In this scene, Lucas remembers his time in the Ceremonial Chamber when Elias first removed the darkness inside him. The scene was written for Fallen Darkness, although actually happened in the last half of Book 1, Fallen Redemption.
Gabe and Sarid helped Lucas to the Chamber. The anger was still inside him. A living, breathing presence. The strong emotion surged through his body, readying his muscles for action, though at the time same time he was weak, limp, and unable to see.
With help from his brothers, Lucas striped off his clothes and lay down on the altar. The marble was cold against his bare skin. A severe contrast to Elias’s warm hand on his shoulder.
Elias whispered in Lucas’s ear despite the fact Gabe and Sarid had already left. “It will not be easy, my son.” He spoke in the Trihune Language. “It will take your will, your desire, more than anything I do. Do you wish for the demon to leave your body?”
Lucas jerked. His eyes swiveled in their sockets, still unseeing, turning toward his sire’s voice. “Demon?” he croaked. It wasn’t a demon inside him, just the demon’s emotions. That’s all.
“Yes,” Elias said softly. “You received more than this demon’s emotions when you touched his blood. Its essence seeped inside you. Became a part of you. Fused with every molecule of your being. I won’t know how deep the hold is until we begin, but from what I’ve seen . . .” Elias squeezed his shoulder.
The motion said Elias had been reading Lucas’s memories. By the hand on his shoulder, his sire would’ve seen when Lucas first came into contact with the UF, or Uber Fallen as he and his brothers called it. But now it had another name. Demon.
“If this,” Elias said. “Is allowed to continue, the effects could be permanent.” He paused. “So, I ask again. Lucas, do you wish for the demon to leave your body?”
“What if I learn to control it? To not let it spread.” He raised his hands, fumbled until he touched his sire’s robe, clutched the fabric in his fists. “You could teach me.” Elias said nothing, but Lucas could sense his disappointment. “I need it. It gives me strength. Lends more protection for the Creator’s Followers.”
“There is no way to control it.”
“But,” Lucas started.
Elias interrupted him, his voice had turned hard; a tone Lucas had never heard from his sire. The warmth flooding through him from his sire’s touch turned cold. Lucas shivered.
“Make your choice. Do you wish to turn into a demon? Join the other side? Because that’s where you’re headed if you follow this path.”
Another shiver racked through Lucas’s body. “No,” he said at last.
“You must be certain with your whole being. Once I start the process I cannot stop it.”
He swallowed thickly. The cold gave him time to think. The anger had been strangely quiet during Elias’s presence. Hiding in the background. Biding its time.
It wasn’t his brothers that came to mind. Nor his reasons for joining the Behns. It wasn’t his sire. Or his desire to please the Creator.
Instead, it was the glimmer of hope hiding underneath all the frustration, fear, and anger. Hope that he might find love.
The emotion had begun to grow when Emma, a mere human, wrapped the Sept One leader into knots.
Perhaps all was not lost. His servitude to the Creator didn’t mean he had to journey this long immortal life alone. Love was possible for him, too. “Yes,” he said finally. “I wish it to be gone.”
Elias spoke so fast the words strewn together in one lone Trihune mumble that Lucas couldn’t decipher. Soon he was unable even to try.
He clenched his teeth. Muscles tightened. His body was on fire. Hot, burning flames licked at his organs.
He opened his mouth and screamed.
Lucas jerked awake. His breath came in gasps. He threw back the covers. The sheets were soaked in sweat. It took three tries to twist the switch of the lamp by his bed. His hands were shaking.
He struggled to get his breath under control. The nightmares were nothing new. They were a regular occurrence since Gabe and Sarid took him to the Ceremonial Chamber to meet with Elias. Along with the dreams of what had brought him to that place. The memories of what he’d lost. Lucas grabbed the trinity star from his nightstand table. Clutched it tightly.
“Don’t need it. Don’t need it.” He rocked slowly. Sweat beaded on his forehead then ran down the sides of his face by his hairline.
He closed his eyes and forced his mind to remember why allowing Elias to eradicate the demon’s essence was necessary.
Anger surged without warning and Lucas couldn’t stop the rumble climbing up his throat as he examined the blatant changes his boss had undergone. All because of that female.
“Lucas.” Cade’s voice was soft, soothing. “What’s up?”
The growl erupted. A low, menacing sound that echoed through the room.
Cade held his hands out in front of him, took a slow step forward. “It’s all right. You’re safe here.”
Lucas jumped from his seat, muscles bulging underneath his shirt. “I’m not Sarid. Don’t talk to me like I’ve a demon trapped inside me. I’m not weak. I’m not beyond control.”
His mind was empty of every emotion but his own. His body only reacted to his feelings. Lucas grinned, flashing fangs. He was in control. It was his needs, wants, that caused this response.
The scene changed.
Lucas stood in the middle of the street. His brothers around him. Cade’s sudden sorrow was an oppressive weight that made it difficult for Lucas to fill his lungs with air.
His boss whipped around. His, and consequently Lucas’s, sorrow turned to fury. “Where the fuck were you?”
Lucas took a step back, eyes wide. Adrenaline streamed through him, strengthening him, renewing his anger. Blocking Cade. He inhaled deeply.
“You were supposed to be no more than five minutes from Gabriel,” Cade said.
A dull roar sounded in his ears.
“That would’ve left you fifteen minutes away from here. Not twenty-five.” Cade advanced toward Lucas. “We could’ve saved her.”
“I was following a lead.” Lucas’s gaze darted to Gabriel, Sarid, back to Cade. “I heard ringing.”
“Bullshit.” Cade was in Lucas’s face. “You. Are. Lying.”
Lucas stilled. He latched onto the anger coursing through him, no longer joined with Cade’s. He straightened. His gaze narrowed then locked on Cade. Fangs elongated. Eyes glowed at the same time a dull dusk swept over his vision, turning everything gray. A small speck of fear rushed through him and then was gone. “No. Fuck. You. It’s my fault, Cade? You brought the female into our HQ. You formed an attachment to her. You allowed her to stay at the HQ long after it was necessary. You broke Elias’s command and continued to see her after the mind sweep. You followed her when she was free. You brought our enemy’s attention to her. This is all on you.” Lucas inhaled a haggard breath, willed the adrenaline to surge again. Willed the anger, the fury, to continue its rule over his body. But black took over his gray world. His stomach clenched.
Bending forward, hands on his knees, he gagged.
Lucas raised his head. His hands no longer shook. The sweat had dried, making him cold. He still held the trinity star. Blood fell in slow drips from his hand to the bed sheet. He released his hold on the star, but its points were embedded into his skin and didn’t move.
He gripped the stainless steel and yanked. The star’s tips pulled free causing blood to flow faster. In the bathroom he used the nearest towel to wrap his hand.
The pain during his time with Elias in the Chamber was something he’d never forget. Hadn’t even compared to his transformation from human to Behn. It’d felt like every cell in his body was violated.
When it was over, Lucas lay weak, unable to even lift his lids. Then blood began to drip into his open mouth. It was work to swallow, to not let it fill his throat and drowned him.
Soon though, Elias’s blood swept through his body, rejuvenating, strengthening. He must’ve drained Elias completely before rising, though his sire stood in front of him whole and healthy, his normal comforting glow still softly illuminating his body.
Lucas’s body had been healed. Returned to its original state, but his mind had not.
He still craved what he then willed away. Its power. What the darkness gave him. In all his centuries of existence nothing had been able to do what the demon’s essence had done. Give Lucas an out. A way to block all others.
But Elias’s warning ran through his mind. He hadn’t wanted to become a demon. Didn’t want his brothers hunting him down. Even now, after the nightmare, with the sweating and shaking and craving, he knew he did the right thing.
Lucas unwrapped the towel from his hand. It was damp, stained red, but his hand was already healed. The three deep pits in skin had vanished. He wiped off the dried blood with the towel before throwing it to the floor.
The violence was gone.
His strength was gone.
His emotions, continued to be, no longer be his own.