The wild spring overgrowth swallowed them with green and yellow; light touching their skin with soft caress.

For Leira, it was a beautiful time, stolen from her sad reality. Her father would never allow her to spend time with a mere hunter. Mira was for him not more than a peasant – and she knew in the eyes of other nobles or noble born, she was just a wild child, secretly sneaking from under the protective canopy of her rich life, to indulge into forbidden activity – loving a lowly born.

How false it sounded for her, how… cruel. This was unnecessary cruelty. Not even for them both, as much as obvious it was. It was cruel for her. This protective canopy was made of empty rooms, numerous and haunted, of one time angry and now broken father, who couldn’t even think of finding new love in place of her mother. Love is a sadistic goddess – her choosing another was a thing that broke his soul in half. How should it feel for him to see her so happy with someone she truly loves? Maybe that’s why he would chase Mira away, to not invite love under his roof. To not invite something that would drill his broken soul; to the bare bone.

Yet… Leira didn’t intend to be the vessel for his love. Since her mother left, he didn’t allow himself to treat her with affection that she wanted – affection from father to his daughter; she longer for laugh, for joy, and they became for her a forbidden treat. Something that she had to be stealing for herself to feel them. She was hungry for love, thirsty for touch. Lonely years made her even more willing to abandon herself in her hunter’s love… forbidden, yes, yet made just for her. Not for her father, not for a silent house in which she lived.

For her.

And she was ready to swallow each drop of happiness that trickled from this high hanging fruit.

Her lips pressed to Mira’s one’s. Her legs embraced his waist, pushing him inside. The thick and swelling richness of spring around her, was making her even more passionate and even more lost in the feeling.

He broke the kiss and looked into her eyes.

His eyes, green. Like leaves. Like young life.

“Leira…” Mira was never vocal during sex. But her name whispered during their union, always bringing her on the edge.

She embraced him and pushed between her neck and collarbone, wanting to feel his lips in one of her most fragile places. He obeyed, his kiss sent a shiver through her.

She wanted to come when he was kissing him. Far from home, she wanted to leave her home forever. And stay here, tangled with Mira into one person, not thinking of sadness and pain.

The sun gleamed through leaves, caressing her just like his fingers.

I so want you to fill me…

The sun.

Silent murmur of the leaves.

Warmth of the day and his heated body, pressed to hers.

And a gust of cold wind.

It raised the hair on her hands.

His thrust was especially hard, and she came. Her eyes opened from delight, but something crept into her, something unwanted.

He had to feel something, because he raised his eyes and looked into her irises, with visible worry.

“Leira…? Is everything alright? Have I hurt you?”

“No… just…”

She felt winter. Winter in spring. Not a winter she would want to feel now.

She felt guilt; Mira didn’t feel anything. Were her worries really so deep, that it caused mirages?

Something was not right.

Mira kissed her, but she couldn’t respond with similar fire. He withdrew.

“If something’s wrong, tell me” he sat next to her, confused, but trying to turn it into a relaxed joke. “I am not – hopefully – that bad as a lover.”

“Do you feel it?” was her response.

“Feel? Should I feel something more than you?”

“I sense… cold.”

He looked at her with visible worry… and a slight dose of disbelief. He really could think that she disliked it. She wanted it. So much.
But…

… the winter was slowly creeping in. Mira looked around, confused. Now, he felt that too.

The cold air danced around them, and embraced her soul, squeezing the unrequited fear from it. Unnatural, even if only a touch of the air on her skin.

And in the moment she was watching the leaves fall from the trees, dry and dead, like late autumn vermillion…

She saw them.

At first, her mind didn’t connect. Really couldn’t embrace it. She felt a strong gust of love… and strong fear. Her mind lost for a moment in reverie of adoration and a need to run, far from them, far from their gleaming wonder.

Pointy ears, like taken from old stories. Five men and one woman, beautiful, so beautiful, like dreams coming through… but ready to turn into nightmares, in every minute.

They were sitting on animals, which only by shape resemble horses. But she couldn’t understand it, because they looked like horses. But… only looked like ones. They weren’t.

A woman, with face hidden behind a bird mask, was looking at her and Mira intensely, until she broke into a scoff.

“Lovers. How cute.”

Leira’s eyes though weren’t on her. A man, next to her. Clothed in a black, belted with a wide belt, in black tight trousers and high boots. He was looking at her with attention. He was smilingly, kindly, but his gaze… his eyes were completely black, a void filled with stars and moons, so ready to drag her into the abyss.

Leira swiftly, protectively pulled her skirt down, terrified they saw her intimately.

“Do not laugh at lovers, my cruel raven” the man in black still looked at Leira with an attentive gaze. “Seeing them reminds me of possibilities of… attachment.”

Leira swallowed, hard. His voice was deep, silent, and cruel. A voice, which promised pain.

“You Majesty… the Wild Hunt awaits us” one of them looked at them with scorn… but with hunger too.

“I am the Wild Hunt” the black-eyed’s tone not allowing any objections.

The man hit his horse with his feet, and it started to approach them, Leira involuntarily backing off, fast, wanting to get as far from them both, as possible.

Mira pulled the knife, ready to protect her.

Don’t.

Please.

“Do not come closer” Mira uttered with clenched teeth, but his knife-holding hand was almost invisibly shaking.

Of course they saw it too.

The man smiled wider, charmingly. Beautifully. The scent of violets reached her. Her favorite flowers.

He didn’t say anything, but approached closer, not minding his pose, ready to attack or defend. The horse-like creature between his legs looked blanky just into Leira’s eyes.

“I will kill you, if you do” she felt that under Mira’s voice, a panic, deep, gut-wrenching, hope-stealing.

“Oh. How… bold. Is that what you are going to do? Kill me, send me to my gods? Pull out my entrails with that knife?”

“Y-yes…”

“Interesting!”

His horse stepped in place, restless. Awaiting something.

Something started to creep from behind the black-eyed man. Something very dark, something that had its roots in the very first night. Shadows, which Leira felt were hungry. Just as the man in black.

And they slowly, very slowly started to swirl around her lover, caressing his skin with soft strokes; his confused expression reminded her of her father, when her mother told him she leaves.  They crept, binding his arms and legs in a tight grip.

And just as slowly, entered him through his skin, filling him up.

Mira’s eyes opened wide. So wide. A groan left his mouth. Pained and not pained one, at the same time.

“Humans are created for pain… and pleasure” a kind, cruel words. “Both are equally carnal for them. And both can be their undoing.”

Mira groaned again, this time louder. Leira saw sweat on his temples. Something was in him… and caused him feelings that scared Leira.

She felt as her limbs became weak. Her heart pounded in her chest. Her whole being screamed against this. She still felt him inside, how he loved her. And now..

The man’s smile was predatory, and Leira felt it in her bones… blooming in her with hopeless fear.

Run.

Now.

Leira knew, though, that they wouldn’t allow her to run.

Mira didn’t scream, but his body was suffering, and so did Leira. His skin tensed, showing slowly blackening, swollen veins. Leira could see as they grew and spread under his skin.

He started to utter heart-wrenching moans, falling on his knees, also – almost – like her father, when her mother left. Leira had to do something. Anything! Her mind raced but her acts were faster than her thoughts.

She decided to do something stupid. So stupid. Reckless. Foolish. But she couldn’t look at his torment. He loved her and offered her something no one in her life did.

She slowly approached the man on the horse, trying to be brave. Trying to not think what can happen. Trying to find a spark in her that will allow her to not run.

That was never an option.

The man moved his gaze, lazily from the agony-filled Mira, to look at her, his smile always present, like he knew something that was hidden from all the others. Leira felt as she loses control over her body, she felt only a force, a force of her will, that dragged and guided her forth, like strings, attached to her strenght and determination.

“Please. Do not” her eyes rose. Boldly. Without doubt. They met the black void of his. “I will do everything, but stop.”

His smile still on his face, but only for a small, insignificant second. His lips formed an expression that sent a real shiver down her spine. Real one, because she understood it.

No matter what she’ll do, they will be dead.

“So that’s what humans do now” he mused, his tone laced with irony. “Sacrifice. Such strong feelings you have for him. Such a strong… devotion. A really admirable act.”

Humans.

And they were not ones.

Creatures of old tales, pointy ears, painful beauty, fables, terrible fairytales by the furnace fire.

“And such a promising one.”

Mira’s body twisted in an unnatural way, his eyes becoming as black as the man’s one.

“No!” empty voice, not existing tears rushed to Leira’s eyes, threatening to break the dam. She would not show them she is crying, even if they knew she did, deep into her soul, deep in her heart. If she showed… it would be the end.

It happened so fast… like a spring storm, rushing over fertile fields, flooding them with destructive rain.

She knew it would be the end of her free will. And they knew it too. The tempting love was forcing into her mind, mixed with fear… a sick and terrifying amalgamate of contradictions.

“But sacrifice would not be full without a delicious hopelessness” the man smiled again. A single shadow danced around her, and caressed her face, which she reacted to with a toss of her head; the shadow insistently followed. “He can suffer like that for months… or you will end this.”

Leira didn’t at first want to understand what he just said. Her soul rejected this immediately. But her heart pounded in her chest quicker than ever, she knew what he meant. The song of the birds, the spring green and the light breeze around her suddenly became black and dull; devoid of colors.

The others, one woman and four men who arrived with her tormentor, looked at them with beautiful and charming smiles, like they were watching a family scene. She felt nauseous.

“Kill him, show that you can sacrifice yourself. Slit his throat, end his suffering. Fill our eyes.

The woman in the back laughed. Leira feld so cold suddenly; her limbs even weaker than before.

Slit his throat.

Fill our eyes.

His eyes.

She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t. But when she looked at Mira, and saw his writhing in agony…

He can suffer like that for months.

And she knew she had to.

The man in black waited, curious, dangerously focused on her. A hate, strong one, filled her. Hate, fear and hopeless will to refuse. But she knew she couldn’t. And that was most cruel in this already cruel game.

Tears eventually filled her vision – her failure and their victory – but she slowly, feeling like her body didn’t belong to her, walked to Mira and picking the knife he dropped in his throes, she looked at it with blank stare.

Kill him.

Fill our eyes.

Mira looked just at her. The shadows retracted, his body still tensed, still pained, but… he was looking just at her.

“Leira…” he rasped.

She couldn’t.

She had to.

The black-eyed will fill him with shadows again. He won’t let him be. And he made him conscious only for him to look at her like that.

Her mind filled with the last lovemaking. She wanted to leave her house, join him on the hunt, and live with him.

She wanted to carry his child.

The only person who truly cared for her and loved her.

The only person that really mattered.

But now… she will die too. With his blood on his hands, her last minutes before death will be filled with anguish after taking his life.

She caressed his face, hating herself for doing so… She touched his hair… they were wet and sweaty under her trembling hand. She despised herself for daring to touch him, but she had to feel him, last time.

She remembered his scent, like leather and smoke, his lips on hers, how he was taking her to his house in the woods he built himself. The warmth of his bed, of his embrace.

Of his tender and loving touch.

She will die today, with a knife that took his life in her hand.

She couldn’t think of it, tears wanted to rush to her eyes.

“Leira, please…” his voice low, changed, not like the voice she heard every day. He didn’t want to die. And it was slicing her heart into millions of tiny pieces. She felt as huge bile chokes her, blocks the air from her lungs.

She took him by his hair… once rough in touch, familiar… now messed up and wet, so terribly wet…

She lifted his head, exposed neck, now tensed and hard as stone…

“Leira…”

Her hand didn’t shake, which terrified her even more.

… And slit his throat.

The knife went in so easily, frighteningly easily. Separating him from life they could live together.

The man in black looked at her, with his cruel void.

The others laughed, pleased, gloating, like his death was a precious prize.

Blood gushed on her hands, her vision blurred; she dropped the knife into the grass, the laughter of her tormentors reached her like from bottomless well.

The man in black looked at her though, without even a small laugh, small smile… he looked at her with morbid curiosity.

Like he measured her and pondered how much she can still withstand.

Leira’s body was shivering. Mere minutes ago, he loved her. He will never do that again.

She wanted to scream at the man in black, to tell him he should kill her now, if he finds death so thrilling. But her throat couldn’t form a word and her mind – a coherent thought.

And she didn’t want to die.

Black eyes were drilling holes in her soul.

The masked woman was telling something to her tormentor.

But she didn’t hear it. The shadows embraced her neck and delved under her clothes, to enter her skin. She felt both pain and misplaced, unwanted pleasure. So strong that she was sure she was losing herself, despising herself, her body pulsing and trying to oppose it.

But the goddess had mercy on her. She passed away, before something she would hate happened.

Allowing her to sink into the void.

*
Lorian’s smile faded. The human woman was lying unconscious under his feet.

Humans are so fragile.

So easy to control.

So eager to be broken.

He still felt fire, deadly flame in his veins, traveling into his most fragile places, mixing agony with pleasure. A faint burst of suffering, not comparable – this time – to his night torments, but for that, even worse… blurring borders.

Nymre got closer. Her gossamer aura repressed, wild; she wanted him, he felt that. His cruel raven. Violence was increasing her drive tenfold.

This human woman amused him though. She was… promising.

“We are taking her with us.”

Nymre’s smile disappeared from her features, her will for sex cut like with a sharp knife.

“Why? You have many slaves already” she didn’t add that too much, but Lorian knew she thought that, even without entering her mind.

“Your Majesty…”

Alnam. Of course. Everpresent.

“That was amusing, my Lord, but most of our portals won’t take her. She will die. If we took her the traditional way, even with the ones that let her be, it would take… much more time.”

Lorian’s gaze met with Alnam’s.

Yes, Lorian knew what Alnam thought now. Cruel. Unnecessary ruthless. Sadistic without a reason. He killed my son – this thought unwillingly was pushing on the surface, even if Alnam didn’t want to, an old wound, but still producing pus.

Pain. Hatred. So strong, touching him in an almost intimate way.

Alnam’s strong will to oppose, even if he never would, not in reality. Perhaps, Alnam’s repressed, hopeless hatred was what brought him the greatest pleasure and pain, borders blurred again, a bitter and desired taste of rot.

“She will hate you, Your Majesty,” Alnam added.

“Perhaps her hatred is what I really need” Lorian smiled at him, with his most beautiful smile. A sun rising over winter mountains.

Perhaps, hatred is what kept him sane, when the pain was coming and the world was bursting in blue color and his blood boiled in his veins.

Beautiful. Strong.

Intoxicating.

Pure.

And dangerous. Impressing him with its strength.

2 Replies to “The Wild Hunt”

  1. Oh, I’m officially scared of Lorian. 😱
    Wow! What a wonderful text, it felt like I was reading a book straight out of a dark fairy tale.🖤 But it’s so sad what happened to Mira. (and with Leira). Sometimes I forget how cruel Lorian can be.😨

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