By Moonlight 4.1c





Ethan knew that mercy was not in their spirits and, if he were ever captured by them again, they would keep him alive to bleed him out slowly, one cut at a time… over decades, centuries eons, if necessary… whatever would make him suffer the most, until his very last breath.  And then they would call him back to life, and do it all over again.

Q. Lenise lee
The clouds gathered in the distance, dark and terrifyingly alive with static and energy.

From below, Ethaniel and Shalise watched as the high blue sky disappeared behind the descending chaos. Dakken hovered nearby, a silent shadow beneath the long barren branches of the ancient elm tree. The children sat in the dust near a dilapidated car, rusted nearly to only strip metal and bolts.  They held hands and kept their eyes closed tight, as if in deep prayer and meditation.

A reckoning was upon them all.  Elder gods do not die, they are only reborn darker and more powerful. 
 
Ethan and Shay had nearly destroyed a very ancient, very powerful coven, and now those very same beings, crushed under the tons of rubble and ruin of their toppled home, had risen.  They were the violent energy pushing behind the storm pulsing closer toward the outnumbered outcasts.  

Mother and Father had kept Ethan as a son, had given him all the rights and cruel privilege of their abysmal ancestry, and he had turned on them, fiercely and without hesitation. And now his former guardians had returned, much faster than he had anticipated, angry and hungry for revenge.  Ethan knew that mercy was not in their spirits and, if he were ever captured by them again, they would keep him alive to bleed him out slowly, one cut at a time… over decades, centuries eons, if necessary… whatever would make him suffer the most, until his very last breath.  And then they would call him back to life, and do it all over again. There would be no end to his torment.
 
Shay had risked everything to save Ethan.  She could have easily left him to die in the dungeon, but it would have been the same as sentencing her own self to death.  They were linked, beyond physical bonds.  Their blood, their thoughts, their powers, their very lifeforce flowed as one.  She had never sensed so much, been so aware of the flow of energy all around her, until Ethan touched her that fateful night in the dive bar.  It was as if every cell in her body had suddenly awakened for the very first time.. She had felt every stripe of the whip the torturers had inflicted upon Ethan as if the sting had touched her own body each and every time.  The truth was clear and simple, Ethan and Shay were bonded for life, and beyond. If he died, then so would she.  And now, they were facing the same fate again.  She wasn’t prepared to fight again, and neither was he.  They didn’t understand what they were capable of together or the full extent of their abilities.  But they would have to learn quickly, time was not on their side.
 
Dakken was the coward of the group. He had sensed the trouble in the basement, when Shay had escaped and went to rescue Ethan.  He had heard the yells of guards frantically trying to subdue the couple.  He had felt the walls of the house tremble.  He warned no one; only disappeared into the twilight of the early morning, saving himself and not a single other soul. His true allegiance was to himself and his duty was, first and foremost, to his own survival, and for this he had broken a sacred oath to lay down his life for the dark ones that he served.  He had failed them, and now his life was once more in terminal danger.  The sentence for treason against the elders… death without trial. Instant. Painful. Humiliating. Death. Over and over again, forever.
 
The children were different.  They were the only truly innocent party here.  Or were they?  Where had they come from?  And how had they survived in the daylight and even during the nightmares of nightfall on their own for so long?  The thought again passed between Ethan to Shay, but there was no time to wonder about answers.
 
Time was up.   
 
The gun metal grey clouds flowed over and under each other, like quicksilver, or a snake filled with poison, alive and full of dark magix.
 
And then the lightning bolt flashed.  Bright and blinding.  Striking inches from where Dakken hid in the shadows of the tree.  And just like that, day was night, black and dangerous.  
 
Everything went dark around the couple, and then the howls started.  The screeches followed.  The darkness had called out to those who dwell within it.  The light of the sun kept them cramped in basements, buried behind dirt piles, hidden in the boarded ruins of buildings and other dwellings.. but now.. now that the sun was gone, they began to burst forth and pour into the chaos of the sudden nightfall.

Ethan and Shay moved closer and pressed their shoulders together. The pale skin of Ethan’s broad shoulder pushed into the warm flesh of Shay’s slim brown one.  On instinct, they touched hands and held tight to each other.  Electrified chaos began gathering all around them.  But they had defeated the dark once before. Together . As one force, united.  And they could do it again.
 
But how many times?  How many times would they have to become a whirlwind of power?  How many times could they do it?  Was this an infinite gift?  Or would their luck be up one day?
 
Snarls circled closer, ravenous sounds meant to inspire fear and wild pulses.
 
Shay and Ethan planted their bare feet deeper into the dust, powering up and readying themselves for the first attack.
 
And then…there was light.
 
Not a burst nor a flash, but a brilliant blue funnel of swirling light.  A column of illumination that lit up the dark and blew back the wild things that were roaming there.
 
Ethan and Shay stumbled back as they turned, startled, covering their faces from the powerful brightness, nearly as white hot as the glare of the noonday sun.
 
It was the children.  Engulfed in a blue flame, still hand in hand, eyes closed, they were the beacon of last hope.
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from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairytale by Q.  Lenise Lee
 
Copyright 2021 Lenise Lee Pubn.  All Rights Reserved.
 

By Moonlight : Interlude I : Hyperion and Theia

“Shall we assist them?”

They spoke, but not in a manner that any human could fully comprehend, and not in a language that any human could completely understand or speak fluently.  

They existed, but not on a frequency that mankind could dwell within for more than a flash of a moment, or what they perceived to be a moment.  

They constantly observed, with the children of men having only the slightest sensation of their presence.

They battled and waged great wars amongst one another and on scales so immense that the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve were only signaled of their occurence by way of unpredicted and grand celestial events.  

They also loved, more tenderly than any mother or father toward a newborn, and more passionately than a lover with a newfound kindred spirit.

Yet now, through all they had witnessed over the eons, since the dawning of all things, this moment had caught their fullest attention.  

Great members of the House of the Pantheons stood on alert, contemplating if intervention was needed – not only to save mankind but, more importantly, to save themselves.  

Man would continually evolve and regress and then return to a thinking, contemplating species only to tumble downward once more, as was his destiny, but the celestials were created to overcome such a barbaric cycle.  

However, here and now, this perceived moment could potentially be the beginning of the undoing of the many layers and ribbons that enfolded the fabric of reality itself.

Hyperion, mighty king of Sol, looked, more like motioned his celestial energy toward, Theia, his wife, mother of Luna and Gaia.  

She acknowledged him by casting forward a rippling wave of light energy of her own to touch the source of his being.

If they were to manifest into tender flesh, he would be in the appearance of a kind and jolly father, handsome and robust for his age; and she would be a startling beauty, too vibrant to be thought of as a mother and too enigmatic to be anything other than adored by all.

“We will wait,” was her quiet, calm reply.  “They must prove themselves worthy of our help.”

He nodded.  

She was correct, as always.  

His wife was the more rationale one, and he, the more radical of the pair.  

Where she was meditative and strategic, he was quick to action with pure emotion.

Still.

Still, Hyperion could not shake the feeling that on this particular point, she could be – dare he think it – wrong.

Perhaps not assisting the humans in this particular struggle could prove to be a mistake.

These two were different.  

They were more like gods than humans.  

Demi-gods, of course, but that was only a play on words and concepts most of the time.  

Quickly, he returned his attention to the seriousness of the situation at hand.

Every timeline from this point forward played out before him.

The pair were victorious in none.

And in the process of losing, they would destroy half of the earth and most of the lifeforms that dwelled upon her, by accident, time and time again.  

They were too inexperienced in this form of combat, and had very little knowledge as to how to truly harness, focus, and control the power that swirled erratically and chaotically within their genes.

Now bonded, they were like a nuclear inferno, with all of the correct fusions reacting all at once.

Poised to blow in all directions, consuming all things in its path.

“No, dearest,” he spoke to her in a loving wave, “you are incorrect.  This bonded pair has already proven much.” He continued as his memory replayed the couple’s individual lifelines.  “We have seen it, since their births, how they have already overcome many trials, traps, and adversities, and are still pulsing with a wonderfully bright beacon of purest light.”

He paused, awaiting a stern objection, but none came.

“Husband,” Theia replied, turning her glorious being in his direction.  To Hyperion’s shock, she was smiling, or what a human would describe as smiling, if ever a human could see her true face without being consumed.  “Finally. You see beyond passion. You see true reason. You see true purpose. And yes, I agree. My initial judgement was in err… on purpose,” she quickly added.  “We will intervene…but not just yet.”

Copyright 2018 Lenise Lee Pubn

https://www.copyrighted.com/work/ZF9QEfcqO3LX2PvU

By Moonlight 2.3 : Show No Fear

By Moonlight 2.2 : Offerings and Other Things

By Moonlight 2.1 : Fire and Ice, and Sun and Moon

By Moonlight 2.0 : Rise, Queen

By Moonlight 1.5: Shay, Into the Light

By Moonlight 1 : The Beginning

By Moonlight 3.2a

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.

He had become the embodiment of mysteries she had only heard whispers of.

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.

from By Moonlight 3.2, An Apocalyptic Fairytale

Q. Lenise Lee

Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight 3.2b

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.

from By Moonlight 3.2, An Apocalyptic Fairytale

Q. Lenise Lee

Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight 3.2c

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.

Alert. Her mind sharpened. Her dark eyes, with shimmers of silver swirling within their deep pools, looked up and beyond Ethan’s shoulder, watching a dark shadow shifting uneasily.

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.”

from By Moonlight 3.2, An Apocalyptic Fairytale

Q. Lenise Lee

Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight 4.1a

“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.”

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from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairy  Tale, by Q. Lenise Lee

©2019 Lenise Lee Pubn.

Shay lept into the dark.

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.

Impact.

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.

from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairy Tale by Lenise Lee

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.

Danger.  Her instincts crept in again, on highest alert.

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.”

from By Moonlight

I: The Beginning

An Apocalyptic Fairy Tale by Lenise Lee

“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.


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. 

Q. Lenise Lee
from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairytale, Book 1