Title: Crimson Nightfall
Author: Kharma RJ Askot (The Stalker Kitteh)
Chapter 6: The Prehnite Captive
Prehnite - A gem with a mystical aura, prehnite is said to be the stone of remembered dreams, meditation and prophecy.
Clockwork emerged on the other side of the black portal into an equally dark bubble of space. Arathic Valadius stretched out before him in all its dark desolate glory, a cold, barren wasteland of underground prisons and crypts. The entrance to each was guarded by a single withered husk of humanoid remains that only took a breath once every four minutes. Frail as they would seem the Nocturnes, as they were called, had a ghostly wail powerful enough to weaken strength and, in some cases, peel flesh from bone. They did not sleep, forever bound and dedicated to their guard duty; a harsh specialized species that only added to the formidable air of the realm.
The sounds that accompanied this place were neither comfortable nor ignorable but he had long grown accustomed to them. The sound of claws attacking steel and stone, the growls of frustration and madness that echoed from underground, the sound of exposed dry bones scratching at the cell walls. In entirety it could only be described as audible decay, desperation and insanity. The inhabitants of the cells had probably lost the ability of conscious thought, as their confinement had caved in around their minds long before he had come to take charge as warden.
Clockwork floated across the dry, windless expanse towards the one building that was above ground. A large, dark gray stone mausoleum; the front door to their house of secrets. The security in this one building made Walker's entire prison look like a birdcage without a lock. He glided up the steps and through the doors, feeling the weight of every single one of his years as he descended another flight of stairs that led deep underground.
As Clockwork navigated the dungeon corridors, his mind turned over the same worn out thought he had every time he visited. 'What would happen if one of their special residents were to escape?'
The dungeon was akin to a labyrinth, with confusing corridors, connected halls and dead ends. The quiet that occupied these halls was nothing like the quiet of outside. It was a very predatory silence that greatly befitted their guests.
He descended yet further underground by way of a long, twisting stairway, completely void of light. Were it not for his ghostly glow and knowledge of the passage's layout he would have been hopelessly lost; the descent was as labyrinthine as the corridors above. The stairs ended at a thick door that lead into a high ceilinged, dome shaped room.
About eight of the oren rakasa slithered around the cavern; the snake tailed, gorilla bodied, multi-armed species acted as special guards to the Ghost Zone's more precious relics and special prisoners. The towering beasts directed their empty green gazes at Clockwork, letting him approach the thick glass encasing at the center of the room only because they recognized him as warden. They did not, however, let their guard down; warden or not, they trusted no one but their own.
Clockwork leaned over the thick glass that entombed the sleeping body, examining the face as part of his routine check. Suddenly the frozen lips curled into a sweet smile and the eyelids slid open, staring straight into his widened eyes through the glass and suspension fluid. A chill and then a wave of heat rippled through the air and then vanished as her eyes slid closed again, the smile frozen on her lips.
He moved stiffly away from the coffin, ordering a doubling of the strength of security for the room before he left. However, the look she had glided his way before losing consciousness worried him. It had been a smug victorious look; as if to say they were doing her a favor, that even while she slept in captivity they were losing the war they thought they had long ago won.
Phantom pinched his mouth into a thin line. He was acting like a child who had been told to go to bed early. He lay back on the pillows in his room contemplating his behavior moments before. As justified as he thought his actions were that still didn't change the fact that he currently felt like a spoilt brat with nothing better to do than pout.
The wispy shadows that swirled the green sky whispered annoying garbles of incoherent speech and Phantom tuned out the conscious-lacking spirits. Whether or not she liked it, Sam should be punished for her insolence. Her naivety and incomprehension of the concept of ownership was infuriating at the least. She was recalcitrant, pigheaded, thick skulled and defiant, his lips twisted into a smirk, yes he would punish her. A grin crept across his face as he came to the conclusion that he always wanted to punish her.
"Oh but Samantha darling, you must attend. This party is the social highlight of Amity."
"I can't quite say I care much for social highlights mother."
Sam sat in her office, cradling the phone between her head and her shoulder, massaging one side of her head with one hand and writing with the other as her mother chirped on about whatever party she was throwing this time. Every single time her mother hosted a gathering, she described it as 'Amity's social highlight'; her mother believing herself to be better than anyone in the city just because she could afford to host grand affairs regularly.
"- bound to be the party of the year darling, everyone who's anyone will be there. After all it would kill their social standing not to be seen at a Manson function. I'm sure it wouldn't harm you to take the whole day off. Oh and Mr. Baxter's son is going to be there, you remember him don't you?"
Sam cringed at the mention of Dash Baxter, the brawny football quarterback that had made her high school days far less than pleasant. The son of a well-known business man and fitness buff, Dash believed he could cruise his way through anything because his father operated in certain circles; and it had been working for him so far.
"It's about time the two of you make more of a formal acquaintance you know."
Her entire being rejected the idea, "I'd rather not, I'm sure he has more…productive things to do with his time."
Pamela laughed haughtily as she caught Sam's double meaning, "Oh dear, what could possibly be more productive than a Manson woman?"
Sam recoiled at the thought of the conversation that would follow if she gave an answer and quickly weaseled out of it with the very real motive that she had work to complete. Placing the phone back on the cradle she released a sigh that sounded too tired even to her own ears; she was definitely going to need a pick-me-up after work.
"You should take some time off from this job."
She jerked her head up at the sound of a now familiar voice. Danny sat beside her at the edge of her desk, casually dressed in jeans boots and a body hugging long sleeve shirt. His long black hair fell loose over his now blue eyes and Sam wondered distantly how two appearances could belong to the same devil.
"I don't need time off. What are you doing here?"
Her blunt question and slightly narrowed amethyst eyes had him lifting an eyebrow in question; clearly she had recovered from their encounter three days ago. Sam was very wary of Phantom, whether he appeared as himself or was masquerading as Daniel Fenton. She did well to remember his threat to kill Justin; she might be willing to gamble her own life but she would not play that game with someone else's.
Danny chuckled when he realized the reason behind her bravado, "You don't have to worry, your annoying jackass of a friend is still alive….for now."
Sam pressed her mouth into a thin line as he smiled and used his finger to trace a line down the side of her face, "I actually came here to see you."
He tilted his head to one side and smiled mockingly, "Suddenly a man isn't allowed to visit his girlfriend without a reason? What am I to say? I came because I missed you?"
The note of amusement in his voice caused Sam to color a little in anger, "You're not my boyfriend Phantom."
He smirked and pressed her checks together with one hand until her lips puckered into a fish face, "Well neither is anyone else, love." He paused and laughed lightly at the silliness of her face and her surprise at his childishness.
"You're supposed to call me Danny when I look like this, dear."
Sam furrowed her brows together and tried to wiggle her face free of his grasp but he held it firmly as he laughed, "You're like an angry cat…it's cute."
Phantom tilted her face up to his as he leaned down to look into her angry eyes, "I see you've regained some spirit."
Sam wrenched her face out of his grip and slapped his hand away, "Fuck off Phantom."
He raised a brow and then straightened, clenching his jaw against the urge to curl his palm around her throat and take a few flight laps around Amity. Footsteps sounded outside of her office and at the sound of a knock on her door he smirked and melted away into thin air. Sam blinked almost stupidly at the place he had stood as an intern stepped timidly into her office.
Suddenly the sensation of someone breathing out cold air onto her skin had her slapping at her ear. An airy masculine laugh sounded quietly behind her and then a chilled wet tongue brushed over the side of her neck; she heard Phantom's disembodied voice whisper, "In all fairness pet, you should seriously consider the trouble you're about to get yourself into with me"
Sam had known when he'd slapped Phantom off that her trouble would come, hell he'd even went so far as to warn her, but what she hadn't counted on was having to suffer the consequences so damn soon.
Phantom laced his fingers through hers as he led her through the throng of people to the dance floor of her mother's ballroom. Curious, scrutinizing eyes took in their countenance, judging her and him for the couple that they now appeared to be. She could almost hear the snide remarks and whispered questions.
'What on earth is Fenton doing with the Manson's black sheep?' 'I'm sure there are far better prospects to date. Why, my daughter perhaps would-' 'Hmm the Manson's finally have a chance of being rid of that odd bird. She's so unlike the rest of her family. No flare at all.' 'What an odd pair. To think a man like Fenton isn't ashamed to be seen gracing public with the odd duckling on his arm.' 'Well Fenton has always been a slightly strange man has he not? This just confirms he's totally lost his mind.'
Sam rolled her eyes and pinched her lips together as Phantom drew her into his embrace and began to twirl her to the orchestral music. She followed along with the steps, silently praying that the roof would cave in on solely her and her suffering would be cut short. Danny smiled down at her, Caribbean blue eyes sparkling with unsounded laughter and amusement.
Sam briefly looked up at him and grudgingly wondered how charisma, looks and wit could so easily manipulate a crowd. He had breezed into the party, completely uninvited, and had made a beeline for her as through he was locked to her very presence; tall and powerful no one had dared to question his appearance. Her parents had been more than happy to welcome him, even more so when he'd introduced himself as her boyfriend of 10 months. She'd stood by, near dumbfounded, unable to stop him as he'd spun his intricate web of believable lies, appearing so true that even she could imagine them to have actually happened.
Being twirled around the dance floor now like a marionette was simply the icing on the cake, Phantom truly knew how to make her suffer internally. Feeling his eyes on her, she looked up again. He stared at her with hooded eyes, not even hiding his obvious interest in the fact that her dress left her shoulders and back completely bare.
Sam shot him an annoyed look, "I'm not a piece of meat Phantom."
His fingers bit into her side even as he smirked, "I told you to call me Danny, don't make me have to tell you again. You'll probably be burned at a stake should people find out who I really am."
Sam bit into her lip and reminded herself to persevere, "That still does not change the fact that you're looking at me as though I'm completely edible."
As soon as the words left her mouth Sam cursed herself for her stupidity. A lecherous grin spread across his face and his eyes flashed emerald for a split second, "Oh but you are Samantha," he drew her closer to his chest, "and I can vouch for the fact that you taste like ecstatic poison. In fact, if we leave right now, I'm sure I could prove it to you."
At that point Sam had simmered straight below the surface of her stupidity and there she found rage. She halted their dance and stood still, even as other couples glided across the floor around them.
"You know, even if you think it's some great honor to be draped over your arm like a dead hunting prize I think I'd rather die than go anywhere else with you." Sam spat the words with a vehement anger that she could not vent. She stood staring up into his face, knowing that her words were tantamount to a death sentence depending on his mood. But something inside her had been momentarily shut off, likely her common sense.
Phantom felt the tiny aluminum latch he had on his temper bend as a deep primitive rage strained against his control and seeped into his veins. His blue eyes switched to their alternate toxic green and he clenched his jaw against the urge to bitch slap Sam into next month.
"Die, you say?" The question rolled off his tongue as a murmur even as a dark evil smirk twisted his lips. Phantom could feel the collective attention of the room on them at that moment. No one could hear their conversation, even as other dancing couple twirled and swayed around them; but the tension that governed their stillness was almost palpable on the air and the whole room could feel its electricity.
He stared down into her defiant amethyst eyes as he slid his hand up her arm and across her shoulder until it was clasped loosely around her throat. A flurry of whispers rose up on the air as people begun to notice their little scene, but Sam didn't even blink. She kept her eyes fixated on Phantom's, anger leaking from every pore in her body. His smirk gained an even more devious curl and he dropped his lips to her ear, his voice low and heavily controlled.
"We shall have to fix that outlook of yours Samantha darling."
When he straightened the human disguise melted away. His hair faded to white, his skin paled, his lips slightly reddened and his already green eyes now shone with their other worldly light. A heavy silence notably pierced the air as The Phantom's presence chilled the room, bringing all activity to a grinding halt.
Almost instantly the crowd withdrew from where they stood, tripping back on each other with minute squeaks and tiny gasps of fear. The dance patrons hugged the walls as best as they could until they collectively formed an almost perfect circle around Sam and Phantom. No one tried to escape or draw attention to themselves, they were all held in suspension by a stark sense of terror and the tension of the atmosphere. They were all afraid for their own lives yet so curious as to what morbid defiling The Phantom would bestow to the Manson's daughter. Phantom liked that twisted pretentious human nature.
Slowly, and with some degree of tenderness and care, he stroked the pulse at her throat with his thumb, liking the way it hammered under his touch. Her eyes never left his even as he slid his hand up into her hair. He chuckled darkly, speaking loud enough for everyone to hear, "So this is what I have to do to get your full attention then? Hold you down in front of a crowd just so my little darling pet won't think of another man while she's with me?"
Sam's eyes widened in outrage and she lashed out with calculated precision. Her fist shot towards Phantom's face with startling speed….but he caught it. Suddenly he was behind her, twisting both of her arms into a lock at her back with one hand and dragging her head back with the other. She swore violently and began to struggle but he tightened his hold on her until she winced from the pain. Uncertainty stirred the room making some people fidget and whisper but Phantom did not care, he had forgotten that they even had company.
He twisted her arm almost violently and she gave a tightly reigned cry of pain. He smiled and pressed his lips to the side of her neck, breathing in deep, "I really like the way you make pain sound so sexy, so pleasurable." He trailed chaste kisses up to her ear and then whispered, "Scream for me Sam."
The next second he was at her neck, wounding her skin with his bite. Sam issued a sound that was caught between a moan and a gasp as Phantom's fangs slid in and then out of her skin. He drew from her slowly, being careful to take a small amount and to prolong the sensation. When he pulled away from her he rested his head on her shoulder and groaned softly into her ear, loving the shudder that went through her at the sound. She was likely very aroused. Straightening he turned her head to look up at him, greeted by hazy, half lidded eyes.
"Every time I look at you after these little encounters, I can't help but want to spread you on a table and have my way with you." He kissed the spot he had just bitten, running his tongue over the skin as he breathed the words, "Now let's go home sweet….finish what we started."
Suddenly, remembering where they were and that they had a captive audience, he paused his assault on her throat and looked up, smirking wickedly, "But first…"
He released Sam and she slithered to the floor, a gasping, boneless mass of sensitivity. Phantom crossed the floor to her parents and smiled almost politely at them, but flashed his fangs for good measure. With a graceful wave of his hand he commanded them forward, keeping his eyes trained on their timid forms as they shuffled and tripped until they were six feet away from him.
"You have a very…infuriating daughter. However, I find her rather interesting and a very enjoyable challenge. She's something to which I have to apply a certain amount of skill and tact…and I like that."
He looked at them from under his thick lashes and they seemed to stop breathing, "As much as she is already my favorite plaything, I would love your permission regarding a certain matter." He stressed the word with a slight smile, letting them know that he did not actually value their answer; he'd have his way whether it meant a peaceful resolution or that a room full of people had to die, he cared not which.
He looked back at Sam as she pushed herself up on her arms, trying to sit up and recover her scattered senses from the abyss of sensation she had been plunged into. Phantom licked his lips at the sight of the length of thigh her dress had shifted to reveal, a sore temptation to hang the whole affair of being tactful and playful with her. He returned his attention to her wide eyed parents and leveled his gaze at them.
"You don't mind if I borrow her, do you?"
Silence choked the air, everyone holding their breath and straining their ears to hear the response. Clinging to Mr. Manson's arm his wife quickly shook her head, speaking in a voice barely above a whisper, "No. You can have her."
He paid no further heed to them once he had his answer, stalking back to Sam to effortlessly haul her limp body into his arms. A swirling green chasm opened up below them, a thin white mist billowing up from it. Finally coming around to the ability of speech, Sam quietly rasped the words, "I hate you." Phantom laughed and pressed a quick kiss to her lips, "I'd have it no other way."
Cold washed over her as he let her go and she slipped into the mossy green ether, panic enveloping her. The only thing she could do was fight a scream and watch as Phantom's smiling form vanished and her window to home was eaten by the bright green sky.
The red décor of Phantom's room enveloped Sam in a feeling of helplessness. She wanted to rant and rave and burn his fortress to the ground. She'd been sitting on the thick rug in front of his bed for about twenty minutes simmering in her anger and exhausted from trying to escape. She'd beat and kicked at the door, thrown chairs and other furniture at the windows but nothing had worked; she was very properly imprisoned. Sam sighed and kicked off her heels, it was pointless anyways, even if she escaped Phantom she'd still be stranded in whatever godforsaken realm he inhabited; out of the frying pan and into the fire so to speak.
Light flooded the room as the double doors she had been trying to unhinge earlier were flung open and the source of her grief strode in. Phantom flung his coat into a chair as the doors closed themselves behind him. He didn't even look at her but the smirk of pure male ego that graced his lips told her he acknowledged her presence. Anger riled up within her and she grit her teeth and glared daggers at him.
"Well I see you've been having a lot of fun without me." Phantom eyed the toppled furniture that she had tossed at the windows and bit back his laughter. "You know, if you don't like the current style, I'm fine redecorating to suit your darker, more tasteful side."
The glare intensified to a level that could have scared a priest into praying on the spot. "Oh sure," her voice was drowning in venomous sarcasm, "we can stop by a decorator tomorrow, that would make me so happy. Oh I know, why don't we get a puppy while we're at it?!"
Phantom breathed out to suppress a laugh he would have choked on but he grinned openly, "Already have one of those but if you wish we can get another."
Sam snapped, "I wish you would send me back home and stop messing with my life for fuck's sake!"
Grin still plastered to his face, Phantom shook his head and then tied back his hair, "Not an option Samantha, you'll be here for the duration of my liking."
The color drained from Sam's face and she fought the urge to dive at him from where she sat. He made an elegant flourish with his hand in the direction of the window, directing her attention to the swirling green sky outside. A white wisp of the remnants of a human form shifted across the window before disappearing and Phantom smirked as her eyes widened.
"You did say you'd rather die, did you not? Welcome to the Ghost Zone darling, the place where the dead reside."
Hope you guys enjoyed reading this chapter. The reviews and PMs that I got kept me up and running and for those of you who thought last chapter's Sam was bit too fragile *whispers* I think I've fixed it for you.
Kharma RJ Askot (Shadow Stalker Kitteh =3)