Spark into Flame Chapter 7

Updated on December 13, 2018
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Evelyn has published 2 novels, Justice Lost and Rescue, and 2 scifi/fantasy short stories in magazines.

Chapter 7

Sky lay on her bed in her nightgown, reading a book after her cousin’s wedding. She hoped that her father wouldn’t come in….it had been almost a month—maybe he’d forgotten about her….

The door opened. The tall dark outline of her father appeared.

Fear churned through her chest. She scrambled up onto the bed but he leaped over and grabbed her.

She struggled, but he pressed her down into the mattress—

She lay there, his sparks lacing across her skin.

“You looked so beautiful in that dress this evening, just like a little doll,” he said. “A little piece of cake I had to taste.”

He leaned over her, pressing her wrists down onto the bed, a slightly insane light in his eyes, his hunger enhanced by the wine and nectar he’d fed on at the reception….

Weakly, she tried to get up but he snapped lightning into her and she cried out.

“Sh, little girl. This won’t hurt if you don’t resist,” he said, his words slurred. But she knew it was a lie. It would hurt, no matter what she did.

In a few swift motions, he tore her nightgown over her head.

She writhed, trying to get away but he hit her across the jaw. Sparks danced across her vision. “You will treat your father with respect. I am doing this for you. I know you like it.”

Unbearable pain slashed through her—

She screamed.

Gasped awake.

Tears flooded her eyes.

Ember shot up beside her in the dark. “Sky—what is it?”

The dam burst and she sobbed against his chest—he stroked her hair but all she could think was how little she deserved him.

Guilt ripped through her when she thought of what she’d done. To deceive him—to ask him to do things he didn’t want to do—was unforgivable.

She dared not look him in the eye. She didn’t deserve his touch….Perhaps he would see what she really was and cast her out, find someone undamaged, much more beautiful than she, inside and out….

Anyway, she didn’t know how they could get back what they had after what happened last night. He had to see her differently now, see the damaged being beneath the surface. She’d let her father come between her and Ember and she hated herself for it.

But she let Ember stroke her hair, till the tears stopped and she lay back on the pillows.

“Did you have a nightmare?” he asked.

She nodded, not wanting to lie to him anymore.

“Do you want to tell me about it?”

She shook her head.

“It might help.” His words, his manner, were very careful. Not cold, but as if he wasn’t quite sure how to act around her.

“I—can’t.”

Sorrow shadowed his golden eyes. He ran his fingers down her arm, grasped her hand, brought it up between them on the tangled sheets. “I’m sorry about last night.” He touched her wrist. “You’re injured. I had no idea—”

Come to think of it, her wrists burned, but it was insignificant compared to the pain in her heart.

His eyes traveled over her in the dimness, pupils dilating, shining a little, so he could see in the dark.

He gasped. Ran his hand above her waist—not touching her at all—

“I burned you. I can’t believe I actually—” His voice choked with pain, he jumped off of the bed, dashed over to the interface by the door and touched its panel, making it glow. “Healing salve, please,” he said, and in a moment a little door opened in the wall, revealing a small white jar. He raced back over to her with it. Took her arm, and carefully rubbed ice-cold salve around her wrist. Then he spread it along her waist, the jagged scars of lightning cooling with the soothing touch of the cream.

He inspected her for more injuries, and found more scars on her back. He spread the salve over it, then sat back, chest heaving. A tear glistened in his eye, and dropped to the bedsheets.

He turned to her. “I shouldn’t have done that, even if you asked me to. I lost control and I never, ever wanted to do that. I should have seen earlier how you didn’t really like it. Why would you want me to hurt you if you didn’t like it?”

She shook her head, unable to speak.

“Is it what you thought I wanted? Maybe you’ve heard about what others like and you thought I would like it too—” He shook his head. “Would you like to go to the infirmary?”

“No,” she said. “The salve is good enough. I don’t want to move.”

He nodded, looked away. She hated this tension between them…. perhaps he wouldn’t want her anymore and it would serve her right but it hurt to even consider tearing herself away from him….

He looked back at her. “Was the nightmare…about me? About what I did to you?”

She shook her head.

“Did someone else—hurt you?”

She nodded, unable to lie to him anymore.

“Who?”

“My—” She hesitated. How could she possibly tell him this? A secret she’d kept for years, ever since she was five and her father started…visiting her….

But if she could trust anyone, she could trust Ember. Perhaps telling him the secret would help.

She opened her mouth again, not sure if the word would be trapped inside her throat after all these years.

“My f-father,” she whispered, her lips trembling, consumed with fear of what he’d think of her now that he knew.

“Your father?” Horror dawned on his face.

She nodded. A tear slipped down her cheek.

“He didn’t—dare touch you—in that way?”

She nodded.

“Oh, Sky—I’m so sorry!” He wrapped his arms around her. In a moment she felt him shaking beside her and she realized he was crying—his hot tears dripped onto her cheek. Trembling, he slid his fingers into her hair. She pressed her cheek against his chest and they cried together, she holding him, comforting him almost as much as he did her….stroking his back, gently, up and down, loving how close she was to him, that she mattered so much to him, that he felt this much sorrow for her pain….

She leaned back, buried her hand in his soft, beautiful hair. Still wondering how he could not be disgusted by her touch. She withdrew but he kept one arm around her, the other caressing her face.

“You don’t mind—” she said— “about what I told you? You still want to be with me?”

“It wasn’t your fault. Nothing—he did makes you any less of who you are. You are beautiful, perfect, amazing, my Sky.” He kissed her forehead.

“It’s—a horrible secret. I feel so—dirty. Unworthy.”

“He’s a disgusting thing that no one should call a man. To endure such a thing—it makes you even more amazing—to be everything you are and still bear this secret. How long did he….” He looked hesitant, as if not wanting to cause her more pain.

“Since I was five. Till I was fourteen.”

His eyes widened. He looked away. Then he looked at her again, his eyes flashing with dangerous anger. For a moment, she thought it was directed at her, and she cringed. But of course he would not hurt her. His body was tense, shaking. “I am going to kill him. He hurt you in a way no man should touch his child. He deserves death. His crime should be plastered over the city.”

He slipped off of the bed and stood, dim light from the window splashed across his flawless form. He swept over to the closet, and touched the interface panel. Its light sprang on. He punched a few buttons, and in a moment some clothes popped out of the closet. He pulled a dark sleek shirt over his head.

She froze for a moment, then slid off the bed, still numb, floating forward as if she were a disembodied spirit. She laid her hand on his arm. “Please—don’t.”

“You defend him?” He looked incredulous.

“I–don’t want anyone to know.”

“Oh. Then I will say nothing, and just kill him.” He pulled on matching dark pants.

She touched his shoulder weakly. “No—please. You can’t—even a prince can’t just kill a Noble. He’ll hurt you—”

"I’ll hurt him.” He lifted his hand, lightning crackling across it, a maze of blue sparks.

“I’m not worth it.”

He swept her to him, kissed her on the mouth. “You are worth everything.”

She was stunned by the sincerity in his eyes, his love, his bloodlust. Then she managed, “It’s not worth you getting hurt. Not to me.”

His lip curled with a look of pride. “I am a prince, the Heir. I am trained for such things. That man is worth nothing. His blood must be spilt. The one who hurt and degraded my wife—my beautiful one, who has risen from the ashes with such grace.” He kissed her forehead. “I’ll be back,” he said, and, already blending with the charcoal of the shadows, he slipped out the door.

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    © 2018 Evelyn

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