Chapter 2 – Faith, hope, and trust
Ever since Kenzi had left Trick had been pouring over his books looking for something, anything that could help her. He knew she was right about the Ash, if he did decide to help her it was likely that he would make her eat a lot of crow first. Kenzi belonging to Bo who was unaligned made her going to the Ash for help something the manipulative old bastard wouldn’t be able to resist. He knew Lachlan would never try to harm Kenzi, not while she had so many light Fae of substantial standing backing her. Still he hoped that he would be able to find something before the morning came and they had to go down that road, even if it was the best way to help Kenzi. When he heard someone coming down the stairs of his lair he huffed in annoyance, what now!?
“Trick!” It was Dyson. Normally he would welcome his old friend and any counsel he had to offer, but Kenzi had made her wishes clear and for now he intended to hold to them.
“Down here!” Moving quickly he covered up everything about Kenzi and her condition. Hopefully this would not be a long visit and he could get back to work without delay.
“I just ran into Kenzi and she said that you had arranged an appointment for her tomorrow, who with?”
He knew his old friend well and his shifty eyes told him that he’d smelled the deceit in Kenzi’s scent and had come to him to investigate, to find answers that the girl had not given him. He was older than the wolf and knew well how to play this game, he would not be getting any answers out of him. At least not today.
“Yes, she came in shortly after you and Bo left, deciding to take my own advice I made mention of her recent behavioral change and we spoke of it. She has an appointment tomorrow with someone who I think will be able to help.”
He knew his vague answers would not satisfy the wolf, but Dyson knew better than to try and get answers from him that he was not yet willing to give.
“Is she alright Trick? I know that the two of you are keeping something from us but please, just tell me if she’s alright.”
Deciding to take pity on his friend of old he did his best to alleviate his worries while still keeping Kenzi’s confidence.
“If all goes well tomorrow she will be.”
Lachlan would never admit it but he actually liked the succubus’s little human. She was so small and fragile yet she never backed down. He remembered when his doctor had gone running to Bo for asylum and he’d come calling for her and even after his guard had taken her by the throat the brassy little girl had still refused to betrayed either of them.
Now as she stood before him with the blood king at her side, a mere human, she kept her chin up and her eyes on his. Most humans who came before him pleading for aid did so on their knees, he got the impression this human begged for nothing. Her stance clearly said that no matter his decision it would not change hers, she would survive with or without his help.
“Let me see your arms girl.”
As she stepped forward so did his guards not trusting her, the human of an unaligned Fae, close to him. He waved them off, knowing that she wouldn’t do anything to him, at least not while she still needed him. As he stared down at the arm she presented he actually felt moved to… pity for the poor creature. She had sustained this injury while helping one of his enforcers to combat the Garuda and now she was paying a penalty for her bravery. For her to have bested the Norn was reason enough for him to help her, but he would not tell her so, at least not yet.
“Step back.” Now it was time to test her resolve.
“I will help you…” Seeing the hope light her eyes fringed by the weariness of someone who had known betrayal in their life he admired her even more, by now most would be gushing and thanking him not realizing he had yet to finish speaking. “If you kneel and swear your fealty to me.”
He did not believe she would truly do such a thing; the request was merely a test. A test of her loyalty, to see if her life meant more to her than the succubus she claimed as a sister of her soul. He got his answer quickly and it made him smile.
Just that nothing else, and it was spoken in such a level voice that it took his guards a moment to register the insult. Once they did they moved forward intent on knocking the girl to her knees. She did not move, did not blink, by now most would be backing away and trying to apologize for their words, but not her. She said what she meant and meant what she said, no excuses, no apologizes, no regrets, which would serve her well if she survived the Norn. Just before his guards laid hands on her he lifted his arm to still them.
“I have decided I will help you, little human. Trick I believe you know the way to the library, there will be two Fae there to help you when you arrive. You may make use of my resources as long as you both follow the rules of the compound, I trust Trick will be able to explain them to you little girl. Leave me.”
After they had left his office he smiled, she might be as great an asset as the succubus who claimed her.
She knew she shouldn’t have said what she did when that Ash-hole had suggested that she defect from Bo’s side to his, but her good sense and her mouth weren’t always on speaking terms. As they made their way to the library she listened to Trick mutter beside her and knew she was in for an ear full when they finally made it behind closed doors. Sure enough she was right. The second the library doors closed leaving them in relative privacy Trickster turned on her.
“What were you thinking Kenzi. Yesterday you seemed like you knew and accepted that Lachlan would not make this easy on you but the first thing he says makes you lash out like a child. We are fortunate that he did not take offense as his guards did.”
She knew he was right but that didn’t stop a smile from tugging at her lips.
“What, may I ask do you find so humorous about this situation?”
“He’s helping us Trick, I have a fighting chance now!”
That one sentence seemed to drain all the anger out of her tiny little friend. Glancing around the large room with bookshelves piled from floor to ceiling she wondered where they were going to start. As though he’d read her mind Trick began to speak again, only now his voice was filled with resignation rather than anger.
“First things first, the rules. This is a Fae compound Kenzi and just because your human that doesn’t excuse you from any wrongs done. You’ve always had the fact that Bo was unaligned protecting you from retribution in the past, now that you’ve come to the Ash for help that protection is suspended until his help is rescinded. While you are here you are subject to the same rules as everyone else, and consequently the same punishments for breaking those rules so you have to pay attention.”
“Lay it on me.”
“Rule number one you as a human cannot go anywhere without a Fae present. In this case it will be either myself or one of the two others the Ash has assigned to help us. Rule two while you are within these walls Lachlan’s word is law, you cannot insult him again as you did before. He was lenient once, we cannot count on his mercy twice. Rule three you, as a human, cannot interfere in anything here, no matter how wrong or unfair you believe it to be just keep your head down and your mouth shut. Rule four….”
On and on the rules went some of them she thought were rather nitpicky and others were downright laughable, even still she paid attention and memorized each and every one. This was her best shot at survival and she wasn’t going to get kicked about because he opened her big mouth at the wrong time.
Lauren laid in bed beside Bo watching her lover sleep peacefully. She wished she could do the same but things had been weighing on her mind the last few days robbing her of rest. For nearly a week now she had been seeing Kenzi around the Ash’s compound. At first she had been worried but when she’d asked Bo how things were, she’d been cheerfully told that everything had been calm since the defeat of the Garuda. After that she’d convinced herself that it hadn’t been Kenzi she had seen. That maybe her mind had played tricks on her in her sleep deprived state. Two days later she had seen her again, and this time she had been sure it was her.
Thinking that perhaps Bo was in trouble after all and simply hiding it she did a little digging around in the records. She had been beyond shocked to find that Kenzi had been signed in by a Fae that was not Bo. As Bo’s claimed human for Kenzi to enter a place of the Fae under the protection of another was treasonous, and since Bo was unaligned for her to even speak to the Ash without permission just compounded the problem. She’d checked around the Fae data banks discreetly looking for a light Fae with the right initials hoping that the name of the being would help her to understand why Kenzi would do such a thing. Finding nothing she’d come to the conclusion she needed to tell Bo of Kenzi’s actions with this mysterious BK.
Kenzi had crept out of the house early this morning long before Bo or doctor hot pants had stirred. She and Trick were so close she could almost taste it. They had it narrowed down to three different types of Fae gunk another day or two and hopefully she’d be good as new. Scratching absently at her chest she sent a silent prayer of thanks to whoever was looking out for her, this news could not have come at a better time. From the way the infection was spreading she had about a week before it reached her heart, if that happened it would be less research and more wait and see the show.
Her feet were dragging by the time she finally reached her door. She hadn’t wanted to stop but Lachlan had insisted saying that if she let herself get weak from exhaustion they might as well stop researching now cause she would be too weak to last the little time she had left. Strangely the once dubbed Ash-hole had come down personally each day to check their progress and offer surprisingly helpful hints wrapped heavily in insults about their lack of collective brain power. The first day she’d been so insulted she hadn’t picked up on the subtext until Trick finally explained it to her. Why he wouldn’t just come right out and say what he meant was the mystery of the week to her. Maybe it was just no fun without the word games? Seeing Bo and Doc Hottie on the couch wasn’t a surprise but Bo’s tone was.
“Kenzi we need to talk.” Great, now she understood why guys all over the world dreaded that sentence. Personally she could have done without the knowledge.
When Lauren had first told her about what Kenzi was doing Bo hadn’t wanted to believe her. She’d yelled that she had to be wrong that she couldn’t know what she was talking about. But the more Lauren had just looked at her calmly and the longer Kenzi stayed out the more her mind started to take it all in. The late nights, the secrecy, Kenzi locking her bedroom door and not wanting to go to the Dahl. While her mind continued to rage against it crying out that Kenzi would never betray her, her instinct insisted she was hiding something. Now that her best friend, her soul sister, was sitting across from her she just wanted to say forget it and bury her head in the sand. Glancing over at a stern looking Lauren she knew she couldn’t.
“Kenzi, I need you to tell me why you’ve been at the light Fae compound lately.” Kenzi’s look of anger aimed at Lauren did nothing to put Bo’s mind at ease.
“I wanted to look up some Fae stuff so Trick took me there so I could use the library.”
That was it, that lie was the one too many. It was one thing to just not tell her something but to lie straight to her face. That was just too much, it brought all of Lauren’s theories of betrayal crashing down on her.
“That is the last straw Kenzi. How dare you lie to my face! I thought we were sisters!?”
“No,” she couldn’t stand to hear any excuses not from her, “just get out!” Rising fighting back the tears she began to walk away turning back for one last look at her sister she sneered “I hope BK is worth it whoever they are.”
He couldn’t sleep again. Two a.m. found him working on his motorcycle in the middle of his loft. Dyson’s mind just wouldn’t rest it was like his wolf was pacing like it sensed a coming storm. The sudden loud knock on the door pulled him out of his thoughts and made him hit his knuckles. Cursing silently he jerked up from his crouched position on the floor and stalked towards the door. Yanking it open he fully expected to see an injured Bo looking for a fix, that was the only time he saw her anymore. Instead his anger was met by a weeping human.
“Kenzi? What’s wrong, are you hurt?” Looking her over quickly, he saw no sign of blood but the girl was beyond upset. Placing a comforting arm around her shaking shoulders he ushered her inside. “Kenzi?”
“Bo… kicked… me… out!”
To say he was shocked at the girls broken confession would be a understatement.
“Why on earth would she do something like that?” Dyson had never been good with weeping women. He thought about getting her a glass of water but didn’t want to take his arm from around her. Sitting on his sofa he looked at the fragile human with her unrelenting tears with a feeling akin to helplessness. He did not like the sensation.
“That skank doctor told her some stuff so far out of context it’s in orbit and she believed her. Didn’t even let me explain. She just showed me the door.” Seeing the tears begin to fall anew he pulled her in for a hug.
“Alright you’ll stay here tonight, we’ll sort it all out tomorrow.” Rocking her slowly he held her close murmuring soothing words until she finally fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.