“I have the power to control people’s thoughts and actions...What am I, if not a Goddess?”
In a world where all those in power have power the Princess must play a dangerous game with a dangerous man.
Who will win? What will the consequences be?


17. Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Seventeen


Daniel motioned me towards him. After I cleaned my hands over my dress I stood and joined him. He placed an arm around my shoulders possessively. But there was something different in this gesture, it was claiming, but securing all the same time. Some part of my soul relaxed, knowing I was being taken care of.


“Are there any other surprises I should know about?” Daniel asked, slightly condescendingly.


I chewed on my lip, unsure as to whether or not I should give him the last thing I had hidden away for his arrival. At a look I sighed, and nodded quickly. Leaving his side and accessing one the shelves behind my throne.  


From the shelf I brought out the King’s crown. Having been stored there for the longest time it was still slightly dusty, but the artifact itself didn’t matter - the power that came with it did. Daniel’s eyes lit up when he saw the crown. Curtseying I presented the crown to him, waiting patiently as he fingered the golden edges. Carefully he lifted the crown and placed it on his head, a look of pure awe on his features.


“Thank you,” He all but whispered and I beamed at him.


He looked exquisite with the crown on his head. As though he was born to rule. With Max dead Daniel was the last of his family line - much like myself with the exception of my mother. We were the two sides of a coin; perfectly made for one another. It was a difficult admission, but we had grown up fairly similarly - both abused, both coming to rely upon the other in our darkest times. In my life he had been the one constant - always there in the night to make me feel better, to tell me I was strong enough to conquer the nightmares.


“Are you mine Mia?” He asked, in his own way this was him asking for my hand.


“Yes. Always.” I responded, blushing when he kissed the knuckles of my hand.


I giggled when he spun me into his arms. We began to dance around the room, carefully avoiding the dead bodies around our feet. He held me close to him, I could feel his body rising with every breath. It was dizzying and addictive. I wanted to stay locked in his arms for all time.


Blood spurted from Daniel’s chest, and his eyes widened. I gasped, following him to the ground. I hated the fact I didn’t have any healing ability. I looked up at the one who murdered Daniel, a growl emitting from deep within my throat.


“What have you done?” I questioned, my voice rising with each word until I was yelling.


Max flinched, but I knew there was still hope. I could feel his heart beating. I could still save him, there had to be a way. Even with my limited power I should be able to save him. I gathered it, much like I did in my dreams. Imagining it appearing in the space between my hands.


The light filled the whole room, I concentrated my ears on the sound of his heart beat. The shadows came closer, trying to act as a distraction from my purpose. I was shaving years off of my life, I knew that. This type of magic didn’t come without consequences.  Daniel’s heart beat was slowing, but my power was finally starting to congregate between my hands.


Max was yelling. I think he was trying to get me to stop, but while Daniel’s heart beat there was still a possibility. I could still do something. I could still have my happily ever after with the only man that I ever cared for.


“Mia! Stop!” Max shouted, his words finally breaking through the barrier.


I pressed my power into Daniel’s chest, the electricity restarting his heart. But it wasn’t enough, his heart beat went flat. But I wouldn’t give up .I was losing my power, losing consciousness but I would not give up on him. Just like he never gave up on me.  


I charged my power again and went to press it into Daniel’s chest but Max’s hand was in the way. He absorbed the power, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to perform the magic again. Daniel’s heart was slowing. He was dying.


“Mia. That’s enough.” Max stated quietly.


I didn’t hear anything else he said. But ever so slowly Max shifted inching closer and closer, coming to rest an arm around my shoulders. It was meant to be calming, placating. But I hated it, I hated him for doing this to me. Why did he have to come along and ruin everything?


The shadows came, amplifying my anger. My power was no longer light, it was shadows. Huffing I shoved Max away. I controlled the shadows, but only just. They wanted mayhem, but I just wanted him dead. The shadows and I seemed to come to a compromise. Some of them started to destroy the columns which held the roof together while others went straight for Max’s vital points.


They crushed his heart, splintered his ribs and took all the oxygen from his lungs. The shadows wrapped around his neck, pulling him off of the floor. I held him there, watching him squirm for oxygen. I would kill him slowly, make him suffer the way I had suffered during my life. I would carve up his body like my father did to me, I would kill people in front of his eyes. I would break him like the world broke me.


Daniel’s heart had finally stopped beating and everything seemed different. The shadows shriveled away, disappearing back to wherever they came from. Dropping Max to the floor and leaving him gasping.


What had I done?


That night, Daniel had easily put me under his spell, in-casing my mind in his magic and making me his puppet. As long as he lived, I was his to use as he pleased. It had been the same the last time I accepted him. I was starting to remember now - killing those people in the village had snapped me out of the spell. After that I had locked Daniel into a dark corner in my mind. I glanced at my hands, they were blood red, and the sticky feeling revealed that this time I wasn’t imagining it.


“Max?” I asked, my eyes meeting his as tears threatened.


“I’m ok…but...look..” Max pointed to the corner of the room.


The shadows were still present. Eating away at the columns, waiting until the roof fell down on top of us. I tried to vanquish them using only my thoughts, but these shadows were stronger than I was. Through my own idiocy the figments of my imagination had become real. Placing my hands on my knees I forced myself to breath, refusing to see the shadows become spiders, refusing to see the room shrink.


“Max...Do you trust me?” I questioned, standing up straight, narrowing my eyes at the shadows.


“The last time you asked me that, you pinned me to a tree.” Max reminded me.


I raised an eyebrow at him, was now really the time to be reminding me of that? Max offered me a small smile as if to say ‘when in doubt, use comedy.’  


“I do.” Max finally answered and I nodded at him.


“Then trust me to handle this.”


Max looked at me a moment, and I could see the cogs turning in his mind. He wondered if I could really defeat the shadows after all this time. He wondered if I was needlessly sacrificing myself for him. To be honest, it was a little bit of both.


I gripped the shadows within my power for the time being, linking them to me like they once were. It had to be enough until Max was safe, I had to hold them for now. Allow us a moment of goodbye, allow him a moment of safety.


Max stepped over to me. My heart beat rose as Max lifted a hand to caress my face. A loving gesture even in this, our final moments. I had thought that I might eventually love this man, that we would marry and the pairing of my light and what I thought were his shadows  would bring fear into our enemies hearts. I wish I had known it was the opposite way around. That future was no longer a possibility.


“Goodbye, Princess.” Max smiled, and I had to choke back a sob.


The darkness along the walls pulsed with my emotion, they were begging to be set free. To be allowed to destroy the man that brought out any trace of emotion in their owner. My breath caught as I saw the movement. An itch spread across my back, arching from my left shoulder down to my hip and it felt like the dragon moved in time with the shadows above.  


“Goodbye, my prince.” I smiled, but the motion was bereft of any true feelings.


My emotions were being swept up by the shadows, twisted and reformed into something much more deadly. Closing my eyes I counted Max’s footsteps, he was almost at the front door when I started concentrating my power. I balled my power into my hands, the light shining on the shadows above, eradicating them for the rest of eternity.


I released my power. Brones started snapping as the light strived to eliminate every trace of darkness in my kingdom. Ribs snapped and I was certain my lung was punctured. The pain was meaningless compared to the light blinding me. A scream of pain caused me to lift my eyes, falling onto Max.


He was on his knees in the middle of the room, head lolled back with a look of excruciating pain etched on his features. I was killing him, of that I was sure. My power had found him lacking in some way, and was striving to remove him from this world. I wanted to stop the power, to pull it back inside of me. But it was not possible any more. My power was gone, I had no command over its actions. It was a living, breathing thing, protecting the people from the darkness with its light.  


With my strength fading, I tumbled down the stairs leading to my throne. It was only a few days ago when I had wanted to see Max’s sitting next to mine - ruling side by side. I was losing consciousness, the room was starting to blink in and out of focus. I was having difficulty breathing. I could see blood everywhere.


A hand reached out, fingers brushing my own. It was comforting. That little touch erased any fear left in my body. It provided me with the courage to face death. In the moments before, I wished I had told him I loved him.

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