Oliver knew he was dreaming, but he didn’t care. It was the most amazing thing he’d ever felt. It was as if his mind managed to shake free of his decrepit flesh and create a new world for himself. A world where he was free of pain. A world where he’d found his promised mate. Free of the mental anguish he endured for hundreds of years. His spirit travelled free of his body around the room. The first thing he noticed was that the house didn’t look anything like the house he’d chosen to stay in. It was different. Real different. Then, he spotted what looked like a rotting corpse and became totally horrified. Charred flesh! This was his body. It was so confusing and he became disjointed.
Shit! Holy shit, I must I dead. Oliver thought. But why was am I stuck here watching my body charcoaled fricasseed body? How did I get her? Did my house catch fire and my family bring my dead body home? Is this real? Was anything I dreamed real? Was Adalyn real?
The more Oliver contemplated his situation the more disturbed and unstable, became. He started screaming at the top of his lungs. Oliver kept opening and closing his eyes all the while praying that the next time he opened them he would be in heaven.
“Oliver, you must calm down. You are having nightmares. Please lay back down and let your body and rest. I am so sorry that you are so very sick but we are going to find a way to cure you.”
Oliver fell into a deep deep sleep where even dreams couldn’t reach him.
It was the third time in as many days that Oliver floated in the darkness again. Each time he would wake up then go through the process all over again. First he would wonder how and why he got here. Then he consider how the heck he was going to get back. The darkness is what Oliver decided to called the place of nothingness. He got the name from her sister Mia who was the first to discover its existence. Basically the darkness is a dimension between here and the other side. It’s empty and devoid of all life. It’s a place where nothing and no one exists it’s even devoid of all emotions. It’s the place Oliver rested for hundreds of years while he waited for Adalyn.
His promised mate Adalyn woke him from the darkness and drug him back to reality when she burst into his dilapidated house in Tennant Creek. Her love revived his soul and gave his life meaning. Oliver found had a million questions like; why and how did he get back to the darkness? Did he really ever get out? Was Adalyn real or a figment of his imagination? Was he still really sitting like a rotten corpse in the chair in a house?
The questions came one after the other. Then his soul gave him the answer that Oliver knew couldn’t be wrong. Adalyn existed and she needed him to stay out of the darkness. Then, he would push himself up and out by eventually managing to burst through the veil. The moment he did, Oliver would be assaulted with excruciating physical and psychological pain and anguish.
He was a hot mess. Poisoned by some kind of magical river. His mind was in tatters and his body was closer to dead than alive. Chloe was painstakingly trying to keep him alive and in a coma so they could find a cure. When he was awake his sweet young Adalyn would feel his emotions and be exposed to his thought. Emotions and thoughts that would cause her agony. That’s why he finally asked Chloe to use magic and push him into the darkness.
At first it worked but his stubborn beautiful Adalyn refused to let him stay there. At least three times a week she would sit on the bed next to him and her soul would call him out of the darkness. It wasn’t so that he could suffer. It was so he could feel her love even through the pain.
“Adalyn he’s sleeping. I can tell from here he looks fine. Please allow him to rest. I will give him a full examination in the morning. I think it would be best for both of you, if you allow him to sleep as much as possible. Please believe me, I know you can feel his pain but when you aren’t in the room it goes away. He sinks into a kind of darkness that is so deep that his is pain free. I know you don’t believe me, and I have no way to prove it to you but it’s true. You being here like this, well it just causes him pain. I understand why… but if you keep this up both of you are just going to suffer more.”
Adalyn knew his sister Chloe was playing word games with her in order to push off examining her tonight. She could tell she was trying to guilt her into allowing Oliver to stay in the deep sleep. She too even sort of knew it was the right thing for her to do. She should have agreed and moved on but… Adalyn needed to feel Oliver today even more than other days. Today they would have enough of her Oni clan together to make a deal with the druid they call Obvert.
“Well I think it is you who wants to sleep? I have no doubt that the moment you finish your exam Oliver will fall right back to sleep.”
Adalyn watched Chloe’s face turn white and she could tell she was going to start profusely apologising. Adalyn couldn’t let it go that far so she quickly chuckled and said
“Teasing Chloe. Just teasing! Oliver is fine and you are right he does need the rest. Tomorrow is soon enough for another exam.”
Adalyn saw the relief flood Chloe’s face and she suddenly felt guilty that she had teased her at all, so she smiled warmly and gave her a big hug before she continued
“Why don’t you head to bed? I am going downstairs to wait with Iona for the other Oni that are expected to arrive tonight. I am really looking forward to meeting all of them.”