“What?” She asked groggily. “What’s wrong?”
“Well, where would you like us to start, with the heavy breathing, the sensual moans or the near orgasmic way you called out your mate’s name?”
Sally felt the blood rushing to her face as she remembered what she had been dreaming about.
“I didn’t know you had it in you Sal. I mean seriously, it was completely shameless.”
Sally groaned as she covered her burning face.
“It’s okay Sally. It isn’t your fault that your mate took advantage of you while you were sleeping,” Jacque piped in.
Sally’s head came up at Jacque’s words and she leaned around the girls. Her eyes found him immediately. The flames from the fire reflected in his eyes and danced around the hazel iris. With a wicked gleam and slight grin he mouthed, “Your move.”
Sally threw herself back on her pallet while the girls still watched. She closed her eyes canceling out their curious stares as she muttered, “Check mate.”
“How did we get here? I’ve asked myself that question many times over the past several days. It’s so easy to get caught up in the chaos of our wants, desires, and forgets that there are consequences to each of our choices. I sit with my best warriors realizing the path that we are on and have no idea how to jump off. I ask myself again, how did we get here? I know the answer, but I am not ready to face my own selfishness.”
~ Ainsel, King of the Pixies
Ainsel stood staring through the trees towards the last known location of the veil to the underworld. The location Mona had showed him. He had agreed to help Mona stop the Warlock King from going back on his word, and the longer he stood there staring, the more foolish he realized his agreement had been.
Dae, the captain of his warriors, asked, “Are you well my king?”
“I am as well as can be expected in times such as these, Dae.” Ainsel’s face was grim, his lips drawn tight under the tension.
“You are only doing what is necessary to care for your own.”
Ainsel looked at Dae. He was not only a warrior, but also a friend. “At what price? Are the lives of others worth less than ours? At some point we have to ask ourselves if doing what is necessary, is right, and if it is not then is it truly necessary?”
“You really weren’t expecting him to help were you?” Lilly ask Cyn as they stood in the human realm, just beyond the Veil to the Elves.
“The Elves are a secretive race and do not give their loyalties lightly. They have never before entered into the affairs of the other supernaturals,”
“That is not a true statement,” Thalion interrupted Cyn as he crossed through the Veil. Following closely behind him, more male elves emerged, all as tall and muscular as the one before. There were twenty elves standing behind Thalion when the parade finally ended.
Cyn watched Thalion calmly, though inside she was feeling emotions that she had buried, and for good reason.
She dropped his gaze and turned back to Lilly. “To answer your question simply, no I did not expect him to leave his realm to assist us.”
“As interesting and no doubt romantic as I’m sure the story is, we need to be moving,” Cypher interrupted as he took Lilly’s hand and pulled her back to his side.
Thalion nodded his agreement, and then motioned for one of the elves behind him to step forward. The elf held out a beautiful bow with intricate designs carved into the wood. He also pulled a leather quiver of arrows from his shoulder and handed them to Cyn.
“As you know, we have our own magic. The arrows will continue to appear as they are needed.”
“There isn’t any way you could make that happen with chocolate is there?” Lilly asked, only half joking.
Thalion’s head tilted as he looked at Lilly, and she felt like a bug on a microscope under his scrutiny.
“Okay, apparently the definition of supernatural is one without a sense of humor,” she muttered.
Another of the elves stepped forward and gave Cypher a bow as well and a quiver of arrows.
“We will need to move quickly to track the beast. We had to use a vehicle to get here from where we encountered him,” Cypher explained.
“We won’t need to travel all that way again,” Thalion informed him. “We can bring the beast to us, especially if he knows your scent already.”
“How?” Lilly asked.
“I imagine Cyn explained that their sense of smell is beyond what you could comprehend, and once they start a hunt, they never abandon it. If he smells any of your blood, he will come.”
“She decided to explain that part when the giant lizard started chasing us for the second time.” Lilly’s eyes narrowed at Cyn, who gave her customary shrug.
“I take it you are going to want some blood?” Cypher asked Thalion.
“That would be best. Draheim never stop hunting their prey once they have targeted it. As long as he thinks you are in his territory, he will come for you.”
Lilly let out an exasperated laugh. “This just keeps getting better and better.”
Cypher pulled a sheathed dagger from his thigh and cut a slash across his palm. He rubbed it on several trees and plants in a large circle. Once he was satisfied that it was enough, he went over to Lilly and eyed her grimly. “This won’t be pleasant, but it’s necessary.”
“Necessary rarely equals pleasant. Let’s just get it over with.” She held her hand out to him and he sliced the blade across her palm as quickly as possible. She winced and gritted her teeth against the pain. She chose different trees to place her blood in the opposite direction of Cypher so that they could cover more ground. Cyn followed behind Lilly also placing her blood on different trees and plants.
“So, what now?” Lilly asked.
Thalion leaned back against a tree, with his eyes steady on the sky. “Now, we wait.”
Two hours and twenty games of tick tack toe later, Lilly’s head tilted back to the sky at the unmistakable whoosh of giant wings on the wind. She rose to her feet and, like the others, waited for the beast to come into sight. Despite the danger they knew was flying above them, none of them could deny the magnificence of the draheim.
It made two large swooping circles, drifting lower with each one. Its head was pointed down as its large, snake like eyes searched for its prey. On the third swoop, it seemed to pause in midair, its great wings flapping, holding itself in place. The beast’s eyes narrowed as he stared straight at where they were standing.