Her mother’s disappearance had sparked a fire inside Tisiphone, one which continued to burn bright as she searched for the truth about her mother’s past. She was convinced that the darkness had returned, the thought further enforced by the sudden departure of not one, but fifty-four elders; all of which having some sort of close relation to her mother?
Tisiphone had spent the night thinking over the facts. Her mother had gone out on a routine training expedition. A couple weeks, tops. That had been six months ago. Then there were those tests that Lithia, Khor, Loki, even Bathsheba had been in on it, for fucks sake. They’d all played a part in what had led up to now, twisting their words and masking their intentions; and for what? Were they leading her to something? Was this their way of helping? And where the fuck were they now?
“Your eyes are like the stars above!” He told her, as she sat on a rock babysitting some love-sick pup. “I can see the Gods staring back at me.”
It was sort of her fault, though if Loki hadn’t said taken them ashore on a quick, five-minute mission, she wouldn’t have bumped into the young male. “Thanks, I think?” She replied with a sigh, so bored, those fishing off the pier seemed to be enjoying themselves more.
She hadn’t meant to touch him, she shouldn’t have even been allowed off the ship; but here she was, captivating people with her scent and catching young males as they fell from their horses. What was she supposed to have done? Let him fall to the ground and be trampled?
“Your hair, is like diamonds…” He went on and Tisiphone shook her head, letting her hair fall down in front of her face.
He wasn’t lying, what with Loki’s make-over and all. Her hair was white as snow and she’d gained about twenty-five pounds. She wasn’t sure if it was the get-up, or the fact she was still kicking herself for leaving the mirror behind, but life totally sucked at the moment.
She was supposed to be making for Vash. They had to get Khor to the moon pools. What did Loki not understand? She had no time to babysit an Elf while he grabbed a drink in the tavern upon the hill.
“Do you remember the path that leads to the old temple?” The young male let out, as if she’d lived here her whole life.
“No, tell me about it!” She replied, though she never took her eyes off the pier.
It was far more tantalizing than his platinum blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. He looked so much like the Elves in her Uncle’s story…
“Fuck!” She let out with a sigh and rose to her feet.
“If I have offended you with talk of the Temple of Pleasures, I am sorry…” The young Elf, who could very well have been twice her age and yet looked like a school-boy, cried out as he too, rose to his feet. “Was my apology not enough? What can I do to make it right? Please, tell me, my love?”
Okay, the male had it bad. She felt sorry for him, having listened to all thirteen tales of his lost loves. She hated to say it, but she could see why Anastase, Elibelle, Claudrin-u-isa? Gods, she couldn’t even remember which one ran off with his brother and which one was sleeping with his cousin three villages over.
“Look, Edmid? Is it?”
“Emard!” He corrected her with a crooked smile on his face.
“Emard, right!” She nodded. “You see, Emard, we have a problem.”
“I am great at solving problems, I can help fix, whatever it is!” He grinned with glee, as if there was some shred of hope he could appease her. “Please, my love, it has been so long since I felt the sweet surrender of another.”
“Yeah, I don’t surrender.” She started to walk away, but he reached out for her hand to stop her.
That was a bad idea, for one moment she was walking away and the next he had her hidden behind the tavern with her arms behind her back and his body pressed in close.
“You don’t understand…” He hissed into her ear and she felt his tongue run across her cheek. “…I need this.” He groaned, reaching down across her hips and squeezing her backside hard.
“I don’t think you’ll like what you find!” Came a voice from behind them, but the groping did not cease.
“Piss off!” The Elf shouted back, before returning to nip at her neck.
“Really, good sir, you will not like what you find beneath those skirts!”
“I said, piss, off!” The Elf let go off her for a second and turned to face the male who’d interrupted his vile deeds.
It was not like an Elf to act in such a manner, and this was far more than the lingering scent of her need. They valued honor above all and would never think to strip it from a lady as this one was attempting.
“She is mine and I’ll no give her up to the likes of you!” The Elf shouted, his attention to the intruder while Tisiphone slipped into his mind.
‘What secrets do you hide? What sort of sins, can we uncover?’ Her voice rippled in his thoughts and his hands went to his head.
Mere seconds, and she had seen more than she needed to. The sweet, candy-coated exterior was just a shell for the hate and darkness within him.
“You, are mine!” The Elf turned back to her, shaking his head as he lifted his hand to strike her, but she was far faster than he, with her hands still grasping at the strings inside his mind.
‘You, are nothing.’ She growled and the Elf’s hands moved to his throat, which was great, for she pictured her hands around it, squeezing it ever so tight.
“My lady?” The male interrupted her and the Elf fell to the ground, gasping for air.
Looking up, Tisiphone noted the long, black leather trench-coat and the curved sword he held at his side. “I do not know you!”
“I am but a servant in this world!” He replied with a smile and then looked to the Elf. “They weren’t always like that.” He shook his head.
“What happened to them?”
“The darkness spreads, even here. It corrupts their minds.”
“Who, are you?” She inquired, letting the Elf rise to his feet and make off into the trees behind the tavern.
“I told you, I am but a servant to the world, and you, dear Princess, are far from home!” He replied and again shook his head. “You should return to your ship; they will be looking for you!” He added and turned away from her without another word.
Shocked, and a little shaken, Tisiphone shuddered, thinking of the things she’d seen inside that male’s mind. She knew now, the truth behind Sofina and Brigall, if that had been their names at all. So many females, so young and fragile in the hands of such a beast. Again, Tisiphone shuddered and made her way back towards the pier.
‘The darkness spreads, even here…’ His words lingered in her ears and she knew what he meant.