Starshine saw Elezar on the other side of the room, a child in his arms. He stood near a cage that seemed to hang from the ceiling, and inside it was a woman. Relieved that they were still alive, she turned to Métius.
“He isn’t yours,” she informed him, her tone firm and commanding. She was looking straight at him, as though completely unafraid.
“Am I to assume that he is yours, then?” the destroyer asked her in return.
She narrowed her eyes at him; she never did care for the mock and sarcasm of the demons and their worshipers. “As far as you are concerned, yes he is. He will not give himself to you, now or ever.”
“A bold child,” Sasha said, meaning it for herself, although Starshine heard her.
Screeching echoed down from the shadows, and after a moment, the ghostly figure of the wraith floated into the light. It snarled and hissed at her, but she remained where she was, hovering unafraid between the wraith and her beloved prince.
“We had an agreement,” Métius told her when he noticed her looking it over. “He swore that if he could not defeat my wraith that he would submit to me. And there he kneels, he himself defeated.”
Starshine could hear Zarrek panting, gasping for breath while he still clung to the wing pendant.
“He is not defeated, ” she told him. “There is life in him yet.”
“He can fight no longer, little girl,” Sasha informed her. “You can see the way he is chained.”
Starshine did not look impressed. “A weaker soul might have given up by now, but Zarrek is not weak. He will fight you till his very last breath.”
“He does not want to kill Zarrek,” Elezar informed her, calling to her nervously from across the room. “He will take my k’haarana’s life before he lets your prince die. He has threatened you as well, young princess.”
Starshine frowned. She could see how close the woman was to her child’s birth, and she did no appreciate the demon god threatening two lives for the sake of one– especially one who had no interest in him.
“Hmmmmm,” Métius intoned, as though thinking deeply about something. “I suppose now that you are here, I should start with you. Zarrek would surely give in quickly if he knew that it meant protecting you.”
Métius rose his hand, signaling to the wraith. He spoke to it in his darkest words, commanding it, ordering it to do things that Starshine could only presume from context. The wraith gave a terrible scream and rushed forward, it’s arms outstretched, reaching for the winged girl.
“You shall not have me!” Starshine cried out.
From where he knelt among the dust and cobwebs accumulated over the centuries, Zarrek could not see much. The pain blurred his vision, and the stark contrast between her light and the shadows of the crypt made it difficult to distinguish much. His blood loss did not help in the matter. Starshine’s back was to him, so that her wings blocked most of what was in front of her. All he knew was the the wraith was moving to attack her.