I own none of the original. (I know I do Starr's POV a lot, just bear with me for a bit.)

Starr

The more we discussed tactics, the more nervous I became despite myself. Erik made a point to put himself between me and Stark. Even Kalona recognized the grief-stricken fear in the Guardian and kept his eye on us. Blind with rage, Stark seemed to forget who he had come to when he was first Marked, who was his only gateway (back then) to being close to normal.

I was his half-sister, and I would do anything for him.

Kalona nodded for me to join him in the hall briefly. I sighed and followed, talk of battle more than tedious. "Stevie Rae and Rephaim have to stay here," he suggested.

"I know you're Rephaim's dad, but they can take care of themselves," I reminded him. "Plus, we need Stevie Rae and her affinity. If a circle has to be cast…"

Worry flashed in the amber depths, yet he knew he shouldn't argue with me. I gave him a tiny nod of acknowledgement and headed back into the kitchen to finalize the plan.

"But how are we going to find her?" Stark inquired. "I might be Oath-Bound, but I'm still new to this."

The spot directly between my shoulder blades started burning. Magick was starting to cooperate with me, so I knew by instinct what to say and do. Darkness was still calling to me, which only made my power grow.

"All red fledglings, return to your rooms," I ordered. "You, too, Thanatos. Only these fighters are necessary."

As they filed out of the room, Erik grabbed my wrist. "Don't risk your life for Zoey," he whispered. He was half pleading, half ordering.

"No promises," I murmured in response. Breaking free of his grip, I met the eyes of Zoey's friends. Hungry determination settled over all of us. "Darkness knows what it wants, and that is an advantage over Light. The white bull has the 'ferret you used to trust," I began. "Now it thinks it needs me. Zoey is caught in the middle. I'm not going to try to say we'll definitely all make it. Hopefully we do, and if we don't, I'll rescue whoever is left behind as long as I am free." I took a deep breath to steady myself. Our next move would cost me a good amount of energy. "All of you think of Zoey and of saving her. Imagine finding her and then rescuing her."

Magick danced around me, summoned on instinct. I closed my eyes and traced the tattoos along my back, mentally depicting the Portal Rune. Reopening my eyes, I moved my finger in the air, the rest of my hand unmoving, drawing its symbol in so-called nothingness. I smiled when a shimmering portal appeared in front of me. My wish to find Zoey, along with the others' desire, let the portal open directly where we had wanted it to. I stepped forward, testing my remaining strength.

"Warriors first," I ordered gently. Darius and Stark complied. Erik listened but did not move. I nodded at him. "The rest of us will follow."

Unfortunately, the 'ferret was on the other side, waiting for us. I stiffened, ready to summon spirit and use it with the Lightning and Arrow Runes. My Marks were hidden, but I was already named to the bull. And I led the rescue part straight into an ambush.

Who do you think "the 'ferret" is? (blackravens4 – don't answer!) Please tell me what you think of the chapter. Until next time.