The Abyss (Fae's Captive #7) - Lily Archer
Cenet. He’s here. Lord Zatran wasn’t kidding when he said his guest would be a surprise. My heart drops to the floor as the snakelike fae lunges for Gareth, his sword flashing.
Screams begin to sound as Gareth and Cenet battle back and forth in a violent dance. I start toward Gareth, but Raywen, the winter realm pixie, keeps a hard grip on my arm. “You’ll only distract him.”
I know, but something inside me is yowling and crying for me to help him, and I can’t ignore it. “I have to go—”
“Stay put.” The lesser fae from the Ocean of Storms, her scales dry and scratchy, stands next to me. “This is what we need. Blood.”
Raywen nods. “Blood.”
A gasp goes up as Gareth slices into Cenet’s arm.
“Rise!” Silmaran—her face barely recognizable, but her voice strong, struggles to her feet inside the silver cage. “He fights for you! For all of us!”
Raywen grips my arm harder as Silmaran’s words ring out over the clashing swords.
“Join him. Save yourselves, your families, this city!” She grips the silver bars, her swollen eyes still shining. “Fight!”
The high fae begin to twitter and look around. I suppose they’re surprised to see many of the slaves looking right back at them. No longer do they stare at the floor, their backs hunched and their hearts numb. Now they look. And in their eyes—a world of possibility unfolds.
“Kill them.” The ocean fae reaches out, her white clawed hand cutting through the nearest slaver’s throat with ease. He can’t even scream as he falls.
Another slave calls forth some sort of shimmering magic between her palms. And then the entire room begins to sizzle and scream, the slaves rushing from the back wall and creating a blur of mayhem as the high fae shriek and attempt to flee. But it’s too late. The slaves are moving like a tide and leaving reprisal in their wake.
I push forward as gore coats the floor, the golden tilework turning a murky crimson as screams echo high into the rafters. I lose Raywen in the tumult, but I can’t stop, not when Gareth is in danger. I’ve felt fear before, lived in it for most of my life. But what I feel now at the thought of Gareth being killed? Utter terror.
I shove past a screaming high fae, her dress torn and blood welling from a cut at her chest, then stumble over a corpse as the cacophony of screams and revenge rises around me. Climbing to my feet, I catch a glimpse of Gareth backing into the courtyard, Cenet pressing his advantage.
“Stop!” Chastain darts in front of me, and I hear a sickly thunk.
“Chastain.” I grab his arm and pull him to face me. “What—” And then I see the blade protruding from his stomach.
He grips it with bloody hands and yanks it free. “I’ll be fine.” Dropping it to the floor as if it’s nothing more than a splinter, he grabs me and pulls me toward Silmaran’s cage.
“I have to get to Gareth,” I yell over the din.
White-uniformed soldiers push into the edges of the room, but they are soon bloodied and beaten as more and more slaves pour up from the depths of the house. The screams spread, some of them reaching us from outside, and I can already smell smoke on the air. The slavers’ quarters are on fire, and this is only the beginning. If we don’t get a handle on this rebellion, the entire city will be nothing but ash.
With incredible strength, Chastain launches himself to the top of Silmaran’s cage, then grips the golden snake that adorns it. It melts into his palm, and he drops to the door as the scuffles around us continue to spill out of the house. Lord Zatran is out of sight, and I can see flashes of Gareth and Cenet through the pillars that lead into the garden. I have to go to him.
“There!” Chastain fashions the gold into a key and slides it into the silver cage’s lock. With a twist of his wrist, he opens the door. Despite his wounds, he pulls Silmaran into his arms and lifts her from her captivity.
She’s alive. And if Gareth can heal her, she’ll be fine. But first, I need to make sure Gareth bests Cenet. I’m not above fighting dirty, and I fully intend to use any advantage I can get.
Silmaran reaches for me, but I’m already hurrying to the garden. “Beth, where are you—”
I dash past the pillars as a contingent of