Hope you enjoy. :)
Darkened side of the other
Ali is stood a little over five feet away in the centre of the room flanked by two other males, both of which I can't recognise because of the cloak hoods pulled up around their faces, but I can see Ali's just fine. It's affected by rage, so much so, his crystal blue eyes shine with an icy fire I haven't seen before, even stronger than that strange shine that had rolled through his eyes in my vision from Challis.
I sit very still, blinking for a couple of moments before my mind decides to appear again and then it sinks in. My rushed thoughts go something like this' I'm sat half naked on Levin's bed, with Levin and was up until two minutes ago kissing him and Ali had seen it all. Bollocks!
'Ali, Levin and me' where, uh...' I falter and then can't speak as Ali's eyes finally flick to mine and don't change tempo what so ever. They flick down for a second to the Malachite around my neck and to my bare chest and away.
'Inigo, Druce, take Levin to one of the other bedrooms to recover. I need to talk alone with Dione.'
'But my Sire, she will only tell you lies and lure you in.' Says an unfamiliar voice which I decide has to be Druce
Ali leans around and looks at him. Druce flinches and nods quickly under his cloak.
'Yes Sire, of course.'
They both snap to it like puppets on strings and begin to cross the room towards Levin and me. I scramble backwards up the bed and cover my chest with my arm. The sight of them coming towards me all cloaked and Amarian official sends my nerves exploding throughout my body.
They ignore me completely; pulling the unconscious Levin up from the bed and taking him out of the room and then suddenly I'm left alone with an absolutely seething Alistair. I'm not sure which one I prefer; confrontation with the Amarians or the next few awful moments with Ali. They're both terrible options.
I sit very still, one of my knees pulled up to my chest and breathing hard. He just stands there, in the middle of the room like a dark, dangerous statue but somehow darker than normal; shadows seem to dance and cover him. They flicker through him and around and I have to blink a few times to make sure what I'm seeing is real. I shake my head as it disappears and then I convince myself it must have been a play of light.
The silence and dramatics of that stillness quickly eats away at my nerves. I'm just about to open my mouth and say something, anything, when he speaks.
'What are you doing Dione?'
'I'I don't know.'
His face remains an icy mask but he raises one eye brow and that is all that indicates that I have surprised him.
'Why were you kissing Levin?'
Each question comes out clipped and totally unemotional. It hurts my heart to hear and that brings my new found rage burning to the surface.
'How dare you ask me that after what you did to me? How dare you come here with them and try to treat me like one of your slaves. I AM NOT ONE OF YOU!' I scream.
My voice is harsh to my own ears but how dare he? He shattered the metaphysical connection between us, leaves me, tells me terrible things and then comes back and demands to know why I am kissing another man' he has no right!
He doesn't flinch one little bit from the heat in my voice, in actual fact, he carries on like I haven't said a word.
'Why were you kissing him? Was it to get back at me? Was it to punish me?'
'I don't owe you any kind of explanation Alistair.'
I look away from his beautiful face and fight the rage coursing my veins with all the strength I have.
'Very well, then I will tell you why I am here''
I interrupt him, 'No, you will tell me what the hell you just did to Levin!'
This is a hard question for him to answer. His whole body stiffens and then I see him physically force himself to relax. Once he gets himself back under control he speaks.
'I sent a low level power bolt through his body. He will recover in an hour or so.'
I turn and look at this stranger in front of me.
It's like he has been consumed by a parasite again. My Ali would never have done such a thing! I know very well why he had done it - yet to me, that's still not enough of a reason - Levin was kissing me, Ali is jealous, he can't have me so no one can. It's all bullshit! My Alistair had been destroyed the very moment the Justice had made that very final, very imminent decision to make him one of them, truly.
'Look at what you have become. Look at yourself in that mirror over there and tell me you like what you see. If you think you do, if the power rush is so very splendid then trust me that one day, you will wake up and hate what you have become and then it will be too late. And that is something you will have to live with for the rest of eternity - eternity Alistair, not centuries - you are an Immortal Raven now!'
My voice is rife with sarcasm and I latch onto the false arrogance it gives me. If I'm going to have to deal with him today, then I will need every bit of strength I have and then some.
'You know nothing of my future,' He waves a hand in the air to disregard my comment and his and begins to pace through the room in that familiar fluid, beautifully languid way of his, 'I must tell you why I am here and you keep distracting me from my point. Now I do not want any trouble from you - you will try anyway of course - but I must do this.'
He pauses for a moment and I can't breathe.
'Inigo, Druce and I are here to take you to the Justice, tonight.'
My mouth hits the floor and my stomach follows seconds after.
'Why?' I whisper.
'The Sovereign wants to meet with you; I believe they have a proposition for you. What that is only they know so do not try to ask me. They will be highly guarded and you will need to be blind folded throughout our journey there. You will treat them with the up most respect and nothing less, do you understand?'
I am only able to nod at him, my rushing heart preventing me from speaking.
The Sovereign want to meet with me' personally! Holy shit this is bad; I want to get to them yes, but this way it's on their terms and not at all an advantage to me. Either they want to strike a deal so I will leave Alistair alone or they are going to kill me in the nice private confines of their place of rest. Either way I'm fucked.
I gulp for air and try to calm myself. I had wanted this but being taken there without knowing how to get out or even where I am is a real predicament. But do I really have a choice? Well we'll see... I can play nice' for now.
'Alright fine, I will come because something tells me this is not so much a request, as a demand and I'm fed up with causing problems so I will come, quietly.'
He stops in his tracks and looks around at me, a slight smile on his lips. That smile had once weakened my knees and pushed my heart into my throat, but now, seeing that smile from him, only hurts and I have to look away.
'Thank you.' He whispers.
It's the first hint of empathy I have heard from him in days and I have to look around to his face but he's already walking towards the door.
'Please get yourself dressed.' Again there is so much emotion in his voice I wish I could have seen his eyes but he exits the room without another word.
I had hidden the barest parts of myself whilst we had our little conversation but after hearing the emotion in his voice as he acknowledged that I was naked makes me wish I hadn't bothered. If I had known I could have forced some emotion from him by walking up to him and acting sassy about my nakedness I would have, but let's face it, that just isn't me.
I get up off of the bed and hunt for my top and bra. I find them both and as I look at the remains of my bra I realise I don't have another with me. I can go braless if I want to - it won't be that noticeable but somehow not having that extra piece of fabric between me and the rest of the world makes me feel vulnerable. I would give a great many things for one right now. I could use the materializing spell Levin had taught me but something in my gut is telling me not to do any magic right now with the very real possibilities of one of the Amarians walking in on me and catching me mid spell.
I stop dead in the middle of the room encouraging my trail of thought.
Could I get away with doing a spell? How much trouble would Levin get into? Normally I wouldn't have even hinted at possibly getting him into trouble but were talking about my freedom here or perhaps my life so it's not a normal situation by any means but Levin, shit, what a decision! Maybe if I did a little something to show them that I'm not some feeble Amarian ' gone human rogue ' who they can push around whenever they feel like it; maybe that will help me gain some respect from these people or it might help me escape.
I stop ranting in my head and slip my strappy, electric blue top over my head and sit down on the bed and prepare myself.
I need to decide what to do; I could try to manipulate an object in the room and throw it at them but their immortal, how do you hurt someone that can't die? Okay no, so maybe I could cloak myself and hide out long enough for them to think I have escaped and then that would give me a chance to make a break for it. Then I remember I can't hold that particular spell very long and I swear to myself. Oh for goodness sake, make your mind up!
My eyes flick to the clock and I realise I've been debating for far too long; I've run out of time which kind of clinches it for me and I begin to ground myself. Once my mind is pure stillness I sit and wait for the first sounds of someone walking down the corridor and then, that will be the moment I cast my spell.
My moment comes all too soon and I nearly blow my concentration as nerves crush through me. I force myself to breathe deeper still and begin the incantation. I feel the moment I succeed a second before the three men enter the room; now all I have to do, is maintain it.
Both Inigo and Druce pale as they enter the room and realise I'm no longer here, they then franticly look around the room and begin searching for me but Ali stays completely still, his eyes to the floor.
'Sire, she is not here!' Inigo says.
'Both of you look through the rest of the house, now!'
'Yes, Sire.' They say in unison and they both leave the room at a run.
Ali doesn't move an inch and I can feel myself becoming weak. Sweat runs down my face and back freely from the strength of my concentration.
His eyes suddenly flick up and lock directly with mine and I bite my lip so hard I taste blood a second later. I have to prevent myself from loosing total concentration. Or so I think.
'I know you are there Dione. You and Levin have been busy haven't you?' His eyes narrow to slits as he pauses, 'You have two options because let's face it, you will have to stop casting soon so these are your choices; you can leave it as long as possible and Inigo and Druce will find you and they will know your little secret and Levin will be punished for his unauthorized teachings or you can uncloak yourself and let me tell them that I found you - either way, this will end in the same manner; you coming with us. So what do you choose?'
I think if I could have said anything I would have sworn at him, a lot.
How dare he assume he rules the situation and how the fuck does he know I'm here?
My ranting takes the last of my energy and the cloak slips away from me, leaving me slumped and panting on the bed.
Ali's expression doesn't change; he just continues to loom over me like a living, breathing statue.
'Do what you like, traitor!' I say through shaking breaths.
Inigo and Druce rush back into the room and stop dead as they see me sat on the bed.