“Wait,” Lilly said, holding her hand up as she stopped. “You know how to drive?” She looked up at Cypher.

He rolled his eyes in exasperation. “Why, do you think we’ve been living in caves, grunting, and using animal bladders for water containers? We change with the times Lilly, we adapt. If we did not we would never make it in this world.”

Lilly realized that she was making them feel like they weren’t smart enough to learn new things and she felt like an ass. She looked at Cyn and then Cypher. “I’m sorry. I guess I thought that since you live in the mountains away from civilization that you couldn’t possibly know about technology.”

“We stay hidden, because it would become very suspicious to humans when they began to notice that we do not age.”

“Good point,” Lilly agreed. “Okay Cyn, lead on. Let’s go get some wheels.”

Cyn continued on at a more brisk pace.

Cypher didn’t have any trouble keeping up, whereas Lilly was pumping her legs as quickly as she could without actually running.

“Why do you talk like that?” Cypher asked.

“Like what?” Lilly asked, her words sounding airy from her heavy breathing.

“Wheels?” Cypher’s brow rose.

Lilly laughed and it too sounded winded. “I have a teenage daughter,” she frowned, “well had a teenage daughter. It’s hard, not to pick up on her lingo.”

Cypher thought about that for a moment. “So she talks very differently from you then?”

“It’s like a whole other language,” Lilly told him, shaking her head. After that Lilly fell silent, not because she didn’t have anything to say, but because she barely had enough air in her lungs to keep her feet moving, much less joke around with Cypher.

After what seemed like days of walking at a brutal pace, the trio walked out of the forest and onto a street in a place Lilly assumed must be Ruse. They jogged across an empty street, unnecessarily, as appeared that the road was used very seldom, and then passed behind a cluster of buildings. Cyn led them through an alley in between the buildings and when they stepped out of the alley Lilly’s breath caught at the dichotomy spread before her. Directly in front of her lay, the quaintest village Lilly had ever seen. But, instead of horse drawn carriages, which would have appeared much more natural, there were a smattering of late model vehicles parked here and there along the sides of the street. The earth tone colored buildings were constructed very close together and sported high, pointed roofs. Most were adorned with inviting front porches containing flickering lanterns, which hung on the walls next to the doors. It appeared to be a very old town, and Lilly felt as if she had been thrown back in time. People meandered along the street, stopping to talk to one another or frequent one of the many adorable shops lining the street. Lilly soon realized that each of the shops served an important function; a butcher, a seamstress, a general store. No Old Navy’s here, she thought.

Cypher took her hand and they turned left on the street and began walking. Lilly noticed Cyn peering into each vehicle they passed. They stopped in front of a brown sedan that was pulling up to the curb. Lilly watched as Cyn approached the car as the driver stepped out. Cyn began speaking animatedly to the man and though Lilly could not hear the words, she guessed that Cyn was attempting to talk the man into allowing them to borrow his car.

Lilly looked up at Cypher and saw that he wasn’t watching Cyn, but the street around them. He scanned the area disguising his actions as if he was just admiring the buildings. He managed to keep from looking like he was searching for a crazy witch so evil that curling up next to a starved lion sounded more appealing than being in the same room with her.

She squeezed his hand to get his attention and he paused his pursuit. “What’s Cyn telling that man?” Lilly nodded in the direction of the Fae in question.

Cypher’s lips quirked. “She’s just convincing the man of why it is such a good idea to let us borrow his car.”

“Convincing?” Lilly’s eyes narrowed.

“Cyn’s just using a little Fae magic to influence the man. We will get his car back to him Lilly. We aren’t thieves.”

Lilly’s brow rose. “So says the warlock king who made a deal with the devil.”

Cypher glowered at her. “You know, I’m not going to help her?”

“Yes, I know,” Lilly, told him as she squeezed his hand in reassurance.

Finally, Cyn looked back and waved them over.

Twenty minutes later they had put some miles between themselves and Ruse, and some poor man that was sitting at home thinking his car was getting repaired and would be returned as soon as it was in a safely operable condition.

Cypher drove in silence as he tried to contemplate the ramifications of what they were getting ready to do. He had never considered that he would one day have a human mate. And, now that he did, he was beginning to realize just how dangerous the match would be for her. He glanced at her from the corner of his eye as she sat in the passenger seat. Instead of eagerly watching the sights and sounds of a country she had never seen, her eyes were focused on the road ahead and he would bet his life that her mind was focused on the coming trial. Pride swelled in his chest as he thanked the Fates that they had given him such a strong mate, a mate who was willing to do what was necessary.

Lilly felt Cypher’s eyes on her. She looked over at him and met his yellow eyed stare. Her breath caught briefly as she took in his inhuman beauty. She had to admit that if she was going to be married to someone, she could do much, much, much worse. She smiled at him and then went back to staring at the road ahead and trying not worry about Jacque, trusting that Fane and his pack would take care of her. She missed her daughter with an ache only a mother would understand. She knew if she wanted to see Jacque again, then they had to do the things necessary to keep the world, as they know it, safe. If they didn’t succeed in stopping Desdemona, the repercussions would be devastating.

Lilly didn’t know how long it had been since they had last stopped for a bathroom break, which under her current circumstances she did not want to discuss, when Cypher pulled over on the side of the road. He parked the car as far off the road as he could without driving into the forest. He climbed out of the car without ceremony and Lilly scrambled to join him. Cyn moved so quietly that Lilly hadn’t noticed the Fae exiting the car. Cyn pointed up into the forest. “We are going to have to hike up there. We need to move quickly, but we must be wary as we get closer to their veil.”

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