I am thrown, not kindly, into my new prison. My knees take a harsh impact as they strike the soft floor. As I hear a door lock behind me I take in my surroundings. A small room, padded walls. A heavy metal door with a small latched opening for a viewing window. The sound of footsteps receding. I’m not going anywhere.

Just to be sure, I scrutinize every corner, checking for any avenues of escape. My efforts are fruitless. I listen at the door and hear nothing. I am isolated and alone, and I don’t know if or how I’m being guarded. I have no energy left to use magic, and I doubt I would get far anyway. I decide to conserve my energy and take a rest while I have the opportunity. I’ve only slept once since I slipped away from Jareth and the Circle. I need to stay alert if I’m going to stay gone.

I sit cross-legged against a wall, the door in my periphery, and I lean back. I align myself, close my eyes, and focus my breath. Soon I have coaxed myself into a healing trance and see only the colors that dance in the absence of light. I feel the rejuvenating effects on my body and I let them work, soothing my body and nerves. I picture myself floating away, high above my place of capture. I look down and See the compound. It is a disorganized patchwork of roads, buildings, and acres of rolling land decorated in lush, green nature. They sky above invites me to run and fly. I See a small town center directly below. The sun is just beginning to set- it will be night soon. And the second night of the full moon, a good night to replenish my magic.

I catch the first of the moon’s rays. They envelop me, push through me, and the well of magic deep within me fills. My energy returns, my fatigue clears. The noise of my third capture in two days quiets in my mind. I am filled with moonlight, bursting with radiance. My vision goes white and I am Shown a large building in the center of the compound. I See the man who sentenced me, without trial, to my newest prison. A deep power emanates from him, and I sense heaviness in his heart. His head hangs as he leans against the wall. I am drawn to him. I reach out. He flinches, and whirls around. His eyes go wide as he sees me, and he stops breathing. He murmurs something I don’t understand. He falls to his knees. The Vision changes.

Ken lies before me in a room similar to mine. He is unmuzzled and does not blink. I feel the black rage in his heart. It roils and sloughs off him. I have seen blackness like that before, during Jareth’s rituals. Instinctively, I know I can neutralize it. I connect to the dark energy. It feels like oil. I fill it with moonlight. Ken gasps, mouth open in a soundless scream, paralyzed by shock. His hair fades, the rich color paling to white as the dark energy evaporates. The moonlight fills his heart and I kiss him, unable to resist. Then the Vision ends.

I come back to myself suspended in moonlight. I open my eyes. The padded room stares back. There are no windows, only a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling. What time is it? How long have I been here? I have to get out. There don’t appear to be any weak spots in the room. I am fairly sure I am underground. The only way out is through that door. With the full moon waning, and the ‘wyrd’ spell finished, I won’t be able to work up enough magic to teleport. So I’ll have to wait for my chance.

A knock at the door. “Alright pup,” calls the voice of my now-twice captor, “I’m coming in. Try anything funny and I’ll split you open.”

I think for a moment that wouldn’t be so bad. Sounds of a key, the lock turning, and the heavy door groans as it opens. My captor leaves it open, standing between me and my escape. He knows I am not stupid enough to rush him. He knows I am dangerous enough to keep a sharp eye on me. I eye him warily, fighting my internal reactions of distaste and lust. I would just as soon set him on fire as I would allow his hands to set my body ablaze. I blink, attempt to clear the lust haze in my mind.

“The Alpha is expecting you,” he says, and I know it’s not a suggestion. I rise, fluidly standing from my cross-legged position. Despite my every instinct screaming at me to get out, I remain the picture of calm. Never show hesitation or vulnerability before a foe. That is what Jareth taught me, and I have seen many a more dangerous enemy than this man.

“Let’s go, princess,” he gruffs, and slaps my ass I pass him. I choose not to dignify him with a response, though I am aroused a little. I refuse to give him the satisfaction of acknowledging his effect on me. He chuckles under his breath and leads me down a dark, narrow hall. “I can smell everything you’re thinking, you know,” he says, and I roll my eyes. What a dick. “You’ve got the most powerful scent I’ve ever smelled. I could pick you out from miles away.” He leans in close to me, stopping me from advancing. He locks his eyes on mine. Is he threatening me… or seducing me? I’m not sure and I don’t like it.

“Sorry you have to deal with that,” I sneer, “It must be a real inconvenience.”

He laughs. “I like it,” he hisses, and he invades my personal space, making illegal bahis full contact with my body and pinning me against the wall. “You’re delicious.”

I feel his thick bulge against me, and I harden in response. I hate myself but I can’t help it. I hold his gaze until he rest his head against my neck, lips grazing that sensitive spot against my collarbone.

He growls low in my ear. “I know how bad you want it. The pheromones are rolling off of you.” I can’t deny it. I’d lay down and open my legs for him if he commanded me to. More than his powerful physique, more than his intoxicating smell, more than his feral beauty… it’s his presence. I can’t explain it. I want to obey him. I want to please him. I want to submit to his power.

But I am also defiant. I did not escape one sexual prison for another. I refuse to be subjected to anyone’s control, no matter how bad my body fights me. And I don’t like the uneasy feeling his presence gives me.

He sighs into my neck, his large, rough hands running over my body. “What is it that he’s got that I don’t, huh?” he breathes. I flinch and stiffen. “What is it about Junior? It’s not like he Marked you. He’s got no claim. And he’s only a Beta. I always get the first taste,” and he licks where my neck and shoulders meet. I shudder and sigh, harder than before. I know I’m leaking. I think of Ken and feel a distant pang, a hurt somewhere I can’t place. It is far away and so close at the same time. I can’t help it, I buck against the man. This excites him and he grinds into me.

“I knew you wanted it. You’re panting,” and he cups my crotch. He squeezes, hard. I hear myself take in a sharp breath. I am rapidly losing control. The fog of lust is taking over.

“I…” and I trail off, unable to think as he drags his tongue lazily along the side of my neck. He nibbles on my earlobe. I put my hands against his chest, thinking to push him away but instead I find myself turned on by the feel of his hard muscles. He chuckles and renews his attack on my body.

He pins my hands against the wall and I hear a distinct metallic thud. Am I up against a door? Is there a way out behind me? Suddenly I am able to cut through the fog and my senses return. I decide in an instant how best to escape.

“I want this,” I whisper, and I grind against his prominent bulge. Truly, it is a monster, thick and long and clear against the inside of his jeans. “I need it,” I pant, and I throw one leg on his waist. He growls, and soon he is supporting me against the door, my wrists shaking in his grasp. I can tell he’s nearly lost to lust. His breathing increases, he moves as if to unzip his fly, and this is my chance. I reach inside the well of magic deep within, I find the word I need, and I bring the magic I need to the surface.

“Open,” I command, the door behind me bursts open. The man loses his balance and we start to fall. I put my feet to his hips and push off, expelling myself from him and propelling me into the room. He crashes into the room, just a hair’s breadth from me, only just beginning to comprehend what’s happening. I hit the ground, I roll, and just as I am about to recover on my feet I crash into another warm body.

“Oof,” it says, and it is also knocked flat. I hear a loud “fuck!” from behind me, I know the big bruiser has landed. I attempt to disentangle myself from the arms of the body with which I am not entwined, but it is hopeless. Fuck indeed. Finally I manage to extricate myself and jump to a corner close by the exit, crouching low. The big man finally recovers and whirls toward me, snarling. I watch in fascination and horror, guard up, as fangs release from his teeth. His eyes glow- deep, murky gold. He growls low, this time a real growl, and I can see his body ripple. What the fuck am I seeing? Even during my time with Jareth and the Circle, I never saw anything like this.

“Barbie, go!” and I snap my attention to the voice. It’s Ken, looking disheleved and surprised, fangs unsheathed also, body rippling. I note with interest that his hair is now snow white. Both men are sprouting fur, bones shifting in most gruesome fashion, hands becoming paws, tails appearing, ears elongating, faces rearranging. Suddenly I know- lycans. I was warned about them by Jareth. The antithesis to witches, the mortal enemy to sorcerers, the eternal hunters of the magical community. Now I fully comprehend what danger I have been in. Every muscles screams out go go GO, and I obey. Before the men finish transforming, I bolt out of the door.

I run the direction the big man was leading me in initially. The hall is long and dark, up ahead I see a light. I desperately run toward it. My escape it close at hand. I smell fresh air, see the staircase leading to an open door, I know my freedom is so close! I hear the sounds of howling, snarling, fighting behind me. I hear the padding of large paws. One mistake and I am fucked. I feel the magic rise within me. I know what I need. At precisely the right moment, I leap out of the door, shout “Close!” and the door slams shut behind me. Two unmistakable thuds, one much louder illegal bahis siteleri than the other, immediately follow. I hear clawing and scratching and howling. The lycans are angry. Is Ken one of them? How could I be so stupid!? From one prison to another, by my own stupidity! Mixed up with lycans! I lean back against the door and take a deep breath.

I’m surprised that I’m not immediately apprehended. Where are the door guards? Surely there’s a sentry posted somewhere. Unless perhaps these lycans are so confident in their abilities that they wouldn’t bother with a guard. And the big one said my smell is distinct. If he can smell me, I bet the others can too. I’ve got to be careful.

I take in my surroundings. The building I’m in is right next to the big building where I met the Alpha. Other smaller buildings line a street, a collection of odd rounded tin shapes. I try to remember the bird’s-eye view I was Shown earlier. The big gate lies east, and the street conveniently runs east-west. I turn the right way and take off, jogging carefully, alert for any possible lycan authority.

Strangely, I run into none. The compound, bustling the last time I saw it, is deserted. Uneasiness pervades the air. My skin pricks and the hairs on my arms stand up. I am nervous. Something is up. I shouldn’t be freely escaping. The last time I was here, I was pursued by several lycans. Why am I encountering no resistance? Then I spot it.

A hooded figure by a tree. I almost don’t see it. I glance again, expecting it to be a trick of light, but still the figure menaces me from about a hundred feet away. It stands before me and the gate. I trot to a stop, uneasy. Best not to approach an unknown foe. I look for alternate routes, but I can clearly see the gate behind the figure. I reach for the well of magic within me, ready just in case. I sense no energy, no aura, no presence at all from the figure. It puts me on edge. I crouch low, not bothering to hide. It’s already seen me, I am ready to defend.

It raises a hand. The skin is drawn tight and pale, leathery and worn. Spots decorate the appendage, more claw than fingers. I Listen for any incantation, Look for any hint of magic power, still unable to detect anything. If I can’t tell what kind of magic the cantor is using, I will have a harder time countering it. I think maybe attacking first is a better idea. I ready the spell, picturing the figure dissolving in flames. I open my mouth to speak the Word, but before I can produce it, the figure vanishes. Its hood drops to the ground, heavy and rolling in the fall.

Every sense is at max. Every nerve screams. I still can’t sense the figure, can’t tell what’s happening. It’s maddening!

Out of pure instinct I duck to the right and roll away, narrowly avoiding a green fireball hissing by. I know better than to stay. I run to the gate, knowing the figure could be anywhere. I feel another fireball crash inches behind me. Another lands just feet in front of me. What direction are they coming from? The gate is within my sights. One good jump and I could clear it. The next fireball almost hits me, I feel the heat roasting me. I narrowly avoid it. This is fire magic. I know fire magic. I can counter this. These fireballs are coming from… above?

I look up, skidding to a halt just before the gate. I search the skies for something, anything that resembles the mysterious figure. I see a quick flash of light, an ignition, and a fireball materializes from the same spot and launches toward me. I put my open palm face-up in its path. The fireball connects with my hand. I feel the heat. I feel the Intent to harm. I use my own magic to absorb the sender’s Intent, infuse the spell with my own, and send it back with double the force. The well of magic barely takes a dent. The fireball, now white, launches from my palm as if shot from a cannon. It connects with the ignition point, bursting into a stunning green, white, and orange flame. I hear a shriek. The air about the ignition point shimmers, sigils appear.

I recognize the origin language immediately. It’s a special language, ancient and forbidden. Some of the sigils appear on my own body. This foe has been sent for me by Jareth. This foe is a member of the Circle. They have found me. I didn’t get far enough, and they have come to take me back. Fear bubbles up from my gut, panic rises too. I will not be taken by them again. I will not return to the Circle. I will not get back on that stone!

The sigils glitter in the air, a spell of invisibility and protection. There are phrases for the concealment of mana. Standard Circle inscriptions. Striking the field with my flames has damaged the layer of invisibility, though not entirely- the enchanter is still concealed. I spot a phrase in the sigils that is poorly worded- a weak point in the enchantment. I’ve got this guy now. I put one hand before me and draw the other across it and back, creating an arrow of white flame. I take a deep breath, activate my third eye. With it, I See the exact way the arrow must strike to null the enchantment and vanquish my foe. canlı bahis siteleri I allow it the right amount of magic power. I imbue with the Intent to kill. The arrow blazes, the flames licking my face and body but not harming me. Seeing my foe ignite another fireball, I concentrate my energy and take aim.

“Fire!” I scream. The arrow explodes forward, rushing with uncanny speed towards my victim. The fireball he launches is too slow, too weak, the arrow consumes it without any ado, absorbs its power, and pierces the protection enchantment. The sigils immediately go dark. I See in the intense burning of my white flames a shadowy figure, run through by my arrow. It falls to the ground in a blaze.

I run up to check my mark, ready to finish the job. The charred corpse of my attacker greets me with a ghastly grimace. Instant death. His body is tattooed with the strange, twisted marks of the forbidden language. For a moment, I am safe.

But one can never outrun the Circle, as Jareth said many times. If there is one, there are surely more. I will vaporize every last one. No more running.

I sit and cross my legs beside the corpse, no longer worried about the danger. I enter the lucid dreaming state, cast my consciousness about the compound, and search for any members of the Circle. I compose the forbidden language spell that allows me to see enchantments, especially those that attempt to hide mana. I find three. One to the west, at the edge of the compound’s town. A lone magician. Surely just a footman. One at the center of town, in the building where I was sentenced. I sense the Alpha and several magicians. I know he is in danger. The third is powerful, strange, and feels different than the others. It lies in the woods at the compound’s north area. It bristles as I make contact, and I shirk away. I could probably overpower it, but since it is clearly not of the Circle, I leave it be. It can be investigated later.

I return to my body, take a last glance at my victim, and run as fast as I can back to town. I quickly approach the area where the first enchanter is. As I suspected, it is a lone magician. Without wasting time, I call a spear of fire and cast it at the enchantment’s weak point. The pitiful magicians they sent are no match for my command of the craft and the forbidden language. Their Intent to live is less than my Intent to kill. The magician is instantly charred. Rather than feel drained by my use of magic, I am empowered. My reserves have barely been touched- probably a last gift from the full moon- and I know I must release the lycans if I am to overpower the magicians in the big building.

I approach the door with caution, unsure of what I may find. It is buckled in a few places, but hanging on. When I am within feet of the door, the lycans catch my scent. One of them snarls and slams against the door. “You little bitch! Open this fucking door!” Definitely the big one.

“Ken?” I call, tentatively. I hear a morose whimper. I reach out with my mind to Sense his presence and it is weak. He must be injured.

“You’re gonna fucking get it when I get out of here! You’re gonna feel the punishment of an Alpha!”

So Ken was unable to subdue the bigger man. It’s up to me. I reach within the well of magic, prepare the necessary spells. I hold my hand to the door. “Open,” I command. The door creaks open, crying out on its hinges. As I expected, the big man flies out the door, fangs bared, back to human, fully nude. “Stay,” I call. He stops midair, inches from my palm, levitating mid-pounce. His huge, well-defined muscles bulge and quiver as he fights uselessly to move against my spell.

“What the fuck is this?” he snarls. I walk past him, ignoring his taunts. I find Ken just beyond the door, badly wounded. He has not resumed human form. His wolf, a shocking snow white, is bruised in several places. The jaw is misaligned, and he looks to be missing several chunks of flesh. The wolf weakly raises his head, pitifully wags his tail. I kneel beside him.

“Please forgive me,” I say. “I will right this.” I pull again from the well of magic and I picture Ken’s body healed and whole. He is enveloped in a soft white-blue light, and as I watch, the wolf regenerates. He yips as a bone snaps back in place and itches at the seams of wounds as they close. Before long the wolf stands before me, as if he hadn’t just had the shit beat out of him by the bigger man.

The wolf pads over to me and gazes levelly. His eyes are exactly like Ken’s. His presence feels the same. I reach my hand out and he shoves his head under it, so I scratch his ears. The wolf makes a curious rooing sound and licks my hand. Perhaps these lycans aren’t all bad. I could get used to having a big, friendly wolf around.

I feel a slight drain on my magic energy as the big man fights against my spell. “You little fucker!” he cries, “I’m going to fucking kill you! Release this witch shit now!” I step to him, the wolf on my heels. I meet the big, struggling man’s furious eyes. Before, when he captured me outside the homeless shelter, I didn’t have the energy to restrain him. I could do it all day with what I currently have, even with his struggling, but the Alpha is in danger next door. I need the big idiot functional and compliant if I am to defeat my visitors and escape this situation once and for all.



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