The first three chapters and prologue are up under their own page already. This chapter will be added to that page tomorrow.
This is a work of fiction. All concepts, characters and events portrayed in this book are used fictitiously and any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.
Copyright Evelyn Hively, 2014
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the publisher, nor be circulated in any form of bind or cover other than that in which it is published without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent publisher.
She looked around herself slowly, trying to find a landmark so that she could place herself. Nothing was looking familiar. Great, she thought. She walked down the road, looking around herself constantly. Her bow was in her left hand and an arrow notched but not drawn. Somewhere around here was her team playing stupid games again. They had an objective to complete and they were no were in sight.
Her head jerked around and frowned at her second in command.
“Could you have screamed that any louder Hhita?” she snarled.
Hhita hung his head, his ears flattening back against his skull in apology.
“I have no idea. That fog came out of nowhere. I didn’t even feel a tingle of magick attached to it,” he responded.
Malbon frowned. Hhita was one of the most sensitive to magick in the entire burrough. The fog was unnatural and yet so far there was no evidence of such. Hhita frowned.
“I recognize nothing. It’s all trees and a road.”
Malbon made her way over to one of the trees and studied the trunk. It was climbable but it would be a pain. She pointed to the top of it.
“Up we go.”
Mace quietly observed the two as they shimmied up the tree, hidden in the treeline on the opposite side of the road. Gnobin looked at his friend.
“Bet she wishes she could still climb that,” he whispered.
“I would too if I were her.”
Malbon and Hhita felt their spirits sink. The only thing they could see was trees, more trees and this road stretching in either direction. They slid back down and tried to see through the trees. Malbon sighed heavily.
“What have we gotten ourselves into now?” she muttered.
She started to walk back to the path, but noticed Hhita wasn’t following. He was staring off into the distance and barely noticed her touch his shoulder.
“It’s all so silly sometimes isn’t?” he said.
She frowned deeply. That was not something she was used to hearing.
He shook himself and looked at her. Malbon suddenly felt as though it was the first time he had actually really ever looked at her, though they’d known each other for decades.
He smiled at her.
“I guess we better get to walking then,” he said and pointed in the direction of the road.
She nodded and followed him back to the gravel surface. He turned and headed down the road, seeming to know that that was the best direction. Malbon followed still keeping an eye around, uncertain as to what it was that had gotten into her friend. He wasn’t usually this confident. Hhita glanced over his shoulder at her. She was watching the wood lines with no more concentration that normal. She was once again, just herself. Just a woman that he would see cease to exist.
He kept going at a brisk pace, noting Malbon’s unease at the lack of noise aside from their steps. He glanced around himself, and smiled with satisfaction as he could see the fog begin to creep in again. He had managed to make a deal with a few creatures to take the others in their squad but leave the girl. She was his. She was always his.
Malbon came up short and looked around, realizing that the fog had come upon them again and in such a fast manner that it was too late to stop moving so as to not loose her companion. It closed in around her, making her feel claustrophobic. She felt the panic begin to rise in her and bolted when the laughter began.
She stumbled her way into the tree line and pressed herself against a tree. She stood up and drew her bow back ready to fire. Something began to hurt in her chest as she tried to steady her breathing. She looked down to see an arrow, sticking out from her sternum. She slumped to the ground, her hands losing their ability to clasp anything.
As her vision swam and cleared for the last time, Hhita face loomed over hers.
“I will always find you…you can never be free of me little Elf,” he hissed at her.
Something cleared in Malbon’s eyes as she focused on him.
“You wanna bet on that?” the voice wasn’t hers, but a hundred voices of various genders and loud clarity. With a snarl, he reached forward to finish shoving the arrow through her.
Lacy sat up right screaming and clutching at her chest. Mace jumped into bed with her and batted her face. Lacy’s breathing calmed from being startled as such by her cat. She reached out and gently petted her, letting herself calm further. She realized it was hurting when she breathed.
She lifted her shirt and stared at the space between her breasts. Even Mace’s jaw seemed to drop a few inches.
There was a bruise.