Later, after dinner, Rayanna went up to the guest room in the attic. After she had expressed gratitude to the Whitney’s for the meal which she had not eaten a bite of. A great sin in the House of Redtail which is why Rayanna had never attended family meals. Since Fox would have made her eat every bite of Beef Bulgogi or Japchae even though they both knew lenansidhe could not keep solids down.
Fox had always stuck to her own traditions and refused to adopt those of the family she had married into. She was so adamant about it. At the time this had caused an uproar since under Briar’s late Father the Thorn King, Wives were supposed to adopt the culture and gods of their husband’s family. Many of the Kumiho had taken issue with this as their culture centered around taking their parent’s ways to the grave.
Rayanna was currently wearing Arssaya’s tee-shirt with the words “princess” printed on the front of the fabric draping all the way down to her bare feet. Mrs. Fox had strict no shoes inside the manor policy and Rayanna could not bring herself to wear foot ware inside any ones home.
. She was currently picking through a box marked Arssaya’s Memories; the letters were messy and the words misspelled. If Rayanna had learned anything it was that sometimes a person’s junk told things about them. The faerie pulled out an old pink stuffed bear with angel wings, a historical children’s book about the Mayflower, a child-sized bracelet made of string and strung with beads, and what was this? Rayanna held up a photograph; there were two children. A white-haired little girl wearing a pair of sunglasses with pigtails who was wearing a crown made of paper. Beside her was a boy with darker skin and blue eyes, whose jeans were faded and worn, both had big smiles on their faces. On the back was written, in childish handwriting, Arssaya And Nick, best fends forever. The girl was wearing the same bracelet from the box around her tiny wrist in the picture. Rayanna filed it away in her memory, interesting but she needed more.
After some more digging, she found an old jewelry box, coloring books, and more child-sized jewelry. Then a stack of stapled pages caught her eye, on the front was the sketch of a girl who wore a weird kind of leotard with no sleeves and she wore long gloves on her hands. There was a ruffled pink skirt around her waist and a small diamond tiara on her head. Interestingly enough, a long cape trailed at the girl’s feet. Under the sketch was written Princess Powers. Rayanna picked up the drawing, the girl’s skin and hair were white and she had red eyes with tiny pupils.
Then the mirror on the old dresser behind her came to life, Biacaneve’s face appearing in the cool glass. Rayanna jumped at the sight of that cold face. “Stop with the watching!” she snapped, recovering.
“Does it bring back memories?” the women asked lazily. “Rest assured I’m not interested in you the same way he is.”
Anger welled up in her chest. “Yee cold unfeeling bint!” Rayanna hissed.
“Careful Muse, we know what happens when you get too stressed,” the vampire mocked.
“Then don’t add ta it!” the girl responded.
“True, I do need you in good shape for Friday,” the vampires drawled.
“What makes yee think I’m going?” she asked saucily.
“Your twin, of course, you’ll want to be reunited. Don’t go anywhere because I’ll be watching through my mirrors, so don’t leave the house for any reason. You’ll stay here until Friday.”
“That’s insane, what if the veil hits here? There will be no house left.” she argued, right before Biacaneve’s hand shot out of the mirror and clamped around her wrist. Then the vampire casually stepped through the mirror onto the attic floor, her grip becoming hard enough to bruise. Rayanna tensed up but knew better than to struggle her heart racing. Stay still don’t fight, don’t fight. It became her mantra; the vampire could snap her in half easily.
The vampire grabbed the fairies chin roughly; her hand was so cold it felt like Rayanna had fallen into a pond on a December day. The vampire turned to her. “I’m parched, hold out your wrist.”
Rayanna suddenly could barely see straight, the room looked a little red. Stop it won’t da any good. Sure it’s degrading but Yee’ve done way worse. She’ll kill them if yee piss her off and da the horned one knows ta yee. her more rational side argued.
“Would you rather I feed on your neck?” the vampires questioned, a hint of smug arrogance in her voice. Rayanna pushed back the sleeves of the large tee shirt, trembling again this time with the urge to rip those pretty dark curls out of the bint’s undead head. She reluctantly displayed her wrist veins as if they were cuts of meat at a butcher shop. Biacaneve’s face showed vicious triumph as grabbed Rayanna’s pale hand and sank her teeth into the fairies flesh hungrily. Rayanna grimaced, not at the slight pain but because of the indignity of the act.
For a fairie species that were hunters themselves, this was nothing less than an insult. Biacaneve knew what she was doing, this whole meeting had been nothing more than a sick power play and she had played right into the vampire’s hands like a scared little girl. Rayanna’s eyes darkened, Fox, Sealiea, Dagda and now this sick bint. She was tired of being at the mercy of everyone around her. Biacaneve let out a sound of enjoyment as she fed. Rayanna kept her face perfectly blank, let the vampire bint think she had won, let her gorge herself on Leanansidhe blood until she swelled like a fat tick.
She had had her doubts about her plan as it was unfair to drag Nick into something between her and his awful aunt. But now she wanted so badly to see Biacaneve squirm and beg, to make her so desperate that she’d do anything Rayanna wanted. Another disgusting slurping sound, then Biacaneve lifted up her head lips smeared with blood. “You won’t breathe of word of what went on between us to Arssaya or Nick.” the vampire ordered.
“Of course, milady,” Rayanna stated making her voice meek and lowering her head so that the women couldn’t see the loathing in her brown eyes.
“I’ll be our little secret.” She promised.
“It better be.” Then with a rough shove, Rayanna was sent sprawling to the ground.
“Here.” A card was flown carelessly at her. Rayanna’s shock must have shown on her face. “I was hasty tonight, from now on come to this address.”
The Leanansidhe gathered her courage “Why?” she asked softly.
“I like having my food delivered.” Then Biacaneve stepped back through the mirror Rayanna got to her feet and angrily she pushed over the mirror. Shards of glass flew everywhere one very nearly sliced her cheek. She took a deep breath to calm herself down; her body was still shaking with fear. She took the telephone off the wall and dialed the Whitney’s phone number, they still had their power being somewhat away from the areas that had been hit. Please pick up, please pick up. “Arssaya, can you call back later? I’m trying to knit magic socks.” Nick’s voice came through.
“Really socks?” Rayanna teased.
“Socks are easy, glad you called,” he brightened, then added. “I’m trying to copy the seven-league boot idea, but I’ve knitted five pairs and nothing.” The boy sounded glum.
“I’m sure you’ll get it eventually, how are yee?” Rayanna asked him.
“Fine, Dad’s apartment is nice, and I left my sewing kit there last time.” There was tension in his voice
“However?” Rayanna filled in aloud.
“I know, it’s going to happen again, something weird is going to show up.” Nick stated.
“You’d be right, Nick.” Then she launched into an explanation of events and about the veil still leaving out the part about her direct involvement.
“Rayanna, no details okay, I just want to know how to stop it.” he declared.
“Nothing, yee can’t fight it.” Rayanna informed him with crisp frankness.
“Me and my parents went shopping today. It was a madhouse, everyone fighting for supplies.” the witch said. “We brought canned goods, water, first aid, bullets for my dad’s shotgun, matches, a flashlight, pocket knife, etc.” The boy paused.
Rayanna nodded, it made sense, then she added. “May I suggest rosemary as well.” She heard the sound of someone scribbling something down.
“Yeah, sorry about that,” Nick stated once she heard his voice again.
“Fine, so are yer classmates okay?” she questioned.
“Yes, according to Aunt Bia they might be eating bugs for a few days. No more cursing people okay?” he added. “So how’ve you been?”
Rayanna thought hard she was hurt, angry, scared, and a bit hungry. “Better,” she replied honestly.
“Arssaya can be a bit difficult,” he stated awkwardly.
“She’s an insecure spoiled brat,” Rayanna saw no point in sugar-coating.
“She’s been through a lot,” his voice was protective. Then more silence. Rayanna decided to pry at this moment, information about group dynamics was very important if one wanted to manipulate people.
“So what’s up with yer friend?”
His voice sounded harsh over the phone. “We’re not friends!” The witch insisted.
No, not anymore, Rayanna thought. “What happened?” Rayanna asked him, making her voice soft with concern. Her intuition was right there was a lot of negative tension between them.
“No offense but it’s really none of your business.” The witch told her.
“Yer right.” Must have been one nasty fallout, Rayanna thought to herself. Time ta make me move. “Yer right I shouldn’t pry...oh!” Rayanna faked a gasp. Fairies couldn’t tell lies but they were quite good at finding loopholes.
“What?” the witch demanded.
“It’s nothing really...” She forced a swallow and made her voice uneasy.
“Let me be the judge of that.” Nick replied.
“But if it turns out ta be nothing, then...” He cut her off.
“Rayanna, tell me please.”
She forced a sigh, “Alright, Biacaneve came ta talk ta me and Arssaya, she wants us ta go ta the fairie rave, and rescue a human and keep the whole thing ta ourselves.” the fairie girl said calmly. There was silence on the other end. Rayanna nodded to herself, Biacaneve had a shady reputation among the fey; she was betting Nick was smart enough to know at least some of the awful things she was capable of.
“That doesn’t mean it’s anything sinister,” he commented, trying to sound calm.
“Yee know now that yee put it that way, I feel better. I think me nerves are just shaken up from all the excitement. I’m seeing enemies everywhere.” Rayanna gave a shaky careless laugh. “Thanks, Nick I feel a wee bit better, after all, yee know exactly what Biacaneve is capable of, being her great-nephew.” Then she yawned loudly. “Well, it’s been a long day, and I need ta get a resting. I know I’ll sleep better knowing Arssaya is safe. She might be a brat but ya know sometimes she’s kind of fun. Goodbye, Nick.”
His voice broke over the phone. ” Rayanna, wait! Did my aunt, um, say what day you were going to do this?”
The Leanansidhe let a smug smile cross her lips the fish had been snagged by the hook. “Friday, why is there something wrong?” Rayanna put on her most innocent voice.
“I think maybe I should come with you, just don’t tell Aunt Bia.” There was a pause. “Just tell me is everything you’ve told me tonight the truth?” Nick questioned her sternly.
“Of course, I can’t lie directly ta yee, remember?” she said putting a bit of hurt into her tone.
“Yes I know but I’d feel better if you said it now,”
Rayanna cleared her throat, “Everything I’ve said tonight is the truth.” She stated.
“Okay, thanks, I feel better.” He sounded relieved.
“So do I, goodbye, Nick, see ya on Friday at six.” she chirped then put the phone down. Rayanna felt triumphant for about two seconds until she contemplated just how her nights were going to be spent for a while and her happiness gave way to utter dismay and dread. Worse, she could already feel the familiar feeling of something inside her being off as she neared the edge of the cliff she currently stood on.