A/N: Whoooohooo! Finally got this baby written! I just sat down one day and got it out, Sorry it took me so long to do it! This is kind of short but I just stopped where it felt natural. Still a flashback but I skipped the italics. Tell me I'm not the only one who finds a age of italics a bit irritating to read sometimes?
Astley stared at the bloody scene in horror taking a quick step away from the gore flicked in his direction.
"You… you did…" Astley swallowed hard and tried not to look at the boy's face, as the light faded from his eyes. He was a seasoned warrior and had seen, as well as committed, his fair share of cruelty but something here unsettled him more than he would care to admit. Lucien stood and gave him another smile.
"What's the matter kingling? Cat got your tongue? Or should I say…" his eyes slid down to the body at his feet "Were got your tongue?"
Astley inwardly cursed his silence but he still could not quite bring himself to speak. By the gods what was he going to tell his queen? That her pup got slaughtered on his watch? That he let the ghosts of his past get the better of him and this was the result? Astly automatically took a step towards Nick in the hopes of at least having a body to present to his queen when Lucien bared his teeth aggressively, the sharp points glinting in the waning light.
"Not so fast. You aren't taking the body. This one is slated for something special; haven't you heard Valhalla is short on weres? Apparently the cowards aren't running out to die battle like they used to."
Almost instantly Astley became aware of another presence high in the trees. His heart filling with dread he looked up in time to see a pair of eyes snap open and glower down at him red hot. He should have noticed her, should have known that damnable woman would be here to collect. After all she claimed almost every felled warrior around here.
The Valkyrie drops through the trees with a grace the Astly had seen in few beings. She glances at Nick before hissing, her hair seeming to curl in on itself from an unseen wind.
"Lucien you fool I told you to be careful! Such maiming… do you know how long he will take to heal?" She circles the boy one foot in front of the other before looking up again "Although I must say your fighting skills are remarkable. You will be a valuable addition to Odin's ranks soon enough yourself" She admitted with a twisted smirk.
Lucien only looked at her dryly "Don't bet on that being too soon I still have far too much let to do." He paused and leered at Astley "Far too much left to take."
Astley bristled at the insulation that he would ever let Lucien get his filthy hands on his queen to be before he turned to Thruth. "Please Valkyrie leave me the boy! Would you really want such an inexperienced fighter?" He took a breath to ready him for the harsh truth of his next statement "Look at how easily he was felled. He hardly has the makings of a true warrior" Thruth only raised an eyebrow.
"He had the makings of a warrior when I found him trying to wrest your organs from your body in the forest. You barely got away "she taunted "But if you really feel so strongly would you care to take his place? Valhalla is lacking in pixie kings."
Astley tried to ignore the burn of humiliation that comment brought up if only for Zara's sake. He knew that in the end she would rather have the body to grieve over than to let this… this… oversized bird take him to an afterlife in which he could never have his rest. He took another step forward.
"Leave him," he said quietly, demanding her obedience like the king he was.
Lucien only howled with laughter as Thruth blandly ignored the both of them bundling Nick to her chest like child.
"Fine time to find your backbone! Such determination… is it to be assumed that perhaps the wolf was not only Zara's?" his eyes glimmered in the light "Maybe he was shared between the two of you during those lonely nights?"
Astley's control snapped as he lunged for the Valkyrie in a desperate attempt to have something to take back to his queen. The woman leapt into the air with a snarl her black wings seeming to fill the forest as Lucien cut in front of the younger pixie. Faster than any human eye could see he grabbed Astley by the throat and brutally slammed him to the ground with a knee on his chest. Astley wheezed as his breath left him and clawed at his captor only to hear the flapping of wings grow fainter by the second. Blowing blond hair out of his eyes, he bucked under Lucien lifting him just enough to kick his captor away. Astley hardly felt the sting of Lucien's claws as they slid off his neck leaving bloody marks. He had to catch the Valkyrie. He had to. But he also had to fight his own battle. With a heavy heart he made his decision; there was no way he could turn his back on someone like Lucien in a last ditch attempt to retrieve a body of a boy, no of a were that not only tried to kill him but desired his queen no less. He wouldn't do it.
So he chose to focus completely on his opponent and wait for the next move.
Lucien scoffed at his narrowed eyes and flexed his red gloved hands.
"So that's it? You were hardly more entertaining than the pup, I was hoping you'd at least make a desperate flight after her. But I don't have time to play with you anymore I accomplished what I wanted." He sniffed at him with distain "I really hope that the next time we meet you're better than this. Because if things go as I plan you won't have a third time to make it up to me."
Astley looked at him with disbelief plainly written across his face "You did all of this to give the were to Thruth? Luring us out here, twisting people from my past, just to entertain yourself before you sacrificed him to Odin?" his silver eyes flashed with anger "I swear one day you are going to pay for all of these infantile games."
Lucien simply shrugged "Perhaps you need to be older before you can appreciate my flair for theatrics. Life is long and I get bored. But," he smirks "I get things done. Do keep an eye on Zara. You have a habit losing your things don't you?"
Astley took a step forward with balled fists and the intent to fight plain in his eyes but before he could retaliate the man was gone, leaving only sprinkling of dust of the forest floor to indicate that he was ever there at all.