Unraveling destiny the f.., p.22
Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles Book 5), page 22
“Just like old times,” Adam said with a smirk.
“We will need a building to interrogate him in. I know it would be easier to bring him back here, but we will also need to have eyes on the Guild. We need to be aware of every move they make, and being close will accomplish both goals. The building will need to be soundproof, and have power to support comms and video. Adrian, you can find me one, right?”
“I can, easily. There’s a huge spike in repossessed buildings in the Fisher’s Market area, and it is close enough to the Guild that we can watch it while we handle business.”
“Then let’s go hunting, gentlemen,” I said softly as I stood and watched the men get up to leave. I waited for the room to clear as Ristan remained behind. Once the others had left, he turned angry, swirling eyes on me.
“You know you need me with you,” he snapped. “Olivia’s fine with the babies, but me, I’m needed with you. Don’t ask me to be idle in this. He’s my brother.”
“I know, but the others didn’t need to know that. I want you to watch our backs and I want you to do it from a safe distance until I say otherwise. I do need Sinjinn and Liam with us for this. I want you to give Olivia a reason to stay put and out of harm’s way.” His angry stance relaxed and his face softened at my words.
“You’re pale,” he said offhandedly.
“I gave Zahruk some power and I didn’t sleep,” I murmured.
“Something else is wrong,” he probed.
“No, it’s not. Let’s just say I had a bad Sluagh for dinner. C’mon, let’s do this,” I said, cutting him off.
The chosen building was empty except for the belongings of a homeless man, who Zahruk had ousted by paying him generously with enough money to purchase a new home. It overlooked Pike’s Place Market, and had a bird’s eye view of the Guild. Comms had been set up and everyone had body armor, comms, and a camera, including Zahruk, who refused to let me out of his sight.
Pike’s Place Market was a huge farmers market. It was one of the many attractions that brought tourists into Seattle. It was the epicenter of fresh produce, specialty foods, and other ingredients that were unlike any other in the state of Washington, or several others for that matter.
Huge fishing boats came and went from the pier, unloading fresh catches from the Pacific Ocean at all hours of the day and night. The fishmongers throwing fish at the market were always a huge hit with the tourists. Shops lined the pier, from butcher shops to produce stands that sold pretty much anything you could ever want. There were over two hundred unique shops that filled up the rest of the nine acres that comprised the market and drew large crowds, which made it full of bustling people until late into the night.
The noise level itself reminded me of the carnival that Adam, me, and Larissa had once snuck off to when Adrian had been in bed, laid up from an injury. There was the nauseating smell of too many foods being cooked at once as the noise of people droned endlessly on.
I’d once loved this place, and the old Historic area was something to see. It was almost as if you’d stepped back into another time and era. The economy had taken a hit here, and with most of the businesses being in the family and small business categories, it was sad to see.
I diverted my attention to Zahruk as he began talking. “So, the feed from the cameras will fill these screens. Each of your body cams has a pulse reader so we can monitor your vitals from here. If you get in trouble, we will know it and can intervene. We can hear everything being said via the comms. There are five Enforcers on the Pier; one is currently following a Pixie who seems rather harmless, other than her weird obsession with the fish throwing.”
I nodded to Zahruk and grinned. “That fish throwing is pretty badass,” I commented.
“Game plan?” he questioned, deliberately ignoring my comment.
I felt like shit. My body was working against me, and I refused to listen to it as I nodded in reply. The briny smell of the ocean mixed with the smells of the market had my senses in an uproar.
“Adam and I can lure one of the Enforcers away from his team. I can make myself look human enough to make it appear as if he’s feeding from me—that will catch enough attention to make them break protocol. We only want one, so if more follow us, handle them,” I said to Adrian and Vlad, who nodded. “By handle, I mean don’t kill them.”
“Didn’t plan on it, sugar,” Adrian said softly as he curiously watched me.
“Problem?” I asked, and he shook his head.
“You plan on telling the others?” he enquired carefully, and I blinked at him.
“Telling the others what?”
“Nothing,” he said, turning and leaving me standing there, confused.
I watched him as he walked to Vlad and nodded, and those silver eyes of Vlad’s moved to mine. Something like worry showed in them before he masked it and left with Adrian to get into position.
I turned to Adam, nodded, and quickly tested my comms and equipment as we made our way to our positions. Within minutes, we were outside and moving down the pier to the place where we had tracked down one of the Enforcers, who seemed younger than the others he was with.
“Just like old times, huh?” Adam said softly as he turned and smiled at me.
“New bodies, better equipment, it’s just not quite the same,” I mumbled. I wasn’t feeling it. There was no rush from the missions we’d gone out on as Enforcers. There was too much riding on this. “There he is,” I said as we rounded a corner and found the Enforcer staring openly at the Pixie. He wasn’t even hiding what he was. Weapons reflected the afternoon sunlight, occasionally glinting when he would move as he watched her with his hand on his blades.
“So, how are we going to do this?” Adam asked.
“I’m going to scream, and then you’re going to pull me back into that alley,” I pointed at one a few feet from us. “You’ll go all glowy with the Fae brands, and I’ll play hard to get and then seem to fall under your spell.”
“Ready?” His smile was mischievous as his hands touched my naked arm.
I wore a sundress; my attire had been planned to look innocent with a touch of sex appeal. I was wearing small heels, and enough knives to take down a small army underneath my skirt. I exhaled past the nausea and nodded.
I walked around Adam to make it easier for him to push me towards the alley. Once there, I let out an ear-piercing shriek that cut through the chatter on the pier, and even made Adam wince. His hands grabbed my waist and he pushed my body towards the alley. I kept up my screams for help as his brands began to glow.
“Damn, been a long time since I’ve heard you scream like a girl,” he laughed, fighting me earnestly to make it appear real enough to get the Enforcer to leave his post.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve had to play victim,” I breathed, and then took in another lungful of air before I started yelling over his shoulder. The Enforcer watched, but he wasn’t budging. “Try tearing my dress off,” I demanded under my breath, and watched Adam’s eyes grow as round as saucers. “Do it; he’s torn, but he doesn’t want to leave his post,” I hissed and then winced as Adam did as I instructed, his fingers accidently biting into my skin as he yanked and tore the bodice of the dress I was wearing.
The Enforcer was moving towards us with a look that bothered me. I pretended to succumb to Adam as he pretended to kiss me into silence. The heat of his mouth was nothing new; we’d done this before too. We were masters at pretending to be a couple. I jumped up and wrapped my legs around him as my arms did the same to his neck. I ran my fingers through his hair, and the moment my back touched the wall of the alley, pain shot through my belly.
I winced; tears burned my eyes, but I pushed the pain away and continued to pretend I had been turned FIZ. I made incoherent noises that sounded more like a chicken dying as t
A moment before he would have sunk the iron-tipped blade into Adam’s back, I moved around Adam, brought my hand up, caught the Enforcer’s arm, and flipped him over, his head giving the cement a forceful thump during his downward descent. The moment I did, I looked up as the other Enforcers rushed around the corner.
Vlad, Adrian, and Lucian appeared, grabbing each from behind with an arm locked around their throats. One after another, they went limp in their respective chokeholds. I exhaled and stood up, then glamoured my formfitting armor back on as I watched Adam heft the one we’d captured over his shoulder and looked at the others.
“Hate to point this out, but once they wake up, they’ll alert the Guild to our presence by sounding an alarm,” he said grimly.
“Bring them, they can be our guests until Ryder is back with us,” I ordered begrudgingly. We moved down the alley in silence, no one chancing our luck by talking. Once inside our command outpost, I moved to the larger room, where the rest of our Fae comrades waited, and watched as our little raiding party brought in and bound each Enforcer to the chairs that Zahruk had glamoured. What his imagination could come up with was almost frightening when he was in inquisitor mode.
They resembled something you’d see in a dentist office. The arms had manacles to hold them in place. One chair had been placed strategically so that the others had full view of it. I paced the room, waiting for the men to move the Enforcers into their positions.
As the Enforcers began to wake, I pulled out a knife and ran my fingertip over the sharp edge. I felt their eyes on me, which was why I let the blood run down my finger before I whispered a spell that made the blood rise into the air. As it rose, it stretched and molded itself until it took the shape of a butterfly that fluttered around me for a moment before circling back and landing on my shoulder. I whispered to it and watched as it once again took flight. It landed on the Enforcer who appeared to be the oldest and was strapped to the chair that the others would have an unobstructed view of.
“What is your name?” I inquired, watching him carefully as the others moved closer to me.
“Go to hell,” he snapped, fierce green eyes glowering at me.
“Oh, sugar, I’ve been to hell, and that shithole couldn’t contain me.” I watched him from beneath my lashes and repeated my question. “What is your name?”
“Satan’s whore,” he growled as he struggled against the restraints and moved his shoulder to dislodge the butterfly.
“Mmm, I don’t think that’s your name, try again.” I slowly moved my eyes to the butterfly. “Do you think keeping secrets will protect you?” I watched his eyes narrow as he tried to figure out how I was going to get those secrets. “It won’t take me long to find out. Your walls are weak. Your will, however, is strong. You think you’re doing what is right, even though you suspect the Guild is tainted.”
“Get out of my head, bitch,” he demanded, and I swallowed as Zahruk moved faster than any human eye could detect. His dagger sank into the soft leather of the chair as it sliced through the Enforcer’s ear.
“Watch your tongue, boy, or I will remove it from your vile mouth,” Zahruk cautioned. “I won’t warn you again. There are others here she can question; she doesn’t need you.”
I looked over his head to where the other Enforcers watched in silence. I didn’t have time for this shit. I whispered the spell that encouraged the bug to thin out and slip into his ear canal. His screaming ripped through the room, echoing and bouncing off the soundproof walls as it crawled inside his head and the first thought that was right on the surface of his mind that came to me was his name. Andrew.
“Oh God, it’s in him,” one of the other Enforcers cried in horror.
“Not an it,” I murmured, smiling as the room began to fade for me as I became one with the butterfly inside of Andrew’s head.
Andrew’s childhood was nothing new. Loving parents, but somewhere along the way, something went wrong. He was shipped to the Guild when his father killed his mother. He had trained hard, done his best to impress the Elders, who hadn’t even noticed him. That was probably why he had been assigned to the pier. I pushed away from personal memories and dug into the pieces that I wanted, discovering that the surface memories I had passed through were a lie. A very powerful spell, which allowed Andrew to disguise what he really was.
I pushed his thoughts away, using butterfly precision so as to not damage any of his memories. It took time and effort; my power was strong, but to use the magic precisely took a toll. Sweat beaded on my breasts and the back of my neck as I continued to dig until I found his recent assignment.
I became Andrew, watching as the decrepit Elder spoke. The Guild stank of sage, myrrh and other pungent ointments. Runes glowed around the walls from ancient magic. This place was sanctified in spells. I turned his head, taking in the details of his memory.
“I want to see him.” Andrew’s voice almost shook with barely contained excitement.
“It is not a him, but an it, and if you must address the creature. You played a huge part in helping us obtain the Druid that made all of this possible, so you deserve to have a peek.” The Elder was known to me; he was one that had frequented both the Seattle and Spokane Guilds. He lifted his robe and reached for his cane as he stood and indicated that Andrew should follow him.
“Have we discovered how to kill it?” he asked, staring at the Elder’s silver robes, which marked him one of the highest ranking in the Guild.
“Not yet, but soon enough.” The Elder coughed and they began to make their way down a hallway that ended at a staircase. “The Witches are sure that every Caste of Fae has a weakness; his weakness is most likely in his blood. They have been drawing it and coating their runes with it to discover what can kill the formidable King of the Horde. They are ancient, and have more power than all of the Guilds combined. If anyone can destroy this monster, it is them.”
Once at the staircase, he paused and chanted while his fingers fluttered in a complex pattern to remove a binding ward that must have acted as a sentry, a barrier, or both. Runes on the wall came alive, pulsing as his gnarled fingers worked the ward. My eyes followed his fingers and then moved to the walls, noting the runes that had been set into them. The pungent aroma of myrrh mixed with sage and other herbs was nauseatingly strong as we moved down the stairs once the wards had been removed.
We passed rooms with doors that had been similarly marked with runes, while others had bars in addition to the runes. We passed several larger rooms that held Fae inside of them, ones that had been experimented on and didn’t make a sound as we walked by them.
The large cell at the end of the hallway made my heart thud loudly, but once inside, my hope went flat. It was another room, another staircase, and more wards. We passed several more hallways until we reached a room that was like a lead box, and iron surrounded that lead on all but one side, which had a door that had iron inlaid into it. The iron must have been fired, melted down, and poured into the runes that had been etched into the wood.
Cackling sounded as that door was opened and we stepped through. Inside the room, Ryder was immobile. God bolts had been driven into his arms and legs, and other rods had been impaled into his flesh as well.
There were two Witches leaning over him. They both wore ancient robes, and their hair was long and the color of a raven’s wing: black with a tint of blue mixed in. Blue-green eyes glowed as power filled the room. They moved around him, chanting as they watched him struggle painfully against the bolts. They looked young, in their early twenties, their smooth porcelain flesh exposed as they pulled their skirts up and danced around him. He was naked, exposed, and unimpressed by them. His powerful, sleek muscles were covered in perspiration from his efforts to get free.
I watched as golden eyes opened and locked with mine. The harshness in his eyes softened briefly, as if he felt me there in the room with him. It was impossible; this was a memory. It wasn’t even my memory. I watched as he struggled against the bolts, an impossible feat. I’d felt the power of them before. Cold, ice cold as they nulled your strength and dulled your senses.
“It’s awake,” Andrew stated, and the Witch closest to Ryder smiled. “Can I?” he asked as she produced a blade.
“You think you can kill the Horde King? If he escaped, he’ll surely want your blood,” she whispered throatily, as if the thought excited her.
“I want to,” Andrew breathed fervently as he accepted the blade. There was so much darkness in his heart that I choked on it. He moved closer, then jumped back in fear as Ryder growled. Those eyes, though, once again locked with mine. He knew. He knew I was here, that I was searching for him. The look in his eyes said it all, and it took a lot of strength to remain in this memory.
The blade Andrew held ripped through skin as he stabbed it into Ryder’s chest over and over again. I stumbled back from the memory, pulling myself out of it.
My surroundings snapped into focus for me once more, and I watched the morbid smile that played across Andrew’s lips as he relived his actions with relish. I moved closer to him and called back the butterfly, and enjoyed the cry that tore through his lips as he screamed in pain.
Once he was fully back in the present, I glamoured one of my long blades that Zahruk had made me and stabbed Andrew in the chest. His shocked scream gave me comfort. The warlike, bloodthirsty Goddess in me purred for more.
by Amelia Hutchins / Fantasy / Paranormal / Romance have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes