They reached the hotel soon after to find Bickslow and Evergreen waiting impatiently for them. Lucy was surprised to see Evergreen wearing a long sleeve green T-shirt and jeans with boots and almost questioned it before remembering the looks she had received around the town and was no longer surprised by the fairy's foresight.
"Did you get us rooms?" Laxus asked, noticing how nervous they looked.
Bickslow nodded, "Well, a room really. The manager didn't want us to destroy any more property than what was necessary so one room for all of us is all he was willing to give up."
"That's fine. We'll have to stay up and watch for signs anyways. Lucy and Evergreen, you two should get some sleep while the rest of us come up with a plan of attack. We have no idea when this thing shows or what it even is, so be suspicious of everything and everyone. I have a feeling that before the night is out we'll all need to be well rested."
The others nodded and they headed up to the room. Laxus almost growled with irritation when he saw it. Two beds, shoved across the room from each other, and a stand were all that the room contained. A small door to one side lead into a tiny bathroom with a stand-up shower, a toilet, and a sink. The only natural light came from a dirty window above one of the beds. He settled their bags off to the side, sighing.
Lucy felt uneasy as she curled up in one of the beds with Evergreen. Freed and Bickslow had the bed nearest the window while Laxus laid in front of the door, using his duffel bag as a pillow. She smiled softly at him, watching as he drifted into sleep. It was strange, but everyone seemed to fall asleep so easily except her. Just as she was starting to drift asleep, she heard it - A soft humming sound that seemed to surround her whole body.
She looked around, but no one else seemed to notice it. Dusk had just fallen and she could see that the others were beginning to stir. Relief flooded through her, knowing that nothing could happen to her if the others were awake to protect her. She sighed happily as the humming grew louder for a moment, then faded away.
"Did anyone else hear that?" Evergreen mumbled sleepily as she rubbed her eyes.
"Hear what?" The boys asked.
"That humming? Oh yeah, it was awful," Lucy answered.
"Hmm... must have just been me," Evergreen answered, completely ignoring Lucy.
"Wait, what do you mean, I heard it, too! Hey, don't just ignore me," Lucy yelled as Evergreen got up and walked into the bathroom.
A few seconds later Laxus looked around in bewilderment.
"Guys, where's Lucy?" He demanded.
"Hey, that's not funny. I'm right here," She yelled.
"Actually, you're not," A voice chuckled from behind her.
Lucy whirled as the room faded around her. She sat in a dark room with cement walls and floor, looking up at a man with dark purple hair and bright green eyes. Other women laid in various states of consciousness around the room, each one of them with one arm chained to the wall. As she stood a chain reached on and locked firmly around one of her own wrists.
"Who are you?" She demanded.
"You're captor, of course, but you can call me Cassius," He replied with a bow before circling around the blonde. "My but aren't you quite an acquisition. When I sent out my music, I hadn't expected there to be such a treasure left."
"Why are you doing this?" Lucy asked.
"Oh, that's easy. You see, there's a black market for women of all ages and types. Each man to his own, I guess. You, I think, will fetch a pretty penny, and how nice when the latest shipment has to be sent out in a couple of days."
Lucy glared at the man as he circled around her, still eyeing her. More than ever she wished for Laxus's coat to cover herself as the man eyed her with obvious lust.
"However, I might just keep you for myself for a little while. My latest toy is starting to bore me after all," He grinned, tugging on a rope.
A blonde similar in age to Lucy stumbled forward, wiping her tear streaked face. Her hair tumbled about her in a mess as she lowered her green eyes. Once she might have been considered beautiful, but with the mottle of bruises that scattered her almost naked figure, all Lucy could do was pity the woman. Lucy reached for her keys before remembering that she had set them on top of Laxus's jacket before laying down. She sank to the floor, feeling helpless. Without her keys, what could she possibly do against such a man? He grinned at her.
"I'll let you rest for now. I know my music can bring disorientation and dizziness. I really don't need you to pass out when I claim you for my own," Cassius told her, walking away with the flick of a hand.
Lucy allowed her tears to fall then. What was she to do? Would the team even know where to begin looking for her?
Laxus tore through the hotel room, looking for his beloved. After a quick search of the small room he sat down heavily on the bed.
"I don't understand how someone could just disappear. None of us saw or heard her leave and there's no way she could have left without us knowing," He growled, his head in his hands.
Evergreen patted his back gently, "We'll find her Laxus. Thunder Legion will not rest until we do."
Laxus nodded, grateful.
"Where do we even start?" Freed asked after a moment.
"I think I can be of service in that department," A new voice answered them, causing them all to whirl in alarm.
Loke stood there, looking sadly at the spot where Lucy had lain only moments ago.
"Loke," Laxus said, chillingly.
"I know - why don't I go to her, right? Simply put - I can't. Whoever it was that kidnapped her has a spell over the place. The only magic that can come in through transport is his. Anyone and anything else has to physically walk in before the magic can be used. So needless to say, I can't just appear and rescue her like I normally do."
The trio looked at him bewildered.
"Then what, exactly, can you do to help?" Laxus demanded, wanting more than anything to be out there looking for Lucy.
"I can tell you that it was a type of teleportation magic that took my dearest Lucy," Loke answered, ignoring Laxus's growl. "And that the magic has a distinct signature. If Freed were to write runes or Bickslow would set his babies to tracking it, the magic would be easy to follow."
"Couldn't you just track it?" Evergreen spoke up.
"I could," The spirit acknowledge. "But then I would be of no use to Lucy when we reached there and tried to free them."
'Them?" Laxus's head shot up.
"The other girls are there, too. I can sense them. If you want my help in this battle - and believe me, you'll want it - I'm afraid I cannot track them. As soon as you break the spell over the place I will be there, however. I will go back to my plane and rest. Please, save my dear Lucy," He looked directly at Laxus as he spoke.
Laxus nodded, too tired to argue with the stubborn spirit about who exactly it was that Lucy had chosen. He looked over at Freed, who was already working on writing Runes that would trace the magic back to it's source.
"How long do you think it will take?" He asked.
"An hour, maybe two, depending on how complicated his magic is," The Rune Mage replied before looking up at Laxus.
The Thunder Legion watched as their leader paced the room. The Dragon Slayer looked like hell as he held Lucy's keys in his hands. None of them said anything, but secretly each of them wondered if it was a good idea to take the man with them when they went to rescue Lucy. Evergreen silently hoped that Lucy was okay, if not for the girl's own sake than for the sake of the man who kidnapped her. Laxus would snap if Lucy had been harmed and she was entirely sure that he would be the only one.
None of them would admit it, but in the short time that she had been with them Lucy had become like family - and the team would do anything for their family. Anything.