PrologueA/N: (this story is written by KShade. I do not own HoN. All rights to my plot and OC's reserved) So, actually, I wrote the second chapter first, here… around Valentine's Day, because it was the first one I've spent single since seventh grade, and I didn't want to feel like a complete loner. This story isn't going to be anything like my last Canon character/OC story. I'm sure some of you remember that absolute drivel. It's also not going to be terribly romantic, because this is Neferet we're talking about. She's not a hearts and flowers kind of vampyre, so be warned of that. I'm also not sure if there'll be smut in this, but if there is, it won't be till later, so just because you see "M" in the summary, doesn't mean that's the reason.
Shortly after Hidden
Neferet didn't want to understand what the white bull was telling her. This couldn't be. Couldn't be.
She swore she saw a smirk on his face, not that that made any sense, because he was a bull. "I believe you have confused me greatly, my lord," she spoke in a cold, emotionless voice that sounded too contrived. Neferet was trying to keep her emotions internal, trying not to show weakness by breaking down and crying.
"That is a lie," he slammed his cloven hoof into the floor of the penthouse "You know exactly what I speak of. You have been disappointment after disappointment, Neferet. You failed to kill the old woman. You failed to kill Zoey Redbird. You failed to even remain in control of yourself, or your broken vessel," his voice was abrasive to the inside of Neferet's head, and she just wanted it out. She knew what he would say, what he would do. "I have found someone more worthy of the power I gave you, and I do not intend to waste it on you any longer," Neferet gasped, expecting him to leave her with something "I am not your ridiculous goddess. I can rescind a gift if I please. And it will please me very much," he laughed brutally before Aurox staggered in, being dragged by tendrils of Darkness. He looked utterly defeated.
"What are you doing to my vessel?" Neferet allowed her voice to betray a tiny fragment of emotion, only shock, in her normally hard voice. Internally, she was a riot of emotions, more than she would ever admit. She felt betrayed and used and that alone was hard enough for her to cope with, without all the other things. The betrayal stung, like nails being ripped along her ivory skin, but it was the rage that consumed her, burning like a flame in the blackened expanse of her heart, showing like fire in her emerald eyes.
Now the bull was definitely smirking "You shall see, Neferet" he took a purposeful stride toward Aurox, allowing Aurox to panic, to try to run. Neferet knew that he wouldn't be able to escape. She watched, morbidly curious, as The Darkness slit his throat. Aurox flailed blindly, trying to escape the inhumane sharpness but the tendril slashed across his neck, freezing cold contrasting with the burning pain. Not one drop of his tainted blood hit the ground. The cursed tendrils caught every drop, as he slowly died. Aurox tried to call the beast, but it was to no avail. The beast belonged to Darkness, and Darkness wouldn't fight itself. He tried to scream, but all he could manage was a sick gurgling noise.
Neferet tried not to scream. She knew he would do something to show his displeasure, but she hadn't expected extreme matters like the sacrifice of her vessel. She'd contemplated this before, particularly when Aurox became Heath to Zoey. She paused in her thought right there. Aurox was Heath, and when it had been discovered, when she'd finally wounded that damned Zoey, he'd given Zoey his blood. Neferet realised that the white bull had done her a favour, wounding her enemy. She wondered how Zoey was enjoying the third time that imprint was broken. Neferet hoped it hurt like no other pain ever could, save the mirror. She hoped Zoey would feel the pain she'd felt.
Back at the House of Night, Zoey screamed in agony. She was about to go to bed, and Stark had just returned to the room, when it happened. She first felt a rush of fear, and then a cold sensation that gave her goosebumps. Without a warning, she felt her neck be slashed. No, not hers, Heaths! She screamed, writhing in agony as a confused Stark tried to calm her down. She cried out as the agony diminished and she realized that their imprint was broken. He was either dead, or on the brink of death. Zoey sobbed into Stark's shoulder, and vowed revenge on Neferet, who'd taken Heath away from her a second time, after she'd just reclaimed him. Stark held Zoey, not asking what was wrong, because he knew when she needed to talk about it, she would. He wondered why everyone important to Zoey seemed to die. He just hoped he wasn't the next one.
Neferet felt tendrils of Darkness running over her body. Then there was a flash of fiery pain as she felt a tearing sensation, and collapsed to her knees. It was like being pulled apart, disassembled systematically. Neferet screamed, causing Aurox to wince. He didn't like her, not in the slightest, but he also didn't like watching other people in pain, not on what could well be his last breath. The White Bull laughed, as he tore away Neferet's immortality, took her powers back. Aurox wondered why he was here and wished beyond all else he wasn't as, for the second time that week, Neferet cried bloody tears. He wished he could spend the last moments of his life with Shaylin, who'd understood him as Aurox better than anyone. Even spending them as Heath would be preferable to watching Neferet being tortured as the last thing he would ever see.
The pain stopped abruptly as it had started as the White Bull pondered what to do now. Neferet was connected to the Darkness deeply enough that it would kill her for him to remove it. It wasn't that he'd grown attached to the former Tsi Sgili, it was that he saw death as merciful. Nyx would reincarnate Neferet and free her from everything she was forced to remember in this incarnation. If Neferet was to die, he wanted it to be at someone else's hands, so at least she could suffer a little longer. He liked suffering, particularly from those who've failed. And the Darkness would return to him if, when she used it. And he was sure she would use it, maybe even to kill that damned Zoey she obsessed over.
Neferet breathed a sigh of relief as the agony subsided. She thanked whatever deity would hear her for freeing her from it, wondering absently if she was dead. Slowly, feeling returned to her body, disappointing her. What did she have to live for now? As she regained control of her body, she looked around, seeing that Aurox was still bound up in the corner. Not only bound up, but holding that damned necklace. Each smooth, white pearl spoke of the life she'd left behind. How had Aurox obtained it? It was then that the truth hit her, it was the bull's doing. He was playing with her mind. She wondered if he'd ever free her from this, or if it was going to be how she died, trapped in her past.
"you're awake. Good, you need to be. We have something to settle between us," Neferet distinctly heard not only her younger self's voice, but her father's as well. She tried to move, but it was as though her limbs were full of led. She couldn't move. The white bull felt smug, he'd done this to the once proud Tsi Sgili. Just as much as he'd made her from the ashes of Emily Wheiler, he could break her. Her mind had deteriorated and unravelled, because of pain and a few mere hallucinations. He looked down at her disdainfully. She wasn't worthy, not in the slightest.
Aurox looked at Neferet, remembering when he served her, when she'd been Priestess, Goddess. He Remembered the Neferet he'd revered, how in control she'd seemed, and then at the woman who was limply sobbing on the ground, letting each drop of blood spatter on the floor beside her porcelain face that was all too pale. She whimpered words that made no sense, not to anyone. The last thing she uttered before he finally passed on was "sorry" Aurox liked to think she was apologising to him. He'll never know, now.
Neferet felt her limbs fall back under her own control and sat up, bracing herself for more hallucinations. Nothing came. The White Bull laughed sadistically. Neferet stood up, taking deep breaths and trying to regain control. She looked to see Aurox's body, lying crumpled on that same corner as she'd last seen him in. Her heart sank. She was alone now, alone and mortal, powerless.
Then the bull was gone, but the Darkness feeding off Aurox's blood remained. Neferet looked at it disdainfully, befre getting an idea. She needed something to protect here, and there was Darkness her, Darkness enough for the incantation.
"From death and error you are born
it is a broken pact I've sworn.
With the power I have I bid you to hear my voice,
though like with Aurox, there's always a choice.
and complete my pledge tonight
that you never leave me vulnerable to the servants of light!" This time, the Darkness hesitantly sucked Aurox's broken body into its column. There was no glow that resembled the White Bull's coat, there was only a dark flicker an Neferet completed the spell. Little did she know what the flicker was.
Nyx hoped this would work. She was giving it everything she had, and sending a soul whose light shined brightly enough to hopefully help the fallen priestess. Nyx hoped that it would be enough to save her.
"A window within your soul to see with true sight
light and magick to save a daughter of night
Have courage and strength for you can decide
And see the things that she tries to hide
I, your goddess will watch from above
if you can show her what it is to love."
Neferet finally glimpsed her vessel. He was tall and leaner than Aurox had been, not covered in as much muscle. His eyes were the colour of the night sky, and looked at her, taking in his new master. His hair matched his eyes, black and straight, and sort of mussed, as though someone had run their hands through it. Just as Aurox had, he got down on his knees and looked up at her expectantly. Neferet hesitated only a moment before she named him "I shall call you Xynox, for your predecessor," she said, deliberately.
"Yes, Mistress, I am Xynox," he whispered, his eyes like midnight boring into her mossy green eyes. He saw lines of red like slashes on her face, but he saw them as battle scars, not as tear tracks. She was truly a goddess. From her auburn locks to her beautiful face, adorned in blue, knot-like tattoos, she was the epitome of beauty. His eyes travelled lower, seeing her body, hugged in a midnight blue top and tight black pants. She was a goddess. Neferet noticed the way his eyes canvassed her, the way he practically undressed her with his eyes. It disarmed her at first, but then she decided that was good. If he desired her, he would stay, despite being cracked and having options to leave.
"I am not Mistress, I am Neferet to you." She spoke wearily. Neferet felt tired and wanted nothing more than to turn her brain off. She was fried from the hallucinations, from the pain and becoming mortal had taken a toll on her. Neferet felt centuries older than her hundred thirty some years. Xynox was shocked that the goddess had a name. He watched her walk away, feeling the danger before he saw it. He grabbed Neferet's slender shoulders and jerked her onto the balcony, just as the penthouse caught fire.
Neferet let out a cry of shock as she felt a pair of hands jerk her back, until she felt heat radiating off the flickering flames that burned only in select parts of the room. They spelled out a message burning into her floor "this is for Heath,"
After that, Neferet pulled some things into a bag, clothing for her and Xynox, ID, her bank card, credit cards and that sort of thing. Then, she climbed down the fire escape, motioning to Xynox to follow, got into her car, a rather inconspicuous black car and drove to the airport. She would sell the car to Dallas. In the car, she explained what was going on to Xynox. Xynox took the information in, in shock. Neferet left out that she was mortal. She had to remain a goddess in his eyes. The first flight she saw was to San Francisco. Neferet bought two tickets, using the school ID card she'd made for Aurox to obtain Xynox's ticket.
Two weeks later, Neferet had settled into San Francisco quite nicely, even finding a club that she liked to go to. She'd had papers made for Xynox so she could travel with him if need be. It was a few months later, in San Francisco that things became complicated once more for the deposed Tsi Sgili.
A/N:Well, this is very different from my normal writing style, and truth be told, I'm not as fond of this prologue as I am of chapter one. But, this is kind of necessary for that so, whatever. The rest will be better…