Nowhere to Hide
Brock O'Hurn as
Kevin Creekman as
"Stop, Phaedra! You must stop!"
Phaedra took deep heavy breaths as she ran through the forest. There was a limp in her step from how much pain was surging through her body, for she had pushed herself past her limit.
But she had to get away.
She had to escape.
Her heart beat so loud in her chest she could hear it in her ears as every muscle worked over time just to keep going. Her feet were stained and crusted with blood from how long and how far she had run barefoot against the elements, but she didn't care.
For it was nothing compared to what she had to endure with...them.
"You must rest, Phaedra! You'll die if you go on like this!"
Phaedra had tried to shut out her sprite whose voice rang in her ear, but between the pain coursing through her body and the incessant crying in her ear, she couldn't take it anymore.
She slowed her pace until she eyed a large tree with a huge root base. She fell to her knees before she even got to it and crawled on her hands to hide behind it.
Phaedra tried to control her breathing. But now that she was no longer running for her life, it was like she could feel everything again.
Everything all at once.
It was unbearable.
She let out a cry before she quickly covered her mouth to stifle her sobs.
Her body heaved as desperate anguish welled up inside of her and poured from eyes like a gushing waterfall. Her mind flashed to the very beginning.
To the capture.
And her eventual escape.
She glanced down at her large thighs barely covered by the tattered dress hanging from her body. Her brown skin decorated with black and blue bruises both old and new.
She ran her fingers over the hardened scar tissue in the shape of a bite mark and immediately shivered.
She could still feel Malachi's painful grasp on her arms. She absentmindedly touched her throat and swallowed hard remembering the way Xander's hand would wrap around her neck.
The fiery look in their eyes. The sinister tone in their voices.
Every dream they infiltrated became a nightmare.
She didn't know what terrified her more, their human form or their animal form. Both equally dangerous.
Phaedra hugged herself as she lowered her head. Tears fell from her eyes as she looked at the soft blue grass beneath her battered body.
She thought about her brother... her sisters. Her parents.
Her eyes tightened shut as more tears fell. The painful memory hurt worse than her exhausted body.
She leaned back against the tree and winced as she quickly leaned forward. Glancing over her shoulder she saw the thin membrane of her wings were nearly torn to shreds. They still hurt to the touch. They had been through so damage, she wasn't sure if they would ever heal the same again.
Her very survival was in question at best.
"I have to keep going," she said to herself.
"But you can't-"
"I must!" she said firmly.
She crawled onto her hands and knees again and looked around in every direction, trying to figure out where she should go next.
"Unless you're going to help me, then shut up!" she snapped.
The voice in her head silenced and she continued to look around again. Growing frustrated with her lack of options, she sat back on her knees and lifted her hands.
Normally she would never speak to her sprite in such a way, but she was past caring. She was far too exhausted, far too desperate to reach safety to concern herself with safeguarding her sprite's feelings.
Phaedra looked up at the sky. Her heart beat slowed to normalcy as she counted the 3 moons in the sky.
They soothed her soul. Reminding her there was hope... and a home to go back to.
Her lips turned down into a frown as guilt overwhelmed her. The distance her cold tone had put between her and her sprite made her rub her arms with regret.
"I'm... I'm sorry, Sophie... I'm just... tired is all..."
Phaedra nibbled on her bottom lip as she played with her hands.
"I need your help," she continued. "I don't know which way to go..."
Phaedra waited quietly until she felt a warmness overwhelm her.
She looked up suddenly and saw something in the horizon.
"Follow the path of the moon, Phaedra... always follow the path of the moon..."
Phaedra took a deep breath before she used her knee to take all her weight as she struggled to her feet. She pushed past the pain quickly rushing along towards her destination.
"We'll post a squadron on each border along the kingdom
"We'll post a squadron on each border along the kingdom. We'll leave no area untouched."
"And make sure not to forget the pastures in the northeast. They're frequently overlooked."
"Understood, Lord Cairo."
"Make sure to take the Woodland elves with you. The East-Elves have not yet recovered from their excursion."
"...you said that before already..."
Cassiel sighed as he switched his light silver eyes from the top of the wall to his mentor who stood at an astounding 7 feet and 6 inches in his long white robe curtained by his long silver hair that fell just above his knees. His silver eyes catching the form of his young mentor staring at him expectantly.
"No games this time," Cairo sighed.
Cassiel pretended to be offended as he put his hand to his chest. "Lord Cairo! Do you take me for-"
"A fool? No. A trickster? Absolutely," Cairo said. "But these are dark times, Cassiel. We must be wary."
Cassiel gave his mentor a simple smile. "I've been guarding these walls for nearly 15 years, Lord Cairo."
"And may you guard them another 20 more," Cairo smirked.
Cassiel rolled his eyes and let out a deep sigh. Cairo walked up to his young ward and gently grabbed his chin between his finger and thumb.
Cassiel locked eyes with his mentor and immediately lost the smirk on his face as he caught the look of deep concern in his silver eyes.
"Promise me you'll be on your best behavior," Cairo said seriously.
Cassiel blinked at him. "... I promise..."
Cairo searched Cassiel's light silver eyes before he let his face go.
Folding his hands behind his back, he nodded at the young elf and quickly walked away.
Cassiel's face fell as he glanced over his shoulder watching his mentor walk away.
He was concerned for the elder elf's state of mind. Lately he had been keeping to himself. At least... more than usual. He often requested to be left alone. His words only speaking messages of danger and doom.
Cassiel assumed it was just a consequence of every elf that reached his ranking. To be more concerned with the state of the world and its supposed imminent doom.
Cassiel twisted his mouth as he faced forward again. He preferred to live in the moment.
He walked along the edge of the wall. His long auburn hair blowing in the wind.
Times were indeed dark. Ever since the shapeshifters retaliated, killing at will, the world had been turned upside down. The balance of their natural order had been disturbed, never to be restored to its rightful peace again.
Cassiel turned around to see a rather short female elf with long flowing blond hair swiftly running towards him along the wall.
"Mae," Cassiel smiled. "What brings you here?"
"Boredom," Mae sighed as she plopped down on the tall stone wall. Her long blond hair falling around her face. She looked up at Cassiel with light silver eyes glazed over.
"So what? You expect me to amuse you?" Cassiel grinned.
"Don't you always?" she teased.
"I'm a warrior, Mae, not your entertainment," Cassiel said sucking his teeth.
"Oh come on! Tell me a story! What did you see today? I grow weary of tending to the young elflings all day," she sighed.
Cassiel grinned. "What makes you think my day has been any better?"
"It's always better!" she blurted. "Come on! Did you talk to one of the ents? What about a druid? Oh! Have you seen a shapeshifter?!"
"Mae," Cassiel smirked shaking his head. "Your imagination is so off... I spoke to two ents, sang with a druid and fought three shapeshifters!"
Mae pouted. "You're just making fun of me now."
"Just a bit," he winked.
"Rude," she said laying on her back as her blonde hair fell along the sides.
"Tell me of your day," Cassiel said walking along the wall. "How is your mother?"
"Well. As is Tomson as is Teril as is Jinis as is-"
Cassiel smirked listening to Mae when he spotted movement far down below among the trees. He squinted his eyes as his silver pupils dilated focusing on the movement.
"As is Lyona as is-"
"Mae, quiet," Cassiel said quickly snapping his fingers.
"You're the one who asked," Mae rolled her eyes as she sat up.
"I said quiet!" he snapped.
She looked at him startled as he crouched down. She followed his gaze towards the forest below them.
"What is it?" she asked.
Cassiel peered intently until his eyes widened. He quickly shot to his feet.
"Stay here," he said.
"What are you doing? Cassiel?" Mae asked.
Cassiel ran along the wall before he flipped off with perfect form.
"CASSIEL!" Mae screamed.
Cassiel landed on the lower wall as he ran along the side. He spotted a few of the other elves standing guard signaling to him in confusion.
"Stay where you are!" he ordered as he kept running.
He pulled out his bow and arrow and aimed as he flipped off the next wall, another level down.
He let go of the bow as the arrow slipped between his fingers. A pained cry rang out in the forest as tons of birds flew from the trees.
Cassiel stopped in his tracks. Several of the elves cheered him on for his precise shot.
But something didn't feel right.
Cassiel finally jumped down to the ground, the leaves crunching underneath his feet. He cautiously walked towards the forest.
Cassiel raised his first to silence the elves above him.
His eyes squinted as he approached his target. Unsure of what he was to uncover.
He pulled another arrow from behind him and slid it across his bow as he prepared to aim again.
As he got closer to a small bush, he saw fresh splatters of bright red blood dripping from the leaves.
He took a step closer when he heard a faint voice.
He paused. His eyes landed on a bruised brown leg and trailed up towards a large thigh with his arrow sticking out of it. Two brown hands grasped at the thigh in agony.
His mouth parted in shock to see a woman lost among the bushes. Her form was just barely hidden but he could still tell she was badly injured.
"Please... please don't-" her voice cried as she held her leg.
"Cassiel! What did you find?"
Cassiel ignored the voice calling to him and crouched down in front of the woman. He immediately noticed the torn wings behind her.
"...you're a fairy..." he said surprised.
Her dark brown eyes looked up at him. She couldn't find the words to speak for she was in so much pain. She could merely nod her head.
"I thought your kind had been wiped out," he said.
Phaedra swallowed hard as she looked down at her bleeding thigh.
"...there are... few of us left..." she breathed out weakly. "Some of us... not as fortunate as I... to only catch your arrow..."
Cassiel felt guilt settle in his throat.
"Why are you here?" he asked.
She looked up at him as if it should have been obvious. "I need help."
"This kingdom is only for elven folk," he said.
"Please," she pleaded. "Just a place to rest... just for a while. Then I'll be on my way."
Phaedra winced as she touched his arrow. "At least... remove this?"
Cassiel bit his lip as he looked over his shoulder. He could see a few of the elves watching him curiously, Mae among them.
He turned back to the injured fairy. "I'll remove the arrow," he said. "You may want to bite down on something..."
Phaedra nodded as she removed her scarf from a clotted wound on her arm and rolled it into a ball before putting it in her mouth.
"Okay... I'm ready," she said with her mouth stuffed.
Cassiel put his hand on her thigh and firmly gripped the arrow. Phaedra closed her eyes, preparing for the worst.
He ripped the arrow out as blood spurted from the wound. Phaedra let out a cry as she bit down hard on the scarf.
Cassiel quickly covered her thigh, to stop the bleeding.
"I need your scarf," he said.
Phaedra reluctantly removed her blood-stained scarf from her mouth and handed it to him.
Cassiel quickly took the scarf, and lifted her thigh so that he could wrap it tightly around the wound. He looked up at her face, caked with dirt and grime as tears rolled down her face.
He couldn't help but feel guilty. Even if he only caused her most recent pain, he knew there had to have been so much more.
He looked over his shoulder again and sighed before turning to her.
"You can stay one night," he said. "Just one."
Phaedra looked at him surprised. "Th-thank you! Thank you so much!"
Cassiel nodded as he stood to his feet. "I'll have to sneak you inside..."
He looked over her frame that was so drastically different than the average elf. His people were known for being tall, slim and stealthy. Whereas this fairy was rather thick and nearly naked. How could he possibly sneak her inside without being noticed?
Phaedra looked up at the tall elven warrior. His light silver eyes darting frantically as he got lost in thought.
"I've got it," he said suddenly. "Come."
He quickly turned around and rushed off to crouch down next to a tree.
"On my count, you follow me to that tunnel. We can sneak through to the other side. Understand?"
When she didn't respond he turned around to see that she was still far behind, limping in pain.
He groaned as he rushed back over to her.
"What is taking so long?"
"Did you forget the arrow in my thigh?!" she snapped before she caught herself realizing this elf was actually helping her. "Sorry... I'm in pain. It's going to take me a bit longer than you'd like."
Cassiel sighed. "Come on. Lean on me."
"I'm not exactly that light!" she said quickly.
"We elves can carry up to 50x our weight," he said.
"That doesn't mean-" she started.
"Just come on!" he said impatiently pulling her arm over his shoulder. Together the two of them hobbled towards the tree and then towards the tunnel on the side of the large wall.
Phaedra's heavy breathing was the only sound in the tunnel as Cassiel escorted her down the dark hall. A part of him regretted this. He knew he was taking a heavy risk by helping her.
He stopped at the bottom of a staircase and looked up the long-winding steps.
"I don't suppose you could use those wings, could you..." he frowned.
Phaedra furrowed her brow. "I need... I need to heal first..."
Cassiel sighed as he started helping her up the steps.
Phaedra thought she was going to pass out from exhaustion by the time they reached the top of the stairs. She fell on the floor, heaving and looked up at Cassiel who hadn't even broken a sweat. His silver eyes looking around before he looked down at her.
"Can you move?" he asked.
"Barely!" she groaned.
"There's a closet just a few feet from here-"
"You're going to put me in a closet?!"
"Where else did you expect me to put you?!"
"Not a closet!" she blurted.
Cassiel sucked his teeth as he pulled her to her feet. He rushed her down the hall, and Phaedra winced all the way with how quickly they walked.
Cassiel flung a door open and helped her inside. She sat down on a large lumpy sack and looked around at all the clothes and cleaning materials.
"What is this?" she asked.
"It's where we keep our soiled clothes," he said.
Phaedra made a pained face.
"It's the best I can do for now," he said quickly.
"I understand," she said. "... thank you..."
Cassiel watched her for a moment. "I'll go get some bandages to... properly bandage that wound. I'll be right back. Don't make a noise."
Phaedra nodded without looking at him and he quickly closed the door.
Cassiel started walking down the hallway when two foot elves stopped him.
"Cassiel! You're alright!" one of them said surprised.
"Why wouldn't I be?" he asked.
"...well, you disappeared," the other said.
"I was merely scouting," he said. "Nothing to concern yourselves with."
They both looked at him curiously as he walked between them.
Phaedra rubbed her hands together just to attain some warmth and stave off the cold sensation invading her fingers. She felt she was on the brink of death.
She wondered how long she had until her captors picked up her scent again.
How long before the elves kicked her out.
They weren't particularly known for their kindness, but she had nowhere else to go. She at least needed time to heal before she could keep going.
She looked up when she heard the door to the closet open and saw Cassiel walk through the door holding a small jar, a cloth, and a small sack.
He crouched down in front of her and handed her the small sack. Phaedra cautiously took it from him and opened it up to see a few pieces of bread, a tomato, a slice of cheese and slice of ham.
"It isn't much," he said.
"It's more than I could ask for," she said, her eyes welling up with tears. "Th-thank you."
Phaedra couldn't remember the last time she had a decent meal. Her captors had fed her well though it came at a price. It had been weeks since she last saw them... and had something edible to eat.
Cassiel watched her carefully. His eyes tracing over her plump round cheeks that moved with her jaw each time she chewed. He could tell she hadn't eaten in a while. The lacerations along her arms, chest, and legs made him wonder just what she had gone through before she got here.
He carefully removed the bloodied scarf from her thigh and opened the jar before applying a silver cream.
"Is that elvish balm?" she asked with a piece of bread hanging out of her mouth.
Cassiel nodded. "I managed to steal some from the medicine cabinet on my way back."
Phaedra stared in awe as he smeared some of it on her bloody wound.
"I thought fairies could heal," he said covering the jar.
"We can," she said. "I just... don't have the energy right now."
Cassiel looked at her and frowned.
"I'm only allowing you to stay for one night because it was my arrow that pierced your skin," he said.
"Well thanks for that I guess," she said flatly.
Cassiel stood to his feet. "I'm already risking a lot having you here. If any of the elders found out..."
"I'll stay quiet," she said. "I promise. You won't even know I'm here."
Cassiel frowned with doubt. He grabbed the door handle and looked at her one last time before leaving.
Cassiel stepped into the tall, narrow banquet hall dim with but a few lights shining along the walls. He glanced up the ethereal steps and saw one of the elder elves standing at the top of the steps with his mentor, Cairo.
"Lady Myril. Lord Cairo... you summoned me?" he said.
Cairo looked down at Cassiel and furrowed his brow.
"Do you think us stupid, Cassiel?" Cairo asked.
Cassiel looked at his mentor confused. "I'm sorry?"
"Now, now, Cairo... we said we would be kind in our approach..." The woman's voice was soft and gentle with a tone that had its own melody. She turned around, her long white hair flowing with her as she looked down at Cassiel.
"Cassiel..." she said. "It has come to our attention that you've brought an intruder into our kingdom."
Cassiel's eyes widened in shock. "My Lady-"
"Choose your words carefully, Cassiel," Cairo said with warning.
Cassiel sighed as he diverted his eyes. "...she needed my help..."
"CASSIEL!" Cairo groaned, covering his face. "I told you to stay out of trouble."
"I couldn't just leave her out there!" Cassiel said in defense.
"No, I suppose not as you were the one who injured her," Myril added.
Cassiel tried to swallow his guilt. "I thought she was an enemy."
"All non-elves are our enemy," Cairo said. "You should not have brought her within our walls."
Cassiel frowned in dismay not knowing what to say.
"Will you turn her away?" he asked reluctantly.
"We should..." Cairo said. "We do not know why she is on the run. More importantly... on the run from who."
"The fairies were thought to be extinct," Myril mused. "Such a vulnerable species, only created to heal and create... they can hardly defend themselves."
Cassiel knew the look in Myril's silver eyes very well. She was one of the eldest and most renowned elves. Known for empathy. He hoped it would show true this time around.
"So... you will let her stay?" Cassiel asked.
Myril looked at Cairo who had a frown of worry on his face.
"For the moment... and then she must leave, lest the elder elves find out," Cairo muttered. "Then there will be hell to pay..."
Myril smiled warmly at Cairo and gently caressed the side of his chiseled face to calm him.
"Thank you, my lady... my lord," Cassiel said bowing before he turned to leave.
"...you thought you could hide..."
"...you thought you could run..."
"... but we can smell you, sweetheart... we're close... so very... very close..."
"...and when we do... you'll wish you never left..."
Phaedra shot up panting. Out of breath as sweat poured down her face and chest. She looked around the dark space as her eyes tried to adjust to the lack of light. She finally remembered that she was hiding in the elvish kingdom.
But this didn't look like the closet. Instead, she was in a much bigger room with a large balcony that oversaw the tall trees of the forest.
Instead of a lumpy sack of clothes, she was on a rather large bed. The sheets were thin and silky against her skin that was surprisingly cleaner than when she first arrived. Her clothes were still torn and ragged but her wounds were cleaned.
She looked around the room in awe. Where in the world was she?
She didn't expect to fall asleep. But then, she was so exhausted.
"You're awake. Finally."
Phaedra looked towards the opening door to see Cassiel walk through holding a large glass of some sort of liquid. Another smaller elf walked in after him holding several sheets.
The young elf paused as she looked at Phaedra in shock.
"No need to be frightened, Mae. She won't hurt you," Cassiel said setting the glass down on a table next to the bed.
Phaedra swallowed hard as she looked up at Cassiel who was looking out the window.
"Where am I?" she asked.
"My room," he said glancing outside. "Some of the elders know you're here. They are allowing you to stay until your wounds heal. And then you must leave."
Phaedra looked at him surprised. "No more closet?"
Cassiel looked at her and smirked. "I assumed you preferred a bed to rest."
"It definitely beats rocks, grass, and dirt... and dirty clothes," Phaedra smiled.
She looked at the other elf cautiously walking towards her as she put the sheets on the bed.
"Are.... are you really a fairy?" Mae asked.
"...can I see your wings?" Mae asked.
"Mae, that's inappropriate," Cassiel said quickly.
"No, it's okay," Phaedra said. "They're not... as pretty as you think."
Phaedra turned slightly on the bed as her wings struggled to flap. Mae frowned to see several holes in the thin membranes as a rainbow shimmered with each flutter.
"They look badly hurt," Mae said worriedly.
"They've been through a lot..." Phaedra said turning back around. "It... will take some time for them to heal..."
Mae looked at Cassiel. "Did you give her some elvish balm?"
"I don't think they work for wings, Mae," Cassiel said.
"You don't know for sure!" Mae said.
"There isn't much left anyway," Cassiel added.
"There's some in my mother's room! I'll be back!" she said bounding out the room.
"Mae!" Cassiel called after her but she was already gone.
Phaedra chuckled. "She's cute."
"She's a pain... but I adore her," Cassiel said with a warm smile. "She's been like a sister to me."
Cassiel noticed the smile on Phaedra's face was full of sorrow. He had never seen such a sad-looking creature in all his life.
"I don't think we'd have any clothes that may fit you," he said patting the sheets. "Perhaps you can make something of this?"
Phaedra looked at the sheets on the bed and nodded. "I haven't done so in so long..."
She sat on her knees and concentrated on the sheets.
Cassiel watched as the sheets rose from the bed and started to spin. They split into two and then into four. Then sixteen. Then sixty-four pieces.
His mouth parted in awe as the sheets started to restitch back together in a different manner.
"That's... incredible," he said surprised.
Phaedra smiled as she went to pull her torn dress from her shoulder before she stopped herself and looked at Cassiel.
"...do you mind?" she asked.
"Oh! Right. Sorry," he said quickly turning around. He could hear her moving around, small whimpers coming from her mouth that he could only assume was from her injuries still in the process of healing.
"Okay," she said finally.
Cassiel turned around to see her wearing an elegant white, silk dress that draped decently over her form yet still clung to her shape in subtle sensual ways.
"What?" Phaedra said noticing the way he was looking at her.
Cassiel met her eyes. "I.. uh... you're um... quite beautiful..."
Phaedra felt her cheeks warm over. "With all the dirt and grime gone, I probably don't even look like the same person you shot with an arrow."
Cassiel groaned. "I brought you in."
"You still shot me," she smirked.
"Alright, you've made your point," he said turning away from her. "Are you hungry? You slept for nearly a day."
"A DAY?!" she blurted.
"It's a good thing. Rest allows your body to heal," he said pulling a bowl from inside one of the cabinets.
He set it down on the night table next to her. "It's not very warm."
"It's fine," she said eagerly scooting towards the edge of the bed. "Thank you."
Cassiel headed towards the door and smiled before leaving.
Phaedra stood on the other side of the wall watching Cassiel from above. He and another elder elf were surrounded by other elves who looked to be practicing shooting arrows.
She cocked her head to the side slightly as she watched Cassiel. Something about him made her feel... safe.
She winced when she felt her thigh throb in pain. She ran her finger over one of the marks and frowned. It had been two weeks since the elves took her in and yet still it seemed as if she could never escape them... her captors.
A part of her worried they might still find her. But she preferred to hold onto hope.
Perhaps the elves might even let her stay...
"You look well."
Phaedra turned around to see a tall beautiful woman with pearl-white skin smiling at her. Her long white hair shined from the sun above. Not a strand out of place.
"My lady," Phaedra quickly bowed her head. But the elder elf raised her hand and smiled.
"Thank you again for letting me stay," Phaedra said.
"You know, Phaedra... every elf here works... to maintain this home... nothing comes for free..." Mylil said.
Phaedra nodded her understanding. "I can cook. Clean. If you have any children-"
"That's kind, but I think you might be more useful in other ways," Mylil said.
Phaedra raised a curious brow.
"Fairies are known for their ability to create... from scratch," Mylil added.
Phaedra bit her lip. "I haven't used that skill in a while. But I am willing to try again if I can help your people."
Mylil looked at her dress. "I know we own no such garment in this kingdom. And Cassiel told me when you arrived you were in rags. If your skill is anything like that... you should have a place here. I have to give the other elders reason for you to be here."
Phaedra nodded again. "I understand. I will do my best."
Mylil smiled contently as she looked at Cassiel and Cairo below.
"Do you like him?" Mylil asked.
Phaedra's eyes widened. "Cassiel?! I mean... yes as a friend-"
"I care very much for Cassiel," Mylil cut her off. "As I do for all my people. And I would do anything to protect them and keep them safe."
Phaedra realized from the tone in Mylil's voice that this was something more serious.
"What are you not telling us, Phaedra," Mylil said firmly. "Who...are you running from?"
Phaedra looked at Mylil feeling her words caught in her throat.
"... they... they go by the names... Xander...and... and Malachi..." she breathed out.
Mylil's silver eyes furrowed in anger as her beautiful face completely distorted into something more sinister.
Phaedra cringed as she was dragged into the large hall and thrown to her knees.
She looked around at what felt like hundreds of elves staring down at her with heavy disapproval.
"What is the meaning of this?!" Cassiel's voice boomed as he stormed into the hall and came to Phaedra's side. "You said she was safe here!"
"Do you know anything about this fairy?" Mylil demanded.
"I know that she needs a place to stay and that you agreed to-" Cassiel started.
"She is being hunted by shapeshifters, Cassiel!" Cairo boomed with anger.
Cassiel's words faltered as he tried to understand the gravity of what he just heard.
He looked at Phaedra whose eyes were laced with fear and remorse.
"It does not matter who is after her. We agreed we would allow her to stay," Cassiel said looking at Cairo.
"Not at the risk of our people!" Cairo demanded. "She must leave at once."
"My lord-!" Cassiel started.
"If she's not out by nightfall, we will force her out!" Cairo snapped.
Cassiel looked from Ciaro to Mylil who gave him a sympathetic look.
"We cannot risk the lives of our people for a fairy, Cassiel," she said.
Phaedra stuffed some food into a sack that sat on the bed when she saw Cassiel quickly grab it.
"You're not leaving!"
Phaedra looked at him remorsefully. "I cannot stay... you know I can't..."
Cassiel looked at her and growled angrily. "Why didn't you tell me?! Why didn't you tell me you were being hunted by shapeshifters?!"
Phaedra shook her head with remorse. "I don't know, Cassiel. I... I was scared..."
"I thought you trusted me!" he snapped.
"Would you have honestly let me stay if you knew?" she asked.
Cassiel looked at her before he diverted his eyes. He couldn't be sure if he would have.
"Thank you," she said catching his attention. "For everything. I'm better now. And... I've overstayed my welcome. I don't mind going."
Cassiel raised his light silver eyes to meet her gaze.
"...I don't want you to go..." he breathed out.
Phaedra swallowed hard. She took a step closer to him and gently grabbed his face between her hands. His silver eyes looked from her brown orbs to her plump lips. She hesitated for just a moment before he lowered his head and pressed his lips against hers.
Phaedra felt his arms wrap around her wide waist as he pulled her flush against him. His mouth moved passionately against hers, as they reveled in each other's taste.
She finally pulled back and met his silver gaze that was soft and warm as her wings fluttered within his grasp.
He cupped the side of her face with his palm and stroked her plump cheek with his thumb.
"...Phaedra..." he said softly.
Phaedra leaned in again when suddenly her eyes widened in horror.
"...n-no...no..." she breathed out.
Cassiel looked at her confused. "What is it-"
But he was cut off by the sound of a monstrous growl that echoed from outside all around the kingdom.
"No. No. No, please no," she cried as Cassiel rushed to his window.
Cassiel's eyes widened in shock to see an enormous lion emerge from the forest. He leaped on top of a large boulder and roared so loudly it caused them all to cover their ears.
He leaped on top of a large boulder and roared so loudly it caused them all to cover their ears
"SOUND THE HORN!" Cassiel shouted below. "PREPARE FOR BATTLE!"
Cassiel grabbed his sword and rushed for the door when Phaedra quickly grabbed his arm.
"I'm so sorry!" she cried. "I didn't mean-"
"It's alright, Phaedra," he said to her. "I will protect you."
"You cannot defeat them!" she cried. "Please, Cassiel! Don't!"
Cassiel saw the fear and anguish flicker in her dark brown eyes. The same fear he had seen when he found her in the forest weeks ago.
"Our people are strong," he assured her. "And it seems there are only two of them. They're outnumbered. Don't fret. I'll be back and then we'll figure this out."
He slipped out of her grasp and rushed out of the door before she could stop him.
Tears fell from Phaedra's eyes as she felt helpless.
"...it won't be enough..."
Phaedra could hear screaming coming from all around that were quickly silenced by ferocious growling. The sound of flesh tearing brought flashbacks to watching her own people get torn apart.
"You must escape!" Phaedra heard her sprite say. But she couldn't just leave... not like this.
She rushed down the hallway until she saw Mae crying in the corner.
"Mae!" she said rushing towards her.
"Phaedra!" Mae cried as she ran into Phaedra's arms.
"Come on! We have to get to safety!" Phaedra said rushing her along.
The two women maneuvered through several mangled corpses of elves torn to shreds on the ground.
Mae let out a cry when she saw one of her brothers and rushed to his unconscious body laying in a pool of his own blood.
"Mae!" Phaedra called out to her when she spotted Cassiel and several other armed elves taking on the large lion. Cassiel jumped back just in time before a gigantic brown bear could tear him in half. The bear landed on its paws as it stalked towards Cassiel.
Cassiel sneered as he raised his sword to strike when Phaedra ran in front of him
Cassiel sneered as he raised his sword to strike when Phaedra ran in front of him.
"STOP!" Phaedra screamed.
The bear immediately stopped in its tracks. Blood dripping from its mouth and staining its paws from all the elves it had massacred.
The lion dropped the body of a dead elf as it immediately looked at Phaedra.
"Please stop!" she cried helplessly. "No more! I beg of you!"
Phaedra stood protectively in front of Cassiel with her arms out to the sides. The bear looked at her curiously as it walked up to her and started sniffing her.
"Phaedra-" Cassiel started.
"It's me they want. Not you. Please... for once... let me save you," she said anxiously.
Cassiel went to move in protest when Phaedra spoke up again.
"Think of Mae, Cassiel, " she said desperately.
Cassiel looked over at Mae weeping over her slain brother and swallowed hard.
Phaedra looked from the bear to the lion as they both approached her.
"I'm sorry," she said to both of them. "I'm sorry for running away. Please...please don't punish these people for my mistakes. I'll come back. I won't run away again. Please just leave them alone," she begged.
The two creatures looked at each other before the lion lowered his body and gestured for her to get on.
Phaedra hesitated as she walked over to the lion and grasped his mane as she threw one leg over his back and sat on top of him. He quickly stood on all four paws and growled something to the bear before he took off.
Phaedra glanced at Cassiel, giving him a forlorn look when she saw the bear immediately start attacking the elves again.
"NO!" she screamed. "PLEASE! PLEASE STOP!"
But the lion ignored her as he continued on his way, the bloodcurdling screams of the elves piercing the air.
Phaedra sat in the large bathtub filled to the brim with hot water
Phaedra sat in the large bathtub filled to the brim with hot water. Her coily hair floated around her as tears streamed down her soaked face. She could still hear the screams of the elves that had risked their lives to help her.
Her mind went to Cassiel. She hoped he was still alive...
"Phaedra, Phaedra, Phaedra..."
Phaedra looked up to see Malachi walk into the large marble bathroom wearing only a pair of pants. His chest still wet from the sweat of his transformation. His long wavy dark blonde hair ever so reminiscent to his mane. He had ordered her to the bathroom the moment he brought her back from the bloodshed.
"Did you have fun?" he asked as he walked along the edge of the tub, wiping the blood from his hands.
Phaedra just blinked at him as she moved to the opposite side of the tub away from him.
"Oh no... no, no, no," he said shaking his head in dismay. "You don't get to run away from me anymore."
Phaedra swallowed hard as he pushed down his pants revealing his massive rock hard erection and quickly slipped into the water. His movements were so quick that she barely had time to react before he grabbed her roughly by the arm and pulled her towards him.
"How many more have to die before you finally learn?" he said pushing her up against the wall of the tub.
"M-Malachi," she started but he quickly covered her lips with his own as he shoved his tongue into her mouth. Phaedra's wings painfully crinkled behind her as Malachi forced her up against the wall. His hands possessively grasping her wide waist, feeling her curves and massaging her softness within his palms.
"Two months," he growled against her lips as he forcibly parted her thick thighs with his hand. "That's how fucking long you made me wait. That's how long you made me look for you. That's how fucking long you deprived me of what is mine."
"Malachi, please. I'm sorry. I won't do it again," she pleaded as she pressed her hands against his bare chest. But he quickly grabbed her wrists and held them behind her back with one hand as the other maneuvered between her thighs.
"Save your begging," he said slipping his finger between her lips. "You'll be doing a lot more of that later..."
Phaedra groaned as Malachi's fingers roughly pumped into her core. There was less passion and more anger in his movements. But then, she rarely knew how to tell the difference.
"You let that elf touch you, didn't you?" he said rubbing his palm against her core as the water slipped between their skin.
Phaedra frantically shook her head. "No, I didn't-"
"You're lying," he said widening her thighs again moving between them. "You know how much I hate it when you lie to me, Phae."
Phaedra took a deep breath as she felt his hard erection rub against her slit.
"Malachi," she whimpered before she let out a gasp as he thrust deep inside of her.
"After everything I've done for you... you still run away from me, you lie to me... you let a fucking elf touch what's mine!" he growled as he wrapped his hand around her throat. He grabbed her thigh and lifted it to his waist as he started aggressively fucking her into the wall.
She panted desperately as the water sloshed around them, lapping onto the surface and wetting the floor.
He pulled her throat towards him and whispered roughly in her ear.
"When will you get it, Phae... when will you ever get it," he said biting down on her ear. "It doesn't matter where you go... no matter where you hide... we'll always find you."
Tears slipped down Phaedra's face as she closed her eyes. She tried to block him out but he only tightened his grip on her throat causing her to grab his hand as she tried to gasp for breath.
"Continue to underestimate me, my love... I'll kill thrice as more," he threatened her. She cried out as her release snuck up on her before she could try to stop herself. She hated giving him the satisfaction of knowing how much control he had over her body.
"That's my princess... come for me, baby," he groaned as he let go of her neck and grabbed her backside with both hands, controlling her hips to grind against him.
"You continue to forget who you belong to... allow me to remind you..."
Phaedra was beyond exhausted when Malachi was finally done with her. But the heaviness in her heart outweighed any other sensation she was feeling.
She sat in a sea of sheets, completely naked. They rarely allowed her stay clothed, especially in the bedroom they kept her in.
She looked around the large bedroom that she swore to herself she would never return to or see again. She glanced at the oils, candles and lotions sitting on the dresser. The various objects they used on her body when they wanted to see all the different ways they could make her come, scream and moan. The small window that looked out over their land far away from any other civilization. She remembered the last time she tried to fly out of that window and nearly died if not for Xander catching her in his bear form.
Sophie's voice was gone. She always disappeared when Malachi and Xander were around.
Phaedra couldn't blame her. They were terrifying. Still... she hated feeling so alone...
She looked up when she saw Malachi walk through the door in his pants again, holding something in his fingers.
"You forgot this..." he said kneeling on the bed. He grabbed her hand and slipped the wedding ring on her finger.
Phaedra wanted to tell him that she hadn't forgotten it all. That she purposely left it. That she refused to acknowledge them as her husbands no matter how much they called her their wife.
Malachi's light blue eyes met hers. His long dark blonde hair falling to one side of his face.
"You haven't been a good wife, Phae..." he said searching her eyes. "Your punishment... will be fitting."
Her eyes widened. "Malachi, please-"
He shushed her as he put his finger to her lips. He pulled on her bottom lip with his thumb while licking his own lips with hunger and desire.
"You never listen... you're so stubborn, Phae... you bring these punishments upon yourself..."
A tear slipped down her cheek as he pushed his thumb between her lips.
"You think I like hurting you? You know I hate seeing you cry, baby..."
Phaedra wanted to scoff. She cried more often than not. Malachi always made himself out to be the more reasonable one but that's only because Xander was so crazy. Truth was Malachi was just as ruthless, merciless, and unforgiving if not worse.
"... you need to learn from your mistakes," Malachi said pushing her down on the bed. He ran his hands down the side of her face, over her neck and between her large breasts, pinching her nipples between his finger and thumb. "You need to be disciplined..."
Phaedra panicked as Malachi grabbed her wrists and tied them to the bed. He looked down at her naked form, vulnerable and helpless. It brought a pleased smile to his face.
"This is where you belong," he said. "This is your home. Whether you like it or not."
His sweet demeanor would turn sour just as quickly. His charming smile fell away as a more serious expression overwhelmed his face.
"I'll make you regret ever leaving me again..." he said tensing his jaw before he turned around and left her alone.
Malachi stepped out of the room, clenching and releasing his fists
Malachi stepped out of the room, clenching and releasing his fists. He was so angry, it was almost uncontrollable. It was the longest they had gone without her and it was enough to drive him insane.
"No one goes in that room. No one comes out," he snapped at one of his guards.
He walked towards the foot of the stairs when he saw Xander finally step inside covered in blood.
"Took you long enough!" Malachi snapped.
"Couldn't help myself, Mal... I was having far too much fun.." Xander smirked as he dropped something to the floor. "Wrap that will you?" he said to one of their guards.
"And kept her waiting. She's far more important than those fucking elves," Malachi said.
"If I hadn't gotten my anger out on those elves, I would have fucked her till she cried again," Xander warned.
Malachi sighed in frustration as Xander started to head up the stairs.
"How is she?" Xander asked.
"Pouting..." Malachi muttered.
"She's got some nerve," Xander scoffed. "Did you punish her?"
"Mmm..." Xander said reaching for the bedroom door.
"You wanna clean off first?" Malachi said annoyed.
"I just bathed her. Don't need you getting her dirty again."
Xander snickered. "I thought the plan was to get her as dirty as possible."
"You know what I mean, X."
Xander rolled his eyes as he headed in the other direction to the bathroom.
"Pure evil keeping me from our wife like this," Xander said feigning hurt.
"Just hurry up," Malachi snapped.
Phaedra tugged at the ropes keeping her tied to the bed, but they barely budged. She was already irritating the skin on her wrists from how much she pulled, but she didn't care. She needed to get free.
"Trying to run away from us again, baby? You just got here."
Phaedra looked up startled to see Xander walk through the door. His long curly brown hair dangled over his bare shoulders.
"Xander," she said frantically, trying to move back as she caught the crazed look in his eyes.
"Oh she remembers my name," Xander said crawling on the bed. "What else do you remember, baby? Or do I need to remind you?"
"I'm sorry, Xander! I'm so sorry! I'll never do it again! I promise I won't-" she spoke at a million miles per second before she croaked from how roughly he grabbed her neck.
"You won't what?" he smiled as he squeezed her neck. "You won't run away from your mates again? Is that what you were going to say?"
Phaedra struggled to breathe as she looked up into Xander's green eyes glazed with anger, jealousy, and excitement. His eyes looking wilder than ever.
She looked past him to see Malachi at the entrance, leaning against the door pane with his arms folded across his chest. No remorse on his face. Just pure frustration.
"Don't look at Mal. He won't help you," Xander chuckled as he lowered himself to her. "He's just as angry as I am.... you're such an ungrateful little slut, you know that, Phae..."
Tears steadily streamed down her face as she closed her eyes.
"Fucking look at me when I'm talking to you!" he growled at her.
She opened her eyes and met his angry glare.
"Guess how many elves I killed tonight," he smirked.
Phaedra closed her eyes as she let out a sob.
"Go on, beautiful! Guess!" he laughed. "200? 300? Hmm, what do you think, Mal?"
"Like I give a shit," Malachi muttered. "Should have killed them all."
"Now that's an idea, yea Phae?" Xander grinned. "How many elves do you think died today because of your fucking selfishness?"
"Xander, please!" she cried out desperately.
Xander eyed the way her face contorted in anguish and let her go.
He let his hands wander down her body stopping at her pelvis. He lay down next to her and pressed his lips against her cheek.
"Open your eyes, Phae," he ordered her.
She opened her eyes and stared at the ceiling as more tears fell down the side of her face.
"Look at me," he ordered again.
She turned her head and met his authoritative gaze.
"Did you miss us..." he said slipping his hand between her thighs. "Be honest now..."
Phaedra swallowed, refusing to speak and it brought a smile to his face.
"But I bet you miss that elf, don't you," he smirked.
Her eyes widened and she quickly shook her head.
Xander immediately threw his head back laughing. "You are such a bad fucking liar."
"I told her," Malachi shrugged.
"I hope you're nice and wet for me, baby, cause all that killing made me hungry," Xander said crawling off the bed. "But first... I got you a gift."
Phaedra watched as Xander grabbed something from the floor outside of the bedroom. Malachi walked towards the bed and untied her hands before settling behind her and pulling her naked body between his legs.
She shuddered at his fingers stroking her skin, fearful of what was to happen next.
"To our wife... from her loving mates..." Xander said handing her the sack. "Open it," he said sitting on the bed in front of her.
Phaedra hesitated to open the bag. She looked at Xander who was giving her a broad smile as he widened her legs.
"Open it, Phae," he said again with a bit more firmness.
She unraveled the sack and grabbed what was inside before her eyes widened in horror.
"Take it out... show us how happy you are with your new gift..." Xander said laying down between her thighs and nuzzling her clit with his nose.
"No..." she breathed out as tears streamed down her face. "No, no, no."
She dropped the sack to the floor and Cassiel's bloody head rolled onto he floor.
11/5/2021 10:52:42 am
Definitely would be down to read this! BTW, Smauggy you are a genius and completely underrated. I am on book 7 of the Marvelous Saga, and got to say - I go to bed and wake up to these books. Excited about Reckoning, because I feel like ish' is about to go down, so I am full of eagerness. I just want to that you for these book. I don't watch tv because I feel your books are all I need. So thank you, very much!
4/27/2022 09:16:07 pm
Is this a continuation of MALEVOLENCE or was there a name change? Just curious...
10/7/2022 03:07:46 pm
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Writing is my happy place. A coping mechanism to deal with my depression. Sometimes when I don't feel like writing a whole book, I do short stories.