In the dream I lay on my back, Daren straddling me so his knees pinned my arms to my sides. His hand clenched around my neck as he growled, “You are not just Elyssa”. He did not need to voice his unspoken threat: stop doubting us, you are not the only one who suffers from your lack of faith. Yet anger made me bold and I lifted my chin to spit back, “Prove it”. And so he kissed me. But it was a punishing kiss; his teeth tore into my lips, blood mixing with saliva, and his slender fingers tightened around my throat. His dominance promised to repeat that night beside their altar, though this time just the two of us, no gentle Tanim there to balance Daren’s rough embrace.
I woke in a daze, vision kaleidoscoping in the darkness as the dream dragged at my consciousness. I felt a hand between my legs and a presence beside my bed, yet nothing was there.