October 8, 2013 by Lyn
Hell Night Year 10
Directly after Outtake: Ceinwen
“I’m… I’m supposed to be yours, then?” The boy seemed to be considering the idea. Boy; he was probably not much younger than Ceinwen, but next to Thorburn he looked small. Of course, there were linebackers who looked small next to her former Keeper.
“Yes. Say that you’ll be mine for the rest of the school year, and everything else will resolve itself.” She felt like a heel. She felt worse than a heel. “Thorburn…”
“He was heading straight into the thing Judith and Silas have set up. He needs someone to protect him.”
“And you think that I should be the one? To protect him?”
“I think it probably shouldn’t be me. And you need someone who isn’t me.”
“You don’t get to decide what I need anymore.”
“No.” His voice had a strange note to it, as if the shadows were wrapping around his throat. “But I can worry about you.”
“Um.” The boy cleared his throat. “I don’t want to interrupt, but…”
“But you two need to save the Strained Romance crap for later.” Æowyn’s interjection sounded tense. “Can it, Thorburn. Hand over the kid and stop distracting Ceinwen; her shadows are faltering.”
“Oh, darn. You…” She pointed at the boy. “Come here, stand behind me. Thorburn, we’ll talk later.”
“You’ll take him as yours?”
“If he’ll say he’s mine, yes. And then you and I can discuss this.” She moved the unresistant object of their conversation behind her. “Sorry, I haven’t caught your name yet.”
“Nemo, all right. You’re mine now.”
She watched the shadows and light twist around her new Kept for a moment, seeing the way the Bond set in. He shook himself, clearly feeling something weird, and then seemed to brush it off as one more oddity of Addergoole. “Okay, what now?”
“Right now, we’re holding this corner of the school against – well, monsters.”
“Ceinwen’s ex excluded.”
“Thanks, Æo. Thorburn excluded. So stay behind me or near to it, and if one of the four of us tells you to be quiet, be quiet for a few minutes.”
“Can do. What are you doing, again?” He wasn’t a tall guy, and had to peer around her shoulder.
“Hell Night is hazing, more or less.” Ahouva had her eyes on the hall, but she answered, anyway, to give Ceinwen time to get her light back online. “We just provide a safe corner away from the craziness.”
“Is that why she’s armed?”
“I’m armed because some of the hazers don’t have a sense of humour.” Æowyn shifted her weapon – a crossbow – and sighted down the hall. “Sst, quiet.”
“Wh-” Nemo fell quiet, frowning. Ceinwen spared him enough of her attention to pat his arm, but someone was coming. Something like a hound baying, something like a demon screaming.
Someone was having way too much fun. She poured her energy into the light, pushing it out a few more inches. “Æo…?”
“Got it. Here they come. Ready?”
“Ready.” Kay bounced on the balls of her feet like a runner.
“Good. Three, two…”
The kid hit their light like he was diving into the water. Kay grabbed him and kept running, pulling him through the light, through the wall, and into another hall. Æowyn and Ahouva fell back next to Ceinwen, protecting her.
“Where did…” The snarl wasn’t human. It wasn’t trying for anything close to human, either.
“Gone.” Æowyn took point; of the four of them, she was the bravest. (Five, but Jovanna had other plans today). “They got caught by someone else.”
“I heard you were poaching today.”
“It’s not poaching.” That was Ahouva, surprisingly. “It’s only poaching if we walk up to your specific set-up and get into your scene, or if we’ve seen that you’re targeting someone and go out of our way to counter-target. Being in the hall on Hell Night is fair game.”
“Didn’t you turn into a little lawyer along the way. Did Basalt teach you that?”
“Thorburn, actually.” Ahouva surprised Ceinwen for the second time in as many minutes. “Move along. Nothing for you here.”
“That one looks tasty. You haven’t shuffled him off somewhere yet. Why not?”
Ceinwen raised her voice. “Because he’s mine.”
And now she was going to have to deal with that, wasn’t she? But her light made people’s eyes hurt, when she was feeling protective enough that it started to overwhelm her. She probably wouldn’t have to face a challenge until tomorrow, at least.
The snarl got lower, more like a purr. “All grown up, are you? We’ll be talking to you later, birdie.”
“I look forward to it.” It was a lie, but only a bit of one. She could do this being grown-up thing, somehow.
Later That Evening
“…and so that’s why when I told you to be quiet, you were, and when I told you to sit down, you did. The rest of it isn’t quite as cut-and-dried.”
“That part’s cut-and-dried?” Nemo was pacing back in forth in Ceinwen’s room, not looking at her – very pointedly looking at anything but her. “It’s magical mind-control and it’s the easy part of it?”
“And this is how your boyfriend thought you could help me?”
“He’s not my boyfriend. He’s… well, he was my Keeper last year.”
“Keeper. He had you in some sort of fucked up mind-control relationship, and now he got me to agree to the same thing for you?”
“He’s very persuasive.” It sounded pretty lame to her ears. She didn’t know how to deal with him being angry with her; she couldn’t blame him, but she wanted to shout back.
“Uh-hunh. I guess he must be, ‘cause here I am. Sitting here. Doing what you tell me to.”
“Whatever.” He turned to look at her – glare at her, really. “Christ! You’re cringing. Why are you cringing?”
“What? I’m not…” She was, she realized. She sat up straight and managed to look him in the eye. “I suppose I was.”
“Why? I’m not exactly intimidating.”
“You’re angry, you’re mine, and I don’t want to screw things up.”
“Oh. Wait, what?” He stared at her. “You’re cringing because I’m angry? I’m not going to do anything to you! Why would you think I would? Did that bastard…”
“Please, lower your voice.”
“Did that bastard hurt you?” He asked it in a hiss that was no less angry than his earlier shouts.
“No. But he Kept me. And now I’m Keeping you.”
“And that means…”
“It means whatever I decide I want it to mean, because it means you do what I tell you to, and nobody will argue with it.” She lifted her chin. “It can mean that you wear what I want you to and sleep where – and when – I tell you to, don’t leave the room without permission and don’t speak unless spoken to. It can mean I put you down until you think you’re not worth anything better.”
“No.” She chose to pretend the question was in regards to just the last part of her rant. “But others did.”
“…you can do all that?”
“I can.” She looked at him for a moment, while that sank in. “But I won’t.”
This was written to Kuro-Neko’s donation to my What I Want What You Want Fundraiser, and to the request for something showing (more of) Ceinwen in Year 10.
For every $5US donated, I will write 300 words on the character or situation of your choice. In addition, every donation will bring you to a small snippet of story – a new snippet every Wednesday! Want more?