“I don’t know who you are, but please let my husband go!” Etty cried out, manifesting her wings in response to her distress.
“Wings?” Herring was taken aback. There weren’t many families or clans with wings, and only two in the region. “You’re a Pendy?”
“Yes! Please let him go!”
“Yeehee!” Herring cried, and stamped his feet under the folds of tatty fabric.
He was old enough to be aware of the major bloodlines among the Second Born, and to accidentally run into a scion of one of the most prominent families gave him an unexpected burst of hope. It was said that any bargain with a Pendy was a good one. For a moment, he wished he’d known her surname before choosing a confrontational method of assuring her cooperation.
“I know your family, child. Your line is a good one. Them that don’t respect you, worry for their position, if your sire ever craved the public eye”
“If that’s so, please let him go! I don’t have any enemies, and you know I’ll listen to anyone who comes to me for help.” Etty wrung her hands.
Donna relaxed, seeing that there wasn’t anything she could truly hope to do against someone from Etty’s world. It didn’t stop her from making a mental checklist of things she never wanted to be without again: a heavy purse, a can of the nastiest pepper spray she could find, and a concealed carry handgun permit (with a pistol and fairy appropriate ammunition).
“Maybe so, Miss Pendy; maybe so. The problem is, we don’t have any trust betwixt us, and that requires a different kind of motivation to assure a bargain.”
Herring gave Donna a nod, to show her that he’d noticed that she’d relaxed. For effect, he lifted John’s unresisting body off the ground, with one hand, and gave him a little shake. It always helped to show mortals that they were hopelessly outclassed, before they got it into their heads to do something heroic.
Yet, between the three of them, there was some chance they could do him harm. More than a chance—if the girl thought to use the ring on her finger—truth be told. Could it be she was so naïve, or uneducated, to not know what power she had at her command?
“Now, girly, let’s move our chat where we’ll be untroubled by mortal ears,” he said, “and where I know you can follow.”
Herring popped out of existence in the mortal world, and pulled John with him. He emerged, after an instant in the terrible gray between the realms, underneath his apple tree. John was tossed, without a care, onto the grass near the trunk.
The girl would be along in moments, if her bond with the mortal were truly marriage. It gave him pause to think that her family would allow such an ill-conceived relationship. There was no point to being involved with a creature that would die well before you, that you can’t breed with, and is so much less powerful than the least of your peers.
Even arguing for true love being enough to sustain them… Herring laughed at such an absurd proposition. Love was for children.