In the Shadows

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Chapter 27

This memory lapse was different, the couple stood in darkness for longer than they had before. Iselora had forgotten about the pain in her hand, she had been too preoccupied to deal with it. “Asmodeus, what is happening?” subconsciously cradling her hand. Asmodeus did not miss the subtle action and moved to examine her hand. Iselora did not object and reluctantly showed her hand. The skin held a deep red color, some of the skin had been burned away, leaving patches of dried blood. Asmodeus tore a piece of his clothing, creating a sort of bandage. ’I do not know whether this occurred in reality or not, but I am still sorry for injuring you.” Iselora waited for him to finish bandaging her hand before restating her question.

Asmodeus sighed heavily, “ I do not remember what happened after you disappeared. I know we searched for you, but I honestly do not know.” It was quiet and cold, devoid of emotion. Iselora had not realized until then that she had been sharing the emotions that were offered by the memories. She looked towards Asmodeus, his expression was dark, Iselora realized then that he had been reliving the worst moments of his life. “Asmodeus, I am sorry. This must be hard for you.” Asmodeus snapped his head up, “Why are you sorry? I have been able to relive the happiest moments of my existence, and the best has yet to happen. This period will end soon.” Asmodeus took Iselora’s face in his hand. “The only thing I regret was allowing them to escape with you. They will never harm you again. I will kill them all.” Iselora looked into his pink eyes, remembering every detail before she reached to kiss him. The kiss was sweet and gentle. She felt more connected with him than she had before, seeing his past allowed her to be able to understand him and how far he has come. She realized that her reaction to their previous argument was petty, but the experiences afterwards were enlightening.

The kiss ended at a knock. The couple found themselves in Asmodeus’ office. The lights were low as Svila entered, armor glowing against the dying candle light. The darkened man at the desk did not look up at her entrance. “Well?”

“We found her.”

The man looked up at this news, guarded against false hope. “Where?”

“The Minders tower, southeast. 476 kilometers.”

“Proof?”

“I surveyed them as requested, approximate age is a match. Red hair, hazel eyes -”

“That does not prove anything. That could be anyone.”

“She looks like them…”

“What?” Asmodeus was now standing, eyes coming to life.

“She has Margaret’s eyes and Stephen’s smile”.

The atmosphere in the room seemed to stop. Asmodeus stared at Svila as he came to the realization that she had indeed been found. “How do we get her back? Is she okay?” Svila hesitated in her answer, but provided all the details she had accumulated. Asmodeus stood silently listening as Iselora’s treatment was revealed. Asmodeus stayed silent as Svila finished her report, trying to form a plan in how he could get her back. “Is there any indication of their intentions for keeping her?”

“It seems to be they are using her youth to elongate their lives.”

Asmodeus thought for a moment, “So her blood’s potency should be diminishing soon? It has been roughly twenty years since she disappeared. Then they would be looking for a way to make a profit off of her. Do they know of my affiliations with her and her family?”

“I do not know Sire. What are you thinking?”

Asmodeus ran his hand through his hair, taking a deep breath. “I have an idea, but more information will need to be gathered.” Svila approached the desk as the memory began to fade. The next sequence followed similar to the previous, but very little information was offered up. Iselora finally turned to her Asmoedeus. “How did you free me from the Minders?” Asmodeus looked at Iselora quizzically. “What do you mean you do not know? I offered a hefty price for your hand in marriage.” Iselora stood there recalling the day she was supposed to leave the tower. The Minders mentioned her buyer and her having to wear the dress. It finally clicked in her head. Iselora’s mouth made an ‘o’ shape, feeling silly for not seeing the obvious. Asmodeus chuckled and began to fidget as if he was trying to hide something. “Is there anything else?” Asmodeus looked towards Iselora. “I had to send Svila in her small form, I know you are protective of her.” Asmodeus smiled, trying to change the subject. Iselora glared at him sideways, but let it slide as the memory began shifting. The remaining memories flipped faster, imitating a flip book for children. Iselora was only able to catch glimpses of what was happening. She saw images of herself, verging on emaciated and lifeless. The red dress did little to compliment her pale skin. “What is happening?”

Asmodeus smiled, “we are almost back to our time.” Iselora returned his smile as light assaulted their eyes. Iselora and Asmodeus blinked at each other as they registered where they were. Asmodeus was the first to move. He gathered Iselora into his embrace, crushing her into his chest. A growl interrupted them. Asmodeus looked up to see Calnonern lowering her head, visibly displeased by their display of affection. Calnonern extended and took a piece of Iselora’s clothing in her mouth. Iselora laughed at her companion’s attempt to separate them. “Cal, that is enough.” Calnonern looked at Iselora before grumpily releasing her. Iselora looked towards Asmodeus, “I am starving. Can we finally eat?”

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