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Thorned Shadow [+18]

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BOOK TWO Tortured and abused for five hundred years, Cerelia finally escapes from her personal hell but not for long. She returns to her own realm, a land of witches and Fae who are at war with each other. Thrown into a life of crowns and gowns, she must marry the Fae King to bring peace to the Kingdom, while overcoming the fear of touch from any male or female.

Fantasy / Romance
4.8 9 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

You’re from Eridaya?

It was Cerelia’s first time speaking in a century but she had been met with silence. Utter silence that always echoed in her mind, beating at the same time as her heart.

Nobody had answered her back.

Cerelia laid her head on the brick wall, her arms around her knees as she closed her eyes slowly. He would come to her, she could feel it in the air. Something had changed in the castle the last few days and she didn’t know what it was. Her heart beat slowly, thinking of the King who touched her in the wrong places, who she had screamed and cried at multiple times but it did nothing.

She was an empty vessel, a doll for the males to play with while everyone trapped in the dungeons became oblivious to her screams of pain.

Her body shuddered and she let out a deep breath, pushing the thoughts out of her mind and leaving it blank. The way she always did when a male pushed his male part into her body. She became a lifeless doll, waiting for the day the king would tire of her company.

You are so beautiful.

Why can my wife not be as beautiful as you?

His friends were worse. The King’s touch was soft, always a gentle caress as if he truly loved her. His friends, the Lords of the castle, the males who caused her pain. When she did not cry, or scream, they would scar her body with a burning rod.

Destroying the beauty the king loved so much.

Cerelia opened her eyes and sighed. Sleep was not going to come to her again. She pushed her hands through her silver strands of hair that were too long to care for. At times, when it got too long, without the King knowing, she would slice a few inches off her hair with her claws.

She had done it once, had cut all her hair off because she hated it. Cerelia hated herself, every inch of her body had been scarred and touched by male’s and females without her consent.

Consent was such a strange word to her. She wondered if she had forgotten the meaning of it when her body had stupidly felt the rush of blood when a male had worshiped her. It was stupid, and she had hated it, hated the sound that came out of her but he had been different. He had been loving and kind, and whispered words to her she didn’t know that would affect her body so much. The king had watched her. As did the other males and females who would enter the room full of iron, unafraid to be like mortal men.

They had watched the male torture her body in a way she had liked it. With soft gentle kisses, enough to awaken something inside of her but that rush of power had disappeared the moment the male had groaned in pain before she was met with silence and a body full of splattered blood.

The king had cut off the male’s head, his blood had sprayed all over her body and she had screamed. It was the day she had angrily cut her hair, every inch of it, leaving nothing but a few inches which she couldn’t slice with long claws that had taken the shape of her nails.

It was the day the king had moved her from one iron room to the last one, where she had screamed as he tied her to the posts, chains around her ankles and wrists, telling her she was never to cut her hair again.

That was three hundred years ago.

She remembered every day, and asked each male who had walked inside what day it had been. For another hundred years, they came on her body, inside of her, made her scream and cry in pain and watched as she would curl her body in the corner of the room, praying to the fates to set her free.

Fate had listened. In its own way.

They had stopped coming to her room, letting her get lost in her own mind for a century. Cerelia was losing her mind, feeling nothing but silence echoing in the four walls until someone had begged, snapping her out of her own silence.

I need to go back to Eridaya.

Those were the first words she had heard in a century. Yesterday.

Cerelia stared at the iron door, suddenly hearing the sound of females and a male. “Willa, what if she’s in this one?” A beautiful voice knocked on the door three doors away from her own.

Her calm heart started racing. Someone was letting them out? Unable to stand for so long, Cerelia crawled towards the iron door. She curled her hands into a fist. “Please.” Her raspy voice was nothing more than a cough. She banged her hands on the door, her heart beating too fast. “Save me.” Again her voice was barely a whisper and her fisted hands were not strong enough to make a sound.

A scream filled with agony floated in the air and a male snarled. She stumbled backwards, fear wrapping itself around her heart. Who was that? She had no idea.

Cerelia leaned up ever so slowly on her knees, and pressed her ear against the iron door. Three doors behind her, someone was pulling the door off its hinges.

She needed to get out. She needed to escape with them. Whoever it was.

Again, she fisted her hands, coughing first before slamming them against the door. Her scarred hands barely had any impact. The scent of pine and snow floated around her as people talked in a language she didn’t know much of.

Cerelia had barely spent ten years in Eridaya.

Mustering up her strength and taking a deep breath filled with fear and anxiety, Cerelia banged her fisted hands harder on the door. “I’m from Eridaya!” The words floated out of her mouth in a desperate plea as she remembered the language of the Vampires and Wolves. “Please!” Her voice was throaty and she forced herself to ignore the cough curling up her throat. “Save me!” She pleaded like a desperate soul.

Their steps stopped outside of her door and she let out a breath of relief, her hand snaking up her throat and back down to provide some warmth. Her body was so cold and her throat hurt as if sharp glass was stuck inside.

They talked too fast for her to understand whatever they said. ”Please.” Her raspy voice begged as she pressed her head against the door, the scent of Pine and Snow, the only one she could smell, disappearing.

They were leaving her.

She felt the betrayal of her eyes in the form of tears as they silently slid down her face.

A few minutes later, she heard a voice speak in a language she knew. “I’m scared.”

The ancient language of the Fae and Witches.

Another female answered the first female. “If they harm us, we’ll throw them back inside the cages, okay?”

The first female chuckled. “You are much stronger than me, Willa.”

Cerelia felt the shift in the door. She stumbled backwards, trying to cover her naked body from the two sets of eyes that stared at her.

They froze. Maybe it was the scars on her body or the smell of vomit and everything else she had done in the room that she wasn’t allowed to escape from. Or the smell of herself but the two beautiful females stared for a few seconds too long.

Cerelia covered her eyes, turning her face to the side of the bare room, and raised her hand up, while her other hand had wrapped around her knees. She would beg and plead them for mercy if her voice had not disappeared.

“Are you okay?”

“That is a stupid question to ask.” The other female hissed at Willa.

Cerelia didn’t look at them, not as the lights seemed to dim in the hall of the dungeons. She blinked slowly at the brick wall she stared at.

“My name is Delphine. ” Her voice was soft, a beautiful whisper as if she was afraid of Cerelia. “Do you understand what I say?”

“What if she doesn’t speak the language? You know how hard it was for me to talk to Katara for a while.” Willa sighed.

Cerelia wanted to say she understood them, that she had heard males and females speak this language for centuries and she understood every word they said but her lips did not move.

“You are free to go.”

A shiver ran up her back at the words Delphine spoke softly. “The King and Queen of Wisteria are dead. Amaris will not hold you as a prisoner anymore, no matter what you did.”

She had been an innocent child, walking near the mortal land when she had been taken by people and the king of Wisteria had taken a liking to her. Cerelia pushed the haunted childhood out of her mind as she lowered her arm ever so slowly.

Delphine was kneeling just outside the iron door with Willa at her back like a hawk watching Cerelia. “Hi.” Delphine smiled softly at her, running her hands through her hair. “I like your hair.” They shared the same hair colour. Delphine shrugged off a large fur black coat.

She placed it in the room, pushing it as far as she could without stepping into it. “If you want to leave before I open the others, now would be best.”

“Which means, hurry up with a cute smile.” Willa grinned at her.

Cerelia stared at the coat before slowly reaching out and lifting the heavy coat up into her arms. Delphine hid the shock at her body but Willa gasped in horror. Cerelia quickly wore the fur coat, staining it with her stench and her horrid body but she pulled it closer, embracing the first touch of warmth in centuries.

“Come on now.” Delphine choked out the words before standing up. Cerelia pressed her palms onto the ground before forcing herself to stand on her shaking legs. For nearly a century she had barely stood, had usually crawled to vomit the food she was thrown at, then crawled to the left side of the room to relieve herself.

Her legs were weak but she forced herself to stand, pulling the coat closer to her body. It covered her thighs, letting the cold air cling to her knees.

“What are you?” Willa questioned, her eyes flickering to the claws instead of nails. Cerelia looked down at her claws, wondering if they would shift back into nails if she stepped out of the room. “I can’t scent you.”

Not under all the disgusting smells clouding the room. Cerelia took a step forward, stumbling a little. She pulled back, like a petrified beast as Delphine darted her hands out to hold onto her. Immediately she put them down, sensing whatever she wanted to sense.

Delphine pulled Willa out of the doorway, moving towards the wall with a big smile on her face. “I really need to release the others from their cages.” Because they were not rooms. They were cages, to hold ancient beasts or innocent souls inside.

Cerelia took another step forward, pressing her palm onto the wall. She lifted her feet a little, pushing her legs to move over the line. Warmth instantly floated inside of her as she stepped out of the cage she had been inside for nearly 500 years old. The threat of tears sliding down her face, made her look down at her feet that was utterly disgusting but she pushed them forward again and again.

She would never forget Delphine or Willa.

The females who had set her free into the world once again. Cerelia pressed her hand into the iron doors, moving, each step closer and closer to the stairs. She crawled up the stairs, her legs giving up on her but neither female helped her, as if understanding she needed to do this herself.

Bright lights from glass chandeliers shone down on her as she crawled into a hall full of blooded bodies. She needed to leave before someone caged her again. “Ten seconds!” Delphine shouted, as if the only warning she could give before they let the beasts out.

The beasts that she had been stuck with once for the first twenty years. Who had clawed at her skin, brought her to near death before the king had pulled her out of the room. On her knees, where her crawl was faster than moving on her legs, Cerelia moved. She pressed her body against the wall, panting slightly out of breath but she counted the seconds down.


She moved faster.


She forced herself to stand on her two weak legs as she pushed through the double doors into a room full of people who seemed to be waiting for something.


“Run.” Her voice was a whisper but the closest person heard it gaping at her as if seeing a shredded body. The snarls of the beasts were all that echoed in the castle. It was all the people needed as they ran.

She stumbled towards a wall, pressing her body against it. She wouldn’t make it out in time, she wasn’t as fast as them, there was no urgency in her steps, not even the fear of death scared her anymore.

She was going to die.

The sound of the beasts got closer and closer and she held her breath, the traitorous tears sliding down her face as the doors were broken through, the vicious beasts of a realm she didn’t know clawed at the floor, their paws scraping the dark red carpet to reveal the stone floor underneath.

She knew them all. Had given them names in her mind in the last century she had spent in the cage alone. They had long tails, breathing fire like the story she had once read as a child. Dragons. Green eyes stared at her.

She had named him Roi in her mind. He moved, the biggest of all five dragons and a part of her wondered if Delphine and Willa were alive. His long spiked tail swished in the air, hitting the chandeliers that broke as the others chased the Fae through the castle, their screams filling her mind.

The dragon moved and she pressed her body harder into the wall, closing her eyes tightly. He sniffed at her before running away, letting out a cry of war. He had spared her life.

She let out a breath before her legs crumbled under her, giving out all hope of her walking out of her. Cerelia crawled, her heart tightening as she followed the dragon out of the room. He was slow at his walk, as if leisuring around the castle but a part of her knew that he was clearing the castle for her.

Cerelia crawled, her knees and hands moving faster as she descended down the stairs and out of the hall where she saw more dead bodies. The world waited for her. A spark of hope lit up inside of her as she kept her head down, not allowing the cold sun to burn her eyes as she crawled out of the castle.

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