Rayanna dragged the witch out the exit doors and down the hallway as quickly as she could. They were almost at the double doors when Nick yelled “No stop!” A ting of irritation hit her. “Where’s Arssaya and Lanika?”
“There’s nothing we can da fer them,” Rayanna responded.
“We can’t just leave them” he protested.
“We did, it’s called self-preservation, we’re sticking ta it.” Rayanna insisted. “Now I’ve got a fifteen minute head start, ya got a car, right?”
Nick looked at her. “Then we have to go back!” he exclaimed relieved.
“I told ya already, Reaper is right white knights are annoying!” Rayanna snapped.
“No, Arssaya is the only one who can drive” Nick explained. “I walk, always have”
Swearing, Rayanna turned and ran back toward the auditorium, Nick hot on her heels the two of them saw Reaper run down the other hall.
“ he can’t go very far.” Rayanna shoved the doors open and they both ran toward Arssaya and Lanika and she blasted them with her magic. Soon the two of them were living breathing flesh.
“Arssaya!” Nick hugged her, she hauled back and slapped him hard across the face.
“You left me, you dirty little coward!” she yelled, then raised her hand again.
Rayanna seeing the self-loathing resignation in his eyes grabbed her wrist. “Don’t ya dare!” the Leanansidhe was angry.
“What? It’s just a slap. If he’s a real man he should be able to take it.” Rayanna glared.
“A slap is how it starts, also if ya want ta dish out justice, I’m yer real target. Nick once he got over his shock wanted ta go back fer ya. I was more than willing ta leave ya ta die.” she explained calmly. “He explained we needed ya, convincing me ta save ya.”
Arssaya glared at her. “The idea I owe him anything or couldn’t have saved myself is bullshit.” Rayanna snorted and unstoned Lanika She saw Nick and folded her arms. “Well, it’s about time, Silver, next time be quicker.” she groused.
Rayanna was shocked— never had she seen such ingratitude in Fairie if someone saved your life especially risking their own safety no matter who they were you made darn sure you fulfilled all their requests. It was a matter of etiquette and genuine gratitude. Even Fox was nice to those who risked their lives for her. Rayanna felt a twinge of guilt although it was true, she had wanted to save him, didn’t regret it. Rayanna could smell the creativity in him, even his magic was only activated through the cloth of his own creation. That meant Nick was one of hers, all artists belonged to Leanansidhe whether they were bound to them or not. It’s that the ones Leanansidhe bound were bright sparks even among the masses of creative individuals. Nick wasn’t a bright spark but he was still hers and she hated it when other fairies touched her humans.
However, the Leanansidhe’s motives for saving Nick hadn’t been completely pure. A common misconception about magic was the idea of limitless power. For one thing, big spells were draining if she wasn’t so used to overexerting herself for Fox she wouldn’t have the energy to stand. Another was that magic was complicated. Some individuals were only good at some types of spells, while others studied and mastered a variety. Different fairies had different levels of power, Leanansidhe were not weak magic users by any means but they had been given a particular domain of magic. Creativity, passion, and art were all linked to chaos. There was rarely rhyme or reason once emotion and your imagination took over. This was why Rayanna was good at curses, it was naturally a chaotic branch of magic, and it was trying to do spells that fell outside of Chaos where she fell flat. Because of this, Rayanna had no problem making alliances with other magic users. They usually never lasted once she had reached her goals. Nick wasn’t super powerful but the fact he’d bound her and Reaper meant he wasn’t a complete novice. If she played her cards right maybe she could even use him to save Rashell, he certainly seemed to have a bit of a hero complex.
But if Nick wanted to think she was a hero without manipulative or selfish motives he was welcome to his belief. It would make him want to help her all the more. Now though she was beginning to feel sorry for him. “So when he does something wrong ya punish him when he saves yer life ya ignores it.” She turned to Nick. “And ya wanted ta save their lives why?” she asked him.
“The reason is growing foggy,” he admitted.
“Why are you cozying up to the person who turned our whole class into lizards?” Darkness settled over Nick’s face. Rayanna made her lip tremble and fixed a remorseful look on her face when honestly she had even forgotten she’d done it time for a half-truth.
“I don’t do well with crowds people can be awful ta the likes of me…I got scared.” Rayanna confessed softly. “I’ll turn everyone back I promise…then I can go away,” she said.
“No!” Nick burst out. “I mean everyone deserves a second chance,” he stated.
“Well you did help me with Reaper; it’s obvious you didn’t want to help that horrible boy. You’re just a victim in all this.” Arssaya decided. “If you choose to play a role fully commit to it or don’t bother.” Fox’s words came back to her. Rayanna inwardly scowled, was putting herself in harm’s way really going to bring her enough benefits to outweigh the costs?
Rashell is counting on ya, have ta gain their trust, she chided herself. “Yer being very understanding, but it’s not enough,” Rayanna stated, sealing her no doubt painful fate. “I’ll be the bait so ya can escape, I’ll hold Reaper off.” Or rather she would let him hack at her flesh and hope her magic didn’t run out. She knew he wouldn’t kill her but she wasn’t naive enough to think that Reaper was okay with her turning on him. Arssaya’s nodded and then she knew her fate was sealed.
Not even five minutes later and Rayanna was wandering the halls, Reaper soon materialized in front of her. “You know I have things to do,” he stated.
“Sorry me continued freedom is such an inconvenience for ya,” Rayanna deadpanned.
“Freedom is an illusion. We belong to those who made us.” There was bitterness in his tone, then he struck her with the scythe, it ripped straight through her flesh sharp and sudden green liquid poured from her wounds. She cried out in pain; no stop what had she been thinking! She wanted to stop moving, blackout forever, anything to end the agony.
“Now are you going to be a good girl and come with me, or do I have to get nasty?” Reaper’s tone was patronizing. Rayanna wanted to throw herself at his mercy and accept whatever came next. She hadn’t felt such pain in centuries and she wasn’t looking forward to more. Still, Rayanna glared at him, not trusting her voice not to plead for mercy.
“Have it your way.” He raised the scythe again, Rayanna closed her eyes but the blow never landed. She looked up to see Reaper’s hands jerked upward, she turned to see Nick wearing his jacket and using his hands to conduct the thread so it wound around his hands tying them together.
“You okay?” asked the witch.
“Ya were supposed ta run,” Rayanna said stunned.
“I have a very guilty conscious,” he explained. “Is this too sexist?” he asked awkwardly.
“Don’t know, don’t care.” Rayanna’s flesh finished sealing itself up she hopped to her feet. “Let get out of here!” She grabbed his hand.
“Wait a minute.” Nick made a hand motion and used the thread to fling Reaper into the wall hard then he threw off his jacket. “Okay, I’m good.” The two of them turned and ran down the hall for the second time that day and straight out the double doors where Lanika and Arssaya sat in the car waiting for them.