The carpet pressed against Callie's face was gorgeous material.

Everything about the room exuded fine taste and expensive décor. The guard shoving her against the floor—grinding the left side of her face—couldn't truly intimidate her. The fabric was impossibly soft; velvet blue and creamy champagne colored. It was carpet meant for bare feet and probably horribly expensive to clean. Still, the guard's hand was hard against her neck, and his knee dug into her back painfully.

"Such a pretty thief," a silky voice purred. With her one free eye, Callie saw a beautiful white foot and ankle step into her field of view. She should have known this wouldn't be simple—her captor was going to play with her today.

The foot reached out, the big toe tracing across Callie's face gingerly with noticeable warmth. There was some kind of symbolism here; she was sure of it. A lowly mortal such as herself should consider herself lucky to touch the foot of a god. Maybe this was the part where she was supposed to beg.

Instead, she found herself strangely calm and bold. "Hello, Ezzi!" she said as cheerfully as she could muster. Her voice only trembled a little. "Fancy meeting you here."

The pale, almost glowing foot retreated from her face. A moment later, the guard pinning her down yanked Callie up, her arms pulled painfully behind her back. Twisted and shoved around, the guard forced Callie to bow ever so slightly, facing her towards her captor.

Ezzi held a mixed expression of annoyance and curiosity. She wore her usual Sephy costume—bright magenta and lavender rings of fabric that wound sensuously around her chest and waist. They were few in number, leaving her glowing pale skin bare in most places, and showing off the full extent of her curves. Her arms and legs bore scads of silvery bracelets carved in intricate patterns. She wore more of those than she did actual cloth on her person. Her hair was a ridiculous shade of pink, all kept up in a wild bun under an elaborate headdress of feathers and jewels.

There were a few places back home where Callie knew Ezzi would capture the heart of any man or woman. But in Callie's neighborhood, she would look more like a ridiculous stage performer than anything special. She was still impossibly beautiful—a standard that seemed to apply to all the immortal Sephy. And her skin radiated with the power of her Wing.

She was a god in every sense of the word. And Callie was her prisoner.

Ezzi's annoyance melted away under a hungry smile. She nodded to the guard, who finally let Callie free. She winced, twisting her arms in her sockets. Those were going to be sore for a few days.

Ezzi giggled, suddenly pulling Callie into a tight hug. As if they were old friends. "My dear Callie! You don't know how long and hard I've searched for you in the kingdoms of Lyma. You were always my favorite pet Foran."

Callie let herself go limp in Ezzi's embrace. She didn't dare move—the Sephy was a bit of a prima donna. With an unstable temperament and supernatural power at her command, Callie was in real danger. If Ezzi wanted to, she could probably crush her in this embrace.

There was a lot of clarity Callie hadn't expected in such imminent danger. Too bad she had frozen up yesterday when Ezzi's guards first cornered her.

Ezzi pulled back from the embrace, holding Callie tightly by both upper arms. She continued to wear that hungry smile, and her brilliant violet eyes wandered all over Callie's person. Was she checking her out?

"I've really missed you," Ezzi purred in a quiet tone. "I was so hoping our dear Liam was with you. But that's all right. That's quite all right. Because I'm sure we'll have plenty of fun together."

Callie felt her breath catching. In fact, her lungs stopped altogether, compressed as if a heavy weight were crushing down on top of her. She felt her eyes bulge, the pressure making her light headed. Ezzi let go of her upper arms, taking a step back from where Callie was frozen rigid in place. She could faintly make out the shimmer of light around Ezzi's hands—the tale signs she was using her Wing.

It seemed it was time to die.

Ezzi began strolling in circles around Callie, the force of her power keeping her upright. At this point, Callie would have collapsed to the floor. She was seeing black spots in her vision.

"You've done very well these last few months," said Ezzi, "hiding away in Lyma. But it's time you come home to your master."

The pressure let off Callie's chest. She gulped in a painful breath. Her head was dizzy, but she couldn't move—Ezzi held her in place. Maybe she wasn't going to die today after all.

Ezzi paused behind her, massaging Callie's shoulders tenderly. "Welcome home, my pet Foran. Now if only we could find Liam, we'd all be together again…"

Callie kept silent, her breathing finally leveling out. While Ezzi continued to play with her shoulders, Callie drunk in the scene of the palace master bedroom. The colorful walls, vaulting to a ceiling overhead with golden chandeliers; an elaborate mantle over the fireplace, with various gems, trinkets, and a few cyn nolos. The sort Liam had wanted to steal over a year ago.

It was a beautiful place to call a prison. Callie was reasonably certain Ezzi didn't intend to kill her outright. They had misjudged her all these months. She was dangerous in ways Callie hadn't anticipated.

But in a way, that was good. Callie was beginning to understand her captor. Given enough time, she knew she could find the resources to exploit her.

And then escape her. For good, this time.


A/N: This prompt was born out of an encounter between two characters for an old novel idea. The chemistry seemed like a fun idea, but it didn't end up panning out, so it remained little more than a few scenes like this one.