A Piece of Advice
In the depths of her mind, Daphne walked on dark waters. Her bare feet stepped on the fallen leaves of autumn. Her surroundings were a blur. She could not clearly see where she was.
The place gave the impression that she had seen it once. It was not day; it was not night. She just kept walking.
“Come closer,”Agate called her again. And she was curious, she continued.
“Where to?” Daphne wanted to know. She couldn’t see Agate, but the witch kept calling her. That’s the reason she was here.
“You have to follow, and you’ll see.” The witch’s voice was heard far away but clear at the same time. It was strange. She wanted to understand.
Daphne looked at the water under her feet.
“Don’t look down,” Agate shouted at her.
But it was too late. Daphne looked at her feet and at the water again. Seeing them in a foggy way, just like a mirage.
Everything around her was beginning to fade, and she surrendered to the darkness.
Daphne slowly opened her eyes. The clarity, fruit of the dawn, dimly illuminated her room. It was the first time she had ever dreamt of Agate. But she did not pay much attention to the meaning of that dream.
Dragging her eyes perilously, she thought of last night. Lorcan was confusing her. Obviously, the demon was jealous. She didn’t have to be an authority on love to see that. There was no opportunity for an intimate relationship. He told her that, and she accepted it. At what point had she started to think about having a relationship with the demon, that she just accepted his decision, without thinking about it first?
Thinking coldly, Daphne knew that it was almost impossible to have a meaningful relationship with him. She would die. Indeed, she was mortal. Or was she? Those changes in her body made her doubt now. Was she really mortal or not? If Lorcan was immortal, does that mean that the rest of them are too? She sighed and rubbed her face with both hands at the pace of her thoughts, jumping to conclusions without knowing for sure.
She got out of bed and went to get ready.
Not even for a moment, she had forgotten Eve. But she had to think hard about a way to rescue her. Rothvaln had her well hidden. Perhaps Bossurk or Teias or Lorcan himself might know about some possible hiding place.
After leaving the bathroom, wearing another skirt, light blue, and a white short-sleeved blouse, she noticed the breakfast ready on the table. As much as the smell would tempt her, she barely took a bite.
When she arrived at the room where last night’s dinner took place, she found Raven effectively cutting a piece of meat.
“Good morning, Raven,” Daphne greeted.
Raven stood up. Wiping his mouth with the napkin, he took her hand and kissed her. “Good morning Daphne. Why am I the only one in the room eating breakfast?”
“And are we supposed to come here for breakfast?” Daphne asked.
“As far as I can notice, no” Raven sat down again, not before offering Daphne a chair.
“Someone always leaves breakfast in my room.” She said as she looked out of the window. If last night everything was totally dark, today she could enjoy the light blue sky with hardly any clouds and the ocean.
Raven was so good-looking this morning. His black short-sleeved shirt, with three buttons, undone, and a pair of worn-out blue jeans, gave him the aura of a military man enjoying his day off. In Daphne’s eyes, he was handsome, but there was no feeling of lust for him. Raven didn’t do the red-eyed demon any justice.
“So what do you want to do today?” he asked, leaving his plate empty.
“I don’t know, I don’t think there’s much to do here.”
“There’s a town, not very big, at least an hour’s walk from here.”
“Yes. Flying would be much less. But I can’t carry you with me.” Raven looked at her sorrowfully. And he went ahead to explain so she wouldn’t misunderstand. “We only let our mates ride with us.”
“I understand, Raven. Don’t worry, we can walk. I don’t have a problem with that.”
He then smiled at her. “Then let’s go.”
The sun was setting. Seeking refuge on the horizon. In one of the towers, one of the smallest that constituted the Palace, there was a demon and a Queen. Contemplating from their position the field of wildflowers opposite the ocean.
“So there is no threat to the Kingdom of the Mortals?” Avina asked.
“No. At least we don’t have to worry about the Master of Shadows.” Avina’s eyes looked at Lorcan’s stern countenance. The wind blowing from that height played with his short hair. Many judged the Lord of Demons to be so cruel, unable to forgive, Avina thought. And it was no less true that she felt the same when she first met him. Lorcan was relentless, there was no doubt about it, but behind that impenetrable shell, there was a demon loyal to his people and willing to help those worthy of his dark benevolence.
“Don’t you think Rothvaln will take revenge against her? He could well invade the Land of the Lycans.”
“Rothvaln isn’t quite mad enough yet to do that. If he dared, he wouldn’t just have the shadows and the Lycans fighting him. The witches would certainly get into the conflict. And so would I.”
“You? You’ve already helped the Master of Shadows once. Would you be willing to get into a conflict that doesn’t belong to you?”
“Times have changed, Avina.”
“Tell me about it.”
“I would be willing to help her and her mate. After all, Rothvaln is after Daphne, and I am his obstacle. Technically I would be responsible for any conflict between the Kingdoms. The Master of Shadows helped Daphne.”
“Curious. Why would the Master of Shadows do that?”
“I don’t know. But the fact that she did means a lot to me.” Lorcan looked away from the landscape beneath him and looked at Avina. “I still haven’t been able to thank you properly for your help.”
“There is no need for that, Lorcan.”
“After what happened, I thought maybe-”
“My story with Myron ended thousands of years ago. The wretch still hasn’t apologized to me.” Avina chuckled.
“You know how he is.”
“Yes, and that was my mistake, loving him, knowing that he didn’t. At least I can say now that I don’t regret being with him.”
Laughs could be heard in the distance. Raven and Daphne’s shapes were blurred in the distance, but Lorcan and Avina could see them clearly.
Avina watched Lorcan closely, who had his eyes fixed on the mortal.
“What could be worse, Lorcan? Regretting it because it didn’t work or because you didn’t do anything to make it work?”
Lorcan kept quiet.
“Anyone can see how the King of Demons desires the mortal. If you don’t make a decision soon, she will end up like me.” Avina warned him.
“Like you?” Lorcan glanced at Avina again.
“Indifferent to the man I used to love.”
“She doesn’t love me, Avina,” Lorcan confessed to her.
“Loving you, maybe not yet. Only Lycans love from the first moment. The rest of us must wait for it to happen. Desire you, she does. Maybe it’s time you put aside your hesitations and make her fall in love with you.”
Avina shifted into scales and a long pointy tail, and flapping her wings, she left.
Lorcan continued to watch Daphne and Raven, both of whom were getting closer to the Palace.
Daphne... thought Lorcan. My demoness...