I follow the direction Eirikrinn pointed to me. It’s trees and trees, and even more trees. Do I trust him? I am not sure. I have my doubts and mind says I’ve to stay put, ready for anything and careful. What says my heart? Oh, it can’t be calm when I think about him. Some invisible force demands me to stay with him. But my father, my brother, peace and future… I can’t be so selfish with a man I just met. I am not a commoner. I am the one who carries Black blood. Maybe I could suggest Eirik to live with me. Back in Black’s land. Will Sorgedon share me with him? 

My legs are up and my head down. What a f*ck?!

I swing in the air and try to release myself. Sh*t! Milly, really?! It’s a trap for animals and you got into it?! I roll my eyes at my thoughts. My hands search for a dagger, but it’s not in it’s safe place. My eyes find it resting on the ground under a few leaves. What’s left for me? I exhale air preparing for action in an old fashion way and roll my eyes one more time. Smile crosses my face as I remember those seconds how I got here. A bit sarcastic and bitter. I reach for my feet and try to untie some wavy and messy knots. I scowl angrily at myself as my fingers struggle, but do their job.

  • Hola, hola, belleza!

She purred under me in some language. I find her staring at me in curiosity. My eyebrow arches. She is dressed in a funny way, not suitable at all for the woods.

  • You are greeted as well. Will you lend me a hand?
  • Si. Me llamo Silva.

She nods and few people help me out of the strong ropes. They didn’t catch me, let me fall down onto the ground. With a plop.. Actions speak louder than words, right? I secretly pick up my dagger and hide it in his usual place as I stand up. Too many of them. Not the right time for a fight. Let’s try something else.

  • Where am I?
  • You are not from around here, right, querida?

She chuckles and answers in my language, but with such a purr accent. It makes me smile. 

  • You are beautiful.
  • Thank you.

Why those pleasantries? She circles me at a slow pace.

  • Where are you headed?

I don’t know whom I can trust and whom not, so I don’t answer.

  • Polis?
  • You are right, Silva. I lost my way.
  • We will help you with pleasure.

She purrs one more time and stops in front of me, brushes my hair off my face. One strand of my hair she tucks behind my ear. She does everything with a smile. She acts flawlessly and gracefully. Each of her moves is accurate and well calculated. Understanding screams in my head, I am in danger no matter whether she acts friendly and like a harmless cat. I start to feel more like a prey than anything else.

She invites me to join her on a walk. I have to agree. We walk deeper in the woods, till we reach the place of small greenhouses in the old trees. They have lots of small lights and actually I am wowed. That’s exactly how I imagined fairy houses when my father told me stories before sleep. Now I know that this place is not meant for fairies to live rather to suffer. Houses have wooden doors in the trunks of the trees. Some houses are bigger, some smaller. Some of them are built higher than others. I even notice some hanging wooden bridges in between.

  • Who are you? 

I try to find out with whom do I deal.

  • Isn’t it obvious? 

She drinks. My nostrils say, it’s blood.

  • Why don’t I sense you if you are a vampire?

She chuckles and purrs.

  • Mi querida, I am one of the oldest.
  • How old are you? 

I narrow my eyes and look at her. You never know how old the vampire really is. She laughs and the sound of it like a snow covers the surrounding space and follows deep into the woods. Extraordinary. This woman holds power. 

  • I stopped counting in years.

She acts, that everything is so simple. But it’s not. I agree, rarely vampires exist so long, but it’s not the reason for my blood to go silent and not to announce about her. This old woman should be somehow special, but she has no intention to share her secrets.

She catches me looking at her and smiles. 

  • Thirsty, my dare?

I shake my head.

  • Thank you for your help, but I have to hit a road till the moon is still up. 
  • Well, well…mi querida. Why such a hurry? I told you we will help. 

She purrs again. Her voice is friendly, but the eyes of her men never leave me. Am I guarded?

  • It’s not the time for me to be ungrateful, but I really lost too much time because of that trap.

One more man arrives. I haven’t seen him around here. He addresses her silently, leans in and tells her something in the ear. She clicks her fingers loud in the air and six men escort me without words.

  • What’s happened?! 

She doesn’t pay attention to me.

  • Silva!! 

They tie my mouth and hands backside, put me in a non-windows cage with some cracks. I hang again. F*ck. If they will leave me here I will burn. I try to kick walls, but they withstand. I try the locker. It is an option, just I will need time.

Some more creatures arrive. They speak my language, though I can’t hear exact words. 

I’ve to work on a locker. A bit with the help of my shoulder and my mouth I managed to take off a tie from my mouth. Then I work on getting my dagger with the help of my lips and tongue. Finally, I got it and dart into one crack next to the lock. It doesn’t go easy. I push with my body. Try to move it forward and shuttle to the sides. Hm… I need to squeeze it between the joined wood. It should be at the edge of the door in this place. 

Do they have a party? Sounds from afar distract me. I hear them laughing. Music is playing. Goblets clings back and forward. Someone is singing and dancing. Oh no.. no no no! They are making out. Here. Oh! I am frowning. Under my cage? Really?

  • Oh, couldn’t they find a better place or timming?

I curse in a whisper. I don’t judge their actions. I need to escape and they are on my way. I try to work silently. Push it in and move a bit. There has to be a way out. I’m not determined to sit here and wait. Finally. They were in a hurry and left me. I continue my work on a cage lock.

My ear catches a voice. Low and so scary familiar.. Morty?! I listen more carefully. His voice is low and deep rich, but sharp on the end of some words. It has to be him. I find a bigger crack and try to see the men. It takes a bit of time, but then he comes to my vision area and turns around. It’s him!

I try to scream, but no one hears me. If Morty is here, it could mean only one – my brother looks for me! My heart warms up and melts as honey. We always had warm feelings for each other. I scream again, but my voice goes nowhere.

I am so frustrated. I load lots of kicks toward the lock and it breaks. My legs jump out bringing my body with them to look for Morty. Where is he? 

  • Oh, querida. It’s not safe for you to stand here. 

Her purr irritates me. I run away instantly and they follow. I am quicker. They are left far behind. I stop to catch my breath and they catch me brutally, put me in another cage on wheels and bring me out of here. I fight back till they hit my head from behind and my mind goes black.

Next time I open my eyes I see houses in town. Are there mansions? Oh, sinns, my hurting head.. I reach for it.

  • Where do we go?
  • We are almost here, my dare.
  • Where?
  • Eden.

My eyes widen and throat becomes dry. I swallow hard. Am I.. Am I finally?.. I swallow hard again. My mind and body starts to cooperate. I check my dagger. It’s still in its rightful place. After all, Eirikrinn didn’t lie pointing direction.

  • Silly, you could make me and yourself a fortune with each man or woman. It’s not so bad like it looks. I myself had to taste this fate.
  • Do you want to sell me?
  • And you thought we are friends?

Her laughter is clear, light and sheer. It vibrates in the cold air and makes my skin chill.

Cage stops and they drag me to some ancient place not letting their fists go, wrapped in my hair. 

Continue reading chapter 21