Chapter 62: of Dreams and Madness

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This chapter has been modified for Wattpad, and will be different from the one in the published book.

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They say that, when two beings are linked together by the mind, dreams and memories become mixed. Two become one at the thought level. Two become one, two souls in one body. Hopefully for this person, two souls work together in symbiosis.

Jessamine Alverre, A Treatise on Mental Processes, Vol. 5

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Laidu sat bolt upright, grasping at his neck, painfully awake.

Everything was silent, save for his ragged breath. Karik'ar sat on a stump, by a now-dead fire, giving Laidu a strange look in the full moon. "Just a bad dream," Laidu said, trying to rein in his breathing.

But it hadn't been. It wasn't just a bad dream. She had been in it. Kyra. Bathing in a moonlit pool, she had invited him in. He had joined her, kissed her, felt her silky-smooth skin, and had turned her around after she had begged him with animalistic desire to take her.

And when he did, he was met with gore. Her body had been ripped apart. Laidu had seen the splintered ends of shattered ribs poking out like white daggers. Blood soaked into the pristine pool, staining everything red, and the dream had turned worse. Kazalibad was there, cackling, saying that Laidu had killed his mate. And he did.

The dream had changed. He hadn't kissed her neck, he bit into her throat. He hadn't stroked her skin, but raked his claws and tore her flesh. She didn't moan with desire, but scream in pain, and Laidu just kept going.

He felt...disgusted. Dirty. Like he was stained by that dream. He wasn't sure of himself afterwards. What kind of monster was he to see something like that? To have that in his head? To dream of it?

"Just a bad dream." It was a lie he wished so desperately was true.

"A bit of an understatement," Karik'ar said. "I could see it in your soul. Dreams usually appear like little bubbles on the surface of a pond. Not a whirlpool."

Laidu sighed. "I think it has to do with the voices," he said.

"I saw them too. Like clouds, torn apart, stretched thin. I've seen similar things before." He sighed. "You're going through a trial. A reckoning of spirit and mind. And while it is yours to prevail in, if you need help, if you need someone to talk to, I hope you consider me."

Laidu was stunned. "Thank you," he said after a while. "You want me to take over watch? I'm not going back to sleep any time soon."

"Yes, that would be nice." Karik'ar rose from the stump and trudged over to his bedroll, next to Skaria and Thaen. Odd, the two of them had grown rather close rather quickly. "Anything else before I fall asleep?"

"Yes," Laidu said. "What you offered me, I want to extend to you. If you need to talk, talk to me."

Karik'ar nodded. "Of course. Thank you."

Laidu rose, stretched, and sat himself down on the log. Indra turned in her sleep, her jet-black hair spilling onto the dirt. Thaen murmured something as Karik'ar sat on his bed, the massive Kai'Draen preparing to sleep.

And then there was Kyra.

She was beautiful, peaceful and asleep, her chest rising and falling evenly. She was alive. Alive, and not ripped apart and mangled like that dream.

How could he dream of her, how could he think of her like that? He felt sick, physically sick, at those thoughts. What was wrong with him? Why in the world would he dream of that?

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