Captured by Fate. (First draft, unedited.)

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The kingdom in the clouds.

Cairo.

Samaria Attia.

My blood tie.

The very first in my long existence.

And she doesn’t want me.

Or at least that’s what she’s telling herself.

Because the scent of her arousal, fills my lungs, putting me in a drunken stupor, each time she chances a peek in my direction.

But she’s broken... and I know that if I ever want to have a relationship with her... I’ll have to take it slow.

Patience has never been my strong suit, not when it comes to things that I want.

But I won’t pressure her...though, that doesn’t mean I can’t tease her a bit... right?

I lay beside Sam, in my bed, watching her sleep, and absentmindedly play with a lock of her hair.

The whisps lighting our tent, had dimmed in the early morning light, casting shadows around the room.

Illias and Ilani, move around outside our tent, muttering about my decision to take Sam in.

A prickle of irritation, nags at the back of my mind.

Ilani and Illias are my oldest and closest friends. We have been together since we were just, wet behind the ears kids.

But I would not tolerate their disrespect towards my future mate...if she decides to have me that is.

And frankly, given what I’d seen last night, Sam didn’t need their bull shit, on top of what she already had on her plate.

Rage boils up within me once more, as flashes of Sam’s memories flood back to the forefront of my mind.

I knew Rolan was evil, everyone knew.

But as things were, other kingdoms didn’t meddle with the affairs of their neighbors.

The prophecy changed everything.

But Rolan, should have been put down years before he ever had the chance to hurt Sam.

I would give my soul in exchange for just five minutes alone with him.

Oh the mischief I could conger in that time frame.

A shiver of delight runs through me at the thought.

I am not a violent man by nature, but I’m also not modest enough to feign weakness.

Given a good reason, I can and will become your darkest and deepest fear.

My arm tightens unwittingly, around Sam, and she snuggles closer to my chest in her slumber.

My eyes shift back to her sleeping face.

She’s absolutely breath taking, and my heart stutters once more at the sight of her.

With her hunger satisfied, and her life force returned to her.

It became painfully obvious just how gorgeous this woman is. Though if I’m being honest, I found her beautiful before.

Soft golden hair, splayed over her pillow in a halo of silk. She’d fallen asleep with her braid still intact. And I found great pleasure in unbinding it, before separating the damp woven locks.

Soft facial features, large, dark lashed eyes, and plump, reddened lips, mesmerize me...

I long to kiss her, but restrain my desire, running my thumb over her bottom lip instead.

Her body is just the right amount of curvy.

Sensual hips, and full breasts, punctuate her otherwise lean build.

And those legs.

Long and smooth, taunt me from under my cream shirt I’d given her to sleep in.

Unfortunately for me, Sam is a restless sleeper. And as such, the blankets separating us, had been kicked to the ground ages ago, leaving me with a full view.

In an attempt to maintain her modesty, and my sanity, I opt to toss a light fur pelt over her middle.

But that still left a sizable portion of those provocative legs out in the open.

I groan, pushing myself up from the bedding.

I need some fresh air.... maybe a dip in that pond.


“Well, glad to see you were not mauled in your sleep.” Ilani’s tone is light, but her eyes burn with mockery.

“Watch yourself, Ilani, Choose a different path, because you are barking up the wrong tree if you think I’m going to turn Sam away.” I reply, stretching my arms above me head.

The cold morning air, bites at my skin from under my cotton T shirt, and jeans.

Modern clothes may have been easier to don, but they certainly lacked the insulation more traditional wear provided.

“One night with her, and you are whipped into submission.” She huffs under her breath.

“Shut your trap, or you’ll catch flies.” Ilias yawns from his perch near the smoldering embers of last nights fire.

“I’m just being honest. Ghouls are the reason our kind are outcasts to begin with. And just when it looks like the Goddess may forgive us. You’ve brought one home on a silver platter. And to make things worse, we don’t know what to even expect from this girl. There has never been a Ghoul to live this long. She’s a time bomb, and you’re bringing her home like a stray puppy.” Her face is red as she speaks, her tone steadily rising.

I step forward, placing a hand on her shoulder.

“She’s my blood tie.” I leave out the part about only finding out she is my blood tie, after already bringing her back with me.

The camp goes eerily silent, with even the birds ceasing their song.

Ilias stands from his seat and walks over to join us.

“You’re positive?” He asks, his sister still shocked into silence.

“I wouldn’t say it were so, if I were not.”

“That’s impossible. S-she’s not even one of us.” Ilani stammers, shaking her head.

She flinches at my returning growl.

“The moment she was turned, she became a part of our kingdom. And I’ll tolerate no more of this disrespect towards her. Do I make myself clear.” I hate ordering my friends. But they have to know where I stand on this.

“Yes.” The two of them avoid eye contact with me, as they continue to break down the camp and pack it into a spacial ring.

Some Faye are known for the ability to conceal items within a rift they tear in space.

The rest of us must rely on the rings.

The stone acts as an unlimited void, where any item within a reasonable size, could be stored.

Still feeling to hot, my skin too tight, and my chest constricted, from my sleepless night and morning spent fantasizing, shamefully about Sam.

I make my way to the pond, strip down to my boxers, and dive straight in.

To my disappointment, the frigid waters do nothing to ease the fire, slowly burning in the pit of my stomach.

Or to calm my raging erection.

Shit.


Sam.


Samaria

Sam...?

SAM!

I shoot up in bed, momentarily confused to where I am.

With my eyes still heavy from sleep and sand, I scratch at my wild mess of hair.

Drool clings to my cheek in a flaky, dried, trail. And my body is heavy.

All in all.

I feel...

Rested.

No nightmares haunted my sleep.

Instead my dreams were filled with amber eyes and feather light kisses against my brow.

For the first time in what felt like forever, I feel... Alive.

What’s with the rude awakening, huh?

You were sleeping like the dead. And as much as I was enjoying the peace. I’m pretty sure that everyone else is already awake and packing.

I scan the room, finding no sign of Cairo. So with a deep, reluctant breath, I place my feet on the dirt floor, and stand, stretching my back, reveling in the small cracks that imitate from it.

A strangled sound coming from the tent entrance catches my attention.

Too late, I realized that in my stretching, my night shirt rode up just high enough to reveal my thighs and part of my—thankfully panty covered—who-ha.

And Cairo had witnessed everything.

His Adams Apple bobs visibly, and his eyes darken around the edges, as he stares me down.

His hair is wet and slicked back out of his eyes, judging from the way his shirt clings to his damp skin. it would be a fair assumption, to say he’d went for a swim.

“Good morning.” Seemingly regaining his senses, he makes his way to the chest at the foot of his bed.

“Did you sleep well?” He asks, pulling another shirt out, and handing it to me. “I’m sorry I don’t have any clothes in your size. And something told me that I’d be playing a dangerous game, if I asked to borrow any of Ilani’s.”

He wasn’t wrong.

I didn’t fancy the idea of prancing around in that woman’s clothes, anymore than I imagine she did.

Besides, the shirt is twice as big as the one I currently wear, so at least it will cover more of me.

“Uh yeah... this will be fine, thanks... and I slept great, h-how about you?” I trip over my words.

Why the hell am I feeling shy?

Smooth.

Hush.

“I couldn’t sleep.” His voice rumbles deep in his chest, as he fixes me with a playfully, accusatory look.

Taking a breath, I search for anything coherent to say.

Being near him is doing something crazy unhealthy to my blood pressure, and I’m finding it hard to think straight.

“Why not?” The question is breathy, sounding unfamiliar to my ears.

Cairo’s gaze travels my body, before finally coming to rest at my eyes.

“A beautiful woman was laying beside me-” He reaches his hand up, and grabs a lock of my hair. I’m just about to reply, when he adds. “Snoring.”

Ha!

Circe rolls with laughter.

Indignantly, I smack Cairo’s hand away.

“Funny. Let’s hope I don’t rupture your ear drums next time.” I scoff, missing my slip of the tongue.

Nothing got past Cairo, however.

“Next time?” His slow spreading grin, forced every drop of blood in my body to rush to my face.

Blushing too? Damn I’m off my game.

A change of subject seems appropriate right about now.

“So, anyways, when do we leave?” My fingers catch in my nested hair, as I attempt in vain to comb through it.

“May I?” Cairo asks, walking to the make shift vanity in the corner. He picks up a silver brush, engraved with small vines, and roses. And gestures for me to sit.

“Um, yeah... sure.” Unsure of myself, I walk over to one of the cushions on the floor, and plop.

He sits behind me, legs spread on either side of mine, and gently begins to brush my hair.

No one has brushed my hair since I was a child.... since my mother passed.

I hadn't realized just how much I missed the feeling of being cared for.

Aunt Allie had done her very best, but there are just some shoes that no one can ever fill.

My mother had set the bar far to high.

“To answer your question, we will be leaving as soon as you are ready.” He fingers run through a brushed out section, and finding no tangles, he moves to the next.

“I’m sorry if I’m holding everyone up... I haven’t slept that well in.... in longer than I can remember.” My ears burn, but Cairo continues his work without noting it.

Truth be told, I didn’t sleep well even before everything happened.

My dreams filled with memories of my parents, always ending the same.

In twisted metal.

Gas fumes.

And blood...

My fathers face as he locked eyes with me, the light in his gaze fading by the moment.

Until the eyes of the man who’d raised me.

Held my hand as I took my first steps.

Loved me unconditionally.

Stared back, dull and glossy.

“Don’t apologize for needing rest. Given your circumstances, it would be more surprising if you’d been up at the crack of dawn. I prefer you to be in your best health.” Finishing up his task, he effortlessly plaits my hair into a lose braid.

Then places a kiss to the top of my head and stands to his feet.

Reaching his hand down to me, I grasp it and allow him to pull me up.

I must say that I am... taken aback by this so called demon’s, tender and thoughtful nature.

Aren’t demons supposed to be vile, horrific, blood chilling creatures, ripped from the depths of hell?

I resent that.

You are the exception, not the rule.

Right, well then. It would seem that you have found another “exception.” A tasty one at that.

Are you drooling over his blood, or his body?

Can’t it be both?

You will be the death of me, Circe, mark my words.

At least it will be a fun ride to oblivion.

Whatever you say.


After I change into the longer shirt, and secured it at my waist with a belt, I join my new trio of comrades outside.

Ilani scowls at me, as we pack the remaining tent into what Cairo calls a spacial ring.

“Are you ready?” Cairo asks, stepping beside me.

He wraps his arm around my waist and tugs me to him.

Ilias and Ilani, side-eye me from their positions to the left of Cairo.

They don’t trust me.

And I don’t blame them.

Though I would never hurt any of them intentionally. I have no idea what I will do if I lose control again.

And after what happened last time I fed, I’m not too keen on popping open a vein and chilling with the boys.

Cairo could never see into my mind again.

I won’t allow it.

“As I’ll ever be, capt’n.” I give him my best, Girl Scout smile and salute.

He smiles softly, tightening his grip on my hip.

Ilani gags.

So naturally I stick my tongue out at her.

Be nice. We should try to be friends.

Says you. And she started it.

Can you see my eyes rolling? Would it kill you to be social. She might like us if we stop being so damn prickly. Our first impression with her was.... um... lacking.

Bah hum bug.

You are impossible.

Thank you.

It wasn’t a compliment.

Oh?

*snort*

I guess we are done talking? Yes? Fantastic.

Let’s be off then.” Ilias deadpans.

Without another word, the four of us transform, tumbling into smoke.

The sensation is even stranger now that I’m not blinder by hunger.

It’s as if all of my bones and muscles have lost their density, which I suppose, they had.

Even more curious than that however, was the way our vaporous bodies, mingled and intertwined, the edges of our forms, shifting at random.

The sensation sends shivers through me.

Ones that ripple into Cairo as well, or perhaps they were his, joining in with mine in a dance of tingling pleasure.

This blood tie was going to be harder to ignore than I thought it would be.

Thinking back to this morning, I find it difficult to remember why I don’t want this.

Oh right.

Because I’m ruined.

Broken.

A shell of myself.

And completely unfit to love anyone.

Especially not someone who is, by the minute, proving just how much he deserves to be loved.

He’s infatuated right now, because I am his first blood tie.

But that wonder will wane as he gets to know me, and the dark recesses of my soul.

For some reason, my chest constricts at the thought of falling short of Cairo’s expectations.

I don’t even know this man, why do I care?

Because you want to be loved as well.

Fuck me.

No thank you. But Cairo seems like he’s up for the challenge.

Hoe.

Brat.

Touché

Beside us, my gaze is drawn to our companions, as they shoot into the sky.

Flying against the dawn, as streaks of billowing smoke.

There is a slight shift in the air, and then we too, rocket skyward.

My mind empties of all other thoughts, instead focusing on the view.

Lush fields of green, brighter than any grass had right to be, roll and bend with the land scape.

Thick verdant forests, pepper the land, and are cut through by beautiful, glittering rivers.

The occasional lake or pond we pass, reflect the sky and clouds like a mirror.

At one point, we fly over a heard of deer-like creatures.

Their pelts a shimmering bronze that moved like a liquid over their frames as the ran.

Their antlers, twisting in every direction, seeming to grow from their narrow skulls like the branches of a bare tree in winter. Were an absolute black, that seemed to suck the light around them into their center, which then fed through the bone in hundreds of thousands of molecules that glittered, gold.

They Look like Living lava lamps!

I exclaimed excitedly to Circe.

Lava lamp?

Never mind.

I turn my attention back to the heard of ‘lava lamp deer.

That’s what I’m calling them, I don’t care what their actual name is.

As we travel, I realize something that hadn't occurred to me in my time here.

Alithia is breathtakingly beautiful.

We fly for what feels like an hour or more, before the horizon shifts to a crystalline blue, glittering in the afternoon sun.

I expect us to stop here, but we continue, soaring over the ocean, and into the skyline beyond.

Before I can ask “are we there yet.” like a five year old.

My eyes catch a large floating land mass in the distance.

No flipping way.

Is that an island.... in the sky?

I thought you were a demon. Shouldn’t you know what your kingdom looks like?

I’m an old soul. And as you already know. I have little memories from when I was alive.

Right. My bad.

Circe’s observation was spot on.

As we near the mass, I begin to discern the islands features.

To say it was a large chunk of land, is an understatement.

It could have easily swallowed Texas without chewing.

Surrounded on all sides by a thick forest, the floating kingdom sits within a cluster of clouds.

Streams of endless water pour from several rivers running over the edges around the entire island.

The rivers, dark blue and narrow in most places, weave through the land, giving it the appearance of having veins.

Each river connects at a huge lake, in the center of the island.

And in the center of that, sits a castle.

Dark stones make up its foundation, tall towers topped with flags, numerous large windows, and beautifully crafted gargoyles, make it look like it was plucked straight from a fairy tale.

Beyond the grand castle, over a bridge connecting it to the shore, lay a cozy looking village.

Cobble stone, brick homes, flower pots, the whole nine yards.

All in all. The demon court is nothing like I had expected.

It’s beautiful.

Disappointed at the lack of disemboweled enemy’s, in rivers of blood?

Something like that.

Circe’s soft chuckle is all she gives in reply.

Still circling the island, in what I realize is an effort to give Circe and I the best view.

Cairo speaks directly into my mind.

Welcome home, Sam.”



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