Her smile brightened; casting a jealous shadow over the sunlight. A small giggle left her throat and she bounded toward where I lay. The doctor’s hands pressed against the little girl’s shoulders keeping her from moving a foot closer. Those suspicious eyes never left, yet when it came to the girl, they mixed with worry.
“Mommy.” Blonde curls bounced in the air as she craned her head up toward her mother.
“I will not hurt the girl.” Seriously, what did they think I was? Then again, knowing what my people are capable of; what they have done even to our own kind, I did not blame the woman in the slightest. Still, it was eerie to think, that this little girl had to have some type of Kakodaemon blood in her.
“How is our guest?”
Another shadow blocked the remaining light from the doorway. Then the room bathed the newcomer in the candlelight. Breath paused, and I could hear my heart skip in my chest. Kakodaemon. Another. This one taller than the current man in the room but only by a few inches, and not as intimidating as the first. Just like all the rest of his kind, this man stood made of sex and sin. Yet, twin horns spiraled up unlike the ram horns of the other Kakodaemon. Still, just like the little girl being held back by the doctor.
Blonde hair. Spiraled horns. Wings. My eyes slid from the doctor to the new Kakodaemon, then to the little girl. It made sense. She was their daughter.
“I didn’t know that one of us could ever create children with a Kakodaemon.” Even as it came out, I could hear the slight disgust hinted in my voice. Maybe more than I had intended. It just wasn’t done. Every training I previously had, even the very life I was taught since birth, all pointed toward this little girl as being an abomination.
But she’s a little girl. A child. Just like the ones you saved.
The ones my men died for. Bitter betrayal flooded my mouth in a corrosive bile that did not stop. Turning my head I threw up the remaining contents of a tasteless meal I couldn’t even remember having.
A cold hand pressed against my forehead, another rubbed my back until I spilled the rest onto the ground. No one kicked me, nor scolded me for messing up the floor. The doctor stroked my back, concern etched on her soft facial features. Between episodes I tried desperate to apologize for such an indecency but all that came out were gurgles and incoherent babble.
“Shhh…” She soothed, pulling loose strands of my hair back from my face. “You can’t help how you are feeling.”
How could this be? In all my life, I never knew an Agathodaemon woman to be so kind. So loving. Not even to her own child. They were accessories to power. Good solely for climbing the social ladder. I’m sure even the children I sired where nothing to the mothers who paid for them. Yet, this woman, was different.
“Thank you, sweet lady.” Though no words came out, just a series of sputtering and coughing.
“Don’t fight it.” Ylanna pressed a cool hand along my damp forehead. “Your body will take a few days to recover.”
“How bad?” That came out clear despite the growl.
I couldn’t see her frown but I felt it. Her body stiffened slight. If not for my intense training within the ranks of the military, I probably would not have noticed, but her actions deafened my senses. She didn’t have to tell me in great detail what she tried so hard to put off. I could feel it. Though muscles from my wing still moved, the cool air rubbed only against bone and bandages.
“We couldn’t save your third wing.” My right shoulder twitched feeling the fragmented muscles.
For an Agathodaemon, losing one of the Flight Wings – wings that grew from the shoulder – felt like being clipped and flightless. True my Glide Wing below it would serve the same purpose, it had no choice now; I couldn’t stop the useless feeling washing over me. Without all four of my wings, I was undone. Growling, I bit my lip to keep from a full snarl. Broken. Without.
Another small hand fell on my shoulder, pulling me from my reverie. Innocent blue eyes coaxed a smile from my cracked lips. Somehow, the bizarre arrangement of horns and blonde fluff gave the little girl a charm all her own. I couldn’t hate her, nor feel despised by her own creation. No she was indeed a beautiful child.
“Sariah, give the man room.” Ylanna tried to situated her body between the girl and my reach.
“Sariah is it?” The girl nodded, strong emotions of joy radiated from such a broad smile. Heartstrings tugged and for the first time in years, I wondered what my children looked like. Not that I could ever find out. I shook that idea off. Never again would I be able to set foot into Elysian without a few wing tips through my back.
“Such a beautiful name.” My own smile widened. “For such a beautiful young lady.” Odd how two assuming enemies could come together. My heart ached remembering the children who caused my own downfall. It wasn’t their fault for living. If anything I still did not regret saving them. Not even if they were Kakodaemon. No. If still placed along my path again, I would repeat my act.
Ylanna grabbed her daughter’s hand, pulling from me once more. She then looked up at the man who had to obviously be her mate. Then back to the other man who only now just pushed himself off from the wall. “For now, he is clear but he needs much rest. Kel, I leave him in your hands. Don’t hurt my patient.”
With that, the three of them were gone leaving me in the hands of this man with such large, ram horns. A man who, for some reason, I felt like I knew from a lifetime that seemed long forgotten.