Chapter 13 and 14 uploaded at the same time - go back to 13 if you haven't yet read that!
I totally have not missed those creepy black holes for eyes that stared a little too intently. Glitter nervously poofed out in clouds of yellow and silver as he shuffled closer every time I backed up a step, because there was no way I was going to be close enough to touch.
"Mmmerrgh," Dead-Eric groaned.
I nodded. "Uhuh, sure." And blinked frantically at him as he shuffled forward once more.
Tabitha nudged my arm. "What did he say?"
"Huh?" I asked, then frowned at her all while keeping Dead-Eric in my peripheral vision because even though I hadn't yet seen him move faster than his shuffle step, the minute he broke into a run and became one of those fast as fuck zombies I was going to kill him dead-dead because that was literally a nightmare come to life. "Oh, not a clue," I shrugged.
Tabitha huffed. "You are ridiculous."
"Hey!" I scowled at her. "Who the heck understands zombie anyway?"
She rolled her eyes and very quickly adopted that bored expression that she seemed to love so much.
"Hey, Dead-Eric." I gave him a nervous wave. "So...did you happen to see my dragon anywhere because he was supposed to collect you and yet here you are, without him, being your usual creepy self."
Dead-Eric sighed. "Mmergh."
I frowned. "This is harder than I want it to be."
"Perhaps there is someone who does speak zombie?" Tabitha questioned.
"Maybe Grams. She might actually be half-dead, never can be too sure with the old ones," I shrugged. Dead-Eric seemed to be getting a little frustrated, his skinny, blackened fingers twisting into fists and that shuffle-step becoming more of a shuffle-stomp whenever I refused to look at him.
"Mmmerrgh!" He shouted, as if that would magically make me understand him.
I threw my hands up. "What?! It's not my fault that I don't understand your grunts."
His caved in cheeks managed a decent puff of air as he growled in exasperation. His head turned and scanned the crowd that gathered in whispers behind me, probably keeping their distance because, you know, zombie.
Sane people keep away from the walking dead. That's just fact. Only ancient evil witches bother with corpses, well, those and the witches that come from a long line of crazy.
Speak of the devil...
"Oh, excellent, you found Dead-Eric. Can we go now, there's people, and talking, and smiling. I'm uncomfortable," Serena huffed while quickly appearing at my side and sending Tabitha a rather scathing look.
I giggled softly with utter glee - my fire-witch was so transparent in her jealously.
"Who's this?" She sniffed. "And can we get rid of her?"
Tabitha answered for me. "You first, Second-Troll."
"The fuck she calling a troll?" Serena fumed.
I rolled my eyes and shrugged. "It's her thing apparently. Serena, this is my elf half-sister Tabitha. Tabitha, this is my best friend and fire-witch Serena," I introduced them, ignoring Dead-Eric's frantic shaking of his hands and the shuffle-stomp for attention.
The two females eyed each other warily, quite obviously sizing one another up for weakness.
"She's tall," Serena sniffed managing to make it sound like both a flat statement and an off-hand insult.
"She is right here," Tabitha shot back.
"Good grief," I sighed, "it's like spell school all over again." Because my best friend had hated interlopers even then. "Where's Cat anyway?"
Serena's cheeks turned bright pink. "He got distracted," she mumbled, "there was this light and it kept zipping across the floor and wall and he was trying to catch it..." Her words turned whisper soft as she trailed off.
I snorted and slapped a hand across my mouth even as she turned glaring eyes my way. I shook my head, muffling giggles as they tried to break free. "Nope, not saying anything," I promised. Because I was not about to leave myself open to her return barbs about grinding on my dragon. I was really trying to forget that I'd done that.
"What happened to your hair anyway?" Serena asked, probably to distract from kitty comments.
I pushed a hand into my static filled curls and tried once again to unsuccessfully pat them down. "Your loony grandma electrocuted me and then ran off."
Serena gaped. "Uh, why?!"
I shrugged. "Well to be fair, perv-dad had put this crown on my head," I pointed at the jewelled crown that was still atop my fried hair, hanging on precariously to its previous position, "which somehow screwed with my brain enough that I was totally mindless, planned to marry me off to a creepy elf, and turn me into his own personal glitter-witch puppet. So maybe the frying actually helped some."
Serena blinked at me. "I missed some stuff then, huh?" Then shook her head as if to clear it. "Oh, so that might have changed your vision then, right? Maybe that's why you were fine with locking Lucian away - you weren't really you in your premonition."
I nodded eagerly. "Seems like it. I won't be going anywhere near either of them without my dragon anymore so it seems like Grams has broken the vision."
"I would not take that bet," Tabitha sneered obviously getting the gist of the conversation and coming to her own conclusion.
Serena rolled her eyes. "No one asked you, Tiny-tabby."
Tabitha glared at my fire-witch. "You are not amusing." Then turned to me and used her tall form to block my BF out of the conversation. "You remember I told you Allegra tried to kill me once?" She asked with a raised eyebrow and I nodded in response. "That was not an isolated incident, we are always in competition. There have been more siblings over the years but not all survived to adulthood. We are pitted against each other, all expected to fight for our place and position. Allegra is currently the first in line to the throne, but that is changeable, and is only because she terminated the last sibling who was first in line. The king has taken an interest in you, which only means that Allegra has also, and I suspect that he is not the only elf who wishes to remove your dragon from your side," Tabitha finished in her calmly cold tone.
Serena whistled. "Fuck it's like the hunger games of siblings. How many have you killed, Jolly-blonde-giant?"
Tabitha hissed. "A few. I've yet to kill a witch though but it sounds most enjoyable." Her eyes burned an icy blue at Serena.
"Calm down, twiggy, it was just a question." She replied completely unconcerned.
"Why are you telling me this?" I asked because she didn't seem the type to part with such information as a nicety and she had even less loyalty to me as a half-witch sibling than she did even to the brothers and sisters who attempted assassination.
She shrugged. "I have no interest in the throne. I kill those who come for me. You do not seem the type." She turned those icy eyes on me. "Besides, I find myself partial to trolls."
I pouted at her and sighed. "You could have just said that you like me."
"I do not," she shrugged.
I rolled my eyes again somewhat determined to get her to admit that she did in fact like me and prove that my sunny, sparkly personality had not failed me this time and I was still just as lovable as ever. Unfortunately, Dead-Eric interrupted yet again with another demand for attention.
"Fucksake, what is his problem?" Serena grunted.
"I don't know, he keeps doing that but I don't speak zombie," I replied.
"Huh, if he's here where's your dragon?"
Dead-Eric chose that moment to yell out one of his grunts and wave his hands at Serena.
"Oh," she gasped, "are you trying to tell us about the dragon?" She beamed when the zombie nodded frantically in reply. "Is he in trouble? Has he fallen down the well and can't get out?"
I sighed. "The zombie is not Lassie, Serena"
She grinned. "Killjoy." Then turned back to the zombie. "Take us to your leader," she ordered.
I rolled my eyes. "That is not any better."
"Quit ruining my fun," she demanded, then frowned when Dead-Eric shook his head in the negative. "Well what the heck are you trying to get us to do then?" She questioned as the zombie only became more frustrated.
He pointed at me and I stared at the shaky finger he dragged up to head-height and followed it as he slowly shifted it to the right to then point at my fire-witch.
"You want me to stand by Serena?"
He quickly nodded and with a shouty "mmmergh," held both hands up palms out in the universal 'stay'.
"Well," I pouted, "could have just said that from the beginning.
He glared at me. Empty eyesockets twitching with blatant annoyance.
Just as I was about to poke at the zombie some more, the large doors shutting us inside the ballroom slammed open with a thunderous bang and giant beastly roar. Chains clanged and bashed, a thud of something hitting flesh reverberated around the high ceilings, and a victorious roar echoed at the shouts of pain that followed. Smoke billowed in clouds from the doorway, engulfing the tall crowd of elves that blocked the source from view. High pitched yelling rose in sequence as chains clanged again and that roaring started anew.
"His arm is loose, get another one on the arm!"
"I can't see! Block his mouth or something, I can't see past the smoke!"
"ARGH! He bit me!"
More roars and the sounds of a violent struggle filled the now almost silent banquet hall. Watchful elves standing so still they seemed frozen, attention riveted to the mini war at the entrance. My hand reached for Serena as the raging bellow of a great beast pulled an answering shiver from deep within my stomach, that sound so familiar that my feet struggled to run forward even though my brain was adamant about sticking with my fire-witch.
"That's my dragon," I breathed on a pained gasp, my fingers curling around her wrist and holding on tightly.
"Are you gonna cry?" She asked tentatively. "Because I can just kill everyone if you promise not to."
Good grief. My BF was on a slippery slide all the way to Grams, and I should probably start an intervention at some point. But maybe after we got my dragon free because mass murder seemed like an acceptable option right at that moment. "Let me think about it a minute."
"Uh huh, let me know, got nothing else to do right now anyway." She shrugged.
That coven leader thingy had totally gone to her head already.
"Nobody has to die right now-" I started, only for Lucy to shout out such an agonized roar that my face instantly crumpled to tears. "Everyone's going to die," I yanked on Serena's wrist and turned to scream in her face, "They're all gonna die right this second!"
She blinked wide eyes at me. "Oh, okay."
"We need to get him," I insisted, "they're hurting him." And Goddess save the person who put one mark on my dragon, I was totally about to see just how much glitter it took to glitter-splode an elf.
I yanked on Serena's arm and pulled her quickly after me, ignoring the wild grunts of a quickly shuffling and panicked zombie who seemed to be trying to follow and stop me, and pushed my way through a dense crowd that obstructed the path to Lucy. Weirdly, I caught flashes of icy blonde hair that seemed to be keeping right on my tail as my five foot stature bullied it's way through lanky elves to the banquet hall doors. I wondered briefly why Tabitha would even bother to follow but figured she was probably just bored and looking for entertainment. Hopefully she'd be too busy perfecting that flat expression to intervene on her people's behalf.
I totally didn't fancy glitter-sploding my new sister. I mean sure, she was kind of mean, but she also didn't want to kill me and that was pretty great in a place that held a bunch of siblings that would stab me in the back given half a chance. Plus, she was kind of decked out in clothes suggesting some type of warrior-princess and I did not want to tangle with the female that had defended against murder through her teenage years. Seemed hazardous to my continued existence.
I pushed through between two particularly tall male elves and found myself instantly slammed into a short and redheaded wall. "Ooof," I gasped.
"Goddess!" She replied to my boobs as she face planted right into my cleavage.
Say what you want about elf fashion but the push-up effect of the dress I'd been shoved into was seriously impressive. "You can take your face out of my boobs now, Red."
"Sorry!" She yanked herself away and managed to stay upright only through a thick grab of my hand. "Wow, that's the closest I've been to lesbian since puberty," she gasped.
Serena grinned. "Nice!" She held her hand aloft for a high-five that Lily subsequently missed and ended up high-fiving the air. "We'll work on that," my fire-witch sighed. "Where have you been anyway?"
"Oh! I was looking for you. Cat was too but he decided to stay at the front with the dragon. I'm pretty sure he was egging the guards on as they poked your familiar with sticks, Hayley," she winced, "he was definitely laughing at least."
Sons of elf-bitches. I was totally gonna be glitter-sploding me some elves today. How dare they poke my dragon with sticks!
"Oh I'm sure he didn't mean it..." Serena began as I glared at her. "Okay so he did but don't look at me like that I can't control that animal he's basically feral." She threw her hands up in exasperation.
I gripped both of them by a wrist in each hand and pulled them as close as possible, making a short wall to bash through the rest of the crowd blocking my path. "Shush," I told Serena's unimpressed stare, "forget it, let's just get Lucy please," a little wobble in my tone betraying the fact that I hated to hear my dragon trapped and in pain.
I was on a rescue mission, and I was seriously considering destroying everything and anything in my path to get there.
Seemed like even sparkle-witches could get a little murder-happy with the right motivation.
I huffed at my own suddenly violent thoughts. Grams was such a bad influence.
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