Lilly; The Comeplete Locke Series – Tiya Rayne

“Now boys, let’s think this thing through.” I state with my hands up in a surrender gesture. “Are you sure you want to kill me?” There is no doubt in my mind these idiot shifters want to kill me. I did just prevent them from killing the Queen of the elves. I can see the seething anger glowing in those cat-yellow eyes. In human form shifters are usually lanky, slow, and non-threatening, but when they’re in their wolf forms they are strong, fast, and deadly. Their only downfall is that they’re stupid creatures. They have about as much sense as a head of cabbage. Any other time three shifters would be nothing for me to handle. I am the last of the assassins– a line of elf warriors born to kill. I’m faster, stronger and smarter than most of my opponents; especially the shifters. However, I’ve just fought an army of shifters sent by the Dark King to capture the elf Queen. The Queen is safe and the only thing left of the army is these three imbeciles. I’m wounded, tired, and I spent my last bit of energy tracing these three away from the Queen’s castle. My only option is to delay them as long as possible and hopefully give my wounds time to heal and my energy time to return.

Unfortunately, my powers always work slower in other realms. For the first time I take a look around at my surroundings. Tall trees surrounded me. The ground is covered in brown, red and yellow leaves and the weather is warm with a cool breeze chasing behind the wind. I’m in the human realm and its early fall. I was thinking of a forest when I traced, I was thinking more along the lines of the Black Forest back in the Locke, but I guess this works. The big black wolf to my right takes a step toward me. He is the leader of the group. “Careful, Titus!” I warn. “We should talk this through.

You can’t trace back without me. You’re not in the Locke anymore. Look around.” Titus’s big black wolf form turns his head and scans the forest. While he is distracted I wave my hand in the air attempting to draw upon my sword. Not even a glimmer of magic. My energy level is affecting my powers. “You cost us the Queen, Assassin.” He says in that gravelly voice all shifters speak with when in their wolf form. It sounds like a growl mixed with a cough.

“So what now, shifter? Do you kill me, and then hope someone will open up a portal for you?” I laugh without humor. “Face it; you will never get back home without me.” The ability to trace−travel−through realms is something only a few in my world can achieve. The leader laughs, followed by the other two wolves. “The Dark King is wise. He has a permanent portal open just for his followers. Now stop stalling, Assassin. You have come to the end of your reign. Tonight the great Assassin dies.” Titus bares his teeth, and then dips his head.

The dark hairs of his coat stick up from his back. So this is it. I’ve fought in countless battles against centaur’s, warlock’s, even some immortals, and yet here I am, about to die in a foreign land against three fucking shifters. Not the noblest way to go, but at least the Queen will survive. I wave my hands in the air once more, still no sword. I take the small dagger from behind my back just as the first wolf attacks. He goes directly for my neck, I step back and he misses it by inches. The second, smaller, wolf attacks next and he grabs hold of my left shoulder. I grab him by the scruff of his neck and yank him off me. I sling the wolf up against a tree and hear the sound of his spine snap.

He cries out in a whimper and then goes still. His death helps even the field, but after using so much strength I feel weaker. The remaining small brown wolf howls out his anger and then dives at my legs. He rips into my calf and brings me to my knees. I drive my dagger down into his head and give it a twist; his body goes slack and drops to the ground, disappearing at once. Whenever a being dies outside of their realm, their body goes back to their home. It is the gods way of keeping order to the realms. I’m bleeding profusely, my arms and legs feel like lead and I am now without a weapon. I am definitely going to die. Titus stalks toward me slowly, his face smiling, as much as a wolf face could.

He knows he has the upper hand. Titus lunges at me and at the same time I hear a loud pop followed by a howl. I follow the sound of the pop, and standing in the woods, holding a shot gun that was almost the size of her, is a little human girl. “Get back ya mangy mutt.” The little girl shouts in a heavy southern accent. Titus turns toward the little girl and growls. Another pop and another howl. This time, she hit him directly in the eye. “I said get, or I’ll take both them eyes.” Titus’s head shoots to me and I can read the indecision on his face.

He is wondering if he has time to get to me before that gun could do him any real damage. I don’t blame him, this will be his only chance to defeat the Assassin−enemy of all− and it’s now or never. With another pop to his flanks his question is answered, he speeds off through the woods. With a sigh of relief, I drop myself back onto my ass and lean up against a tree. The great Assassin, last of his kind, enemy of all, has been saved by a little girl. The laugh that escapes my mouth is coated in hysteria and exhaustion. “Are ya ok, Mister?” the little girl asks as she walks over to me. She is wearing a pair of worn jeans with holes in both knees and a flannel button up shirt a size too big. By law, I am supposed to ignore the girl. We have strict rules whenever we travel to different realms.

No contact. I usually have no qualms with this particular rule. I’m not really a get involved type of guy. I’m more of an observer when I visit realms. However, this little girl just saved my life, and she is looking at me with the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. So to hell with rules, it’s not like I’ve never broken one before. “Yes. I’m fine little one.” She sinks to her knees beside me followed by the sickliest looking dog I have ever seen. “Are ya sure you ok, Mister, you’re bleeding pretty badly.

” “I will be fine. Tell me little one, what is your name?” “I’m Lilly Ann and this here is my dog Bo.” She says pointing to the dog. “He use-ta be my uncle Buddy’s dog, but uncle Buddy says that he ain’t worth the dog food to feed him. So he’s mine now.” She smiles proudly at me, flashing a set of dimples. By human standards she is an adorable little girl. Her black hair is braided down her back in two pigtails, and her big hazel doe-eyes are stunning. “Your ears are funny.” She states.

“I guess they are.” I smile at how observant she is. My pointed elf ears are usually covered by my hair, but I guess during the scuffle they have become visible. “Mama says just because people are different from you, you ought not judge them. My cousin Lizzie calls me a mud baby, seeing as my daddy is black and all, but it don’t bother me none. Everybody knows her daddy ran off with his step sister. Mama says she’s just jealous that my daddy died working on the railroads like an honest man.” “Well, I happen to agree with your Mother.” I say with a smile and then flinch at the pain that race through my body. My wounds are healing, but not as fast as I would like, being in this realm is preventing me from fully regenerating.

I need to get back to the Locke so that I can recuperate. I wave my hand in the air testing my power, only a spark. Damn it. I slump back against the tree. I need a little more time. “Are ya sure ya gonna be alright, Mister?” “I’ll be fine little one. I just need a few minutes to rest.” I realize that I have talked more with a little human girl than I have anyone, other than the queen. And, oddly, I’m enjoying her company. “Well I’ll wait here with ya.

I don’t want that big black dog to come back, he seemed mighty worked up over ya.” I am ashamed to admit how much that comforts me. I am in the human world with no powers, no weapon and too weak to defend myself; right now little Lilly was my best hope of survival. She sits down beside me and crosses her legs in front of her, then pulls a back pack from behind her back and places it at her side along with the shot gun. “Might I ask why you are out at night with a weapon like that?” No matter how grateful I am she had it, this seemed a bit odd. I’ve been tracing into this realm for many centuries, I know humans are very protective of their young. This human couldn’t be older than five or six mortal years, surely this is unusual. “This ain’t no real shot gun.” She says picking up the weapon. “It’s a bebe gun.

It shoots these little balls.” She says as she digs in her pocket and pulls out a handful of little silver balls. It won’t kill you, but it stings something bad if you get hit.” She stuffs the balls back in her pocket. “Uncle Buddy bought this for me on my birthday. He’s been teaching me to hunt, says I’m a natural when it comes to shooting.” With one shot she took out Titus’s eye, I agree with Uncle Buddy. “That explains the weapon, but why are you out in the woods alone?” she looks down at her hands in her lap. “I’m running away.” She says softly.

“I did something bad, but I didn’t mean to.” the last part was said with a plea. “I believe you.” I answer with absolute confidence that this little girl with the most beautiful bright eyes could never do anything wrong. “What is it that you have done?” I am curious to find out why this child felt the need to run from the safety of her home. Again, this shocks me. I usually don’t take the time to get involved in other people’s problems, not unless they are hiring me for a job. Even then, I only want as little information as possible to get the job done. But I was honestly interested in what this little girl was going to say. “I was playing tag with Bo in the house and I accidently knocked over Billy Ray’s favorite cup.

It’s the one with the big bass on it.” “I’m sure Billy Ray will forgive you.” The incredulous look she gives me leads me to believe maybe this matter was more serious than I had initially thought. “Billy Ray is my step-daddy. He don’t like me too well. He’s always calling me mean names like my cousin Lizzie does. He hits me a lot too, not with a switch like mama and Uncle Buddy, but with his fist and sometimes a big belt that’s got this metal fishing buckle on it. He leaves a lot of ugly bruises.” She pulls the edge of her shirt up to show me her stomach, and even with the diluted pale moonlight I can see the purplish mark over her stomach. Anger pierces me and I dig my hands into fist to contain my urge to kill.

I feel so protective of this little human that I barely know. Other than her sweet smile and kind heart, I don’t know much else about her, but my need to protect and defend her is almost choking. She rolls her shirt back down and continues on with her story, blind to the raging anger that is soaring through me. “Mama says not to tell anybody about Billy Ray’s bruises. You won’t tell mama I told ya, will ya?” “No. Your secret is safe with me.” besides, I didn’t have to tell Billy Ray why I was killing him. I know by taking any action against Billy Ray was breaking another one of those forbidden rules, never get involved with the lives of people from other realms. But, just like the first rule, I do what the fuck I want. “Good.

” She sighs. “Cuz mama says a woman her age is lucky to have a man like Billy Ray to take her in knowing that her younging ain’t his. Aunt Millie says he’s mean toward me cuz I’m a reminder that he can’t have no youngings of his own. She says his soldiers couldn’t take aim if you gave them a sniper and a roof. I’m not sure what that means, but Aunt Millie always finds it funny.” Lilly pulls a small box out of her book bag and sticks a plastic tube in it, then hands it to me. She took another one out and repeats the process before drinking out of it. “It’s just apple juice.” She says, nodding at the little box in my hand. Slowly I raise the plastic tube to my mouth and sip.

A sweet taste caress my taste buds and I found myself emptying the little juice box in seconds. Lilly pulls out another one and hands it to me. I take my time and sip this one, no need to deplete all of her rations. Besides, my body is starting to feel replenished. “So you see, Mister,” She says as she unwraps a sandwich that she found in her bag and hands it to me. “That’s why I can’t go home.” I take a bite out of the suspicious treat. Being an Elf my diet usually consist of fruits, berries and vegetables. However, this unusual taste of peanut and honey on a processed wheat bread is delicious. I devour the sandwich in two bites.

“As soon as Billy Ray finds that cup, he’s gone get me good.” “So, tell me, where will you go?” I ask out of curiosity. I have already made my decision that I was not letting this little girl wonder off alone. I know this world isn’t nearly as dangerous as the Locke, there were no hungry centaurs or Dark King’s, but it still had its dangers. Lilly’s eyes light up like the night sky full of glittering stars. She reaches down in that all providing back pack of hers and pulls out a large book then hands it to me. The front cover was a picture of a waterfall in the middle of a diverse forest. It isn’t nearly as beautiful as the great Mystique Falls in the Locke, where the Nymphs lay out on the rocks to sunbathe, but it was beautiful. “You want to go to this waterfall?” I ask handing the book back to her. She takes the book from my hands and presses it to her heart as if it is the most cherished thing in the world.

“I wanna go everywhere.” Her voice is filled with a dreamy enthusiasm only children have when they speak of their future, before they realize life is full of limitations. “I’m gonna travel the world and take pictures of it just like this photographer.” I smile at the simplicity of her dream and how much it brings her joy. No dreams of being a princess or a ballerina for this beautiful little girl, her wishes are much more obtainable. Yet, judging by her clothing and upbringing may still be just as unobtainable as becoming royalty. That thought saddens me. “One day I’m gonna have me a book of pictures just like this one.” She says, looking down at the book clutched to her chest. “I’ve even already started one….

do you wanna see?” I didn’t think her eyes could shine brighter, and even though my body is completely healed, and my power is humming inside me like a hive of angry bees, I would not leave without seeing her work. “Yes.” I say sitting up straighter. She reaches back in her bag and pulls out a plain blue book. “Mama bought me a brand new camera for my birthday. She says she had to save all her tip money for three months to buy it for me.” She opens the book and places it in my lap. I quickly scan over the pictures before me. “They are beautiful, little one.” I say honestly.

Her eye for beauty is amazing. The page is full of shots of nature. The first is a tall maple tree, the leaves the color of ginger apples against a sunset. Another picture features Bo standing in a broken-down wagon proudly, as if he were purposefully posing for the camera. The way the shadows play across his midnight fur made him look regal and not like the malnourished pup that he is. Lilly is a talented photographer, even at her young age she captures the beauty in all these photos. I scan down further and one picture caught my attention. It is a picture of a beautiful white butterfly atop of a chubby small finger. The butterfly’s wings were pulled back behind his back as he perched on the tip of the finger. This small beautiful creature, which has every reason to be afraid, is resting so peacefully on the fingers of a little girl.

An amazing little girl. “May I have this picture little one?” I ask only taking my eyes off the picture briefly. She smiles brightly. “Sure!” she pulls the picture off the page of the book and hands it to me. I stare down at the picture once more amazed at the beauty I find in such a simple picture. That is when I hear it. “Assassin!” The Queen’s voice calls into my mind. She is summoning me back to her. My life usually consists of war and death. Shortly after I reached maturity the Locke became a large battlefield, where my people were exterminated.

Not long after, the Dark King stole the throne and every day you survive in the Locke now, is a testament to your strength. A world that was once beautiful and free is now savage and deadly. My life is full of savagery and chaos. Before, I lived for it, even thrived off of it, but at this moment I want nothing more than to sit alone with my little human. I am in no rush to get back to my duties. So, for the first time ever, I ignored my Queen’s call. “Now I owe you something. It is only fair that I should repay you for giving me such a special gift.” With a slight wave of my hand, I create a necklace. It is a simple silver chain and a butterfly pendant with iridescent wings.

“Wooooow,” Lilly says stretching out the word. I smile at her response. I place the necklace around her neck. She moves her braids so I can clasp the ends. “I’ve never had my own jewelry before.” That wasn’t hard to believe. She picks up the butterfly pendant and swirls it between her thumb and pointer finger looking down at it. “Wear it all the time. It will remind you of Me.” she flashes those dimples at me then clutches her arms around my neck for a hug.

I place my hand on her back and gave her as much of a hug as I know how. Affection was not something I am used to. Fucking, I could do with my eyes closed, but hugging was like a foreign language to me. She pulls away from me and leans back on her knees. “You know, you remind me of my cousin Roy.” I laugh out and it sounds foreign to my ears. It is one of those emotions I never use. This little girl is pushing me to all my limits tonight. “How is that?” I’m curious to know how I could remind her of her human family. By nature, Elves are taller and paler skinned than humans, not to mention the pointed ears, long hair and crystalline eye color.

“Well you’re both about the same age.” Funny, I’m actually a few centuries old; however I stopped ageing long ago. “About 20 right?” I was shocked at how close she was. I was around 25 or 26 when I last remember changing. “You are very close.” I smile. “Yeah, I thought so. Roy’s 18, but he will be 19 next month. He’s really nice to me too, always giving me candy and inviting me to tag along on his days off. He’s always introducing me to his lady friends.

Mama says it’s because Roy’s at that age where his manhood and his brain is one in the same. Something like a bitch in heat, whatever that means. She says that he uses me to impress his lady friends. I don’t mind much, Roy needs all the help he can get with that bad skin and all. Are you like a bitch in heat mister?” I throw my head back and laugh, this time it comes out naturally. “I like to think I am not.” Even though deep down, I know her mother has me pegged. There have been many women to grace my bed, elves, nymphs, even a few immortals. None of them stay long after. They all want something from me I cannot give.

Love and commitment are not my strong points. Love is not an option in my line of work. Only death and loneliness follow me. So yes, I can please a lady in my bed, multiple times in fact, but that is all I’ll ever be able to give her. I good hard fuck is as good as anything sometimes. Most women only want that, and those are the only women I like to deal with.

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