Enceladus 3: The Heat

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Chapter Four

The dress I wore on Almôn Klïp was gold. It was a beautiful, glittering material that brushed the floor with its tail. There was a slit up the right thigh.

I didn’t have the dress on yet because the festivities hadn’t started but it was hanging on my changing screen, twinkling at me.

Talia was doing my hair and makeup. “So my lady-in-waiting, how are you doing my hair?” We hadn’t gotten a chance to talk about her being my lady-in-waiting because I spent the night in Lynx’s room.

I was sitting facing my vanity so I could see her cheeks redden through the oval mirror.

“The Chancellor told you about that, huh?”

“Yes,” I grinned, “and he also told me who insisted on it.”

“I hope you don’t mind,” Talia said quickly.

“I don’t. I’m just maybe a little surprised. Why did you want to?”

“Well,” she paused in thought. “I like being with you—hanging out with you,” she backtracked. “I like you.”

My heart sped up and I avoided her eyes when I said, “I like you too.”

I caught her smile before she turned to grab the comb. She started brushing my raven hair and I leaned back.

It was after lunchtime and the entire planet was getting ready for the stars tonight. I was thrilled. Star Day was one of the things that made me miss Enceladus while I was on Earth. Sure, I had seen a shooting star here and there on Earth but none of those compared to this annual passing.

Talia finished combing my hair and wound most of it up into a tight bun with two golden hair sticks. She styled it so that two strands of hair were left down hanging on either side of my face.

“Beautiful,” she said. “Now, makeup.”

Women in Enceladus rarely used makeup. Men, even rarer. The royals had more of it than anyone. It was used for special occasions. Our women made the makeup from plants, ŷæs specifically, and dyes. Somehow Talia had gotten her hands on some light brown eye shadow. So light it was near golden.

I turned my chair around to face her. As she put the eye shadow on, her hand brushed lightly against my cheeks and I savored it.

“You’re ready.”

I opened my eyes and faced the mirror. Talia was skilled. I looked great. “Thank you.” I stood up and hugged her.

She giggled. “I’m not sure hair and makeup needs to be rewarded with a hug.”

“Thank you for everything, Talia. You’ve been there for me these past few months. I don’t know how you’re doing it. I’m a wreck.”

“Well, rightfully so.”

“Hey, you’re not supposed to agree,” I laughed and pulled away.

She laughed with me and then I was laughing so hard I had tears. That was when I realized I hadn’t laughed that hard since I was back on Earth with Lainie. It made me sober up a little.

“Wait! You can’t smudge your eyes,” said Talia. She grabbed my face gingerly and wiped my tears away.

I was rapt. Her hazel eyes held me even though she was looking at my cheeks. She was breathtakingly gorgeous. Part of me felt bad for thinking that when I had just thought that about Lainie not even a year ago.

She cleared her throat and stepped back. The spell was broken but I now realized how much I wanted Talia.

“Let’s get you in your dress.” She retrieved it from where it was hanging and handed it to me as if I was going to change right there. The dress required no bra and no slip. I took it but stood still.

“Oh! Sorry.” She blushed again and moved out of the way so I could step behind my changing screen.

I slipped the dress on and marveled at the beauty. The fabric was smooth. I came out from the screen and Talia froze. “What? Good? Bad? Oh no, do you hate it?” I panicked.

She shook her head. “It—you—are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.”

That was when it shifted. Something shifted. I no longer felt bad about finding another girl attractive.

“You really think so?” I asked meekly.

“Yes.”

I smiled, walked up to her, and hugged her once more.


The party started at dinnertime and it was held on the roof of the palace. The cooks had brought food carts upon food carts to the roof, all full with Enceladus delicacies.

The rest of the citizens watched the shooting stars from the courtyard in front of Planet Hall.

I stepped onto the roof into the warm air. It was so uncharacteristically Enceladus that it was unsettling. Luckily, my dress had only one strap on the left shoulder.

Before I came up to the roof, I had stopped by Caelum’s room and asked if Golda wanted to come up to the roof. She said maybe and I left it at that, knowing she wouldn’t.

Talia appeared on the roof and suddenly I wanted to fast forward our relationship to the intimate part. She wore an emerald floor-length gown. It was strapless and showed off cleavage I had never noticed before.

“Princess Amelia,” she greeted. I was speechless. “You alright?” She was blushing which must have meant I had an animalistic look in my eyes.

I blinked several times. “You look amazing, my-lady-in-waiting.”

The red on her cheeks deepened.

“Let’s get some food.” I took her arm and led her to the buffet. “Who did your hair?” I asked after we were seated at a table that had been carried to the roof with our food. Her long golden hair was clipped to one side.

“One of the stylists. Since I’m now your lady-in-waiting, I get better treatment than the other servants.”

“Better treatment? Are the servants being treated poorly?”

Talia smiled. “You’re so considerate. No, they’re not. I just meant I have more benefits. I receive a new level of respect from them and the rest of the palace. I am even moving into a bedroom upstairs. I don’t think it’s too far from yours. I haven’t been in it yet.”

I didn’t know this. “Really?” Another thing I had done to keep that number out of my head was make sure the palace’s servants weren’t living in poor conditions and receiving enough food/resources. It wasn’t that Cassiopeia didn’t care about that stuff; she did, it was just that she had no time. Ever since she had been crowned, there had been crisis after crisis.

Speaking of Cassiopeia, she flew onto the roof. From where, I didn’t know. She was wearing her special occasion’s crown which was smaller than the normal one and gold. Her dress was poufy as always. It was a glittering grey that appeared to match the stars in its elegance.

John landed behind her and simply looked like her bodyguard with a crown, not her husband and king of a planet. He was of course far from ugly but it seemed he still had problems adjusting to being king. He was a palace guard before he married Cass.

“Yes, really. So we’ll be even closer,” Talia whispered the last part which made it seem like she hadn’t meant to say it out loud.

I looked at her—really looked at her—and was again taken back by her beauty. That was when I leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. When I leaned back, she was grinning.

“What was that for?” She touched her cheek.

“I’m lucky to have you in my life.”

Talia was about to say something when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and saw it was Delphinus. She was wearing a purple dress that flowed at the stomach to account for her baby bump.

“You look great!” I told her. “Want to sit?” I started to get up from my chair, even though there plenty more chairs on the roof, but she shook her head.

Then a chair flew above my head and landed beside Talia. Delphinus had used her telekinesis to move it. “Thanks,” she mumbled. It didn’t seem she was in that great of moods.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“I’m just exhausted. This Enceladian baby is taking a lot out of me.” Del was half-human which made the baby a quarter human. So not fully an “Enceladian baby”. When our mother, Vela, went to Earth with some researchers, she had an affair with a human that resulted in the birth of Del. No one knew but me. Especially not Del.

Before I could say anything else, someone shouted, “It’s starting!”

I looked to the sky and saw a glimpse of sparkles. Talia and I stood and went up to the roof’s railing.

And then it began. It looked like the stars were falling. It was breathtaking. There were innumerable stars; the sky was exploding with them.

I turned to Talia and watched them through her eyes. Her eyes were alight with wonder and awe.

She looked at me and I kissed her. I kissed Talia. The world faded away and it was just her and I. The kiss was passionate and hungry. She wrapped her arms around my neck and I did the same to her waist. She tasted just like I’d dreamt she would. I made sure to remember everything about the kiss. The way her silk-like dress felt under my fingers. The way she smelled. The way she kissed me back fiercely. The way her lips felt against mine. They way her arms enfolded me. The way it felt right. I pulled her closer.

When it was over, I saw desire in her hazel eyes which must have been reflecting mine. She smirked at me. “Wow.”

“Wow is right,” I replied and smiled back.

She turned to look out at the stars. I put my arms around her waist again and she rested her head on my shoulder. I sighed in happiness. I didn’t know if I’d ever felt like that before. Sure, I had been happy, but this was something more.

I realized I hadn’t made a wish yet. In this moment, I didn’t need to.

I didn’t get back to my room until well passed the evening. Talia and I had watched the rest of the Ålmôn in bliss.

I slipped off my dress and changed into some sleep shorts, heart happy.

Forty,” a voice whispered. Not aloud, but in my head.

I groaned. Not now. Not when I was so happy. I shouldn’t have been surprised though. That number had haunted me for months. Of course it wasn’t going to go away after one night of happiness.

Forty people. I had killed forty innocent people. Forty of my own race. I actually didn’t know how many Tethians I had killed. It was more deserved but when I really thought about it . . . How many Tethians were forced to fight by their Queen? How many were actually innocent?

Forty plus however many I killed last year during the coup.

I was all alone. Talia wasn’t going to sense I was panicking and come running. She wasn’t going to save me. No one was going to save me.

Šĉôt. I looked in my vanity’s mirror. The monster stared back at me. I picked up the metal comb Talia had used to brush my hair and threw it at the mirror. It shattered.

Then I shoved everything off the vanity all at once. Next I moved to my bed. I threw off the pillows and ripped up the bedding.

My hands were shaking. Then my hands were starting to glow orange.

All of a sudden, the room went black.

“Stacia,” purred a voice. A voice from my nightmares.

There he was. My father. In his firey throne. All red and scaly like I remembered.

“How am I here? I’m not dark.”

He grinned. His teeth were pointy and yellow. “You don’t have to be ‘the monster’ for me to come see you. You are my blood. Nothing can keep us apart.”

My stomach turned queasy. I was way more terrified of him now since I wasn’t the monster, like he mocked. When I was dark, nothing scared me.

“’Dark’. I don’t like that. Let’s change that. You don’t go dark. You just become what you’ll end up as. The Destroyer. My destroyer.”

Did he read my mind? “No.” I shook my head. “How do you visit me?” I tried to keep my voice steady.

“Like I said before, we have the same blood. You’re a tether for me. To the living realm. I see a glowing string and I tug on it. It leads me to you.”

“Why did you wait so long to see me again?”

He stood. “Why, Stacia, did you miss me? I just thought you might need time to process. I came now because when you are close to becoming The Destroyer, the string glows so bright I can’t concentrate on anything else.”

I wasn’t close to going dark. Was I? I was just having a childish tantrum. Not taking the life from people.

“Have you considered my offer?” He was talking about the one where I came to Hell with him and ruled the world. Wait-

“How would you get out of Hell? To rule the living world?”

“That’s a long process. It’s equal to what your mother did. She killed and stole to summon me. But that wasn’t permanent. The spell you’ll have to perform takes a lot more. But it will be easy, I promise. Because we have the-”

“Same blood,” I finished.

He beamed. “Exactly. Would you like me to tell you how now?”

“No. Not now. Not ever. I will never summon you to this realm.”

His beam vanished. “You will. I can see it.”

“What, so you can see the future?” Great, Amy. Give the Devil attitude.

“Oh, my little Stacia-”

“That’s not my name.”

He glared at me. “I have an ability called chronokinesis. It’s the ability to control and bend time at my will. It’s not that I can see the future, I just have a feeling. A strong one. I’m never wrong. But if I am, well I can just change time.

“I’ll never serve you.”

“Stacia, you wouldn’t be serving me. That’s what I have armies for. No, you’d be my equal. I wouldn’t control you, my dear.” He started circling me. “You know, you have my hair color.” He grabbed a strand of it and I yanked away. “It’s a pity you don’t look more like me.”

I laughed humorlessly. “Why would I want to look like you?”

“What, you don’t think I’m handsome? Lilith sure does.”

“Lilith?”

“One of my wives. Careful. Saying her name three times will summon her,” he joked. He stopped in front of me, his yellow eyes darting around like she would pop out of nowhere. “I’m entirely kidding of course. It’s six times. No, I mean my human form. I was an angel, after all. I had a black mane, not unlike yours.”

The Devil touched my arm.

Suddenly, I gasped out in pain. The pain radiated on the top of my head and my lower back. Without even looking, I knew my horns and tail had sprouted. I looked at my father, a silent question.

He explained, “It’s your body reacting to my touch. My blood is dangerous. Our blood is dangerous. Your body is trying to protect you.”

I realized my wings had spread out too. “I want to leave.”

“I’m not keeping you here,” he said dismissively.

I raised my eyebrows. “How do I . . .?”

He sighed. “I have much to teach you, my dear Stacia. I look forward to our next meeting.” He raised a hand and after my next blink, I was back in my room.

Without another thought, I laid on my floor and cried myself to sleep.

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