Chapter IV: Burning Chains
The first thing I felt was the lashing pain radiating from my wrists. After a quick assessment, and ignoring the throbbing in my skull, I determined that I was bound to a chair with what felt like a thickly braided rope at my wrists, chest, and legs. Wincing against the invading light, I lifted my eyelids slightly to gauge my surroundings. From beneath my lashes, I could make out a worn stone floor that clashed with the rough rock making up the walls surrounding me. I glanced to my left and caught Liv’s eye. Like me, she was bound to a chair. However, she was bound with chains. Inwardly I sighed, when were people going to stop underestimating witches? It was almost insulting that they thought a simple rope would secure me.
At my gaze, Liv mouthed “Listen,” at me and nodded slightly. Following her advice, I cleared my mind and allowed my senses to take over; my hearing heightened to the point where I could hear the soft rain hitting the muddy earth meters above where we sat. Focusing, I directed my senses more directly outward and finally picked up on what Liv had wanted me to.
“When is he going to arrive? We have no clue how long that fucking vamp is going to be out.” Liv rolled her eyes at the male’s voice. She also despised being underestimated.
“Who gives a shit? It’s a vamp; we shouldn’t have any problem keeping it under control,” another voice chimed in. My nerves graded against the smugness in the asshole’s voice. Liv looked similarly pissed.
“A fucking it?” she mouthed to me incredulously. I held back my laugh but couldn’t stop the grin from sliding through. I snapped back to attention at a third voice. This one was different; it held an air of authority and importance.
“What you two should be doing, instead of talking out your asses, is worrying about the witch. She doesn’t strike as docile.” Finally, someone with some fucking common sense.
Tuning back out of the conversation, I looked to Liv and barely whispered loud enough for her to hear. “I’m going to start working on the binds; keep an ear on them.” She nodded and with that, I went to work.
Liv was closest to the door so I decided to work on hers first, added with the fact that it would take me longer to free her as she was in chains. I closed my eyes, while simultaneously opening my witch’s eye, and saw the shifting fiery glow of my power around me. I welcomed the heat and smiled when I felt the warmth gliding along my skin. I willed a small flame to curl down around my leg and watched through my witch’s eye as it trailed along to Liv, leaving a scorched path behind. Ignoring the bright red, of Liv’s aura, I willed the flame to dance up along with the chair, taking care to remove its heat so it wouldn’t burn my partner. The flame wrapped itself around the chains holding her in the same places as they were me and, with a rough exhale, I breathed heat into the flames. I opened my eyes to see the flames burning so bright and hot you could see blue around the chains. The metal melted and dripped to the floor before my eyes, allowing Liv to slip her arms free and untangle the rest of her body.
Her head suddenly snapped up and she motioned for me to hurry. Shit. I quickly receded to flame back into me and summoned another. It trailed along the length of my hands, burning and singing the ropes holding them together. I rubbed the raw skin of my wrists as the flame burned its way down my body, devouring any rope in its path. I lifted my head and gave a slight nod to Liv. I was ready.
I quickly got up from my chair as Liv used her own metal chair to brace the door shut. It wouldn’t hold up against werewolf strength but it would give us a few more precious moments before they reached us. I reached into my jeans pocket for my portal stone but my fingers only felt denim. “Fuck,” I murmured under my breath.
“They took my portal stone which means I have to bust us out of here the old-fashioned way,” I informed Liv after she gave me a questioning look.
I knelt to the ground, placed my hands on the dirt floor, and started chanting quietly as Liv watched the door. I heard the creak of the door handle and a soft curse before something slammed into the door.
“Chant a little faster please,” Liv said from the doorway as she tried to keep the wolves from busting in. “Fuck!”
My head jerked up in time to see a half-turned werewolf charging through the door and Liv’s body hitting the wall from the force of the door opening. The first wolf went after Liv but the other two headed straight toward me.
I conjured fire along my arms as the wolves drew near and they slowed at that. The hesitation was all I needed. I threw a fireball at the first wolf who dodged it but my flaming ball managed to scrape the other’s arm. I smiled at his soft curse.
“Who wants to be roasted first?” I asked, my voice pleasant. The first wolf charged at me and I ducked under his swinging arms and using his momentum against him, flipped him by grabbing his leg as I slid by. I heard the smack of his head hitting the floor and knew he wouldn’t be back up for a while. The other wolf tried to swipe at me with his claws but I caught them before they could slit my throat and he let out an animalistic yelp as his skin sizzled and burned under my touch. He went down to his knees and I quickly tackled him. He struggled in my grasp, claws slicing through my leather jacket. I placed my hands on either side of his head and started speaking in low tones. I winced as his claws cut through the skin of my arms when he tried to grab my hands but he was unconscious and under a sleeping spell before he could do any real damage.
Liv was striding for me when I stood up, the wolf who was fighting her slumped against the wall behind her.
“You okay?” I asked.
“I would be if the damn fleabag hadn’t ruined my shirt. It was Prada for Moon’s sake!” she threw up her hands as she said it and I tried not to laugh. She glared at me when a chuckle escaped. “It’s not funny. I just got it and I have a date tonight I was gonna wear it to.”
My head flew back and I laughed fully at that.
“Just get us out of this rat-infested dirt hole please, witch-bitch.”
I squatted and resumed my chant, the magic already following from my earlier attempt. The portal began to open as my ears heard running footsteps behind us. I pushed Liv through the widening portal as soon as it was big enough and glances back to see two more wolves come charging in. My eyes caught on the one to the left and stayed there. The male was tall with dirty blonde hair and a trimmed beard but his eyes were what made me hesitate. They widened when they met mine. I watched from across the room as his honey-colored eyes widened and flashed gold. I breathed in and started as I realized his scent was the same one that my beast responded to in the woods. I shook my head, finally breaking the connection as my own eyes started to turn color. The wolf beside him started to step forward but the blonde one held him back with an arm across the chest as I finally slipped through the portal.
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