Elder Arlan returned a few minutes later with all we needed in a bag. He looked terribly upset and I knew he and Lillian wanted to embrace each other but they couldn't; not until her month was over. As we walked back she looked through the different ingredients.
"I'll be able to grow all of these in the gardens," she said. "Thank you for going to get these."
"Of course," I said. "And I needed to get away from Elder Donne before I killed him."
She bit her lower lip. "Is he really going to make me denounce Adelpha?"
I sighed. "I don't know, Lillian. He may try but I don't know if it's possible. Do you know what happens if you try to worship another god?"
She nodded. "Elder Arlan told me that the god can and will kill you."
"Unfortunately, yes. My father has let my mother continue worshiping her god."
I frowned. "Then why is Elder Donne so intent on me no longer communing with Adelpha?"
We were in our bedchambers and I shut the door and locked it. I made sure the windows and other doors were sealed. It was the only way I knew we wouldn't be overheard. My parents and Elder Donne will realized I'd done it but I didn't care. I led her to the bed and we sat down.
"It is my thought that he is going to force you to become a vampire," I sighed and she leaned back.
"That's impossible! I am an elf! You can't turn another supernatural being!"
"He knows," I said and ran a hand through my hair. "That is why he is trying to force you to live as a vampire, I think. Perhaps he believes that it will cause you to become a vampire anyway."
She groaned. "Why is he like this, Roan?"
"I don't know. I've never seen him like this before," I sighed. "It's almost like he's... been... possessed."
I stared at the blankets with wide eyes.
"Roan?" she asked, holding my hand. "Roan, what's wrong?"
"It's Elder Donne," I breathed. "It's not really him!"
"What do you mean?"
I took both of her hands. "Lillian, Donne's possessed!"
She frowned. "How?"
"I don't know," I said. "Whoever did it used very dark magic. It takes a lot of work to possess a human, let alone a vampire."
She frowned. "So you think someone in the palace is possessing him to use the influence from his station?"
"I'm positive," I nodded. I bit the inside of my cheek. "I need to commune with Caricus."
"And I will commune with Adelpha," she said immediately.
I shook my head. "Lillian, if we plan to find this traitor then it will be dangerous. Just wait here while I-"
Her stare was hard as she gripped my face with both hands. It took me by surprise and I was a little intimidated.
"We will be marrying in less than a month," she snapped. "That means whatever I deal with, you do as well and vice versa. I'm not going to let you do this on your own. Whether you want to admit it or not, you need me and I-"
I pulled her to me and kissed her. She reacted immediately, wrapping her arms around my neck. I pulled her as close as I could, pulling on her chin gently to open her mouth. A moan escaped her throat as our tongues moved. My body erupted into goosebumps as I pushed her gently onto her back. She ran her fingers in my hair and I gripped her hips, trying to keep them from wandering her body.
I felt what my father had described as arousal building in my stomach. Her fierceness to help me, her desire to accept everything, her resolution to do all she has been asked; it all made my body yearn for her as did my heart.
I broke away and placed small kisses on her neck. She sighed a little, panting. Her hands went from my hair to my biceps, resting there as I continued to kiss her neck. I felt her vein pulsing and pressed my lips to it. I couldn't turn her but the sensation of feeling her vein pulse rapidly steadied my heart and helped me catch my breath.
Neither of us spoke. I put my forehead on the pillow and stayed on top of her. She was breathing deeply as well as her heart rate decreased, holding onto me tightly.
"Do we-Do we need to be in separate rooms?" she asked finally.
"No," I said, still staying on top of her. "If we are communing for the same reason, though, let's sit across from each other."
"Okay," she said. She cleared her throat and I heard the smile in her voice. "If we're going to do this, you have to get off of me."
I blushed and sat up. "Right. I'm sorry."
She giggled. "It's okay."
She got off the bed and opened the secret compartment. She took out the Adelpha statue I made for her. I went to the desk and grabbed a black candle. Caricus didn't have a statue. I put it on the floor and, as soon as I moved my hands in the appropriate way and laced my fingers, keeping my pointer fingers up straight, it stood on end and lit up.
I waited for Lillian. She set up Adelpha's statue and sat cross legged like me. Her face was focused. She placed both hands on the floor in front of her, palms down. Then she lifted her right hand and did the elven salute. She took a deep breath and held it out as if she were waiting for something to be put in it. I was curious but I'd ask her later.
Her hair moved about her, blown by a wind I couldn't feel, and her eyes closed. I realized she was with Adelpha and I closed my eyes, too, willing myself to stand before Caricus.
Caricus was just a void of swirling dark blue and black. As I bowed before him, the void swirled faster.
Why have you approached me, Roan, Prince of Vampires?
"I need your help," I muttered. "There is-"
A traitor in your palace. Yes. I know. I have been waiting for you to realize.
"Who is it?"
I cannot reveal his name. He holds a high station in your palace. He has possessed your elder. Your true elder is imprisoned, in much pain.
"What can I do?"
You must work with the elf you have fallen in love with.
"I do not-"
You cannot hide it from me, Roan Dragomir. Work with her and her goddess. Only the two of you can stop the impending war.
"War? Who said anything about a war?"
Adelpha knows She speaks with the elf now.
"I did not realize you speak with Adelpha...."
She is my Sister. Speak with your beloved.
I felt myself being pulled away. "Wait! Can we cross the border safely?"
Reveal the identity of the traitor. You will find your answer along the way.
I groaned. I was back in my room and the candle was extinguished. Damn it.
I looked up. Lillian's eyes were wide and her face pale. She looked like she'd be sick and she tore for the washroom. I heard her vomiting and looked at the statue.
My jaw dropped.
Slowly, it started to spin and face me. I gripped my knees. It hovered a few inches in the air then set itself beside the candle which stood itself back up. Lillian walked out as the two deities circled each other through their physical representations. They spun so fast they became a blur. Lillian lowered to her knees beside me and I held her hand tightly.
Finally, they froze and the candle put itself in one of Adelpha's extended hands.
"Oh my," Lillian gasped. "Do you know what this means, Roan?"
"Our god and goddess are working for the first time," I nodded.