Darkness Calling Ch. 10bymadam_noe©
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Selene awoke in a bitter mood. Her body was satisfied, but her heart was worn, her soul aching. No woman should ever be torn between two men, she thought as she cleansed, let alone between her soul mate and her father.
She emerged back to the bedroom to find Maddy had left a sumptuous breakfast. Nausea from the smells hit her but her magic forced it down and she sat. A rose lay on the tray and it smelled of Soren's magic and sex.
She raised it to her nose and the simple, unintentional spell of her husband's magic and their lovemaking rolled over her. During dinner it had been desperate, with dessert it had been playful, but late in the night it had been something without a name.
Magic had flared with every touch, bloomed in every kiss, and her white magic had risen to join the flow of dark. When they had pulled back from the deep kiss a bouquet of roses lay next to them on the bed.
"How the hell did that happen?"
He'd smiled down at her. "Magic, they're nightbloomers. Darkness in the thorns that thirst for blood, light in the beauty of them."
His deep voice was a very human magic of seduction, and then he'd reached for a single bloom and held it up to the moonlight. It bloomed further, the crimson color of fresh blood, a startling beauty.
"It's amazing." She'd reached for it but he pulled it back and raised a blonde brow.
"Close your eyes, Selene."
For a moment silver and aqua loomed between them, and then she had surrendered to the plea she'd heard behind the words. Magic caressed her as a silken mask closed over her eyes, the blindfold spelled into place.
"What are you do-"
"Shhhh," he'd murmured and she felt his weight roll away to settle pressed to her side.
Next she felt the gentle living touch of the bloom against her cheek and sighed into it. "Selene, there are things of dark magic only I can teach you. Listen very carefully." The rose had trailed down her neck, teasing her, making her nipples pucker even more against the air.
"Have you ever attended a ceremony of the church of Light?"
She'd nodded, biting her lip as the bloom slipped along her collarbone, soothing and teasing her fevered skin all at once. "Light worships health, healing, sunshine, nature, plants, trees, animals. Do you know what dark worships?"
Rumors, wild and dark had followed those words, eliciting a shake as the rose traced the curve of a breast, then slipped to the other. "We worship creation, power, the night, predators, and most of all, sex."
The rose moved with magic until the petals firmed, still soft, and began to massage an aching nipple. Selene cried out at the shocking pleasure and arched into him, silently begging for more, only to be rewarded by a firmer press of the rose and a deep chuckle.
"Our powers are recharged in the night, recharged most quickly by sex. A marriage of darkness between us will mean greater power for us both."
She'd flinched at that, assuming words of love had been coming. The rose moved to the other nipple and her response died on a deep sigh.
"This is not what the soul feeds on, though, my love. Not all. But if I cannot have your love, I will have your pleasure."
With that the rose had left, as had he from the bed. She'd whimpered, waiting as he rustled around the room. She tried to raise her hands to remove the blindfold but magic pinned them down, dragging them above her head, leaving her taut and exposed. More magic bound her legs and spread them and a dark thrill swept over her.
"I bought you a gift in town," he'd said by her ear suddenly.
A cold strand had caressed her cheek, then pooled on her chest. She recognized the feel as a pearl necklace, the pearls responding to both sides of her magic.
She'd started to thank him but he stole her voice. The strand left and she felt him sit on the bed by her hip. Then his broad, warm fingers touched her pussy, spreading the swollen wet lips apart.
The next sensation had shocked her to her core. A finger slipped inside carrying the pear necklace with it. He'd withdraw, only to push more in. Silently she moaned at the cool, foreign pleasure and it was too short an eternity before it was all in.
Magic flowed then and the press of the undulating rose bloom was at her pussy, slipping softly over her clit. She bucked hard, almost unseating him. One hand pressed to her stomach and sank her into the bed, immobile. She whimpered, almost crying as the pleasure built, driving her higher.
She knew he watched, detached, and that only aroused her further. Then the orgasm tightened her muscles, drawing them inward, and exploded outward. He unmuted her and her scream of pleasure had rung out.
All the while Soren had removed the necklace slowly, every large pearl stroking her quivering flesh. The orgasm had pushed higher and further than any other of her life, fading as slowly as her scream.
She jerked from the memory and spelled the rose away into the armoire. "Yes?" She turned to see Sigrid smiling at her.
"You haven't had breakfast yet?"
Selene rolled two sausages and some egg into a pancake and rolled it up like a burrito. "I can eat while I learn."
"Let's go then," Sigrid held out her hand.
She took it, but looked back at the bed, and wished she wasn't so in love with Soren. All the dark thoughts surrounding her father would be so much easier to bear if betrayal weren't etched into her soul.
She was once more exhausted, and they were far from finished.
Sigrid and Jonathon smiled at her, and through silent communication Jonathon received orders that had him excusing himself.
"Has Soren instructed you on how to replenish your energy?"
Selene blushed deeply and nodded.
"I can contact him and transport you there."
The younger witch raised her eyebrows and gave up on remaining sitting. She turned on the bench and lay down staring at the giant aloe plant. "How can you do that? I thought only family and soul mates could contact another witch."
"Oh, dear, in all the excitement I can't believe we forgot to tell you this. Soren is my brother, dear."
Selene shot up so quickly she fell onto her butt on the marble floor, hard. "What?!"
Her teacher gave her a hand and helped Selene back up. "It's true, I'm sorry. Normally because of his renown we don't tell people but to forget with you is inexcusable."
Looking at her she saw the similar bone structure, the same smile. Selene blushed, feeling stupid, and sat back down.
Sigrid stepped back and closed her eyes. "He's waiting for you," she said softly, and Selene felt magic rise with green mist. She blinked, and then she was in an office.
She was on a maroon leather couch, the office around her was wood paneled and huge. Turning she saw bookcases and a mammoth desk, Soren at the door locking it.
She smiled tentatively at him as he turned back, pulling off his tie. He froze, staring at her face. "They've been working you too hard."
She yawned. "I have a short vacation before my last few weeks of grad school. If I don't train now, then when? When I'm trying to get a job?"
He slipped his jacket off and onto one of the two plush chairs facing his desk. The striped tie was slung over it and she watched, fascinated as he unbuttoned his collar and sleeves, rolling them up reveal powerful forearms.
"Selene, you look like you're about to pass out."
She slipped her own shirt off and smiled up at him. "So let's be quick about this, then, shall we?"
The smile actually touched his eyes, and for that, Selene was over the moon.
Under her own power she transported back to the house. She'd learned how that morning, going room to room in the Whitebloom household. Her entrance was free of green dust or notice, and she found the Whiteblooms in a passionate embrace.
"Oh, sorry!" She tried to transport again but was too flustered, and tore from the study into the conservatory.
There she toyed with plants, appreciative they still responded to the white magic inside her. She lost herself in the contemplation of her duel nature, not hearing the footsteps behind her.
"Sorry about that," Jonathon said.
Selene turned, blushing. "No, I'm sorry. I didn't even think, was just so happy to- to..."
He smiled. "Teleportation as a level ten. I remember the joys of that in my first attempts. Sigrid is a little embarrassed and won't be joining us this afternoon. You could take the time to go home, practice by yourself. You have more complicated spells to learn tomorrow."
Her heart beating fast Selene made up her mind quickly. "Jonathon, you're a level ten, as am I. I heard of a spell once that only two tens could do. Could you help me?"
He sat on a bench. "Sure, what is it? Teleporting a large object? Enchanting a small object?"
"Take me back in time to witness my father's supposed extortion of the Council."
His handsome face paled. "Selene, time travel is heavily monitored, you'd need a pass and that takes months."
"You sit on the Council, if you spell me so I am invisible, silent, and impotent in the past it's not illegal."
"Please. Can you understand? I'm torn between two men who mean a lot to me. Both are new to me, unfamiliar, and whoever I choose to believe will direct my life. I need to know what happened!"
He thought for long minutes, driving her crazy. At long last he drew a deep breath and nodded. "It'll take a lot, and I can't guarantee it'll work, but if it does, be careful."
Selene found herself dizzy. For a mad moment she was falling through the floor before she realized the spell had made her immaterial. With great concentration she floated back up to hover close to a brand new, alien floor.
The Council of Tens was a huge amphitheater, the stage held the large risen desks of the Chancellor of Tens and his assistants. Black marble lined one half, white the other, gold threads bonding the two halves of magic.
Doors opened and men, and a few women, began to rush in. They all wore dark suits with slim legs, and it struck her sharply that there were so few women in the group. She waited impatiently while the Council filed in, chatted, slowly made their way to their seats.
Looking for a man who resembled Soren she found him easily. His eyes were light blue and he had a scar on his cheek, other than that son and father were startlingly similar. At least in appearance, not even close in countenance.
Soren had a light inside him, shining through with passion. This man was worn, weary, his eyes remote, the sea color there far more arctic.
He seemed to sense her presence and looked up from his brief, making Selene freeze. Time tourists were often made immaterial like her, but some humans and witches were sensitive to them, spreading stories of ghosts.
She wished she was psychic, could peer into his mind and know the truth, but his face was a hard mask.
The crowd quieted and Selene turned to see the Chancellor ushered in. Behind her Soren's father muttered something that sounded disparaging about the regal leader.
She heard everything clearly over the next hour, but as her time drew to a close she was no less confused. Her father indeed challenged to be elected head of the COM after his impassioned plea for the abandonment of two churches was rejected. His temper was fierce as he then demanded to be released from his bonds of celibacy.
There was a sinister quality to his tone and bearing, but his words rang true to the stories Bram had shared with her in her dreams. Soren's father was one of the angrier opponents, but no threats were issued.
Like so many feuds, Selene knew this was steeped in more myth than fact, and passion ran strong on both sides, defeating reason.
Movement erupted around her, damn it, Selene hadn't been paying attention!
Ushers rushed to remove her father, and quickly witches who supported him took up guard. The rest of the council surged forward, several bodies passed through hers. With each brush she felt their anger, their confusion.
Selene began to follow...and her spell pulled her back.
Dizzy again, she collapsed onto a stone bench, panting. Barely able to lift her head, she saw two pairs of feet.
"Selene, you were sensed," Sigrid said quietly.
Her heart stopped. What she had done was legal, but only barely so. Were she a witch of no true consequence, as she'd once been, there'd be no repercussions. But now she was the daughter of one powerful man, and the wife of another. Careers were at stake.
"We got you out in time," Jonathon rushed to say. "But still, it's best you get home."
"But-" Selene began but Jonathon transported her, and her next breath was drawn in her own bed.
Her own part in the spell exhausted her. With her mind, she reached out to Soren.
I feel your exhaustion, my sweet, but I cannot do too much. The council has been called to an emergency meeting. I won't be home for another hour or so.
She sighed, and focused on her reply, hoping she had enough energy to make sure it reached him. I will wait for you, and take a nap.
She felt his reply; a smile she could almost see in her mind. Warmth came with it, a small bolster, and behind that was a whispered promise that skittered along her skin, arousing her senses.
That brought a slightly larger charge of power, but Selene was depleted.
"Selene?" A familiar deep voice called.
She jerked up to her elbows and saw he was there. Her father, in the flesh. Struggling to her feet she rushed to him and their embrace was tight. Bram laughed, picking her up and swinging her around.
"My god, you are truly beautiful, you remind me so much of your mother." He set her down with a kiss to her forehead and Selene felt her power growing.
He led her to the small table and set her in a chair before taking the one opposite. "My dear, you've been taught much of the way of darkness, and your light has been neglected. Love is what magic feeds on. The church of light ignores the physical aspect of it, and the church of dark ignores the simple emotion raised by family, friends, even cherished pets."
She smiled at him, dazzled by the weight of his age and charm. With each passing moment, she felt stronger, and remembered to narrow the gate in her mind linking her to Soren.
"There are so many things I want to ask you, but something happened today that's greatly troubling me."
He nodded, and slid a rail thin hand across the table. She extended hers and her father's warm touch sent a flood of comfort through her. "Tell me what it is."
She sighed. "I asked a friend, Jonathon Whitebloom, to help me with a time spell. I went back, invisible, silent, and impotent, to witness your last address to the Council of Tens."
His dark gaze was steady but there was a hitch in his breath. "Selene, you shouldn't do that. It's dangerous."
She nodded. "I won't again, not without permission. Someone sensed me, Jonathon told me that."
Over the table, Bram's grip tightened. "No, Selene, I'm sorry if you saw-"
"All I saw was a passionate address to the council, and when they rejected your measure your temper. No stronger than mine, but to some who pretend to have cool, level heads, it might have seemed shocking."
He sat back. "Selene, that was not my last address. That time, yes, tempers were lost. A fight broke out. The physical fight was resolved quickly, but two duels resulted, and when I knew the true fight could not be won, I withdrew from society. Except on one occasion, my last address to the Tens nine years ago."
Soren hadn't mentioned that. Stronger yet, she sat up and blinked. "And what happened then?"
With the slightest movement of his free hand Bram conjured a pen and paper. Like her, he wrote with his left, and withdrew from her clasp to begin furiously scribbling. "I am writing down the spell so that you may check it. I'm sure the Whiteblooms intend to teach you this in the coming days."
"What is it?"
"A spell very few level Tens can do, but most know of it. It normally takes two or more, but I can conjure this myself and I am sure you can too. You need not trespass in the past, but you can summon it to you."
"Summon it?" She arched a dark brow.
He nodded, focus still on his writing. "Like a play, or more accurately to you in this time, as accurate as a DVD captured live." He stopped and passed her the paper. "Keep that with you. Now child, I ask but two things." He waited for her nod before continuing. "First, I ask that you watch until the end. Two, I ask that you hear me out after, it may be accurate to the eyes, but there is far more to this story you must hear."
She nodded, sitting back as he closed his eyes. She felt his power, the scent of jasmine rose, and suddenly there was a rip in the fabric of space and time before them.
She saw her father, almost identical as he looked now, and he was walking down a dark hall with fury in his eyes. He wore the official robes of his church, and in his hands were papers. Speech notes, she realized.
The ghostly Bram was furious, his skin nearly glowing with rage. His name was called and he stopped, swinging around gracefully on his heel.
Selene gasped when the view changed to include two men. Two unmistakable men; Soren and his father.
The elder men argued about a past duel, Bram trying to leave but his ego was sucked in by the insults hurled his way. Soren remained silent during the exchange, his aqua eyes thoughtful and assessing.
Suddenly her ghostly father threw down his notes and powered up an offensive spell, a blast even she could see was far below his power. The full strength of possibly a level six it was designed to wound, disarm.
Soren's father reacted by calling forth his full power, a blast that would kill an ordinary level ten. She was tense, but when she felt his corporeal hand on hers she relaxed. He'd survived, he was there, and by all accounts he was immortal.
Immortality. That was it. She sat up straight as she realized that's what Soren's father had been demanding; the secret to immortality.
There was still little chance of danger until the other high level witch in the scene began casting a spell Selene had seen before. She had seen it before because the very same man had used the very same spell on her just days earlier.
Soren was going to take her father's power while his father blasted the older man.
Soren was going to kill her father.