It had been a long day, even for him. Domhnall had wanted to exhaust her and he knew he had succeeded; the sluggishness of her motions, the soft murmur of her voice, the droop her to eyelids all gave her away. What he hadn’t necessarily expected was to exhaust himself as well. Turned out, Hettiene had quite the stamina. She lay sprawled on his bed, her eyes only half open as she stared at the ceiling, her long legs spread where he left them. Her ribs rose and fell with her breath. Somehow, as exposed and vulnerable as she was, she felt far away from him. He took out a bottle of something special from the hideaway he’d built into the wine rack beside the bar. In the clear glass, the liquid sloshed a shimmering black color, so dark and full of sparks that it almost looked like a liquid night sky. He sealed the bottle again and returned it to the secret compartment. Hettie hadn’t so much as twitched; by all counts, it appeared she was asleep with her eyes partly open.
He poured himself a glass of bourbon and carried them over to the bed. Her eyes opened a little wider as his weight returned to the mattress. He placed the bottom of her glass in the open palm of her hand and waited until her fingers curled around it safely. “Drink that, and then we will rest.”
A sigh, presumably of relief, rushed from her mouth and she lifted herself up into a sitting position to sip from the glass. It wasn’t until the liquid touched her tongue that she paused to look at it. He watched as recognition flickered behind her irises and prepared himself. When it came to Hettie, he was always on edge wondering where his influence would suddenly stop. He knew better than to rely on it the way he could in Icura. His new wife was a mystery to him, that way. None of the others had been able to resist him.
Testing the waters, Domhnall said, “Come now, Hettiene, drink up.”
The small flash of recognition was gone. The forests of her irises were glazed over with the fog of his influence. She took another drink, depleting the measure of her glass substantially. Another deep swig and a small mouthful later, she handed the empty glass back to him with a shudder and disgusted shake of her head as she choked down the last of it.
He barely began to wonder how long it would take to affect her when her sleep-lidded eyes widened and her pupils grew to the size of small coins. Her breath rushed into her lungs and her hands went limp. Her lungs reached capacity but her body still tried to pull it in, lifting her torso up by her collarbones. The black of her pupils spread like ink through the whites of her eyes until they were the deepest pools of black he had ever seen. She hit the bed on her back with a muted thud.
Domhnall wondered what she was seeing, especially once the screams started.