"Jake, they're not coming back," Ben said gently.
"But they said they'd be right back," Alexis growled, her eyes shining with tears, "Did they lie?" She looked over at Daniel who's been sitting on the steps while the three other Shadowhunters argued. He sighed.
"Az told me he needed supplies," Daniel said, "That's all I know,"
Alexis rose to her full height- which was still shorter then Daniel and glared at him, "And you never bothered to ask where he was going? Where he was taking my children?!"
Daniel stood, his eyes smoldering, "You don't think I did? I would die for your kids Alexis, in a heartbeat. You think I just let him take them? Of course I asked! He said they would most likely be right home."
"And you didn't stop him," Alexis said icily.
"Alexis, I just got out of a coma. What makes you think I could've stopped him? The only reason he even told me was because he had to break into my room to get the stuff!"
Alexis stared at him, looking more hurt then angry, "I can't believe you," she whispered. She turned and stalked down the hall. Ben glared at Daniel, then started off after his wife. Daniel sat back down, defeated.
Jake closed his eyes, wondering what the children were doing...
"My lord... the Shax demons are prepared to go to the Institution," the small demon cowered low in a terrified bow.
"I doubt my son is still there," his master said.
"M-My lord?" the small demon asked, shaking.
"Az is not unintelligent," the demon said, standing. "He will have left to save those in the Institution- he has grown to care for them. He has turned soft."
The small demon decided not to comment on this, lest he be killed, "Then w-what are your orders My Lord?"
"Send twenty Behemonth demons to the Institute," his master ordered, "Take prisoners- kill a couple if they must. But not anyone Az would find... important. We need leverage. Send the Shax and their master to me."
"Y-Yes My Lord," the small demon scurried away and his master smirked.
"You have no idea what you've done my son," he murmured to himself.
Chapter 1 Edit
When I wake up, Felicia's foot is in my face.
Now let me tell you something. Normally, I would tolerate my parabatai's stinky foot shoved under my nose while I'm sleeping. But after a week on the run from demons during which I've gotten a grand total of eight hours of sleep, two boys who seem content to do nothing all day but make fart jokes and eat the food I find for them, and not knowing who I'm running from means that I will not, I will not, stand for this any longer.
"I'm DONE!" I shriek, standing up. This in turn wakes Felicia who lets out a yelp and hits her brother in the face with a flailing arm. Jacob starts awake, brown eyes wide. He blinks a few times, grins evilly, then pokes Az in the stomach, hard. Az gasps and doubles over, then punches Jacob in the shoulder, causing him to fall back on Felicia who seems to give up and go back to sleep.
This has become something of a ritual in our group.
"Felicia," I say, my voice trembling with barely controlled rage, "I will not have another night of your feet in my face. If you at least washed them, I might consider it. You," I say, rounding on Jacob whose dark brown-black hair is even shaggier then usual from sleep, "Stop harassing Az. No more belly pokes, no more putting his hand in warm water at night-"
"That was you?" Az says, looking at Jacob with a wounded expression.
"Actually, that was me," Felicia admits, "But only because Jacob told me it was an urban legend and I wanted to see."
"Enough!" I yell again, turning to Az who grins at me. His curly black hair is disheveled and his blue eyes are twinkling. As long as I don't switch to my left eye, I can almost pretend he's a Shadowhunter like us, "If you don't tell us who we're running from right now, I swear by the Angel himself I will cut you a-"
"Josie, take a deep breath," Jacob says, "You're wigging out,"
"You think?" I say, my voice dripping with sarcasm.
"Dude, I'm wigging out," Felicia says, flopping on her back, "This camping/running business is exhausting. Can't we just go to Australia or something?"
"And risk Dingo Demons?" Jacob yelps, "Are you mad?!"
"Dingo Demons?" I ask, arching an eyebrow, "Really?"
Az nods, "Yeah, they're actually real. A close cousin of the Emu, aren't they?"
"Emus are not demons!" I say in exasperation.
"Would you care to bet on it?" Az says, giving me a crooked grin. I throw up my hands in surrender and Jacob makes a 'quiet down' gesture.
"I think I just heard something," he whispers.
Immediately, I switch to my left eye. I was blind before this crazy adventure- at least in that eye. But when a demon blinded me and Az's dad cursed/blessed me with Sight into the magic plane, I became Chief Watchdog for our ragtag gang.
I sweep the forest and it's the same as usual- I avoid looking at Az, Jacob looks like a human rune book, Felicia's flames give me black spots.
"I don't see anything-" I start to say doubtfully.
Then Felicia yelps, "Shax demons!"
Chapter 2 Edit
The Shax demons had surrounded us by the time we stood with our weapons ready.
"How did you not see them?" Jacob explodes, his stele flying across his skin.
"I'm still new at this!" I say, peering at one of the demons with my left eye, "Dude, they're green. We are in a forest. I'm not good enough yet to see-"
"Josie, shush," Az says quietly, staring at a clump of Shax demons who part as a Drevak demon passes through their ranks. The smell of rotten garbage floods my nose and I wrinkle it, "Since when do two kinds of demons work together?"
"Since my father sent them," Az mutters. He steps towards the Drevak, "Speak your message."
The Drevak seems to laugh, although I'm more focused on the sharp black spikes, "Your father has sent me to tell you several things," it says. It's voice sounds rough and tortured- not at all like a human's. "He's sent Behemoth demons to your Institute. They are there now, killing and capturing the Shadowhunters who live there."
Jacob's face goes white and Felicia starts towards the Drevak, only for me to hold her back. "It's not worth it," I whisper, hugging her as she curses the demon.
The Drevak smirks, "Your father has also issued a bounty on your head. For you and the girl with the Sight, alive, for the other Shadowhunters, for their heads.."
"Then kill us," Felicia yelled, waving her sword at the demon.
The Drevak demon looks amused, "We are not fighters, the Shax are trackers and I am a mere messenger. We are simply to report your position and to track you or deliver messages if need be." he gave a ghastly smile, spikes quivering, no teeth, "Believe me child, there are more demons after you then I can possibly say. We don't have to bother with you when you'll be dead by tomorrow's sunrise."
He gave a signal and the Shax demons and he disappeared, one by one.
Felicia screamed curses into the air and collapsed. Jacob glared at Az who was staring at his hands, ashen faced.
"So now they're killing our family for you? Tell me why I shouldn't stick this seraph blade in you now," Jacob hissed.
Az looks at the blade glumly, "Besides the fact that it wouldn't kill me? He's using your family as hostages. If I die or he gets me back, they're toast,"
"We have to go back," Felicia says, "We can still help them escape-"
"Against behemoth demons?" I say in despair, "It takes ten minutes for two Shadowhunters to kill one. There's no way we can help."
"I hate you," Felicia growls, "I hate you, you dumb son of a-"
"You know exactly what I'm the son of," Az points out coolly.
"I hate not knowing stuff," I grumble.
"Why doesn't he want Josie dead?" Jacob asks.
Az shrugs, "Nothing good."
Suddenly the bushes to my right quiver. I switch over to my left eye and this time my vision is working fine.
I see a red shape- the color of desert sand swirling towards us.
"We need to run," I gulp.
"No way," Jacob rolls his eyes, pulling his back-pack on.
Chapter 3 Edit
"You know," Jacob puffs, "When I thought about when I'd be running from the Greater Demon of Deserts, I assumed it'd be for a worthwhile cause, like saving my family, or saving the world, or breaking in new tennis shoes."
"Shut up," Az growls without looking at him, "This is a worthy cause."
"Can you guys have your love-hate relationship later? We have a Greater Demon on our tails!" Felicia puffs. "Can't you just be quiet like Josie?"
"Josie is being quiet because she can't do long-distance running,"
I open my mouth to make a snarky remark, then decide I prefer to continue breathing. Or wheezing. Whatever it is that I'm doing.
"Az, can't you just make us a portal somewhere? Or get us to fly again?" Jacob huffs.
"I'm a demon, not a warlock!" Az protests, sounding offended, "I'm a demon."
"With powers," Felicia points out. She turns wheedling eyes on Az, "Plleeaaase?"
"Damn your feminine charms," he mutters, "Okay, there's gonna be a big hole up ahead. Jump in it,"
"Okay," the twins agree, putting on a burst of speed.
We reach the hole. Jacob grabs Felicia to keep her from teetering over the edge, "That's not a hole, that's a canyon!" he yells.
The sandy demon is hot on my heels, so rather then fight, I tackle Jacob and Az and Felicia jump in after us.
I squeeze my eyes shut, expecting to hit the bottom and possibly break something. But we keep falling. After a while, my stomach feels queasy and I let out a small whimper. Jacob finds my hand and grabs it, giving me a comforting squeeze. My heart seems to stop beating for a moment and I feel a blush come over my cheeks. I open my mouth, but before I can say anything stupid, we land on solid ground.
"OWWWWW," Felicia yells.
"Sorry! Jeez, Shadow Portals are tricky! We're lucky we lived!" Az says.
"Is that true?" Jacob asks skeptically.
"No, but it could be,"
"Where...are we?" I pant, still out of breath.
Az opens his mouth, then his eyes widen slightly and I look down. Jacob and I are still holding hands. I let go quietly, "So?"
"Somewhere in the Smoky Mountains I think," Az says thoughtfully, "Some national park anyways,"
"You're aware you portaled us to an area full of were-wolves?" Felicia says sharply.
"I'm sorry, you were the one who wanted a portal," Az snaps, "If you want to go back and fight Sand-Guy, that's fine-"
"Can we just camp here? One night?" I ask tiredly.
"It's afternoon," Jacob points out unhelpfully.
"Shut up," I yawn.
Jacob rolls his eyes, "Fine, whatever. I'll go look for...berries or something,"
He vanishes into the brush and I close my eyes.
Chapter 4 Edit
When I wake up, Jacob is still gone. I rub my eyes, "How long was I out?"
"We were just about to wake you actually," Az says, shooting a worried glance at Felicia, "You've been sleeping for almost five hours."
I sit up, rubbing my eyes, "Where's Jacob?"
"He hasn't come back yet," Felicia says softly. I look at her with new eyes- she's just left the only home she's know, her family could be dead or caught by who knows what, and now her brother's vanished.
"Let's go look for him," I say.
"This is were-wolf country," Felicia whispers, "What if-"
"No what ifs," I say firmly, pulling her up, hugging her. My parabatai lets herself curl into my for a moment, then she pulls away, the same old Felicia I've always known.
"Let's go find my idiot brother," she sighs, stalking through the forest with Az and I close behind.
The woods are dark and full of ominous shapes and shadows. Az looks unbothered, but I can tell Felicia is unnerved too. I walk quicker. The sooner we find Jacob, the better.
All the while, a sense of dread is building in me. They say parabatai can feel when the other is dying or hurt. But Jacob isn't my parabatai. I look over at Felicia. Her face is gray in the light of the almost-full moon. Twins are supposed to feel those kind of things too.
Something's wrong. Something's wrong. Something'swrong. Something'swrongsomething'swrongsomething'swrong-
I'm not sure how far we waled before we started running. Felicia is still in the lead, some mysterious twin-sense guiding her.
The moon is high-above out heads when we burst into another clearing. Nothing. I sit and curse at the moon. It isn't fair. Jacob shouldn't...he couldn't...no...
"We'll find him," Az promises.
I let him pull me to my feet and hope he doesn't see the tears streaking down my face.
I take the lead, using my left ee to scour the forest. Usually Jacob's runes glow gold and silver and black. Fairly easy to spot.
When I see the huddled mass of runes on the ground, only a few pulsing weakly, I let out a whimper and switch to my right eye.
Jacob lies sprawled on the ground, a huge bite in his shoulder, a wolf crouched low over his body.
Chapter 5 Edit
"Jacob!" I shriek in a most un-Shadowhunter-ly fashion.
The were-wolf turns to look at us and I see grim satisfaction in its golden rimmed eyes. The satisfaction turns to fear as Az hurls two fireballs at it. The were-wolf vanishes in smoke- not even the scent of charred flesh remaining. We hurry forward.
Jacob's face is twisted in pain and the bite in his shoulder gapes open like some kind of bomb tore through it.
Az says something I do not care to repeat, but the gist would be 'Wow, that were-wolf messed you up'. With more cursing of course.
Jacob gives him the finger and Felicia hugs him, her eyes not full of tears like mine are, but shiny enough that I can tell she's holding back sobs.
"Did the wolf just come?" Az asks, confused, "You've been gone forever,"
Jacob blushes and mutters something.
"Didn't catch that," Az says pleasantly.
Jacob sighs, "You know that big hill?"
We all look at the hill we just came down, then back to Jacob, "Yeah."
"Well, I kinda..." he trails off into mutters.
"Oh my God," a hysterical giggle rises in my throat, "You did not."
"So after tumbling down the hill...?" Az prompts, looking slightly irked.
"I guess I went unconscious. There are a lot of rocks up there," Jacob says, still blushing. "And when I woke up it was dark and I couldn't move- it hurt my head."
"So you lay there like a slug," Az nods approvingly.
"Yeah. And then wolfy jumped me. It didn't go for my throat though," Jacob says, tipping his head.
"Maybe it wasn't trying to kill you," Az says softly.
Jacob's eyes harden and he turns away. I close my eyes as the world sways around me. Jacob could be a wolf. Jacob could be a were-wolf.
I kneel and hug him close to me. "Don't leave me like that," I command fiercely, tears tracing paths down my cheeks.
"I won't," Jacob says, sighing, "But you guys are making a huge fuss. My head is the most important thing- I'm not going to turn into a wolf. There's like- a 1% chance."
"That's so inaccurate..." I mutter, rolling my eyes. A horrible idea occurs to me and I smack my hand over my left eye so I don't try it. Az gives me a confused look and Felicia doesn't take her eyes off her brother.
I let my hand slide away from my eye and take a deep breath. I switch to my left eye and look at Jacob's rune-body, looking at his shoulder.
Silver veins are coming from the wound, creeping their way into Jacob's body. I switch back to my other eye, the shock ebbing into me. Jacob is turning into a were-wolf.
Chapter 6 Edit
I have to tell someone. We can stop it. We have to stop it.
I look at Jacob. Does he feel anything? Can he feel his veins slowly turning the silver color of moonlight? It's almost the full moon- in a few days he will turn.
I back away from my friends. Felicia is too absorbed in alternating between hugging her brother and cursing him. Az looks up though and his luminous blue eyes meet mine. He stands and quietly approaches me. I curl up at the bottom of a tree, shaking.
Az kneels beside me, "What did you see?"
I take a shuddering breath, "Silver...it's like he's been poisoned with moonlight."
Az nods, looking sorrowful, "Veins of moonlight, a bite to which none are immune/With a bite then a howl to become a Child of the Moon."
"What?" I say numbly. Az doesn't seem the type to quote poetry. Do they allow poetry where he comes from?
"Old poem," he says, nodding, "From back when the first case of lynconthropy was diagnosed. The veins of moonlight- what you saw, no one is immune to the bite, the wolf turns with a howl-"
"I get it! I get it!" I don't mean to shout, but I do. Az looks confused, then understanding.
"I'm so sorry Josie,"
"You don't get it!" I yell, "I've lost my home, the closest thing I have to a family, and now the guy I...my best friend is going to turn into a were-wolf. And all because an irritating demon with a scary daddy needs us to guard him!"
There's silence and I can't be sorry for what I said even though it's true. Az looks stricken, then he sighs, "You're right. And I wish I could just go away and never make you see me again. But if my father gets me...everything's over."
"What do you mean?" I ask, but my tone is flat and I can't actually generate anything but hate for myself for letting this happen for Jacob.
"I'll tell you when you're not talking like a zombie." Az puts his arms around me and I tense. I have never been hugged by a demon. Then I relax. Even though what I said I believed, Az is my friend nonetheless.
"I should have saved him..." I whisper.
"Josie, don't be an idiot," Az says and I can hear the smile in his voice, "You were practically dead on your feet. We all were. Jacob was just stupid noble enough to go look for food. We couldn't have stopped him,"
"Josie," Az says gently, "Don't torture yourself over this. It's done. We can save Jacob... or at least try to make him happy."
"Trying to make Jacob happy is like trying to eat a demon. You're bettr off if you just don't try,"
Az laughs softly and I feel a tear running down my cheek, then another. Az pulls me close and hugs me, my tears running from my face onto his shirt.
"It'll be okay," he whispers, "I promise,"
"By the Angel?" I ask softly, like a six year old.
Az nods and though it looks like the words sting his mouth, "By the Angel,"
Chapter 7 Edit
"Jacob!" I cry in delight, sprinting towards him. He is turned away from me, staring into the river.
I say his name again as I stand behind him, "Jacob!"
Looking through my left eye, I see he is webbed with silver. He turns to me slowly and I gasp.
His face is misshapen- a black nose and fangs jutting out of his mouth. But his eyes are the most terrifying- they are rimmed with a gold fire that struggles to push the brown out of them.
"What's wrong with me?" Jacob asks weakly.
I wake from the dream in cold sweat. I look over and Jacob is still sleeping fitfully, his bite bandaged up. Felicia is curled up next to him like they used to sleep when they were little. Az leans against a tree, snoring softly.
I need a drink, I think quietly, creeping past my friends to the tiny stream I remember seeing on our way here.
I reach it and quietly splash some water on my face, "Just a dream, just a dream..." I mutter. I take a drink, trying not to think about how polluted this stream may or may not be.
I stand, feeling much better. The night is actually fairly gorgeous- the leaves turned silver under the moon light, the trees dark and ominous. Hmm...actually I should probably go back.
I turn, and too late smell rotten garbage. The demon in front of me grins and grabs me, throwing it's smelly hand over my mouth before I can protest. I throw and kick but the demon just dodges and tightens it's grip on me. I have a repulsing thought and let out a shudder before I sink my teeth into the demon's hand. The demon bellows and lets go. I run, letting out a shriek, "Help!"
I left my weapons at camp. How could I have been so stupid?! Plus now I have to call for help like some idiotic damsel in distr-
"Ah!" I scream as the ground rushes towards me. I try to get up but my foot it stuck.
I will be felled by my lack of weapons, brains, and the fact I tripped over a tree root in my escape.
A tree root.
The demon is on me, and though I struggle, it manages to grab my arm and then I am falling through the shadows.
Chapter 8 Edit
Shadow Portals with Az and Jacob and Felicia are much preferable to ones with demons who seem to be sweating. This one seems to go on forever and I bite my tongue to keep from screeching. Don't show fear.
Finally we hit the ground. This demon seems only a little better then Az at landing. We're standing in what almost looks like a helicopter landing pad. A few other demons are standing around us, vanishing and appearing.
"Is this some kind of-" I start, but the demon clamps his hand over my mouth and drags me forward, ignoring my struggles.
Hallways meld together and though I try to me memorize them, I'm tired and it's too much to curse myself out, curse the demon out, try to escape, try to think of a way to escape, and memorize a way out/in. I sigh and resign myself to the fact that I'm probably going to die.
Finally, we seem to be in some sort of reception area. The lady looks up and I squirm away. Demon. Demon demon demons everywhere.
"How can I help you," she asks charmingly. I feel myself relaxing. She won't hurt us. She-
"I'm here to deliver this bounty," the demon jerks my arm roughly, snapping me out of the demon's spell. "To Lord-"
"Yes, very well," the security lady buzzes us in and everything and once again I'm being dragged through a maze of hallways.
This time when we stop, we're in a throne room of sorts. The walls are dark and they have tapestries hung on them. I look at one. In the scene, a man- a saint? - is being dragged into the Underworld by laughing demons. His eyes are full of fear and they seem to follow me. I don't look at the others.
The floor is stone and I can see one throne up ahead. We walk on the steady carpet that leads up to it. This too seems to show a history of demons torturing and killing mundies, Downworlders, Shadowhunters, and most disturbingly, Angels.
The demon covers my eyes. Maybe he thinks having the Sight means I can have eye laser beams. Actually, that's a good thought...
We approach the throne and the demon cries out, "Oh Great Lord! I have done what others could not- I have brought you the girl with the Sight!"
This perks my interest. He's talking to Az's father! The one who put a bounty on our heads! I finally get to see who it is!
Mentally I slap myself for worrying about this gossip when I should be worrying about my life.
"What about my son?" the cold voice I recognize frm my blind days drawls, "Where is he?"
"I just got the girl," the demon whimpers.
"Where did you find her?"
"A stream in the Smoky Mountains. I can show you-" the demon begins eagerly.
"No, I shall dispatch a team there following your energies," Az's father says boredly.
"Excellent my Lord. And...my reward?" the demon asks timidly.
Suddenly I'm free. My eyes are covered in ash and I rub them, looking around. The throne, which was unoccupied earlier, holds a tall man with auburn hair. His ageless face studied me, tiny eyes small leaping red flames. His skin is cut with something...I can barely look because I'm too focused on his face.
A face every Shadowhunter knows.
"You're Az's father?" I gasp.
"Is that what my son is calling himself these days?" Azazel nods, "Well, I suppose I am."
Chapter 9 Edit
The Prince of Hell is Az's father. Somehow the news is still hitting me hard when I curled up in a cell. Albeit, a very nice cell. It's actually a room, but since I'm being kept prisoner here, it's probably a cell. Or is it? Dumb...language.
Azazel told me we'd talk tonight and I should get some sleep. By the time I remembered to be belligerent and ask questions, I'd already been thrown in here. Now I stand in the middle of the room, not touching anything- especially not the delicious looking cookies in the kitchen or the bed that looks as soft as a cloud. Or the TV. Or the laptop.
It's hard to be belligerent.
I sigh and allow myself to sit on the carpet. "Eww....demon carpet," I look around wondering how this can be evil. It looks like a really nice hotel suite. I get up and go check the kitchen one last time for weapons. No rolling pins, knives, forks, or even spoons. I can kill a man with a spoon- ask Felicia, it's happened.
I sit on the floor and bang my head against the refrigerator. What am I supposed to do? I could make a make-shift noose... but maybe it'd be better to see if I could help whoever Azazel kidnapped from the Institute first. I could claw out my left eye...I shudder at the thought, but I don't discourage it.
Finally, I give up. I go over to the bedroom and, after making sure with my left eye there's not demon magic around it, I go to sleep.
Az opened his eyes. Morning. He stretched and looked over to where Jaocb and Felicia were huddled. It sent a small stab of pity through him. He looked over to where Josie had been and his eyes widened. He looked around but found no sign of her. But...wait.
Footsteps. There were footsteps in the dirt. He followed them silently to the streamwhere they mingled, then joined with several larger footsteps. He sat down, blinking.
She had gone to the stream and never got back.
His father must have...the thought was too painful and he pushed it away. He opened his eyes and looked in the stream. They were red and full of fire- just like his father's. He shook his head, struggling to calm himself down. Finally, they returned to blue but he could see the flames inside still.
He rushed back to camp, "Felicia!"
Felicia sat up and blinked groggily, "Az? Whatimeizzit?"
"Listen, Josie's missing,"
Felicia's eyes sprang open and she jumped up, "Have you looked-"
"I've looked everywhere. She's...gone,"
"A demon must have got her," Felicia growled, grabbing her knives, "It's been long enough they've probably gotten her back to Azazel's hidy hole now, so we can go storm it and-"
"Felicia," Az said gently, "You can't go."
"Why the hell not?" her eyes were fiery and Az realized exactly how much respect he had for her.
"Because Jacob is hurt and he needs someone to look after him. And I'm thee best shot- I can get her out. If you come we'll get caught."
Felicia looked at him for a long moment, then sighed, "Look for my parents too."
Az nodded, "I promise I will."
Felicia nodded, then stepped forward as if to hug him. She stepped back awkwardly and offered and handshake instead. "You better bring my parabatai and my parents back," she warned, "Otherwise, don't bother coming back at all."
Az could see the pain in her eyes- of loosing her parabatai and not being able to do anything about it. "I will," he swore.
Then he opened a Shadow Portal, closed his eyes, and fell back into it.
Chapter 10 Edit
When I wake up, it's night again. I blink, not realizing how exhausted I was. I yawn and stretch then cringe as the sound of loud knocking fills the room. Not quite the thing I wanted to wake up to. I crawl off the bed and then remember where I am and waver slightly before crossing the room. As I go to open the door I realize there's not even a knob for me to pull it open with.
The door opens and a demon enters. Her hair seems to be made of flames and her skin is a dark orange. "Lord Azazel requests your presence,"
I glare at her, not budging. She hisses and suddenly, I throw a kick at her head. She dodges nimbly and grabs my leg. I punch her in the face and she lets go of my leg, shrieking. I push past her into the hall, but then stop in dread.
Demons pass in and out of rooms, calling out greetings and talking to one another. A few fly over head. I'm not in the dungeon- rather in the guest rooms like at the Institute. There's no way I can escape.
The demon comes up behind me, "You see there is no escape little Shadowhunter," she growls smugly, "Now come along."
We once again head to the throne room and although the twisting halls still make no sense to me, I do begin to pick out landmarks. A werewolf's head hanging there, what seems to be an apothecary, that statue of a frozen Shadowhunter...
We finally reach the throne room and the demon unceremoniously dumps me in front of the throne where Azazel lounges. He shoos her away with a bored hand and she scuttles out. I study Az's father curiously. Most Shadowhunters are blessed with the fact they never meet demons like this.
"Have you figured out how to use my gift by now?" I flinch. Azazel's voice is like metal on metal and icy cold.
"Gift?" my mouth feels dry.
"The Sight," he seems amused, "Like some humans may see into our world, you may see into another world altogether. The Magic Plane. This makes you an invaluable weapon,"
I glare at him, "If I had, would I tell you?"
He throws back his head and laughs, "You Shadowhunters amuse me. With your bravado and nobility. It is quite," his flame filled eyes linger on mine, "Interesting,"
I don't know what to say to that so I sit silently, thinking. There's no way I could kill Azazel. He's a Prince of Hell- he could destroy me with the blink of an eye. I can't even wound him- he might be like Az- able to make me float away harmlessly.
"When you look at me, what do you see?"
"A demon," I reply stonily, knowing that's not what he means. He smirks and gets off his throne stalking towards me. He leans down close and I try not to cringe.
"You know what I mean Josie Ravenwood," he says dangerously. I take a deep breath and switch to my left eye.
Azazel stands in front of me, ten times larger then he is now. He is dressed in black and red armor instead of the suit he's in how and his eyes are huge bonfires, crackling in his face. Curved horns jut out from his head and the scarred lines on him body are darkness, reaching up to swallow me whole-
I switch back to my right eye, gasping. Azazel looks pleased, "That good huh? Excellent. Someone will take you back to your room now."
Scaly hands grab my arms and I black out.
Chapter 11 Edit
I am not by habit a weak person. All this blacking out and whatnot is getting to me. It's not until a little before midnight that I finally decide I probably blacked out because of shock and the fact I haven't eaten all day.
I sit sourly on the floor trying to think. This place seems to be most active at night as many demons can't go out during the day. The best time to escape would be in the afternoon. But I have no idea how I can do it. Plus, a horrid thought occurs to me, the people from the Institute must be here. I can't leave them.
I groan and bang my head against my knees. This is hopeless. Then something slides out of my sleeve. My stele.
I look at it in shock. None of the demons thought to look for my stele? A laugh burbles out of my lips and I grab my stele, hugging it to my chest. They must've been so worried about my Sight or seraph blade skills that they forgot about this. Unless they left it there on purpose.
I sigh. It doesn't matter- I have to get out of here. Even if it is a trap.
First I carve protection runes into myself. Then I add the usual ones, strength, speed, and finally the special ones Jacob taught me. Jacob. The thought hits me hard. The full moon is tonight. Even if I get away, what will I be escaping to? I shake my head and glamour myself as a demon though I know some demons will see through it. Then, as an extra precaution, I draw an unseen rune- I'll be like a chameleon now.
I stand in front of the door, only my stele to take with me. I begin drawing the open rune on the door, and after I finish, it creaks open. I peek outside and there isn't a guard. I smile and quietly race through the thongs of demons in the hallway. The other Shadowhunters will be in the dungeon. Which is...where?
I shake my head and keep running, praying to the Angel that I can find it.
Az dropped onto the stony floor of the dungeon, letting himself float so he didn't hit it. He hovered, then dropped to the ground, landing lightly on his feet.
He stood and looked around the dark place. The guards-station was around that corner, most of the cells were back here. He crept quietly among them, trying not to look too hard at the writhing demons or Downworlders who were moaning in agony. He was already too familiar with his father's torture methods as it was- he didn't need to see them now.
"Az!" there was a hiss, "Over here!"
He raced over to the cage and in the dim light he could see Alexis' dirt-stained face, "Thank God," she whispered.
"Who's with you?" he asked.
"Daniel, Jake, and Ben," she bit her lip, "The others are dead."
Az hadn't known the other families, but he bowed his head, "I'm sorry,"
"Can you get us out?" Alexis asked.
Az nodded, "We can Shadow Portal out and find Josie."
"Excellent," Alexis said, her eyes gleaming.
Chapter 12 Edit
Az made a quick Shadow Portal and sent Ben, Daniel, and Alexis back. Ben had a few nasty wounds and Alexis and Daniel had to carry him through. Alexis stopped after her husband and friend were through. She quickly gave Az a hug, "Be careful, won't you?"
Az stopped, startled. He's never known his mother and no one had ever given him a hug like this. Like they were...worried about him. He nodded, unable to say anything. Alexis looked at him, slightly worried, then dove into the Shadow Portal.
Az stood, stunned for a moment. Then he shook his head. He made a Shadow Portal of his own and vanished inside. This one didn't go anywhere, he was just trying to find Josie. He closed his eyes and concentrated. You could track demons by their enemies- perhaps Shadowhunters were the same.
He couldn't find her, but then he remembered the guest rooms his father kept to trick higher level demons he wanted captured. He would invite them to dinner and they'd stay in the guest rooms- only to realize the rooms had no doors - no way out. He Portaled there and after a few minutes, he found an empty room. He was about to go on, drained from all the Portaling when he smelled something. Demons had a great sense of smell and he took a huge scent of the room.
Josie had been here. He turned towards the door and grinned.
An open rune was scrawled on the back of it.
I had not found the dungeons. I had found what seemed to be a demon food court and a bar and a few empty rooms. But no dungeon.
I'm getting frustrated. And I'm scared my glamour is slipping.
I race down yet another empty hallway and realize it's familiar. I get excited then I realize I'm on the way to the throne room. I back up and slam into something. I turn. Nothing's there.
I turn and start running. I swear I can hear footsteps behind me. But what can I do? I only have my stele and I'm not Jacob- I can't use it as a weapon. Something slams into me from the side and I skid across the black and white tiles. I get back on my feet, "Show yourself," I growl.
A pair of luminous yellow eyes appear and I race for them, knowing how stupid this is. But they won't kill me- Azazel needs me. I slam into an invisible body and the eyes blink bemusedly. I kick and punch, but the demon simply evades me, watching always.
I growl and grab my stele, knowing what I'm about to do it probably against the Law or something. Then I stab the demon in the eye with my stele. It howls and I race down the hallway, no longer pursued.
That is, until a swarm of demons dives from the balcony. I keep running, hoping I can outrun them. But I've never been a good runner and soon one grabs my ankle. I fall onto the tiles, barely avoiding biting my tongue off. I kick the demon that grabbed me in the face, but before I can race away again the demons have surrounded me.
"Lord Azazel requests your presence," they growl as one.
Chapter 13 Edit
Azazel looks seriously pissed off. My stele rests on the side of his throne and he keeps looking at it like it might jump up and stab him in the eye. I smile cheerily at him.
"When my guards told me you'd escaped," he says quietly, the calm before the storm, "I went down to the dungeon to pull some of your friends out as leverage. Unfortunately, they seem to be missing. Care to explain this?"
My heart skips a few beats. How...?
I smile innocently, "I'm afraid I have no idea what you're talking about.
Azazel looks up at the other demons, "You are all dismissed,"
I feel uneasy about being left alone with the Prince of Hell, but I close my eyes and breathe deeply. I escaped once- I can do it again. It'll be okay.
Azazel takes a deep breath as well, "I didn't want to hurt you little Nephilim. But you've forced my hand."
He rises and I find myself taking an unconscious step backwards. Then Az lands on top of him.
Azazel crumples to the floor and Az's face lights up, "Josie!"
My eyes are wide, "You just...sat...on top of the Prince of Hell,"
"We're family, so it's not creepy," he tosses me my weapons. I grab them greedily. Seraph blades, a dagger, I will never let these out of my sight again. My stele still lies beside Azazel's throne and I step over him, grab it, and hurriedly return to Az.
"Can we go?" I ask breathlessly. I look outside. It's night. The full moon is high in the air. Jacob.
"I need a few minutes," Az explains, "I portaled all over looking for you and it's gonna take a few minutes for me to recharge."
"Okay, do you wanna...find a closet or something?" I ask, looking at Azazel uncertainly.
"No," Az says cheerily. His father stirs and stands, his eyes blazing- literally.
"Ignorant whelp," he hisses. "But I did think you would come for your..." he eyes me with distaste, "Friend. You've played into my hands as usual son,"
He raises a hand and the doors to the throne room shut and lock. I look at Az, "Ready yet?" I whisper. He doesn't respond and I notice with horror that flames are creeping into his blue eyes. "Snap out of it," I hiss.
Azazel smiles, "Son, we can end this peacefully here and you can rejoin me. This Shadowhunter can stay with us- alive and well. It's your choice,"
"I don't think so," Az smiles. But I can see the anger in his eyes. What did his father do to him?
Azazel smiles, "Have it your way," he raises his hand and a huge fireball erupts."
"Josie, run," Az hisses. To help me along, he shoves me behind a pillar just as the fireball strikes.
"AZ!" I shriek. The smoke clears and Az stands there, arms crossed, looking as cocky as ever. He cretes a fireball of his own and tosses it at his father. Azazel dodges and leaps for him and they spar- seeming evenly matched.
That is, until Azazel yanks the carpet out from Az. Az manages to catch himself, flailing in midair, but before he can right himself, his father, smiling grimly, shoots fireball after fireball at him. Az dodges the first few narrowly, but them on hits him. He doesn't seem burned, but he flies into a pillar and slumps to the ground.
Azazel turns on me, "Your turn Shadowhunter."
Chapter 14 Edit
My seraph blade lights up as I whisper it's name. Az fought with the powers of Hell, but this is angelic and all demons are vulnerable to it, no matter how large or powerful. Azazel laughs. "You think you can kill me with that?"
"I'm not trying to kill you," I hiss. Azazel seems confused and I swipe at him with the blade. Ichor spurts from a wound and Azazel howls. With him distracted, I hurry to where Az is. I can't risk iratzes, but I can slap him til he wakes up. Azazel is doing something to his arm and I smack Az, "Wake up Demon Boy,"
He groans and mutters something but remains unconscious. I roll my eyes. Way to save the day Az, real smooth.
Azazel begins to walk towards me, knowing he has all the time in the world. I swing my seraph blade at him and miss. He takes a deep breath and something inside me shouts DUCK! I flatten to the floor and a huge fire blast races over my head. I stab Azazel's ankle with my seraph sword and he bellows, going down.
I look to Az, then back to his father. I have to press my advantage now- what if I can banish Azazel?
I get ready to stab down, but Azazel mutters something and I fly away and into a pillar. I feel blood on the back of my head and I slide to the floor, barely awake.
"Nice try," he smiles, "That's the closest a Shadowhunter's come to killing me in a century. If you figured out your gift you might have even succeeded. You can still join me you know,"
If this were a book I would give a dramatic speech and refuse. But all I can do it numbly shake my head. Azazel smirks, "You'll change your mind eventually,"
A dark shadow flutters behind Azazel and my first thought is that it's the Angel. But it proves to be something almost as good.
Az has waken up and though he still seems pale, he blasts his father with some fireballs, sending Azazel spinning.
He reaches down to me, "Are you okay?"
"Took you long enough." I rub my head. Someone can heal it when we get back.
"Ready to go?" I nod and a Shadow Portal appears in front of us.
"I will find you again," Azazel hisses, "You will never escape my shadow,"
"Come find me,' Az says coolly, "I welcome it,"
"Oh I will," Azazel's eyes glitter, "Azriel."
Az recoils, like his father has slapped him. But before he can do anything more, I yank him into the Shadow Portal.
Chapter 15 Edit
"Where is Jake?" I whisper. Ben is shakily drawing a healing rune on me having several on himself.
Daniel sighs, "He's not dead, I know that. He was very quiet since you all left and he left a little while before the behemoth demons came,"
I nod although inside I'm cringing.
"Would you like me to Portal you to Idris?" Az asks politely.
"We would really like to see Felicia and Jacob-" Ben begins. I do cringe this time. They don't know about Jacob.
"You need to alert Alicante about all this," I say, barely keeping my voice from trembling, "We'll take care of them while you're gone," Alexis nods and Az opens them a portal.
Az and I begin hiking back to camp. "Thanks," I say softly.
"You too," he whispers, "Josie I..." he thinks for a moment, then stops.
"Who...what is Azriel?"
Az stiffens. "My...full name I suppose you could say."
We walk the rest of the way in silence though there are all kinds of questiosn spinning around my head.
Finally I see the light of the campfire. Felicia sits there, staring at the fire numbly.
"Where's Jacob?" I ask. She bounces up and hugs me but her eyes are red. I make no comment of it.
"Through those bushes over there," she sighs.
Az waits and I go by myself.
The bushes part for me and I almost miss him.
The wolf is jet black- the color of Jacob's hair. He looks up at me with sad brown eyes rimmed with gold.
I blink, my heart breaking a little. I turn and stalk back to where Az and Felicia are watching me wearily. "We have to find a cure," I growl.
End of Book Two.