Sunday, October 28, 2012

Intentionally Untitled

I watched his still form on the ground, all of his strength and power pulled inward and focused on keeping one heart beat going to the next.  I could almost hear it slowing down, could almost see his energy ebbing away.  I was so focused on him that it took a while to register Brian’s words.

“What a cluster fuck.  A sacrifice?  A fucking human sacrifice? No way he’d go for that.  No way.  It’s too risky. Maybe if we could find a pedophile, or a murderer, but we’re in BFE, where are we going to find someone deserving of that kind of death way out here?”  His rant continued but I stopped listening.

A human sacrifice.  That’s all it would take to save him, to save his pack and to keep the peace.  Without him, it would all fall apart. They needed him to stay in control, needed him to be the driving force he so naturally was.  Without him, those kids on the playground wouldn’t be safe.  No one would. 

I was on my feet and in motion towards the un-natural flames before I even completed my thoughts.  Sam watched me and growled as I grew nearer, but didn’t move to stop me.  I looked at him, allowing the grief and pain to show in my eyes. 

“When he wakes, tell him I’m sorry, I couldn’t keep my promise.” I whispered.  I thought for a second he’d refuse me, but he knew what was on the line.  He knew and nodded sharply once.  I turned my head to look again down at Liam, as if I could etch his face into my memory, then stepped into the flames.

Power, heat and energy sizzled and leapt at the top of my head and the bottom of my feet, as if I were completing some sort of electrical circuit.  And then there was nothing but pain and fire coursing through my body, forcing my eyes closed and ripping screams from my throat.  In the darkness that threatened to overwhelm me, I thought I could hear a voice chanting over and over – a sacrifice, a sacrifice - with sickening glee. The voice, neither male nor female was evil and rolled through me.  I felt like it was tearing into me stealing my thoughts, riffling through my deepest secrets, my worst nightmares, and my darkest dreams.  Then the voice hissed, pausing like a startled deer.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  My sacrifice!” it screamed, “My sacrifice!” and then the darkness and pain consumed me completely.

I felt the cool breeze first, blowing away the fire that had eaten at my raw nerves.  My eyes fluttered open to a warm grey nothingness.  A softer, gentler voice sounded in my head this time, “A willing sacrifice, of fire and love.  Like a phoenix, you are born again.  But a sacrifice was required and has indeed been made, and you are irrevocably changed.” I felt the whisper of a hand across my cheek and felt its overwhelming sadness and loss, and then it was gone.

The soft grey light surrounding me brightened, until I closed my eyes against it.  As it started to fade, I found myself on the ground on the other side of the fire with my head in Liam’s lap.  No trace of his weakness left behind, his eyes glowed as his wolf glared down at me, and anger rolled off of him in waves.  I looked up into those eyes knowing his wolf was too close.  I blew out the deep breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding and managed a wry smile. 

“Well, that could have gone better.” I whispered. 

The anger in his eyes flared brightly for an instant before he snapped them closed and visibly struggled for control.  I lay perfectly still but closed my eyes, knowing Liam would control his beast sooner or later.  And while I knew he wouldn’t hurt me, he’d been through enough for one day, and testing his wolf any more would likely end up with someone getting hurt.  Not me of course, but he’d feel bad if he hurt one of his pack.  I squinted across the room and could make out Brian and Sam.  Both men were on their knees, heads bowed as if praying, but I knew better.  Their heads intentionally lower than Liam’s and their complete stillness ensured their Alpha wouldn’t feel challenged as he struggled for control.  I noticed a small trickle of blood running down from Sam’s nose.  Maybe someone already had been hurt, I thought humorlessly, acknowledging for once he didn't deserve it.

Liam adjusted me in his arms, bringing my body up more fully into his lap and buried his head into my neck.  “I thought I’d lost you.” He murmured.

“Nah.” I said, trying to keep my shaking voice light. “I’m like a bad penny.  It takes more than sacrificing me to some f’ed up evil she-witch’s magic fire to get rid of me.”

He growled then, low and rumbling and I could feel it vibrate through my body.  “That, we will discuss in great detail later.”  The menace in his voice was hard to miss.  Clearly, I needed to make sure we avoided that particular discussion for as long as possible.  “For now, please explain to me why you smell like wolf instead of human.” 

Seriously.. Thoughts?

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