Cold Heart Part 1

by Hercules@

Preface

When a young fairy named Reaper finds himself imprisoned in an icy wonderland with two of his enemies by an unknown threat. He finds himself playing a very dangerous game with a very old enemy who is a threat to all he holds dear.


Reaper awoke, the back of his head throbbing, fighting a wince he pressed a hand to the back of his dark brown hair there was a bump. Someone had taken him from behind. Was it luck or did his attacker know his regeneration abilities did not affect his skull? A failsafe in case he had proved too much of handle by the one who created him. Reaper scowled, thinking about him always put him in a worse mood. At least the damage wasn't too bad, thought Reaper moving his fingers, counting them and looking at them just to be sure. He glanced around him he was in a cell.

"Hello!" called a voice, Reaper looked over, there was another boy next to him, shorter and more slender, his raven hair tied back into a topknot, he wore a lot of white powder and rouge on his face but it was peeling off to the point where Reaper could see the yellow hue's of his skin. Seelie Court, Reaper realized, noting the other boys almond-shaped eyes and the smell of fresh grass and blooming flowers that wafted from his skin.

Also a noble, Reaper guessed by his brightly colored ivy vine pattern doublet covered by light green silk waistcoat and the slightly ruffled collar that surrounded his throat. He was shivering more than Reaper despite having more layers; definitely a spring fairie.

"Do you know who took us?" Reaper asked him noting the boy's lack of bump.

"You aren't one for manners." The spring fairie observed frowning. "Do you know who took us?" Reaper didn't have time to waste on pleasantries, as he said this he patted himself down scowling. They had in fact confiscated all of his weapons even the throwing knives strapped to his leg.

"Hey, Spring, you got any weapons?" he asked.

"No one in Seelie jurisdiction carries a blade without authority from the crown," the spring fairie informed him. Reaper had thought it an arrow in the dark. It was unusual for a noble to carry anything other than the occasional fancy dueling sword. They usually hired Oni, hulking figures with more than one horn growing out of their head, or even other Seelie Fairies to protect them.

Reaper blinked and looked around, taking in the surroundings, he was in a parlor room that looked like it was made entirely of ice and snow instead of the prison he was expecting. Reaper felt a chill run down his spine. No, not them, anyone but them, he thought, backing up and nearly tripping over two fur coats which lay on the floor. "At least they want us alive for now," Reaper mused aloud picking up the coat of soft polar bear fur.

"Unless the coat is poisoned," Spring said, eyeing it wearily.

"Survived an assassination attempt?" Reaper guessed.

"A few actually," Spring admitted.

"I doubt they'd go through all this trouble just to poison us," the death fairie remarked.

Spring sniffed the coat much to Reaper's amusement. "I don't smell like Foxglove. I can't smell lilies or anything like that," the Seelie faerie commented.

"Lilies are poison?" Reaper asked stunned.

"Some, many pretty flowers can be ground up into toxins," Spring explained pulling the coat over his tiny shivering body.

Reaper followed suit, he was used to the cold but that didn't mean he wanted to freeze to death. Trying not to stare at the patch of grass and the two flowers that had leaked from Spring's feet when he had gotten agitated. Then they heard a groan, another boy dressed in nothing but a grass loincloth. his skin burned dark as if he existed sorely in the sun's warm rays climbed off the white sofa the only thing not covered in ice. He was beaten up pretty badly spouting a black eye and bruising on his left cheek and blood dripping from a cut on his forehead. Someone had tried to fight back. Reaper noted. Obviously, Summer Court, seriously, what were those has-beens planning? Spring leapt up and ran to his side. The boy's powerful body tensed.

"Easy there, I'm not going to hurt you." The stocky fairie looked at Springs small frame in disbelief. Reaper held back a snicker. Summer looked like he could snap Spring in half with one of his huge hands. "May I tend your wound?" Spring asked him. Summer nodded the Seelie Court fairie ripped off a bit of his own expensive tunic and bandaged the gash. Reaper saw Spring's body twitch as his body absorbed a bit of the light Summer was giving off.

Spring jumped back and bowed. "Sorry!"

Summer chuckled, it was a booming sound. "It's fine. Spring fairies can't help but absorb our sunlight," he added.

"Normally, I'd introduce myself but my companion complicates things, please understand," Spring said.

The sudden change to formality told Reaper the Summer fairie was also nobility. "I understand why you would not speak in the presence of that thing," Summer spat.

"Why the hostility?" Reaper asked with mock defensiveness.

"Your people have reduced countless numbers of my fellow warriors to useless wrecks who flinch at shadows!" Summer spat.

"What did you expect, goose feather pillows and Irish whiskey?" Reaper snorted.

"An honorable execution," the Summer fairie retorted.

"Gentlemen, please," Spring got between the two of them.

Reaper gave his head a shake the Seelie courtier was right, now wasn't the time to let Summer get under his skin. Summer extended his hand and blasted a beam of sunlight at the wall, it melted away to reveal an iron wall. Reaper struggled not to flinch. Iron was poison to fairies, they burned at its touch. Summer fired up again and tried to blast through the wall but his magic didn't dent the walls. Summer swore. "It's no use this wall will act as a barrier even our magic can't break," Spring stated.

"If we're in a castle there might be a secret passageway," Reaper suggested.

"Yes, let's explore, follow me," Spring commanded, pushing to the front flowers sprouting up from his feet as he walked then withering just as quickly from the cold

"Seelie Court arrogance, right?" Reaper whispered winking.

"Don't try and befriend me, vermin," Summer sneered.

"Don't you get who's holding us?" Reaper pointed out, motioning to the ice.

"I thought your people killed all of the Winter faes," Summer protested.

"After the revolt, the bodies were too disassembled for an accurate estimate," Reaper responded.

Summer looked disgusted. "Could a survivor regain the Unseelie Throne?" he asked.

"No, Queen Mab established the succession based on trial by combat," Reaper responded.

"Are you King Dagda?" Summer asked him.

Reaper laughed loudly. Spring looked in his direction a startled expression on his face. Summer looked downright disbelieving. "I'm flattered you think I'm that regal," Reaper smirked.

"You're all common to me," Summer sniffed.

Reaper bristled, that smug brat dismissing Dagda like that, he'd love to give him the same treatment as his brethren but Summer fae were trained warriors, he'd need a small squad to take the other boy down. No, it was best to just kill this one but not until Reaper got some use out of him.

"You shouldn't be so impolite to our ally," Spring chided lightly. So the Seelie faerie meant to use him as well, Reaper mused. The three of them looked around the parlor. Spring rifled through the bookcase made of ice moving each book slowly. Reaper pulled the white pillows off the couch throwing them to the ground. Summer checked every inch of the floor carefully. By what they thought might be evening. The three of them sat on the white chair cold, exhausted and worst of all hungry.

"I feel like an Egui," Spring complained as his stomach growled.

"A what?" Summer asked.

"A hungry ghost." the Seelie Court fairie said simply.

"Well, go on, a story might take our minds off our bellies," Summer urged.

Not mine, Reaper thought, fear filling his chest. Spring weaved a tale about a greedy wife who tricked a monk and was cursed to wander the earth as a hungry ghost for her crimes. Of course, Seelie Court tales would have a moral somewhere in there, Reaper thought as he eyelids grew heavy.

Reaper awoke five seconds later to the feeling of something on his chest he looked over to see a shriveled looking woman with long tangled black hair her ribs stuck out and her eyes were ravenous, she was trying to slip into his skin. Reaper seized her by the throat and threw her off forcefully, the ghost hissed at him and lunged then screamed as Summer shot a sunbeam at her. She disappeared. Reaper felt a cold chill run through him as he stormed over and jerked Spring awake dragging him from his slumber. "I thought they were trapped in the afterlife! Either your story is shit or you called the damn thing here!" Reaper raged shaking him.

Summer stormed over and punched the Unseelie faerie in the face. Reaper lost what little restraint he had and soon the two of them were in a vicious brawl. Three minutes later with bruised and split lips Reaper sat down. "No more ghost stories just to be safe," he stated coolly.

Summer less bruised but equally sullen nodded his agreement. Spring furiously bound Summer's wounds. "Your both behaving like children," Spring lectured. Then laying down and turning on his side he snapped at Summer, "If you want to fight him don't use me as an excuse!"

The next day a bucket appeared also a plate with bread and water. Spring refused to touch the bread after finding a bit of mold on it. Summer split his own loaf in half. "Here," he offered.

"I shouldn't take your food." Spring looked ashamed of himself.

"We need to find how the food came in," Reaper suggested, all day they spent searching the room but to no avail.

"It's bad manners not even explaining anything to your captives," Spring huffed.

"It's cowardly, they should fight us one on one," Summer argued.

"They'd still win," Reaper said glumly as he used the bucket.

That night everyone was too discouraged to even tell stories.

---------------------------

Another day passed, Reaper woke up next to a head. At first, he was delighted until he turned it over and saw it was the head of the Unseelie soldier he had joked with a week ago it the same horned head and golden eyes. Trying to gather his composure he got up slowly only to feel something squishy under his foot; it was a clawed arm. Reaper looked down and saw to his utter horror he was standing in a pile of limbs, legs and an alligator-like torso, wings and all of them were familiar.

Reaper felt his throat clench up his heart pounded. No, no, no no! It had to be a trick, right? But he could smell a coppery scent and feel the heaviness of each body part. Reaper backed up tripping over a messy landfill of body parts he tumbled back, his seal skin tunic now stained with dark green liquid. Then he sees it a bloody severed head of red hair the crown of skulls still wrapped around his brow. Reaper squeezes his eyes shut heart pounding in his ears no no no no, no no not them...not them!

"Hey, hey!" The Unseelie faerie opens one eye and sees Summer's face.

"You okay?" the Summer fairie sounds troubled.

"Okay.....haven't you seen it?" Reaper chokes.

"What are you talking about?"

Reaper opened his eyes reaching furiously for a piece of his Court but he feels nothing looking down Reaper realizes there is nothing. The room was just playing with him. Reaper throws back his head and laughs. "I....have....to stop... them." He howls louder tears spill down his cheeks. An omen or a taunt he doesn't care he's getting out and then he's coming for every one of his captors. Spring puts a hand on his shaking shoulder and Reaper allows it this once.

"There's a game in my court, it's called coconut toss, but we can use this." Summer pulls a book from the shelf and tosses it toward Reaper, he catches it in one hand, some useless children's book about an old winter fey celebration. Summer's trying to distract him from troubling thoughts Reaper realizes in bewilderment as he hurls the book back with all his strength.

A few days later and Spring was trying to teach Summer meditation techniques from his court. "It'll relax your body and rid it of negative energy," he offered. Reaper who was in the middle of doing push-ups frowned inwardly. While Spring and Summer had formed a tentative alliance to deal with the Unseelie Court and Wild Hunt. The two Courts had never been united and often distrusted one another. A friendship between the two of them could change that. Reaper had to be sneaky about it though despite the show of compassion. Spring and Summer still didn't trust him.

Spring opens his eyes. "Wait, what if we wait for tonight and attack whoever brings our food?" he questioned.

"Why didn't I think of that?" Reaper berated himself.

"This room is messing with all of us," Spring reminds him.

"No more." Reaper's eyes glinted wickedly. As he motioned Summer to join them. "Now I've got a plan, here's what we're going to do." That night the three fairie boys lay in the darkness, Reaper reached out and pinched Spring's arm.

"I'm awake." the Seelie court fairie said with an edge of annoyance.

"Had to be sure," Reaper said innocently

"Keep it up," Summer warned.

"What are you, his mom? Spring isn't a helpless child." Reaper said.

Spring frowned but before the conversation could continue the wall started to glow. "That's your cue, Spring," Reaper hissed.

Spring jumped to his feet and waited as a door slowly appeared it opened to reveal four hunched creatures with the backs of lizards and the eyes of a bullfrog, they had three horns sprouting from their heads, and long talons. Reaper would have pegged them as some breed of snow goblin except they were way too tall. "Excuse me, you are our jailers, yes? I demand to speak with our captor at once!" Spring said crisply.

"You not 'posed to be awake," the first creature growled.

"How can anyone sleep in such conditions? I've had to bear hug both my rivals to stay warm." Spring said in a clipped tone.

Reaper and Summer quietly crept to their feet. "Look, your highness. Her imminence has treated you very well under the circumstances." the second warned.

Now, Summer punched one of the guards in the face. Reaper came at the second one who used his bony legs to leap straight over Reaper's head, bounced off the ceiling, and launched himself straight at the death fairie. Spring pushed him out of the way and took the blow straight in the chest and lay limply on the ground. The creature blanched. "Oh shit!" he exclaimed the other creatures stopped what they were doing minus the two tussling with Summer and hopped over to their comrade.

"Icy, you idiot, you didn't break his skin," the first sounded scared. "Prince, hey princy, please wakie," the creature called Icy begged, crawling forward and shaking who Reaper now knew to be Prince Angus, heir to the Spring Court who winked at him.

"Let me take a look," Reaper tried.

"Unseelie help Seelie?" asked the third.

"Unseelie doesn't want Seelie to die," the death fairie offered.

"Back up, I can't concentrate with you crowding me unless you want him to die." The creatures hopped back at least five feet. He pretended to check Spring while he saw Spring's fingers twitch against his own boot. Reaper reached into it and his hand closed around a dagger hidden in a silk stocking.

"Why Unseelie taking so long?" Reaper moved, slicing the creature's throat with one violent movement of his hand. The second hissed, talons out, and slashed Reaper's arm making him drop the knife. Then the creature fell forward as Spring smashed his high heeled shoe into the creature's skull over and over again until it stopped moving.

Summer gaped at him. "Where did you learn that?" he demanded

"My sister's ladies in waiting," Spring said.

"You sneaky little shit, you had a weapon the whole time," Reaper griped as he patted down the dead bodies.

"You weren't exactly forthcoming either, Reaper," Spring retorts.

It's the half skull face, isn't it?" The death fairie quipped.

Summer pulls against the door. it wouldn't open. Then one of the creatures groaned. "Good, a survivor." Reaper grabbed the still dazed creature by the shoulder and put Spring's knife to his throat. "Either you open the door or I demonstrate how to properly interrogate for my boys." Reaper smiles sharply.

"Only she can open door," the creature whimpers.

Our captor, Reaper thought, then he motioned the other two forward and drove his weapon straight into Summer's chest.

"No!" Spring and the creature cried out at the same time.

"Here that lady, Summer is going to bleed out!" Reaper shouted.

"What do you want?" a voice distinctly feminine but monotone echoed through the room.

"Uh....my freedom," Reaper said with irritation.

"I'd rather lock the doors permanently," The voice retorted.

"Stubborn, aren't you," Reaper said.

"I don't like to lose. " the women admitted.

"Okay then, an audience between you and me," the death fairie said crisply. Spring was on his hands and knees trying to stop Summer from bleeding to death.

"Fine, Snowdrift, take the Summer Prince, I'll have another guard escort you shortly, I promise." Reaper knew he had her none of their kind could break a promise without severe consequences. He allowed Snowdrift to pick up who he now knew was Prince Helios and carry him out once the door appeared. He had to restrain himself as Snowdrift carried Helios through.

"You...you!" Spring throws himself at him. Reaper realized he's never seen the Seelie Court fairie lose it, he pins him easily and presses the blade of Spring's own dagger against his cheek.

"Careful Spring, you wouldn't want to get cut, not with your delicate condition," Reaper taunts. "Tell me do your joints really swell up....from a single cut?" he asks eagerly.

"And to think I felt bad for you," Spring spat.

"It's not your fault your reaction is natural from what I've observed," Reaper says breezily. "Especially for those who leech off others," he added.

"How dare you!" Spring glares.

"Why? You lack strength and rely on others to protect you. If Summer wasn't so busy watching out for you. He would have seen that knife. You're nothing but a useless burden." Reaper paused. " How is someone who isn't strong enough to protect his ally, supposed to protect his people?" he asked, Spring's face crumpled in reaction to his words. The death fairie felt a thrill run through him, the fact it was the Seelie Court prince made it better. "Summer probably doesn't even like you, he just feels obligated because of his warrior's code," Reaper added.

Then the door appeared again and another of those same lizard creatures came in. Reaper flipped the knife expertly away from the Seelie fairie's face " See you later, Spring," he said following the guards out of the room and down the icy hallways.

This had better work or Reaper might very well end up dead or worse.

To be continued...................

Reaper awoke, the back of his head throbbing, fighting a wince he pressed a hand to the back of his dark brown hair there was a bump. Someone had taken him from behind. Was it luck or did his attacker know his regeneration abilities did not affect his skull? A failsafe in case he had proved too much of handle by the one who created him. Reaper scowled, thinking about him always put him in a worse mood. At least the damage wasn't too bad, thought Reaper moving his fingers, counting them and looking at them just to be sure. He glanced around him he was in a cell.

"Hello!" called a voice, Reaper looked over, there was another boy next to him, shorter and more slender, his raven hair tied back into a topknot, he wore a lot of white powder and rouge on his face but it was peeling off to the point where Reaper could see the yellow hue's of his skin. Seelie Court, Reaper realized, noting the other boys almond-shaped eyes and the smell of fresh grass and blooming flowers that wafted from his skin.

Also a noble, Reaper guessed by his brightly colored ivy vine pattern doublet covered by light green silk waistcoat and the slightly ruffled collar that surrounded his throat. He was shivering more than Reaper despite having more layers; definitely a spring fairie.

"Do you know who took us?" Reaper asked him noting the boy's lack of bump.

"You aren't one for manners." The spring fairie observed frowning. "Do you know who took us?" Reaper didn't have time to waste on pleasantries, as he said this he patted himself down scowling. They had in fact confiscated all of his weapons even the throwing knives strapped to his leg.

"Hey, Spring, you got any weapons?" he asked.

"No one in Seelie jurisdiction carries a blade without authority from the crown," the spring fairie informed him. Reaper had thought it an arrow in the dark. It was unusual for a noble to carry anything other than the occasional fancy dueling sword. They usually hired Oni, hulking figures with more than one horn growing out of their head, or even other Seelie Fairies to protect them.

Reaper blinked and looked around, taking in the surroundings, he was in a parlor room that looked like it was made entirely of ice and snow instead of the prison he was expecting. Reaper felt a chill run down his spine. No, not them, anyone but them, he thought, backing up and nearly tripping over two fur coats which lay on the floor. "At least they want us alive for now," Reaper mused aloud picking up the coat of soft polar bear fur.

"Unless the coat is poisoned," Spring said, eyeing it wearily.

"Survived an assassination attempt?" Reaper guessed.

"A few actually," Spring admitted.

"I doubt they'd go through all this trouble just to poison us," the death fairie remarked.

Spring sniffed the coat much to Reaper's amusement. "I don't smell like Foxglove. I can't smell lilies or anything like that," the Seelie faerie commented.

"Lilies are poison?" Reaper asked stunned.

"Some, many pretty flowers can be ground up into toxins," Spring explained pulling the coat over his tiny shivering body.

Reaper followed suit, he was used to the cold but that didn't mean he wanted to freeze to death. Trying not to stare at the patch of grass and the two flowers that had leaked from Spring's feet when he had gotten agitated. Then they heard a groan, another boy dressed in nothing but a grass loincloth. his skin burned dark as if he existed sorely in the sun's warm rays climbed off the white sofa the only thing not covered in ice. He was beaten up pretty badly spouting a black eye and bruising on his left cheek and blood dripping from a cut on his forehead. Someone had tried to fight back. Reaper noted. Obviously, Summer Court, seriously, what were those has-beens planning? Spring leapt up and ran to his side. The boy's powerful body tensed.

"Easy there, I'm not going to hurt you." The stocky fairie looked at Springs small frame in disbelief. Reaper held back a snicker. Summer looked like he could snap Spring in half with one of his huge hands. "May I tend your wound?" Spring asked him. Summer nodded the Seelie Court fairie ripped off a bit of his own expensive tunic and bandaged the gash. Reaper saw Spring's body twitch as his body absorbed a bit of the light Summer was giving off.

Spring jumped back and bowed. "Sorry!"

Summer chuckled, it was a booming sound. "It's fine. Spring fairies can't help but absorb our sunlight," he added.

"Normally, I'd introduce myself but my companion complicates things, please understand," Spring said.

The sudden change to formality told Reaper the Summer fairie was also nobility. "I understand why you would not speak in the presence of that thing," Summer spat.

"Why the hostility?" Reaper asked with mock defensiveness.

"Your people have reduced countless numbers of my fellow warriors to useless wrecks who flinch at shadows!" Summer spat.

"What did you expect, goose feather pillows and Irish whiskey?" Reaper snorted.

"An honorable execution," the Summer fairie retorted.

"Gentlemen, please," Spring got between the two of them.

Reaper gave his head a shake the Seelie courtier was right, now wasn't the time to let Summer get under his skin. Summer extended his hand and blasted a beam of sunlight at the wall, it melted away to reveal an iron wall. Reaper struggled not to flinch. Iron was poison to fairies, they burned at its touch. Summer fired up again and tried to blast through the wall but his magic didn't dent the walls. Summer swore. "It's no use this wall will act as a barrier even our magic can't break," Spring stated.

"If we're in a castle there might be a secret passageway," Reaper suggested.

"Yes, let's explore, follow me," Spring commanded, pushing to the front flowers sprouting up from his feet as he walked then withering just as quickly from the cold

"Seelie Court arrogance, right?" Reaper whispered winking.

"Don't try and befriend me, vermin," Summer sneered.

"Don't you get who's holding us?" Reaper pointed out, motioning to the ice.

"I thought your people killed all of the Winter faes," Summer protested.

"After the revolt, the bodies were too disassembled for an accurate estimate," Reaper responded.

Summer looked disgusted. "Could a survivor regain the Unseelie Throne?" he asked.

"No, Queen Mab established the succession based on trial by combat," Reaper responded.

"Are you King Dagda?" Summer asked him.

Reaper laughed loudly. Spring looked in his direction a startled expression on his face. Summer looked downright disbelieving. "I'm flattered you think I'm that regal," Reaper smirked.

"You're all common to me," Summer sniffed.

Reaper bristled, that smug brat dismissing Dagda like that, he'd love to give him the same treatment as his brethren but Summer fae were trained warriors, he'd need a small squad to take the other boy down. No, it was best to just kill this one but not until Reaper got some use out of him.

"You shouldn't be so impolite to our ally," Spring chided lightly. So the Seelie faerie meant to use him as well, Reaper mused. The three of them looked around the parlor. Spring rifled through the bookcase made of ice moving each book slowly. Reaper pulled the white pillows off the couch throwing them to the ground. Summer checked every inch of the floor carefully. By what they thought might be evening. The three of them sat on the white chair cold, exhausted and worst of all hungry.

"I feel like an Egui," Spring complained as his stomach growled.

"A what?" Summer asked.

"A hungry ghost." the Seelie Court fairie said simply.

"Well, go on, a story might take our minds off our bellies," Summer urged.

Not mine, Reaper thought, fear filling his chest. Spring weaved a tale about a greedy wife who tricked a monk and was cursed to wander the earth as a hungry ghost for her crimes. Of course, Seelie Court tales would have a moral somewhere in there, Reaper thought as he eyelids grew heavy.

Reaper awoke five seconds later to the feeling of something on his chest he looked over to see a shriveled looking woman with long tangled black hair her ribs stuck out and her eyes were ravenous, she was trying to slip into his skin. Reaper seized her by the throat and threw her off forcefully, the ghost hissed at him and lunged then screamed as Summer shot a sunbeam at her. She disappeared. Reaper felt a cold chill run through him as he stormed over and jerked Spring awake dragging him from his slumber. "I thought they were trapped in the afterlife! Either your story is shit or you called the damn thing here!" Reaper raged shaking him.

Summer stormed over and punched the Unseelie faerie in the face. Reaper lost what little restraint he had and soon the two of them were in a vicious brawl. Three minutes later with bruised and split lips Reaper sat down. "No more ghost stories just to be safe," he stated coolly.

Summer less bruised but equally sullen nodded his agreement. Spring furiously bound Summer's wounds. "Your both behaving like children," Spring lectured. Then laying down and turning on his side he snapped at Summer, "If you want to fight him don't use me as an excuse!"

The next day a bucket appeared also a plate with bread and water. Spring refused to touch the bread after finding a bit of mold on it. Summer split his own loaf in half. "Here," he offered.

"I shouldn't take your food." Spring looked ashamed of himself.

"We need to find how the food came in," Reaper suggested, all day they spent searching the room but to no avail.

"It's bad manners not even explaining anything to your captives," Spring huffed.

"It's cowardly, they should fight us one on one," Summer argued.

"They'd still win," Reaper said glumly as he used the bucket.

That night everyone was too discouraged to even tell stories.

---------------------------

Another day passed, Reaper woke up next to a head. At first, he was delighted until he turned it over and saw it was the head of the Unseelie soldier he had joked with a week ago it the same horned head and golden eyes. Trying to gather his composure he got up slowly only to feel something squishy under his foot; it was a clawed arm. Reaper looked down and saw to his utter horror he was standing in a pile of limbs, legs and an alligator-like torso, wings and all of them were familiar.

Reaper felt his throat clench up his heart pounded. No, no, no no! It had to be a trick, right? But he could smell a coppery scent and feel the heaviness of each body part. Reaper backed up tripping over a messy landfill of body parts he tumbled back, his seal skin tunic now stained with dark green liquid. Then he sees it a bloody severed head of red hair the crown of skulls still wrapped around his brow. Reaper squeezes his eyes shut heart pounding in his ears no no no no, no no not them...not them!

"Hey, hey!" The Unseelie faerie opens one eye and sees Summer's face.

"You okay?" the Summer fairie sounds troubled.

"Okay.....haven't you seen it?" Reaper chokes.

"What are you talking about?"

Reaper opened his eyes reaching furiously for a piece of his Court but he feels nothing looking down Reaper realizes there is nothing. The room was just playing with him. Reaper throws back his head and laughs. "I....have....to stop... them." He howls louder tears spill down his cheeks. An omen or a taunt he doesn't care he's getting out and then he's coming for every one of his captors. Spring puts a hand on his shaking shoulder and Reaper allows it this once.

"There's a game in my court, it's called coconut toss, but we can use this." Summer pulls a book from the shelf and tosses it toward Reaper, he catches it in one hand, some useless children's book about an old winter fey celebration. Summer's trying to distract him from troubling thoughts Reaper realizes in bewilderment as he hurls the book back with all his strength.

A few days later and Spring was trying to teach Summer meditation techniques from his court. "It'll relax your body and rid it of negative energy," he offered. Reaper who was in the middle of doing push-ups frowned inwardly. While Spring and Summer had formed a tentative alliance to deal with the Unseelie Court and Wild Hunt. The two Courts had never been united and often distrusted one another. A friendship between the two of them could change that. Reaper had to be sneaky about it though despite the show of compassion. Spring and Summer still didn't trust him.

Spring opens his eyes. "Wait, what if we wait for tonight and attack whoever brings our food?" he questioned.

"Why didn't I think of that?" Reaper berated himself.

"This room is messing with all of us," Spring reminds him.

"No more." Reaper's eyes glinted wickedly. As he motioned Summer to join them. "Now I've got a plan, here's what we're going to do." That night the three fairie boys lay in the darkness, Reaper reached out and pinched Spring's arm.

"I'm awake." the Seelie court fairie said with an edge of annoyance.

"Had to be sure," Reaper said innocently

"Keep it up," Summer warned.

"What are you, his mom? Spring isn't a helpless child." Reaper said.

Spring frowned but before the conversation could continue the wall started to glow. "That's your cue, Spring," Reaper hissed.

Spring jumped to his feet and waited as a door slowly appeared it opened to reveal four hunched creatures with the backs of lizards and the eyes of a bullfrog, they had three horns sprouting from their heads, and long talons. Reaper would have pegged them as some breed of snow goblin except they were way too tall. "Excuse me, you are our jailers, yes? I demand to speak with our captor at once!" Spring said crisply.

"You not 'posed to be awake," the first creature growled.

"How can anyone sleep in such conditions? I've had to bear hug both my rivals to stay warm." Spring said in a clipped tone.

Reaper and Summer quietly crept to their feet. "Look, your highness. Her imminence has treated you very well under the circumstances." the second warned.

Now, Summer punched one of the guards in the face. Reaper came at the second one who used his bony legs to leap straight over Reaper's head, bounced off the ceiling, and launched himself straight at the death fairie. Spring pushed him out of the way and took the blow straight in the chest and lay limply on the ground. The creature blanched. "Oh shit!" he exclaimed the other creatures stopped what they were doing minus the two tussling with Summer and hopped over to their comrade.

"Icy, you idiot, you didn't break his skin," the first sounded scared. "Prince, hey princy, please wakie," the creature called Icy begged, crawling forward and shaking who Reaper now knew to be Prince Angus, heir to the Spring Court who winked at him.

"Let me take a look," Reaper tried.

"Unseelie help Seelie?" asked the third.

"Unseelie doesn't want Seelie to die," the death fairie offered.

"Back up, I can't concentrate with you crowding me unless you want him to die." The creatures hopped back at least five feet. He pretended to check Spring while he saw Spring's fingers twitch against his own boot. Reaper reached into it and his hand closed around a dagger hidden in a silk stocking.

"Why Unseelie taking so long?" Reaper moved, slicing the creature's throat with one violent movement of his hand. The second hissed, talons out, and slashed Reaper's arm making him drop the knife. Then the creature fell forward as Spring smashed his high heeled shoe into the creature's skull over and over again until it stopped moving.

Summer gaped at him. "Where did you learn that?" he demanded

"My sister's ladies in waiting," Spring said.

"You sneaky little shit, you had a weapon the whole time," Reaper griped as he patted down the dead bodies.

"You weren't exactly forthcoming either, Reaper," Spring retorts.

It's the half skull face, isn't it?" The death fairie quipped.

Summer pulls against the door. it wouldn't open. Then one of the creatures groaned. "Good, a survivor." Reaper grabbed the still dazed creature by the shoulder and put Spring's knife to his throat. "Either you open the door or I demonstrate how to properly interrogate for my boys." Reaper smiles sharply.

"Only she can open door," the creature whimpers.

Our captor, Reaper thought, then he motioned the other two forward and drove his weapon straight into Summer's chest.

"No!" Spring and the creature cried out at the same time.

"Here that lady, Summer is going to bleed out!" Reaper shouted.

"What do you want?" a voice distinctly feminine but monotone echoed through the room.

"Uh....my freedom," Reaper said with irritation.

"I'd rather lock the doors permanently," The voice retorted.

"Stubborn, aren't you," Reaper said.

"I don't like to lose. " the women admitted.

"Okay then, an audience between you and me," the death fairie said crisply. Spring was on his hands and knees trying to stop Summer from bleeding to death.

"Fine, Snowdrift, take the Summer Prince, I'll have another guard escort you shortly, I promise." Reaper knew he had her none of their kind could break a promise without severe consequences. He allowed Snowdrift to pick up who he now knew was Prince Helios and carry him out once the door appeared. He had to restrain himself as Snowdrift carried Helios through.

"You...you!" Spring throws himself at him. Reaper realized he's never seen the Seelie Court fairie lose it, he pins him easily and presses the blade of Spring's own dagger against his cheek.

"Careful Spring, you wouldn't want to get cut, not with your delicate condition," Reaper taunts. "Tell me do your joints really swell up....from a single cut?" he asks eagerly.

"And to think I felt bad for you," Spring spat.

"It's not your fault your reaction is natural from what I've observed," Reaper says breezily. "Especially for those who leech off others," he added.

"How dare you!" Spring glares.

"Why? You lack strength and rely on others to protect you. If Summer wasn't so busy watching out for you. He would have seen that knife. You're nothing but a useless burden." Reaper paused. " How is someone who isn't strong enough to protect his ally, supposed to protect his people?" he asked, Spring's face crumpled in reaction to his words. The death fairie felt a thrill run through him, the fact it was the Seelie Court prince made it better. "Summer probably doesn't even like you, he just feels obligated because of his warrior's code," Reaper added.

Then the door appeared again and another of those same lizard creatures came in. Reaper flipped the knife expertly away from the Seelie fairie's face " See you later, Spring," he said following the guards out of the room and down the icy hallways.

This had better work or Reaper might very well end up dead or worse.

To be continued...................

Reaper awoke, the back of his head throbbing, fighting a wince he pressed a hand to the back of his dark brown hair there was a bump. Someone had taken him from behind. Was it luck or did his attacker know his regeneration abilities did not affect his skull? A failsafe in case he had proved too much of handle by the one who created him. Reaper scowled, thinking about him always put him in a worse mood. At least the damage wasn't too bad, thought Reaper moving his fingers, counting them and looking at them just to be sure. He glanced around him he was in a cell.

"Hello!" called a voice, Reaper looked over, there was another boy next to him, shorter and more slender, his raven hair tied back into a topknot, he wore a lot of white powder and rouge on his face but it was peeling off to the point where Reaper could see the yellow hue's of his skin. Seelie Court, Reaper realized, noting the other boys almond-shaped eyes and the smell of fresh grass and blooming flowers that wafted from his skin.

Also a noble, Reaper guessed by his brightly colored ivy vine pattern doublet covered by light green silk waistcoat and the slightly ruffled collar that surrounded his throat. He was shivering more than Reaper despite having more layers; definitely a spring fairie.

"Do you know who took us?" Reaper asked him noting the boy's lack of bump.

"You aren't one for manners." The spring fairie observed frowning. "Do you know who took us?" Reaper didn't have time to waste on pleasantries, as he said this he patted himself down scowling. They had in fact confiscated all of his weapons even the throwing knives strapped to his leg.

"Hey, Spring, you got any weapons?" he asked.

"No one in Seelie jurisdiction carries a blade without authority from the crown," the spring fairie informed him. Reaper had thought it an arrow in the dark. It was unusual for a noble to carry anything other than the occasional fancy dueling sword. They usually hired Oni, hulking figures with more than one horn growing out of their head, or even other Seelie Fairies to protect them.

Reaper blinked and looked around, taking in the surroundings, he was in a parlor room that looked like it was made entirely of ice and snow instead of the prison he was expecting. Reaper felt a chill run down his spine. No, not them, anyone but them, he thought, backing up and nearly tripping over two fur coats which lay on the floor. "At least they want us alive for now," Reaper mused aloud picking up the coat of soft polar bear fur.

"Unless the coat is poisoned," Spring said, eyeing it wearily.

"Survived an assassination attempt?" Reaper guessed.

"A few actually," Spring admitted.

"I doubt they'd go through all this trouble just to poison us," the death fairie remarked.

Spring sniffed the coat much to Reaper's amusement. "I don't smell like Foxglove. I can't smell lilies or anything like that," the Seelie faerie commented.

"Lilies are poison?" Reaper asked stunned.

"Some, many pretty flowers can be ground up into toxins," Spring explained pulling the coat over his tiny shivering body.

Reaper followed suit, he was used to the cold but that didn't mean he wanted to freeze to death. Trying not to stare at the patch of grass and the two flowers that had leaked from Spring's feet when he had gotten agitated. Then they heard a groan, another boy dressed in nothing but a grass loincloth. his skin burned dark as if he existed sorely in the sun's warm rays climbed off the white sofa the only thing not covered in ice. He was beaten up pretty badly spouting a black eye and bruising on his left cheek and blood dripping from a cut on his forehead. Someone had tried to fight back. Reaper noted. Obviously, Summer Court, seriously, what were those has-beens planning? Spring leapt up and ran to his side. The boy's powerful body tensed.

"Easy there, I'm not going to hurt you." The stocky fairie looked at Springs small frame in disbelief. Reaper held back a snicker. Summer looked like he could snap Spring in half with one of his huge hands. "May I tend your wound?" Spring asked him. Summer nodded the Seelie Court fairie ripped off a bit of his own expensive tunic and bandaged the gash. Reaper saw Spring's body twitch as his body absorbed a bit of the light Summer was giving off.

Spring jumped back and bowed. "Sorry!"

Summer chuckled, it was a booming sound. "It's fine. Spring fairies can't help but absorb our sunlight," he added.

"Normally, I'd introduce myself but my companion complicates things, please understand," Spring said.

The sudden change to formality told Reaper the Summer fairie was also nobility. "I understand why you would not speak in the presence of that thing," Summer spat.

"Why the hostility?" Reaper asked with mock defensiveness.

"Your people have reduced countless numbers of my fellow warriors to useless wrecks who flinch at shadows!" Summer spat.

"What did you expect, goose feather pillows and Irish whiskey?" Reaper snorted.

"An honorable execution," the Summer fairie retorted.

"Gentlemen, please," Spring got between the two of them.

Reaper gave his head a shake the Seelie courtier was right, now wasn't the time to let Summer get under his skin. Summer extended his hand and blasted a beam of sunlight at the wall, it melted away to reveal an iron wall. Reaper struggled not to flinch. Iron was poison to fairies, they burned at its touch. Summer fired up again and tried to blast through the wall but his magic didn't dent the walls. Summer swore. "It's no use this wall will act as a barrier even our magic can't break," Spring stated.

"If we're in a castle there might be a secret passageway," Reaper suggested.

"Yes, let's explore, follow me," Spring commanded, pushing to the front flowers sprouting up from his feet as he walked then withering just as quickly from the cold

"Seelie Court arrogance, right?" Reaper whispered winking.

"Don't try and befriend me, vermin," Summer sneered.

"Don't you get who's holding us?" Reaper pointed out, motioning to the ice.

"I thought your people killed all of the Winter faes," Summer protested.

"After the revolt, the bodies were too disassembled for an accurate estimate," Reaper responded.

Summer looked disgusted. "Could a survivor regain the Unseelie Throne?" he asked.

"No, Queen Mab established the succession based on trial by combat," Reaper responded.

"Are you King Dagda?" Summer asked him.

Reaper laughed loudly. Spring looked in his direction a startled expression on his face. Summer looked downright disbelieving. "I'm flattered you think I'm that regal," Reaper smirked.

"You're all common to me," Summer sniffed.

Reaper bristled, that smug brat dismissing Dagda like that, he'd love to give him the same treatment as his brethren but Summer fae were trained warriors, he'd need a small squad to take the other boy down. No, it was best to just kill this one but not until Reaper got some use out of him.

"You shouldn't be so impolite to our ally," Spring chided lightly. So the Seelie faerie meant to use him as well, Reaper mused. The three of them looked around the parlor. Spring rifled through the bookcase made of ice moving each book slowly. Reaper pulled the white pillows off the couch throwing them to the ground. Summer checked every inch of the floor carefully. By what they thought might be evening. The three of them sat on the white chair cold, exhausted and worst of all hungry.

"I feel like an Egui," Spring complained as his stomach growled.

"A what?" Summer asked.

"A hungry ghost." the Seelie Court fairie said simply.

"Well, go on, a story might take our minds off our bellies," Summer urged.

Not mine, Reaper thought, fear filling his chest. Spring weaved a tale about a greedy wife who tricked a monk and was cursed to wander the earth as a hungry ghost for her crimes. Of course, Seelie Court tales would have a moral somewhere in there, Reaper thought as he eyelids grew heavy.

Reaper awoke five seconds later to the feeling of something on his chest he looked over to see a shriveled looking woman with long tangled black hair her ribs stuck out and her eyes were ravenous, she was trying to slip into his skin. Reaper seized her by the throat and threw her off forcefully, the ghost hissed at him and lunged then screamed as Summer shot a sunbeam at her. She disappeared. Reaper felt a cold chill run through him as he stormed over and jerked Spring awake dragging him from his slumber. "I thought they were trapped in the afterlife! Either your story is shit or you called the damn thing here!" Reaper raged shaking him.

Summer stormed over and punched the Unseelie faerie in the face. Reaper lost what little restraint he had and soon the two of them were in a vicious brawl. Three minutes later with bruised and split lips Reaper sat down. "No more ghost stories just to be safe," he stated coolly.

Summer less bruised but equally sullen nodded his agreement. Spring furiously bound Summer's wounds. "Your both behaving like children," Spring lectured. Then laying down and turning on his side he snapped at Summer, "If you want to fight him don't use me as an excuse!"

The next day a bucket appeared also a plate with bread and water. Spring refused to touch the bread after finding a bit of mold on it. Summer split his own loaf in half. "Here," he offered.

"I shouldn't take your food." Spring looked ashamed of himself.

"We need to find how the food came in," Reaper suggested, all day they spent searching the room but to no avail.

"It's bad manners not even explaining anything to your captives," Spring huffed.

"It's cowardly, they should fight us one on one," Summer argued.

"They'd still win," Reaper said glumly as he used the bucket.

That night everyone was too discouraged to even tell stories.

---------------------------

Another day passed, Reaper woke up next to a head. At first, he was delighted until he turned it over and saw it was the head of the Unseelie soldier he had joked with a week ago it the same horned head and golden eyes. Trying to gather his composure he got up slowly only to feel something squishy under his foot; it was a clawed arm. Reaper looked down and saw to his utter horror he was standing in a pile of limbs, legs and an alligator-like torso, wings and all of them were familiar.

Reaper felt his throat clench up his heart pounded. No, no, no no! It had to be a trick, right? But he could smell a coppery scent and feel the heaviness of each body part. Reaper backed up tripping over a messy landfill of body parts he tumbled back, his seal skin tunic now stained with dark green liquid. Then he sees it a bloody severed head of red hair the crown of skulls still wrapped around his brow. Reaper squeezes his eyes shut heart pounding in his ears no no no no, no no not them...not them!

"Hey, hey!" The Unseelie faerie opens one eye and sees Summer's face.

"You okay?" the Summer fairie sounds troubled.

"Okay.....haven't you seen it?" Reaper chokes.

"What are you talking about?"

Reaper opened his eyes reaching furiously for a piece of his Court but he feels nothing looking down Reaper realizes there is nothing. The room was just playing with him. Reaper throws back his head and laughs. "I....have....to stop... them." He howls louder tears spill down his cheeks. An omen or a taunt he doesn't care he's getting out and then he's coming for every one of his captors. Spring puts a hand on his shaking shoulder and Reaper allows it this once.

"There's a game in my court, it's called coconut toss, but we can use this." Summer pulls a book from the shelf and tosses it toward Reaper, he catches it in one hand, some useless children's book about an old winter fey celebration. Summer's trying to distract him from troubling thoughts Reaper realizes in bewilderment as he hurls the book back with all his strength.

A few days later and Spring was trying to teach Summer meditation techniques from his court. "It'll relax your body and rid it of negative energy," he offered. Reaper who was in the middle of doing push-ups frowned inwardly. While Spring and Summer had formed a tentative alliance to deal with the Unseelie Court and Wild Hunt. The two Courts had never been united and often distrusted one another. A friendship between the two of them could change that. Reaper had to be sneaky about it though despite the show of compassion. Spring and Summer still didn't trust him.

Spring opens his eyes. "Wait, what if we wait for tonight and attack whoever brings our food?" he questioned.

"Why didn't I think of that?" Reaper berated himself.

"This room is messing with all of us," Spring reminds him.

"No more." Reaper's eyes glinted wickedly. As he motioned Summer to join them. "Now I've got a plan, here's what we're going to do." That night the three fairie boys lay in the darkness, Reaper reached out and pinched Spring's arm.

"I'm awake." the Seelie court fairie said with an edge of annoyance.

"Had to be sure," Reaper said innocently

"Keep it up," Summer warned.

"What are you, his mom? Spring isn't a helpless child." Reaper said.

Spring frowned but before the conversation could continue the wall started to glow. "That's your cue, Spring," Reaper hissed.

Spring jumped to his feet and waited as a door slowly appeared it opened to reveal four hunched creatures with the backs of lizards and the eyes of a bullfrog, they had three horns sprouting from their heads, and long talons. Reaper would have pegged them as some breed of snow goblin except they were way too tall. "Excuse me, you are our jailers, yes? I demand to speak with our captor at once!" Spring said crisply.

"You not 'posed to be awake," the first creature growled.

"How can anyone sleep in such conditions? I've had to bear hug both my rivals to stay warm." Spring said in a clipped tone.

Reaper and Summer quietly crept to their feet. "Look, your highness. Her imminence has treated you very well under the circumstances." the second warned.

Now, Summer punched one of the guards in the face. Reaper came at the second one who used his bony legs to leap straight over Reaper's head, bounced off the ceiling, and launched himself straight at the death fairie. Spring pushed him out of the way and took the blow straight in the chest and lay limply on the ground. The creature blanched. "Oh shit!" he exclaimed the other creatures stopped what they were doing minus the two tussling with Summer and hopped over to their comrade.

"Icy, you idiot, you didn't break his skin," the first sounded scared. "Prince, hey princy, please wakie," the creature called Icy begged, crawling forward and shaking who Reaper now knew to be Prince Angus, heir to the Spring Court who winked at him.

"Let me take a look," Reaper tried.

"Unseelie help Seelie?" asked the third.

"Unseelie doesn't want Seelie to die," the death fairie offered.

"Back up, I can't concentrate with you crowding me unless you want him to die." The creatures hopped back at least five feet. He pretended to check Spring while he saw Spring's fingers twitch against his own boot. Reaper reached into it and his hand closed around a dagger hidden in a silk stocking.

"Why Unseelie taking so long?" Reaper moved, slicing the creature's throat with one violent movement of his hand. The second hissed, talons out, and slashed Reaper's arm making him drop the knife. Then the creature fell forward as Spring smashed his high heeled shoe into the creature's skull over and over again until it stopped moving.

Summer gaped at him. "Where did you learn that?" he demanded

"My sister's ladies in waiting," Spring said.

"You sneaky little shit, you had a weapon the whole time," Reaper griped as he patted down the dead bodies.

"You weren't exactly forthcoming either, Reaper," Spring retorts.

It's the half skull face, isn't it?" The death fairie quipped.

Summer pulls against the door. it wouldn't open. Then one of the creatures groaned. "Good, a survivor." Reaper grabbed the still dazed creature by the shoulder and put Spring's knife to his throat. "Either you open the door or I demonstrate how to properly interrogate for my boys." Reaper smiles sharply.

"Only she can open door," the creature whimpers.

Our captor, Reaper thought, then he motioned the other two forward and drove his weapon straight into Summer's chest.

"No!" Spring and the creature cried out at the same time.

"Here that lady, Summer is going to bleed out!" Reaper shouted.

"What do you want?" a voice distinctly feminine but monotone echoed through the room.

"Uh....my freedom," Reaper said with irritation.

"I'd rather lock the doors permanently," The voice retorted.

"Stubborn, aren't you," Reaper said.

"I don't like to lose. " the women admitted.

"Okay then, an audience between you and me," the death fairie said crisply. Spring was on his hands and knees trying to stop Summer from bleeding to death.

"Fine, Snowdrift, take the Summer Prince, I'll have another guard escort you shortly, I promise." Reaper knew he had her none of their kind could break a promise without severe consequences. He allowed Snowdrift to pick up who he now knew was Prince Helios and carry him out once the door appeared. He had to restrain himself as Snowdrift carried Helios through.

"You...you!" Spring throws himself at him. Reaper realized he's never seen the Seelie Court fairie lose it, he pins him easily and presses the blade of Spring's own dagger against his cheek.

"Careful Spring, you wouldn't want to get cut, not with your delicate condition," Reaper taunts. "Tell me do your joints really swell up....from a single cut?" he asks eagerly.

"And to think I felt bad for you," Spring spat.

"It's not your fault your reaction is natural from what I've observed," Reaper says breezily. "Especially for those who leech off others," he added.

"How dare you!" Spring glares.

"Why? You lack strength and rely on others to protect you. If Summer wasn't so busy watching out for you. He would have seen that knife. You're nothing but a useless burden." Reaper paused. " How is someone who isn't strong enough to protect his ally, supposed to protect his people?" he asked, Spring's face crumpled in reaction to his words. The death fairie felt a thrill run through him, the fact it was the Seelie Court prince made it better. "Summer probably doesn't even like you, he just feels obligated because of his warrior's code," Reaper added.

Then the door appeared again and another of those same lizard creatures came in. Reaper flipped the knife expertly away from the Seelie fairie's face " See you later, Spring," he said following the guards out of the room and down the icy hallways.

This had better work or Reaper might very well end up dead or worse.

To be continued...................

Reaper awoke, the back of his head throbbing, fighting a wince he pressed a hand to the back of his dark brown hair there was a bump. Someone had taken him from behind. Was it luck or did his attacker know his regeneration abilities did not affect his skull? A failsafe in case he had proved too much of handle by the one who created him. Reaper scowled, thinking about him always put him in a worse mood. At least the damage wasn't too bad, thought Reaper moving his fingers, counting them and looking at them just to be sure. He glanced around him he was in a cell.

"Hello!" called a voice, Reaper looked over, there was another boy next to him, shorter and more slender, his raven hair tied back into a topknot, he wore a lot of white powder and rouge on his face but it was peeling off to the point where Reaper could see the yellow hue's of his skin. Seelie Court, Reaper realized, noting the other boys almond-shaped eyes and the smell of fresh grass and blooming flowers that wafted from his skin.

Also a noble, Reaper guessed by his brightly colored ivy vine pattern doublet covered by light green silk waistcoat and the slightly ruffled collar that surrounded his throat. He was shivering more than Reaper despite having more layers; definitely a spring fairie.

"Do you know who took us?" Reaper asked him noting the boy's lack of bump.

"You aren't one for manners." The spring fairie observed frowning. "Do you know who took us?" Reaper didn't have time to waste on pleasantries, as he said this he patted himself down scowling. They had in fact confiscated all of his weapons even the throwing knives strapped to his leg.

"Hey, Spring, you got any weapons?" he asked.

"No one in Seelie jurisdiction carries a blade without authority from the crown," the spring fairie informed him. Reaper had thought it an arrow in the dark. It was unusual for a noble to carry anything other than the occasional fancy dueling sword. They usually hired Oni, hulking figures with more than one horn growing out of their head, or even other Seelie Fairies to protect them.

Reaper blinked and looked around, taking in the surroundings, he was in a parlor room that looked like it was made entirely of ice and snow instead of the prison he was expecting. Reaper felt a chill run down his spine. No, not them, anyone but them, he thought, backing up and nearly tripping over two fur coats which lay on the floor. "At least they want us alive for now," Reaper mused aloud picking up the coat of soft polar bear fur.

"Unless the coat is poisoned," Spring said, eyeing it wearily.

"Survived an assassination attempt?" Reaper guessed.

"A few actually," Spring admitted.

"I doubt they'd go through all this trouble just to poison us," the death fairie remarked.

Spring sniffed the coat much to Reaper's amusement. "I don't smell like Foxglove. I can't smell lilies or anything like that," the Seelie faerie commented.

"Lilies are poison?" Reaper asked stunned.

"Some, many pretty flowers can be ground up into toxins," Spring explained pulling the coat over his tiny shivering body.

Reaper followed suit, he was used to the cold but that didn't mean he wanted to freeze to death. Trying not to stare at the patch of grass and the two flowers that had leaked from Spring's feet when he had gotten agitated. Then they heard a groan, another boy dressed in nothing but a grass loincloth. his skin burned dark as if he existed sorely in the sun's warm rays climbed off the white sofa the only thing not covered in ice. He was beaten up pretty badly spouting a black eye and bruising on his left cheek and blood dripping from a cut on his forehead. Someone had tried to fight back. Reaper noted. Obviously, Summer Court, seriously, what were those has-beens planning? Spring leapt up and ran to his side. The boy's powerful body tensed.

"Easy there, I'm not going to hurt you." The stocky fairie looked at Springs small frame in disbelief. Reaper held back a snicker. Summer looked like he could snap Spring in half with one of his huge hands. "May I tend your wound?" Spring asked him. Summer nodded the Seelie Court fairie ripped off a bit of his own expensive tunic and bandaged the gash. Reaper saw Spring's body twitch as his body absorbed a bit of the light Summer was giving off.

Spring jumped back and bowed. "Sorry!"

Summer chuckled, it was a booming sound. "It's fine. Spring fairies can't help but absorb our sunlight," he added.

"Normally, I'd introduce myself but my companion complicates things, please understand," Spring said.

The sudden change to formality told Reaper the Summer fairie was also nobility. "I understand why you would not speak in the presence of that thing," Summer spat.

"Why the hostility?" Reaper asked with mock defensiveness.

"Your people have reduced countless numbers of my fellow warriors to useless wrecks who flinch at shadows!" Summer spat.

"What did you expect, goose feather pillows and Irish whiskey?" Reaper snorted.

"An honorable execution," the Summer fairie retorted.

"Gentlemen, please," Spring got between the two of them.

Reaper gave his head a shake the Seelie courtier was right, now wasn't the time to let Summer get under his skin. Summer extended his hand and blasted a beam of sunlight at the wall, it melted away to reveal an iron wall. Reaper struggled not to flinch. Iron was poison to fairies, they burned at its touch. Summer fired up again and tried to blast through the wall but his magic didn't dent the walls. Summer swore. "It's no use this wall will act as a barrier even our magic can't break," Spring stated.

"If we're in a castle there might be a secret passageway," Reaper suggested.

"Yes, let's explore, follow me," Spring commanded, pushing to the front flowers sprouting up from his feet as he walked then withering just as quickly from the cold

"Seelie Court arrogance, right?" Reaper whispered winking.

"Don't try and befriend me, vermin," Summer sneered.

"Don't you get who's holding us?" Reaper pointed out, motioning to the ice.

"I thought your people killed all of the Winter faes," Summer protested.

"After the revolt, the bodies were too disassembled for an accurate estimate," Reaper responded.

Summer looked disgusted. "Could a survivor regain the Unseelie Throne?" he asked.

"No, Queen Mab established the succession based on trial by combat," Reaper responded.

"Are you King Dagda?" Summer asked him.

Reaper laughed loudly. Spring looked in his direction a startled expression on his face. Summer looked downright disbelieving. "I'm flattered you think I'm that regal," Reaper smirked.

"You're all common to me," Summer sniffed.

Reaper bristled, that smug brat dismissing Dagda like that, he'd love to give him the same treatment as his brethren but Summer fae were trained warriors, he'd need a small squad to take the other boy down. No, it was best to just kill this one but not until Reaper got some use out of him.

"You shouldn't be so impolite to our ally," Spring chided lightly. So the Seelie faerie meant to use him as well, Reaper mused. The three of them looked around the parlor. Spring rifled through the bookcase made of ice moving each book slowly. Reaper pulled the white pillows off the couch throwing them to the ground. Summer checked every inch of the floor carefully. By what they thought might be evening. The three of them sat on the white chair cold, exhausted and worst of all hungry.

"I feel like an Egui," Spring complained as his stomach growled.

"A what?" Summer asked.

"A hungry ghost." the Seelie Court fairie said simply.

"Well, go on, a story might take our minds off our bellies," Summer urged.

Not mine, Reaper thought, fear filling his chest. Spring weaved a tale about a greedy wife who tricked a monk and was cursed to wander the earth as a hungry ghost for her crimes. Of course, Seelie Court tales would have a moral somewhere in there, Reaper thought as he eyelids grew heavy.

Reaper awoke five seconds later to the feeling of something on his chest he looked over to see a shriveled looking woman with long tangled black hair her ribs stuck out and her eyes were ravenous, she was trying to slip into his skin. Reaper seized her by the throat and threw her off forcefully, the ghost hissed at him and lunged then screamed as Summer shot a sunbeam at her. She disappeared. Reaper felt a cold chill run through him as he stormed over and jerked Spring awake dragging him from his slumber. "I thought they were trapped in the afterlife! Either your story is shit or you called the damn thing here!" Reaper raged shaking him.

Summer stormed over and punched the Unseelie faerie in the face. Reaper lost what little restraint he had and soon the two of them were in a vicious brawl. Three minutes later with bruised and split lips Reaper sat down. "No more ghost stories just to be safe," he stated coolly.

Summer less bruised but equally sullen nodded his agreement. Spring furiously bound Summer's wounds. "Your both behaving like children," Spring lectured. Then laying down and turning on his side he snapped at Summer, "If you want to fight him don't use me as an excuse!"

The next day a bucket appeared also a plate with bread and water. Spring refused to touch the bread after finding a bit of mold on it. Summer split his own loaf in half. "Here," he offered.

"I shouldn't take your food." Spring looked ashamed of himself.

"We need to find how the food came in," Reaper suggested, all day they spent searching the room but to no avail.

"It's bad manners not even explaining anything to your captives," Spring huffed.

"It's cowardly, they should fight us one on one," Summer argued.

"They'd still win," Reaper said glumly as he used the bucket.

That night everyone was too discouraged to even tell stories.

---------------------------

Another day passed, Reaper woke up next to a head. At first, he was delighted until he turned it over and saw it was the head of the Unseelie soldier he had joked with a week ago it the same horned head and golden eyes. Trying to gather his composure he got up slowly only to feel something squishy under his foot; it was a clawed arm. Reaper looked down and saw to his utter horror he was standing in a pile of limbs, legs and an alligator-like torso, wings and all of them were familiar.

Reaper felt his throat clench up his heart pounded. No, no, no no! It had to be a trick, right? But he could smell a coppery scent and feel the heaviness of each body part. Reaper backed up tripping over a messy landfill of body parts he tumbled back, his seal skin tunic now stained with dark green liquid. Then he sees it a bloody severed head of red hair the crown of skulls still wrapped around his brow. Reaper squeezes his eyes shut heart pounding in his ears no no no no, no no not them...not them!

"Hey, hey!" The Unseelie faerie opens one eye and sees Summer's face.

"You okay?" the Summer fairie sounds troubled.

"Okay.....haven't you seen it?" Reaper chokes.

"What are you talking about?"

Reaper opened his eyes reaching furiously for a piece of his Court but he feels nothing looking down Reaper realizes there is nothing. The room was just playing with him. Reaper throws back his head and laughs. "I....have....to stop... them." He howls louder tears spill down his cheeks. An omen or a taunt he doesn't care he's getting out and then he's coming for every one of his captors. Spring puts a hand on his shaking shoulder and Reaper allows it this once.

"There's a game in my court, it's called coconut toss, but we can use this." Summer pulls a book from the shelf and tosses it toward Reaper, he catches it in one hand, some useless children's book about an old winter fey celebration. Summer's trying to distract him from troubling thoughts Reaper realizes in bewilderment as he hurls the book back with all his strength.

A few days later and Spring was trying to teach Summer meditation techniques from his court. "It'll relax your body and rid it of negative energy," he offered. Reaper who was in the middle of doing push-ups frowned inwardly. While Spring and Summer had formed a tentative alliance to deal with the Unseelie Court and Wild Hunt. The two Courts had never been united and often distrusted one another. A friendship between the two of them could change that. Reaper had to be sneaky about it though despite the show of compassion. Spring and Summer still didn't trust him.

Spring opens his eyes. "Wait, what if we wait for tonight and attack whoever brings our food?" he questioned.

"Why didn't I think of that?" Reaper berated himself.

"This room is messing with all of us," Spring reminds him.

"No more." Reaper's eyes glinted wickedly. As he motioned Summer to join them. "Now I've got a plan, here's what we're going to do." That night the three fairie boys lay in the darkness, Reaper reached out and pinched Spring's arm.

"I'm awake." the Seelie court fairie said with an edge of annoyance.

"Had to be sure," Reaper said innocently

"Keep it up," Summer warned.

"What are you, his mom? Spring isn't a helpless child." Reaper said.

Spring frowned but before the conversation could continue the wall started to glow. "That's your cue, Spring," Reaper hissed.

Spring jumped to his feet and waited as a door slowly appeared it opened to reveal four hunched creatures with the backs of lizards and the eyes of a bullfrog, they had three horns sprouting from their heads, and long talons. Reaper would have pegged them as some breed of snow goblin except they were way too tall. "Excuse me, you are our jailers, yes? I demand to speak with our captor at once!" Spring said crisply.

"You not 'posed to be awake," the first creature growled.

"How can anyone sleep in such conditions? I've had to bear hug both my rivals to stay warm." Spring said in a clipped tone.

Reaper and Summer quietly crept to their feet. "Look, your highness. Her imminence has treated you very well under the circumstances." the second warned.

Now, Summer punched one of the guards in the face. Reaper came at the second one who used his bony legs to leap straight over Reaper's head, bounced off the ceiling, and launched himself straight at the death fairie. Spring pushed him out of the way and took the blow straight in the chest and lay limply on the ground. The creature blanched. "Oh shit!" he exclaimed the other creatures stopped what they were doing minus the two tussling with Summer and hopped over to their comrade.

"Icy, you idiot, you didn't break his skin," the first sounded scared. "Prince, hey princy, please wakie," the creature called Icy begged, crawling forward and shaking who Reaper now knew to be Prince Angus, heir to the Spring Court who winked at him.

"Let me take a look," Reaper tried.

"Unseelie help Seelie?" asked the third.

"Unseelie doesn't want Seelie to die," the death fairie offered.

"Back up, I can't concentrate with you crowding me unless you want him to die." The creatures hopped back at least five feet. He pretended to check Spring while he saw Spring's fingers twitch against his own boot. Reaper reached into it and his hand closed around a dagger hidden in a silk stocking.

"Why Unseelie taking so long?" Reaper moved, slicing the creature's throat with one violent movement of his hand. The second hissed, talons out, and slashed Reaper's arm making him drop the knife. Then the creature fell forward as Spring smashed his high heeled shoe into the creature's skull over and over again until it stopped moving.

Summer gaped at him. "Where did you learn that?" he demanded

"My sister's ladies in waiting," Spring said.

"You sneaky little shit, you had a weapon the whole time," Reaper griped as he patted down the dead bodies.

"You weren't exactly forthcoming either, Reaper," Spring retorts.

It's the half skull face, isn't it?" The death fairie quipped.

Summer pulls against the door. it wouldn't open. Then one of the creatures groaned. "Good, a survivor." Reaper grabbed the still dazed creature by the shoulder and put Spring's knife to his throat. "Either you open the door or I demonstrate how to properly interrogate for my boys." Reaper smiles sharply.

"Only she can open door," the creature whimpers.

Our captor, Reaper thought, then he motioned the other two forward and drove his weapon straight into Summer's chest.

"No!" Spring and the creature cried out at the same time.

"Here that lady, Summer is going to bleed out!" Reaper shouted.

"What do you want?" a voice distinctly feminine but monotone echoed through the room.

"Uh....my freedom," Reaper said with irritation.

"I'd rather lock the doors permanently," The voice retorted.

"Stubborn, aren't you," Reaper said.

"I don't like to lose. " the women admitted.

"Okay then, an audience between you and me," the death fairie said crisply. Spring was on his hands and knees trying to stop Summer from bleeding to death.

"Fine, Snowdrift, take the Summer Prince, I'll have another guard escort you shortly, I promise." Reaper knew he had her none of their kind could break a promise without severe consequences. He allowed Snowdrift to pick up who he now knew was Prince Helios and carry him out once the door appeared. He had to restrain himself as Snowdrift carried Helios through.

"You...you!" Spring throws himself at him. Reaper realized he's never seen the Seelie Court fairie lose it, he pins him easily and presses the blade of Spring's own dagger against his cheek.

"Careful Spring, you wouldn't want to get cut, not with your delicate condition," Reaper taunts. "Tell me do your joints really swell up....from a single cut?" he asks eagerly.

"And to think I felt bad for you," Spring spat.

"It's not your fault your reaction is natural from what I've observed," Reaper says breezily. "Especially for those who leech off others," he added.

"How dare you!" Spring glares.

"Why? You lack strength and rely on others to protect you. If Summer wasn't so busy watching out for you. He would have seen that knife. You're nothing but a useless burden." Reaper paused. " How is someone who isn't strong enough to protect his ally, supposed to protect his people?" he asked, Spring's face crumpled in reaction to his words. The death fairie felt a thrill run through him, the fact it was the Seelie Court prince made it better. "Summer probably doesn't even like you, he just feels obligated because of his warrior's code," Reaper added.

Then the door appeared again and another of those same lizard creatures came in. Reaper flipped the knife expertly away from the Seelie fairie's face " See you later, Spring," he said following the guards out of the room and down the icy hallways.

This had better work or Reaper might very well end up dead or worse.

To be continued...................

Reaper awoke, the back of his head throbbing, fighting a wince he pressed a hand to the back of his dark brown hair there was a bump. Someone had taken him from behind. Was it luck or did his attacker know his regeneration abilities did not affect his skull? A failsafe in case he had proved too much of handle by the one who created him. Reaper scowled, thinking about him always put him in a worse mood. At least the damage wasn't too bad, thought Reaper moving his fingers, counting them and looking at them just to be sure. He glanced around him he was in a cell.

"Hello!" called a voice, Reaper looked over, there was another boy next to him, shorter and more slender, his raven hair tied back into a topknot, he wore a lot of white powder and rouge on his face but it was peeling off to the point where Reaper could see the yellow hue's of his skin. Seelie Court, Reaper realized, noting the other boys almond-shaped eyes and the smell of fresh grass and blooming flowers that wafted from his skin.

Also a noble, Reaper guessed by his brightly colored ivy vine pattern doublet covered by light green silk waistcoat and the slightly ruffled collar that surrounded his throat. He was shivering more than Reaper despite having more layers; definitely a spring fairie.

"Do you know who took us?" Reaper asked him noting the boy's lack of bump.

"You aren't one for manners." The spring fairie observed frowning. "Do you know who took us?" Reaper didn't have time to waste on pleasantries, as he said this he patted himself down scowling. They had in fact confiscated all of his weapons even the throwing knives strapped to his leg.

"Hey, Spring, you got any weapons?" he asked.

"No one in Seelie jurisdiction carries a blade without authority from the crown," the spring fairie informed him. Reaper had thought it an arrow in the dark. It was unusual for a noble to carry anything other than the occasional fancy dueling sword. They usually hired Oni, hulking figures with more than one horn growing out of their head, or even other Seelie Fairies to protect them.

Reaper blinked and looked around, taking in the surroundings, he was in a parlor room that looked like it was made entirely of ice and snow instead of the prison he was expecting. Reaper felt a chill run down his spine. No, not them, anyone but them, he thought, backing up and nearly tripping over two fur coats which lay on the floor. "At least they want us alive for now," Reaper mused aloud picking up the coat of soft polar bear fur.

"Unless the coat is poisoned," Spring said, eyeing it wearily.

"Survived an assassination attempt?" Reaper guessed.

"A few actually," Spring admitted.

"I doubt they'd go through all this trouble just to poison us," the death fairie remarked.

Spring sniffed the coat much to Reaper's amusement. "I don't smell like Foxglove. I can't smell lilies or anything like that," the Seelie faerie commented.

"Lilies are poison?" Reaper asked stunned.

"Some, many pretty flowers can be ground up into toxins," Spring explained pulling the coat over his tiny shivering body.

Reaper followed suit, he was used to the cold but that didn't mean he wanted to freeze to death. Trying not to stare at the patch of grass and the two flowers that had leaked from Spring's feet when he had gotten agitated. Then they heard a groan, another boy dressed in nothing but a grass loincloth. his skin burned dark as if he existed sorely in the sun's warm rays climbed off the white sofa the only thing not covered in ice. He was beaten up pretty badly spouting a black eye and bruising on his left cheek and blood dripping from a cut on his forehead. Someone had tried to fight back. Reaper noted. Obviously, Summer Court, seriously, what were those has-beens planning? Spring leapt up and ran to his side. The boy's powerful body tensed.

"Easy there, I'm not going to hurt you." The stocky fairie looked at Springs small frame in disbelief. Reaper held back a snicker. Summer looked like he could snap Spring in half with one of his huge hands. "May I tend your wound?" Spring asked him. Summer nodded the Seelie Court fairie ripped off a bit of his own expensive tunic and bandaged the gash. Reaper saw Spring's body twitch as his body absorbed a bit of the light Summer was giving off.

Spring jumped back and bowed. "Sorry!"

Summer chuckled, it was a booming sound. "It's fine. Spring fairies can't help but absorb our sunlight," he added.

"Normally, I'd introduce myself but my companion complicates things, please understand," Spring said.

The sudden change to formality told Reaper the Summer fairie was also nobility. "I understand why you would not speak in the presence of that thing," Summer spat.

"Why the hostility?" Reaper asked with mock defensiveness.

"Your people have reduced countless numbers of my fellow warriors to useless wrecks who flinch at shadows!" Summer spat.

"What did you expect, goose feather pillows and Irish whiskey?" Reaper snorted.

"An honorable execution," the Summer fairie retorted.

"Gentlemen, please," Spring got between the two of them.

Reaper gave his head a shake the Seelie courtier was right, now wasn't the time to let Summer get under his skin. Summer extended his hand and blasted a beam of sunlight at the wall, it melted away to reveal an iron wall. Reaper struggled not to flinch. Iron was poison to fairies, they burned at its touch. Summer fired up again and tried to blast through the wall but his magic didn't dent the walls. Summer swore. "It's no use this wall will act as a barrier even our magic can't break," Spring stated.

"If we're in a castle there might be a secret passageway," Reaper suggested.

"Yes, let's explore, follow me," Spring commanded, pushing to the front flowers sprouting up from his feet as he walked then withering just as quickly from the cold

"Seelie Court arrogance, right?" Reaper whispered winking.

"Don't try and befriend me, vermin," Summer sneered.

"Don't you get who's holding us?" Reaper pointed out, motioning to the ice.

"I thought your people killed all of the Winter faes," Summer protested.

"After the revolt, the bodies were too disassembled for an accurate estimate," Reaper responded.

Summer looked disgusted. "Could a survivor regain the Unseelie Throne?" he asked.

"No, Queen Mab established the succession based on trial by combat," Reaper responded.

"Are you King Dagda?" Summer asked him.

Reaper laughed loudly. Spring looked in his direction a startled expression on his face. Summer looked downright disbelieving. "I'm flattered you think I'm that regal," Reaper smirked.

"You're all common to me," Summer sniffed.

Reaper bristled, that smug brat dismissing Dagda like that, he'd love to give him the same treatment as his brethren but Summer fae were trained warriors, he'd need a small squad to take the other boy down. No, it was best to just kill this one but not until Reaper got some use out of him.

"You shouldn't be so impolite to our ally," Spring chided lightly. So the Seelie faerie meant to use him as well, Reaper mused. The three of them looked around the parlor. Spring rifled through the bookcase made of ice moving each book slowly. Reaper pulled the white pillows off the couch throwing them to the ground. Summer checked every inch of the floor carefully. By what they thought might be evening. The three of them sat on the white chair cold, exhausted and worst of all hungry.

"I feel like an Egui," Spring complained as his stomach growled.

"A what?" Summer asked.

"A hungry ghost." the Seelie Court fairie said simply.

"Well, go on, a story might take our minds off our bellies," Summer urged.

Not mine, Reaper thought, fear filling his chest. Spring weaved a tale about a greedy wife who tricked a monk and was cursed to wander the earth as a hungry ghost for her crimes. Of course, Seelie Court tales would have a moral somewhere in there, Reaper thought as he eyelids grew heavy.

Reaper awoke five seconds later to the feeling of something on his chest he looked over to see a shriveled looking woman with long tangled black hair her ribs stuck out and her eyes were ravenous, she was trying to slip into his skin. Reaper seized her by the throat and threw her off forcefully, the ghost hissed at him and lunged then screamed as Summer shot a sunbeam at her. She disappeared. Reaper felt a cold chill run through him as he stormed over and jerked Spring awake dragging him from his slumber. "I thought they were trapped in the afterlife! Either your story is shit or you called the damn thing here!" Reaper raged shaking him.

Summer stormed over and punched the Unseelie faerie in the face. Reaper lost what little restraint he had and soon the two of them were in a vicious brawl. Three minutes later with bruised and split lips Reaper sat down. "No more ghost stories just to be safe," he stated coolly.

Summer less bruised but equally sullen nodded his agreement. Spring furiously bound Summer's wounds. "Your both behaving like children," Spring lectured. Then laying down and turning on his side he snapped at Summer, "If you want to fight him don't use me as an excuse!"

The next day a bucket appeared also a plate with bread and water. Spring refused to touch the bread after finding a bit of mold on it. Summer split his own loaf in half. "Here," he offered.

"I shouldn't take your food." Spring looked ashamed of himself.

"We need to find how the food came in," Reaper suggested, all day they spent searching the room but to no avail.

"It's bad manners not even explaining anything to your captives," Spring huffed.

"It's cowardly, they should fight us one on one," Summer argued.

"They'd still win," Reaper said glumly as he used the bucket.

That night everyone was too discouraged to even tell stories.

---------------------------

Another day passed, Reaper woke up next to a head. At first, he was delighted until he turned it over and saw it was the head of the Unseelie soldier he had joked with a week ago it the same horned head and golden eyes. Trying to gather his composure he got up slowly only to feel something squishy under his foot; it was a clawed arm. Reaper looked down and saw to his utter horror he was standing in a pile of limbs, legs and an alligator-like torso, wings and all of them were familiar.

Reaper felt his throat clench up his heart pounded. No, no, no no! It had to be a trick, right? But he could smell a coppery scent and feel the heaviness of each body part. Reaper backed up tripping over a messy landfill of body parts he tumbled back, his seal skin tunic now stained with dark green liquid. Then he sees it a bloody severed head of red hair the crown of skulls still wrapped around his brow. Reaper squeezes his eyes shut heart pounding in his ears no no no no, no no not them...not them!

"Hey, hey!" The Unseelie faerie opens one eye and sees Summer's face.

"You okay?" the Summer fairie sounds troubled.

"Okay.....haven't you seen it?" Reaper chokes.

"What are you talking about?"

Reaper opened his eyes reaching furiously for a piece of his Court but he feels nothing looking down Reaper realizes there is nothing. The room was just playing with him. Reaper throws back his head and laughs. "I....have....to stop... them." He howls louder tears spill down his cheeks. An omen or a taunt he doesn't care he's getting out and then he's coming for every one of his captors. Spring puts a hand on his shaking shoulder and Reaper allows it this once.

"There's a game in my court, it's called coconut toss, but we can use this." Summer pulls a book from the shelf and tosses it toward Reaper, he catches it in one hand, some useless children's book about an old winter fey celebration. Summer's trying to distract him from troubling thoughts Reaper realizes in bewilderment as he hurls the book back with all his strength.

A few days later and Spring was trying to teach Summer meditation techniques from his court. "It'll relax your body and rid it of negative energy," he offered. Reaper who was in the middle of doing push-ups frowned inwardly. While Spring and Summer had formed a tentative alliance to deal with the Unseelie Court and Wild Hunt. The two Courts had never been united and often distrusted one another. A friendship between the two of them could change that. Reaper had to be sneaky about it though despite the show of compassion. Spring and Summer still didn't trust him.

Spring opens his eyes. "Wait, what if we wait for tonight and attack whoever brings our food?" he questioned.

"Why didn't I think of that?" Reaper berated himself.

"This room is messing with all of us," Spring reminds him.

"No more." Reaper's eyes glinted wickedly. As he motioned Summer to join them. "Now I've got a plan, here's what we're going to do." That night the three fairie boys lay in the darkness, Reaper reached out and pinched Spring's arm.

"I'm awake." the Seelie court fairie said with an edge of annoyance.

"Had to be sure," Reaper said innocently

"Keep it up," Summer warned.

"What are you, his mom? Spring isn't a helpless child." Reaper said.

Spring frowned but before the conversation could continue the wall started to glow. "That's your cue, Spring," Reaper hissed.

Spring jumped to his feet and waited as a door slowly appeared it opened to reveal four hunched creatures with the backs of lizards and the eyes of a bullfrog, they had three horns sprouting from their heads, and long talons. Reaper would have pegged them as some breed of snow goblin except they were way too tall. "Excuse me, you are our jailers, yes? I demand to speak with our captor at once!" Spring said crisply.

"You not 'posed to be awake," the first creature growled.

"How can anyone sleep in such conditions? I've had to bear hug both my rivals to stay warm." Spring said in a clipped tone.

Reaper and Summer quietly crept to their feet. "Look, your highness. Her imminence has treated you very well under the circumstances." the second warned.

Now, Summer punched one of the guards in the face. Reaper came at the second one who used his bony legs to leap straight over Reaper's head, bounced off the ceiling, and launched himself straight at the death fairie. Spring pushed him out of the way and took the blow straight in the chest and lay limply on the ground. The creature blanched. "Oh shit!" he exclaimed the other creatures stopped what they were doing minus the two tussling with Summer and hopped over to their comrade.

"Icy, you idiot, you didn't break his skin," the first sounded scared. "Prince, hey princy, please wakie," the creature called Icy begged, crawling forward and shaking who Reaper now knew to be Prince Angus, heir to the Spring Court who winked at him.

"Let me take a look," Reaper tried.

"Unseelie help Seelie?" asked the third.

"Unseelie doesn't want Seelie to die," the death fairie offered.

"Back up, I can't concentrate with you crowding me unless you want him to die." The creatures hopped back at least five feet. He pretended to check Spring while he saw Spring's fingers twitch against his own boot. Reaper reached into it and his hand closed around a dagger hidden in a silk stocking.

"Why Unseelie taking so long?" Reaper moved, slicing the creature's throat with one violent movement of his hand. The second hissed, talons out, and slashed Reaper's arm making him drop the knife. Then the creature fell forward as Spring smashed his high heeled shoe into the creature's skull over and over again until it stopped moving.

Summer gaped at him. "Where did you learn that?" he demanded

"My sister's ladies in waiting," Spring said.

"You sneaky little shit, you had a weapon the whole time," Reaper griped as he patted down the dead bodies.

"You weren't exactly forthcoming either, Reaper," Spring retorts.

It's the half skull face, isn't it?" The death fairie quipped.

Summer pulls against the door. it wouldn't open. Then one of the creatures groaned. "Good, a survivor." Reaper grabbed the still dazed creature by the shoulder and put Spring's knife to his throat. "Either you open the door or I demonstrate how to properly interrogate for my boys." Reaper smiles sharply.

"Only she can open door," the creature whimpers.

Our captor, Reaper thought, then he motioned the other two forward and drove his weapon straight into Summer's chest.

"No!" Spring and the creature cried out at the same time.

"Here that lady, Summer is going to bleed out!" Reaper shouted.

"What do you want?" a voice distinctly feminine but monotone echoed through the room.

"Uh....my freedom," Reaper said with irritation.

"I'd rather lock the doors permanently," The voice retorted.

"Stubborn, aren't you," Reaper said.

"I don't like to lose. " the women admitted.

"Okay then, an audience between you and me," the death fairie said crisply. Spring was on his hands and knees trying to stop Summer from bleeding to death.

"Fine, Snowdrift, take the Summer Prince, I'll have another guard escort you shortly, I promise." Reaper knew he had her none of their kind could break a promise without severe consequences. He allowed Snowdrift to pick up who he now knew was Prince Helios and carry him out once the door appeared. He had to restrain himself as Snowdrift carried Helios through.

"You...you!" Spring throws himself at him. Reaper realized he's never seen the Seelie Court fairie lose it, he pins him easily and presses the blade of Spring's own dagger against his cheek.

"Careful Spring, you wouldn't want to get cut, not with your delicate condition," Reaper taunts. "Tell me do your joints really swell up....from a single cut?" he asks eagerly.

"And to think I felt bad for you," Spring spat.

"It's not your fault your reaction is natural from what I've observed," Reaper says breezily. "Especially for those who leech off others," he added.

"How dare you!" Spring glares.

"Why? You lack strength and rely on others to protect you. If Summer wasn't so busy watching out for you. He would have seen that knife. You're nothing but a useless burden." Reaper paused. " How is someone who isn't strong enough to protect his ally, supposed to protect his people?" he asked, Spring's face crumpled in reaction to his words. The death fairie felt a thrill run through him, the fact it was the Seelie Court prince made it better. "Summer probably doesn't even like you, he just feels obligated because of his warrior's code," Reaper added.

Then the door appeared again and another of those same lizard creatures came in. Reaper flipped the knife expertly away from the Seelie fairie's face " See you later, Spring," he said following the guards out of the room and down the icy hallways.

This had better work or Reaper might very well end up dead or worse.

To be continued...................

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