The sky was midnight blue with stars scattered across it. I was lying on my back in the grass staring up at it and twiddling my thumbs. Next to me, was my best friend Elliot. He was as quiet as ever, off in his own world. He never told me what he thought about, but he also knew that whenever he was ready to, I would listen. That was one of the reasons we were friends. A shooting star shot across the sky. I sat up quickly and shut my eyes tight, repeating my infamous wish in my head. Maybe this time it would come true. I could only hope that it would.
Elliot looked over at me and started laughing. I smacked him on his stomach. "Ow! That's not fair!" Elliot protested breathlessly.
"Don't laugh at a girl making a wish then," I ordered him. "Besides, I know you made a wish on that star too."
Elliot just shrugged. "It doesn't matter if I did or not. It will only come true if others will it. No Fae Etoile could grant it without consent."
I raised my eyebrow and stared at Elliot questioningly. "Want to explain what you just said?"
"Not particularly," he admitted. "Maybe one day I'll be able to…but not today. Things have to happen first."
"Like me," a voice questioned from behind us. Elliot and I turned to look at the intruder. It was a young man, a few years older than Elliot and me. He was tall and broad like Elliot. His hair was shoulder-length, curly, and black as night. His dark eyes sparkled in the starlight. He looked familiar. That could be because he looked so much like Elliot. When that realization struck me, I stared from Elliot to the stranger in shock.
"Teom…" Elliot whispered in wonder staring at the other man.
"Hello little brother. It's been a long time." The look on Elliot's face as he stared at the stranger caught me by surprise. It was a look of longing and childish wonder. Then it almost seemed like Elliot was a child again as he ran into the arms of the stranger and hugged him.
"I though you would never find me," Elliot whispered. I felt invasive now. Something I didn't understand was happening. I didn't belong. I started backing away, trying not to draw the attention of the two men (one of whom I thought I had known) as they stood deep in conversation.
I turned to flee into the night only to bump into a broad chest. I looked up into gold eyes that smoldered with rage and hate. My knees started to shake and I felt fear rage through my mind. The man spun me around. I opened my mouth to scream and had a hand clamped over it so hard not even a squeak could escape. I tried to squirm away, but a muscled arm wrapped around my middle locking my body and my arms to the unyielding wall of a chest. "Cease," the voice was as filed with hate as the eyes. It was deep and would have been appealing if not for the fact that the man who spoke held me captive.
I didn't want to, but I knew there was no way that I would be able to break free. This guy was stronger than I was. There was no doubt about that. Instead, I looked pleadingly at Elliot and his brother…Teom. I willed them to look towards me and the stranger who held me against my will. I didn't know if it would work, in fact I highly doubted that it would, but I could hope. My life could very well have depended upon it.
Teom's back stiffened. He looked slowly towards me and the stranger. His eyes locked with mine. The look in his eyes went rapidly from shock, to fear, to anger. This anger wasn't directed at me though. I could only be thankful for that. It was directed at the man holding me. Elliot turned and saw me. Rage showed up on his face. His brother's out swept arm was the only thing that held him back. "What do you want Pratt?" Teom demanded. His eyes were devoid of emotion.
"It took you long enough Teom," Pratt said. "I was wondering if you'd ever find your baby brother. I set up everything so nicely for you. Look, I even helped you find your mate. You should be thankful for me."
"You killed Mikel. You stole Elliot from us. You expect me to thank you," Teom appeared calm, his voice slow and level, but I could almost feel the rage seething inside of him. "I think I'd much rather kill you Pratt."
"But you won't," Pratt told him certainly. Teom raised an eyebrow in question. The hand holding my hand moved down to grab my throat. "Because before you could even get to me, I'd break her neck and you'd be dead too. Then were would little Elliot be?"
Fear flared for a moment in Teom's eyes before they went blank again. "Am I supposed to be afraid of you Pratt? You are a weak coward. I can easily defeat one such as you. You overestimate yourself."
"It's you who overestimate yourself Teom," the hand tightened around my throat. I let out a startled gasp; it was the only thing I could manage as Pratt began to cut off my air. "Besides, I know what I am. I really don't care. I win in the end and that's all that matters."
"Release my mate now and I may allow you to keep your head this night," Teom ordered.
"I think I'd rather her die in my arms." Pratt said tightening his hold on my throat. I was genuinely being strangled now.
"You fucking bastard! Let her go!" Elliot ducked under his brother's outstretched arm and ran at Pratt. The next thing I knew, I was being hurtled at Elliot. I crashed into my friend with such force that all I could do was lay where I had fallen stunned.
"Oh God! Faith! Faith! Are you alright?"