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   Chapter 10 NO.10

Dancing With the Devil By windxdancer97 Characters: 28182

Updated: 2018-01-31 19:25


This chapter is dedicated to an awesome person who never fails to make me smile! Her support is unreal, and I can't thank you enough!!

Hope you guys enjoy this chapter. I made it extra long just for you guys, and poured a lot of info into it. Hope it makes up for my disappearance for the past month!

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For being a country girl, I'd never had a horse. It wasn't uncommon to have a beast grazing in the backyard, but for some reason, my parents had never been interested in building a barn or even just a tiny stable for a pony. I had always wanted one, but I rarely got the chance to even sit in a saddle, despite most of my neighbors owning at least one or two.

It had been worse, the begging and wanting, when I was younger, around ten. I'd convinced my mom to get me a pair of cowgirl boots, cute brown ones that had pink jewels down the sides. For the first month after getting them, they hadn't left my feet once. I would walk around in them, eat in them, go to school in them, show Violet them, sometimes even sleep in my precious boots. The leather had felt smooth when it brushed against my skin as I walked, and the thick soles had supported my feet that wouldn't sit still.

The true storm hit about a week into my cowgirl obsession, when I'd been with Violet and her mom. We'd gone to the supermarket (I was of course wearing my boots) and spotted two rodeo hats, one pink and one purple. I had fallen in love instantly with the pink that was identical to the jewels on my boots and wide brim that shadowed my face.

Violet's mom had been hesitant at first, probably picturing all of our other useless toys: lock and key diaries, jewelry boxes with passwords, millions of dolls that we dressed and redressed to perfection, sparkly fairy wands that we were convinced had some sort of magic to them, and now cowgirl hats. We just needed those cowgirl hats.

She caved, giving into the puppy eyes and innocent, wide smiles like most mothers do. Then the real damage began. I put my hair in two braids almost everyday. I would pretend that I had to lasso a wild horse in as I perched on my own trusty steed. And whenever someone greeted me, I would respond, "Howdy y'all, " with a tip of my hat.

My mom got a kick out of it, laughing at my antics that I was completely serious about. I didn't understand why she would laugh at my war cries against enemy bandits that tried to steal my horse or the reason she giggled behind her hand as I walked with slow, steady, and casual steps with my hands on my belt. It all made sense a couple of years later as we flicked through photo books and there I was, waving my invisible lasso in my usual getup, mouth open wide in a defiant yell.

Despite me no longer strutting around in a cowgirl hat and two braids- pretending to be something between the outlaw Chuck Norris and wild, free Pocahontas- I still wanted a horse. I loved wearing my cowboy boots, even though I didn't stomp around in them every day like I used to, and they were now a classy black instead of the glamorous brown and pink. My eyes lit up every time I saw the swift, muscled animal. My ears perked at the familiar clop, clop, clop of their four hooves, usually protected with metal horseshoes. I jumped at any opportunity I got to ride one.

We had a small Amish community in our tiny town. There was a nice Amish woman who drove by our house about once a week, and she noticed my interest in her sleek chestnut-colored mare. One day, when I was around twelve, she offered to let me take a ride, if it was alright with my mother of course. I'd all but ran into her in my rush to ask if I could please ride the pretty horse, and she agreed as long as she could watch. So, once a week I would happily trot her horse up and down our road for ten minutes, making sure to not exert her so that she could get her owner back home. Our tradition came to an abrupt end when the lady died last year, when I was sixteen. The horse was inherited by her daughter, who left the Amish within the week and moved, horse and all, somewhere else.

And yet, even at my seventeen years of age, I still loved horses. I suppose it was that one childhood fantasy that never came true. To some it was becoming a princess or flying into outer space. Maybe it was seeing the ghost of that haunted graveyard down the street or buying the biggest candy bar in the supermarket. I never got my own horse.

I woke up with a pounding headache and tear-stained cheeks, making me feel dirty and tired. I wanted nothing more than to fall back asleep as I grimaced at the aftereffects of my crying.

James was gone. I was positive that he wouldn't dare to come within twenty feet of me ever again. Although I suppose that the only reason he'd given me for his sneaky kiss was that I was pretty. Unique excuse, I scoffed.

Jake was gone. I'd only been grasping at the stupid hope of someday seeing him again and resuming our fickle relationship. I wasn't sure if I was the only one that had doubts about us, but the mere fact that I wasn't completely comfortable with him should've sent off warning bells in my head that it wouldn't have worked out. I knew better now.

I was never going to see either one of them again, and I would probably be kept distracted enough to not think about them. It wasn't the fact that I was surrounded by demons and any other fairytale creatures that were laying around here. It wasn't my off-the-map location, another dimension that I was positive was nowhere near Earth. It didn't even matter that I was locked away in a castle like a twisted remix of Rapunzel.

No, I came up with the conclusion and acceptance of my new life- even if I didn't like it- all from one person and one person alone: Xavier. He looked at me with eyes that held promises of protection. They were soft with fondness even though we'd only known each other a few days, but hard beneath with lust that at first had made me self-conscious. And possessive. Oh, the possessiveness that darkened his already deep eyes like storm clouds drew me in vigorously. They flashed with it whenever I was being particularly difficult, and his Neanderthal personality was usually the reason for his inner demon to make an appearance, causing his eyes to go up in flames.

He also responded to my body like no one else ever had. It was like we were attached to each other by a string; whenever I moved, his body copied it. I was even under the mystery pull, involuntarily shifting whenever he so much as flinched before I'd even told myself to become mobile. We were like a puppet and puppeteer, always connected and constantly in tune with the other.

Of course, it wasn't impossible for us to move away from each other, but I knew when he was near and when he wasn't. Xavier brought with his presence an internal heat that I hadn't known was possible to feel from someone else. When he was close, the pit of my stomach grew warm and spread throughout my entire body, like the web of a spider expands but is still a part of the central beginning. When my mate moved away, he took that unnatural heat with him. It was odd to say the least.

It was all of this plus a handful of other little things Xavier did that forced me to accept the loss of my other, human life. We shared a thousand meaningless words throughout the day and a million little touches: the brush of his hand, the whisper of his lips, a graze of our shoulders. My name or nickname was every second word that poured out of his kissable lips that always appeared slightly swollen.

So, knowing all of this, I put on my brave face and greeted Xavier politely, ignoring his startled expression. He repeated my, "Good morning, " cautiously, as if expecting me to laugh and admit that I wasn't genuine in my suddenly sophisticated behavior.

Even after my shower, which was naturally blistering hot for my comfort, my headache stubbornly sat its heavy self over my right brow. Seeing my discomfort, Xavier suggested showing my around the grounds so that the fresh air might clear my head while simultaneously allowing me to familiarize myself with my new home. I agreed that a walk sounded nice after I got some food.

After breakfast, I dressed in casual jeans, a black tank top, a red flannel over the top, and my boots. I left my hair down to lessen any kind of pre

t was more playful. Xavier must have felt something from Ignis too, because we both turned to see what our horses were up to. My eyes were on them just in time to see Ignis teasingly nip at my mare's behind, galloping away when she snapped her teeth at him. Xavier laughed heartedly.

"So my manly stallion has a crush!" he howled.

"It doesn't seem like she likes him very much, " I mused.

"Oh no, I would think that she sees him as prideful and arrogant, so he's resorted to the oldest way to get her attention: picking on her."

His words were proven true when she found a patch of grass to graze on, and Ignis snuck up to her only to flick his flaming tail at her. She jumped, startled, and it almost appeared as if the stallion was laughing. His eyes were bright with amusement.

"What are you going to name her?"

"She doesn't have a name?" I asked, shocked. Surely a mare so dainty and beautiful would've been instantly noticed, and therefore given a name to fit her elegant body?

And she was beautiful. She wasn't thick with muscle like Ignis was, but rather lean with just enough to prove she wasn't worthless and could pull her own weight. Her gait was graceful and she moved with the elegance of a Lipizzan show horse. Instead of having a blazing mane and tail, her fires were slightly subdued as if she didn't want to flaunt herself. Her eyes, however, were fierce with the excitement for a challenge. Her coat was also black, but she has two socks of flames on her front left leg and back right leg, the way a regular horse might have had a different color. She had fire as her marks. The male that had cornered her had a blotch of fire on his chest, I remembered.

"No, " Xavier sighed. "She was very weak when she was young. She got sick often from the slightest thing, and wouldn't drink much of her mothers milk. We didn't think she would make it many times. Her mother even abandoned her once or twice. The stable hands put her in a separate stall so she wouldn't taint the other foals. She never gave up though. She's a stubborn little thing, but she usually keeps to herself. She's a fighter in every definition of the word, and she's quite feisty. Most of the males don't want to deal with her because she doesn't submit to them, but it looks like Ignis isn't having any of that." He chuckled at the end.

Wow, sound like any other couple? Anyone? Any guesses at all? What, us? Xavier and I? Ding, ding, ding! Like master like…horse, I guess.

"That'll be interesting to see how it turns out, " I chortled. "Ignis might just have his work cut out for him." We watched the two in comfortable silence. Our arms brushed against each other as we both leaned against the fence. I noticed it only stretched one way, for as far as I could see both ways.

"Xavier?"

"Yes, Princess?"

"Where does the fence end?"

He shrugged. "A couple hundred miles."

"In both directions?"

He nodded, still watching our horses. I looked past them, as far away on the horizon as my human eyes to see. I didn't see a fence that way, either.

"Are they even fenced in?" I wondered. "Is there a stopping point for them?" Surely there would be. He wouldn't just let them run off!

"No." Or maybe he would. "Hellhorses are incredibly fast. Thirty times faster than the fastest human horse. They need space to run and be free. A stopping point would make them feel trapped. Don't worry, they like being near their masters. They are no where near tame, but they aren't wild, either. We just don't want them thinking they own the place, either, so we separate them from civilization."

"What do you mean they aren't tame?"

"To us, they will be because they will know our status. Ignis and your horse will appear at even the slightest call, even through your mind. Bonded horses will even run to you because of your emotions. They are protectors."

Her name came to me out of nowhere. "Dawn, " I smiled. "Her name is Dawn."

Xavier perked at her name. "Why did you name her that?" he asked curiously.

"Because no matter what other people think, she's always going to fight to see a new day, no matter how weak she is. She's a fighter and a protector, but do you see how her mane and tail aren't as bright as Ignis'? She isn't flaunting herself, even though she's very strong on the inside. Kind of like how the sun reveals itself bit by bit at dawn, despite it having so much more to show later in the day."

"Those are two very good reasons, " he mused, "but I have a third."

"What?"

"I found it very ironic that you chose that name, because the only time she would ever drink her mother's milk was at the crack of dawn. Even is her mother was still sleeping, she would nudge her to get a drink."

"Wow, that's incredible." What were the odds of such a perfect name?

"Dawn, " I called, wanting to teach the beautiful horse her new name.

She raised her head instantly, swiveling her neck around until she spotted me. I called her again, this time in my head, and she pranced over obediently.

"She knows her name!" I gasped. "How does she know her name already?"

"I don't know, but I think that she is the perfect horse for you." I smiled, rubbing her neck and praising her profusely.

I didn't see the eyes glaring at me through the window of the barn, burning with hatred.

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Dun, dun, DUN!!! Don't hate me! I just had to do it! Hehe, I'm so mean for leaving you guys with a cliffhanger like that. But you still love me, right?

Vote, comment, and follow, my beautiful readers! You are all awesome!

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