Wow, so Thanksgiving tomorrow for Americans and the holiday season steadily approaches for most of us too! I wasn't sure if I'd get this done, but I did, I did! This week I took my prompt inspiration from the phrase, 'Failure is not an option.' Enjoy!!
Take Flight Part 20
“Ow!” Birch yanked the amulet from under his shirt. Radiant white light lit the stone. Not caring who saw, Birch reached into his pants. He shuddered when he touched the plug in his cock. Cold fire invaded the slit in the tip. Drawing out the hollow plug took a minute.
“Oh, thank fuck.” The burning faded as soon as Birch removed the plug. He held it carefully, not touching the cage with the stone inside.
“What happened?” the Alchemist asked. He stared at Birch. All the fae were watching him, their eyes huge.
“Oh, g—” Birch cut himself off. A wave of heat rose through him until his face prickled. He was probably beet red. “How embarrassing,” he muttered. Sayer was so going to owe him. A lot.
Birch stared at the ground, avoiding everyone’s gaze. “When I touched the cross my amulet, and um”—he stuffed his plug into his pocket—“something else with a gift from Sayer, lit up. They burned.” Birch looked down the collar of his shirt. He certainly wasn’t going to open his pants.
“Interesting. The metal did not cause a reaction in you, but your fae, um, items.”
“Definite proof the cross is an attack against the fae,” Forisilki said.
Vernon harrumphed. “Like that was in question.”
Birch jumped in before the Formorian could snap. “Stop bickering. You guys have tasks to do. Vernon… why are you still here?” Birch raised an eyebrow at the cranky man.
“Fine. We’re going.”
Birch turned to the cross. “I’m going to try this again.” The amulet and plug had stopped burning him when they were away from his skin. He had to get the cross out. “Failure is not an option,” Birch reminded himself.
Ange stood by, watching. The rest of the fae had left when Vernon did, moving far from the cross. “You gonna be okay?” Birch asked.
The dryad flipped his long hair over his shoulder. “I’m fine.” Birch hoped the other man could hide his appearance like Sayer had, or he was going to draw a lot of attention once they left the fae realm. No one had hair that shade of green naturally, and Ange’s rich, brown skin had an odd luster.
“Okay. Here we go again.”
Birch hesitated then grabbed the cross. Nothing happened. He sighed and closed his eyes. Now for the lift.
The cross was buried deeper in the mud than Birch expected. He strained to pull the twisted metal form out. His arms and legs trembled from the effort.
“Ahh!” His breath exploded from him in a sharp cry. Birch stumbled, the heavy cross freed from the ground with a jerk. He nearly dropped it but managed to stagger into a tree. He panted, holding the cross to his chest with his arms locked around the arms.
“We gotta… get this... out of here,” he said. “Where do we cross?”
Ange led the way past the lake toward the shimmering veil. The ground sucked at Birch’s feet and bushes snagged his clothing and scratched his arms. Ange couldn’t help him, so Birch struggled to hold on and keep moving forward.
Passing through the veil was the last thing on Birch’s mind, but still… he expected something. One moment they were in the fae realm, the tainted land fighting against him, and the next they were in the human world. The glow on his amulet faded until it looked like an ordinary stone.
“Whoa.” Birch spun and the veil was still there. A vague worry in the back of his mind whispered that once he left, without Sayer, he’d not be able to reenter the fae realm. But he could still see it there, through the veil, the magical shimmering marking the spot between realms where they could pass.
When Birch turned around Ange changed. His green hair darkened to brown and his skin was tan but had lost the luster. Good. One less thing to worry about.
“Where now?” Ange asked him.
The house Sayer grew up in had been kept up. Birch had driven by it, more than once, to his personal shame. If he’d caught a glimpse of Sayer there, after four years of being alone, Birch might have hit him with his car. But he hadn’t seen any sign of anyone living there, though the yard was manicured.
“Do you know if Sayer maintained the place he grew up, or was it sold when he didn’t come back?”
“I am not sure, my l—”
“Birch. Use my name, especially here,” Birch reminded him.
“Sorry.” Ange grimaced. “I am not entirely sure. I don’t spend much time on this side of the veil, but if he did keep the house, there would be a ward around it.”
“Let’s go check, huh?”
Birch wasn’t entirely sure where they were, but the town was at the foot of the mountain. Downhill was good. The metal cross wasn’t too heavy, but it was awkward.
“How will we find out who made that?” Ange glared at the cross Birch carried.
“Well….” Birch paused, resting the cross on his foot. He had a bad feeling about it touching the ground. “I’ve been gone a while, but I know there are a few churches in town. We can start with them.”
“I hope this won’t take too long,” Ange sighed.
“We don’t either.” Men stepped out from trees in a semi-circle in front of Ange and Birch. “Purging you demons shouldn’t be too hard.”
A gray-haired man pointed a rifle at them. He smirked. “Did you really think we wouldn’t be watching?”
Birch’s heart pounded in his chest. Sweat trickled down his back as he stared down the barrel of the rifle.
“Mr. Rittenhauser? What are you doing?” His boss smirked at him.
“You really had no idea, did you?” the older man scoffed.
Birch looked at Ange. The fae stood calmly beside him. He flexed his hands.
“Don’t even think about it. This gun has iron bullets, just for you.”TBC
Don't forget to check out the other great Briefer's updates and a special welcome needs to go to our newest Briefer virgin, Grace!!