Disclaimer: I do not own Witch. I do however own the characters you don’t recognize and the plot line is pretty much mine, I think. Unless I have a mind link with someone else, in which case, I’m claiming the idea. Haha!
Chapter Nine: Allies
The figure knelt on a sturdy tree branch in the centre of a large estate. The moon glimmered over her short blonde hair, catching the strands of golden thread that had been expertly embroidered over her emerald green outfit. The wind passed her by but didnt bother her as it lifted her hair back from her striking face. She tilted that face up to the moon, to embrace the caress of the breeze and her skin glowed. Her cupid bow lips were grim and her golden eyes were sharp and alert.
Her hand rested loosely on the long hilt of her rapier that was sheathed at her waist. Boots climbed up her legs to her hips and revealed just a brief swash of skin. She wore a form fitting bustier with puffy short sleeves that ended with a cuff. Attached to the cuff was a tight sleeve that widened at the wrist for easier movement. A short flared skirt with a long silk trail attached, completed the outfit.
She steadied herself against the firm tree trunk and studied the house just meters away from her. For the past couple of days it had been empty but now lights glowed behind the barred windows on the third floor. The servants were either having a party which she doubted, or the King of the Dark Throng had plans for the night that he didnt want his wife to know about. Not that it actually mattered to him, she thought snidely. His wife was too scared to speak out against him. Maybe he beat her, maybe he treated her cruelly. No one would actually know what went on behind the walls of the Glas Fort but whatever he did, the woman was stuck with him. It wasnt against the law to ask for a divorce in the Faerie Court but it was highly frowned upon and usually the woman was forced to leave and live amongst the mortals. A great punishment for any faerie.
She blew out a breath and shifted to get a better, more comfortable position. She heard rumors that the King was beginning to make his move but the Queen was just far too blind and arrogant to see what was coming at her. But still the King was not powerful enough to confront the Queen of the Shining Throng. The Shining People were more numerous and more powerful, an all out war would just be disastrous.
Neither would risk it so it would come down to a duel but that too would be disastrous for the King of the Dark Throng. He was not strong enough and none of the Shining People would accept him as King. So unless he was powerful enough to take down Celeste and her family, he would be defeated. Nal -the Queens chief body guard and eldest grandchild-, would not stand by and let the King of the Dark Throng take his grandmothers throne. He may despise humans but he hated the Dark Throng more especially since they were including Formori half breeds in their entourage.
Which was why she was here. If the King was planning to gain more power, she wanted to know where from and who was helping him. If Celeste did manage to defeat the King, she would want to know who in her court was plotting her demise. Which would probably end up with a few clever torture methods that would keep Celeste happy. She did like her torture.
A rumble of noise caught the girls attention and she looked down the drive. There in the gloomy dusk, she could make out a large object coming closer. As she studied it, her eyes widened. A large carriage with a horse attached, a horse with bloody red eyes and flaming mane.
The carriage rocked up the long drive on its creaky old wheels as the horse snorted flames and glared around its surroundings. It looked evil and every bit as dead as the hellhounds did. She knew they smelt, even from her spot on the other side of the quad, she could smell it. They were an old gimmick of ancient faerie tradition. Great black stallions with glossy manes and docile temperaments by day but fiery beasts of the wild hunt after the sunset.
Who would that be? she wondered. For days there had been no show of any visitors so maybe this was who the King had been waiting for. More than likely, she decided, and her grip on her sword tightened.
Torches flared to life along the drive to guide the carriage up to the house and the great big oak doors, engraved with the family emblem slowly opened with a groan. A woman with brown hair and dressed in a bland brown gown bustled out with a torch to await the coach as two young boys appeared to take the horse and the carriage to the barn around the back of the house.
The carriage stopped and the great black door opened and a door man, dressed in black suit and white gloves stepped out. He fixed the steps and held the door open for the occupant. She held her breath as she waited and it hissed out between her teeth as she caught sight of the figure. There was no mistaking that stance, that silhouette.
Kerrigan. The Kings right hand man. She scowled darkly. Kerrigan was an insult to the faerie name. How he dared to follow the King after everything- She snarled. She didnt want to think of everything. It was none of her business anyway. She had no reason to feel self righteous about something that didnt even involve her. Besides, letting emotions run over all reason was the quickest way to get caught.
She breathed in slowly and inhaled the scent of the earth and of flowers from the hedgerow. There was a fragrant scent of pine trees coming from somewhere and the mingled scents and the buzz of irritating insects soothed her. She was of the earth. This earth was hers. She could find comfort here. A bird flew close to her ear and through the canopy, she could make out the navy canvas pinpricked by silver starlight.
Exhaling, she focused on Kerrigan. He was talking in hushed whispers to the Butler who had emerged from the house to inform Lord Kerrigan where the King would be awaiting him. But that wasnt what intrigued her. Even if there was important information exchanged, her attention was commanded by the maid who was now carting a limp body into the house. The figure seemed to be female and young, if her body was any indication. Maybe twenties, maybe younger but no way she was any younger than late teens, not with that body. Golden hair fell down to the ground and she wore strange clothes.
Dryly, she looked down at her own clothes, but she was a faerie, it was expected. This girl wore teal and lime green striped socks and a purple skirt with a slit, purple boots and a green top. It was almost like a strange uniform but for what? No school uniform, that was for sure. It was too flamboyant for a normal teen but she didnt seem to be a punkish kid.
She frowned. Shed worry about that later. Maybe the girl was a sacrifice. If so, then she would say a prayer for the girls spirit to pass on but there was nothing she could do. She was simply one being amongst many enemies.
She cast a glance at her watch. It was time for her to go. She hadnt gleaned much but she had gleaned more than she had for the past couple of nights. That should be enough to appease the Queen and Nal.
Making sure that the people had gone inside or around to the back or wherever they were planning on going, she dropped down to the ground with barely a sound. Her gaze swept the grassy plain before her. There was no one but her as she had expected.
Then she took her first step and the baying began. Her head whipped up scenting the foul stench of the hell hounds before she could really process the sound of their guttural growls. Then she saw them coming around a patch of trees and she cursed. How had she been detected or had the hell hounds been around all night and she just had the misfortune to run into them? It was more likely the latter rather than the former, she thought.
Just my luck!
She pushed herself into a sprint and began the long treacherous race towards the forest that would hide her from the hell hounds. Her hand flexed around her sword hilt, ready to draw the trusty blade should her life depend on it. She hated to disperse of any creature but at least she had no real love for the Hell hounds. They were probably the foulest of all the creatures of the hunt and the ones that were likely to create the most damage to. They were reckless and very often uncontrollable. And they were dangerous.
Remembering that key fact, she urged her feet to move faster. Her heart began to pound as she heard the footfalls closing in behind her. Out of instinct, she tossed a glance over her shoulder and wished she hadnt. There they were, snorting fire and smoke from their nostrils and with molten green flames burning in their eyes. They were hideous beasts of an enormous size and the fangs on them were to rival that of a saber tooth Tiger. Great for holding big prey such as Formori, ogres and Giants still. They were pack animals and she knew that they were also smart despite their stupid looks. They would have a plan for her and for all she knew, she could be running right into it.
She swerved like a startled rabbit and her feet almost slipped out from under her and yet she managed to miraculously keep her balance as her fingers hit the ground. Her heart jolted and her whole skin began to crawl. She could hear the pants of their breath; feel them on the back of her neck. They would sink their teeth in there, she thought, and the nerves began to prickle in anticipation of the first drop of saliva or the prick of the fang before it slid easily into the supple flesh of her neck.
Her knuckles turned white around the hilt as she continuously tried to coax herself into running and to keep running. But a part of her didnt want to run. She was a Faerie. She was strong. She was smart. She could fight off the Hell Hounds. They listened to Faerie, they obeyed them. She was higher up on the food chain!
One got a little too close and nipped at her leg just as she pulled it forward and the close call had them yipping in excitement. She moaned. Oh goddess, she was going to get ripped apart. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught the leap and at the last second she managed to dodge with a squeak. The beast propelled straight into the creature behind her and they toppled to the side, giving her some breathing space.
And with that, she made her decision. Four Hell Hounds. She could handle four Hell Hounds. She just had to avoid their flames, but she could try an ice spell on them Yeah, maybe not. Just lop off their heads and move fast.
Whirling around, she drew her blade and sliced it into the first beast that lunged at her. She only got its leg but it howled and added something to her credibility and self esteem. Another lunged and she ducked and rolled out of the way. A back flip moved her out of the way of another and she roundhouse kicked the next. Except she only managed to clip its jaw but it was enough to deflect it enough so she could escape its jaws.
A spurt of flames singed the ground just at her foot and she jumped to the side with an exclamation.
The beasts began to circle her, having come up with a new plan and she realized that this was a little more perilous than she had first believed. They lumbered up to her, one hobbling where she had removed its foot which was oozing black blood off to the side of their circle. Horns were lowered and she gulped. She had forgotten the horns.
She needed a plan and fast. But she had always been one to think better on her feet.
They lunged together and she parried the ones in front with her blade, using the fact that her blade was locked between their horns to propel her feet up to kick out at the other too. Braced between them, she had a few seconds to catch her breath before she kicked out with her feet and sent herself spiralling horizontally into the air. With her sword gone, the beasts clashed horns and one let out a bloody roar as one horn pierced its skull. They retreated and she hit the ground once more, catching herself in a crouch while the beasts, -minus the one with the head wound, who had stumbled off to die or melt into a puddle of black smoldering goop,- began to circle her once more.
She caught herself; legs bent with one hand on the ground, the other holding the sword behind her back. Peering up through her wispy blond bangs, she watched them warily. What was her next move? What would they do next?
A paw swiped at her from the left and she ducked and rolled.
They were off again. She got lost in a flurry of swiping claws, fire spurts, flips and parries in an effort to stay alive. She kicked out at the closest one and was rewarded by a satisfying crunch of nasal cartridge as she pirouetted away to swipe down her blade to catch another at the throat. The blade didnt manage to do much but pierce the thick leathery skin under the coarse fur.
She rolled out of the way as another attacked and she screamed as horns grazed her side. Stunned and with a wounded pride, she stumbled away, clutching her side to face them. Her breathing was heavy and her muscles were beginning to cry out in pain. This was too much. Too strenuous. She may have been half Faerie but she was also half human and she couldnt take this abuse.
She needed to end this quickly.
Her hand went to an amulet around her throat. The sun stone, the small gem of amber tied around her throat by a thick black cord. It had been pulsing rhythmically during the battle but now, with her hand tight around it, it began to burst with light. Pulling it out of its cage, she slotted it into the base of the hilt and locked it into place.
Immediately the golden light began to pulse down the length of the blade until the sword began to shine brilliantly. Her skin began to glow incandescently and her eyes blazed with ochre light, each strand of white blonde hair looked luminescent and in the dark grove, she stood like a shining warrior, a beacon.
The creatures backed off warily and she advanced.
Striking the sword through the air, she sent out a laser beam of white light that struck as true as an arrow into the beasts cold dead heart. It roared, eyes opening wide with terror and flames spurted from its mouth. It choked and hacked as it struggled for breath but the hole the light had left was beginning to corrode and eat at the flesh encompassing the chest. Immediately fire began to lick at the edges and the creatures howled in anguish as it became a black cinder pooled in thick black sludge.
Another one not about to take any chances lunged at her but she simply twirled out of the way and sliced through the creatures stretched throat. The head lobbed off and rolled to a stop before her, eyes flickering until the embers dimmed and then died and the rest of its carnage dissolved.
The last attacked, jaws gaping and saliva dripping from its teeth to burn the ground like acid. She didnt have time to turn her sword into the attack and from her position, by the time the blade bit him, his teeth would be clamped around her arm. So she flung up her left hand and out of her finger tips, white lightning danced out becoming four whips of snaking white light. They lashed at the creature, shredding it to ribbons before her. It hit the ground, a puddle of mush.
Blowing out a breath, she planted the sword in the earth and leaning against it, she tried to catch her breath and regain her energy. She felt woozy and the stench of death surrounded her. It repulsed her. She was so weak. Compared to all the Faerie in Tir-na-ng, she was pathetic.
But she couldnt stay around here, she had to get back to the mound and tell the Queen about her discovery. The King was holed up in his home with Kerrigan and a girl. It was unnerving to say the least.
Picking up her sword, she slipped it back into its sheath and headed for the dense forest that surrounded the grounds. Her steps were slow and measured despite her desperate need to hurry but with her legs feeling like jelly, she was afraid that if her legs crumpled beneath her, she wouldnt have the strength to get up again. Her side burned, a fierce, screaming ache that had her sucking in a breath through her teeth. It had only been a graze but she had to wonder if maybe the horns were poisoned though no one had ever said so. Which made it all the more important that she get back to the mound soon.
That was when she heard the shuffling behind her. Immediately her senses went on alert. She could here the hissing, the definite ssss that heralded the arrival of the Formori. It was a sound she feared more than the baying of the Hell Hound. For one heart stopping moment, everything slowed as she glanced over her shoulder. There they were, silhouettes slithering over the lawn towards her holding torches that flared orange in the twilight.
Shit. She had made too much noise when fighting the Hell Hounds. She swallowed hard. Oh she really did not like the Formori.
Breaking into a full out run, not caring that she would definitely be seen now, she moved as fast as her legs would carry her towards the forest. If she could just make it to the forest, she would have some chance of losing them in the dense foliage. She just had to make it.
Oh hell. She whispered as she watched more hooded figures emerge from the forest. Well, that wasnt good. She about turned and realized that she was surrounded on all sides. She really should have considered the fact that the Formori would be lounging around when she had been battling the Hell Hounds.
She unsheathed her sword and sent a quick prayer to the goddess. She didnt see herself coming out of this one alive. Too many Formori. Too little strength.
Dizziness overwhelmed her and her head spun. Dark dots danced before her vision and she woozily stumbled. Barely able to keep her heavy eye lids open, she continued in a shuffling gait towards the forest. It was almost there. Just a few more seconds and shed be ok. Just a few more seconds and shed be able to teleport home. The forest trees blurred in and out as she made one last desperate lunge for freedom. Her hand stretched out; she pumped her legs just a little faster.
They were gaining on her. Slithering over the grass as though they needed no limbs at all. Her breath burst through her lips in frantic spurts. Her lungs burned and her mouth felt bone dry. Terror all but danced its icy fingers over her skin.
Suddenly her legs buckled beneath her and she fell to the ground, hitting it hard enough to jar her ribs. Her hands barely caught her and some part of her urged her to continue. Desperate, refusing to give up despite the stacked odds against her, she began to drag herself towards the forest.
So close, she thought weakly. So very close.
The darkness claimed her and she succumbed to its soothing emptiness but not before vaguely noticing the Formori receding.
Collins leaned over his ward and with a wet cloth, he dabbed her fevered brow. Whatever Miss Will had gotten herself into this time had almost killed her. He frowned but worry held him back from thinking anything unjust. He hadnt known what to think when he had arrived home to find the pool house in such a state of disrepair. Then all thoughts had been wiped from his mind when he had come across the strange young man cradling his ward close to his chest while Master Malachi had been tending to the wounded Miss Irma. Miss Hay Lin and Miss Taranee had both been propped up against the wall, covered in dust with their heads tilted forward and Miss Cornelia was no where to be found.
What had they been doing while he had been gone? The pool was filled with chunks of rocks, the columns which had been snapped in half. What could possibly have caused such chaos? And who had hurt his poor Miss Will? Had it something to do with the stories she and her friends reminisced over during their sleepovers that carried down the vent to the laundry room? Had it something to do with the Faeries they had been discussing at breakfast?
He had never believed Faeries were real. The only ones he had ever read as a child were pretty tales about sugar stealing pixies. Of course he had heard the legends of the Fianna and isn and Finn Mac Cool but thats all they had ever been to him. Legends. Now he was beginning to wonder if they had a ring of truth to them.
What was Miss Will mixed up in?
And where was Miss Cornelia? When he had ventured to question the young man about her disappearance, he was rewarded with a snarl and a cool glare. The other girls simply shook their heads and refused to talk about the goings on. That was, after they had regained consciousness, which they had after ten minutes or so, which wasnt that worrying. The fact that Miss Will was refusing to wake up, worried him greatly. Her pulse was strong, her body temperature, despite the small fever, seemed normal and her pupils were responding to light. For all extents and purposes, she just seemed as though she was simply in a deep sleep and maybe she was. But the main thing he could do was keep an eye on her.
He had no idea where the mysterious young man was. The girls were in the spare rooms recuperating though he doubted Miss Irma would stay there very long. She out of all of them believed herself to be ok, and was stressing to anyone who would listen that she was fine. Miss Hay Lin said she would be fine, just a little shaky while Miss Taranee had retired to bed to sleep off a killer migraine.
He sighed heavily and sat down on the old creaky chair by her bedside and did something he hadnt done for a very long time, since his father had been murdered in fact. He prayed to the Lord that Miss Will and her friends would come out of this situation safely.
Calebs frustration with everything was palpable as he paced before the long mirror in the master bedroom. Collins had shown it to him when he had told him he needed a big mirror. This was supposedly the biggest one they had and it was nothing like being back in Meridian. He scowled at the cloudy screen before him. Aldarn had told him to wait and he didnt like that. He didnt like having to wait on the princess. He was used to just speaking when he wanted to and going when he wanted to.
What he had to say was urgent, dammit! Cornelia was gone! Gone! And he didnt know where. He had been distracted by Will hitting the wall after Cornelia had summoned up a large leaf to catch her friend like a glove and when he turned back to the blonde, she was gone and so was that faerie.
And Will hadnt woken up yet. She must have hit her head, there had been blood when he had examined her but at least, he comforted himself, she wasnt dead. That was something to be grateful for. But now she was pale and lifeless, lying in that bed that was far too big for her and just emphasized how tiny she was.
Out of the corner of his eye, he noted that the mirror was clearing and he turned to face it, standing to attention. His feet snapped together, his left hand moved behind his back while the other fisted and tapped his chest in salute, before joining the left as Elyon came into view.
Caleb? Is there something wrong?
The sweet dulcet tones of the girl who would be queen filled the room. Her blue eyes rounded with concern as she saw the state he was in. His eye was bruised, his lip cut and scratches marred his cheek. A small gash dribbled blood down his temple which he absently brushed away. He was nursing his ribs and his left leg didnt look so good. What happened? Are you ok?
He nodded grimly. We were attacked.
Oh no. She whispered, rising to her feet while Aldarn and Drake exchanged looks over her head.
Cornelias been taken.
Elyon squeezed her eyes shut tightly and bit her upper lip. I should have known. I shouldnt have taken so long. Im so sorry Caleb. What happened?
He opened his mouth to repeat that they had been attacked before he caught himself. Now wasnt the time to be sarcastic and besides, he knew she was asking him for a more thorough account of how her best friend had been taken from them. We went out. Irma and Cornelia stayed home. Then Will said Cornelia was in trouble. By the time we got back, we found Kerrigan-
Drake frowned at this unfamiliar term. Kerrigan?
The Faerie. He was in the pool house where hed trapped the girls and Malachi.
Wills cousin? Elyon winced. There was another mind she would have to wipe.
Caleb nodded, stuffing his hands into his pockets and hunching his shoulders. I shouldnt have gone. I should have been there. But- He trailed off. He had been about to blame Will for making him go but that was a lie. She hadnt made him go anywhere. Cornelia hadnt wanted his company. That was the truth. She had wanted to be on her own. The guardians fought with Kerrigan but he was too strong. The girls ended up unconscious and he took Cornelia.
Elyon lowered her gaze to the ground and sighed. Once upon a time she was just a girl, now she was a queen whos best friend had been kidnapped. But Cornelia had risked everything to get her back when she had been lured to Meridian and Elyon would do everything in her power to get back her best friend. Though somehow, she figured there was more to Calebs story than he was letting on.
How are the others? She questioned quietly.
Theyre ok. Wills unconscious. He choked out. She has been since the battle.
Elyon did the math and blinked in surprise. Three hours. What he do to her?
He threw her into a wall! He intended to kill her! Caleb spat viciously, the memory of how Wills body had crumpled to the ground still fresh in his mind. She had always been so slight and petite compared to the other girls and to see her looking so battered had nearly destroyed him. If it hadnt been for Cornelia using her powers at the last minute, Will would be dead or at the least, seriously wounded.
Oh no. Elyon sighed heavily.
She pressed a hand to her trembling lips and tried to maintain her composure but her friend was gone and she couldnt do anything. What was the point of having powers if she couldnt help her friends when they needed her? After everything they had done for her, she was unable to pay them back. She swallowed the lump that was rapidly gathering in her throat.
We need to find Cornelia. I promised her I would. He spoke directly to Aldarn and the green skinned man nodded abruptly, reacting to the commanding tone in his friends voice.
I know Caleb.
More than likely they went to Faerie. Drake added.
Well assemble the troops and-
STOP! I am the Princess of Meridian. I will be Queen and you will not speak over my head. You have no authority to make these decisions without me! Elyon snapped angrily, jumping to her feet so that strands of wispy blonde hair fell from the complicated braid wrapped around her head.
You never minded before. Caleb retorted petulantly.
Well your orders never put us on the brink of war before. Tir-na-ng isnt a part of Meridian, Caleb. The people of Tir-na-ng arent rebelling against me. Tir-na-ng is another world. For us to enter without permission would be an attack on their Kingdom and they would react with force. Force we are not capable of fighting off. The Fey are powerful creatures far beyond anything weve ever faced. We must respect them or they will attack us and take this world as their own. She spoke calmly but passionately, trying to force her friend and captain to understand the direness of this situation. He was no longer captain of a rebellion force but of an army that was dedicated to the security of their world. He couldnt continue making rash decisions. Caleb, I understand your need to find Cornelia, believe me, weve been best friends forever. I dont want anything to happen to her either, but I have to handle these negotiations as politically correct as possible or I risk so many lives.
He scowled but nodded. He knew the pressure of being in such a position. As rebel leader he had been placed in charge of many a life that had hopes and dreams of Meridian becoming a free world. He had lost many a life but he understood that she had to make the decision that would cost the least amount of lives.
If you think you can get us a pardon into Tir-na-ng, then by all means.
Thank you Caleb. Although, the Queen has been most determined not to meet me.
His scowl darkened if possible. Well then do-
A knock at the door interrupted him and with a look of irritation, Elyon motioned for the messenger to enter which he quickly did, bustling in and bowing hurriedly.
Your Majesty, there is a woman in the mirror in your room. They are asking if you could meet with them immediately.
Elyon nodded. Thank you. Ill be along shortly.
Elyon, what about Cornelia? Caleb demanded. Making friends and having tea was something she could do later.
However, instead of taking offence, Elyon simply smiled mischievously. I think I may have found a way to get into Tir-na-ng. Caleb, I want you to stay with the guardians. They are at their most vulnerable now and theyll need your help. He opened his mouth to complain but a hand silenced him. Thats an order. Please.
His murky beryl green eyes flashed before he nodded curtly and saluted once more. The screen went blank and he sighed at his own reflection.
He hated waiting.
Elyon sat in her throne trying to sort out the last hours events. She had been preparing for her coronation when she had been summoned by her captain to be filled in on events that had led to her best friends kidnapping only to be followed up by a summons from the Queen of Faerie herself. It was almost overwhelming and far more eventful than anything that had happened in the past couple of years. Usually she had to take care of her kingdom which meant meeting with the representatives of each province of Meridian. Solving petty squabbles, sharing out the land equally, setting up a good infrastructure and controlling the comings and goings of the small world. Yet none of that compared to the past couple of days.
She had just had a formal summoning from the Queen of Faerie, or her representative to be exact. A small woman with a coif of curls and rhinestone glasses that made her inner teenager cringe. She was arranging for a safe passage to another world for her people and she had never felt more vulnerable in her life. She had been raised a human, not a Queen. She didnt understand half of what she had to do.
It was all well and good Julian ordering her to study up on various court policy but most of it rivaled with her inner diplomat. She was just not a monarchic person. She believed in democracy. She believed in freedom of speech to a point. She didnt really think she would like someone cursing her in the streets and inciting a riot.
Of course, she didnt believe in false propaganda either. She wanted to be known as a fair leader. However, Aldarn had insisted that there was a way to be fair yet ruthless and that if she was to be Queen, she would need to do this because other realms would always see her as weak. She had to prove her worth to them and this was one of those times.
If she didnt handle this right, she risked the life of her friends and the slaughter of her people and the loss of her kingdom. People were always looking for a kingdom of their own. She had to find a way to go to Faerie, find Cornelia and keep her land safe. Just how was the question.
Naturally, the smartest thing to do was alert her ally to her plight. By informing Lord Quinn, he would be ready for her arrival and that might way lay those who would seek to ambush her before her formal arrival in court. She needed someone to tell her what she was to expect from this foreign world. The Realm of Faerie was older than nearly all other realms. The Faeries believed themselves descended from the gods, no other race or world could claim that so honestly and with proof to back them up. There was so much power within their race that they would have many people strong enough to rule an entire realm such as Meridian without much problem. She couldnt claim to have that power because hers was recent and new. So very new to her.
She reached to the bag sitting on the table nearby and it flew into her hand. Tipping it over into her hand, she took some of its contents and flung the sand onto the ground before her. Pouring just a jolt of power into the sand, she watched it swirl around on the floor before an image appeared.
She looked around the room shown before her. There was such splendor in it, such great richness that surprised her. Lord Quinn was no hierarchy in the Court of Faerie. He was simply a nobleman and head of his clan but they were a small group of people. He had lost most of them to his uncle who claimed Quinn was too weak and too immature to be King of them. Of course, that point was moot due to the fact that the Queen allowed no King for the Formori, they were to be members of her court and no more, no less.
Elyon got the feeling that if she had her way the Formorian Prince would not be allowed into the Court of Faerie, that the Formori would be exiled to some far away place but there were extenuating circumstances that prevented that. The Formori under Quinn were not allowed into the dark Throng since he would be true King of it but they didnt quite fit in the Court of the Shining People. They were dark creatures that took their power from dark things but Celeste tolerated them all because of something he had done some years ago.
But since he was no great power, it surprised her that he should live in such finery. He had a house to himself while many other lesser members of the court had to live under the roof of the Queens fort and vice versa for the people in the Dark Throng.
A face appeared in the circular screen and blinked owlishly at her. Milady Elyon?
I wish to speak with the Lord of the Formori. She spoke clearly so the words would carry to the man in front of the screen. He nodded to show he understood and motioned with his hand for someone to fetch the Prince. It amused Elyon that those who were close to Quinn referred to him as prince while everyone else referred to him as Lord or nothing at all.
She knew the man before her. She had seen him many times with Lord Quinn when he contacted her or when she met him at certain galas hosted by many other royal households. He was Quinns captain of the guards, his second in command, his holy plague. Killian of his incredible beauty was known to enthrall his opponents before destroying them. He could entrance an entire group of people. His hair was a dark blackberry black with hints of purple and burgundy. His skin was the pure white of the Tuatha De Dannan, a clear hint that one of his parents had belonged to the Shining Throng. He was a beautiful man but what kept him from the Shining Throng was the patch of scales around one eye and the fact that that his eyes were red. However, that didnt detract from his beauty, not in her eyes.
Is your lord busy, Killian?
The young man blinked in surprised and she noted that he often blinked but rarely showed much emotion. I did not know that you recognized me, Princess Elyon, light of Meridian and her people.
We have met on occasion. I do not see why it is a great shock to you that I would recognize and know the name of the Princes most loyal bodyguard and friend.
Killian inclined his head. I am sorry, milady, I grow too familiar with the ways of the Queen and King.
Elyon sighed. She understood that. What she didnt understand was how royals just expected people to give their lives for them at a whim. She was taught that life, any life, was precious and yet she had heard of many dark things that had happened to the guards of Meridian at Phobos word. Never his hand. He would not sully himself by touching his guards. The only guard whos name he knew, bar Cedrics, was the gentle blue giant and that was because of his loyalties to the rebels.
She looked up as the doors were pushed open and Aldarn strode in, eyes alert and with a line between his brows. Then his gaze fell on the floor and he nodded to himself.
I felt the flare of power, your highness and came to investigate. Then he gave her a direct look which spoke volumes. What did she think she was doing contacting someone without her guards at her back? It did not exactly create a show of power, a young girl sitting in an oversized throne all by herself. It would make her look exactly that, a young girl barely more than a child. However, she had wanted to have this conversation on her own. When she had been contacted by the Queens representative, she had had Julian, Aldarn, Drake, Vathek and Tynar. Of course, her real circle of power was the guardians and when she showed up at the Faerie Court, they would have to be there in full guardian clothing.
She motioned for Aldarn to come to her side and she turned her attention back to Killian. I asked earlier if your lord is busy Killian. I can contact him again at another time.
Killian flinched as if struck. I am most apologetic your highness. My lord is not busy but he is occupied. However, you would not contact him unless it was of some importance so I shall wait for Sinead before I give you a direct answer.
She nodded understanding that Faeries did not like to lie. It was not about moral but about their superiority to humans. Humans thrived on their lies, the faeries would not lower themselves to human standards. If their truth would earn them pain, then they were not meant to speak at all, or so she had been told.
A woman stepped into focus and Elyon couldnt help but stare, nor, she noted, could Aldarn. She figured the woman to be Sinead. A tall, statuesque woman with nut brown skin, copper hair and great black eyes. A true member of the dark throng. She was slender but with the Amazon body stature. She was dressed in a purple bodice complete with a long red skirt with a long slit and red arm bands. There was a long knife in a sheath along her spine and Elyon was certain that there were more weapons, there was at least one sheath of throwing knives at her wrist however she couldnt see to be certain. A good body guard would have concealed weapons so well hidden that they might be able to keep them if captured.
She should have looked strange but there was something startlingly attractive about the woman, not just her beauty but the power that radiated from her. She was known as the Lords Sin by many. She would carry out the dirty deeds that her master would bid her. She had once belonged to the King of the Dark Throng but she had pledged her allegiance to Lord Quinn as soon as he came of age. No one was certain of the reason, some betted that it was because she was infatuated with him while others said that she would betray him when he was at the weakest but Elyon didnt believe that. There was just something about Sinead that gained her respect as well as her fear. She was like a tiger, someone you respected and admired but were wary of getting up close to.
Sinead lowered her mouth to Killians ear and spoke something that made him nod grimly.
Our lord cannot come here at this exact moment but if you will wait just a second, we will transfer you to him.
Elyon suppressed a giggle at the thought of how they made it sound as though she were merely contacting them by phone. She felt the tickle of power as the screen went black and then light began to show. It was a milky light as though the screen were covered with lime scale or some other white powdery substance. Then as though it were frost on a window, it began to melt to reveal the Lord of the Formori, sitting on the edge of a dark blue bed. His eyes were bleary with sleep and his hair was tousled. He looked as though he had just awoken and had only pulled on a robe over himself.
As the screen cleared further and the bed was more visible, she felt Aldarn stiffen. There on the bed was a young woman, sleeping curled up in a ball. Elyon pressed her lips together and was unsure how to proceed. If it were any other deity, she would be expected to ignore the fact that there was someone in his bed, a female in his bed. But this was Quinn, her ally, if not her friend.
Greetings Elyon, Princess of Meridian. Greetings to you too, Aldarn.
Elyon smiled. She always liked how he would greet her body guard however, only Aldarn as he didnt know Drakes name and felt it would be rude to greet one without the other. She would make sure to introduce them all at court so that he could greet them all. And hopefully, she would be able to do the same.
If this is a bad time, I can call later.
Quinn frowned and shook his head. No, I was going to contact you later. I was not sure of the time difference.
She mustered up a smile but was unsure how she could bring up the awkward topic of a woman in his bed. She wasnt willing for many to overhear a private conversation between them. It is approaching evening here.
He pressed a hand to his temple and seemed to suppressed a groan. He looked exhausted and that was a surprise. She had never seen him as anything other than perfect. But today he looked a wreck. She caught a glimpse of Aldarns line of thought and how he blamed the woman in the bed and she pressed her lips into a firm line, letting him feel her disapproval like a press upon his shoulders. He placed a hand on her shoulder in a gesture for forgiveness and she granted it immediately.
You look exhausted my friend, if you do not mind me saying. Did I wake you from your slumber?
He snorted ruefully and sighed. It is not yet eleven here. I have not been to sleep yet.
At her surprised look which she quickly tried to suppress, he laughed. You think I have been to bed with her. He looked back at the woman in his bed and his expression softened. She has been injured. I have been taking care of her.
Aldarn cleared his throat and she felt sure it was to hide a chuckle. Quinns face darkened ominously. You would do well to remember your place, Aldarn.
She hissed in a breath between her teeth. He means no disrespect. What you do in your own time is your own business, milord.
He ran a hand over his face and exhaled loudly, caught between a growl and a moan. You refer to me as your lord, Elyon. I believe I am making you nervous. Dont be. I mean you or yours no harm. You are my friend, you seek nothing that I have and you have nothing that I want. We can be true allies in a way not many leaders can be. He closed his eyes and some control seemed to come back to him, as though he were finally waking up. I did not mean to snap at you so, Aldarn. I would like it if you would accept my apology.
Of course, your highness. Came the gracious reply and the young lord seemed to lose some burden from his shoulders as he sat straighter.
She came to me injured and drained of her energy. From being in the company of another Sidhe, we regain our energy and in turn, she will be able to heal herself. I do not know how to explain it better than that.
You do not have to explain. Elyon hurried to reassure him but he seemed not to hear as he leaned back to check her wound. He gave a satisfactory nod before returning his attention to them.
Now what is it that you contacted me about?
Elyon gave him a brief run through ending with: The Queen contacted me-
The Queen herself? I heard she was ignoring your calls in an attempt to be petty.
Elyon frowned. She hated to be looked down upon so much by the Fey community, it was an insult to her as a soon to be Queen. I was told she was hunting with the Sluagh.
The Lord rolled his eyes. She is petty, that is her nature.
Im beginning to realize that. She sighed. The Queen herself didnt contact me however, but I have negotiated passage to the realm of Faerie and their court with her representative.
Did you have to barter anything?
Elyon shook her head. The Queens people were most obliging.
Quinn scoffed. Of course she was. She had no choice. My She, He motioned to the girl on the bed, has claimed to have seen your guardian on Faerie soil. In other words a Sidhe, Kerrigan you say- that bastard, I will see him rot for this- has entered your territory without any passage. In essence, he has trespassed and you have every right to invade her realm in retaliation, hence why she gives you free passage now. She keeps control on something that would eventually have happened to avoid a war.
But I would never have attacked her or hers. She is far too powerful for my people. I would not even hope to win.
Keep that information to yourself. Your guardians have given you much credit in the supernatural worlds. You are a power unto yourself and you must keep up this mystery for as long as possible. When you are in faerie, do not give anyone a reason to duel you or your cover will be blown. He ordered and she felt Aldarn agree with him. Typical ganged up on by men. However, you overestimate the Faerie court. Celeste is struggling to keep it together. People are losing faith in her and that in turn is losing her power.
Comprehension dawned on Elyon. Of course, like the gods lost their power, without faith you fade and lose your powers.
Quinn nodded. Celeste will always be powerful because she is a high ranking Sidhe of royal blood but she will not be powerful enough to fight off another Sidhe of the same power who has more faith behind them.
Such as the King of the Dark Throng.
And thats why he keeps you out of the Dark Throng. He fears you will gain more support and in turn challenge him, taking his power and weakening him enough to destroy him.
Quinn nodded again. However, I am gaining support in the Faerie Court much to Celestes disapproval.
The Goblins and the Giants?
Everyone who was not a member of the Tuatha De Dannan and those who will never belong to any of the two throngs, who have courts of their own are beginning to forge alliances with me.
Elyon couldnt help the smile that quivered on her lips. That is so great. They cannot stop you, Quinn, and once youre in power, your people will be more powerful than ever.
Quinn looked grim for a moment before nodding. I have a few more things to work out before I secure a strong enough powerbase that Celeste will not be able to throw me out of her court. But I will return my people, Fey and Formori alike to the power they once held in the Emerald Isle.
I wish you luck.
He nodded. Now your guardians. You say the leader is unconscious.
Elyon nodded. They say shes asleep but shes not waking up.
And that does not concern you? He asked quietly as if it should.
She used an extraordinary amount of power. Did something I did not even know she was capable of doing nor knew how to do. I figure she will be out of it for a long while.
But three hours without even a hint of awareness. Your other guardians have not been affected in the same way?
No. She murmured softly.
And- He broke off as the bed beneath him moved and he looked over his shoulder to see the young woman wake and slowly stretch. How do you feel? He questioned her gently but there was no tenderness in his face. He was not a man prone to expressions for they showed weakness.
The woman yawned and drew a hand through her short white hair. Then she frowned at the mirror. Her eyes narrowed suspiciously and Elyon felt as though shed just intruded into another womans territory -which she hadnt. Shed been filling in her ally.
May I present, Elyon, Princess of Meridian.
Nice to meet you. Came the curt reply.
Quinn seemed to want to say something but didnt, instead he looked at Elyon through the mirror. You said that Kerrigan touched her last?
Yes, when he threw her against the wall.
And she has not woken since. Raising a hand to his soft lips, the Lord began to think deeply about the problem. It is possible that he has be-spelled her. That would explain her three hour sleep. He looked to the woman who, though still sleepy, seemed to be as deep in thought as he.
Finally, she looked up at Elyon with a grim expression. Is she dreaming?
Her voice was soft and feminine without the high pitched tone. Her eyes were a vivid gold with flecks of something else. Her hair a short shoulder length white blonde, sleek and flicked back from her face. Her skin was as white as the purest snowflake and dressed in a pale peach chemise, she looked painfully fragile. The feminine look did not go well with the dark expression.
I do not know. My captain mentioned nothing of her dreams.
Quinn frowned at the woman. You believe that he has cast her into a nightmare and is feeding off her?
It is something Kerrigan would do. As well as being a Leannn, he has hints of an Uamhan in him.
A faerie with the power to frighten people. They can feed of that fear as Leannns can feed of lust.
If hes just a Leannn, how can he do both?
True Fomori feed off the feelings they invoke in people. Fear, Lust, Anger, Pride, Envy, Greed, that sort of thing. Kerrigans father was a full blooded Formorian and his mother was a Leannn.
So hes more Leannn but has traits of both.
Exactly. However, he tends to only feed on lust and fear and sometimes Anger. However, the others are less of a meal and not nearly as satisfying. Quinn explained. But Kerrigans other name is Tromlu or Nightmare. He can put people into deep dark dreams and feed of their deepest fears.
If he wanted a feast, he probably should have tried Taranee. Elyon muttered dryly before biting her tongue. Now how exactly did that comment help her? She caught Aldarns look and knew shed be receiving a talk from Julian before the night was out. So how do we wake Will from the dreams?
You dont. The woman blurted out crassly and received a harsh glare from Quinn in the process. I can though.
She is known as the Naofa Moth, Blessed Awakener.
She can wake-
Im sitting right here. Do not talk at me as though I were not. The girl growled darkly, eyes changing to a dark bronze with her temper.
Cool your temper, mo muirin. Whatever he called her earned him a very dirty look from the woman and she suddenly looked young, though she only looked about nineteen or twenty to begin with but Elyon was aware that Faeries often looked younger than they were but this girl looked young. It wasnt just that she looked young, she acted young. Who was this girl other than the Naofa Moth?
Im going to find Nomad and my Shadow. The girl rolled off the bed, away from Quinn and stomped out of the bed, not seeming to mind that she was in a negligee.
Elyon watched her go then looked back at the Lord sitting on the bed just in time to see the naked pain on his face before his shields fell down and his expression became remote. Whatever was going on between him and the girl, it was important enough for him to lose his control in front of another leader. Or maybe it was because it was her that he let his control slip.
He jerked his head, life flooding back into his face as he looked at her again. I apologize for her behavior. She is still young yet and does not always understand how she must behave.
Its ok. What about Will?
My She has gone to fetch Nomad, he is my traveler.
What does your traveler do? Aldarn wondered.
He can travel through any type of portal. Such as this mirror as long as the medium is kept open.
Youre coming here, Elyon realized suddenly.
To your friend, Will, yes. We must wake her up before he makes her too weak.
Elyon nodded. It made sense so she saw no problem with it. She just had to make arrangements with her guardians so that the mirror would stay open between them.
Caleb brushed a hand along the forehead of the girl lying in the bed before him and pulled back as though scalded. Her skin was cool to the touch but his fingers tingled maddeningly at that brief contact. Fisting his hand, he scowled down at her. She was in a coma and Cornelia was gone and his fingers were tingling because hed touched her.
He folded his arms firmly and scowled darkly, his foot tapping impatiently against the floor. Why did she have to get hurt? Why did she have to go?
He was going to kill that Faerie!
Calebs glaring a hole in the wall again! Hay Lin sighed heavily looking over at Irma hoping to prompt a smile from the usually witty water guardian but since the attack, Irma had been stoic and grim. It was a scary look for her and something Hay Lin wasnt comfortable with. She wanted everyone to act like everything was normal, she could feel everyones pain and worry but worse, she couldnt feel much from Will but when she touched her she felt fear. Such unbelievable fear. She shivered and pulled her knees up to her chest.
On the other side of the bed, Taranee was reading up on brain patterns and comas but there was nothing in there about being attacked by a Faerie, Hay Lin thought darkly. If she ever saw that Faerie again, hed regret the day he attacked them. They were W.I.T.C.H. Without Will and Cornelia they were just I.T.H. That wasnt even funny, it was just sad and sort of made her sound like she had a lisp when she tried to roll it around on her tongue. Ith. Ith. Definitely lispy.
If we talk to her, maybe that can draw her out.
Sure, cos it always works on ER. Irma muttered and Taranee flinched from the tone. It was a tone that said her comments werent worth listening to and just made her want to retire to her room but she couldnt leave Will.
Irma. Hay Lin growled, wiggling in her seat. All these emotions that werent hers squirming around inside her was making her nauseous.
Well what do we talk to her about? Oh hey, Will, youre in a coma? How do you feel about that? Irma snarled. If Will was awake, you know what shed want us to do. We should be looking for Cornelia. Thats what Will would want us to do.
How can we look for her? Hay Lin questioned in a small voice. She wasnt the dominant of the group, she was quite happy to let Irma, Cornelia and Will take control but Irma was losing her control. Probably because Irma could slip between dominant and submissive depending on who was with her. Cornelia and Will were the decision makers. Even Caleb but they didnt answer to him. They answered to Will and Cornelia because she was second in charge. Now both were out of commission and everything was falling apart.
Hay Lins right. Without Will the heart wont work.
We dont know that. Irma ground out, stalking the length of the room. Her long legs easily ate up the carpet and that did nothing to help her lose the energy that was building up inside her.
The heart wont work for you. Caleb bit out. And I cant believe youd even think about using it.
Shouldnt you be looking for Cornelia, shes your girlfriend!
Hay Lin whimpered drawing herself further into her little ball. A hand fell on her shoulder, rubbing it soothingly and she looked up startled to see Malachi standing over her, offering her a comforting smile. She smiled tentatively back but it faded as she caught the dark look that Irma sent her.
Back off Irma. Youre upsetting Hay Lin, you hurt Taranee and now youre picking a fight with Caleb. Tell me how this is supposed to help Will?
Irma flinched as though physically struck and shrank back, tears shimmering in her eyes as she pressed her lips together to stop them from trembling.
Malachi sighed and moved closer to wrap the slender brunette in his arms but she backtracked quickly, holding up her hands.
If you hug me or try to comfort me, Ill cry. Im not going to cry. She denied with a desperate shake of her head, ducking her head so they wouldnt see the tears that burnt fiercely. She wouldnt cry. She never cried. She was the witty one. She provided the humor in stressful situations. She never broke down. She left the tears and the whining to Cornelia. But Cornelia wasnt here and Will was unconscious; she had to remain strong. She couldnt break down. They were counting on her but she couldnt think of anything to do but hope that Will would come back to them.
Maybe we should take her to the hospital. Taranee uttered softly, warily keeping an eye on Irma in case she snapped at her. Her nerves were strained taut like a guitar string. If they were continuously plucked and pulled then they were going to break. She couldnt handle stress. She took out the small vial Yan Lin had given her and dripped a few drops onto the pallet of her tongue. She inhaled deeply before blowing it out gently.
Yeah, cos the wings wouldnt be a dead giveaway. Irma muttered with a roll of her eyes before she dismissed the comment with a wave. Sorry. But the wings until she changes back, theres nothing we can do.
Do you think that Cornelia is still in guardian form?
None of you should be in guardian form. It usually wears off, doesnt it?
Irma shook her head. Will calls the guardian form back. Were stuck like this until she can draw the power back into the heart.
Caleb frowned and pondered the dilemma. He didnt want to take Will to this hospital place. He had heard of it and no good came from people going there. However, without Will and the heart, they could not take her to the healers of Meridian and Elyon had not offered them any such help. Maybe because she didnt believe it to be as serious but no illness was as serious in Meridian. Everything could be healed by the white mages. However, there were no white mages or even black mages in the realm of earth. They relied on their magick of science, a pitiful magick.
The heart is a power onto itself. Maybe if we were to ask it to retract the power, it would respond.
Like how it responded to Cornelia taking it without Wills permission. Hay Lin realized softly. It was angry.
Malachi rolled his eyes heavenward. Great so not only did the girls have wings, fight with elemental powers, but they also seemed to own a stone heart that had feelings. Great. Why was he even surprised anymore. Just accept and move on, he thought, glancing down at the green somber creature sitting on the seat beside him. On the other side of the room was the only normal being in the room, Toad the dog, who seemed to have developed a dislike of the green being or maybe disliked the smell, for he instantly crawled away from the green being whenever it came near him. Which was quite a feat when you took in how hurt the dog was, one of its legs was obviously broken and a splint had been fixed up by Collins until they could figure out what to do.
His gaze flickered to Irma. She stood with her legs braced, her arms folded and her wings fluttered just a bit, as though the muscles underneath rippled and caused them to move. Her foot, clad in a calve high boot, tapped distractedly as her blue eyes flickered over her friend. She looked the same, bar the wings and the extreme costume and the short skirt just wasnt her style, but there was an aura to her. A maturity and strength, almost as though that now, with the power inside her she stood straighter. A blue light, serene and calming swum around her tall, feminine frame.
He sighed. What was he supposed to do now? They had been on their way to forming a tentative relationship, something he felt could become something deeper, stronger but now-. He just wasnt sure. She had been hiding a big secret. He had guessed that the girls held some kind of secret between them but nothing he had ever thought of came close to this. They were possibly responsible for an entire world.
And what about Will? What kind of power and responsibility did she have on her shoulders? She went to school, hung out with her friends and lived a normal life but she had this burden that none of them had ever guessed at. Did her mother know? Were these people in this room the only people who knew that she had protected the earth from invasion from a different race and a cruel ruler?
From what he had gleaned from the others, Will had never shown any such power before. She had only ever been able to shoot light out to blind her opponents from the heart but nothing of the caliber she had shown in the pool house. Was that what had reduced her to this comatose state? And if so, what had she done before hand? When she battled without powers, how did she survive? Was she the weak link?
No, he didnt get that feeling from the way they spoke. They respected her without her powers. She was seen as powerful and the leader but she had nothing of the powers that the other girls showed. It seemed warped to him that the leader should be so defenseless. The leaders of the superhero comics he had read as a child had the leader as the strongest, so that if anyone should ever oppose him, he could battle them into submission. Will hadnt power to do that. She had just to rely on the respect of her friends, girls who hadnt been her friends that long at the start of their mission.
Sweet Jesus, Will, what did you go through? he whispered, sitting down in the seat beside her. He stroked her red hair off her brow and wondered if her wings hurt as she lay on her back.
It wasnt that bad. Hay Lin offered helpfully. We had each other and Will really kept us together. Shes strong, really strong and not just physically but mentally and emotionally. She kept us together.
She still does and she always will. Wills our leader. Taranee said with a warm smile.
Right and we have to wake her up. Irma joined them by the bed. So what were you saying about- What the-? She jolted suddenly and the others stared at her, before their heads whipped round to see what she was staring at.
The mirror. Hay Lin murmured, slowly getting to her feet. Her eyes lingered on the shadow in the mirror.
Get back. Caleb ordered stepping in front of the girls, a hand lifting the pole he had fashioned as a weapon. He twirled it experimentally and watched the shape in the mirror grow.
Malachi moved forward. What is that in the mirror?
Somethings coming through. Taranee whispered, clutching Hay Lins hand in hers.
Irma growled, her hand swimming with blue power. Oh yeah, I hope so. Lets see him try to take Will.
The mirror began to ripple like a pebble had been dropped into its depths, then the figure became clear, to reveal Elyons pretty face in the mirror.
Guys, Im sending through someone to help Will.
Sending through where?
The mirror. Malachi whispered.
Elyon nodded and curtseyed. You must be Malachi, Wills cousin. If only we had met on better circumstances.
Princess Elyon. He greeted with a duck of his head, quite unsure how to respond to the pretty young woman wrapped in gilded riches.
You must step back and allow them through. She ordered and was promptly gone, once again leaving them staring at the dark silhouette behind the milky surface.
What did she mean by that? How is someone going to come through the mirror? Is there a passage way behind it or something? Taranee fretted trying to work out just where all the exits were if they needed to make a run for it. Then she shook her head. If they needed to fight, she would fight fire with fire but Elyon would never purposely put them in danger.
Magick prickled into the room, filling it with a warm presence and stealing their breaths. The mirror began to shimmer and a hand seemed to extend from it. They gasped, unable to contain their impressed soft exclamations as the mirrors reflective surface began to dwindle, spiraling down to a silver dot surrounding by inky darkness. It was almost as though the hand behind the silvery surface had pulled it into the black hole. And then
Oh my god. Taranee choked out, eyes growing wide.
People. Hay Lin uttered.
Indeed it was true, a group of people were walking through the darkness, tiny little people like live Polly Pockets growing up into Barbie sized humans.
Well thats the way to travel. Irma muttered.
Calebs hand clenched on the stick in his hands as he glanced back at Will, making sure that should they show any indication of harm towards her, they would have to go through him. And then the Barbie sized people grew and continued to grow until they began to climb out of the hole between the mirrors frame.
Faeries. Malachi whispered and Irma shot him a surprised look, she had yet to ask how he knew how to identify faeries because she couldnt see any similarities to them and Kerrigan.
Except that one man was long, lean and bald with intricate celtic knots and other symbols decorating most of his body. He wore little but a fur loin cloth and a strap over his tanned chest that kept something concealed at his back. Another was tall and broad shouldered, shoulder length blue hair hid part of his tanned face but didnt detract from his attractiveness. He wore more clothes, trousers that fitted into his boots, a long white cloak with sapphire gems at the shoulders and a dark blue silk shirt that was laced at the chest. There was a regality to him that she couldnt quite pinpoint.
The one beside him was female, delicate and white haired with shining white skin and golden eyes. She wore an elaborate dress but the skirt was short and the cloak long and a sword was at her side. And behind her was a shadow, a literal shadow. It had no real shape, no gender but was a dark silhouette against the white walls of Wills bedroom. At first Irma wasnt even sure it was another member of their party but it moved on its own and seemed to have no ties to the others and it was solid.
The man with blue hair stepped forward and bowed lowly, keeping his eyes locked on Caleb. Greetings, Captain Caleb, Guardians of the veil. I am Quinn, Lord of the Formori-
At this announcement Malachi made a soft sound under his breath and Irma shot him a look out of the corner of her eye. He was sheet pale and his eyes were more pupil than iris. He looked frail and ready to faint at any second. Alarmed, she reached for his hand, rubbing a thumb over his pulse in an effort to soothe him.
Is that her? The woman asked; striding towards the bed but was stopped when Malachi wrenched his hand out of Irmas grip and stepped in front of her.
The woman stared at him before she smiled sorrowfully and shook her head. I am not Saoirse, I am her sister, Aisling. But you are Malachi, the boy whos life she did save. I remember you. Maybe not from my own memories but I know that she was very fond of you.
He nodded dumbly, his Adams apple bobbing. Youre her sister Is she ok?
Saoirse of the night died four years ago, killed by a creature most vile. She died protecting her family and our world. She was a noble member of the Sidhe with a pure soul.
The guardians and Caleb looked around from the voice that seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere at once. None of the men had spoken and the young womans mouth had not moved as she smiled wanly at Malachi, lost in her own thoughts.
Aislings Shadow speaks to you. Quinn informed them. But now is not the time. Youre friend may be in dire trouble. She will need our help.
My help. Aisling barked shooting him a dark glare.
You will need my assistance, mo luaith. The Lord snapped back, flint eyes glinting.
Yeah, I hate to break up the love fest but my friend is kind of in mortal danger, so you know, work your pixie magick.
Aisling raised a brow at Irma who towered over her. Look whos calling who a pixie! FYI, you might wanna lay off the wings, its so overdone.
Irma smirked. I didnt ask for the costume, but the powers, yeah they kick ass!
Whos? The Toothfairys? Heres some friendly advice, the tooth fairy aint such a big fighter. And I prefer steel to a show of power, so put down the hand before I chop it off!
The Lord shouted and the girl cringed, suddenly looking younger as she shrank back and shot him a reproachful look before she moved to the red head in the bed. So frail, so fragile. Shes not usually so weak. Shes lost, so very lost. He has sent her somewhere cold.
Hay Lin nodded. Shes so cold and lost and alone. She doesnt know where to go. You have to show her.
Aisling looked up surprised. An empath. I can help her. But I need some privacy.
The guardians looked to Irma who shook her head. No way. Im not leaving her. Weve already lost Cornelia to a faerie-
Dont refer to Kerrigan as a Faerie. Hes a vile, disgusting, Sidhe who deserves to rot for all hes done.
Ash, mo muirnin, please. Quinn murmured softly. This is not the time. Please, let her have some privacy. We mean you no harm. If you like, you can leave one who you trust to remain with your leader but the others must leave. The She must have some room to work.
What will you do? Irma wondered cagily.
Trust her, if shes the sister of Saoirse, then she will do no harm.
Irma glared at Malachi. What did he know? Just because he was bewitched by one of them didnt mean he knew what they were all like. Shed just seen a damn faerie steal one of her closest friends away and now her best friend was lying in a bed looking close to dead. Trust them? She didnt trust any of them as far as she could throw them. Though that wasnt saying much for the girl, it looked as though a gust of wind could knock her over. Pitiful little pixie.
I will enter her dreams and guide her out of them. I wont hurt her. Thats not why Im here. Just leave it to me. Aisling beseeched the suspicious brunette with the flashing blue eyes. Choose someone to stay if you wish, but I will not hurt her. You have my word.
And thats supposed to mean something? Irma thought snidely but curbed her tongue and sarcasm. She glanced at Caleb, taking her cue from the older member of their group but his expression was torn. He seemed to want to stay with Will but so did she and he knew it. She sighed, feeling Malachis hand on her shoulder.
You should stay Caleb. She said softly, looking to the other two guardians who looked as torn as he did but they too nodded and agreed that Caleb would be the best to keep Will safe. Thats what he did best most of the time when he wasnt mooning over Cornelia. Since both of them had never had any powers, he and Will had become a team. If one needed help the other would be there. They could count on each other to come to the rescue and when Caleb spotted something, he could be sure that Will would be quick to follow his orders. They had been partners for most of the battles despite the fact that the guardians were a team, she was the one who worked best with him. Which was another reason that Irma had believed that the two would become something to each other sooner or later. But that didnt happen, life was funny that way.
If you dont mind? he queried and they shook their heads.
Aisling dismissed the Nomad and her Shadow. They followed the guardians and the passling out of the door. She turned to the Lord of the Formori and she reached out a hand to him. He gazed at it impassively and she quickly dropped it. Will you stay with me please?
She nodded and inhaled deeply, her gaze moving curiously to the dark haired youth looking down upon the young girl. His gaze was troubled and concerned and she envied his affection for her. Sighing, she moved to the bed and sat down on it, stroking the girls cool brow. So, so cold. Kerrigan would pay.
What are you doing? Caleb demanded, watching as the girl slid into the bed with Will, face to face.
What I must. The girl replied. Brigid, take me to her. Guide my thoughts, lead the way.
She lay down beside the red haired guardian, noting the pale skin lightly dusted with freckles along the nose and cheekbones. She reached across and laid a hand on her petal soft cheek and closed her eyes, concentrating on evening her breathing. Behind her eyelids, lights danced over the darkness. She cast her senses out and felt the concerned, stoic, warrior that kept watch over the guardians at the foot of the bed and her own protector, hero and dark knight sitting in an arm chair with an air of calm. Then in the darkness, she could see the red haired guardian standing on a road high up in the air surrounded by darkness.
Quinn tensed as he felt the girl sink into the dreams. Immediately he rose to his feet but didnt step forward when he caught sight of the young man to his right.
Is there something wrong? Caleb wondered, hoping to god that Will was ok. He couldnt lose Will. Not Will. He needed her there. She was his strength, the one person he could count on in this world. She was the one he ran through his ideas with and if she didnt like them she would tell him straight up. He valued that honesty and that quick mind that could come up with better strategies despite having grown up in a town that wasnt ravaged by fighting. He couldnt lose Will. Without her, hed have no chance in hell of finding Cornelia. Irma and the others just werent the same. He didnt trust them as much to have his back.
Nothings wrong. I just worry for her every time she does this. Shes still so new.
New? New? What did new mean? Did she know what she was doing? Was she going to save Will or doom her to an eternity trapped within her own mind? Questions and fear pierced his mind but Quinn quickly held up a hand.
She knows what shes doing. It is merely a concern, just as you would have a concern for even your most experienced soldiers going out to war.
Caleb accepted that grudgingly but if needs be, hed break that girls head open before he let her hurt his Will. And somehow, he had a feeling that the man beside him, despite his outwardly calm expression, felt the exact same for his ward.
Well there’s the end of this chapter. Will Aisling be able to get through to Will? What has Kerrigan and the Dark King got in store for Cornelia? How will the guardians get Cornelia back and will Elyon ever get coronated? This will all be revealed in the next installment of Waking Dreams. Oh and thank you to the kind CXC reviewer, your review really perked me up. I’m glad that I’m portraying Cornelia well. I like her, I just don’t think her and Caleb work but that’s just me.
Anyways, thanks for the reviews and keep reviewing, they encourage me when I’m writing and I’m entering into very political parts of the fic now, hope it’s not too boring.