This chapter does not correspond with any from WTWFTD.
Characters appearing in this chapter:
Frazer (angel) and Lutero (dragon Guardian) ~ Louise McBear
Frazer woke to chains, digging into his wrists and his ankles, pinning his wings against his back and keeping him firmly secured. He tried to stifle a gasp of pain as the agony rolled across him, but before he could even register his surroundings, there was a human grabbing a handful of his hair and yanking his head up.
"What the hell do you want?" Frazer demanded, though he could only wish he felt so confident. His heart hammered relentlessly against his chest, his breaths torn and ragged with fear.
"Information," the human purred, letting go of his hair and standing back. Frazer blinked, trying to take in everything he could. They were at the edge of a clearing in the forest, right on the outskirts of a human camp. The fire dragon wasn't here. Had the Guardian managed to take it down?
"I don't have any that I'll share," Frazer hissed coldly.
"Oh? We have our ways."
Frazer didn't like the smirk that danced sadistically across his lips as he spoke, or the knife to which his hand drifted. Slowly, with a predatory arrogance, the human circled him - or rather, the tree he was bound to - and when he had made the circuit twice, he whipped out his arm and pushed the point of the blade to Frazer's throat.
"We could kill you quickly," he said. "But we won't." He drew the blade across the pale skin of Frazer's cheek this time. He could feel the warmth of his own blood as it trickled from the wound, could feel the stinging agony.
"Or," the human said, pausing to smile, "We could play mind games with you and turn you into a blabbering mess."
"I never was one for games," Frazer managed to choke out, though the words didn't seem his own. How did he escape? How could he ever get out?
"Well, I'm afraid you don't get a choice," the human replied. "We captured some others."
At a low whistle, there was rustling, protesting and cursing. Frazer's breath dried up in his throat as they dragged two of the others out before him, one unconscious, the other struggling helplessly against his captors.
"You decide. You can watch me hurt him slowly - because it will be slow - or you can tell us everything. We're rather afraid this one seems rather unable to answer," the human purred, kicking his unconscious comrade before turning to the struggling one, "And this one is a little... stupid. You seemed connected with the Guardian, however. Where did you steal it from?"
"We found it," Frazer snarled, still remembering how it had cried out. And had protected him later.
"Unlikely." The human pressed his blade against the unconscious angel's neck. Sure, he hadn't ever talked to them much, and sure, their only alliance had been due to need for money, but he was still their comrade. He couldn't let them down - but the human wanted to know something that was false.
"I swear it," Frazer screamed as the human pushed the blade further into his comrade's flesh. Pinpricks of blood were rolling from the wound like crimson tears by now.
"Yes! Please, leave him alone!"
The human turned on him with eyes like a hawk. "You're going to plead?"
Frazer opened his lips to reply, but the human raised his knee and rammed it straight into his chest before kneeling beside him. "Then plead, little angel," he spat. For a moment, it was a meeting of glares, but one glance at the knife had Frazer hanging his head in shameful begging. almost like the Guardian had done, only hours ago.
"Please," he whispered.
He bit his lip. This was pathetic, but what choice did he have? "Please!"
"You're little more than a dog," the human sneered, before turning to the underlings who held the others captive. "Slit their throats. Maybe that'll persuade him to talk."
"NO!" Frazer screamed, but before the cry had even left his lips there was a snarl from above, and all of a sudden Frazer found himself faced with the Guardian. He met its eyes in awe, and it gave a short nod before turning to the human and slashing through his chest with iron claws. The others fled before it could do the same, and once more the Guardian turned to Frazer.
"You're going to kill me, aren't you?" he muttered. "I wouldn't even blame you."
The Guardian raised its tail, and Frazer swallowed at the razor-sharp spike at the end of it. He closed his eyes. "Make it quick."
The sound of screeching, and suddenly he realised it: the Guardian wasn't going to kill him, it was cutting him free. The chains dropped around him, and for what felt like hours the Guardian simply stared at him. And then it turned, sliced the other two angels free of chains, and launched itself into the sky. Frazer looked between the other angels and the Guardian, and instantly his mind was made up.
"You can take him back to the others, can't you?"
His conscious comrade nodded dumbly, and Frazer opened his stiff wings, taking off in pursuit of the Guardian.
"Wait!" he screamed, and it slowed. "Wait. I want to come with you."
It studied him in confusion.
"Just let me come. When we reach somewhere safe, I'll tell you."
The Guardian did not look trustful, but nonetheless it slowed its flight to enable him to follow. Its muscles flexed with a strange sinewy grace as it flew; before long, Frazer found himself watching the Guardian's magnificent wings as it soared through the night.
When they had to set down, he was almost disappointed.
"You can turn back," Frazer said gently. "It's fine. I won't hurt you." He held up his arms in surrender, unsheathing his sword and casting it aside. "I promise."
Slowly, the Guardian's dragon form started to melt back into its previous shape - the one that looked like a boy, the one whose screams had haunted his sleep.
His red eyes, previously demonic, now had a gentle light in them, despite the mistrust that lingered. Frazer didn't blame him.
"Why did you come back?" he asked.
"Because you freed me," the Guardian replied simply. "And I promised I'd do anything."
Frazer nodded slowly. "I've always been told you were heartless. That you would destroy us all, if given the chance." He smiled sheepishly. "I guess they were wrong."
The Guardian nodded. "They were. You had best return to the angels. They must be wondering where you've gone."
Frazer nodded. He had to decide - and this would twist his entire life around, would throw everything he'd ever known out of his world. But suddenly he felt a rush, a desire for the unknown.
"If you'd let me," he offered, striking out his hand, "I'd like to stay with you."
The Guardian eyed him suspiciously before nodding and shaking on it. "Very well. But know that I don't trust you yet."
"Could you learn to?"
The Guardian's eyes locked with his, and he sighed. "Yes. Yes, I suppose I could."