Stolen (The Evalanty series, #1)

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4.3 - Damien

A shielding enchantment covers the entire area to prevent teleportation directly into the headquarters territory. A fence, twice as high as me, leads around the place, and the way in goes through two massive gates. But it would not matter if it was free to enter the building, because my fear freezes me in the thin layer of snow.

The heart skips a beat when the gates are opened. A young girl, Ellen, shows up inside. She and her twin brother Timmy are children of Hevania, who holds the position of the diplomat in the Council. They are Lesley’s age and leave important messages between the workers at the base, with information that can't end up in the wrong hands.

“Christy wondered if it was you,” Ellen says with fog from the breath.

I tighten my jaw and focus on her black gloves in an attempt to hide my feelings. But when she extends her hand towards me, I look up again.

“Come,” she says with a gentle smile. “The others are waiting in the hospital room.”

I swallow harshly and follow her into the yard. A short gravel road leads to the headquarters door with guards on each side. They look at me when Ellen opens the door and enters. The building is well lit with lanterns and candles to compensate for the lack of windows. The hall consists of a corridor lined with doors and is meant to be a bunker. The security of the Council is of the utmost importance, they are the only ones holding together the small structure we have left after all the years of war. Being within these walls is always torture and I never stay longer than necessary.

I’m not going to start today.

At the end of the corridor, there's a door with a staircase down to the basement and the hospital room. After escorting me here, Ellen takes her leave. The sounds from the room can be heard through the door, I can only imagine the chaos inside. When I open up, I am met by the injured lying on bunk beds next to the walls. Some sit on the floor with gauze bandages wrapped around bloody injuries, while those with healing abilities take care of the more severe cases. I find myself looking for the elven girl from the street, but there are far too many in here to be able to single anyone out.

Alex moves quickly between patients and radiates confidence he never does otherwise. In battles, he is always at a disadvantage, but here his magic is at its best.

Simon sits on one of the bunks with a gunshot wound in his arm. One of the healers tries to help him, but Simon just chases him away. Most likely, he wants the others to be taken care of first. Ever since I met him, he has had a ridiculously low priority for his own safety. Nyla has scolded him a number of times to no avail, and in my opinion, it's incredibly selfish of him. Can he not keep her in mind so she does not have to become a widow before she is even forty?

A cold shiver travels down my spine and I immediately feel familiar brain waves, which belong to the person I most of all want to avoid.

“You decided to come here anyway,” Christy says with a tone as cold as my insides. “I was wondering if I should review your behavior in more detail.”

I try to swallow the growing lump in my throat and stay quiet. Even if I had wanted to say something, I would keep my mouth shut. Christy deliberately provokes me and I don't intend to repeat the mistake of falling for her games.

My powers make others suspicious and disapproving of me. My story with them does not exactly put me in the best light. But being a night elf is enough for others to distrust me. The name alone makes us a target for those who fight against Caleston and the Dark.

“Why did you delay?” Christy asks in the same tone and moves next to me.

“Rylen was there. I got hold of him and managed to get some out of him.”

Christy raises her eyebrows and hums approvingly. If I did not know better, I would say she looks almost impressed.

“What did you do to him?”

My shoulders, which already wanted to go up, rise further and end up under my ears. I focus on a bloodstain on the floor to focus on breathing and be able to respond.

“There was a Guardian”, I do my best to reply with my dry throat. “Rylen took advantage of it and escaped.”

There's the condescending look I recognize.

“You let him escape?”

She draws out the words so that I can clearly hear the distaste in each syllable.

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