Chapter 30:


The Scorned

Selene fell asleep almost immediately, snoring rather loudly on my shoulder. With her resting peacefully, I began to think back to our prior conversations. She had been adamant that I was now a demon, and a special one, to be exact. She had stated that when I attacked her, my arm and eyes had changed. The biggest question I had was: why? The Doctor clearly injected this into me for a reason, but what was it?

Letting out a deep breath, I held out my arm and stared at it, willing something to happen. Was this something that I could possibly control? Nothing changed after a few moments, and I put my arm down sheepishly, relieved that Selene was asleep and didn't see my attempt. I knew I wasn't going to be able to sleep, so I began to think about other possible options.

When I attacked Selene, she had said that my anger was different than usual. That did seem to be the contributing factor both times my arm acted on its own. While that made sense, I was tentative to try that theory. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt Selene again.

I glanced to my side at Selene, who was sleeping with a gentle smile on her face. I slowly pushed a strand of hair out of her face and let out a soft chuckle thinking back to how she had acted when experiencing food for the first time. Staring at Selene, an idea suddenly came to me. Maybe I didn't have to be angry. What if I just focused on keeping her happy instead?

With nothing to lose, I extended my right arm out again and took a deep breath. I focused all of my thoughts on Selene and her being happy. There was a faint buzzing in my arm that was hard to explain. I usually couldn't feel, but something was definitely going on. I dropped my arm to my side with disappointment that nothing else happened when it suddenly filled with excruciating pain. I clutched it to my chest, but the pain only increased. It felt like something inside of me was trying to force its way out.

I let out pained grunts, trying to keep my voice down as to not alert any soldiers. Suddenly I heard Selene ask, "What's going on? Why are you in pain?" I tried to answer, but words refused to come out of my mouth. Somewhere next to me, I heard Selene let out a gasp. I didn't get a chance to see what she was surprised by. As loud, cracking noises began to come from my arm.

I could feel the skin on my arm begin to harden from my shoulder down. The pain was excruciating. It felt as if sharp scales were painfully forcing their way through my skin. As my skin hardened, the pain slightly dissipated, but the process was extremely slow. Eventually, the transformation finished, leaving me drenched in sweat.

I leaned against the tree, trying to catch my breath. I had to grit my teeth through the pain and slowly opened my eyes to inspect my new arm.

It looked like my arm had armor on it, but the closer I looked, it was exactly as Selene had said. My arm was made up of individual scales that were completely black. Each scale had a nasty point on the top. If someone brushed against it the wrong way, they were sure to get sliced.

I turned to Selene to give her a weak smile, letting her know I was okay, but she was staring at my arm. She reached out and softly placed her fingers on my wrist, then slid them up to my shoulder. Looking up at me, she asked with a soft smile, "Still think you are human?" Letting out an exhausted chuckle, I replied, "Honestly, this hurts just as much as the injection, so it is hard to think about anything."

With a worried expression, she asked, "Can you switch it back? Do you know how to switch it back?" I shook my head and responded, "It feels like I have to fight the pain to keep it this way. I think if I relax, it will go away. If you want to check anything with it, you had better hurry."

Selene grabbed my arm and held it up in the moonlight. More to herself, she muttered, "If this doesn't convince you that you are a demon, I don't know what will." I let out an exhausted sigh and relaxed my arm, unable to fight the pain anymore. Almost immediately, the scales began to slowly retract themselves back beneath my skin. As soon as the last one disappeared, the pain was gone entirely.

With my arm back to normal, I suddenly felt devoid of any remaining strength. My body slowly slid off the tree and landed in Selene's lap. I was happy that she didn't move and was content to lay there with my eyes closed. The two of us were silent for a long time until Selene asked, "So are you going to tell me what exactly just happened?" I was quiet for a moment, not sure where to begin with what had just transpired.

Selene let out a soft laugh and said, "Just tell me flat out. We've been through a lot together already. No need to make anything up." Relieved that Selene couldn't see my face, I replied, "I wanted the power to keep you happy. I wanted to make sure you never cried again." With a chuckle, I added, "I just didn't think the price of that power would cost so much."

Selene was quiet for a long time, caught off guard by my words. With my exhaustion taking over, the last thing I heard before passing out was, "One day, I will find a way to thank you for everything that you do for me."