Valkyrie III: Song of Darkness, The Novel Edition

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Chapter Ten

“Come, Marena, we must not keep the others waiting!” He told her, waiting impatiently by the door with his hand out for her to take.
Dressed in a gown of red silk and black lace, her long, dark hair pinned up above her head with black pearls and red roses, she was a vision of beauty and grace. She liked to dress up. She’d paint her eyes with cream color to match her gown, accenting her emerald greens with a charcoal black and making her eyes sparkle like a portal to another dimension. All who saw her awed in her perfection, which Pathen had time and again taken credit for. He had chosen her for her beauty, a Host that would accent his already elegant lifestyle. A lover or mistress he could show off to his friends, with a mind weak enough to succumb to his twisted demands. He was Eno’tai, through and through, and Marena knew this. She was not as dumb as she allowed him to believe, but she did have to play along in order to survive. Her memories were faded, her emotions on the edge of unraveling, but she had to be strong.
“This way, my love!” He smiled at her, but she could see through his pleasant demeanor, deep down to the monster who hid within.
She had learned her lesson. He may have spoken of freedom, but she would never be free; and yet, she was stronger now than ever before. Taming the darkness inside her hadn’t been easy. Each time she’d tried to rebel, she found herself removed from the issue, a mere bystander watching through her own eyes as her Host took over. If she obeyed, she’d be allowed to live her life. If she didn’t, it was lived for her. Whatever Pathen had done, had left To’llan in his complete control, and those had been her only two choices. Gone were the days when Host and Hosted acted in unison. Now, it was master and slave.
Down the staircase that lined the far wall, her heeled boots clicking upon the smooth stone with each step. She was careful not to trample her dress, for it was a long way down from the tower she once again called home. One- hundred and eighty-nine wooden platforms notched into the wall to be exact; she’d counted them many times, making her way up and down with each summons. Whether it was part of her punishment, she had no clue, but the tower was her sanctuary; her prison.
“Might I say? You look absolutely tasty this evening!” He stopped her and she felt the cool stone against her back as the heat of his lips pressed against her own. “Perhaps, we could be late?”
Any other time, she would have found herself giving in to his sinful commands, her body unable to fight back against the urges. It was known to the Shadows and those they called friend, that those with immense power had but one option, to expend it. Not everyone in the Verses had figured it out, but the greater the power you harbored, the greater the need to expend it became; and there were two, surefire ways to accomplish this, the battlefield or the bedroom.
“They are waiting, my love!” She replied, pushing back against his lips as her Host threatened to overpower her. “Be patient!”
If she could hold him off, just until she’d heard what the council had to say, if anything, about the dark Valkyrie, he could have whatever he wanted. Her body. Her Host. So long as she knew what was happening with Malice, she didn’t care. She wasn’t the heir to the throne anymore, she was just a pet.

***

The Cat had shifted back to her original size, licking at her paws as she groomed herself. “So, you would attack the only true help in years, because you’re paranoid?” It chuckled and reached a claw deep into the inner workings of the Valkyrie’s mental inventory.
Coming face to face with an inky, black looking mass that had attached itself to Malice’s spinal column, the Cat drew closer and hissed. “You zap me, you zap us!”
“Bullshit!” Malice called back, only to receive a jolt as the feline yelped in pain.
“I, warned you.” She whimpered, again grooming herself on the grassy knoll. “What hurts you, hurts us, but I will do what I must to make you see that I am on your side. I truly, only wish to help.”
“Famous last words!” Malice snarled, shaking the fog from her head.
“Are you alright?” The Cosmic Wonder inquired, as if she actually cared.
“Just a few loose wires.” Malice mumbled and shook her head again. “Shit!” She hissed, looking down at her claws all charred and smoking. “What the hell did you do to us?”
“The energy dissipates from the ends of one’s fingertips. Smokey, but it too will pass!” The Kitty purred and rolled over in the tall grasses of Malice’s mind.
“It, too?”
“The headache will be along in a moment and then you will return to reality while your mind rests. We would not want to put any added strain on your system if we are to work towards breaking free.”
Malice had no idea what the Cat was talking about, for that headache she’d mentioned was rolling through her head like a freight train making stops in both Crazy-Ville and Los-Sanity. Damn, if this was the after effect from a small jolt, she wasn’t too sure she wanted to feel the full dose.

***

Her head was spinning and yet despite the fun she’d had last night, there was still the matter of facing Ahlexander, and the others in the Great Hall. He was probably still pissed, as she’d told the Mistress he’d be. She’d been under orders to bring the prize to Kordahn, but not telling Ahlex the truth about her cargo, the sudden course changes and the secrets… they’d all been her call. She knew how important it was and she couldn’t take any chances. Did that mean she didn’t trust him? No, but that’s not how he’d seen it. She’d only wanted to protect him from whomever was trying to stop her; instead, she’d pissed him off. Hurt him, even. All she’d wanted to do the moment Ahlexander had turned away from her was curl up in a little ball and disappear into a dark corner.
That, had been just the beginning. In fact, when she’d made it to the Guild office, her chest heavy with regret as she’d reported the safe transfer of such a delicate, and highly sought-after prize, she carried with her a veil of guilt. She’d pleased her Mistress, pissed of her Commander and apparently, fucked her way through an important meeting. That was three for three. Anything else want to sabotage her life?
“Fuck!” She let out, opening her eyes at the edge of the moon pool, her body still tingling as the waters lapped at her thighs.
It was quiet and she was... “Bloody hell!” She shook her head, trying to focus on not one, but two males, naked and sprawled out beside her.
She was so, not alone. Remnants of the night crept past her eyes and the wetness between her thighs carried with it a tingle of satisfaction. One large bottle of wine. Two males that looked like they could wrestle with champions, one blonde and one brunette and both sporting muscles that rippled as they begun to stir…
That was her cue to leave, and fast. Dammit, what had she done? She had no clue, but she knew she now had to wiggle her way out of this mess and find Mist, or Ahlex, if he’d forgiven her yet. She wouldn’t forgive herself, not in a million years; but it was business, and you didn’t mess with something so damned important as say, the only remaining survivor of a whole fucking race.
Whoever she was, she was wanted, bad. Hundreds had died in her wake and hundreds more still faced the same fate. Drying off with a nearby towel, she hurried to slip into her leathers and hooked each latch on her halter. With boots in hand and cloak flung over one shoulder, Belvaya snuck from the moon pools before either of her two companions opened their eyes.
“Now, I understand!” The laugh floated down the hallway as she emerged from the doorway, one she’d hoped to avoid until after she’d found something to eat.
“Mist? What are you doing here this early?” She replied, eyeing the entourage that followed the female, all of them draped in the same sheer robes as the dark-haired Valkyrie.
“What, I can’t bathe before my own wedding?” Mist grinned, ignoring the giggles of the females behind her.
“Shit, I totally forgot!” Belvaya shook her head and took a good look at what she was wearing. “I am nowhere near prepared for...”
“You would have remembered, had you been at the meeting last night!” Mist raised a brow and another grin slid upon her face. “But we can’t expect such an adventurous Captain to attend every meeting she is called to, what with all the amorous cargo needing to be claimed!”
“I was...” She started, toying with the cloak she held tight in her grasp.
“Busy, I know.” Mist chuckled. “Alexander told us you may be late, but I expected you to at least arrive before he left!” Mist added, pushing past Belvaya and towards the moon pools. “No romantic kiss good-bye?”
“I uh...” Belvaya started again, hoping to draw attention elsewhere, like the gardens; but it was too late and the males were making their way past her and out into the hall, still naked as the day they were born. “Wait, he left?” She inquired amidst more giggles and whispers.
Had she heard that right? Ahlexander was where? He left, when?
“Yes, I thought when he made his exit from the meeting, he was coming to see you.” Mist’s eye raised once more. “Is everything alright?” She inquired, holding up her hand to pause her entourage.
“Yeah!” Belvaya lied, again. Fuck, she was getting good at this, but she couldn’t tell anyone what she’d done; not here anyhow. “Just a lover’s quarrel!” She sighed and followed Mist back towards the moon pools.
“I see!” Mist shook her head and nodded for the females to enter first. “We will discuss this later, I presume?”
“Much, later!” Belvaya laughed, dropping her cloak at the door as the others slid out of their robes.

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