We all rushed back to Shay's house. They were already standing outside, ready to meet us. "Did you guys come up with a plan?" Shay asked as soon as we entered.
I nodded. "We're going to split up to cover more ground. You, Everly and Harvey and Archer and me. If we find him, we text the location and the other group will join before any of us approach him. We avoid close contact and just tire him out until the sun rises again and the moon is gone. From there we capture him in his weakest moment and Harvey is going to finish it." I took a deep breath. I had rushed through it and provided them with a short explanation. We didn't have much time.
"Got it?" I asked them both. Shay had the same expression as Everly before I had convinced her otherwise. But I didn't have the time to convince Shay right now so he would just have to trust me.
"I will be careful, Shay. I promise." "Fine..." He said reluctantly. "I think Archer is ready as well. I would have liked to have more time but we'll have to do with what we've got."
"Okay. Are we ready?" The light was dim but their eyes were glowing, telling me that they were ready.
Then we split up.
We hadn't been running around for long before I felt something that was difficult to describe. Some kind of sensation pulling me in a specific direction.
I stopped running and Archer quickly noticed me slowing down. "What is it, Rieka?" He asked and slowed down too. "I think I know which way to run, " I said to him. "I can feel him, Archer."
Before he could answer, my feet were already carrying me in the direction towards Icarus. We couldn't lose him now. "Rieka!" Archer shouted low. "We should text the others! To let them know!"
He was right. The pull was just too much for me to ignore, so I asked him to do it. "Just tell them that we will text the location when we find him. So they'll just have to be ready." He nodded and send the message.
He was close now. I slowed down and we started approaching quietly. We couldn't let him know that we were here yet.
Finally, I could see him. The crocked shadow of half a man and half a beast. He was just as terrifying as I remembered him. But he was alone which bothered me a bit. Why would he be alone?
I send our location to the others before we hid behind some trees with the wind coming towards us so Icarus couldn't smell us. But I hadn't thought it through completely.
"I know that you're here, Rieka, " Icarus said. "I can feel you just as you can feel me. We are still related by blood, my dear descendant. And I see that you have brought one of my newest recruits. How nice of you." I couldn't see his face but I knew that he was smiling. Thinking that he had the upper hand.
He might have detected me and Archer but he still didn't know that we were prepared the way we were.
"Now, stop hiding. You know that I can't touch you anyway." I took a deep breath. "Stay close behind me, Archer, " I whispered and looked back to see if he was alright. He nodded. "We just need to keep him occupied until the others arrive, " he whispered back.
We revealed ourselves from our hiding spot and stepped into the light.
"How delightful to see you again, Rieka." He said and turned around. His red eyes were glowing stronger than the red light from the moon. If I didn't know any better, I would believe that actual blood was rushing around in there. Much more than the usual small veins.
"I see that you have been training him. Thank you very much, " he said. "You have spared me a few days work."
Archer was moving around behind me. I wasn't sure if it was impatience to get back at Icarus for turning him or if Icarus was trying to infiltrate his mind. Either way, I reached behind me to grab his hand and squeezed it. He squeezed back.
"Interesting, " Icarus said and started walking in circles. We followed his movements. "I see that you have been training him in more ways than just being a wolf... But I'm afraid that it's not enough." He squinted his eyes towards us and I felt Archer's hand letting go of mine.
I looked back and saw that both his eyes had turned red. "Archer?" I whispered but he was gone.
He reached out for me but I easily dodged him. His nails were now deadly claws and his teeth were ready to shred anything that got too close.
"Archer! Stop!" I shouted and dodged him over and over. "This isn't you!"
Icarus was laughing. "He can't hear you, foolish girl. I might not be able to touch you but he can and you can't touch him without hurting your friend. So what's it going to be? You or him?"
I wasn't going to give up. I knew that they had been working hard and that Archer was reachable. I just needed to figure out how.
I kept dodging his blows and shouting to him every time I had the chance. Trying to remind him about who he was.
Then I noticed something in my pocket. The necklace that Archer had given me on my 20th birthday. I had wanted to throw it out ever since he first betrayed me but it was the only reminder I had about the good times. The time before all of this, so I had kept it. Maybe it had been destiny?
I ripped it out from my pocket and stretched it for Archer to notice. Finally. His golden eye was back.
I was exhausted from avoiding the hits from Archer but he was finally standing still, fighting Icarus in his head. "That's it, Archer. I know you can do it, " I huffed as I held the necklace as close to him as possible.
"Hmm, " Icarus calmly said. This is new. I see that you have approached his training a little differently than what I had expected. Interesting. Too bad, he could have been a good warrior. But luckily, I can use him for more than just a puppet."
His smile widened. "I hear that the two of you have a past." What was that supposed to mean?
I finally had a chance of hurting him. He was still a little baffled by the fact that he couldn't control Archer and Archer himself was standing still, not able to move. If I was going to strike, it had to be now.
I took off and jumped towards Icarus. But he was one step ahead of me. He disappeared before my eyes and appeared again right behind Archer.
I started to panic. Icarus wasn't able to touch me but he could easily hurt Archer and he couldn't avoid Icarus in his state. I turned around and ran towards them but I wasn't even close.
Icarus smashed his hand into Archer's back and ripped it out again. His hand was holding part of Archer's spine. Something, not even a wolf could recover from.
"Archer!" I screamed for him as I saw the life leaving his eyes. He was dead before he hit the ground.
I fell to the to my knees when I reached his lifeless body. "Archer!" I screamed. "Archer! Please wake up!" But he didn't move. Not as much as a twitch with a finger. He was really gone.
He was gone and it was all because I had been too afraid to do what had to be done.