Asta giggled happily as she jumped, skipped and spun around outside. The jubilance of being a woman again hadn’t drained out of her in the slightest. Sigge just sat in the grass admiring her, loving the positive energy she always engulfed them in. Asta walked over to him “sorry baby”
“Never be sorry for being happy. It’s like you wrap me in a blanket of joy every day. I’ve never felt so happy Asta” He stood and she pulled him close, letting her lips lightly brush his “I want to dance, do you know how?”
“I’d happily learn for you my sweet” She moved his hands to her hips “Follow my lead” They slow danced at first but true to the bright light of energy she was they were soon dancing energetically and all over the lawn. Sigge chuckled happily, knowing they probably looked like lunatics but he didn’t give a damn. When they were exhausted from dancing they laid in the grass, holding one another until they absolutely needed to eat something. A few days later they went out on a walk and found a man Sigge thought to be dead based on how bloody he was and the fact it didn’t look like he was breathing. Asta checked him, hearing a faint heartbeat”he’s barely clinging to life”
“He’s alive at all, really?”
“Yes, I can hear his heart even though it’s just barely doing anything. We have to feed him the apple we took from the gods tree somhow. It heals everything and he needs something that magical if he’s going to live” Sigge felt reserve at using their gift up on a stranger but soon felt guilty for being so selfish when he looked into Asta’s pleading eyes. She wanted to save this mans life and he would do anything for her. They took the man to their home, blended the apple and forced his neck muscles to work the apple down. Nothing seemed to happen at first but a few minuets later he was stirring, causing Asta to gasp with delight. His wounds were shutting and his skin gained back all its color.
“Hey” Asta said and the man looked at her, seeming confused “Hello? Is this heaven? With a sexy little thing like you right here it must be” Asta felt Sigge grow angry “it’s not heaven and she’s mine”
“Yours?” she said humorously, causing him to blush.He groaned “I guess I’ll be leaving then”
“Yeah, thanks or whatever” Asta was a little put off by him so didn’t care that he walked right out. Sigge knew he was in defensive mode because of what the man had said to Asta but something told him they may have made a mistake by saving the mans life. He was worried there may have been good reason someone tried to kill him and a few days later he realized too late his concerns were completely valid. A Knock sounded at the door so he answered quickly since Asta was sleeping and just as he recognized him he felt the mans fist hit his face, slamming him into the door frame and making him dizzy. The man ran by him “where are you beautiful?”
A feeling of unease caused Asta to wake and she slowly sat up, looking around in confusion. The sound of footsteps coming quickly down the hall had her shoving the covers back and just as she stepped out of bed, the door was shoved open. She immediately recognized the man from before and backed away when he came towards her grinning. “What do you want? Where’s Sigge?” She said, ready to fight him if she had to.
“You mean that little fairy? He won’t be bothering us. How nice it is to see you again.” He reached for her and she swung at him, causing him to chuckle. “You’ve got some fire.”
“What did you do to him?”
“Just hit him a little, calm down.”
“we saved your life you asshat! How dare you rush into our home and hit Sigge!” She was shaking but not in fear, in anger. “I didn’t ask for anything from you two and I’m not one to pass up a sexy babe like yourself when I see one”
“Get the hell out of our house!” She snapped. Sigge quickly cleared his head, refusing to leave Asta dealing with this man alone. Regret was bubbling to the surface again, they shouldn’t have saved him. Whomever had tried to kill him had done the world a favor and now for their mistake he could be in their room hurting Asta. The big hearted woman who insisted they help him in the first place. Sigge tackled the man from behind, catching him off guard. Asta felt relief seeing Sigge, he was okay and on top of that in good enough shape to run in here and help her.
Sigge wrestled with him, furious that he had been able to get so close to Asta. He didn’t want to have to kill anyone in front of Asta so he did his best to injure him. The man grabbed him by his shirt, rolling on top of him and head butting him in the face. Sigge managed to slide back and kicked him in the face then scrambled to his feet and put himself between Asta and the stranger. “Get out now or I will kill you.” Sigge said, glaring at him.
“You’re a lot tougher than I thought fairy boy.” He spit some blood out of his mouth.
“Just go, there’s no reason to do this.” Asta said. She wanted to do something, but Sigge was standing close enough they were touching.
The stranger smiled, his eyes daring Sigge forward even as more blood started slowly flowing over his lips and down his chin. Sigge was glad he had gotten him so well with that kick. “For now I guess I’ll leave but I assure you, this isn’t over” He began backing out and Sigge wasn’t sure what to do. Even though he was leaving he was planning to come back but at the same time what would Asta think of him if he attacked a man who was waving a white flag at the moment.
Sigge stood his ground protectively until he heard the man leave through their front door. Once sure hw as out of their house Sigge hugged Asta “are you okay? I’m sorry he got as far as in here with you…I”
“shh” she interrupted “don’t you start that. I’m okay and he left. Maybe his threat of returning is empty”
“I don’t know, he seems like the type to actually come back…I can’t believe he’d be doing this to us after we saved him”
“some people are just ungrateful snots baby” Asta said then kissed Sigge to comfort him.
Sigge stayed on edge for the rest of the day, staying completely alert even when they went out. He kept Asta close, unable to let her leave his side just in case. He wondered what that man would have done to her if he had not come to defend her. “Sigge, you need to calm down.” She said that night as they climbed into bed.
“I can’t, what if he comes back? He could have hurt you.”
“I know, but you saved me.”
He pulled Asta into his arms, pressing a kiss to her forehead. “I know.”
“Tomorrow we should see if we can find out who he is.”
“If he doesn’t come back first.” He sighed, he was far too worked up and angry for sleep. He wanted to watch over her all night.
“it’ll be okay baby, we’ll figure this out. He’s not invincible. Who knows, maybe if we look into who he is we can find whomever handed him his ass last time to help us”
“I hope so”
“I’m really sorry I pushed you into helping him…I knew you didn’t want to” Sigge kissed her head “I can’t be angry at you for wanting to show compassion. You had no way of knowing he was a bad person and we may have used up our apple but it was an apology gift to you anyway so you had every right to use it how you saw fit”
“I just hope he hasn’t hurt anybody else since coming back from the brink of death.”
“don’t think about it okay, I don’t want you getting more upset”
“It’s hard to help” he kissed her again “I know”
Asta snuggled close to Sigge and he laid there running his fingers slowly up and down her arm until she was sleeping peacefully. He stayed awake, freezing at any little sound to be sure no one was trying to break in. If that man came back, he was determined to keep him away from Asta this time. He wasn’t sure if the man’s intentions had been to kidnap her or not, but he wouldn’t risk the asshole getting past him again. As the sun started to peek over the horizon, he decided to get at least a couple of hours of rest and locked his arms around Asta as he let his eyes close.
“Sigge, I need to use the bathroom.” Asta’s voice woke him some time later and he slowly let her go and sat up, rubbing his eyes.
“I’ll get breakfast started.” He said then yawned. “Yell for me if you need me.”
When they were ready to leave their home they went straight on to Taavi’s home. They felt his adoptive father Latrell was the best person to talk to and Taavi could get them there in the blink of an eye. Latrell seemed to know everything at times so hopefully he would be able to help them figure out who this man was. They were filled with disappointment when they reached Taavi’s home only to find him gone “shit” Sigge said so Asta rubbed his back “lets go inside, he’ll come back and his door is never locked”
“what if he’s on a trip or something?”
“we will only spend the day here. If he isn’t back by dinner we’ll set off for his fathers house by ourselves. I mean, even if we wait here hours we will still get to him faster through Taavi than we would with you flying”
Sigge was up and pacing when Taavi’s front door opened and their friend paused for a moment to take them in. “Hello, you actually startled me.” He said as he closed the door. “I wasn’t expecting company.” He looked between the two of them. “What happened?”
“Sorry to surprise you, but we were hoping you could take us to talk to your father.” Asta said with an apologetic smile. “I know it’s short notice and you just got home, but it’s important.”
“Some guy has become obsessed with Asta and I’m afraid he might return or that he’s stalking us.” Sigge added.
“Yes, we saved him and he practically broke into our house. He even hurt Sigge.”
“Alright just give me a second to…” The knock on Taavi’s front door startled them and Taavi sighed. “Of course when something serious comes up, people want to visit.”
“Be careful.” Sigge said, putting himself between Asta and the door.
“I will.” He looked through the peephole and when he didn’t see anyone, he slowly opened the door. There was a small box sitting on his front porch and he slowly picked it up and lifted it. “I don’t remember ordering anything.” He shook it out of habit and that’s when it exploded, sending a bunch of dust into his face which had him choking and coughing and his eyes watering. He couldn’t even dodge the punch that caught him in the side of his head.
Sigge rushed over, catching the bastard in the face with his fist just as he had Taavi but getting that close Sigge now had dust in his eyes. The man shoved him down. Neither of them was his target, Asta was. Asta rarely had a reason to use her abilities as a half demon but she was ready and willing. This was getting too extreme and she wasn’t going to hold back. Taavi could be seriously hurt and she didn’t know what damage the bomb could have done to either of the mens eyes. She had caused all this to happen by insisting they save a stranger and she was ready to set things right. She taped into that part of her blood and punched him with all her strength. She had been aiming for his stomach but it felt more like she hit his chest. She wasn’t sure, there wasn’t much time to process what her fist had hit before he took a handful of hair and yanked her down. It felt like he actually pulled some out but she was too angry to worry about the pain.
“That, hurt.” He said, his other hand pressed to his chest. “Fuck.”
She twisted and gripped him by his throat and they rolled until she had him pinned on his stomach. “Bastard. What is wrong with you?”
“What are you? I smell demon, but damn.”
“You’re a psycho.” He grinned as he pressed his free arm against the floor and pushed himself up. She wrapped her arms around his neck, doing her best to hold him in a choke hold. “Just stop already, I’m not interested…in a…nut case.” She screamed.
He got out of the choke hold and she noticed he had pulled a dagger from somewhere on his person. She didn’t know when Taavi had gotten so close to her but she knew it was him who grabbed her, especially since next thing she knew they were in front of his adoptive fathers home. “I still can’t see well and despite the fact it was three against one we needed to get away and figure out how to handle him. ”
“what if he destroys your home out of anger?”
“Yours and Sigge’s safety is more important than my stupid house. Things can be replaced, the whole house can be replaced. I’m still trying to peg what that man even is so it’s better we got away. How’re you Sigge?”
“I’ll be fine, thank you”
“What was that stuff?”
“I don’t know, but it burned like crazy.” Taavi gave a little cough as he knocked on his father’s door.
To their relief Latrell opened the door almost immediately. “Who doused you in dragon powder?” He asked as he ushered them in.
“It’s a mix of various powders that some assassins and spies use, it’s meant to harm, but not kill. I can see you got the worst of it, Taavi.”
“It was rigged to explode and I took the entire box to the face. It burns and my lungs hurt.”
“I’ll make something to counteract the effects while you explain what happened. I can smell an unfamiliar scent on all of you and by your faces I can tell that whoever it belongs to was not nice.”
“Not nice is an understatement” Sigge said angrily. Latrell had them all sit while he quickly started making something to ease their discomfort. Asta began explaining, knowing it was probably better she do it since she was more calm about teh situation. All she felt was guilt but Sigge was furious. She explained how they came upon the man and how she insisted on helping them then went on to tell him everything that had happened since. “sadly sometimes our kindness bites us in teh butt. I can see that you’re carrying guilt Asta but you shouldn’t. You didn’t know and I’d like to hope if I was near death a stranger with a heart like yours might save me” She nodded and happily accepted the medicine Latrell soon offered them all. It helped near instantly, Taavi actually sighing with relief.
“I just don’t understand his obsession, we didn’t even interact all that much and now he’s stalking me and he hurt Sigge and Taavi. What if he finds his way here? He might hurt you too?”
“Not a chance, he wouldn’t make it through the front door. It has a spell on it to stop unwanted guests, as do the the windows. He would be immediately incapacitated.”
“Then what should we do?” Sigge asked. “I want him gone.”
“Stay here for now, I will do some research and send out letters to friends who live close to that area. Perhaps one of them can shed some light on this mystery man and his intentions.”
“Thank you.” Asta said. “And also for the medicine.”
“You and Sigge have come to mean a lot to me and even if you didn’t, he’s hurt my son. I’ll get to the bottom of this” His voice was serious, his eyes carrying a hint of anger though his demeanor remained calm. He went to leave the room and Taavi said “let me help dad” Latrell smiled “like old times, sounds good my son, come on” The two walked away and Sigge took Asta into his arms. He could relax a little more, trusting in Latrell. He knew if Latrell said they were safe they were safe. He was by far the smartest and most powerful man either of them knew. Asta sighed, allowing herself to relax into his embrace, simply enjoying it for the moment.
When Latrell returned, he had four envelopes in his hand. Taavi had a box in his hands. “You take this one to Avar personally, you know how he is about that sort of thing and give him that box as both an apology for the unexpected visit and a thank you for his help.”
“Alright, I’ll be back as soon as possible.” Taavi took one of the letters from his father and opened a tear.
“Are you taking the others?” Asta asked.
“No, I need to stay here with you two.” He went to the front door and opened it then let out a sharp whistle. Asta and Sigge watched in amazement as three astral dogs came running excitedly up to the porch.
“Where did you get those?”
“I’ve been dabbling a bit with spirits, these three are my finest work.” He dropped down to one knee. “Now you three, get these letters where they need to be as quickly as possible.”
They obediently took them, rushing off for their master. Latrell sighed “Hopefully I’ll get responses soon. ”
“there’s really nothing we can do to help?” Asta asked and Latrell shook his head “No dear, Taavi should be back before long if Avar is coming. Maybe he’ll have something you two can do”
“who is Avar?”
“He is a very old friend of mine. He was originally my great grandfathers childhood friend. He’s stuck to our family like glue and being as old as he is is incredibly intelligent”
“Huh, to think there’s someone you turn to for advice” Latrell chuckled “The wise know when they need help”
“what is he if I may ask?”
“I am a Grootslang” a foreign voice answered. Asta gasped, turning to look at him “Oh…hi” he smiled kindly “Do you know what that is?”
“There are not many of my kind left so I am not surprised. Most do not know me. I, like dragons love beautiful things, especially gems. It’s common for my people. We are an intelligent race and be careful if you meet others like me for we can be incredibly cunning. If we want to deceive you we will. As for my looks I sort of look like an elephant snake combo”
“You didn’t have to just leave me.”Taavi said as he came through a tear into the living room.
“You child, should learn to move a little quicker.” Avar replied, his eyes showing amusement.
“I do move fast.” He sighed. “You’re like some kind of…of shadow or something.”
“I’ve been around for awhile, you know this.”
“So it’s just an old man thing.” Taavi said down next to Asta and Sigge.
“Taavi.” Latrell had to clear his throat to stop the laugh. “Be good, this is serious.”
“Your letter said it was quite urgent.” He turned his attention back to Asta and Sigge. “Please explain everything to me as best as you can and leave out nothing.”
They began explaining again, doing their best to relay every single detail to Avar. When they finished Avar said “sounds like he’s just mentally disturbed. He can’t have any specific reason beyond that unless he’s a man just that entitled. Sadly there are men who just feel like they are owed any woman they want. If they desire you and you reject them they feel they’ve been wronged, simply absurd but some are like that”
“I’d still call that mentally disturbed” Sigge said and Avar nodded. “well between my good friend Latrell and I he wont be harming you so feel safe. We’ll figure this out and take care of it”
“thank you” Asta said and Avar gave a small, friendly smile “any friend of Latrell is a friend of mine” When the astral dogs came back they had return letters which both Avar and Latrell began reading, discussing them with one another like they were the only two in the room. Asta, Sigge and Taavi remained quiet, listening and ready for whenever they were ready to talk to them.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, anything could go wrong.” Latrell said.
“You trust me don’t you?” Avar asked.
“Of course I do, but we do not know the extent of his power.”
Avar rested a hand on Latrell’s shoulder. “You know I would not let any harm come to your boy, he is just as precious to me as he is to you, but it must be done or that man will continue to follow your friends.”
“I know, I understand.”
Latrell and Avar turned back to the three of them. “Taavi, are you up for a bit of magic?” Avar asked.
“That depends on what it is.”
“I wish to make you look like Asta and use you as bait. I believe it is the safest option since you can escape through a tear the moment anything bad happens.”
“Did you find out who he was?” Asta asked.
“After going over the information sent to us, I believe he is a notorious demon by the name of Alexander. The details you gave me match his description and his mannerisms. I will use a bit of illusion magic to make Taavi look like you and then we will lure him out.”
“And Taavi won’t be harmed?”
“While I do not know how powerful this Alexander is, I am confident that he is not nearly as powerful as I. I promise he will be safe.”
“I want to do this Asta. They are right, it’s better for me to be bait because I can get away easily”
“Thank you all again..” she wanted to apologize but they had already told her so many times it wasn’t necessary. It was amazing to her and a little odd to soon see herself instead of their good friend Taavi “wow” she said and Latrell smiled “seems we did a good job. The real one is convinced” Taavi pointed at Sigge “you just remember which one is hers so I don’t have to punch you” Asta laughed but only briefly. This was a serious situation and they needed to finish what whomever else had started with this demon. Truly no woman would be safe if they chose to let him go after teaching him a lesson.
They went over their plan then returned to Taavis home which now laid in ruins. The demon had obviously unleashed his rage at being ran from on his belongings. She couldn’t help herself this time, no matter what they said this wouldn’t be happening if she hadn’t insisted they saved Alexander. “I’m so sorry Taavi”
“nothing I can’t fix, it was all just stuff” Taavi walked outside, wanting to beat the shit out of this bastard. Taavi tried not to seem so angry as he stepped out. He tried to think of Asta, how she moved and look as though he was feeling more sorry for the situation than angry since that’s how she looked. Alexander seemed to come from nowhere but in almost an instant, so did Latrell and Avar. The demon was dead before a scratch happened on a single one of them. Taavi took the body away, feeling as though Asta shouldn’t have to deal with any more from this creature.
Asta cried, mostly from relief when Latrell told her he was taken care of. As Sigge held Asta he said “so what can we do about Taavi’s home?”
“I think it would be nice just to make him a new one. With all the work this one would take it just makes more sense anyway.”
“I think I will be the one to draw up the plans.” Avar said as he looked over what was left of furniture and picture frames. “I would like you to help me weave magic into every wall and window to ensure something like this never happens again.”
“Very well.” Latrell said with a nod.
“I would also like to do the same to your home.” Avar said to Asta and Sigge. “I can guarantee the only thing able to break my magic is an equally powerful being.”
“I think that’s the best option.” Sigge replied. “I can’t let something like this happen again. It could have been so much worse, he could have taken Asta or killed Taavi.”
“I’m can be pretty tough you know.” Asta said with a weak little smile.
“I know, but you are far to important to me for me to risk it.”
They gathered what friends would help once Taavi was back and began work right away on Taavis home. He didn’t seem sad or worried at all during the building and Asta was glad. If he would have been heartbroken it would have made her feel even worse. She knew she still probably wouldn’t be able to help herself if she saw a person in need but she was relieved beyond measure that helping that horrible demon didn’t turn out worse than it did
~ The End ~