Chapter 5: Resurrected For Torture

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When Devon woke, she hoped it would be to Tamesis' worried, smiling face. Her gentle arms cradling her tired body. Devon's voice would crack for want of water as she brushed her girlfriend's blue hair with her fingers and jokingly reassured her she was okay. It was over. She was fine. They would get supper and she'd take her medications and go into the next dream together that night.

Instead, the gravel underneath her had been replaced by splintered, rotting wood as she was dragged across a broken bridge. The lake around her was filled with outreached, clawing hands of the undead that gathered in the murky water. She was still in the dream. She closed her eyes and didn't dare look at the damage to her chest. She was surrounded by the dead who begged with open, pleading hands to join them, but she couldn't. Not yet. She wouldn't give the bastard that satisfaction. Her head fell back. It was all she could do to close her eyes.

When she woke, she was in a house on the island in the middle of the lake. Her wrists were behind her still, tied now to a metal bed frame. Black silk sheets covered her and her chest was bound in white strips stained a deep red.

Elymas sat beside her and stared out a half-boarded window as one of his turrets tore into a straggler crawling out of the lake. Her lungs had grown back; Devon focused on keeping her breathing even and regular, like she was still sleeping, as she took in the physical details she could of him.

He was much younger than Tamesis had described him: tall and broad-shouldered, with chiseled muscles seen through the massive hole in the back of his shirt. Unlike her, he had already healed in the dream. He even rolled his shoulders and cracked his neck while he waited for her to wake. The grotesque mask of death he had in the previous dream had been washed away. He sighed and scratched a strong jaw lined with stubble with his thumb. His piercing black eyes didn't see her yet.

Devon looked around the room for any escape. One door. The window. He was between both. If there was a window above her, no light came through like it did on her right, so she concluded it must have been boarded up completely. There were no weapons in the room. A tall chestnut wardrobe with a door hanging off the hinges. Inside he had hung a dark leather trench coat and wide-brimmed hat. Piles of cardboard boxes filled with coffee, salt, and cigarettes; things she'd have gathered herself for trading in a zombie apocalypse.

"Enjoying the view?" he finally asked under his breath.

Spotted. Devon narrowed her eyes.

He glanced over his shoulder at her and grinned. "You should smile, beautiful."

Devon bared her teeth like a snarling animal, her teeth bloodied from the damage to her lungs.

He laughed. "Oh, the attitude. That's what I love about you." He pulled a cigarette pack from his pants pocket and packed it against his leg. "I've been watching you a while, but when you put on that show..." He chuckled. "I knew I had to have you."

Devon lowered her chin to her chest and thought. "Who are you, really?" At least her lungs worked now.

Elymas placed the cigarette between his lips and lit it with a flick of his finger. He took a deep drag and blew smoke over her. Devon shut her eyes and held her breath. When she peeked, he was offering to her. She glared. He shrugged and took another puff.

"Let me get straight to the point. A courtesy, for you, my dear, since frankly we have all the time in the world together," he said. He flicked ash off the end of the cigarette. "I'll make you a deal: you agree to see me at night, to be mine, and I won't go pay your pretty little girlfriend's dreams a visit."

Devon lunged at him but her bindings held tight. She sunk back into the black silk pillows and scoffed. "You're a stupid little fucker, aren't you?"

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