by Ruth Davis Hays 2011
Literally ripped from each other’s arms, Lauralei and ‘Khiall face the fact that their love affair is no longer their little secret….
Lauralei clutched the bed sheets to shield herself. Continuing to scream, her startled terror changed to pleadings for mercy as she watched Solomen and her brothers descend upon the fallen fae boy.
Fury in his eyes, Solomen struck ‘Khiall with vicious blows from his walking staff while the twins kicked, stomped, and jeered at their stepbrother. Lauralei could hear wailing cries from both Sarrah and Ammarron coming from the hall, attempting to deflect her father’s wrath as it rained down on the immoral offender.
‘Khiall, vulnerable to the savagery of his adopted family, curled into a tight ball. The scarred twin landed several kicks with gleeful spite as the fae was caught up by one leg. “We caught you!” Galian shouted triumphantly, sinking his booted foot into the fae’s stomach a final time.
Writhing in agony, ‘Khiall convulsed. Rising bile and blood flew from his lips as he tried to cry out to Lauralei. A cold terror peeled down ‘Khiall’s spine as he caught a glance into Solomen’s face. His powerful stepfather shouted curses upon him before hauling him away. The vision of Laure huddled on the bed was ripped from him as he grasped defiantly for the door frame only to have his hands crushed under foot by Corian.
Yanked along rough wooden floorboards, ‘Khiall clawed furiously for purchase. His shouts for sympathy blocked by fierce blows from the conquering twins.
A sheet wrapped around her, Lauralei careened out of her room with a red face and tears streaming. Corian snatched her up and shoved her behind a locked door to a side room before she could cry to her mother for aid. She then heard him trying to herd off the hysterical mothers, who were pleading for Solomen to be merciful.
Solomen ignored all protest. His mind closed and set, he tore up the stairway to his surgical laboratory with his fae stepson in tow.
Galian was following his father. Each time ‘Khiall gripped a step, desperate to halt his advance up the stairs, Galian would crunch his fingers under boot. The twin grimaced wider with each howl this brought.
Stripped of resistance by his injuries, ’Khiall was finally pulled through the blackened door to Solomen’s tower laboratory. He crumpled into a miserable heap on the freezing stone-covered floor as the door slammed shut against the ladies and their cries for compassion.
Shaking uncontrollably, he swiped at the blood running from his stinging nose, mouth, and ears. His body bruised, his hair tangled, and his consciousness swirling in a poignant ache that radiated from his crotch, ‘Khiall searched for any words that he might impart to his stepfather to avert the seething ire. He found none.
Lauralei flattened against the small parlor door, quieting her racking sobs as best as she could, to hear what was being relayed between Corian and Ammarron in the hallway.
She was able to discern that the twins had been up in the wee hours of the morning, (though, why they were lingering outside her bedroom door was still a mystery) and they heard low voices coming from their sister’s room. They had peered under the door to check on her and saw the figure of the changeling grabbing her. They instinctively warned Solomen of her danger. Ammarron protested to the boy. Her son would never harm Lauralei. Although, all present knew exactly what was the true situation.
Unspoken words could be inserted into the twins’ explanation, and Lauralei sank to the floor realizing that her demented little brothers were peeping on her. They had gotten jealous that ‘Khiall was there.
Now, fear in the pit of her stomach churned at the thought of what Solomen might do to him. She whispered a prayer to Duathea and Mordael, the Spirits of Cleansing and Mercy, to watch over her fae lover.