Alice and Jacob stride to the tavern door, the doorway looming over her. As Jacob pushes the wooden door open, a blonde female glances up from writing in a notepad. Straightening, her orange eyes narrow in on Jacob. They spark with anger as they take in the male beside her. Her blonde hair is tied into a pony tail, showing off pointed ears. Their eyes meet and Jacob’s green eyes darken with emotions. He glances away and guides Alice to a small table in the corner.
“Jake, who is this?” the female asks, her voice hard, “Or are you too rude to introduce her?”
Jacob finally looks back at her and scowls, a haunted look shadows his eyes. “This is a guest for when Julius deals with business,” he explains, completely ignoring to introduce them, “Alice, this is Jamie Nadolski. She is Fae.”
Alice watches her face, her heart pounding quickly. “Like fairies?”
Jamie’s face darkens and sends a wicked glare at Jacob. “Times must’ve changed in the last five years ago, but I’m pretty sure the Fae have laws against telling humans about our species,” she growls, going around the counter to stalk to them, “Hell, I’m utmost sure she isn’t supposed to cross the portal!”
“Without king’s orders, no,” Jacob corrects, leaning back in the nice wooden chair. It creaks and makes Jamie see red, as her cheeks explode with red, “But this is on his father’s orders.”
Anger and disbelief rise in the depths of her eyes as she takes in the male. “Are you serious? You and Julius are still taking orders from the cruel king?”
Something shatters in Jacob, as he leans forward, speaking low, “Five years ago, you dismissed me. I wanted to stay, for you. You forced me to go by bedding the enemy.”
Alice watches and scoots down in her seat, awkwardness setting in. The atmosphere thickens with tension as Jamie stares Jacob down, his face a mask of no emotions. He crosses his arms over his chest, the female watching his movements. The fire in the hearth flickers and the orange in her eyes darken as she looks away. She stalks away, grabbing a ring of keys off the hook. Throwing them at Jacob, he snatches them with ease, looking mildly amused.
Alice notes the lingered eyes and the feeling that drenched their depths. These two have big feelings for each other, but the words Jacob spouted seem to have driven her off his back. He and Julius seem too close for Jamie to choose him to bed. Lintel? Her eyes widen as she glances at the male beside her. The dark looks Jacob always sent Lintel, the glares. It makes more sense now, the hatred that bloomed in his green eyes every time he saw him.
His green eyes swing over to her, despair going through his eyes quickly. “Want to go see our rooms?”
She just looks at him, the whole day in her mind. The way he yelled at Lintel to not interact with her and Jacob took it upon himself to introduce her an adorable little girl handing out flowers. A blue flower sits on her ear, a reminder that not all of this is horrible. Just a new world. These males, Julius and Jacob, are dangerous and cruel. The way Julius held his power as an advantage, smacking her in the woods later that day is an indicator. The window behind Jacob has a dark sky, with a high crescent moon. He frowns at her, his eyes darkening with confusion.
“Are you okay?” he asks, his voice hushed.
Jamie snaps her head up, her orange eyes brightening with anger. “Of course, she isn’t, Jake!” she growls harshly, “She got fucking kidnapped.”
Jacob stands, the chair screeching as he flings his backwards. His green eyes turn hard as stone. His lips are pulling to a frown as he glances back at her. “Alice, let’s go,” he orders, “Then I’ll take you for a tour.”
Jamie fumes, watching as Jacob took her arm and pulls her to her feet. He slips pass a door to the left; a staircase sits three, the wood chipped at the edges and scratches on the fine surface. The railing going up is metal, with polish. Alice feels the cool chills roll through her as the darkness of the hallway seems to surround her. Jacob pushes her in front of him, shutting them in absolute darkness. Alice feels her chest tighten with fear and she hugs herself. They go up the stairs and shoves the first to the right open. A small room with a little lamp on a side table, with a closet door at the back. No windows in the room and she feels a pinch of claustrophobic. Alice looks at Jacob and he catches her eyes, shrugging.
“You can’t run away.” he states as if it explains everything.
Alice hugs herself tighter, glancing around the room again. She doesn’t have any other clothing than the ones she is in. Grimacing, Jacob shoves her in and closes the door. Protesting with a sharp cry, Alice hits the door and hears the male sigh outside the door.
“I have to get changed,” he explains, though Alice wonders why he is. He could’ve just walked away, “I’ll ask Jamie later for extra clothing for you. You’ll stay in here until I am ready.”
“Why?” she asks, her voice thick with emotion. Her panic is taking over, a heat rush filling her body. Her heart picks up and he skin begins to tingle. She breathes in a huge breath, but the panic rides over it. She starts to hyperventilate.
“Calm down,” he snaps, his voice tense, “The more panicked you get the more your blood gets prominent.”
It is the wrong thing to say as her heart goes into overdrive. She hears Jacob hiss out a breath and a thump, signaling a door slamming. Her heart jumps, but she hears nothing else outside the door. Gulping in breaths, she reminds herself she is alone. The room is dark, the lamp the only source of light. Shaking as she starts to walk to the twin bed lining the wall, she falls on it. The softness and cotton like feel of the bed made a whimper escape her mouth. Just falling into it, she closes her eyes. She lets the darkness take her.
She didn’t dream.
Alice groans, the soft bed beneath her whines as she rolls over, falling hard onto the wooden floor. Swearing, she sits up disorientated, her eyes slitting open to dark room. Confused, it takes her a minute to realize where she is at. Getting up from the ground, she races to the door, her heart in her throat. Murmurs spill through the small cracks in the door, Jacob’s voice at first and then Julius’s.
“Leilani is Chief now,” Julius mutters lowly, “I couldn’t do what—”
Jacob clears his throat, stopping his friend from continuing. “I understand, man. He gave a hard bargain.”
The wood beneath them creaks as they move toward the door she listens behind. The he is clearly the King they talk about. The father of Julius. The door in across the hall, where Jacob was getting dress, opens with a groan and a slam. She backs away from the door, her breathing suddenly heavy. The door gives way to the male in the doorway. His green eyes flicker to hers, surprised. His lips twitch, pulling into a smirk.
“About time you woke up, Alice,” he teases, his voice deep with an edge. His eyes held no humor, though his mouth smiles, “I tried to get you up last night, but you completely fell off the grid.”
“Yeah, getting kidnapped and taken against your will does that to you.” Alice retorts sharply, letting the bitterness settle into her tone. Jacob’s eyes darken as the emotions leech from his eyes as he takes her in.
“I bet. I wouldn’t know.” he snipes back. She rolls her eyes, the fear of the night before a memory as she looks this male over. Fantasy creatures are dangerous, all the ones she has read about. Vampires, werewolves, elves, and more. All apparently true, and somehow, she is mixed in it. Jacob sighs, his shoulders dropping. Shame clouds the air, but Alice feels the words stick as she crosses her arms over her chest, staring the male in front of her. His eyes dart back and forth, his lips pulling into a frown.
Alice caves first, her resolve slipping as she remembers the friend in the hospital and the dog, she’ll never get the chance to love again. The dark of the room intensifies as Jacob gestures for her to come out of the room. Following him, Alice feels the door shit behind them. Noise floats up from the diner below, chatter and laughter. Alice freezes at the bottom of the stairs, the room filled with tall, males. Females litter behind the bars, laughing as the make food and fill glasses at the counter. Jamie stands at the counter, by the dispenser. Her eyes blazing orange as she laughs at a something the male before her muttered.
Beside her, Jacob clenches his jaw as he studies the two. Alice feels a twinge of triumph. Though she doesn’t know why. They believe they are doing good for their village, by taking her to their king, Julius’s father. Prince Julius, she thinks darkly, as she studies the people around her. In a moment, all eyes flicker toward them. At first, Alice wonders if they are looking at Jacob because he is a vampire in the midst of Fae, but their eyes studied her head to toe. A human in their ranks, something no one can disguise pass guards at a portal.
Heat smolders in a few males, their eyes tracking Jacob’s movements. Jamie clears her throat, a smirk filling her lips. Her eyes slowly take Alice in, noting any discomfort she may have. She doesn’t trust Julius or Jacob, no matter the past behind them. The walls of the tavern are a light brown, the sun reflecting it. It seems warm, homey. A safe place, but this is not for her. Stolen as she may be, Fae seem lesser than vampires. That or afraid of the king, who seems to loom over them all.
The male beside Jamie rolls his dark amber eyes, narrowing at Jacob. “I’ve heard a thing about you and your boy.” he says, his voice deep with anger.
Stopping the middle of the doorway, he lifts his eyes to match the male Fae in a staring contest. His lips quirk into a smirk, his eyes lazily looking over the male. The tall male puffs out his chest, irritated at Jacob’s scrutinizing gaze. “What’s that, Mason?” he taunts the male, leaning against the frame next to him, “You actually listened to something? I thought you were all brute, no brains.”
A flash of anger coils in the amber abyss, like flames licking at gold. He straightens, but Jamie grabs his arm, disapproval shining in hers. Mason bares his teeth at the two of them, hatred gleaming as he watches Jacob. Alice shudders, the pure inhuman of the lot brushes pass her. The flames in the fireplace crackles over the silence that falls around them. Some of the Fae grow uncomfortable as the staring contest never ends between the two males. The hatred evident and Alice marks Mason as the male Jamie bedded to go against Jacob. Lovers turned scorned, when one decided to sleep with his enemy.
The cliché part of the whole ordeal, makes her want to giggle, but she worries all attention will find her. The other start to converse again, the drama of the day out of the way. Jamie looks upset as she narrows her orange eyes at the males, alternating so everyone knows it is both of them.
Jacob sighs, letting his stare drop. He stands up from the doorway and presses Alice toward the door. “I’m giving this one a tour, the village and the city.” he calls out behind them as he opens the door.
Murmurs rise as the door shut, the vicious glare Jamie through their way made a shiver go up her spine. The day outlines the village in perfect detail. Children of all ages are laughing, running around the pond in the center of town. The sapphire water ripples as a gentle breeze caresses their skin, the sun reflecting off the clear surface. Some older children splash their way through the water, causing raised voice from their mothers. The trees surround them in a perfect circle, giving them a perfect advantage of hiding from any enemies.
Jacob takes her pass the stalls along the path outside of the pond, the smell of water is a blessing. Some females around Jacob and Jamie’s age, bend their heads and whisper as their eyes find her beside him. Knowing females and rumors, Alice wonders what things they are going to spread about the two of them.
“This is called the Silver Village, the town outside of the city. It was built a hundred years ago for refugees against the Demon King, a ruler long gone,” Jacob explains, taking her by a massive building, old signs and writing etched into the darken wood, “We have rebuilt much, their technologies dying out in this realm when Julius’s father took over. The Fae are extra sensitive to electricity.”
Alice imagines for a split second what it would be like to live here, surrounded by trees. Laughter of children and adults, the perfect sanctuary. But shadows wrap around his pupils as he glances around, leading her to believe looks can always be deceiving. He shakes it off and continues to pull her through the town, leading towards the back, far away from the tavern they are staying at.
A bridge expands before them, leaping from one side to the other. People walk over it, conversing quietly, their ears pointed. Fae, but most are men, their faces haggard with stress and worry. Their eyes are mixture of cold and warmth, bleeding from curiosity and hatred. They send dark glances at the male beside her as they walk over the bridge. Once they cross, most dwindled away, finding smaller paths in the trees. Still on the bigger path towards the City, Alice allows the silence to calm her, allow her to think.
There is no way she can escape with Jacob by her side, or Julius. They have a sense for her, she can tell they know her scent and will find her. Davis and Keiser come to mind, the two males that Julius had mentioned yesterday. No matter what he says or what he does, when they leave, they will go straight toward the king.
As they walked in silence, Jacob digs his hands into his pockets, looking around them. Even in familiar territory, he doesn’t feel safe. Alice knew she isn’t, from the Fae and Julius’s father.
“Any word of the business of Julius?” she asks, just to break the silence, that is threatening to consume them both. He shifts, his head turning to her as they walk. His green eyes seem to pierce her.
“No,” he says, sliding his gaze away from her, lost in thought, “He has his business so we will wait until he is done with a matter.”
His voice is stern, but his eyes held disapproval. Whatever Alice ruined this morning, it left them in a bad state. The path before them narrows, the rocky terrain becoming uneven. She slips, gravel loose beneath her feet. Yelping slightly, she tries to steady herself. He grins, but looks away before she can catch it. Glaring at the side of his face, she manages to stay on her feet. Walking a little bit faster, she tries to lure him behind her. He catches up, his footsteps lighter than her own.
“Nice try,” he says, “Though, you have the worst temper tantrum I have witnessed.”
She clenches, the muscles tightening to the point of pain. She folds her arms over her chest, walking in time to his footsteps, ignoring him completely. The woods start to lighten as the grew closer and in the peaks between the canopy of leaves, a glint of something silver. Shading her eyes, Alice looks up and catches a building, reaching for the skies. As it goes up, it thins. The very top holds a flag, but it is whipping back and forth, she couldn’t decipher what is printed on it.
The no technology stuns her, her reality different from this one. She remembers Sasha’s smile and Fiona’s whine, a lost memory. The trees part, giving her the full view of the Silver City. People mill around, much like the Village, but here, they have purpose, sliding from one booth or another. It is a business, the merchants and traders setting up booths. Some has armor on, like guards. Most of the trader and sellers have worn, grim faces.
Jacob freezes beside her, his green eyes hard. His eyes tracking some of the people’s movements. Alice comes to a stop beside him, the glint of the building shining in her eyes. “It used to be busier than this. The Fae celebrate when the merchants arrive. The stalls line up the whole road, the one that goes directly through Silver City.”
“What happened?” she asks.
His lips pull into a frown, sliding his eyes to her. Sorrow and anger swirl together, making his eyes a dark forest green. “War.”