Home > Fae's Captive (Fae's Captive #1)(3)

Fae's Captive (Fae's Captive #1)(3)
Author: Lily Archer

“Hello?” I whisper.

“Do you want a bloodletting?” The hay to my left shifts, and a pair of eyes peer at me.

“Where are—”

A clanging noise shatters the stillness. I jump as heavy footsteps approach, the sound paired with what sounds like sharp nails raking against stone.

I scurry back beneath the stone bunkbed and press myself against the wall. My head throbs from where I knocked it earlier, and my pounding heartbeat doesn’t help.

“Great. Just great.” The eyes disappear, the hay settling.

A hissing voice, one that slithers up my spine, echoes off the walls. It’s heavily accented and speaks a foreign language. A rhythmic rustling noise grows louder with each second.

The instinct to hide, to somehow melt into the stone behind me, rushes through me. But there is nowhere to go. The one spot where the hay is thickest is already taken.

The voice is closer now, and I stare into the darkness outside the bars.

I press my palm to my mouth to stop any noise from escaping. But my body shakes, everything inside me freezing up and rattling.

Movement catches my eye, and a monstrous, clawed hand appears just outside the bars.

A scream wants to pull free from my lungs, but I swallow it down. Too afraid to look away, I don’t blink as the rest of the creature comes into view. My mind can’t seem to grasp the horror of what my eyes are seeing. A huge snake body propels the torso of a man, the rhythmic hissing sound coming from the scales as they slide along the floor.

It says something I can’t understand. Pointing at me, it presses its face to the bars, its slitted eyes taking me in. It’s almost a man’s face, but it’s grimmer, and when his forked tongue darts out, I make a keening sound that I can’t hold back.

“No. Please leave me alone.” I shake my head.

It grins, showing curved fangs. “Noisy little changeling. And speaking the slave language, too. Naughty little thing.” It says it in English, the words thick and misshapen from its lips.

I shake my head, and put a hand firmly over my mouth.

“Pretty thing. So pretty.” It blinks slowly. “One more sound, and I’ll have to discipline you.” The tongue shoots out. “I’d enjoy it, but you wouldn’t.”

I can’t close my eyes, can’t breathe, can’t think.

The sound of a door hinge squeaking pulls the monster’s attention away, and a voice down the corridor says something in the unintelligible language. The thing in front of me hisses its reply and gives me one more look before sliding back the way it came.

I lie there shivering for a long time, my mind racing, stumbling, careening. I was in Cecile’s car doing my homework. And then I had to have fallen asleep. Because everything that happened after that doesn’t make sense.

Asleep. I’m asleep. There’s no way I saw a woman who looked exactly like me, no way I’m in some sort of prison, and no way that a half-snake, half-man creature just came and threatened me. My breathing quickens and spots float in my vision. Hyperventilating. Can you hyperventilate in a dream? Wake up. I pinch my arm hard. Pain that matches the ache in my head blooms along my skin. I pinch again. But I don’t wake up. This can’t be. None of this makes sense. But the more my body aches and the chill air seeps into my bones, the more panicked I become. This is real.

“Whisper, dumbass. You can only whisper in here. If Zaul hears you again, it won’t be pretty.” The hay shifts, and a woman appears, her face dirty and her hair in bedraggled waves.

I nod, afraid to use my voice. My breathing is still too fast. I curl into the fetal position and press my forehead to my knees but keep the stranger in my peripheral vision.

She eases closer, and I notice she’s wearing the same potato sack I am, though she’s much thinner, her cheeks gaunt. “What did you do to land in here?”

“I didn’t do anything.” My voice is barely a sound. “I don’t know how I got here.”

She smirks, and I can’t tell if she’s twenty or fifty. “I refused to let my master’s vampire hound feed from me.” She rolls up her baggy sleeve and shows me her arm. Even through the filth, I can see dozens—maybe hundreds—of scars, puncture wounds that come in pairs. “I’d rather die than serve as a meal for that dog one more time.”

I push aside the horror that threatens to swallow me whole. “Where are we?”

“Byrn Varyndr’s dungeon, obviously.” She lays on her side and props her head on her hand. “Where they put bad girls.”


“Why what? Why are you here?” She wrinkles her nose. “How would I know?”

I press one hand to my face. “This doesn’t make sense.”

“You speak the old tongue really well.” She sucks on her teeth. “I’m surprised I even remember it, it’s been so long since I’ve heard or spoken it. I was exchanged when I was five, so I remember a little from that. And the older changelings still speak and teach it to each other. There are other tongues, too, but everyone seems to stick to this one.”

“You mean English?”

“Yeah.” She shrugs. “Here, we’re only supposed to speak their language. English is forbidden. Mainly because most of them don’t know it. Only the lesser fae who work alongside us learn it. Some of the older high fae know it, too. But that’s rare. They usually don’t bother with us.”


She lowers her brows. “You must have knocked your head a good one. They—the fae. Our supposedly benevolent masters.” She laughs low. “They say the summer realm is the kindest of all. But the fae here are just like all the others.”

“Fae? What’s a fae?” I glance at the bars. Was that snake monster a fae?

She says something in that strange language, though it’s beautiful as it lilts from her tongue.

I shake my head. “What did you say?”

Her eyes narrow. “I said you need to see a healer since you can’t even remember how to speak fae.”

“I’m not supposed to be here.” My breathing begins speeding up again, dread constricting my throat. “I was at school. That’s where I’m supposed to be—”

“School?” She tsks. “We aren’t allowed to learn. You know that.”

“This isn’t real.” I rock a little, the hard floor grinding into my hip. “None of this is real.”

She taps her fingers on the cold, grubby stone. “What’s your name?”


“Taylor of?” She gestures for me to go on.

“What do you mean?”

“I’m Lenetia of Granthos. You are Taylor of your master. So, who’s your master?”

“I don’t have a master.”

“Of course you do,” she coaxes. “Give me a name. Maybe I can talk to the guard and tell him you need to see a healer. If your master is high up enough, it may even work.”

“I don’t have a master.” My voice begins to rise, panic infecting me. “I’m a college student. I’m majoring in chemical engineering. I don’t know how I got here, or where here even is!” I run my fingers over the lump on my forehead. It feels like a golf ball.

“Shh!” She scurries back toward her hiding place.

“This isn’t real.” I edge out from beneath my shelter and stand. “None of this is real. So that thing can’t hurt me. It’s just a dream.” I grip the frigid metal bars. “Hey, ugly! Let me out!”

“Stop, for your own good.” She buries herself under the moldy hay.

A metallic clang shoots down the dark corridor, and then that rhythmic rustling sounds again.

“Get down,” Lenetia hisses. “By the Spires, stop courting pain and death.”

“Open this cage!” I yank on the bars. They don’t move.

“I’m trying to help you, girl.” She peers out from her hiding place. “Changelings should stick together. Now come hide with me before he—” Her words end in a horrified squeak.

The creature appears. I back up involuntarily. Even if it’s a dream, it’s a terrifying one.

Fangs bared, it pulls a ring of keys from the side of its tunic.

“Oh no, no, no,” Lenetia whispers from her hiding spot.

The monster says something in that foreign language as he swings the bars open, but he doesn’t come in to get me. Maybe it worked. Maybe I’m on my way out of this nightmare. I just need to wake up.

It hisses again and motions for me to come out, then speaks again in an unintelligible rant.

“Go, girl. He says your master Tyrios has come to free you,” Lenetia’s urgent whispers catch the monster’s attention. “Tyrios is a powerful noble.”

The creature glowers and moves to enter the cell. The stranger squeals, the hay rippling as she scurries back.

“I’m coming.” I step out quickly, cutting the monster off and bringing its attention back to me.

“Too bad we didn’t get to play.” He reaches toward my face with a dirty claw.

“I’d like to wake up now.”

He cocks his head to the side and lets out a rusty laugh. “Wake up?” Slamming the cell door shut, he grabs my arm, his grip cold and unforgiving.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
Most Popular
» Fae's Captive (Fae's Captive #1)
» Secrets Never Die (Morgan Dane #5)
» What I've Done (Morgan Dane #4)
» When August Ends
» I'm Fine and Neither Are You
» What the Wind Knows
» Tumble (Dogwood Lane #1)
» Motion (Laws of Physics #1)