Zamora was shuddering. Even though she was wrapped in Salem’s arms, warm against the bed and his body, she still couldn’t feel safe.
After the event with Gryphon she had ran back to the village and crept into her shared home. She was thrilled when she laid beside the demon without having him wake up. Instead, Salem subconsciously reached out to grab onto Zamora and pull her tightly to him in his sleep. Though the angel always found immense comfort in his arms, the main emotion in her heart currently was fear. Fear for what would happen to Salem.
She then decided that she would go to see Gryphon in the morning. She had to get this over with, to end this deal. Then he would let her go. He had to.
Salem smiled as he stirred awake, his thick hair tousled. Light shined through the small window and reflected off his dark red eyes. “Good morning, angel.” Zamora curled next to him, feeling calmed and excited all at once. The angel traced the Salem’s large forearms, her heart racing as he breathed out and nuzzled closer.
Just as Zamora began to relax against Salem, memories of Gryphon filled her mind. “I have to go train,” Zamora quickly said, rising from the demon’s bed to grab her bow and arrows.
As Zamora began to leave, she was stopped by the demon. He had moved at an inhumane speed to stop her from leaving.
The angel gasped as Salem pinned her to the closed door, his arms caging her in. Zamora’s breath quickened, her weapons dropping to the floor with a crash as Salem stared her down with intensity.
The demon towered over her as she took in his distraught appearance. She had to look up to meet his gaze. At that moment, nothing had looked so terrifying, yet so beautiful in her life.
His dark brows furrowed, his lips bowing as his cat-like demonic eyes bore into the angel’s big amber ones.
“Why do you want to go train at such an early hour?” Salem’s voice was strained and controlled as he leaned down so that his lips were hovering over hers. Zamora subconsciously wrapped her arms around his neck to hold onto him. “I hope you aren’t going somewhere to see someone I don’t know about,” Salem spoke in his low, dangerous voice. Zamora would’ve retorted, would’ve asked why he would ask such a thing. But it was true, Zamora was going to see someone.
“Why should it matter if I was?” Zamora asked, her voice wavering at the end, caused by his unforgiving look. His entire body tensed, his eyes seeming to darken as the slits in his crimson eyes seemed to widen.
“Salem,” Zamora warned breathily when his head moved to her neck. Her body tingled with anticipation, his cool breath making her hyper aware of him. “It does. I said before that I would be the only one to love you like this. You’re my angel, Zamora. Mine. I love you too much to risk you running off. I don’t want to control everything you do, I trust you and want you to have free will. But I know how strong and relentless demons and even angels can be. I’m coming to train with you.”
Zamora shook her head in bewilderment. “No, you can’t come!” Thoughts of what Gryphon could do to him filled her mind. Terror coursed through her. “I can train later! I don’t have to go now!” Zamora was very aware of just how guilty she sounded, but that problem was miniscule to what could happen to Salem.
His eyes narrowed dangerously. “We’re going now,” Salem said, grabbing his scythe. Zamora reached down to get her own weapons and followed him out of the house.
As the two walked through the village, Zamora spotted Hotaru talking with Nessa. After a pleading look from Zamora, Hotaru knew she had to help. Hotaru knew too well of just how much the demon cared for the princess, and she needed to help her friend. “Salem, Zamora!” The two turned to Hotaru.
Zamora’s expression was one of relief while Salem’s was annoyed as he clutched his scythe harder in his palm. “What?” he barked.
“You two can’t go training right now. I need help with lighting the torches! Right, Nessa?” Hotaru internally slapped herself. What an awful excuse.
“Help with the torches? It is daylight, Hotaru and you only light torches when it is dark,” Nessa responded dryly.
So much for help from Hotaru, Zamora thought bitterly. At least she tried to help. For now, she had to keep a keen eye on Salem. If Gryphon found him…
Salem continued to lead Zamora to the gate, his boots stepping harshly on the short grass. “I’m not going,” Zamora protested once they made it to the cobble gates.
The demon scowled, then forced his features to smooth. “What are you hiding from me?” Salem finally asked, the desperation in his voice catching Zamora off guard. She again began to feel guilty.
“Salem, you know I love you more than anyone. There’s someone out there. I can’t say who, but there’s someone there, someone who I’ve met who wants you dead.”
The demon’s expression morphed into a look of both anger and despair. “Who? Did they do anything to you?”
“Gryphon,” Zamora answered softly. Salem’s crimson eyes widened before his look became murderous. He had heard of who Gryphon was. If Zamora was his long lost love, then who knows what he could want from her. Images and thoughts of what the demon could’ve already done to her plagued his mind.
“What did he do to you?” Salem asked, his voice oddly controlled. Zamora shook her head. “Salem, no.” Zamora’s voice was somehow condescending, yet sad. The demon’s body shook with apprehension.
“What did he do?” Salem repeated, his voice sounding on edge, his eyes beginning to darken slowly. A demon’s eyes could show his or her’s emotions. Fury was shown when a demon’s eyes blackened completely, giving them the appearance of a monster. He was slowly losing his control. If Gryphon had done anything to Zamora beyond speaking, Salem was going to lose it. The thought of her in the arms of another was so revolting and wrong to him, it was disgusting.
“He hasn’t done anything yet!” Zamora quickly assured. He had held her, but Salem didn’t need to know that.
Salem’s eyes faded back to red, though his expression was still furious. “I am going after him.”
The demon went through the gate, Zamora following shortly after him. The setting was now something like a desert. Endless land of dry sand and cactus lay ahead as Salem finally slowed down once they made it to a safe distance from the village.
Zamora caught up to him, panting. “Salem! What’s wrong?” The demon glanced around fervently, an anxious, fearful look in his eyes. “Stay next to me Zamora,” he said, holding her beside him.
The angel looked around until her eyes fell on some sort of demon standing a good few feet in front of them. It was a woman. A woman with dark brown eyes and snowy white hair, and a skin-tight black dress. In a second, she moved to their right. She moved faster than Zamora could keep up.
Something about this woman showed that she was an angel She circled the two until her russet eyes fell on Salem. A malicious grin adorned her beautiful face.
“I really wish I didn’t have to kill you, Salem. You’re such a beautiful demon. You put even Michael to shame.”
Zamora felt her anger spike at the woman’s breathy voice. Her hands lit with white flames as she prepared to fight.
Salem scowled at both the comment and the mention of Michael. He had to remind himself that Michael wasn’t of importance now. He had other concerns. Like Gryphon.
The woman blasted some soft of purple, toxic fire. Unaware of what could happen if the strange fire hit her, Zamora jumped out of the way and held onto her bow to fire a lit arrow.
Salem frowned as he got in front of Zamora. A fierce instinct to protect Zamora went through him as he wielded his scythe, the blade lighting with hellfire.
“What a vision,” the woman said, regarding the dangerous sight of Salem using his scythe, along with his masculine features. Salem grimaced. He wanted Zamora only. No matter how kind, how beautiful any woman was, he loved Zamora for her soul. And for that, her beauty shined inside and out.
He slashed the scythe through the air, creating a gust of sandy air and a trail of black fire her way. The snow-haired woman dodged and teleported in front of Salem. Her fists lit with purple fire as she attempted to hit Salem.
Each attempted punch was miraculously dodged as Salem moved to avoid every rapid hit. Though one attack of his scythe to the woman’s knees knocked her down.
Salem drank in the sight of her injured body, as a sadistic smile adorned his handsome face. He gripped the woman by the neck, ready to decapitate her.
Zamora rushed over, heaving. “Salem, wait!” The sound of his angel’s voice brought him out of his malicious thoughts.
The angel’s golden eyes met the woman’s dark, desperate orbs. “You’re such a kind angel,” she spat the words before her pale hand reached up, her fingernails turning clawlike. Her eyes darkened to a complete black.
“Salem, no!” Zamora shrieked when her claws sank into Salem’s clothed shin. The male demon fell to the ground, his vision turning white. In her fury, Zamora sent a blast of fire, successfully incinerating the mysterious woman. Her cremated ashes seemed to form an odd pattern before the strangely sank into the desert sand. Some sort of strange ‘m’ shape.
Zamora recognized it. Scorpio, the eighth sign.
The angel rushed and kneeled beside Salem, her heart wrenching as his skin noticeably paled. “Salem! Get up, please!” The angel desperately shook his body as tears sprang from her eyes. His body was so limp, so lifeless.
“I can heal him,” Zamora pulled Salem’s body protectively to her chest as she regarded the masculine voice near her. “Gryphon!”
The demon seemed to be frowning darkly at Zamora holding Salem to her, but he just shook his head. Metallic eyes settled on Zamora. She was desperate for help.
“If I heal him, you must come with me. Is that a deal, angel?” Zamora had barely listened to the ending. “Yes! Yes, please, I’ll do anything! I’ll go anywhere with you, just heal Salem!”
Gryphon smirked. As much as he hated Salem, it wouldn’t matter if he was alive or not. Where Gryphon was taking Zamora, the existence of Salem wouldn’t matter. He’d lock the angel away, so that you would truly be his only.
Gryphon’s grey eyes flashed an azure dark blue as he directed them to Salem. Almost instantly, Salem was groaning and shifting in Zamora’s arms. “Zamora?” he asked. The angel hugged him tightly. “I thought I lost you,” she whispered, running her hands through his hair, face, arms. Anything to prove to him that she was here.
Despite his extremely weak state, Salem managed to hug her back, rocking her in his arms. The entire sight displayed in front of Gryphon was making him near furious and disgusted.
“He will grow stronger soon. Are you coming with me now, Zamora?” Salem immediately pulled the angel closer to him, ignoring the way his body ached in pain from the action. Cold red eyes lowered on Gryphon.
“You agreed to come if I healed him,” Gryphon reminded. Salem shook his head as he pulled Zamora closer to him, glaring at Gryphon as hate filled his eyes. Salem was still weak, to the point where his mind couldn’t think properly. He could only say the one thing that was mainly on his mind as he held Zamora away from Gryphon. “Mine!”
Gryphon laughed bitterly. “Isn’t this sad?” With one swift move, Gryphon pulled Zamora from Salem’s lap and held her in his arms. Before he transported them away, he took one look at the fury and disdain in the healing demon’s slitted eyes. “Don’t touch her,” Salem got out, using every bit of his power to attack Gryphon. Salem had never hated someone more in that moment than Gryphon. He needed to protect her, protect his angel.
The last thing Zamora heard before Gryphon took her away was the anguished cry from her demon.