Holly wasn't surprised when Ruby took away the barrier or when Eros grabbed her and hugged her hard. "Don't you ever do that again," he hissed.Holly pushed at him. "I was with Ruby, it's okay, Eros. She's my friend now.""Friend?" Eros stared at the reaper. "Why in the world would you befriend her? You do remember they are our enemies right?""You're the one that suggested they stay with me, right?" Holly challenged with a smile. "That will work out much better if we're friends."
"How are we going to figure out what magic she has anyway?" Quix questioned as he walked around Holly. "It could take forever if we try it one thing at a time. Besides, I'm sure that not one person knows all the branches of magic here. Even if all of us worked together, we might not cover them all."Eros sighed. "I don't understand how Angel figured it out so easily. He should have shown up by now, or at least Tydeus." He stopped then turned on his heel. "Wait, Holly, didn't you mention something about Tydeus? While we were arguing.""Yes, he visited me in my dreams," Holly responded. "He insisted on calling me Juni
Holly didn't waste any time, she shoved Quix back and knocked him onto his back as she held a hand against her lips."Please, don't do that again. I'm not a toy for you to mess with. You can't just do what you want to try to make me blush."Quix raised himself on one elbow and grinned at her."But that's the fun of it. Ruby doesn't do anything but roll her eyes. You do all kinds of wonderful things for me. Your breath gets shallow and fast, your heart beats faster, your cheeks change color.
Holly must have fallen asleep, though she didn't even remember her eyes closing. There had been a loud bang, like glass shattering. Had that been part of her dream?On the end of the couch, Quix was snoring, hugging his braid as if it was a stuffed toy. Was this truly one of the people she had been running away from in terror for so long?She leaned forward as she watched him sleep. Was he faking it?"Are you done pouting yet?" hissed a voice behind her.
Eros's warmth was nice, but there was a point it became suffocating. Holly moved her friend to the middle of the couch where he whimpered for a moment before cuddling against Quix.She held back a chuckle. Even though she was still upset with him, she couldn't deny he was cute.What had woken her up? The sky was dark outside which normally meant she'd be in full running mode at this point.It was strange to not be running at all. Her Chasers were not what she had expected. Ruby was a f
"Fake?" Holly repeated. She didn't have the strength to try to free herself any longer. "All fake?""Every last one," Krim agreed. "This entire world has been created for you. To study you, to judge you.""Judge me?" Holly frowned. "I don't understand. Why am I being judged? By who?" how could she even ask questions? Her mind was still trying to comprehend what Krim had revealed. There was no way this entire world was fake, was there? None of it made sense.Krim picked up his pace as they got farther and farther away from the others. "Death can explain more if he feels like it. I don't know how much I should give away. I don't need to put myself in danger over this.""You said you'd tell me everything," Holly reminded. Inside, her world was spinning. None of this made sense. "Why would this world be created for me? Why? And who did it?""You want all those answers?" Krim twisted his neck to study her. "Then I need something from you. It's the only
Holly followed Death but as they traveled their surroundings blurred around them. Holly stopped but was tugged along by his grip on her. "What is this?" she whispered. Every step was taking them away from her friends, the only ones who might be able to save her from this awful choice of hers."You didn't think that I lived in that old shack, did you? I live wherever I want, and right now I'm taking you straight to my throne so we can talk." Death smirked. "I hope you don't give me what I want though, it's more fun when I hear screams and begs.""Throne?" Holly frowned. "I don't understand. Why would you have a throne? You're one of the four horsemen," she looked around. "Without a horse.""Nah, I've got a ride but have no reason to pull my baby out right now. You came to me willingly enough, so I let that escort of yours live. If you had denied me, you'd be drenched in his blood right now."Holly swallowed. "I don't understand any of this.""
Holly didn't know when the pain stopped. How could so much agony come from the tips of fingernails? But they had been like knives, slicing her skin, causing her blood to flow.But where had they gone now? The servant was gone without a word, and so was the master as well. Now it was just her alone and tied up. Was this a ruse on their part?"Holly," the whisper was close to her ear and she turned to meet Quix's eyes. "Stay quiet," he whispered as he went to work on her restraints. They popped off and he pulled her into his arms, closing his eyes as he willed them to travel.Nothing happened. They were still in the bowels of Death's trap.Holly sobbed."Don't worry," Quix whispered. "I have a plan."Holly didn't believe him. This had to be a trap. If she showed any sign of hope, it would slam down on her. The pain she had endured already was just the start. They were going to do so much more to her. "Leave me," she whispered.