Thread of Fate - 2. Chapter 2
It was relatively easy to lose themselves amid the dark winding alleys of New Orleans. Oberon snaked left and right, ducking in between aging brick facades and shotgun houses. Despite the late hour, droves of tourists swamped the streets, tipsily wobbling around, beer cups sloshing in hand.
After a few city blocks, the faerie king turned around to check on the young man. His features were turning pallid, sucking in great gasping breaths. Beneath his left arm, one hand was held against his side, the tell tale stain of red darkening his shirt.
“You said you weren’t hurt!?”
Oberon caught him just as he would have collapsed to the dirt beneath them.
He answered in English, though it was heavily accented.
Hurriedly, Oberon removed his coat carefully wrapping it around his slumping shoulders.
“Hang in there, I will take care of you. I swear this.”
Picking him up, he cradled the young man gently against his chest. At least it was Mardi Gras, and no one would take notice of a 6’9 man in a waistcoat and tails carrying another through the streets. In this city no one would so much as blink an eye.
Holding him high above the drunken crowds, Oberon glared his way through the masses. Primal power oozed from his very pores as he willed they all part before him.
Glassy eyed they stumbled back out of his way, clearing a path for him to walk freely. Looking down at his face, he’d only grown paler, soft weak moans escaping him.
Oberon moved faster, shoving aside those that didn’t move quickly enough. He could see the scrolling marquee heralding his hotel about a block away, they were nearly there. This time he would NOT be too late. Though a complete stranger, he’d entrusted Oberon with his life when no one else would aid him in this foreign land. He’d be damned if he disappointed him now.
“Ah, Mr. Seale, welcome back…”
The doorman jogged forward to greet him.
“Open the door, now.”
He felt a twinge of regret using compulsion on the doorman, he was a nice fellow, but time was of the essence.
Eyes going unfocused, the man moved as though in a trance, opening the door wide for Oberon to enter.
Inside it was far too bright, the decadent chandeliers of the lobby raining prisms upon people too fucked up to even appreciate the simple beauty.
Ducking his way between drunkards wending off their way to collapse somewhere, Oberon rushed to claim an elevator, thankful when the doors closed them in alone.
With utmost care he stooped down to push the button for the fifth floor, impatient as it rocked and whirred its way up.
The hallway was miraculously empty when the metal doors finally slid open.
“We’re almost there, just a few more feet.”
Eyes like mahogany, so dark they were nearly black in hue still stared up at him, and the Fae king gave thanks to the gods that he was still conscious. Cringing with pain, the young man couldn’t even form words, his gaze anchored on Oberon’s visage as though it were all that was keeping him on this plane of existence.
Standing before a stately carved door, he bent slowly to reach in his pocket and retrieve the plastic card key. Maneuvering it into the little slot, he cursed softly under his breath until the little light finally flashed green. His gloved hand grasped the aluminum handle, swinging the door inward.
The lamps beside the bed were already turned on, their artificial glow haloing over the crisply made bed. Gently he laid the young man down atop the downy bed cover. Oberon fastened the latch from the inside and locked the door before rushing back to peel his coat away from his side.
It, too, was stained crimson with blood. His pallid olive skin was getting whiter and whiter, sweat beading at his brow. There was no time to waste, he needed immediate treatment. Tearing his shirt as though it were no more than paper, he examined the severity of the wound. He’d been stabbed, blood burbling out from the vicinity of his ribs. Folding his coat over the wound he reapplied pressure, and raced to retrieve a carved cedar box from atop the dresser beside the bed.
Hand hovering over the lid, he whispered ancient words old and powerful, the wood growing warm before popping open with a click. Within the cedar box, crystals and herbs lay upon a silk lining, with an engraved silver athame nestled in the center.
Selecting a leather sachet of rose petals, a chunk of clear quartz the size of his fist, and finally the athame. Closing the cedar lid once more, Oberon sat gently on the bed beside the young man, once more pulling aside the blood sodden fabric of his coat.
His body was shaking and chilled, eyes never leaving Oberon’s face, clinging to him with trust shining in his eyes.
Rough with emotion the Seelie King began to sing, an old Scottish ballad from when he was a child. Captivated by words he didn’t understand, it served as a proper distraction while he reached inside the sachet, pulling forth a handful of rose petals he pressed them against the bubbling wound.
He was so very weak, Oberon could tell it was taking everything he had just to keep his eyes open, watching the words as they fell from his lips. Taking the great chunk of clear quartz, he levied it in place over the bloodied petals. Silver athame held in his right hand, Oberon slashed deeply across the palm of his left, blood pulling up he held it over the crystal singing all the louder before placing his lacerated palm against the cold quartz.
As King of the Seelie faerie, he called forth the power of seedlings growing forth to break through the ashes, of towering oaks watching time flow around them for centuries, enduring power. The crystal became hot and blistering against his bleeding palm, but he did not dare relent, he held the stone true. Glowing from within like a captured star, the wound stitched itself shut, the petals burning away beneath the crystal, closing before Oberon’s eyes.
The young man’s mouth was gaping in a silent scream, tears streaming down his face but no sound would come forth, even amid intense suffering his chocolaty eyes remained locked with his own glowing lavender.
Long minutes passed before the glow finally began to dim, Oberon sang soft and low, he sang as a tear fell down his cheek, before slowly pulling the bloodied quartz away from the young man's side. There was no bleeding, no wound save a line just lighter than the rest of his skin, like a surgery scar.
Just what had he done…
Oberon slid to fall in a puddle beside the bed, catching himself upon the bloodied bed cloths, his breathing rasping in and out in great heaves. It had worked, he’d saved him this time...but what else had he done in the process.
Dark lashes fanned out over soft cheekbones from the exotic tilt of his eyes, finally closed with the exhaustion of what his body had undergone. Oberon had pulled him back from the brink of death...with blood magic. He lived, but it was as yet to be seen what else had been wrought.
Feeling more drained that he had in centuries, the Seelie King laid his head down upon the goose down cover and closed his own eyes.
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