Renée awoke in a dark dank place. The absence of light opened her senses to the stale air with long over dried soil. Even the roots in the ceiling were decaying. A small amount of light filtered in from the edges of the door enough for her to see manacles hanging on the wall. The stack of hay she sat on in the corner kept poking into her legs. She still wore the dress she had on when running through the woods. Things were still a little hazy and she tried to remember just what happened. She was at the faery revelry and then…she saw Castiel. Castiel chased her through the woods. But something was off about him. His eyes were dull, void of life. Someone knocked her out and now here she was apparently underground in a prison of some sort. She didn’t know how long she had been out for either.
Footsteps sounded outside the wooden door and stopped. Is it Castiel? No, his footsteps are heavier than that, she thought to herself. He wore boots. These footsteps must be bare for the padding sound they made. She saw a shadow pass under the door as they seemed to walk on. She breathed a deep shaky breath knowing that as soon as that door opened she would be in trouble. Well more than she was now. She wanted to go check the door but hesitated at the still audible footsteps on the other side. Renée did not even know where she was, so even if the door were unlocked she wouldn't know what to do. But she had to try, all that training had to account for something. But if it was indeed Castiel then it would not take long for him to incapacitate her and throw her back in. Fear gripped her lungs in an iron grip making it hard to breath. Her vision grew black.
Renée must have passed out because she woke with a start to the sound of the door scraping against the floor as it opened. The bright light outside of the door blinded her so she could only see the outline of the person blocking some of the light. They looked really familiar but she couldn’t be sure who it was. Rather than talking, they walked to her and grabbed her arms behind her back forcing her up and out of the room. They shoved her arms up to the extent that she had to almost lean forward just to keep them from hurting.
“I am not going anywhere, could you please lay off my arms before you break them?” she shouted at the person manhandling her.
“Shut-up, keep walking.” She knew that voice. Her heart thundered in her ears at the sound of it. In her efforts to turn around to look at him she twisted her deltoid causing her to scream out in pain as adrenaline rushed through her veins. Keeping her head down and her mouth shut she let him lead her to wherever they were going. It felt like she was walking through a mole’s home. The halls were arched in dirt as dried out as the room she awoke in. The decaying roots were probably the only thing holding them up. She briefly wondered how often they had cave-ins.
As they walked on she observed a few arched doorways leading into different rooms much like her own. Either they house plenty of prisoners or their accommodations were grim. They finally came out to a wider hall and she spotted Fae walking by. They were all haggard in appearance. She knew then she was in the Unseelie court. The Seelie queen would never allow anyone under her rule to look so ghastly. Granted not all faeries were pretty, but never once had she seen a faery that looked as if they hadn’t eaten in days.
They finally came to a stop in front of two large elaborate wooden doors. They were decorated in a heinous scene of faery torture. Depictions of small sprits’ wings being ripped off by an ogre were carved into the wood. He had one in between each finger ripping them off one by one as blood dripped down his monstrous hand. Sirens luring men from their wives and beastly trolls attacking and biting every living thing around them like little cannibals. The whole thing sent shivers of fear all through her.
On the other side of the doors she saw the throne room. Mabh, the queen of the Unseelie court, occupied a throne of thorns perched on a dais. Her hair looked darker than night, onyx colored eyes and chalk white skin. Just as Renée remembered her from her visions of her past life as Calla. Mabh’s wings looked like a mixture between a faery’s and a moth’s. Though she held elegance in her posture, her face resembled nothing but stern hatefulness. If this woman had ever cracked a smile of happiness in her life she sure did not have any signs of it. Not wanting to show how much the depictions of the door had rattled her, she held her head high and focused on a spot on the wall in defiance. She refused to let this woman, in all her malevolence, intimidate her. The memories of the torture and murder of her own son Rye flashed through Renée’s mind strengthening her resolve. If this woman was able to cruelly torture and murder her own son, her only heir, what hope did Renée have? Only a miracle could save her from whatever Mabh had planned for her.
Mabh waved her hand at the person behind Renée and she instantly felt a lax in her arms. Pulling them across her chest she rubbed her aching wrists as she turned slightly to see who dragged her before Mabh. She gasped when his face came into view. She couldn't believe it. Her heart broke and bled all over her insides. Never had she suspected he would bring her here. Something was terribly wrong. He loved her. She knew with every fiber of her being he did. Her vision blurred as her eyes filled with unshed tears. Feeling Mabh’s own eyes on her, she blinked them clear and attempted to return her expression to some form of neutral defiance. Facing back at the spot on the wall she fought the sobs that threatened to break through.
“Quite handy isn't he? Too bad my own son could not obey as well as he does. You may go Castiel.” Mabh nodded her head at him and he turned to walk back out the double doors.
“What did you do to him?”
“Oh dear girl, I did nothing. He is here all on his own accord.” She could not believe that. She would not believe that. She remembered the look in his eyes when he had taken her from the faery revelry.
“I do not believe you.” she knew faeries couldn't lie, but knew the truth could be twisted. Racking her brain she could not figure it out.
“You have caused me quite some trouble over the centuries. Now the Seelie queen threatens war on me should I not return you? Why she even bothers with such a silly thing as you is beyond me. Silly mundane reincarnation. Never once have you reincarnated as something more than a human. Filthy vile lot, all of them.”
Renée blinked. She didn't what to think of queen Mabh. She seemed to be out of her mind. Would she wage a war just over revenge? Would she send her people to their deaths just so she could harbor a centuries old grudge over a failed match with the Seelie Court? Of course she would. She is insane.
“However, you will be a perfect demonstration and reminder to all my people what will happen when you betray me. The torture you will endure will be long suffering and extremely painful. It will make what I did to Rye seem like a day in heaven.” The grin on her face would have made Adolf Hitler shake in his boots. Castiel came back in the room and escorted her with arms bound back again into the hall. They then took another path to another room.
This room had a single chair in the middle with leather straps and silver buckles. It was made of worn crudely carved wood and covered in stains of blue, black and red. Strands of hair were stuck to a hook on the back. The smell of rot filled the air and grew stronger the closer she got to it. Castiel shoved her into the chair and strapped her in. Splinters from the old chair dug their way into her legs and arms. To her right stood a long table against the wall with a dark brown cloth covering something she felt certain were torture tools. To her left were medical supplies. It appeared they intended to torture her and heal her and do it all over again. In front of her were a few chairs. The room reminded her of an electric chair exaction chamber in old prisons. She just knew that some Fae were probably going to watch. Tears already began streaming down her face before she could halt them. She dug her fingers into the arm of the chair until small splinters made their way into her nail bed.
“Castiel, why are you doing this? What is wrong with you?” she tried and tried to plead with him but he would not answer. He instead began organizing the table to her right. She could hear the clinking of metal but fear kept her from looking. She did not want to see what frightening tools may be under that brown cloth. When she heard the soft patter of his feet returning she quickly closed her eyes. She knew if she saw what he held in his hands she would scream. How could Castiel be doing this? She felt as if she could trust no one if not the two men she loved the most. First she finds that Gage killed Rye’s reincarnation Sgt. Wade Conley and then now this. Castiel is going to torture her.
When nothing happened she squinted open one of her eyes just until she could get a glimpse of the room. Castiel just stood off to her right a little seemingly waiting for something. A couple of agonizing minutes later she heard another set of foot falls on the ground. Noticing what direction they were coming in she looked to see Mabh enter the room and sit at the center largest chair in front of her. Apparently she would not be getting her own hands dirty.
Renée squeezed her eyes shut again knowing something would be happening now. Her heart pounded and begged to be let loose of its cage. At first she felt confused because something touched her hair. When she tried to pull her head forward it yanked her head to a stop as if her hair were tied to something. This frightened her more because she did not know why they would do that. Eyes still shut, she felt a stinging, burning on her leg followed by a trickle of warmth. When she looked down she observed a slash across her leg from a razor sharp blade that Castiel now held with her blood dripping silently from its gleaming edge. He slashed her other leg deeper this time. It burned more and she had to hold her breath to keep from yelling out as red rubies fell from the wound to the floor. It drank her blood as if thirsty for more. She gripped the arms of the chair harder. He then picked up what looked to be salt and shoved a hand full into the deeper wound. She bit her lip and metallic saltiness filled her mouth as the salt took a turn in drinking. Tears soaked her cheek in streams of warm salt, as if the bit shoved into her wound was not enough. If this was just the beginning she didn't how she would endure the rest.