My hearts beating faster-I know what I’m after.

Caer quietly slipped out from the bed, careful to pull the sheets back as quietly and quickly as possible.  Goose flesh rose along her legs and arms as the cool air hit her warmed skin. She seemed to glance towards the bed as if it called her back. She shook her head and pulled on a robe that Raiyden had given her to use while she recovered. Now she could at least move about the palace without needing help or feeling like she was going to throw up and pass out.

She had mended. It had been a slow and painful process. The stumbling and the falling on her face. Being beaten down  over and over had finally reached a crescendo. She had lost in the worst way imaginable. Losing not only the fight against Daedaluses apprentice; but she had also lost her voice- the ability to speak; but worst of all, she had lost precious memories.  People and faces were no longer familiar to her- friends who had been with her not only for most of her life, but friends she had once loved and cared for. Bogan had promised her- she would live, but she would lose some of the most precious things to her. His voice she would never forget. Those words would be etched into her heart for the rest of her life.

Crossing the room she leaned against the window that lead to the balcony. Her back to the window, Caer knew she was safe from sniper shots. Vaulk had seen to that, using ludicrously expensive shields to keep his home safe. Wrapping her arms around herself she watched the form on the bed sleeping. She could see through the force of the little currents of the force swirl around the shape on the bed. It was steady on the surface, like a river that ever moved on towards its destination.

But underneath… she saw the turbulence.  The dark current that threatened to suck in anything that swam too deep. The cool exterior, the confidence hid so well the rage and cold calculating his revenge on Daedalus.  The name invoked rage in the Pureblood that Caer had never seen before and on some level it kind of scared her; but on another level it bolstered her own self-confidence.  He kindled a fire in her that she never felt before- or maybe she had forgotten it. To her it didn’t matter anymore. The past was the past and she couldn’t dwell on what she could or could not remember. It would just break her down.

Steel to my trembling lips,
How did the night ever get like this?
One shot and the whiskey goes down, down, down
Bottom of the bottle hits
Waking up my mind as I throw a fit
The breakin’ is takin’ me down, down, down

The shadows of the room hid Vaulks face, but she didn’t need light to see it. She could see on a level so few had privilege to. He was asleep, she could tell that by the way his aura flowed smoothly. She could see each ridge and scar on his face. The dusky red skin etched with a thousand stories and a thousand more secrets. Caer knew well the danger of getting close to a man like Vaulk; he was a pureblood and by their own design they were never a kind or caring species. They were renowned for their cruelty and their conquering ways.  She had learned about them in the Jedi temples, hearing the tales of what the Sith would do if they ever got a hold of her. What they never told the Jedi was that there were always aberrations to the norm. The few that were content to rule smaller pieces of the world around them. The ones who were just as happy to rule their personal kingdoms with cold iron fists.

Vaulk. He was one of the few who was not after the galaxy. He wasn’t after a seat on the dark council or a Darths title steeped to the elbows in blood. His hands were just as bloodied as hers. Caer couldn’t deny that. But that was the thrill of it.  The past two years she had known Vaulk he had done some horrible things, some she had participated in.  She wasn’t proud of it, but she only had to answer to two beings- Ashla and Bogan. They absolved her of the necessary sins and punished her for the unforgivable ones. Everything else didn’t matter.

She exhaled the sound barely audible to even her own ears. She could watch him sleep for hours. Something about him drew her like a bird to a shiny object.  Each touch of his sent shivers of anticipation through her; his voice would enthrall her some days- most days she wold follow him around as he did his daily work of ensuring the safety of his world.

And he was losing it. This world he had so carefully crafted. Like a castle of glass, his world was crumbling around him and Caer couldn’t help but feel like some of it was her fault. A lot of it she placed on Xaishens shoulders, but some of it had been her own doing.

My heart’s beating faster, I know what I’m after.
I’ve been standing here my whole life,
Everything I’ve seen twice, now it’s time I realize
It’s spinnin’ back around now, on this road I’m crawling
Save me cause I’m falling, now I can’t seem to breathe right
Cause I keep runnin’, runnin’, runnin’, runnin’
Runnin’, runnin’, runnin’, runnin’
Runnin’ from my heart.

He had called her his. That she belonged to him and if it had been any other man other than Vaulk, she’d have cut him down. A few had tried and all had failed. Until Vaulk. They had that talk after she had awoken. Mind to mind- they had talked long into the night, his hand possessively on her waist as he helped her stand and look out at the world that she hadn’t seen for almost a month. She could still remember the heat of his breath on her neck, stirring the hair along the nape and sending a shiver to chase along her spine.

He had asked her what she wanted from him and she had responded that if he was ever going to choose to destroy her at least to give her a fighting chance. He had smirked and said that he’d have never had it any other way. After that he had taken her to bed, tucked her in and sat in the nearby chair, watching her as she fell into a healing slumber.

Caer knew that the others hated it. That her loyalty to Vaulk almost rivaled that to her family and the Luka Sene. But the others had no idea what Caer and he shared- what they had done to keep the girls of his Palace safe- whole and free.

She didn’t regret a second of it.

‘Round and around I’d go, addicted to the numb
Living in the cold
The higher, the lower the down, down, down
Sick of being tired and sick of waiting
For another kind of fix
The damage is damning me down, down, down

Crossing the room again, she moved to the mask on the table, the fanged mask of the snake. Fingers gently brushed against the ice cold metal of one of the elongated fangs. He was a viper. A creature to be wary of and to handle with caution. Caer was so keenly aware of what could happen if you played with snakes; one was liable to be bit and no anti-dote in the galaxy could save her.

Her lips curled into a faint smile as she thought about that analogy. Had she not survived worse? At the hands of Anubis? At the battle of Kullus? Had she not survived the dark magics that the apprentice of Daedalus had assaulted her with? What was a snake bite compared to any of that?  There was nothing in the galaxy that she would ever flinch from again. There was nothing left- her whole life and soul had been stripped bare, layer by layer and she had been rebuilt from the core of her being back to the skin that housed that very soul.

Picking up the mask she placed it over her face and turned to the mirror that  hung on the wall. She saw the eyeless holes, hiding her face in shadows; giving her a haunting appearance as the fangs of the mask curled under. Smiling to only herself she lowered the mask and set it back on the table.

Stripping back down out of the robe she slipped back into the bed, pulling the blankets up around her once more; her arm slipped around the waist of the Pureblood, her body pressed against his, feeling him stir only briefly only to fall back into that slumber.

Her last thought before sleep reclaimed her was that in the end of it all… someone always belonged to someone else.

And she didn’t mind.

My heart’s beating faster, I know what I’m after.
I’ve been standing here my whole life,
Everything I’ve seen twice, now it’s time I realize
It’s spinning back around now, on this road I’m crawling
Save me cause I’m falling, now I can’t seem to breathe right
Cause I keep runnin’, runnin’, runnin’, runnin’
Runnin’, runnin’, runnin’, runnin’
Runnin’ from my heart.

Woah ohhhhh,
I’m coming alive.
Woah ohhhhh,
Wake up now and live oh!

 

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