Written by Crescent1325

Red blasting heat invaded the archer’s mind. It felt as if claws were digging their way into a secret part of him. A part so secret that only one other being knew it. Gritting his teeth he pushed the claws away. Slowly the red haze parted, and he saw her. “No,” he thought. “’She’ might see you.” An unsteady hand held a gleaming silver knife.

Unfortunatly, “she” did see her. As quickly as the elfess stalked the haunting beauty, was as quickly as had fallen into a blank void.

The elfin archer reached for his mate, but was barred by stone, as the Black robbed one sighed. “Dissapointing …Predictably unimaginative,” she said to her wing companion.

“I find it hard to believe that these small brutish creatures are in anyway related to us,” he said in disgust looking a t the purple clad figure lying limp on stone steps.

Quickly, the archers anger flared. How could the hurt his lovely Eryn. He turned on the Pale elfess, Snarling. Wishing that he could reach thru the bars and claw and tear at her as she had done to him and his love.

The cage only seem to amuse the Female elf. “But they are, Tyldak! Isn’t it amusing? How like frantic beast they seem,” she said with a faint chuckle. “See this silents one’s sharp tearing teeth? See how he snarls with rage?”

The archer gripped the stone fence harder. Wishing that it was the neck of this pale elf. “Both he and his mate would rip us to pieces,” she continued. “if they could.” Strongbow raged. The wolf in him wanted blood. NOW. But a shakey voice grabbed his attention.

“Let him go! Let him go or…or ill kill you!” Fear replaced rage. Not fear for himself, but fear for his friend of his body and spirit. Fear of what ‘She’ would do to her.

“an intresting challenge, little one,” she said, mildly amused. “Do you think you can take my life before I take his,” she asked as she turned and sent a blast of pain to the archer. He bit his lip until he tasted blood and sank to his knees. “no,” he thought. “I will not show her my weakness. And I will not let Eryn be hurt by her.” Then the black void over took him.

He woke shortly to Moonshade cradling he head crying. “strongbow, lifemate, forgive me,” she pleaded.

It broke his heart to hear his lifemate blame herself for what happened. “beloved,” he whispered, voice horse from disuse. “Don’t.”
Seeing him in agony only made the tanner cry harder. Strongbow hated to see those lovely eyes brim with tears. “where is ‘she’,” he asked.

“That black snake and her playmate left,” she whispered as strongbow gently wiped her tears away thru the cage. They kept their voice low so if they were being spyed on, they wouldn’t be heard. Slowly the two elves stood. Strongbow wanted to reach out and comfort his lifemate but was only left with touching her check.

Suddenly, Noise floated up from the area below them. Only keen elven ears could hear that a battle of some sort was taking place. But quiet soon came back. **Strongbow! Moonshade,** came a many voice call. Strongbow was stunned, his chief had made it on his quest after all. Moonshade took off running down the stone stairs. “no, beloved,” he cried. He did not want her to endanger herself anymore then she already had.

Strongbow stared at the spot where his lifemate stood. Once again gripping the stone cage. Growling with rage, Strongbow shook it. But like his pervious attempts, it stood firmly in place. Suddenly more noise drifted up to him. Straining his hearing, he made out battle crys. He heard his beloveds shrill voice yelling at someone. “Briarsting,” he questioned himself. Though rage filled him, knowing that his wolffriend watched his lifemates back eased his pain of hearing the fight. Suddenly, voice grew louder, clearer.
“Leetah, is that Leetah,” he thought. “she couldn’t hold her own as a fighter, she shouldn’t be here!”

Then, the Black Snake appeared, not far behind, Moonshade and Briarsting, nipping at her heals. “let my lifemate be you Black Snake,” she warned. “No human was ever as cruel as you. I faild against you once. But im not alone this time!” Strongbow looked at Moonshade, corncern playing across his face. But, pride swelled in his heart that his lifemate, stood up to the black hair paingiver. But he didn’t want her to ever touch Moonshade again.

“Stop,” she commanded. “have you forgotten,” her words as cold as ice.

Strongbow looked at each of his tribemate’s faces as Cutter questioned them. Worry and fear played across all of their faces. “No,” he thought. “this isn’t our way. Our way is to follow our chief no matter what! **Wolfriders,** he sent. **Do as Cutter says, Forget about me!” once again, Winnowill awarded him with his punishment for daring to urge his people on. She turned on him and pain filled his being. Strongbow flew onto the cold stone, half passed out.

Pain raced thur all his limbs as he heard someone yelling for him. “take my hand,” the soft voice said. Instinctively Strongbow reached out, knowing the voice ment no harm. Quickly healing magic swam thur him banishing all hurt that Winnowill had done. And protecting him for the onslaught of her newest painsend. “there,” Leetah said. “she cannot hurt you now.” Strongbow looked at Winnowill defiantly, wanting her to test him again. But, the Black Snake had other plans.

She turned to discuss the series of event with the Wolfriders. The winged elf claimed hunting was a crime. Strong bow quietly stood his ground. Not protesting anything he was acused of. He sagged his head in defeat when he heard Treestump inform cutter of the altimatum. Strongbow wanted to say that he insisted that the rest take leave. That the blame for this mess they were in was his fault. But he couldn’t bring himself to say it.

Especially when he heard cutters voice. “that’s no choice, treestump you did the only thing you could. But now, its over. We’re getting out of here. All of us,” he said to Winnowill as she started chuckling.

She began to bait cutter with a trap, as Strongbow watched he felt pride that the young chieftain didn’t fall for it. Instead demanding to speak to her chief. Strongbow watched as the tribe followed her down the stairs. Moonshade grabbed his hand and nuzzled it goodbye. Tears stung his eyes. He did not want to her to go. He did not want to be alone again. But slowly the sound of silence returned.

The archer sat in his cell, quietly, trying to stop picturing his lifemate. Those beautiful purple eyes kept haunting him. He wanted to burry himself in her hair and never leave her side again.

Slowly Strongbow began to tire. How long have I been up, he thought to himself. His body seemed to think it had been days. Without the Black Snake there to rape his inner self, he quickly descended into sleep.

A forest appeared and the Strongbow heard a giggle. “Father,” a girl voice cried. “Leave poor Windchaser alone!”

Strongbow looked down and he saw a gray wolf cub he was teasing with fresh meat. “Well, daughter,” he said, words coming naturally to his lips. “Come and grab him before he gorges himself on our doe and ruins you mothers pelt!”

The hidden elfess giggled again and jumped to the foreest floor next to Strongbow. He looked down at the girlcub and bright purple eyes looked up at him. “Father,” she question. “whats wrong, you look like you’ve seen a spirit!”

Strongbow started at her in disbelief and grapped her into a fierce hug. “No, daughter, I see you,” he cried as tears streaked his face. Suddenly His daughter punched him in his gut. Winded, Strongbow tried to question why. “Filthy cur, get up,” she yelled, but in a males voice. Then Strongbow’s eyes flew open, as one of the gliders hoisted him up by the shoulders. “your tribe has won your freedom,” he informed. “Kureel and I are here to guide you to them,” he spat.

His partner just stared at Strongbow, hate radiating thru him. Strongbow looked at him and felt a sneer rise on his lips. This was the elf that had had him locked up. The elf pushed Strongbow forward and lead him thru a series of mazes. The deepeer in to the mountain the archer was brought, the deeper his rage for this new elf tribe grew. These elves seemed to have feasted on his tribes work. There was no room in his way or his tribes way for that.

Strongbow smelt fresh air mingled with his tribemate’s scents. He knew he was close. He could not wait to hold Moonshade again. “oh wolfrider,” Kureel called. Strongbow spun around to look at him squarely in the eyes. “this is for Swiftwings,” he said as he punched Strongbow in the stomach. Strongbow stumbled back, wind knocked out of him. Quickly, Strongbow recovered, poised to attack, rage radiating from him like rays from the sun. But the other elf was too quick. He grabbed Strongbow by his tattered Rags and pushed him thru a doorway to a female chosen that he had never seen before.

Strongbow twirled and faced the gathered. Searching for only one face. Seeing her usually made his heart leap, but this time anger kept it firmly in place. He took her into a fierce hug and inhaled her scent. Looking over her shoulder he saw Winnowill smirking. His scowl deepened as he thought of her. “Oh,” he thought to himself. “This isn’t over yet, snake. I’ll give you yours.”