Midnight Surrender

#1 In a small town, young Daisy endures a life of suffering under the tyranny of her stepfamily and the neglect of her father. Her once loving home now a prison, she and her mother are forced to serve her father's new wife and daughters. When a proposal arrives from a wealthy but disfigured nobleman, her father, eager to protect his other daughters, condemns Daisy to a seemingly bleak fate. #arranged marriage

JasmineJosef · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
88 Chs

18 A Twisted Game (AVOT)

Rhain observed the peaceful figure of Daisy, her breaths soft and rhythmic in the cocoon of slumber. Her previous state of high distress and fear was precisely what he enjoyed in his prey, yet he had employed his preternatural abilities to lull her into sleep. Now was not the time for hunting, and with Daisy, he wanted more than her blood. She intrigued him, and he wouldn't deny himself his other desires.

He sighed. Too bad he wouldn't be able to keep her for long.

He had taken care of her worried family, who had been frantically searching for her, except for the callous stepmother who had orchestrated this turmoil. Rhain had no interest in family dramas. Had Katherine stuck to her daily torture, he would not have interfered, but now she was a thorn in his side, threatening to spoil his chase and interfere with his other schemes.

Well, that could be fun too, he thought with a wicked smile.

Leaving Daisy's side, Rhain disappeared into the night, making his way back to the house Daisy had fled from. By the time he arrived at Philip's modest dwelling, the rumors about Daisy were already circulating among the townsfolk. There wasn't much he could do about it. He couldn't compel everyone, nor did he have a reason to do so. He didn't care about humans and their obsession with reputation.

Rhain went ahead to meet Philip and upon entering Philip's house, he was met with a scene of disarray. Philip lay sprawled on a worn-out couch, a half-empty bottle of spirits clutched loosely in his hand. As Rhain's silhouette cast an ominous shadow in the dimly lit room, Philip jolted upright, his eyes dilating with surprise.

"Who...who are you?" Philip stammered, his voice barely a whisper.

Rhain's dark eyes narrowed, a slow smile curling his lips. They always asked the wrong question.

"Not who. What," he corrected, emanating an aura of menace that seemed to permeate the room. The air grew heavy, and a palpable sense of dread settled over Philip.

Panicked, Philip scrambled to his feet, stumbling over his own boots in his haste to escape. Rhain, let the pitiful human try. He ran into another room and when he came back he held a pistol in his hand.

Rhain raised a brow and then laughed, his laughter echoing through the room, a chilling sound that sent shivers down Philip's spine.

Oh, these humans.

Narrowing his eyes, "put it down!" Rhain ordered, and Philip could barely hold the pistol up anymore. His hand began to shake, and Rhain used more of his aura to make him cower, drop the pistol, and crawl into a corner.

Ugh. Rhain hated when they lacked a strong survival instinct. How could someone just give up?

"Very well," Rhain said, approaching him slowly. He crouched to his level, and Philip whimpered.

Rhain leaned closer, wrinkling his nose at the stench of the man. "You like Daisy?" He asked.

The man's eyes widened now that he recognized him. "Lord… Blackthorne," he stuttered.

"Answer my question," Rhain said calmly.

Philip shook his head with a cry. "No."

"Don't lie to me," Rhain warned.

"I won't touch her," he said, crawling back.

"Look at me," Rhain ordered, drawing him in with his voice and keeping him trapped with his eyes. He compelled the truth out of him. "You like Daisy?"

"Yes," the man replied.

"Not anymore," Rhain said, getting into the man's mind to manipulate his thoughts. "Daisy is not to your liking. Is she?"

"No," he replied.

"Good. You like Lila. Sweet, young, innocent Lila," Rhain continued, planting the suggestion firmly in Philip's mind.

More fun for him and for Katherine as well. He would have chosen Cassandra but Lila was more like her mother. Since she was desperate for attention, why not grant her wish?

"Lila?" Philip questioned, confusion in his eyes.

"Yes. Lila is not like any woman you have ever seen. Her beauty, her innocence, her young spirit are all irresistible, and you have never wanted anything more in your life," Rhain elaborated.

"No, I haven't," Philip agreed.

"You want to make her yours," Rhain pressed.

"Yes," Philip confirmed.

"But her mother won't allow it," Rhain added, setting the stage for further conflict.

Philip looked sad. "No."

Rhain smirked. "Good. You have a mother and daughter to convince, and you won't give up no matter what."

"I will never give up."

Rhain chuckled. "Very well then. Now rest and forget we ever met."


Stirring from the most restful sleep she had ever experienced, Daisy stretched languidly, a sigh escaping her lips. She snuggled deeper into her pillow, eager to drift back into the sweet embrace of slumber. But then, snippets of the previous night began to flood back, and she shot up in bed, her heart pounding in her chest.

She looked around frantically, but all she saw were the familiar surroundings of her room. Her own room... But how did she get here?

Lord Blackthorne.

She recalled his strong chest under her cheek, the scent of him, his warm embrace as he carried her and then… his gentle eyes, his soft touch and his soothing voice. She chuckled. That must have been a dream, but if it was, how did she get here?

"Daisy," her mother's voice broke through her thoughts as she entered the room, a tray of breakfast in her hands. "You are awake," she smiled. "I brought breakfast for you."

Daisy chuckled at the sight. Breakfast in bed? This had to be a dream.

Her mother sat at the edge of the bed, placing the tray in front of her. "How do you feel this morning?" she asked, reaching out to touch Daisy's forehead.

"Normal," Daisy replied, frowning at her mother's concerned expression.

"Do you still feel sick?" Helena asked, her eyes filled with worry.

"Sick? I wasn't sick, Mother. I went to the market yesterday morning," Daisy said, trying to make sense of her mother's odd behavior.

Her mother's eyes widened in confusion. "You did? I don't remember. You were ill with a fever yesterday. I never sent you grocery shopping."

Daisy sighed, rubbing her temples. Something was amiss. "Mother, I was never ill."

"Oh, my dear," Helena murmured, reaching out to touch Daisy's forehead again. "I've heard high fevers can cause confusion."

Daisy felt her frustration rise. "Mother, I'm not confused. Was Lord Blackthorne here yesterday?"

"Why would he be?" Helena asked, looking genuinely perplexed.

"Where is my basket?" Daisy asked, her gaze flickering around the room. Her grocery basket sat neatly on the shelf near the window, just as it always did.

"Right there," her mother replied, pointing to the basket. "Now, eat your breakfast. I'll be back soon. I just need to check on the stove."

Daisy watched her mother leave, her mind racing. She jumped out of bed, her bare feet cold against the wooden floor. She wore the same dress from yesterday, and her hands bore the scratches from when she had grabbed the branch to strike Philip.

It wasn't a dream.

She hurried over to the basket. It was dirty. She had dropped it, she remembered that. But how did it end up here?

"Daisy!" Cassandra's voice echoed in the room, drawing Daisy's attention. Her stepsister stood in the doorway, her arms crossed over her chest, a sneer on her face. "I see you're pretending to be sick to skip your chores."

Already on edge, Daisy snapped back at her. "Maybe it's time you learned how to take care of yourself."

Cassandra's eyes widened at Daisy's retort, a flicker of surprise before her face hardened again. "Why, you...!" She spluttered, indignation coloring her cheeks. "You are not in any position to talk down to me, Daisy!"

"Well, it seems I am, since you're the one who can't even handle the simplest chores without my help," Daisy shot back. "Perhaps it is time for you to step out of your sheltered existence and face the real world."

For a moment, Cassandra looked taken aback, but then she huffed, flipping her hair over her shoulder. "We'll see who's laughing when Mother hears about this," she warned, her eyes promising retribution before she turned on her heel and stormed out of the room.

Daisy imitated her as the she left. God, she was so annoyed with these spoiled girls. Still confused she went back to bed and because of her annoyance, she decided to enjoy her breakfast and in fact pretend to be ill and stay in bed.

After filling her stomach, she lay down again determined to sort her thoughts and find out what she was missing. No matter how much she tried, it didn't make sense.

Her mother insisted she was sick and the entire family believed that to be the case. Daisy started to believe that perhaps, she had lost her mind. Maybe the scars were from something else and maybe the basket just got dirty. Maybe she had a fever and got confused.

She should be happy about it. Then it meant whatever happened with Philip didn't happen. She was alright.

But she wasn't. The day after, her father came home, his face distorted with fury.

"Daisy!" He yelled.

Everyone got startled at how angry he sounded.

Daisy left her chores and went to see her father, wondering what happened.

"What is it that I am hearing?!" He demanded.