Ground shook, the tyres causing dust and dirt to jump to the air, mixing with the exhaust, leaving a trail of brownish-grey whirlwind in its wake. The black sports car sped through the forest, swerving left and right to avoid the plants.
Five bats on either side kept up with it. Dark smoke clouding their wings as they flapped feverishly alongside the vehicle.
The four jeeps not far behind them, nearing them with every passing second.
The young man glanced through the rearview mirror to catch a glimpse of the remaining distance between them and their pursuers. Tightening his grip on the steering wheel, he pushed down on the gas pedal with more force.
They mustn't get captured. And they both were aware of that.
"Not to worry you or anything, but I think they are catching up to us," the girl apprised the obvious to her companion as she nervously glimpsed behind her.
"Thank you Celest, as if I already didn't know that," he snapped.
"So drive faster, Elliot!" she half screamed.
"This is the maximum speed limit," he bellowed.
One of the black jeeps had begun driving almost parallel to them.
Elliot swerved the car in a swift motion, but it did not give them an advantage.
Celestiana could see the beads of sweat gathering on his brows as he swallowed with effort, his Adam's apple bobbing. He appeared older than his twenty-one years of age. His silky dark brown hair unruly, dark circles shading under his eyes, stubble covered his cheeks thanks to the four days they've been on the run. At least we are clean, she thought to herself, although last night's shower water wasn't warm, she knew better than to complain. It was worth it, and soon they'll be free. None of this would matter.
Another jeep began driving next to their car on Elliot's side, she clutched the armrest of the door cursing herself for not being able to blow them to debris.
The buzzing of her phone drew her attention to itself. She caught Elliot's widened whiskey brown eyes peeking at her.
"It's Nikolus, relax," she informed and received the call.
"Bad news, plan A is a complete fail," Nikolus's deep voice came from the other end.
"Tell me about it," Celestiana muttered, rolling her eyes. She pushed a stray strand of her burgundy hair behind her ear, the loose knot she had tied her long hair into was coming off.
"Now is not the time Celest. Listen carefully, here's Plan B." His calm tone eased her racing heart.
"I'm listening. Just so you know, we're getting caught over here, so it better be good," she warned and glanced at the mirror.
"It's the only option," the Lord stated. "You must use the location changer spell. Don't worry, I've linked your car to mine, you'll be teleported to where I am. Focus on the spell, and don't mess it up,"
"You're making me anxious," she mumbled with dismay.
"Not now. You should have thought of this before you ran away from the palace, and royal guards chasing you. Just stay focused," his voice was soothing to her even though he was scolding her.
She was sure he wouldn't let anyone harm her.
And she thanked the gods of every realm, for the teleporting spell was one of the few spells her mother had allowed her to practice and excel in.
Celestiana calmed herself with deep breaths, paying no heed to the bats circulating their vehicle or the black guard cars enclosing them.
She shut her eyes, with one hand pressed against the car's door and the other reaching to Elliot. His palm, clammy with icy sweat, grasped hers. She let loose of her powers, allowing it to flow to her lover and the car, linking them and making them one.
With all her might in a firm tone, she voiced, "Locusallagis,"
As the spell fell from her lips, she felt her power being pulled out of her, her fingers tightened around Elliot's palm as thousands of needles poked her entire body. The moment dragged on forever for her. But she knew it couldn't have been longer than a second or two.
She fluttered her eyes open. Indeed, they had been teleported to a rocky location. Without hesitation, she flung the door open and ran towards the man waiting for her with a small smile gracing his features.
The vampire stood in his usual clothing, dark navy suit, the jacket unbuttoned, his navy waistcoat on view. A wine-red cravat styled perfectly under his white button-down shirt. His chestnut hair neatly combed back, face clean-shaven as always, glowing emerald eyes, alert as it can be. The gift of immortality made him look as though he was in his early twenties, only his attire granted hints at maturity and his rank in the society.
Celestiana embraced the Lord tightly, surprising him yet again. She wasn't a short girl, but yet the Lord easily towered over her as she settled her hands around his well-built body.
She wondered if he'll ever get used to being hugged.
His tense muscles relaxed. With hesitance, he wrapped his strong arms around her slender body. She welcomed the calming sense of being enveloped by her friend.
"I'm very proud of you," Lord Nikolus murmured, earning a grin from her.
The sound of the car's door shutting made them part too soon for her liking as Elliot approached them while rolling up the sleeves of his faded blue plaid shirt. His jeans were a size too big for him, its left leg was torn.
The sense of calmness and security offered by the Lord's embrace tempted her to never let go of him, but she knew better than that. To avoid any second thoughts, she took a step back, providing more distance between them.
"Thank you," she spoke. And after a pause added, "I couldn't have done it without you,"
The glare directed at the Lord from Elliot wasn't unnoticed from Celestiana's sharp eyes, but she pretended she didn't see.
The human boy placed himself next to her. Snaking his arm around her and pulling her closer to himself. He rested his hand on her waist in a possessive manner.
"So the plan from here is going to be very dangerous. A single mistake can end your life," Lord Nikolus beckoned to Elliot and turned Celestiana, "and take you back from where you fled from. I won't be able to stop him from killing him or harming your families," he explained in a grim voice.
Worry etched Elliot's features as he glanced at his beloved Celest, and she held his gaze.