"Oh gods why now?" I thought. His grip on my wrist loosened as the anger left his eyes, and for a moment I thought it was replaced with fear as his ears went down in shock. Both of us slowly turned to the alleyway opening.
And just like I feared, there was Luz, who was looking beyond pissed.
The creep's eyes widened, his ears somehow going down even further. Then, a low growl erupted from his throat, his eyebrows furrowing tightly together. From what I could see, the anger in his eyes was reignited, this time this time from a low flame to a whole bonfire.
He put even more pressure on my wrist, making me wince in pain. Luz noticed, and took a few steps closer. I tried to get her to stop, violently shaking my head. I knew she didn't have any paper on her, and even if she did, her magic would probably be rendered useless due to his relic. "I can't move!" I mouthed, but she didn't pay any attention.
No, her full attention was on the guy holding me in place, glaring at him so hard he'd probably drop dead if it was possible. "Back. Up." Her grave tone made my eyes widen. I couldn't think of another time where I heard her voice like that.
Her voice is normally bubbly, the kind that makes you perk up when you hear it.
Now, it was cold, monotone and full of venom, matching the look in her eyes.
And that scared me most. It wasn't the guy that's managed to render me defenseless, the guy who could kill me in an instant, no. It was Luz, who not only looked like she was about to rip this guy limb from limb, but she could also get hurt in the process.
"Luz Noceda." He hissed, startling me. He knew her name? They've met before? When? Somehow, that didn't phase her and she simply took another step closer, her hands clenched into tight fists.
"Luz, stop-" I started, but he quickly snapped his head back in my direction, shooting me an intense glare.
"Not another word." He told me, tightening his grip once again on my wrist. I glared at him, hoping he couldn't see how afraid I was. Suddenly, a small rock nailed him in the side of the head, making him twitch.
"Did you not hear me? I said back the fuck up!" She yelled, once again taking me by surprise with her cursing. I heard the creep huff, then he backed up. I still couldn't move, meaning that whatever spell he cast earlier was still in place.
"Why do you always have to ruin things?" He hissed, folding his arms over his chest. Luz tensed up, struggling to find something to say.
"Are you serious right now?" She angrily waved her hands around for a moment, murderous intent in her eyes. "The only thing I'm doing is stopping you from being a creep!"
The guy popped his fingers, his lip twitching before curling into a sick smile. "Well then, if you want me to stop, you'll have to do it yourself."
"Or, you could just leave." Luz glared, holding her ground as he took a few steps closer until he was right in front of her. Then, he leaned down until he was in her face.
"And what will you do if I don't?" His voice fell low, just barely loud enough for me to hear where I was at.
"Te haré suplicar piedad." She stated, confusing the guy slightly. He laughed, taking a step back as he held his sides, absolutely losing it. I frantically tried to move while he was laughing, hoping that he was distracted enough to let the spell slip.
Unfortunately, the spell remained unwavering, leaving me stuck in place. I tried to signal Luz to leave, but when she saw what I was doing, she shook her head.
I may love the fact that she can be stubborn when she needs to be, but right now I didn't.
"Was that supposed to be some kind of spell?" The guy finally managed to get out before wheezing, shakily reaching up to his neck to show her the relic. "Good luck trying to get that to work!"
Luz blinked a few times, her eyebrows furrowing in confusion. She glanced back at me, her eyes searching for answers. "It's a relic!" I managed to say, but quickly froze in place when I felt something wrap around my neck.
The guy clenched his hand into a fist, tightening the thing around my neck, which I assumed was a binding spell. "I told you, not another word." His tone suddenly shifted to a serious one. He made sure it was tight enough around my neck to be uncomfortable, but not enough to strangle me.
Suddenly, Luz grabbed onto the guy's shirt with no hesitation, pulling him back down to her level. "Let her go. Now." He quickly shoved Luz away, making her stumble and nearly fall. She quickly regained her balance, making sure she didn't look away from him for even a second.
He pulled back on his jacket, revealing two bottles of some bright green liquid. Grabbing one in each hand, he shot Luz a cocky smile. "Come on then human!" He spat, making her twitch. "You want me to let her go? You're gonna have to force me!"
"We really should've taken care of you last time we saw you." Luz hissed, holding her fists up. I shot her a confused look, still wondering how this guy knew who Luz was, let alone whatever she meant by that.
Then, before I could even blink, Luz was barreling towards the guy, ready to hit him. He immediately threw one of his bottles at her, which she narrowly avoided. It shattered on the ground, burning and eating away at the dirt.
My eyes widened as I watched him wind up for another throw. At this point, I could feel the spell around my neck loosening, meaning that he was losing his focus. I struggled to move my arms again, finding that I could just barely inch them forward.
"If she can just distract him a little longer, he'll lose focus and I can tackle him." I thought to myself, watching the fight that was unfolding. A hint of guilt crept up in my head at the thought that Luz was acting like bait right now, but I shoved it down. The creep threw his second bottle, which Luz was barely able to duck under.
She popped back up and instantly right hooked him, making him stumble. He hesitated for a minute, wiping his nose as blood began to pour from it. Luz flapped her hand she used to hit him with, grimacing at the pain.
"You hit hard..." He chuckled, slowly breaking out into full blown laughter. "But not hard enough!" Drawing another spell circle, he launched Luz into the wall. She smacked the wall fairly hard, then fell to the floor.
I could see she was struggling to get up, resting on her elbows because the wind was knocked out of her. She reached up to feel the back of her head, whining in response. The creep walked over and picked her up by the collar, dangling her off the ground.
"Stop! Please!" I begged, watching as he tightened his fist again, probably to tighten the spell around my neck. However, it did nothing, because the spell had already worn off. Either he didn't notice or didn't care because he turned back to Luz.
"Is that really all you got? One little hit to the wall and you're through?" He taunted, Luz wrapped her hands around his wrists, keeping a tight grip as she dug her nails into his skin. Her eyebrows tightly furrowed together, but she didn't say anything. For a second, I could see her eyes flick over to me, probably seeing the fear plastered on my face.
Her gaze turned back to his, a new fire ignited inside her eyes. "Nope!" Luz shot him a smirk, then she spat in his face and kicked him in the chest, effectively getting him to let go. He stumbled back with a wheeze, trying to clear his vision. Luz landed feet first on the ground, then charged towards the guy with a loud battle cry.
She jumped up and managed to land another solid hit on the guy, making him fall to the floor. She kept throwing punches, and with each one, I could feel more and more of the spell wear off.
But, Luz's punching suddenly stopped and she froze in place. I could see her struggle to bring her fist back down to his face. Then, she was suddenly flung back towards the opening of the alleyway, rolling a little ways before bringing herself to her feet.
The creep managed to get up, stumbling slightly. Luz started charging towards him again, but froze once again. "Not. Another. Step." He growled, sounding out of breath as he wiped a sleeve under his bleeding nose.
He drew another spell circle, summoning some kind of item in his hand. It was some kind of rectangle that had a brown handle and a trigger, something I didn't recognize.
But based on Luz's reaction, she did.
Her eyes widened, her expression dropping as her entire face went pale. She stared in fear at whatever he was holding. I heard it click, then he slowly pointed it in my direction.
I stared at the thing he pointed at me with, noting the hollow circle in the middle and that it seemed to be made of some kind of metal. "Don't!" Luz exclaimed, reaching out towards him. Her tone completely shifted, instead of being angry and full of venom, now it was full of panic and desperation.
The creep laughed, still pointing the thing at me. "Don't what?" He asked, making Luz swallow. From where I was standing, I could see she was trembling, her eyes darting from me to him.
Luz's reaction was making me tense, the longer he kept that thing pointed at me, the more I started to shake. What was that thing even capable of?
"How do you even have one of those? They're, they're not..." She stuttered, maintaining eye contact with him. He laughed again, lowering the rectangle weapon as he ran a hand through his hair.
"That doesn't concern you." He laughed again, reaching for the relic around his neck. "Though I'd have to say, it was a lot easier to get this little thing than this stupid charm."
"Do you even know how to use that thing?" Luz cried, still staring at the weapon in his hand. The creep tilted his head, then chuckled.
"Sure I do." He pointed the weapon to the side, not breaking eye contact from Luz. "You just point this at whatever you want and pull the trigger." He pretended to pull the trigger, acting like it had recoil. "Then bam!"
He aimed the weapon back in my direction, Luz tensing up in response. I could see her chest rapidly moving up and down as she tried to think of what to do
There was maybe three seconds of silence, then Luz lunged at the creep. They both fought over the weapon, Luz desperately trying to rip it from his hands.
His concentration was split between me and Luz, meaning that he couldn't fully focus on the spell. I could now barely move my arms, but I still couldn't move my legs, meaning I was still useless to the situation.
The creep let go of the weapon with one hand, baring his teeth. "You really have a death wish, don't you?" He yelled, roughly punching her across the face, making me gasp. Luz stumbled back, holding the cheek where she was struck.
With no hesitation, he aimed the weapon at Luz.
Then there was a loud bang.
My ears instantly started ringing, making me drop my guitar case to bring my hands up to my ears and cover them. My eyes tightly closed and I felt myself move forward slightly, but I was too busy trying to figure out what had happened to care.
Opening my eyes, I looked over towards Luz only to see her collapsed on the ground with hints of red scattered around her. The creep waved his weapon around, saying something that I couldn't understand. The ringing slowly started to thin out, his voice becoming clear.
"You really had no idea what you were doing, did you?" His voice sounded muffled to me, but I could still understand what he was saying. "Wow, if I knew it would've been this easy I would've just wiped you out last time."
He took a step closer to Luz, who struggled to scoot away from him, whimpering the entire time. Bending down to her level, I watched as he roughly grabbed her face and pulled her up, giving me a good view of her pale, tear stricken face. He said something to her, but he said it too quiet for me to hear.
Throwing her back down to the ground, I could hear her hiss in response, curling into a tight ball. The creep laughed and stood up straight, placing his free hand on his hip.
Then, he aimed the weapon at Luz again, a big murderous smirk on his face. "I hope you had fun trying to act like a hero, cause now it's time for you to die like one."
My eyes widened as his words quickly sunk in. It took me a second to realize that the spell had worn off, probably because he was distracted by the sound his weapon made. So, without even thinking, I snagged my guitar case off the ground and sprinted towards him. When I was only a few steps away, he finally realized I was moving. He turned his head in my direction, but that's as far as he got.
I slammed my guitar case in his face, a sickening crack following after. The weapon dropped from his hand as he twisted and fell face first to the floor, knocked out cold. I heard something break under him, which I assumed was the relic. That made me wince, knowing just how rare relics are.
Kicking the weapon away from him, I gave him a swift kick to the side of the head. His head turned and I could see just how much blood was flowing from his now broken nose.
Luz let out a low whine, diverting my attention from the guy. I quickly knelt down next to her, instantly noticing how she was clutching her side. "Luz?" My voice was thick and I didn't even bother to hide it. "What did he..." I slowly trailed off, my gut dropping like a ball of lead when I caught onto the amount of red that was spilling between her fingers.
She barely lifted up her shaking hand, wincing at the sight. "This... really hurts." She managed to get out with half a chuckle before she broke out into a fit of coughing, red spilling past her lips. My brain kicked into overdrive, bringing both of my hands down over hers and putting pressure, hoping to stunt the bleeding, the metallic smell of blood hitting my senses.
I grimaced at the feeling of warm blood, Luz hissing in response to the contact. "You're an idiot! Just throwing yourself in there like that!" I told her in a shaky voice, bringing one of my hands up to cast a healing spell. But, halfway through the spell, I paused.
Healing spells could easily revert wounds like these, patching them up like they were nothing, but that was how it worked for witches. Luz is human, I had no idea if the spell would react any differently to her, maybe make things worse rather than better. Not only that, but I have no idea what else that weapon did to Luz, so who says that some kind of spell wouldn't somehow aggravate it?
With a shaking hand, I wiped away the half cast spell, noticing just how heavy my breathing had gotten. Luz tried to shift, but stopped moving soon after, her face scrunching up in pain. "Hey... at least I managed... to get him away from you." She managed to say with half a smile, barely cracking open an eye to look at me.
Even though I could see she was in pain, her face flashed with concern as she brought a clean hand up to my face. She cupped my cheek, her thumb wiping away a tear that I didn't even know was there. I knew there was no point in her action, because the tear was quickly replaced.
"That doesn't matter! You rushed in without any spells and now you're hurt!" My voice cracked as I struggled to swallow a sob. She gave half a smile, but I could feel her trembling.
"Better me... than you." Her eyes fluttered for a moment, nearly closing before forcing themselves open. Tears ran down her face, but she seemed to ignore them.
"No! Not better you than me!" I hissed, watching her hand fall from my face and catch onto my shoulder. I couldn't just sit here and let her bleed out, I had to do something. Spells wouldn't work, and pretty much no one dropped by this part of the market, so there was only one other option I could think of.
"Amity..." She started, her eyes halfway open. I shook my head, blinking away the tears to clear my vision.
"Please, just save your strength." I begged before taking a deep breath. "And I'm sorry for what I'm about to do." Before she could question anything, I scooped her up off the ground. She let out a low whimper, gripping onto her blood soaked shirt as she leaned her head on my shoulder, a few curses escaping her lips while I frantically apologized.
My eyes caught my guitar case for a moment, but I shook my head. I could leave it behind, no one was around this part of the market anyways. And besides, Luz was much more important than some guitar.
I dashed out of the alleyway opening, making sure to keep a tight grip on Luz the entire time. She kept her head leaned against my shoulder, struggling to put pressure on her wound.
Glancing down at her, I noticed just how pale she really was. The bags under her eyes seemed so dark now compared to before where you could barely tell they were there. Her eyes would flutter shut for a moment, but she'd quickly open them in an attempt to stay awake.
"Gods why does the hospital have to be so far?" I panted as I made it to the edge of the market, still running. My legs were going numb and my lungs felt like they were on fire, but my mind kept screaming at me not to stop.
"Ami...ty?" Luz managed to whisper, looking up at me. I glanced down at her, noticing how more tears were gathering in her eyes. She was afraid, it wasn't hard to see.
"Luz, stop talking, just save your energy." I managed to say, but she softly shook her head. I could see her hand slipping off of her wound, her head leaning with more weight against my shoulder, the little bit of energy she had left was slowly dwindling away.
"But you... deserve to know. Especially if... I'm gonna die." She mumbled, nearly making me trip. I quickly picked up my pace despite the fact my legs felt like they were on the brink of collapsing.
"You aren't going to die!" My voice faltered, more tears blurring my vision. "You won't! You can't... I can't lose you like this." I tried to keep my voice steady, but failed as a sob pushed past my lips. "You're going to be just fine, I promise." I managed to choke out.
Luz let out half a wheeze, which I assumed was supposed to be a laugh. "Still... better be safe... rather than sorry." Another half a wheeze escaped her, her fingers slowly teasing with her shirt. "Cause hey... if I do survive we... could probably have a happy little ending." Her breathing was shallow, which was starting to send me into a panic.
I could feel myself slowing down, and I couldn't stop that if I tried. We couldn't be too far away from the hospital now, but I still silently cussed out whoever built the town. Who in their right minds would put the market a decent ways away from where the healers were?
"What do you mean?" I managed to say despite being completely out of breath, finally giving up on getting her to stop talking. I glanced down at brown haired girl, the pain written on her face was clear, and it was obvious she was going to slip out of consciousness at any moment.
Her glazed eyes looked up at mine, as she struggled to put on a smile. Taking a deep breath, I picked up my pace, seeing the vague outline of the hospital in the distance. "Oh thank gods! Please Luz just stay awake a little longer."
"I... really like you Amity." Luz managed to mumble before letting out a pained chuckle. "Ain't this cliche? Me... telling you this while... I'm dying in your arms. I swear I've read... something like this before." She continued to chuckle, but I could tell it was forced.
Her words left me floored, nearly making me freeze in place. Nothing came to mind on what I should say back. Under normal circumstances, I'd be a blushing mess, barely able to stutter out a sentence back. But now, with Luz's life on the line, the only thing on my mind was getting her to the healers.
Then, because I wasn't paying attention, I nearly fell when I tripped over a rock. I managed to keep my balance, but I knew the sudden movement didn't feel good to Luz. Her face twisted up in pain, her bruised knuckles turning white as she clutched onto her blood soaked shirt.
"Oh gods I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" I frantically apologized, feeling her trembling in my grasp. Luz didn't say anything, she just kept her eyes scrunched closed as violent waves of pain wracked her body.
The outline of the hospital was becoming clearer, so I picked up my pace again. "Hurt..." Luz managed to finally say, her voice just barely above a whisper. Guilt coursed through my veins, knowing that I made it worse.
"I know it hurts, I know. I'm sorry." Was all I managed to say, more hot tears violently stinging the corners of my eyes. "Just hang on a little longer, please." My voice went into a higher in pitch as more tears rolled down my cheeks.
She fell silent, making me worry that she passed out from the pain. However, looking down at her, I found her eyes were barely open, struggling to stay awake. Then, she shivered, leaning closer to my body.
"I'm... getting cold Amity." She mumbled, her voice sounding so vulnerable, a low whimper escaping her lips. "You're warm." I could barely hear her say, her hand sliding off her wound and hanging to the side.
None of this was good, and it was all my fault. If I hadn't been so stupid and just stayed in the shop when the guy was following me, none of this would've happened. But now, because of my stupid choices, Luz was hurt, Luz had the chance of dying.
"Luz you've gotta stay awake!" I managed to tell her, feeling my chest tighten when I didn't get an answer. When I looked down at her, I saw her eyes closed, her chest barely moving up and down. "Luz? Luz!"
That sent a sudden burst of adrenaline through my veins, numbing my legs as I broke out into a faster run. I passed by a few people who stared at me without saying a word. Making my way to the doors of the hospital, I threw them open and stumbled into the room, catching the attention of a few healers and the people waiting inside.
"Somebody! Please!" Was all I managed to get out before healers started to flock me, one of them taking Luz from me. I watched someone wheel in a cot, then carefully lay Luz down on it. For a moment, I swore her eyes fluttered open, but she laid still as they took her away.
A few healers recognized who I was while one asked me what happened, floating a clipboard over to take notes. I stood there trembling, explaining to them what happened to her.
They nodded their head, scribbling down a quick set of notes when I finished before motioning for the other healers to scatter. "Just wait out here, we'll make sure to keep you updated on her status Ms. Blight." I reached out to stop them, but noticed my hands were still sticky with blood.
I stared at my shaking hands for a moment, feeling my breathing quicken in pace. My eyes darted around, finally finding a bathroom. I dashed over, pushing open the door and locking it behind me, not caring that everyone else was still staring at me.
Turning to the sink, I stared at myself in the mirror. My hair was a mess and my eyes were red and puffy from crying, my shirt and part of my pants were coated in drying blood.
I turned on the faucet and quickly put my hands under it, watching the red wash down the drain. The sight made me sick, my throat tightening up as my breathing got even faster to the point I was practically hyperventilating.
Violently scrubbing my hands together, I tried to rub the red away, which only blurred as even more tears filled my vision. My entire body was trembling, the look on Luz's face burned into my mind.
Once I was satisfied with how clean my hands were, I pulled them away from the water, quickly drying them off. I wrapped my arms around myself, feeling just how fast my heart was pounding.
Tears continued to roll down my cheeks as I stared at myself in the mirror. My eyes remained transfixed on the red staining my shirt, which was only making things worse.
I backed up until I hit a wall, then I slowly slid down it, wrapping my arms around my knees. Everything that just happened kept playing through my head, finally forcing a sob from my lips.
And that just opened the floodgates.
I was an absolute wreck, sobs violently wracking my body as the metallic smell of blood lingered in the air. My body hurt from pushing myself so hard, but I didn't pay that any mind, the only thing I could focus on was Luz.
This time though, it wasn't in some happy little world in my imagination. Now it was me worrying if she'd pull through, wondering exactly what that creep did to her.
Then something else hit me, no one else had a clue what was going on. Everyone else was none the wiser that Luz was dying. I quickly summoned my scroll, barely able to read any of my contacts.
"Emira." I could barely manage squeak out in a shaky voice, tapping on a contact I hoped was hers. "Em will pick up." I hit call and put my scroll up to my ear, listening to it ring while I waited for her to pick up.
It rang once, twice, then finally a third time before her voicemail started up. A low string of shaky curse escaped my lips as I shut down my scroll, more tears rolling down my cheeks.
"Pull yourself together." I struggled to say aloud, wiping tears away from my eyes that were quickly replaced with more. "Take a minute to pull yourself together, then call Edric."
So I sat there on the bathroom floor, struggling to calm myself down while my worry for Luz increased. My tears splattered against the cold tile floor. When I figured I could properly form a sentence, I pulled my scroll back up, giving my brother a call.