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15 August 2011 @ 10:06 pm
Of Blood and Brooms - Chapter Fourteen  
Of Blood and Brooms
Chapter Fourteen


Under any other circumstances she would have loved to be out on a late evening walk with him. The last beams of sunlight had just faded from the sky, but the moon, four days from being full, was bright enough that she could still make out his form trotting effortlessly beside her. He had opted to remain human for reasons he hadn’t explained and she felt more comfortable with him like this. It didn’t have anything to do with the violence that his wolf form represented, she would simply rather have someone to talk to that was capable of talking back to her. Otherwise she might end up driving herself crazy with her own thoughts.

“You’re sure that you will know when they are inside the perimeter?” she asked him.

“I’m sure,” he responded confidently.

She glanced at him, partially to feel the reassurance of his calm, but also in part to enjoy the way his muscles shifted as he moved. “How will you know?”

“It’s hard to explain,” he told her after a moment’s thought.

“Try me,” she countered, needing something to talk about. “I understand more than you would think.”

She could see his lopsided grin at her statement. “Fair enough, but I don’t think even you would understand the pack bonds. No one knows what it is to be Pack until you are a part of it.”

“Describe it to me,” she prompted, pushing through a bush and trying to ignore the overall feeling of bugs against her skin.

“It’s hard to do so,” he replied and she wondered if he wouldn’t speak any further on the subject. Then, “It is sort of like being in someone’s mind all the time, but not in an intruding way. I can feel them all the time, and I know they can feel me. It’s comforting.”

She wrinkled her nose at that, “I would think it would get irritating. I mean I love my family but if they knew everything about every moment of my life then I think I would go crazy.”

“I will admit there are some things I would rather not be able to feel,” he didn’t elaborate on the things and she didn’t feel it would be right to ask. “But not having the Pack would be like never seeing the sun again. I could live without it if I had to, but I would never want to.”

Glancing at the sky she thought about that for a minute and decided she could understand that. She hated the dark gloomy days in the winter and that was just a time when the sun was hidden. To have it gone completely would be unbearable. If the pack bonds were like he described then maybe she could understand enough to know that she would want them even with the bad.

“So how will you know?” she asked, returning to her original question.

“Kangin will know,” he answered with a shrug. “I’ll be able to feel his knowledge of it and probably his rise in aggression.” She must have offered him a puzzled look because he laughed lightly. “Don’t worry. I’ll know,” he reassured her.

They fell into a comfortable silence as they hit the edge of the forest and began weaving their way through the trees. It was harder for her to see here and she was forced to slow her pace to a fast walk or risk twisting her ankle or worse in the process. He could probably go much faster then she needed to since he could likely see better than she could, but he slowed to her pace without a word.

Being from the city, she had never spent much time in a forest, especially not one after dark. The long shadows made her mind drift to everything that could be hiding within them, which quickly turned out to be a huge mistake. Somewhere between the worry of what would get her first - one of the vampires or some demon hiding in the trees - her foot caught beneath a tree root and sent her sprawling forward.

Strong arms caught her easily before she could hit the ground and guided her back upright. “Jessica?” he said softly, worried. “Are you alright?”

“Fine,” she snapped, brushing off her clothing as if she had really fallen and ignoring the arm that was still around her waist.

A slight tug drew her into his body and she released a small startled noise on reflex. Her hands that had risen to steady herself fell against the warm fabric covering a solid body as he tucked her firmly against him. “You are lying. I can smell it. I can smell your fear.”

“I’m not scared of you,” she said stubbornly.

He laughed and she felt it rumble through him. “I didn’t say you were, but you are afraid.” His fingers tipped her chin up and she followed its guidance until she was looking up into his eyes, eyes that were glowing golden in the moonlight. “Nothing will hurt you, I swear it.”

“I know that,” she mumbled and she truly did know that he would protect her or die trying. It wasn’t as though she couldn’t defend herself, after all she had an entire bracelet full of spells ready to be used, she just wasn’t accustomed to having to do so.

As if on impulse he tilted his head down and captured her lips. It wasn’t the first time they had kissed, although there were only a handful of them to date, but it was certainly the roughest he had ever been. There was a sense of claiming and possession in his kiss and she melted into it, loving every moment of it.

When he pulled his lips away, too soon for her liking, the gold was gone from his eyes and the familiar look of conflicting emotions was playing across his face. “I know, Siwon,” she murmured lightly, patting him on the chest hoping that he would know she was talking about more than just his declaration of protection. Just to make certain he understood, she leaned up and placed a swift kiss on his lips before pushing lightly against his hold.

He released her immediately, but his hand lingered on her arm as if it was the last thing he wanted to do. Instead of allowing his hand to fall back to his side when he pulled it away, she grabbed it and threaded their fingers together. He didn’t say anything but she noticed the corner of his mouth turning up in the beginnings of a smile.

“Let’s go, my bloodhound. We have a pool to find,” she reminded him.

“Yes, we do,” he agreed with a chuckle, tugging at her hand lightly to get her moving in the direction they needed to go again. She followed willingly, glad that the long shadows didn’t seem like such a threat anymore.

▪▫▪☼▪▫▪


They made the strangest collection that he had seen in a long time, or at least the most unlikely one. His vampires stood in a loose group, still as statues, simply waiting for everything to begin. The werewolves were just finishing the last of their transformation, done inside where they were alone and their instincts would permit them the short period of vulnerability, and would be joining the group outside as soon as they were finished.

Closer to the mansion, and marginally less likely to get directly involved in the bulk of the fight, were Hankyung’s witches. The older man was standing before them barking last minute orders at them in a fashion that seemed more like an over protective parent than a drill sergeant. When he finished, two of the boys moved back towards the building where they would be stationed on high balconies. The third, the newest Pet in his seethe, shifted nervously as the full brunt of Hankyung’s instruction fell on him.

“There is enough vampire blood in your veins now that you will see the result of it in battle,” his sensitive hearing overheard Hankyung telling the young witch. “Don’t fight it or you will end up killing yourself or the vampire you are tied to as he tries to protect you.”

The young witch was nodding in understanding and he almost pitied the boy. It went against his better judgment to bring ones so young and vulnerable out to what was likely to become a blood bath, but they could hardly afford not to. It was bad enough that he had forbidden his fledgling to come to the battle field.

“You will be faster, see better, and react quicker,” Hankyung was explaining firmly. “Just let it happen. You’re body will know what to do with it.”

The poor boy was beginning to look more and more worried, indicating that it was certainly time to save him. “You know,” Heechul said smoothly, moving closer. “If you had wanted to do a training session like they did in that movie with all the sparkling vampires, all you had to do was ask.”

“Like what?” the young witch asked, looking even further confused.

“What is society coming to these days?” Heechul declared in mock horror. “Do young people know nothing of culture anymore!?”

Hankyung scoffed at him, “Some of us have better things to do than watch movies all day.”

Heechul was about to snap back with what he felt was a rather witty reply when he sensed something. His head jerked up so fast it would have given a normal creature whip lash. A growl rose unchecked in his throat. It was certainly Seungri’s mind that he felt growing close enough to be nearly within the perimeter. He couldn’t penetrate the shield around the other vampire’s mind but that wasn’t what had drawn his attention.

There, near enough to Seungri’s presence that Heechul was certain he was right beside him, was the mind of his first born Child. No matter how hard Seungri was trying to block it, he would never have been able to hide that particular mind. A second later Yesung was beside him gripping his arm tightly.

“Do you feel it?” Yesung hissed.

He had no idea that his Children were connected enough to feel each other but they never did fail to surprise him. “Kibum,” he breathed, echoing Yesung thoughts. He couldn’t tell what state his Child was in, Seungri was blocking him too much for that, but he could certainly feel that Kibum was still in existence, and that was more than enough for him.

A growl rumbled from behind him, simply to alert him to the presence of the wolves. The pack, all with four legs and fur, were an exquisite sight to see spreading across the lawn in loose formation. The large wolf in front, Kangin, growled again in the direction Seungri was approaching from. It was a form of communication for him Heechul knew, to let their comrades know that the threat was recognized and ready to be met. Once the actual fight began, the wolves would be silent fighters and all the more deadly for it.

“Just in time, fur ball,” Heechul said very softly, a smirk turning up the corners of his mouth. Kangin tilted his head in acknowledgement and flashed the briefest bit of sharp teeth. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Hankyung moving forward, his silver stakes flashing in the moonlight.

“Seungri is mine,” he growled, moving back to where his vampires waited with Yesung by his side. Saying it wasn’t really necessary. No one would contest his claim, and every person present knew that he was planning on taking a great deal of pleasure in tearing Seungri’s throat out with his bare hands.

▪▫▪☼▪▫▪


They had fallen into a comfortable silence as they picked their way through the dark forest, despite the urgency of the situation that had pushed them there in the first place. It almost seemed like a date to Jessica with how he was gently helping her over and around obstacles by their joined hands. She had nearly forgotten that there were vampires to be worried about when his free hand shot out and stopped her forward motion by pressing against her stomach.

“Siwon?” she asked, looking to him for an explanation.

He was looking beyond her, into the forest. “Vampires,” he growled.

She inhaled sharply and he immediately focused on her again. His hands shifted, turning her body slightly to the right. “Run straight that way,” he told her. “You will find the pool.”

“What about you?” she asked frantically. Werewolf or not, she didn’t like the idea of him being left alone to face the creatures in the darkness.

“Jessica,” he stressed her name as if she should already know the answer. “I will be fine. Go!”

Had she been a werewolf herself she knew she would have felt the irresistible push of the order. Being human and used to him, it was easy to ignore it and turn towards him to place a kiss on his cheek. “I’ll get it there and then hurry back.” Human or not, she was a witch and that gave her something extra to fight with.

He nodded and pointed her in the right direction again, “Go.”

Running on two feet in the dark of the forest would only get her killed, she needed to be able to see her way in the darkness at the very least. Focusing inwards, she found the power she had borrowed from Hankyung earlier that day, her unique Gift allowing her to temporarily obtain the Gift of any witch she touched.

The change immediately rippled painlessly over her body, absorbing clothing and skin until she was standing on four legs as a sleek black panther. Only a small backpack she had been wearing remained, designed to withstand a change such as the one she had just preformed and still serve its purpose of holding and protecting the items inside it. Despite her desire to, she knew she couldn’t waste anymore time taking in the surrounding area with her new senses. Everyone was depending on her to set up the barrier that would not only protect the outside world, but give them a magical advantage as well.

Her new limbs carried her easily through the forest and away from Siwon. With the agility her body suddenly possessed, she found she could easily clear obstacles in a single leap as opposed to walking carefully around them. In no time at all her sensitive nose picked up on the scent of their earlier scouting party. Once she had it, she easily traced it straight back to the small pool.

Moonlight glimmered over the still surface of the water as she stopped beside it, her tail flicking behind her. Human hands were necessary to open the backpack and she reached within herself to reverse the change. Fur melted away, producing smooth skin and clothing until she was crouched on the ground fully a young woman again.

Quickly she pulled the bag from her back and opened it. Inside was the small hex bag, the last of the five to be placed. Hankyung had said that nothing else was necessary besides dropping it into the pool and she prayed he was right. Still she lifted the tiny bag to her lips and whispered, “Please let us all make it out of this alright.” Then she held it out until it was just above the surface of the water and released it.

The sound of a tiny splash marked its retreat beneath the surface and she waited with baited breath for what would happen. Slowly, a shimmering wall of light slid up from the pool. It gained speed as it spread, arching up and over the forest and racing outwards to either side. Over head in the sky she could see four other bright sheets rising up to meet it. They met in the center, where she guessed to be right over the mansion and flashed brightly. For a brief moment a shimmering dome encased the circular area that they had marked, then the light faded away until it seemed as though nothing was there any longer.

She could feel it, the barrier pulsing strong and almost alive right in front of her. To her human senses there was nothing but to her magical senses there was the warmth of protection just in front of her. It was unlikely that any non-magical creature would be able to tell it was there, but it would hardly hurt anything that touched it since it functioned more like a wall than anything harmful.

Now that her job was completed, she refocused her attention on the man she had left behind. She didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary, but that could have meant so many things, half of them awful, that she didn’t dwell on it too long. Changing back into a feline form was out of the question since she couldn’t use her most powerful weapon while in it, her magic.

“You can do this,” she murmured to herself. Fighting had never been her thing, but she could hardly leave Siwon alone to stand up to the unknown. From the small backpack she pulled out a small dagger. Its sheath had a length of leather strap with a small buckle so that she could secure it around her hips for easy access. A tug made certain that it was in place before she turned in the direction she thought she had come from and began making her way back to where she felt she had left Siwon.

The forest was silent, an eerie silence that seemed out of place in a forest so large and the lack of normal night noises unsettled her. It was much harder to pick her way through the dense underbrush as a human. She could hardly trust the little bit of detail her eyes could make out. A light would be helpful, but she didn’t dare use her magic to create one. If there was anything near her it could likely see her much better than she could see it. Still, there was no reason to help anything along.

She was so intent at squinting at the ground to pick her way safely around a thorn bush, that the sudden animalistic roar nearly scared her off her feet. It hadn’t come from the direction she had been working back to, but from somewhere to her left. She instantly felt foolish for expecting him to have stayed where she had left him. Now that she knew for certain he had moved she had no hope of finding him without help.

Standing still so as not to trip while preoccupied, her left hand sought out the charm bracelet on her other wrist and sifted through the charms containing nearly completed spells just waiting for release. By touch alone she found the small charm of a dog and held it firmly between her fingers.

“Find Choi Siwon,” Jessica murmured, releasing the spell and giving it the name it needed to function. From the charm a small glowing red orb formed and floated up. It hovered in front of her for a moment as if trying to get its bearings, before zipping off through the trees leaving her to scramble after it. The spell, one of seeking, was the type of thing she was particularly skilled in and she knew with certainty that it would find him.

Sure enough, it only took a few more moments before the red orb of light ceased moving forward and began zinging back and forth as if it was following something that would not be still. Through the dim light of the moon filtering through the trees she could just make out Siwon’s body but it was nothing like she had ever seen. It seemed to be caught in transformation somewhere between wolf and man if his elongated face and furred left arm were any indication. His angry golden eyes tracked the three creatures as he paused just long enough for her seeking spell to stop, flash in completion of its task, and disappear.

He was strong in his human form, far stronger than any normal man, but he would be no match for the vampires as he was. There were three of them, hardly a problem for a werewolf in its furred form, but just enough to be a challenge for him as he was. Siwon hadn’t changed, not because he didn’t need the advantage, but because he couldn’t. She knew that for a moment, maybe even as long as a minute, he would be vulnerable as his body shifted and they would kill him.

She was no match for a vampire, she knew that, but the growing dark stain on his shirt angered her in a way she had never known before. Heart racing, she pressed her back to a large tree, using it to stabilize herself as the fingers of her left hand sought out one of her charms. Once she found the one she wanted, a tiny shield, she released the small clasp on it so she could hold it tightly in her left fist and a leave her right hand free.

They had to know she was there, she had hardly been quiet, but they were ignoring her completely as one after the other they leapt at Siwon and he threw them aside. The first two smashed through the trees they were thrown at before finding their balance and skidding to a stop. The third managed to get its teeth into Siwon’s neck leaving the werewolf to pry its powerful jaws open before throwing it as well. There was only a moment before the vampires were back up and rushing at him.

Jessica could see the inevitable end and she knew she couldn’t wait any longer. “Hey!” she screamed, trying to put courage that she wasn’t feeling into her voice. She reached to the dagger at her waist and pulled it smoothly free. Vampires, she knew, had an irresistible pull to witch’s blood and it was the perfect lure to give Siwon the time he needed.

Gritting her teeth she dragged the sharp edge of the blade against her own wrist, cutting deeply enough that blood began to well up. “Come get dinner,” she challenged, her voice sounding stronger than she was feeling.

The result was instantaneous, the vampires heads snapped in her direction and they moved faster than she had even thought possible. “Shield!” she yelled frantically, activating her shielding spell contained in the charm in her palm. The magic barely had time to surround her before the first vampire was there smashing into the barrier. It bounced off, slightly stunned for a moment before leaping up and trying the same thing again this time with its kin.

Frantically she looked past the vampires to the werewolf. Siwon’s body was shifting, slowly, but changing nevertheless, taking the opportunity presented to complete the change. His golden eyes were focused solely on her and while she couldn’t read what he was thinking, she certainly hoped he was hurrying.

It took three tries for the creatures throwing themselves at her shield to crack it. She had no idea if that had been their plan all along, or if they were simply too stupid to realize there was an invisible barrier surrounding her. The next hit widened the crack and she poured more magic into the shield hoping it would hold.

She had never wanted to see a vampire this close, never wanted to experience the red eyes and lack of humanity that they possessed. These were the monsters that haunted a child’s dream and they were coming for her and the blood dripping slowly down her hand. One of the vampires, the largest male, threw himself at the shield again and this time his arm went straight through it. She screamed out of reflex, and scrambled as far to the other side of the shield as she could get. It wouldn’t be able to withstand another hit like that. As if he knew what he had done, the vampire pulled back, taking a few steps backwards. The other two, either directed by it or simply by their own choice, stepped away as well. Its face curled up in a twisted version of a smirk and lunged forward.

In mid leap it was caught around the throat by a pair of powerful jaws. With a violent shake of his head and strength that she couldn’t begin to imagine, Siwon severed the vampire’s head from its shoulders. She promptly threw up her dinner.

It was over shortly afterwards, sickening wet sounds having signaled the demise of the two remaining vampires, but she still couldn’t bring herself to open her eyes. She didn’t want to see what looked like a normal human body, torn and destroyed. She didn’t think she could stomach that, not knowing that the sweet gentle man she cared about had been responsible for it.

There was a small growl of frustration and then her shield shattered as the massive werewolf muscled straight through it. With a gasp her eyes flew open and she scrambled backwards, a huge mistake that she couldn’t help making. The wolf was on her in an instant, pressing her down to the ground with a firm paw to her chest. It was the Beast that looked down at her, its eyes wild as it nosed at her stomach. She couldn’t have gotten away if she had wanted to but that didn’t stop her from trying as the creature pushed up her shirt with its nose and licked a wet stripe across her belly.

From her study of wolves she knew that never turned out to be a good thing but he abandoned her stomach and turned his attention to her wrist. He nosed at it until he could get to the cut which he began licking with a gentleness that was foreign to her. She clenched her eyes shut, hoping that when he killed her it would at least be quick.

A huff drew her attention and the pressure lifted from her chest. She opened her eyes to see him shifting off her, and nudging at her other wrist with his paw as she moved. This creature completely baffled her, since she could still see that it was the Beast she was dealing with and not the man. It was defying just about everything she had ever thought to be true about the creatures. Beasts were killers, and they certainly didn’t sit there and give her pointed looks as if they wanted her to do something.

Slowly she began to scoot backwards, until a large paw pinned her pant leg and stopped the motion. She contemplated wiggling out of her jeans in order to get free but that would only make him all the angrier at her, and she could never out run him anyway.

The Beast gave a sharp little bark drawing her attention back to it. Then he looked at her wrist with the charm bracelet and back to the wrist that was still oozing blood. Slowly it dawned on her. He wanted her to use a spell of some sorts to do something with the cut. Carefully she brought her hands together, waiting for him to jump at her. When he did nothing but watch her, she slowly found the small charm of a leaf and detached it from the bracelet. Very carefully she pressed the metal to the open wound and muttered, “Heal.”

It took all of her concentration to direct the spell into closing the cut that was actually much shallower then she had expected. When she was done she carefully hooked both the leaf and the shielding charm back onto her bracelet before looking up. Apologetic golden eyes looked back at her and she knew with certainty she was looking at the man and not that Beast any longer.

“It’s ok,” she whispered, hating the way he managed to look so guilty when just a moment ago he had looked so dangerous. He shifted as she did, coming to her side and letting her lean on him as she began to rise. She felt weak, weaker than she should have for the amount of blood she had lost, but then again she had used quite a lot of magic as well.

“You go,” she told him. “I’ll stay here.” She could cast the shielding charm again, for protection and probably manage to hold it for most of the night. Carefully she stumbled around a nearby tree, as far from the remains of the vampires as she could get, before sinking down onto her butt. He whined at her and shifted closer, laying right down beside her.

He intended to stay if she did; she knew he was telling her without words, his golden eyes watching her for understanding. He couldn’t stay, he was second in the pack, a dominate wolf, and strong fighter. The pack would need him to join the fight; they would need all the strength they could get.

She sighed. “I can’t walk there,” she murmured. He nodded his head in agreement, the movement strangely human and gestured to his own back. He wanted her to ride him, she realized, a notion that had never crossed her mind. “You can carry me?” she asked. He nodded again.

“Fine,” she agreed, knowing that the need for him on the battlefield superseded her need to stay. She would likely die once they got there, being that she was hardly capable of standing at the moment, but she wasn’t going to tell him that. She grabbed the thick ruff of fur at the back of his neck and used that hold to help haul herself up and onto his back. Her legs she tucked up under her so that they wouldn’t interfere with the movement of his body as she stretched out along his back. Staying close to his body, she hoped, would help keep her from falling off.

He stood slowly and began walking forward, allowing her time to adjust to the motion of his body. It was easier than she thought to stay on his back since his movements were so fluid. Her fingers curled in his fur didn’t seem to be bothering him and she tightened her hold as he picked up speed, settling into a light jog.

The sight of the trees blurring past threatened to make her sick again and she closed her eyes, pressing her face into his fur. He smelled just like he always had, like something a little earthy that had been rolling around in the dirt for too long mixed with something that was just so Siwon. The scent of it made her sigh and for just a moment, approaching battle or not, she felt safe again.

▪▫▪☼▪▫▪


They were only going, much to the appreciation of the two men in the car, a few kilometers per hour when they hit the barrier. It still managed to scrunch the front of the car the smallest bit before Ryeowook was able to stop and Donghae sincerely hoped he had gotten insurance on the rental.

Cursing, Ryeowook climbed out of the car and moved to the front, hand extended. His hand touched something invisible and he shifted until his palm was pressed flat against seemingly nothing.

“What is it?” Donghae asked, climbing out of the car himself.

“A wall of some sort,” Ryeowook replied. “Probably magic.”

“We can’t get through, can we?” Donghae stated the obvious.

“No,” Ryeowook said shortly, turning back to the car.

Donghae was puzzled that the man who had seemed so determined would give up so easily, but Ryeowook simply reached into the backseat and pulled out one of the knives. Before Donghae could even voice his question, the man sliced it across his palm deep enough for blood to immediately well up. Then he dropped to a knee on the dirt drive, dipped his finger into his own blood and began to draw on the ground.

Baffled, Donghae could do nothing but watch as the other man traced symbols that he didn’t recognize and enclosed them all in a large circle. When he was finished drawing he pressed his bloody hand to the diagram and called, “Lee Sungmin, you owe me a favor.”

Donghae waited for something to happen yet it seemed like nothing had. There was no spark of light, no bolt of lightning, no noise, so when a voice sounded from behind them he nearly jumped straight out of his skin.

“You could have just called you know,” the man drawled and Donghae recognized him the moment his eyes laid on him. It was the man dressed all in black that seemed to come and go from Heechul’s seethe as it pleased him.

“You owe me a favor,” Ryeowook repeated, rising from his kneeling position and tearing a strip of fabric from his shirt to wrap his bloody hand with.

Sungmin sighed, “So I do. What would you like, little human?” Donghae didn’t know much about anything that wasn’t human, but whatever this man was, it didn’t seem like he was something to be played with.

“I need you to move us beyond the barrier,” Ryeowook waved his good hand to encompass Donghae and the car.

The man appeared to be pondering it for a moment and then he smiled. “I can’t.”

“Why not?” Ryeowook asked.

“Because it isn’t possible for me,” Sungmin retorted.

“Be specific,” Ryeowook ordered, his eyes flashing.

Sungmin sighed as if all the fun had suddenly gone out of it. “Too much metal in that thing. I can’t move anything that is iron. You should know that.”

Ryeowook nodded and moved back to the car. From within it he pulled out the duffle bag of their supplies. “Then just move us.”

“Still can’t,” Sungmin said with a grin. He was clearly amused by the entire thing, which was only serving to irritate Ryeowook.

“The sword,” Donghae cut in before Ryeowook could snap at the man. “It is made of steel which has iron in it.”

Ryeowook cursed under his breath and pulled out the sheathed sword and dagger, tossing them back in the car before turning to face Sungmin again. “I’m guessing you can handle silver?” he asked, brandishing one of the engraved kitchen knives.

“But of course. Ready to go, then?” Sungmin asked. He didn’t wait for an answer before moving forward. His smile certainly wasn’t reassuring and Donghae nearly screamed as shadows began to curl around his ankles. They raced up his body, enclosing him in darkness and he had the strangest sensation of motion before the shadows melted away again and he was able to see the world illuminated by soft moonlight.

They had shifted from where they had been, just a few meters to the front of the car, but Donghae knew that was now inside the barrier that they had found. This was probably the first time he had seen something he could only assume was some sort of magic, and it was one of the coolest things he had seen. “Tha-”

“Good job,” Ryeowook cut him off before he could get the words out.

Sungmin’s face fell as if he had just lost something he had wanted, and he nodded. “My debt to you and yours is paid in full,” the man said in a way that seemed very official.

“Agreed,” Ryeowook replied with a nod.

“Pleasure doing business with you, Pet of Yesung and future Child of the Night,” Sungmin told him with a flourished bow.

Ryeowook didn’t say anything and the man simply vanished into the night as if he had never been there. “Come on,” Ryeowook told him, grabbing Donghae’s elbow with a firm hand and leading him down the road.

“Who was that?” Donghae asked, following the insistent tug easily.

“Sungmin,” Ryeowook said as if that explained everything. “He is a Fae. You never ever thank a Fae or you will owe them a favor equal to what they have done for you.”

“That doesn’t sound too bad,” Donghae replied, confused as to why that would be a problem.

“Fae are very creative and if Sungmin had wanted to, he could have taken your soul as an equal favor,” Ryeowook told him shortly.

“Oh,” Donghae responded dumbly, walking forward and with every step walking closer and closer to a world he wasn’t certain he wanted any part of anymore.

▪▫▪☼▪▫▪


Only Heechul’s steady presence in his mind kept him from lunging forward to try and tear the smirking vampire to shreds. He would have to wait for permission, as they all would, but once he got it there would be nothing keeping him from going straight for Seungri. Not even his Maker’s declaration that Seungri was his to deal with would stop him.

The approaching vampires stopped a good distance away, well out of hearing range for a human. They didn’t form a line or close ranks in any way; in fact most of the vampires seemed to be rocking back and forth as if they wanted so badly to move but couldn’t get their body to respond properly. The sight looked wrong even to him, to see vampires in such a state, if they could even be called that.

“Seungri,” Heechul growled, low but still loud enough the other vampire would be able to hear.

“Heechul,” the vampire returned from across the way. “Good evening to you and yours.”

“What fool-hearted misconception has led you into my territory?” Heechul asked, although he already knew the answer.

“I have something of yours and you have something of mine,” he held out his hand and one of his creatures shuffled around from behind him. In its arms was the remains of a body, its skin blackened and charred, clinging to the bone. Had the figure been a human it would have been one that had suffered horribly before death, but it was not human. It was Kibum tortured in ways unimaginable, starved and pained, but very much alive. Yesung would destroy Seungri for what he had done, slowly.

“I will be taking back what is mine,” Heechul growled, “but you will find nothing of yours here.”

“Oh I think you are mistaken,” Seungri said with a grin.

“You,” Heechul replied unwavering, “have broken one of the fundamental laws of our kind and risked exposure as well. As per our laws, your sentence is death.”

Heechul hadn’t even spoken the last word before Yesung had moved, racing across the field in long bounding leaps. He was heading straight for Kibum and not a force on Earth could have stopped him.

▪▫▪☼▪▫▪


“Here,” Ryeowook held out one of their sharpened kitchen knives as they walked. Obediently Donghae took it, although he had no idea where he was supposed to put it. Shoving it in his pocket just didn’t seem like a good idea. “It won’t do much to stop them, but the runes make sure it will cut through their skin easily enough.” Donghae nodded, unable to answer as he tried to ignore the visual that Ryeowook’s words produced.

“Take this too,” Ryeowook passed him a stake. “It’s been dipped in the blood of a dead man. If you hit them in heart with it, it will paralyze them. They have rib cages just like humans do so the harder you hit, the better. It will be impossible to know where one of the rib bones is but if you hit it with enough force, it should slide right between them without a problem.”

It was impossible for Donghae to ignore the implications of that and he stopped moving. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

Ryeowook turned to face him, offering him a sympathetic look. “Look, these aren’t people anymore and they can never be again. They can’t even be normal creatures like Yesung and Kibum are. They are monsters, the kind that you really should be afraid of. If any of their humanity remains we’re doing them a favor by putting them out of their misery. If you think you’re going to go out there and not be able to do that, then you should just stay here.”

They could hear the faint sounds of battle in the distance, the sounds of snarls and yells of pain, and it did nothing to calm his wildly beating heart. He wasn’t cut out for this sort of thing. He sat behind a desk and answered phones all day for heaven’s sake. Even before he had occasionally started feeding a vampire, he had been just a normal kid with dreams of dancing for the rest of his mobile life. Never had he thought to actually stab another person, let alone with the intent to kill them.

He watched Ryeowook pull things from the bag, stashing them somewhere on his body and couldn’t help thinking how different he was. The man he had first met had offered him gentle smiles and music to ease his heart and make everything seem better. He had been there to explain to him that Kibum would never hurt him, that he could learn to enjoy it, that it was possible to be a human and love this life. Never had he thought Ryeowook could be someone who could kill with such ease.

“How can you say this so easily?” he asked, hating the quiver in his voice.

“For every one of them that I don’t kill,” Ryeowook said steadily, slipping a stake into his pocket, “that leaves one more that could kill Yesung. I don’t honestly expect to survive this battle, at least not as a human, but I’m going to take at least a few down with me.”

That, Donghae could understand. “I don’t know what help I will be,” he said holding the stake in one hand and the knife in the other.

Ryeowook grabbed the last knife from the bag and looked at him. “Your fear will distract them. Even something as little as that can help someone beat them, but you don’t have to do this.”

Donghae thought about it, really thought about what it could mean. He could turn and leave, return to his home, and go to work tomorrow. He could sink back into his life and pretend that he didn’t know anything about vampires or other supernatural creatures; pretend that he had never been asked to join a war. Or he could stay. Fight and possibly die. All for a vampire that he had never thought he would feel anything for, the vampire that he didn’t even know for certain was still in existence, the vampire that he never would be able to erase from his mind.

“I’ll stay,” he said very softly. “I might not be able to do much, but I’ll do what I can.”

“Let’s go then,” Ryeowook said with a nod that told him that he had expected Donghae to do nothing else. His confidence made Donghae realize that maybe, just maybe, he too had known what his own choice would be all along.

▪▫▪☼▪▫▪


“It’s started, hasn’t it?” Jonghyun asked softly.

“Yes,” Taemin hissed. The young vampire was staring at one of the walls as if he could see through the very construction and dirt beyond it to the battle that raged outside. Perhaps he could, but the lack of windows throughout much of the mansion kept Jonghyun from being able to see anything at all.

“You would rather be out there, too?” he asked, already knowing the answer. Taemin had people he loved out there that he wanted to protect, just as the small key resting beneath his shirt against his chest reminded him of the same thing. “Let’s go out there.”

“I can’t,” Taemin told him, sounding pained. “Heechul gave me an order and I can’t break it.”

Jonghyun didn’t really understand the concept of an order from a Maker to their Child, other than the fact that it must be carried out to the letter of the command. “What order did Heechul give you?”

“He told me to take you somewhere safe.”

Jonghyun smiled at his words. The order of a Maker couldn’t be broken, but he could certainly bend it. “You know what, Taemin,” he said and the young vampire turned to look at him. “I don’t feel very safe here. Maybe we should find somewhere where I do.”

Taemin looked at him in confusion for the briefest of moment, and then he smiled. “Maybe we should.”

Chapter Fifteen

Masterlist


AN: See the battle has started! *ducks from the potential of angry readers*
 
 
Current Mood: hyperhyper
 
 
 
saanrio: SJ - Fierce Teukiesaanrio on August 16th, 2011 02:13 am (UTC)
YAY! New chapter!

<3333333333

I comment first because I've already read it... lol
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 22nd, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)
Hehe yep you have. ^_^
hookedonkyuminhookedonkyumin on August 16th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC)
yesyesyes its out! you have no idea how painful the wait was...

I hate seeing kibum like this *cries*
I'm still looking forward to the part where ryeowook kick some vampire asses. And I do hope none of them dies in the battle, although some probably would :(

Shall wait for the next update! I can't wait! >
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:01 am (UTC)
hehe yep it's out.

I hated writting him like that...

hehe it should be interesting... The way you guys keep talking I feel like I need to kill off a character or two....
(no subject) - hookedonkyumin on August 24th, 2011 02:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
TakaGacktHydetakagackthyde on August 16th, 2011 02:49 am (UTC)
and so the battle begins ^^
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
Yes it does... ^_^
Lixyseneferia on August 16th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
Oh my this is getting epic. I like the playfulness and then the serious stuff mixed in. I'm so glad Donghae is actually going to help I was afraid he was going to chicken out.
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)
Thank you. I try to have action with that air of lightness because I don't want it to be all doom and gloom. Donghae could never chicken out... not where Kibum is involved.
lil_aqua_chiclil_aqua_chic on August 16th, 2011 03:09 am (UTC)
Omg the battle has begun.

And omfg kibum ... That made me wanna cry =[[[[[[ and I'm sitting at the uni library trying not to =[ I'm guessing donghae is going to see kibum like that and that's going to be his turning point >_< I can't imagine what's going to happen.

I wonder why sungmin owed wook a favor tho....and "future child of the night" wonder when that'll actually happen. I hope nothing bad happens to yesung tho
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
Yep....

Aww... I'm glad you are so connected to them. Yeah... Donghae...

Ryeowook did something for Sungmin in the past, I'm not really going to say because I might write it as a side story at some point.
(Deleted comment)
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
Thank you.

It might become a side story later because I really do enjoy writing Sungmin. hehehe Ryeowook has a future planned that is for certain.

Naw not everyone... Heechul just has naughty people in his care.
12retards12retards on August 16th, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
yaaaaay! the Siwon Jessica part made me all googly-eyed ;p and finally! some action! poor Kibum. Fishy should help him. XD I'm just wondering if you're planning to kill any of the good guys so I'm prepping myself for that... ;p

can't wait for the next one!
12retards12retards on August 16th, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
I'm betting Ryeowook dies and is turned to be saved from certain death ;p
(no subject) - kat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - 12retards on August 23rd, 2011 03:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
mrow10 on August 16th, 2011 04:37 am (UTC)
I was so excited when I saw that you updated! Finally, the battle is beginning! I loved the moments with Jessica and Siwon; they were just so adorable. Those moments with them also brought a feel of what the fighting is going to be like. I hope there wasn't foreshadowing of what's going to happen to Jessica because that would be so tragic.

I like seeing the three different sets of creatures getting along. And Hankyung acting like a parent? So precious.

I love Ryeowook's guts. And I was incredibly surprised about his relation with Sungmin. Though at this point, I really shouldn't be since he's shown himself to know much more than it seemed. And I hope Donghae doesn't just act as a distraction, something that would probably lead to his demise. Perhaps knowledge of an alive Kibum will change that?

Oh Yesung. I'm worried.

And Taemin and Jonghyun? I admire them for wanting to help, but sometimes with these moments, I feel like they should just stay back. I worry.
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed the parts with Jessica/Siwon. I was worried the entire time I was writing it that it would be too off topic for everyone.

lol they have found a momentary truce. Who knows how long it will last.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I loved writting Ryeowook too. lol he certainly is more then he seems. Yeah... Donghae... that is all I'm going to say on that.

I'm worried too... lol.

They will be smart about it... or I hope they will...
ontaejongminkey on August 16th, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
The suspense! omg asjhfgsdfgsdkksd
*bounces up and down*

I'm so excited for the next chapter! ♥
PS. Your new layout is so relaxing to the eyes^^
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
hehe.

I'm glad you are enjoying it.

Thanks! I like it too.
kwonmisunkwonmisun on August 16th, 2011 07:37 am (UTC)
My gods, these people just can't follow orders can they? Lol
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
lol of course they can't!
Sanna★: 슈퍼주니어 ➔ 周覓 || 2.sanshinyia on August 16th, 2011 09:38 am (UTC)
And onto the battle field!

I have so many images in my head picturing what possibly could happen and to whom... I want to know! :D

The new layout is nice btw. :3
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
Onward!

hehe There is a lot of interesting stuff, I wonder how many of you will see the ending coming...

Thank you. ^_^
triste_estrella: Kyuhyuntriste_estrella on August 16th, 2011 12:36 pm (UTC)
I just found this story and read the entire thing in the last few hours! I loved it! I adored Of Flesh Fur and Fang and I absolutely adore this as well! Thank you for sharing!
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:32 am (UTC)
Wow! I'm glad you like it so much! I was worried when I first started it that some wouldn't enjoy it because the focus was slightly different then in the orginal. ^_^
ochi_iru135ochi_iru135 on August 16th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
woohoo, the battle has started! not like i'm actually happy about the fact that some of them could die or anything, but this is still very exciting! (you're not going to have someone die, are you? please don't~)
Jonghyun and Taemin, you sneaky little things... nobody seems to be listening to Heechul lately :D (ryeowook, donghae, yesung...) is he losing his touch? kkk
I can't wait to see what happens next <33 please update soon, cliffhangers are not nice!! (not with long waiting time anyway)

p.s. I have earlier commented on some of your stuff with the user name bonamanila (i can't remember the html for lj-user)
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:36 am (UTC)
hehe... We'll have to see what happens.

Yeah... Heechul needs to have obedience classes for them or something. His touch is fine... and actually Yesung wasn't breaking a command... but we'll find out about that later.

I'm trying to update soon! My computer is in the shop and my muses are on vacation I think... I'll get on that asap once my computer is home.

ah ok. ^_^ hehe. ( the html is just lj user then = and then " around the name plus the brackets on either end. lol.)
tokkei_12: traintokkei_12 on August 16th, 2011 11:37 pm (UTC)
Ah, you changed your layout. But I digress. Siwon and Jessica working together to fend off the bad vamps, whoot! So hot~ And it looks like she did get a ride from him after all :) But oh, I wasn't expecting Sungmin to show up again. Awesome :D And even more awesome is the thought of Ryeowook armed with kitchen knives. Have I ever mentioned how much I love him being all badass? ^.^ He was heading straight for Kibum and not a force on Earth could have stopped him. That was my favorite part of the chapter; I've never given Yesung and Kibum's relationship much thought, but that was just incredibly heartwarming >.< And kudos to that sneaky Jonghyun for finding a loophole. Can't wait for the next update!
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
I did. ^_^

I'm glad you liked it. lol. I've always thought that they are big cratures why can't someone that they know and love ride on them?

I had to bring Sungmin in again. I love him!

hehe Ryeowook is just awesome and I love him.

Yesung and Kibum are very close. Yesung is a bit closer with Heechul but he and Kibum have lived together for a very long time.

hehe Jonghyun is naughty and had to find the only loophole there.
cee_90cee_90 on August 17th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
oh my it has started >.< please protect them!!!

I really like siwon&jessica's part...I never knew that they're lovely as a pairing before I read this chapter...but what is a bloodhound?

and ryeowook?future Child of the Night?what's wotthat? >.< I can't wait for another updateeeee

but take your time,because your updates are always worth the wait :)
Kat Elrickat_elric on August 23rd, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
Thanks! I never knew I enjoyed the pairing of Siwon/Jessica until I started writing it. A bloodhound is a breed of dog that is bread specifically for tracking things by scent. More info on bloodhounds ^_^

hehe that is a secret. ^_^