Bitter Goodbyes

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"How did you sleep?"

I faced Anna as we ate around a small circular table, my father and Mackenzie casually eating amongst me within my bed. "Good." I lied, stabbing a piece of strawberry and swirling it around with my fork. The truth was that I hadn't slept at all since Orpheus attacked me, spending around an hour standing the shower and letting my tears flow off my body. My sunken eyes darted about, paranoia deep inside my mind. Every noise made my senses heightened, my red eyes flashing instinctively at the non-existent danger. Fatigue made my muscles and the mere act of raising an arm made my body reject it.

"I heard there was an incident with the Prince last night," she mumbled between chews, "Did you hear it?" I shrugged my shoulders and stared down at my plate, my eyelids dragging themselves down every now and then. Mackenzie continued. "The Prince was assaulted last night."

I just nodded my head and stared at my plate. I didn't care. His touch is forever engraved in my flesh, the memories repeating on loop in my head. "Are you listening?" Anna called over the sound of talking royals, annoyance edging her words. "Are you okay? You're not acting normal today, Aurora." She reached her hand and placed it on my own.

"No!"

My voice had disrupted everyone around me, heads turning to us within seconds. I was breathing erratically with my hand pulled to my chest, eyes wide with fear. The skin crawled from her touch, almost as if cockroaches were scuttling under my skin. Anna stared at me. "What's wrong?"
"Don't...no..."
"Don't what?"
"No...no..." I mumbled, wrapping my arms around my waist as Mackenzie stared with sympathetic eyes. My throat was bone dry, sandpaper scraping my windpipe. Looking at the sheets of my bed in shame, I could feel the memories intensify. His touch... his filthy words... how he—

"Aurora."

I dragged my head up to see my father, tears threatening to spill onto my red cheeks. "Yes?" I whispered, my voice hoarse and dry. "Look at me."
"What are you—"
"Trust me."
"You're going to enter my mind aren't you?"
He didn't speak this time, looking down slightly and then back at me. His eyes glowed red and my mind thought against his control. I didn't want him to see it. Nobody should. "Stop..." I whimpered, bunching my eyes in an attempt to suppress the mind control, my head being swarmed with pain as I fought. However, I was emotionally exhausted, my effort slowly dying out and fading into a state of semi-consciousness.

Once I regained control, I stared at my father. His crimson eyes darted around the room and black veins climbed up his neck like vines. "Oh no. His bloodlust..." I had never seen him lose control with his bloodlust, especially as he is a Higher Demon but I could clearly tell he was in a lot of pain. The power barrier around Bermuda and his overwhelming urges must of caused an unbearable pain. "That... He..." He muttered between his fangs, sharp breaths causing his body to violently shake. The shadows around my father gathered around him and thrashed like angry snakes. "I'm fine now father," I soothed, "You don't have to—"
"NO!!! WHERE IS HE?!"
The shadows consumed him in an instant and he was already sliding under the door by the time I had realised. "No wait!" I sprinted to the door and hurled it open, pointlessly chasing after my anger-driven father within the endless corridor. Anna was behind me, light surrounding her Angel form. She stared at me in confusion. "Anna, can you stop him?!" I called, earning a nod out of her. "Okay..."

The light around burned brightly, her irises glowing from within. I knew what she was going to do. A light barrier. She slashed her hand across her body and light exploded out of her palms. They crackled across the corridor like lightening and rocketed upwards in a burst of light. It glowed and dimmed with power, waiting for the moment.

The black smoke slowed and morphed into my father, his remaining shadows melting off him like wax. He stood still and the air was thick with silence. I approached him with caution and settled a hand upon his shoulder. His body still shook. "It's okay now... let's just go the ceremony and go. Okay?"
"Yeah... get it over with..."

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