“We’re here,” Raven said. “Let’s go.” He scooped up his axe and makeshift shield in case of quills, and stepped out of the vehicle.
Thistle and Ossian followed, machetes and shields in hand. They walked toward the towering concrete of Centre Point. There were some lights in the windows about halfway up, bright and flickering a little.
The main doors were dark, probably barricaded.
A loud crash filled the air.
Raven stuck his arms out. “Stop.”
Raven silver eyes darted to his left, towards Tottenham Court Road Tube Station. Masses of rubble filled the old station entrance.
“That’s quite the commotion…” he said.
“Sleekers, you think?” Thistle said.
Raven shook his head. “I don’t think so.”
“Maybe the thing from the Underground is…” Ossian hesitated a moment. “Maybe it’s surfacing.”
Before Raven could finish, the rubble exploded outward. They hit the asphalt, rolling out of the way of falling debris.
They got to their feet, weapons ready, waiting for the dust to clear. Things were moving behind the dust…figures…
“Is that people?” Thistle said.
Raven sniffed the air. A perfume, a familiar perfume of dying flowers and exquisite beauty, a scent of a non-glamoured…
“Faye?” He stepped forward a little.
Ossian and Thistle flanked him.
“Raven?” Ossian said. “What do you mean?” Then he froze.
Raven turned to him. “You sense it now?”
“It can’t be her…”
“It is,” Thistle said as the dust cleared.
There she was, the beautiful red head who had manipulated and destroyed and taken. Faye! And with her other fey looking ready for battle. A tall man with black hair stood beside her his dark eyes searching the shadows around them. Some of the fey were dragging a horse and a pretty huge chariot from the rubble, the horse seemed incredibly well disciplined. Was there someone in that chariot? A familiar scent…but not quite…
Faye stopped and smiled, placing a hand on her hip. She looked dishevelled despite her attempt at composure.
“Well,” she said, “look who it is; the welcome party. I guess we have you guys to thank for that little distraction back there.”
Raven took another step forward, snarling. The beast within wanted out, wanted the taste of fey blood. “Why are you here?”
“Don’t play dumb, wolfy boy. You know why we’re here.”
“Rose,” Thistle said.
“Ah, the vampire has a brain.”
Raven noticed Faye’s emerald gaze fall on Ossian who still hadn’t moved, but he didn’t give her an opportunity to open her mouth. “You must be pretty high on your own sense of power to cross back over here.”
Faye narrowed her eyes. “Well, we weren’t really expecting a pre-emptive strike on your part. We’ve lost some great warriors.”
“Strike?” Raven asked.
“Again, don’t play dumb.”
Thistle stepped in. “I take it you didn’t know.”
“Didn’t know what?”
“That London isn’t what it used to be.”
“What the fuck are you talking about, blood hound?”
“Since your power was set free,” Raven said, “London has fallen into eternal darkness. Things have gone, well, to shit. And there are things that live in the dark that don’t like the light; hence these glowing suits.”
Faye laughed. “Please, don’t make excuses for your crappy fashion sense.”
Raven crossed his arms across his chest and arched his brow.
Faye looked suddenly unsure. “You expect me to believe that crap?” she asked, but her voice wavered.
“Faye,” Lugh said, stepping off the chariot. “Look around you.”
It was then as Faye looked around at the darkness, the quiet ruined street that something leapt from the shadows and tore a knight open with furious speed, before dragging the corpse away into the thickest shadows.
“SHIT!” Faye cracked her whip in a reflexive action, eyes scanning the dark.
Raven could hear them moving around in the inky blackness that surrounded them; a pack of Sleekers, moving towards their potential meals. He readied his axe.