“Let her go.” Fear made the warrior’s voice shake. Red hair whipped around in the storm. With hunting gear torn and stained crimson, his emerald eyes were completely different. They reflected grief over something that hadn’t happened yet.
Black locks that once curled around his ears had been spiked up with blood and sweat. Silver depths burned with rage. Under that was terror, mimicking his partner. The two had the pointed ears of the fey; power swirled around them both, rising to meet the storm. The second warrior’s tone was murderous. “Killing her would be your last mistake.”
Two blondes were held back from the tense fray by another faery. Same black hair as his brother, the only way one could tell the sidhe apart was the elder’s forest-green irises. Brilliant blue and blue/green gazes fixed on the darkness that swarmed their friend. It was all they could do not to launch at the darkness and be killed themselves.
“What good would that do?” the black form laughed. “I’ll die no matter how this ends. I’ve threatened all of the courts, and her destruction will prove that I’m stronger than any of their forces.”
The girl was utterly still in his grasp. She had been for the past few minutes. Dark brown eyes and hair to match looked nearly black in the shadows holding her captive. Her pendant flared with a golden light, its platinum sheen hiding its wards. The necklace was the single reason her own fear stopped short of choking her. If she knew any way out of this situation –– which she did –– she had to play her cards right.
Affection shone in the calm gaze she locked on her friends. The courts wanted them dead, too. Seelie knights had already taken a couple of fighters, those two brothers as well. Every being that stood against them would stop at nothing until they were out of the picture. She wished they’d understand that she was doing this for them.
“Wait,” she gasped out. “I can change everything if you let me live.”
The hold on her body loosened ever so slightly. “I’m listening.”
“I can reverse the past. You can continue to be the most powerful sorcerer in the world, but it comes at a price.” Her friends stared at her in horrified silence. “Wiping my memories will be as effective as killing me. The catch is that you let them walk freely, no threats over their heads or anything. Do we have a deal?” She was placed almost reverently on the ground, but she waited patiently for the answer anyway.
As the darkness pulled away from her and the havocked field that was their battleground, she heard, “The bargain is made.” She ran to the redheaded faery before the actions of said bargain were carried out.
Emerald eyes full of unshed tears, he cupped her face gently in his hands. “I love you,” he murmured.
She was gone the instant she opened her mouth.