The Lords Series

By Christine Troupe

Book 1: The Dark Lord's Bride

Volume 1

Part 1

Chris lay in her bed tossing and turning. The dreams had become more frequent, stronger, and far more real than she could realize. He dominated her dreams. Everytime she closed her eyes, she could see only him, a figure dressed in black. A towering mountain of a man, pale white skin, long dark auburn hair that flowed down his shoulders and emerald green eyes that burned into her soul. Every night in her dreams he came to her. He never said a word, never blinked, just stood there like a statue just watching her. She didn't know who this man was, or why he kept invading her dreams. She knew she had powers, but had this stranger tapped into them somehow? Was he trying to manipulate her through dreams? Was he a sign of something to come, or had she just watched one too many horror movies? This night was like many that preceded it. She went to sleep, and there he was, this dark figure. Only this night was to be different. The dark stranger would break his silence. Chris lay in her bed tossing and turning, the dreams beginning all over again. "Chris," Chris woke up and looked around swearing she could have heard someone call her name. She settled back down and drifted back off to sleep. Then the voice spoke again. "Chris, I need you." "What the hell?" Chris almost blurted waking up once more. "Who's there? Who the hell are you?!" Chris began to shout. Her fear mounting thinking some nut had broken into her house. She was determined to stay awake, about to get up when she felt a sudden heaviness through out her body, like she was just too tired to get up. "No, I need you asleep." The voice said. It was deed and gruff, but not threatening. "The hell you do!" Chris shouted and opened her eyes, but there was no one there. "I don't know who or what you are but leave me alone!" Chris barked in frustration and fear. Then she felt her eyes closing again. "Don't fight me Chris. I won't hurt you." "You, what the hell is going on here!" Chris shouted and sprang out of bed. She stood up and got out of her bedroom. She stood in the middle of her living room. "OK, whatever you are, you force me to go to sleep again, and I'll fall on this floor and bust my head wide open. Will that convince you to leave me alone! Whatever it is you want, go seek it elsewhere cause you aren't getting it from me! Now leave me alone." Chris looked around and could no longer feel the presence. She thought she had scared it away. Chris went to the kitchen and got something to drink, preferably something with caffeine in it. She grabbed cherry cola and began to drink it. She went back to her room and switched on the TV. Her cola in hand, she turned onto one of the sports channels. Wrestling was on. She was about to turn the channel when she saw one wrestler that caught her eye. "What the hell? Him, that's him! How, how can that be?" Chris said nearly spitting out her drink. She clicked off the TV and finished her drink. She figured it was futile to fight the urge to sleep, and so she drifted back off.

Part 2

Chris drifted off to sleep. Once more, the dark stranger was with her, but he did not enter her dreams. He stood in solid form, knowing she was blocking him out of her mind. He could easily force her to open it, but he didn't. He knew he'd upset and frightened her. That was not what he wanted. And above all, when she threatened him with her own death, he knew to back off. He stood there in the shadows watching her sleep. He'd watched her for many, many years. He'd watched her grow and change. Though she had no idea of what was going on. He made no move toward her until now. She didn't know it, but he'd grown fond of her. She was lovely in his eyes. Small, full figured, but not too heavy for his taste. She had pale skin, deep brown eyes, and long dark auburn hair, almost like his. She had a talent for writing, painting, and a beautiful voice. He loved hearing her sing. But there was also a great deal of sadness that she hid from the world, but could not hide from him. She did not even know him, yet he cared for her. He didn't like seeing her cry, though others were always there to intervene before he had the chance. He walked over to her, kneeling at her side. He touched her forehead. He touched her pale pink lips, ever so tempted to kiss her. But rather than risk her temper, he drew back and just looked at her. "I didn't mean to upset you. I could never hurt you Chris, never." His voice faded into the wind. His eyes sad that he had angered this young woman. "Please, forgive me that I angered you." He said, his voice deep but soft. He looked at her once more, then left her room. Chris woke up, feeling a lingering presence, insistent, yet sad, lonely, remorseful. She felt it, and wondered about the man in her dreams, and if she'd been maybe a little too harsh.

Part 3

Chris laid in bed, in a restless sleep. The man she'd seen night after night in her dreams now had invaded her conscience. But obviously he meant her no harm, or he would not have cared when she threatened her own life. Who was he? What did he want with her? Why was it her he chose to pay attention to? She turned over on her side and tried to sleep without dreaming. Unaware that the dark stranger was still with her, watching her sleep. He knew she was unhappy. She lived alone. She went out, but it was alone. She never allowed herself to become involved with people too much for fear of hurting or being hurt by them. Her heart remained closed to most of the outside world, all but him, but then again, he was not of the waking world. Chris hid her pain from others, but she couldn't hide it from him, though she did not yet know this. He, this dark stranger, contemplated simply taking her back to his world while she was in the throws of her deep sleep. But he knew that was wrong. He could not force her to be with him. To be in his world, it had to be her choice, and of her own free will. "Chris, you care for the hearts of others yet your own heart you pay no heed to. You deserve better than this. How can I make you understand my feelings?" He asked himself heaving a sigh of defeat. He looked at her. Her eyes closed, her long hair sprawled out all over the pillow. "Please, please try to understand. I meant no harm in visiting you tonight." He leaned over her and softly pressed his lips upon hers. Then he vanished. Chris' eyes snapped open. She'd been kissed. She knew she'd been kissed. How could a kiss so warm come from lips so cold? She felt a cold shiver run all down her spine. She was confused about what had been happening to her. Somehow, it had to do with him, the man who'd invaded her dreams and the sight of that very same man on a wrestling program that very same night. What was happening? Was she going mad? She was afraid to go back to sleep for fear of what else might happen. But she was so tired that her body gave her no choice in the matter. Chris lay back down and tried to go back to sleep.

Part 4

It was Monday. Chris was egxuasted from the lack of sleep, and feeling so drained from what had happened to her. What had happened to her? Was it all a dream, or had some force beyond human understanding tapped into her powers? Feeling bored, she went out and decided to pay a visit to the video store to rent a movie. She walked in and looked around. Something suddenly grabbed her attention and she bolted to the sports section. There she found a wrack of wrestling videos. Her eyes widened in shock at what she saw. One box had pictures of various wrestlers, and low and behold, there he was a picture of him anyway. The dark stranger who invaded her dreams, he was in the picture. But how could that be? Wrestlers were human beings, flesh and blood like all other people. She looked on the back and found another picture of him. She looked at the description of the events on it and found a name, The Undertaker. From the way he looked a very apt name indeed. But why in the world would a wrestler be in her dreams. She'd never seen a wrestling event in her life, let alone dream of a wrestler, especially one she'd never seen before. This was all too weird. She noticed a promo for the wrestling show associated with the name of the company, WWF. There was a show coming on that night called Raw. Chris had never seen wrestling before, but tonight would be her first night to watch it. For some reason, she had to know whom this dark man, this Undertaker was, and why he was invading her dreams. That night, Chris turned on her TV and prepared to watch this Raw show. She wondered if this dark man called The Undertaker would put in an appearance, and strangely, she felt an overwhelming anticipation about seeing him. As if the minutes could not fly by fast enough for her. She watched almost two hours of lame feuds, ridiculous story lines, and an owner who acted more like Hitler than a businessman. Then, the moment came, the main event. First to enter the ring, a wrestler known as Ken Shamrock, also a titleholder. She yawned hearing the fans boo and catcall him. Obviously not big with the fans, Chris thought. Then, the lights suddenly went out, a bell tolled, and thunderous music started playing. His name was announced, it was him, The Undertaker. Chris would finally get a good look at the man who had been in her dreams for so long now. He walked down the isle flanked by a smaller, portly little man who was known as his manager, Paul Bearer. Chris watched them both walk down the isle; she still couldn't get a good look at him through the darkness. Then the lights came back up. Chris' eyes widened at last seeing this dark warrior. "My God! He's, he's GORGEOUS!" Chris blurted out to herself. Taller than any man she'd ever seen, he had to be huge, close to 7 feet at least, if not taller. His body was, from what Chris could surmise under his skintight black wrestling outfit, all muscle. His long arms were covered in tattoos, and a metal stud glittered above his right eyebrow. He had long, dark auburn hair, and when the camera drew in on his face, she saw the eyes, those emerald green eyes. If there ever was a body to fit the idea of the perfect man, he was it. She could see the cold, steely glare upon his face as he stared down his opponent. This man looked deadly, almost evil, and he proved that was as physically intimidating as he was mentally. He went at Shamrock immediately knocking him down with one swift clothesline. Shamrock was no small fry, he was powerful, but next to the Undertaker, any mortal man would look like one of the seven dwarfs. The manager Paul Bearer stood at ringside, beaming from ear to ear watching his protégé knock Shamrock around like a rag doll. Undertaker had power, he was dominant, merciless and down right cruel. But something in him, something in his eyes hid a terrible sadness. There was emptiness in his eyes, a longing needing to be fulfilled. And perhaps it was this loneliness that made him so cold toward his opponents. But along with the brute force, there was also a dark grace to him. He could run for a man his size, and take to the air like he had invisible wings. And the most amazing feet of all, he scaled the turnbuckle, a firm, painfully arm lock applied to his victim; he walked across the top rope as if he'd been a tight ropewalker all his life. Never faltering once, he walked a few inches across the cord, then mercilessly jumped down on Shamrock's already twisted arm. Chris could not take her eyes off the towering warrior in black. He was without a doubt the most handsome, almost, she dare think, beautiful man she'd ever seen. And his skills were unlike any other athlete. She now begin to feel some connection with this dark man The Undertaker, and began to realize he must have powers most mortals could not possibly comprehend. It was he who had invaded her dreams. But even now, with knowing who he was, she still didn't understand why he had chosen her for whatever reason. And that not knowing still frightened her. She decided to go look up a tour schedule for the WWF. She'd only seen him once, but she had to meet him. She had to know why.

Part 5

After Raw went off, Chris went to her computer and got online. She checked the web address she'd seen advertised throughout the show and went to the tour schedule. She found a date scheduled for a night in December to be held in Nashville. She'd call up the ticket master there and get tickets, and somehow, find a way to meet this dark man she'd just seen and had instantly become fascinated with. Then she realized it was late and things would be closed. She decided to call first thing in the morning. Chris went to bed, and decided to let her mind be open. If this man she knew as the Undertaker wanted to invade her dreams again, he would be welcome this time, now that she at least had some idea of who he was. Strangely, he didn't visually come into her dreams, but she could hear his voice, that deep low voice. "I'll be waiting for you, my love." Chris woke up. She knew it was him. He'd be waiting for her. But he didn't even know her. Why would he be waiting for her, and call her *love?* She would soon find out, in a way she never thought possible.

Volume 2