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].
Once they were back at Freya's penthouse apartment, Locke showed Emily to the guest room she would be staying in. "It was my room, but I can sleep elsewhere." he explained. "It would be easier for me to come to either of your aide if something were to happen, if I slept on the couch or something." He shrugged and Emily gave him a grateful smile.
"Thank you. I think I'll take a bit of a nap, if that's alright... All of this new information has given me a bit of a headache." Emily said softly, biting her lip.
"Of course. Make yourself comfortable." Locke said and closed the bedroom door after her. He then returned to Freya and moved towards the kitchen. "Lunch?" he offered, already pulling things out to make them sandwiches.
"She's sleeping in your
room? With you?" Freya asked, trying to sound like she was just making conversation. She raised an eyebrow at her guardian.
Locke glanced at Freya and quirked an eyebrow of his own, looking somewhat insulted. "No, not with
me. She's sleeping in that room on her own. It just happens to be mine." he shrugged, building her a sandwich with her favorite toppings and sliding the plate towards her. "I figured I sleep in your room often enough as it is, she should have a room to herself rather than being forced to sleep on the couch." He finished up his own sandwich and moved to sit next to her at the bar. "Or would you prefer I slept on the couch?"
Freya gave him a grin and took a bite out of her sandwich, saying nothing. She watched Locke as he went about the kitchen preparing his own meal. After she finished her bite, she asked "Will you teach me to cook someday? I mean, you won't always be with me. I should learn how to feed myself." the princess asked him, taking another bite.
Locke shrugged again, chewing his own large mouthful of food and taking a drink of water to help wash it down before looking at her. "I suppose I could teach you a few things... but something like cooking should be learned through experience more than anything else. You would learn more from just being alone in the kitchen and trying different things." He took another bite, chewed thoughtfully, then looked at her. "What makes you think I won't always be with you?"
"I guess I just figured you'd get bored of babysitting me. You'd want to settle down and have a family and whatnot." Freya answered with a somber tone, but then smirked, "Or I dunno, maybe you'll get rabies or something."
Locke blinked, but his face showed no emotion. He looked back down at his food and took another bite, chewing slower this time as he thought of what to say. "Rabies is a possibility," he joked, "even more of one than me settling down." He glanced at her. "I was bred, raised, and trained to be your protector, princess. Or did you forget?"
"Yeah, well, I dunno, maybe things could change." She finished her meal and left the kitchen, heading towards her bedroom. Freya jokingly called back at him, "Plus, everyone loves puppies."
That last comment made Locke choke on his drink, coughing and spluttering a little. He recovered quickly and blinked at her open bedroom door with a confused frown. He opened his mouth to retort, but found nothing, and sighed, cleaning up their plates and cleaning the kitchen. Everyone loves puppies. She's trying to give me a heart attack. Jesus.
he thought almost bitterly.
No response? I must've gone too far. Wonderful. How was I supposed to know puppies were a touchy subject?
Freya paced her bedroom, dissecting every bit of the day's events in her mind. Her room was a peaceful place, trading the upper east style design of the rest of the penthouse for a more earthy, wintery feel. Being of the winter court, she kept the room chilly, and she decorated mostly with winter and tundra plants, and pictures of her past. Mostly these pictures were of Locke and herself, but she'd added a photo or two of Melody in the months she'd been acquainted with the siren. The photo she treasured most was when she was going through her photography phase and has snapped a shot of Locke before he realized what she was doing. It was only ten years ago, but it looked like it was from yesterday. They had been living on the coast, in some small town whose name Freya didn't remember. She picked up the photo and smiled, remembering that day. Locke hadn't wanted to go to the ocean, but she insisted. They looked for seashells and other pretty ocean things, and he gave every trinket to her, just because it made her smile. He was always so good to her. I really should apologize...
Locke spent some time in the kitchen, not just cleaning, but thinking. She had been talking a lot about sweet things lately. He knew that Unseelies ran on emotion, compassion, devotion, and things of the like, but Freya had never before been such a romantic. But lately... First there was her admittance that Locke was more than just a guardian to her, then there was her mention about finding a place they could fix up together, and now she was commenting on the possibility of him settling down and having puppies
. He wondered if maybe she was trying to tell him something. Was she ready to settle down with someone? Was she trying to tell him that she had found someone? He dried a plate with a cloth towel, and glanced at her bedroom door. Maybe she had found someone during one of the many nights she had snuck away from him, and she was trying to find a gentle way to tell him she didn't need him anymore? Maybe she didn't want him around as often, so she could be alone with whoever this pretty-boy--or girl--was. He frowned at this. He needed to know. He set the towel down, put the plate away, and moved to her bedroom. "Princess, we need to talk."
Freya cracked open her door. "Oh? Is everything all right?" She opened the door to let Locke into her bedroom. "I was joking about the puppies thing, you know."
"No, you weren't," Locke sighed, moving into her room and keeping his back to her for a moment, one hand on his hip and the other on his mouth as he thought about what to say. He turned to face her after a moment and a gentle frown marred his face. "Princess.... Freya, are you trying to tell me something? Something personal? I mean... we've been together for a long time and I think you owe me the respect of being honest with me." he said, his hands on his hips as he watched her. "You've been acting weird the last few days, and I really think you should just come out and tell me what's on your mind. I'm not stupid, ya know."
"I haven't been acting any weirder than you have Locke." Although, admittedly she was. But honesty would separate them. Guardians and their subjects couldn't be...lovers
. She had to distract him. "Besides, what business is it of yours? My feelings are private Locke, you've never cared before so why should you now? Unless there's something you have to say?" Freya stood in front of him, less than an arm's length away, not sure of what to say next.
Locke's frown deepened, looking once again insulted by her assumptions. "What do you mean I've never cared before? Of course I care, I'm your guardian and your friend. We've been in each other's lives for over two hundred years now. But it's not like you need my approval... it's your love life. It's only my business because I need to know if it's a smart move. I mean... settling down with anyone
is risky, especially in our situation. Someone could get hurt. The last thing we need is to bring another innocent life into the fray." he frowned, crossing his arms over his chest and watching her with his bright blue eyes. "So are you admitting to me that you have feelings for someone after all?"
Freya's eyes widened as she finally understood what Locke was talking about. She smiled at him. "You really are clueless Locke. It's one of the reasons I care about you so much." Realizing her slip, she decided to tease the werewolf a little bit. "But yes Locke. I guess I am admitting that." She moved close, a breath away from his face, and in a low whisper she spoke, "and it's someone you know."
"Someone I know?" Locke repeated, then lowered his eyes to the floor, putting his hands back on his hips as he thought about it. "Someone I know..." he mumbled again, obviously trying to filter through his mental catalog of people he'd met since they'd arrived in this city. His brows knitted together and after a few moments he looked back at her and shook his head. "There are so many people we know in this city, Freya. Are they male or female?" He tilted his head at her, the gesture cute like a puppy that cocked his head and perked his ears.
Freya rolled her eyes at his cluelessness, and patted his chest. "I gave you one hint. That's it." She yawned unexpectedly. "I need a nap, I'm assuming you do as well. You can sleep with me or you can stay up brooding about who has my heart." She turned from Locke, blushing because of the words she chose. Freya hoped he didn't notice. She pulled off her dress, and crawled into bed in her underwear. As soon as her head hit the pillow she was asleep, a small smile on her face.
Locke watched her, only averting his eyes when she removed her dress. He glanced back at her after she was covered by her blankets, and he tilted his head with another confused expression, his hands helplessly by his sides now. Why was she being so cryptic about this? He felt this subject was too important to be playing guessing games. He sighed and instead moved out of her room, gently closing her door behind him and going to sit on the sofa, leaning his elbows on his knees and thinking deeply about what she'd said.
It hadn't been more than an hour when Emily's door opened and she peeked out at where Locke was still lounging on the couch, looking lost in deep thought. She shuffled out of the room and ran a hand through her dark tresses before moving to him. "Locke?" she peeped, waiting until he looked at her. "I can't sleep... I keep... I keep seeing things." she whispered.
"Seeing things?" Locke wondered, then gave a nod and motioned for her to sit beside him on the couch. "Then let's take a look at your eyes."
Freya woke after a restless few minutes of sleep. He's never going to figure it out. I'll just tell him. I'm the princess. If I want to fall in love with my guardian I can damn well do just that.
She got redressed and made sure she looked perfect, and left her bedroom, feeling lighter than air. When Freya got to the living room she went from air to lead. Locke was holding Emily's face in his hands and staring deeply into her eyes. She took a few steps back, trying to regain her composure, but her heart was breaking. She took a deep breath and walked back into the doorway and cleared her throat. "Locke? What's going on here?" Freya wanted to rip the human harlot's throat out. How DARE she take what is mine?
The Unseelie girl fumed silently.
Locke and Emily both turned to look at Freya, though Locke's movements weren't as startled as Emily's. After all, Locke had excellent hearing, and he'd heard her moving around in her room. Emily blushed deeply, pulling her face out of Locke's hands, scooting back from him on the couch quickly. Locke, simply shaking his head, waved Freya over. "Come here. You should see this." he said gently.
"No. I really don't think I should." Freya glared at the werewolf. "I'm leaving. Have fun making puppies." She spat the last word with every ounce of venom she could. She grabbed her coat and fumed her way out the door of the penthouse.
This time, both Locke and Emily looked startled, confused and a little uneasy. Emily gulped and looked at Locke with big eyes. "D-did I do something wrong? What did she mean by that?" she asked, sounding sincerely concerned.
"Nothing, she's just over-reacting." Locke said and patted Emily's shoulder. Think nothing of it. I'll go talk to her." He gave her a reassuring smile and then stood, leaving her on the couch and following Freya out into the hallway, hoping Freya would still be waiting for the elevator. "Freya! Wait, what the hell was that all about?" he demanded, moving after her quickly.
"You tell me Locke. You're choosing somebody you've known for half a day over someone like me. You were kissing her. You shouldn't be kissing her!" she knew she was overreacting, but it hurt Freya to see that Locke wasn't even going to try.
Locke's brows furrowed and he looked at her incredulously, then shook his head. "Freya, I wasn't kissing her. We weren't even that close. She said she's been seeing things--you know, seeing things? So I was checking her eyes. She has the colors, Freya." He then tilted his head at her and watched her closely, his frown a little softer. "What do you mean I was choosing her over you?" It then seemed to click in his head and his eyes widened as he straightened up, watching her. "Wait... You...?" he started. He didn't finish though, letting his eyes drop to the floor and then away, before he said softly, "Just come back into the room, Freya."
Freya closed her eyes and shook her head, but then straightened up her back and lifted her chin. Her posture made her seem more regal than she had in a long time. She felt more Unseelie and stone-hearted than she had since she had met Locke. "Forget I said anything. You're misunderstanding me anyway" she spoke softly, yet matter-of-factly. With a turn, she walked a away from her guardian and out onto the now dark streets, keeping her steely appearance the whole while.
"Freya-!" Locke called after her, but he didn't chase her. He sighed, for once since becoming her guardian he looked... sad and lost. He watched the doors she had gone through with a heavy heart, hearing the rain pouring outside in the muggy, late afternoon air. He couldn't let her go out on her own though, not with Hunters on the loose after last night. He had to keep an eye on her. He ran back to the penthouse to tell Emily where he was going, and told her to stay inside where it was safe. Once that was done, he moved back outside, this time taking his motorcycle.
Freya, upset at the situation, disregarded her morals, and her promise to Locke about not using her magic. She glamoured herself, so that only magic folk could see her. Freya was the princess after all, and while the humans might not respect that, other magic folk certainly did, so if she ran into any of them they'd be sure to give her a wide berth. She did enjoy bumping into the humans pretty roughly however, watching their faces as they tried to figure out what had just happened. They're so clueless she mused, they can't even see what's right in front of their eyes. She ripped umbrellas out of hands, and knocked hats off of heads. Chaos was good therapy for a broken heart she decided. Locke was right when he called me Hurricane Freya she caught herself thinking, but the mention of his name filled her with embarrassment. Of course Locke wouldn't be interested in her like that. He wasn't allowed to be interested in Freya like that, so why would he ever guess that she was? Freya had acted like a child,...no worse, a spoiled princess and she was embarrassed. She removed the glamour from herself and sat down at a little outdoor cafe for a drink. It was busy, but the waitress was prompt. "What can I get for you sweetheart?" she asked pleasantly.
"Oh, just a hot chocolate if you don't mind." Freya smiled at the woman who hustled off to prepare her order. As she waited, Freya observed the crowd around her. A woman at the table next to her was trying round up three small children. At the table next to that two high school girls gossipped, and behind that some high school boys were admiring the girls from afar. Humans have it so easy, there's no rules for them she thought as a cool hand touched her back.
"Your highness. Fancy seeing you here." The voice was melodic, pleasing to Freya's ears like windchimes in the breeze. She recognized it almost instantly. "Nathaniel, what are you doing in New York?" She asked, as the figure joined her at the table. He was average height, slender, and had some slight bruising under his eyes. Freya had known this boy all of his life but in the fifty or so years since she had last seen him, his style had changed quite drastically. His black hair was long now, and seemed to defy gravity with its volume. A metal ring through his eyebrow brought Freya's attention to the black eyeliner he was sporting. He almost looks dangerous Freya mused silently. Nathaniel smiled warmly at his old friend. "Well, seeing as most places now have a ban on drinking I'm stuck here." He eyed the high schoolers with a grin, "But at least there's plenty of variety here. What are you doing here gorgeous?"
Freya rolled her eyes at his flirty demeanor.At least that hadn't changed "The upper east side is nice this century. We are quite enjoying ourselves thank you." she responded. Nate had a way of lifting her spirits, and always knew just when to find her. "Are you staying long Nate?" she asked.
"You're still with the mutt? Oh come on. He's boring dollface. You're wasting away with him by your side. He's way to uppity to ever be any fun for a naughty girl like you" Nate told her, looking around for her companion. "Where's the mangy mutt hiding anyway? Too embarrassed to be seen with him in public? Good. Means you're getting close to leaving him for me." Nathaniel spoke rapidly, as always, and put an arm around Freya.
Locke tried to follow Freya's scent as he rode along on his motorcycle. He stuck to roads close to the penthouse, knowing she wouldn't get far on foot without using too much magic, and that would make her stick out like a sore thumb. He rode for maybe ten minutes before he saw her signature red hair. She was sitting at an outdoor cafe, and there was someone with her--no. Something with her. He narrowed his eyes and sniffed at the air again. Vampire. He let out a low snarl and moved to park his bike off the sidewalk, then shut it off and dismounted, making his way towards Freya and her friend with large strides. He looked fierce enough to make every human in his path instantly move out of his way without him needing to touch them. Soon, he was in front of their table, towering over them. "Nate. You're alive." he said snidely. "How surprising."
Nate stood and touched his chest as is looking for something. "Wow. You're right. I am alive. What good news indeed! What are you doing here dog? I didn't hear the lady whistle, maybe you were just hoping for table scraps?" He mocked.
Freya interrupted their squabble with a groan. "Must we do this every time you two meet?" she asked, avoiding Locke's eyes.
"Well. Yes, your highness, until you decide fleas aren't fun anymore and that I can get rid of the animal." Nate replied. His manner was cheerful but the words were laced with malice.
Locke snarled, his lip curling up to reveal fangs, his eyes glowing in warning. "I would break you in half before you could touch me, leech." he growled, stepping closer until they were chest-to-chest. He towered over the small vampire, and his muscles were significantly bigger. He refused to look away from Nate, refused to give him the chance to seem dominant over him. "Maybe we should just settle this now?"
"If my lady would have it I would. Until then, why don't you just ease yourself off of the kibbles and bits. It's making you tense. It's probably indigestion. Unless...Did you get into the garbage again you naughty puppy?" Nate flashed a smile at Locke, as if this conversation was between best friends, and then looked back at Freya who crossed her arms and rolled her eyes. Nate patted Locke on the head, "She said no, and she's right for it. Dogfighting is illegal here in this great city." He bowed to the princess, turning his back on Locke. "Your grace, I must be going now. I hope to see you again soon." He walked to her and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek, keeping his eyes locked with the werewolf's the entire time. "Dog. Try not to relieve yourself on every hydrant you see. Its not very becoming of you." He nodded his head once more to the princess, and left.
Locke glared hard at Nate as he left, but in the end Locke had felt he won. Despite Nate's witty remarks and insults, he had been the one to back down, which made Locke the victor. He snorted out of his nose in finality, then looked at Freya. "He's a horrible influence, Freya. I can't fathom why you hang out with him." he snuffed. He then seemed to remember why he'd come after her in the first place, and he softened. "Freya, we need to talk.... really need to talk."
She sipped her hot chocolate and watched the boys work up the nerve to ask the girls at the next table out. "He's harmless for one, and two he's fun. I enjoy Nate." She flipped her red curls over her shoulder, "I really dont' think that's necessary. I apologize for my outburt earlier."
Locke frowned at her, moving to slide into the seat beside hers, bending in an attempt to seek her eyes out with his. "Freya, why are you shutting me out now? Why won't you give me a chance?" he asked, looking hurt, like a scolded puppy. "What you saw between me and Emily wasn't what you thought it was... and you won't give me a chance to explain?"
"Oh. Yes, that. that we can talk about." Freya smiled at him. It was a soft smile, but warm nonetheless. Nate had significantly improved her spirits. "What was going on?"
Locke seemed to relax a little at her words, but her smile didn't seem as reassuring. He sat up and sighed. "She came out of her room saying she couldn't sleep because she was seeing things. I was checking her eyes. She has the colors, Freya--the gold flecks in her eyes? She can see us. I mean REALLY see us. She may not know how... but I swear she could if she really tried."
"Well that's interesting isn't it?" Freya pondered aloud. She sipped her hot chocolate thankful that she and Locke could go right back to normal. He'd probably forgotten all about the morning'a confessions with this distraction. She gasped as a thought came to her, "wasn't the last human who had the colors part fae? Part....seelie?" She shuddered at the idea.
"Yes, but that was the last one, and that was.... over a hundred years ago." Locke said after counting in his head. He shrugged and sighed, running a hand over his hair. "Really, she could be half-blooded of anything. Or not. It may be a smaller contribution to her than we think, but just the right genes to give her the eyes."
"So is it even important? I mean, she doesn't know she's even got the gift? Maybe it should stay that way." Freya finished her drink, and leaned back in her chair. "I mean, just picture if the courts heard about her? The seelies would capture and experiment on her, and my court woul just kill her to protect their secrets. I can't imagine that the rest of the magic world would be any different"
Locke nodded slowly in understanding, but insisted, "There may be some magic factions that could help. I know my kind would protect her. Maybe we could keep her safe? And really, it isn't our place to decide this for her. It's her gift... she has a right to know about it. It's just about making sure she uses it for the right reasons--like not ratting us out to the hunters."
Freya shook her head. "We can't tell her until we know we can trust her. " she stood, and patted Locke on the shoulder. "It's just better this way. She knows where we live now. She's human, which means she could already be a hunter. We know nothing about her Locke."
"Aren't I supposed to be the suspicious one here?" Locke asked, watching her with a raised brow. He stood too, though, laid down some money for her drink, then led her to his motorcycle. He offered her the helmet, never having really been in the habit of wearing one himself. "We should get back, she's by herself right now."
"You were until I caught you staring deeply into her eyes," Freya teased, taking the helmet. She wore it mostly because it kept Locke from lecturing her about safety. She waited until he climbed onto to motorcycle and the climbed on behind him, wrapping her arms tight around his lower abdomen.
Locke gave a small snort at her response, rolling his eyes as he started up his bike. He got them back to the penthouse relatively quickly and once there, he grabbed her arm as soon as she got off his bike. "Freya... I'm not done with you, ya know. I want to talk to you as soon as we have a chance. You owe me that much at least." he said, obviously referring to the day's series of strange confessions.
"Sure sure." She waved him off, and entered her room, locking it behind her. Now that she was sure she wouldn't be followed again, Freya opened the fire escape. Talking about feeling was not her strong suit, and she'd rather just stay away until Locke forgot. It was nearly sundown now, so she could sneak away and he'd think she just fell asleep for the night. Creeping down the fire escape stairs was the hardest, Locke's sharpened hearing would pick up any squeak the metal made, so she turned on some music in her room to disguise any noise and left.
Locke sighed heavily as he went back into the house after her, moving to flop on the couch tiredly. He put a hand over his eyes and sighed again, just laying back. He felt like a jackass, but he was also getting tired of Freya's current indignance towards him. He just wanted to ask her a few questions about her apparent infatuation with him. He was lost deep in thought when he started to doze off on the couch. Hearing music coming from Freya's room, he figured she would be okay. She probably just wanted to fume to herself.
But even though Locke was falling asleep on the couch, another set of eyes was watching Freya sneak out. Emily frowned, biting her lip, and glancing back into the apartment to see Locke was sleeping. She didn't know the true length of their relationship, but she had noticed that Locke got really angry whenever Freya wasn't around. She hesitated a moment, then decided to sneak out after Freya. Someone needed to watch her. She went out the front door, though, thinking better than to risk the rickety fire escape.
Now that she was out, Freya had to figure out where she wanted to go. First she called Melody, but like earlier there was no answer. oh goodness Mel. Get over yourself. She wandered a bit longer and ended up back at the coffeehouse from earlier. "Nate. That's who I should see." She decided aloud. How to find him though, she had no idea. I suppose I need to find a drunken crowd and an alley. So the princess quickened her pace and made her way to the nearest club.
Emily followed close behind Freya as soon as she saw her on the street. She wondered where she was going, but didn't make herself known just yet. Locke made it seem like it was very dangerous to be out here alone, especially since Freya was a princess. She snuck into the club behind her, only after showing her ID to the doorman, and tried to keep her eyes on Freya through the gyrating bodies.
Nate was dancing with a scrumptious looking brunette, wearing just enough clothing to be legal, and to advertise her daddy issues. He liked them troubled, they were much more flavorful. She was becoming very inebriated, and he couldn't wait to feel the buzz of the alcohol coursing through her. He leaned in close so she could hear and asked "Would you care to leave this place for something more intimate darling?" She nodded and grabbed his hand, leading him off the dance floor. so forward, I like that in a lady he thought, his stomach rumbling.
A flash of bright red hair caught Nate's attention. "Wait here sweetheart," he commanded his prey, and he sauntered over to his friend. "Why your highness, what brings you to my humble hunting grounds?" He bowed to her.
"Nate, enough with the formalities, you'll draw attention" Freya replied, looking around. "And I'm here for you actually. It's been so long since I've seen you I thought we could catch up."
"Well sorry princess but I was just about to dine. Unless you'd care to join me?" He offered, motioning at the brunette. Freya frowned, "Nate, that girl is barely 21, she's got a long life ahead of her." He nodded "I can't wait to taste that kind of vitality." Nate shuddered in anticipation. The fae girl shook her head again, "Dance with me Nate. For old times sake." The vanpire nodded and the pair made their way to the dance floor, the brunette girl forgotten.
Emily watched as Freya began to dance with a rather punky looking boy, but there was something about him... something unnatural. She narrowed her eyes, and watched them dance, trying not to be made dizzy by the flashing lights. Then, suddenly, someone's hand was on her shoulder. She looked up and back at the stern-looking face, and her eyes widened. The first thing that came to mind was "hunter". She swallowed hard, then the next thing she knew, she was being pulled out of the crowd, and up the stairs against the far wall, two large bodies flanking her on either side.
"Humans are...peculiar. This mechanical noise surely can't be considered music?" Nate asked Freya, dancing behind her. She looked over her shoulder at him, "Sometimes you really do show your age. You know that?" Laughing, she turned back around and continued to dance. People were starting to watch the couple, their eyes drawn like moths to a flame. "My dear, you should stop dancing so well. Every male in this room is panting over you." Nate was exaggerating of course, but there was a sizable crowd watching the two, and he was worried cameras would come out. Sure enough, one drunk girl started recording them on her phone and exclaimed "the slut shows! But he doesn't!! Spoooky!" Nate paled, and stopped moving. "You're drunk lady." He said at the same time Freya yelled "Excuse me? What did you just call me??" And moved to attack. She was a princess, how dare anyone talk to her like that.
More eyes were on the pair now, eagerly waiting for a fight. Nate grabbed Freyas wrist and whispered in her ear, "Freya, there's too much attention now, and I smell hunters. Let's get out of here while we still can" She nodded, and they began to navigate the crowd out of the club.
Right before they hit the door, two very large bodies moved to stand in their way. Two men lumbered over them, frowning, both wearing dark suits and carried weapons in holsters. "Boss wants to see you." one grumbled at Freya, and before either Freya or Nate could argue, they were grabbing for them.
Nate dodged the man, but Freya was not so lucky with her captor. As she struggled against them, Nate spoke calmly. "Gentlemen, I don't know who you think we are, but we are leaving this establishment. We've caused no trouble, and I ask you to release the lady." He kept his calm demeanor, but his eyes darted around looking for a plan.
The two men looked at Nate, then at each other, before the second man grabbed at Nate again, trying to keep him contained. The one who had grabbed Freya was already taking her up the stairs to the second floor office. Inside, there was a simple room: a desk, a few other chairs, and a wall of televisions showing various areas of the club. Sitting in one of the other chairs was Emily, her hands tied behind her back. She looked up as the large man dragged Freya into the room, and she gasped. "Freya!"
Shit. She has a chance of getting away if she doesn't know us. Stupid girl. Freya thought. She had regained her royal dignity, and narrowed her eyes at Emily. "Do I know you?" she asked, silently praying Emily would play along, but it didn't seem too likely judging from the shock on her face. She turned her head to the man holding her as a struggling Nate was shoved in the office door followed by the other man. "What does your so called boss want with us?" she asked sharply.
The two large men stayed silent, but forced Freya and Nate to each sit in a chair beside Emily as well. After that, they moved to stand by the door. Emily whined and looked at Freya and Nate, shaking her head. "How did they catch you? They pulled me out of the crowd and I don't know why." she whispered, looking scared. "What's going on?"
"I can answer that," came a voice from their right. A man in a plain, long-sleeved shirt of a nice blue color and some plain slacks emerged from behind a door leading into what looked like a conference room. He had dark hair, combed back messily to reveal a broad face and deep grey eyes.
Emily looked up at the man, then her eyes went wide and she gasped. "Roland?!"
The man smiled at Emily briefly, and nodded. "Hello, Emily. Good to see you again. It's been a while." He waved his hand and one of the big oafs moved to untie her hands.
"Y-you... you disappeared... Mom and dad were so worried." Emily said quickly, shaking her head. "Where did you go?" As soon as her hands were untied, she got up and ran to him, throwing her arms around him in a hug.
Freya looked between the pair and then lost it, "I KNEW WE COULDN'T TRUST YOU! LOCKE BELIEVED IN YOU!!!"
Nate looked at her, astonished. He had never before heard Freya raise her voice. "Your highness," he whispered, "Perhaps it's best not to anger this girl. We don't know if we are even in danger. Relax." Nate had been in far worse situations that being tied to a chair, but he knew that the princess was usually, unfortunately for him, guarded well by her werewolf.
Emily jumped at Freya's sudden outburst, turning to face her with wide eyes, and looking obviously confused. "W-what are you talking about?!" she yelped, running to her and shaking her head. She turned to look back at Roland and whined. "What is she talking about, Rol?"
Roland gave Freya a sort of dark smile, before his face went back to being expressionless. He moved to the desk and slid into the leather chair behind it, folding his hands on the desk's surface. "My dear sister, are you aware of the company you hold?" he asked, tilting his head.
Emily frowned, glancing back at Freya and Nate. She gulped and then looked back at her older brother. "I know who Freya is, yes... but I have a feeling I don't know who you are anymore."
Roland watched her, then sighed, leaning back in the chair and letting his hands fall into his lap. "This is unfortunate... I had hoped you would never see this side of my business."
Emily's eyes widened. "Roland... you don't have anything to do with the hunters... do you..?"
Roland looked at her with raised brows, but bored eyes. "You're quicker than you used to be. But still so naive." he sighed. He stood up and moved around the desk towards her and Freya, motioning to the red-haired princess. "This is the Unseelie princess. And not just any princess... the last princess. I, along with my coworkers, have successfully eradicated every last royal family member of every breed of magic-user everywhere." He looked at Freya and gave a little smirk. "Once I get rid of her, the magics will be well and truly without leadership, and it'll be that much easier to get rid of them altogether."
"B-but why would you do that?!" Emily asked, suddenly pushing her brother back with her fists on his chest. "Why?! How could you kill innocent beings?!"
"They're anything but innocent, sister. You really should educate yourself before you take sides." Roland sighed, grabbing her wrist. "But at this point, it really no longer concerns you. I have the one I want, and now I have business with her. You may go." He waved his hand at his two large body guards, one of which stepped forward and grabbed Emily, who struggled and screamed.
"Bring the princess into the conference room. I want to have a chat with her before I kill her." Roland said almost boredly, moving towards the room himself as the second body guard moved to grab Freya.
Nate hurriedly whispered to Freya, "Keep him talking princess. I'll think of something" The guard roughly picked her up, but she did her best to keep her dignity. "You've killed my entire family? Why? What did my court ever do to you?" She accused the leader.
Roland glanced back at Freya over his shoulder, frowning a little. "Me? Oh, they didn't do anything to me, personally. None of this is personal, princess. It's just business. Business that I get paid very well for, and am very good at. How else would I be the top hunter of the entire state of New York? Though, really, I should thank my genes for it... gave me quite a useful skill." he said, tapping the corner of his eye with a grin.
Emily gasped, her eyes widening. "You have the eyes too..." she breathed. She glanced at Freya and Nate, even as she was being dragged back to the door. She clenched her teeth, squirmed as hard as she could, and as soon as her arm came free, she dug into her shirt and produced what looked like a brass dog whistle on a chain. She blew into it hard, the silent note ringing out as loud as she could make it before it was yanked from her by the guard.
"I'm taking it very personal thank you very much. Just how do you do it? Sure, you can see us, but you're still just a human." Freya replied, her tone clipped. Meanwhile Nate, still bound, had seemingly entered an intense staring contest with the guards, willing them to untie him. They were fighting well, and he was impressed, but sooner or later every human succumbed to his will.
Roland rolled his eyes. "You really know nothing about this line of work, do you?" he asked, then couldn't help but laugh. "None of you do! That's what makes it so easy. Really... your kind never stood a chance." He gave her another grin, then snapped his fingers. "Now let's get this over with." When his body guard didn't immediately respond, he frowned, and noticed the stare the vampire was giving him. He groaned and slapped a hand to his forehead. "Really..? This again? I really should try to keep from employing trolls." he grumbled. He opened his mouth to shout something at the other guard still trying to contain Emily, but it never left his lips.
The door to the office crashed in, Locke giving a snarl even though he was still in his human form. He didn't hesitate, grabbed the first body guard and hoisted him over his head, then threw him at the second, knocking them both away from Freya and Nate. He turned his glare on Roland, who stood straight and still, their gazes locking, before Roland turned and ran for the conference room. Locke ran after him, but just as he made it through the door, a gunshot rang out, and he fell back through, landing hard on the ground and sliding towards Freya's feet. A fresh bullet wound was bleeding heavily in his chest, having just barely missed his heart, but the wound had white steam rising from it, and Locke seemed in deep agony as he clutched at the spot.
Freya screamed as Locke writhed at her feet. "Nate! Nate it's silver. We have to get it out of him." She frantically pulled at the chains holding her arms back.
"If you haven't noticed, your highness, I'm bound too. Kindly stop screaming so I can focus here." Freya quieted down, but kept thrashing about in her chains. One of the guards was shuffling, waking from unconsciousness. Nate yelled to get his attention, and focused all of his energy into controlling the man. "Untie me. Now!" The groggy guard did as he was told, and as soon as he was free, Nate grabbed the man by his throat and ripped it out. Blood spattered everywhere, blanketing the trio in a flurry of crimson. He clicked his teeth, "I do hate wasting a meal," and turned to Locke, who was still twitching on the floor. "Do quit moving so I can get this out of you, dog." He knelt down next to the werewolf, and forced his nimble fingers into the wound. "Aha!" He exclaimed as his fingers pinched the hard mass. "I've got the bullet princess. Don't worry. He'll be fine." Nate pulled the bullet from the wound, gagging at the smell of the tainted wolf blood. He examined the thick bullet between his fingertips, "What do you think, your highness? Shall I make a necklace out of this little trinket?" Freya glared at her friend, still tied and obviously not in the mood for jokes. "I apologize, your grace. I forgot about your predicament." He untied her quickly, and she fell to the floor next to Locke, holding his face in her lap.
"Locke? Locke, can you hear me?"
Emily, who had screamed both when Locke had burst into the door, and again when he'd been shot, was now cowering against the wall. She had been sprayed with a bit of the blood from the guard's mutilated throat, but had managed to keep from screaming so as not to get blood in her mouth. The other guard was still unconscious on the floor across the room, and the window in the conference room was hanging open--a telltale sign of Roland's escape. She gave a hiccuping sob and slowly slid to sit against the wall, panting and watching Freya cradle Locke's head in her lap.
Locke groaned deeply, feeling his wound burning. It would heal, but the silver bullet would leave a scar in his flesh. He panted through his pain, looking up at Freya with his bright blue eyes, then swallowed hard. "Y-you snuck out again," he scolded gently, "so I blame you for my getting shot." He groaned again, but nuzzled his face into her lap, closing his eyes tightly.
"You're an ass." Freya replied to him lovingly, "Thank you for saving us. Nate, thank you for saving him." Nate shrugged absentmindedly, licking the blood off of his fingers, too busy to respond. "Emily. Emily? I need you to go to and get some paper towels. Nate. Finish the other guard. Make it painful." Freya commanded.
"As you wish your grace," Nate bowed to her, and effortlessly picked the unconscious goon up and draped him over his slender shoulders. "I'll be checking in soon your grace." He nodded his head towards Emily, readjusted the man on his shoulder and walked out the office door.
Emily was trembling in her spot against the wall, her knees drawn up and arms hugging them to her chest, her eyes wide. "M-my brother shot Locke..." she whimpered, "A-and... he killed them... so easily..." She sniffed, tears streaking down her face and smearing the spots of blood on her cheeks from the splatter of Nate's first murder. She swallowed hard and coughed a sob. "H-how could Roland do this?"
Locke gave another breathless groan low in his throat. "Freya... someone had to have heard that gunshot. W-we have to get out of here before the cops find us." he grumbled. He shifted to get up, wincing and clutching at his chest as more blood pooled under his shirt. His wound was healing, but it was taking longer thanks to the burns the silver had left behind in his muscles. It was also far more painful than other bullet wounds he'd received in the past. Still, he forced himself to his feet, leaning against the desk for balance, and looked at Freya again. "We have to go. Now." he grunted.
Freya nodded, going to him and putting his arm around her shoulders "Lean on me for once. I can help." she murmured to him. "Come on Emily. We need to get out of here. Lead the way"
Emily seemed dazed for a moment until she heard Freya's voice telling her they were leaving. She looked up, her grey-green eyes wide and her face sickly pale, before she gave a weak nod and shuffled to stand on shaky legs. She braced herself against the wall for only a moment before she opened the door Nate had exited through with the guard's body, holding it open so Locke and Freya could go through before she followed. She led them down the stairs and out of the club, which had suddenly become very empty and eerily quiet. The gunshot must have cleared everyone out, Emily figured, so she didn't waste time opening the club's main doors that led onto the street. She yelped when she saw the flashing of red and blue lights, and heard a siren honk at her. She slammed the doors shut again quickly and turned back to Locke and Freya. "There are cops out there!" she panicked.
"B-back door it is then," Locke grunted, leaning on Freya slightly as they came down the stairs. He kept his free hand pressed over his wound to help stop the bleeding, but it was still very heavy, and he was starting to leave a trail of blood drips on the floor behind them. "Hurry now," he told Emily, and she moved ahead of them to find the back door.
They made it back to the penthouse with little incident, stopping occasionally for Locke to catch his breath. Freya helped him into her bed, removing his bloody clothing. "I have to clean this wound...Locke, do we have any of that bubbly stuff?" She asked.
"H-hydrogen Peroxide? Yeah, under the sink... bathroom sink." Locke told her as he lay on his back in her bed, giving a pained growl in his throat.
"I'll get it," Emily panted, then ran to find it, coming back with the deep brown bottle and a clean cloth. "Here. I'll find some bandages." she said, handing the items to Freya, and then disappeared from the room again.
Locke gave a breathless groan, breathing heavily through his nose as he clutched at the sheets beneath him. He looked up at Freya almost dazedly and said softly, "Why did you sneak out again?"
"You cornered me. You were going to make me talk about my feelings." She shuddered. "You know I can't do that, and I didn't want to try. It'd just ruin everything anyway...Oh I'm not sure how to do this..." Freya rattled on as she poured most of the bottle into the wound. It bubbled like pink lava out of the bullet shaped hole.
Locke let out a pained, "Hhnnn!" through clenched teeth, his eyes shutting tightly and his entire body tensing for a moment. Once the pain subsided, and Freya had placed the towel over his wound and applied pressure to keep him from bleeding anymore, he relaxed. He slid his hand over hers where she held the towel down, and through deep breaths said, "I just had one question, Freya..." He looked up at her, his eyes looking absolutely exhausted. "How long..? How long have you felt this way about me?"
"Since 11 pm January 11th 1853." she replied straight-faced. Locke's look of surprise made her smile, "I'm kidding Locke. I don't know. It's not like it matters. It's not like you could possibly feel the same way." She couldn't meet Locke's eyes, instead she focused on the towel covering his chest. "Give me time. Don't mention anything about it. I'll...I'll get over it."
There was a brief moment of silence as Locke considered her and what she'd said. When he finally did speak, his tone was gentle. "What if I don't want you to get over it?" His blue eyes were locked on her face, looking deep and tired, but full of longing. Before she could say anything else, he reached up and hooked his hand gently behind her neck, pulling her down to him carefully. His lips parted just before they connected with hers, inviting her into a warm, light kiss.
Freya's heart fluttered. This was not okay, her guardian could not be kissing her right now. They were going to be in so much trouble. But then he wrapped his hand tighter in her hair and it was so much more than okay. She couldn't breathe, but she couldn't care less.
Locke breathed deeply through his nose, keeping the contact against her lips a little longer. But when he heard Emily's fumbling footsteps come back into the room with the clunky, metal first aid box, he quickly broke the kiss and released her from his hand. He watched her as she straightened up, his blue eyes transfixed by her. Her red lips had been sticky with her lipstick, but warm and soft. He could still feel a buzzing sensation in his, leftover from the fireworks that had gone off in his head.
Emily noted the sudden weight of awkwardness in the room when she entered, but she didn't say anything. She instead silently moved to the bedside and set the kit down, opening it and pulling out a square gauze bandage and some bandage tape, starting to patch up Locke's wound.
Freya cleared her throat, "Thanks...Emily, for cleaning him up. I'm hopeless at that kind of thing..." She watched the human tend to the wound on Locke's shoulder, but instead of jealousy she couldn't help but keep the silliest grin on her face. She started thinking about the night's events, about how Locke took a silver bullet for her how he rushed in and saved she and Nate from that hunter." Her eyes widened as she rememebered another detail from the night. "Emily. Could I possibly borrow your cell phone? I want to make sure Nate made it home safely."
Emily looked at Freya and gave a small stutter, before nodding. "It's in my backpack." she said. "I dunno how much battery is left though." She finished taping up Locke's chest, then offered him a couple of pain pills and a glass of water. Once he'd swallowed the pills, she set the glass aside and cleaned up the kit, then headed out of the room to find her phone. Locke briefly held onto Freya's hand, giving it a squeeze, then he let her go and settled to sleep.
Freya watched Locke tenderly. He usually waited until she was asleep to rest himself, so she never got to see him like this. He was usually so brooding, but sleeping he looked so peaceful. She watched him until Emily returned with her phone, which she took gratefully. "Emily. That hunter? He was your brother?"
Emily frowned, taking a step back a little and looking at the ground shamefully. "Yes... he is..." she whispered. She felt horrible. "He's my older brother. He disappeared right after I started college... my parents said he was just on one of his spontaneous cross-country trips. He's usually home for christmas, but last year he never came." she mumbled with a shrug, then sniffed. "I swear, Freya, I had no idea."
"I believe you, I really do. Your face when you recognized him told me as much, but since you're on our side, and I'm assuming you are on our side, or I'll just call Nate and you can be his next breakfast, you won't mind if I do this..." Freya dropped the phone into the glass of water Locke had left on the endtable. "I'm sorry, but I have to make sure that there's no way anyone could reach you, or you reach anyone. Locke almost died and I won't let it happen again. I like you Emily. I want to trust you, but 200 years has taught me it's a mistake to not protect yourself." She held her hand out at the glass, and using magic boiled the water. The phone sparked and then she took the phone out, dropped it to the floor, and crushed it underneath her foot. "Please don't be angry with me"
Emily gasped, jumping towards the phone with a whimper of, "No..." when it was initially dropped in the water. She watched in mild horror as her phone was boiled and crushed beyond repair, and she gulped, but gave a nod. "I-I understand..." she whimpered, nodding, but there were tears in her eyes. "I can't even... s-say goodbye to my parents...?"
Freya rolled her eyes, pity wasn't her strong suit. "One. You've witnessed almost three murders in one day and you're going to cry over a cell phone? Two. I just found out that not only are my parents dead, but my entire family is gone, as well as every other royal magic being, and that I'm now basically responsible for not only the Unseelie court, but the entire freaking world, and it's because of your brother. So no, you don't get to say goodbye. If you disappear from their lives, when Roland eventually goes to hunt you down, he can't use them as one of your weaknesses, because it will look like you don't care. Now man up and quit blubbering around. Everyone dies eventually. Get over it." Her words were harsher than she'd meant, but the reality of no longer being princess, but queen had just struck her. This girl was crying for parents that she could see in the future, Freya's entire family was gone. "I'm sorry Emily, I didn't mean to say it like that. I'm just tired. It's been a long day, let's get some sleep and talk in the morning when Locke's awake." She patted the girl on the shoulder and climbed into the bed, nestling up to Locke's sleeping form.
Emily shrunk back from Freya's touch, and left the room in tears. She closed the door behind herself, and once they were alone in the room, Locke's voice said lowly, "A bit harsh..." He was teasing her though, and he turned his head to plant a little kiss on her forehead. He wrapped his arm around her, pulling her in close against his side.
"In case you haven't noticed, our entire world is harsh, or would you like another silver bullet?" She teased back, laying on his chest. She laughed in relief. "Locke... I'm Queen now... we could be something. Instead of just being my guardian you could be my... my..." She struggled to find the words.
Locke, for the first time in a long time, smiled gently at her words. Though she probably couldn't see his smile in the dark, she could possibly hear it in his words when he spoke next. "Lover? Or is that too strong of a word?" He chuckled, a low sound in his chest, a sound she had never heard before. He nuzzled her hair with his face, just taking in her scent, and humming appreciatively. "I could be yours. And you could be mine."
Freya smiled sleepily, "All mine." She nuzzled her head onto his shoulder, yawned, and fell asleep.
Melody had spent the rest of the day with Shae, who was filled with knowledge about their cultures. The mermaid had taught her which fish satisfied her hunger most, where she could sing her heart out, far enough away from civilization that no innocents would be harmed. For the first time in a long time, Mel felt happy and peaceful. They were on a beach now, looking completely human. Their aquatic forms had long since transformed away. Melody had been asking so many questions, but Shae was patient and answered every one. She laid down onto the warm sand and stared up at the stars, "Shae, let's just stay here on the beach. Away from New York, away from the people we know, and away from the hunters. Just you, me, and the ocean."
Shea had been looking up at the stars too, glad to see them after two days of dreary New York rain. Melody's words drew back her attention though, and she looked at her in confusion. "I would really like that," she admitted, surprised at her own sincerity. A mermaid living with a siren, who knew? "But there is someone hunting our kind, Mel. Humans. If we lived next to the beach, we would be incredibly suspicious."
"Which is why nobody would suspect it." Melody laughed. "I should be getting back. I've punished my friend long enough. She stood, and wiped the sand off of her legs. "Care to take me home? I hear it's safer in pairs"
Shea looked up at Melody and sighed, but nodded and stood. She brushed herself down as well, and grabbed up her bag, slinging it over her shoulder and then leading Melody back up the beach. "Who is this friend of yours? She called you a couple of times today... what were you punishing her for, exactly?"
"Her name is Freya. She's nice, but she's...mischievous. She doesn't believe that we should...I dunno...deny our identities? She thinks it's weird I don't want to hurt the humans, which I guess she's kinda right. We were at a club the other day and she like, tried to get me to sing and stuff. So I left. I know she wouldn't, like, let anyone get hurt it anything like that, but I'd still rather not take that chance. Thing is, I convinced her to go, and she had to ditch her guardian to do it and I kinda like left her there all alone. So I bet she's pretty pissed." Melody explained, burying her bare feet in the sand with each step.
"She sounds like a prankster... and kind of a bitch." Shea said bluntly, shrugging. She kicked the sand a little, then glanced at Melody out of the corner of her eyes. "Ya know, you could chill with me in my apartment sometime. I'm always stocked on fish and crab and stuff, and my apartment may be small and dingy, but my tub is huge."
"Prankster yes...bitch...only sometimes" Melody giggled. "I dunno. Freya is like hard to explain, I mean she's a princess so you'd expect her to be totally self centered but she cares about everyone. She just likes causing trouble, but she's unseelie so I guess there's that. She just doesn't apologize for what she thinks. " Mel defended her friend. "You love her. I think. I dunno. Let's go find out. Then girls night at your place." Melody started trying to hail a cab, but she always struggled getting their attention. "Seriously, it's like I'm invisible."
Shea raised her eyebrow at Melody, watching her with a bit of a crooked smile. She put her fingers in her mouth and whistled loudly at the next cab, then waved her arms. "YO!" she shouted. The cab instantly stopped and she opened the door for her. "You know you talk like a Valley girl?" she asked, sliding into the seat next to her. "You say 'like' every other, like, word." she teased, giving her a grin.
"I so do not talk like that." Melody replied, slightly embarrassed, but then laughed. "Ok. I totally do. Oh well." She shrugged. "What do your tattoos mean?" It was a random question, but Melody was fascinated with the bright colors inked into Shea's skin.
Shea smiled at her, then blinked down at her many tattoos on her arms. She gave a small shrug and pointed out one that was a city scape with the word "Franklin" on a banner in front of it. "That's Franklin, California. That's where I was born." she explained. "I lived there a long time before I came out here to the East coast. I still really miss it. It was so warm there..." she said and then pointed at the one on her shoulder of a black cat on a red spider web. "I got this just because I love Halloween. I was about eighteen when I got this one." she chuckled, then showed off the bouquet of flowers on the back of her right forearm. "All of my mom's favorite flowers..." She then turned her right arm over and revealed some red lettering that read, "Find what you love and let it kill you." She shrugged again and smiled at Melody. "I got a lot of these when I was young and stupid. I have more, but they're covered by clothes."
Melody was quiet, studying the tattoos. They arrived at the penthouse and Melody paid the cab fare. "So this is Freya and Locke's place. He's like, totally smoking hot, by the way. But I don't think he's like interested in dating. He takes his job pretty seriously." She prattled on as they made their way past the doorman and into the elevator. The interior of the elevator was covered in mirrors and Melody stared at her reflection. She looked like a different person. Her eyes were bright, and her skin was almost glowing. "Wow. I like...I mean, I look healthy."
"Yeah, isn't it amazing what a good meal and some exercise and alone time will get you?" Shea asked almost playfully, giving a small chuckle and nudging Melody. "And don't worry, I won't be trying to flirt with anyone today." When they arrived at the penthouse floor, and they found the door that belonged to the penthouse, she allowed Melody to knock instead. She looked around at the main hallway they stood in. The penthouse door was the only one in the hallway, otherwise it was pretty plain, with deep red carpeting, portraits on the walls, and windows flanked by plants at either end.
Emily was the first one to hear the knocking at the penthouse door, and she jumped. She had been staring at a picture of her family--a christmas photo with her parents and Roland curled around her in front of the tree--and crying to herself. She didn't understand why Freya wouldn't let her say goodbye to her parents. She SORT of understood the dangers, she supposed, but she refused to believe that Roland would harm his own parents just to get to her. But the knock at the door had broken her from her dazed pity-party, and she stood and moved to her bedroom door, contemplating whether or not she should answer it. Another knock came and she startled with a small yelp, gripping to her bedroom door frame.
Locke groaned, his ears twitching at the sounds of the knocks on the doors. He rolled to look at the clock, giving a yawn. It was just after nine thirty, which really wasn't all THAT late, but he felt like it had might as well been four in the morning. He looked at Freya's sleeping face and felt the overwhelming urge to stay where he was and just let the people at the door fuck off, but he couldn't risk it if they were someone there to hurt Freya. He planted a light kiss on her head, then pulled himself out of the bed with a pained groan. His chest still hurt, though now it was more of a dull ache as it healed beneath the bandages, and he knew it would be healed and scarred over completely by morning. He was grateful for the pain medication that Emily had given him though. He trudged out of the room, gently closing the bedroom door behind himself, and he glanced at Emily, seeing her in the doorway of her room. He waved a hand at her silently, motioning her to stay calm, and he headed to the door and opened it, yawning widely when he saw it was only Melody. "Mel? Gods, why are you here so late?" he grumbled, then noticed Shea beside her and instantly became tense. "Who's this?"
Melody wasn't expecting Locke to answer the door shirtless, and it made her blush. "Oh. Hey Locke. We were just like in the neighborhood and thought, you know, that we'd drop by. I didn't think you'd be sleeping, I like didn't mean to wake you up. Wait it's only 930, that's totally not late. Why are you sleeping? Oh, this is my friend Shae. She's a mermaid which is totally crazy because apparently I'm supposed to like eat people like her seeing as I'm a siren and all, but I totally wouldn't Do that. I mean come on, can you say gross? I can. Gross. Like anyway, she's been helping me learn about what I am and like how to control it. It pretty awesome actually. We went for a swim in the ocean and OH MY GOD you're hurt. What happened? Oh no, is Freya okay? Did you get that protecting her? Did she get hurt when I left? I totally knew I shouldn't have left. I'm such a bad friend....she probably hates me now. I wouldn't blame her I totally hate myself now. Is that why she didn't answer the door? Oh my God, please tell her I'm like so sorry. Like so so so sorry. I really mean it. I guess we'll like get going then." She babbled in one long breath. As she finished speaking she turned to leave but then stopped and turned around, "oh, also cool tattoos."
Locke had always known about Melody's ability to ramble on when she spoke. He'd heard about this talent from Freya a few times since the two had become friends, but this encounter made his head hurt. Not even his expert ears could pick up everything she said so quickly. By the time she was turning to leave, his brows were knitted together in confusion, and he gave a slow groan as he pinched the bridge of his nose. "Uh... okay... thanks, I guess." he said and then stepped back to let them in. "I'll just get Freya."
Shea laughed a little, glancing at Melody and grabbing her arm, pulling her into the apartment. "Wow, I don't think I've ever seen a werewolf short circuit before." she laughed. She looked around the apartment, and was instantly floored by it. It was a very contemporary style, with a big screen television and a wall made of glass that opened up to a large balcony overlooking the city, and everything looked and smelled so clean. She gaped, then noticed Emily staring meekly from behind her door frame, recognizing her from her apartment building. She raised a hand and gave her a small wave and a smile, and Emily frowned in confusion. Shea had never said hello before to her, let alone smiled at her. Emily wasn't sure what to think.
"Hi. What are you?" Melody asked the girl hiding behind the door. "Why are you in Locke's room? Are you two, like, a thing?" She asked, not unkindly. "I'm Melody. I'm a siren. This is Shae, she's a mermaid." She told the girl, who didn't respond quick enough for Mel, "This is the part where you like tell us who and what you are, and then we become friends."
Emily's eyes widened on Melody's words, making her step out from the doorway quickly with a deep blush and shaking her head. "N-no, I'm not-! I mean... Locke is just letting me use his room!" she said quickly, shuffling her feet. "I'm not anything. I'm human... but I have some weird eye color thing... Locke hasn't really explained it to me, but it sounds important." she shrugged. She then lifted her head and looked at Shea. "You're really a mermaid?"
Shea blinked at Emily and coughed, rubbing the back of her neck and giving a modest shrug. "Yeah... long as I can remember." she muttered. She could tell that Emily felt both amazed and deceived at having lived in the same apartment building as a mermaid and never known. Shea cleared her throat again and looked around awkwardly as she waited for Locke and Freya to return.
"Why have I never met you before? Also, the colors just means you can see magic without being magic. Haven't you ever noticed anything weird happening that nobody else did? Or like I dunno, been drawn to certain people with no explanation? Or seen people or things that weren't there? Oh,and where is Locke sleeping if you're like in his room? You're a curious person, and like you still haven't even answered my questions really. That's rude. Are you always this rude?" Melody asked. The words were blunt, but she came off as merely curious and naive.
Emily blinked at Melody, then shook her head and shifted on her feet again shyly. "N-no... I'm not, but you just... you talk so fast, it's hard to keep up." she said, blushing. "I think Locke is sleeping with Freya in her room, or on the couch or something... I dunno." Her mind went back to what Melody had said about her having the eyes that could see magic without being magic, and she bit her lip. So that's how Roland is able to find all the magic beings... That explains why he was able to kill so many so quickly. she thought sadly. She also realized that's probably what had drawn her to Freya, and made her watch Shea whenever she saw her in the hallway back at their apartment complex. She looked up when she heard Locke coming back out of the bedroom.
"Freya isn't really in the mood to wake up right now, but I told her what you said about being sorry for leaving her at the club." Locke said to Melody and crossed his arms over his chest. "She said it's fine, and she'll talk to you tomorrow."
"Oh. Okay." Melody didn't catch the hint and plopped down on the couch. "Come sit next to me nameless girl. I want to know all about you. Especially why you've clearly been crying all night. Are you alright?" Melody worked to slow her words, but old habits died hard.
Emily stuttered a little at Melody's words, not having thought that her eyes were as red as they obviously were. She looked at Locke, her eyes a combination of asking for permission and asking for salvation, and Locke merely rolled his eyes and told them to keep it down before disappearing back into the bedroom and shutting the door. Emily then shuffled over to the couch and sat down beside Melody, but left a space between them. Behind them, she could hear Shea digging through the wine cabinet in the kitchen, and could see her filling three wine glasses. Emily returned her eyes to Melody and she bit her lip. "M-my name is Emily..." she started, shrugging, "and I'm 22 years old. I have--well... had a job, and went to college... Before this."
"Oh? Why would you bother with that when you can see what you can see? Don't you know just how valuable you are? When everyone finds out about you you're going to be a bigger target than Freya. You shouldn't be working you should like be learning to um, defend yourself and stuff. DOn't you think Shae?" Melody placed her hand on Emily's lap. "Don't worry though. We'll protect your whimpy human body until you get strong. How's that sound?"
"Good, I guess... but I don't think I'll ever be a bigger target than Freya. We just found out today that she's the last royal Unseelie left." Emily explained, then frowned shamefully at the ground. "And my older brother is the one killing them off." She bit her lip. "He has the eyes like me. He's been killing every magic being he's seen for years." she explained sadly.
"Wow, that's heavy," Shea muttered as she came over with a tray of wine glasses, the bottle and cheese and apple slices. She set it on the table and sat down beside them, taking an apple and cheese slice and popping it into her mouth, then sipping at her wine. "Is that how Locke got hurt too?"
"Yeah... my brother shot him with a silver bullet. It was awful. My brother got away, and now Freya says I can't even say goodbye to my parents, in case he finds out where we are.. or uses them against me." Emily sniffed, fresh tears welling in her eyes.
"Your brother is a hunter? Well that sucks. But Freya has on the run herself for like, a long time. She's totally got a sketchy past dude. I think that, if anyone knew about like not getting found it's totally her. Just trust her mmkay?" Melody stood, stretching her legs.
Emily watched Melody get up and stretch, and gave a small nod as she frowned at the floor. "Yeah..." she whispered, hugging her knees to her chest.
Shea watched Melody get up and stretch, and she raised her eyebrow at her before waving a slice of cheese at her. "Hey! I made this nice-ass platter of cheese and apples and wine, so we're not leaving until we have some! Sit your ass back down." she grumbled, pushing her wine glass towards her.
"Oh. Yea. Can't miss out on that" Melody laughed and plopped down. She took a big gulp, an then another, and another and in one motion is was gone. The wine buzz made her feel squishy, like being in love almost. She hiccuped, giggled, and said "fae wine is crazy. Did you know it can have crazy effects on other creatures?" The room was spinning and colors were blinking in and out of light.
"Mmm, like flying," Shea said slowly, sipping at her own wine. She looked at Emily as she swirled her glass, and raised an eyebrow at her. "They say Fae wine lets you feel what you want to feel most."
"So you're a fish that wishes she could fly?" Emily asked, a small smile playing shyly on her lips. She lifted her own glass and took a tiny, experimental sip. It didn't taste like other wines she'd had before. It was incredibly fruity, and actually tasted more like juice than alcohol. "This is really good."
"It's magic. Of course it's good." Melody continued to hiccup and giggle. "I don't think I'm doing it right because....OH MY GOD. I knew this place was big but they have a pet elephant? I love him!" Mel got up and started pacing the room, giddy from her drunkenness.
The Last Ones