Welcome back for the latest chapter of All that I Can Be! We’re halfway there, friends. My, how the time flies. *ahem*
All that I Can Be is a continous series and should be read in order. If you’re new to it and haven’t read last week’s chapter yet, you can catch up here:
And since we’re halfway through, let me remind you as well that there’s a category just for this series if you’d like to catch up with any other chapters <3
Elena’s feet dragged on the ground when she went to her first monthly meeting with the devil the following week.
After her disappointing lack of sales in the market, her mother had asked Elena to stay home and rest. Since Elena hadn’t left the house she had no chance of getting Ralu’s hair, but she was grateful for that. She didn’t trust herself around Ralu. There was nothing she regretted more than brewing that vile concoction.
She dreaded to think what the devil would make of her hesitation, but it wasn’t like he had to worry about parents and time-outs. There was no way for her to sneak out during the day that wouldn’t make her parents suspicious right now.
The lake looked deserted, but she knew he was there. She could feel it in the fine hairs on her arms. In the shiver on her back.
The devil grinned when she reached the water. She hadn’t even seen him appear—blink, and there he was.
“Elena! I did not give you enough credit. I admit, I wasn’t convinced you’d go ahead and make a love potion, of all things. Not right away. Something for your face, perhaps, or your skin, but no—” he opened his arms as if to embrace her, “you made something to twist another person’s feelings to your own gain. I knew there was something I liked about you.”
She smirked, and tried to ignore the comment about her face.
“I haven’t gone ahead with anything, and I won’t.”
Guilt flooded her just thinking about the small bottle she’d hidden under her bed. If her mother found it–worse, if Ralu found it… But they wouldn’t it. She’d hidden it too well.
“Why, then, do you keep it?”
She shivered. “I can’t do it while my parents watch.” A lame lie, but she had nothing better.
His laugh warmed and froze her. “You managed to brew a love potion without alerting them. I’m sure you’ll cope.”
“I will. When I can.”
“We will see.” He held out his hand. Elena had no choice but to take it; the contract demanded it. “For now, spare me a dance.”
The devil led her out to the middle of the lake. The water was soft and sturdy beneath their feet, just as before. All around them, the pale light of the moon turned the lake into a glistening dance floor.
“Smile, Elena.” She found she had no choice. “I am impressed with your cunning. Your plan is clever.”
“Don’t.” Her voice wavered. “I don’t like it when you take my thoughts or plant new ones.”
When had she got so brave? Here she was, telling the devil to stop something she had no control over.
He laughed. The sound cast ripples on the water which fanned out toward the shore and made the starlight dance.
“You gave me your immortal soul, but you worry I know your every thought?”
“I’ll—” Her legs shook saying it out loud. “I’ll belong to you soon enough. What’s 70 years to you? I want my thoughts to be mine, at least.”
Elena couldn’t explain the sudden burst of energy and courage she’d felt since brewing the potion. Perhaps the roses were good for more than just tricking people into a love they didn’t feel.
“Your thoughts amuse me, but I will humour you for now. Do not cross me, Elena Baciu, or I will take more than your thoughts.”
She swallowed past the hard lump in her throat and nodded.
His words—his threat—followed her as he led her back to dry soil, whispered in her mind as she walked home, and still echoed when she failed to fall asleep.
End of Chapter 8
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