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Iridescence (Chapter 6)
A gut wrenching noise startled the fae awake, her bright eyes flashing open as she almost fell off the branch she was resting on. Her nimble hands saved her just in time, and she sat there for a quick moment, trying to calm her heart. With a sigh, she pulled herself back up and warily looked around. Her rainbow eyes met the clear, pale green of a great cat sitting on the on the branch a ways in front of her. She gasped in surprise and clutched at the branches around her to keep herself steady; the puma sat calmly and patiently, waiting for the fae to gather her bearings. Its opalescent eyes watched her; slightly amused but wise and clear.
-There isn’t much time, Lady Light. Do not be afraid…-
The voice was deep but definitely feminine as it echoed through her mind. It reminded her of her mother, and she finally relaxed. The cougar rose and steadily padded over to rest her angled head on the fae’s shoulder. A low, contented sound rumbled in the cougar’s throat as she rubbed her whiskered cheek over the smooth, tanned skin of the fae’s. Rainbow eyes closed as she wrapped her arms around the big cat and hugged her close. The memories came smoothly and instantly. [Being a cub, playing with her brothers and sisters, cuddling up to her mother’s warm belly to sleep. Watching her mother hunt and then learning by her personal trials and errors. Finally being strong enough to catch her own prey and having to fight for it. Then, catastrophe; horrible memories of the black creature scalded the fae’s mind, then witnessing the death of her sister and mother by the claws of the demon of night. Fleeing the forest as it burned by the jaws of that creature, knowing there was no way to fight it. She then knew she had to wait patiently for Mother Nature or another higher being to send a savior. This new being of light was sent at the perfect time, and the cat couldn’t be more grateful. It was just before spring, when her first cubs were on their way…]
A sudden crack startled the two out of concentration and they withdrew from each other just as the tree next to them fell. The fae could clearly see the wild cat’s fur stand on end before she shifted her eyes to stare at the base of the fallen tree. A breeze blew her shining silver hair off her face, carrying with it the musky scent of smoke. With a start, she realized there were small flames around the fallen tree. Wondering why she didn’t notice this before, the fae narrowed her eyes and used the light of the full moon to search for the cause of this event. Feeling a new security in herself after her exchange with the cougar, she leapt from the tree to investigate.
As she searched the darkness, the cat sent numerous mental warnings.
-My lady, do not let the demon have the element of surprise… It is made of darkness, and can take on any form to deceive you. Please, be careful.-
The fae’s eyes caught a glimmer of red and she confusedly blinked, thinking she needed to clear her vision. As she took another step closer, the shadows before her seemed to come to life to creep through the trees towards her. Turning to the cat, she shot her an alarmed look and thought quickly, -Mother, leave now. Run far away, quickly!-
At her command, the cougar rose and leapt from the branch, stared at her for a moment, then swished her long tail and sprinted away. The fae then turned back around, and froze as the breath caught in her throat.
Blazing red eyes bored into hers, immobilizing her and erasing all thought. Slit pupils stared into her soul, examining her until it seemed as if everything she was and could be was laid out in plain sight. The terrifying gaze slid from hers and slowly traveled down her body, causing chills and goosebumps everywhere it went. He smiled, his glowing eyes moving over her chest, as if he could see the racing heart about to explode, guarded only by fragile ribs. Realizing she could breathe, the fae gasped through her teeth and stared at the pointed, gleaming fangs protruding from his curvaceous upper lip. Two silver rings looped around his full lower lip and another hung from his septum. This décor confused her, but was strangely appealing and fascinating. Long shaggy hair, black as a moonless night, framed and contrasted his corpse-pale face and flared out in the back. She noticed his ears also had silver loops in them as her gaze traveled lower. His pale skin gleamed in the scarce moonlight that filtered through the trees, pulled taut over rippling muscle. His bare arms and chest were lean and strong, and though his ribs were slightly visible, health didn’t seem to be a problem as her eyes halted on his stomach. His whole abdomen was carved by muscle and moved fluidly with every breath he took. Smooth arms sloped into large hands with long fingers, curving into short but sharp nails.
The fae bit her lip and squeezed her swirling eyes tightly shut. She jumped as flames pressed against the front of her body, and she stumbled back, only to be halted by the trunk of a rough tree. She trembled as the heat suffocated her flesh and trapped her in its embrace.
“Good evening…” she felt the deep sound rumble from the fire and her eyes shot open in surprise. No, not flames… it was him; she could hear the smirk in his voice.