For a moment Presleigh stared at the man, then backed away and put one hand to the glass of the window. She seemed to be doing a lot of improvised 'mancy today. Light flooded the room and the man finally moved, turning his head away from her and closing his eyes. Other then that, his posture did not change. The fairy ducked her head as well to shield her eyes and Presleigh finally got a good look at her adversary.
Fairy. The woman's ears came to a point, a very subtle difference, and her skin had a strange cast to it, like the moss that surrounded the manor flowed in her veins like blood. Her wings were also the illuminated purple-blue and were folded close to her back like furled leaves – wild and tangled in disarray. It wasn't like Presleigh had imagined.
Weren't fairies incredibly dangerous?
"Do you wish to feed, Master?" the fairy asked, advancing into the room. Presleigh's light seemed to have stopped bothering her.
"It is not time yet."
The phrasing of that sentence made Presleigh shiver. She'd heard someone else speak like that, although he lacked the unnatural stillness of this one. Genoa was quiet, sure, but this… was just overkill. Presleigh backed up against the window, her fingers quietly fumbling for the latch.
"What's a fairy doing with a vampire?" she asked softly.
"Then I'll be rid of her like the others," the fairy sighed, ignoring Presleigh's question entirely.
The Stormrider decided she really didn't like the phrasing of that. Her hands hit the latch. She spun and pushed the window open, the two panes opening to either side, and leapt out over the mantle and onto the roof.
The shingles were slick. She slid, unable to stop herself, and stopped when she hit the iron railing that ran around the entirety of the roof. That gave her enough time to get some purchase and she ran along the edge as fast as she could with the rain and the slickness, away from the open window. There was a turret up ahead. She could make that jump and pull herself up and then around to the other side of the house. Hopefully she could keep ahead of the fairy long enough to get into the forest. From there, hopefully she could lose the fairy. Of course, she wouldn't have time to find the marks she'd made on the trees if she were on the run…
Fear welled up in Presleigh's throat. She'd really screwed it up this time.
Back inside the house the vampire stood and watched the young girl running across the roof. It was a rather resourceful move, if not incredibly dangerous. For the first time in what felt like eons he felt a swell of fear, expecting to see her fall to the ground below any moment… but no. She managed to jump and reach the turret roof and she vanished around that circle and out of sight.
"Aren't you going to go after her?" he murmured as his fairy companion came up to stand beside him.
"Sir," she said respectfully, "When the gargoyles announced an intruder I armed myself as I did when I was a warrior in the service of my kin."
The vampire only turned his head slightly towards her in question.
"So?" he asked, his voice very low and dangerous.
"Sir. I'm wearing armor. And it's raining. I'm not going out on that roof."
"And I'm wearing nice clothes," he sighed, "That makes two of us."
And he settled back down into his chair.
Presleigh paused for a moment to catch her breath and think on the other side of the house. She was planted on one of the roof angles, her back against the corner and her feet jammed against the railing. The gardens lay beneath her. The gardens and the stables… Presleigh swallowed hard. The fairy wasn't anywhere in sight which was not really a good sign. This was a fairy. A fairy and a vampire. She knew what Genoa could do and it was considerable. This vampire had to be far older than him too…
There wasn't much she could do about those two except try her best to get away and hope that a miracle happened. Presleigh took a deep breath. She had little 'mancy left to draw on. Too much more and she'd make herself sick. But she could at least get off the roof the fast way. She dug in her bag of components and came up with a battered feather and then launched herself, gathering the wind to carry her down safely. She still landed hard, rolling a bit and bouncing across the grass, then she was getting to her feet again. Arms scraped. Knees skinned. Didn't matter, for the fountain seemed to be coming alive.
Presleigh ran. The gargoyles crawled off their perches behind her, hissing and moving through the grass like snakes, their forearms dragging their serpentine bodies behind them. Things were also moving in the bushes and Presleigh refused to look. Her goal was the stables. She'd not stop for anything.
She hit the door at a full run, slamming it open with her shoulder. There was the panicked whicker of horses being rudely awoken and the stamp of hooves against the earthen floor. Lightning flashed once and for a moment Presleigh saw the beasts illuminated. Most of them had horns. Some had one horn; a couple had two, one right in front of the other in a row along the forehead. Fairy war steeds. She'd not touch those.
And there were a couple that looked like ordinary, mortal, horses. Presleigh picked the first one that wasn't making a lot of noise and yanked the gate open. She didn't hear anything from outside except the rain and hoped that meant that the gargoyles' range didn't extend into the stables. Doubtful. Not with fairy war steeds in here.
The horse was very calm as she slunk into the stable with it, awkwardly pulling herself up onto his back. There wasn't any time to find a saddle or bridle. She'd just have to go bareback and hope for the best. She grit her teeth. She wasn't that good of a rider. Carefully, she kicked the horse in the sides and he obediently walked out of the stable and into the garden. The gargoyles had returned to their fountain and did not stir as the horse trotted calmly past. Presleigh had a wild thought that perhaps she should throw herself off while she still had the chance. Maybe this was a fairy-steed.
Or maybe it was a fairy-steed and that wasn't a bad thing. She leaned over and said to the horse, as clearly as she could, "I want to be taken to the nearest village."
The horse just shook his head and continued across the grass. Presleigh glanced up and out of the corner of her eye saw a lighted window with two figures standing in it. One of them had wings. The fairy.
"Hell!" Presleigh yelled, kicking the horse as hard as she could, "Just get me out of here!"
And the horse broke into a full gallop, nearly throwing Presleigh off, and she threw her arms around the horse's neck and held on as the two plunged into the woods and away from the manor.
The window cracked, little lines appearing on the panes. They spread, the sharp snap of splintering glass audible even over the pounding rain. The fairy shifted uneasily, watching the spider web spread before her.
"That is my favorite horse," the vampire said, his voice still calm, "I want it back."
The fairy wanted to make a remark. If she'd been allowed to intervene from the start, instead of letting the little human girl run wild across the manor for a while… but no. Not while he was in one of these tempers.
"And the girl?" she asked respectfully.
"She will return of her own accord," he whispered, "I know her bloodline."
He turned away and the window, unable to deal with the pressure of his anger, shattered into pieces and fell at the fairy's feet.