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Sweet Poisons: Part 1 //Not ANOTHER Paranormal Romance!

December 19, 2012
Naitale

Beautiful.

It’s a terrible word… beautiful. Some of the loveliest things in this world are cruel. But is it by choice? Is it by fear? Can things change but still be considered beautiful?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Behold, then, a tale of beauty.

****

“No rest for the wicked…” a soft sigh escaped blue lips, a puff of white smoke emphasizing the cold air in comparison to the warm breath freed. Icicles formed on the once-wet tips of long, shiny black hair, but a fiery spirit brewed deep within, causing the body to give off heat despite the cold.

The warmth emitted by the borderline hypothermic vessel… was a powerful contrast to the icy heart within the young woman.

Her deep hazel eyes gleamed with fierce independence. Power emanated from her very being, her villainous soul. She wore a faded blue V-neck half-shirt that hung just a little too low to be considered proper and was cropped to reveal a thin stomach. The long sleeves were tight on her slender arms but flared out at her wrists to hang loose by her hands. Her black skirt was long, to her ankles, with a slit up to her upper thigh that revealed a leather belt tied to her leg like a garter.

In short, she was the single most beautiful thing ever to be seen by the eyes of man.

Her eyes glittered silver for a moment as a wicked smile graced her partially-frozen lips. “Such is the life of a fey.”

****

Fey” are children of the Earth, a race of human-like creatures with power beyond that of any mortal.

And although human in appearance… the fey are typically inhuman in behavior.

Their society is known as the Fey Root, ruled by the monarchy of a powerful line of dark fey purebloods. Dark fey are called vicious creatures, for they feel no sympathy for humans. But in the eyes of the Root, the humans brought with them destruction, ungratefully destroying the planet that bore them their life.

Heir to the Fey Root is a young female two decades of age, possibly the most wicked of all dark fey. She was not called “the Venomous” without reason.

Some of the Earth’s children have faith in the humans. Some fall in love with them and bear Halflings, ill-favored half-breed mortals.

Certainly a fey, of all the world’s creatures…

…could never fall for one of those.

****

Naitale rushed through the forest at her top speed, wind blowing past her face. It would have been relaxing to the fey had it not been for the arrows whizzing by. She had just escaped the emperor’s palace… the king she had just poisoned. The word “traitor” hurt. She was just doing her job!

Her eyes shone metallic silver, registering her surroundings rapidly. After the sound of chasing soldiers and snarling hounds subsided, she slowed to a walk. There was something amiss.

Galen straightened his back, sitting up taller in the tree he was currently hiding in. He drew back an arrow and aimed it at a deer who was nonchalantly feasting on a weed.

Just then, he saw something that looked like a small-framed woman jet past him with guards chasing her. Galen switched targets, shooting three arrows that all met their mark in the guards’ backs… but in the process, he was hit in the shoulder by a stray arrow meant for the girl. He jumped down and drew his sword, cutting down three more guards.

“Damn, Galen, why do you always have to be the hero…?” he said to himself before he collapsed.

Something was wrong. She closed her eyes and let her pointed ears survey her surroundings. Shallow breathing. An injured creature?

Her eyes reopened and her gaze settled on a man.

She cussed under her breath and opened her satchel, approaching casually. Naitale clicked her tongue. Poison was in the air. She examined the wound, crouching down and pouring faerie-purified water over it, yanking the arrow out harshly.

The wound closed rapidly and Naitale stood back up as the man stirred. “Good morning, Sleeping Beauty,” she muttered in a fake cheerful tone.

Galen coughed and stood, picking up his sword as he looked over the young woman. She was shorter than he, perhaps five feet tall, with long, raven-black hair that reached down to the small of her back, thick and lovely and tucked neatly behind her point-tip ears. He questioned to himself what type of creature she was before his gaze settled on her silver eyes. Fey. “Trust me, you’re the only beauty here,” he said with a sly smirk. “So what brings a fey and half of that damn emperor’s men into my forest?” he asked, tearing his eyes away from her lean, curvy body and crouched down and looked through the guards’ coin bags.

“Oh, the charming type, I see,” Naitale rolled her eyes. “I was just putting the emperor out of his sickening joy,” a smirk graced her lips, wicked but painfully beautiful. “This is the part where you beg for mercy at the hands of a DARK fey. Still think I’m pretty now that you know how deadly I am?”

Galen smiled widely and looked at her. “I like a challenge here and there. Here, you must be worn out from all that running,” he handed her a canteen of water and sat down. “I’ve got to thank you for killing that bastard, he slaughtered my whole family over a matter of a measly 50 silver… and he got what he deserved.”

He yawned loudly and removed his hood to reveal a handsome young face. He had snow-white hair and blue eyes that looked like the sea.

“Name’s Galen. At your service.”

Naitale frowned. She hated arrogant men that didn’t take the power of the dark fey seriously. “Naitale the Venomous, master of poisons. As in DEADLY,” she ground her teeth in annoyance as his smile grew wider at her obvious frustration.

Galen could read her like a book. “Not much for flattery are you?”

“What was your first clue?” she spat back.

Suddenly, he tackled her to the ground as an arrow flew past where her head just was. His face grew dark and serious as he charged the archer with his sword. In less than a second, the archer’s head fell to the ground.

“Cowards… attacking from behind…” he growled.

Naitale gasped at the graceful kill. She would never admit it to anyone, especially not HIM, but while he infuriated her, this man also fascinated the poisons master. Her eyes raked over him for a moment before a thought crossed her mind… Why hadn’t SHE sensed the archer?

The thought buzzed around her mind like an angry wasp. Naitale shook her head to clear it as she noticed a hand being held out to her. She hissed, rolling over and standing up, furiously brushing the forest dirt off of her once-white harem silks. Being a greedy emperor’s harlot was far from fun, and she was happy to have killed him before he tried anything really… repulsive.

“Just so you know, I have no intention of thanking you,” she growled, as fiercely independent as ever.

Galen smiled and turned away from her, kneeling down and turning back to her with a plate of food. “Eat up. Like it or not we’re going to have to stick together.”

He sat down once more and began to lovingly clean the blood off the blade of his elfish sword. A strange light seemed to run up the blade as each wipe produced a faint hum.

“So what’s the plan?”

Liking the fact she had been put in charge, she grinned. “The plan is you get me out of this forest and to an apothecary. In return, I let you live.”

He smiled softly. “No, first things first: I get you to my safehouse outside of this kingdom. It’s in the west,” Galen stood and glanced at the food that sat before Naitale. “Please eat. I’m not carrying you if you faint.”

With a humph, Naitale crossed her arms and tentatively sniffed the food before snatching the plate and slowly eating, mumbling about having to eat “mortal slop”.

Galen took out his bow and started to clean it. “So… why poisons master?” he looked over at her and smiled as he spoke in a calm, even tone.

“Dark fey are born into a title because all fey have a lifeskill, a talent we were born with. I was born with a sharp sense of smell and the ability to make potions and such really well. Being dark, my main skill turns to poisons. Coming from a line of fey assassins helped as well,” Naitale had never spoken so freely about herself, and it surprised her how comfortable she was with this infuriatingly carefree man.

“You’re quite interesting, aren’t you?” he set aside his bow. He grabbed some wood from his pack and placed it in front of him. Galen closed his eyes and murmured “flma” under his breath. Flames appeared, rising up from the now-burning log.

Naitale hissed, jumping away. Magic from a mortal man? And fire? She closed her eyes. Fey were easily entranced by flame and villainous old enchanters in the old stories told to young fey were said to use their sorcery to lure innocent females into their rooms to seduce them. Naitale hissed again. “Wizardry? Monstrous human!”

Galen looked at her with concern. “Did I do something wrong?” his eyes searched hers. “I can assure you I am not a wizard, I’m a ranger. The last of my father’s clan, actually. You must have heard of them.”

“I have no knowledge of them. What manner of creature are you? Show me your ears!”

He tucked his hair behind his ears.

Naitale looked at the pointed tips and curved bases, leaning forward. “Elven…”

“I’m half-elf,” he stated calmly.

She looked at his face in the firelight. He was handsome for a Halfling, not that she personally cared whether or not he was attractive. He was mortal, though resilient, but still would die on her eventually, so what did it matter? She sighed, leaning back again. “Oh,” she whispered.

“Fortunately, I believe I have inherited my father’s immortality,” Galen sighed as Naitale rolled her eyes. Galen stood up and whistled.

A beautiful white horse appeared, rearing up at the presence of evil emitted by the dark fey.

“There, there, Magkca, she’s… a friend,” he smiled at the word ‘friend’. He mounted the steed, holding out a hand to her.

“Keep telling yourself that, Galen, and you will be pleasantly surprised when I show you just how resilient elves are…” she mumbled, ignoring the hand and mounting the horse on her own, sitting behind him for a moment, unsure how to ride a horse as a passenger. She had never had a live partner herself. “Mock me not, Halfling, but where am I meant to place my hands?”

“Around my waist,” he said in a calm tone so as to not tease. “And hold on to me tightly, Magkca is one fast horse…” the steed pawed the ground, unhappy at the dark creature sitting upon its back.

Hesitantly, she wrapped her arms around the man, grip tightening as the horse galloped at almost the speed of a running fey. She buried her face in the back of his shirt, closing her eyes and relaxing slightly. He smelled of pine sap and ashes. The scent was as unique as the man himself…

Galen cheered and laughed as the horse raced through the woods. “You enjoying yourself, beautiful?” he asked her, flashing a boyish, cute smile. He turned back to the reins and smirked. “This is what real fun is!”

****

For three weeks they rode and rested, the fey realizing just how kindhearted this man was. His blue eyes were soft when they gazed upon her, not with hunger like the lusty men she had known in the past, especially those she met on the missions she had been taken as a sex object or harlot.

“I’m going to take a bath,” Naitale stood, stealing a final glance at the fire before heading off into the woods. Sighing, Galen stared at the flame, tossing in a twig before standing and heading off to find some firewood.

Little did he know he would stumble across Naitale bathing in the brook, completely revealed as she moved her slick, wet hands over every inch of her pale, exposed flesh.

Galen’s cheeks burned a bright red as he turned away from the sight, unwittingly stepping on a twig. Naitale looked up and spotted his back to her.

“Galen?” she called, that beautiful, sly smirk returning to her face. “You startled me.”

Her hazel eyes gleamed with amusement.

“Did you enjoy the view?” she teased lightly.

He stuttered out a quiet “yes…”

Galen had never thought his face could possibly be this red… but he had never seen a woman as beautiful as her before in his life.

“You don’t have to be so embarrassed. I’m used to being stared at by now,” she frowned, crinkling her nose in distaste at the memory. “Though, to date, you are certainly the most attractive male to ever gaze upon me in the nude.”

He shed his cloak and sat, beginning to calm down. “Well, I could help myself to the view, then,” he winked at her, a warm chuckle escaping his lips.

“You’re an interesting male. So laid back… cute, almost.”

Galen removed his boots and rested his feet in the water. “I only see one cute thing in this place and it’s you,” he winked again, sighing in pleasure as the calm stream water ran over his tired feet.

‘I can’t even bring myself to be upset with him for calling me cute… God, Naitale, what is wrong with you all of a sudden?’ she smiled at him, dipping under the water to rinse her hair before standing, wringing it out, and stepping gingerly out of the brook. Galen looked her over as she began to redress.

Her breasts were moderately sized, like large grapefruits, nipples covered by her long hair. Her stomach was flat and she had a small indent for her bellybutton. Galen allowed his eyes to travel lower still, all the way down to the slightly curled black hairs that adorned her special place.

His gaze did not linger there for long, instead running down her long, thin, toned legs.

She was absolutely breathtaking.

Galen’s mouth fell open as she left, now fully concealed, though the image of her luscious body did not leave his mind’s eye. As she left, he decided he, too, needed a bath. Galen undressed and Naitale paused. It was only fair to spy on him as well.

She leapt up into the nearest tree and lay down comfortably on a branch, watching the ranger undress.

He was considerably taller than her, (but she knew that already), with thick, muscular legs and firm abs. His body was lean, for speed and agility, as all elves were, but he had the muscle mass of a very attractive human male.

She tried not to look there, but couldn’t help noticing the male was decently well endowed… and somewhat aroused.

‘The ideal mate some would do anything for…’ she watched the man intently as he began to lower himself into the water, sighing as his weary muscles relaxed.

Galen closed his eyes and began to hum an elfish tune his father once taught him when he was a young boy, washing his chest as he hummed, the water sparkling on his skin like diamonds.

Naitale felt her cheeks start to burn crimson but calmed herself so they returned to normal. Galen stopped humming and began to sing in a sweet, enchanting voice.

The songs of war, of love, of hate,
Of lands beyond the sea,
My heart, my dear, belongs to you,
And you belong to me…

Naitale closed her eyes and sang in harmony.

In times of new, in days of old,
My love burns e’er for you,
The promises we’ll meet again,
Shall ring forever true…

My love, my hero,
O’ damsels in distresses,
The tale of love, in days of lore,
Your heart forever dances…

“That you know of such a tune impresses me, Halfling,” Naitale jumped down from the tree and looked at her companion with a newfound respect of sorts. “That was the song Mother would sing me to sleep with when I was a mere child of the Fey Root.”

Galen smiled at her. “I learned it on my travels,” he sat up so his bellybutton poked out of the water. “I had heard it was a fey song. I saw you spying and thought you might like it.”

He swam over to her, dipping low in the brook to wet his neck and throat, beads of crystalline water running down his jugular as he reached up with a slick hand to touch her hair as she crawled over to the edge of the water, placing one hand gently on his shoulder for balance as he stroked her hair lightly. “Galen…” she whispered, gasping as his fingers played over the extremely sensitive pointed tip of one of her ears. Fey were known for their sensitive ears, and her eyes slipped shut as her breathing grew hot and ragged at the feel of his hand on her ears and in her hair. “G-Galen…” she gasped out softly, leaning into the touch only to fall into the water with a SPLASH.

Galen laughed heartily as Naitale bobbed back above water with a gasp, angrily splashing him before climbing back out of the water and fumbling to dry off, slipping her wet clothes off and shivering at the cool evening air. She wrung out her hair and slipped into her only dry outfit… the silks she had received as the emperor’s harlot.

Scowling, she stormed back to the camp.

****

The evening came swiftly, and they were riding through the forest on Magkca’s back. Naitale groaned wearily, eyes snapping open a second later. That was the smell of a sedative. She felt a sting in her back. She had been hit by a sedation dart. Naitale fell to the forest floor, letting out a broken cry of Galen’s name before she was gagged and tied, being pulled into the shadows.

/We got your girl, ranger… come get her…/

The man stopped his steed and jumped off. “You… give… her… back…” his eyes burst a glowing blue as he drew his sword, lightning surrounding it. “I won’t tell you again,” he seemed to flash and reappear in front of the captor. “Give Naitale BACK.”

/You want the girl, ranger?/

The captor grinned, exposing his fangs. Naitale noticed this in her half-unconscious state and thrashed as much as she could, screaming against the gag. ‘Run, Galen! He’s a vampire, he can kill you, damn it!’

Galen growled and looked down at her. “I’m not leaving you,” he leaped at the vampire, managing to cut off one of the beast’s hands. “Did that hurt, you bastard? Now LET HER GO!”

The vampire lunged at Galen, biting into the ranger’s arm. ‘No… no!’ Naitale screamed internally as she watched the battle ensue. Vampire venom was deadly to all creatures, but she had been told it was an excruciatingly slow and painful death for elves and beastly creatures such as centaurs. She had to get to her satchel and fast, before the poison set in to Galen’s system.

The vampire soon lie beheaded, no longer moving… not that it would ever move again.

The gag fell away from her mouth as the leather strap was cut away, and she wormed for a minute, cutting the rope binding her hands behind her back with her sharp nails. “Galen! My satchel! Where’s my satchel?”

He turned to her, appearing fine before his face contorted in agony and he fell to the ground, writhing in pain. He remained silent but convulsed violently.

“Galen!” she rushed to his side and frowned.

Without her satchel, the only way to get the poison out would be to… did she really care that much about an annoying, arrogant… gentle… sweet… damn it! She hushed him, pressing her lips to his mouth softly to still him before cutting a line between the fang marks with a sharp claw. After taking a deep breath, she lifted the arm to her lips and lapped at the blood.

Naitale slowly drank out the poison, feeling her stomach lurching in protest. It would be a slower death for her, and she may be able to heal herself in time. Galen would live. That was all that mattered right now.

Galen looked up at her. “Thank you… I… I’m sorry… I let you down…” he said weakly but appeared far better. He tried to sit up but grunted in pain. “Damn… I’ll never be able to protect you if I’m this weak…”

“I’ll be fine…” she coughed. “Just rest for now. I will watch over you until you can do so for yourself, then I need my satchel…” she smiled weakly. Naitale knew she wouldn’t start feeling the true effects of the venom for a few more hours, so she could watch over Galen a bit longer.

Galen sighed and sat up, growling in pain. “No. I’m not going to let someone I care about do that,” he blushed after he realized what he had just said. He turned to look at her with caring eyes before he leaned back against a tree and fell asleep.

****

The sun was rising when Naitale blinked awake. She had fallen asleep with her head resting on Galen’s lap.

She took a deep breath before moving to stand. She knew what would happen as soon as she was on her feet, but stood up anyway, falling to the forest floor and jolting as her legs collapsed out from under her.

“Galen… my satchel… the blue vial, please hurr—” she trailed off with a violent cough that shook her to her core.

Galen heard this and, although it caused him immense pain, he stood up and ran, legs fumbling beneath him. But he persevered. He couldn’t let her die. ‘I can’t let the girl I love die in front of me.’

He grabbed the blue potion and forced Naitale to drink it, panting for breath. Each inhalation was excruciating.

“Galen… hang on, okay? I’m going to help you… just relax…” she kissed him softly, making his body go numb. “You won’t feel this, I promise…” she crawled to her satchel, dragging it with her when she moved back over to him, fumbling to open a jar with a small black creature inside. “Fyera… I need you to… get to his adrenaline gland,” she noticed Galen’s eyes widen in fear and she cooed softly. “Hush… you won’t feel a thing…” the creature crawled into his mouth and down his throat. He could sense where it was in his body as it moved.

Galen forcibly calmed himself, looking into Naitale’s eyes that were turning silver in her fear. He let himself slowly get lost in them, his mind losing track of the creature inside him.

Around her, he felt… complete.

Her breath hitched slightly as she noted the dreamlike expression on Galen’s face as he stared into her eyes. She blinked a few times, embarrassed to be examined so intently and unsure what to make of the situation. A light rose color dusted her cheeks and the bridge of her nose in a small blush. Her gaze softened as she gazed at the male, and even as Fyera reentered her jar, the fey and the man continued to stare at one another.

Strength quickly returned to Galen’s body and he reached up, taking Naitale’s long ebony locks in his hand and running his fingers through the silky raven strands. Her silver eyes slipped shut, content as she smoothed the silk tresses that covered her legs.

‘Never again,’ Galen decided. He would never let her be hurt again if it killed him.

Galen sat up and kissed her. His heart seemed to explode with happiness as their lips connected. Slowly, almost reluctantly, he pulled away. “I love you, Naitale,” he whispered in an incredibly romantic tone.

With a sad sigh, the fey pulled away. “I have something to tell you.”

“What is it?” he looked at her with concern.

“In my family, the dark fey root of assassins… I am next in line for leader,” she took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. “So naturally… a queen cannot rule without a king…” she trailed off, hurt swirling in her silver pools of emotion.

“Well I would be honored to stand by your side,” he stood and took her hand. “I’ll do anything for you.”

“That’s just it, Galen…” she took in another deep, cleansing breath as tears pricked the corners of her eyes. “For eons, royal fey marriages have been arranged. My lord… Lahore… is the dark fey prince of Candiano… and my fiancée.”

Galen sighed, running his fingers through his hair in thought. “Have any ideas?” his face showed his sadness. His heart hurt. He had found his true love, his one perfect woman, and he may have already lost her. “Can I challenge him for your hand?”

She closed her eyes. “You would need to get my Father’s approval for even that… and Father despises Halflings. A Halfling vampire-sorcerer seduced and murdered my Mother.”

Galen looked at her seriously. “I won’t lose you,” his tone told Naitale he refused to give up on her. “I love you.”

“There is one way,” she frowned at the thought. “But you aren’t going to like it.”

“Anything.”

She sighed. “You need to acquire a lifeskill. From the Tentrus. But the process is intensely painful for non-fey, and the skills are chosen randomly. But…” Naitale looked into his eyes, “if you can prove that your lifeskill is better than Lahore’s … you can vie for my hand from Father.”

“I’ll do it,” he stood decisively. “Take me to wherever I need to go… I refuse to let you down,” he smiled warmly at her. “I’d go through hell for you.”

“Trust me. It’ll be hell, especially during the faceoff, no matter what your lifeskill is…” she sighed. “Come on. There isn’t much time. Lahore’s men will have been dispatched to find me by now,” Naitale mounted the horse and pulled him up behind her. “I’m driving. Hold on, as a fey, I have a tendency to speed…”

****

Galen knelt before the fire and used his magic to strengthen the flames. He smiled at Naitale and moved to sit beside where she shivered in the cold. Removing his robe, thus leaving his chest exposed, he wrapped the cloak loosely around her.

She could not stop her eyes from wandering over Galen’s bare chest as she surrounded herself in the cloak, inhaling the unique scent it carried. Naitale lay her head on his shoulder as he held her close, watching her entranced silver gaze as she focused on the fire. “We should go to sleep,” she whispered. “We shall ride most of the day tomorrow.”

Galen kissed her gently, feeling his body numb slightly, and that strange quality her lips had on him was intriguing. “You rest, I’ll stand guard tonight, my love,” he ran his fingers through her hair, brushing the tip of his thumb over her ear.

Sighing quietly, she looked up at him with a soft glimmer in her eyes. “You’re the one who needs the rest, Galen, otherwise you will be unable to acquire your lifeskill when we arrive to the Tentrus nest tomorrow,” she smiled warmly. “Sleep now, my ranger.”

Nodding, he lay his head upon her lap, feeling her stroke his cheek softly with the back of her delicate hand. He drifted into slumber with a smile on his face.

“Sleep, dear ranger…”

****

 “So this is a Tentrus?” Galen stated in awe as he gazed upon the beautiful creature curled up like a kitten, asleep in the center of the terrain in a small circle of rocks, completely surrounded by drawings that appeared to have been done in black paint.

The Tentrus had the form of an adorable little girl with flowing blond hair that reached to her mid-thighs in length, the same as her frilly, lacey, midnight black satin nightgown.

She was small, maybe eight years old, tops, with two angel-like wings twice her size protruding from her shoulder blades, the left one a raven black, the right one a pure, angelic white.

Naitale hissed softly into his ear. “Don’t let her looks fool you. Kairine is many a century older than I.”

Galen looked down at the girl with confusion. “So what do I do?” he asked in a whisper, still staring but with a wary hand on the hilt of his sword.

Kairine stirred, looking up at Naitale and Galen with hot pink irises. “A dark fey… Lady Naitale of the Fey Root… and you’ve brought a Halfling with you. What brings you to my nest?” her voice sounded surprisingly womanly despite her childish appearance.

Naitale took a deep breath. “I wish you to endow this Halfling with a lifeskill.”

Kairine scoffed. “Impossible,” she stated, standing up and smoothing her dress out, stretching her wings behind her.

Galen looked at the girl and knelt before her. “Please give me a chance… I will do anything,” he looked at the ground, waiting for an answer.

There was a long, oppressive pause as Kairine looked over the Halfling before her. “Let’s play a game, then!” she smiled cutely, her voice taking on a childish tone.

He looked up, confused. “What kind of game?” he asked, looking at Naitale and thinking about her, of the future they could have together. ‘It’s for her…’ he thought to himself. ‘For us…’

Kairine clapped her hands together. “I love when dark fey bring me presents, especially new toys! Fey are notorious for being temptresses. They lure men into a false sense of security and then bring them to me to play with!”

Naitale stepped forward. “That’s not why I brought him here.”

‘Naitale didn’t lure me in… did she?’

Kairine pouted. “I’m still going to play with him!”

Galen blinked before speaking. “We should get started then, shouldn’t we?” he responded coolly. He was utterly confused yet intrigued by this child… or thing.

“Yay! We’re gonna play hide and go seek. It’s my favorite! Kay?”

Still confused, Galen closed his eyes and counted to thirty. What was this creature up to? Was it a trick?

“Ready or not, here we go!” her laughter echoed on the walls and Galen turned to see Kairine sitting on a throne. “You gotta find where I trapped your fey!” she giggled, snapping her fingers and vanishing from sight. “Everything echoes in here, so good luck finding the source of her screams! Hee-hee!”

“GALEN!” Naitale’s voice rang out, piercing Galen’s heart like a dagger. “AH!” the crisp sound of a whip preceded Naitale’s shriek of pain.

“Naitale!” he cried.

CRACK! CRACK!

The whip snapped again and again, each crack followed by a scream and Kairine’s echoing giggles.

“Don’t just stand there, Halfling!” she chimed.

Frantic, Galen looked everywhere, panicking when he didn’t see her. He thought of Kairine. Wait… she had wings! He looked up and sure enough, on a ledge way up high was a blindfolded Naitale being whipped the by an enchantment while Kairine laughed.

Galen closed his fist. “Elven blood, don’t fail me now…”

He burst forward with incredible speed at the rock face,  running up and slicing Naitale free, catching her before she fell to the ground, leaving the fey unscathed.

Clapping filled the air and Kairine flew down to them, landing gracefully on tip-toe like a ballerina. “Very good, Halfling! Now that your girl has suffered, it’s your turn! Aren’t games fun?” she formed a ball of pink and violet energy, shooting it at Galen and Naitale.

Galen didn’t have time to think. He pushed Naitale out of the way and was hit by the energy at full force. He screamed with pain as purple light spread across his body.

Naitale’s eyes grew wide as the energy hit Galen but suddenly vanished, as if it had been repelled. Confused, Naitale blinked, but set the thought aside as she ran to the collapsed man’s side.

“Galen! Galen, say something!” she tried to touch him, but an invisible force seemed to surround him, making it impossible for the fey to get close enough to touch the male.

Galen’s eyes filled with fear as he stares at the panicked silver irises of the fey he loved and suddenly remembered what he was fighting for. Grunting in pain, Galen fought back and before long staggered to his feet. “I… I won’t… let… you… beat… me!” he shouted and the energy field shattered, freeing him.

Kairine watched in surprise as her force field was broken by one of the Halfling’s own, one several times more powerful. “You acquired your lifeskill on your own… because seeing the fey in danger was too painful for your heart to bear…” she closed her eyes and laughed softly. “You impress me. Come back to play again soon, kay?”

Without waiting for an answer, she vanished.

Her voice echoed throughout the nest. “That fey is your greatest strength… as well as your greatest weakness. Remember that, Halfling!” Kairine called.

Galen remained still for a moment before his eyes slid shut and he fell over. Naitale caught him, lying him down gently. He remained still, but breathing, energy drained from the force field.

Naitale moved to brush some hair away from his forehead but quickly retracted her hand. He had a fever. With a soft sigh, she grabbed some herbs from her satchel and set to work.

****

AN: //Sorry, but there’s a giant plot-hole between this and the next section. I’ll try and write more when I get a chance. If you enjoyed this, please drop a like or a comment. Thanks so much!

//I also wish to apologize in advance for any awkward or incorrect grammar. This started as a text conversation that turned into a story. I actually transcribed this from text back in early 2011. I haven’t touched it much since then.

//All characters, names, and places are original and fictitious. Any relation to persons living or dead would be awkward and probably fictitious.Image

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