"Father, tell me something," I said as we walked into the throne room.
"Anything," he said.
"How much do you know about possession?"
He stared at me for a long time. "Why are you asking, Roan?"
I shrugged. "I'm just curious."
He narrowed his eyes at me. "You are my son. I know you. What is it that you know?"
I sighed. "I can't tell you, Father. Please. Just tell me what it is you know of it."
"Just that the legends of it being a demon are true," he answered, lowering his voice. "Different demons possess different people and races. For example, a stronger demon is required to possess a... vampire than one to possess a human."
His eyes met mine and I knew right away that he knew why I was asking.
"The ritual is the same?"
"Yes. I hope this is for... research."
"It is," I nodded. "I do not plan on acting on this knowledge."
"Perhaps you should keep it to yourself," he whispered. "That includes Elder Donne," he added.
"Yes," I said.
A stronger demon is needed.... Then that means whoever this traitor is knows magic. Could it be Lethan? No. He's never been the type of vampire to do such a thing. He has several apprentices, though....
"It's time to start your duties," my father said abruptly and I nodded, sitting up straight. "First on the list is making sure that our armies are still fit for battle."
We stood up and walked out of the palace.
"Why must they be ready?" I asked. "We are at peace with all races."
"Except for the elves," he pointed out.
"That will change in three weeks."
"Unless something were to go wrong," he whispered.
I stopped walking. "Father, have you communed with Caricus lately?"
He stared. "You know the answer to that question, son. Come now. We must speak to our general."
After dinner, which I made sure Lillian had plenty of, we got into bed. I pulled her close to me for two reasons. The first being I loved her and wanted her as close to me as possible. The second being it was easier to tell her.
"I think my father knows," I whispered.
"Everything?" she whispered back, her face in my neck.
In spite of it all, I smiled at the feel of her warm breath against my skin.
"Most of it," I nodded. "I don't think he knows that Donne is possessed. I think he suspects it."
I told her briefly about what he said about demons.
"He was acting the same today," she said. "I did, too. I figured the less he suspected that I knew, the safer I'd be."
"You were right," I nodded.
I stretched and she giggled.
"Every time you do that you remind me of a cat," she answered.
"Just remember that cats have claws," I purred in her ear, nuzzling her neck and smiling when I felt her shiver against me. "And they also are great at self-cleaning."
I licked her neck and she gasped, gripping my arms. I teased her for a while longer before she pushed on me. We kissed again but she didn't take it beyond that.
"I'm still tired," she said, blushing. "And sore. I'm sorry."
"Don't be," I said, lying back down and yawning. "We've had a long day. Come cuddle with your cat."
She giggled and I pulled her so her back was against my chest.
"Good night, Roan."
"Sleep well, my Lillian."
The next day, Lillian and I were summoned into Elder Donne's office. I tried not to panic. He couldn't be aware we were onto him yet, could he? When we entered, though, he was smiling.
"Have you been enjoying your time here?" he asked Lillian and she nodded. "I happen to know that you have been... entertaining each other's company."
Lillian turned brilliant red and covered her face.
"Have you been spying on us!?" I yelled.
He smirked. "I am the elder. I know everything that goes on in this realm. And, when you are not being rude and sealing your room, I have the right to make sure all is well."
Lillian ran out, her face still covered.
"That is wrong," I said, pointing my finger angrily at him. "You are invading our privacy!"
"It is my duty," he said stubbornly. "Besides, it's good you're doing it now. We can start seeing if she'll get pregnant."
"I don't know who you think you are," I yelled, "but I am sealing our room permanently!"
"And if I forbid it?" he asked with narrowed eyes.
I smirked at him. "There are other ways to get our privacy in this castle." I stormed to the door. "By the way," I added, turning. "If I find out that you've been poking your nose where it doesn't belong again, I'll cut it off."
"How dare you!?" he hissed, standing up.
I met his gaze. "Stay out of our business."
"This marriage and pregnancy is my business," he snapped and I wondered why he was so hung up on her getting pregnant. "And she better be pregnant! I have done my research, young Roan," he added. I gripped the doorknob. "If you don't impregnate her, I will."
"Don't you dare!" I yelled. "You stay away from her!"
"Get her pregnant and I will."
I pulled the door open so hard it was torn off the hinges. I stared at it then threw it at Donne. It crashed into him but I didn't stick around to see what he would do.
I followed the feelings of embarrassment through the palace until I got to the greenhouse. Lillian was curled up in a ball in the far corner. I sighed and sat beside her.
"Tell me everything," she whispered.
"He's been spying. That is all."
"I know you're not telling me all of it," she said, glaring at me.
I sighed. "You don't want to know, Lillian."
"Yes I do. If I don't, I can't protect myself!"
I groaned. "It will only frighten you."
"More than a demon possessing the vampire elder?" she hissed.
I sighed again and put my head on hers. She bit her lower lip as our eyes locked.
"If I don't get you pregnant, Lillian, he will."
Her face went pale. "You mean he'll-"
"Cast a spell and force himself on you, yes," I whispered.
She shut her eyes tightly. "Oh, Roan," she groaned. "What are we going to do?"
"We'll find it out now," I said, pulling her to her feet. "We're going to the library, grab as many books as we can, and going back where we went the other day."
"You mean the-"
I shook my head quickly and she took the hint, falling silent.
I held her hand as we ran to the library and I followed the alphabet. I went to 'D' and she went to 'P'. Most of the books were in my native tongue so I'd have to translate for her or read them myself. When we got done gathering all the books, I stuffed them in a sack and we ran as fast as we could to the clearing. I was glad she was an elf; she could keep up with me and I knew whoever this demon was had been watching us.
"Can he follow us?" she panted.
"Not once we're in the clearing," I said.
We arrived and both let out a sigh of relief. We sat and I passed her half of the books and I took the others.
"What are we looking for exactly?" she asked.
"Anything to do with demons, possessions, and vampires," I answered. "How fast can you read?"
"Faster than the average human," she answered. "Two pages a second."
"Perfect. Let's get to reading."