"Oh, Rosella. What did you do?" The priestess whispers over his head. She softly strokes his hair, noticing how it was once soft and shining like a finely polished sword, it now was heavy and course, dulled from misuse. "Look at what you have done to our lord. Your lord."
Aldolan whimpered loudly, curling up more.
Her own heart would break at the sight of the once proud demon lord now reduced to a mere child if her heart did not already break from the death of her firstborn.
An idea slowly formed inside her head. It was a long shot, but if it worked, maybe his heart could be healed, if even just a little.
"My lord?" Kai softly whispered. Aldolan had finally quieted his cries and was now resting his head in her lap.
Aldolan said nothing.
"My lord, I have an idea." Kai spoke louder, urging him from his mental prison.
Aldolan slowly turned the one eye facing her to look up at her.
"I could possibly bring Rosella back."
Aldolan rolled and pushed himself up, looking straight into her eyes. "Mate come back?"
"If she so chooses, it might be possible." Kai nodded, hopefully not giving him too much hope when even she couldn't guess as to how Rosella would react.
"Bring mate back!" Aldolan whined loudly. His usual force and anger lost at the chance of seeing Rosella again. "Mate do anything!"
"Calm, my lord. It is not a sure thing." Kai raised her hands, hoping to calm the unpredictable demon. "She still must choose."
"Tell mate what mate must do." Aldolan held her gaze hard.
Kai fixed her robes, brushing off some of the ash from the fire and some of the blackened skin from his already healing hands, before standing up. Aldolan watched her closely, following her movements like she was prey.
"I will need some of your blood, my lord." She went to a small cupboard hanging on the wall and retrieved a small clay bottle. She pulled out a small dagger from the shelf at her waist.
Aldolan's eyes flicked from the dagger and bottle, then back to her eyes. He watched as she approached and knelt beside him again.
"Why?" He asked as she lifted one arm and pushed his robes sleeve up.
"During that night, you bonded her." It was not a question, but Aldolan answered anyways.
"Yes. Tasted mates blood. Let mate taste mates blood." He watched her look at his palm, peeling some of the loose char away from the angry red skin underneath.
"With the bond, your bloods are bound together. With some of yours I could possibly call to hers, let her see the bond between you and allow me to speak to her."
Kai raised his arm and bent his elbow a little. She took the dagger and made a small cut at the bend. Aldolan's muscles twitched but he made no move to attack.
'Good, he is regaining some control.' She thought as she turned his arm slightly and held the clay bottle under the wound.
"If she accepts the bond and allows me to comune with her, that is still only half the battle." Kai put the bottle down when it was roughly half full, bending Aldolan's arm to stop the bleeding.
"Battle? Mate must fight?" Aldolan tilted his head to the side, looking at Kai with confusion.
"Yes, you will have to fight," Kai agreed, "but not like you have been."
"You will have to fight Rosella."
Aldolan growled, lowering his head a bit. "I will not fight my mate."
'So that is the trigger?' Kai thought with a nod. "You will, but you are not battling her body. You are fighting her mind."
"How? She hates me, for what I did to her. What I took from her." Aldolan frowned and looked down. "For what I could not stop."
"Every male makes mistakes, my lord. The way to fix them is to learn from them." Kai watched Aldolan shake his head.
'He is like a child. What did you see in him, Rosella?'
"She is not a demoness for you to conquer or dominate. She is a human."
"I know!" Aldolan growled.
"Then you must treat her like one. You must act like one if you are to change her mind."
"I will not act like one of those humans." Aldolan's lip curled up in disgust.
Kai kept her face blank as she looked at him. She nodded politely before standing up, the bottle of his blood in her hand, and walking over to the counter.
"If you have no will to accept your mate for who she is, then I have no will to help a selfish demon like you ruin another life." She began pouring out the bottle, letting his blood splatter on the dirt floor.
"No!" Alodlan yelled, using his demonic speed to get to her faster. He tipped her hand up, righting the bottle. "Please."
Kai looked at him. She looked into his eyes, looking for any sign he was being dishonest. Aldolan looked right back into her eyes, holding thr bottle upright. His grip softened and he took a step back.
"Tell me what I must do, Priestess Kai. Tell me what price I must pay and you shall it." Aldolan bowed his head slightly.
Kai was shocked seeing her lord bow his head to her. Sure, they showed respect to each other, they were both powerful people, but their guard was always up.
But as she looked at this once powerful ruler, a feared demon and mighty warrior, bow his head and plead with her for help, she couldn't help but smile. 'You have changed him, Rosella. For the better I think.'
"You will have to woo her." She let out a sigh. If she had to teach a demon to woo a human girl, she was going to quick being a priestess.
Aldolan gave her a blank stare.
Kai let out another sigh, setting the bottle on the counter. "It is in your blood, my lord, to dominate. To make her submit to you."
Aldolan blinked slowly causing Kai to almost growl herself. 'I have been around the wolves for too long, I'm starting to act like one!'
"You have hurt her and she will be weary of your intentions. She will not go to your side when you call and she will not lay in your bed at night. She will believe this all a ruse to bring her back just to make you happy."
Aldolan shook his head. "It is not a ruse of anything! I want her by my side!"
"Did you not hear me? She will not and the more you force her, the farther she will become. She is already out of your reach, do not push her out of mine."
Kai glared at the demon. She was willing to fight him for Rosella's sake, whether she knew it or not, because she loved that girl too.
"How do I do something that is not in my blood to do?" Aldolan slapped his fist against his chest, staring back at her.
"It is your blood, not hers. She will not be dominated like a female of your kind and she cannot read your intent during such actions. She is a human and you must call to her blood."
"She knows how to read me. She has been my servant for years. She can read me as if she was in my head!"
Kai shook her head. "She can read you like a servant does her master, but that is not what you want her to be."
Aldolan tilted his head to the side. 'Small words. Small words with this one.'
"She cannot read you like a woman reads a man. How mate reads mate." Kai blinked and looked to the side. She shook her head before continuing.
"You must teach her and allow yourself to be taught as well."
"So all I must do is teach her?"
"Yes." Kai nodded. "Wait, no! Stop getting bad ideas."
"But you said..."
Kai waved her arms and shook her head. "Forget what I said. You will not understand."
Aldolan growled. "Speak plainly then."
'Males. No matter the species, they are all the same. At least in the beginning.'
"Woo her! Take her places. Eat and talk with her. Take her with you when you go walk the grounds or journey into the village. Listen to her and she will tell you what she wants."
Kai thought about what she said and shook her head. "Forget the last part. Just take her places. Be there for her. The rest will come in time."
"Time is not something I have with her."
Kai turned and started searching for the herbs she would need. "You will have at least a month with her. That is all I can promise at this time."
Kai heard Aldolan shift a little. "How can you be sure she will stay for at least that amount of time?"
"Because that is how long it took to regain my power after sending her away." Kai answered over her shoulder.
Aldolan nodded his head in the corner of her vision. In this light, at this angle, he looked like he had just wondered in from battle. When she turned to face him again, his looks did not improve.
'This will not do anything but scare her away.' Kai thought as she studied him more. 'If this is all she see's that is.'
"Come, my lord. Dry your tears. You have just as much work to do as I before Rosella returns."
Aldolan turned his head and looked at her. "You have my blood, what more do you require?"
"You must be presentable!" She pointed at his robes. "Just how long have you worn those? When was the last time you took care of yourself?"
Aldolan looked down at himself and raised his arm.
"I... may have let myself go in her absence."
Kai scoffed, turning back around and busing herself before she spoke her mind more.
"Hmm?" Kai hummed, turning her head slightly.
When Kai looked behind her, Alodlan was once again bowing his head to her.
'Much more of this and I will start believing he really has become someone else entirely.'
"Go. You have things to do and so do I." Kai waved him out the door, following along behind him to make sure he could make it. "I will let you know in three days time if I have an answer."
Aldolan's face hardened in thought. "That is not much time."
"It is enough time to eat and bathe!" Kai told him as he walked away. "And wash your hair!"
Aldolan stopped and turned his head to look over his shoulder at her. "Yes, 'mother.'"
Kai smiled at the little smirk toying with his lips as he growled. She couldn't be sure, but maybe it was a good thing she sent Rosella away. At least for a time so they could work things out for themselves first.
"Be careful Rosella. If you hurt him this time, I do no think he has the strength to protect you." Kai muttered to herslef as she walked back into her hut. She sat down with her herbs and grinder and started working on mixing the plants.
"Loyal to a fault, and caring till the end, that is what raises a wolf demon above the others, Rosella. Remember well the person he was before, for he can be again, with your help."
"Help from whom?" Xepara asked, appearing inside the doorway.
"From Rosella." Kai answered without looking up. "Prepare the base, little one. I have a messenge to send."