Finally we get some answers this week… But the story isn’t quite over as yet… Not quite…
Speak into the Air
Lily found herself and her Eternal standing in the mists between the Realm and the mortal world again, She held onto him tightly: “We aren’t in danger, we have a short way to go and we’ll be safe.”
He was concerned, of course–anyone would be–but he nodded, “Okay, but who was that voice I heard?”
The voice came back. “Lillian.”
It was a voice she hadn’t heard, but wanted to, for so long. But after reading the wish, understanding what was wrong with her life … She found she didn’t want to so much anymore. She didn’t want this to happen, but it was, and now … now the truths would come out and … what would be would be.
“Who is that, Lily?” This from her Eternal, the one she should have taken with her, been with … then everything would have been exactly right.
“You should not be here … human.” This from her Incubi, her other, her … No. He was a lot of things, but he wasn’t her Eternal. She finally understood that now.
Her Eternal instantly despised the tone that was being used towards Lily. Whoever this was, he didn’t seem to care about Lily in the way he spoke her name. Feeling Lily tense, her Eternal held her closer. “I’m here.”
Lily squeezed his hand tightly and then turned to face the other in the room. She just looked at him, his name caught in her throat. For the first time, she recognized the darkness in his tone, the need to be in control of everything … including her. At first he hadn’t been that way, but he changed over time … Still, she had to greet him, and the words felt like sandpaper as they finally came out: “Hello … Riel …” How do you speak to someone that passed on years ago and now … now was a shadow … a memory … a …
He took hold of her other arm, his black eyes glinting, black tail slithering behind as he leered at her. “You are mine, Lillian. Leave him behind. I am all that you need.”
Lily was trying to figure out what to say when her Eternal took that choice from her: “Bullshit! Let go of her if you know what’s good for you.”
Lily moved to place herself between the two of them … and then something happened that she never expected. Her Tail appeared and wrapped her arms around Riel: “It’s about time you tried to stop her. I was wondering where you were hiding.”
He let go of Lily and turned away from her, “Angela … It’s been a while … I’ve missed dominating you so very much.”
Angela purred as she stroked her fingers against his neck, “Oh I’m sure you have … or rather you’ve been waiting for the chance for all of this to start all over again … for you to have Lily all to yourself so that you could have me.”
Riel’s growl was something Lily had never heard before … and it was frightening. “Shut up, Angela.”
“Oh no, the wish makes many things possible, and now, finally, Lily is going to find out exactly what happened and why.”
Lily didn’t know what to make of what was happening and, when Angela threw Riel to the floor and straddled him, she just became more confused than ever.
“Call her by her name, the name her Eternal would call her. Say it.”
“Her name is ‘Lillian.’”
When Riel said that something clicked in Lily’s mind. He’d never called her “Lily.” Not once. It had always been “Lillian” and never “Lily.” But he was supposed to be her Eternal … but he wasn’t … but …
Her Eternal held her close: “Lily, please: what’s happening here? How can you be there with him and here with me?”
Angela answered that question, “I’m Lily’s other half. I’m one of the Succubi, like Riel is one of the Incubi, and … and, well, I share her body in our world.”
Lily turned to him, “When I left you, I went with Riel to another world. There I was changed into what I am now. Angela is … my other half, sort of. See, I have a different color tail than she does? When she’s in control, then I change a little so that others know it’s her.”
Her Eternal smiled, “I’ve heard of the devil on your shoulder, but this is way past that, isn’t it?”
Lily nodded, “It is. Sorry… Without going through it all, it’s hard to explain it.”
Angela struggled a bit with Riel, “You mind if I interrupt? You two can talk later when we get things fixed the way they should have been from the …”
Riel’s roar was piercing as he pushed Angela off him and then pinned her down. “Everything was and will be perfect, Angela. Lily will go home, and she’ll never remember this, and then I’ll have you both.”
And he did … sort of … when Lily rushed over and shoved him off Angela, the three of them in a tangled heap of limbs and tails as they fought to gain control over the situation.
Or they thought.
“Stop this! Now!”
The voice was her Eternal. He held the wish in his hand, and Lily found she couldn’t disobey him. But then, neither could Riel or Angela, either. “This says I can stop what happened to make Lily suffer. I’m going to do that, come hell or high water.” The three of them didn’t move as he came over and knelt beside them all. “I want answers. Riel, why did you take Lily away?”
It was obvious that Riel didn’t want to answer, but he did so, “Because Angela would be with Lillan. I knew this. Through her, I would have Angela again. She was … is …”
Angela finished the words, “I was his mate long ago, before the Realm changed. He never became a Tail, never really accepted the changes, but … but I did.”
Lily put her hands to her cheeks and started to cry, “It never was anything but you having her, was it? That’s why you never talked about your Tail, why Angela never told me about her past life … Because you were it and …” She pushed herself away from him and then collapsed crying between them and her Eternal.
“You are both assholes. How could you do this to her?”
“Angela is mine, I will not have her share herself with anyone else. She obeys my will as her mate.”
Angela looked away, “I did as he commanded me. I admit that. But when Riel passed on, he didn’t go into the Lake to be reborn as a Tail. He ended himself, and that wrecked Lily’s life because I couldn’t allow her to be with anyone else but him. Because … because that was the last thing he told me instead of releasing me from our pact.”
Lily’s Eternal fumed as he walked back and forth, then stopped, “All right, you are both idiots, and stupider than anyone I have ever met.” He then went over to Lily, knelt down beside her and held her in his arms as she sobbed quietly, “The wish says that I want the chance to fix this, to make it right. Tell me how, Angela. You seem to have all the answers, and at least you are talking to me.”
Angela took a shuddering breath, “I don’t know.”
There was a long silence then; none of them had the answer other than the wish he held in his hand. Then, off in the distance somewhere, there was the sound of heels clicking as a woman began to emerge from the mists.
“Hello … I think this is where I come in.”
Lily’s Eternal turned to see a woman with wild raven hair, green eyes, and a long red tail and horns appearing through the mists walking towards them all, her red jacket swaying behind her and a determined look in her eyes. “Hello, Lillian … Are you all right?”
There was something different about how this woman spoke to Lily. After the barely controlled anger of Riel, her voice was … almost motherly. She seemed worried about Lily. No, she actually was worried about her. Lily’s Eternal found that he liked her immediately.
The smile on Lily’s face made him like this woman even more.
“And you are?” he asked.
She stopped close to him and Lily, “Oh I think you know who I am, my dear …”
He looked at her, then at the note in his hand. “Tera.”
She smiled, and that smile gave him some hope. “Correct. I’ll give you a cookie later, but first we’re going to fix this mess.”
She walked over to Riel and, for the first time, he looked … worried. It was obvious that she wasn’t pleased with him. “Riel, how nice to see you again … and I mean that in the worst possible way. Angela, nice to see that you came out of the shadows, too, because now that we’re all here, we can fix this.”
She then turned to look at Lily and her Eternal, “What happened to you both wasn’t right. It never should have happened, but Lillian was manipulated by Riel and I should have seen it from the beginning. I missed it because there was something between Riel and Lillian and it isn’t my place to interfere … most of the time.”
Her Eternal was about to protest about her using that name but Tera held up one finger, “I know, her name isn’t Lillian, not to you. She’s always complained about me doing so … at least, until recently, that is. Please allow a Queen her minor quirks, will you?”
He nodded, and then she continued, “You see, there has to be a connection in order for someone to call another ‘Eternal’ in our Realm. There is one between Riel and Angela, but there is also one between him and Lillian.”
At the building anger in his eyes, Tera shook her head, “Allow me to continue, please, if you would?”
Again he nodded. Lily placing a finger on his lips gave him the hint to shut up and listen.
“But the thing is, now that all of your are here, I can sense a connection between you, my dear, and Lillian, but also between you and Angela.”
He looked at her in confusion. Drawing Lily’s hand away, he stated, “I’ve never met her.”
Tera nodded, her tail moving slowly behind her as she continued, “No, perhaps not, but perhaps you have, in a dream? It’s possible, as we exist in dreams as well. Still that’s not important. What is comes to this: you are all connected. The way things should have been was that Riel should have entered the Lake to be with Angela, then the two of them would be reborn in the two of you when you came to the Realm and were transformed.”
She turned to look at Riel who now seemed to be ashamed, “He was afraid of losing control to another, to be only a part of the whole and not the whole. He was … is … proud, and that’s hard to overcome for any being. He also was jealous of the thought that someone else would have his mate, and that he couldn’t accept.” Tera walked over to him and then looked down on him, “Now, if he can accept that you are the Eternal, then this will be fixed. If he can’t, then all of this is for naught.”
Riel didn’t look up, “I need proof he is. You have none to give.”
Tera’s tail swished behind her, “Actually I do, thanks to Angela.”
Angela allowed herself a smile, “I am a schemer, aren’t I?”
Lily turned to look at her, “What are you talking about?”
“You can’t tell me you haven’t figured it out! The dress we both wear: It’s not that the one that wrote the note can remove it, it is that only our Eternal can.”
Lily blinked and then said, “Take off my dress, my Eternal …”
He slipped a finger underneath the strap resting on Lily’s right shoulder … but it wouldn’t move.
Riel laughed and then moved to do the same with Angela … and couldn’t.
For a long moment, the four of them didn’t say anything.
Tera’s sigh was long, “Come on … put the pieces together …”
It was Riel that did: “We can’t do it alone. Together we can.”
Tera snapped her fingers and pointed one of them at Riel, “Bingo! And you get a cookie, too …”
She then took Lily and her Eternal by the hand and led them over to where Riel and Angela were. “Accept that you are all, together, each other’s Eternals and all of this will be fixed. The only thing I cannot tell you is if that means Lily will suffer again or if it will have never happened.”
Lily looked at her Eternal, “It won’t matter if you are there.”
His answer was just, “I’ll be there. And it does matter.”
Riel looked at the two of them and then at Angela, “Forgive me … please? I …”
Angela put a finger on her Eternals’ lips exactly in the same way that Lily had done, “I can, because we’ll be together.”
Tera took the note from Lily’s Eternal and placed it on her right palm, “And so, the wish is fulfilled …”
The note glowed again, brighter than ever before, the lovers vanishing in its light and then Tera was left there … alone, the note crumbling into ash that passed through her fingertips …