DARKNESS OF THE SOUL
A sequel to Let No Man Cast Asunder.
Steel goes to confront Jet and discovers more than he had been expecting.
An established relationship story.
Written: July 2007. Word count: 1,180.
Author's Note: // either side of words indicate when the characters are talking to one another telepathically.
Leaving his lover under the care of his working partner, Steel strode towards the place Jet lived. He chose to physically walk, rather than simply materialise, as it gave him time to get his temper under control.
Until he and Silver had been joined together, emotions had not been something that Steel had ever had problems controlling, simply because most of the time he refused to admit that he had any feelings.
However, loving and being loved by Silver had changed everything for him. Mostly, Steel admitted, for the better, but just occasionally, he wondered if love was worth all of the pain that came with it. But whenever he allowed the dark thought to cross his mind, he experienced the nearly overwhelming rush of sadness that he knew he would suffer if he no longer had Silver at his side.
As he'd told Silver when they had become lovers, for him, Steel, it was a 'forever' act, and given what they were, 'forever' had a completely different meaning to the way humans used it. Thus to come close to losing Silver within a short time of them joining, showed Steel how much he cared. The anguish, the pain, the blinding sadness that had hit him when he though, had believed, had felt his lover was lost to him, had driven him almost to the edge of temporary madness.
It was that he needed to control before he confronted Jet. He had to know why she had done what she had done, and how. And he had to do it all without letting her know that he knew she had violated a fellow element. She, like all save Silver, must never know the truth about Steel. Sapphire now knew something, but for now Steel trusted her to do the task he had left her with: taking care of Silver.
"Steel?" Jet's surprise was clear as she opened the door to him. He stared at her and under his eyes, he saw a hint of wariness flash through her dark gaze, before vanishing to be replaced by concern.
Letting his body temperature begin to drop, firstly to what was normal for him and then below that, he gently tried to touch her mind. He needed to take care, as with her own telepathic abilities, she would be able to sense him, far more easily than Silver, whose powers were limited to being able to 'talk' to fellow elements. However, Steel had some experience, having on more than one occasion touched Sapphire's mind without her being aware of it. But still he took care; some instinct told him that Jet had more power than his partner.
He was correct. He hit a barrier; one that she should not have been able to erect. He stopped probing and held the link where it was. He was still certain that she was not aware of what he was doing.
She spoke again. "I was so sorry to hear about Silver. How he is?"
//He'll live.// He sent the thought into her mind; as he did so, he pushed against the barrier a little.
//Do you know what happened?//
Once again, he fought against the anger, the darkness, the rage that rose up in him. //Yes.//
He watched as she took a step back from him; at the same time he felt the fear rush into her mind. And at that moment he saw it, he felt it. At that moment he knew.
He knew why she had done what she had done.
He knew what she was.
He knew what she was about to do. About to try to do.
With a swift movement he spun her around, captured both of her hands behind her back, restraining her as easily as she might restrain a child. His other hand went to her throat.
She gasped aloud and tried to pull away from him. He knew it wasn't just his physical strength she was trying to escape from, but also from the burning she would feel as his icy touch held her.
At the same time he pushed his way through her mental shields, feeling the barriers crumble under his onslaught. She screamed, both in her mind and vocally.
It didn't matter now if she knew the truth about him. Not now he knew the truth about her. She would not be allowed to survive. They would not permit it. She would not be allowed to tell what she knew.
Just for a moment, a fleeting second, sadness touched him. He had worked with her, he had in his own way cared for her, he had thought he'd known her. But he hadn't. No one had. Even They had been fooled. And had it not been for her, what he now knew to be a private vendetta, attack on Silver, They would have gone on being fooled by her. Gone on letting her be amongst the elements, be one of them, until the day she . . .
He could crush her mind and her body. He could do both so easily. He could cause her the same anguish as she had caused Silver. He could destroy her slowly, painfully, inch by inch; he could watch her be consumed. And part of him wanted to do that; part of him wanted vengeance.
Or he could do it easily, quickly, causing her no more pain than he already was doing. All he had to do was to tighten his grip on her throat and in seconds, what she was would be gone. Gone forever.
As he hesitated for a moment, he felt her attempt to gather her emotional strength, whilst simultaneously ceasing to fight against the physical hold he had on her.
"I loved you," she gasped.
Steel said nothing.
"And you choose him. He's not your equal. He's not -" She broke off, spluttering, as infinitesimally he tightened the grip he had on her throat.
When she communicated again, she did it telepathically. //You could let me go. You could come with me. We could -//
//They invited me once. I refused.//
//We don't need them. Or anyone. You're even stronger than any of them. Better than anyone knew. Together we could -//
She screamed as he broke down the last of her barriers, broke it down and saw the madness that consumed her. He sent the darkness into her mind, purging her memories, stripping away everything she was, whilst at the same time he gently tightened his hand on her throat.
Before the last emotional and physical spark left her, he sent peace into the jumbled chaos that was left of her mind.
Gently, and with a surprising amount of sadness, he lowered her lifeless body to the ground.
//What was she?// They asked.
//A Transient being.// With those words he cast one final look at the element he'd known as Jet, before turning and leaving, physically, the way he had arrived.
Leaving to go return to his lover. His life. His very essence. The man that took away his darkness and brought light into his life and his soul.
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