Categories story

Dust and Light II

As I reluctantly allowed my gaze to drift back to Rohan, I found him just as cold and indifferent as before. He didn’t spare me a single glance, his silver eyes fixed on some distant point beyond the hall. It was as if I were nothing to him, a mere ghost haunting the edges of his world.

Why do I even bother?  I wondered bitterly, my heart heavy with frustration and longing.  He’ll never see me as anything more than a nuisance. 

Beside him, Absinthya noticed the direction of my gaze, her hand landed possessively on Rohan’s thigh, her fingers pressing lightly as if staking her claim.

As if he’s some prize to be won, I thought scornfully.

She smirked at me, her eyes daring me to make a move.

“Well, well, well,” she purred in that sickly sweet way of hers. “Looks like my dear niece can’t resist peeking at what she’ll never have.Tell me, girl, do you honestly believe someone like Rohan could ever stoop so low as to be with you?”

My heart twisted painfully at her words, knowing deep down that she was right. I forced myself to keep a straight face, clenching my fists to quell the rage and humiliation bubbling inside me.

“Maybe you’re right, Auntie dearest,” I retorted, my voice dripping with disdain. “But why would I want someone like him? A cold-hearted assassin, an insufferable arrogant prick who revels in his own cruelty. I’d rather rot in the dungeons than be subject to his caprices and fancies.”

Next to her, Rohan was a statue, his face a mask of inscrutable stone as he clutched the arms of his throne with a vice-like grip. It was clear that my words had provoked a reaction, but whether it was out of anger or something else entirely, I couldn’t be sure.

The queen’s laughter filled the hall like shards of glass, each cackle making my skin crawl. “Such insolence,” she sneered, her eyes glinting with pure malice. “You truly are your mother’s daughter. Pity she couldn’t teach you some manners.”

I held my chin high, my gaze defiant. “I may lack manners, but at least I haven’t lost my integrity,” I said, my voice steady despite the storm raging within me. “But I suppose that’s a lesson you never learned, Absinthya.”

Take that, Aunt,  I thought triumphantly. You can’t break me, no matter how hard you try.

Rohan remained silent, his grip on the arms of the throne tightening with each passing moment. But in the depths of his silver eyes, I thought I detected a flicker of something—regret, perhaps, or maybe even a hint of admiration.

Absinthya rose from her throne, her movements deliberate and menacing, her cruel smile never wavering. Her eyes, a blazing red like burning embers, locked onto me with a terrifying intensity. The grotesque fairies shuffled aside, their sinister chuckles filling the hall with an eerie echo. My arm throbbed under the guard’s tightened grip, but I refused to cower. I met Absinthya’s gaze head on, determination shining through my fear.

With a wicked grin, Absinthya descended the steps towards me, radiating perversion and power. She grabbed my chin roughly, causing me to flinch at her touch. “Your courage is admirable, Aerin,” she hissed. “But let’s see how long it lasts when the pain begins.”

My insides twisted with fear at her words, but I refused to show weakness. With a harsh shove, the queen released me. That’s when I caught a glimpse of something—or someone—partially hidden in the shadows. Oh gods, it’s him, I realized, shock coursing through me as I recognized Erantheus, the same fairy I had encountered on my journey to Rivoen. But what was he doing here? Then, it all clicked into place. It was Erantheus who had informed my aunt about me. Because of him, I was in this mess. Anger surged through me, my fists clenching at my sides. That damn traitor! How could he?

Hesitantly, Erantheus moved further from the shadows, his strange form becoming clearer as he approached the queen. His arms swung wildly, and with each step, his head twitched incessantly, his movements restless, as if unable to stay still. As he neared, a wave of fury washed over me. You treacherous piece of shit! I’ll make you regret ever crossing me. 

He turned to the queen, delivering a message with a sickeningly sweet tone. “The witch says it’s time,” he announced, his gaze lingering on me for a moment longer before darting away.

I let out a primal growl of rage before I lunged forward, intent on tearing him apart with my bare hands, but the guard held me back. “You cowardly traitor!” I snarled, my voice thick with rage. “I’ll kill you!”

With a final, taunting glance in my direction, Erantheus fled from the throne hall, disappearing into the darkness beyond.

Absinthya laughed cruelly. “Seems like my sweet little niece has quite the temper,” she sneered, her eyes glittering with amusement. “How entertaining. But unfortunately for you, my dear, anger won’t get you very far in this situation. You’ll soon find that out… in more… painful ways.”

The queen’s words sliced through me like sharpened blades, each syllable a fresh wound. My throat tightened, and I swallowed hard, the lump in my throat refusing to budge.

Rohan rose from his throne, his footsteps echoing in the large hall as he made his way down the steps, his hands casually tucked into his pockets. The grotesque fairies scurried away from him like frightened rats.

Absinthya turned to face Rohan, a wicked grin spreading across her lips. “Are you sad to lose your little toy?” she asked him, in a mocking tone.

Rohan’s approach was as deliberate as a glacier’s flow. His mesmerizing silver eyes locked onto mine, holding me captive in their frigid depths. He paused beside the queen, his gaze flickering over her for a moment before returning to me with a cruel smirk tugging at his lips. When he spoke, his voice was as sharp as ice against stone: “Why would I waste my tears on something so insignificant?” he drawled, sending another wave of pain crashing over me. But I knew it was an act, a mask to protect our plan from the queen. He was playing his role, just like I was playing mine. Still, his words hurt like hell.

The queen’s satisfaction was palpable as she praised Rohan’s reply. “Well said, my dear,” she purred. “It seems you’ve finally come to your senses.”

She gave a slight nod to the guard, who with bruising force pulled me towards the stone bed…or altar… I couldn’t quite bring myself to name that sinister structure. My feet stumbled on the floor as fear clenched my stomach. I was a prisoner in my own fleshy cage, forced to walk towards my own doom.

I felt utterly alone, adrift in a sea of darkness and despair. I never imagined this would be my fate.

A voice, familiar yet distant, broke through the chaos in my mind. “You’re not alone,” Rohan’s voice whispered, its comforting tone echoing in my head.

A wave of anger washed over me. How dare he invade my thoughts? “Stop invading my mind!” I demanded, pushing him away with all my might.

“You’re not alone,” Rohan repeated, his voice a gentle caress, a good soother against the raw terror consuming me. “I’m here, Aerin. Remember, you’re stronger than you know. You can face this.” His words were a lifeline, pulling me back from the brink of despair.

Despite his attempts to calm me, my anger burned hot and fierce. I built walls in my mind to keep him out, determined to face my fate alone.

His presence lingered in my mind for a moment longer, a faint echo of his comforting words. Then, just as suddenly as he appeared, he was gone. Leaving me alone once again to face my fears and doubts.



2 Comments on “Dust and Light II”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *