5 - It's Only Temporary


The strange creature had guided us through the swampy forest that surrounded Small Leaf. The further we had gotten away from it the more I felt I could breathe again. It wasn't until we reached the forest edge that my mind snapped back into complete consciousness and the figure disappeared. My leather shoes were completely soaked in mud by the time we found any sort of roadway.

Mira and Ashton were way too excited to see the human world. It was going to be hard to blend in with Ashton's green skin, and Mira glowing like a fucking light. Oh, yanno and the fucking pointed ears. I was the only one who looked human enough out of the three of us so finding shelter was left up to me.

The first small town we came upon had a dingy motel with a sign looking like it had seen better days. HOTEL BRAUN was written across it with only 'RUN' actually shining brightly. Ashton had remarked that it sounded like a bad omen but Mira had been complaining her legs were too tired. Neither of them was used to any sort of physically demanding tasks- having lived a rather soft life in the fae realm. Even the more demanding jobs didn't require a lot of physical labor. Not unless you were to join the army.

Ashton and Mira definitely weren't what they were looking for.

"Do mortals really consider this a luxury?" Mira was acting like she would drop dead if she touched the dingy motel bed.

I chuckled," hardly. This is more like a place you bring somebody you don't want to get caught with."

"What do you mean?" she raised a golden brow. My face flushed a bright red trying to think of a way to explain it to her. I took a deep breath, awkwardly spewing out the goings on of people who hired somebody for a night.

Mira covered her now tomato red face," oh Gaia I hope nobody thinks you brought us here for those sorts of things."

"Two guys and one girl in a room?" I couldn't hold back the loud laughter from spilling out. "Yeah, if they saw me sneak you two in here they probably thought that we were all trying to have a good night together."

Mira picked up one of the yellowed pillows and threw it at me. She was on a rant about the morals of the humans who inhabited the mortal realms when Ashton finally peeked his head out of the bathroom. His light brown locks were still dripping wet as they clung to his back," so uh funny thing. I totally forgot how to turn this thing off." He smiled sheepishly.

I got up off the squeaky queen-sized bed and walked towards the open door. Ashton wrapped the towel tightly around his waist. Mira screamed out in protest at his lack of dress. "Hey! I can't help the humans built everything so small. My clothes didn't stay dry inside of there," he yelled at her.

My socks soaked up all the water he'd spilled onto the cracked linoleum when I entered," Ashton! Did you shut the curtain like I told you to?!"

"The what?" he peeked back in as I pointed at the cheap piece of plastic meant to guard the floor. "No? Did you tell me to?"

I pinched the bridge of my nose and shut off the tap before the warm water completely ran out. I made Ashton help me soak up the puddle he'd created with only enough towels to spare for Mira and I. This time I made sure to thoroughly explain the concept of showering to the point even a child would understand it. She hurried her way in, ready to rid her legs of the mud that stuck to them.

Ashton messed around with the TV, sitting so close I was sure he would give himself a headache from straining his eyes. Movies, television, news stations... none of it existed within our herd. They were still selling papers and going by word of mouth. Most fae despised modern technology because of its environmental impact.

"You really shouldn't sit that close. You're just going to give yourself a headache," I pulled him up off the floor and onto the edge of our bed. He crossed his arms and pouted.

"Headache? I'm starting to think you're just making stuff up at this point," he turned his brown eyes my direction.

The bed sunk in when I sat down next to him. My eyes were trained down on my raw wrists. Mira had yet to remove the silver. We were so focused on getting somewhere safe that the thought had completely slipped my mind. Raising my gaze back up I stared back at Ashton," there's a lot of stuff you're going to experience here you don't understand Ashton. I know sickness has seemed like a myth to you because you've never experienced it... but it's very real. You need to be more careful. If one of us gets sick or injured it will only slow us down."

Ashton nodded slowly," I think we should use the necklace."

I raised a brow," why?" He had been the one who freaked out the most when the phantom figure guided our way out of the swamp.

He shrugged and turned his attention back to whatever was playing on the screen," I've been thinking about it the whole way here. I'm starting to wonder why it was your dad wanted you to meet this hound. I don't think he'd want his only child living out of place like... this." A grimace made it's way onto his face.

I plopped back the rest of the way onto the bed. He was right. The last thing my dad would want is his son living out of bug infested motels.

Mira came running out of the bathroom, clutching a towel to herself," why didn't you tell me this world had such tiny ugly bugs?!"

Ashton covered his face and I did my best to avert my gaze as I walked past her. "Where?" I studied the grimy bathroom but found nothing.

"It must've crawled away to some crack in that disgusting room," Mira huffed from behind me.

I had to spend the rest of the night convincing the two to stop yelling and complaining about every little thing that was wrong with the room. After her run in with the shower bug Mira was pressing even more for us to use the necklace. I reluctantly agreed that if we didn't have anything good happen in the coming days that we could use it.

There was a creeping feeling in the back of my mind that we would end up using it quicker than I was willing to do so.

I was stuck between the two in this bed that was much too small to hold all three of us. Ashton was snoring, while Mira was sleeping quietly on her back. The light of the TV was cascading on the ceiling creating a show of color that I stared at.

As thoughts swirled around in my mind I didn't notice that time had once again stopped. The shadows of the screen had long stopped moving but my eyes didn't notice.

"Mordecai," a voice rasped and brought me out of my thoughts. I looked up to see the strange creature stood in the corner where the chipped white door was. My skin crawled at the sight before me. Half of the creature's face was missing, only their bare skull present. The other side looked like the face of a corpse staring back at me with an unsettling red eye peering into my soul. They twitched as the wings made of bones stretched out.

"Who are you?" I sat up quickly to get a better look at them.

Raspy deep laughter left the creature but their lips did not move a bit. They stayed rooted to the ground as if the edge of the cruddy room was as far as they could go. "Straight to the point, just like him," the voice was filled with amusement," you can call me Novu. I am an immortal."

"A god?" their words piquing my interest. I wanted to ask about who they'd mentioned but immortals were notoriously vague.

A strange humming sound surrounded them," yes." Their figure approached the bed until they completely covered the light emitting from the TV. Only their red eye lit up the dark shroud around them.

I gulped down the fear threatening to overtake me. I had to be strong. "Why are you here?" my voice quivered and I cursed myself for it.

"To give you a choice," Novu stated simply.

"A choice?

"In how you will die," they stated just as plainly.

I felt the hair on the back of my neck rise. Had a god of death come to claim my soul? I should've known something was amiss when they'd led us out of the fae realm without a problem. The strangeness of their offering was still sending off alarm bells in the back of my mind. I have heard tales where harbingers of death appeared to collect a soul as payment owed. Never had any of those tales included the collector handing out options.

"I'm merely here to help you, not keep your soul," the creature spoke when the silence had stretched on for too long. I brought my eyes up from the sheets and locked with their red orb.

"I'll ask again. WHY are you here?" my voice more stern this time.

"Because, Mordecai Feyfyre, you are meant for great things," the creature once again let out a humming sound. "No matter what choice you make tonight you will die and end up in my realm. I merely want to offer you another option that come morning won't exist."

"Morning?" I blurted the first thing that came to mind. "What happens in the morning?"

"You will die. The council will show up with the mate that Luna has picked for you and she will be the one that takes your life," the creature stated as if it was the most normal thing.

Anger flared up inside of me. There was no way the person who was supposed to be my other half could do such a thing. Yet here was an immortal telling me just that. Was I being tricked? "Liar," I spat at it.

"I would gain nothing from lying to you," they hummed," you could see for yourself if you'd like. I could leave you to die right there in the doorway, living only long enough to see your friends slaughtered along with you."

If I had any nerves left at this point they were completely shot. My muscles were tensed as I spared a glance down at the two next to me," w-what..." I let out a long sigh. "What happens to them once I die?"

The creature twitched for a second, their wings flexing with a sick cracking sound," that depends on your choice Mordecai Feyfyre. If you don't take my offer they will die as well. However,..." The strange humming left their body and made me shiver. Did it get colder in here?

"If you take my offer they will both live a long life alongside you. You will only be dead momentarily. I need just a second to bring you into my world," they continued.

Keep my companions alive or only me? That wasn't hard to answer. I would be selfish to sacrifice their lives when I had the chance to save us all. Novu said only they would remain dead, but what about me? It almost sounded like they were implying Luna would bring me back. Why though...? The council?

I banged my head into the palms of my hands," fuck!" I had to muster up the rest of my energy to look at them," and my mate?"

"She's been paid off and promised a better life. You won't live without love. Sometimes the second chance is better than the first," Novu was vague with me yet again.

Their figure creaked as a skeletal hand reached out from beneath their black ooze dropping a bottle filled with golden liquid that glowed," the choice is yours little wolf. You only have four hours before it isn't."

I shakily reached out a hand, picking up the glass bottle. My heart was pounding so fast it felt like it would explode out of my chest. Killing myself wasn't something I'd once contemplated. No matter how bleak the situation became I'd never been brought here. Was it really suicide if I knew I would come back from it? The figure’s shape started to turn to goo and I looked up," will I feel it?"

"No," Novu's voice was more distant this time. "You will fall asleep and when you've woke it will have already happened." They shook out their shape to a pile of sludge that retreated beneath the cheap door. "I will be waiting for you."

I jumped as sound was restored to the TV and the two beside me stirred. My eyes could only stare down at the golden liquid that swirled inside the bottle. Building every bit of courage inside me I quickly popped the small cork out and chugged the surprisingly sweet liquid. It numbed my lips and made my eyes droop. My body flopped back hard into the nearly flattened pillow.

It was like my entire body had grown completely numb within seconds. Novu was right when they said I wouldn't feel a thing. Laying here reminded me of the stories my father told me as a child about how witches could astral project. I was aware but not entirely.

My lids became so heavy I could no longer fight them. I made a silent promise to the two fae that lay next to me. When I awoke we would leave.

Tomorrow I would find out who this G.K. was and I was going to get answers about why it was my father sent me his way.

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