Game Of Hearts
Author's note: i was bored and this is what helped me understand that i love to write.
The ChildFaelyn POV
The figure paused but kept running. It was faster than me. I studied it and it had a familiar feline look to it. It looked a lot like... like… Anna. I rushed after the figure as it raced to my tent. It disappeared inside and I heard Anna scream. I burst into the tent to see Anna with a knife to her neck. She whimpered and I took a step towards the hooded figure holding her from behind. The figure stepped back and in a woman’s voice said,
“Don’t take another step or you will lose her. I may be small but I’m a lot better at fighting than you could ever hope to be. I’m Special by the way, who are you?”
I shook my head, “Please don’t hurt her, whoever you are.” I could feel tears running down my face.
“I asked you your name and I told you, I’m Special. And I don’t want to hurt her, I want her to come home with me.” She said and then she threw back her hood. I gasped, she looked exactly like Anna. She had the same white-blonde hair, her eyes were the same color, she was pale and she looked like Anna exactly except for her height. She was shorter than her by about two or more inches. She was the perfect replica of Anna. “My name is Faelyn.” Anna whimpered again and the person leaned down to her ear and whispered something in her ear. Anna froze with a shocked look on her face.
“What did you do to her? What’s wrong with her?” I yelled. Anna looked at me and shook her head slightly. I looked at her look-alike and asked, “Why do you want her? Can I come? I can’t leave her alone. Please let me come.” I looked at her with pleading eyes. She seemed to consider it. Finally she sighed. “Fine”
I sighed with relief and asked her slowly, “Can you let her go now? I don’t think she would want to have a knife at her throat the entire trip.” The person thought about it for less time than she had before. She lifted the knife away and sheathed it in a sheath at her side in one fluid motion. Anna ran to me and I plucked her up off the ground and squeezed her until she was panting for breath. “Let me go! You’re going to squeeze my eyeballs out of my head!”
I laughed and loosened my grip but kept her in my arms. The woman had thrown her hood back up and had wasted no time. She brushed past us and as she stepped out of the tent I caught a faint whiff of horses. They were not common here and I was intrigued. I waited until she had left the tent to lean down and press my lips to Anna’s in a quick ‘I’m right here’ kiss. She had her eyes closed when we broke apart but she nodded. I pulled her out of the tent and we walked after the hooded woman. She walked fast and we had to jog to keep up. We walked for about an hour we tried to pay attention to our surroundings but it was dark and we had never been to this part of the forest so we mostly watched out feet. After about half an hour of hiking through the thick under growth I was too tired to go on. Me and Anna flopped onto a convenient flat rock and held each other to keep warm. The woman on the other hand didn’t have such hang ups. She stood there and paced while she waited for us to catch our breath. Once we had she said “No more wasting time. We need to keep moving.” And started walking again. We both groaned but got up. We walked for a while then heard a weird whickering noise. It sounded like an animal. Anna groaned and I looked down at her. The woman ignored her. “Great, horses. I never did like riding horses. They stink.”
I looked at her and shook my head. “I’ve never seen horses before; don’t ruin it for me, please.”
She rolled her eyes and snorted, “Just wait.”
I sighed and we ran to catch up to the woman. We walked into a clearing. Everyone looked up at the same time. We stood behind the woman and waited for them to kill us. They all started to cheer. They surrounded us as we clutched each other. They started to drag us apart. I struck out and heard a grunt as my fist made impact.
“What are you doing? Help us! Please!” I yelled to the woman who was standing calmly on the outside of the crowd. I felt a hand snake its way around my waist. I looked down to see Anna looking up at me with big, frightened eyes. I held her tighter. They dragged us apart but I wasn’t going down without a fight. I whipped around and grabbed a hand-full of hair and yanked the person to me and held her by her throat.
“Leave us alone or she gets it!” I roared, struggling to be heard over the cheers and whoops of the crowd. The crowd fell silent in a second. One man came up to me with his hands spread.
“Wa tarna suh con pora seena cara.” He said. I cocked my head in confusion. He also looked puzzled. He leaned forwards a little causing me to step back, pulling the woman with me, she gurgled so I loosened my grip a fraction.
“Sen cara raif gara?” he cocked his head too. I shook my head and he sighed and turned to the woman who brought here.
“Hin con wa hap shum, dife wa no tok pora dem?” the woman also sighed and replied with a quick and curt answer of, “Bef det lanage.”
The man raised a brow, “Whit dis don?”
The woman looked down as she said it almost sheepishly, “Con deif.”
The man sucked in a breath and closed his eyes briefly. He opened them again and nodded. He cleared his throat and said with a heavy accent, “We are not going to hurt you; we just want to help you both.”
I didn’t say anything, I just snarled, darting a look to my right as Anna mumbled something under her breath. The man beckoned for me to let the woman go, I held her tighter and she moaned. I didn’t relax my grip this time and she started to pull at my hands.
“Leave me and Anna alone or you will regret it.” I said quietly, and some people shrank back from my stare. The man nodded at the crowd and said something in that weird language, and it melted away just as fast as it had come. I snarled and pushed the woman away from me with disgust. I grabbed Anna and started back the way we had come. I felt a hand on my shoulder and I stopped.
“Unless you wish to lose that hand, I suggest you let me go.” I said with quiet menace. The hand didn’t move and I whipped around.
“Keep your hands off of me lady.” I growled. She smiled, “Hmm, kitty’s got attitude. We could fix that.” I snarled again and her tight smile got bigger. I stopped growling and made my face blank. She laughed at that, “You can’t hide anything from me, boy. I can still see it, the want to leave. The need to protect your mate,” She paused and sniffed. “And your unborn child as well.”
I looked down at Anna with shock. She shook her head and the woman said, “Oh, she hasn’t told you yet has she? Ooh, sorry darling but if the smell is that strong, then he should be able to smell it by now too.”
I sniffed without thinking and she stiffened. I smelled something alien mixed with her scent; it smelled like... a child, mixed with mine and a small amount of Anna’s scent. I knew because my mother had smelled like that when she was pregnant with Jared.
“Why haven’t you told me?” I whispered. She shook her head, the tears starting to spill. “I was afraid you wouldn’t want us. I didn’t want to tell you until I knew for sure and I wasn’t sure until yesterday and I wasn’t thinking straight yesterday and and.”
I put my finger against her lips and said, “Shh its ok I understand, but why didn’t you go to someone?”
She looked up at me with watery eyes, “But I did, remember? I asked you where Aptura is but I wouldn’t tell you because I wanted to ask him before I told you!”
I laughed as tears of joy started down my face and I put my arms around her and held her tight to my chest. She tucked her head underneath my chin and I held her as tight as possible without breaking her. I felt something wet on my chest and looked down, she was sobbing, and it wasn’t with joy. I ducked my head down to her level and looked in her eyes.
“What’s wrong? Aren’t you happy?” I asked her quietly.
She looked up at me with red rimmed eyes, “I’m scared.” She whispered before burying her head in my chest again. “I’ve never had a child before and I don’t know what to do Faelyn. What if I can’t do it? What if…” she trailed off. I forced her to look me in the eyes again and I told her firmly,
“You have me remember? I have been around so many children and I know the basics. We will learn more as we go, remember this, We Can Do It. Together.” she laid her head on my chest and sobbed. In a small voice she said to me without looking up from my chest, “I don’t think I can do it Faelyn.” She looked up at me and her eyes were blank. “Anna? Anna! What’s wrong?” I shook her a little by the shoulders. She slumped to the ground and shuddered as I fell to my knees beside her. I felt tears slide down my face as she screamed and I recognized what was happening. She was Changing. I sat back on my heels to wait it out. Unable to stop the tears rolling down my face I swiped at them angrily. I should be happy for her. Not crying, but I felt as if her pain was my own and it hurt. Almost as bad as if someone had stabbed me through with a steel bar. Oh no! I had forgotten to tell Anna about steel! It could kill us, it weakened us and then we were almost as slow as a human, even slower sometimes. I looked down at Anna as I heard her groan. It was almost over.
And I wanted to die.
It was my fault that she was like this; it was my fault that she had to go through the pain of Changing. It wasn’t her fault that she had this, this, curse put on her at birth. I hated that I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I hated myself for being so weak. But most of all, it was my fault that we were both the most wanted Shifters around. I looked away from her grimacing face and thought back to when she thought she was just a normal human, happy, bubbly, red cheeks, big smile. I remembered her warm laugh, one that I hadn’t heard in a while now, I remembered that now. I realized that I wanted to hear it again. I heard a snarl and looked back down at Anna, but it wasn’t Anna who had snarled. It was Special. She had Changed when Anna had started and she was now snarling at me. I felt surprise flit across my face then I looked down and realized why. I was changing as well, well I had started to and then all of a sudden the Change had reversed itself halfway. I was sitting there with a tail and claws coming out of my fingertips. If I hadn’t been so scared I probably would have laughed. I bet I looked quite ridiculous at this point. I looked around as I heard more snarls until it seemed as if the whole clearing full of people had Changed. And indeed they had. I looked around at all the different types of cats. Tigers, golden lions and many others. But as I studied them, I realized that none of them were pure white like Anna, and none were leopards, like me. I shuddered, not of my own accord and my body started to finish the change. I fell onto my side panting once the Change had finished and looked around me. I stood up and looked around me. I realized at once that they were all bowing to me as I turned in a circle. “My King.” I heard a mental shout. I looked down at Anna and she was also bowing to me.
“Rise.” I whispered to them all and rise they did. They all looked at me as I said, “What is this ‘king’ business?” I’m nobody’s king and I never have been. You will not call me King Anna and I don’t want to hear any of you say it again.”
I watched as everyone bowed their heads, “Stop bowing already would you?!” I listened to my voice as it rang around the clearing. It had a double-toned sound to it. Everyone stayed down on their sides, pushing their faces into the dirt. I snarled angrily and stalked away. I heard someone behind me and I recognized the soft tread of Anna’s footsteps. I slowed down so that she could walk beside me. She was quite as we walked and as we reached the edge of the forest she nudged my shoulder. I slowed and she sat on her haunches and looked at me. “What?” I said after about a minute of sitting there.
“Why didn’t you tell me? I would have found out anyways but still, it would be better to hear it from you.” I looked up sharply and said, “What do you mean ‘why didn’t I tell you?’ what did I not tell you?”
She snarled and got up and advanced on me. I jumped up and backed away from her large canines and backed away slowly as she walked after me. “Don’t lie to me! You have lied to me already and I’m tired of it! You told me that you loved me but you lied!” I cut her off there.
“I have never lied to you! When I say I love you, it’s not to make conversation or to say it just so you’ll believe me! I say it to remind you that you are the most important thing that has ever happened to me! I tell you I love you, because I want to be able to say the truth for once in my life, and I can’t stand lying to you! I have only lied to you when it was to protect you!” I stopped and started to advance on her she backed away slowly and the snarl left her face. She tripped over a branch and stopped letting me advance until we were nose to nose. I stopped as our noses touched and thought quietly,
“When have I ever lied to you?” While staring her in the eyes. She shook her head as my gaze became deeper. She snarled harshly,
“I don’t, I… DAMN YOU!!” She shook her head and stalked off back towards the campsite. I tried to Shift but my emotions were too jumbled so I just thought back as loudly as I could, “FINE!! BE LIKE THAT!!” and turned around and started running deeper into the unknown woods. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t do anything but run. How could she think that I lied to her? And what did she think I lied to her about? I skidded to a stop before I ran straight into the figure standing before me, leaving deep furrows in the dirt. It was not human I could smell that, but it was also not Shifter either. I sniffed in the direction of the thing standing there and I caught a whiff of decaying flesh and fresh blood. I stepped back quickly and snarled at the Vampyre. It laughed, and took a step towards me. I snarled even louder. It raised its hands in front of it in the sign of surrender. I held my ground. I shivered at the dry voice coming out of its mouth,
“Do you really want to go there little ball of fluff?” it stepped into the light, but it didn’t scream and burst into flames as the sun hit it. It merely stood there, it looked like a young male, around my age, but Vampyres could make themselves look like anything, their Glamour often did that for them. It slowly lowered its hands and relaxed its position. I didn’t. These things were faster than a Shifter by ten times. He laughed again and said in his, (at least I think it’s a ‘he’) dry husky voice, “Would you happen to know where a girl named Annabella Key might be? I have a bone to pick with her.”
I roared in fury and pounced. I never should have. He stood there as I advanced on him and the second before I reached him he darted out of sight and I heard the crunching of bone before I felt the pain. I screamed. My momentum kept me going for about a foot before my shattered leg buckled out from under me. I screamed again and tried to get up, fury blinding me, overriding the pain. I stood up, tears blurring my vision. I blinked several times and shook my head to clear my vision. I opened my eyes in time to see the Vampyre disappear. I froze, listening with all I had, straining my ears. I heard a soft swish of air to my left and spun that way in time to see a dark shape blur and disappear. I heard its dry laugh and tried not to shudder as it seemed to echo all around me. I tried to sit but my leg wouldn’t do as I commanded it to so I just stood there and closed my eyes, breathing deeply. I had heard legends about how Vampyres could make you see things. I cleared my mind as best I could then I heard another dry laugh. I couldn’t help it, I opened my eyes. There it stood. I snarled, then thought at it,
“What do you want from Anna?” I knew it could hear me.
“Well you could stop referring to me as an ‘it’ for one and I want to talk to the last Pure One there is. Oh by the way, the names Eric. And I’m not what you think. I’m not some old, decaying vamp who wants nothing but blood. I was just changed a week ago. I was told that if I found the Pure Ones, they could lift my curse. I just want help.” His face stayed the same, showing nothing but his eyes glazed over with pain.
I tried to take a step back but my leg buckled underneath me. He pointed at it. “Don’t worry it’s not as bad as you think, just a clean break right about here.” He pointed to right below his own knee. I tried to keep the snarl off of my face but I couldn’t. Somebody walked out of the shadows behind Eric and I tried not to give away Anna’s position while telling her with my eyes to run. She ignored me as usual. Just as she stepped out of the trees, Eric said in a loud voice, without turning around, “Well, well, this is no way to treat your own brother is it Anna? Planning to kill me from behind instead of looking me in the eyes as you do it.” He turned around to look at a frozen Anna, She Shifted. Of all the things she could have done, she Shifted in front of a Vampyre! I almost couldn’t believe it. She took a step closer to Eric. “Eric? Is that really you?” She didn’t wait for an answer and just jumped into his open arms. He wrapped his arms around her and hugged her. And she let him! I snarled and lurched towards them. Anna looked over his shoulder in time to see me moving. “Oh my god! Faelyn, what happened to you?!” She untangled herself from his arms and ran towards me. She reached me and wrapped her arms around my neck. Her hands fluttered down my body, afraid to touch me. Her hand touched my leg and I hissed in pain. She quickly removed her hand before turning to glare at Eric. “Did you do this?”
I huffed, obviously. She glared at him until he took a step back raising his hands. “Whoa, don’t be mad at me! Be mad at your boyfriend here, he attacked me first, self defense.”
She shook her head and started to rise and stalk towards him. He backed away slowly, I wondered why. He could easily beat her if she attacked him, but I doubted he would hurt her. I tried to Shift but as I did I let out a snarl of pain, I’d have to stay in cat form until my leg healed.
It might take about three days, that’s one good thing about being a Shifter; you heal about four times faster than a human. At hearing my painful snarl Anna stopped stalking the Vampyre and turned towards me, her expression softening instantly. I looked away as she approached me and kneeled down beside me, wrapping her long white arms around my neck and burying her face in the scruff of my neck. Without lifting her head she said, her voice muffled from my thick scruff,
“If I ever, find out you two were fighting again, wild grizzles will look tame next to what you will face when you see me. And if I ever find out you have hurt him again Eric, well let’s just say my vengeance will unfold in rapid time. And Faelyn,” she lifted her head and looked me in the eyes, “Leave my brother alone please? No one’s allowed to beat him up but me.” Her lips lifted at the corners slightly. I opened my mouth before I remembered I couldn’t talk to I just bobbed my head in a sort of nod. She stood and put her hands on her hips, looked at us both and Shifted. Just like that, no writhing in pain for a few minutes. Just one second she was standing there and then a ghostly image of a white cat overlapped her own, and then she was on all fours staring at me. She nodded at my leg and asked, “Can you walk?”
I tried to stand but my leg buckled, I shook my head. I heard a sigh then all of a sudden I was swinging through the air. I yelped in surprise. I swung my head around wildly, bracing myself for the hard ground. But it never came. I slowly peeked open one eye and looked around. Eric had picked me up and swung me over his shoulder and had started to walk back towards camp. I struggled wildly, lashing out with teeth and claws but he simply grabbed my muzzle and made me look him in the eyes.
“Stop trying to kill me would you? I’m just taking you back to your camp.” I tried to bite his face but he had his hand clamped around my muzzle and of course, he was stronger than me. By a lot apparently. He shook my head hard enough to daze me slightly. “Knock it off or I’ll leave you here. I’m the only one here strong enough to carry you all the way,” he ignored Anna’s whine of protest and went on. “I may be a Vamp but I don’t want to be a cold hearted asshole as well you know.”
I slumped against him making myself hard to hold and he sighed, frustrated. I felt his hands loosening from around me and as they got loose enough as to where he could drop me if I struggled. And I did exactly that. I thrashed from side to side, as hard as I could and he struggled to keep me in his grip but his hands slipped, I was thankful that he was still young, an older Vampyre would not have dropped me. No matter how much I struggled, I would not have hit the ground. But still expecting it, it hurt when I hit the ground. I grumbled as I stood up on my three legs, not expecting it when Eric stuck his face in mine yelling at the top of his lungs.
“Why did you do that? I was trying to help; it’s not like I would have run off with you and sucked on your friggan neck!!! I should though for the way you’re returning my help! Stupid friggan fluff ball!” he snarled and then went into a crouch, a hunting crouch. I crouched as well,
“Bring it on Bloodsucker!” I thought at him. He snarled and braced his body to leap but something white, big, and snarling ran into his side and barreled him across the field. Anna and the Vampyre rolled across the dusty field, a snarling mess. I tried to run after them but all I could do was hobble. I watched as they slammed against a tree and Anna rolled on top and braced her paw on his neck, blocking off his air, not that he cared, Vampyre’s didn’t need air. She pushed down and braced her other paw on his arm while sitting on his legs. He was in a hunting frenzy so he still thrashed even though I could tell he was fighting it. She pushed down harder and then she bit him. I didn’t see any blood but I could tell she sank her large canines into his shoulder. It was almost as if I could hear teeth scraping against bone. He screamed and thrashed harder. Letting the frenzy take over. He flung her off of him and she sailed through the air. I gaped in horror as she slammed against a tree on the far side of the clearing and slid down the trunk to land in a jumbled heap at the foot of the giant Redwood. She didn’t stand, I stood up and tried to run over to her but I landed in a pile. So I jumped up and then started painfully towards her. I had never felt this kind of fear, and I had always prided myself on that fact, but right now I felt that fear that froze a mans blood, stops everything and made a man want to scream and rip his hair out. The kind that made a man want to fall to his knees and beg for mercy. I finally reached Anna and lightly nudged her back. She didn’t move. I watched her sides for a second but I didn’t see an even rise and fall of her side. I howled and turned around to a soft tread of footsteps. I snarled at Eric and didn’t even think about what I was doing. I charged him and knocked him to the ground, I was going for his throat when I realized he had his eyes shut and was actually letting me, wanting me, to kill him. He had lifted his chin and bared his neck. I stopped.
“You don’t deserve my mercy, you deserve to live with what you have done.” And I walked away. I walked back to Anna and sat there. I stared down at her still form. I whined and nudged her again, almost willing her to wake up. “Wake up Anna, Wake up. Please, you can’t leave me alone, please just wake up. For me, we all need you, I need you. Please, just please, wake up.”
I heard a sniffing noise but I ignored it. I laid down and rested my chin along Anna’s back. She was still warm, it hurt. I stayed there, my head on her body and Eric behind me, crying for what he had done. I blinked and felt something wet slide down my face. I blinked again, more tears came. I cried myself to sleep.