Ice was talking to a creature with demonic red eyes whom she addressed as Al'Drako.
"How long does he expect me to wait?" Ice snapped.
"Patience, Madam Ice, he knows what he is doing," Al'Drako soothed.
"Does he?" Ice contradicted.
"Yes," Al'Drako gave her a cold look, "He must make sure everything is safe before going ahead with his plans of Darkness."
"Safe? What could be considered 'unsafe' next to him?" Ice laughed cruelly.
"Why let any resisters have any leaders?" Al'Drako responded, "At least he presumes that she will be a leader."
"She?" Ice queried.
"Some female pureblood called Elizabeth," Al'Drako snorted, expressing his views of this Elizabeth.
"A vampire?" Ice raised an eyebrow.
"Yes, she is very powerful and she has a daughter called Midnight who is of equal danger."
"Midnight," Ice repeated with disdain, "So what is our friend Shadow doing about this out of interest?"
"I believe he is using the Fox," Al'Drako answered cautiously, "He knows this Elizabeth's nature and knows she will let the Trickster into her home. He plans for the Trickster to get close to her and then kill her, slowly. If he kills the child too then even better." Ice was beginning to smile. I'd never seen her look so evil.
"Is the child innocent?" she inquired.
"Yes," Al'Drako replied and a flicker of a smile crossed his face too. Ice laughed, delightedly.
Thalpius was staring at me, the horror on his face mirrored my own. Shadow was going to murder a woman and her child. And he was going to use Mazany to do it. I had to stop this.
I gestured to Thalpius and we began to back away slowly. I kept my eyes fixed on Ice and Al'Drako so I didn't see to warn Thalpius of the large tree root. Thalpius tripped over it and he put out his hands automatically. His hand hit a sharp rock on the ground and there was a deep wound across his palm. Thalpius didn't cry out but the wind shifted. I saw Al'Drako lift his head and sniff the air.
"I smell a young Pixie's blood," he hissed. Ice whipped around and spotted us.
Thalpius leapt to his feet and we were preparing to run when Al'Drako pulled down his black scarf to reveal a horrific featureless face with the exception of a mouth.
The 'mouth' looked like it had been drawn onto his skin with a knife by a child. It had been sown together and I heard Thalpius scream. Seeing Al'Drako's true face reminded me of a dream I'd had. No, not a dream, a horrific nightmare. I had barely noticed him though because the main part of the dream was being face to face with my greatest fear.
"No!" I yelled and shot a blast of Elements at Al'Drako. Desperation made it more powerful.
"Thalpius, run," I shouted and sprinted forward. I had to attack Al'Drako or neither of us would escape. I kept knocking Al'Drako down not giving him a chance to create an illusion of my worst fear. I'd completely forgotten about my 'darling' sister. I saw her coming for me out the corner of my eye when she was tackled by Thalpius. There was nothing I could do to stop him because my being distracted had allowed Al'Drako the chance he'd been looking for.
Everything shimmer and blurred until I was standing in a grey world with a black sky and red moon. The redness of the moon reminded me eerily of Al'Drako's demonic eyes.
Someone emerged from the grey gloom. Aside from the moon he was the only thing that was colourful.
"Mazany," I breathed.
"Zuri," he smiled and pulled me into his arms, "I've missed you so much." This couldn't be real...
But it felt like it was.
"I'm sorry," I felt myself choking up, "I'm so sorry for..." I stopped not knowing which of all the things that had happened I should apologize for.
"Sh," he whispered, "Don't say sorry. You don't need to apologize for anything." He kissed my forehead.
"I love you," I said involuntarily and froze at my own carelessness. How could I have told him that?
Mazany chuckled, "I'm glad to hear you say so. I love you, too." He kissed my lips softly but I pulled back.
"Mazany, what are you doing?" I said, confused.
"Sh, I love you," he breathed against my lips. Then the shadows all around us snaked forward and began to pull him away. He struggled and fought with no prevail.
"Mazany!" I screamed and tried to run to him but I couldn't move. Blue waves that were ice cold, were holding me back.
"Zuri!" I heard him call to me, "Zuri, I need you! Please help me!" I saw the shadows sink into his skin and he convulsed. He began fading away and stared at me with anger in his eyes.
"I hate you," he whispered, "How could you let this happen to me? Why didn't you come? You're no Pixie Royalty. You're nothing. Especially to me. You're nothing to me. I hate you so much."
Then he was gone.
I had lost him.