Chapter 22 of the Snowball
Aaaand I’m back! I’m so sorry for how long the wait was this time but ACOWAR thoroughly destroyed me and I needed some time to re-evaluate my whole life basically. Thank you to anyone who messaged me asking me to continue or even gently prodding me to continue or I may never have gotten around to this again haha.
link to previous chapters x
A few days whirled anxiously past Feyre as she awaited news from Lucien that he would be able to get Elain to them soon. Feyre’s nails were chewed almost to the point of bloody, and she only ate when Rhys and the others reminded her to or she would have forgotten.
Nurse Alis had come through with her promise to release a statement about Feyre’s many trips to the emergency room, courtesy of Tamlin, and the media had whipped itself up into another frenzy over the new information.
As a result, Tamlin had been very quiet lately. The messages to Feyre from him stopped, and he must have started paying off reporters who snapped photos of him or had started asking questions about how he was running his business. Hybern had also been eerily quiet which worried Feyre as they had gone against his order to drop the accusations.
The others continued to make calls to media outlets or friends within companies, doing whatever they could to slow down Hybern’s plans, but Feyre felt it was all useless unless they could get Elain out of the crossfire.
Rhys had tried to distract her by taking her for walks, or out for lunch, but even those had come to a stop as reporters constantly hounded them, sometimes even waiting on the footpath outside to ask them questions when they left the house.
“How long do we have until the eviction?” Cassian asked when they were all sitting in the living room one afternoon.
“Two weeks if we’re lucky.” Mor grumbled.
“We’ll think of something.” Rhys said deep in thought.
Feyre thought he looked paler than usual and she cursed herself for not remembering when the last time he ate was.
“What did the lawyer say when you last met up with him Azriel?” Amren asked.
“He said that gaining public support won’t be enough to stop Hybern, we nee to outbid his project as well.”
“So we outbid him.” Mor said with conviction.
Azriel only shook his head. “I’ve seen what we’d need to raise in order to outbid Hybern. Even if we bled all our bank accounts dry, including Rhys’s, it just isn’t enough.”
“Can’t you get other Illyrians to donate some money?” Nesta asked, sounding bored. She had draped herself along one of the only large couches in the room, forcing Feyre and Rhys to both occupy practically one armchair, with Cassian sitting on the floor.
“They don’t have anything left to donate.” Rhys explained.
“Okay but haven’t you guys ever heard of a fundraiser?” Nesta asked again.
“Rhys already told you that the Illyrian community has nothing left to give.” Cassian replied dangerously.
“That’s why you invite rich snobby people who have so much cash they don’t know what to do with it.” Nesta shot back pulling a face at Cassian.
Rhys leaned forward with interest. “I’m listening.”
“Have a big party or something and invite every rich person in town because they love getting dressed up and telling other people who important they are. Not to mention Feyre is a pretty popular person right now, I bet they’d practically claw each other to talk to her.” Nesta said the last bit with the slightest amount of poison which made Feyre’s face go sour at the idea.
“If we charged everyone an entry fee, had a bar, food, other services… we might be able to reach that target after all.” Azriel said with a hesitant smile.
“That was a great idea Nesta.” Amren said.
“Thanks, now let’s hear Cassian say it.” Nesta said sitting upright so she could see Cassian better.
Cassian’s face was stony as he glared at her. “What do you want me to say, that for once you didn't say something dumb?”
“Nothing could be as dumb as your face.” Nesta replied icily.
The group rolled their eyes and changed body positions to face away from Nesta and Cassian’s bickering.
“We could invite the media too, get a lot of attention for this and get half the town to attend.” Rhys continued as if the interruption had never occurred.
“Do I really have to talk to all these strangers?” Feyre asked only half mockingly.
Rhys turned to her and squeezed her hand. “It’ll only be for one night. And I’ll stay with you the whole time.”
Feyre offered him a grateful smile and squeezed his hand back.
“Please let me plan this party!” Mor interrupted quickly. “I’ll organise a venue, decorations, a band, entertainment-”
“Just remember this is to raise money Mor, not spend all of it.” Rhys cut in quickly.
Mor just clicked her tongue at Rhys in disapproval. “Of course. I’ll be asking generous donors to help us cater for and to provide a venue for our Charity Gala. I can be very persuasive when I want to be.” Mor beamed.
“Charity Gala?” Amren sputtered.
“Well we want this to seem like a grand event don’t we?”
“I can help organise a guest list.” Azriel added helpfully.
“How soon can we plan this?” Rhys asked them all.
Mor looked thoughtful. “If everyone helps out… four days.”
“Four days?” Amren, Azriel, and Feyre all yelled. Cassian and Nesta were still arguing in the corner of the room too absorbed in each other to take part in the conversation.
But Rhys looked pleased as he looked at his cousin, nothing but trust and respect in his gaze for her.
“What about Elain?” Feyre asked quietly.
The group was silenced, even Nesta turned her attention away from Cassian to listen.
“We just have to hope we hear from Lucien soon.” Amren eventually said.
“And if we don’t? It’s not like it’s your sister in danger, as long as you save your own asses, right?” Nesta hissed.
“Don’t be stupid, girl. Feyre is our sister now, and so is her family.” Amren declared.
Cassian snorted. “Don’t tell Rhys that.”
Rhys flashed Cassian a crooked grin but didn’t correct him.
“As long as Feyre is our friend, we will always look out for her and her family.” Amren continued, gaze boring into Nesta’s until Nesta finally nodded in submission.
Mor got to her feet suddenly. “Well let’s get started then! We don’t have much time!”
Feyre hadn’t been given a specific task so she mostly shadowed the others, doing tasks for them, making calls, but never leaving the house. The others left as they pleased but the reporters waiting outside hassled and grabbed at Feyre every time she tried to open the front gate.
Cassian had nearly knocked one of them out the first time a man with a large camera had grabbed Feyre’s wrist in an effort to stop her, so Feyre had stayed indoors. Willingly though.
She was hunched over the kitchen table two days later, face screwed up in concentration over decoration plans that Mor wanted her opinion on, when her phone began ringing from an unknown number. Cautiously Feyre answered it.
“Hello?” She asked.
For a moment there was silence and Feyre nearly hung up when a chillingly familiar voice replied.
“Ah Feyre. I thought we had an agreement.” Hybern drawled from the other end.
“I don’t know what you mean.” Feyre said, slowly rising to her feet. Panic gripped her as she left the kitchen in search of anyone in the house who could help her.
“I’ve been hearing quite the gossip lately. First there was something about a nurse, claiming to support your wild stories about mistreatment.”
Feyre reached the living room only to find it empty so she turned and practically ran for the stairs.
“Now I hear something about a gala your… friends are hosting. A charity event no less. It really is shameful of Rhysand to ask for others to donate their own money in order to get what he wants.” Hybern continued as Feyre reached the upstairs hallway.
“Nearly as shameful as forcing a whole community to leave their homes, or live in dangerous conditions for the rest of their short lives.” Feyre snarled back.
Hybern tsked at her over the phone. “You are playing a very dangerous game Miss Archeron. Of course it’s even more dangerous for our dear Elain.”
Feyre burst into Rhys’s room as he was also in the middle of a call. One look at Feyre’s distraught face though and Rhys immediately hung up mid-call.
“Who is it?” He mouthed to her.
“Hybern.” Feyre mouthed back. “Call Lucien. Now.”
Feyre turned to face the door so she could concentrate on Hybern’s next words as soon as she saw Rhys punching in the new number into his phone.
“I have become rather fond of your sweet sister. It’s why I ignored your earlier stunt. You must understand,that I am not a bad person Feyre.” Hybern said with force.
“You’ll forgive me if I find that hard to believe.”
To her surprise, Hybern laughed. “I can see why you ensnared both Tamlin and Rhysand, little huntress. But this ends now. If I don’t hear that your pathetic gala is cancelled by the end of the day, your little Flower will have disappeared.”
Hybern hung up before waiting for her response. With shaking hands, Feyre dropped the phone and turned to face Rhys.
He had his hand cupped over his phone so his words wouldn’t be heard by Hybern as well while Feyre was talking to him, but he now uncovered it so Feyre could hear him.
“-need to leave as soon as you can. We understand. Thank you.” Rhys hung up and took a step towards her. His eyes were calm but Feyre could see the worry and stress building up behind them.
“I told Lucien his time was up and to do whatever he needed to do to get Elain out within the next few hours. Is that okay?” Rhys asked uncertainly.
Feyre only nodded her head, exhaling deeply. She reached out a limp hand to the door for support as a sudden onslaught of dizziness came over her, but there was no need, as Rhys had already caught her and pulled her into his chest.
She closed her eyes as Rhys smoothed her hair soothingly with one hand, while the other was circled around the small of her back protectively.
“What did Hybern say?” He asked quietly.
“He wants us to cancel the Gala or he…” Feyre stumbled over her words as the danger Elain was in settled over her. “He’s going to-”
“It’s okay. Lucien’s had an escape route for them planned for days. He’ll get her out.” Rhys quietly interrupted so Feyre didn’t have to continue.
“He should have already left to get her. He’ll be here soon with Elain, I have no doubt about it.”
“How?” Feyre asked brokenly.
“Because he sounded so sure of himself for once Feyre. Lucien won’t fail you this time.” Rhys said kindly.