I feel cold, hard, stone underneath my cheek. I let out a soft groan, and slowly open my eyes.
The situation is worse than I thought. There is no door to the room. As far as I can tell, there is no roof. This prison was designed to prevent escape, obviously. There are chains on the walls, and a chair in the center of the room, also equipped with manacles. I suspect that is intended for me. Wonderful.
And across the room, there is a still form.
]My pulse picks up. “Kane!” I whisper. Then again, louder, “Kane!”
There is no response.
I grit my teeth. I try to move, and slowly, bit by bit, I begin to inch my way towards Kane, crawling slowly across the floor.
I have only made it a few feet, when suddenly I am jerked backwards. I reach up and touch my throat, to find a cold, metal collar there, attached by a chain to the wall. I curse under my breath, looking around.
Suddenly. I realize what is missing. Tallima is nowhere to be seen.
Panic instantly assails me. Where is she?! What could they possibly be doing to her? What if she was being tortured or even killed, somewhere off in the darkness, where no one could help her?
I pull violently at the collar, but only succeed in almost choking myself. Finally, I give up, and slump to the floor, defeated. It is hopeless. I have no means of escape here.
It may have been minutes or hours before I hear footsteps. Slowly, I look up, in time to see the enchantress herself approaching with a tall, broad man that must be her husband, Kalleck Vallerus himself.
They stop before me, just out of my reach.
“So this is the Devia, eh?” Kalleck has a deep, resonating voice, which is tinged with anger as he speaks. “She’s a child.”
“They all are, love,” Aliana replies, smiling sweetly. “So was the other one.”
“Tallima,” I hiss. “What have you done with her?”
“Calm yourself, child,” she replies. “Where she is is no concern of yours. You should be more worried about yourself.”
“And what are you going to do to me?” I raise my eyebrows defiantly. “Torture me? Kill me?”
“You don’t seem to be too worried,” Kalleck remarks.
“I am a Devia,” I reply. “I do not fear death. I do not fear anything.”
“Ah, but under enough pain, anyone will talk,” he growls. “Even you, arrogant child.”
I smile darkly back. “Talk? You want information then? I’m afraid I know nothing of Kane’s creations, or how they work.”
“We want information on the Queen,” Kalleck corrects. “You will tell us all your know, or we will torture you to the point of insanity, until you are begging us to take the information, so that you may end your pain.”
“And of course, you will convince Kane to do what we say,” Aliana adds, smiling darkly at me. “Or he will watch you suffer.”
“He hates me,” I reply. “I couldn’t convince him even if I wanted to.” The words sting as I say them, but I ignore them. “In case you don’t remember, we were not on the best terms.”
“Then I’m sure you’ll enjoy convincing him. As an enchantress, I am skilled at sensing other’s emotions. I have been in contact with your Kane’s mind. His mind is well defended, but as I mentioned you, just for a second emotions broke through. There was hate there, yes, but it was drowned out by love. The purest, strongest, hottest love that I have ever sensed in anyone. Believe what you will, child. He loves you.”
A strange tickling sensation begins to build at the back of my head, and I frown, reaching up a hand to touch it. Then, suddenly, the enchantress begins to smile.
“Ah yes. Here we are. You love him too, don’t you? I can see it. I can feel it. You hide it well, child, but it is there, deep down in your mind. Ah, how it must hurt, knowing the hate that stands between you and him.”
I clench my fists, backing away, but there is nothing to retreat from. I cannot escape my own mind.
“Ah, but what is this?” she laughs. “You hold hate in your heart as well! And guilt. A betrayal? Interesting. Truly, you hide quite a bit behind that uncaring face of yours. Imagine that.” She cocks her head, and the sensation intensifies. “Worry. For the other girl. For Kane. For your own life. Defiance. Anger, ah, so much anger! Pride. Arrogance. Yes, you are certainly the Queen’s little pet, aren’t you? But wait, there is more to this story! You acted alone? So you really do love him them. This is impressive.”
“GET OUT OF MY HEAD!” I scream, holding my hands up to my ears as if I can block her out that way.
The sensation vanishes in a heartbeat.
“Very well,” the enchantress smirks at me. “Until the next time. Now, you can watch what we do to your precious little Kane.” She smiles at Kalleck, who nods.
“Do whatever you need to, love.”
“No!’ I protest. But she ignores me. She strides towards Kane, and places a palm on the side of his head.
“Don’t worry, love. I just need to access your thoughts,” she murmurs.
And that’s when Kane starts thrashing.
“Kane!” I yell. I jerk against the collar, but it holds fast, choking me as I pull at it. “Kane!” I yell a second time, desperately trying to reach him. But he’s just too far. Just out of my reach. I cannot touch him.
Suddenly, the enchantress jerks back. “Impossible.”
“What is the problem, Aliana?” Kalleck asks, approaching her.
“Despite my best work, he remains impenetrable,” she snarls. “Impossible. I cannot break into his mind.” Her eyes settle on me, bright, with a murderous light. “We will have to try… other methods, love.”
“Whatever you think is necessary.”
She watches me for a moment, and a slightly smile crosses her face. Her hand begins to glow yet again. “Go to sleep, child,” she orders. “For now. And when you wake up, we’ll see.”
Her palm meets my forehead, and I collapse, even as I curse at her under my breath.