They say we don’t need faith anymore: it was something the religious held onto in order to shore up hope. By the way we don’t need hope anymore either. It is said and then whispered about as if it is truth. That man needs no one but himself.
That is the truth that we now live. Hope and faith are dead.
The dead rose, the nightmares following close behind. It really didn’t matter if she closed her eyes or kept them wide open the images of death, of the world ending as she knew it plagued her.
It was surreal to go from certain death to the chaos of life.
“Tara wake up.”
He had a hold on her. Shaking her, trying to impart comfort at the same time. The screams diminished as she woke? That made sense, the screams were coming from her.
The world as she knew it was overshadowing the one she had vacated. Her throat ached like it did every morning. Screaming through the night was a killer on the voice.
She offered up a wane smile to Paul. How many times could one apologize for something they couldn’t help? She shoved the covers aside, she still slept with them even in the middle of summer. Habit from a time when she had no covers.
“Are you ok?”
“Fine. Stop hovering like…” Like what, someone who may actually care for her? “Sorry. I don’t get a lot of sleep. Wish I could show you what I see at night.”
He reached out to stroke her jaw. She wanted to strike out again, but held her tongue. Saying she was sorry even when she was had gotten the better of her.
“I should take a shower.” He backed off and nodded agreement.
She walked into the bathroom that was attached only to their room. She no longer had the sense of joy she used to get from it. Dropping her clothes she winced when she saw her reflection.
She was no longer rosy cheeked and bright eyed. True she doubted she had ever been those things, but this was bad. There were shadows under her eyes. She wished those were the ones she had to worry about. Some sleep followed by makeup would hide those. It was the ones in her eyes that concerned her. The ones that stated to anyone looking close enough that she was being hunted.
Her eyes drifted down her body dreading what she was sure to find. Blood. As sure as the day she was born she had bled. No not that kind of blood. The kind that comes when you are in a fight or being tortured within an inch of your life.
She turned and stepped into the shower. She would do the same today as she did yesterday. She would force herself to stand still and do nothing.
Closing her eyes she drifted back to the start. It had been so laughable at the time.
“Tara.” Tayrel’s voice was now as smooth as silk and as sweet as honey. “I know you are there. I just wanted to drop in and see my favorite gateway. You are not just a mere doorway, but the coveted gateway. This is too sweet. Look over your shoulder, Tara. Turn around when the shadows grow long, because I will be there. You can’t hope to beat me without the other two gifts and I will be looking for them harder than you. Set your watch Tara, because the race is on. Soon I will own your planet, your timeline and you.”
Oh she had panicked at first, who wouldn’t? Then she had laughed. Life would go back to normal. At first it did, nothing out of the ordinary. Every day that passed without a struggle caused her to drop her guard a little. Then the first nightmare hit.
She had thought them nothing in the beginning. Something that could scare her, but not harm her. She had learned fast that she had been mistaken. She had walked into a different earth that struck fear in her heart. In this version she could die a slow painful death.
She drew herself out of her thoughts to find Paul leaning in the doorway. Her terror dominated the night, his dominated the day.
He had not been unaffected by the things going on. He watched her every day, coming no further than the doorway. Some days he would devour her movements as she showered. Other days he would place his hands over that bulge that always drew her eyes and rub, making her heart beat faster.
Yeah they had gone to bed victorious one night and awoke in hell.
“Do you need something?” She needed something, she licked her lips and picked up her sponge and shower gel.”
He nodded his head as she began to lather up. His eyes never left her. His hand crept down, she licked her lips wanting him to unzip, but he never did.
He gripped his thick bulge and squeezed. Her legs tremble at the veins standing out in his hand and the deep masculine sound that came from his lips.
How many stokes she wondered would it take for her to feel self-induced bliss? Not that she would do that. It was part of the unspoken agreement. He never found relief and neither did she. The day, the minute her body convulsed in pleasure would be the day the darkness in him came out to play. Neither of them was ready for that.
Closing her eyes, she cleaned her body quickly thinking of anything, everything, except what she wanted to think of. She wanted to walk out of the shower, drop to her knees and crawl across the tile floor to him.
She would straighten up and undo his jeans. Listen to the satisfying click of metal on metal as his zipper came down. She wanted to unwarp him like a Christmas present and devour him like a starving women.
Her knees shook as she got out the shower. She grabbed a big towel making her way past him. Feeling him run his bulge against her rear on purpose.
Welcome to hell.
She dropped the towel and reached for the lotion. It wasn’t like he hadn’t seen every part of her. Even the parts that she felt was less than desirable like the extra weight she carried on her hips or stomach.
None of that seemed to matter to him. She grabbed her thong. Yeah she had thrown the other more practical stuff away. Why? Because part of her wanted his dark side to come out.
She dressed quickly knowing they had survived temptation one more morning.
“Charon?” She called out his name like she did every morning before going to breakfast. She got the same response she got every morning. Nothing.
She glanced at Paul before going downstairs to the kitchen.
“I was beginning to think you might not show up.” Dora said.
She shook her head. Her mom wasn’t a slouch, she understood that they were a powder keg simply waiting for someone to light the fuse. Every morning she said something inane to try and make them smile. It worked again.
“Not show up for your cooking Dora? Impossible.” Paul leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.
“As long as you cook mom, I will eat. Where’s Jazz?”
“I swear that child lives in her room. I hate those headphones Charon gave her.”
Dora’s smile dropped.
“Its ok mom I know he is avoiding me.”
She nodded, “Have a seat you two. Honey did you have the same dream.”
“Yeah, hope I didn’t keep you awake.”
“Nope, I slept like a baby.”
Dora lied and they both knew it, but that too went under an unspoken agreement. Sighing she took her seat to find Paul staring at her. How much longer could he keep it together? How much longer could she keep it together?
“Last night I dreamed. I dreamed I was on a world just like earth, I saw you there. You were being chased by demons. The honest to goodness or honest to badness kind. The kind man says doesn’t exist. Then the world burned.”
Total chaos, she remembered the dream. The dream where they caught her, tied her up. The dream where they tortured her asking repeatedly where here help was. Yeah she had been there.
“It’s just a dream.”
“No. It was another world. What is it, an alternate reality, one where demons and Demos are real?”
She wanted to break his stare look down at her plate, pretend they weren’t having this conversation. Too late, she knew the door had already been open.
“Future earth. Unless I find the other two gifts, that is what we have to look forward to. Panic. Chaos.”
“Tara you must have hope.”
She turned to look at her mother. “Pandora did you really open that box?”
Fire burned in her mother’s eyes a mixture of yellow and red flames bounced around before the soft brown came back into view.
“Hello children did you miss me?”
Charon had returned.
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