Preyuna whispered into her hands and pushed the magic at the front doors. They flung open in a big, dramatic display. It wasn’t necessary and she knew it.
She also didn’t care.
She left the building like the queen she was. Head up. Shoulders back. Posture perfect.
She carried herself with pride and dignity as if she were entering a ballroom.
Carefully selected members of her harem escorted Preyuna into the ballroom. As always, Nayla stood closest to her. His hand casually bumped her hand as if by accident. But she knew that there was no accident about it.
She didn’t look at her side.
She didn’t reach for his hand.
She knew Nayla wouldn’t be there.
She kept her gaze fixed straight ahead.
But the yearning was there. It was always there.
Nayla led her to the middle of the crowded ballroom. He took her into his bare arms. Individual hyacinth and lilac blossoms decorated his gray-blue hair. Sparkly periwinkle dust glittered in his eyebrows and the outer corners of his eyelids. Red wine flavored gloss made his lips shine. He smiled at her and his smile was love. He led her into a dance and he had only eyes for her.
Preyuna stopped at the edge of the cliff. She looked off into the distance and she felt it. She felt the tremendous distance between him and her. “When will I come home, Nayla? How much longer must I be imprisoned here? When will enough finally be enough for Mark? When will he let me free?”
Preyuna kept her head raised.
I know Mark won’t. There is nothing that I can say. No promises I can make. Nothing I can do to convince him to let me go back home.
Her mouth twitched as she fought against the urge to cry. “Oh, I hate him.”
Nayla flared out his wings and he danced for her in the solitude of her bedroom. His dance was a coy tease.
It was flirtation.
It was adoration.
It was beckoning.
And she could hear the solo violin music in his dance.
In the movement of his wings.
The lightness of his steps.
The positioning of his arms and hands.
She found it impossible to resist.
She had to join his dance.
She held out her arms to the distance and sang his melody. But it was no longer a song of seduction.
It was hurt.
It was loneliness.
It was frustration.
It was despair.
She raised her arms to the afternoon sky and leaned her head back.
She sang Nayla’s altered song and she joined his dance.
This time, however, it was a dance for only one.
Mark Caten smirked as he watched her dance on his monitor. “And you expect me to let you go back to your fey dirt and sand playground. Hahaha! Dear cupcake! Dear green frosted penicillin-laced cupcake! It will never happen.”
Preyuna sank to her knees and touched her forehead to the ground.
A possessive gleam came to life in his eyes. Mark Caten touched her image with his fingertip. “Yes, Preyuna.” He glided his fingertip over her as if he were smearing a gnat off the screen. “It will never happen. You’re mine.”