|Lycan Nights -·=»‡«=·- Chapter 3 -·=»‡«=·-|
I wake from deep and sweet dreaming to find myself in a bed in a lonely hotel room. I sit up, my heart switching from calm slow beats to fast palpitations. The memories of last night immediately flood back home.
Every memory is as clear as day.
I wonder if this is a hospital or something?
I get my answer, when I turn to see a note left on the bedside table, addressed to me.
I sit back against the pillows as I unfold the letter and read it.
Dear Angel D’Cruz,
You may remember the demons you saw last night, as you were speaking in tongues in your sleep when you were delivered to us for assessment. We’ve concluded you need realignment to God’s protection. That is why you are here in the protective arms of the GW Collective. We restore and protect his most faithful, who have been targeted by demons. Seeing demons means you are susceptible to possession – if not already possessed – and are affectively in a hexed state until exorcised. Until the appropriate prayers and rituals have been completed to cleanse your soul, we will help you through each and every step along the way. Your family has been notified and you will be returned in a week’s time when you are healed by God’s most faithful. We are all here to help you.
Please call Priest Oswald on XXX-XXX-XXX when you wake up.
He will consult you on your next steps.
Please do not contact your family directly, any direct contact with friends or family may result in the hex being passed to your most loved ones. For their protection, please entrust yourself to our care.
You are free to leave, if you wish, but doing so may result in harming those you love the most, so please trust this process and believe God is on your side.
P.S. If you wish to speak to me directly, I am down the hall, you’ll see my office, room 999.
Oh… at first the letter freaks me out a little, until I slip out of the covers and tip toe to the window… and I see I am in the middle of Dire Wolf City. Opposite me is St. Michael’s Cathedral, where my parents got married a very long time ago.
Just outside my window I see streams of people walking to and from the shops. Overall it’s a bright and sunny Saturday morning.
I reach for my neck and I feel for my necklace. I hold the cross, fiddling with it, as I think of the events that unfurled last night.
I was kidnapped.
…but those demons, those strange giant creatures… that were absolutely horrific and terrifying in every way… and they also saved my life –
A knock at my door has me turning around, pulled from my thoughts, “Um. Who is it?”
“Priest Oswald, I just came from the Cathedral to check on you…”
Oh! I run to the door and I open it up with a bright smile.
I blush a little as I step back to let the door swing wide open for Priest Oswald… I’m just shocked because he’s young and very handsome.
I didn’t expect that at all.
“H-hi, Father,” I stutter and hold my hands behind my back, “I’m sorry, I’m just excited, this is all a little crazy but I know I’m in safe Christian hands.”
“Good,” Priest Oswald raises a black brow, over deep brown eyes with a tinge of red… they’re so beautiful… I’ve never seen that eye-color before. I might be staring a little too long, though, slightly entranced, “Come with me and we’ll get you something to eat while we discuss with Sardonix what your next steps will be,” Oswald moves back, jerking his chin to suggest I get moving down the hall, “…it’s good to see you in such good spirits, Ms. D’Cruz… although usually those possessed aren’t so calm about it,” Priest Oswald smiles just a little bit, but it’s kind of judgmental.
“Oh, it’s just… I’m happy because my father actually works in this city, so he’s close by,” I explain, “My father is the Chief of Police. And I’m not very close to him anymore because my parents divorced when I was 11… my mum got full custody but… I might see him around, I hope…?” I taper off, biting my lip as I realize I can’t contact family yet… and Oswald’s mouth curls down into a frown, displeased by my continuing carefree attitude. It’s not that I didn’t care, it’s that I was just fine with this so far. Whatever this was.
“That won’t be necessary for the moment,” Oswald stays professional, “I’m sorry your parents separated.”
“They hated each other, so oh well,” I shrug, “I mean… they’re happier apart, so…” I keep blurting things out nervously, anything to just fill in the silence.
“This way,” Oswald holds out a hand to direct me down the corridor, since I haven’t walked out yet and he’s been waiting patiently for me to start following instruction. Oops.
Becoming spritely, I quickly join him, and I look around the blue stone architecture, wooden beams and stained glass windows. This place is gothic as fuck, it’s awesome!
“My mum knows I’m okay, right?” I ask Oswald as we walk slowly together.
“Yes, your family know where you are,” Priest Oswald walks us down to a room that does say… a number, a little crookedly, no. 999.
I reach for it, “…it’s falling off,” before my fingertips can touch the number plaque, Oswald opens the door, stopping me from interfering, “In you go… Ms. D’Cruz,” oh… I lower my hand, blushing again.
He might be young and handsome for a priest but he was strict and a little impatient.
“Sorry,” I mouth as I tiptoe into the Lead Exorcist’s office. Sardonix’s head is down as he is organizing something within a black stone box on a massive office desk, “So how long will it take for this hex to be removed?” I ask Oswald as we walk in together.
“I’ll hand you over to our best Exorcist, he’ll tell you… Sardonix,” Oswald calls to him, as he is still busy sorting through that stuff in the box.
Sardonix is in a beautiful, restored part of the GW hotel. I really like what’s been done with the place. I remember coming here as a kid once.
And honestly, since getting ‘possessed’ I’m loving the special treatment, I won’t lie.
Oswald pulls out a chair for me, and I take an excited seat opposite the Exorcist.
He has striking silver hair… I wonder if that’s natural?
I watch Sardonix carefully, as he finally looks up to me… and I finally see his face front on.
His eyes are similar to Father Oswald, dark brown, reddish hue… they briefly trail over me…
Now that I can see Sardonix’s full features, I’ve stiffened in the chair.
Oswald takes a seat beside me.
“What’s your opinion, Father? I needed an objective point of view,” Sardonix addresses Oswald, not me.
“She’s inclined… to possession, trust me,” Oswald explains, “She’s a little happy about it too, which is… strange…”
“I’m not happy about seeing demons,” I whisper to Oswald, hurt by his words, until I see him smiling a bit. Is he teasing me or something?
Oswald looks between me and Sardonix, “…is there anything else you need?” he asks the Lead Exorcist.
“No, I can take over D’Cruz from here,” Sardonix speaks so professionally, his eyes now sliding back to mine.
“B-but, wait,” I reach for Oswald’s robe at his arm, clutching on before he leaves, “I recognize him… from last night… you were the demon,” I tell Sardonix straight up, “You walked towards me… you morphed, from beast to man. You picked me up. You saved me. Remember?”
Sardonix’s eyes flash to Oswald. They keep sharing knowing looks.
“That’s not correct,” Oswald carefully tells me, “Any demon you saw, was separate. Possession can change your perceptions and memories. That’s why you need our help. The supernatural starts to bleed into your usual sight. You’re just confused.”
“So what I saw was… not real?” I ask, “Why were you there? An exorcist?”
“I wasn’t there,” Sardonix explains, “You were brought to us by police.”
“Fun fact, Sardonix. Her father is the Chief of Police,” Oswald suddenly interjects, “… just thought I’d pass that on.”
“I’d love to see him, when this is all over,” I tell Sardonix directly, “…but I swear I saw you last night…”
Oswald leaves. As he walks out, I am now left alone with Sardonix, “By the way, your number is falling off,” I explain, “Like on the door.”
“…ok,” Sardonix picks up his phone, not really interested in that, “What do you want to eat?” I guess this was just going to be purely professional… he seemed like a busy guy.
“Like…sushi?” I suggest.
“Done,” Sardonix calls a number, and leaves instructions about bringing in sushi and coffees.
I don’t even drink coffee, but I just smile and stay seated awkwardly.
I start to fiddle with my crucifix again as Sardonix hangs up the phone and picks up a bunch of gem stones, placing them on the desk.
“I just want to test your aura, that’s all…” Sardonix speaks gently, avoiding eye contact, “Pick one up.”
“They’re all the same color,” I murmur.
“They have engravings,” Sardonix raises a brow but keeps his eyes downcast to the table… I think he’s trying to be less intimidating by avoiding staring at me directly.
I mean, I appreciate it, but it still doesn’t change that I’m confident I saw him last night.
He saved me.
I don’t know why he is denying it.
“Okay,” I agree, reaching forward, I pick up a stone, “Now what?”
“Wait,” Sardonix holds up his hand… and I see him focusing on the stones.
I focus on them too.
One by one, they start to roll… despite their still positions, each one trembles and starts to rock side to side and then shimmy down the table, or tumble, right into my lap.
One at a time.
Eventually they all fall into my lap.
My mouth hangs open.
What the f –
“H-how,” I stutter that one word, clutching my cross so tightly.
“Each stone contains a trapped and rotting soul,” Sardonix explains, his finger writing unexplainable symbols on the desk as he tells me, “What just happened shows how suspectable you are to a rotting soul. Usually at most, one or two stones will move… I’ve never seen all of them shake and tumble toward a client like that. Ms. D’Cruz… you are in grave danger.”
“I don’t understand… what a rotting soul is…” I murmur.
“Last night,” Sardonix probes carefully, “What happened last night?”
“…I was kidnapped…” I stare down at my hand, “At gun point. That man –”
“He was rotting,” Sardonix’s voice drops a few octaves, “That’s what rot is. What happened next?”
“The strange part, you mean? Wolf men, jumped onto the truck, or one of them did, and you, you ripped out my kidnapper’s throat,” I look up at Sardonix now, “Your beast did, I fell out of the door… I crawled back into the grass… I remember this all as clear as if it just happened, more of your kind came out of the shadows, you jumped the hood, you, as in the wolf man version of you, then you… shifted, like a werewolf, into a naked man… the one I’m staring at right now, you came close… you picked me up. You saved me.”
He really is still avoiding my eyes as I explain all this.
While staring at his bookshelf adjacent to us both, Sardonix slowly licks over his teeth, trying hard not to face me, until he caves and his head and eyes turn… for the first time we finally lock eyes properly.
“Please,” I add now, imploring him, “Please don’t lie to me. If it’s protection from a scary truth. Don’t lie. Because I rather thank you for what you did… even though you’re… something else that I don’t understand.”
“We’ll speak about that later,” Sardonix chooses his words very, very carefully, “Right now, we need to talk about the amount of rot you just attracted toward you.”
“That doesn’t sound good, does it?” I admit, “Does that mean… I’m going to attract more people like that… like that monster that kidnapped me…?”
“It’s not normal, that you’re attracting that much rot, I don’t think it’s a hex, I think something else happened to you,” Sardonix sounds dead serious about it too, “You’re here for protection… you leave here, in the state you’re in, you’ll attract a bad death… your own death… and yes, you’re correct, you will attract more rot like that man who kidnapped you.”
I don’t know why I believe him.
But I do.
I collect all the stones in my lap and I stand up to roll them back toward him, “Please put them away,” I tell him.
Sardonix nods slightly with a tilt to his head as he picks them all up, while I keep standing, slowly looking down at the stuff on his desk.
Books about magic.
Stars… a small basket full of skull rings and other satanic looking jewelry. A book that says TLT Rituals.
TLT… why did that stir a distant memory.
While slowly leaning over his desk and him, I reach out a hand toward the TLT book, “What’s this?”
Sardonix’s fingers tap up, as if he’s about to stop me, but all I do is lay my fingertips on the top of the cover, I don’t lift the pages… meanwhile I’m biting my bottom lip.
Because leaning over like this, I can smell him now…
I breathe in through my nose slowly… oh my… intoxicating… a beautiful scent… it must be an expensive cologne… I notice his own nostrils flare and he covers his mouth with his other hand and looks the other way, his foot now tapping under the table.
“Would you sit back down for me, darling?” Sardonix murmurs so quietly I can’t even hear him properly behind his hand.
“I just want to know what this is,” I really mean, what you are, as I lean over a bit more toward him, looking over his other stuff on the large desk, “This stuff is so cool and aesthetic,” I compliment his collection of ornaments, “Why can’t I thank you for what you did last night…?” I’ve leaned in a lot closer… some deep instinct inside me wants to smell him more. I get a better whiff from how close we are but my knees dramatically buckle. Before I face plant into the desk, I immediately pull back before I fall, going bright red in the face. I sit my ass back down on the chair, “Sorry,” I whisper, now averting my eyes. Why did I just behave like that? It’s like I was creeping on him. I just wanted a smell though… why do I even care?
I glance up nervously and Sardonix is fighting back a smirk, however, he lowers his hand from his mouth and breaths, “Thank you… just… relax… if you’re thirsty and hungry, the food is on its way.”
I appreciate that he doesn’t scold me for touching his stuff.
Or leaning over so rudely.
I keep staring at him though.
I kind of can’t help it.
I just know it’s because of him. He’s my savior. I already have huge respect for him for that.
“Thanks,” I nod, gulping, gripping the arm rests of the chair and chewing on my lip as I stare at the stuff on the desk again, but I hold myself firmly down this time.
“TLT is a side business,” Sardonix finally explains the book I pointed out, “It’s completely different to this type of exorcism. There are different kinds of sin. Lust is a tricky one. To abolish or satisfy? Sometime satisfying a lust is better… it’s more complete…” he looks from the book to me, “Whatever this is with you, we’ll help you through it.”
“I counted eight doors in this hall,” I tell him, just wanting to sound smart I guess, “8 exorcists…?” I trail off, as my innocent question turns to an abrupt realization.
“Oh my god…” I feel… just a little scared right now when I make that connection.
“You’re not wrong, there’s more of us here,” Sardonix confirms my suspicion, “… sometimes 8 is better than 1.”
A handsome smile spreads right across his face.
I have no idea why.
I just stay quiet.
And the door abruptly opens.
I get the fright of my life and jerk back in the chair. I look over my shoulder, and another young, gorgeous exorcist, comes into the room with the food and coffee.
“This is Clypto,” Sardonix jumps up, walking around to him, to help him with the food and drinks.
Clypto has black hair… and the same intense eyes as Sardonix… and Priest Oswald. Maybe it’s something about the walls…
Sardonix whispers something into Clypto’s ear, as they both come around me.
Clypto plonks the bag on the desk, reaching in for the food, “Hi,” he growls out and smiles. I happen to notice how sharp one of his canines is…
“I told you, we’ll take care of you,” Sardonix puts down the coffee.
…their words kind of fly right over my head…
I’m clutching my cross again.
Sardonix… in this brief moment is right next to my nose, his shirt, his legs… they’re inches from me, and I get a whiff of his cologne, only to turn to Clypto on my other side and I get another brunt of spice, straight up my sensitized nostrils.
I try to hold it in but I sneeze dramatically, three damn times…!
Then I’m slouching down in the chair, to move a few more inches away from them… the hell is going on with me…?
It’s like my spine uncurls and all my muscles relax. My blood pumps faster, and I’m grateful when they both move away from me.
I feel weird.
Sardonix heads back around the desk.
Clypto quietly stalks out of the room and slams the door on the way out.
I hear a piece of metal collide with the floor and I bet that number fell off…!
My knees feel weak, even in this chair, my gut feels strange… but I’m really, really thirsty too.
I try to sit up and I pick up the coffee. I take a sip and the smell helps waft away the other smells.
My hand shakes as I take a second sip and then I place the coffee on the desk before I spill it, “I,” my voice wobbles as I admit to Sardonix, “I think there is something wrong with me…” I’m even shaking in the chair a little bit after I forced myself to sit up, a tremble I can’t control while under his gaze.
“Relax,” Sardonix drawls comfortingly, popping off one of the container lids holding the sushi rolls. He pushes over the food.
I try to breathe steady but my breathing is all fucked up.
I suck in a breath, too tight.
“…calm down, Angel, try to control yourself,” Sardonix tries to tell me again, but this time it’s more of a harsher command, a harsher tone – what a stupid thought – it’s just helpful advice!
“I’m just scared, it must be the aftershock of what happened,” I tattle off quickly, “Like, it’s only hitting me now, being kidnapped, you know? Right?” I say it all really quickly, as I now focus solely on the sushi after lying through my teeth.
I just couldn’t believe where my thoughts were slipping to right now.
I wanted to smell them again.
The beasts that saved me.
They were all around me.
And I was trembling from excitement.
I didn’t know why, and that’s why I was scared.
God, please, help me get through this feeling.
I eat my sushi with my eyes downcast, crying a little from the overwhelming emotions flooding through me, although I’m not sad per say, I feel every emotion all at once… as I think of Sardonix saving me.
I think I’m just in shock still.
That’s all this feeling is.
I glance up to Sardonix, even though two tears roll out of my eyes. He’s sitting back in his chair, looking very satisfied, reclining, hands clasped in front of him. He doesn’t comment on me crying.
Sardonix slow blinks at me, and his boot under the table knocks against my foot, on purpose. He keeps it there.
“What?” I ask with my mouth full.
Sardonix slowly shakes his head, “Whatever you’re feeling, just don’t be ashamed… it’s okay to feel. Your soul is perfectly fine. You can rest today. We’ll do some tests at night, okay?” Sardonix raises a slow brow… I think it looks rather seductive.
His seductive look reminds me of that word again, TLT.
There was a poster in my town.
I stop chewing.
I slowly put down the sushi.
You know, one time we learned about cults in school… they feed you to draw you in initially… as simple as food and drink… to get you in the door.
I slowly push the sushi away from me.
I look around the room again and then I almost admit to him, that I know where I am… but I bite my tongue, and instead, I force out, “Thank you again.”
I shouldn’t admit what I know.
It was too dangerous.
I was grateful that he saved my life.
However, I just don’t know the real reason I’m here anymore.
“While you relax, if you want company, or need anything at all, you can call me,” Sardonix says, “Okay, Angel?”
“I can also leave right?” I ask him, “Like, if I want to go for a walk in the sun or…?”
“Of course you can leave,” Sardonix looks totally at ease, “I’m just here if you want me. You know where to find me, Ms. D’Cruz.”
If you ‘want’ me!
He said that bit sooo weird.
I now stand up and I slowly start to back out of the room.
“I’m going to… rest now, as you’ve advised me,” I nod at him, my eyes clearly freaked out and totally wide, “Thanks.”
“…please stop thanking me… and don’t be so nervous,” Sardonix leans a little over the table and his eyes flash with a warning.
I force on a smile and I turn and leave.
I want to know more. But I also think I should leave.
I walk back to my room anyway, and I sit on the edge of the bed.
What does my heart say? Stay.
My brain? Run.
My feelings? My emotions? My need and desire to smell that smell again… stay.
But logic? TLT? A cult? RUN.
But my gut instinct… stay…
I have no idea what the appropriate decision is! I chew on my lip.
Facts… I did see demons last night… and I didn’t want my family to get hurt… I gulp.
For now, just for now… I’d stay and investigate just a bit longer. If it got too weird, I’d run as fast as I could out of this place.
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