Part 3 - A Desperate Repulsive Fear
She woke up from a world of pain and destruction to find out that, once again, nothing she had just 'seen' had really happened. Still shaken, she brushed a hand across her damp face and, pushing away the blankets that seemed to smother her, stood up, her warm feet touching the cold floor of the room.
It had stopped raining. But the sky remained dark, without a single star in sight, announcing that night time had yet to end. Slowly the beat of her heart went back to normal. She felt better, now. Whatever Dana had given her before had taken effect, although she still felt rather tired.
With a sigh, Allana lighted the candle on her bedside table and was immediately faced with her own reflection on the mirror that took up most of her wardrobe's door. For an instant she almost couldn't recognize herself, her skin too pale, her yellow eyes too wide, almost frightening. The nightgown that Dana had dressed her in was white and, although too big, the forms of her body could be seen through the soft cloth, making her look even thinner than she really was. Her blond hair was the only thing that seemed to have color in that phantasmagorical image, glowing slightly by the flickering light. She wondered if that was others saw when they looked at her. That graceless scrawny girl. Allana ran a hand over her bruised face that seemed even purpler in contrast with her pale skin. If it was that ... lifeless shadow Elian saw whenever he looked at her. Suddenly she wished she could break that mirror! She hated that weak image of herself!
A knock on the door made her automatically turn around. What to do? She could keep quiet, wishing that whoever was outside would simply give up and go away ...
She was still trying to decide on a course of action when the door was slowly opened, as if someone was afraid do disturb her, and a man's head peered inside, looking for her.
"My dear ... Awake so soon?" he asked, entering the room even though she hadn't given him permission, and a smile touched his thin lips. "Dana assured me you would sleep till morning." Heric stated, walking up to her, and Allana faced him, not knowing what to expect, since she was sure he would be angry about her fainting outside and being brought back by a stranger.
"I'm feeling much better, thank you. I was getting tired of lying down."
Heric held her hand with just enough strength to make her understand that it was no use trying to go against him and, blowing the only lit candle, firmly led her back to bed.
"Still, you must rest. We don't want you to really get sick, now do we? Just think about how your mother would worry if something were to happen to you," he told her and sat on her bed, pulling her closer, although Allana was discreetly trying to free her hand. "Come. Sit here," he commanded, pulling her again, and Allana almost fell over him, ending up seated on his lap as he desired. "Do you still remember? When you were a little girl you used to sit on my lap, just like this, and ask me to tell you stories. Back then I thought you were such a nuisance ...!"
"I'll always be a nuisance," she retorted, remaining very still, trying to keep her fear of him at bay.
"I don't think like that anymore," he contradicted her and his arms closed around her waist in a circle she knew she would never have the strength to break. "You've grown up, Allana ..."
"Heric! Please let me go ..." she asked, trying to stop his hands that had started to unpleasantly touch her legs, and he took a deep breath, showing no desire to obey her.
"Allana ... by the end of the season you will be my wife. Don't you think it's about time you stop being afraid of me?" he asked holding her against his body, even though she was pushing him away with all her might, and his hands tugged at the soft fabric of her nightgown, uncovering one of her shoulders, which he nuzzled and kissed repeatedly.
"Heric! Stop this!" she ordered, fighting for her freedom, but he held her tightly, pushing her down onto the bed, making sure to immobilize her under the weight of his own body.
"You know ... lately I've been thinking. You're kind of pretty. And I rather like the smell of your hair," he added, rubbing his face against hers as if that sick game amused him, and, in a quick movement, his lips were on hers.
Allana had never felt anything like that, a mix of pure disgust and terror that, for an instant, rendered her frozen, unable to move. Closing her eyes tightly she pushed him away with all her strength, but his arms surrounded her, pinning her down, his body too heavy for her to move. His lips pushed against hers, hurting her, forcing them to part, and she felt his rough tongue invading her mouth, warm and wet, making her stomach lurch and clench in repulsion. She struggled even harder when his hand touched her leg, slipping under her nightgown, feeling her skin as he made his way up her thigh. She kicked and she pushed him, and finally he freed her lips but only for a moment, before his hand covered her mouth, keeping her silent.
"Be quite! I don't want to hurt you!" he told her in the dark, his low voice making her sick, and he kissed her neck, his fingers digging into her face, hurting her, leaving tears of despair in her eyes.
His other hand, hot and sweaty, grabbed one of her legs, pulling them apart, and the wave of panic that consumed her granted her a level of strength she didn't know she possessed. Biting him hard, she managed to make him move the hand that smothered her, gasping for air. When he backed up with a hiss of surprise she scratched his face and tried to escape from under his weight.
"Get off of me!! Get off!!" she screamed, punching him with all her might, and Heric held both her hands, pinning her down again. Annoyed by her defiance, he slapped her hard across the face, once, twice, but she seemed unable to feel the pain, screaming and trashing as if she were fighting for her life. He tried to cover her mouth again, to muffle her shouting, but in doing so released one of her hands. And Allana, filled with blind hatred and sheer panic, drove her fingers into his eyes, making him scream in pain. Finally free, as he covered his eyes still screaming, she jumped out of bed and, without a second thought, ran out of the door, stumbling on her own feet, her sight blurred by tears ...