A small town sits on the edge of a water, made of stone and wood. Children dart across the roads, laughing and screaming. Adults mill around, some grouping up to talk. Cars go pass every few minutes, the main road busy in the middle of the day. Dust swirls around and has a few adults coughing into their sleeves. Alice walks by a group of kids by the river bank. The older ones, throwing pebbles in the shallow end, look at her with weird expressions. Rolling her eyes, she goes by them without interacting.
Five days went by and Alice hasn’t heard anything from her parents. Her cell phone was left at the house, too scared to be found so early in her run. She feels dangerous to be around all these families and people, but Alice found this town by surprise. It is hidden, close to the river where they don’t need to spread the town out. Alice found a small shed towards a field, with an entrance to the water front. The shed is big enough for a make shift bed and some tools she grabbed from the town.
It is kind of hard to find things when you have no parents, but legally she is allowed to be on her own. She turned eighteen two days ago, the little cupcake with a candle is how she celebrated becoming a full adult. Shaking her head out of her thoughts, she feels the hair on her neck stand straight. She freezes, the scene before her captured her. The sunlight reflects off the water, causing the light to catch the side of her shed.
Alice feels strangely exposed in her safe place and the feeling of being watched never leaving as she glances around the clearing. She shudders, shoving the feeling behind her as she climbs her way through fields of purple flowers. A crumble of rocks fell when she slid through a pile, slicing her on the leg. Cursing, she bends to rub the blood away when footsteps fall behind her. Whirling around, she faces two men, both in all black. On the right of their breast is a symbol. Th e symbol contains of three gold circles intertwining, with a silver V stamped in the middle. The one with dark brown hair that fell down in waves to his shoulders, looks her up and down. A cruel smirk fixates his face as his dark brown eyes meet hers. She feels ice in veins as they stare each other down, something predatory in his gaze. The other light-haired male clears his throat, but his green eyes hold triumph as he takes her in.
The brown-haired male runs at her, her eyes tracking his movement, but she couldn’t stop what he did. His hand came up and slams into the back of her skull. Alice gaps, a blinding noise splits her ears and she fell forward. Slamming in the ground, her eyes flicker and she hears a male swearing.
Alice groans as she came back to consciousness. Her eyes open to a shadowing part of the woods. Behind her she hears the rush of water and feels the rough edges of bark digging into her back. She feels panic rise within her but as she tries to move, her hands are bound. Pulling at her hands, she feels the rope dig into her skin. Kicking her feet to get traction, she pulls harder. A tingling sensation spreads through her hands and she settles down, letting the blood flood into her fingers.
A shadow falls over her and she glances up to the right. One of the males from earlier stand before her, a smirk hanging on his lips. He leans against a tree across from her, his hip pressing against it. His brown eyes look her over and snorts. Alice wrinkles her nose at him and anger rallies through her. The light-haired male is standing by another male, who has dark red hair, the rest in the shadows. They look to be arguing, but the male beside her moves to stand closer, gaining the attention of the red headed male.
“Lintel, do not speak to her,” the blonde headed male snaps, moving over to stand in front of Alice. She looks up at the male, her face scrunching together. The look the red-haired male sends her is filled with disgust. “We do not engage with her until Julius comes.”
“It’s not like she is dangerous, Jacob,” the male beside her snarls. Lintel. She corrects herself. “She is merely human.”
The blonde rolls his eyes, looking back at the red-headed male. “What exactly did Julius say?”
In the shadows, Alice makes out him shrugging. “Honestly, he didn’t say anything. It went silent after I told him we had her.” They all look at her, their eyes the same color abstract. Lintel smirks, his attractive face transforming into something inhuman. His brown eyes were dark with hunger and anger as he takes her in. Jacob glances at her, his eyes kinder than the others, but his green eyes shuttered shut.
“Get some rest. The sun peaked about an hour ago, so we need to make way by dusk.” Jacob orders the others, his eyes not connecting to Alice’s.
“Without Julius and Davis?” the ginger asks, his voice deeper than the others. The shadow of the trees, so Alice still couldn’t make out anything besides the hair and eyes. Alice looks around them and sees a canopy of trees above them, sheltering them. In her mind, she sees a gleam of teeth, that look sharp like fangs. The ghost of the memory lingers on Lintel’s face
Jacob stares the other male down, his eyes working a plan. “How about you go and find them? Tell them we are heading towards the Black Ley Forest to the Dark Cavern.” Alice tilts her head, curious where she fits in to all of this. The ginger notices her movement and clears his throat, gaining Jacob’s attention.
His green eyes narrow in on her, but they soften, like he has a secret. “She can hear anything. She comes back with us,” he spoke lowly, “You know this.” The red-head bares his teeth in anger, before melting in the shadowed background. Jacob rolls his eyes and sighs, gesturing to Lintel to him.
“Yes, boss?” mocks Lintel, sarcasm a heavy blanket. The other male’s eyes narrowed and snarls.
“You do not speak to her. You do not engage with her. She is our captive and nothing else.” The blonde male orders the dark haired. Lintel looks at him, his eyes piercing into his friend.
“She is human, Jacob. By the time the king is done, who cares—” Jacob is in front of Lintel in an instant, his hand clenching his shirt. His eyes are a dark color, swirling with the green. He bares his teeth; two sharp teeth slide a little longer. Alice balks and her hands clench at the rope that binds her. Her heart speeds up, climbing into her throat. Lintel’s brown eyes slide to her and his nostrils flare as if he could scent her fear. Maybe he could. Jacob relaxes his position and turns to Alice, his green eyes emotionless.
“Sorry about that, but evidentially, Lintel here thought you get to know what is going on. I’m having Julius explain if he wants,” Jacob says, his eyes darkening to black. “Until then, we keep quiet.”
Alice scowls, anger heating her cheeks. “Why me? Why the fuck am I here?”
Jacob looks amused and Lintel’s lips quirked at the side. Her outburst seems to have surprised them. Alice narrows her eyes at the males, anger taking up her bloodstreams. Lintel rolls his eyes and walks closer to her. He leans close and she hears Jacob protest. But his face nearly touches hers and she tries to back away, but her head hits the tree behind her. His face inches closer, his warmth breath caresses her face.
“Guess you will just have to dealing with the unknown, huh?” He says, his voice low. Alice swallows harshly, the brief memory passing her mind of fangs. He backs away and goes back to the tree across from her. She lets out a breath, her heart pounding. Jacob growls under his breath, moving to stand beside Lintel. They start to converse lowly, the words not understandable from where she is.
Alice leans her head against the tree behind her and watches the branches sway. The tree she is tied to is an oak tree, that has bright green leaves. The sky is blue between the leaves and a ray of sun sprinkles through. She closes her eyes, feeling the warmth upon her skin. She doesn’t remember falling asleep.
The sky grew dark and Alice feels the touch of water as it fell. Somehow, she is untied and sitting up, the ropes shredded at her legs. The two men sleep soundly not even a foot away. Smiling in the dark, she reaches for a small dagger by Lintel's bed.
Scrabbling to her feet, as quietly and quickly as she could, Alice backs away, hoping to never find out who Julius was. Hurdling through the forest, she feels the wind tear at her, rippling her clothes. Shivering as she runs, she feels the ounce of freedom.
Suddenly the trees give way, opening to a wide clearing, infinite for miles. Slowing to a stop, Alice's pants steamed in the air. A silhouette stepping into her vision, just enough to see an outline. She can recognize the lean figure that held a hunter's stealth.
“Lintel,” she gasps softly. The man starts striding towards her, like she is the prey. In this case, she is. Turning, Alice saw without surprise, the forest gone. Sprinting, she didn't dare turn her head to see where her captor is and how far he is.
A hand grabs her shoulder, jostling her, making her fall. Yelping and screaming, Alice kicks at her captor. He stands above her, a wicked gleam in his dead red eyes.
“Wake up, Alice,” he says.
Her eyes snap open to two males standing over her. Lintel and Jacob look down at her. The blonde male looks at her with his lip curling, but the other male is smug, a darkness swirls in the depths of his gaze. The trees above him are still, the spring breeze stopping. The sun settles slowly, the light beginning to dim. She tries to sit up straight, but the ropes drag her back. His brown eyes light up with excitement and Jacob turns his head to glare at the male.
“How was your nap, Alice?” Lintel asks, his voice deep with mockery. The dream is vivid in her mind, the hunter’s stealth he had processed and the way he had lunged for her. His brown eyes darken to where they look black. Alice blinks and they are his brown again. Her throat swells with panic, wondering if she is going insane.
“It is good you are awake,” Jacob addresses her, his green eyes hard in the dimming light. A shadowy figure stands behind them, the silhouette crossing his arms over his chest. The blonde hair male looks over his shoulder, before stepping closer to Alice, his face only inches away from hers. His hands brush hers as the check the ropes and pulls on them. Hissing as the rope rubs against her wrists. Jacob steps back, his face completely blank. “Julius, this is her.”
The shadowed figure tilts his head, his arms still crossing over his chest. Alice feels predatory eyes raking her up and down. Shuddering, she glances up, her eyes meeting dark grey ones. They seem like smoke and harden stone. It is impossible, but it is a solid color of grey, impenetrable. A cruel, animalistic hunger sways in the abyss of his eyes as they connect with hers. Watching her, he steps into the dying sun, the light that’s left catching him. The harsh lines, the high cheek bones and strong jaw line. Dark splash of hair settles on his head. His lips are a pale color, pulled into a smirk. The clothes on him are like the others. The symbol embedding itself into her mind, a familiar presence hooking on it.
Julius tilts his head in a predator grace as his eyes linger on her nightmare induced hair and her bleary eyes. He must’ve scented a hint of fear when she faced Lintel, for his eyes flicker to the male that perch nearby. But he merely dismissed anything and his eyes pierce her once again.
"She’s not much to look at," Julius mutters more to himself as he continues to stare her down. Some part of her cowers at the male before her. The inhuman way they walked and held themselves terrifies a part of her. It just seems to seep from him in waves. Then his words register and she musters the courage to meet his eyes.
Alice bares her teeth like a caged animal. "Neither are you. The way these two acted," she tilts her head at Jacob and Lintel, "I thought you would be scary and imitating," she pauses, the silence stretching taunt like a string between them. Jacob has his eyes on Julius, worry a mask on his face. Lintel looks pissed and half-amused. Julius’s eyes stay blank. A smirk plays her lips, giving her a boost of confidence. "But looking at you now, I don't quite understand. What kind of coward and sadistic thing would kidnap a girl?"
His eyes bleed to black, and he snarls. A quicksilver of fangs and he lunges, tearing a scream from Alice. His hands latch onto her throat and starts to suffocate her. There is nothing human in those eyes, only a predator anger. Her lungs start to flare with pain as no air enters her lungs. She tries to gasp for air, but his hands latch on tighter. Distantly she heard Jacob yelling at him. She wonders why he cares. But her eyes close and she fell through a black hole of unconsciousness.