All characters are the property of Karen M. Moning. This work is written solely for the enjoyment of exploring that world in new ways.

Summary: DREAMFEVER, Missing Scene: Four days after the walls came down, Barrons discovered what happened to Mac.


With my eyes closed, I know where I am. I know the smell of this dust. I know the feel of the hot ripping winds. I even recognize the heat of the sun, the sensation of the rays against my skin. And I know without a shadow of doubt what has happened, but there is only one thought repeating in my head.

It didn't work.

It didn't work.

It didn't work.

I wake up in the sand. Again. I hate bloody sand. Fucking MacKeltars. With a growl, I roll onto my stomach and start to dig. I know this routine like a common man knows how to shave while half awake. Muscles move from memory. The hole is wide enough to keep the sand from falling back in, but I keep digging deep. I'm fast. In ten minutes, I hear the hollow thunk and clear away the hatch. The door is chiseled deeply with runes. It makes a horrible metallic grinding noise as I lift it and let myself fall forward inside. The door slams shut over me. I know from experience that it will be buried again in a few minutes.

Cool blackness engulfs me and I stop for a moment. The space is narrow but wide. I'm never more satisfied with myself than I am in these few moments, being in this bloody awful but necessary space. At first, it was just filled with water and supplies to march out of the desert. It was a nine-day walk to the nearest place to get transportation. Discovering the Silvers, and how to use and stack them, had eliminated the need.

After three days of battling the thing we tried to summon, I just enjoy the silence. Fucking MacKeltars. Fucking Christian.

It didn't work.

A huff turns into a growl, becoming a roar. It didn't work. The walls came down. I have to get back. I roll across the sandy metal floor and like rolling into a wide pond, I let myself slip into the mirror. Five mirrors later, I'm in Chester's putting clothes on.

Ryodan sees me arrive on his monitors and comes stalking into the room as I'm lacing a pair of Italian leather shoes.

"I wouldn't dress so pretty, if I were you," he says. His expression is dark and guarded.

I stop. "How bad is it?"

"Worse than you'd think."

"What the fuck kind of report is that?" I strip off the shoe I'd just put on and grab boots. He's hedging and it's pissing me off.

"Power is out in a fifteen kilometer radius out from the city. Unseelie are rounding humans up and herding them straight into the Shades. The streets have been deserted for the past thirty hours. Everyone is either dead or gone underground. We haven't heard anything from those MacKeltars you went to dance with on Samhain, but we figured whatever you were trying to do didn't work when the Unseelie came swarming into town like locust. City utilities are mostly out, but there's still water... for now."

"The men?"

"Here and ready."

"Where's Mac? Did she call you when she couldn't reach me?"

He stares at me again. "Reports have been coming in sketchy at best."

That wasn't an answer. I feel a prickling in my gut. "Fuck the reports. Where's Mac?"

"We heard she was taken to the abbey."

The way he answers me is pissing me off. He knows something he isn't telling me. "Taken as in kidnapped, or taken as in carried?" He hesitates and I explode. "What the fuck happened?"

"We don't know anything for sure, but we got a report that she was captured by three Unseelie Princes and raped."

The words hit me like a truck. I feel the rage start.

Ryodan explains in a rush now. He knows he doesn't have much time. "They caught her the next morning after the walls came down. They had her for two days. It was crazy here. The kid, Dani, took her to the abbey. She's Pri-ya now. She never called me, Zigor. She never called."

My body explodes into the beast.

~•~

Sweat pours over me. When my rational mind returns, I'm naked and panting from exertion. Ryoden is unconscious across the room. Every muscle in my body spasms.

Mac. Gang raped. Pri-ya.

I smash my head back against the wall and roar, feeling myself losing control again. I can see them in my mind's eye, imagine what they did to her; their hands pawing at her, their bodies moving against hers. I press the heels of my hands into my eyes needing the bright bursts of light it makes to burn the picture from my eyes. It doesn't.

"Fuck!"

She didn't call—not me, not Ryodan. She was unprotected. She had the means to summon me out of the Silvers and she didn't fucking call! What the hell was she thinking? What did she think the bloody phone was for? Instead, I spent days lost in the fucking Silvers fighting ever manner of fauna and flora known to the realms while she was being...

Ryodan huffs when he comes to and pushes himself into a sitting position against the wall. I see conflicting emotions in his eyes as glares at me from across the room: anger, respect, injustice, understanding, and vague gratitude. I remember seeing those things in his eyes, eons ago, over a blazing fires as we boasted over our conquests. There used to be awe in his eyes, too, back then. There isn't, anymore.

He feels wronged that I attacked him but he's glad I didn't kill the messenger. He won't want to be left out of this fight, no matter what he thinks about Mac. I know he'll do anything that helps me save my son. All the men would. They all feel connected to my Indar. They look at him and see themselves. So many things that are now part of who we are, are because of what happened to my son.

He speaks first, letting me know he's already over it. "You done wasting time? We going to get her out now?" He grabs his jaw and tries to work it back into place.

"I don't trust that bitch, Rowena. I want Mac out of the abbey yesterday."

He lurches to his feet and walks away without looking at me. "I'll get everyone ready," he says before yanking the door open and slamming it closed behind him.

I don't let myself slip back into the rage I feel. I direct it, focus it, hone it into a razor edge. I have to save her first, and then I will kill the son of a bitches who have done this.

Slow.


A/N: On the same website where KMM must have found the meaning of Barrons' name, Zigor, I found the name that i imagined his son would have. Indar - Basque name meaning strength. This little o/s was meant to continue on to Barrons and his men rescuing Mac from the abbey, but frankly my creative muse packed up not only her clothes, but everything from the kitchen including the ketchup and jelly jars, and FLED! So if you see that wench, kick her butt back to me!