There is light a flash engulfing darkness overwhelming stillness absolute silent Time is frozen. I am frozen. Or do I exist anymore at all? I do not know All I have is this thought I am I am here somewhere nowhere everywhere or Am I the thought that someone else is having? You are You are there and so am I A pop a flash then there is light blank soft light Everyone is gone but I am not alone. . . . . . from By Moonlight: A Post Apocalyptic Fairy Tale by Q. Lenise Lee. Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.
…I do not dream.
I have never dreamed. If I did so as a young boy, I no longer hold those memories anywhere in my mind.
Even when I was still like the others, trapped between the chains of the dusk and dawn, I did not sleep. I prowled. I wandered. I tormented and tortured. I stalked. I fed the pleasures of my flesh. I starved the want of my soul. Because it was my destiny, it was my right, it was my heritage.. or at least, that is what I had been taught.
During those long, dull hours, just after the sun touched the sky and before the howling packs were set free after twilight, I roamed the castle halls.. In search of.. I had no idea what.. I did not hunger.. for food, anyway… I did not need sexual gratification, but I would take it if the thought plucked my mind.. most of all, I did not sleep. My handlers, Mother and Father, ensured that I was always always ALWAYS at my prime. In peak physical and mental condition at all times. When I was a boy, a lashing for every time my eyelids fluttered close. They watched watched WATCHED me constantly. Looking for any flaw or any reason to punish me. Training. That’s what they called it. For what glory is to come. When the dark ones return. But it was just relentless torment of a child who become a monster. A monster who needed to feed on… whatever his wicked heart desired.. until. That night.
The moment she burst through the doors, running from some unknown creature of the night… I sensed her… I smelled her… I craved her… I knew she belonged to me. It was a rush more intense than anything I had every experienced. It was the most perfect moment I had ever felt. The pull of destiny.
She fought. She fled. She didn’t back down from the strength of my former… companion… There was no fear in her. Even with death’s blade barreling down upon her, she was already a true queen, ready to face the end with eyes open, a brave heart, and a steady hand.
I do not sleep.
Yet, here I am. In a dream. Shay’s dream.
The feeling is uncomfortable. Surreal. Not being in control. I am always in control. Except that is no longer true.
My will is no longer my own. It is hers. To protect her. To watch over her. To follow wherever she leads. I am hers, more than she is mine. Is this what the ancients called, Love?
I have no time to contemplate this question. We are not alone.
Though all is ink dark on every side, I know they are there. I can see them; even though they are the unseeable ones. No mortal may lay eyes upon them. But I am no mortal. I never have been. I am something new. I am what they had hoped to spawn. For untold eons, my arrival was foretold. Yet, I am not what they had expected. I am a disappointment. I can sense their anger… and fear. My potential has been wasted. My purity tainted. Because of… her. They loathe… and fear… her for what she has done to me. She has turned my vision away from them and on to something more. Something outside of their control and influence. My eyes are looking at the dawn, but not their dawn. Hers. And those like her.
I am five steps behind her. She does not know I am here. But she does sense their presence.
They circle. They plot. They watch for a moment of attack. But they cannot.
She is more powerful than they had anticipated. They come so near, only to have to retreat. She… or something else… is blocking their path.
And then. Then it arrives. Descending like a raging storm. They all shriek and fall back. They know not to interfere. They have done their best, it will do the rest. It will end her.
On instinct, I react. My heartrate accelerates. I feel my pupils dialate. My body begins its change. The change that was once the harbinger of doom for all that lay unfortuneately in my sphere. But I am no longer confident. Is this transformation to harm? Or to help? But harm who? Help who? The answer is no longer clear. I am no longer their servant, so is my change to fight it? Or assist its deadly rampage, about to break a terrible wave upon Shay?
I would never harm her. Never.
I will myself to choose. Choose now. Choose who I will serve. Choose who I will… Love.
I chose her over all else before. I can…I will… do so now.
I will fight. I will die, if need be, for her.
The air turns dark… much darker than before. An electric rage swirls around us.
It is closing in. She stops moving, and so do I. We do all things in sync. It is an instinct we have now, undeniable, and unchanging.
I move my arms forward. I am trying to grab her. Pull her back, behind me. Although I know we are strongest when we fight together. It is my own instinct to want to protect her, to take on the hardest hit from this storm first.
But I cannot reach her. She is only five steps in front of me, but in this nightscape it may as well be five hundred.
The atmosphere charges to its highest peak. Our thoughts are one. She is not ready. She cannot stand against this enemy. Perhaps later. But not now…. I can. Because I was spawned from the will of this creature. But I cannot position myself to save her.
My heart syncs. My muscles tighten. My nails dig deep into the palms of my fists. I feel my teeth grinding down hard.
I cannot save her. And this is the first time, ever in my life, when I am afraid.
The world around us goes motionless, soundless.
A grey dawn descends.
Shay and I are whipped from the nightmare.
Remember these things.
The message is for her. I think. I am not sure. Are they speaking to me also?
My eyes blink open. Dusk is rapidly descending. The monsters will be on the move soon.
And then I think… Where are the children?
From By Moonlight : An Apocalyptic Fairytale by Lenise Lee
Copyright Lenise Lee Pubn, All Rights Reserved.
Ruin and rumble.
On all sides. In all directions.
That was all the pair could see.
They stood, surveying the carnage which they had created.
But that was now.
A moment ago they were huddled together beneath the heap of heavy rocks and dust that had once been a dark castle on a black hill. They were protected from the immense weight of the pile by the energy bubble they had forged at the very last moment.
The moment when they, in unison – as they would always be from this point forward – realized that they were more powerful together than apart.
When the great revelation finally came upon them, and then manifested itself.
Shalise and Ethaniel were the most powerful beings in this universe. They always had been and always would be, but only when they were One.
Hands still clasped together, fingers interwoven – her cocoa ones twining through his pale ones – they breathed, again as a single force, slow…deep…purposeful breaths.
This was not a victory. It was only a beginning.
They had ended the dark reign of those who had dwelled within the walls now laid flat. Yet there was so much more to do. Ethan’s father and mother were not dead. They had merely removed themselves from danger. He could sense that – very clearly – and, by default, so could Shay. They were not near. The sinister force that had once haunted this ground had been forcefully swept far away, but not so far that their heavy presence had been completely muted. They were in hiding. Probably had taken a chosen few of their minions and gone to think, regroup, and plot their next phase. There was no doubt in Ethan’s mind – nor Shay’s – that they would resurface, eventually.
“What now?” Shay’s voice was soft, unusually soft, and its subtle texture pulled at his heart, causing Ethan to squeeze her hand slightly, tenderly.
He turned his blue eyes from the wreckage surrounding them and placed a tender, warmer gaze into her hazel stare. He loved her so much. It was an overwhelming swell in the center of his chest, a feeling of complete rapture that he had never known before and would experience only in her presence. He wanted to run away with her to the furthest corners of creation and wrap her so completely in his love, so that no force would ever be able to touch her luminous spirit or harm her perfect flesh again. Would that be terribly selfish to actually do that?
Just as quickly as the thought silked his mind, another tug called it back to the here and now.
Ethan’s eyes reluctantly looked away and back toward the coming dawn.
This time, for the first time in many years, he did not fear the rising of the new sun. The permeation of a once-feared dose of heavy daylight, instead, heralded a new sensation, which he welcomed.
It no longer burned to feel the ember waves of sunlight flowing over his skin. It was a warm caress. A revitalizing pulse of energy, renewing his purpose and setting his solemn vows into sacred places.
Ethan closed his eyes, tilted his sharp chip upward, locked his jaw tight, and breathed deeply of the new day and of the morning dew. Where once darkness had been his bondage, Ethaniel was, now and forever, reborn in Light. With his queen, his love, the other half of his soul, Shalise, by his side.
Dipping his face down and out toward the eerily silent city in the valley below, he knew there was much work to be done. Nothing stirred there. It was time to wake up others and bring them into this journey. They would need much help with what was to come.
“Now we fight.” He said, voice low and husky, filled with passion and purpose. “We hold the dark. Push it back, starting here and then move that front in all directions. This is zero ground. It will soon become sacred again.”
Shay moved her gaze in the direction that his eyes pointed toward.
She held tighter to his hand, and the glow at the center of their grasp pulsed again.
“We fight,” she repeated his oath, “We hold the dark. We push it back, as far as we can in all directions… Together.”
“Together,” he affirmed, as the couple began to move forward on strengthen legs.
Theia nodded. She was finally satisfied.
“Now we help them,” the goddess said as she began to transform her energy and descend into the human realm. “This ending is the world’s new and much-needed beginning.”
“Agreed,” her celestial husband, Hyperion, noted in an energy pulse, as he also moved toward the lower world of mankind.
In a thought, they were both removed from their watchful post behind the curtain of creation and walking among the mortal beings.
They would not be recognized. At least not until they were ready to be so.
As they moved toward the edge of the muted and dirty city, the silhouette of a couple pierced the light of dawn spilling over the hill on the eastern horizon.
“There,” Theia said, “coming over that hill.”
“I see them,” Hyperion replied, “shall we introduce ourselves?”
“No,” her answer was sharp and low. “Let them find us first. This will be the first of many tests. We must prepare them in all areas for what is to come.”
And with that, like smoke and fog, the two were gone into the air.
BEGIN PART THREE
©Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved.
As they reached the bottom of the hill, bright yellow sunlight spilled over their shoulders.
At the edge of town, the pair instinctively began to scan the area.
Shay glided on lean, graceful legs to the left. Ethan walked with strong purposeful strides toward the right.
Two pairs of sharp eyes surveyed the area ahead, watching for any sign of life. The dark city was silent before them. Nothing stirred.
The people hidden behind the dusty, broken windows and battered, barricaded doors were dead to the world awakening all around them. A world on the verge of bursting to life.
The daylight trailing behind the couple’s footsteps was restless to bring new revelations and miracles to the sleeping town. To push back the dark veil that had held them in bondage for far too long.
“Something is awake.” The tops of Ethan’s ears perked up. His eyes narrowed and followed a sound no ordinary human would have noticed. “Do you hear it?”
Shay crouched down, her fingertips digging into the thin layer of dry topsoil that had blown over and now covered a once-paved main road.
“That way.” The creatures’ energy was still vibrating, and the pulse of their essence flowed up into her palms. She pointed her chin further inward toward the center of town. She had lived here most of her life yet this place had become like a strange land in the short time she had been gone, transforming from Ethan’s captive to his beloved. Every corner was foreign and filled with a hint of danger.
She pushed herself up and motioned to move forward, but Ethan was by her side and touching her elbow before a human eye could catch his quick movements.
“Together,” he reminded her, his blue eyes locked with her hazel ones.
Forward they went, listening, watching and knowing they were being watched as dark shadows crept alongside just out of sight, as they walked down the main road toward the center of town.
Light was coming and the dark would not be forced back without a struggle.
Copyright Lenise Lee Pbn. All Rights Reserved.
Sometimes distractions serve the purpose of calling our attention back to details we overlooked the first time.
Such was the case for Shay. She sensed the dark creeping all around she and Ethaniel. Slithering through the shadowed crevices on the rim of the town, silently watching the couple’s purposeful steps, haunting their every move while they made their way down the center road.
What distracted her was a color. One she had not known before this moment. Bright and distinct, a sharp and hopeful contrast against the grey terrain of the sleeping city. It was thin and long, shooting straight up from a random pile of dirt along the roadside. Its lean form reaching upward toward the heavens, as if calling down the warriors of the sky to free this town from the dredge it had allowed itself to become buried beneath.
“Grass,” Ethan’s voice spoke over her shoulder while she stooped down to stare intently at the vibrant thing. Sensing her next question before it was spoken out loud, he answered her thoughts with his own. It use to grow wild from the ground – everywhere – especially in the warm seasons, until the ancestors poisoned the roots of everything.
Her first instinct was to pluck it from its hold. To feel it between her fingers, roll its smooth and moist-looking skin across the surface of her own. To try to understand its nature the only way she had been taught – destroy the thing, to understand it and tame it for her own pleasure and use.
Her second instinct was the true one, the one that gave meaning and purpose to the moment, and her spirit seemed to know this. Watch and wait, then act.
Her eyes followed the movement of the grass, as the slightest breeze pushed it toward the left then back toward the right. Its slim form bent slightly then fully, folding nearly in half, as though it were pointing toward something. In an instant, she understood.
Turning on a pivot, left palm open and ready, she caught the snake mid-leap, before its fangs could sink into Ethan’s bare ankle. Locking her fingers around its head, she squeezed her palm tightly, crushing the sneaky beast’s head in her hand.
Dangers were many, but it seemed as though the earth itself had chosen to save them. At least, this time.
Copyright 2019 Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved.
Danger, danger, everywhere. Ethan’s senses were ringing the alarm.
The slithering snake was not the only thing stalking their every step. On all sides of the pair, in all of the shadows, unseen eyes watched closely and waited with stubborn patience.
The energy he sensed was familiar. It was cunning and charming. Yet dark and consuming, like the Void. It was also extremely close.
Danger, danger, everywhere…but most especially over his left shoulder. And approaching fast.
Ethan turned just in time to see slanted eyes, their centers black like coal, peering from the inky shade falling from a tall, broad, and dessicated stump of what was once known as a tree.
“My prince,” the masculine voice was slick like silk and could be equally as seductively dangerous once it wrapped around one’s thoughts. “We searched for you everywhere.” The last word held a hint of untruth. “So surprised to find you…here…out in the open at such an hour.” There was a question hiding in that statement. What the shadowed entity wanted to say was : How is it that you are here out in the open at such as an hour?
Drek was his name and dark words were his given gift from the Void.
Ethan turned tightly on his heels and faced the masculine form standing in the shadow of the mighty stump, which was ashen and grey, in a hibernating slumber, awaiting the day of its resurrection.
Ethan did not fold his arms, but kept them to his sides, with the muscles in his arms and palms taut and ready to spring to defend Shay and himself against the slightest threat.
“I’m here,” Ethan spoke low and with power pulsing through the bass of his voice. His words and their tone were countering the seductive effect of Drek’s mystical incantations. Even a few words spoken by him were enough to seduce an army into surrender.
“So you are,” Drek spoke, pulling back the effect of his dark spell only by a hint. ” Both of you are.” The slanted eyes shifted ever so casually in Shay’s direction. “We thought we had lost her also. How wonderful that you are together. At last.” There was a smile creeping into his words. “So many wonderful things will rise from this union.”
The shadow of a strong leg motioned forward and, in a blink, Ethan stood in front of the shadow, blocking its view of Shay.
“One more step. One more word without my consent, and I will end you.” Ethan’s voice growled like gravel crushing beneath a heavy foot. “I am more powerful than you. Never forget that, servant.”
The rebuke and the force of its power physically stung. A sharp pang ripped down the length of Drek’s slim, athletic form, forcing him to retreat further into a sense of safety as he hid in the depths of the shadow.
The dark outline of full lips motioned to move then, remembering Ethan’s command, he merely nodded his understanding.
“Better,” Ethan’s eyes flashed silver then cooled to their usual ice blue gaze but he didn’t relax his stance. One lesson his adopted parents had taught him that he would always remember. Never let your guard down. A moment’s slip of that one rule of survival could mean a lifetime of regret. “Tell me why you are here. Keep your words silent and focused only within my frequency,” he instructed.
Great Prince, Drek communicated from his thoughts through the narrow mind connection that Ethan had opened between them, as you have spoken, I am your servant. I have been with you many years, since you first arrived in our castle, and will not abandon you now. I have come to continue in my allegiance to you. He silenced himself and awaited Ethan’s reply.
Lies and Deceit. Ethan was not fooled. But Drek had answers to questions that he and Shay needed for their journey. For now, Ethan would listen with attentive ears and a guarded mind. He would also unleash the fullness of his wrath the moment Drek became too much of a threat.
Copyright Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved.
I began this journey in a dark place, and now I have taken chances toward a better, brighter one.
Once, not long ago, we – he and I – traveled only by moonlight. We lived only in its silvery halo.
Our paths began asunder, yet were destined to merge within the crown of the sun.
There are moments when I block out the world and stare at the core of myself.
In those moments, I realize it is I who has created that space and that energy, so that I can discover and fulfill my calling. So that I can hear and feel and be embraced by the True Name by which I must be called.
I know I must continue forward. Ever onward. Because there is no past. The present is only a mirage. Only the future is certain.
~From the Thought Diary of Shay
Copyright 2019 Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved
She is his Queen. The drip of his pulse taps out her name. The pull of his heart seeks out her essence. His thoughts sync only with her ka, her spirit, the essential presence that is she. Woman who has stolen his will to be, to exist, to breathe. She who has lifted the dark bonds that once held him tight, imprisoned within the enemy of himself. By moonlight she appeared, dressed in the rays of cosmos, crowned by the starlight. At dawn, they walked hand in hand, moving against the cloak of the cosmos, in fear of none, in search of the All.
By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairy Tale by Q. Lenise Lee
His hair had changed. Was changing. She watched as the short straight tips of his platinum blond turned ice blue. An intense contrast to the golden dawn filling the sky over his shoulders.
Shay reached thin fingers toward the crown of Ethan’s head and felt a sharp tingle strike at her fingertips. It was a noisy, slightly painful sensation yet she could not pull away. The motion of her hand was bound toward its destination. The air between them snapped and popped, the sound of a slight crackling touched the rims of her ears.
The closer her hand drew toward the electric blue hair, sharp and stiff, its strands reaching toward the bright heavens overhead, the more powerful the grip became that urged and tugged her closer. Not just her hand, but her full body now motioned into Ethan’s atmosphere.
The secret people spoke of with frightened looks on their faces, lines of worry upon their brows and fear circling at the centers of their eyes.
Q. Lenise Lee
Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Pebbles, smooth and multicolored, from the dusty ground raised up, hovering mid-air. Small patches of dirt were dragged from their resting places, and lifted into the swirling fray of debri. The old stump from the dessicated tree-thing nearby sounded as though it had began a deep and emotional song, and hummed from within its hollow. The lean blade of grass that had saved them stood stiff and tall, much taller. Had it grown? Had it produced offspring also? As Shay’s eyes instinctively moved in all directions around them, the grass-thing had reproduced itself, spreading out, thousands upon thousands of times in all places wherever the lens of her eyes touched.
A jolt of power summoned her mind back to Ethan. Waves of energy flowed through her fingertips, into the center of her palms, now spreading up the length of her arms and filling her body with a pulse more compelling than before. A song. Faint but familiar, like a soft, slow hum began in her stomach, matching the melody of the chorus sang by the tree-thing. Louder and louder, it moved and stirred, until the words finally burst from within and tumbled from her lips. Prince who became King.
At the pronouncement, Ethan turned. A pulsing, purposeful stare held Shay within its grip. This is the moment when all things changed. The moment Shay had been awaiting, unknowingly, all her life. The song she had forgotten. A memory long buried. It was a silent seed of anticipation, of a coming coronation. Come, now, awaken.
Q. Lenise Lee
Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.
These words, full of magic and energy, ageless and timeless, and with confident command, fled her lips.
Now, we escape the Void.
Now, we flee the dark.
We, two, Arise, at First Light.
The deep rumble of his voice answered her call, responding in turn, an oath solemn and true.
Now free, now flowing, infinite movement, All Eternity,
We, two, no longer fleeing, found
As cosmo unfold, pressing forward, exploring, unbound.
In Ethan’s eyes, Shay saw her glowing reflection. Dark hair encircled by a bursting crown of silver. She had changed also.
Strong fingers stroked her forearm, calming her powers back to standby.
“He is a guide,” Ethan’s smooth voice spoke, easing Shay’s mind. His voice, of one calling her to peace, stayed her energy. The unspoken ending – For now – also circled her thoughts. “For what awaits us.”
Q. Lenise Lee
Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.
“Prince who became King.”
Shay turned her head toward him. A look of curiosity washing across her cinnamon complexion. Without a word spoken, she had moved her question into Ethan’s mind.
You spoke those words to me a moment ago, he said, continuing their private conversation.
They were still making a long trail down the road that led through the center of the sleeping city. Along the way, they passed a green rectangular sign hanging from a rusted metallic pole that poked high into the overhead sky. Broadway. That is what was printed on the sign in bold white letters. Ethan had been schooled thoroughly in many subjects and had easily read the wording. He conveyed the message to Shay, who had had limited schooling and had struggled with the first half of the signage. He also told her that this road had once been a main concourse for the city; a large gathering place for all of its long-gone inhabitants. She nodded in understanding. They would talk much more on the subject in days to come. For now, she only needed this small piece of information to know that this place had once been sacred to a people who had gone silent and whose children had scattered to the four winds.
Shay had chosen to keep their current conversation private because she still had no trust for the lean shadow slipping alongside them down the road, hidden in the dark shapes cast by the large piles of debris strewn by the roadside.
I don’t remember saying that, she silently whispered to him. She was slightly disturbed by this. A full minute had gone by where she had no memory of what had occurred. It was as though her mind had seized her completed, and the essence that stirred within her stomach and chest – elders had spoken the word soul once or twice when she had inquired about it, and their brows were always wrinkled with fear and worry, dread at having said the name aloud – whatever it was that made her her had gone off elsewhere, to a place she could not recall or imagine but that she knew she had been during that moment. I don’t remember anything at all. What happened?
After you tossed the snake, you came back from the side of the road. And you were different. Your eyes and hair. Your skin. It all glowed. Not like before, at the castle. This was different. Ethan paused and let his fingers slip down to the smooth, brown skin of her forearm. He turned and looked deep into the hazel of her eyes. Then you reached out and touched me and I felt a change work through me also. You went into a trance and began to speak a verse. You called me Prince who became King. He stopped a moment, trying to give her time to process what he had said, hoping that it would spike a memory of the event. Do you remember now? Deeper into her eyes, he stared, not realizing his breath had stopped in hope of receiving answers to so many questions that had stirred up in him since that moment.
Shay’s eyes drifted off to the side, breaking their stare. Her mind tried to reach and grab for any bit of memory. But only faint sparks of blue and silver danced across her inner vision. Nothing else returned.
“It is your destiny,” a dark voice, Drek’s voice, cut into the midst of their mind-bond, what the elders would have called a phaze. “You are the end and the beginning, which is why they took you and kept you and tutored you…and tormented you…to raise you as one of their own.”
from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairy Tale, by Q. Lenise Lee
©2019 Lenise Lee Pubn.
The pitch black that awaited her was blinding. The swoosh of air jetting past her ears and the pressure against her cheeks were the only indicators that she was indeed falling.
Fast and far.
Ethan’s tower had been much higher up than she had anticipated. Ethaniel. Not quite the cold-blooded monster she had envisioned him to be. Pale, yes. An uneasy coolness to his skin, absolutely. But not a monster, this she knew for sure.
The ground was much closer now, she could sense the sudden dread of its nearness. Her stomach lurched at the inevitable end that was awaiting her less than four breaths from now. If the oxygen had not already been sucked from her lungs the exact moment after she swung herself over Ethan’s balcony, she would have surely been screaming by now.
Three. Her belly tightened. Bracing for an impact she would never feel.
Two. Though she saw nothing through the cole blackness, Shalise felt her eyes close and tighten from the terror awaiting her.
One. For some reason, her lips moved. Prayer? No, she knew nothing of it. At least, not anymore.
Her fall stopped so close to the ground that Shay felt stiff, dry blades of grass scratching at her forehead, cheeks, and bare stomach.
Was this what death was like? An eternal sense of hovering within your final moments of life.
No. She was alive.
The only reason why she knew this is because of the quick snatch of breath that flooded her chest as she was violently tugged backward and up into the air.
Something had caught her. Something had saved her less than a moment away from certain demise. Something that had grappled her tumbling body with such force that she could feel its claws still digging deep into the flesh of her mid-back.
Wait. Not claws. The texture was too flesh-like. Not warm, but not bone-chilling, as she imagined talons to be.
Fingers. The nails were deadly sharp, enough to rip her skin. Though she could not see the blood, she felt it crawling down the sides of her back.
Up, up, up, her weakened body climbed. It was like the entire scene was reversing itself. The higher she was pulled, the less intense the darkness became. Slowly, her eyes began to grab at points of reference. Once she spotted the gray slabs of stone that lined the walls of his fortress, a shudder racked through her, from shoulders to toes. Fresh scratches opened across the flat of her stomach as she was dragged over the edge of the abrasive stone.
Finally, the fingers released their grip within the flesh of her back, and Shay was dropped into a crumpled pile at the center of the open balcony.
As Shay lay there, breathless and broken, she squeezed her eyes tight, hoping for a death that she had been wishing away only seconds before. Finally, she opened them then released a weak, silent whimper.
Bare feet. Muscled calves. She dared not look up any further. What was he? Perhaps she was wrong. Maybe he was a monster. How else had he been able to save her?
“I can never let you go.”
Harsh. Raspy. Booming. Ethan’s voice.
He didn’t bother to force Shay up from her crumpled fetal position.
The feet moved away, with a regal stride.
She knew, he was right. They were bound together, forever.
If he had a heartbeat, it was moving in sync with hers. Like a stalking phantom. She had sensed its presence within her chest as she tumbled down the side of the wall.
Wild. Erratic. Afraid. For her. For himself.
What had he done to her? And why?
Out of the dark, into the light. Shalise would never return to the life she had known.
Grabbing her hand within the grip of his much larger one, Ethan pulled Shay over toward the edge of the terrace. She allowed him to position her body in front of him, while he placed his arms on either side of her on the ledge of the cobblestone balcony. Upon looking out at the scene, she held back the shudder that threatened to rack through her. This was the very first time she had ever seen Rat City from this point of view. One glance and she received the confirmation she had been seeking. They were no longer at the bar. Instead, this compound stood far away, no less than a mile from the center of the urban wasteland. How had she never noticed this place before now? Probably because she had always been so focused on keeping alive and unharmed by keeping her attention trained no further than twenty feet in every direction all at once. From this position, no more than one story high off the ground floor, she could see that his property was circled by meandering paved pathways lined with large fruit trees as well as wide hedges and bushes that exploded with crimson long-stemmed roses. She also noticed many other details from her vantage point. One of which was the devastated city scape that lay beyond the perimeter of her kidnapper’s fortress, which was surrounded by a very high steel gate. It was then that Shay realized she was being held prisoner in a garden among ruins. What cruel trick of fate was this?
“Your kingdom.” As if to answer her unspoken question, the cool breath from Ethan’s whispered reply caressed the tip of Shay’s ear.
Ethan moved his hand from the stone railing of the terrace, and used it to brush Shay’s long, dark hair away from her right shoulder. The feather soft tresses had dried in to lengthy spirals that his fingers ached to run through over and over again during lovemaking. Without hesitating, he laid a kiss as soft as the wings of the butterflies he had once chased after as a boy on the curve of her delicate shoulder. After several more, she turned toward him with such teasing slowness that he was sure she felt the same heated desire now filling the expanse of his chest and the growing bulge of his groin. He thought she would loop her arms around his neck and bring him down to her for a searing kiss. He thought he saw a glimmer of affection reflecting back at him in the onyx-colored pools of her irises.
He had thought all wrong. With a sudden swiftness Ethan had not expected, Shay lifted her crooked arm then used the bony tip of her elbow to send a devastating blow to the bridge of his nose. He had not anticipated the hit and had not been prepared to block it, so the shock of the crackling pain prevented him from immediately reacting to block her daring escape. With cat-like agility, he watched in blinding rage as she hopped up on the edge of the balcony and tossed her legs over and, with one smooth swoop, disappeared into the blackness below.
The apple dropped from Ethan’s hand and landed with a soft thud against the carpeted floor. Without giving her time to flee, he pulled the female into his grip then twirled her until her back was pressed flat against his stomach and chest. The dampness of her wavy hair caressed the delicate skin of his nipples causing a low hiss of arousal to tumble from between his lips. The sensation urged him to hold her tighter. The need to feel every soft inch of her skin covering his own nearly overwhelmed him. Their connection sent a sharp jolt zipping through the thick muscles of his tense biceps and flooded Ethan with the heat of a primal need to claim her here and now as his bonded mate. Her shiver of fear only served to drive his lust to boundless heights – All Ethan could sense was Shay’s presence. The only sound he heard was the beating of her pulsing heart. The smell of her sweet innocence flooded his nostrils, drowning out any other scent. The feel of her slick skin skimming across the tip of his tongue as he used it to lay a delicious path along the curve of her neck made his manhood instantly harden.
Another current, nearly as intense as his thirst to devour the feminine essence of his woman, disrupted his thoughts. With great reluctance, Ethan pulled his lips from her quivering skin. He had to wait until the cycle of the moon was completed before taking her to his bed. The temptation to taste her, to arc his back and shoulders so that he could wrap his full form around her frame and consume her within his spiraling passion was dizzying. Never before had his attraction to a female compelled him to disobey his masters. No woman had every tempted his lust, his mind, his body and willpower…his heart…so thoroughly, nearly to the point of madness. He was so close to succumbing to the pressure of wanting her so badly that Ethan had no choice but to push the female away from him with one strong thrust.
One moment she was shivering with erotic anticipation from being held so tightly within the bulging strength of his arms, and the next she was being expelled from his hold and shoved forward. The motion was too sudden, causing Shay to lose her balance. Just before she tumbled down hard, a pair of hands caught her by the waist and lifted her to a standing position again. When her bare feet were planted firmly on the floor, one of the big hands that had just saved her from her fall moved in search of her fingers then twined both pairs together.
“Come with me,” Ethan said, as he gently pulled her across the room with him, “I have something to show you.”
“The queen is missing.”
Whispers from a fading dream ripped through her body, startling her from a restless sleep. Sitting up in the middle of the stuffed cot, she used the back of her hand to swipe away a heavy layer of sweat and oil from her brow. She looked down and saw that her hands were shaking. Her breath was ragged and she could barely breath. Her chest was heaving high with deep sobs that refused to release from her lungs. Silent screams were the worst. The burning behind her breasts was nearly unbearable, like the flare from a blowtorch was crisping her skin to shriveled shreds. When she realized what was causing the pain, she immediately recoiled. Her thin legs lifted from the edge of her shabby mat and yanked them back so that she could hug them to her chest and pin herself at the head of the bed.
With her back against the cool plaster of the wall behind the bed, her eyes watched the cause of her mania. The last beams of daylight were slipped through the thin slit used for ventilation and slid across the tiny single room quarters. Even the muted illumination of the pale orange was strong enough to cause a gnawing pain behind her eyes, forcing her to coward deeper into the darkness of the corner she was now trapped in. She shut her eyelids tight and buried her head between her knees, seeking desperate relief from the glow spilling into the assigned room of the apartment building. There was at least another full hour of torment to endure before the last drops of late twilight disappeared from the sky then sweet relief would finally come.
This was not the same world she had been born into. Somewhere along the way, everything had flipped. Night was day, and day was taboo – forbidden, dreaded, to be avoided at all costs…even lethal, like now. After so many years of hiding in the shadows, even the darkest skin was white as smoked ash and the palest skin was nearly transparent. A society of vampires? Hardly. A pack of ravenous heathens condemned to dwell in darkness? Very possibly that is what they had all become.
For the next hour, while the last embers of sunlight slid into a merciful twilight, she fought off panic and tried to ignore wispy strips of pain ebbing across her skin. The moment purple overtook gold in the eternal struggle for dominance of the sky, the first howls pierced the air. Strangled high-pitch screeches fill the early night. Time to move. And move fast.
The sky opened and spoke.
Goddess. You are Reborn this day.
With all of your Infinite Light flowing.
One Truth. With many Infinite possibilities.
~ Q. Lenise Lee
Danger, danger, everywhere. Ethan’s senses were ringing the alarm…
One lesson his adopted parents had taught him that he would always remember. Never let your guard down. A moment’s slip of that one rule of survival could mean a lifetime of regret.
Sometimes distractions serve the purpose of calling our attention back to details we overlooked the first time.
Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none.
O Love that passeth knowledge, thee I need;
Pour in the heavenly sunshine; fill my heart;
Scatter the cloud, the doubting, and the dread —
The joy unspeakable to me impart.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions”
I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker. ~ Helen Keller
There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. It has symmetry, elegance, and grace – those qualities you find always in that which the true artist captures. You can find it in the turning of the seasons, in the way sand trails along a ridge, in the branch clusters of the creosote bush or the pattern of its leaves. We try to copy these patterns in our lives and our society, seeking the rhythms, the dances, the forms that comfort. Yet, it is possible to see peril in the finding of ultimate perfection… from Frank Herbert’s Dune
from Metamorphoses / Ovid - Book 10: 59-75
This is absolutely Beautiful and Perfect!…I was daydreaming with you..I still am 🙂 Thank you for sharing this masterpiece!
I dreamed of
kings and kingdoms,
camelot and merlin –
legend forged by magic
I dreamed of knights
might find this maiden
for all this everafter
I dreamed of pearls
and whiskey –
the lazy side of summer,
news from home –
across and down
I dreamed of
a porch to wrap around us –
closing time, and
calling stars by name.
I dreamed of distant
highways, were made for
this horizon –
yet to be revealed.
I dreamed of clay
a hand to fit me walking –
miles beyond to wonder
how love feels.
I dreamed of boots
a light across the meadow –
boxes filled with treasure
I loved best.
I dreamed of
a winding path to take me,
back to the arms –
I shall rest.
This was absolutely BEAUTIFUL..sharing 🙂
Well said..Sharing and bookmarking to read again 🙂
Creation begins with a
thought, an idea, a “what if.”
Where do our ideas come from?
“Oh, our brain just sort of…I
don’t know..makes it up!” Ok,
but how does our brain “make up”
an idea it has never had? And
why do people like Thomas Edison
seem to have a superior ability
Consider the possibility that
each of us has the ability to
create and that creativity can be
cultivated, increased far beyond
where we are now.
The act of creating is like a well
loved tool; a hammer, needle and
thread, mixing bowl paint brush.
Once we understand how to use it,
there are limitless possibilities
in a variety of media. Most of us
who “dabble” in art, music, gardening,
photography, believe we may have a
little talent in these areas but
not in others. But what if talent is
not a gift but rather a…
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