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Price of Magic

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Why the hell did the portal bring me to this miserable island? From the stories I've heard, this was not the place I wanted to be. Another thing, why the hell did Pan entrust me to the task of tracking a bunch of heroes? I wanted nothing to do with any of them, after all, I'm nowhere near a hero, but then of course, it was better than the alternative - be locked up in a cage at his mercy. If I ever find a way out of here, I would love nothing more than to rip his head off.

Considering the Evil Queen was with them and she could easily have used her magic to conceal them, it didn't take me nearly as long to find the heroes as I thought it would, from the time Pan told me about them. I followed the two men who were asked to find more vines, for whatever reason, when the light-haired man suddenly passed out after he took a swing at the other man with him. Curious and realizing I may as well face my own personal demons, I step out from behind the trees and bushes.

"What's wrong with him?" I asked the leather-clad pirate, more commonly known by his moniker, Hook.

"Bloody hell." I watched with amusement, quirked an eyebrow and smirked, as he tilted his head back as though he were praying to the Gods, who never answered a single prayer.

I chuckled then turned serious, "Don't tell me you've forgotten me?" I crossed my arms over my chest, staring daggers at Hook.

"Here I thought our paths would never cross again." he breathed out heavily then turned his attention to me. His eyes raked over every inch of my body, taking in the prominent cleavage that was fully on display for the man to admire. Apparently, that was the only part of me he remembered. Bloody pirate.

"Here I thought I if I killed you the last time we were together, I wouldn't be here now." I walked up to him, brought my hand back and slapped him hard enough to make his head quickly whipped to the side, a red hand print immediately forming. "'Trust me', you said. 'I'm yours,' you said." I was absolutely fuming, even though it had been many, many years since we were last together.

He rubbed his red cheek, narrowing his eyes at me for striking him, "As I remember, darling, no one, not even you, would stop me from my revenge." Faster than he could have reacted, I punched him in the jaw.

"What the fuck was that for!?" he clutched my throat in his hand, bringing his hook up, the tip barely pierced my skin.

"I loved you." gone were the tears I had shed for him, now replaced by anger. I pushed him away from me. I've dealt with him for years and had seen enough to know his heart had never truly been mine. Now his eyes were on the blonde woman. I had simply been a means to an end, to find the dagger that would kill Rumplestiltskin, without facing much danger or time wasted in the task.

The look on his face quickly changed from angry irritation to guilt. As he opened his mouth, I quickly brought my hand up, halting him from speaking. I had no interest to hear what possible lies would spew from his lips, nor his claim that he was sorry. I knew this man, knew what he did to make a woman forget why she was angry with him. I did the same to him many times. "Save it for someone who believes your lies, Hook."

The next thing I knew, and I should've been more aware of, were his lips on mine, his tongue forcing entry into my mouth. I could not stop the moan that escaped. I gently nipped his lower lip when I felt him smile against me. I kissed him back with everything I had felt for him, and still did. His hand grasped my hair tightly, pulling my head back as his lips and tongue traveled to my jaw, then down to my throat. His hook slid down to my thigh, bringing my leg to press against his waist, I jumped up and wrapped my legs around him as he pushed me against a tree. He brought his mouth back up to mine and devoured me.

He thrust his hips forward, I could feel how much I still affected him. Needing to breathe, he pulled away and pressed his forehead against mine. All I saw in his eyes were the blacks of his pupils, the blues of his eyes which were merely a thin line. I knew my normally hazel blue eyes were now blood red, something he always prided himself in accomplishing. We were both breathing heavily, my fangs were prominently on display as I bite my lower lip, making his eyes drop down to my mouth.

He quickly snapped his eyes back onto mine, "Still believe I have feelings for Swan?"

I walked over to the group who quickly gathered together at the sounds of approaching movement. My sword was still in its sheath as Hook and David came into view. I smirked at Hook who winked in return. I knew he noticed I was the only one who didn't have any sort of weapon out, as I would be able to distinguish who was making the sounds coming towards us. I didn't know these people, Regina was by reputation only, so they didn't know who or what I was. I watched both men as David explained that Hook had saved him from Lost Boys. Everyone drank to Hook in thanks for saving David's life. I noticed Emma walk behind the bushes, away from her family's view at the camp, but my attention was on the man I couldn't hate, no matter what we did to each other, and was afraid to lose yet again.

"How did you convince him to drink from the spring?" I kept my voice low, not wanting Emma to know David had lied to the others, or that I had been in on the plan to get him to climb Dead Man's Peak for, not the sextant Hook had mentioned, but for the waters.

"Didn't need to, he willingly paid the price to save his grandson and to help his family."

As he was about to say something, I stopped him, "Perhaps a little gratitude is in order? You did take my advice," I smiled sensually and swayed my hips as I walked closer to him. He grasped my hips and pulled me into him, his lips crashed onto mine. Unlike our previous kiss, this one was slower, but no less passionate. I scratched his scalp, his hair sliding between my fingers, then grasped a handful and tugged lightly. I heard him moan, then felt his hand slide up to the nape of my neck, holding me to him. My fangs gently slid along the top of his tongue as he entered my mouth.

After our kiss, Hook wanted to have a drink, so I walked back to the campsite to think about the confusing man and needed to sort out my thoughts without him distracting me. I sat away from the group, taking deep breaths to get my desires under control so the others wouldn't know about me, which I wasn't ready for yet. To be honest, I wasn't ready for whatever this was between Hook and I, knowing at some point I may lose him, if and when, my past came up to bite me in the ass.

I watched Regina as she walked over to me, wary about the supposedly reformed Evil Queen. "You and Hook seem to be close."

I quirked an eyebrow at her. "Why do you care?"

"Oh, I don't. I'm surprised he's no longer pursuing Miss Swan now that you're here."

I sighed, my eyes caught Hook's as the other's, and he, were talking to the savior, a questioning look on his face. I rolled my eyes then brought my attention back to Regina, "As you said, you don't care, so why does is matter if he's no longer pursuing the blonde?"

"Never knew he was one to give up on what he wanted... or desired." Regina shrugged her shoulder and walked away. I closed my eyes, willing myself to calm down as what she said repeated in my head. "What he wanted or desired." Yes, we had a sordid history, we were together, for a lack of a better term. But hearing what Regina had said, made my blood boil and my heart plummet. I heard his footsteps as he approached me and felt his hand tap me on my upper arm.

"Don't let her get to you, darling." I opened my eyes and saw his flask of rum in his hand, which I took a little too harshly and shook my head. I drank heartily, enjoying the heat and burn as it slid down my throat. I handed his flask back to him, watching as he brought it up to his lips and drank.

"What was that about, with the others over there?" I nodded my head over at the blonde and her parents as they talked amongst themselves.

"Care to tell me what her Majesty said to piss you off?" He countered.

I was never one to shy away from confrontation, "She said you desired the savior and was curious why you were no longer pursuing her." I saw from the corner of my eye as he scratched behind his ear.

"You don't believe my intentions towards you, then." he sighed heavily.

"I honestly don't know what to believe. Not after you sent me away." I looked over at the group and saw they were ready to go.

"As for your question, love, we're headed to look for Bae." I looked at him, giving him a look of recognition at the name. He nodded in response. He held his hook out for me to take. I slipped my fingers around the curve and stood. As we followed the group, he placed his hand on the small of my back. I arched an eyebrow at him, getting a wink in return. Hook and I continued following the group as Mary-Margaret tracked the marks on the ground.

"The tracks lead directly into that cave. This must be where Pan is keeping Neal." Mary-Margaret walked over to the entrance of the cave, as she held a lantern in front of her.

"If the cave is some sort of prison, why aren't there any guards posted to stop us?" David stood next to his wife, his hand resting on the hilt of his sword.

"Because this prison doesn't require guards." Hook explained, standing between David and Mary-Margaret, his hand still on my back, then looked to everyone, "Echo cave."

"You know it?" Mary-Margaret looked at Hook and me.

"All too well. I lost half my crew, except for Ciara here, inside those rock walls." He looked at Mary-Margaret. "The only way to rescue someone from inside is to reveal a secret."

"A secret? That's all?" Mary-Margaret had a look of disbelief on her face.

"Your darkest secret. Echo cave derives its name from an old saying... "the deeper the lie, the more truth in its echo." The cave demands that you reveal a truth about yourself. A secret you would never admit to anyone." I explained, looking at everyone, then finally meeting Hook's eyes.

"This is ridiculous." Emma rested her hand on the rock of the entrance.

"Don't kill the messenger, Swan." Hook sighed out, his fingers digging gently into the side of my waist to keep me from saying something.

"Even if we spill our guts, how do we know Neal's still alive in there?" Emma asked.

"Because this is what Pan wants. He wants us to rescue him." Hook looked at Emma.

"Why?" David turned his head to his wife.

"So that we reveal our secrets. He believes once we do, our secrets will destroy us." I gritted out, Hook's eyes stared into mine, his eyebrows furrowed.

"Sorry, love," I looked up at him, "Pan said you need to go in with us."

"Of course he does." Fucking Pan.

Reading the look on my face, he pressed a kiss to my cheek, "I've got you love." I nodded slightly and followed after him and the others into the Echo Cave. Not for much longer though.

As I stepped into the enormous cave, I heard a shout from the person inside a cage in the middle of a platform. "Emma!"

"Neal." Emma muttered in disbelief.

"It must be a hundred feet across." Mary-Margaret looked across the pit.

David looked up and around, "Even if we fashioned some sort of rope, there's nothing to attach it to. No way to swing over."

Emma's eyebrows furrowed, "So what do we do?"

"I told you what needs to be done. Consider this the moment of truth, literally. Now..." Hook turned around, eyes on those of us behind him. "Who wants to kick things off?"

"So, what? Someone tells their secret and they sprout wings?" Emma asked. I gave a very unladylike snort. Hook chuckled quietly, Emma glared at me.

"I don't know the particulars, only what I've been told." Hook explained, staring into my eyes.

"Well, how do you know it'll work?" Emma asked, her eyes on Hook.

Hook took a deep breath and turned to face Neal. "There's only one way to find out, I suppose." He turned back to face everyone, but before he uttered a word, I beat him to it.

"I'm a vampire." everyone but Hook took a step back.

"I'm guessing Hook knows, that you're a - what you are, so how is that you're darkest secret?" Emma pointed out, crossing her arms over her chest.

"It's not my darkest secret." I took a deep breath and stared into Hook's eyes, memorizing the stormy blues, "I couldn't be in the sunlight, so I made a deal with Rumplestiltskin in exchange to stop you from seeking vengeance against him." His eyes turned hard, "That's why I came to you, to stop you, but then I fell in love and could no longer hold up my end of the deal." His eyes were no longer on me, his hand clenched into a fist, his jaw muscles ticked. The ground shook, a large chunk of rock formed up from the pit below, building a partial bridge to reach where Neal was.

He glared daggers at Mary-Margaret and David who nodded for him to go, "My secret is, I never thought I'd be capable of letting go of my first love... of my Milah... to believe that I could find someone else that is, until we kissed earlier." The ground shook again as another large chunk of rock formed, expanding the bridge.

Even though I was no longer looking at him, I could hear his jaw clenching and unclenching in anger. I tuned out what the others saying, not interested, nor did I care when Emma crossed the bridge, at which point I turned on my heel and left the cave. I heard Hook following behind me, but he didn't say anything nor did he approach me.

I needed time to process what Hook had said in the Echo Cave, and I knew he wanted nothing to do with me for betraying him and making a deal with his enemy, I decided to look for his ship. No one questioned me or tried to stop me when I walked away. I knew this was what Pan wanted, to rip apart whatever happiness I could have had with Hook, but this, this hurt worst than when he sent me away, claiming I was too much of a distraction and not even a woman would stand in his way.

I heard many footsteps above me, and loud voices. As much as I wanted to stay away from him, I was curious what was going on.

"Rumplestiltskin" I mumbled as I stepped onto the main deck. He turned his attention to me and grinned.

"You broke our deal and now it's time to take back what was given to you, dearie. " He walked over to me and raised his hand, but Neal stopped him.

"No. Whatever deal you two made, she keeps what you gave her."

"Son, do you have -"

"I don't care. You want to prove you've changed? Your deal with her is done. She keeps what she wanted."

"You're lucky Ciara, that I've changed. Our deal is complete." I watched as the Dark One gave me a glare before he walked away.

"Thank you." I nodded at Neal.

"I hope it was worth it." He followed after Rumplestiltskin, leaving me alone.

"Was it?" I turned my attention to Hook, "Worth it."

"It never is." I took a step to go back below deck when he stopped me with his hook. "What?" He opened his mouth, but I cut him off, "I know you'll never forgive me, hell, I won't ever forgive myself, so do us both a favor, move on Killian." a single tear slid down my cheek. He wiped it away with the pad of his thumb.

"No." I furrowed my brows, "You betrayed me Ciara, but even so, my secret holds true." He dropped his hold on me and walked over to the group of heroes. Perhaps in time, I'll earn his forgiveness, but for now, I knew I remained his.