The Mask of the Master
The Celebration of the Witching Moon
Meet the Diabolicon
Nomadi – Asia – Hailey – Ashleigh – Jayne
Fallon sat with Azrael at the little sidewalk café where just that morning they had met for coffee with Kess. They watched as a steady stream of people rolled in, all happy and most of them carried a backpack. They dressed casually, lightly and in neutral or mute colors. No one dressed outrageously or in high heels. It was like they had all been there before and knew the drill.
Fallon once again tried to read the minds of those that arrived looking for clues as to what to expect and how to behave. Again, what Azrael had warned him about was still in play. SDS was a strange zone; it was difficult to read the minds of most of the people that came there. Oddly, he perceived that what he was hearing as static interference was something man-made. He was completely focused sifting through the nebulous bits and pieces that he was hearing, busy making his conjectures when he heard a voice that made his body jerk back into the space and time that he was occupying. Kess was laughing when she said, “Sorry, I seem to show up when you’re deep in thought. I didn’t mean to take you off guard.” For a brief moment a defensive posture passed through him and this time he let it go.
Smiling as he stood there looking yummy and gorgeous, he reached to take her hand, bringing it to his lips to give it a quick kiss and said. “Everything about you has taken me off guard. I hope I never get used to it, being surprised in a good way, feels…good.” Wow… that was telling. It was both unexpected and had intimate overtones about a hoped for future.
He gestured to his friend to make introductions. “Kess, this is my friend, Azrael.” As was her habit she tried to get a quick look inside his head to get a peek at what he was thinking. Again, she was unable to read him.
He wore sunglasses so dark she could not see through them. More than anything she wanted to get a look at his eyes. He was the same height and size as Fallon but darker and maybe in more ways than one, if that were even possible. She would find out soon.
Tonight Azrael was dressed in blue jeans, a white tee shirt and a casual loose fitting cotton suit jacket. Fallon on the other hand was dressed in black jeans, a black collarless shirt, black combat boots and a black trench coat. She hoped it wasn’t indicative of thing to come. Fallon had meticulously fashioned his long mane into an Asian queue. He looked stunning… a little formal for the party, but stunning.
Offering Azrael her hand in hopes that he would give it a shake, she wanted to touch him to see if she could get some kind of impression from him. He knew what she was looking for as he reached to shake her hand but instead of something, she found nothing. The void was like an abyss. To her, that was telling.
Her Varda bloodline gave her the gift of the empath, but her mother was a Heldekian witch, and this amplified her gift and she knew how to use it. She had the gift of blood magic. All she had to do was use it. When she had shaken his hand she felt absolutely no emotions or sensations from Azrael and more than that, he had a distinctive energy buzz and now she knew without a doubt that he was not humankind. She wondered if Fallon knew. Now her guard was back in place.
In the spirit of keeping things simple because she knew that this guy would not be revealing anything, she smiled and said. “It is nice to finally meet you. You guys ready to dance?” With that being said she took Fallon’s arm and began to guide him across the street.
Once inside they waited with the crowd that was accumulating for the doors to the underground caverns to be opened. Once opened the people began to pour inside, Fallon was surprised at its size and its beauty and for a moment it felt almost as if he were back on Renaj. The difference was the temperature and the feeling of joy and of celebration. In an odd sort of way he was no longer looking at this little detour as an inconvenience but was actually looking forward to it. It would be a first for him, a new experience and once back on Renaj it would be a nice memory to have.
Barcelona was known for its many underground caverns. The Caverns of the Dragons were an underground labyrinth of limestone with three rivers that went on for over a mile to merge into the second largest underground lake formed by the natural salt water intrusion of the Mediterranean. Stalagmites made up of phosphorescence lit the underground caverns and waterways. It was a haunting dimension of geological treasure. The Kava Caves, the underground caverns of the Abbey of Montserrat and the Barcino, the gothic Roman city was one of Europe’s largest underground cities and now he was standing in yet one more of Barcelona’s mysterious locations, very few knew about it because of the magic of the wyrding that had settled in place around it.
The caverns that lay under the exclusive night club SDS were multi-layered with an area for the dance, another for the Kodo drums and a multitude of other strange instruments. There was a place for food and several areas set up for beverage. Far off to the right he watched as a few people began to pitch small tents. There were tunnels leading to other places yet unexplored but only because of the early hour of the evening.
People were being directed to an area where they could swap out their clothes for a uniform of beige and off white linen costumes, light and simple in design and more suited to the music that had begun to play in the background.
Kess guided them to an area where they changed into the pre-chosen suitable attire. Fallon had carefully rolled his clothes around his boots and then his trench coat around them all. Where he came from clothes like this were hard to come by and he was hoping to return home with them. Kess reassured him that he would get them back after the celebration.
Azrael didn’t seem to care one way or the other. He understood the concept that the owner of SDS was establishing. Ceremonies like this were relished by his kind and he hadn’t seen any such thing in a cardinal of time… not since well before the Dark King had disappeared, cursed by the Witches of the Necron. An age vanished in time, the place and time from whence he had been born.
The Celebration of the Witching Moon was nothing new to Kess, but it was new to Fallon. Subtly, almost unheard the chant began and the Aqcu-carri myst began to rise from the ground, its heavenly scent began to do its work to create an altered state of perception. Magic had begun to do its work.
The music began but it wasn’t the typical R&B or popular pop music, it was tribal and rhythmic in a way that a body could not resist the ebb and flow of it, the seduction or the sway of it. Something about it tapped into the primal soul.
Kess could hear the chant and knew of its purpose, a suggestion of peace, tranquility and of celebration of life. She knew of the Aqcu-carri myst. The Obej of their world used it to bring on states of trance. It manifested itself in all of the portal location around the world, including this spider-site. She admired that the owner, whoever it might be, used this place in this manner. It was life affirming and always left her feeling strong and focused.
After a short while she could see that Fallon had actually allowed his guard to drop and his mind to let go of a bit of its restraints and slowly his body began to move with the sway and rhythm of the music. She danced close to him, their bodies moving together in hypnotic, smooth and rhythmic mastery completely consumed by the cadence of the instruments weaving a spell around them. Everyone inside was feeling the effects. The climate inside the massive cavern was fresh and intoxicating despite all the bodies crammed together in an orgy of exotic dance.
Azrael had not joined in but stood away from the dance, watching, and thinking. It felt good to step from behind the veil. When the Dark King had cursed he Diabolicon into the temporal rift with the help of the witches of the Necron there had been dire consequences. The witches knew of his plan to betray them and had woven their own hex into his spell. This spell is what had vanished not only his people but the entire race of the Fae, the Lore, and the Ohmsu-quion to walk in darkness behind the veil never to be seen or known to the race of human kind. Now everything was changing.
He had always loved humankind. Now he was once again among them. Time had once again begun to move forward and sweet freedom was his. Over and over he had repeated to himself his oath to human kind. And now with Fallon, he was, in a small way, doing what was required of him.
But what he really craved was human touch. It feed him. Nourished him and allowed him to feel… to live. Inhaling deeply he permitted the myst to do its work and in that moment was grateful to Kess for extending the invitation to him.
As Kess danced with Fallon she felt her brother Meisha’s presence even before she saw him, whispering to her mind as he came into her sphere of consciousness, letting her know that he was there. Jadon, Noah and Remy were with him. He had been coming to the celebration of the Witching Moon for years now, however, Jadon, Noah and Remy were new to earth and this was their first exposure to this place of the wyrding and to the Aqcu-carri myst. Kess had learned about SDS from her brother. It was just one of the many places that were on their watch list here on planet earth. Slipping her arm around Fallon, Kess whispered. “Come with me. I have someone I would like you to meet.” Azrael followed Fallon with his eyes as he moved to intersect their path.
As they arrived to where Meisha stood with Jadon, Remy and Noah, Azrael arrived. Before introductions could be made it began as a feeling, a sensation overwhelming the senses and putting everyone just a little off balance.
It looked like an illusion playing over the myst and from the dark of the shadows the swirl of movement began to take on structure. Black shadows gave way to form, the movement almost tangible in its sinister feel. Then, they saw what walked towards them. With long powerful strides, five men, all tall and lean, dark and deadly in appearance.
As the dark elemental shadow entities materialized into solid form, one spoke the word. “Dai-am-prue.” It meant ‘Truce…I come in peace…No harm intended.’ In a theatrical gesture the one walking out in front of the others threw his arms wide out stretched, his head thrown back. It was clear to Meisha that what stood before him was the Diabolicon. As the half-naked man turned his head, Meisha could see the red flames of his eyes. The tiniest of smile on his lips clearly defined the feel of his presence… wicked.
Kess quickly closed rank positioning herself close to her brother. Fallon followed suit as did the others. He had just found Kess and no one and nothing was getting in the way of that. Whoever he was that had just shimmered in, his eyes that had flamed red came to settle into a lovely aqua color, they then proceeded to move to Kess, examining her body from top to bottom. He was equal in size to Fallon. Both were tall and lean with great muscle tone. She took a defensive stance, her hand ready to go for the blade in her boot.
The dark entity tipped his head to take in her scent and he could smell it on her. It was obvious to the shadowy stranger that she was a soldier, a warrior. Just a few nights before, he had seen her with her brother battling the rift wraiths. She had been as impressive as any of the men. However, something more than just Varda blood cruising through her veins. There was witchy blood in her.
The dark, disturbing figure was smiling. He almost chuckled when he said. “Dai-am-prue, child. We have no fight with you. We are here to enjoy the night, the dance and the drink.” His eyes narrowed on her scanning her body one more time before licking his lip to say. “And if the stars see fit… a night of…” His words fell off as he tried to plant pictures inside her mind of things lewd and lascivious. His effort met with a brick wall. There would be no getting past it because her mind was firmly closed to him.
He laughed before saying. “Tell me your name beauty.” She spoke curtly. “Speak yours. If it is true you come in peace then introduce yourselves.” His eyes continued to examine her hungrily, his expression lecherous. Her skin quickly covered in goose bumps, and not the good kind. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up and a voice in her head was yelling ‘RUN!’
She took the offensive. “Speak now or risk offending me! It is not a smart thing to do. I am not a patient woman and I don’t make a habit of talking to the dead.” His head tipped back as he roared with laughter. She was a vixen alright.
His hand spread wide across his heart as he bowed deeply. “Nomadi… my name is Nomadi… and these men be brothers to me. Let them make their own introduction.” When he said, ‘these men are brothers to me’ his gesture encompassed the cavern. For a moment it was both confusing and frightening. Suddenly worried for the innocent participants, she wondered if there were more of them spread out in the cavern. A trick of light shimmered. Kess kept point as Meisha turned to see five massive figures now standing behind them. None of them had seen, or felt the men appear. A deadly mistake.
Nomadi continued to speak as the group repositioned itself to cover their backs. “As I said before, we mean no harm. We are here to enjoy the dance, the drink and… the women.” He held his hand out to Kess. “Dance with me beauty and I will take you to paradise.” Fallon stepped forward at an angle that put him nearly in front of her. He spoke before Kess could answer. “This woman would never choose so poorly. Go find a little girl imprudent enough to believe all of your nonsense.” The Diabolicon laughed into the air as he spoke in a playfully sarcastic tone, his expression, one of humor.
“Careful little one, your petty coat is showing. Perhaps it is you that should find another.” Kess had seen enough posturing and now she was just pissed-off. She shouted. “Shut up! Both of you!”
Before she could finish what she had to say, Meisha stepped forward to speak. It came out as a statement. “You are Diabolicon.” The man, keeping his eyes on Kess stated simply “Second to Ja’Veen. Lord of the Diabolicon.” Meisha continued his line of questioning.
“Are you here on his behalf? What does he wish from us?” Nomadi drew in a slow breath, his hand brushing the air as if to direct the aroma towards him. Laughing into the air once again he began his critique.
“You are Varda… of pure blood.” He bowed to Meisha before moving on to the others. One by one his eyes studied the men. Looking to Kess he said. “And you…Varda of Heldekian… succulent.” He tongue moistened his lips in the most seductive of ways. He smacked his lips at her before continuing, then identifying them one by one by their bloodline.
“Nimm. Nimm. Nimm. And what do we have here…” his eyes focusing on Jadon. “A Varda… out of a Dex, now that is unusual.” He moved in closer to drag in a deeper breathe, then to say “But there is something more in you. Something… monster. Something… wyrding.”
His eyes moved on and came to settle on Azrael, his expression became solemn, his words clipped and perfunctory. “And a Mythlandian. It was a good thing your kind ran before the Dark King could take you.” Azrael did not comment.
Nomadi kept his eyes focused on Fallon but positioning himself to speak to Meisha, he said.
“I do believe that there is an agenda at play in this place.” His astute identification of all those that were present had taken everyone by surprise. Kess looked to Fallon. Wow! She had really been off point with this one and now saw him with new eyes. He was a Nimm, absolutely without a doubt. Her mind scrambled as to what a Nimm would be doing petitioning her father for help. Had he petitioned from Tyria and if so how was that possible, it was a closed world? The shield prevented anyone from coming or going from there. Had he found a way? Did he find a way off their world and petitioned from there? Was ‘there’ Renaj. Was he one of KoMahn’s Nimm son’s? It would make sense, there were two others, Noah and Remy, standing with them that were Nimm sons of KoMahn. Was he one of the tribe of the Fire Rim? Had their meeting been accidental or was she being set-up? What was his end game?
Nomadi saw the expression on her face and chuckled as he held his hand out to her. “Bet that dance with me is looking pretty good right now, pretty witchy woman.” Meisha wanted more information.
Moving to stand down from his defensive posture he spoke to end what could escalate into a bad situation. “We wish to meet with Lord Ja’Veen.” Nomadi gave him a glance before returning to his perusal of Kess. Like her brother, she too wanted information and knew that there would be none if she didn’t do something.
Stepping forward looking to Nomadi, she offered her hand to say. “I will have that dance now.” Fallon stiffened, his cover had been blown and he had to act quickly, looking to Azrael he gave a quick nod. He had to make his move now.
Nomadi paid him no mind but stepped forward quickly to wrap his arm around Kess’s waist then to pull her close to say. “Then let it last forever.” In less than a blink of an eye and before Azrael could move the demon Diabolicon had shifted away taking her with him. Damn. That was unexpected.
Fallon turned quickly while drawing the blade from his boot. Now with blade pointing at another of the Diabolicon’s throat, he demanded. “Where does he take her?” Asia, who stood casually with his arms folded across his chest shrugged, he hadn’t even flinched and seemed completely unaffected by Fallon’s demand, the blade at his throat and the aggressive posture he had taken.
“I am not my brother’s keeper. I am here to dance and to drink. Worry not. She will see no harm.” He gestured with his head, his eyes directing them to look upwards. Both Fallon and Meisha turned to see that Nomadi had shifted them to a large rock protrusion above and away from them. They were standing together. Kess interrogating, Nomadi looking quite humored by it all as his body swayed to the music trying to coach Kess into dancing with him.
Meisha was momentarily relieved. Fallon moved in the direction of Kess. Meisha stopped him by stepping in front of him. He said. “She is doing her job. Get in the way of that and she will make you pay. She is a proud and stubborn woman. Diminish her power and she will not take kindly to your disrespect of her.” Fallon looked back to Kess and saw that Remy and Noah had already shimmered to stand only feet from where Kess stood with the Diabolicon. She was still talking; he was still dancing seriously close to her and was completely oblivious to whatever it was she was saying. Meisha knew she would do what was required of her and that would be to acquire information that they could use, but right now there were a few things that needed to be sorted out.
Meisha knew of Jadon, Noah and Remy’s bloodline. They were all from the Fire Rim of Renaj, but there was a Nimm and a Mythlandian standing among them that they did not know. Kess had been surprised when the Demon had identified her date as a Nimm. As well, the Mythlandian’s were the stuff of lore and legend. They had never seen one in all of their very long lived lives. This had to be investigated further but there were four Diabolicon standing right there in front of him and another six behind them and he needed to know their agenda.
Meisha looked back to Asia to say. “Sorry. We have no more women for you to fight over.”
The creature that looked like a man had his eyes fixed elsewhere; giving a casual shrug before saying, “I fight over no woman. I learned that lesson from my brother. Now if you will excuse me, there is a pretty little red haired girl I would like to taste.” He began to walk in the direction of the young woman with the red hair. Meisha stepped into his path to say. “And by taste, we are talking about her lips?” He knew that something that had escaped the temporal rift was drinking blood. He had seen it first-hand. Many of the victims they had found had been completely drained.
Asia’s smile widened, glancing to Meisha he answered. “Yes, her...lips, now, again, if you will excuse me.” Meisha didn’t move from his path but said. “But first, we should get to know each other.”
Asia’s expression changed to one of disinterest before saying. “I do not find you that interesting and I am here to enjoy the party.” Then his image distorted and wavered and he was gone. Meisha turned quickly in the direction of the young woman the demon had been on his way to ‘taste’. Asia had shifted in right in front of her, grabbed her and was gone. The other companions’ to Asia had turned and began to walk, then simply shimmered into the crowd and out of sight.
As Meisha looked into the crowd to locate those that had shimmered, he saw it. It was like looking through a camera at night and into an animal’s eyes. Blazing red eyes were all around the underground chamber. He wondered if tonight there was to be a massacre and knew he could not allow it to happen. His mind immediately began reaching out to call all of the other watchers.
Jadon was looking around to see if Asia too had moved to another area. No one saw him. Meisha turned to Azrael and Fallon as he drew in a breath but still could not identify what he was scenting. He addressed his inquiry to the Mythlandian. “How did you meet my sister and what do you want with her?”
Fallon spoke before Azrael could. “We were on our way to a business meeting when we accidentally ran into her at this club. Your sister approached us and after we had breakfast together the next day, she invited us to this gathering.” Meisha was remembering where he had met the man that was now speaking.
Meisha inquired, “I have seen you from my brother’s mind. You are Angel, KoMahn’s son. Why do you travel to earth? My father has agreed to meet whatever your tribes needs might be. And I have to ask how it is you have a shifter?” Turning his question to the Mythlandian, his question sounding more like a statement. “You are in the employ of the physician?”
Azrael stepped between them. “I do not know any physicians and this is business for another time. Right now you have other things to think about.” His head gestured to where Kess had been with the other Diabolicon. They were gone. Fallon looked at the same time as Meisha and both panicked. Meisha felt the distress roll through Fallon, the one he had mistaken for Angel and was curious as to why he would have such an intense and overwhelming reaction. He began to search for Kess’s mind while drawing in the scents that surrounded him in an effort to locate his sister. He found nothing. Kess and the Diabolicon, Nomadi, were nowhere to be seen inside the cavern.
Azrael said “If you will excuse me.” He made the shift but not before Meisha reached to grab his arm. They both disappeared, leaving Fallon standing with Jadon. Jadon took the opportunity to ask.
“Fallon, what are you doing here? You’re lucky Meisha mistook you for Angel. King Baj-rei just sent a message to you. He requested a meeting with you. This is what you have been waiting for, what we have all been waiting for. If you act now you can clean all of this up and side with the king. The time is now and you must do whatever you can to make him understand what we have done. Your father is counting on you. He has not spoken of all of the circumstance in play. You cannot let him down Fallon.” Fallon answered. “Kess is mate to me. I have come for her. I am taking her back to Renaj with me.” Bad things had begun to dance through Jadon’s head.
“Don’t do it Fallon. The King doesn’t know what side you will take. He is going to make you an offer. He never knew that you petitioned for his assistance. Mandusa was using you to get a foothold on Renaj, which he has done. Don’t piss the king off by snatching his girl. Everything we have worked for is coming to us Fallon. All you have to do is meet with him and talk it out.”
“I will think about what you have said after I find Kess.”
“No, we will find Kess. Her brother will find her but you need to be gone from here. Think about how long you have worked for this, how hard you have worked. Think about all of the people that need you Fallon. Think about your father. He is depending on you. You cannot sacrifice this. If Kess is mate to you then you will find a way to each other. Torrein and Dulci are proof of this. No one could ever have imagined the way in which they met, but they met and look what has come of it. You need to leave now before her brother returns and begins to question you.”
Fallon felt sick. Once again it felt as if he had lost everything, but Jadon was right. If indeed the King had sent for him after all of this time, the last thing he needed to do was to piss him off. But how could he just walk away knowing that she might be in terrible danger. Damn, this sucked… all of it. Jadon knew his thoughts even before he spoke them.
Fallon’s expression was one of torment when he said. “I cannot leave while she is in danger. As well, my shifter just vanished along with Meisha. Once we have her back, once I see she is well, I will return to the hotel and you can tell Azrael…”
Jadon interrupted to say. “Agreed, it is a good plan and I understand but no one can see you here again.” His head gestured to where Kess had been with the Diabolicon and said. “Wait there or somewhere out of sight. You can watch and once she has been found you will leave this place. You cannot see her or speak to her again until things are settled with her father. Look, Noah and Remy are gone, maybe they followed Kess and the creature, like Meisha followed Azrael. ”
Fallon’s eyes followed the line of the huge area designated for the dance and saw what Meisha had seen, the fire red eyes blazing in the darkened cavern. These were the Diabolicon and there must have been twenty of them.
He would do as Jadon asked and would wait and watch and if he were needed he would be there to help. Hesitating before shimmering away, Jadon reassured him. “There is magic at play in here. No one will remember that there were demons or that a bunch of them were shimmering around. Just go.” Fallon shimmered to an outcropping above the crowd and waited.
When Azrael shifted in he found that Meisha had come with him, they found themselves standing in what Meisha thought might have been an opium lounge from times gone by. Within the dark and opulent interior there were at least twenty men who were obviously Diabolicon. They sat or stood surrounded by women. Women lay across them, stood close up beside them, a few were involved in lascivious activities. Many were engaged in drinking the blood of women who seemed to be waiting in line for their turn to feed the hungry horde. There were no bodies of drained and dead women lying about. Everyone seemed well and happy and all seemed to be consenting adults.
Both Meisha and Azrael could smell that they were still inside the deep caverns of SDS but in an adjunct area. Their eyes began the search for Kess but she was not to be found, nevertheless she was somewhere close by.
Meisha recognized that Azrael had followed the Diabolicon’s energy signature into the shift, it was a difficult feat at best and only the most skilled knew how to do this.
A disembodied voice, feminine in nature spoke to him. Meisha recognized it. It belonged to the witch that had opened the temporal rift and had warned them, commanded them not to interfere. He would never forget her voice or her. She had projected a persona not of her own but his sorcerer’s eyes saw past it…but only a glimpse. She had been young and breathtakingly beautiful.
The witch seemed to know what they were doing there and who they were looking for. She stated. “They are here but they are in celebration of the Witching Moon. No bad behaviors will be tolerated or indulged.” Azrael asked. “Where are Nomadi and Kess?” There was a pause.
“She will be returned safely to you. Nomadi will not harm nor have her. I suggest you do as the others and offer your blessed grace to that which gives us life. This night is intended for joy and pleasure and to give thanks to our Goddess Luna.” Meisha had listened to her words. They were those of a divine cult, one of peace and tranquility. He was hoping that they would be in keeping with the teachings of this society and their behaviors. He took the opportunity to speak.
“I know you witch. You can either tell us your story or you can leave us to speculation. The later would put you at a disadvantage.” He spread his arms in a gesture he hoped would draw her out. “Dai-am-prue… I come only seeking the truth. Do you have any for me?”
“We wish only to live and be left alone. We have harmed no one and we are not your concern. You have no jurisdiction over us.”
“But you are our concern. People are dying, being butchered and fed upon. And this is your doing.” She cut him off quickly, an edge of anger to her words.
“No… Varda, it is yours. If you had not interfered the rift wraiths would not have had a chance to escape. You caused this with your meddling.
Instead of using your time to dance and play you should be looking for a way to close the rift before the demon horde escapes. At this time you deal only with a few misfits scavengers that be starving. Soon your problems will increase once again. You waste precious time that will cost many lives playing as a boy instead of acting as a man.” What she had said was very disturbing and he really wanted to see her again.
Standing down his posture, he asked. “Then we should speak. It sounds as if this be your goal as well. Together we will find a way to end this… to end them, before this worlds government makes the discovery of what is truly happening. They will involve themselves. Once this happens there will be no peace for any of us. Please, together we can end this.” By this time many of the men inside the sanctum had begun to reposition themselves moving closer to him. Meisha had gotten their attention. One began to move towards where he stood with Azrael.
Her voice was stern and with it came magic. “I said…be gone.” The wind picked up, the air thickened, their vision obscured, and then they were blown away. It was as if a blinding icy blizzard had turned in to a tornado around them and when they were finally able to open their eyes they were somewhere that was only snow and ice.
They stood together wondering how she could have tossed them out so easily but after a moment their question was answered. Slowly, the illusion began to fade. The snow and ice had been a projection… probably of how she had felt about their intrusion. They now knew about the secret chambers. Surely she would immediately begin to put up safeguards to keep them from finding their way back. From where they stood they could hear the primordial beat of the drums. They weren’t far from where they had started out.
Meisha was worried about his sister Kess but turned his attention to Azrael to ask. “The Diabolicon spoke that you are a Mythlandian. Is this true?” Azrael nodded in the affirmative.
“Your kind are just a fable in our children’s books. We never believed you to truly have existed.”
“It is a long story and one best saved for a time when your sister is out of danger.”
Azrael really didn’t want to speak to him. Not of his bloodline or the circumstances that brought him to Lord Fallon. Nor did he want to speak of Lord Fallon. He had to be true to his employer. Azrael was grateful that Meisha had mistaken Fallon for Angel, the Nimm from the Fire Rim, and he wanted to keep it that way.
They appeared high above the crowd on a large ledge looking into the area where everyone was dancing. Kess was on guard. Nomadi was smiling as he began to dance close to her, his body moving fluidly to the rhythm of the music.
In an effort to hold on to both her anger and her trepidation she stood frowning at him, ready to confront or scold, maybe both. Watching him was hypnotic. He leaned in to whisper. “Is it warm in here?” He blew on her face and his breathe was cool and sweet. She did not see the spell he had just blown her way. Little by little she felt herself letting loose of the tension in her body.
Smiling at her he leaned in close to whisper. “Dance with me beauty. Listen to the music. It was made by the universe, its beauty so much like your own.” He continued to dance closely, occasionally brushing against her. She could feel herself wanting to move with him. His hand slipped around her waist to the small of her back as he moved closer.
“Please. You came with me with the promise of a dance. Please, feel the music, just one dance.” His words were almost like a hypnotic spell. How could one dance possibly hurt? Her body began to move, mirroring his. She felt his hand slide to her hip. He pulled her just a little closer. The body she occupied didn’t seem to mind. The beat of the music sounded tribal and ancient, the melody almost forming words of persuasion. Still he was smiling, his body so graceful for its size, so fluid and…ouch! Sexy. Closer and closer their bodies came to each other’s until she was pressed against him moving in perfect time and sway with his. She whispered a witchy whisper, it echoed inside his ears. He knew what she was doing and it made him smile… formidable is so very sexy. She said. “Tell me your circumstance. Tell me truth. Give me something to take back with me. Give me something that can help you.” Stopping, he looked down at her. He decided to give her just a little of the truth.
“We were cursed into the rift by a vicious cruel and jealous king. We have been locked in battle for a cardinal of time, forced to fight the same battle endless day after endless day. Hungry… cold, and in pain to suffer our wounds over and over again and we have suffered longer enough. We are free now and this will never again change. We wish for life, food… we wish to be warm and for the feel of a woman.” His hand slid around her waist moving closer to her he spoke to her mind, “Be my warm woman… feed me… give me life.” His words reverberated over and over inside her mind as he once again began a slow dance and the dance didn’t seem to have an end. She was caught up in the cadence of the music and the handsome face and beautiful body of the sexy elegant blood sucking demon smiling in front of her. Frightening can be so very intoxicating.
When she was thirsty, he had a drink in his hand. He would take a large swallow, then fill his mouth to move to hers and then to fill hers. He would laugh and she would smile. He would move to nuzzle her ear and she would tip her head back to let him. Everything felt so very good. The space around them was like a fog. She could hear him whispering to her but couldn’t quite make out the words. Once in a while he would pull her into an embrace to grind his erection against the core of her. Something in her would not allow it but it was with great control that she resisted because although she danced with the devil and felt his spell all around her, she saw only the beautiful man that called himself Fallon.
Nomadi would chuckle and spin her only to grab her once again and whisper to her, something she could not hear. Many times she found herself pressing her breasts against him, her hands roaming his body, her tongue licking the sweat from his neck.
He wanted more of her. But tonight with her brother and friends around and the precarious situation unfolding it would be bad timing. His niece had worked hard for close to three hundred years to orchestrate his freedom, their freedom, and he would not put her plan or his brothers and cousins at risk for a tumble.
If it were to happen it would have to be her decision to see him again. He decided to stack the deck and as fangs began to extend just slightly, he concealed them from her. He bit down hard on the inside of his cheek. Blood began to pour into his mouth as he reached to take hers. His tongue probed the depths of her mouth as his blood flowed into it. The music pulsed and pounded and the taste of his kiss was like ambrosia and more than anything she did not want to break from it. Little by little the music slowed and began to fade and she found herself leaning against the wall in the walkway between SDS and the caverns but couldn’t remember how she had gotten there. Almost everyone had cleared out. The Celebration of the Witching Moon was over.
She was exhausted and her legs could barely hold her weight. The need for sleep was overwhelming and she could still hear his voice chanting inside her mind. Then someone was shaking her by the shoulders, shouting at her.
“Where have you been? Were you with the Diabolicon all this time? Kess… Kess, can you hear me?” Meisha could tell that magic had been at work. He leaned in to draw in her scent. No blood, no sex. Thank the Maaz-ra-dune for that.
She smiled, laughing, she said. “Meisha, we just danced that’s all. It was just one dance. I am so tired. It was so much fun.” Meisha knew she was intoxicated but not in an alcohol induced sort of way.
She opened her eyes to see her brother, Jadon, Noah and Remy scowling at her. Looking around for Fallon all she could think about was his body, his beauty and his strength. Her decision was made. After a bath and a very long nap she wanted sex and she wanted it with him.
She tried to pull herself together but the magic intoxication of the last two days still had her in its clutches. The thing was, she knew it, had known it and still she had allowed it. The Diabolicon, Nomadi, had felt both dangerous and safe. For some reason she knew that it meant her no harm. The story he had told her in brief spoke that men that had been doomed to suffer had been freed and all they wanted was life. Still, she had to wonder about the body count that had been building up since their release.
It had been bad judgment on her part to relax into the demon because he was, after all… a demon. She said. “I’m so sorry. It felt like just a few minutes. We were dancing and then…now… here I am. I don’t know how I got here. I’m so tired.” Meisha spoke gently but his grip around her wrist belied his true feelings.
“You were with one of the Diabolicon Kess. You have been missing for two days and it looks like you have been spelled. We need to figure out what happened. You are coming with me.” He shifted away taking her with him.
Fallon sat on the overhang where they had first seen Kess with the Diabolicon called Nomadi. Jadon allowed him to watch through his eyes as they found Kess. It made him sad. It had been so easy for her to forget him. Maybe the bonding pull… the thing they call Hui-lu Shai-eia was just a myth. Maybe he just wasn’t meant to have someone. Maybe he should just focus his energies back to where they belonged. He had so looked forward to having a warm loving body in his bed. Someone he could talk to and share his secrets with. Maybe he should just get his head back in the game.
Azrael stood behind him, waiting. As Fallon stood, he felt heavier than he had ever felt in his life but it wasn’t the only thing weighing on him, he wondered what had been in the message the king had sent. It was time to go home. Looking down at his attire he thought about the great boots and the nice coat he had arrived in. He just didn’t care anymore. Turning to his companion on his journey he was about to speak when he saw Azrael was holding the bundle of clothes. He smiled. It didn’t quite touch his eyes. He said. “Change of plans. Back to work. You ready?”