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The Wicked Entice-CH 39
Published Aug 15, 2015


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AlessaFaye

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Hi!!

Just wanted to say thank you for still reading, and sadly, this story is already ending, but I have a new one coming up. It's based in the same universe, and it'll have some familiar characters from this story so look out for it :)

XOXO Alessa

Hi!!

Just wanted to say thank you for still reading, and sadly, this story is already ending, but I have a new one coming up. It's based in the same universe, and it'll have some familiar characters from this story so look out for it :)

XOXO Alessa
"We have to go," I tell Shade. "You have to go. You can't be around me anymore. I should never have-"
"-we're going to be okay. We'll-"
"-Shade! You need to stay away from me! Look at what happened to Theo. Verin is here because of me. Now Abaddon knows about you, and I can't have you hurt too."
"The two of you should go. You need to leave before-" James stops talking and looks toward the front door. "Someone's here."
"How do you know that?" Shade asks as I focus my ears on the yelling outside. Maia was shouting to be let inside.
"I have placed protection spells around my home," James explains. "After Verin, I didn't want any more surprises and right now, there's a spirit trying to come in."
"It's Maia," I say as Shade's phone starts ringing.
He answers as I ask James if he could let Maia in. I first have to explain who she is, but Shade was now yelling at his sister on the other end of the line.
"But you're okay right? The two of you? How did he even-"
Blythe was saying that Maurice hadn't been alone. He, along with his company, hadn't given them a choice but to hand Ezra over. He had also let them know that he wanted them to pay for taking Ezra, but that he had orders to let the hunters go without a scratch.
"Orders from who?" Shade asks, but I didn't get a chance to overhear what Blythe says. Maia was screaming that I had to get away from Shade. I ask James to please let her in.
"I'm going to need some time," he says. "Why are you in such a hurry to get the spirit inside my house? She isn't in any danger."
"She's saying Shade is."
"I'm what?" Shade asks.
"Maia's saying you should go."
"Yeah, Blythe and Alec-"
"-I know. You should go."
"He's coming!" Maia screams and I run to the door with Shade right behind me.
"What do you think you're doing?" He holds on to my arm.
"You have to get out of here! Ezra is going to show up any second."
"He's here for me, and I want you to-"
"-I'm not going to let you go out there alone."
"I was going to ask you to watch my back, stupid," he answers, and I could've kissed him right then and there, but Maia's voice was suddenly besides me. James had taken off the spells.
I didn't have time to yell at him for doing something so stupid. Ezra could now easily come inside, now that the house was unprotected, but it wasn't like the vampire was given a choice to enter. While I had turned to James, Shade had stepped outside, and Maia screamed at me to do something. It had all happened so fast. By the time my brain had caught up with the fact that Shade wasn't right in front of me anymore, it was too late. My reaction matched Maia's. Neither of us could say a word. Ezra had managed to knock Shade out. His arm was around him, his hand pulling back Shade's neck to expose his throat. The vampire didn't say anything. He didn't smile. He didn't frown. He just stared. He patiently waited for me to take it all in. His fangs by Shade's throat, Shade unaware that his life was about to end, and that this was all my fault. Ezra wanted me to know that. He didn't care about Shade, he'd have killed him already. He wanted me to know that this was about me, what I was making him do, and that was terrifying, more than anything Abaddon could do. After all, I had never thought I could fall for Him, but I had thought I deserved Ezra. Because were the same. I held my breath, but a whimper escaped. Just like that, the Ezra I had first met was back. "I'm sorry." He still held onto Shade, and I swallow loudly. "He made me do it. He was going to kill me. I just wanted to talk to you."
"Do something, you idiot! Do something!" Maia shouts. I do the first thing that comes to mind.
"I-I know. Shade has a habit of rushing into this. Let's leave. Right now. You and me. Before he wakes up." I was talking too fast, and my heart was all over the place, but Ezra let Shade drop, and I try to smile.
"I knew you'd understand. I told Maurice he was wrong about you." Ezra says.
I nod, and somehow manage not to flinch as he turns into a blur coming straight for me.
Using my Nyquil powers hadn't even crossed my mind. Not when his cold, dead hands were on either side of my face. Not when those deadly sharp fangs were inches from my neck. It took all of me to smile back at him, and to look up into those empty eyes. Had there ever been anything behind them? How had I been so damn blind?
"Can we go?" I whisper.
"Just you and me?" He strokes my hair.
"Yes." Don't stutter. Don't cry. "Please take me away from here."
He grins, and I hold my breath as his lips come down on mine.
* * * * * * *
James was staring at me. I try to sit up, and he tells me to take it easy. "You might have a concussion. I already-"
"-Where's Meena?"
"The vampire took her."
"Where?" I stand and the spinning room forces me to sit back down.
"I told you to take it easy. The vampire hit your head, but Meena convinced him to leave. I shouldn't have taken the spells off, but how was I supposed to know there was a vampire after her?"
"Where did they go?" I'll deal with his stupidity later. Right now I had to find a way to Meena. If Ezra laid a finger on her...
"I don't know, but the spirit, Maia, is still here. She says that she'll find out where they went, but that you need to get back home to your sister and friend. They need you."
Blythe met me at the door, with Alec right behind her. "What happened to your head? Where's Meena? You said she was with you."
"Ezra took her. Are you guys okay? Maia said-"
"-Maia? Dude you need to get to a hospital," Alec says.
"Look, I was with James, the witch, Theo's dad. Theo isn't Theo anymore. He hasn't been himself for I don't know how long. There's a demon in his body, Verin. He's responsible for Maia. Maia's still here. She told James you guys needed me, but now I know that was just to get me out of there."
They glance at each other. "Don't worry about me. I'm okay. We need to find Meena."
"You just mentioned a demon. One of The Wicked." Blythe says, and Alec looks away from her accusing glare. "What have the two of you been hiding from me?"
We didn't have time for this, but I let Alec fill her in about Meena. Blythe reacted just as expected. She called us every name out there, and even made up some.
"Are you done?" I ask her.
She wasn't.
As quickly as I can, I answer her questions about everything and everyone. When she's up to speed she exhales, and nods. "Okay. Wow. Shade, you have her roommate's number?"
"Yeah. Meena gave it to me when-"
"-I really don't care why you have it. Call her up. Let her know I'm going to be dropping by for some of Meena's things. That she's staying over or whatever. Make something up as to why she couldn't call her herself. I'm going to one of the witches with her stuff, and have him do a tracking spell on her. I'll send another one over to get your head looked at. Got it?"
"Yeah."
"Good. And you," she turns to Alec, "I need you to go over to The Mother's. She babies you cookie boy, don't deny it, and if she's going to tell any of us what she knows about Shade and whatever's going on, she'll tell you. I need you to find out everything you can about him, about Abaddon, everything."
Alec nods. "Got it, babe."
* * * * * * *
"You lied to Shade." The witch says accusingly.
"Technically, you did. I just wanted him safe, and away from her. He should be with his family. Worried about them, not about her. And why aren't you agreeing with me? I shouldn't have to be explaining myself to you. If there's anyone who should be able to understand, it'd be you."
"I hated her father. Never really hated her. I protected her once, I came to see her as my own child."
"Uh huh. That's why Verin's here. Because you wanted Meena as your daughter-in-law."
"Why are you still here? Why didn't you leave with Shade if you claim to be so concerned about him?"
"I know a way to get your son back."
His eyes snap to me. It was eerie the way he and Verin, well Theo, looked so much alike. No wonder the half-breed had automatically trusted Theo. He had to have reminded her of her once shadowed protector.
"How are you going to do that? I've tried everything!"
"I know Verin. I never met your son, but I know how to make him strong enough to force the demon out."
"And what do you want?"
Wasn't he the smart witch.
"I just need you to do something for me first. Then, I'll tell you what you need to know."
"No. You want to be brought back to life, and I can't do that."
"You know damn well you can! I can help you get your son back. And all you need is Bree's body. Verin never cared about her, but I know Theo-"
He shakes his head, the stubborn idiot. "James, I know you can bring me back if you want to. I've heard of witches doing it before."
"Then those witches didn't have anybody to lose. To bring someone to life, means losing the life of a loved one. Even if this wasn't a problem, you'd need your body for this to work. Where's your body, Maia?"
I clench my fists. I'd give anything to be able to slap that knowing look off of his face.
"You drowned," he continues, as if that was news to me. "You weren't buried. You have no body."
"I know. The mermaids...I'm not saying I-"
"-you know what they eat. I can't help you return to life, but I can help you cross over. That's what you really want."
"Cross over?" I scoff.
"I can help you get over this anger you still have over Meena, over how your life ended. I know you're still angry that Shade chose her over you, and-"
"-you don't even know me! Who the hell do you think you are?"
"-they met, and fell in love. That kills you more than the fact that she's something he should've killed a long time ago. It's that he chose someone else over you. You need to let go of this pride."
"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!"
"Maia, this pride, this anger, it's what's stopping you from finding peace."
"Peace? I don't want peace! I want to be alive again. If you won't help me, I'll find someone who will. I don't care if that means I'll be in another body."
He looks at me incredulously and I smile. He really didn't know what I was capable of.
"You know what inhabiting a body as a spirit will do. You will burn out."
"That's not gonna happen. I'm strong enough. I'm not weak!"
"But you are," a voice calls out from the doorway.
James held his head in his hands, looking completely exhausted, and defeated. Verin looked as smug as ever. He smiled at me, not at all acknowledging that he was responsible for where I was, what I was, now. He still scared me but I refused to let him see that. The last time hadn't ended too well for me.
"You're wrong," I tell him and he grins. I couldn't have ever really been in love with him. He'd pay for what he had done.
"Why don't you prove it?" He challenges.
"I don't have anything to prove to you."
"What's with the hostility? You were nicer to me when you were alive. And that's saying a lot. Ask anyone. Who really misses you?"
I turn away from him to tell James that we still have a lot to talk about.
"About you wanting to join us in the land of the living?" Verin laughs. "You can't just step into whatever body. You need a strong, uninhabited one. One where the owner long stepped out. But where to find one?"
"As if you really want to help me."
"But I do. I feel just terrible about your untimely death, and there's also Carreau getting on my nerves."
At the mention of the demon's name, James looks up, and Verin's eyes darts from his to mine.
"We're all on the same page now. I'll call the little demon over, you hop into Bree's body, and in return, you do me one teeny, tiny little favor."
"What favor?" It didn't matter really. I was going to get what I wanted.
"What led you running to me in the first place. You want Shade, with Meena out of the picture. I want Meena, with Shade out of the picture. I'm going to need you back in all our lives, alive, for what I have planned. Deal?"
"I won't burn out?"
"Weren't you just telling James that you could handle it? Anyway, it doesn't matter. You won't burn out if I make you a demon. I'm not promising anything, though. You might not even survive the transformation. But that's nothing your pretty little head should be worried about. You're strong enough, aren't you?"
* * * * * * *
If looks could kill...
Maurice hadn't taken his eyes off of me since the second Ezra had placed me on my feet in what must've been his room in his mentor's mansion. Not that he had exactly made himself at home. The only piece of furniture that had been used was the bed that Maurice had been sitting on, waiting. He knew that Ezra would do exactly what he had been told not to do. Ezra was now arguing with the elder vampire about how it had been Shade's fault, that I had nothing to do with it because I wanted to be with him. Maurice wasn't buying it. He had already warned me that he had given his vampires orders incase I tried to knock him or Ezra unconscious. They were free to suck me dry. I didn't want to end up like a Capri Sun, but I had been thinking of what to make them do. They weren't aware that I could command them to do anything without raising a finger, but Maurice had threatened Shade, his family, and mine.
I hadn't had many chances to test my abilities out on vampires, and after the threats came, I didn't want to risk anyone. What if I couldn't do anything and they realized I had tried to do something? For now, it was better to cooperate, and convince Ezra I was falling in love with him, if not in love already. Maurice walks across the room, and says he'll be within earshot. "In other words, don't try anything little girl."
"I wouldn't. I trust Ezra." I say, attempting to look as innocent as I could. I had been told all my life I was a bit doe-eyed, and now was the time to take advantage of it. The elder vampire leaves, and as offended as I am that I had effectively managed to look like a clueless idiot, I was now alone with Ezra, and I was terrified.
"He worries too much," the deranged vampire smiles.
I nod. At least when Maurice had been here, if Ezra had gotten out of control, he would've been stopped. If Ezra hulked out on me, I'd be forced to do something, and that meant that someone I cared about, including myself, would pay for it.
"Are you okay? You're not scared of Maurice are you? I won't let him hurt you."
"I know. I'm safe with you."
"Then why did you leave with the hunter so easily? Why do you do what he says? Didn't he hurt you?" His face hardens. "Do you enjoy being hurt?"
I squeak out a "no" and my stomach drops. He was starting to look amused. He was finding this whole situation entertaining.
"I'm just, just confused all the time," I say. This innocent, helpless routine had worked on Verin once, why not on Ezra too?
"Confused? About what?" He asks, tilting his head to one side. "About me?"
Oh no. He was getting angry now.
"Of course not! You're the only thing, the only one, I'm sure about. I know I can trust you. I know you care about me. I care about you too."
"You do? Why?"
"Because you're a good person and-"
"-I'm a vampire. I'm not a human anymore."
"But you're not only a vampire. You're caring, and sweet, and since we met-Ezra, what vampire is like you? You're not human anymore, but that doesn't matter to me."
He takes a step towards me, and smiles. "You're not human either. Not exactly."
"I know. We're a lot alike, aren't we? We need to stick together. Others just don't understand."
"Understand what?" He takes another step.
"That I love you," I blurt out.
He stops dead in his tracks, excuse the pun. "You love me? You've never told me that before."
"I, I was scared you didn't feel the same way."
"Scared? I mean, I've never had anyone tell me they love me, wait. That's not true. I had a-"he suddenly hits the sides of his head, and I force myself to not go running out of the room. The way his fists were coming down with such anger and strength, and he was doing this to himself.
"Everything's so confusing in here," he shouts. "I can't remember, but I remember. Maurice says it'll pass, but it doesn't, and now you tell me you love me, and she told me she loved me too but now she's gone and it was because-" he stops talking as if he hadn't been slamming his fists into his head a few seconds ago. "Are you going to leave me too? Are you scared of me?"
"N-no."
He tilts his head again, but this time as if he's listening to something. "Your heart says you're lying. Can you hear it? I guess you can't, but I can. Thump. Thump. Lie. Lie. Why are you lying? Am I scaring you?"
"I'm not scared," I quickly add, "I am, but not because of you."
"You're lying," he sounds so sad, so disappointed.
"I just wish I knew how to help you." That wasn't a lie.
"Help me? What makes you think I need help?"
"Do you love me?" I ask, attempting to distract him, and exhale as he blinks back at my question.
"Can a vampire love?"
"Maurice seems to think so. It's okay if you don't."
"I did love someone once. I loved her. I forget her name."
"That's okay. It'll-"
"-it's not okay! Don't you understand? I'll hurt you like I hurt her! And I can't even remember what it was that I did!" He rushes to me, and my back slams against the wall.
There was no where to go. He had me backed up into a corner, and I was cowering under him. Even if I had managed to escape his glare, all he had to do was snap his teeth. My face was just an inch from his. His cool breath had once excited me. There had been something pleasing about kissing those lips. Now the coldness only made me squirm.
"How can you say that it's okay I can remember that I had her love, when I can't remember her name? Or what she looks like? I want her back. I need her back. And I don't even know who she is. Don't say it's okay that I can't remember. I want to know how I hurt her. I need to know so that I won't hurt you in the same way. I will hurt you."
"S-sorry." My bottom lip quivers and I bite down, but it was helpless trying not to show I was afraid when he could hear, smell and feel it so clearly. The tears start to spill over, and he backs away.
"I'm not right, am I?"
I shake my head, and keep my eyes shut.
When I look at him again, he's standing across the room, his eyes darting from me to the floor.
"Maurice is going to keep me chained up. I belong locked away, don't I?"
"He can help you." I find my voice.
"I'm sorry. I didn't want to hurt you. I don't want to scare you, but I don't know what I am."
"You haven't hurt me or anyone," I remind him, and he meets my eyes.
"Are you sure about that?"
"What did you do?" I ask him, and he looks at me helplessly.
"I don't know. I can't remember. I want to, and I can't. I don't know who I am, but if I was made this way, it was because I deserved it. What did I do to deserve this? Was it because of her?"
"I don't know. I'm sorry."
"Maurice will help me?"
"Yes. Why don't you call him?"
"Okay, but I need you to know something first."
"What is it?"
"I can't love you. I'm sorry."
"It's okay," I give him a small smile.
"There's something wrong with me, and she's not here because of it."
"Ezra, just the fact that you're telling me you can't love me because you don't want to hurt me is proof that you're-"
"-you told me we needed to stick together because we were the same. If that's true, and I can't love you, then you can't love me either. You were just lying again. Why are you lying? Because you're scared of me?"
"You said you were going to call Maurice, remember? He can help." He was losing control again.
"I want to know why you're scared. If something like you is scared of me, then what am I? Are others scared of me too? Can I make them pay for taking her from me? Even if I can't remember who she is?"
That was it. I was at my wits end. I scream out for Maurice and Ezra doesn't even blink. Just stares. Two of Maurice's vampires came in to drag him away, and he went with them voluntarily, never taking his dead eyes off of me.
* * * * * * *
Maia asks me again where her new body is, and when she's getting here.
"I told you to be patient. You can manage to stay dead for a little while longer, can't you?" I tease and she rolls her eyes. I was going to enjoy never having to see that expression on her face again. I hadn't gotten her soul, still wasn't sure why that was, but at this point, I really didn't care. I wouldn't have to take and deliver souls to Abaddon for much longer.

Keep on dreaming.

Shut it, Theo.
"She must not be too good at following your orders. Maybe she's just busy, huh?" Maia says and I see James wince. I smile at him, and tell him that now would be a good time for him to away. He doesn't ask me why, just does as he's told, even as Maia calls him back.
"Where is he going?" She asks, and I shrug as we hear him start the car.
"He's in a bit of a rush isn't he?"

See? Don't say I never do anything for you. I sent your daddy away.
James sudden departure should've been clue enough that something wasn't right, but Maia was so hopeful. Or so blinded by the thought of having her way again that she didn't notice I hadn't made a single call to anyone since making the deal with her. All I needed to do was reach out and touch her. She'd be sucked into my body, and be Theo's cellmate while we waited for Abaddon to arrive. * * * * * * *
"What are you going to do to him?" I ask Maurice as he walks me out through the sitting area.
"Don't pretend like you care. You couldn't wait to get away from him."
"I do care. I knocked him out because I didn't want him hurting me or anyone else. The hunters wouldn't have had a choice but to-"
"-to do what they were going to do before I stopped them?"
"They were going to help him."
"And here I thought your stupidity had just been act."
"I want Ezra to get help, no matter what you may think. He wasn't like this when I met him, and he keeps getting worse. There's someone he keeps mentioning. A girlfriend or something-"
"-fiancée. Dead. Not undead dead, but in-the-ground dead. He thinks he was responsible for her death. I know what has to be done, little girl, and do tell the hunters that we are only keeping the peace out of respect for Him."
"Who?"
"Death of course. Tell the hunters that they won't find Ezra. They shouldn't waste their time on the newborn when there are so many running savagely throughout the city."
"You're going to chain him up aren't you?"
"You must learn to keep your nose out of other people's business. It's safer for you if you do, and if you keep your distance. I'll have my driver take you home," he says, opening the door. "Oh, and another thing: my people have their orders to kill you and those who you hold dear if you come after me or any of my children. Well, good night."
He gives me a push out the door, and it slams behind me.
I stumble onto the porch, and land on my hands and knees. Wincing as I pick myself up, I look towards the sky, wondering why the hell the sun never came up. I just wanted to get as far away from this night as possible. My phone wasn't in my pocket, and I needed to call Shade. I start running down the steps, until Maurice's driver blocks my path. "Oh, what the hell," I say, getting in the car. What else could go wrong tonight anyway? * * * * * * *
"Where are you calling me from? Are you okay?" I ask Meena over the phone.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I sto-borrowed a phone. What about you? Are you okay? Blythe and Alec? I'm so sorry I had to leave you. I needed to get Ezra away from everyone."
"You're worried about me? Idiot, you're the one that was taken by that insane vampire ex of yours. We couldn't get to you. Blythe tried to get a witch to do a tracking spell, but you being a demon must've been how you were blocking yourself. I couldn't even go inside Maurice's place. This damn witch came over and knocked me out with some herbs. Are you sure you're okay? Where are you?"
"Dude, I'm fine. Can you meet me with the mermaids?"
I almost drop my phone. "Why the hell do you want to meet with them?"
"Not with them. Just there. I think that'll be the last place anyone expects us to go. I need to talk to you. I talked to my parents before calling you, and someone came up. I know who can help."
"Okay, wait for me there. Be careful. I love you."
* * * * * * *
I stare at the phone screen long after he had hung up. Holy hell. Did he really just say that?
I forget to take off my shoes as I walk towards the water and sit on the sand. There were no mermaids around at the moment, or there might've been. I don't know. Shade loves me. My conversation with my parents from just a few minutes ago was slipping from my mind. I try to stay friends with the guy, and end up falling more for him.
"Is that smile for me?"
I shriek and Verin starts laughing. "Stop it. You're hurting Theo's feelings. He can't help the way he looks."
"What the hell are you doing here? What did you say about Theo?" I make to get up and he offers me a hand. "No way."
"Now you're just trying to hurt my feelings. You'll have to make it up to me. Don't give me that face. I just meant that we're going to have a little talk."
"How did you even find me?"
"I always know where you are."
"What do you want, Verin?"
"Well look at you. All up to speed."
"What do you want?" I repeat.
He gets down on one knee, and I scoff.
"Go to hell."
"Been there, done that. Come on. You're not even going to let me go through with the gesture?"
"Just tell me what you want."
"I'm trying to show you here. Look, I got you a ring and everything. Stolen, but I hear it's the thought that counts. So, what do you say? Help me overthrow Abaddon and Laima?"
"You want to do what? You're insane!"
* * * * * * *
My head was feeling better, and I was thankful for the witch that Blythe had sent over, but I had been useless while Meena had been trapped with Ezra. She was fine now, but I couldn't get to her quick enough. I was just walking to my front door when I remembered that I hadn't answered Alec's calls or texts. He had been trying to reach me at the same time Meena did, and in my hurry to get to her, I had forgotten Alec had gone with The Mother. His texts said he needed to talk to me. That he knew what it was about me that had scared The Mother. It wasn't something to be said through text, so by the third unanswered one, he just said to call him. I hadn't even begun to return his call when the knock at the door came. Should've known better than to answer it, but how was I supposed to know Death himself was behind it?
"Shade. Did I catch you at a bad time?" Abaddon enters without waiting for an invitation, and starts looking around the apartment with a smile.
"Yeah, I was on my way out. I'd ask you to join me, but nah. What do you want, Dominic?"
"I take it Meena mentioned our past."
"Well you did interrupt us while we were having a drink."
"I was told she'd be alone."
"What do you want with her?"
"You really see yourself as her protector", he laughs. "Do you know what she is?"
I sigh. How do you kick out Death?
"You know, at first, I didn't pay attention to the hunter my Meena had wrapped around her finger."
"Your Meena?"
"I thought it was funny, to be honest. A hunter falling for a supernatural, and not just any supernatural. A demon. One that was unaware of what she even was."
"You called her yours."
"It was Verin who made me take notice. You know how many times he would mention you by name? He was so eager for me to finally pay attention. He's always been a good little soldier, won't tell me what to do, but led me in the right direction. He pointed out how you were always around Meena. You weren't just falling for her, you were making her fall for you too. That's when it got annoying."
I had long since been ready to tell him to get the hell out, but like any bad guy ever, he was rambling on about himself, and the greatness he was.
"I had to track down your family history."
"And what did you find besides the origin of my awesomeness?"
"Let's start with your mother. Human. Had an affair, cheated on your half sister's father, and the man still raised you. Pathetic, but that's all in the past now. I found out that your mother, may she rest in peace, described her lover as being surrounded by darkness. Wasn't she clever with your name?"
"Why don't you get on with it? Why are you gracing me with the honor of your presence, oh great one?"
"Does Meena find impatience appealing?"
"Why are you here? And to add to that, how is it that I've seen you before tonight?"
He grins. "That's what I'm getting at. See, I made a few calls, asked my demons who had fathered a hunter, who was stupid enough to father anyone without my permission, but no one fessed up. No one wanted to come out and say he was your daddy. No one wanted to claim you. But you are one of mine."
"What are you talking about? I'm human. I'm a hunter."
"No, I'm afraid not. You're only half human. Have you sincerely never guessed you weren't normal? You were bitten by two different supernaturals, weren't you? Then why aren't you dead?"
"I don't believe you." Even to me, that sounded like a lie.
"Why would I lie to you? What could I gain from having you believe or not? I can make you do whatever I want to regardless of what you believe in. You're a half breed like Meena, like the one you claim to love. You know, this whole being half human thing is getting on my nerves. It's human nature to form bonds, to look for love. When I find your father, he'll have to be punished. As for you, well, it's time for you to remember what you are. You're a demon first, above all. I'm going to have fun with you, Shade. But first, I want you to take care of a little pest of mine."
I step away from him, and his smile widens.
"Get the hell out."
"Excellent choice of words. Sadly, no. I'll always be with you, and you'll learn to crave my company. You wanted to know where you knew me from? It comes with being a demon. You've just recognized who you answer to."
He doesn't give me a chance to respond, to even think. He closes the distance between us, and in a voice that echoes inside my head says, "this is to make you remember that you're mine to do as I please." His voice, his words, twist in me, seeming to want to pull me apart from the inside, and I shriek out in pain. My arms lock by my sides, and my body goes rigid. That might've been a little more bearable if I hadn't just gone blind. "You're mine, hunter." He was saying. The only reason I could hear Him through my screams was because the voice was still pulsating inside my head.
"...and when I order something, a demon, especially one that has just been freed from his humanity has to obey my orders. Will willingly obey. You won't want to disappoint me. And you loving Meena is a disappointment. Verin is a disappointment. I'm not happy, and I'm ordering you to fix that."
I open my new eyes.
He's gone.
But I have my orders.
* * * * * * *
"He's not going to show up," Verin says for the third time.
"Yeah, I heard you." Ripples continue expanding across the water, but not a single mermaid peaked out.
"They know what we are," Verin sighs. "We have things to talk about, important things, and all you care about is seeing a damn mermaid."
"Well maybe if you wouldn't have taken Ariel's soul they wouldn't have been scared away and I'd see a damn mermaid."
"Will you just forget about them?"
"I came here to see a mermaid, and to be alone with Shade. Instead you show up and-"
"-I'm getting sick and tired of the way you talk back to me."
"I really don't care. You're a demon, I'm a demon. What can you really do to me?"
He clenches his jaw, and I turn back to the water.
"You really want to know what happens to those that annoy me?" He asks and I shrug.
"If it doesn't involve pizza and/or chocolate cake, I'd rather not hear it."
"In Maia's case, I just handed her over to Abaddon. With you, I'm going to have to get more creative."
Now he really had my attention. "You didn't."
"Oh, I most definitely did."
"Why? Why couldn't you just leave her alone? Because you didn't get her the first time? She was ready to cross over."
"You're acting as if you care."
"I care because Shade does."
"Isn't that sweet. I did what I did because she was annoying. She had to go. No one will miss her anyway. She was selfish to the very end."
"I was getting through to her!"
"No you weren't. What do you think she was doing at Theo's house? She claims she was there to save Shade, but she never really loved him. It was more of wanting what she couldn't have. She had him, then she didn't, so she wanted him again. Very spoiled-"
"-whatever as long as she tried to keep him from getting hurt."
"As I was saying until you very rudely interrupted, she was there to talk to James. She claimed to know a way to help Theo get rid of me. She wouldn't tell James though. She wanted him to do something for her first. Want to guess what that was?"
"To be alive again."
"So not as dumb as you look? Good. Her plan was to get Bree's body, and get Carreau out of it. Seeing Bree take control again, Theo will awaken or something and would be strong enough to fight me because Maia had a theory that Theo had a thing for the wolf."
"Okay so you're saying that-"
"-what you're not understanding is that Maia knew Bree wasn't in her body anymore. Why don't you ever use your damn brain, Meena? She knew Bree had long since been with Abaddon. But she wasn't going to tell James that. She wanted James to bring her back to life, get what she wanted, and didn't care that she wouldn't go through with her end of the bargain. But James already knew this, so when I show up, he didn't hesitate in leaving her to me. He tried to help her to cross over, but she just didn't want to accept the idea that she wasn't going to get her way. See? I'm not so bad. I did it for you. I didn't want her bothering my fiancée no matter how stupid she is."
"I'm not your anything. The only reason you haven't handed me over to Abaddon is because you need me in your little rebellion against your master."
I didn't see his hand come down, but damn right I felt it. My cheek stung, it was tingling for a moment like how it feels when your foot falls asleep. He had slapped me so hard my face got warm and my eyes began to water. The tears just sort of stayed, waiting, pent up, long enough for me to realize that he hadn't even hesitated. He wasn't scared of having to answer to Abaddon, or anyone for that matter.
"I answer only to myself," he says, those caramel eyes had never hardened over that way when Theo had been in control of his own body. Verin claimed he was still in there, but there wasn't any sign of him. I hold the stinging side of my face, and try not to give Verin the satisfaction of seeing me cry. I had thought I had some sort of power over him. Abaddon wanting me had to have made me untouchable to everyone, but Verin would love nothing more than to show Him he didn't answer to Him anymore. This especially included hurting me.
"What am I going to do with you?" Verin mutters. "Abaddon had wanted me to train you, the demon that was raised as a human. The one who had been personally experiencing what it was like to be one of them. What makes them do the things they do. Why they fight, lose hope, sell their soul. You have so much potential and yet, you hold on to your humanity. You were so close to giving into what you really are, and one touch of a lousy soul, and you get scared. Yes, you learned how to mentally control humans and supernaturals, and even I felt that power thanks to Theo, but you use it to help them from hurting themselves or others. It's infuriating really, how much time it'll take me to make you understand what you really are. But we'll have an eternity for that. You won't be a failure like Laima was to Abaddon. Look at what that's gotten Him. Her betrayal." Where was Shade? Why hadn't he shown up? What had kept him? As I wipe away the damn tears with the back of my hands, and Verin continued to drive home the point that I was pathetic, and how he'd have to change all that, Shade finally appeared. I think I even managed to choke out a cry in relief and I wasted no time in running to him, but my run couldn't have been any slower. The damn sand, the damn shoes I had forgotten to take off, and the reassurance that he would make it all better just like he always did. I just needed to feel his arms around me, to know that I was safe.
It was only when I was a few feet from him, that I realized just how far away he really was.
This wasn't Shade.
Up until this point, Verin had been calling me back, asking where I was going, but seeing me stumble to a halt in front of his brother, made him burst into a mocking laugh. Shade hadn't even looked at him. He studied me the way Ezra had studied me when his fangs had been near Shade's throat. The accusing look-at-what-you're-making-me-do glare. Still like an idiot, I ask him what happened, foolishly hoping that there was a perfectly good reason why he was looking at me like that. Why it made my entire skin want to recoil away from him. Why he absolutely hated me when less than an hour ago he had told me he loved me. "He won't answer you anymore. I'm surprised he's even allowed to look at you." Verin was still grinning as he walked up to me. I ignore him and instead ask Shade what had happened.
"Abaddon finally claimed His son."
"What did He to do you?" I ask Shade.
"I told you, Abaddon finally woke him up. By reminding Shade of what he really is, a demon, one of my brothers, Shade has just received his orders. Care to take a guess at just what that is?"
"Shade, what did He to you?"
"Are you deaf? He won't talk to you. You're Abaddon's."
"You're not allowed to touch her unless He has ordered it." Shade finally opens his mouth, and his voice was harsher than it's ever been. Verin notices too.
"You're going to get on my nerves, aren't you? I might prefer you as the poor excuse of a hunter, trailing after a demon like a love sick puppy. Don't you know who I am? I'm Abaddon's second. I don't follow the usual rules that you and the lesser demons do."
"You mean you were his second. You've been ranked down."
Verin starts laughing again, but Shade's expression hadn't changed. I couldn't take seeing him like that. I make to touch him, to get him to snap out of whatever hold Abaddon has on him, but he steps away from my reach, and Verin only laughs louder.
"He doesn't feel anything for you anymore," he explains between breaths. "He hates you because Abaddon has you before him. He just wants His approval, and you're the one standing in his way. Just stop. It's sad."
I refuse to believe any of it.
Shade loves me.
Does he? He's a demon. You've been thinking it for a while now.
"What are you doing here?" Verin was looking at someone coming up behind me, and I turn to Bree's body almost skipping up to us.
"Shade invited me. Oh, hi Meena."
It was jarring, as I hoped it always will be when a demon was inhabiting the body of someone you had once known. Even more so when the demon had a way of making her voice, expressions and mannerisms...cute.
"Carreau, what do you mean invited you? You know you're not allowed to do anything without my permission." Verin was getting angry again.
"I needed her help...with something." Shade replies, and Carreau giggles, actually giggles.
"And you haven't been very nice to me, Verin. Not like Shade has."
"What are you talking about, you idiot? Abaddon just woke him up. I'm the one that found that body for you!"
"And she's very pretty," Carreau admires her manicured nails down to her strappy heels. "But Shade bought me a rose."
Verin and I spit out a "What?" in unison.
"It was a white rose. Pure and innocent, right Shade?"
Shade throws her one of his breath taking smiles, but it wasn't quite right. Carreau didn't seem to notice and beams up at him.
"Then we burned it," she smiles, "because there's nothing quite as fun as destroying things that are pure. It was really sweet of you to think of me when you saw the rose, Shade."
What the heck was going on? The way she was looking at him...if I didn't know any better, I'd say the demon had a crush. She was practically twirling her hair, tucking a strand behind her ear. Hell, she was blushing!
Verin and I exchange looks and when Shade sees this, he frowns.
"You're not allowed to look at what's Abaddon's," he tells Verin.
Unfortunately, Verin unleashed a string of profanity and didn't let me get a word in. Shade had just referred to me as Abaddon's property. Carreau's jaw drops at Verin's reaction and told him he wasn't supposed to speak that way to Abaddon's second.
"What did you just call him?" Verin spits out, and lunges for her.
Before he could lay a hand on her, she screams out and drops to the floor. Verin stops, and looks back at me with rage.
"I don't need you to get involved! She was mine to-"
"-I'm not doing anything! She's a demon! I can't control demons!" I yell back at him.
"Then why is she-" his glare is now on Shade. "You can't have that power."
Shade's eyes alone answer him. The gray in them had turned to silver, the whites darkened to black. These weren't demon eyes. He was something else. Verin was in denial that he was seeing the same thing I was. He was going on about how it had taken him hundreds of years to gain Abaddon's approval, and how Shade wasn't even in his thirties. He refused to believe that Abaddon would favor him so quickly.
Shade grins, blinks once, and his eyes were their smoky gray again. "As you said brother, I have my orders. Simple orders." He looks at me. "You need to come with me."
I hadn't managed to even make a sound. This wasn't Shade. This couldn't be him. Yes, he looked the same, talked the same, but this wasn't the one I was in love with. His eyes were...they had been...but they weren't just demon eyes.
"Don't even think about going with him. This isn't Shade anymore." Verin warns. "He's going to deliver you straight to Abaddon. Is that what you want? Because those are his orders. You can't be stupid enough to trust him."
"Shade? What's going on?"
He only repeats that I needed to go with him. "You saw what I did to Carreau. You saw how she felt about me. Don't make me force you to do anything Abaddon will punish me for later."
"Don't go with him, Meena." Verin says.
I look back and forth at the two demons. Verin, wearing Theo's face, was actually asking me to trust him. Despite what he thought, I wasn't stupid enough to do that. He had already slapped me just for saying something he hadn't wanted to hear, and yet he was asking me to trust him. That I was safer with him than I would be going with Shade. That it was in both of our best interest to stick together. Then there was Shade. After everything we've gone through, he ends up being more than a demon. He was under Abaddon's control. Abaddon came first above all, and He had given him more power than even Verin had. Shade had made Carreau fall for him. How the hell could a demon, or whatever he was, make a demon start having those feelings? Is that what he had done to me? Have I ever really been in control of my feelings when I'm with him?
Have I never really loved him then?
"You're thinking about this? Meena, why can't you see that I'm what's best for you right now?" Verin was getting impatient.
"Meena," Shade says. "You've always trusted me. Trust me again." He extends his hand.
How dare he? He knows damn well I've always taken it so easily. I always chose to believe him, to give him all of me so quickly.

"Screw you both," I say, and start running.

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#1loryram2Aug 16, 2015

HAHaha SO GOOD! I almost cry when the chapter ended! Just perfect!

#2freerealmsAug 16, 2015

I want to cry, celebrate, and laugh!

My Shade! My love Shade! Why did Death do this to yoooou! Baby come back to me! Baby come back to meeee! I do like the irony that your way more then a demon when just a few chapters ago you thought Meena being a demon was so bad. BUT I LOVED YOU LIKE THAT! If Shade's like this then my baby boo love will never happen! WHAAAAAAAAA! BABY COME BACK!

EVEN THOUGH I'M SAD I'M ALSO EXTREMELY HAPPY! MAIA IS FINALLY IN HELL! HER BODY HAS SUNK IN THE SEA OR WAS EATEN (her body being eaten just makes me happier) AND HER SOUL HAS FREAKIN FINALLY GONE WHERE IT BELONGS! VERIN MADE ME SO HAPPY WHEN HE DID THAT!

That's why I liked him up until the point where he SLAPPED MEENA! Meena I swear if I was you and he had slapped me I'd rip his smug grin off (I still don't care for Theo so the fact that it's his body wouldn't stop me) and FEED IT TO THE MERMAIDS! I don't care how much I like you! If you slap a woman I will END YOU! Touch Meena like that again and I will teach you what hell really is VERIN! -evil glare-

Meena I love your decision at the end! In situations like that best thing to do is to run for the hills. To bad for you is that YOU STILL GOT THEM DANG HEELS ON!! This is why I hate heels! A man's invention to keep a girl from running when she needs to! I curse heel! You better get some super speed real quick before Shade decides to turn some of his new gifts on you and then gets punished for it. Your response still cracked me up though.

ABADDON! YOU! ARE! AWESOME! I just can't hate death. I blame you for the loss of my Shade but I can't really get myself to hate you like I hate Maia or stop liking you like I did Verin. You can do evil that I can live with, learn to love, or straight up love. You never disappoint me and in fact part of me is rooting for you!

#3freerealmsAug 16, 2015

PS.
I like Ezra better the way he is now than when he was all sweet and innocent. Don't know why but I just do.

#4WintersmithVIPAug 16, 2015

I hoped Shade finally beats the hell \:D out of Verin(after he got out of Theo's body) or give his soul to Abaddon (do demons have a soul?). Can't wait to find out how this ends and yet I don't want this story to end at all. But I'm curious about your new story and I really hope that Alec is one of that characters!
Thanks for another great chapter!

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