Antioch’s body hit the rock bottom of the darkness.
He lay there panting. His whole body stung from the sharpness of the darkness.
His breathing was loud. As if he were breathing into a overly amplified microphone.
But he lay there, waiting for the inevitable.
He knew what was going to come.
He waited for his lord’s approach.
The scent of black licorice and lime permeated the air. It sickened him. He could almost feel Raven’s touch.
“Antioch. Antioch. Antioch.”
He cringed at the sound of his lord’s voice, but he rose to his feet.
I will not face him, groveling at his feet.
“Antioch. Antioch. Antioch.” His words transformed into glowing green crystals that spelled out Antioch’s name in the dark. The crystals shifted position to form the words come to me.
“COME. COME. COME.”
“NO!” He extended his claws and attacked the crystal words. They shattered into satisfying bits and pieces.
His satisfaction lived only so long.
Just a matter of seconds.
The shards melted and melded into each other, forming a long twisted rope. It wound around him, binding his arms to his sides.
“No!” He struggled against the rope’s strength. “You can’t win this time. I won’t let you.”
Raven materialized in a patch of moonlight as he always did. And, as usual, he was dressed entirely in black. His pupils had widened to make his red eyes appear black.
Raven bared his fangs. “Antioch.” He held out his hand and smirked. “Peter Hastings.”
Those thirteen letters twirled above his outstretched hand and coalesced into a glittering green stake.
No, not again! Not again! “DON’T!”
He could not move.
He couldn’t escape.
Raven took hold of the stake and laughed as he thrust it at Antioch’s heart.
Antioch jolted back to reality. He focused on LM. “Again. Do it again. I will get it right. I will break his dominion over me. I will be my own master. Not…Go on. Do it.”
“Yes, sir.” LM whispered into his hands again.
“I will get it right this time. I will. I will. That rotten vampire. I’ll show him. I’ll—-”
LM pushed the magic at him again.
And, once again, darkness descended.
Sammy and Deliosa ascended into the moonlit clouds.
Joy filled him with every wing beat, with every breath, with every ‘accidental’ bump of her wings. It filled him from his throat to his wingtips all the way up into his crest all the way through the curve of his claws.
It filled him until he just couldn’t hold it in anymore.
He opened his mouth wide and let out a joyous trumpet call.
She called out with him.
I’m so happy.
I have never been this happy.
And they flew through the night with no destination in mind.
Sammy landed on a cliff and transformed into his human form.
Deliosa landed and curled her dragon body around him.
He leaned against her. “You’re beautiful.” He stroked the smooth, tightly interlocked scales along her side. “So strong. So powerful.”
As are you, Samer.
“I want to know more about you, Lee. I want to know you. Who you are. Where you’ve come from. All the strange things that you know.”
She lowered her head to his level and blinked slowly at him.
“And I will tell you about me. I will tell you anything you want to know.”
I would like that.