The Quiet One.
A month ago...
Cynrick strolls through my doors, his massive frame filling my gaze in familiar shadow. I peer at him searchingly. “Cynrick?” He drops a book down at my desk. It is some dusty tome that natters on about Trollish crap that has absolutely nothing to do with me. I reach across to flip it open indulgently. It is completely in trollish.
“Did you want me to read you a bedtime story, Cynrick?” I cannot help but smile at his annoyed expression.
“This is what she was reading in the library,” he mumbles around the perpetual cigarette that dangles from his mouth. I can feel my brow arching in response to the statement. I peer at the title, it is a jumbled language that is clearly not known to me.
“Who, Gabby?” I can feel my eyes bulge slightly, concern and humor mixing at the contents of the book.
“No, Zalinara, the warlock that is living with us,” supplies Cynrick, jabbing his index finger towards the book. “She is reorganizing the library,”
“You invited her,” I remind him with a bemused look.
“I can't crack her easily and what's more, I don't have time. Something's off about her.” Cynrick replies, leaning his hip against my desk.
I can already see where this is going. I feel my temple pound in response to another of Cynrick's brilliant plans that suddenly I am required to carry through.
“Ms. Brightwind is an intelligent, charming young woman. You could do worse for companionship,” I reply, pushing the book back towards him slowly.
He stops my progress with long blunt fingertips. The book stills. I glare at his interference.
“There's something there in that half-possessed college student,” he stares at me.
“Indeed,” I sigh, dragging the book back to my side of the desk with foreboding more then reluctance. My plate was stupidly full. I flip idly through the dirty pages.
I enjoy my memory of smearing ink over her cheek.
I feel that leap of creativity blossom in me. I slowly close the book.
“I am beginning to feel like a bastard of the highest quality,” I reply with a sardonic smile.
Cynrick snorts, rising up to head towards the office door. “Well aren't you Darroc?” My brother strolls out my office door.
Those words come back to me as Zalinara hangs from the hook in my art room.
I had been infuriatingly patient.
I had stolen as much as she was perhaps able to offer at the time.
I knew some of her dirty secrets and I rewarded her for her honesty with pleasure. I gifted her with that affection that she begged of me with her hungry crazy eyes and stuttering lips.
I like hearing her beg. She plays so many games, it is good to hear a measure of truth spill from her horrified lips.
Something in that proud frame of hers deserved to bend.
With me she would. I was a bastard.
I lower her back to the floor, gently unlacing the ties that hold her. Her eyes widened with the depth of how far I went. Her body trembling in relief that I have stopped my inquisition.
She had watched me chase her to the end of the line. The room stunk of that bitter Fel. Her half-truthful cries for me to stop still ring in my ears.
“Crazy lord, why did you let me?” Ixinane's voice whispers in my ear in memory.
I am not like the others she has known. I give for all that I take.
I collect the quills that are filled with a wash of her blood. I had a sneaking suspicion but I had to be sure.
And I was right.
She was ours.
She was of the blood.
She was of the Pact.
A part of me hated how right I was. A part of me felt an acute disappointment. Cynrick's words tumble back to me in memory. “You are not short of company, just welcomed company,”
Every single woman in my life bound. None of them escape the silent chains of this pact, except one.
The most dangerous one. The one who begs me to blur her paintings and makes soft mewling sounds of delight at my every move. She shouldn't matter. She should be an means to an end. But she was different.
A difference that would probably kill me.
I cannot sleep.
Embraelle had left hours ago and yet Zalinara still remains. I suspect she always will. There is something broken in her and I piece together that tapestry with gentle hands that are stained in the violence she has come to accept.
"You are blood. That blood calls to me. Whatever the fuck you are now, you serve me. This body you inhabit belongs to me. And I intend to make sure you never die. I will bring you back again and again, if it serves my purposes. We're not exactly short on warlocks, if you hadn't noticed." I had claimed her. I knew it. She knew it. There was no fucking point in disputing it and she was an interesting girl; when she wasn't trying to kill me.
I can feel her thin frame besides me in the bed. It barely dips under her petite frame. She was sultry, bitter and reluctant in her need of me. It is in the dim hours of the night. I turn to stare at her thoughtfully. I wonder if she dreams of the Void. Her lashes move involuntarily in sleep. She was worried even now. She hated worrying. She hated the emotions that this pact tugged free from her. Like me, before this she had felt nothing. Now, the longings and cravings I have feel exaggerated and they take on a life of their own.
I had taken to confiding in her. This is not necessarily a good idea. If she ever figures out a way to betray me, I know she will. But I knew her secrets as well. I milked them from her in a swath of blood and uncompromising violence. She responded well to that and as such she was a constant presence now. I do not know why she chose me and not Cynrick. I suspect it is because of that Bellamorte broad.
I find myself staring at her mask, my fingers itching to trace over her relaxed brow. I felt a surge of excitement. My heart pounding when I think of the things I know now. She was trapped with me. Whatever came of that ritual was bound in flesh and blood that belonged to my family. It makes my inner predator scream. I resist the urge to climb atop of her sleeping form and give her more of my hateful attentions.
My grin broadens despite myself and I have a feeling that at any moment she will cock open one glaring eye from out of a deep sleep and call me an idiot. I like her. I really like her for all the reasons I should mistrust her. But then again, what did I know? I was just a Stupid Lord. Besides, Lina was right.
We had much to do if we wanted this to all come to fruition. I should sleep, but I cannot.
Yet, all I see when I sleep is Dante. She haunts my thoughts and I can find no peace here.
There is no dreaming for me in this place.
There is only the pact.