The Last Ones
New York is a busy city with plenty of dark corners, and even darker secrets. Working the shadiest clubhouses, and running the most cunning mobs, or just simply trying to survive in the least civilized parts of the city's underground are the world's most intriguing beings. They are creatures of myths, lore, and legends, thought nonexistent or long ago extinct. But just as their survival is the greatest secret ever kept, so too is their fight to stay alive. A group of hunters seeks them out in hushed tones and shadowed movements, highly trained to track, capture, or kill the Last Ones.
A Private RP Between [The Black Cat in Your Path] and [shadowfire09].
After Freya had finally fallen asleep, Locke came back into the apartment. He spent the night watching her sleep, thinking deeply about the choice he needed to make, his hands wringing anxiously between his knees. When the room was finally awash in early morning sunlight, he stood up. He scribbled out a quick note for her, then headed out of the apartment, taking his motorcycle onto the street.
Had an errand to run. I'll be back soon. Stay inside. Stay safe.
Freya woke, alone, her eyes puffy from the crying she had done the night before. She dressed, applied her makeup artfully, and found the note Locke had left her. "Back to guardian so soon." She mumbled and left her room. She walked into the living room, and of course, the zombie was still there. She awkwardly stopped in the hall door, and blurted, "So have you decided who you are yet?"
He looked up from where he had been looking through magazines on the couch. He blinked at her, then smiled and nodded. "Nelson!" he announced happily. He stood up, revealing his arm and leg had been sewn shut with a bright purple thread, and he was in a clean set of Locke's clothes. "Emily named me. Like it?" he asked with a smile.
Just then, Emily emerged from Locke's room, giving a tired yawn. She had only gotten a few hours of sleep after finishing Nelson's stitches, and she still felt hungover from the wine. "I'm never drinking again." she grumbled, then saw Freya. "Oh, hey..."
Freya resumed her confident self, Maybe we can pretend that this never happened.
she thought. She smiled at Nelson. "That's quite the name. It's nice to meet you. If you eat anyone, try not to do it in the penthouse, it's too much mess. Emily, You owe me a bottle of very
expensive wine." She crossed her arm.
Emily bit her lip, but nodded and winced gultily. "I'm sorry... if it's any consolation, it wasn't my idea. Shea is the one who found it and made us drink it." she said, shifting on her feet. She then looked around. "Where's Locke?"
"Oh, he left early this morning," Nelson shrugged. "He said he had to go see someone. But he called Nate and a girl named Melody to come keep us company!"
"She made you huh?" Freya laughed. "It's fine. I'm sure you learned your lesson." She looked at Nelson, "Nate and Mel? That sounds lovely." Just what I need, more people to entertain when I just want to lay in bed.
There was a knock on the door, and Nate let himself in. "The drunkards are waiting in the hall, too ashamed to knock." He smirked. Freya sighed, and then yelled. "I'm not angry, come on in."
Shea poked her head in first, giving a small sheepish smile and a wave before she stepped into the apartment, pulling Melody with her. "Hey... sorry about the wine and stuff... and anything I might have said while I was drunk. Fae wine tends to bring out the worst in me." she blushed.
"That tends to happen when non fae drink or eat fae food." She was very snarky, but it wasn't cruel. "It's nice to formally meet you Shae." Melody was quiet for once, large dark sunglasses. "Feeling okay Mel?" Freya asked, loudly. Melody didn't respond.
"Now that we have all been properly introduced, does anyone care to tell us why the wolf dragged us all here?" Nate asked. "I assume he left everyone the same vague message?"
"Yeah... he called Melody's phone. I picked it up by accident." Shea shrugged, looking around by accident. "He said something about finding someone... a sphynx?" she asked, glancing between Nate and Freya. "Does that mean anything to either of you?"
Freya shook her head confused, but Nate smirked knowingly and looked at Freya. "Your wolf is on a suicide mission. He's not going to find a sphinx in this world. They're no longer a part of it. Whatever you did to your pet, your highness, you'd better rectify it."
Emily gasped, a hand covering her mouth. "Y-you mean... he's going to kill himself?" she asked, wide-eyed.
Nelson gasped next, moving to stand by Emily and looking just as wide-eyed. "He can't do that! He's your protector or whatever, and he's my friend! Well, all of our friend. But you know what I mean."
Shea rolled her eyes, gripping Melody's hand tightly behind her back. "Is there any way we can do more research on this sphynx thing?"
Melody stared over her glasses at Nate, "I think you like, need to tell us everything you know. Locke doesn't deserve to die over anything."
Nate rolled his eyes. "Do any of you pay any attention to our world at all? Freya is queen. The last royal. The hunters are destroying everything we know and love. The rest of our world is warring over control of the others. With Freya in hiding everyone is already trying to replace her. I'm certain Locke is hunting his last hope to fix everything. If any of you paid any attention at all perhaps Locke wouldn't have left on his own."
Freya was somber. "So that's it then. I go back to my kingdom and rule. Both courts answer to me now, and the armies are more than enough to subdue the kingdoms." She sat down next to Nelson on the couch, looking forlorn. "This means I go back to him..."
Everyone fell silent. Emily and Nelson both looked equally confused, and Emily was the one to speak up. "Who's... Him?" she asked softly, watching Freya sadly. "Someone bad?"
Freya looked up at her mismatched group of friends. "Haven't you wondered why, as a princess, I don't live in a palace in my home? Why there are no other fae around me ever? Nothing struck any of you as odd? Well, three of you I've only just met, but you two," She looked at Nate and Melody, "should have wondered. But yes. I've technically been engaged for over 100 years. His name is Zephyr, and he makes your brother, Emily, look like a kitten. He attacked me once, and Locke saved me and together we've been on the run ever since. But I'm not a child any more, and I need to live up to my promises. Find Locke you guys, keep him safe. Don't let him come after me. Tell him...i don't know tell him he's fired or something. Nate, I trust you to deliver that news to him. Make him hate me. Promise me." She stared at him, eyes begging.
Nate shook his head. "I'm sorry your grace, but I know Zephyr's antics too well. I can't let you go. You are far too valuable, and Locke would never let you go. Neither will we." The group nodded, but Freya gave them all a very regal look.
"I am your queen and as such you will do as I say. Now, I need to be alone, so if you haven't been staying here, I'm going to ask you to leave. I love you all very much. Please, don't make this any harder than it has to be." She turned, and went back to her room, a sob trapped in her throat. Locke was going to get hurt, and she was going back to Zephyr. Never had she been more terrified.
Locke breathed deep, slow breaths as he lay on his back in the cool grass of a secluded lake park. His feet, without shoes, dangled just in the water, the gravel cold under his heels and ankles. The water was chilly thanks to all the rain blocking the sunlight from it. He stared up at the sky, a mix of bright blue peeking through gray, pregnant clouds. His heart was racing with the thought of what he was about to do. But he had to do it. He had to know. He swallowed hard, lifting his right arm. He wore a thick leather glove, which grasped a 12-inch long, 3mm thick needle made of pure silver. He felt his stomach drop. He had removed his shirt to make this easier, and now the only barrier was the bandage patch that Emily had put over his bullet wound. He ripped it off with little regards to his chest hair, making him grunt in pain, and he tossed it aside. The bullet wound was almost completely healed, the edges already starting to scar, but there was still a small opening. That was good... it would hurt less that way. He placed the sharpened tip of the needle so that it just barely invaded the wound, and he swallowed again, laying his head back and closing his eyes. Then, without thinking, he let his left arm fly, the palm of his hand coming down on top of the needle with a great amount of force. He grit his teeth against the shout of agony that struggled to erupt from his throat, just barely containing it.
Then the silver began to burn. It was dangerously close to his heart. It wouldn't kill him, but if he did this right, it would bring him close, which was exactly what he needed. It seared his skin, muscle, fat, nerves, everything it touched, burning deep within his chest with every breath he took. He grunted and cried out, gripping what few inches of the needle still protruded from his chest with his gloved hand, and resisting the urge to yank the needle out. But he had to remind himself that this was what he wanted, that this was worth the pain; that Freya was worth the pain.
Eventually he began to feel numb, the burning having done so much damage that he didn't notice it anymore. But he did notice the tunnel vision creeping in... the loss of blood made him dizzy, and his eyes began to fall heavily closed. His breathing became nothing more than shallow huffs, his mind starting to close off to the world around him. And in place of the outside world he knew, his mind was suddenly thrust somewhere darker, and colder. He couldn't feel his body anymore, but he had the vague sensation of flight, or maybe floating, like his body had slipped into the lake's chilly water. Then, out of the darkness a figure began to appear. At first, he could only make out the outline, a golden glow that squirmed as the figure moved, like a worm in the earth. Then the body began to fill in the closer it got to him.
Then suddenly she was on him. They were face-to-face, her nose just inches from his. He could make out the flow of long, black strands of straight hair, framing a face that was golden. The black hair faded to dark brown, then gradually to golden yellow down her back, becoming part of a body of fur and feathers. Her lioness body was massive, with paws as big as his head on either side of him as she stood above him now. Wings with a span of twenty or thirty feet opened over him, and a tufted tail swished behind her.
"Sphinx..." Locke croaked, giving a sort of triumphant smile.
There were not many left of these, much like every other magical creature. But the Sphinxes' numbers had dwindled long before the human hunters began to seek them out. Sphinxes were magical beings, able to read pasts, know presence, and predict futures. Their blood could kill anything instantly, and their tears could heal everything miraculously--if you could get a sphinx to cry. Because of their dying populations, the last of the Sphinxes had retreated to this place--a world between life and death. They were the new Angels of Death, the new carriers of the River Styx, and they decided who lived and who died.
The womanly face, with eyes a piercing white both without iris and pupil, studied Locke in silence before her mouth opened and a heavenly voice rolled across her tongue. "You may call me Illaria."
Locke swallowed, but he couldn't feel it. He just remembered the motions of the normally automatic process. "Illaria," he whispered respectfully, "I am-"
"I know who you are, Locke. Do not play the fool."
Locke gave a dry sort of sound. "I apologize, Illaria. I've never done this before."
Illaria stayed silent a moment, as if waiting for him to say something else, but really she was reading him. Her white eyes were delving deep into his mind and taking in everything she saw there. "You want information... about Zephyr and the uprising."
"There is a price."
"What must I give?" Locke felt a little uneasy about what Illaria would ask of him.
She stayed silent again. "You cherish the one named Freya--the queen of the Unseelie court, and new ruler of the Fae kingdoms. You love her deeply. Your memories of her must be very valuable to you."
Locke felt the semblance of fear run through him. "You want... my memories of her?"
"I want what is most valuable to you, Locke," Illaria said smoothly, her voice almost seductive. "If you feel that the information you seek is truly worth it, then that is the payment I require."
Locke thought deeply about this. She wanted whatever was most valuable to him. Freya was the most important thing in his life, his own had revolved around her since the moment he was born. He had been taken from his mother as a pup, raised in the castle, and trained since he could walk to be her personal protector. He had not spent a single day without her during the entire 200 years or so that he'd been alive. There were millions upon millions of memories of her stored in his brain, some happy, others sad or angry, but all of them endearing and treasured.
Finally, he whispered, "How many memories do you require?"
"Enough," Illaria said cryptically. "I see one... very recently, you two finally proclaimed your love to one another. It was a beautiful moment, one that spawned immense pleasure, relief, and true happiness. But now it does nothing else but cause you great pain. This can be among the memories I take." Locke seemed apprehensive, so she continued, "Or... if you'd prefer, I could remove your ability to love her altogether. So that memories like those will never again cause you pain."
Locke's eyes widened. "Y-you can do that?"
"I can do many things, Locke, but for now you must focus on one. Your memories, or your ability to love. Which will be my payment?" Illaria asked, this time sounding almost impatient. "This is the price of knowledge."
Locke froze. Which was more important to him? He thought about it deeply. After what felt like an eternity of thought, he whispered, "Take the memories."
Illaria nodded, but she didn't take his memories of her from him instantly, as Locke had assumed. Instead, she growled lowly. "What is your question?"
"If I forsake Nate's warnings... and stay with Freya... If we break law and tradition and run from the court, what will happen?" Locke blurted.
Illaria stood over him, her presence heavy on his conscience. A low sound, a sort of purring, emanated from her chest, then her mouth slowly opened, wider and wider. Inside was a white light that shone on Locke's face with an intensity like the sun, but without the heat. Inside, he could see events playing out. Attacks, deaths, a war of great magnitude, but he also saw new friendships, and passionate nights with Freya where they knew nothing else of the world but their love in the moments they shared. Zephyr would overtake the Fae world. He would lead the followers he amassed into a war on the humans, and the humans would fight back with every ounce of fire power they had. On one side stood Emily, clad in armor and fighting alongside the magic beings, and on the other was her brother, aiding the humans with a terrifying ferocity. Then there was pain. Unimaginable, and terrifying. Freya was bleeding in his arms, crying and dying slowly, and he was helpless.
Then it was over. Illaria shut her mouth, and it was dark again. "No... no, that can't be it!" Locke growled. "She can't die! How can you be sure that's the true future?"
"Do not question me, wolf!" Illaria suddenly roared, her paws coming down on either side of him with the sounds of thunder. When it had quieted again, she mused softly, "However... even though I can predict the most likely possibilities of the future based on what I see in you now... no future is set in stone. Locke, your future is yours to mold, and it will take shape based on the choices you make. You must decide what is most valuable to you, and take care of the consequences it will wreak on everyone around you."
Locke stared at her, terror deep in his chest. He wasn't sure how to answer. He felt as if he'd been tricked. She was going to take his memories of Freya--every happy and sad moment--for the price of a future that wasn't certain. Her form began to fade, and he could feel himself being pulled back towards consciousness. "Wait! I'll still know who she is, right?! I'll still have my sense of duty to protect her?"
"I am taking the memories of her that you have already established, Locke. But yes, you will know her, and you will protect her. Everything will be as it was before." Illaria confirmed.
"Before? Before what?"
Locke gasped a deep breath, his eyes snapping open. He was aware of the world again. It was no longer early morning, but late in the afternoon. The needle, which had once been embedded in his chest, was in his gloved hand in the dirt now. He had bled, but the blood was long dried, crusted on his skin and in the grass beneath him. He swallowed hard, his throat dry and sore as if he'd been screaming. He felt... empty. But he didn't know why anymore. He pushed himself to sit up, looking around slowly. The cuffs of his jeans were soaked, the water having climbed up to the knees of his pant legs. He frowned, looking at the bloodied needle in his hand. He growled, then threw it into the water as far as he could, before standing up and lifting up his shirt, making his way back to his motorcycle. He had to get back to Freya. He had a bad feeling in his gut.
"Okay, so Locke has been gone a really long time. Like, seriously, it's bordering on about eight hours. Why aren't we out looking for him right now?" Shea asked with a raised eyebrow from her place on the couch, one leg drawn up and a tattooed arm draped over it.
Emily, who'd been sitting with Nelson on the floor, painting his nails black for him, gave a small shrug and tried to smKile at Shea. "Because we can't risk any more of us getting hurt by the hunters. And going out would draw attention to ourselves... That's probably why Locke wanted us all here in one place, right?" she asked, seeking confirmation from Nate or Freya.
"Yea I mean like, you'd think we'd be able to like, help him or something." Mel's hangover was subsiding, and she was slowly regaining her chattiness. "But more importantly, what are we going to like, do about you Freya, cuz you're like totally not gonna leave, like not to some evil guy who thinks he can like, do whatever he wants."
Nate rolled his eyes, having stayed pretty quiet for the majority of the day, observing the group. "Do any of you honestly think any of us matters to the wolf? No. He brought us all here for one thing, to protect the Queen. We are her court now. A feeble court, but a court nonetheless. We have a moody mermaid, a zombie who doesn't eat flesh, A siren who is particularly pathetic compared to the past sirens, No offense meant of course, a scrawny human, and myself, a vampire who quite frankly only cares about keeping the peace so my food source doesn't go extinct. What good are we exactly? No, the mutt is just trying to put more bodies in between that door and Freya."
Melody argued back, "No I don't believe you. Locke cares about us, and we are all like badass magical creatures okay? Just because I choose to not use my powers doesn't mean I like can't and I so don't appreciate your negativity." She huffed and sat next to Emily and Nelson on the floor, giving the vampire the cold shoulder.
Freya watched her friends fight, and it solidified her thoughts. "You guys, you can't fight for me. Zephyr is of my court, he's bound by blood to follow my commands. I miss home anyway. I miss being amongst my people. I care about you guys, but let's face it, none of us belong in the human world. If I go back, the war won't even exist. You could all go home. I'll make the command to put you in charge of your respective kingdoms, and we'll bring peace. I don't know what Locke's doing, but he left so... so good riddance. Now if you all don't mind, I need to gather my thoughts. Please, no...no fighting. If Locke returns, Nate I expect you to do what I told you. Do it as kindly as you can, for my sake." Nate nodded solemnly, and Freya left the room.
When she was gone, the vampire addressed the rest of the room. "Am I wrong in assuming that not one of us here is going to let her go?"
"Are you kidding? She told us to leave earlier, and we're still here, aren't we?" Shea asked with a cocked eyebrow and a small tilt of her head. "I mean, c'mon... we're obviously not very good at listening to orders." She was being playful, giving a small smirk at the end.
Emily nodded and spoke up after she very carefully finished painting one of Nelson's pinky nails black. "That's right! And... Nate, you're not really gonna tell Locke he's fired, are you? I mean... you know he wouldn't believe you anyway." she said with a small shift of her butt on the floor. "Besides... do you see the way he looks at Freya?"
"Ooh, so you noticed too?" Nelson asked, almost like a teenage girl with a secret, making Emily giggle and blush. "I definitely noticed, and I've only been here a day! He loves her, that's for damn sure."
Shea rolled her eyes. "What do you know about love, you're dead." she grumbled.
"Undead, thank you. And secondly, I don't need to have felt love to know what it looks like." Nelson huffed, folding his arms.
"Oh, Nelson! Don't do that! You smeared your paint!" Emily yelped, and she smacked his arm lightly. She sighed at the sight of her mussed up paint job and went to work fixing it.
"Uh... why are you painting his nails anyway?" Shea asked, watching them closely.
Emily blinked up at Shea, then shrugged and gave her a soft smile. "Nail polish has formaldehyde in it. It'll help keep him from decomposing, just like Nate's blood will." When Shea gave her a look that clearly wondered how Emily would know something like that, Emily shrugged again, "I did a summer internship at a morgue once..."
"It is not my place to meddle in the affairs of our queen, as well as it is none of yours. Regardless of the wolf's feelings for her, I must do as she asks." Nate said it without empathy, but his eyes betrayed him. He enjoyed taunting the werewolf, but he didn't want to bring that kind of hurt upon him.
"Nate, you do, like, realize that this is going to like, totally kill him right?" Melody asked, "I mean, that's like, some serious stuff and I love Freya but like, come on. If she wants to break his heart then she needs to man up and like, do it herself."
"Again, it is none of our business what the queen decides. Learn to respect her wishes." Nate, annoyed now, got up and walked to the kitchen, deciding that being alone was better than being guilted.
Shea watched Nate go with a stony look, and the rest of the group grew silent as they waited. After only another twenty minutes, the front doors of the apartment opened, and Locke stepped in, his jeans still slightly damp from the lake and his hair messy from the ride back on his motorcycle. Everyone looked up, then stood and moved to greet him.
"There you are! Gods, we were so worried, Locke!" Emily said, moving to hug him. She felt the dried blood under his shirt and noticed a fresh patch in the spot where his bullet wound had been, and she gasped. "What happened?"
Locke shook his head. "It doesn't matter. Where's Freya?" he demanded, letting Emily go. Before anyone else could speak up, Nelson pointed at Freya's bedroom door, and Locke pushed passed everyone to get to it. He knocked a couple of times before opening it, not waiting for her answer. "Freya, I have news."
Freya rolled her eyes at him. "About the war and Zephyr? Yeah. I figured it out without you. Have you spoken with Nate yet?" She refused to turn and face him, afraid to look him in the eyes.
Locke stopped in his tracks. He frowned, watching her a moment. "What's wrong with you?" he asked, seeming genuinely confused. "If you've figured it out, then you know you can't go back to that court." he said, shaking his head. "If you go back, Zephyr will start a war anyway, and you'll be in easy killing range. I won't let you be put at risk like that."
"You knew there were people out to get me and you decided to leave anyway. If you changed your mind about your feelings for me you didn't have to run away. Now, I'm the queen, Zephyr will be bound by blood to listen to me. You can't protect me anymore. We're....we're done." Freya sat on the bed, with her back straight and tense.
"My feelings for you? What are you talking about?" Locke asked, shaking his head. "Freya, we're not done here. I'm your guardian, and I will protect you til the day I die, that's why I was given to you. Now you gotta listen to me, all it takes is a wedding, then Zephyr will be king and he won't have to follow your orders anymore. You'll be an easy target, then he'll be calling the shots. And you know the court won't take you seriously unless you marry Zephyr. You won't have a choice if you go back!"
Freya turned, ferocious. "What do you mean what am I talking about? I mean, You don't love me. Fine. You were just using me for sex. Whatever. But to pretend nothing happened? You Locke, You are a fucking coward. You know what? I'd be happy to wed Zephyr, because at least I'd be away from you. Go to hell Locke, and get out of my room.." She pushed, shoved, and smacked him forcing him out of her room. Once he was out, she locked the door behind her. "I'm so done with this." She mumbled as she climbepd out of the fire escape.
Locke stood, gaping at Freya's bedroom door for a moment, sincerely perplexed at what had just happened. He could hear her going down the fire escape, and he growled, turning to go after her. "What the hell did you all tell her while I was gone?" he growled, heading for the door.
The fight was audible throughout the penthouse. Freyas anger had no limits. Nate was the first to speak to the wolf, "Perhaps it isn't what we told her, but what happened while you were with the sphinx. Do you not remember proclaiming your love for the girl last night?" Nate asked him, genuinely confused.
Locke's steps instantly ceased, his hand just on the door knob. He turned to stare at Nate in disbelief, then stuttered and blushed before shaking his head. "W-what? No. Why would I do that?" he asked.
Emily gave a small gasp, her eyes looking sad. "You really don't remember, do you..?" she asked. "Did you get in a bike crash? Did you lose your memory?" she asked, stepping closer.
"No. He saw the Sphinx. He traded something valuable for whatever he wanted to know." Shea explained solemnly, standing off the couch and moving towards Locke and Nate. She then turned back to the group. "Nelson. I need you to follow the queen. Try not to be conspicuous. If you wear dark colors, people will just think you're a goth person who smells bad."
"Yes, ma'am!" Nelson said and Emily quickly moved to help him, in her room.
Nate put a hand on the Locke's shoulders. "I told you to choose, but you didn't have to choose this. Locke, my friend, what was so important to know that you would give up Freya?" It was the first time Nate had ever uttered Locke's name. He had a look of genuine concern on his face.
Locke wasn't sure he appreciated the closeness with Nate right now. He shrunk back from him with a defensive frown, and shook his head. "I don't know what you're talking about. I saw the sphinx to ask what would happen if Freya didn't go back to the court. If she stayed on the run with-" Me. "-us. She showed me a lot... But what I saw the most of was a big war between the magic kingdom and the humans. Zephyr was leading the human hunters." he said seriously. He figured he would leave out the part about Freya's death. After all, the sphinx had said that no future was set in stone. It could still change. "But if she goes back to the court and marries Zephyr, you know as well as I do that he'll kill her."
Nate shook his head in frustration. "To get that information you had to give something up." He placed his hands on Locke's broad shoulders, "you must have given up your love. Jesus mutt, how desperate were you?"
The despair in the room was palpable. Freya was gone, presumably on a suicide mission. Nate looked at the group of friends, all with various expressions of sadness on their faces. Melody spoke up, unusually quiet, "Locke, you're the only person who can get her back. You've like, gotta remember. I've known you for years now, and every day you look at her with more love than I've ever seen, and now you, you like, cant even remember that? How does somebody forget that?"
Shea shook her head at Melody, putting a hand on her arm. "He didn't just forget that. He gave those memories to the Sphinx as payment for information." she explained. "Sphinxes only give you what you want if you give them payment... and it's usually in the form of whatever is most valuable to you. It's a test to see how much getting that answer really means to you." She eyed Locke a moment, then looked at Nate seriously. "Nelson is following Freya right now," she said when Emily walked back into the room alone. "So we have eyes on her. It'll take her at least a few more hours to find a spot suitable enough to open a portal to the Fae world. So until then... I suggest we start talking about what we're going to do if Locke does manage to convince her to come back."
Nate patted the wolf's shoulder, "the only way we stand a chance of saving her is if you remember. Try to remember." Nate handed him a photo, it was of the pair of them, a candid moment. Freya was looking at something off camera, but Locke was gazing lovingly on her, clearly not aware anyone was capturing the moment. "I took this from her room. Do you see that look? That's a look of love. Can you remember that?"
Locke took the picture from Nate, looking down at it and studying it closely, his brows knitted together as he took in Freya's face more than his own. He blushed softly, feeling something flutter in his chest, but it was far off. He glanced at Nate, then folded the photo up and stuffed it in his pocket. "All this tells me is that you were stalking us, which is creepy." he said, then turned to Shea, Melody and Emily. "We have to prepare. Whether she goes back to the courts or not, a war is coming. We need allies."
Shea watched him a moment, then said firmly, "I can do you one better; I have an army." she said with a small grin. "And they're yours if you convince them to follow you."
Nate closed his eyes slowly, and reopened them to stare in disbelief at Locke. "Well if you're not even going to try to remember then there's no point." He turned to the group, "If he can't remember then the war is as good as lost. Freya is unseelie, if the mutt can't love her, then she will fall to the darkness in her. We won't have to worry about saving Freya, we'll have to defeat her. I'm sorry, but this is one battle I won't fight. Remember, or doom us. Your choice." Nate walked to the front door, and then turned to face the group one last time, "Girls, if you get to the ocean, you might be safe. But this is hopeless. Freya will kill us all." With those last words he turned and left.
It was dead quiet now, Nate's words echoing in their brains. Melody broke the quiet first, as was expected. "Do you think he's right? Do you really think that Freya could like, go dark?" She rubbed her arms nervously.
"Not gonna happen," Shea said to Emily and Melody's concerned faces. "But it's going to take more than just a few hours for Locke to remember things that aren't there. So this is what I suggest: we head to my rebel base, get acquainted with everyone there, and Mel will work with Locke on remembering whatever he can. Then we'll try to catch Freya before she heads back to the courts. If we miss her, we'll be on a goose chase, so we have to be as time efficient as possible."
"Shae, I'm like, not so sure a bunch of mermaids want a siren around, ya know? Maybe you and Emily should go, and I could like, stay here and help Locke. I mean, there's gotta be a thousand memories in this place, I dunno, I could use them to like, jog his memory and stuff." Truth be told, she was terrified of an entire base reacting to her the way Shae did. She was a predator to them, and she was worried they'd try to kill her before they got to know her. "Whaddya say Locke? Want my help falling in love again?"
Shea frowned at Melody a bit, then shook her head and sighed. "You don't get it, Mel... there aren't enough mermaids left to make an army the size of the one I've amassed. The rebel army is made up of everyone and anyone willing and able to fight or contribute to the effort. There are magic beings from every walk of life there." she explained. But looking at Emily, she sighed and conceded, "but, you're right. The army should meet Emily first. It'll give us an advantage to have someone with the eyes."
"Okay. Write down the address of where your rebels meet, and we'll head there as soon as we can... with or without Freya." Locke said seriously. "We'll stay here and work on getting my memory back, I guess..."
Melody hugged them both, "Stay safe. We'll see you soon okay?" She turned to Locke. "You are in for a serious boot camp. Come on. There's gotta be something in your room that'll help." and she pulled Locke towards his bedroom.
Freya had taken the subway out of the city, and then took a cab until she was completely out of the suburbs. Finally, she made it to a small wood, and wandered until she found a brook running through it. Her body was trembling in nervousness. It had been so long since she had been home. As soon as the portal was opened Zephyr would be called to her. She took a deep breath, and began chanting.
Nelson, who had somehow managed to catch up to Freya on the street before the subway, had followed her all the way out to the wood. Thanks to Emily's help, and some of Locke's darker clothes, no one seemed to give him a second glance on the street, assuming he was just some goth person. He followed Freya out into the wood, watching her as closely as he could, but when he saw her starting to chant, he hid behind a tree and blinked. What is she doi- "ACK!" he cried out as his foot suddenly caught on a tree root. He tripped, falling face-first into the dirt and leaves.
Freya stopped chanting abruptly, and turned at the noise, clearly startled. Her eyes fell upon the zombie and she marched over to him. "Nelson?! What on earth are you doing here? Go away before you get killed. Seriously. It's dangerous to be here. Zephyr knows I'm coming. He'll be waiting." She helped Nelson to his feet. "You need to go. Now."
Nelson accepted her help up, though his ankle didn't hold his weight very well now. He wiggled his leg, trying to crack his foot back into place, and at the same time, shook his head at Freya and gave her a puppy-dog-eyed look. "I can't, your highness! Locke insisted I follow you, to make sure you're okay." He was lying, technically. Shea had ordered him to follow her, but she didn't need to know that. "I can't go back without you, highness, or he'll rip my arms off. Really, he told me so."
"Locke wouldn't send you. He would have come himself if he really cAred about me but he basically admitted to using me for my body and quite frankly I don't care about what he told you to do. Now go back and tell them I have a kingdom to rule." She turned her back to the zombie and walked back to the brook and began chanting again.
Melody sat in front of Locke's closet, digging through old boxes. "For someone who relocates a lot you sure have a lot of stuff," she complained.
"Well, we have an unlimited amount of funds, so paying someone to move our things for us is never an issue." Locke said with a shrug. "And it's always smart to be prepared." He had dozens of boxes, all of them gray or black in color, and unlabeled. Some had weapons in them, others had forms of some kind. As Melody was digging through them, and reached for one of the biggest boxes on the top shelf of his closet, it slipped from her hands and tipped, showering her in hundreds of photographs and drawings. Locke jumped, blinking and moving to pull Melody out of the avalanche before the box fell on her head. "You okay?"
She giggled, looking around at the mess. "Yes! This is like, totally what I was looking for. Look at these pictures. They're all of you and Freya...look how happy you two are." She smiled at the photographs.
Locke looked down at the mess of pictures and drawings, studying the ones he could see. Some were as big as portraits, others small wallet pictures, and everything in between. He knelt on the floor and lifted a picture of him and Freya at Christmas time, standing beside one another in front of a lit up building in London. London... I liked London. he thought to himself. This picture felt familiar, the image felt familiar, but he just couldn't pull it forward from the back of his mind. He took up another one instead, studying it closely. It was a beach photo, from California. Freya was in a bathing suit, blue and black, and it framed her body perfectly. She was the one taking the picture of herself, but Locke was standing behind her, buying ice cream. Instead of paying attention to the transaction, his eyes were on Freya. "I picked that suit out for her..." he said softly. A pain shot through his head and he put a hand to it, groaning and dropping the picture. He instead lifted a pencil drawing... It was obviously something from his own imagination, a sketch of Freya in a nightie, leaning against a door frame. But the way he had captured her eyes and her lips was perfect. "I haven't drawn anything in years." he admitted to Melody quietly.
Melody examined the drawing, taking note of how carefully is was drawn, as if Locke had taken great care to make sure that every line was painstakingly perfect. "It looks like a photograph." She told him, "why did you stop?"
Locke's expression became solemn, and he let the drawing fall out of his hand. "I don't remember," he lied. He felt like he knew, but it must have had something to do with Freya. He stood up again and ran a hand over his hair, sighing heavily. "I don't know if this is gonna work, Mel... I don't remember any of these pictures."
"Not one? This isn't doing anything at all?" Melody looked down at some other pictures, frustrated. She noticed one of the two of them at a concert and it gave Mel an idea. "What if I sang to you?" She asked Locke excitedly.
"Sang to me?" Locke repeated, quirking an eyebrow at her. "What will singing to me do? You're not gonna eat me, are you?" he asked, the snorted. "I hear dog meat is really stringy, you may not like biting into me."
Melody rolled her eyes. "Jeez, like why does everyone think I want to eat them? Seriously, get over yourself. But no, Shae told me that part of the reason the siren song is so powerful is because the listener sees me as whatever their heart like, desires most. If I sing to you you'll see me as Freya and boom, like you'll totally be saved! " she clapped her hands in triumph.
The last thing Freya saw as she went through the portal was Nelson, yelling after her. She didn't remember what he said, but she supposed it wasn't important anyway. She was back in her kingdom of winter, only now, it was actually hers. The power she felt as she walked through her land was unimaginable. She laughed, freely and loudly, forgetting the hurt in her heart from Locke's dismissal of her love.
Freya made it to her parents, no, her castle in a timely manner. As she walked through the white castle walls, her red hair drew attention. Soon enough, whispers were following her, wondering is she really was Freya the last.
Freya the last? Freya the only she thought as she made her way up to the empty throne. Her father had sat in this very spot for years, ruling with an iron fist. Now it was her turn, and she was going to relish it.
One of the staff managed to summon the courage to approach the throne. Freya smiled down on his trembling form. "Your majesty?" He asked, his voice shaking. "Is..Is it really you?"
Freya smiled kindly. "Why who else would dare sit upon my throne? I have come back to my people. I have come back to rule and to govern you. It is my duty to my people and I will do it justly." She spoke regally. And I will use you to destroy anyone who hurts me again
Locke sighed a bit, but Melody seemed excited about this idea, as if it might actually work. "Fine." he said, folding his arms over his chest. "But you better not make me do anything weird." He gave one more glance down at the photos and drawings scattered at their feets, and he wondered how Freya would look to him if this worked.
Melody squealed with glee, excited to not only help her friend but sing again. "Hold my hands Locke," she said as she held her hands out in front of her expectantly. When Locke hesitated she just grabbed them. "Ok. Now, like focus on your heart or something" she said excitedly, and began to sing.
Locke wrinkled his nose. He wasn't sure why he needed to hold her hands for this, but he let her do it anyway. He closed his eyes and tried to relax, tried to think about Freya. His heart fluttered again, and little to his knowledge, Melody's song was working. When she stopped singing and he opened his eyes, Freya was the one standing in front of him. He held her hands lightly, then slowly let them go. "Freya..?" he asked gently. It was like she had stepped right out of his drawing. She was beautiful.
The siren in Melody was trying to take over. The longer she sang, the more she wanted to seduce and prey upon the werewolf. She tried to fight, but still found herself leaning in and closing her eyes, still singing.
Locke seemed confused. Freya never sang. At least, he'd never heard her sing. She had always been too embarrassed to sing in front of him. Wait... he remembered driving in the car with her. It was right after they'd come to America, and she had bought him the black Buick as a gift. They had cranked up the radio as they'd driven out of California and... they both sang. It was the first time Locke had ever acted even remotely silly in front of her, dancing in his seat with her and singing "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey at the top of their lungs. The memory flashed across his eyes, coupled with intense pain, and he shrunk away from Melody, holding his head. "Ugh..."
Melody looked concerned that her song wasn't working, but her voice didn't falter. The siren song had completely taken over her body. Locke wasn't a friend anymore, he was prey. She pulled Locke back up to face her, never breaking eye contact. She wrapped her arms around the back of him and pulled him in for a kiss. She had stopped singing, but the siren song still echoed in the room, the magic having taken on a life of it's own.
Locke watched Freya closely. She wasn't singing anymore, but he still heard the song. She was pulling him in, bringing him closer, and more pain erupted behind his eyes as a few more memories came forth. A day at the beach, watching her sleep, fixing up a house... He found himself being drawn in to her. The sight of her ruby red lips made his tingle. His heart was fluttering wildly in his chest, and his stomach was in knots. "Freya..." he breathed, just before their lips connected. Fire blazed through him from that one contact point, shooting through his body like fireworks. He tightened his hold on her, pulling Melody in against his body as he kissed her passionately.
Triumph seized Melody's body. She was going to take down her first magical prey. She could already feel his life essence pouring into her. The power was overwhelmingly wonderful. She turned him and pinned him to the wall, still kissing him all the while. She couldn't wait to drink him in, to feel his life force coursing through her blood.
This wasn't right... he could feel himself waning away the longer he kissed her. He felt dizzy. Then suddenly the front door in the living room of the apartment was opened roughly, and someone came running loudly and clumsily into the room. "Locke?! Mel?!" Nelson screamed, then stumbled through the door and looked at them. He gasped loudly, his eyes wide. But the disruption was enough to pull Locke out of the magic of Melody's song, and he broke the kiss, looking at Nelson. The song had ended, and it wasn't Freya in his arms anymore. It was the little blonde siren. He released her quickly just as Nelson was saying, "Ooh, this is bad."
When the song was interrupted Melody gained control of her powers. She was wrapped tight in Locke's arms. "Oh my god, like, did we...did we just like, kiss? Oh no. Oh no." When Locke released her, she immediately ran to other other side of the room as if he was covered in poison. "Locke, I didn't mean to like, lose control. I'm so so so sorry. Oh my god. I just kissed Freya's boyfriend. I don't even know if he is her boyfriend. Oh my god I just messed everything up. Oh my god. Oh my god." Her panic induced babble rattled on.
Locke was leaning against the wall, panting and feeling a little drained. He watched Melody, then narrowed his eyes. "You were trying to eat me." he accused lowly, then straightened up. He breathed, then shook his head at her though. "It's alright, Mel. You actually... you did it. You helped more than you know. You got my brain to unlock some of my memories of Freya." he said softly. "Not all of them, I imagine... but some." He then looked at Nelson and said firmly, "Take Melody to the address that Shea wrote down. I'm going to find Freya."
"B-but wait! You don't know where she is!" Nelson stammered.
"If you're here without her, I'm going to assume she's already gone through the portal, right?" Locke asked with a raised brow. Nelson stuttered a moment, then nodded. Locke gave a small smirk and turned back to Melody. "Go with Nelson. Tell Shea I'll be back." He then ran from the room, and from the apartment, heading to the black Buick and climbing in. He had to find Freya.
"I didn't mean to try to hurt him. Or kiss him." Melody explained to Nelson, "I'm just new at like this whole thing." She shrugged. "Well, the whole crush on Locke thing is done. Wow, kissing him was so not what I expected. Whatever. Let's go get Shea."
Locke drove as quickly as he could. He knew that Freya would had to have opened the portal in a heavily forested area, somewhere secluded from the city and people. He drove out of the city, into the nearest wooded area. It took him longer than he would have liked, thanks to traffic, but within a few hours he was there. He parked the Buick, made doubly sure it was locked, then pulled out the photo from his pocket that Nate had given him. He frowned at Freya's face, looking somewhere off-camera, and his own face watching Freya with an intensely admiring expression. He swallowed hard, folded the picture back up and replaced it in his pocket, then sniffed the air. He could smell Freya, and magic. She must've opened the portal nearby. He followed the scent to the brook where she'd crossed over, and he began to chant quickly, reciting the words he'd heard her say before. Once the portal was open, he stepped through, and his form changed. Being in the magic world without Freya's magic to sustain his human disguise meant being in his true form. He walked on his two, tall back legs a few steps, hunched and covered in fur, his clothes torn but somehow hanging onto his body, then he huffed through his nose and broke into a run towards the castle. His blue eyes gleamed. He had to get to Freya before Zephyr did.
The castle was alive and bustling in celebration. Snow fell from the ceilings, and piled gracefully into drifts along the corridors. Icicles hung from the chandeliers, and the staff was bustling. It was a time of celebration in the Winter Court, the lost princess was back!
The celebration centered around a massive table, upon which a feast was presented. Unseelie fae of all types were seated around it, and at the head of the table was Freya herself, a crown of silver and sapphires on her head. She was regal, yet jovial. The feeling of using magic freely without worry of being attacked was like stretching her limbs after a long sleep. The freedom she felt at being completely in control pushed any thoughts of her old life, and old heartbreak, to the back corners of her mind.
A guard approached the queen, shaking in terror at having to approach the queen. She smiled at him kindly, and he bowed to her. "Rise please. What can I do for you knight?" She asked. The feast was silent as she spoke, eager for gossip.
The knight's voice echoed among the silent chamber, "Your grace, there has been sightings of a werewolf breaching the outer wall. We fear that it may be coming to attack the throne. I come asking permission to allow my men to destroy the beast before it could hurt you." he trembled, clearly not used to having to talk directly to the queen herself.
At the mention of a werewolf Freya felt a pang in her heart. A part of her hoped it was Locke, but she knew it couldn't be true. Locke clearly wasn't interested anymore, and she told him to stay away. He would listen. She regained her composure and spoke, "I'm confused. Why in the world would we ever harm a werewolf? They are our sworn protectors."
The guard shook his head, "I'm sorry to disagree your grace, but ever since the royal families were slain, the werewolves grew weary of serving us. They rebelled, and most guardians killed the very fae they were supposed to be protecting. They are not to be trusted any longer. I fear this world is very different from the world you left."
"Bring the wolf to me, alive. I'll decide what to do from there." Freya dismissed the knight. She spoke to the rest of the feast, "Now, where were we?" She clapped her hands and the feast continued as if it had never been interrupted in the first place.
Outside was a battle zone. Locke fought off one armed guard after another, breaking their spears and swords like they were made of foil and not steel. He gave angry barks and roars at them, managing to scare a few of them away without having to hurt them. He tried his hardest not to hurt or kill any guards needlessly. He merely wanted to see Freya, but he had a feeling that if he let these guards take him down, they'd just as quickly kill him before they'd let him see Freya. It was a shame; he had known many of these guards when he had lived in the castle with Freya as her guardian. But since he'd been back in the Fae realm, he had not seen any werewolves. Had they really all escaped to the human world? And why would they? While there were some wolves that felt their duty to guard the royal family was nothing short of slavery, there were others who took pride in their positions beside the throne. Even though Locke had never known his father personally, he had heard many many stories about his dutiful and undying service to Freya's family, up until a few years after Freya had been born. But now these guards were attacking Locke like he was a true beast, and he had no way to verbally tell them why he was there.
He shoved a few more guards off of him with a fearsome bark, then broke into a four-legged sprint towards the gates. Just before he hit the gates though, a heavy rope net laced with silver, and weighted with steel orbs on each corner landed on top of Locke, pinning him to the ground. He growled and struggled beneath the net, snapping his jaws at any Fae guard who dared too close. The silver threads that were braided into the ropes of the net burned into his fur and skin, and he snarled angrily. It wasn't long before he was shackled and dragged inside, straight to the great hall where the banquet was happening.
Freya stood at the commotion. "If you are not a knight, please take your leave now. I apologize for the abrupt end to the night, but as you can see, I've got my hands full. I expect an empty room in no less than five seconds." She waited the allotted time and sure enough, every fae was out. Freya rushed to the knights. "What is going on here? I told you to bring it to me, not torture the thing. Release him this instant." At the knights hesitation, she glared at the knight in charge, "I can handle myself. I specifically told you to release him. Now do as I say or so be it I will end your life." The knights moved quickly to release the wolf, and Freya recognized him instantly. "Locke?"
Locke tumbled to her feet as the net was opened and he was poured out of it, then his wrists and ankles were unshackled. He growled at the guards, standing slowly and rubbing his head, then looking down at Freya. She was beautiful in that crown... He instantly calmed at the sight of her, lowering himself on his haunches so he was at her eye level, his blue eyes big and sad, his ears laying back against his head and his tail hiding between his legs. He couldn't talk to her in this form, but he needed her magic to restore his human form here. So instead, he reached into the pocket of his torn pants, and pulled out the folded picture between his claws, before offering it to her with a whine.
Freya smirked at the wolf. "Is this your way of asking me to make you human here? Fine." She ignored the picture, instead placing her hand on his forehead, using her magic to bring him back to human form. "Leave us," Freya commanded the knights, who bowed and shuffled out the door without protest. When the door was closed behind the last of them she finally spoke. "What are you doing here?"
Locke looked at her with soft eyes, ignoring his clothes, which hung off his body, stretched and shredded from his transformation. He frowned softly and pushed the picture against her chest. "Freya... I came to apologize and... to explain." He gulped. "I went to the sphinx to ask her what would happen if you didn't come back to the court. Because coming back here as their queen would mean that I can't have you." He looked at her with a pained expression. "And as payment, the sphinx took all of my most treasured memories of you... which happened to be every memory I ever made with you. I still don't have them all back, but.. Melody helped me get enough back to know that I do love you, Freya. I love you, and I don't care if we have to fight a hundred battles or run for the rest of our lives, I refuse to let you go again." He then seemed to shrink back and looked down in shame. "I would understand if you don't want that anymore though... After how I broke your heart. Even if I didn't mean to."
"I'm Queen now, and I have yet to hear anything from...him. I'm safe and I can do what I want, when I want. This is my kingdom now Locke. I am safe. And you think that you can just come back here with some crazy story about a sphinx, a species we both know is extinct, taking your memories? Please Locke, I wasn't good enough for you in New York, but now that there's a crown on my head, I've been deemed worthy?" She turned away from Locke, afraid that if she looked at him, and those sad puppy eyes, her resolve would break, and a queen couldn't let that happen.
Locke shook his head quickly, watching her with his big blue eyes and looking terrified. "No, Freya! That's not it at all! Your crown has nothing to do with it! Sphinxes aren't extinct, they just aren't in this world or the human world. They're in a place between worlds, Freya... I had to nearly die to see her." he explained. "Please, Freya, I just..." He breathed a sigh of defeat, looking down at the photo in his hands, fingering the bent corners a little. He bit his lip. "Do you remember that really big, black box in my closet? The one I never let you look inside of?"
"What about it?" Freya responded harsher than she meant to. She crossed her arms, still not facing Locke. "You can't just... make up sweet stories Locke." She said the last part quieter.
Locke felt his cheeks redden. He couldn't believe he was about to admit this to her, but maybe it was necessary. "That box is full of pictures. Pictures of you... of us... together. They're memories." he gulped. "I never let you see them because I was afraid of what you would say. Remember when I used to draw? I would draw a lot of things. But my favorite subject was always you. I stopped drawing because you caught me once. It wasn't finished, so I got away with saying it was just some random woman, but... it wasn't. It was you. I stopped drawing after that because I didn't want to risk getting caught by you again." he explained sadly. He unfolded the picture in his hands and looked at it, then stepped up behind Freya and wrapped his arms around her, resting his head on her shoulder and holding it up for her to see. "Remember this day?"
Freya took the picture, and wormed her way out of his arms. She studied it, and then looked at him. "Of course I remember this day. But I wasn't the one who claimed to forget." She looked at Locke now, her posture regal, but her voice broke it's tone. "You forgot me."
"No... The Sphinx gave me a choice, Freya. She said that I either had to give up my treasured memories of you... or give up my ability to love you. I chose to give up those memories because I knew that as long as I could love you, we could always make new ones." Locke said, watching her desperately. He took a small step towards her. "Freya, please... Help me get the rest of those memories back..? Just one kiss. Please. Let me show you how much I love you."
"I tried Locke. You turned me down long before you ever left to the sphinx. I gave you my heart and you dropped it on the ground. How am I supposed to forgive that?" She dropped the picture for emphasis, walking back to her throne.
Locke watched after her, feeling his heart sink in his chest. He quickly stooped to pick up the photo from the floor and clutched it tightly in his hand, crumpling it in his anger. "I don't expect you to forgive me, Freya, but I had hoped you'd respect me enough to listen and give me another chance! You're standing there, accusing me of never loving you, but you know what makes us different? I came after you, and I'm pouring myself out to you as honestly as I know how, and you're turning me down, ironically, because I apparently never loved you. I'm starting to think you never loved me either." he snapped. "I was just your dog." He threw the crumpled picture in her direction and turned on his heel, stomping out of the throne room angrily. He stopped at the doors though, and turned back to her, pointing at her firmly. "There will be a war, Freya. But I refuse to fight against you. This isn't over yet."
Freya was quiet, but her voice carried across the throne room. "Locke, if you leave now, if you run away again, I swear to you, I won't let you fight on my side. I'll be dead to you. Is that what you want?" She watched him, pleading silently for him to stay. Please Locke, please don't leave me.
Locke could almost read her inner thoughts. He didn't want to go. He didn't want to ruin their chances a second time, and possibly for good. He swallowed hard, watching her from across the room. He wanted her to give him one good reason why he should stay, and the threat of not fighting with him didn't seem good enough. He hesitated, opening his mouth to say something, then closing it again, before taking a breath and saying, "Kiss me, and I'll stay."
Freya's heart fluttered. She knew what she was going to do, but she couldn't back down. She rose from her throne and marched over to him, angrily. "How dare you command me?" she pointed a finger into his chest, hard. "How dare you say I don't care, Locke? How...dare...You. I've always loved you, you fucking asshole..." she gulped back her words, but it was too late. She didn't want to give him the satisfaction of winning this fight. "I mean...I.." She stumbled over her words, clearly trying to figure out what to say, frozen in fear.
Locke watched her, also in shock. His eyes were wide first, then they softened, and his tense posture relaxed. He unclenched his fists and stepped closer to her, his eyes staying on hers. He slowly raised a hand to her cheek, running his thumb over her bottom lip. "Always?" he asked, a small smile tugging at the corner of his lips.
"Oh go to hell." She muttered, not able to meet Locke's eyes.
Locke's smile got a little wider, and he turned her face gently, leading her eyes to his. "I loved you too... always." He held her gaze even as his face moved in, and he kept her eyes on hers up until their lips touched. This kiss was almost as magnificent as the very first one they shared. But with this kiss, a fire seared a trail through his brain, reviving memories that the thought the sphinx had stolen. He groaned with the pain it caused, but he didn't break the kiss.
Freya remembered the crown of silver on her head, and tossed it to the floor. Her fingertips grasped the shredded shirt on his back and pulled him closer to her. Freya knew it was awkward, but she couldn't help but giggle a little bit. This was exactly what she wanted. Her kingdom and her werewolf. She ran her long fingers through Locke's blonde hair and tugged it slightly. Freya was getting dizzy, and it was the most wonderful feeling in the world.
It wasn't until the very last memory had been restored that the pain in his head finally faded. He breathed deeper once the ache was gone, and he kissed her more deeply as well, his arms around her tightly. He broke the kiss to breathe, looking at her dazedly. "Where's your room?" he asked softly, still hugging her body to his.
The queen smirked at her wolf. "Why so I can throw myself at you again only for you to turn me down?" She laughed, picked up her crown, and walked out of the throne room, not waiting for Locke to follow.
Locke gave a strained laugh, but instantly moved to follow her, his steps close on her heels. Once they were in her room, several floors above the ground, and the heavy door was closed and locked, Locke turned on her again, pulling her to him and kissing her with an eager hunger, his hands roaming her body, following the flowing curves of her hips and waist, then down to her rear and thighs before coming back up again. He moaned into her mouth and then pulled back to look at her.
Freya stared back, "What?" Now that he was reciprocating again, Freya was worried that she didn't actually know what she was doing. Her body was noticeably shaking, her breath quick. "Did I do something wrong?"
"No," Locke said quickly, but gently, and kissed her again firmly. This time when it ended, he whispered, "Bed." He then suddenly lifted her, manipulating her legs to wrap around his waist, and carrying her to the bed, laying her down on her back. He leaned over her and kissed her again and again, while his hands carefully moved to start removing her shoes and skirt.
She cocked an eyebrow at Locke, smiling. "I missed you." He was kissing her stomach, and the feeling it was giving her sent shockwaves through her body. Her hands found their way to his hair again, and she tugged it without thinking.
"We've only been apart a day," he chuckled against the flesh of her flat stomach, his hands tracing her sides up her ribs and over her arms, taking her shirt with them. He let her shirt drop to the floor beside the bed and trailed kisses up her body, between her breasts, to her collar bone, pausing to give extra attention to her neck, then back to her lips. He led her hands to the bottom hem of his shirt, and smiled as she peeled it up and off of him. It was discarded quickly, then he stood off her to get himself out of his tattered jeans. He felt nervous. She didn't know, but he had never been a fan of wearing underwear. It became cumbersome when he changed forms. So when he unzipped his jeans and revealed nothing but skin and a patch of dark hair above his groin, and he heard her gasp innocently, he tried to smile through his blush.
Freya regained her composure and smiled. "mmm. Come here." she cooed, crawling underneath the silk bedding. Her heart was beating so fast she was sure Locke could hear it from where he was standing.
He could. Locke could hear her heartbeat, and smell her arousal, and it was exciting him more and more. He crawled onto the bed, laying beside her and kicking his jeans off right before he moved under the sheets. He had never been naked in front of anyone before, especially Freya--save for one time she accidentally walked in on him fresh out of the shower. He covered himself with the sheets, then rolled on his side towards her, kissing her deeply. They shared a few long moments of deep passion with their mouths, before Locke began to help her ease out of her underwear. The way she lifted her hips to help him get her panties off was almost enough to make him melt in her fingertips. He had to take some time to admire her perfect shape with both his eyes and his hands, before he laid over her and carefully settled himself between her legs.
"Are you ready?" he asked her in a whisper, his blue eyes locked with hers. He was incredibly nervous. He had been waiting for this moment for so long, and he could only hope that he performed to her imagination and expectations.
She nodded, her body shaking hard now from nerves and from excitement. There was no going back after this, but Freya had never been more certain of anything before. "I love you."
"I love you too," Locke whispered, smiling adoringly at her. He stroked her hair gently, his fingers tangling in her curls, and he shifted his hips. With that slight movement, the barrier was broken. She was like warm velvet, swallowing him whole in body and soul, and he was left breathless. He felt her tense beneath him, a small cry of pain leaving her lips as she was breeched, and her nails dug into his back, coupled with her thighs tightening on his hips. But this was perfect. For the first time in their lives, they felt whole, their missing pieces recognized in one another, and cemented in this simple act. Locke wiped away Freya's tears, and kissed her lips to keep them from trembling. His next movements were slow, gentle, and careful. It was like that until a smile of reassurance graced Freya's features and her body relaxed. His actions became more confident with the sounds of her moans and excited breaths, but he kept the same, steady pace. He was sure to kiss her more, paid attention to the things her eyes and body told him so she wouldn't have to. The experience was blissful, and neither one of them cared any longer about something as silly as performance--this was perfect in both feeling and form. Their love had been two hundred years in the making, and had led to this heavenly union.
When they had both reached their peaks--climaxes crashing over them like tidal waves, and their muscles set ablaze by fireworks--their cries echoed throughout her room and out of her window. They were both left trembling, covered in thin films of sweat, and panting for breath. Locke's eyes connected with Freya's again under heavy lids, taking in her serene face as she basked in the afterglow of her sexual high. She was perfect to him, both in that moment, and in every moment. He kissed her again, tasting salt on her lips from her perspiration, and then slowly rested his head on top of her chest, listening to her erradic heartbeat and melting at the feeling of her hands in his hair.
Freya sighed happily. This was what peace was. The queen smiled to herself, she had assumed it would have been awkward between the pair, because she had a hard enough time expressing her feelings, let alone show them in such an intimate way. Instead it was perfect, and she was afraid to move, afraid to leave the moment. For the first time in forever life was perfect, she was queen, and Locke was her king. everything is perfect. she thought to herself as her eyes started to drift to sleep. A few minutes had passed when a thought startled her. She shot up fast, dislodging Locke from his slumber. "Locke. What. Did. We. Do?" She said panicked.
Locke groaned, rolling to the side off of her and rubbing his face. "Um... we did what we both wanted to do?" he asked tiredly, looking up at her. He saw the alarm in her eyes though and sat up with her, albeit more calmly. "What's wrong?" he asked as he draped an arm around her shoulders, frowning. Was she having second thoughts?
"I've just gave you a death sentence!" She was pacing now, pulling at her hair in anxiety, "he's coming for me. I don't know why I thought everything would stay this way. If he finds out what we did, and I can't lie here, you know that, he'll just plain ask me, and I'll have to tell him, and oh my god he's going to destroy you Locke. I am so stupid. That was such a bad idea." She was talking mostly to herself, feeling very much like Melody. Her heart was racing a million beats per minute and she could feel her throat tightening up. Tears started to flow into bigger and bigger streams the more she panicked. "Locke, you have got to get out of here. Zephyr can't hurt me. Without me he has no power but he can destroy you and he will. Please Locke, go!"
Locke watched her from where he sat in the bed, frowning deeply at her. He shook his head, getting out of the bed and grabbing her arms to stop her pacing, making her face him. "I'm not going to leave you, Freya, not with him. If I go, you have to come with me." he said firmly.
Freya shook her head. "No. This is my kingdom and my home, I need to protect it and lead it in the war. I need to stay until things get better. It is my duty. Please, go. Don't make me force you. Go back to Nate, and Melody, and Emily. Go back to them and lead them and help me win this war like that. Staying here? Being a sitting target? I can't let you do that." She shook his hands off of her shoulders and dressed herself, placing the silver crown back on top of her head. "One day you can be a part of this life. But not yet."
"No, Freya, you don't understand," Locke insisted, even as he pulled his tattered pants back on. "The sphinx showed me the war. It's not ALL magic creatures against humans, Freya... it's your kingdom and the humans that Zephyr controls against the human world and the magic creatures there. If I go back to help the rebels, and you stay here to lead your kingdom, we won't be on the same side of the war."
Freya scowled, frustrated with his stubbornness. "No. Locke you don't understand. If I stand with my people, my subjects now. I won't leave them. Are you telling me that you would really fight against me?"
Locke watched her, his hands at his side helplessly. "No, Freya... I would die before I would do that. But I will fight against Zephyr and his hunters." he said sternly. He sighed. "I love you, Freya... Why don't you just sentence Zephyr to death or exile? You're the queen now and he has to obey you. So get rid of him. Why are you afraid of him?"
Freya waited a while to answer. "Because, he's more powerful than you think, and besides that, I've been gifted to him by my father. You and I both know how honor works in te royal family. I have to concede with whatever wishes the previous ruler had. It's blood honor."
Locke's heart dropped. "So.... we can't be together. What happened just now... it meant nothing?" he asked, motioning to the bed. "You're going to marry him and stay with him after everything I've done for you?"
"Not being able to be together and that," she motioned to the bed as well, "are not mutually exclusive things in this circumstance." She wrapped her arms around him, " I love you. So so much. I just need to get the kingdom back in control somehow. I can't...I don't know how. But trust me. Please. Go be safe." She kissed him sweetly. "Please."
Locke let her wrap her arms around him, and at first he didn't reciprocate the motion, but her kiss made his arms move. He sighed heavily and wrapped his arms around her in return, nuzzling his face into her neck and taking a deep breath of her scent. "I'm going to trust you," he said softly, "but I'm not going to leave this alone. I'll be back, Freya, and when I do come back... I'm going to kill Zephyr." he growled lowly, his blue eyes giving a dangerous gleam. He kissed her again firmly, then turned from her. But instead of heading for the door, he headed for the window.
Freya watched him leave, frozen in her spot. She knew she told Locke to go, but she didn't think about how it would feel when he did. Freya stood in that spot staring at the window until her legs were numb, and a young maid lightly tapped on her shoulder. "Your grace? Are you alright?" She asked kindly.
Without looking away from the window, Freya sighed, "No, no I don't think so. But I will be."
The Last Ones