough of his conscience left to resist taking his life for the duration of his torture? Perhaps having Helena kill him was the least of his worries.

“It does not matter,” he said. “I will accept my fate when the time comes.”

She carefully cupped his face and forced him to look at her again. “You cannot mean that! She is not worthy of your life.”

“Zafira, I will decide who is worthy and who is not. You may leave now. I wish to rest.”

Her hands fell away, and she brushed off the dirt and bloodstains on her white skinny jeans. “I will return tonight. If you wish to remain at her side, you know what must be done. But, remember this. Not once did she question us about your well-being since your arrival here. You are nothing to her.”

“Leave…” Lucious settled back on the ground. His body ached too much for him to continue the argument.

When she left, her words replayed in his mind. He did not expect Helena to fall in love with him. After all, he was a monster, and she desperately clung to her humanity. He closed his eyes and visualised her in his mind. The softness of her lips, the smoothness of her skin, and the warmth of her body. All of them he wanted to claim and none of them he could have.

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