My foot catches on a stone and I stumble slightly. Dean reaches out to help me but I shake him off, shooting him a glare. He's treating me like I'm made of glass, like I could break at any minute and it's starting to irritate me.
"I'm not a little kid, Dean. Can you just stop worrying about me for five seconds?"
A smile lights his features but it doesn't reach his eyes and I can tell his concern hasn't ceased in the slightest.
I have a hundred questions that I want to ask him. I want to know where I got my glamour and what to expect from the Light realm. Is it even safe for a human to be in Fey? Most of all I want to ask him if he honestly believes I'm going to be okay. But asking that would be the same as simply admitting that I'm terrified and barely holding it together.
We walk on in silence, each of us wrapped up in our own thoughts and eventually the trees start to close in and become so thick that they block out the rising sun. Everything becomes ridiculously overgrown, brambles reaching out to snag at my clothes and hair as we pass.
A mist has also appeared, so slowly that it isn't until I blink that I realize my vision is become increasingly impaired. The more I breath in the mist the foggier my head becomes until I can't exactly pinpoint why we're trudging through the forest in the first place. I start to turn around and take a few steps in the direction we've just come when Dean catches my arm and tugs me back.
"The mist is to ward off unwanted humans who have come to close too the gateways.We're literally only meters away from it, you just gotta try to think around the fog."
I let him pull me back and he keeps my hand in his as he leads me further forward. When he finally comes to a stop I'm so confused I can't remember where I am and my mind is only barely registering that I know Dean's face.
"Okay, close your eyes."
I close them, wondering absentmindedly if he is in fact talking to me or someone else entirely.
"There's only one thing you've gotta remember when we're there, Will, and that's that they're all gonna know your out of place; that you're human. You're gonna have to keep your head down and no matter what you do don't make eye contact with any of them; doing that would be like openly inviting them to come over and you don't want that, believe me." I nod even though I have no idea what they're talking about and suddenly there is a sound like the whisper of a breeze through the trees, growing steadily louder and stronger until my hair is whipping around my face. When the wind dies, it does so suddenly and the silence washes over me in a wave.
A feeling of weightlessness washes over me and I feel like I'm suspended in a sunbeam.
"It's okay, you can open your eyes now."
I'm greeted with the image of a perfect summers day. The sky is the kind of blue that you can spend your entire life hoping for and a soft breeze blows, perfectly balancing out the heat of the sun. The grass beneath our feet and the trees surrounding us are an unearthly green, nothing like anything I've ever seen before. Dean appears completely in his element; his enhanced features fitting in perfectly with this strange place.
I now understand what he'd meant when he'd said people would instantly know I'm different; compared to the otherworldly beauty of Fey I'm alarmingly mundane.
The fog had left my mind the instant my eyes had opened and I can't believe how close I'd been to turning around and going back.
"You okay?" Dean takes my hand and squeezes it questioningly.
I let out a deep breath. "That was intense; I completely forgot about everything."
He nods. "That's Fey for you. If it weren't for your glamour you'd have never made it within a ten mile radius."
I let this information sit with me as we started walking. We'd only been moving for about 5 minutes when we started to see other people. I only have to glance at them to know that every single one of them is Fey. Their faces are as stunning as Dean's and I have to force myself to look away before their eyes can meet mine, because while I'm only fleetingly glancing at them, they're all openly staring at me.
The realization that I'm the only one wearing black comes to me slowly and a frown creases my forehead as I look at Dean. "How come none of you are wearing black?"
His eyes are tense but he answers me after a moment. "Dark colours weaken Light Fey; they sap our glamour and can bring us to the brink of exhaustion. It's the same with Dark Fey but with Light colours. The only completely neutral shade is white and-"
He breaks off suddenly as a girl materializes in front of us. Her eyes are a striking mix of gold, honey and a deep earthy brown.
"You're human." Her voice holds a child-like lilt and I find myself nodding in confirmation. "What's your name?"
"Willow." My name falls easily from my lips even though I can sense Dean willing me to pull back and deny her answers.
The girl reaches out and takes my hand, tugging me forward slightly and away from Dean. "We have something to show you. We don't usually like to share it with people but you can see it because you're special."
I feel flattered at her compliment and I'm about to follow her when Dean's voice skitters through my head.
Snap out of it, Will. She's messing with your mind.
Clarity hits me like a wave and I pull my hand from the girl's and stumble away from her, turning to look at Dean who appears frozen beside me. Fey have swarmed around us while the girl used her glamour on me and goosebumps creep up my arm as I take in the hungry expressions on their faces.
The warm sensation I've only ever experienced in my dreams lances through me and suddenly the ground beneath our feet begins to crack, splitting in several places and sending Fey crashing down.
"Stop this!" The Fey girl shrieks and I find words to speak around the panic rising inside of me.
"You have 2 seconds to leave before I sink this place."
Blind fury hardens the Fey's eyes and she disappears as instantly as she'd appeared. Slowly all the Fey circling us vanish until only me and Dean remain, standing alone while the earth around us continues to splinter. Dean can move again and he stands in front of me, his panicked eyes searching my face.
"They're gone, Will. You can let it go now."
My arm burns and I look down to see the black marks growing and spreading further, as though they're reacting to the Light that's coursing through me. Something snaps inside of me at the sight of the marks growing and instantly my glamour shuts off, leaving me with an empty feeling deep inside.
Dean holds his arms out at the exact moment I collapse, and I fall into them gratefully.