She could feel the call of the mirror but there was another in her room and she dared not answer. It was forbidden to even possess such a thing outside the Order, let alone use one to communicate with the Valkyrie.
“Your shine has dimmed, my pet!” His words were louder, his touch eliciting tingles as he ran his finger across her shoulder; but when she flinched, he knew. “Who touched you?”
“It was nothing?” Marena mumbled, eyes closed and head bent, but she knew her words meant nothing now.
The last thing she wanted was a war, but it was far too late for that. She’d not thought about it at the time, but Pathen was right, she wreaked of the insolent fool. His stench permeating from each of her pores, a vile, rancid remnant of what had happened.
“To’lan repelled his advances...” She told him, but he was already pulling at his hair and planning the bastard’s execution.
Admitting her Host had been involved was a bad move. To need the strength of To’llan meant those advances had been more than that.
“How far?” Pathen’s eyes were glowing, his voice on the edge of warping.
It was one thing to touch a female owned by the Empire, it was totally different when that asshole knew the female he touched, was not just a Host, but the property of the dark lord, himself. She was sacred, forbidden, and Zander had damn well known it.
“How far, Marena?”
She didn’t want to answer him, but what she wanted meant nothing. “Too far!” She replied, waiting for his rant to end as her Host took hold. “Easy now, our love!” She purred. “He has already paid for his insolence!” She laughed.
Marena listened close, not that she could do much else. A prisoner trapped in her own body as her Host played her games. It was known that most Hosts could commune via some fucked up little network, but Zander wasn’t a Host. He was however, being followed by one, and with that Pathen’s eyes lit up even brighter.
“Well now!” He chuckled, getting a full playback of current events.
Zander waddled about at an awkward angle, refusing to sit or even join the others for drinks. His secret, wasn’t a secret any longer and Pathen and To’llan were having a great laugh over his discomfort.
“It would seem the Valkyrie still enjoys the carnage and torturing of the weak!” To’llan giggled, but even Marena could feel the slight err of disgust.
“Do you think he will ride into battle, or walk?” Pathen howled, wrapping his arms around Marena, his lips against her own. “I knew you would come around, my pet. It was only a matter of time.”
Marena could feel every moment of their erotic encounter, every orgasm rippling through her, completely and utterly beyond her control. She listened to their moans, inhaled their scents, but this was not her moment, it was theirs. Oh, how she wished she could return to her mirror and the female that called to her...
Malice gasped as the image of Marena faded away and a field of black roses sprang up in her place. She wasn’t coming, but at least Malice knew why; for she too could feel the lust between Hosts.
She didn’t want to bear witness to such sin, to watch Marena in the arms of that heathen. There was a blinding flash of pain from her Host, disconnecting her from the mirror altogether.
‘No playing until the job is done. If our little friends find out that you can connect with the mirrors, they’d execute us both and where would your revenge be then?’ Marwolaeth whispered in her mind. ‘It is one thing to link with another Host, but those mirrors are forbidden for a reason. Do not let it drive us mad, for there is far too much to be done.’
It would seem, that for the first time since they’d been ripped from the warmth of each other, Marwolaeth approved of Malice’s plans to get rid of Zander. She didn’t like being raped and beaten any more than Malice did. No one liked being plagued by his tortures, they were not toys for his amusement; especially not Marwolaeth. No, Marwolaeth wanted revenge, just as badly as Malice did; for now, the Host knew the truth.
She was disgusted with both Pathen and the rogue queen, Anaxa; but what could she have done, before now? She’d been a prisoner; her memories replaced by the hate and need for vengeance that filled Marwolaeth’s heart. Her Host was just as much a prisoner as Malice was, stolen from her rightful Queen and forced to work with traitors. Pathen had stolen her, stolen them both…
‘You will live your own life and plot against Pathen all you want, so long as you do so, in secret. No one can know, no one, can be given the chance to stop us.’
‘You worry about your end of the bargain.’ The Host had hissed as it retreated into the darkest recess’ of Malice’s mind. ‘You must not be caught.’ The memories of that night were as clear as the moon had been, if only they could all be so vivid and…
Still clutching the rose in her palm, the blood like ink as each thorn cut into her skin, leaving behind the imprint of the rose itself. Beautiful, but it did not stop there, wrapping about her arm and up towards her shoulder, a trail of roses and vines covered her flesh. Like a tattoo, it covered her left arm like a sleeve and with each painful prick of a thorn, Malice remembered a little more.
She may have been taken by darkness and she may have harbored the worst of that darkness inside her, but she was still Valkyrie. Pathen and Anaxa needed her and she knew it, she just wasn’t quite sure what they needed her for. They’d taken everything from her when she’d tried to rebel, they’d taken Marena…
Malice wasn’t about to let them ruin any more of her plans. She had to do something about Pathen, and Zander, and the whole bloody lot of them. Vile pigs, none of them understood the art of war. They couldn’t feel the glory of victory as she did and she pitied them for it.
On the grassy hill, hidden deep within Malice’s mind, the Cat hissed in frustration. So much for sleeping. How was Malice ever going to be strong enough to fight back if she didn’t rest?
The Feline would now have to worm her way back in. She’d been careful the first time, but the Host was now watching. Marwolaeth was dangerous, so she had to be gentle. Delicate. Perhaps, there was a way to show Malice she was still there, without Marwolaeth seeing? There had to be, the Cat just had to find it.