[Part2] ⤀ 4] The Dastardly Lords of Angleton
[Part2] ⤀ 4] The Dastardly Lords of Angleton
1 week later
A week ago, my elbow had accidentally ‘knocked’ the candle that left Eros’ precious exotic wardrobe black, broken and axed into firewood the next day. I have to admit, Eros’ initial response directly after the fire was put out, confused me more than my own desire to confusehim.
Because that night, Eros slipped a silver necklace encrusted with rainbow opals under my shut door. It was clearly stolen loot from his travels but… my plan was to be sweet to him, so sweet he didn’t see my secret plan to foil his reputation across Angleton.
But Eros… Eros being sweet to me… that made me nervous. Not only was Eros sweet. He was calm. He was collected. He was out in the morning on business, paying relevant taxes with stolen goods, enchanting the Isle-folk into loving his piercing ocean blue gaze and his charming closed lip smile, to help hide his fangs.
Of course, I could not and did not want to leave the estate, despite Eros’ little suggestions that I was more than welcome to tag along.
Good morning Lily.
How are you today, Lily?
One liner statements, so polite, thrown at me while Eros walked by my rooms and pretended to be patient.
Yes. Patient. Sweet. Calm. Smooth.
My reaction? Silence once more. In front of everyone it was muteness. And I made sure Eros couldn’t corner me alone. I locked my door at night and during the day I stayed by Catherine or helped the poor slaves who were forced to run the estate. They were either willing slaves from other pirate ships that Lord Edwin had conquered at sea, or they were folk with no work, no home and sometimes from the same Asylum I apparently came from.
Yep. Eros had a fascination with the crazy mortals; he probably understood them better.
I sit now on the front porch at mid day, fanning my face on a lounge chair with a paper fan Eros had looted, and I sit with Catherine as she speaks in her one-way style.
“Oh, yes! Here comes the lanterns and bouquets and streamers… did you know we’re having the best cakes in town, including freshly roasted pig, turkey, salmon… oh, don’t get me started on Mr. Abrams Angleton salmon catches, Lilith, you must try some. Lord Edwin really does want to strike up quite the ball to find a wife.”
Um. I pause fanning my face.
What did Catherine just say? A wife?
I lift my wide brimmed hat, also free loot from Eros, to see a trailer full of party supplies, driven by donkeys, being led up the cobble drive. There is a live pig on the back. I guess it was soon to see slaughter. There is also a fancy carriage pulling up behind it.
I close my eyes and lean back, fanning my face more furiously.
Of course Lord Edwin was preparing a party... to find a wife.
“I’m even invited,” Catherine explains, “Oh… I’m going to try my luck, Lilith. Unless you mind… well…” when I don’t stop fanning my face, she assumes I do not care, “I have a new dress for the occasion. Blue pastel lace. I stitched it myself. You don’t mind if you dress yourself tonight, do you, Lilith? I do want to try and impress. This is my dream man we’re speaking about.”
And then I hear a cough.
A rough cough.
I blink open one eye to see a familiar face.
Bellus has arrived. He stands wearing proper tailored Lord’s clothes, a top tier tradesmen between the Main Land and the Topaz Isle. While Lord Edwin was known for sailing rough seas and surviving. All these sly Erebos had their fancy back stories and they all loved the attention.
“Perhaps you can entertain my guest?” Bellus growls low at me, “Lilith, Catherine… please meet my… very far removed cousin… Dareena.”
I look around for her and I seem to be staring straight past one of my sisters from the Island.
She just looks so utterly different, dolled up like a… well, a practical doll. The corset she wears looks extremely tight, while she wears a frilly knee length dress and riding boots. Her midnight hair is curled into a giant waterfall and her face is as starkly off-set white with pink blush, like mine.
“Hello. Lily,” Darya speaks dryly, a thin patience clearly evident, “Um… hello?”
“Oh, darling, she doesn’t talk,” Catherine murmurs in explanation.
“I’ve heard her speak well enough,” Darya snaps and Bellus lets out a hiss between his teeth.
“Be quiet, Dareena, don’t speak with that tone; women on this Isle know not to speak with such harshness about them, it’s not feminine,” Bellus adopts the mortal’s language, even though I know he couldn’t’ give too fucks about it. He was a carefree Clan General, who enjoyed pretending to be civil.
Darya is quite aware of this and doesn’t even flinch or blink, while I observe the visible tiny puncture marks left on her neck from, no doubt, many ravaging nights with Bellus, Eros’ second who was left behind while Eros evaded everyone on his own merry journey on the seas for half a damn year.
“Sit with the ladies and don’t… stray,” Bellus kisses Darya’s head of curls and she sucks in a deep breath, only letting it out when Bellus finally turns and enters the front door, leaving her with us.
“Do you mind if I talk to Lily alone?” Darya asks Catherine, “She’s an old friend.”
“Her name is Lilith, isn’t it? And I don’t mind, not at all… yet I assure you… I have not heard a word leave Lilith’s lips since she arrived 6 months ago,” Cathrine is flustered, confused and feeling pushed out as she jumps to her feet, flattening her worker’s dress and hurrying off with a tear in her eye.
Darya eyes off Catherine and then stands in front of me, watching me lounged out, waiting for me to speak.
“You really are mute now?” Darya asks, both curious and a little distressed as she sits on Catherine’s chair and watches me, “I don’t blame you. I’ve been locked in a bedroom for 6 months until this morning. Chained like a dog,” Darya whispers it, “Bellus insisted it needed to be done for my own safety after I attempted to swim back to Belle Island… I can’t out swim an Erebos... Bell made damn sure I never forgot it... did you attempt to escape too?”
I look around and no one is close enough to listen in, so I reply, “Escape? To what? Sacrifice and death?” I whisper it and sigh, closing my eyes, “I have other priorities right now.”
“Ruin,” I whisper this even more quietly, peeking out one eye as I hear a familiar tone and the crunch of heavy boots.
“Oh, have mercy on our souls, here comes the dastardly turncoathimself, I heard he returned, I didn’t believe it,” Darya growls under her breath, “Look at his smug face as the mortals tag along behind. I guess this Isle is rather entertaining for Erebos monsters, wouldn’t you agree, Lily?”
“One moment,” I sit up and stand, flattening out my pink day dress as I flounce to the front porch and smile and hold onto a pillar, blatantly giving approaching Lord Edwin a very feminine and perfect courtesy, bowing my head to fake shyness, “Welcome home, my Lord Edwin.”
Eros jumps up the three steps in one lunge and stops in front of my courtesy and Darya’s glare.
“Can either of you smell the change in the air? A sweet amber, for romance. We’re about to have so much fun tonight... strange creature, you look so down, Dareena,” Eros chuckles low and deep, so no one else can hear but us.
“What is this party about?” Darya asks, coldly, “Betrayer.”
Eros doesn’t even react.
“I bought all the Darvs gifts... Dareena, here is yours,” Eros reaches into his pocket and pulls out a simple chain of gold, throwing it at her, “Enjoy –”
“Darvs… as in multiple… are all our sisters going to be present tonight?” Darya inquires, suddenly hopeful.
“Now, now, don’t be a half-wit, you answered your own question, Dareena,” Eros reaches into his pocket and faces me next. I watch, smiling softly.
“A gift for me, Lord Edwin?” I ask, faking every bit and not caring that he knows it.
“Tonight is about love,” Eros holds up a love shaped locket with the picture of a mermaid embedded behind glass. She’s obviously naked, tits out, tail curved… “I drew it myself and had it set behind glass for you, sweet Lilith. I had inspiration from memory, I’m sure you know what kind,” Eros hands me the necklace and I can’t help but reach out to take it.
As Eros stalks inside, snarling Bellus’s name gleefully, I glance at the locket and the picture he drew.
It’s inked perfectly, the lines too precise. I saw him working on something this week occasionally at night but I never thought it was anything of interest.
But... Eros drew me.
“Gifts?” Darya asks, “What is he, trying to win your tail?”
“You know he has had my tail before, I don’t know what he’s up to now,” I admit, pursing my lips, staring at my picture, “This is the most tacky thing I’ve ever seen, but boy… it worries me, Darya.”
“Dareena,” she adopts my fake tone and picks up my fan, pretending to act the part.
“You seem rather… happy now,” I speak while shoving the necklace and the locket between my breasts, out of sight.
“If our sisters are coming tonight, we have a chance to unite, speak and plan… for our freedom,” Darya whispers it and as she does so, I approach her, picking up her hand and leaning down to look into her eyes.
She needed to know my plan so she didn’t get the wrong idea.
“I don’t care for freedom any longer, Darya, only revenge, but I fully support you in saving the others from the Erebos on this Isle and the Main Land. If you can organise something, I’m happy to act my part but I will not go with you, if you all manage to escape their fangs… I simply cannot follow…”
“Why?” Darya leans forward also, “We are stronger together –”
“I’m content at Edwin’s Estate. I only desire for him to feel pain, the way he made me feel pain at his betrayal. He lied to me about everything by telling me nothing. That night was the worst. My own mate betrayed me. I am hell bent on ruining Lord Edwin’s reputation.”
“How are you going to do it, Lily, and how can I help?” Darya smiles sympathetically, playing along for the moment.
“I’m going to smile for Eros, while I slowly burn the comfortable life he’s built, this Estate, this fake life, his crew’s loyalty, his ship. I have many targets and until I’m done, I don’t care for freedom. I need Eros to learn about consequences from selfish impulsive decisions. I need him to suffer for what he’s done.”
“Lily, that’s… all very evil,” Darya gulps, “But at the same time…”
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand. I’ve never been able to show Eros…truly, the way it’s all impacted me,” I try to explain, “I have feelings too. He hurt and he pretended I was nothing of concern. Eros is going to get what’s coming to him. I will not be his slave. I will be his demise. I will destroy him, Darya – until he’s nothing but an Erebos in his tail. This mortal life doesn’t belong to him anyway. He is a full predator that belongs in the Deep, facing his nature without pretending to be... so damn perfect, through a damn facade while living a life on land.”
“I love your passion but you need to calm down,” Darya whispers, unconvinced.
I pull my hand from hers and I straighten, “What else can I do, if not fight for the truth?”
“I don’t know Lily. But don’t suffer alone. Don’t let him debase you to his level.”
“I disagree. We all have Erebos blood. A part of us is solitary and vile. Maybe it’s time we harnessed that side of us, Darya. We can be monsters too. When it’s necessary. And after what’s happened to us; it is necessary,” I turn and storm off, feeling both silly and stupid yet righteous.
My chest caves in on itself with the burden of my own depressive, violent thoughts.
I head straight around the Estate, even as the chill wind makes goose bumps cover my bare arms.
I slow my walk to the beach and the sand, where I find a boulder and I sit on top, hugging my knees.
I take out the locket from my between my breasts and I take a look at Eros’ drawing of me.
Fangs popping as small canines. I’m curled around a boulder, my back showing as my head lays back, neck arched, mouth open. It’s a powerful pose.
The water is drawn the same colour as his eyes.
He is the water around me while I’m secluded and stuck seductively on a rock. Roaring at the sky. Like a half-wit quarter-Siren. Tits out and a little bit fuller than my own. Stupid Eel. I ball up the locket in my fist. I’d show Lord Edwin what I felt about his stupid gifts –
I stand up off the boulder and I strut across the sand, angling my arm back, ready to toss it as far as I can into the water.
It almost slips from my fingers so I lower my hand, catching it before it falls to the sand.
Mindlessly, I turn back to the boulder. I walk up to it and dig a hole under a specific nook in the sand, placing it in and burying it.
I wouldn’t come back for it.
So why didn’t I just toss it into the water where it would be lost forever -?
I try not to think about my last second decision.
I head back to the Estate, blushing for no particular reason, and I decide to spend the afternoon in my room, plotting for the party ahead.