“Why are you able to see me? How did you get in?” Ruth is an
Arash, an immortal descendant of the stars, and no human is
able to see her without her permitting it. Fergus throws his
head back and laughs mockingly.
“You still don’t understand, do you? Ruth, make an educated
guess, after all, you’re not stupid.” Ruth shakes her head,
refusing to admit the truth. Obviously she knows what it
means that he can see her. And it would explain the fact
that he’s alive, too, but she’s still in denial. Fergus is
watching her, reading her face. “Well done, I’m an Arash,
just like you are,” he grins, revealing beautiful white
teeth. “I’ve been one for a long time, you know, that’s why
you couldn’t kill me, as you were still human then.” Ruth
starts to shake. All these years she’d thought she was a
murderer. Not only had Fergus betrayed her, in addition he’d
feigned his own death. Ruth feels unfathomable hatred and
icy cold gathering inside her, but Fergus grasps her wrists
and pins her to the wall. “Don’t even think about attacking
me,” he hisses through clenched teeth. “You’re a Dark Arash,
a bad one, but I know you too well, you can’t take me by
surprise. In any case I have means you wouldn’t dream of!”
The man’s dark blue eyes are narrowed, his mouth twisted in
a snarl. Ruth cowers under the duvet, very aware that she
is only wearing a flimsy nightdress. Her almost black eyes
search the man’s handsome face.
“But why?” she breathes, not understanding what had happened
at that time. “Why did you pretend to be dead?” Fergus
smiles, clearly enjoying himself.
“It’s a long story. My family had received the sign to look
for a new family member. You know how complicated the
selection process is, being an Arash yourself now. Then I
met you and instantly I knew that you were made for us.”
Ruth stares at him, mesmerised. She didn’t have a clue then.
“You had all the right prerequisites, born under the comet
Ponns-Winnecke,” Fergus continues. “We would really have
loved to have you in the family.” Ruth can’t believe it.
Another Arash family had wanted her to join them? Even
before Randolph had found her, whose family she belongs to
now? Incredible! But something must have gone very wrong.
Fergus sighs heavily. “But then we found out the dreadful
truth: you were born on the day of an eclipse of the sun.”
Ruth winces at his harsh words. Her birthday, 27th
June 1927 makes her a Dark Arash, not a Bright one, meaning
she has special powers, dark forces, in her case an icy cold
that can destroy humans as well as other Arash. But Randolph
never ever called a Dark Arash a bad one. Ruth feels hot
anger rising within her.
“So you rejected me because I’m Dark? At any rate I was good
enough for Randolph and his family,” she hisses furiously.
Fergus smirks at her.
“Yes, what a coincidence that you had your accident on
Randolph’s premises and he found you, wasn’t it?” He raises
his hand when Ruth tries to interrupt him. “Listen, you
stupid bitch! It wasn’t a coincidence at all. After we’d
found out that you were born during an eclipse of the sun
you were definitely out of the question for our family. We
would never tolerate a Dark Arash in our family! But then I
had a brilliant idea. We knew that Randolph was also looking
for a new family member at that time, we always know what
he’s up to. As he’d admitted a Dark Arash into his family
before, this Cassius, he’d surely do the same again.” Fergus
grins maliciously, running his hand through his blonde hair.
“So I decided to plant you there.” Ruth shakes her head in
disbelief, staring at this man she’d once loved whom she
doesn’t recognise anymore. “It was quite easy: being a
tremendously jealous person you were very predictable. I
knew if you caught me with another woman you would freak
out. By the way, it was Philomena, the head of our family, a
wonderful actress, who posed as my lover.” Ruth feels the
blood drain from her face. She simply can’t believe that he
set her up. “We set the stage on Randolph’s land and the
knife I laid out came in handy too, you used it, as I
suspected you would. Then you sped away in your car, had the
accident. The shadow which caused it was also me, by the
way. But then you nearly ruined everything.” He pulls a face
at Ruth who is sitting motionless, shaken to the core. “You
drove much too fast and the accident was more serious than
we’d planned. Who would have thought that the car would
explode!” Ruth starts to tremble uncontrollably at his
words, reliving the terror of that night. “But we were
lucky, Randolph rescued you just in time, otherwise my
brilliant plan would have been in vain. He took you in,
cared for you and finally made you part of his family.
Everything turned out just perfect!” Fergus shakes his
blonde hair, smiling at the speechless girl. He’s extremely
handsome but she only sees the monster sitting in front of
her. Her heart has frozen over and she’s barely able to
“But why did you plant me?” she asks in a low voice. Why did
he put her through this hell? Fergus looks at her carefully,
tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
“You’re just as beautiful now as you were when we were
together,” he whispers distractedly. Then he raises his
eyebrows. “Why? To watch Randolph, of course. What he’s
doing, who he’s meeting, if there’s anything strange in his
demeanour. And report back to us.” Ruth huffs angrily. Why
should she spy on the man who had saved her life, taken her
in and kept her in the family even now, despite her attack
on Livia? She owed everything to him and would never tell on
him. What’s more she still hasn’t a clue what Fergus is
“But what’s the point?” Fergus narrows his eyes which are
now blazing with blue fire.
“Because we hate him!” he hisses with such venom that Ruth
shrinks back. “Randolph was a member of our family,
Philomena changed him into an Arash a long time ago. But he
wasn’t worthy of being with us and we cast him out. Now
we’re only trying to prevent him causing any more damage
than he’s already done.” This is only part of the truth,
Ruth mustn’t know the rest. It would only strengthen her
loyalty to Randolph.
“He was one of your family?” Ruth gasps. She senses that
Fergus is holding something back and is determined to learn
the whole truth. “Why did you make him an outcast?” Fergus
takes Ruth’s hand in his and squeezes it till she winces in
“You ask too many questions, Ruth. Your only task is to
report back to me.” Ruth bites her lower lip, knowing she
has to buy some time. She has to get rid of him somehow,
then she’ll ubilocate to Randolph and tell him everything.
He’ll surely know what to do about Fergus. But she has to
know one last thing.
“Why did you leave me in the dark for so many years and then
tell me now?” Fergus smirks at her.
“Because the right moment has come. Randolph has been
meddling in a shadow hunt and that’s unusual, so we know
something’s up. And you’ve released your dark forces again,
I can still feel it in you.” Ruth snatches her hand away
“I will never help you frame Randolph! You can’t make me!
You have to respect Arash law!” she hisses angrily. Fergus
gets up from the bed, looking at the girl disdainfully.
“No family respects the law more than we do. The word Arash
means ‘bright’, that’s why we reject all Dark Arash. They’re
a mistake of nature.” Ruth winces at his words. “According
to our law anyone who kills another Arash should die. You
surely know that?” Ruth nods her head, not understanding
where he’s going with this. “You killed me, remember?” He
raises his eyebrows suggestively.
“Regrettably I didn’t,” Ruth snaps. “I couldn’t have anyway
as a human. I didn’t know about Arash at all then!” Fergus
“Ignorance is no excuse for murder, is it? You’re bad to the
core, just think about what you tried to do to Livia!”
Ruth’s breath hitches in her throat. Obviously they’ve been
watching her all along. They know about her attack. “You
simply have no choice, Ruth,” Fergus continues calmly.
“Deliver a reason for us to take action against Randolph or
we’ll kill you, it’s as simple as that.” In the next instant
he is gone.