“You definitely do not disappoint, Dinlas,” Love said with a chuckle.
I snarled at him. I wanted him to know how much I despised his presence. From the moment he’d arrived, it created nothing but problems for me. It wasn’t a new experience to deal with something inside, projecting itself into the world where nobody else could interact with it but me. However, he managed to stir things up within me that I didn’t realize were there. Jealousy and Hatred could never do what he has done.
“Don’t be like that,” he said, stepping closer. “I wouldn’t have allowed this man to harm you. After all, killing you kills me, and we can’t have that, can we?”
“I want you out of my head,” I snapped.
“Tough,” he interjected. “I’m a part of you. There’s nothing you can do about it other than take the back seat and allow me to drive from now on.”
“Never,” I hissed.
“Why not?” he scoffed. “With me, you can have a relationship with that beautiful detective. I’d allow us to be happy. I’d allow us to build a life far from the things that bring us pain and turmoil. Doesn’t that sound amazing?”
“I wouldn’t be able to enjoy any of it,” I replied. “It would be as it has been with you at the wheel. There are too many blanks in my mind, too many gaps.”
When Love took control of me, I didn’t remember anything that transpired while he drove my body. His power was something I never knew I had in me. His grip was tighter than either of the others that I chose to rule over. It made me wonder if my true source of power came from him or if it came from Jealousy and Hatred. With them gone into the wind, I was left to figure this all out myself.
“What I’ve done these past few days is nothing compared to what you’ve done to me for centuries,” Love spat, scowling with ferocity. “Do you have any idea what it’s like to be a prisoner inside your mind? You’re far more tormented than you’re willing to admit, and your psyche tortures all of us relentlessly. When you hate, I suffer. When you allow jealousy to revel in the fruits of humanity, I yearn. These are things I don’t like.”
“I don’t care,” I barked. “It’s my existence. I’m the god. Not you.”
“I’m a part of you. Therefore, I’m just as much of a god as you are,” he returned, grinning widely. “Just like Hatred and Jealousy but you love to hold them down and keep them back from feeling as such.”
I growled angrily, stomping away from him. I was done with the conversation, and it was time to get back to Sam. I didn’t know if she was hurt, scared, or worse. I needed to get back to her so I could catch myself up on the things I missed and do my best to explain the new developments in my mind.
“Coward!” Love shouted.
His voice stopped me dead in my tracks. I turned around, gazing at him contemptuously. I had been called a lot of things, but none of them made me as angry as what he yelled at my back. I’d spent the better part of my existence proving to everyone, especially my father, that I wasn’t a coward. Love knew that word twisted me up in knots, which was why he chose to say it to me at this moment.
“And what do you think I’m afraid of?” I growled.
“Your true identity,” he answered. “I’m what makes up most of your mind. All that care you received from your family all those years ago? That never left. It swelled up inside of you, creating me in the process, only to be buried under a mountain of self-loathing, angst, rage, contempt, and anything else you could pile on. All due to your concern about not being enough. You’re pathetic.”
“You better not—”
“You don’t rule over me, Dinlas!” Love interrupted, shouting loudly when he said my name. “Last chance.”
“For what?” I interjected.
“It is the last chance for you to willingly allow me to drive before I take it by force,” he said. “I’ve allowed you to taste what’s possible. You claim that you don’t remember what’s happened, but I think you do. Anyway, none of that matters to me. What matters is that I want her, and I will do anything to have her. Even if that means suppressing you for the rest of our existence. I want so much more than what you’ve given us. I want a long life with Sam. I want to go home. I want to see our family. I want to just…be.”
As he spoke, I felt myself become weaker. The power drained from my body. My legs wobbled, forcing me to catch myself on the table I’d been strapped to. My vision blurred, and I felt light-headed. It was happening again. Now, I knew it was Love taking control.
I didn’t realize he had this power over me. If he always had this power, why did he wait so long to reveal himself? It wasn’t like I hadn’t loved anyone else. There were plenty of family members and others that I had loved throughout my existence. What was it about Sam? A mortal with no powers at all, yet she commanded my attention and clutched my heart firmly in her delicate hands.
I struggled to maintain my consciousness. It was fleeing with each passing second. My breath raced, picking up its pace until I felt winded. I grabbed at my chest. It was tight and growing tighter as I fought him. I had to stay awake. I feared the unknown of what would come if I was unable to maintain control against Love.
“I’m not waiting for an answer anymore,” Love said, stalking toward me. “I’m through with you. Your days of running and controlling things are over. You hear me, Dinlas? You’re finished.”
“There’s nothing you can do about it,” he interrupted. “This situation is fixed.” He grabbed me by my hair, staring down into my eyes. “I warn you, do not fight me once I’m in control. I do not want to feel you rattling around in my head. If you attempt to regain control in any way, I will take it out on the one you care about most. If I can’t have her, nobody will.”
That was when he took complete control. I felt weightless, free-falling from a great height, without knowing what awaited me at the bottom.