sun and secrets
I slapped him.
He shouted in surprise, and his golden eyes finally opened. Okay, so my rash decision worked well. That's unusual. His eyes landed on mine. I squatted in front of him to get a better view of his face. His nose seemed to have healed, which was disappointing. He moved to grab me but the silver cuffs and the rope held him back. All I could do was smirk.
"What the fuck is this?" He asked. I tilted my head to the side. "Do you know who I am?" I raised an eyebrow. Did he think I didn't know? Why would I kidnap him if I didn't know who he was?
"Do you know who I am?" My voice was strained. Gravelly. Hearing it hit my ears was strange. I rarely spoke. I didn't need to.
"Am I supposed to?" He asked, his eyes still locked on mine. I wasn't sure if he was attempting to intimidate me, but I had faced a lot worse than him. I would face worse than him. Every drop of fear in my body evaporated the night they killed my people.
Anger had filled the space for me.
"You're going to." I said. I stood up then, as I could no longer look into his eyes without having the overwhelming urge to either shoot him or punch him in the nose. "We have some travelling to do first." My throat hurt from talking. When was the last time I spoke? I could barely even remember.
"Is that why you hit me? To wake me up?" He asked. I didn't answer. "I'm the Night Prince-"
"That doesn't mean what you think it does to me." I said, putting my bag on the ground next to him. "I know the throne can never be yours because you're half mortal. I also know that you can travel in sunlight because of it. What's going to happen is I'm going to take that rope off, as well as the cuffs on your ankles."
"You didn't let me finish." I said, pulling a throwing knife out of my bag. Silver, of course. "You will follow my instructions down to the letter, or this will end up in your skull. Understand?" He looked at the blade.
"What the hell are you?"
"Silver weapons haven't been legal since..." It seemed to click in his brain then, what I was. "You can't be a hunter, they're all dead..." Him just saying the words made hot tears sit in my eyes.
"Understand?" I asked for the third time.
"I understand..." He trailed off, probably finally aware of the situation he was in. "Can I ask where we're going?"
"It's a surprise."
"How do you know I won't contact someone telepathically?" An empty threat. Few would know as much, but I did.
"That's not your gift, is it Night Prince?" I asked, squatting in front of him again. "Telepathy is genetic, and next to no one has that power since they killed every witch during the Hunts. Your mother definitely doesn't have it, so you don't either." I stood up and walked behind him.
"Okay, why aren't you worried about my gift?"
"There is no need for me to worry about your power of persuasion." I said, as I moved to untie the rope.
"Because you tried to use it on me before when you asked me what I am." I said as I walked to his front again, looking him in the eyes before I worked on the cuffs around his ankles.
"You're not just a hunter..." He trailed off as I pulled the rope and the cuffs from his ankles away, putting them into my bag.
"Let's move." I said, not confirming or denying his guess. He would either find out what I am in his own time or not find out at all. I was hoping for the latter. I dropped a tape on the ground. It was my ransom note, they would find it eventually.
"You're part supernatural..." He trailed off as he stood. He was right, of course, but that didn't matter. "If I bit you, you wouldn't change, would you?"
"This isn't twenty questions." I said as I put my bag over my shoulders. "We're heading to the forest. We have a lot of ground to cover before nightfall." He walked down the stairs but stopped in the doorway before the shadows ended.
"What if I die in the sunlight?"
"Then I guess I rid the world of one fucking annoying dhampir." I said, I didn't have the patience for this today. We needed to move, and he was stalling. No, he was genuinely frozen. He didn't want to move, or couldn't. "Don't tell me you think you'll turn to ash in the sun." He looked at me for a second.
I took a deep breath and kicked him in the back, forcing him into the sunlight. His eyes squinted in the brightness, but he didn't turn grey, and he didn't crumble to ash either.
"You're half-mortal. You aren't restricted like vampires. Just like you don't have bloodlust, the sun won't kill you. Now let's get moving." I told him as he looked down at his arms. He genuinely thought the sun would kill him... why? Was that how Carmilla raised him?
That was odd, to be lied to about if you could walk in the sun. He started walking, continuously looking at his hands and his arms, almost waiting for his own body to crumble. He stopped walking as his focus left his own body.
He then turned his face up to the sky, his eyes closed as he seemed to bask in the warmth of the sun. Had he never actually stood under it before?
"Did you not know?" I asked him. He snapped out of whatever trance he was in, shook his head, and began walking forward. "Then the people around you lied. Anyone from the generation before you knows that half-mortals don't have the same restrictions as full-blooded supernaturals. Dhampirs have always been able to walk in the sun, like a lycan has full control over their shifting."
"Lycans?" He mustn't have known that lycans are half-mortals too.
"Werewolf and mortal offspring. Mating with mortals has always led to more controlled supernaturals." I said as we plodded to the edge of the industrial park, where the forest began.
He said nothing else as we walked between the trees. I gave him explicit instructions on where to go, and he followed. By tonight we would reach my boat, then we will cross the English Channel. From there, it would be an eighteen day trek back home if we didn't get some horses. Cars were for the wealthy and far too traceable with GPS tracking in all of them. Horses were safer. Going on foot even more so, just slower. The expense of cars kept people immobile, stuck where they were born.
And then there were stubborn people like me who got around, anyway. Studying maps, finding the smallest gaps, stealing boats and slipping through province borders with ease. I was born to do this stuff, so it was no surprise, really. But cars and planes would be more helpful than trips that could take months to get where I want to go. Like that time I went to Australia, hopping from continent to continent, island to island until I made it there.
I've made that trip once in my life. I would never do that again without proper machinery.
"Do I get to know your name?" Shai asked at nightfall. We had made it to my boat, and I had just undone the rope tied to an abandoned dock. "You know mine. Names are important in this world. It's only fair that I know yours."
"You'll find out once we get where we're going." I said. He looked at me strangely in the moonlight. Something twisted deep within me at the stare. It wasn't fear. It was something I hadn't felt before, and it made me blush. Luckily, the darkness concealed that stupid bodily response.
"You're wearing contacts..." He said. I broke my stare from him. "I can see a glow from behind them now we're in the dark."
"Good for you." I said as I started the engine.
"Whatever you are, Princess, is powerful but not yet unleashed, or I would smell it." I took a deep breath and ignored the derogatory way he had said his new nickname for me. How did he come up with it? It didn't matter, it was stupid anyway.
"You're going to need to learn to shut up, or this is going to be a long two weeks for the both of us."