A Love That Wants to Live

Chapter 24

Lucy watched Cassius pace the room, wishing for the world that Laxus would show up and rescue her. She knew that was not likely to happen, given that they had yet to figure out what was going on even. She shifted, wondering why her captor seemed so on edge.

"So," She finally spoke, startling the man. "Can you explain something to me?"

"What?" He asked, eyeing her warily.

"How does your magic work? I've been trying to puzzle it out for the last - well, however long it's been since you captured me - and I just can't seem to."

He grinned, "Neat trick, huh? It's actually really easy. My magic is music and vibrations. Have you ever heard the story of the Pied Piper?"

Lucy nodded, "Of course."

"That's me," He said, proudly pointing at himself. "Well, it's what I do. Like the Piper my music calls to people - instead of children, I call women - when they're body answers the call then the magic gets in them and can transport them away. Sometimes they just follow the music like a zombie, but some women can be pretty strong and those ones have to be literally transported by the magic. That's why I like you so much, my dear. You're strong."

Lucy eyed him, if he wasn't trying to sell her - or worse - she might have been fascinated by this man with brilliant green eyes and deep purple hair. As it was, he still managed to capture her imagination. She shifted away from him, longing for Laxus.

Laxus paced the room, waiting for Freed to finish his work as Bickslow watched his leader. Never before had anyone seen Laxus as worked up as he was now. Even when he tried to take Fairy Tail by force, back when he seemed to hate everyone, he hadn't been this worked up. Evergreen slipped back into the room when Laxus had his back turned and sat next to Bickslow.

"Has he said anything?" She whispered.

He shook his head, "Not a word. I'm pretty sure that whoever took Lucy is dead when we find him."

Evergreen nodded, "If he doesn't kill the bastard, I will."

"Any luck getting through to the guild?"

After Freed had started working his runes the other two had agreed that contacting the guild would probably be the best course of action. Laxus was in position to argue and they knew that the Master would want to know right away that his more than likely future granddaughter had been taken.

Evergreen sighed, "I managed to get ahold of Erza of all people. She said she'd tell Master, but I'm sure Titania and her little crew are on their way here now."

Laxus whirled at that, "They're coming here?"

Evergreen shrugged, "More than likely."

Laxus paled. He had to find Lucy before Mira or Erza arrived or else he knew that he would also be a dead man come morning. Thankfully, Freed stood just then and informed them that the magic was complete. Laxus flung open the door and ushered everyone out.

"Lead the way," He said, stepping back to allow the small mage through.

Freed nodded his thanks and began follow the path that only he could see.

Lucy sat in the dark. Cassius had gone for a while and she was taking the moment to take stock of her situation. She knew that if Virgo or Loke could have gotten to her they would have by now, which meant that the room was somehow enchanted to keep them out. The Thunder Legion knew she was gone, but she didn't know if they had yet figured out a way to find her. She sighed heavily, somehow she was going to have to get herself out of this situation, which wasn't something that she was used to anymore.

First thing, she had to find a way to get out of this stupid chain around her wrist. She looked around for some way to open the lock, but saw nothing that could be helpful. The floor was cleared of everything, even rocks, and the closest person to her was still far outside of her reach. The only one allowed to move about freely was Adaline, which was the name of Cassius's current 'pet'. Even then she could only move as far as the chain around her ankle would allow her, which was only to the entrance and back.

Lucy studied the girl that she would be replacing if things didn't go well. She seemed so frail and broken, which made Lucy wonder if she had also been considered strong or if she had always been the weak girl she was now. She wasn't sure which she hoped for the girl, but she hoped that Adaline would be strong enough to survive whatever happened next.

"Adaline?" She called into the darkness, wondering if the girl would answer.

Strange that I keep thinking of her as a young girl when she's probably the same age as I am.

The blonde woman came into view then, looking down at Lucy with a mixture of sympathy and fear.

"Yes?" She asked, timidly.

"Can you sit by me and talk to me for a bit?" Lucy smiled softly up at her. "I'm afraid I'm not used to the silence and that scares me more than Cassius does."

Adaline sat next to her, giving her an incredulous look. Lucy bit her lip, knowing the girl probably thought she was crazy for being less afraid of Cassius than everyone else. She couldn't tell the blonde that after everything she'd been through a little mage like Cassius was not intimidating in the least. Instead she started to ask Adaline about her life before coming here. Lucy learned that the girl had been a baker back in the village, engaged to a young man who worked in a candy shop. Now she was afraid that her fiancé wouldn't want her back after what Cassius had done to her.

Lucy wrapped her arms around the girl, hugging her close.

"If he doesn't want you back then he's an idiot," Lucy said, fiercely. "What happened here was not your fault. There was nothing you could have done to stop it and if he thinks otherwise then he never deserved you in the first place."

Adaline looked at Lucy with a small smile.

The Thunder Legion followed Freed to a small cave outside of town. Laxus didn't need the Rune Mage to tell him that Lucy was inside, he could hear her voice from the entrance of the cave. He could tell that whatever she was saying was obviously very important to her by the tone of her voice and a small smile ghosted his lips.

"Freed, can you dispel the barrier to allow Lucy's spirits through?" He asked, staring into the cave.

The mage nodded, "I believe so. You guys go on ahead, when it's dispelled I'll catch up."

Laxus shot Freed a grateful look before running in, Evergreen and Bickslow right on his heels. He sniffed the air as he listened for Lucy, who had fallen quiet. Picking up her scent, he ran with it, allowing it to guide him toward the back of the cave where a bunch of women huddled in corners, chains wrapped around one wrist.

"Evergreen?" He called to the brunette who nodded, using a smaller form of her Fairy Bombs on the locks, breaking them open.

"Laxus?" Lucy called out from darkness and he whirled around, looking for the busty blonde.

"Lucy, keep talking," He answered, summoning just enough of his lightening magic so that it illuminated the room.

Huddled in a corner sat his girlfriend, blonde hair mussed and dirt streaking one cheek where it had been resting on the head of another blonde who looked similar to Lucy. He was relieved to see her unharmed, looking angry and a little embarrassed. He didn't even bother to call over Evergreen, releasing a lighting bolt that struck Lucy's chain, freeing it from her wrist. She quickly bent and pointed to the one around the other girl's ankle, which Laxus removed immediately, wondering why her ankle was chained when the others all had chains on their wrists.

"I have something for you," He whispered, handing Lucy her keys.

She lovingly took them from him, gently stroking the pouch before putting the belt back around her waist.

"Thank you," She said, going up on toes to kiss him.

He grinned down at her just as Loke appeared before them, causing the girls around them to scream. Lucy whirled then sagged in relief before calming the women who were looking at the spirit in fear.

"He's a friend," She told them. "He's just magic like my other friends, I promise."

They eyed him warily, but seemed to trust the blonde. Laxus silently wondered what she could have done to gain their trust so quickly, but knew that now was not the time to ask.

"My lady," Loke took her hand. "I'm so sorry that it took so long, there's a barrier that we couldn't break."

Lucy sighed, "It's okay, Loke. I know that if you could have been here sooner you would have."

He nodded before noticing all the other women surrounding him and quickly left Lucy to meet the others, just as Virgo appeared.

"Princess. I'm sorry, you must punish me for falling you," Virgo said, bowing to her.

Lucy shook her head, "No, Virgo. But you can find a way to get these women out of here before Cassius comes back."

The Thunder Legion looked at her in surprise as Freed entered the room, wiping his forehead.


"Our captor," Lucy replied, turning to explain.

"Not a very good one, it seems," Cassius's voice sounded from behind her. "Not if I can't seem to keep my merchandise in place anyway."

Lucy whirled, glaring at the mage that had managed to kidnap her.

"Not your merchandise for very long," She replied, gripping her keys.

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