“I’m fine, dad, really.” Arssaya reassured him for the fifth time. While they stood near the burning rubble of what was once a trailer park. Firemen sprayed what was left and went around making sure everyone was out. People stood around looking at what was left of their homes in dismay, some people were actually crying. There were hugs and kisses all around.
“Powers out all over the city; everyone is confused.” she explained.
“I know, saw that driving here, the whole city looks like a war zone.” her stepmom commented.
“Yeah,” Arssaya turned away quietly.
“Arssaya Lisa, Whitney, is there something you’re not telling us?” her father demanded sternly.
“No, uh, why...?”
He gave her the look. “A blacksmith’s shop rammed right through the school auditorium!” she burst out. The childish part of her was hoping he would make everything okay again, like he usually did, while her more practical side knew this was beyond a scraped knee or a broken heart. “But it was no biggie; I mean no one was hurt or anything.”
Unless you consider spouting scaly tails, as ‘hurt’, she thought to herself.
Her father closed his eyes and opened them. “Dragons, blacksmith shops, what the hell is going on here?” he asked.
Mrs. Silver chewed her lip. “Whatever it is destroyed our home.” Her face crumpled.
Mr. Benson, Nick’s father, cleared his throat. “I know things have been awkward lately, but you and Nick are welcome to stay with me.”
“Are you sure? I wouldn’t want to be any trouble.” his ex-wife said.
“It’s no problem, Adia, we’re still family,” he reminded her. Arssaya held back her own sigh of relief; Mrs. Silver looked around at all the other desolate faces sadly.
“They have nowhere to go,” Adia stated sighing.
“What about the emergency shelters?” asked Mrs. Whitney.
“Haven’t you heard? Building, trees, even shops are popping up where they shouldn’t, the emergency shelters are packed.” Mr. Benson said. “I was listening to the radio on the way here.”
Mr. Whitney looked thoughtful as he looked at the crowds of people. Then he whispered something to Mrs. Silver, nodding, the two of them walked up to the various families and started talking to them.
What the heck are they doing! Arssaya thought feeling uneasy.
“What about that girl, Rayanna? Where are her parents?” Mrs. Whitney asked.
Arssaya frowned. “I don’t know,” she replied peevishly.
“Mum’s dead,” said a voice. Arssaya and her parents turned to see the Fairie girl.
“Don’t you have a place to stay?” Arssaya’s mother asked frowning. Arssaya’s eyes went wide, she didn’t like where this was going.
“I’ll find somewhere,” the girl responded.
“A teenager shouldn’t be out on their own, you’re welcome to stay with us,” Arssaya’s stepmother said in a warm welcoming tone. Arssaya’s jaw nearly dropped.
“Are yee offering me shelter?” she asked in a stunned sort of voice. There was a moment of thoughtful silence as Arssaya struggled to keep herself from screaming at the fairie girl. “Yes, I’d welcome your hospitality,” she replied. Arssaya suddenly noticed her nails digging into her own palms.
Her father returned. “Well, I talked to everyone, some of them have relatives, and the others have agreed to stay with us. Is that okay with you honey? he asked his wife firmly.
She turned and kissed him. “Mom, Dad!” the half-fairy complained; she hated it when they got romantic in public.
“Our house might be a bit crowded for a few days, but we’ll make it work,” Mrs. Whitney said smiling. “Oh, and this young lady is staying with us as well.” she added, presenting Rayanna to her husband.
“Rayanna, right, we’d be glad to have you,” he said truthfully. Arssaya had mixed feelings, on one hand helping less fortunate minorities was a project Misty would approve of, but on the other hand, Arssaya wasn’t quite sure she wanted to share her room with Rayanna. She felt bad for the girl an all, but still.
“Yeah that’s a great idea why don’t I take our new house guest to the car while you guys take care of things here.” Arssaya lead Rayanna away to the car. ” Rayanna, don’t you think you’d be more comfortable say sleeping in a nice flower bed or wherever it is you fairies sleep?” she asked nicely.
“Sleeping outside in a city that I haven’t visited with no form of protection?” the fairie girl scoffed.
“You can turn humans into lizards,” Arssaya pointed out.
“I’m not the only fairie here.” she reminded Arssaya.
“Look, Ray, I feel for you, I really do,” the half-fairie started.
“Yer lying, someone as selfish as ya could never feel fer anyone,” the fairie girl retorted.
“Selfish!” Arssaya gasped. “I’ve dedicated my life to helping others!” How dare she. A throat cleared behind them; they turned to see Biacaneve skulking about behind them.
“What da ya want?” Arssaya asked.
“More importantly, how can yee go about in sunlight?” Rayanna questioned.
“Lots of sunscreen,” Biacaneve informed them.
“Hey! Me too!”
This realization made Arssaya very uneasy, she always thought light would protect you from the monsters in the dark apparently that wasn’t the case. “Okay, talk, what is going on?” The blonde crossed her arms. “Why are blacksmith shops, and horse and carts, and fairies, dragons and whatever else showing up?” the half-fairie questioned.
“Why don’t you ask your new friend? She’s the one who caused it.” Rayanna eyed them guiltily a slight flush in her cheeks. Arssaya felt anger well up in her chest, of course, why didn’t she see it before? The Fairie had been the cause of her problems from the beginning.
“So it’s your fault!” Arssaya snarled at her.
“It’s not! Dagda had his siren spell me; I wanted to stop speeding up the veil collapse, but...” Her face looked haunted and she shivered. Then her face hardened. “Besides, it was already unraveling, I just kind of sped up the process a wee bit.”
Biacaneve snarled. “Drop the innocent act, you expect anyone with a brain to believe you didn’t want to destroy Fairie? You have a complicated history with the Seelie Court. This would be the chance to get back at them for all I know you and your dreadful guardian planned this.”
“Yee have no idea what I went through ta secure me place, yee think it’s easy for a dark fairie ta gain a place in the bright court? ” Rayanna said.
Biacaneve snorted. “Knowing what the unicorn found in your memories, I’m betting you slept your way to a citizenship.”
“I earned that thing, those tests weren’t easy! I nearly died three times!” Rayanna exploded.
“This really isn’t the time or place,” Biacaneve answered. Rayanna looked at Arssaya and nodded in agreement. She huffed, being ignored thing the magic people kept doing was beginning to get on her nerves.
“I have a task for you, Arssaya Whitney.” The vampire said her name with disdain.
“Why should I help you?” the blond demanded.
“Because otherwise she’ll be a draining yee dry within ten seconds,” the Leanansidhe offered.
“She’s mistaken; I can do it in eight seconds,” the vampire corrected.
Arssaya shot her a look. “Whose side are you on?” she accused.
“Manners are important,” the Fairie replied.
“I thought I’d give you both a chance to atone for your sins,” The vampire queen revealed. The faerie gave her an incredulous look.
“I suggest you put on your mask, before I pluck out your insolent eyes,” the vampires said coldly. There was a flash of fear, and then Rayanna schooled her expression quickly.
“Issues much?” Arssaya responded.
“I’ve been watching events unfold in my mirror. The Unseelie Court has taken a man, a senator called Makulu Sahib.”
Arssaya eyed Biacaneve squarely. “Why can’t you go get him?” she grilled feeling suspicious.
“The fairies help us cover up our killing give us new identity’s extra,” Biancaneve explained. “Thanks to all the horror movies anyone can kill a vampire, just last week, two teenagers set one of us ablaze while we slumbered. I told Fernando a coffin in a cellar wasn’t a good idea, the fool.”
“Please if teens killed a vampire they wouldn’t keep something like that quiet,” Arssaya scoffed.
Biancaneve smiled, revealing sharp white teeth. “Well, a few days later those boys disappeared; it happens in big cities all the time and no one notices.” She licked her blood red lips. Arssaya shivered, she got the implication and felt the urge to run out of the room screaming. The corner of Biacaneve’s lips twitched like she was fighting a smile.
“Okay, what would fairies want with our senator?” Arssaya asked.
“Nothing specific, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he’ll most likely be a sacrifice,” the vampire replied.
“Wait, you mean like Aztec style?” asked Arssaya incredulously, remembering her social studies class.
“Dark magic runs on the spilling of...blood,” she answered. Arssaya saw the hunger in her eyes, then she recovered. “Now, I’ve lived among the fey, for years. I know their strengths and weaknesses, and their patterns,” Biacaneve paused, “now that they’ve returned to the human world, they’ll want to celebrate. They’ll host a fairy rave, all the fairies will be there and if the Unseelie Court decides to do anything to the senator, I’ll be there.”
Arssaya was suspicious. “Okay, what’s your real plan?” she demanded.
“Pardon?” asked the vampire.
“You expect me to believe you’re concerned with a human? You eat us.”
The vampire looked irritated. Rayanna looked pleasantly surprised. “Maybe ye’re not so stupid after all.”
Biacaneve actually looked taken aback.“My plan is of no importance to either of you, you’ll do as I say. Or you might be the next to disappear.” Biacaneve threatened.
“What about Nick? How does he fit into your plan?” she demanded.
“Why do care? You abandoned him, after all.” the vampires tone was chilly.
Arssaya felt the familiar guilt mixed with fury. “You don’t know a damn thing about me.”
“I know your would do anything to fit in, that you live in your own little world where everything is logical, predictable and there are no surprises,” the vampires said.
“You’ve been using your mirror to spy on me!” Arssaya suddenly felt violated.
“I’ve been checking up on Nick, your face just happens to be around.” Her tone was almost accusing.
“So you’re spying on him, nice,” she said sarcastically.
“I’m concerned for his safety, especially now,” Biacaneve said hesitantly.
Arssaya looked her in the eyes and saw a flash of fear. The vampire wasn’t saying much, but she was very worried. An uneasy feeling crept its way into her stomach. “Nick’s in danger?” The idea was unfathomable. Sure, Nick was a smart ass. How he avoided getting beat up was a mystery to Arssaya, but the thought of someone wishing to hurt him.
“Our family has rare gifts that others would exploit for their gain.” There was a pause. “They can’t get to me.”
“He sews; I doubt the fairies are that fond of handmade scarves.” Arssaya scoffed.
“You shouldn’t make judgements about things you don’t understand.” She warned the girl making her even more frustrated more secrets.
“So we’re expendable,” Rayanna stated knowingly.
“Quite, and if you refuse I’ll make your shallow little life’s unpleasant,” she said.
“Fine, on one condition.” Biacaneve snarled and bared her fangs in response.
Arssaya jumped away from her shakily. Slowly she recovered her courage. “I want you to use your mirror to find out, what I am.”
“Fine, you find the senator and I’ll grant your request.” Biacaneve walked away regally. “Oh, and the Leanansidhe stays with you, that’s final.”
“I don’t like this, she’s been watching us and she knows way too much,” Rayanna stated bluntly.
“Well, I want my answers so I’m going,” Arssaya stated.
The Leanansidhe looked at her. “Well, have fun with that.” Then she sauntered off.
An irritated Arssaya shouted. “You know you’re helping me!” at the other girls back.