Corus sat on the coffee table, studying the beautiful young woman with pink hair and pale skin. She was practically comatose after shooting up, her arms covered in track marks. He was only here because Treffen had asked him for a favor. It was strange in this world when angels and demons were friends, but he had managed to find a good one in Treffen and he felt he owed him. “Alright young one, let’s go before you get up and further damage yourself.” He lifted the young woman whose eyes fluttered open for just a moment, revealing the most stunning blue irises. Treffen had explained what had happened to his daughter and had begged Corus to help until he himself could find a way back to his family. Since demons cared very little about rules it was easy for him to be here. Corus snapped his fingers and a tear opened to his world, a place away from the drugs. He stepped through closing the tear after him. He took her upstairs to a room and gently laid her down. He knew she was going to be freaked out when she woke, but he felt this was the best way to get her clean. She refused any help offered her, this was the only alternative.
He leaned down and brushed her hair away from her face. “Sleep well young one for when you wake it will be time to truly start your healing.” He whispered a spell into her ear, hoping to lessen the nightmares he had been told she was having. He left her, closing the door behind him and going downstairs to wait.
Abella begged for him to stop, but he only gripped her wrists tighter. She couldn’t believe this was happening, that this person who had been so kind before was so violent now. She felt sick, bile rising in her throat. She heard a voice whisper in her ear, this one different than her attacker’s. It was soft and warm and it pushed away the violence. She jerked awake, her skin drenched in sweat. She sat up, feeling dizzy. It took her a moment to realize she was not in her apartment. Her heart sped up and terror gripped her. Where was she? Was she hallucinating? She got up, her legs wobbly as she crossed over to the room and ripped the door open. It felt real, not like a dream. That meant she had been kidnapped. She shook her head, trying to clear the fog from her brain. She had to get out. She slid her hand along the wall as she walked down the hallway, going as fast as she could. She didn’t see the stairs until it was too late and she was falling faster than she could catch herself. She knew she would probably break her neck and she accepted that, thinking maybe it was for the best. Instead she felt herself slow, arms wrapped around her and she was pulled against a warm body. She looked up, shocked, her eyes meeting those of a stranger.
He tugged her away from the stairs and sighed “You scared me young one but I wager you are even more so than I just was. Stay calm and let me explain. It will sound like lies but weather you believe me or not I’m going to help you. Your father and I are friends and he asked me to help you.” she began to interrupt him “bu”
“I said listen. You were about to say my fathers dead right? His human self is dead yes but he was a good man and became an angel instead of finding his end at Hades. I am a demon and while that may sound impossible to you since your human movies and books basically depict us all as mindless, purely evil creatures. Some of us are I suppose but I’m not here to teach you about any of that. We’re friends and he knows what happened to you now that hes passed. As proof I know you do this to yourself because a friend raped you and you quit valuing your life. The drugs help keep you from nightmares about what happened. You are scared and refuse to face the memories but now you’re going to have to. You need to to get better and stay clean” He knew it was cold to speak of the events so mater of factly but he was hoping to get her to believe him. Helping her would be easier if she didn’t think she was being held captive by some mad man.
“No, I’m hallucinating, I have to be.”
“This vivid?” He grabbed her hand and placed it against his cheek. “See how warm I am?” He then made her touch the walls of his home. “Real and solid.” She swallowed and he made her face him. “First will come the sweats Abella, then the pain, the twisting knife in your stomach, the ache, the itch, but here you’ll only have me. There are no drugs in this house.”
“No, I can’t.”
“You will.” He grabbed her chin gently so she couldn’t look away. He could see her need to retreat, but there would be no hiding anymore. “I am truly sorry for what happened to you and I can assure you that he will be dealt with, I will see to it personally, but you will get better and you will stop blaming yourself and hurting those closest to you. When you are ready you need to be honest with those closest to you.”
He let her go and she backed away. “You’re crazy.”
“Run if you want, but I have put up a barrier around my property so you can only go as far as the end of the yard.”
She looked around, feeling desperate. “My…my family.”
“I sent someone to inform them of your whereabouts, but I am sure since your brother and his mate are not human, they will understand and agree to your rehabilitation.”
“In time, but for now you need to calm down, you’re heart is beating really fast.”
“But you’re saying all these insane things. My dads an angel? You’re a demon? My brother and his mate aren’t humans? You…You know what happened to me?’ She began to cry. It was for multiple reasons but it was mostly over the shame. She felt ashamed for anybody to know what happened to her. If this was true, her dad knew and it was a lot to take. Corus just watched her, giving her a second to come to terms with all the information he had just given her. She was right, it was a lot to believe, especially all at once but she had to know these things. “Abella, why dont you let me guide you back to your room then fetch you a drink? I will leave you alone for awhile if you go rest and let this all sink in”
Abella didn’t respond but he knew she heard. Abella’s mind raced and she finally decided she needed to test if he was telling the truth about these “barriers” She still wasn’t 100% sure if this was all real but if she hit a barrier of some sort it would be a bit more believable. She took off running and Corus sighed before following to make sure she didn’t hurt herself. She burst through the front door and into the yard. There would be barriers and this would be real or there wouldnt be and she could maybe escape before her life became a horror movie.
Abella spotted a covered bridge and raced for it. Her feet hit the wood and she glanced over her shoulder to see Corus following her. For a moment she thought he had lied. If he was chasing her then he just wanted her as a captive. Then she slammed into the barrier at the end of the bridge and was bounced back hard. Corus caught her and pulled her into a tight hug. “No, let me go.”
“Shh, it’s okay Abella.”
She slammed her fists against his chest then started crying so hard all she could do was lay in his arms. “It can’t be real, it can’t be.”
“It is and there’s no going back now, only forward.”
“Why do you have to know?”
He stood and carried her back to the house. He could tell she was exhausted and scared, but most off all she was ashamed of herself. She still blamed herself for her assault. He took her upstairs and laid her in bed then covered her. “I’m going to get you some water and something to eat.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“You must eat something to stay strong. I’ll cut you up some fruit.” He gently stroked her hair and she flinched. “I promise no harm will come to you here, I am a different kind of monster.”
Corus left her and Abella curled up in a ball. She was a captive and she feared it was only a matter of time before he hurt her too. She had trusted her friend and that had got her nothing but pain, now she had been kidnapped by a demon. Corus chopped up an apple and some strawberries then filled a glass with ice water and headed back upstairs. He wasn’t used to people staying here, but he hoped she would come to at least like his home. She would be here for awhile after all. Much like Aurel he preferred his privacy, but when Treffen had come to him and begged him for help, he had agreed. He would not let his friend down and had even been working on a way to get him back home.
Joss was laying on the couch when a tear suddenly opening up in his living room. He jumped up in shock and over the back of the couch as a young man stepped out. “Who the hell are you?”
The young man looked apologetic. “I’m sorry, I over shot my mark, I meant to come out on your front porch.” He looked around. “Let’s not tell Corus I nearly gave you a heart attack.”
“Who are you?”
“A friend, I promise little wolf. Please, let us sit and I will explain everything.”
As a wold Joss was getting used to the strange so he decided to calm down “just let me tell my mate you are here so he doesn’t come out in just boxers or anything like that. He’s back there writing” The stranger made a gesture with his hand to say go ahead and Joss went back to the room they had designated just for him to write in. Joss really wanted him to achieve his dream of being a writer. He had published his second book but until he wrote a hit his dream wouldn’t be fufilled. Joss went right in and found Arnault consumed by his work. Joss would have admired how adorable he looked with such a serious face but they had a stranger waiting in the living room “Arnault” Arnault jerked as if his mind was far far away “Oh sorry, you weren’t talking to me long were you?” Joss smiled at him “No, I only just now said your name. Theres somebody here who wants to talk to us. Not sure what its about but sit close to me until we know more about him”
Arnault quickly saved his work then shut down his computer. He had been in there too long already and decided if they weren’t about to be whisked off into anything he really needed to spend time with his fiance. One of his friends in a writing group he joined had recently lost their marriage over how much time she spent writing and as understanding as Joss was he wouldn’t risk that happening. What he had with Joss would never overshadow his desire to publish a best seller.
Once they were settled the demon gave them his friendliest smile and said, “First of all, please call me Jay and understand that I will not harm you. I know my entrance wasn’t exactly nice, but I assure you that I am no enemy.”
“Alright Jay, what’s going on?”
“I am here about your sister.”
Joss became even more alert. “Did something bad happen?”
“Not at all, quite the opposite. Being a werewolf I am sure that what I am about to say won’t shock you too much, but in this world when one dies they either become an angel or a demon. Unlike myself who was born this way is another world. Anyway, the point is that your father asked a friend of his to take care of your sister.”
“He is an angel and Corus, his friend, is a demon. Your father asked him to help your sister through her addiction. He took her to his home where she will not be able to even look at drugs.”
Joss’s heart gave a leap. “My father?”
“He has been watching over you little wolf and he is trying very hard to get home to you.”
“What of my sister, where is she exactly?”
“Safe, I promise, but it would be best if you waited to see her until she has made it through the worst of the withdrawal. She may try getting you to take her home. Please trust that no harm will come to her.” Joss looked at Arnault who nodded. They both wanted Abella better.
“Alright, for my father and Abella, I’ll trust you.”
Corus sighed when he came back to Abella’s room. the water was half gone, but she hadn’t touched the food. “Abella, you must eat.”
“That’s not going to happen, I’m not letting you hide. Please eat just a little, you’re going to need it.”
“Does my father mean that much to you you care about someone like you?” Corus sighed “Abella, your father is a good man and as I hear from him you are a good woman. He told me everything about who you were before that ass hurt you. You are still her, you’ve just gotten lost in your pain because you wont share it with anybody. You need to let me help you. Even if you wont get better for you think about your brother. You and Joss were so close before you shut everyone off. Even now, no matter how hard you’ve tried to push him away he stays. Even if it’s just bringing you food so he knows you’re eating he is there for you. He wants his sister back.
“even without knowing why I started doing these things….because he wont go away he’s…he’s seen so much. He” she looked like she might cry again “how could he ever respect me again after watching my drug abuse or experiencing me rage out or any number of things he’s seen because he just keeps coming back”
“He’s your brother and because of all this it should make you know there is nothing you can do to make him stop loving you. As I understand it all he ever wants is to help you get better. He knows you can get better and when you’re ready to tell him about that coward hurting you he’ll understand how things got this way”
“dad though…dad really isn’t ashamed of me…”
“The opposite Abella”
“I miss him.”
He sat down on the edge of the bed and gently stroked her hair. “I know and I promise you will see him again, but you need to eat, you look pale.”
Abella wiped at her face and sat up, getting a smile from Corus. He lifted the bowl of fruit and handed it to her. “Thanks umm…”
He chuckled. “Not in the demon world, trust me.”
She took a bite of apple and could feel him staring. It was a bit unnerving. She tried looking at him, but only wound up blushing. His attention was so focused, like a predator. “So, what do I do?” She asked, trying to keep the awkwardness at bay.
“You go through withdrawal.”
She swallowed. “I’m kind of scared.”
“It’s going to hurt, but I think you can make it through and I’ll be here every step of the way.”
“You don’t have to babysit me.”
He smiled, his hand reaching out to gently pat her head. “I made a promise.” He stroked her hair, letting its softness slip through his fingers. “I really like this color.”
“Thank you.” She was so nervous.
“Forgive me, I shouldn’t take such liberties when you’re so scared.”
“It’s not, you don’t trust me yet.” She started to speak and he held up his hand. “Don’t worry, it’s fine. I do wish to know something though.”
“The location of the man who hurt you. Your father only said he was a friend, didn’t really know much about him, but I would like to know everything, his name, his address.”
“he…um…he might not live in the same place. It’s been years”
“His name is all I really need.” His name, just saying his name was hard to but he was serious about her facing what happened so she made herself tell him. “most people call him J.J. but he’s Jordan Joseph Caah”
“I will find him then”
“Jordan is a common name”
“yes but knowing his middle and last will greatly help”
“You…you wont make me see him right?”
“Right now we’re focusing on getting you off drugs. Healing from what happened will mostly come after. Just know he will never hurt you again, I’ll be seeing to that” He wanted to touch her again, to run his fingers through her soft hair but refrained as he said “Now please eat, you need it” She still didn’t feel like it but ate anyway. He sat watching, making sure she consumed it all. When she was done he took her dirty dishes into the kitchen and set them in the sink to deal with them later.
Abella got out of bed, knowing it wouldn’t do any good to stay there all day. She was stuck in this place until she was clean. Corus was coming upstairs when she exited her room and he smiled warmly at her. “I just didn’t want to be in bed.”
“You owe me no explanation.” He held out his hand. “Would you like to go on a walk?”
He chuckled. “Well, I am the only one here. You don’t have to hold my hand, but the fresh air would do you some good.”
He went back down ahead of her and even through the door first so he wouldn’t be behind her. She glanced at him as they walked slowly around the yard. He was quite beautiful for a man. He smiled and she blushed, looking at her feet. “Were you admiring me?”
“No, that’s stupid.”
“If you think I’m pretty just say so, I’ve heard it all a thousand times. I even had a couple of men try to pay me for sex.”
She swallowed, her face heating even more. “Why would they do that?”
“They said I was pretty enough to be a woman so why not give it a try. My cousin has the same issue, though he hates it and for good reason. Though neither of us is as beautiful as you.”
“Liar, I’m ugly.”
“I’m going to change the way you see yourself, I promise you that.”
“So when will I start getting sick?” She asked for a change of subject.
“Probably tomorrow, you haven’t even been off that garbage a day.”
“I’m scared of how it will feel. I’ve..I’ve always been able to get my drugs one way or another”
“You are stronger than you think. You can do this” He really did seem to have faith in her. He truly believed she could get better and stay better. Her brother seemed to believe that too. If she did get clean she knew she had a lot of making up to do with her brother. All the groceries, all the times he picked her up and saved her from bad situations she had put herself in, just everything. He had still loved her and been there for her when she didn’t deserve it and she wasn’t sure how you could even thank a person for that. “You seem so lost in thought”
“Just thinking about my brother again. I want to do something to thank him if I get clean. Who knows if I’d even be alive at this point if he wasn’t always looking out for me.”
“Thats what big brothers are for. A woman is lucky who has a big brother” Abella smiled “yeah, we had the best times when we were kids. Most of my happest times in life are with my family in general. They really are good people. You’ve met my dad though so you know. If any man deserved to become an angel when they died it was him.”
“Did you know I was abused?” She looked up at him.
“By my father. It’s a common occurrence with demons. We’re raised to be ruthless, controlling, to take what we want when we want it and damn the consequences. A lot of us turn out like the man who hurt you. We learn that humiliation is the best weapon.”
She swallowed. “But you’re not like that.”
“Some of us get lucky. Sometimes we get good parents, sometimes we see that the way we were raised is corrupt, and sometimes we are forgiven and given a second chance. I left home as soon as I was of age and since strong magic runs in my blood, I had no trouble getting by.”
“You seem so kind.”
“I try, but there is a monster in all male demons, a darkness we will never be free of. It is what we are, predators, monsters. Some of us just choose not to let others see that side of us unless it is necessary.” She felt a chill move up her spine and Corus could see her shiver. He reached out and took her hand gently in his, pulling her to a stop. “Would you like to fly?”
“Yes, to take your mind off things. I fear my honesty has frightened you.”
“No…well yes, but it’s okay.”
“It’s not, let me take you up, you’ll love it.”
“Many demons have the ability.” He lifted her into his arms, making her heart leap in her chest. “It’s alright.” She let out a little yelp when his feet left the ground and clung to him so tight she was sure she must be hurting him, but he never complained, just smiled.
Once she got over being afraid she was amazed. She loved how everything looked from this high “this is incredible” she said and his smile grew larger “I knew you’d like it once you could relax. Whenever you want to do this I’m happy to. Anything I can do to make this time easier for you Abella. I’ll fly you around further if you promise you wont try to get away from me. You could get seriously hurt, this world isn’t like your own.”
“You’d trust my word?”
“yes, just dont make me regret it.”
“Then I’d really like to enjoy today before the sickness comes tomorrow” He felt an urge to kiss her forehead but instead flew out of his barrier to let her see more of the new world around her. She hadn’t realized just how much she would enjoy this. There were so many plants and creatures she had never seen before. She began talking to Corus, asking him questions and telling him how amazing this all was. She seemed truly happy right now and it made his heart warm.
Abella’s stomach growled, embarrassing her and Corus laughing did little to make it better. He took her back to his home, back across the barrier. He dropped from the sky, making her cling to him again and then lowered her feet to the soft grass. “Let me cook for you.”
“You can actually cook?”
“I may be nothing more than a hermit, but I am quite proficient when it comes to food.”
He guided her inside and into the kitchen where he lifted her up to sit on the counter. “Now you just sit there and watch the master work.”
She smiled and he pulled his hair back then took ingredients out of his fridge and pantry, sitting them on the island. She found herself admiring him as he chopped and cooked and it took her a moment to realize he was cooking her favorite Cajun shrimp alfredo. He looked up at her and winked. “How did you know?”
“Your father of course.” He pushed the alfredo to a different burner then turned and finished chopping vegetables for a salad. Once he had it all tossed together, he made two plates and sat them on the table then filled two glasses with apple cider. “I hope it’s too your liking.” He lifted her off the counter, smiling at her blushing face. They sat down together and she nearly teared up when she tasted it.
“It’s just like my mom’s.”
“Please don’t cry.”
“There’s no reason to apologize beautiful.”
“I wish you wouldn’t call me that, it’s not true.”
“Finish eating, I have something to show you.”
“Eat first.” She was nervous as she finished dinner and couldn’t think of anything to say as she thought of what he was going to do. She couldn’t read his expression and that in itself was distressing. Once their plates were clean he stood and took her hand, pulling her from her chair and upstairs. She did her best not to pull away, but her entire being was telling her to get out of there. He took her into his room and brought her in front of a full length mirror. “What do you see?” He asked softly.
“What do you see?”
She looked at herself and felt a lump in her throat. “Someone useless and ugly.” He stood behind her, his hands coming up to cover her eyes. He heart leaped and she froze.
“Describe yourself like an artist would, like I would, with fresh eyes.” He dropped his hands. “Now tell me what you see.”
“Um..long pink hair that falls a little past the shoulders”She looked at her eyes and realized it was her blues, the green contacts were gone. He could see the real color of her eyes. She looked away for a second and Corus said “come on, this is good for you”
“I just didn’t realize I wasn’t wearing my contact”
“Your eyes are beautiful without them. Its such a pretty blue” Abella looked back at the mirror, into her own blue eyes a mom then looked at Corus’s reflection. He looked at her so sweetly, like he really did think she was beautiful. She blushed and tried to continue what he had asked of her. It was just so hard to look at any part of her that was really her. She never wanted to see that blonde hair, the skin under her tattoos or those blue eyes again. This time there was no option to leave the mirror. Corus had already told her she had to face herself and the pain she went through so though it took a few moments she looked at herself again.
“blue eyes” she said it in almost a whisper then began to describe the rest of her “A lip piercing on the left side of my bottom lip..short and awkward” Corus sighed lightly “short and awkward isn’t something an artist would say when describing you”
“at least short”
“if they needed to compare your size to something else I guess but you are not awkward”
“But I am short”
“it’s adorable and you’re not much under the average womans height. You know that’s only 5’5” Abella shrugged. “could I hug you? You seem to need a hug Abella”
“A hug…from you?”
“Yes, since I’m the only one here.” She couldn’t say yes so she just nodded and he turned her gently, his arms finding their way around her. She was stiff at first, not used to being touched by men who weren’t her brother, but soon started to relax as his warmth enveloped her. She pressed her face into his shirt and he held her a little tighter. “Do you want to know what I see?”
He huffed out a little laugh. “I see eyes like sapphires in a face that would put Aphrodite to shame, framed by soft hair. I was told you had the same blonde hair as your brother. I bet it looks like strands of gold, I’d love to see it some day, even if you go back to pink.” He leaned back and tipped her head back. “I really like your piercing and tattoos, they’re beautiful and your height is perfect.”
“You have to bend down just to look at me.”
He smiled. “But that makes you even more adorable.” He tucked some hair behind her ear. “You are the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on.”
Abella blushed, her heart racing. She couldn’t speak as she looked into his eyes. She could see he was being honest and she was surprised how little it scared her that he was attracted to her. It probably had to do with the fact he was calling her beautiful and talking sweetly unlike most men that would be lewd and call her things like sexy. Maybe it also had to do with him asking for physical interaction rather than taking it. Men did that in even harmless ways like hugs. They’d just come up and do it but he had asked, knowing it was hard for her to be physical with men.
Nervously she looked away and said “do I have any clothes here?”
“I have some for you in the room i put you in earlier.”
“yeah, do you want them?”
“well…if you let me put some pajama pants on and a tank top you can see more of my tattoos. I would be okay with pulling the legs of the pants up so we can talk about them and why i picked them”
‘I’d enjoy that a lot Abella”
Abella was nervous as she sat on the couch with Corus after changing. The spaghetti strap shirt let him see everything she had on her arms. “May I touch them?” He asked.
“Sure, I guess.”
“Are you sure or would it be too much?”
He smiled and scooted closer, his fingers tracing the fox she had from her right shoulder down to her elbow. There were a bunch of dark vines coming up around it as if trying to cage it in and pretty butterflies fluttering around. “It’s beautiful.”
“Foxes are my favorite.”
“And the vines?” She swallowed and he sighed. “You feel trapped, that’s what they represent.”
“What about these butterflies around the scene?”
“I just wanted butterflies.”
“Did you know in some cultures they represent hope and life?” She shook her head. “You want to live don’t you?”
“Foxes represent luck.”
She smiled. “I thought I was supposed to be telling you about my tattoos.”
“I just want to add a more positive meaning to them.” His smile widened. “So, show me more, tell me more.”
She felt genuinely happy talking to him. Corus was turning something she thought would be awkward into fun. He made each and every tattoo, no matter what they represented into something positive and happy for her. “You’re really amazing..I hope you know that Corus. Sitting here talking to you…I havent felt this happy in a long time. I thought showing you these would be awkward but I wanted to do it anyway”
‘You’re beautiful and you picked out some amazing things. You turned your already perfect figure into a work of art.” She wanted to contest the comment on her perfect figure but she decided no matter how much she denied the sweet things he said to her he would keep saying and meaning them. When she didn’t say anything in response to his comment Corus said “I especially like the first one you showed me and the stars and planets on your right thigh. Must have taken forever, your whole body must have”
“yeah but they give me comfort so were worth it”
Perhaps I’ll have to get one to commemorate our time together.”
“You don’t have to do that.”
“I’m thinking a butterfly the same shade as your eyes.”
She blushed. “Corus, I…”
“It’s already decided and once this is over, you are taking me to get it.” She gave him a smile and his heart did a little flip in his chest. He felt he was witnessing something rare and would forever hold that brief moment of happiness close to his heart. “Beautiful, beautiful Abella, you need rest.”
“I’m afraid of waking up tomorrow.”
He dared to reach out and stroke her cheek, happy when she didn’t flinch away. “I’ll be close by and you can wake me for anything, whether it be a nightmare or vomiting, I’ll be there to comfort you.” He took her hand between his. “would you like anything before bed? Food? Water?”
“No, I’m okay.”
“My home is your home so please eat and drink whatever you want, you don’t have to ask.”
Corus guided Abella back to her room and gave her a tight hug. His face lit up with a warm smile as he let go “All you have to do is call my name and I’ll be right here. You so much as whisper for me I’ll be able to hear and come to help you however you need me to”
“even if you just want me to return to be with you thats okay. A common problem with coming down off of heroin is insomnia. You also might get really cold suddenly so theres a heated blanket in your room if you need it.” he walked in to show her where it was. “it starts to warm if you wrap yourself in it. There’s nothing else you have to do”
“I didn’t know suddenly getting cold was a thing”
“yes, it’s like hot flashes in older adult women. Instead of hot though it’s cold”
“You’ll be miserable regardless but I’ve taken steps to make it a little less so. Any way I could prepare for your withdrawal I have. I read up on it before I came to get you” Abella hugged him, taking Corus by surprise. He held her gently, glad to have Abella in his arms again. It felt so right being with her, he wanted her to stay with him forever. When Abella let go she was blushing “sorry”
“never be sorry for hugging me. I’ll leave you now if you want me to” Abella thought about having him stay but decided against it. “goodnight Corus”
“Goodnight Abella” When he shut the door behind him Abella felt even more afraid as she slid into the bed. He was probably tired and if he stayed in here she’d probably keep him up all night.
She laid there and stared at the ceiling, becoming restless in her worry. She turned, staring out the window at the dark sky. She tossed and turned and finally sat up, feeling a little frustrated her mind wouldn’t let her go to sleep. She got up, sighing as she left her room. She walked as quietly as she could downstairs, not wanting to wake Corus, but thinking maybe a glass of water would help her. She filled a glass and took it back up with her, sipping on it as she walked. She lay back down, pulling the blanket up to her chin. Her body started aching about an hour later and she let out a groan, her fingers bunching in the blanket. It was starting and it caused her to feel panicked.
“Corus?” She was too worried about what he might think to say it loud. She felt fingers brush her temple and she turned reaching for him.
“It’s okay.” He said softly as he sat with her.
He kissed her forehead and retrieved the heated blanket, wrapping it around her. He left her long enough to get some pain medicine he had made and pushed the bathroom door open on the way down the hall. “Here, take this.” He opened the bottle and held it out to her.
“Is it safe?”
“Yes, I wouldn’t give you something dangerous or addictive.” She took it and downed the liquid then handed the bottle back. He sat it on her chest of drawers then climbed into the bed next to her. “The bathroom is to the right down the hall, I left the door open.”
“Where do you want me, Abella?”
“Can we lay down and you hold me?”
“Of course.” He laid down and she rested her head on his chest. He rubbed her arm trying to comfort her and kissed her forehead again. “Whatever you need, just tell me. I’ll do anything in my power to help you.”
“Nothing can hurt you as long as I’m here. I’ll chase away any monsters whether they be physical or mental.” He was going to chase the biggest one into prison as soon as she was able to fully rest.
“Are you sure you’re really a monster?” She asked, bringing him out of his thoughts.
“You said male demons have monsters in them, are you sure, you’re so kind.”
He chuckled. “It’s something all males can feel. As a rule we are dark, lustful creatures.” He heard her heart quicken. “Don’t worry Abella, I would never touch you inappropriately. If there is ever a time when you become scared and wish me to leave your room, please tell me.”
“You’re nothing to be scared of. You’re so sweet” He could hear in her voice the pain was spiking. He would do anything to take it all away but if it were possible he didn’t have the skill to do it. About two hours later she was sweating and son after that she felt immense irritation. She didn’t know if it was from the pain or going between being cold and sweaty or maybe it was another thing caused by the withdrawal but even with Corus being sweet and comforting she felt irritated.
Corus could feel it and knew it wasn’t at him. He hated he couldn’t comfort her more but knew Heroin was a hard thing to come off of. He whispered to her “you dont have to try so hard not to show your irritated. If you snap I wont hate you” she groaned “You’re being so good to me. I’ve been such a snot to my brother too many times. I wont do you like that too if I can help it. You’re here to help me get better so I’m really going to try to be better”
“Just know that whatever you may say to me or do while you’re getting clean I wont hold it against you. I promise”
Abella felt like crying and screaming all at once and wound up burying her face in the blankets to hide her tears. When her stomach turned and she found herself racing to the bathroom, he was right behind her and holding her hair back with one hand while the other rubbed her back. He brought her water and an extra toothbrush so she wouldn’t have to lay with the taste in her mouth. He made her a special tea that helped a little, but the pain in her stomach had her curling up in a ball and shaking. “When will it stop?”
“It will peak in the next couple of days and the it will subside, you have to be strong.”
“It hurts, it really hurts.”
“I know, but you have to do this.”
“I hate myself.”
“Shh, don’t say that Abella, never say that. You made a bad choice, but you should never hate yourself.”
“I’m such a coward.”
He turned her and she cried into his chest. “No, far from it. What you are doing now is very brave. Coming to terms with your assault is brave. You are so courageous, so, so courageous.”
It was a long, hard night but they got though it. In the following days Corus did all he could to help Abella and together she broke her addiction. It was amazing to see Abella so happy and finally pain free physically. He had been falling madly in love with her. She was more amazing than she would ever give herself credit for. Now he would make sure she stayed happy and he would also make sure the man that hurt her, that caused her to spiral like that would pay. Corus knew she might not come back home with him if he took her back to her world but he wouldn’t be selfish “Abella, how would you like to see your brother?” She stopped eating her breakfast “I still don’t know how to thank him or even apologize to him”
“Abella, I’m sure even he would agree you owe him no apology. We’re going to tell him together what started you down that path okay?” Abella took a deep breath in and out “Okay…I do really want to see him..I also want to finally meet his husband sober from drugs…he can’t think much of his sister in law”
“Don’t you worry about that. Finish your breakfast and I’ll take you to your brother” She felt a mixture of sadness and happiness as she finished her food. She was going back to where she was from and wasn’t sure Corus would see her again. This had been a favor to her father and she was scared of their relationship coming to a halt now. Without voicing her fears she finished her breakfast then allowed Corus to take her home.
Corus set Abella down then knocked on Joss and Arnaults front door. Joss answered, happy surprise on his face “Abella! Look at you! Is she clean Corus?”
“yes she is” he answered, feeling proud of her. Joss lifted his sister into a crushing hug. It brought tears to her eyes as she hugged him back “I’m so sorry Joss..I was an awful sister for too long”
“It’s okay, I’m just so happy to have you back.”
She swallowed. “There’s something else, can we come in and sit down?”
“Of course.” He moved aside, letting them in. “Thank you Corus, for doing this, for saving her. I was so afraid I’d lose her.”
“I knew she was strong enough, she fought to get here.”
Joss smiled as he called for Arnault who came out of his writing room, his eyes widening and a smile pulling at his lips when he saw Abella. “Sister in law.”
“Hello Arnault, I am so sorry for everything.”
He hugged her and she actually felt comfortable with it. “You don’t have to apologize, it’s over and done with.”
She pulled away and sat with Corus. Joss sat on the other side of her with Arnault on the end. “Is everything okay sis?”
She took a deep breath and Corus grabbed her hand, giving it a squeeze. “You deserve to know why I started doing drugs, why I changed my hair and got the tattoos and…everything.” She swallowed, feeling tears stinging her eyes. “There was this guy I met online and one day we decided to…to meet up you know, just two friends getting together. He was nice and funny and I trusted him. He…he…” She took another breath, not wanting to break down. “He raped me.”
She could feel the air change in the room. It became so quiet and when she was able to meet Joss’s eyes she could see a mix of shock, sorrow, and utter rage swirling in them. Arnault looked just as shocked, his eyes dancing with sadness. “He…I should have…”
“You couldn’t have known Joss, I didn’t tell anyone.” She reached for him hand and he let her take it.
“I didn’t protect you. I…I’ll kill him.”
Both of them had tears rolling down their cheeks and Abella hugged her brother. “Oh Joss.”
“I’m so sorry Abella, so, so sorry.” He held his sister tightly. “I’ll kill him.”
“No, you can’t. Please don’t.”
“I don’t want you going to prison, you can’t do that, not after everything I put you through.” She sniffed. “Corus is going to find him, he promised he would.”
Joss pulled back and wiped at his face. “You’ve already done so much for us.”
“I would never allow the man who hurt her to get away with what he did. She is far too important to me and he deserves to be behind bars. I can keep him there, I will keep him there.”
“I do have one more gift for you, one I will deliver as soon as possible. I will be bringing your father back.”
The all looked surprised. “Did you doubt I would find a way, Abella? I thought you had more faith in me beautiful.” He teased. “I found something, a way for your father to lose his wings. Demon blood, specifically my blood. He will be kicked out of heaven, but he will be able to see you again. This world’s angels are so strange as well as their deity, but they have their rules and I must help your father break them.”
Tears were still streaming down her face “You…you keep doing so much” He smiled warmly at her, his gaze sweet “Well, first I was doing this just for your father but now, now I care about you too Abella. I hope you know that it wasn’t long into helping you that I wanted to do it for you, the beautiful, amazing woman your father lead me too” Abella went into a full bodied blush. It would have been embarrassing even if it wasn’t right in front of her brother and brother in law. Joss and Arnault smiled at eachother, thinking Abella might have gained somebody to be with out of this.
Corus stood, closing the distance between them. He lifted her hand and kissed it “stay here, I’m going to go take care of the man who hurt you”
“will you come back or go to my father?”
“I’ll come back to you first if it’ll make you happy. I have things to talk about with you anyway. I just have to do this. He could and maybe has hurt other women this way.”
He smiled. “Don’t worry beautiful, he is no threat to me.” He opened and tear and stepped through it and she actually felt a little lonelier without him.
“How cute.” Joss said and she turned blood red.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you make such a face.”
“I will kill you Joss, I swear.”
“It’s really good to have you back.”
Corus stepped out of the rift and onto a sidewalk. Abella had not been sure if he was still in this neighborhood, but he knew the predator would not move on from hunting grounds he had become comfortable in. She had described his house in detail as well as his face. It had been painful for her, but she had wanted some closure and got through it. He hated her tears most of all and would make sure Jordan Caah paid for every one. The house was easy to find and it seemed that not much had changed. The lawn needed a mow, but that was about it. He let his senses flare out and he could hear the TV which meant he was home. He tapped on the door and waited. When it opened, he didn’t even give Jordan time to speak. He immediately grabbed him by the throat and backed him into the house, shutting the door behind him.
“Hello Jordan.” The man was prying at his hands since Corus was squeezing just enough to keep him from screaming. “I am going to try and make this as quick as I can.” He backed him into the living room. “Now you will sit and you will not make a sound.” He let Jordan go as the spell took hold. He sat down obediently, a panicked look on his face. “You don’t know me Jordan, but I know you. Unfortunately for you, that is a bad thing.” He stepped closer and bent down so they were eye to eye. “You raped the woman I love. Her name is Abella and she is the most beautiful creature in any world. You dared to lay your hands on her and that is an unforgivable crime.” Jordan looked more and more panicked and Corus grinned. “Oh good, you’re afraid of me. You should be. You see I am not going to kill you because that would mean going against Abella’s wishes even though there is nothing your law can do about it, no, I am going to do far worse.” He placed a hand on Jordan’s head. “First you will never, ever be able to get an erection again. I feel the world will be a much safer place if you are impotent. Next, you will go straight to the closest precinct and you will confess to your crimes, you will give them every name of every victim. If you dare try to lie you will suffer excruciating pain. If you ever get out you will be seized with pain so bad that you will wish I had killed you if you even have a dirty thought about a woman. It will make Hell feel like a theme park. Nod if you understand.” Jordan nodded. “Good dog, now once I leave, you will do as you are told.”
Corus left feeling better. He had made the world a safer place and had gotten the best revenge he could think of for Abella. He returned to Abella, happy to see her having so much fun with her brother. He had put himself right in the living room. Abella ran from her brother to him and hugged him tightly. His whole demeanor softened as he held Abella in his arms. It was a long embrace, one that only ended because Corus needed to know if she’d return home with him. “Is there somewhere in this house I can talk to Abella in private?”
“Yeah, you can use my office” Arnault offered. “Thank you” Arnault guided them to it then returned to the living room with Joss who turned on the TV. “what did you do to him?”
“I made him turn himself in after I made him impotent. He’ll never hurt anybody else that way”
“Thank you so much” He smiled, his heart picking up its pace. “Before I ask I want to be sure you wont say yes just because I’ve helped your family. I’ll also help your father regardless of your answer. You understand that?”
“You’ll only say yes if you really want to?”
“mhm” he sighed, actually feeling a bit nervous “would you come back home with me to stay? I’ll give everyone you care about a way to get to where I live and I’ll bring you here whenever you wish it. I can even give you a way just to talk to them when you feel like it. I love you Abella and I want you as my mate. I want to wake up to you every morning and spend my eternity with you” She was teary eyed again, “of course I want to Corus”
“Can I give you a real kiss?” She nodded, trying not to cry harder. He pulled her closer and bent down, gently pressing his lips to hers. It was Abella who made the kiss more passionate and he happily kissed her back. When they pulled apart the two were breathless. He wiped away the tears on her face then said “Now I need to go help your father. I’m going to leave you in the care of your brother”
“will you be long?” HIs smile grew, loving that she’d miss him “I’ll be as fast as I can my love”
“get your mother, when I come back I’ll have your father with me.”
“I just can’t believe this is real”
“It very much is….I must leave or I might never go” Corus left just how he’d arrived and Abella went back into the living room. “what was that? Where is he?”
“He asked me to be his mate and now he’s going to get our dad. He said to bring our mom over here so she could see him.”
“Oh his mate huh?”
“Oh Joss shut it you meanie” Joss chuckled “If you’re going to stay with him come back often. We’ve missed a lot of time together sis”
“he said he’d bring me here as much as I want. He’s also going to give you a way to come see me and give us a way to talk if we just feel like talking”
“good, you’ve found yourself a good mate”
“More like dad gave me a good mate” Joss called his mother, telling her Abella was clean and wanted to have a board game night with her. Adilene asked Joss to give Abella the phone and soon Abella was broken down again. “I’m so proud of you baby…I’ve longed for the day you got clean. Please never let them take over your life ever again” They talked for a short time then Adilene got off the phone to come over. Abella had sat on the floor as she cried so Joss got up and sat with her, pulling her into his arms. She spoke through her tears “I didn’t think you all would just accept me back like this.”
“Of course Abella, you never stopped being my baby sister or moms little girl. we never stopped loving you and wanting you to be the old you again” Adilene arrived and the two girls rushed to eachother “my sweet baby” Adilene said into her daughters hair. When the hug broke she said “you already look healthier”
“Corus took really good care of me”
“he’s my new boyfriend. He’s why I’m clean now”
“When can I meet him?”
“You’ll meet him soon”
Corus stepping into Treffen’s living room actually startled the angel who dropped the book he had been reading and he couldn’t help but laugh at the look on his friend’s face. “Don’t scare me like that.” Treffen said.
“You would think you’d be used to it. So how is my hermit friend doing?”
“I’m not a hermit.”
“At this rate you’ll be me in no time.” Treffen rolled his eyes and Corus dropped down on the couch next to him. “Your daughter is clean, my friend.”
Treffen’s eyes lit up and filled with tears. “You did it, you really did it?”
“Did you ever doubt me?”
“No, it’s just…”
“I fell in love with her you know, it’s really thanks to you.” He met his friends eyes. “I hope you’ll accept me as her mate, no that you could chase me away.”
Treffen hugged him and Corus froze for a moment, a bit surprised. “Thank you, thank you so much for everything. I trust you with her, I know you won’t hurt her.” He raised his head. “And the man who hurt her?”
“I gave him a punishment worse than death.”
“I also have a gift for you, if you would have it. I want to give you back to your family. I know a way to get you get out of this place.” He looked around. “Far too sterile looking if you ask me.”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a knife, flicking it open. “I want to infect you with what these other angels believe to be the vilest of the vile, demon blood.”
“Anything to get back to my family.”
“You must be sure because you will never see this place again.”
“I’m sure, how do we do this?”
He grabbed Treffen’s hand and sat it flat on the coffee table then put his own over the top. “I have found that this ritual is painful for most, but for you it will be much worse. Your angel blood will try to reject my demon blood, but you will get to see your family again. You’re going to have to try not to pass out, your wife and children are waiting for you.”
Corus slammed the blade through their hands and started chanting. He withdrew the blade, allowing their blood to mingle as he weaved the spell. He had to muffle Treffen’s screams so as not to call any attention to themselves. Surprisingly his friend didn’t throw up and remained conscious through the entire ordeal. Corus could see that determination ran in their family. Treffen was panting by the time his body stopped convulsing and was far too weak to stand so Corus helped him up and pulled Treffen’s arm over his neck. “You ready?”
“Yes, please take me to my family.”
When they heard Corus at the door Joss excitedly ran to it. They hadn’t told their mother that Corus was bringing Treffen. It would have sounded absurd to her if they would have so they didn’t see the point. Joss gasped, he had trusted the demons word but seeing his father there was surreal. “You look so handsome Joss.” Treffen was still tired but he wanted to embrace his son. Joss hugged him tightly then brought him in “Mom…Corus has brought dad back” Adeliene was speechless “This….what?”
Joss explained everything, what he was, what Corus was, all about demons and angels. It was a long explanation and by the end of it Adeliene looked in a mixture of shock and disbelief. She finally stood after her long silence and approached her husband, reaching out and stroking his cheek. “You…you’re really here…”
“and I’ll never leave you again” Treffen could wait no longer, pulling his wife close and holding her. She began to cry into him, pulling at everyones emotions. Next Treffen went to his daughter “I’m sorry Abella…Maybe if we had all been as understanding as Joss things wouldn’t have gotten so bad with you..I am sorry baby”
“oh dad” she said then wrapped her arms around him. Soon after embracing his daughter he apologized to his family about being so tired “I want to be up with you all later but I have to sleep now”
“Its okay dad we understand” Abella answered. “I’ll take you home then” Their mother said, still overwhelmed with emotion and the situation. He looked so happy to be hearing that from his wife again. “are you ready to come home too then Abella?” Corus asked and she nodded “I love you all”
“we love you too, go and be happy, for all of us” Joss answered. “I will return soon with everything you need to come visit or just talk to her” Corus said before sweeping Abella off her feet and leaving with her. When Joss and Arnault were alone again Joss turned to his lover and said “what a day huh?”
“What a day doesn’t even begin to cover it” The two laughed, their family was whole again and none of them could be happier.
~ The End