In the Shadows

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Chapter 11

The couple looked at each other. The worst part had passed, now they could actually begin to mend and build their relationship. Iselora looked around the room she was in. Books and parchment scattered beneath broken wood. “Is this your office?” Iselora asked Asmodeus. A guilty look crossed his face as he took in the state of the room. The only thing that had not been destroyed in his tornado of destruction were the towering windows that were meant to loom over the desk. He had chosen that spot due to the effect it caused when the sun set. The light from the sun made him look more regal and powerful than he did naturally. He loved this room, it was his escape from responsibility. Asmodeus scratched the back of his head as he nodded, not wanting to hear his voice admit he had lost his temper again. It had taken him centuries to get over all of the anger and rage that burned through him since he was born.

Iselora sighed letting her eyes roam across the room. “Well, we better make sure nothing was too damaged.” Iselora noticed her aura had shifted since walking through the mirror in her consciousness. Her voice and body felt as if it held more power and authority, Iselora chalked it up to the traumatic experience she had just been through. “Before we do that my lady, I do suggest we find you a better suited outfit.” Blood had settled in Asmodeus’ cheeks as he took Iselora’s appearance from the small distance between them. Iselora looked down at the dress she had been wearing. Blood rushed to her face when she realized it was tatters, seemingly hanging on by literal threads. If she moved in any more sudden movements, she would be fully exposed. Iselora’s hands went immediately to her body, trying to conceal the slit that ran up to her right hip, while simultaneously attempting to hold the left side of the bodice upright. Asmodeus averted his eyes as he dodged in a door that Iselora had not noticed before. He returned with a shirt, trousers and a belt. “These are mine, but I do think they will fit until we can find you something more suitable.” Asmodeus set the clothes on the desk, still averting his eyes from Iselora’s body. Blood rushed to his face again as he caught a glimpse of her in the window. Her thigh peeking out of the dress made him move all the quicker across the room and out of the doors Iselora had entered through.

Iselora took a few minutes to herself in order to collect her thoughts. Without hesitating even further, Iselora dressed in the clothes laid out before her. The shirt was a soft white cotton button up and the trousers a dark navy blue. The shirt was a comfortable size without being too large. The sleeves were too long but perfect once rolled to her elbow. The trousers told a different story. They were baggy on her hips and much too long in the legs. Iselora felt as if she were a child attempting to parade in their parent’s clothing. Iselora laughed at the image that played in her mind. The belt offered little in its efforts to remedy the problem. Iselora dropped the pants back onto the desk and made her way into the room that Asmodeus had retrieved these from. The closet was massive and extremely organized. As Iselora began looking for something more suitable for her to wear in place of the trousers, something tickled Iselora’s cheek. Iselora instinctively reached her hand to brush back her hair behind her ear and froze. Iselora immediately began searching for a mirror. She had to see if it was true. Was her hair growing back? Failing in finding a mirror, Iselora settled in running her hands over her head. What they found brought forth a celebratory laugh. Her hair was in fact growing back in place, but she paused. Her hair was too long for such a short period of time.

“Iselora?” Asmodeus called from the other room, “Are you alright?” Iselora began panicking as she rushed to find something to cover her legs. At this point all she had were the thin panties with lace trim. Svila had insisted on her wearing those due to them not showing a line through the dress she had just been wearing. Iselora cursed under her breath as the only thing she found were a pair of Asmodeus’ boxers. Iselora sighed in defeat as she slid them on. They were better than nothing and the length of them were fairly decent as they reached her mid thigh. A knock at the door caused Iselora to jump. “Iselora? Are you in there? Is everything alright?” She had forgotten to answer Asmodeus in her panicked state. “Yes, I am alright, the trousers did not fit so I thought I could find something better suited.” Iselora opened the door to an expecting Asmodeus. His eyes dropped down to inspect what Iselora had chosen in place of the trousers. Asmodeus’ face instantly turned a shade of red Iselora had not anticipated. “I can go to my room and find something more suitable to wear if you would like. I was not able to wear the trousers because I looked like a child in adult’s clothes.” Iselora did not know how to take Asmodeus’ reaction. “No, y-you look beautiful. I - I just do not know if I should allow anyone else to see you like this, I am feeling a bit selfish.” Asmodeus’ was completely hypnotized by the woman before him. Iselora laughed at his expression as she walked closer. Iselora put one hand behind Asmodeus’ neck, leaned into his ear and whispered, “If you are going to rule a kingdom, you need an office to work in.”

Before the work could begin, Asmodeus called for more suitable clothing to be presented to Iselora. As he had said, he refused anyone else to see her in his boxers. Three options were submitted for approval. Iselora chose a style similar to that Asmodeus had originally picked out for her, but she kept the shirt she was already wearing. It was easily becoming her favorite. The trousers were still a little too big but the belt that was provided fixed that issue. After receiving sly approval from Asmodeus, the work could finally commence. It did not take long before Cerberus, Doc, and several servants were assisting in cleaning up the room. Only Svila was missing and that concerned Iselora. She could not remember the last time she saw Svila. Iselora inquired to Cerberus as to her friend’s whereabouts but it was Asmodeus who answered her. “Svila is on an assignment by me. We will be meeting up with her soon. Also, Cerberus is unable to communicate with words. Instead, we formed a pact, allowing me to link to his mind when need be. His brothers turned against him when he wanted to leave Hades’ servitude to join mine. They mutilated him so bad that his vocal cords were severely damaged. However, he is able to growl effectively menacingly when in wolf form.” Iselora gasped as Asmodeus spoke. Cerberus walked over to Iselora gently taking her right hand, placing a kiss on the top of it. Even though he did not speak, Iselora understood that he was happy here. Iselora place a gentle hand on his head. “Well then, shall we get to work? Asmodeus cannot possibly do any kingly duties in an office of this state.” Cerberus wagged his spiritual tail and leapt to work. Asmodeus and Iselora laughed as they followed suit.

Iselora was amazed at all of the documents and literature Asmodeus had collected. Iselora realized silently that she had never learned to read, but she kept quiet about this. She was supposed to be a noble lady, she would have been expected to be able to read, but here she was. Asmodeus came over to inspect what Iselora was examining. “The Book of Tobit, hmm I will admit that this may not be the best representation of a younger me.” Asmodeus darkly chuckled. “What is it about?” Iselora asked instantly. Asmodeus looked at her in surprise. “You can borrow it if you would like. The read itself is a pretty decent one but, please do not judge me too harshly when you read this. It was a few centuries ago and I have grown into my true self since then.” Asmodeus smiled sweetly as Iselora gleamed at the idea of learning more about his past. It did not take long before the office was as organized as it was going to be. Asmodeus approached Iselora, brushing dust off her cheek with his thumb, “My lady, if you would do me the pleasure, I would like to invite you to join me in the garden for supper? I do believe we need to have a discussion of what is to happen next.” Iselora nodded, “I gladly accept your offer, I am feeling a bit famished.” With a smile Asmodeus offered his elbow and the couple made their exit.

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