Deidre's Death (Day Three - Chapter Six, page 2 of 8)

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She stopped in front of a small mural depicting a triangle with a form at each of the points.

Human, Immortal, Deity.

Her eyes rested on the figure of a girl representing the humans. Reluctantly, her thoughts returned to the human she'd left in Hell.

She'd dreamt of human-Deidre, too. Those dreams were the worst. In them, she had been the human trapped in Hell being bled and tortured daily by Darkyn. Even if she managed to save the souls and win Gabriel, the truth was going to ruin everything.

Unless she could make the truth … bearable. Different.

"Cora, can you ask Gabriel if I can go to a …um, mall today?" she asked, turning.

Cora stepped forward. "Mall? You've got demons after you."

"I need more shoes and I can't call a portal."

Cora shook her head. She let out a sigh and summoned a portal. She disappeared into it. Deidre waited until the portal closed then bolted out of the gardens.

She ran outside the walls of the fortress into the forest. Only when she was panting did she stop and look back to make certain no one from the castle could see her.

"Darkyn," she called. She waited.

He didn't come at first, and she frowned, assuming he was messing with her. The Dark One never missed an opportunity to prey on someone. She turned to leave, suspecting she didn't have much time before Cora returned and raised the alarm about her being gone.

Darkyn stood behind her. Deidre jumped back, gasping.

"Gods, Darkyn!" she belted. "Why must you do that?"

"I take pleasure in knowing you can't sense me anymore, love," he replied with a half-smile.

"You've been there since I summoned you."

He nodded.

Deidre shifted, aware again that she was now defenseless against the creatures that used to either fear her or at least, respect her power. A head taller than her, he was lean and calm, his black eyes missing nothing. It struck her that his way of doing business was strange. His predecessor lulled people into trusting him with charisma and magic.

Darkyn was the opposite: aggressive. He never tried to hide what he was. He sank his teeth into someone and never let go, until they were in Hell. He was the unpredictable, violent creature she always considered him in battle but not in dealing. Here, he was calm and calculating. Predatory.

"How can I be of service?" he asked.

His polite address terrified her. He was treating her the way he did every other hapless, foolish, unsuspecting human he pulled down to Hell. Which meant he was likely aware of what it would take to condemn her and was waiting for his opening. With no magic, she had to be more careful when dealing with him.

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