A faint sound disturbed Ragnar’s dreams and drew him up towards wakefulness but before he fully shook of sleep something grabbed hold of him and yanked him back into the dream world. He struck out at his assailant, they were invisible in the dreamscape but as he hit home he had an impression of a black horse with flaming red eyes. A nightmare then? But why? He bore no ill will towards the fairies.
“Honoured fairy child,” he said formally even as he tried to slip back towards the real world. “Have I offended you somehow?”
She didn’t answer but her shadow wrapped around him stopping his escape, and he was vaguely aware that the sounds from the waking world were continuing. He sighed to himself.
“I don’t know why you are attacking me, Lady, but I don’t have time for this.” He summoned as much power as he could given that it must still be daylight and threw himself at where he thought she was. He was rewarded by a startled cry and he threw her to one side and shot back towards the waking world.
The sounds were still coming from upstairs and he lay still trying to work out what it was. After a moment he swore quietly to himself. Footsteps. The hunters must have found him and from the number of people he could make out they had brought back up. And given that the psychic boy had accepted help from a vampire perhaps not all that help was human. The nightmare must be in their employ at the very least.
Still Ragnar was ancient and intelligent and powerful even in the day. He could still win this, but he would need a weapon. Fast and strong he was, but he was also outnumbered. He reached under his bed and pulled out a long knife. The small space would be to his advantage as well, it would keep them all from attacking him at once.
He rose to his feet and headed to the cell door. He would meet them at the cellar stairs he didn’t want his precious girls being caught in the crossfire.
He did not realise that move was a mistake until the tall, abnormally long limbed man burst through the cellar door and knocked him down the stairs with one blow. He didn’t know what type of supernatural his assailant was but he shrugged off knife wounds easily. Not good – he hadn’t expected someone like this to be on the Order’s pay roll. He rolled free and then turned and kicked his assailant in the groin – as he had hoped that was still sensitive in this creature and the man staggered back with a cry but recovered quickly and leapt at him again.
Ragnar kicked at him again but Anna’s superior all but leapt over his attacker’s head, using his shoulder as if it was a vaulting horse and brought a rowan wood stake down hard towards his heart. Damn it! That woman was unbelievably agile. He managed to dodge but only just, then a honey blonde dhampir crashed into him from the side. He swore violently and rolled away from them all, he needed space to recover his footing and work out a strategy. If only it was not daylight… then he would show them. Could he hold out until sunset?
And where were the others? He was certain he had heard more than three people upstairs. His eyes widened in sudden realisation. They must be searching for another way down in order to steal his girls from him. He was not having that! He turned to run back into the cell and found an unfortunately familiar blonde vampire standing between him and it with a mocking, self-satisfied smile on her face.
“You!” he took a step back and swallowed. This was not good.
“Me,” she agreed cheerfully. “Never a pleasure, Ragnar, but I am going to enjoy kicking your ass. Shall we dance?”
Â A/N: Book One of the Haventon Chronicles is nearly done. I’d be grateful if readers could take this quick survey. Especially peeps who contributed to the “Land of Myth” Campaign. Thanks.