🐺💣🔪 #MY_BLACK_KNIGHT 🔪💣🐺
As Produced By Sheriff Squinty
Theme: A Life For A Life
No doubt he has a back exit. He’d never corner himself like this, my Wolf mused. I agreed with him as I glanced over my shoulder, seeing all of the other vampires occupied. I then shoved myself in the tunnel, disregarding how cramped and claustrophobic I felt. Every second was imperative at this point so I moved as quickly as possible. I didn’t care if Cain heard me coming. If Skylar’s blood hadn’t helped him, he likely would have collapsed by now. I prayed to whoever was listening that he was completely incapacitated.
Dirt crumbled as my massive form scraped the sides of the tunnel. It was tall enough for Cain to walk, hunched-over, which meant it was tall enough for me to not have to duck down as a wolf. However, my girth was the problem. Rocks were studded into the soil and they scraped against me as I shoved through.
This could be a trap, my Wolf muttered, an edge to his voice. Privately, I agreed, but I didn’t care. I did not have time for caution at this point. My neck was still stinging slightly. It had been a few minutes since Cain bit Skylar; if he was still feeding from her, she must be dangerously weak. The thought made me gnash my teeth furiously as I wound through the tunnel as rapidly as my size allowed.
I couldn’t help but feel as if I’d failed her. I’d allowed Cain to take her and do God-knows-what with her. I despised someone else touching what was mine, but it was more than that. Skylar was so innocent, so pure, and Cain was defiling her. It caused a pain to resonate from deep within my chest.
The light was growing brighter now, flickering, no doubt torchlight. I forced myself around a particularly sharp curve. A pile of dirt collapsed and rained down into my fur but I ignored it as I realized how close I was. With one last vigorous shove, I pushed through the last turn and stumbled into a larger cavern.
It was only the size of a bedroom, with torches bracketed on the dirt walls. My vision skimmed the nearby table, which contained a few open books and a jug of a dark crimson substance, to the small bed against the back wall, to a small hole in the back of the cavern that was undoubtedly a back exit, to the most horrifying thing in the room: My Mate. Chained to the wall, the silver cuffs biting into her sensitive skin. There were cuffs on both her wrists and her ankles, and the rest of her hung limply. Her dark hair obscured most of her pale face, and the veins were vivid against her skin. Skylar was still unconscious but she’d be in a lot of pain when she woke up. My Wolf whined softly, a rare noise for him to make, and my furious gaze focused on Cain, who was hovering in the shadows just behind her.
He definitely did not look incapacitated. In fact, he had a malevolent sneer on his face. I took a step forward, ready to completely disembowel him.
“Not so fast, if you want her to live,” the vampire spoke smoothly. I automatically glanced at Skylar, examining her even more closely than before, and that’s when my nose detected it: blood. Fresh blood, definitely hers. Her hair obscured the bite but I could see a small trickle of scarlet on her neck. I snapped my jaws, a horrifying sound escaping my throat.
“I’d Shift back, if I were you. We can talk like civilized people. Trust me, you’ll want to hear what I have to say about Skylar.”
I really wanted to rip his throat out, then rescue Skylar myself. Cain must’ve read this in my expression because he spoke again:
“Don’t you want to know what I did to her? What’s going to happen to her, and how to stop it?”
That got my attention. Seconds later my bones had shifted back into human form, the fur and claws receding until I stood as a human, stark-naked, in front of him. My Wolf, caged only in my mind once more, paced feverishly. I flexed my fingers that itched to tear Cain’s heart out before folding my arms across my chest.
“You have one minute,” I said darkly. I wanted to step closer to Skylar and make sure she was okay but I had noticed something in Cain’s hand: a silver dagger. Once again, I was stuck conversing with him while my Mate’s life was at stake.
“I must say, Gabriel, I’m impressed. How on Earth did you avoid being weakened by the Ritual?” His vivid, blue-green eyes were alive with genuine curiosity.
I just stared at him, refusing to respond. So Rebekah’s plan really had fooled him.
“Oh, I know, you’re playing hard to get.” A smirk spread across the vampire’s sharp features. “Well, it doesn’t matter. You have your ways, I have mine.” He gestured broadly at Skylar’s unconscious form and a growl emerged from deep within my chest.
“My suspicions were correct. I needed blood, but hers worked perfectly. Not only does she have an Affinity…something I always wished vampires had, by the way….but some part of you is within her. I think it just sped the process along.”
“Doesn’t matter. You may have regained your strength but I can still kill you,” I snapped, confident in my words.
Cain sighed heavily. “Unfortunately, you’re right. I still don’t quite feel…up to par.”
His honest admission surprised me but I tried to keep my expression neutral.
“And without all my vampires to guard me…well, I’m helpless!” He shrugged carelessly. My suspicion spiked.
“That’s why Skylar was just perfect. I figured, on the off chance that you managed to follow me despite your growing weakness…well, I could regain most of my strength and defeat you.” His eyes flashed with something I could not decipher. “However, I see you were one step ahead of me in that regard. You’re not weak enough for me to kill. Well, not without expending a lot of effort. It isn’t a risk I’m willing to take.”
He took a step closer to Skylar. I moved forward, ready to prevent him from touching her, but he brought the knife into the light and I stopped. He would be able to plunge that thing into her neck before I could stop him. Once again, I felt completely helpless, and let a wave of self-loathing overcome me. Skylar’s body suddenly jerked, her muscles straining for half of a second, before she grew still again. My heart skipped a beat as unease formed in the back of my mind.
“Looks like it’s starting,” Cain said softly.
“What’s starting?” I snapped, unwilling to continue the game of riddles any longer.
Cain had won. He had always been one step ahead, always had a back-up plan. I knew he was right, that chasing him down and eventually catching him would likely stop me from preventing Skylar from turning into a vampire. I had no doubt that Cain was incredibly fast, and now that he was stronger….
He knew I wouldn’t risk doing both. I snarled in pure frustration as Skylar began jerking painfully again, thrashing this way and that, veins pulsating beneath her skin. She began to whine persistently as her limbs jolted in their restraints. This time, she did not stop. Her body continued to move against her will, encouraged by the blood coursing through her.
“How do I save her?” I snapped furiously. “How do I know she isn’t going to die anyways?”
“And here I was, thinking you were one step ahead of the game,” Cain replied slyly. “How do you think you can rid her of a demon before it completely attaches itself to her?”
It only took me seconds to figure it out, the idea coming to me in a rush. “Holy blood. My blood.”
“Now now, don’t get ahead of yourself. Your blood isn’t holy enough to drive away a demon that I created. It will need to be more pure.”
Raziel, my Wolf and I realized at the same time. With Skylar’s cries beginning to echo loudly in the cavern, I stretched my mind out to every Wolf imaginable,
Find Raziel. Bring him here. Skylar is dying! Cain is going to escape. If any of you can find the back entrance to this tunnel, do it! Stop him from getting far! My voice rung with conviction. I knew the other wolves would have questions, and that there was almost no chance they could stop Cain, but I did not have time for such thoughts. I began to glance quickly around the room, trying to find something to help free Skylar from her cuffs. It would be hard for me to touch them with my bare hands, but I would do it if necessary.
“Seems that you’ve made up your mind,” Cain said casually, flicking an imaginary speck of dust off of his shoulder. He was standing directly in front of the back entrance. “Go get that Angel of yours, if he’s recovered by the way, and then she’ll be fine. Maybe.” His teeth gleamed as he gave a little wave, backing into the tunnel.
“Feel free to send someone after me…not like anyone except you can be a match for me.” He turned around and began to stride into the darkness, glancing over his shoulder one last time. “Don’t worry, I won’t be paying you a visit. In a few hours I’ll have plenty more places to explore….in the sunlight. Just know that I have you to thank for solving my daylight problem.” His cruel laughter bounced off the narrow tunnel walls as he took off. The harsh sound grated against my ears and I fought down another wave of fury that urged me to pursue him.
His last words haunted me, lingering in the stale air of the cavern. It was my fault that he had gotten away. I was careless, and selfish, for risking the lives of werewolves everywhere to help Skylar. I couldn’t help it, though. I would be lost if anything happened to her.
I rushed forward, to my still-struggling, unconscious Mate. Her veins were darker than ever, interlacing underneath her skin like a malignant black spiderweb. The harsh cries of pain escaping her lips made my own body ache; or perhaps I was feeling an echo of her pain. My own blood burned through my veins, and I felt unsettled. My body was recognizing the transformations going through hers. My Wolf was practically in a frenzy, urging me forward, begging me to help her.
“I’m so sorry,” I grit out, reaching forward to cup her face with one hand while I frantically searched the room for anything that could help. Apologizing was not something I was normally familiar with, but in this instance, I knew just how much I was to blame.
Hall Of Supernatural Stories
Seeing nothing useful, I gripped one of the cuffs on Skylar’s feet, ignoring the way it began to irritate my skin and slightly caused my strength to ebb. I wasn’t as affected as a normal werewolf but it still stung. I put a hand on each side of the cuff, intending to wrench it open since there was no key I could use to unlock it. Cain must have conveniently taken the key to her cuffs with him. I yanked once, twice, putting every ounce of force behind the movements. After three tugs, the silver wrenched apart and Skylar’s foot was free. It was a good thing I had the strength of an Alpha werewolf.
Skylar was still thrashing, and I had to grab her leg to prevent from being kicked. It was difficult to move around her flailing body but seconds, later, both of her feet were free. I knew it must’ve been painful for her to be hanging from her arms so I moved to a cuff on her wrist, leaning against her body to prevent the thrashing and keep her from falling once I opened the other cuffs.
This one took longer to open, mostly because the silver was really beginning to burn my hands and sapping my strength the longer I touched it. Sweat had started to form on my forehead and I was practically panting when I warped the silver enough to tug her wrist free. Skylar was now shackled to the wall only by one cuff and I was forced to wrap an arm around her body to keep her from hurting herself. I turned slightly, maneuvering so that Skylar’s weight was resting on me but I could reach around her to still grab the last handcuff with both hands.
Her mouth was against my neck, and my Mark tingled despite the situation as her heavy breathing warmed my skin. I was all-too aware of the pathetic sounds still escaping her, but her thrashing had weakened somewhat, which worried me. Was she tired, or just closer to turning? Her feet battered my legs as she struggled this way and that while I yanked at the sides of the cuff. I just needed to open it an inch or two so her wrist could slide out. It was difficult to touch it now, as my fingers and the palms of my hands were raw from the biting silver.
I took a deep breath, picturing what would happen to Skylar if she turned into a vampire, and focusing on Cain’s cruel smirk. This sent a jolt of anger through me and gave me the adrenaline I needed to force the sides of the cuff apart, letting Skylar slip free and slide completely into my arms.
The whole process of freeing her had probably only taken two minutes, but it felt like an eternity. Cain said I had half an hour…if I was lucky. Skylar had been bitten ten or fifteen minutes ago. I had to hurry.
I wasted no time in moving her to a bridal-style position, wrapping her feet securely with one arm and her torso with the other. Her flailing was minimized that way.
Where is Raziel? I demanded furiously, not knowing where the Hell I was supposed to even take her. I wanted to get her out of the cavern, but Cain had said my blood wouldn’t help so I needed to locate Raziel.
If I couldn’t find the Angel, I would try my blood anyways. It was better than just letting her go.
Raziel is at the back of the tunnel, Rebekah replied. I was too distracted to notice the odd tone in her voice, but as her words registered, I couldn’t help but feel the tiniest bit of hope: had they stopped Cain? Had they gotten there in time to prevent an escape?
I took off, moving as fast I could through the back tunnel without knocking Skylar’s head against the narrow walls. I had to hold her at an angle so she didn’t smack the sides.
Did you stop Cain? He left just a couple minutes ago.
Raziel has him, came the shocking reply. I was momentarily struck by disbelief. Was luck really on my side? Would I really be able to both stop Cain and rescue Skylar? Historically, my luck had never been that good, there was always a catch. Still, I could not help but hope…
As Produced By Sheriff Squinty
My question was soon answered, when I rounded the bend and came to a very gratifying sight:
Raziel was standing at the tunnel’s back exit a short distance away, looking every bit like an avenging Angel. He was paler than normal, his dark hair matted to his face, but his electric blue eyes were burning with righteous fury. His hands were held aloft, his mouth muttering a soft incantation. Behind him, between Raziel and I, was Cain. He had never escaped the tunnel, after all.
I could hear the furious hiss escaping his lips as he crouched, a few feet from Raziel yet unable to approach the Angel. He took a few steps back, closer to where I stood with Skylar several yards away. Cain’s back was to me but I knew what I would see if I gazed upon his face: the demonic side of him, exposed through pitch-black eyes and sharp fangs. I noticed that both of Raziel’s wrists were cut and crimson liquid was streaming down his arms, dripping onto the floor.
“Raziel, it’s Skylar,” I choked out. My Mate was still squirming slightly in my arms, whimpering quietly. Cain’s head swiveled and his beady eyes fixated on me.
“Yes, Angel, save little Skylar. She’s going to become one of us without your blood,” Cain hissed through his teeth, poison oozing from his words. “Step aside. It isn’t like you can kill me anyways…you can use your fancy incantations and your blood to repel me, but you aren’t physically strong enough to finish the job. We both know it. You no longer have powers, right?” The vampire was sneering. “And I think our Gabriel has his hands full…”
“Gabriel,” Raziel said shortly. “You have to-“
I never knew what he was going to say, because Skylar began to thrash more vigorously in my arms, flailing this way and that, nearly breaking my hold on her. It took a considerable amount of strength for me to prevent her from escaping my grasp and tumbling to the ground. Her eyes had opened, sightlessly staring up at the tunnel roof. A screeching noise began to emerge from her lips, echoing in the tunnel and scraping against my sensitive hearing as she cut off whatever Raziel had been going to say. Skylar’s head jerked from side to side and the parts of her restrained by my arms were forcefully trying to get free.
I stared up at Raziel, panicked, to see a look on his face that I hadn’t expected: profound sorrow mixed with resignation. His bright eyes had dulled, his hands falling limply to his sides. It seemed as if he’d given up on something. For a moment, I thought he was accepting Skylar’s fate, and that he was about to tell me that I had no choice. That I had to let her turn into a vampire. Frustration rose up in me and I growled irritably, ready to tell him off, but then the Angel confused me yet again.
He looked up at me, and I got the feeling he was trying to send me a message of some sort. His eyes contained a strange longing, and a plea for my understanding. What Raziel was trying to get me to understand, I didn’t know until moments later: the Angel was trying to tell me he was sorry, that what was about to happen was the last resort.
He closed his eyes, face hardening into an expression of extreme pain. Then he stepped backwards and to the side, leaving room for Cain to escape.
Then, everything seemed to happen at once, in a sequence of actions that I would have never expected to occur.
Cain, making a hissing sound akin to glee, took off at a run towards the tunnel exit a few yards away. To the human eye, he was a solid figure transitioning into a blur when he leapt into action. But to a werewolf, I could see his muscles flexing and pumping, straining as he attempted the getaway.
There was a flicker of movement as someone dropped down from above the tunnel. She had clearly been waiting there, ready to ambush Cain.
It was Rebekah.
She landed directly in front of him and he screeched to a halt. The next two seconds happened in slow motion:
Cain let out a noise of complete and utter shock as he recognized the regal woman standing in front of him, in human form. She had curls whipping around her head like a dark halo, eyes alight with an emotion I couldn’t place, standing out starkly against her pale and sweaty face. Cain’s surprise was his undoing, for he was too slow to react to Rebekah’s movement.
Something glinted in her hand, a blade of some sort, dripping with a scarlet substance that was undoubtedly blood. Raziel’s blood, something told me, for that would be the only explanation for what happened.
She plunged the dagger straight into Cain’s heart, twisting with a mighty wrench. A harsh scream of pain and fury escaped Cain’s lips, a purely inhuman and demonic sound that could probably be heard from miles around. I saw a look of triumph cross Rebekah’s features as Cain staggered, struggling to grasp the dagger and yank it out. He fell to his knees, wheezing in pain. His struggles weakened and his arms fell limply to his sides. Rebekah’s gaze found mine, pride in her eyes. Her triumph was short-lived, though, because an instant later, an expression akin to exhaustion flickered across her face before her eyes rolled back into her head.
And then, both of them collapsed to the ground.