Arawn cradled the tender flesh left exposed by Cailleach’s blade. His suspicions confirmed in the jagged wound that slowly healed. Only a primal deity who possessed the ancient powers could inflict such harm. Not once did she falter in her concealment. He studied her and learned her movements and habits for millennia, but she had tricks of her own. This whole time she’d disguised her true nature. Content in her obscurity while hidden as a lesser god in the guise of a lovely old hag. She must know he loves her in all her forms, so why did she run? His anguish was raw and pulsed through him like a beating heart.
Their powers combined, he would finally have enough strength to take down Aoibheal. That Seelie bitch queen would pay dearly for what she did, and then they could rule it all if only Cailleach took him as her consort. Why didn’t she realize she needed him and that others would take her for their own, use her power to their will? As his obsession grew, his need to possess and protect her amplified exponentially.
Desperate to find her, he unleashed his Unseelie horde on the cosmos with clear instructions to kill anyone who interfered. Arawn glided to his thrown as his legion raced to do his bidding. They would find her, and once Cailleach was at his side, he would be a force, unlike anything the Seelie and Unseelie had ever seen. The power finally his. He’d waited eons for this chance, and once she was his, he could exact vengeance on those who betrayed him. He awaited her return. She will be mine.
Arawn’s horde searched from dimension to dimension for the missing goddess. Every celestial plane and realm upturned. At long last, they found her hiding in the mortal realm. What they discovered would not bode well with their master. Arawn, the Elder, would have their heads for taking so long. It may be too late.
“What do you mean there’s another!” Arawn’s eyes turned to black voids that threatened oblivion, and his skin blazed with fury.
The shape-shifting Buggar trembled as he knelt before him. “She’s to marry a mortal, my king.”
“Time passes much faster in the moral realm, my lord.”
“I know how time passes in the realms, you fool.” Arawn glided across the floor to the useless creature and snapped his neck. The body collapsed to the floor, and he stepped over the insignificant creature.
Rejected again! First, the Seelie Queen and now the Cailleach! His rage smoldered as he paced through the halls of his fortress. All-consuming anger writhed inside him like a serpent. He won’t be rejected again if he has anything to say about it, and he does! He will not be undone by a puny mortal! The goddess had gone mad! Clearly, she needed help to understand who the better suitor is. She spent to much time among the mortals, and it clouded her judgment. He loved her and can love her far better than any human man ever could. I’ll make her see, he vowed. She cannot slip from my grasp! He will fight for her.
To be continued…
[You can also find Ostara Rising published here with Coffee House Writers]
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