Loreli awoke aware of two things immediately. One; she was cold, shivering violently. Two; there was pain. She couldn’t pin-point it yet, it just was. There was a sound, a weak groan; she realized belatedly it was her. Her consciousness was sluggish, that was bad for some reason. Movement, yes movement was what she needed. She willed herself to any sort of action. The pain increased. Her head was part of it and her wrists. The latter bound so tightly behind her back, she was beginning to lose feeling. Her shoulders were just starting to ache from the awkward strain. There was something else too, a more insistent pain. She paid closer attention to her breathing, something was inhibiting it. Her mid-section was bound with tight bandages. She felt her consciousness waver as the pain condensed into one large ache. She focused on it, unwilling to let go just yet.
What had happened? She couldn’t recall. Something had gone wrong. She’d messed something up, but what? Who had she pissed off this time? Would Lyas bail her out? A nagging in the back of her mind told her that was wrong. She was confused about time, remembering things long in the past.
Then what? A flash of an image; a note, a mouse. Still wrong. Thoughts were all jumbled, vying for dominance. Which were right? Why couldn’t she open her eyes? If she could just see!
The mouse. Why was she important? She? Another snippet of memory. A woman, slightly mousey, though potentially pretty.
It all hit her at once, threatened to make her violently ill with the force of it. Miriam. Loreli always remembered their names. Miriam was dead and Loreli knew it was her fault. She knew what happened when she played with people, toying with their emotions and desires. She’d been doing it long enough, escaping the aftermath long enough. She just hoped Jeb was okay. Had he managed to deliver her message? Would it matter?
Never mind. She thought. I don’t want to wake up. I don’t deserve to wake up. I know what I’ll find and I don’t want it. She had one last fleeting thought of Zha’ane. Then she allowed her consciousness to wander past the guilt, past the pain, back into nothingness.
Pain. Pain and the sensation of weightlesness, vertigo. Or was the floor actually moving? Wooden planks beneath her? Sea air… definitely a salt tang. Ocean. A boat? Sailing. Where to? Noises. Crew shouting back and forth across the deck. Seagull calls. Close enough to shore for birds. Leaving port? Heading into? No way to know. Voices.
“Jay! You need to rest…”
“Calm down, Aiya. I’m fine. We’ll be departing shortly, make sure she’s ready to travel.”
Departing? Heading into port then? Loreli heard heavy footfalls heading away from her, ascending stairs. Heading above deck then. Lighter steps coming toward her. A woman? Someone kneeled next to her. Loreli kept her eyes closed.
“Stupidest thing he’s ever done.” A female voice muttered, speaking in Darnassian. “You make him stupid and he won’t listen to reason. He’s going to get us all thrown in the stocks, or hanged. Should have just slit your throat…”
Fabric rustled, Loreli chanced cracking an eye. It was a night elf who kneeled before her. Loreli judged the other woman to be smaller than herself, her robes suggested a priestess. She was looking over her shoulder at steps leading above deck.
“I could do it now…” the kal’dorei woman said to herself.
“I wouldn’t recommend it…” Loreli’s voice weak from disuse. How long had she been out?
The woman Jaylen had addressed as Aiya jumpped back, eyeing the rogue. “You’re awake. I should…” Aiya glanced over her shoulder.
“Killing me would only piss him off after the trouble he went through to capture me. You’re dead then, anyway. Let me go, I’ll swim to shore.”
“Keep your silver tongue in your pretty head.” Aiya snapped. “You’d never make the swim. That wound was pretty bad. I could say you attacked me…” she mused.
“You work for Jay, so I know you’re not stupid.” Loreli told her.
“Shut up.” Aiya insisted.
“Alright. Shutting up. Just remember, if you let me go, less chance you end up in the stocks. He’d never have to know you freed me.” Loreli closed her eyes, leaning back against the wooden planks making up the wall.
Loreli heard Aiya’s footfalls as she headed above deck. Shortly, two sets of footsteps returned.
“Lore?” That was Jaylen’s voice.
Loreli knew pretending to be asleep wouldn’t work. She tried anyway. When she didn’t respond, Jaylen grasped her throat, squeezing. Loreli’s eyes flew open.
“Thats better.” he said, releasing her
Loreli loosed a string of sputtering, swearing filled insults at him. Jaylen nodded indulgently as he pulled a small blade from his belt. She fell silent as he coated the blade with powder. He moved toward her and Loreli tried to scramble away. There was nowhere to go and she was still sluggish.
Jaylen pinned her legs and drew the blade across the barely healed scar on her thigh. Loreli responded with another round of vehemenent, acidic swearing.
It wasn’t long before her thoughts started to drift. She was able to call him one last name before everything went black.