NB: I do not own Wicked Lovely or any of the characters. Melissa Marr owns the neighbourhood, I'm just playing in the metaphorical back garden. Enjoy!

-x-

I walk slowly through the forest, drinking it all in and wishing I could feel calm enough to at least enjoy my surroundings. I can no longer clearly remember how many days it has been since I left my house and everything I owned and just walked from the city.

Running away, if I'm truly honest with myself.

Not that I can tell anyone what I'm running from. They'd never believe me.

The thought of them sets my heart racing, like it does every time and, like always, I bitterly resent the sway they hold over every part of my life. I stop walking and tip my head back, breathing deeply and gazing up at the trees. As I do, I feel my pulse slow a little again. The forest is a constant, reassuring reminder that I am safer here than anywhere else. Surprisingly, they seem to prefer the cities.

The forest itself is a geographical... what, exactly? The word would be aberration, but it doesn't fit here. Not with this ancient, beautiful place. A labyrinthine oasis of virgin rainforest shouldn't exist here, just a little way out of Huntsdale, but it does.

And I am grateful. It's my refuge. I am calm – well, calmer than usual, and safe in the knowledge that they won't come here. I don't see how people can't understand why this forest exists – it's steeped in, alive with an ancient, powerful magic that seems to work against Theirs. I stop again in a little clearing, feeling my heels sink into the mossy ground. I inhale deeply, and I can almost taste the tang of the earth and the rich, spicy smell of sunlight on the forest. I can hear running water up ahead and I follow the noise – I'm thirsty, and I brought nothing with me from the city.

It leads me into another clearing, and I realise it is one of the countless hot springs that feeds the forest. It splashes into the clearing on one side, tumbles down a few moss-covered boulders and into a small pool before disappearing underground again. Spears of sunlight pierce the steam curling lazily up to join the humid air, and I gaze, bewitched. It's beautiful. Everywhere is green, emeralds dipped in the golden honey of the late afternoon sun. I feel lit from within, restored by the forest.

But then my fragile peace is shattered by a silvery laugh, singing through the trees, carried by the unmistakeable, fluttering disturbance of beating wings.

My mind blindly tries to reject the obvious.

No.

They can't be here.

Why would they be?

Maybe I imagined it.

This can't be happening.

Impossible.

Then a horrifying thought strikes me and I frantically start counting backwards. Counting the days.

But I know before I get there what day it is.

Midsummer's Eve.

The night of the year when the Fey are at their most powerful.

The one night when they're strong enough to come here.

How could I have been so blind, to come here now? In the city, at least the iron weakens them but here, tonight, they are unfettered and terrifyingly powerful.

I reel away blindly, panic rising up and curling around my mind, stopping me thinking. If they find me, I probably won't make it through the night. My only option is to hide.

I sink down against a tree, trying to stop myself hyperventilating.

I close my eyes. I can hear my heart, fluttering like the wings of the bird I saw them kill once, for no crime other than existing.

I will have to hide here until morning and hope that my time isn't up yet, that they won't find me.

Right. That's what I'll do–

My eyes snap open and my brain shuts down as an icy wash of utter terror shoots through my veins.

There, less than a metre away from me, is the Summer King.

Not as cruel as the dark court Fey, but I feared the Summer King even more, for entirely different reasons.

Because the Summer King had tried to talk to me before.

I'd refused, and fled to the safety of iron places, iron things.

I didn't know what he wanted from me.

But now, he had all the power.

He smiles. It's a beautiful smile and I want nothing more than to cling to him, never let him go, but 17 years of watching the Fey, their cruelty, the way you can never judge by appearances and their twisted 'sense of humour' hadn't been for nothing.

I don't trust him.

Not now, not ever.

He reaches out a hand to brush my cheek and I try not to flinch away. Better not to anger him. Maybe he'll lose interest.

Yeah, right.

He smiles again at my reaction and I feel warmer. But no, I have to concentrate.

'Moira, isn't it?' he whispers, those eyes boring into mine.

He knows my name.

Oh my God, he knows my name.

What else does he know?

-x-

Well, that was my first ever fanfic! Well, first that I've uploaded, anyway,

*celebratory dance*

Ahem.

Hope you enjoyed. Please review! Pretty please?