I had a dream that I was flying, that I was far away from the world with nothing below me. I was surrounded by clouds and stars. I was free. When my eyes opened, awoken from the most restful sleep of my life, I immediately rolled over to reach for Demrin.
I'd heard that the greatest moments in life come and go too fast, disappearing as if they had never even happened. I felt my heart sinking down into my stomach, a feeling of nausea washing over me. The space beside me on the bed was empty. But that wasnt all that had set me off. No longer was I tangled up in the familiar black silk sheets.
"Good morning, angel."
I whipped my head to the right, sitting up too quickly. Dizziness took over my body; I very nearly toppled right back into the bed. He was there, standing at the end of the bed. Wearing his usual face of amused authority. There was a look in his eyes that held a million and one emotions. Anger, but also some tenderness. Envy, betrayal...those were the most painful to see.
"I hope you slept well," he went on, striding around to the side of the bed in which I lay. I stared up at him, speechless, for many long seconds. Unable to really, truly process what was going on. My surroundings set it, a room I didnt recognize, a bed I knew I'd never been in before. "I tried not to disturb you too much while I brought you here."
Here. Where was here? Everette had stolen me away from California, just as he had from New York. Taken me right out of bed, right from the arms of Demrin.
Demrin. What would he think of me, waking to find himself alone in my bed? He would think I'd left of course. And I had, really, even if it had been against my will. I'd abandoned him. He would wake up and think our night meaningless, when in reality I couldnt shake the feeling of the way he'd clutched to me.
"I fear the warlock placed a powerful spell upon you," Everette told me, as if he could read my mind. Something flashed in his violent eyes, but then it was gone and he was sitting down beside me. I quivered as he reached out to trail a finger down my jaw, over my bruised lips. "Something to stop you from destroying him after he defiled you."
My own eyes went wide. A pang of fear shot through my chest. "You didnt...?"
"Hurt him?" Everette finished the words I myself couldnt bear to say. "No, I left the warlock in my bed where I found him. I believe the misery of waking alone will do more than I could have."
I did my best to fight the tears threatening to break free. This was exactly why a succubus wasnt meant to have emotions. Because we were made to lose things, to watch the things we loved and held and shared intimacy with wither away and die. We were made to destroy the most beautiful and sacred of things.
"Oh, come now, Calla," Everette cooed lovingly. "You must not let these things get to you." He tried to reach to me, to hold me, but I pushed him away. I saw the glint of anger in his expression, the way his lips almost curled back to reveal his fangs.
"Where were you, anyway?" I demanded. "You just left me with no idea of where you were or when you'd be back."
Everette looked away from me then, off into the darkness like he often did. "Do not trouble yourself with such things," he said eventually. "Get dressed. I shall show you around your new home."
In the grand scheme of things, I knew that my night with Demrin should not have held so much meaning. I'd spent a hundred nights in such passionate embraces, sharing stolen kisses in the shadows.
But I could not stop my heart from feeling that this time had been different. Something about being with Demrin had felt so much more real, unlike anything I'd ever experienced in my life. Even with Everette...well, I didnt want to think about him.
As soon as the vampire left my room, I'd taken a good look around. He'd brought along all the important things, my clothes and makeup and the few belongings he had. There was no window in the room for me to get a look at where I was. I hoped for his sake there was one in the room where he'd put my piano. Unlike him, I was a creature made for the light, for the glow of beauty. And the piano was the only thing that was truly, truly mine.
Once I was in some clothes, a pair of boxer shorts and a simply gray tank top, I went off to find Everette. The room was at the beginning of a long corridor, and I could see his silhouette in the doorway at the very end. A few moments later I stood beside him.
Everette smiled slightly, slung and arm around my waist and held me close to him. It was hard to remember to be mad at him when he was so tenderly massaging his thumb against my hip. And that was when my eyes fell upon what lay before me. There was a massive window that devoured a whole wall, with my piano off to the side. The shades had been pulled open in the dark of the night.
We must have been on the top floor of some high off building, because I could see everything, every twisting street below. Only these streets werent normal pavement. No, they were flooded, filled with a glittering water that reflected the stars like a mirror.
Everette kissed me atop the head. "Welcome to Venice."