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Unseelie Love - Chapter 1

Mythological romance

INTRODUCTION

The Unseelie Court ruled the world a long time ago before my time. Once we owned the land and all who wandered on it. We were a strong race full of pride. We lived, loved and laughed. Now, we were hidden in the shadows fearing for our lives. Every year we became less and less. Soon, very soon we would disappear from the world.

It is our own fault our days are numbered. Desiring to live forever as the masters of the world, we used those from the Seelie Court to do our bidding. When they started fighting back, we created the human race to protect us so that we can continue our quest for infinite power and domination.

Our response to the war also our undoing. The humans came with new diseases that killed us faster than the Seelie Court. Soon the Seelie Court and the humans began to wed and we Unseelie lost our advantage. It was clear that our time was up as rules and the time of humans and the Seelie court has just started.

That's when I was born. The third year of the rule of Queen Hekuba. I was one of the last pure Slaugh born. Like all Slaugh, I drew my magic from the living and the air. Before the war, we kept the Jinns as our personal slaves. We tortured them and used their spirits to fuel our own magic. Now, we were fighting the Jinns and were losing. We both made our home in the fog and smoke high above the mountains. Neither of us would stop until we are all dead.

Glossary of Races & Worlds

The Seelie Races

*Pixie

*Jinn

*Sidhe

*Troll

Unseelie Races

*Brownie

*Goblin

*Slaugh

*Kelpie

Non-Allied races

*Humans

*Ghouls

*Changelings

Worlds

*Ghenna – Homeworld of the Slaugh

*Earth – Created world most predominately occupied by humans, mixed race couples and changelings.

*Jotunheim - Homeworld of the Jinn

*Vanaheim – Homeworld of the Pixie before the war. Abandoned because of the magical fallout. Not healthy for anyone to remain on for a long period of time. Currently inhabited by sick humans and unwanted changelings

*Asgard – Homeworld to the Goblins, but currently overrun by Ghouls

*Nidavellir – Homeworld of the Brownie

*Muspelheim – Homeworld of the Trolls

*Thrymheim – Homeworld of the Kelpie

*Prappubel – Created world after the war. Initially intended for the ghouls since it is magicless. Ghouls refused to relocate, so the world is being used for imprisoning criminals.

Chapter 1 ● POINT OF VIEW • Jace

"Do not talk! I had no desire to hear what your voice sounded like. I'm not even sure why I brought you here. I made sure that your arms are tied tightly so do not even think about trying any magic. I left the food on the table. Eating or not was your choice.

You know, I should have killed you. If anyone realized that I have you here, they would kill both of us. So, unless you had a death wish do not even think about leaving this room. I have business with my Marchioness. Do not go up or you will tear open your stitches. I'll be back in about an hour. Maybe by then I will have some sense."

I took in everything about her in less than two minutes. She was amazingly, beautiful and very fit. Her muscles rippled and swelled with every movement of her body. She was absolutely beautiful and the complete opposite of me. As a Slaugh, I had very pale skin almost transparent. My hair was pitch black and pin straight hanging below my waist and I had two large horns that jutted into the air and wrapped back around similar to horns on a ram. My eyes were also pitch black and completely devoid of all color giving us the appearance of being soulless. I had long pointed ears and a lanky body without a shred of fat on my nearly eight-foot frame. Of course, my best feature was my huge black wings that shot from my back on demand.

The Jinn had a warm caramel color skin. It looked almost as if the sun itself bent its head and kissed her flesh. Her hair was pale white hanging to her waist in beautiful waves. For a Jinn she was tall for a female, I’d bet she was close to my own eight feet. Her eyes could not be more different than mine, where mine were dark and reminded people of evil things, hers were super light and seemed to sparkle like diamonds. They were the oddest of purple I’d ever seen. Even for a Jinn, they would consider very unique.

I heard the door click shut behind her and pushed her and her eyes out of my mind. It was time to assess the condition of my body. I needed to find out how injured I was, and if I were likely to survive if I chose to fight. I tried to move my legs and was pleased when I felt no pain. Then I remember being stabbed through the abdomen. I quickly looked down and was shocked when I saw the fresh healing bandages.

My hands were tied behind my back, and despite several attempts, I was unable to release the ropes regardless of the spell I used. Figuring magic was not the answer, I tried to sit up and figure out my next steps from there. That's when I understood what she did to me while I was unconscious. She must have placed an Inhibitor around my neck. An Inhibitor is a device we created to control the magic of the Seelie court. It basically channeled the magic of the wearer to the closest magical being not wearing an Inhibitor. It also prevented the wearer from performing magic or even defying orders given by anyone not wearing an Inhibitor

In this case, the Jinn controlled me and was probably getting a boost of magic. I took a deep breath and tried to remember her words exactly. I had an advantage since the Slaugh created the Inhibitors and those from the Seelie Court really had no idea about its flaws. For example, I could not defy her order, but I was able to twist its meaning to suit my own interests. I was driving myself crazy trying to remember what she said. It was important that I remembered her words exactly. Damn, I was paying too much attention to her looks and not enough to my own situation.

I was already nineteen years old and a skilled and effective warrior for a number of years already. I should know better. In times of war, you learned to fight or die young. There was nothing in the middle. Slaugh like all the races in the Unseelie court were unique in appearance and can’t hide among the Seelie and the war took no prisoners. I knew the inevitable result. In the end, the Unseelie court would be no more. We were facing annihilation and had no choices left. It was our own fault. Our own egotistical desire for power and domination. We rejected peace treaty after the peace treaty the Seelie court offered us. We laughed and spat in their faces.

Then, in a rally the last Queen before Hekuba tried to give us an advantage by casting an unimaginable spell. Olympia believed that the war would finally turn back to our favor. She tore the souls of every Seelie court person in two and threw the pieces out in different directions. As she hoped, the spell shattered their souls and stopped them dead in their tracks. Many even died of pure heartache. The spell, however, had unexpected side effects, in particular, it rebounded and hit the Unseelie court as well.

For a time, the battle paused while the Unseelie and Seelie courts tried to learn to live without desire in our hearts. Then the Seelie court did something we never expected. They sought out and found the missing pieces of their souls. Pixies, Brownies, Jinn Sidhe, and even humans wed each other fulfilling their hearts desire and reuniting their soul with their true love. These unholy unions created all kinds of forbidden changelings that in turn pledged their loyalty and arms to the Seelie court. Once the members of the Seelie court realized they could find true love and repair their hearts desires the Seelie court again returned to war and regained control.

Unlike the Seelie court, the Unseelie court was not having the same kind of luck finding our hearts desire in the Unseelie court. When the spell rebounded on Queen Olympus the Unseelie court members hearts desires were cast out among the humans and the Seelie courts. Also unlike the Seelie court, our queen had ordered us to reject our hearts desire if we found it in a human or a member of the Seelie court. She told us that it was sullied and impure buried inside an unworthy vessel. The law specified Unseelie court members simply killed it and moved on. After a bit of time, most Unseelie court members had become a bit emotionless. According to my mom, it was because our hearts desire was the better half of our soul.

So, when I found my heart’s desire in the eyes of Jinn, I assumed that she would kill me and move forward. It was what I would do if I had the upper hand. Now, however, I realized that the Jinn wanted to wed me even though I was the enemy. I knew the score, however, and I knew it would never work. If she were not strong enough to kill me, I would be strong, and kill her. Either way, we could not reunite our hearts desire. She was Jinn of the Seelie court and I a Slaugh of the Unseelie court and nothing would change that.

She, however, had no idea I would never accept her. It did not matter that she was looking good, or even that she smelled good or felt good to my touch. I will not wed with a Jinn from the Seelie court. It made my stomach turn with disgust. She could not convince me. If I could not kill her, I would slit my own throat open and let my soul go free. I pushed thoughts of the Jinn out of my mind and focused again on the words she said to me.

I just needed to find the gap that would let me escape. She said something about eating or not eating. Then keep quiet and not to sit up and open my stitches. Fine, I thought let's try to slip out of bed instead of sitting up. I scooted myself to the edge and slid easily out of bed. Once on the floor, I realized that I was still unable to get myself into a sitting position.

No problem I thought to myself, then I rolled over on my stomach wound and used my head to help me get up on my knees. Without my hands, that was difficult but achievable. In the end, I used the wall and my face to get me on my feet. By the time, I was up I was trembling in pain and exhausted. I looked down and saw blood oozing from my stomach wound. I took a step and felt the world turnabout and just like that everything went black.

Chapter 2 ● POINT OF VIEW •hestia

I shook my head in disgust at myself again. I should have left the Slaugh on the ground battle. It does not matter that he is my heart’s desire, my true love. It was only important that he is my enemy and therefore forbidden to me. Finding my heart’s desire in the body of Slaugh momentarily threw me for a loop. I was so surprised I found myself acting without even thinking. One minute he was bleeding out on the battlefield, the next he was in my clutches and I was flying him to my home.

I knew to bringing him here was just plain stupid. I understood the Marchioness would kill the Slaugh and me when she found out. It mattered not to her that he was my true love, my heart’s desire. My Marchioness would ensure that I and my heart’s desire were dead before night falls. There was a law in the Seelie Court that very clearly forbid us to mingle or wed any from the Unseelie court.

Not that we needed the law. Most other the Unseelie court members would rather tear out their own heart than to marry one of the Seelie. I have seen with my own eyes countless times during my years alive. My fellow Jinn sullied and cast aside their own values and morals to embrace their heart’s desire. Each time the Unseelie Court, however, took advantage of the Jinn’s weakness and killed, not only their heart’s desire but all the Jinn with them.

My twin brother’s heart’s desire was a Slaugh just like mine. He did everything he could to please her. Still, the Slaugh tricked him into believing that she wanted to wed as much as he but it was a lie. Our Marchioness was suspicious and ordered them to live outside the compound. She even swore him to keep our location secret.

They wed alone without friends or family. Then that night while my brother choked to death on his own blood, she and her Unseelie court friends snuck into our homes and tried to kill all of us. Because of that, our Marchioness reminds us regularly not to even fall for the tricks of the Unseelie. They will never love us and accept us even if we are their heart’s desire. Attempting to find true love with a member of the Seelie Court is a fool’s mission.

After the incident with my brother Buster, our Marchioness beseeched the King of the Seelie Court to outlaw marriages between Seelie and Unseelie. The King not only agreed he also decreed we should kill all Unseelie on sight. No exceptions. I know my heart’s desire is no different than my brother Busters. Unseelie hearts do not love or fall in love. So again I asked myself why I took him in my arms and brought him to my home.

I think that I just wanted to hold him in my arms one time before I said goodbye to my one and only chance for true love. Now, however, with each passing moment I knew I never wanted to say goodbye. Already in just a few hours after my soul ached for his. How can I say goodbye and let go of the other half of my soul? He was born to be with me and knew even though he was Unseelie he was the better half. My life would not mean anything once he was gone.

I realized now with perfect clarity why Buster fell under the spell of the Slaugh so easily. My soul for the first time since it was split in two was at peace. I felt completely alive. I want to do, say or suffer anything to keep that feeling inside of me forever. Without the Slaugh lying in my bed, I would never feel whole again. I would go back to the dark hole of despair I’ve lived in every day before I found him. The pain and suffering were unbearable and I knew I would only be half alive.

I sat down and dropped my head in my lap soundlessly. I knew I needed to do something with my Slaugh and it had to be soon. In less than an hour, the Marchioness makes her daily round. She would know that something wrong the moment she came down my path. The smell Slaugh would be recognized even by a Jinn child. I knew it was time to tell her so that he could be tortured and questioned. I just need a few more minutes and then I will go to her. I heard his breathing pick up speed and I knew the Slaugh, my heart’s desire, my one chance at true love was preparing to wake up.

I was not ready to hear his voice. I knew deep down inside hearing his voice would break down some of my barriers. My heart’s desire would put me under his spell. So, before he could utter a single syllable, I ordered him not to speak. Then more for myself, then him I told him that I should have killed him. Then I tried to make him understand that we would both die if anybody knew he was here. Part of me was ready to pull him in my arms and bring him somewhere that it would be safe. Then I remembered Buster and I knew I was not mentally or physically capable of making good decisions when it came to my heart’s desire. I need to tell the Marchioness and let her decide what to do with him. Then, before I change my mind, I hurried to leave the room.

I walked down the corridor to the Marchioness Iona double time. Iona was sitting behind a large oak desk with her feet propped up on the corner. The moment I stepped into the room, I saw her skin change to dark red and I knew she’d cast a spell that made her skin nearly impenetrable. Despite Iona red skin, she was looking comfortable and relaxed. I swallowed hard and tried to stabilize my nerves. Then, despite knowing that I sentenced myself and the Slaugh to death, I said in a voice full of, respect and dignity fit for my ancestry as a Jinn

"Marchioness Iona, I violated one of the most sacred orders. I brought a Slaugh to our compound. He is my heart’s desire. My one true love. He was severely injured and dying on the battlefield, despite knowing better, I took him in my arms and brought him home. I have him in my bed with an Inhibitor securely in place. He’s wounded badly, and will probably die on his own in the hour or two next.

I understand that my punishment for my crime is death. I am more than willing to forfeit my life. However, I beg you my years of faithful service, that I have permission to stay with him until he moves from this existence to another. You can, of course, monitor us and under no circumstances will I remove the Inhibitor. Then, when heart’s desire dies, I ask that you take my life cleanly and quickly despite my weakness for Slaugh.

Chapter 3 ● POINT OF VIEW • Jace

Just my luck, I woke up back in the same bed I had just tried to leave. This time, my body ached so much more. My side throbbed in pain and my face burned. I looked around the room and took in my environment. It was a clean but basically barren room. Honestly, it was better than any room I had stayed in before. It looked like it had all the amenities one could want.

Bed, bathroom, closet, dresser, candles and oh a table. That's where I saw her. The sight of her momentarily stopped my brain. It continued to amaze me that every time I laid eyes on her, I was struck stupid. She was just so absolutely beautiful, everything about her was just so exquisite. Jinns were such magnificent beings to begin with. This one was even more so.

I had never seen a Jinn without their magical skin veneer. Jinns tended to keep their spell on when they were in the presence of a member of the Unseelie court. My mother told me they were unable to remove the spell if a threat of any kind was present.

Jinns never needed armor they were able to use magic at will and completely cover their bodies with this kind of impenetrable film. The veneer was always a dark color, so most Unseelie actually thought Jinns skin color was blue, green, red and pale white while all of them were flesh toned very similar to humans, Sidhe, and Slaughs. I found it strange that she didn't find me as a threat. Even with the Inhibitor on a member of the Unseelie court was always dangerous. The proof, however, was in her soft tan colored flesh.

The magical veneer that covers a Jinns skin is the hardest known substance on earth. They are basically impenetrable. She was dressed in a soft cotton shirt and skirt that I assume was her sleep garb. Her back was facing me so I could see her broad shoulders moving slightly up and down with her breathing.

She was on the left side of the room sitting at the table eating the food I think she left for me earlier. I moved my legs and tested my arms. I was untied and realized I could turn this to my advantage. I was just about to sit up when she turned and looked at me. I would have to assume she heard my breathing change. Jinns were super strong and had excellent hearing.

"You're up! Good! I wasn't sure how much damage you did to the wound in your side. I asked you not to do anything foolish. Now, I guess I have to be more specific when speaking to you. From now on you will do nothing that I specifically don't tell you to do. I mean absolutely nothing with the exception of your involuntary bodily functions. Breathing, blinking, heart beating, etc.

I didn't want to force you into this type of situation. Like all Jinn, I hate the Inhibitors and what they can force a person to do. The Inhibitors are just one of the many reasons we revolted against the Unseelie Court in the first place. You left me no choice. Now tell me your name, Slaugh!"

I wanted to stay silent. I wanted to refuse to answer her, in fact, refuse to acknowledge her in any way. Giving her my name gave her more power over me. My name was magic and she could use it against me. I tried to force my lips to stay shut. I felt the Inhibitor pull them apart and forced me to answer. My voice came out almost sounding like a pained shriek

"Jace"

She nodded then smiled briefly at me before she turned around and moved back to the table. With her back towards me again I could see she went back to eating her food. I heard my stomach rumble and my anger and frustration at my situation consumed me.

I railed against my imprisonment. I opened my mouth over and over again trying to say something but my voice refused to work. I tried to move my arms, my hands my feet nothing worked. Then I just tried something simple like forcing myself to blink. Nothing happened. My eyes blinked when it was necessary but I had no control over them. Oh, my god, I can’t even force them closed. Her command was bullet proof. Until he released me, I was confined to my own body.

I couldn't speak or move. It was like I was suddenly turned into a quadriplegic. I was forced to stay in the exact position she'd left me in. I felt so trapped, my claustrophobia kicked in and I felt my heart rate increase. My body started to sweat, my breathing became erratic and tears leaked from my eyes.

I was in a full blown anxiety attack. I saw the Jinn look over and worry momentarily crossed her face. When she realized I was still watching her expression it quickly changed to more of cool, nonchalant observance. She moved over to the bed and pulled the bandage off of my side, then checked it and scratched her head.

My breathing was still labored and my heart was racing. I felt like it would burst out of my chest. If my heart was to burst, at least, my spirit would be set free again. That would be a good thing. I can't be trapped especially not in my own body.

My mother died that way. She'd had her spine severed while fighting Brownies. They mistook her still body for dead and left her on the battle ground. I was still very young but she called to me in my mind and begged me to find and kill her. Her soul being trapped in a useless body caused her unbearable pain.

I'd wanted to release her but at the time, I was too young and too afraid. Because of my fear, I forced my mother to live for days encased in rotting flesh, unable to do more than blink. It took her nearly two weeks before she died. As a child, I didn’t understand that I forced my mother to die of starvation.

Now, it has become my biggest fear. Trapped, unable to move and forced to rot and starve to death. The Jinn continued to search my body for an injury or a reason why my heart and breathing had become unstable. Unable to find anything she eventually said in a voice I could almost swear held concern

"Jace, what is wrong with you? I can find no new injury… you should be in stable condition but something’s not right. Tell me."

I felt relief the moment I opened my mouth and was able to speak.

"I can't be trapped like this. I watched mother die this way. Her spine was severed and she starved to death in front of my eyes. I was too young and too weak to put her out of her misery. Please just drive your dagger through my heart. I understand I need to die… please try to have a little mercy. Don't torture me if for no reason than I am your heart’s desire and you are mine."

My words like my eyes blurred by the time I was finished. I had thought I was so strong and could keep silent even during the worse torture possible but this was my weakness, my Achilles heel. Tears splashed down my cheeks and I was surprised when the Jinn reached out and cupped my face in her large hands.

"Cry not my Slaugh. I'm not happy about this but the truth is I would never torture you. You are right, you are my heart’s desire. I wish you weren't but I cannot change the fates."

The Jinn paused and ran her fingers through her long hair. Then she rubbed her eye and looked at me again. I wasn't sure what was running through her mind. Like mine, I could hear her heart racing and her breathing was coming a bit faster.

She reached out and ran her hand along my arm. With every touch of her hand, my skin reacted with tiny little pleasurable electric shocks that flickered through me. I couldn't in all my life think of anything that had ever felt this good. I looked into her face and thought that she too looked like she was reveling in the feel of our flesh touching each other. She made a frustrated moan and pulled away from me and said in a voice that I could only describe as being full of sorrow

"Don't move my Slaugh. My soul is begging me to unite with you and make us one. I know that can never be and I am torturing myself with need for you. In time, this will become as painful for you as it already is for me. I won't force you to endure this pain because I am weak. I will be strong for you. I will make this as quick and painless as possible. Make your peace with God and say your goodbyes."

I saw her reach into her pocket and pull out a sharp long wicked looking dagger. It had a gold hilt and was encrusted with jewels. Its blade was, at least, a foot long and was finely sharpened on both sides. I recognized it as a ritual dagger from the house of Olympia. It was then known as the Seelie killer. Queens of the past including Olympia used it in blood magic most often to kill Seelie Court members in sacrifice.

Huh, how fitting I thought. I would die with a weapon that was forged for ending the lives of Seelie court members. Odd, that it would be my Jinn true love that did the killing. So be it I thought. It would be a clean and fast ending. It was more than I deserved. I've always known it was going to happen sooner or later this would be a good death. I looked up at her and forced myself to smile. Then I said in soft but strong voice

"Thank you. It will be a good death for me. I promise to set your soul free. Perhaps someday in a next life, both sides of our souls will find each other again. Hopefully, in that life, we will both be on the same side of the war. I am at peace with my maker. Goodbye, and fly free my Jinn true love."

She nodded then I watched as she raised the dagger in the air and prepared to plunge it into my heart. I found myself wishing I could close my eyes so I wouldn't have to see the killing blow. I might have started weeping. I'm honestly not sure. I watched in terror as her arm descended towards me. I felt a sharp pain in my chest and would have screamed out if I had control of my vocal cords.

Instead, I remained silent and was forced to feel a burning sensation emanate from the core of my body until I suddenly became warm and serene. I think I might have reflectively smiled as I felt my eyes begin closing on their own accord. I felt what I thought was my spirit slipping away and I looked back at my Jinn for one last glimpse. I was saddened when I saw a tear slip from her eye.

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