Chapter 7-An Impass
The faint sound of murmuring awakened Elaine in her uncomfortable state. They had been traveling for what seemed like hours.
The blood from her back was dried now and caked around the bag releasing a pungent metallic odor into the air. She felt awful and could barely make out the light from the sun shifting between the trees through the thin fabric of the bag she was currently stuffed inside.
She was curled in a fetal position and her glamour had long since been dropped. Her wings remained limp, weak and lifeless behind her. Silvia had stabbed her back so it was probably just the pain from her nerves that made her wings feel so dead.
Elaine tried to listen to see she could hear what the witches were saying, but the demon was walking behind them not close enough for her to hear. All she knew was that it was unbearably hot outside and she hoped the witches would get tired soon so she’d maybe get let out of her bag.
Abruptly, the demon man stopped walking.
The bag was unzipped at the top once the demon set down the bag. Elaine took in Silvia’s cold stare as the witch peered down at her. The witch signaled for one of the witches to bind Elaine’s hands after the cruel demon lifted her by the hair out of the bag and onto the rocky ground.
“We will camp here. I want the tents set up in rows. Petunia, you can be on the lookout with Serena for any demons. The rest of you find food and wood. Meet back here in an hour!” Silvia screeched.
Elaine wondered if the witch knew there was already a demon among them. She watched silently as most of the witches scattered away deep into the dead looking woods of the dark domain.
Silvia saw Elaine was tied up now just as she asked, “How are you feeling?”
She sounded pleased, but her tone was mocking the poor faery who’s life was waning. The witch walked behind her.
A sharp pain stabbed into the injury the witch had already given her. It took Elaine a few seconds to recognize her own voice -- a terrible pained scream. Raw hatred boiled within her as unforgiving tears flow down her face in a river.
“Ah. You’re not so tough as I expected. Finnick, you are to keep watch on her until we reach the coven,” Silvia said sharply.
Finnick? So that’s his name, Elaine thought while looking at the demon.
Then the witch walked back in front of Elaine and spun around on her heels walking into a tent already set up across their camp.
Her heart plummeted. Out of all the witches, Silvia told him to keep an eye on her. The new round of pain Silvia inflicted into her back pulsated causing another wave of sobs to escape her.
“Hello, little faery girl,” the demon cooed while crouching down to her eye level.
She hid her face from him feeling completely defenseless.
“Leave me alone.”
He snatched her up in his arms. “I’m going to be doing quite the opposite.”
Elaine squirmed and hollered for him to release her, but he easily walked off with her. He carried her away as she protested into a grey cloth tent held up by a thread strung across the dead branches of a tree. He walked inside the tent and dropped her onto the ground. She cried from the hard impact of her fall as she landed right on her injured back.
Feeling vulnerable, Elaine sluggishly scooted back into the furthest corner of the tent away from him. She wished her hands weren’t tied. She wished a lot of other things too, but there was no getting out of her situation if all she did was wish things could have been different.
Elaine looked up at the tall demon. His head was in the top of their tent as he stared down his nose at her. “When they come for me they’ll kill you and the rest of the witches.”
Goosebumps crept up her arms all the way to her neck as he remained quiet. To think she was finally putting a face to the voice that haunted her for so long. She wanted to know why he was spying on her life and tormenting her for what she guessed was his own enjoyment.
“Who are you?”
He mocked her tone, “Didn’t you hear the witch? I’m Finnick.”
Elaine scowled. “You’re a liar.”
“Many of us demons are -- such as Colt,” he murmured with a bemused smirk.
“What do you know about him?”
The demon turned away from her and pulled back part of the entrance to the tent to see outside. He quickly turned back to her and resumed observing her as she cowered away from him.
“Oh, he never told you about me?” He sounded surprised and it annoyed Elaine how quickly his temper changed, but she also thought it all could be an act.
Darkness seemed to constantly swirl in his eyes -- even the times he had seemed to be at ease, such as when the witch was telling him what to do. Now was no different, but Elaine knew she was already in danger.
She glared at him and spat in his direction, “No!”
She didn’t care if it made him mad. She felt miserable and alone. Colt was more sophisticated and seemed more human than the one standing before her. This demon appeared to embrace the reputation of the creatures of hell. Elaine thought he was everything Colt wasn’t, but she still wondered how they knew each other.
Her spit landed near his feet.
“You’re going to have to be nicer if we are to leave this domain together. The witch has something I want and when I get it you won’t be needed anymore. You can reunite with your companions then.”
“You said you would kill them.”
“I’m so glad you remembered.”
“You’re the demon Aeringdal is after!”
The demon tensed up at the news, but remained silent for he knew they were after the wrong demon. Surely, they had found his brother instead since the faery in front of him was clearly on the run with Colt he thought. No one knew of his identity, yet.
He wondered what Colt was doing with her and did not understand why she did not have a mate glued to her side when the witches found her. However, the demon knew not much about the faery way of life and did not think much more about it. What he knew was the woman in front of him would be the key to his freedom.
Outside the tent, his ears perked up at the sound of the returning group of witches.
“Come,” he said in a hushed voice.
Elaine knew he could see her struggling to move to obey his command. She went rigid when he helped her to her feet. With such a cold and brooding outward appearance, she was surprised to feel how warm his touch was. He propped her limp form up against his chest.
Her face was soaking wet from her crying and dampened the material of his black cloak. Her heart pounded in her chest as she had a much closer look at him. There was nothing familiar at all about his face, but she felt like she knew him from somewhere.
His confused stare mirrored her own.
She may have been in a weaker state than he, but she had no other choice. She had done it once before and it worked. Besides, she was standing now and felt she could manage to get away if just a few feet to make it outside the tent away from the demon.
She felt something liquid tickle the wall of her throat and held his gaze as she mustered what the demon thought to be a weak innocent smile. Then she threw up her faery dust right on him. He grunted and released his hold on her as her sparkling faery dust was splattered all over him in a glittering layer of pink liquid goop.
Before she could make it out of the tent, he yanked her arm and she stumbled back landing on the ground in a heap by his feet as the shiny substance dripped off of him.
Lorcan knelt down beside Colt watching the witches move about their camp. The only reason he could make out the shapes of the witches from the distance they watched at was because of their campfire.
“So let me get this straight. You took us here knowing this psycho brother of yours wants you dead? How exactly does that work? You know...” Lorcan snarled. “Since we’re still in hell! You knew he was the demon we were after and kept silent! Elaine is in danger because of you!”
Colt knew he could easily transport himself inside the tent he knew Elaine to be in. His shadows had already found her and someone else too. It would be so easy to leave Lorcan behind and just do it himself. It would be risky leaving him behind though and if a witch were to find and kill him it wouldn’t make him look good.
“You were the one who failed to deliver her to her parents. Besides, you cannot blame me for the actions of the beings of this realm. It is only natural he wish to escape and use whatever means necessary to do it.”
“What was his name again?” Lorcan wondered while imagining the demon poisoning Elaine’s mind more and more each second they lingered at a safe distance. Colt explained the demon was some form of dreamwalker who was able to read and control the minds of his victims.
Once they got separated from Elaine, Colt admitted to him his suspicions about the identity of the demon who had stolen away his mate. Colt hoped to never have the need or reason to speak the name of the demon again.
It was the reason why the town they previously visited with Elaine had been previously smothered in flames and also explained the absence of Heslin. The former was searching for the very demon they sought after now. He supposed they had just so happened to find him first, or more accurately, Elaine had.
“Viktor.” Colt answered with reproach.
Before Lorcan could argue against it, Colt grabbed the faery man’s neck in a chokehold and used his shadows to transport the two of them right in front of the tent Elaine was being held captive in.