A particularly dark tale. Not for the faint of heart. He was the all-powerful Magistrate Mathis. The man that accused the witches and then found them guilty in the dungeons of WitchFall Fortress. I had feared ever being one of them, but not enough to be dissuaded from figuring out why he didn't seem to be what he was. So I followed him into the woods one day and discovered the one secret he was willing to wreak havoc to keep. The secret he'd make me pay for ever knowing. And if he couldn't have me on my terms, well he was certainly powerful enough to find a way, wasn't he? The most horrible kind of way... Barely understanding what was happening, I soon found myself in the worst place I could possibly be. Under his complete control...View More
“What about Udora? How did you come by her.” He sobered. Drawing a long breath as he twirled me twice more. Considering how to tell me. I guessed. But he was unwilling to stop dancing. So, far anyway. “She came by me, more or less. Drawn to my dark magic, I suppose. After I crawled out of that oubliette, I stumbled across her. Greedy, morose and feeling hollow, I fed on her.” He quieted. And I sensed there was guilt in that memory. “And then?” “Then she was mine. From that day.” “How so?” “She wanted to spend every moment with me. Wanted to be mine.” “And did you want her?” “I did not. But I fed on her just the same.” “Through joining.” “That’s the only way I’ve learned how.” He said, a bit taken aback, as though he’d never before considered if there were other ways. “It was how Kasha taught me.” “She was wicked.” “She was. But I never tho
When I knocked on the door of the WitchFall fortress, it was with a resolute expression. Mathis ripped open the door as if he himself had rushed to it. No servants. And when I stepped inside, I felt how empty it was. And there was something wrong with him. He looked disheveled. Fraught with worry. “What’s wrong?” I asked. Eying him in his uncharacteristically mussed state. He lifted his chin. His chest swelling. “What have you come to tell me, Spitfire?” He’s prepared to fight. Or he wouldn’t be calling me that. “I’m going to ruin you.” I said coldly. “Then you’ve already decided to refuse me?” He seemed to visibly deflate. I held my silence a long time. Surprised that he seemed so genuinely broken. “No. I’ve decided to marry you.” He blinked rapidly. Tilting his head in interest. “For revenge?” “No.” “Then why would you destroy me?”
Veline caught my hand. Wrapping hers around it and looking at it as though it were a foreign thing. “Do you know, we shouldn’t be able to touch.” “Why not?” “Because I am pure spirit now.” Veline reached out and touched my chest. “While you are still bound in your skin.” Bound. A strange word for it. “You know in this land there are far more creatures than you ever guessed. You’ve been very sheltered in Drimidan.” “I guess I have.” I admitted softly. I wasn’t even sure my parents knew of all the things out there. “There was a time, long ago when the land was predominantly Fey.” “But as Fey darkened some lost their power and became human. Others became twisted and their power darkened to make them other things.” “Like Mathis?” She nodded. “They become what we know as demonic. Or what the people of Drimidan might call a witch or warlock.” I blinked slowly. I’d heard of such things, but they were s
Only as The King of Creatures stood facing me now, did I realize how tall and imposing he was. He wore a masquerade mask over his eyes, which seemed to change from blue to orange like flames burned in them. His hair was blonde and waving back to his collar but as he moved. It shed small sparks at the tips from the tresses that hung loosely over his forehead. He was lean and tall. Towering well above me like one of the trees in this forest. The strangest man I’d ever seen. “They brought you here?” “They summoned me, yes.” He nodded toward Veline. “They advise me you’ve discovered the root of evil in Drimidan.” “Yes…” I said slowly. Mathis. “Tell me what he is?” “I don’t know for sure…He was once a man but now a demon.” “A form of changeling then…Hmm.” He murmured thoughtfully. “Well now that we know, killing him should be easy enough. We’ll just need you to get me into the fortre
“Because of Kasha?” He lowered his head in admonition. His hands linked behind his back. To keep from touching me? I wondered. “Despite all I’ve done, I have deep respect for you, My Spitfire. And ultimately, I wish to see your laughter return. And that is what I’d spend the rest of my days striving for. But if away from me, is how you can regain it, then that too I’d learn to appreciate.” “You’re so contrary. A moment ago you were declaring I’m yours. Now you say I have a choice.” “You’ve always had a choice. Even when you believed Udora was at my mercy. You had the choice of forsaking her.” “That wasn’t an option.” “Not with you. Just because it wasn’t an acceptable choice, doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. But,” He lifted his finger. “I do caution you, you can’t change me, Sweetheart.” “You just said you have changed!” He smiled almost sadly. “I have. Because I wished to change, to become something more
He dressed in more finery. Smoothing his black hair back into a tether and wearing a cream undershirt with a silver vest and long overcoat. Once dressed, he offered me his hand. “Let’s get you home.” I took it. Wondering why it felt like every time I took it, I was making some kind of promise to him. Vowing to trust him, when I should not… Blowing a relieved breath, I let him help me into the carriage. Relieved to see the driver sitting atop the bench this time. He’s making an effort at normalcy. We took the winding drive down the hill and into the village. Quickly arriving at my house. I blew a steadying breath. Letting him help me down from the carriage. “Are you ready?” He tucked me under his arm. “To be home?” I peered up at him. But he wasn’t acknowledging me as he kept me sheltered next to him and we headed for the front door. Mother rushed out and embraced me. “Dear Heaven! You’re okay.”
Mathis made almost no sound. Barely the flutter of clothing and I saw his feet leave the floor as he must’ve leapt. I heard a thump and a horrible wet, wrenching sound. Next was the sopping thunk of a head lolling along the stone floor. The grip on my neck went slack. Dark nails slipping from the wounds they’d created as the heavy body collapsed next to me. Headless. I screamed. Leaping to my feet in panic. By the time I managed to scramble to my feet, he was already there. Eerily still in that way that only he could master. Where he only watched my skittering movements with those intelligent green eyes. But once I steadied myself on swaying legs, his hands snatched out to catch my upper arms. Jerking me against him as he wrapped sheltering arms around me. “What did you do to her?” “Killed her.” “Her head.” “Parted from the rest of her.” He said flatly. I flinched and tucked my face into
“Why did you bring me here?” I swallowed the pain rolling through me. He’d said he’d break me. Now he’s perilously close. I felt weak, betrayed and entirely alone. The two people I’d thought closest to me were both traitorous wretches. “I should think that painfully clear.” Udora said snidely. Taking another step towards me. “Enough, Udora!” Mathis put up a staying hand but she continued speaking spitefully. “The demon thinks he loves the girl...And that she might ever love him back.” “Shut up!” He roared. “He wants you to know what I am. So he’s the one you trust.” “That’s only partly true.” He approached in several strides to catch her arm. Pulling her further back from me. As if he’s worried what she might do. “I wanted you to know what you’ve really been so loyal to.” “Why?” “Because, though I have never denied I’m harmful I thought
I froze in the blackness. Horrified that I was trapped. “Come on.” I could hear amusement in his voice and realized he was right next to me. He closed the door as he came down behind me. He knows I was petrified. He caught the back of my arm and held on as we went down the stairs, as if worried I might trip. I called him out. “Is that so I won’t fall or run?” “Both.” “Mathis?” I heard Udora’s soft voice calling. “Is that you? You’ve left me down here far too long this time!” She sounded annoyed. I paused on the steps in confusion. What’s she mean by that? Mathis turned his hand, I could just barely see the outline of it in the dark. A cool green flame burst to life and stretched aobut a foot up from his palm. Illuminating his features. He put a finger to his lips to indicate I should be quiet. I gave him an incredulous look. Wondering why I would obey him now.
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