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If Elissa expected things to change after that, she was vastly mistaken. After standing and staring out at the sun for a while, Dark eased back over and settled back down into his chair and resumed his regular routine of sitting and rocking, while otherwise staring unmoving across the room. His days were the same. His nights were still filled with the same forceful passion as he indulged himself for ever longer periods of time as Elissa tried to give him what she thought he wanted.

The only thing that really seemed to change over the next several days that Elissa noticed was that Dark would now follow her with his head, staring at her, wherever she went when she was inside the house. She awoke to his dark eyeless gaze staring down at her. When she went into the kitchen, it followed her. When she came out of the kitchen, it was there waiting for her again. When she went to the door and walked outside, Dark’s pale, withered face followed her, those dark holes which were his eyes watching unblinking and waiting for her return.

It was after about a week of this that Elissa couldn’t bear it any longer. Waking up and finding that same unwavering gaze on her, she stretched lightly several times before getting up and easing over in front of where Dark rocked. Placing her hands on the armrests, she gave a light hop, leaping up in Dark’s lap, her legs back wide on either side of the armrests again. As the chair jerked unsteadily back and forth from her sudden weight leaping into it, Elissa wrapped her arms around Dark’s neck and held on tight.

“Why do you stare at me at the time now?” Elissa asked, starting into the deep whirling maelstrom that was his eyes, determined to no longer be intimidated by them.

“One,” Dark answered, his voice cold and rough.

Puzzlement obvious across her face, Elissa asked, “One what?”

“Two,” Dark answered cryptically, the cold cracked voice giving no hint of emotion or intent.

“Have I done something wrong? Are you mad at me?” Elissa was frowning hard, wondering if she had perhaps overstepped some unspoken bounds by sitting uninvited in his lap and ended up offending Dark.

“Three, and you’ll have to wait until tomorrow,” Dark replied calmly and coldly. “For your first, it is so I may observe your growth. For the second, it was the first of your answers. For your third, I do not believe so.” Rubbing his hands gently through her hair, he said nothing else and slowly went back to his normal, rhythmic rocking.

Blinking, Elissa rubbed the hair out of her eyes and stared for several moments confused. “Are you saying I can ask you questions now?”

“Tomorrow,” Dark replied, in his ever cold, gravelly voice, as he stared unblinkingly at her.

“It’s three questions a day?”


“You’re not upset?”


“Can I get up then and do my chores?” Elissa asked, a smile lightly twitching at the corner of her face as she half thought he might say tomorrow again. Instead, Dark leaned forward and stopped the rocking chair. Moving his hand out of her hair, he gently motioned with one boney hand and pointed towards the door.

Laughing gaily, Elissa suddenly leaned up and kissed Dark passionately, wrapping her arms around the back of his head and pulling him close. After several moments, she laughed merrily and hopped back off the chair, watching it rock erratically again at her sudden movements. A slight twinkle in her eye, she half skipped out the door to go tend her garden and clean the neighborhood, not caring – or even thinking – about the fact the she wasn’t wearing clothes anymore.

A lot more had changed in her in the last few months than just the length of her hair or a lack of tan lines on her body.

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