Those blue eyes stared at you. A chill went through you from the touch of those eyes. The pounding rhythm in your head matched the rampant rhythm of your heart. He didn’t speak, he just continued to gaze at you as if he could answer your question without words.
The blond that carefully folded the black polo, heaved a sigh and blinked the tears away. His mouth thinned and his expression turned grim. He had seen injuries before like this, and the person never would wake.
You stirred from your slumber, not daring to open your eyes. The dream of that demon’s blue eyes disappeared like dwindling smoke. Moving your arm, you shielded your eyes and grunted from the simple, but painful movement.
“Are you awake?”
“Where am I?” you asked against your better judgment. Clearing your throat, you cracked an eye open. Your head had begun to throb from the light that flooded the room. To your surprise there stood a human, a blond with blue eyes. “Oh, thank god. It was just a dream.”
“Did you have a bad dream, my love?” He cooed and gently brushed your hair behind your ear. “Everything is fine. Back home in Dia-Talamh, home sweet home.”
“Dia-Talamh?” You said and shook your head as the wave of confusion pounded you into silence. Your heart slammed wildly against your ribs when the reality of situation became clear. That’s what that red-eyed demon had said, he’d welcomed you here.
Looking around you watched another man filling a bowl with water, and he glanced back at you. A smile came to his face, as his green eyes sparkled. Slowly walking over to you, trying not to spill a drop of water, he took a place at the edge of the bed. Dripping a rag into the water, he squeezed the extra out.
“You don’t belong here?” The blond asked, pulling the chair he sat in closer to you. “Certainly, you aren’t the first.” He sighed, and removed something from his pocket of his worn black breeches. He held onto it so tightly that it was his only way to keep himself from losing the one thing he had.
The urge to rest your throbbing head in your heads and succumb to a good cry was almost irresistible. You hadn’t been able to find tears at the beginning of this journey, and tears would accomplish nothing at all now.
Sitting up, you found a knifelike pain shoot through your chest, proving that your ribs must have been broken. Gasping a shallow breath, you wrapped your arms around yourself to somehow shield from the pain.
“Stay calm.” The man with the bowl of water finally said. Dabbing the rag across your forehead, he removed the droplets of sweat that formed. “My name is Antonio.” He smiled, trying to draw your attention from the pain.
Little by little, you relived the scene in the hallway. Your thought processes were sluggish, almost tortuous, like dragging yourself through heavy fallen snow in the dead of the coldest winter.
“Is she up then, Francis?”
You turned towards the voice that asked from the laden shadows of the room. The room that looked more like a kitchen, than anything else seemed to grow smaller. Another cot sat across from you with a simple end table between them.
Out from the shadows stepped the red eyed demon. He pulled his sword out and sat it on the counter, as the sound clanged threw the room. Slowly he took a place at the end of the bed causing it to squeak.
The fact that this thing that had tried to kill you sat at the end of your borrowed bed made your teeth chattered. He twisted his body to face you and Antonio stood up as if to let him have a better look at you. Reaching his hand across, he went to touch your face, but you drew back in fear.
“Please,” your bottom lip trembled like a child being scolded, “don’t hurt me.”
“No,” he shook his head, “you misunderstand. I didn’t know that…that Ludwig brought you here as payment.” His hand retreated, he looked almost guilty.
“I’m not payment.” You said harshly. “I have a life…I’m not property.”
“My dear,” the blond spoke, resting his hand carefully on your shoulder to not startle you. “In Dia-Talamh you are. You’re nothing more than a commodity to be bought and sold to the highest bidder.”
The beads of sweat pop from your forehead again and the hairs on the back of your neck stood. You found yourself in the grip of an unsettling awareness. Two things came to you in the space of a single heartbeat. You were at a clear disadvantage in this new land full of demons, monsters, and creatures.
The second was more heartbreaking than the first. There was no way to get home, and if there was, you certainly weren’t going to find it.
“Is she up now?” The little demon charged in and hopped on the bed. “You’re okay? I was worried.” His blue eyes softened as he scooted closer to you, to examine your face. Once the next thought found him, his blue eyes turned to small silts and he lowered his voice, “If that Ivan tries that again, I’ll…”
“You’ll do nothing.” Gilbert said, and heaved a sigh as he pulled him off the bed and placed him on the floor. “You’re a prince and if Arthur hears you talking like that, you’ll be sure to have an earful.” His voice was softer than before, not that suspicious and cocky German accent, almost as if he’d done a complete 360.
You licked your lips, prepared to question them all, but your tongue felt weighted and clumsy.
“Does Arthur know you ran off again, Peter?” Gilbert questioned him, and yanked him by the arm. “Come along and let her rest.” Grabbing his sword off the table, he slipped in back in his scabbard, as he bought the thrashing adolescent back. “Now, I’m a damn babysitter.”
“Don’t worry, (f/n)! I’ll save you!” Peter promised, digging his heels into to the floor, although it did no good.
“So, you’re from Earth? What part?” Asked, who you assumed was Francis. He sounded so hopeful and played with a coin that he rolled over his fingers. “I’m from Paris, or was.” Drawing in a breath, he looked down at the coin.
“Paris? How long have you been here?” You finally spoke, swallowing the dry lump in your throat. “And how?”
“I came here in 1936.” He smiled, letting you know that he must have heard it before, or at least assumed the obvious question would be asked. “I was about ten.”
“You…you look like you’re in your twenties.” You said, doing the math in your head. “You’re saying that you’re in your seventies?”
“Oui,” he grinned, and even found a chuckle to give. Holding out the coin, he dropped it into your hand. “This is all the proof I have, it’s from 1930.”
“After the last battle, they needed more cattle.” he said, narrowing his eyes at the word. “There are many from our world.”
“And you?” you looked over the coin, finding it hard to believe that he could have just found this laying around here. “Antonio, right?”
“Si, and no.” he shook his head, his hair that was in bad need of brushing bounced with the movement of his head. “I was born here.”
“I don’t understand.” You said, resting back on the bed. “How? How do you... how do they…how can…” clearly you couldn’t form a sentence.
“There is a long story about humans and demons. It wasn’t always like this you see, they once lived together, but there is always someone that doesn’t agree.” Francis said and took the coin back you held out.
“…get off the bed.” Someone cut you off before you could ask for a clearer explanation. “And get a bloody shirt on!”
Looking down, you blushed and covered yourself with your hands to hide your bra. “Where’s m-my shirt?”
“I had to check to see you were okay.” Francis chuckled and handed your shirt back over. A sly grin came to his lips. If you lived thru this demon coming to claim you, you might have to watch yourself around this guy.
It was Arthur from earlier and he didn’t look a bit glad about being here. You watched him as he looked over the kitchen, walking around to check and making sure everything was clean. A noticeable limp as he stopped in front of you.
To your surprise he didn’t have wings, just horns. In fact Gilbert and Ivan didn’t have them either. There must have been a reason.
His knee buckled, and he stumbled forward. Even with your injuries, you were quick to grab his shoulders and stop him from falling face first. Grumbling, he struggled to straighten himself out and winced at the pain.
His face flushed, as if the simple and kind gesture eluded him, and he brushed your hands away.
Looming over you like a buzzard on the dead, he finally spoke once he saw you weren’t going to fold into a ball, “come with me.” He motioned with his finger. Holding the door open he let you out first. With shaking knees, you stepped out into the hallway. He brushed past you and quickly started thru the hall.
He refused to look weak in front of you. That is how he got into this trouble in the first place.
Even with the pain, your body trudged on to keep up with him.
“Peter has taken a liking to you, and because I wish to not hear him throw a temper tantrum for the next millennium, I’ve got special plans for you.”