It happened too quickly for Kurt to fight back.
He knew the ritual was drawing nearer and had spent the past week barely sleeping in fear that this very thing would happen, but it appeared that his body had given out on him. Icy hands latched tightly around his wrists, dragging him from his bed. His hands were bound behind his back, the strong rope biting into his fair skin as he was forced to walk through his house. He struggled against them, feeling them grow tighter and making his hands numb.
He saw his father struggling against three of the men in their village and he called out to him, begging for help as tears tracked down his cheeks.
"Be grateful he has been chosen," one of the men hissed to Burt. "It is an honor!"
"Please, Father, please!" Kurt struggled against his bonds even harder but it was no use; the men leading him out were far stronger.
A Druid was waiting outside, chanting as he dipped his fingers into anointing oil. Kurt tried to twist his face away but it did nothing to deter the Druid. The léine he had fallen asleep in was ripped off, leaving him naked and exposed to the chill of the autumn air. The Druid continued drawing symbols on his chest, down to his stomach. Only once he was satisfied did he turn, walking away without a word save for the chanting. Kurt was forced to follow, his rapidly numbing feet stumbling over rocks and sharp sticks. The men's grip never lessened, his pleas falling on deaf ears as he was led further and further into the woods.
Finally, they arrived at a clearing where a large stone slab sat in the middle. Considering what he knew of the ritual, Kurt was surprised to see it looked clean, the smooth white surface bright in the moonlight.
His hands were unbound, though the grip remained as they forced him to lie down and then tied his hands and feet using ropes that were attached to the underside of the slab. The Druid chanted over his body, his voice growing louder as Kurt's pleas did. He drew more symbols in the air, occasional drops of oil splashing on Kurt's naked body. The tension in the air grew until it was almost suffocating.
Then there was silence, save for Kurt's panting breaths. The men had disappeared without a trace. The sudden lack of noise pressed on him until he began struggling anew. His body slumped against the freezing stone, his eyes raw and nose running as he tried to breathe. "Please, please, I don't want die," he sobbed. "Gods, why, please."
The snap of a twig had him snapping his head around, searching for the source.
This is it, he thought. With that, he took one last deep breath, looking up at the starry sky above him. He forced himself to relax, to face whatever was going to happen head-on. If I must die, I will do so bravely.
"Hello," a soft voice said. It was startlingly close to his ear and Kurt blinked, looking over to find... Well, it must have been a man, but he was bare and not even shivering despite the cold, and there appeared to be something on his head, dark stick-like things.
"Hello," Kurt replied, forcing his eyes to stay on the man's face and not linger on his body.
"I heard you crying, are you okay?"
"I meant to be a sacrifice, so you should probably leave before the god gets here," Kurt warned.
"But why did you stop?" the man insisted, not moving.
"Why did you stop crying? You must be scared."
Kurt nodded slowly, his brows furrowed as he stared at the man. "I know I'm going to die and I do not wish to go out like that. I will go out with my back straight and brave. Death will take me no matter but I will not let it dull my spirit!" Kurt flushed when he realized how he sounded but he kept his chin up.
The man let out a chuckle. "I like you. Most people only ever beg to be let go and the rest begged for a swift death." His fingers reached out, warm against Kurt's icy skin, to touch the taut skin under the ropes as Kurt tried to process what he was saying. Others? "Never has anyone so bravely faced their fate in this clearing. Truth, none were as beautiful as you, either." The fingers ghosted up his arm to stroke his face.
The man hummed, eyes trailing down Kurt's body. "Many, many others. I have lived here a long time." He flashed Kurt a smile, white teeth shining in the moonlight. "My name is Blaine, what's yours?"
"Do you always get to know your meals before you eat them?" Kurt sassed, emboldened by some force.
Another chuckle. "No, not usually," Blaine admitted. "But you're different. I think I shall keep you."
The ropes securing him to the table slackened and fell away and then Kurt was in Blaine's arms, one tucked under his knees and the other wrapped around his back.
The clearing was empty.