Author Note: This had originally been part of the previous chapter but I thought it was too detached so I gave it it's own chapter. I think I may have to insert a filler scene in my 2nd draft.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy. Let me know if you think this chapter needs more action or whatever you'd recommend.
Date Published: Monday 21st April 2014
As midnight neared, Terri saw the flowers at the tables begin to transform. Originally they had been purple and yellow but they began to shimmer slightly, becoming transparent as glass. In the centre, however, they had a luminescent light which began to emerge.
“By the gods!” Queen Duana exclaimed.
In perfect synchronisation, the flowers sprayed out a glittering scent. A faint, sweet aroma permeated throughout the room, with a thick layer of mist engulfing everyone. As it began to clear, Terri heard the first scream pierce the silence from afar.
“Something must be done at once,” Queen Duana stated. “The mortals can See us.”
“How is that possible?” Terri asked.
“The flowers had a glamour around them, preventing us from seeing them for what they truly were,” King Éamonn explained. “Ariel, secure the perimeter immediately. This could get bloody. Terri, I ask that you come with me.”
Terri’s throat went dry and her heart accelerated. I gazed at Ariel inquiringly, brows raised in a silent plea.
“Go with him,” he said. “He’ll not allow harm to come to you.”
“What about you?” Terri asked.
“I have a job to do. Plan Omega,” he said, sharing a nod with his father. Then he walked away towards the dissipating mist.
“Come with me,” King Éamonn instructed, grabbing Terri’s wrist. He pulled her away, towards an exit, causing Terri to stumble slightly in my heels. He held a long sword in his hand that seemed to emanate power, glowing with a bluish tint. Behind them, pandemonium ensued with guests screaming and whimpering. Glasses shattered and tables and chairs were tossed around.
“Shouldn’t you help your fey?” Terri asked.
“They will be fine,” he replied. “I am more concerned with you. If I am right to believe that this is an attack from the Paladins then I need to get you to safety.”
As we walked through a hallway, two assailants approached them, armed with guns. The woman on the left shot at the king, but he blocked the bullets with his sword. One bullet ricocheted and hit her partner in the stomach. The man’s eyes bulged out and he let out a hoarse cry. The fey king advanced on the woman and grabbed her firing hand, twisting her wrist until there was a snapping sound. The gun collapsed to the floor, and without removing his grip, he plunged his sword into the man’s chest, through his back.
Terri screamed out in abject horror. She understood that these people had tried to kill them but murdering them… and in such a manner? It did not seem right. She would never forget the way blood oozed from them man’s open mouth as he gagged, choking on a life bringing source. Terri wished she had not witnessed the man’s bright eyes die out as King Éamonn removed his sword, or the way the body collapsed to the ground.
The king brought his sword to the woman’s neck, still splattered with dark blood.
“Why are you here?” he asked. “What purpose could this possibly serve when you are even endangering the lives of mortals?”
“Sometimes the sacrifice of a few must be made to better the majority. We are after something we believe could even the playing field.”
“You already stole the amhiriarran from us and altered it for your perverse pleasures. What more could you want?”
“Your annihilation!” she screamed. “You don’t belong in our world.”
“You will tell me what you sought to steal or I will carve out your heart.”
“King Éamonn,” Terri said. She knew she was interrupting in matters that did not necessarily concern her but she could not stand back and simply watch. “Please don’t. I thought you said you needed to take me to safety.”
“That I do,” he replied.
“Then can we please go? You don’t have to kill her.”
“I suppose I cannot get many answers from the dead,” he mused, cocking his head to the side. He removed his sword from below her chin, but held her arm firmly. “You will come with us where I will have you detained. You will answer my questions and then you will be permitted to die.”
“I will not,” she snapped. The woman spat in his face and he slapped her.
“That was me being kind.” He grabbed her chin and squeezed it tightly. “Push me too hard and I will snap your sweet neck.” He walked ahead, obviously expecting Terri to follow.
When they arrived outside, a sedan had already approached. The driver’s window rolled down and Terri saw a girl about her own age driving it. Her hair was dark and she wore what appeared to be a chauffer’s uniform, complete with a smart hat.
“Good evening your highness,” she said. Her brow quirked upward as she took in the sight of the prisoner. “My, my, is this an act of mercy or…”
“Be silent, Illyana. There has been an attack from the Paladins. Hopefully this one should give me a few answers. She will ride at the front with you. Try not to kill her.”
“And the blonde?” she asked, unfazed by the king’s command for silence.
“This is Terri. She is what we have been waiting for. Take care of her. I have business to attend to.”
King Éamonn opened the door and gestured for me to enter the vehicle.
“Could you just drop me at my house please?” Terri asked.
“You will not be going home, I’m afraid.”
The Iabal King walked to the other side of the car and placed the woman at the front seat. It didn’t seem like such a wise thing to do and I was certain that the woman would use the opportunity to fight but she just slumped there as if sapped of energy.
Éamonn came back round to face me, sword held low, but still quite present. “May you please get into the car? Illyana will take you to one of the Iabal headquarters. You will be safe there and I will be able to better explain everything to you.”
“I just want to go home.”
“And you shall,” he answered.
Terri didn’t believe him, not even for a second. But faeries were not permitted to lie, so some truth must have rang in his words. The only other alternative was to argue and that seemed to be the more foolish choice. The faery stood before Terri was a king and as such was obviously used to getting him own way, and powerful enough to have his way over her. His asking her was a mere formality, for no matter which way Terri looked at it, she would do as he commanded.