Svelle was cold; she hated that feeling, what with the whole vampirism thing. It cut right through her to the core, and took her so long to get warmed up again. She always needed a long drink afterwards, warm blood pulsing into her mouth.
She shouldn’t think of that, though.
This was a mission, and the assassination had to be less conspicuous; less of a calling card. Her employer wanted a simple removal of this man. She thought her target had done a good enough job of that already, after having spent the last month tracking him, and finding that he lived in the wilds past a remote, snowy town where he ran a small lodge. You could barely get more removed from New Azoth City.
But then, the boss’s words were law. She had no right to question.
She was a short woman compared to most other races, though tall for the dark elf that she was. Elegant in appearance, she had all of the calling cards of a beautiful elf; long, pointed ears, a slender frame, angular features and an agile body. However, she was marked more sinister by the marks of her immortality. Her eyes were a frightening shade of ruby, and sharpened canines hid beneath her full lips.
Her skin was a healthy charcoal colour, making the whites of her eyes and teeth stand out more prominently. Her brown hair was slicked back in a ponytail, bangs brushed against her forehead, just above her brows.
Dressed head to toe in a black cloth suit that hugged to her form, there was no noise created by her movements. Two daggers in hand, she slunk through the shaded halls of the lodge towards her target’s private quarters, sneaking inside, her motions all practiced quiet in the dead of the snowy night.
Hau’glin was a strange sort by any measure, a half-breed of two disparate races that never got along or even encountered one another often, he bore the marks of both heritages upon him. Quite tall, well over six feet, his skin was an odd mix of both parents. Almost gold tinted but with an odd silver sheen, the smooth head of his desert progenitors was replaced with a thick head of silver hair that flowed back down his neck and spine between his shoulder blades.
His eyes were narrow and almond-shaped, with dark irises; nose long but a bit slender for a man. He might have been quite a handsome male, if the oddness of his mixed blood didn’t put off so many. He was a curious man, but one thing about his parentage helped him now. He was an exceptionally light sleeper.
When the assassin came, he was wide awake in the late hours. His eyes alertly slid to her as quickly as she slipped into his room, and he began to conjure something, moving his fingers with practiced precision. His people–both of them in fact–were some of the few left in the above-world who practiced what was called ‘magic’ by civilization. A lifetime of study had given him some skill which he had used to great effect.
Magic was banned in New Azoth City. There may not be laws there, but there were things that would get a person killed. Magic was number one on that list. It had been decades since she last saw someone perform any ritual like the one before her.
Few things startled her or knocked her off guard, however when she saw him start moving his fingers, her gaze immediately went over the room, searching for who he was signalling to. It was only a moment too late that she understood the full intentions of those little motions, and her body froze just as he finished his casting.
Flinging out his long, spindly fingers, he caused the fibres of the wood that made up the very lodge they stood in to crack away and elongate into webbing. They warped, coiling about her four limbs, effectively stringing her up in the doorjamb.
She almost laughed at the ridiculousness of the oddly familiar feeling of being so trapped. It had been many years since someone tied her up. Unwillingly, at least.
She struggled once, then stopped.
Staring at him incredulously, Svelle licked over her lips, “Is zis any vay to treat a guest?” There was a slight accent there, just a little bit of a hardness to her words that only made her small voice more womanly and appealing.
Sat upon his bed, wrapped in a dull, thick grey robe, he rose up, his towering visage, six and a half feet when standing straight, moving towards her. As he got close, she could see the set of six sharp teeth that protruded from his lips like fangs; four pointing down, two smaller ones upwards. Demon blood was common in some parts of the planet, and he looked quite fierce as the silver sheen of his skin dimmed in the darkness.
“You are not one of my guests,” he murmured, watching the elven woman suspended in the web of wood fibre. It was a complex spell trap, laid down long ago by him and only activated now like a net by a hunter. His dark eyes flickered over her form curiously, up and down, taking her in.
“I didn’t say your guest, I said a guest,” she frowned, her eyebrows furrowing and her voice taking on a lilting tone. Her face was a bit soft despite its angularity, her flesh so tender and almost dewy.
A fire burned behind her eyes, seething at the situation, at the ease that he’d nabbed her, but her words were all soft purrs of forbidden promises, “Now vhy don’t you let me down, mmm?”
Standing straight and tall as he was, his broad shoulders caused the thick grey robes he wore to sweep down around him like old curtains, only his long face and pointed ears showing as he studied her.
“Then they haven’t given up,” he stated, no questioning in his voice as he studied her. His voice was deep, with an odd pitch to it, confident, almost haughty except that there was none of that in his expression or mannerisms; he lived rather humbly upon the cold, snowy slopes of the mountainous valley.
Her face pursed as she took him in, “Look, your buddies, zey vanted to surprise you, and I’m really not certain that zey’re going to be villing to pay me for being strung up. In this manner, anyvays,” she ventured, giving him a bit of a suggestive curve of her body, trying not to outwardly struggle as she planned her next step.
Frowning at her glib response, his brows furrowed. He took a moment to study her, “How much do you know?” he asked, his face contorted by sadness. He knew he would be left with no choice beyond kill her or flee. And he might have to flee regardless.
She stared at him for a long stretch of time, licking her mouth thoughtfully before finally speaking, “How much do you think zey’d tell a woman that vould get so easily caught?” Her jaw jutted in defiance.
His silently studied her, trying to discern the truth in her words.
“Did you track me down yourself, or did they tell you where to find me?” So much hinged on that. He’d have to pull up and leave if they knew. Really, he thought, it was a fool’s hope that he might be able to stay, even if he got rid of her.
“If I can find you, zey can find me,” she said, her eyes steadily upon him. As he scrutinized her, so she scrutinized him. She wasn’t going to die, here and now, in such a pathetic manner.
“Let me down, now,” she purred, her vampiric charms lacing the words as she stared into his eyes.
The mysterious Hau’glin returned her gaze, his hand twitching once. His other hand slid up from beneath the folded of his robes, the spindly digits reaching out to her arm, her charms holding him entrapped for that brief sliver of time until he stopped himself. Fingers curling tightly around her wrist, he gave her a sharp look. “That’s not possible,” he said, his words coming out hard.
His free hand came up quicker to cover her eyes as he leaned in. His voice was in her ear, a low murmur, “Cooperate and I will let you live a while longer as my captive. I can promise no more yet. Is my position betrayed? Do they know where I, and you, are?”
Svelle shook against his touch, inhaling his unfamiliar scent. Her face twitched beneath his palm as she shook her head, “Zey don’t, but zey’ll know soon enough.”
He paused, suppressing a sigh before his voice crackled to life in her ear again, “Because you sent word to them, or because you expect them to find you? Be truthful, you’ve nothing to gain from deceiving me, but if I feel you’ve dealt fairly, I might be moved to foolish compassion,” he confessed truthfully, his hand wrapped about her eyes, darkening her view as his nostrils flared, studying the dark assassin’s fragrance.
“Because zey have people watching me,” she snorted, a curl coming to her lips.
His grasp about her eyes loosened just a bit. “Then I’ll need time to prepare to leave under cover so they don’t know,” he said, repressing a sad sigh. Despite the nearly unbearable cold, he had come to enjoy this spot, and his rare visitors. He reached to her two hands, prying her daggers free from her reluctant hands, “I’ll keep you with me a while as I decide what to do. Your friends won’t strike while I have guests, anyhow.”
“Ah, lovely. I’ve not been a hostage in a vhile. It’s a riot.”
He gave a wry smile at the woman’s glib tongue as he pocketed her daggers beneath his robes, keeping them out of sight and away from her, “It’s a bit more life at least, isn’t it? And if it troubles you that much, I’ll see to it your time in my basement isn’t too dull.” A bit of the old him seeped back in there, and the words sounded almost sinister. In practice, however, it sounded almost like her own coy remark earlier.
“You’re a true gentleman,” she cooed. Moving his fingers, he shifted the fabric of the spell, causing the wood-fibre binds to shift and move, coming down around her wrists, binding them behind her back, then her ankles, giving her some freedom of movement, though not enough to run.
Placing one of his hands on her bicep, he grasped her firmly, leading her back through the door she came from and out to the hallway. Whispering to her quietly in her ear he said, “Quiet. Don’t disturb the guests and force me to tell them you were caught breaking in here. It will only complicate my abilities to help you,” he warned, guiding her down to the basement, then to a hidden hatch beneath some rugs and pottery.
She was silent, even though his words warped her lips into a sadistic smile. Her clothing was whisper quiet as she moved, her footfalls light even bound as they were. Her footing was fairly steady, even down the steps, though the sick look of amusement on her face was disconcerting.
Pulling up the hatch, he unveiled a second, deeper basement. This one was finer than the one above, with walls made of fine wood planks. It was, oddly, warmer than above, though there was no fire place. Just a large, black stone where one should be, where the heat seemed to emanate. Guiding her down the final steps, he pulled the trap door shut behind them.
Inside there was a table and chair, bed, chest, drawers and bookshelf. It seemed to be a hidden little room. Perhaps for waiting out anyone seeking him. She was still bound by the many fibres of the wood, his hand on her arm as he peered around, “You can call this home for a while,” he stated, noting the look on her face. “Though I still don’t quite know what to do with you.”
“Then you haven’t my imagination, ah” she said with that edge of coquettishness to it, taking in her surroundings, hrming.
She found herself thinking back to the last town she’d visited before coming for him, back to the beautiful little dandy boy that she’d desired a nibble of until his cow of a girlfriend dragged him away, crowing in his ear. She hadn’t eaten in a day now, which she knew was stupid, but she simply hated to settle for something less than optimal.
His new life of seclusion and charity was in stark contrast to the one he lived of old. Her coy little games and the state of having her captured like this brought back a twinge of his old self. It unsettled him a moment as he caught himself leering a bit at her sidelong. Releasing her arm, he stepped away, back towards the stairs. “I’ll bring you something to eat with daylight,” he stated, simply.
Her lips curled a bit, her nose crinkling in a girlish fashion, “Oh, vell aren’t you a doll,” she smirked, walking towards the source of the heat in the room, “Not like ze other assassins vill find you out in the daylight,” she grinned rather fiendishly, her fangs finally on show to him as she warmed herself on the heated stone.
Though he sported his own fangs, he finally realized her true nature. Narrowing his eyes wearily, he receded back up the stairs. He had no doubt she would find a way to break her binds between then and when he returned, but he wasn’t afraid; or so he hoped she believed.
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