My parents told me to never trust strangers.
It had been one of the only rules they ensured I understood with a large amount of passion. All the other rules didn’t matter to them; do drugs and sell my body for all my Dad cared. The only thing he told me never to do was to trust a stranger.
I don’t know why he had been so obsessed with that rule. Sure, my Mom enforced it too, but not as deep as my Dad had. Especially after...after something happened to my Mom, Dad made sure that it was clear that I should never talk or engage with strangers (mainly: boys).
Looking back at that rule now, I realized that my Dad had been solely focused on himself; a selfish miser. All he ever thought about was his own personal gain: he didn’t care about what happened to me, not like my Mom. Her rules were strict, yet had some leeway to it. She cared about my safety, she cared about my wellbeing. She made sure I didn’t grow up to become a stripper or a drug dealer.
I still remember the fights that she would have with my Dad. The fake smiles she would plaster on her lips around me, assuring me that everything was fine. Everything was not fine. She didn’t know, but every time she and Dad tucked me in bed, leaving me alone, I could hear them.
Through the thin, flimsy flap between our rooms, I could hear the arguments they had. I could hear the pain, the fatigue, the fear my Mom’s voice held as she fought with my Dad for my studies, for my education. She was scared of him; everyone was scared of him, yet she still fought, all because of me. She wanted a better life for me, her daughter. She didn’t want me to go down a wrong path, and despite the many fights my Mom and I engaged in as a teenager, I realized how much she had changed my life for me, how hard she had battled to make sure I grew up a happy and somewhat privileged girl.
I couldn’t help but feel like I had disappointed my Mom as Damien picked me up, lifted me in his arms in front of the wild, drunk crowd. Banners ripped from their posts, police sirens blared in the distance, towards the gates of the richer part of Mukhauta. She had worked so hard for me, she had fought so valiantly for me, and to what avail? For her daughter to be cast-off in an auction? Sold to a mysterious man who’s probably a murder?
“So...how exactly are we going to get out?” I asked, my arms looped around Damien’s smooth neck, the skin cold against mine.
“Just watch,” Damien replied cheekily, winking at me. A blush rose on my cheeks, staining the brown skin there, and I shook it away. He wasn’t to be my husband; the cloaked man was.
Butterflies pushed in my stomach at the memory of the man. I couldn’t tell if his eyes had been on me or not, but my heart pounded faster in my chest. He looked so tall, so muscular, and so...handsome, despite my eyes unable to see past his cloak.
I guess something mysterious about a man always intrigued me, just as I had been intrigued by the Beast. He was cloaked, hidden, mysterious, exactly like the man...my husband, had been.
Damien smirked at me, as if reading my thoughts. “Don’t get so jelly bellied yet,” he teased, his fingers, wrapping gently around my bare skin; securing me tightly against him as he took off at top speed into the forest, a speed I didn’t know a human could have!
“Why not? I can feel how I want to feel,” I replied, my confidence shooting out of the roof.
That brought a chuckle out of Damien. “Fiesty. I’m sure my Master will enjoy having you in the house.”
“M-Master?” I repeated, a pit of excitement churning in me. “Y-You have a master?”
Damien nodded, and it was up until now that I realized red sparks were shooting from his fingers, grazing my legs. “Yep. He’s technically a King, but I’ll let him explain to you...” He looked away, presumably to the thicket of trees we were blurring past. “He’s excited to have you—it has been long since he has had company apart from my friends and me.”
“Has he?” I murmured, drawing my eyebrows together. “How long has he been alone?” The sparks of red were growing stronger and hotter on my skin, enveloping Damien, and me slowly.
Damien managed a shrug. “We don’t know. A long time, which is why he’s excited to have you around...hopefully as his wife.”
“Hopefully?” My voice was shrill, trying to contain the fear that was piling in me at the red orb that was circling me carefully. “You mean, I have a choice?”
“...Yes,” Damien hesitated slightly. “The Master...well, I would rather he tell you, actually.”
“Why can’t you tell me?” I asked. “Why ca—Whoa!” My voice broke off in a scream as Damien picked up his speed, going the distance I knew no regular human could have. Was I being kidnapped? Was this all a hoax?
Normally, any regular person who was being carried by a...non-human would have screamed and flailed (well, I did scream), but I was curious, my fear mixed with the inquisitive spark spiking in my stomach.
Soon, the forest around us began to fade, the trees blurring and the wind howling. The bushes slunk away, the cries of the crows seeming louder to my ears. I clung to Damien for dear life, despite a part of me assuring myself that he wouldn’t drop me. He had said that he had no intention of hurting me, and if that magic trick at the auction didn’t scare me already, I don’t know what would have, now.
The grass beneath his feet dissipated, hard, grey cobblestone replacing the natural stalks. The air grew thicker, heavier, yet somehow, it was also refreshing, like nostalgia sweeping up my nostrils.
The blur slowly stopped, the world coming to a halt in front of me. By now, I was already buried into Damien, who, with a deep laugh, set me on the ground, his arm steady around me.
“W-What the fuck was that?” I exclaimed, swiveling around the glare at him, unaware of where exactly we were.
Damien shrugged, and, pinch me if I was dreaming, but were those horns on his head? Were those wings fluttering behind his back? Were those fangs glittering in the dim light of the...sun?
“It’s called teleportation, Princess. Something my kind are good at,” He explained.
I narrowed my eyes, stepping away from him, the air briskly slapping my naked body. “W-What are you really? What do you really want with me?” Did they want to hurt me? Eat me?
Damien smiled, and in a blur of light, he was beside me again, his hand holding me steady on the cold, dirty stone. “As I told you, my Master will explain everything to you...perhaps he will do more than explain...” his voice had dropped considerably, and even though I was still slightly petrified, warmth filled me, warmth about what the large, cloaked man could do.
Damien’s smile slipped from his face suddenly, and it was then that I realized that I had one more question that he hadn’t answered. A shadow passed over what looked to be the sun, and I swallowed thickly, the dense atmosphere seeping into me.
“The last question...” I repeated, softer, this time.
Damien looked towards the towering palace, the same palace that I had yet to criticize. His adam’s apple bobbed.
“What we want with you...what he wants with you...well, we can only hope you’ll be the one.”
Maybe God heard my prayers after all.
I had always wondered if God existed, if he was really following me around, listening to my horrible covers of Disney songs I had on replay. I felt embarrassed for a short period of time in my life, wondering how a heavenly man could stand listening to my ear-shattering wails in the shower, but now, I was glad that he had.
The place Damien had taken me to, the place he said his master lived in, was huge!
The grounds of the palace were bare and dark. The trees there were dead, and whatever ones were alive were a dark, royal purple color, their leaves dancing gently in the thick wind.
The stone beneath my feet was cracked; dirty. The stones rattled with every step I took towards the large brown doors, following Damien with little hesitance. Surprisingly, unlike the movies, the door did not creak. Instead, they opened with hardly a sound, shutting quietly behind me.
“I’ll lead you to your room, as it is quite late, and the Master is very impatient to meet you,” Damien said, breaking me out of my running thoughts.
I managed a small nod towards him, still looking around the majestic, yet dark palace. There were barely any lights, and if there were, it was coming from either the somber purple moon or the lack of lamps hanging from the ceiling.
The castle, although it was dark, gave me cryptic vibes that only made it more appealing to me. The royal red carpet sifted underneath my toes, the velvet touching my skin as if a hand were caressing me.
The steps up to the balcony in the house were smooth, leading to two other staircases. Damien explained briefly that the kitchens, along with other supply areas were found on the bottom floor, while the upper floors were where the rooms and other activities were stored.
The whole castle was built out of stone, ripped red and gold banners swaying in the small draft coming from a few open windows. As Damien led me to the upper floor, I realized that the lighting was better there than it was downstairs, which reduced the chills that had been teasing my body.
A couple of times, I thought that I had seen a dark shadow dashing from window to window, or room to room, but I dismissed the thought as only a trick to my eyes. After all, the lights in the hallway, although they were better than the ones on the bottom floor, still flickered uncomfortably, giving me a haunted house vibe.
I rubbed my arm, biting my lip. The silence was egging on me. “So...you aren’t human, are you?”
Damien popped his lips, shaking his head. “Nope, none of us are.”
“Well, there’s my Master, obviously,” he said, listing on his fingers. “There’s also Lucifer, another demon in the palace. There’s Saira, head maid, and her daughter, Sophya. They’re both Spectral demons.”
“What kind of demon are you?”
“I’m a Vlaksh demon, something that I’ll let my Master explain to you. Lucifer’s a Tunial demon and Saira’s a naga, half-human, and half-snake,” Damien explained, waving his hands as he did so.
I nodded, digging my toes into the soft fabric underneath me. “Is your Master a demon too?”
Damien stiffed, his hand pausing in the air. “Um...I’m actually not sure. I’ve never seen him.”
I frowned.“What do you mean; You’ve never seen your own master?”
Damien licked his lips, his tongue running over his sharp incisor. “Well, yes and no, but I can’t tell you that either. All I can tell you is that my Master was once a King, is a King, and you will probably not be able to see him.”
“What?” I blurted. “What do you mean? Why won’t I be able to see him? He was the one who bought me at the auction, right? Don’t I have a right to see my ‘husband’?”
Damien flinched at my sharp words, and I almost felt like taking them back, but I wanted answers. Damien hadn’t told me anything about my new life; all he had told me to do was trust him, and how could I do that with a man who refused to give me answers to integral questions.
“Listen, Radha, I—I really can’t say. I told you, I’m bound by my master’s orders, but I assure you, he’s not a bad guy...” Damien seemed flushed. “Look, just please, trust us. We don’t want to hurt you; The Master’s been alone for so long—!”
“Alone? But he’s had all three of you! How could he have been alone?” I blurted, my anxiety increasing. I wished I had a cover to pull over my chest, just as they did in movies after two people make out.
Damien paused in front of a large door, resting his hand on the wood. Glancing at me, he reached for the knob, twisting the metal and opening the door with a slight thud. He pushed me inside, still giving me no answer.
“He’ll tell you,” he murmured. Well, it was some answer, just not the answer that I was expecting. I opened my mouth to ask more, but Damien quickly shut the door, luckily leaving it unlocked.
I stared at the door for a few moments, and when I finally came to my senses, all of the day’s events pushed down on me, forcing me into a tired slump.
“Damn; what a day I’ve had,” I grumbled, heat stirring in my stomach. I don’t know why, but I was still excited to meet this, ‘Master.’ He had bought me, after all. I could sense that he had, based on the impact he had on what Damien was allowed to say and not say to me.
I had never been this excited to meet a man before, much less one I had been purchased by in an auction. I don’t know why, but flashes of light blurred my vision excitedly, running through my orbs.
Huh. That’s never happened before, I thought to myself, shrugging the action aside. It was probably just because I was excited; that had happened to other people before.
I looked around the room Damien had given me to stay in. It was a dark room, lit by a few lights on the ceiling and a desk lamp on the polished wooden desk.
The entire room was painted in a dark purple color, and while it did look slightly childish, I really liked the color. Purple was one of my favorite colors, and I think that the color really suited the room.
A bed was placed right across from the door, one of the first things facing me when I walked in. I trudged towards the bed, rubbing my palms on the soft white sheets. The pillows were fluffy and almost as if I were sleeping on clouds.
The headboard was a light purple color, gold lace sewn on the border. The texture was just as velvety as the carpet, one that sifted gently through my fingers.
The carpet was a light cream color, a vast contrast to the multitude of purples in the room. It was a bit more chunky that the carpet in the hall, but somehow, I didn’t mind it. There was a desk beside my bed, one of the main sources of light in the room. It held many supplies and stationary tools that my Dad had refused to buy me in Mukhauta.
On the far left side of the room, close to a white door, there was a large bookcase filled with many old looking books, as well as many interesting books. There was also a TV; a laptop placed on the desk.
Since the closet was on the wall the entry door was on, I could only assume that the bathroom was the other white door, the one near the bookcase. My stomach tickled with delight at how hard Master had worked to give me such a beautiful room. I didn’t even look at the clothes yet, but excitement tingled through me.
Damn, he’s really spoiling me, I thought, heat creeping up my neck. I bit my lip, looking around the room. The ripples of the light purple curtains played with the wind, leading to a marble balcony, one that had me, even more, intrigued to see more of the massive palace.
As I got up to check my new room out, a note on the desk by the bed caught my eye. The paper was light, yet dark yellow in color, one that could rival the sun itself. Neat black script danced on the pages, one that had me tracing the text over and over again.
There’s a nightgown for you in the bathroom. Get dressed before dusk. I will see you then, my dear
I swallowed thickly, licking my lips unconsciously. My dear. That caused my heart to flutter, my lips drying and my tongue soaking. I hadn’t even met this man, but already, he was making grabs for my heart. Instead of annoyed, the action left me a flustered mess on the pillows, just about ready to collapse—
—until I looked out the window.
The purple orb that had been floating gently in the sky was dropping, dragging the clouds and the musky grey sky with it, my room beginning to rely on the light from the lamps.
I leaped off the bed, racing for the bathroom. By now, I had completely disregarded the fact that I was naked, instead taking a quick glance at the room.
It was a mix of white and light purples. There was a sink by the door with a ledge for other bottles and towels (although there was also a wack for towels). There was a shower as well as a tub, but since I wanted to be quick, I chose the shower, soaping myself with the delicious smelling soaps Master had left me (although the bath oils had been tempting).
Luckily, I didn’t have to pick a nightgown from the large closet Master had left me. He had already chosen something for me to wear, leaving it on the ledge by the sink. It was a soft, modest nightgown in a light, almost beige purple color with spaghetti straps and silk material. My fingers slipped down the dress, the fabric reaching just below my knees.
As soon as I opened the bathroom door, the steam trailing after me, the room plummeted into darkness. My heart leaped in fright, and, drying my wet hair, I cautiously walked over to the bed, laying my towel neatly on the table and seating myself on the soft sheets. I couldn’t see anything, not even the dance of the curtains or the smile of the moon (whatever the moon was here).
After a few beats of silence, the door creaked open, footsteps padding into the room. My heart leaped in my throat, lodging itself in my windpipe. Heat crashed in endless waves inside me and I felt my fingers grow sweaty.
He had arrived!
Hey guys! What did you think so far? Rohan and Radha are just about to meet! I assure you, they will be meeting in the next chapter! Also, what do you think of Damien and Lucifer? Would they be a good couple?