Her white hair fell cascade over her shoulders, when her feathered collar sprouted around her neck, like touched by magic. Her wings adorned thin silver chains, and her body closed in a dress made from finest black silk. She was surrounded by tiny fairy lights, but most of them drifted around Lorian, attracted by his dark aura.
She still was unsure of all of this. Lorian was determined to just push the human girl on the ballroom floor and let the charm do the rest. She was sure that he could succeed. That it will make her eager enough to swallow each drop of the apple blood. But at the same time… Lorian so far was keeping incoming godly genocide in a perfect secret, known only to her. And even then, she sensed he never told her full truth.
Which annoyed her. She sent her spies to Natsel’sorl and ordered them to force out the truth from the Changelings. But they refused to speak. Refused so hard, that she knew Lorian gave special orders, even against her.
Frustrating. He was hiding something that was involving the death of many fey. Hers too. Ah, how frustrating.
Lorian told her about the gods long ago. The bitter and dangerous truth of the elemental creatures absorbing fae magic, leaving them to agonizing death. It was known to his father and Lorian was given this knowledge when he ascended. He read so much about the gods and when he realized the time of massacre was coming, he started to put his plans in motion.
She was at first trying to pull more from him, but forcing Lorian was like forcing a storm cloud.
Not that she didn’t trust him.
She was worried.
Not only of her own life, but also his.
She reminded herself about his empty eyes, back in the night, when he loved her. Something was going the wrong way. And she found a weak mind that was easy to manipulate enough to break the silence of the Changelings. She knew he wouldn’t be pleased if he found out. When he finds out. He rarely was resorting to invading her mind, not against her will. But if she tries to go and use her own ways, it will be a matter of days, he penetrates her head.
She knew he may be very displeased. But she loved him and she knew he loved her too.
There should not be any secrets between them, not when their lives were in danger.
She gazed at Lorian, who was waiting for her, small smile on his lips.
“I think we should starve her further” her brows furrowed, when she observed his easy pose.
Lorian supported his chin on his hand and smiled wider.
“She is so eager to dance and laugh with us.”
“Do not joke, Lorian.”
He sighed, his smile fading, when he slowly stood up from his seat and approached her. She looked at the mirror. Her face and body reflected in it, showing everything. That meant, also their magical forms, flickering against their real reflection. Nymre form glistened with raven feathers, beak and eyes like falling snow, white, glittering like galaxies. Lorian’s – a shadow, pure, beautiful and tempting. His aura, dark, and alluring and her – strikingly pale, like gossamer and early morn.
“I thought you believed more in my methods,” he said, with a low tone.
“I do. But you said, we have less and less time.”
His chin on her arm. His shadows brushed her hair, mingling with her slightly lilac tangles.
“Especially since we have less time. If she decided to prolong it… we can’t risk losing her. She is the only thread that binds the vessel with Ain’asel. I like seeing her alive… just as I like seeing us live. When we finish with her though, I will dispose of her as any other human.”
Like Leira. Her mind brought the image of Lorian’s slave. Such pleasant obedience. Such devotion. Such beautiful face.
“I don’t doubt your enchantment will work. But others will start pondering while we make a ball for a human girl. Why you dance with a human girl.”
“Dancing with a human girl is not forbidden.”
“Oh, Lorian, you know what I mean.”
“Humor me, please.”
“Your enemies” scoffed Nymre. “You know you have them. They crawl from the stones under the foundations of Dal’coler.”
“Enemies… yes. Numerous, even. Dangerous, if someone isn’t aware what’s in their minds. I give them sweet illusion of being able to hide” Lorian laughed lightly, like nothing happened. Ever. “They crawl and writhe, my cruel raven. Until my boot stops them to move at all.”
“You joke too much tonight, my lord” she teased him, but her tone was serious. Alnam was someone they all should keep their eyes on. Lorian didn’t want to kill him, back then, as he still was too important. Now she would squeeze his soul between her fingers. Even at risk of losing his followers. But Lorian seemed to control everything, in his own way. “Alnam tempts me to open his chest and pull his heart out.”
“One day maybe I will offer you his heart, still pulsing, dripping off blood” he purred. “Keeping a watchful eye on him is one of my prerogatives. Yet…”
“His mind is better guarded than most of the High Fae. Which means, of course I can enter it, but he may keep something hidden, deep in the deepest shelf of his own mental library” Lorian took a lock of her hair and pulled it over her ear. “But…”
Nymre moved impatiently.
“But, for that we have spies” he chuckled, light, airy laughter. “And one of them does his job even better than one could predict.”
Nymre’s face lit up.
“Ah, so you say that…”
“Yes, my raven.”
“They should come with this to me, Lorian. I am the spymaster.”
“I wouldn’t claim otherwise. This one was told to bring me news as fast as he can.”
Nymre lifted her hand and touched his face. The raven in the mirror delved into shadowed form behind her.
“Please, share everything with me. When the ball ends.”
Lorian grinned at her in a beautiful way. Heart-melting.
“I will mind uncovering everything before you.”
Nymre relaxed. He didn’t suspect her own steps towards the case of the gods. She really hoped that he would forgive her. But… she had to know what torments him, what causes his face to be so tense and why his eyes become darker than black could withstand.
“Come then, my stubborn lord. To try the magic and glamour” her wings brushed over his shadowed form, reflected in the mirror and she felt, really felt, how the night surrounded them and licked with black flames.
His eyes in the mirror looked at her intensely. She could almost see his future disappointment in them.
What one doesn’t do for love, though?