AN: Ok, call me a complete and utter dumbass but I just erased three freaking chapters of the dark dance while trying to make one little edit. God love me, but how dumb can you be. So to fix this FU I had to combine three chapters in one. So sorry, this isn't an update but a cluster fuck.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
The Fairy Ring
'I am so tired,' Bella thought to herself. It had been a long day of weed eating, mowing and yard maintenance at her mother and step fathers home in Jacksonville.
She actually missed Charlie's dinky little yard and all those woods surrounding it that you didn't have to mow and take care of. Here in Florida it seemed the grass grew over night and the weeds grew at least a foot a day. What possessed them to choose this home outside of town with a three acre yard? But the yard care was the least she could do since she had free room and board while attending college.
This week was the start of spring break, so she wanted to get all of her chores done so she would have a whole week to goof off and be young. It was also a perk that she would have the house to herself for the next year. Oh sweet freedom, what will I do with you?
Her mother, Renee, was in Japan with her husband Phil, for a year while he played baseball with the Nippon Professional Baseball League. He played in the central league for the Hanshin Tigers. The team was based in Nishinomiya, Hyogo, and the couple had a home rented there for the year.
Renee had called last night at one in the morning, forgetting the time difference of course, and talked for twenty minutes. She was bubbling over that there was a University near them. One which Bella could attend. She would of course have to move to Japan, but her mother saw no difficulty in this. 'No way in hell,' she thought, but was a little more polite when she answered. She would get over there and then be left by herself in a foreign country when Renee decided that Japan was boring and America was calling her home. No, she would stay here and house sit, thanks, but no thanks. How on earth could she afford to attend college overseas? Her mother never was one to be very realistic.
Rene tended to be flighty at best. Take today when Bella had found the fairy ring in the back corner of the property. Her mother would have them out there dancing in the moonlight at midnight. You never knew what Renee would come up with next. She was a free spirit and would try anything where Bella was cautious and questioned everything.
Renee would love the photos Bella planned to send her later. It was the first time she had ever seen a fairy ring, she had read of them and her grandmother had told her stories about them, but seeing one was a surprise. It was located in the back corner of the property bordering a pine wood thicket that went on for miles. The ring was perfect circle of various sized white mushrooms that stretched about thirty feet in diameter. The pines in the yard encircled it, and not one weed grew within its boundary. She had immediately put down the weed eater and ran for her camera.
Her grandmother had grown up in Ireland, and had told her tales of the fae, she called them the fair folk. The stories were of magical and mischievous beings and some of the stories were almost too scary for a child. She told her that the fae were always on the look out for humans to play with and virgins to take home to the underground. They were eternal, never dying and if you went into a fairy mound when you came out years could have passed in what seemed to you but an hour.
'I need to Google fairy rings later tonight,' Bella thought, trying to remember all her grandmother had told her of the rings. She removed her shoes at the door and entered the spacious kitchen. She pulled a chicken breast from the freezer and placed it in the sink to thaw later for her dinner. Turning towards the laundry room, she removed her sweaty and filthy clothes and placed them in the piles of matching colors to be washed later when she felt more up to it. At the moment all she wanted was a bath.
She walked naked to her bedroom, passing through it to her ensuite bath. Her head still floated above the clouds thinking of fairy rings and what she planned to do during her school free week. Maybe get with a group of school friends and head to the beach. A trip to the local library was a must do, as well as grocery shopping. Maybe she would do those tomorrow and pick up a new bottle of sunscreen. She all but bathed in it, and had already used up most of the bottle she had. It wasn't pleasant having this type of skin, fair to the point of looking sick. While others tanned, Bella just burned, peeled and repeated the process.
She started the shower, setting it for lukewarm. It was so hot outside she couldn't bear the thought of a hot shower also. She pulled two towels and a wash cloth from the linen closet and placed them on the stool next to the bath. Stepping into the shower she let the tepid water rinse the filth of the day away.
Later, feeling much cleaner and relaxed, she chopped yellow and green squash to go with her dinner. 'Stir-fry for one,' Bella thought as she pulled the other ingredients from the fridge. Lucky she wasn't one that needed companionship at all times, unlike her mother. No, Bella liked her alone time and was comfortable with long periods with seeing no one.
She stepped back to the fridge and removed an opened bottle of chardonnay and some soy sauce for the stir-fry. Darkness fell as she finished cooking and pulled a plate and glass from the cupboard. Quickly plating her meal she walked to the dining nook with her plate and placed her plate upon the table and then returned to the kitchen for the chardonnay bottle and the container of soy. Back in the dining nook, she picked up her latest novel and read while she absentmindedly munched on dinner.
Later, as she washed the dishes, she peered across the back lawn. She tried in vain, but couldn't see the fairy ring from here. Taking a sip of wine, she looked up over the tree tops at the full moon and mussed to herself, 'I bet it's pretty in the moonlight.'
After all her dishes were dry, and she had put the last in the cupboard, she was drawn back to the window over the sink. The fairy ring seemed to call to her with some sort of invisible pull, beckoning her outside. She shook her head, as if to clear it, and picking up her book, walked from the room.
She watched the news later that night, or at least she tried to. It was nothing but politics, violence, and malice. 'The world today is just so depressing,' she thought, and she picked up her glass and returned it to the kitchen. As she placed the glass in the sink she realized she had drank half a bottle of wine all by herself.
"Wow, you lush, better stagger your way to the bed." She giggled with a tipsy grin. She looked out trough the window over the sink again, eyes drawn to the ring. It pulled to her, stronger now, but again she tuned from the pull and walked toward her bedroom.
She changed into her nightgown, a pale filmy white creation that her mother had given her for Christmas last year. It had spaghetti straps holding up a flimsy v-necked bodice with an empire waist, the skirt was diaphanous and long. She would have put on her usual sweats and a tee, but being out in the heat all day she felt like wearing something loose and cool would be better for her rest tonight.
Three hours later she was awake, unable to sleep. She kicked the covers from her body, slipped on her slippers, and walked to the french doors on the other side of the room. Stepping out onto the veranda, she walked toward her favorite lounge chair. Crickets, cicadas, and frogs sang a loud chorus in the night.
"Oh hell, I'm out here might as well go see it in the dark," she mumbled, and walked down the steps to the garden. She considered for a moment going back inside for a flash light, but since the moon was so bright she thought she wouldn't need it.
As she walked toward the back of the property, she heard the grandfather clock strike. Counting the dongs, she realized it was twelve midnight.
It was so different out here after dark. The air was much cooler, and moonlight filtered through the pines. The light from the patio was just a faint blue glow. The snap and zap from the bug light had faded the closer she got to the fairy circle. It wasn't scary; it was still and ethereal out here in the moonlight. Up ahead she could see the circle almost glowing of its own accord in the small clearing of pines.
A faint breeze blew her gown around her ankles and she shivered. She should have brought her shawl. Her slippers were soaked with the dew, and the moisture seeped through them, onto her feet, chilling her even further.
'I don't know what possessed me to go outside to see a fairy ring in the moonlight.' It was a nightmarish thought.
'Am I becoming like my flaky mother? Who is kidding who, Renee would be out here naked dancing in the fairy ring even if it was freezing. I however, have my clothes on and my dignity intact.'
It seemed, as she stepped into the clearing, as though all sound, except that of the rustle of wind in the tree tops above, stopped. The cicadas and frog noise ceased to exist. The air was heavy and perfumed with the wild honeysuckle that grew in the woods. In the faint blue light of the moon, dew sparkled on the grass giving it a glittery look.
'Wow, this is a setting for a movie; all that is needed is Bottom with his Mule head or maybe David Bowie in his Goblin King regalia.'
Upon the wind a sound, that could have been the wind in the tree tops, sounded hollow and long. It came again from deep within the woods, but this time the sound was defiantly not the wind. A flute maybe, the tune it played was vaguely familiar and haunting. It was on the tip of her tongue, but never where she could fully grasp it. Sound echoed and seemed to surround her; it was solid, almost caressing her skin.
A voice clear as a bell came with the next repeat of the tune. Words rang so beautifully on the air, but carried a sinister quality with the spoken words. The tune was slow and the song seemed to hang on each note.
"Trust in me, Just in me."
They spilled into the light of the clearing like a dream, silent in the night. First a waif like girl dressed in a flowing gown of silken gauze the color of the palest blue. Her blue black hair was cropped short and spiky, and her eyes glowed in shades of blue. They were tri-color, almost like the different layers in a coming storm. She looked electrical, like a moment before a lightning bolt hit. The tune she sang wove hypnotic rhymes in the air freezing her instinct to flee from this unknown scene. She would sing a verse and then take a slithering step and then sing another. It was like some mad version of a wedding march.
"Close your eyes, and trust in me."
Behind her walked a tall lithe man with shoulder length blond hair. He was beautiful, dressed in a dark leather pants with a dove grey poet's shirt. His eyes were shades of blue and grey, again layered like the girl. His aura was mischievous, but the smirk on his face was not friendly. When the small woman stopped just outside the circle he wrapped his arms around her and placed his head upon her shoulder never breaking Bella's gaze. She feared this man and automatically took a step back. But then the girl started on the next verse of the song and she was trapped by the music once more.
"Shut your eyes, and Trust in Me,"
The tune floated on the wind encircling her in its spell. She broke the gaze of the blonde man only because of a movement from behind the couple. Two tall people, a blonde woman with amber, yellow, and brown eyes approached holding the arm of an even taller man. She almost glowed in the dark, her hair looked like it was spun of pure sun rays and her skin had that sun kissed look. She carried herself regally, and wore an indifferent almost superior look upon her face. Her look was one to suggest that she was gracing us all with her royal presence. Her gown clung to her in a yellow shimmer of silk.
The escort that held her arm was also in leather pants, but he wore a black vest instead of a shirt. He was very muscular, and his hair was close cropped and a dark brown like fresh tilled earth. His eyes were green and purple and held pure mirth. The humor radiating from his eyes were the epitome of Puck and a quote from "The Midsummer's Night Dream" crossed her lips before she could stop it, "Are you not he, that frights the maidens of the villagery?" He erupted in laughter at her whispered recitation.
His laughter startled her so much she felt the spell of the music snap for a moment and thought to herself that if she could just get out of the circle and into the trees she could get away from these people. But she knew, in her bones, that the beings weren't people. They were what her Irish granny spoke of in whispers and bed time stories. These were the Fae, the Sidhe, the riders of the Wild Hunt, the owners of the Fairy ring. Bella knew she was in a world of trouble.
"I am that Merry, Wanderer of the night," he answered her also in verse from the play. "Not!" he chuckled wickedly, and her fear spiked.
Bella turned and started to run but the pixie woman's voice caught her once more in its web.
"You can sleep, safe and sound,"
The magic of the song latched on to her harder this time, and she straightened and turned back once more, her body lurched unwilling toward the Fae in the pine clearing. When she raised her fearful eyes this time they were met with the owner of the flute as he exited the wood and approached the circle. If the others were beautiful, this one could only be called, 'Godly' in his beauty. He was tall, dressed in leather pants and nothing more. His hair was the color of copper with veins of brown. His eyes held so many shades of green that she swore they swirled like a kaleidoscope. His skin was the color of the moonlight and seemed to glow like a full moon. Smiling he lowered the flute and gave her a lopsided smile.
"Wake up sleepy head!" Damn screechy voiced pixie.
"Alice, go away," I whine. My head is pounding, what? "What the hell did we do last night?"
"Hmmm, was it the Yeager or the Rum you were celebrating with?" The crazed bitch is sniggering at me. She never gets a hang over.
"I remember pineapple juice, I think?"
"Baby, you did the Goombay Smash." She plops down beside me on the double chaise lounge. The sun trickles in above from the Wisteria canopy above our heads and pierces my eyes. The smell of the wisteria and gardenia border beside the patio is heavenly. The wind brings the smell of the honeysuckle growing wild in the woods to add to their perfume. It's strangely familiar for some reason. There was something that I needed to remember. No matter, I'm sure I will remember later.
"What were we celebrating? I don't remember." In fact, all of last night is foggy for me.
"Spring break you lush, and the fact that we found a new room mate."
"Alice, why did I let you talk me into letting Rosalie Hale move in with us? She is such a bitch."
"Hmm, I think it was the money honey. She is from old money and you know that the checks won't bounce."
"I can get a job for the summer. Working retail sounds more pleasant that living with her." I make a plan to go looking as soon as I sober up. I try to sit up and plop back down groaning. Maybe not.
"Bella, Phil has the mortgage covered and all you had to worry about is the utilities. My rent check covers that and gives you the money for living expenses and the little extras. Rose's check will go to your schooling and savings. Trust in me."
"Save me from smart people, sunlight, and hangovers." I roll over and look at her. "You've got it all figured out."
She taps her head and then grins at me with her Cheshire cat grin. Scary little pixie. "I have the site, remember? Financial mystic, future financial billionaire, I will own Wall Street one day."
I don't doubt her. Never bet against the pixie.
"Ok, time to get up." I painfully push myself up. "What the hell!" There is dried blood on my night gown and on my upper thighs around my crotch. At the sight of the blood I feel a deep ache between my legs. It's been there all this time, but somehow I haven't felt it till now.
I look up at Alice and her grin is slowly fading. She starts humming a tune. I remember now, eyes, green swirling eyes. I remember. Dancing and swirling around a fairy ring. Swirling in a dance with my pulse pounding in my ears, swirling. There was a white quilt on the ground in the center of the mushrooms. I was swirling, twirling, the night gown slipping from me. I am cold and naked in the night. Eyes watching us, encircling us, green eyes hold me, inside me, ripping, and heat inside me. What? My head questions me, and then she has me caught in her web again.
"Trust in me, just in me.
Close your eyes,"
"And cue the little Zombie," the sarcastic voice of Rose came from behind me. Oh she is a bitter pill. Life has thrown her a few disappointments. But we are Fae and when your life span is as long as ours, the disappointments tend to add up.
She appears before me in a shimmer of gold glitter. Seelie gold. I grind my teeth, show off.
"Mab, how is it going with the potential savior of the Fae race?'
"Alice, I go by Alice now as you very well know. Mab is best forgotten."
I grit my teeth at her audacity. Bitch.
She gives me a bitter laugh. "Mab, madam to the Fae. The procurer of pussy for a dead king. Midwife to none."
My hands clench and my claws threaten to pop out.
"Wow, still bearing a grudge against dearly departed daddy?" I smirk back at the vixen. I had to get a dig in retaliation.
Her father, the late Seelie King gave Rose to the Unseelie Queen as a token of peace. He knew what would happen to her in the Unseelie court. He may have been the golden king, ruler of the good and just Seelie, but he was a crueler bastard than any Unseelie monster. He had no use for daughters. I think the reason he was rendered sterile by the Goddess was payment for what he did to her. He got his just rewards in the end though. The Fae will sacrifice the infertile to bring forth new fruit. Trim the tree of the dead wood, so to speak. So far, no fruit, but I am working on that. The Goddess will provide.
Rose was abused by our warped Queen. Queen Elizabetta is a soulless monster, her appetites range from just cruel to the disturbingly bizarre. Male or female, it matters naught to her, she will play with her latest toy until they are in tatters, and then discard the remains. We are immortal so playtime can be a long, long hellish time. After she was finished playing with Rose, she was given as a gift to Duke Emmett, as a reward for him, joining the royal guard in service to her son, Prince Edward.
Rose, I think, was insulted that she didn't go to the prince himself, but she was lucky in the end. Emmett fell madly in love with the harpy. How he puts up with her, I haven't a clue. She is bitter, angry, and makes any one in her range miserable, except for Emmett. Her brother, Prince Carlisle, took control of his fathers court and then petitioned our Queen for her return, but by then her pride and love for Emmett, would not let her go back. She knows that if she goes back, she will be a leper to the golden court, princess or not. We, the Unseelie are unclean, and all we touch are eventually corrupted. Even a Seelie Princess.
"Keep on mind wiping her, and she will become a useless rag doll for your darling Prince," she smirks.
"You know Rose, we have to keep her calm and hidden from the Queen, till we know that Edwards seed has produced a child. The real danger will begin then."
"Why our future rest on a human I will never understand?" She sniffed disdainfully, looking down at Bella on the chase lounge as if she were an insect. She rests there with her hair spread out around her in a halo. Her white night gown is pulled up to her thighs and the remains of her virginity stain her thighs and gown.
"She, the virgin foretold, will birth the savior of our race. The Fae will be separate no more, and Utopia will reign." I smile to myself. 'They think what they breed off this human is the savior. But I know the child is only one piece of the puzzle. And I know that a future queen will rule the board with a king.'
"Oh, please, like that egotistical bunch will ever let it happen."
"That's what you and I are for Rose, my dear. We are her guardians, until Edward comes to claim his bride and child. Help me get her in the house and changed, then we can work on what to tell her later."
Bella stirs and mumbles longingly, "Edward."
I know deep within her subconscious she knows what happened last night. She was a more than willing participant in the end. I just have to keep her under my spell till I know she is ready for the truth, but until that time I will let her dreams do the work for me.
The Fairy World tutorial
FAE (FEY) Faerie / Fairy / Sidhe (pronounced she) These are not your Disney characters! Tall, lithe, beautiful, magical, immortal, and mischievous.
SEELIE Supposedly the "good" fairy's, but mostly just the pure and pious. They don't mix their blood or associate with the other races. More mainstream, more human. The Court consist of the King of Light (deceased) and Fairy royals. The other magical beings there are just hangers on and are never accepted by the elite. They are a superficial people, if it looks good it must be good.
UNSEELIE Fairy's of mixed blood and the ones that have been banned from the Seelie court. All magical beings are accepted and they do not try to mimic the humans. They are naughty on a good day and on a bad one, just plain dangerous. Not the good fairy's at all. They are ruled by the Queen of Darkness.
SLOUGH Goblins and "Things" too scary for even the Unseelie. They are allies of the Unseelie. Ruled by the King of Illusion.
DEMIFEY These are the small winged fairy people. They can change their sizes to a more human compatible look, though when they do they are more of a human size and not the tall pureblood Seelie size. When they change shape to the larger size, their wings become tattoos on their backs. They are ruled by The Queen of Air. They are not sweetness and light.
FAIRY RINGS A ring of mushrooms. Magical legends say never dance in a fairy ring because the fairies will claim you. Some stories tell of the fairies making you dance till you die. It is a very powerful magic circle for fairy rituals.
FAIRY MOUND / SITHEN The place where the fairy people live. To us it may just look like an entrance to a cave or a door into a rock, but it is a world inside the earth, unlimited in its size. It is a magical entity all its own and grows as needed. If you were to ask for a door you had better be specific where you want the door to open too, it takes things quite literally and is considered wild magic.
HAND OF POWER Each person has two gifts. For example, the hand of healing, meaning he has the power to heal with touch, and the hand of blood, which means he can pull your blood from your body through a scratch if he wants to. You are considered an adult when both of your powers come in.
DIETY The God and Goddess.
GLAMOUR Use of magic to disguise appearance.
MARRIAGE In this world you can only marry if you have produced a child together. When you do, it is permanent. There is no cheating, to do so would label you an oath breaker, providing you with a death sentence. So, no divorce either.
FERTILITY The fae have always been slow to reproduce, but now are becoming infertile. You cannot marry with out proof of fertility, so unless you get your girl pregnant there will be no marriage. This gets worse if you are royalty. If it is proven that your swimmers are not swimming and your eggs won't hatch, you could be sacrificed to the Deity as a fertility offering. This has happened to the Seelie King. Prince Carlisle will also stay as a prince until he proves his fertility and marries.
A fae child gestates in half the time it takes for a human to gestate, so about 5 months from conception to birth. The child will grow at the same rate as the book so look for a fast changing kid.
Bella Swan Virgin. College student. Bit of a loner. She is living in her mother and step dad's home while they are over seas.
Edward Prince of the Unseelie Court.
Alice Unseelie. Mix of Seelie mother and Demifey father. Also goes by Mab. She is friend to Prince Edward and paired with his royal guardsman Duke Jasper. She has the hand of healing and in the past when the fae were more fertile she was the midwife for the mothers. She also has the hand of the future meaning she can see the future.
Jasper Unseelie Duke and Royal Guard to Prince Edward
Rose Princess of the Seelie court. Her father gave Rose to the Unseelie Queen as a token of peace. Rose was abused by the Unseelie Queen. She was given as a gift to Duke Emmett as a reward for him joining the royal guard in service to her son Prince Edward.
Emmett Unseelie Duke and Royal Guard to Prince Edward
Carlisle Seelie Prince. He will be crowned King when he produces a child proving his fertility.
Queen Elizabetta Rules the Unseelie with an iron fist. She is a sexual sadist and her appetites range from just cruel to the disturbingly bizarre. Male or female, it matters naught to her, she will play with her latest toy until they are in tatters and discard the remains.