Bishin stood at Olivias side, he making pancakes while she stirred the hashbrowns. Ava was laying on the couch with her new books. There was an author only a few hours travel across the desert that Ava would visit from time to time. Not every book was by him but the one she was reading he had written. Haskall made a habit of picking up books he thought Ava would like so he could give them to her when she came. It of course wasn’t for free but it didn’t come at a high price. Ava could fly and Haskall loved being in the air. She would stay a few days and take him up in the sky. One book equaled one ride for as long as she could stay up. She would stay at his home for however many days it took to give him one flight per book since she would only do one flight a day. Honestly she only could do one since she would keep him in the sky as long as she could. Little did Olivia know that when Ava was away Bishin didn’t truly go home at night. He would get a shower when it was needed but besides that he would rest close to her home in the sands. It was far enough away Olivia couldn’t see he was keeping vigil but near enough he’d know if another demon came along.
Bishin knew Ava could keep Olivia safe and would even die for her sister if it came down to it but Olivia being alone frightened Bishin so he stayed near so that he could know she was safe and sound in her bed at night. Ava didn’t hear the first call for breakfast she was so lost in Haskalls story. Olivia laughed “sit Bishin, I’ll get her” Olivia walked into the living room and snatched the book from her sisters hands “you need to eat missy”
“No! Just two more pages!”
“Ava” Olivia said in a motherly tone that made Bishin crack a smile. Ava gave a puppy face and Olivia threatened to shut her book without the bookmark being set between the pages. Ava gasped and jumped up, handing Olivia the bookmark. Olivia marked Avas place then went to the table. “I want to go exploring today. Want to go guys?” Olivia asked. Bishin wanted to go but couldn’t “I’m sorry Olivia, my sister Jasmine is at my mothers house and I promised them we would spend today three way battling. I’d go if I could”
“I know you would. That’s ok” Olivia knew her sisters answer so didn’t push it further. She had only just gotten back with her books so would only feel like reading today. Bishin on the other hand assumed Ava would go so he didn’t talk about it any longer. Avas mind wasn’t at the table, it was lost in the world Haskall created so she barely even heard Olivia ask.
When their places were cleared and dishes were clean Bishin hugged Ava then Olivia. He held her tightly and asked “could I kiss you bye?” Three years later and he was still asking every time. “Bishin, you know the answer. I’m not sure why you insist on asking.” He smiled then pressed his lips against the soft skin of her cheek. He held it for as long as he could without it being weird or too much. “Have fun today. I will see you tomorrow. They’ll work me hard so i wont be joining you for breakfast”
“Ok, you three have a good time. I hope it helps a lot with your skills” He nodded then walked out the door. It made a loud sound as he shut it since he pushed it harder than intended. “sorry, didn’t mean to shut it so hard” he called and the girls both told him it was alright. Bishin took off through the sand which was hotter than normal today. The past week had been especially hot in the desert which didn’t bother them but it bothered some of the wildlife. Of course everything that lives in the desert is accustomed to it’s unforgiving heat but there were a few weeks a year that seemed a bit harder for a few of the species. Bishin wondered if any of them would become extinct because of it. Ava of course settled right back down with her book as Olivia ran into her room to change. She wanted pants and a loose fitting tshirt since she was planning on going to the wooded area. She didn’t like to climb in her skirts or dresses incase any males happened by.
When she was in appropriate clothes she pulled her hair into a pony tail then brushed her teeth. A spit, rinse and dart downstairs later she told Ava bye who just waved her hand. Ava had heard what Olivia said but it hadn’t sank in. Right now her favorite couple in Haskalls series was fighting and it was ripping her apart. If this lasted much longer Ava knew she would bawl then possibly fly over to Haskalls to give him the punch in the face he deserved for doing this to her feelings. He knew those two were her favorites. Oliva laughed as she walked out, knowing her sister probably hadn’t truly registered she was leaving. Olivia wouldn’t be shocked if she came home for dinner that night to find Ava never noticed she wasn’t in the house.
Olivia walked at a semi fast pace, wanting to hurry and be in woods. She saw the desert all the time so was looking forward to new scenery. It was nearly lunch when she arrived where she wanted to be but that was fine. She scented the air to find some nuts which caught her nose quickly. She climbed the tree they were in and happily sat down on a branch to enjoy her meal. She loved the sound of the nuts cracking open almost as much as she loved the taste. She probably ate more than she actually needed to be full she was enjoying them so much. Not another nut could squeeze into Olivias belly when she quit eating then dropped down out of the tree to rest against the trunk. She sighed, feeling at peace out here. She tuned up her hearing as far as it would reach so she could hear each and every creature living their lives and making their sounds. She could tell somthing was upsetting a few of the squirrels. Their squeaks were agitated and their tales were jerking instead of making gentle swishes when they moved.
Olivia started making up a story in her head as to why the squirrls were upset. She imagined their little family having a tiff about what sort of nuts they would store in their homes. Some wanted almonds while others wanted walnuts. She giggled as she gave words to the sqeauks. In her head she coudl hear small voices bickering in the cutest sort of way. Her cheerful antics were halted when she could hear a small boy screaming in the distance. It was far off, only close enough that it reached her ears. She took off running, wishing she was faster to help the boy before whatever hurt him. This would be an amazing time to be able to fly like Ava but she didn’t dwell on it. Olivia just kept going as fast as she could, her heart aching as the boy continued to scream for help.
When the boy came into view he was running too. His little terrified face looked relieved when he saw Olivia. He jumped into her arms “help me! She’s going to eat me! She’s been eating us all! She said I was next!”
“Who?” Olivia barely got the question out when a female demon came into view. She of course looked very young but Olivia could feel she was an ancient demon. “give the child to me” She commanded in a much deeper voice than Olivia expected from such a petite woman. Her skin was gray and tight around her as though it was one size too small for her skeleton. Her eyes seemed to be a mixture of red and orange while her hair was the same white color Bishins was. Olivia should have been intimidated by the power this woman obviously had and how she towered over Ava. Ava was 5’4 while this female could have easily been 6 feet tall. Olivia stood her ground, not willing to just give a little boy to someone who obviously intended to hurt him. All fear she should have had was anger coursing through her. Olivia gripped the shaking child tighter “You cannot have him. He said you’re going to eat him”
The female demon chuckled “Me eating children is no different than you eating animals. They live and feel just as children do. If you ever tasted just how good demon, elven and human children taste you would crave them aswell. I feel like a demon child tonight and he’s my only one so give him to me now. I don’t make a habit of fighting weaker demons than me unless they have children I want for my cages. You obviously don’t have any so don’t make me mar that beautiful face. If you hope to lure a male into getting you pregnant you’ll want to be just as pretty as you are now. This is your only chance to give him to me” Suddenly Mikel held up his hand which sprayed somthing all over Kuai. She screamed and Olivia took the opportunity to run, hoping she was faster than this female. She knew her speed was great but this demon had many more years to become faster. Olivia knew better than to be over confident in her abilities, especially when it came to an elder demon.
Olivia and Mikel didn’t get far when Kuai appeared in front of them, grabbing Olivia by her hair and slamming her through a tree trunk. The last sound she heard was Mikel scream then the world went black. Kuai held Mikel by the throat with one hand as she used the other to pull a chain and collar from the earth. Mikel thrashed as best he could even though struggling hurt since she had such a tight grib. Kuai collard him quickly then started to drag the child by his chain. “Please wake up!” he screamed at Olivia but she didn’t move nor stir atall from the unconsciousness she had been forced into.
Kuai was pissed and growling “Now I’ll have to be hungry you stupid brat. There’s no way I can enjoy my meal with my face stinging so much. What is this shit?”
“It’s a power I inherited from my mother. I got most my powers from her.”
“Yes, she was harder to kill than your father was. I will hand it to them though, they fought harder for you than most do. I’m sure you know by now that two of my delicious children in the cage I won in a bet. Oh how I love their parents. They love to gamble and are always willing to bet their children. After I’ve had my fill with you I plan to go to the elven world again to play. I’m having friends over next weekend and they want to feast on elven children. I’m sure I can get atleast five more since the woman only seems to have twins or triplets. They have babies constantly so I’ll keep gambling with them.” Mikel couldn’t speak anymore. He had lost his parents but atleast they fought for him. He couldn’t imagine knowing that your mom and dad just handed you over to be a demons meal. He wondered which of the two circumstances was more heartbreaking.
Olivia woke to a girl shaking her “Please wake up, are you ok?” Olivia got up quickly, now noticing the boy at her side. They were very obviously twins. “where’d she go?”
“who, your head got hit pretty hard it seems, you’re bleeding”
“That doesn’t matter right now. There’s a child eating demon somwhere near here and she’s about to cook a little boy. We’ve got to save him, please help. I can’t let him die, I’ve already failed him once. Please”
‘are you speaking of Kuai? Really tall? Tight grey skin?”
“Yes, yes thats her” The twins looked at eachother then the boy spoke “She’s very powerful, I heard she’s been alive for a couple thousand years.”
“What does that matter? We can’t just stand idly by because we’re scared. I can’t just walk away to save my own skin. Children need us” They sighed, feeling guilt for hesitating “We will help, first things first. I’m Alexio and my sister is Ayla. We are half demon, half vampires. Our demon blood makes us able to walk in the sun. We are older than we look. What’s your name and what species are you?”
“Olivia, I’m a demon with a small amount of human blood in the mix. My grandma was human”
“Find her scent and we will strike against her and try to save the children.”
“I must admit somthing first”
“what is it?”
“I’m a really weak demon but I’m fast. Being fast is my only real quality” She wouldn’t feel right going into battle not telling them first. The boy sighed “You sure you want to do this? We all may die in our crusade for the children and they will still get eaten. My sister and I are strong but we don’t know if we can stand against Kuai”
“we have to try, he’ll be eaten if we dawdle or try to find more help. Please, I beg you to help me help those children” Ayla spoke now “Then follow our orders. If we tell you to scoop children up and run you do it”
“I will obey anything you two say.” Ayla looked at her brother and he nodded. “Follow that scent Olivia”
Ava was already half way through her book. She didn’t care when her stomach told her it was lunch time. She couldn’t put it down. Her favorite characters had both realized how stupid they were and made up which of course hooked her even further into the story. She was sure Haskall realized this when he pulled his little stunt with this novel. Just as Olivia suspected Ava didn’t have an inkling she wasn’t about the house or right outside. It hadn’t even crossed her mind since it had been so busy invisioning the world, worrying about the characters and laughing along side of them as they spoke to one another. Bishin was pile driven into the ground by Jasmine when he finally asked for a time out. “sheesh” he said getting up. Jasmine smiled “I’ve been in quite a few fight since you last saw me”
“I can tell, you actually hurt me pretty bad”
“I’m sorry, lets go rest and have a late lunch” As they made fruit salad Jasmine said “so Bishin, How’s Olivia?” He blushed “she’s wonderful”
“I know she is” Jasmine said with a wink making Devina giggled “leave your brother alone”
“what? He needs to make her his real mate. She’s the only woman he wants or has ever wanted for a mate and we see her as his mate. Bishin needs to make it official and quit being a pansy”
“Things are fine how they are. I’m with her every day. If she wanted somthing she would say so.”
“Pansy” Jasmine said again “that’s enough” Devina said to Jasmine. “No, let her speak her mind mom. I’m not a pansy Jasmine. I just love her, I need Olivia, I really do. If she doesn’t want to be my mate it might make things uncomfortable. I’d have to say goodbye to seeing her every day, the small contacts I get here and there, I’d have to say goodbye to it all. I’d rather have this than risk scaring her off. I love her and what we have is enough. I would love to have more but I’m terrified of her not feeling the same way. I would be a mere husk of a man if the day ever came she didn’t want to see me any longer. So no I’m not a pansy Jasmine. I’m just protecting what I do have with the woman I adore. If she gave me any sign she wanted to be my mate I’d tell her my feelings on the spot but she hasn’t. I look for signs and I see none that she sees me as anything more than a really good friend. With how often we’re with eachother now the only things that would change if we were mates is I’d have sex with her and I’d get to hold her when i wanted. Those are both amazing things but not worth having to go without her laughter, her smiles, star gazing, exploring with her. The list goes on and on of what I have to lose. So no, sex and cuddles aren’t worth the much longer list of things I already have with Olivia”
Devina and Jasmine stood there shocked “I’m sorry Bishin.” Jasmine finally said when she could speak “it’s fine Jasmine, I just wanted you to understand”
“I do, it’s sweet you dont care about sex”
“I don’t, I just need to be near her.” They finished preparing the food then ate together, discussing new tactics for their next fight and giving eachother helpful criticism. Olivia couldn’t believe how far Mikel had gone before Kuai caught up. She could only imagine what kind of adrenaline being in that situation would give you. When they could see the house Alexio held up a hand and both girl stopped. ¬†He walked over to Olivia and whispered “I’ve been thinking of a plan the whole way here. We have the advantage with a surprise attack. My sister and I will go after Kuai while you grab as many children as you can. We don’t know how many are actually in there. When you have all teh children you can carry I’ll rup a hole in the fabric of space but you have to listen to me Olivia. You need to pick a place you know and you know well. You need to concentrate on it. If your mind isn’t focused on one place when you jump through who knows where you’ll end up. Ripping straight through the fabric of realities is dangerous work but we need to get those children away. I need to know you’re confident you can picture a safe place clearly. That your mind wont wander. Go where you feel the safest Olivia. Let your mind choose for you. Tell me when you’ve picked your place”
Olivia concentrated on home but her mind kept tugging her to Bishin. She could feel safe anywhere with him by her side. “is a person ok?”
“a person is fine if you can picture them clearly”
“then you’re ready?”
“You ready Ayla?”
“Then lets go.”
When they finished eating Devina said “I’d rather go hangout with Ava and Olivia than keep fighting, what about you Jasmine?”
“Sure” Bishin of course wouldn’t protest to that. He hoped Ava and Olivia were back from their walk.”they might be gone but we can wait around” Devina let out a noise that sounded like a refrained laugh “I’m sure we can.”
“You two can be mean”
“aw son, we tease because we love you. We worry Olivia might find a different mate if you don’t make a move soon. We just want you happy.”
“well, the only man ever anywhere near is Haskall and I know she has no interest in him like that so I’m not worried”
“How do you know?”
“His way of joking can easily get on the nerves. Most things he thinks are jokes are only funny to him. Like, he makes jokes about Olivia not having a lot of power. Nobody laughs but him and he still makes the jokes. He’s a nice guy but Olivia is too self conscious about needing Ava and I for anybody to make jokes about it” They arrived and knocked on the door. Ava ignored it at first, waiting on Olivia to answer. Bishin waited a few seconds then knocked again since he could smell Ava. Ava sighed, bookmarked her spot then got up “yes? Oh, Hi Bishin, Devina and Jasmine. Come in.”
“Oh I’ve been reading all morning. Olivia!” She called up the stairs. No answer came so Ava went up. She checked each room and couldn’t find her. Olivia came back down “I guess Olivia went on that walk by herself. She’ll be back around dinner” Ava said materfactly even though she knew it upset Bishin when Ava let her go off alone. Bishin sighed in a frustrated way so Ava said “Bishin, she doesn’t like to be babied. She saw I was reading and just walked out. She isn’t completely defenseless and you need to let her be on her own somtimes. It isn’t the end of the world she went on a walk and nobody went with her. She’ll be back, she went on hundreds of walks alone before you happened along. Yeah, somtimes she came back hurt but she always comes home. If she’s not back by dinner I’ll worry and we’ll hunt for her but as her friend you just need to calm your tits and relax here with me”
“fine” Bishin sat on the couch followed by his mom and sister. Ava gave a partial eye roll which made Jasmine giggle. “You are a bit protective brother.”
“You don’t know the half of it. When they are mates and she’s pregnant I’ll be surprised if she can go to the bathroom by herself” Ava said, this time both Bishins mom and sister laughing. Bishin just blushed and rested his elbow on the couch to hold his head in his hand. Kuais eyes had only just gotten better so she was in her kitchen preparing everything to cook Mikel. She liked to chop up her veggies or whatever else she was adding before preparing the child since that was the most difficult part. She knew Mikel would put up a fierce struggle since everything with him was a struggle. It didn’t matter how she punished him he fought on everything. The twins who were always locked in eachothers arms were in their normal corner when they asked “do you want a goodbye hug Mikel?”
“I’m not letting that troll eat me” He spoke in a low but serious tone. “You can’t stop her. She stopped your escape. There’s no escape for any of us.”
“I’ll get us out and we can all live together. You guys too.” ¬†Mikel said to the three girls who never spoke. They weren’t triplets, or atleast didn’t look it but they always stayed together and held hands. Mikel guessed they were captured at the same time but had no way of knowing since they were already here when he was thrown into the cage. ¬†The blonde one looked at him but didn’t say anything. “Hey, why wont you girls talk?” The one with sandy brown hair finally spoke “Maril, the blonde girl here is mute. Myself and Jane just have nothing to say. What would we discuss anyway? How she might flavor us? How we miss our parents and wish we listened to them? I don’t know what Maril was doing in the water alone or where her parents are but she was captured along with us. Our parents asked us to wait on them but we were impatient and ran off. We left the safety of our home to go swimming when they were only going to be a few hours. If we would have just waited they could have protected us, we wouldn’t have been alone and now stuck here. I just want my mom” She began to cry making Mikel want to hug her but he couldn’t since he was chained aswell now.
Kuai didn’t want to risk another escape. Ayla, Olivia and Alexio crept up to the house. “check how many children through that window.” Alexio whispered. “I can do it from here” She whispered back. Olivias eyes changed and she looked through the wall. “O my gosh, there’s six children in there”
“Can you carry them all?”
“I’m not very strong but I can take four then come back. Can I use the rip twice?”
“Yes, I’ll leave it open instead of closing it. Please, I can’t stress enough how dangerous a rip can be to travel through. It isn’t like a portal. Portals are stable.”
“I’ll be careful and picture things clearly. I’ll picture you two to get back. I’m good with people”
“good, so grab four. Drop them in the safe place and come back. Do this all as quick as you can. I don’t want Kuai to follow and grab the children again”
“I’ll be fast”
They burst in knowing that Kuai would hear them even if they tried to be quiet. Her senses were too heightened not to notice intruders in her home so they may aswell go in expeditiously. Kuai seemed to teleport into the living room she was so fast. Gripped tightly in her hand was the knife she was using to cut carrots. She was preparing a stew to cook Mikel in. Even Olivia was impressed by this demons speed when she had seen her grandfather move and fight. Maybe it had just been awhile but this woman seemed faster. Kuai stabbed Ayla, knowing why they were there the second her eyes found Olivia. Ayla screamed, a sound that always made Alexio go into a deep fury. Unlike most demons when they let their demon fury take over, the control vampires had helped him so he could think clearly. He knew the main objective was to get these children out. His sister was far from weak so instead of going to her aid he ran to the cage she had shoved them all in and ripped the bars apart.
When Kuai heard the sound of metal moving she went to slit Aylas throat to kill her before stopping Alexio but Olivia grabbed the knife, trying to fight it away “No I got this Olivia!” Ayla cried then shoved Olivia away. The two women became a blur of fists, claws, fangs and Kuais knife. “get the children” Alexio yelled in a disturbing voice as he lunged to join the scuffle of women. “Grab onto my legs twins” she said since she didn’t know their names. They quickly obeyed. Not trusting these new demons but willing to go anywhere that was away from Kuai. Kuai hearing this hurled Alexio and Ayla through her living room wall. They continued to fly through a few trees. The sound of the great oaks falling filling the forest air. It caused panic among the animals and they began to run off.
“You stupid girl! I let you live once! How dare you challenge me!” Alexio and Ayla immediately got back up, having delt with much worse when their father trained them. He had been a harsh teacher but it was always out of love. He raised them so that he would know when they were on their own they would be safe and able to fight off any attackers. There wasn’t a day their parents worried over their safety. Harlo hadn’t enjoyed training them so roughly but Aylo and Alexio had become grateful in their adult years. They ran back towards the house, hoping to get there before their new friend died.
Olivia trained her agility frequently. Bishin and Ava were always more than willing to help her practice when she wanted to. Olivia dodged punches, only rarely letting Kuai land one. All the children were covering their eyes aside from Mikel who looked as if he wanted desperately to help but his face told her he didn’t know how to help. Just infront of the house Alexio made a rip then burst in with his sister. They pounced on Kuai “Now Olivia” Ayla screamed as they let out everything they had against Kuai. It would wear them down quickly but it would take their all to let Olivia run with some of the children. The twins attached to her legs as asked then Olivia picked up Mikel and Maril.
Olivia took off in a mad sprint, happy to see the rip right infront of her when she was outside the house. Kuai shifted form, her face now looking more snake like and her skin becoming scales. Her fingers morphed into claws as more claws seemed to push out of her hand. She had a set of ten on each hand along with spikes on her back and thighs when the change was over. She let out an unsettling sound then went to maul Ayla. Alexios vision was faster than Aylas so he saw Kuai try for her. He pushed his sister, earning him a tattered and blood drenched shirt. Not that his clothing looked good before the swipe. Both he and his sisters clothes were torn so badly it was as if their clothes were barely there. The two girls left just clung to eachother and cried, hoping Olivia would return soon.
Olivia concentrated on Bishin as hard as she could. Her eyes held shut tightly to see his smiling image. There was nothing she could picture as clearly as Bishin so she was confident this would work. Going through this rip was cold, almost frigid. The children held tightly to her as the twins whimpered. Suddenly she felt warmth as she slammed into what felt like a wooden floor. Olivia opened her eyes and steadied herself. She couldn’t fall and hurt these children more than they had already been hurt. She knew in their days or hours with Kuai they had suffered much more trauma than any child should have to endure. Everyone in the room gasped as she put Mikel and Maril down. “what happened?” Bishin asked in a disquiet voice. The twins wrapped themselves around Olivia harder, afraid of these new people. “There’s no time to talk. Twins please let go. These people are my friends and they’ll protect you until i get back”
“Don’t leave us” The one on her right leg cried. “I have to hurry. Kuai still has two more children who need me. Let go for their sake. I promise these people wont hurt you” They let go and Olivia grabbed Bishin and Avas hands “You and Jasmine need to stay here. It’s tricky passing through this and only we will be able to do it properly. Just keep these children safe and I’ll explain when I have the other two and my friends are safe” Olivia said to Devina. She nodded then Olivia spoke to Bishin and Ava “remember when we went on a run in the woods to the north of here? We were just having fun, not really going anywhere and we saw a house. Do you two remember it clearly?”
“Yes’ They both said “that’s where we’re going. I need you two to concentrate on that house when we pass through. It can be your only thought”
“Lets go” Ava said. Olivia pulled them through. It was still cold but not as bad. Bishin and Ava embraced her tightly, she guessed they were afraid of loseing her. She didn’t know what she looked like but knew it couldn’t be that pretty since Kuai did land a few blows. When they arrived back at the small house it was nearly destroyed as the three scuffled right in front of them. “Help them please! I’m getting the other children” Olivia said to Bishin and Olivia as she ran back for the other two girls. “You bitch!” Kuai called as she tried to break away from Ayla and Alexio to get at her but she couldn’t.¬†Bishin, now confronted with who hurt Olivia was just seeing red and dominated the fight. “rest Alexio” Ayla screamed then Ava said “yes your hurt” as she dodged Kuais claws. Alexio drug himself away, trusting the two demons Olivia brought back to handle it with Ayla. He needed to quit moving so much to slow down his blood loss while his body healed.
Alexio watched how vigerously Bishin fought. Alexio could feel the anger pouring out of him. He guessed that demon must love Olivia and be angered by her being hurt. He of course didn’t know if it was like the love he felt for his sister or was it the love you feel with a mate. He closed his eyes, ceasing his wondering mind and hoping it was intense love to help him fight harder. He didn’t want Ayla hurt any more than she already was. Olivia came sprinting back out and went straight for the rip. She dove through, much more confident this time than the last. Everyone breathed easier now that the children were gone aside from Kuai but she was on the edge of defeat. With her this weak Ava was finally able to seal up her powers. Kuai fell to the ground as Ayla and Bishin struck the final blows needed to rid the world of this monster.
Ayla hobbled over to her brother. Ava sucked air through her teeth now that she could really see how ripped up Aylas legs were. “Brother” she cried. Bishin shifted back “Let me carry you. I’ll take you back to our home and we’ll get you both fixed up.” Alexio nodded “thank you” Bishin lifted him “Thank you for helping Olivia” Ava gave the same offer to Ayla who accepted quickly. Her legs stung and it only hurt worse to try and use them. They approached the rip, all thinking of Olivia to get to her home.
They slammed into the hard wood floor “Please just lay me on the floor. I don’t want to soak a bed with my blood. I insist on being set on the floor”
“we don’t mind, we can make new mattresses”
“Please, the floor” Alexio said again then his sister spoke “we’ll both be fine on the floor. I don’t want to leave my brother and he really does want you to just set him down.” Bishin and Ava set them next to the fireplace incase they were cold from loseing blood. They hated not putting them in a bed but they wouldn’t argue. “Let us atleast give you a blanket” Ava said “I for one am a little cold. Even if my brother says no please bring us one” Ava went quickly to their chest of blankets and Alexio looked at his sister “you ok?’
“always, thanks to you. My legs will be alright. You shouldn’t have been taking so many attacks. You kept throwing yourself in front of me. You’re so annoying with that”
“I know, I’ll always annoy you like that. You’re my sister.”
“and you’re my brother. If we hadn’t gotten some assistance you may have not made it doing that. You should have let me take my own attacks”
“all these years and you truly think I will change now? I’m afraid I’m going to annoy you that way until you find a mate and leave me”
“You could always find a mate too”
“Yeah, maybe” Devina walked over “you two need a drink? Somthing to eat?”
“Water please” They both said. Devina walked off to get water and see if Ava and Olivia had any healing potions stocked in their medicine cabinet. It wasn’t much of a question with how much Bishin fussed but she hoped this wouldn’t be the one time. Avas small injury was near closing while Olivia mainly had bruises so only Ayla and Alexio needed potions to aid their healing. Jasmine carried the glasses while Devina carried the viles over to them. They sat up to drink then laid back down. “they only have one vile of pain medicine already prepared, who should get it?”
“my brother and you better not fight it Alexio” Ayla said sternly. He smiled and took it, downing the vile instantly. “happy?”
“happy” Ayla said then Jasmine spoke “I’ll get started on pain reliever. They had plenty of potions, I’m sure it’ll be enough if more is needed” Devina nodded then Jasmine went to the kitchen to begin her work. Devina went to the table where Ava, Bishin and Olivia were sitting with the children. Devina had made them all sandwiches and given them what fruit was in the girls fridge. Now that everyone was in the kitchen aside from Ayla and Alexio, Olivia asked “What’s you names children?” Mikel swallowed “I’m Mikel, The human girls are Maril, Jane, Tina. The elven children are Gorfin and West. The human girl names Maril can’t talk, she was born mute and is from the same village as the other two girls.” Mikel said, pointing to each one as he gave their names.
Olivias next question was tough but she needed to know where to return them if she could atall. “did um,,did your parents survive your capture or I guess..how were you children obtained and is there a place we can take you?” Mikel grew very obviously depressed then answered “My parents died trying to keep me away from that horrible woman. She…my” Mikel started to cry but he sucked it up, feeling as a male demon he shouldn’t be sitting here shedding tears in front of people. Maril got up from her seta and hugged Mikel. Mikel hugged back, not being able to stop a couple more tears from falling. When Maril let Mikel go he continued “I can tell you where my mothers sister lives. She’d take care of me if you could get me there.”
“Of course we can, I’m so sorry”
“I’m grateful to you all for this and I hate to ask but..I would like to go back to my home where I was taken first. I know chances are good since it’s been so long somthing came along and ate my parents corpses but I really want to go back and bury them properly if their bodies are still laying there…I know it’s a lot to ask since you just saved my life but I can’t let animals eat them if I can help it. They deserve to be burried properly” Mikels voice breaking but he kept his tears at bay. “Of course we will” Ava answered back quickly. It was the answer everybody was going to give but Ava spoke first. “Thank you” Olivias eyes were wet with tears forming so Bishin grabbed her hand. Olivia squeezed it, thankful for the comfort. “what of your parents?” Ava asked the human girls so Olivia wouldn’t have to speak. She knew if her sister had to do too much more talking she really woudl cry for these poor children”
“Our parents are all alive and well. Atleast the last time we saw them. They had some work to do and then they were going to take us swimming in a lake nearby the village. They told us to wait in the house until they were done working but we disobeyed. We were impatient to swim and just ran off. Maril was already there when we arrived. I’m not sure where her parents were and we can’t ask. We don’t speak sign language.”
“Oh, you know how to sign Maril?” Maril signed yes. They started having their own conversation with their hands. When they stopped Ava said “her brother was supposed to be watching her but he ran off with a girl and left her alone” Maril nodded then Olivia asked ‘when did you learn that?”
“Grandma taught me when she was still alive”
“Could you teach me when this is all over?”
“Yes” Ava turned her attention back to the human girls “What’s the name of your village little ones?”
“Oh good, I know that one. We can just take you all home” Maril glanced at Mikel. he wanted desperatly to speak to Maril like Ava did. He hated he didn’t know sign language. He had never even heard of it until now. Bishin now asked the elves “what of your home?”
“don’t send us back. Our parents don’t love us. They gamble with demons, monsters and vampires who like to eat children. They only keep having babies so they have somthing to gamble with. Please, we’ll make ourselves useful around here if you keep us. We don’t know demon ways but we can learn.” Haskall came to Avas mind “hey, I have a friend who’s an elf. He lives near here. You guys would probably be more comfortable with your own kind since your world is so vastly different than ours. We can take you to him.”
“Yes, I’m sure he atleast knows somebody who can take you guys. I think we should just all relax after today. Tonight I’ll talk to the other adults about what order we will do things and how. I think baths are in order for all of you little ones. Maril, do you want to go first?” Maril signed yes so Ava took her up stairs. They let the twins wash together then let the two human girls who knew eachother wash. Last Mikel went up and when he was done Olivia, Bishin and Devina made a pallet on the living room floor for the children. Olivia read to them until they were all sleeping. She smiled when she closed the book and noticed Mikel and Maril sleeping so close to one another. She obviously had no fear of demons like most humans did. She knew the other two human girls were afraid even though they were surrounded by their saviours. It was in how they were raised to be afraid of demons so Olivia didn’t blame them. Olivia couldn’t help but wonder if Mikel and Maril would grow up to be another Ruth and Chthon.
Everybody went outside when Olivia put the book up. “So how are we doing this?” Devina asked. Ava cleared her throat ” I was thinking while Olivia read. The human girls are the only ones with family mourning them. I doubt Mikels Aunt knows her sisters been killed so she isn’t in panic over Mikel yet. I can’t imagine how scared thier parents are. I vote Olivia and Devina take the girls and the rest of us will keep watch over the rest of the children. Olivia and Devina can pass as humans and wouldn’t be attacked on sight.”
“But we don’t know where to go sister.” Olivia said then Ava answered “I’ll draw up a map tonight and send it with you two. While you two are out I can actually take the elfs to Haskall while Jasmine and Bishin guard Mikel. I wont be gone long since I can fly”
“sounds good to me if it’s good to you” Olivia said to Devina “then we will leave in the morning with the girls” Devina answered. Bishin then said “I’ll watch the children tonight so the rest of you can sleep peacefully. They wont go through any more with me at their side” Olivia hugged Bishin “you sure you want to do it alone?”
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. You girls just go to bed so we can start early tomorrow.” Everybody walked inside quietly. Bishin got himself a drink then sat by the children while the girls all went upstairs to rest. When morning came Bishin started breakfast since he was already up. The smell of pancakes woke all the children and then wandered into the kitchen. Bishin smiled “They are almost done. Why don’t you go upstairs and wake everybody?” They all happily ran upstairs, not coming back until everybody was following. At this point Bishin had already set the table and started dishing out pancakes. Bishin kept cooking until everybody was done, serving himself last. Maril finished off her juice then signed to Ava. Ava smiled, that grin she made when she thought somthing was cute. “Hey Mikel, Olivia and Devina are taking the human girls back to their village today and Maril wants to go outside and talk to you before she leaves.”
“ok” Mikel said with a mixture oif enthusiasm and sadness. He was excited to get Avas help to talk to Maril but he didn’t want Maril to go. Outside Maril began signing to Ava then Ava spoke “Maril wants to thank you for reassuring her so much when you all were in cages. She says it really helped even though she couldn’t thank you. She would have loved to talk to you but sadly she was born with no voice. She said she’s going to miss you and hopes that somehow you will see eachother again. She said she knows you two can’t talk without help but she just likes being around you and hearing your voice. Maril says she knows she gets on people nerves with the fact she can’t talk and it’s hard to learn sign language so she understands if you don’t even try to see her again but she wanted you to know she wanted that if you did.”
Mikel instantly closed the distance between them for a hug “Of course I want to see you again Maril. You don’t annoy me. I really wanted to talk to you too and I’m glad to know you only didn’t because you couldn’t. I promise I’m going to learn sign language so you can talk to me and I’ll see you anytime I can. I loved the times I was able to make you smile and how I could make you stop crying when you got upset. You live in a human village so it will be hard to get to you without angering them but I will do whatever it takes. My Aunt lives far away but I’m going to convince her to move closer this way. If I cant get her to and you don’t see me for awhile don’t forget me Maril. I will come back” Maril pushed out of the hug and signed to Ava. Ava then translated “She says she could never forget you and that she will always be looking. Even if years pass she will expect to see you again. She’s glad you do want to be friends. She wanted to come outside incase you didn’t want to so she wouldn’t get emabressed around everyone else”
“You should have known I did. Didn’t I talk to you all the time in our cage?” Maril nodded and a tear dropped out of her eye as she thought it may be a long time before she saw Mikel again. Mikel wiped it away “don’t cry. I will see you as soon as I can. When we’re adults there will be nothing in our way because I can help you build a house outside the village so we wont have other humans around.” Maril nodded and gave Mikel a smile. He smiled back and kissed her cheek. “I guess this is goodbye for now then” Marils smile fadded then she gave a nod.
All the kids exchanged hugs when Devina, Olivia and Ava were ready to go. Mikel lingered in Marils hug. He knew when he let go she’d be leaving him. He had only just gotten a way to have a conversation with her and she was leaving. He eventually broke the hug “Bye Maril, remember what i said yesterday” Maril nodded and forced a smile, wanting it to be how he remembered her. Mikel was the first person other than her parents that didn’t make her feel like an inconvenience. None of the other children played with her and few people in the village knew sign language. She understood her brothers resentment towards her. Since nobody would play with her their parents forced him to. She told her parents she was fine on her own but they made Zem play with her anyway. She didn’t even blame him for leaving her in that water where she got caught. He just wanted a life and she wished her parents would just let him do what he wanted to do more. She thought if they did her brother might actually like her.
Ava lifted the elven children into the air and started her flight to Haskalls. Maril then climbed on Olivias back so Devina and Olivia could run. Mikel just stood there, He couldn’t even move when they were no longer in sight. Jasmine and Bishin didn’t have the heart to make Mikel go inside so they waited on him. The desert winds kicked up and Mikel finally turned “sorry guys, lets go in” They went in and Mikel sat on the couch, looking as if his world ended even though he had someone to go to. Jasmine sat beside the little boy then pulled him into her lap “talk to me honey, you look so sad”
“I just don’t have my parents any more and now Marils gone. She helped me get through all that aswell. The first night I couldn’t keep myself from crying and she came over to hug me even though the other two humans told her I was just as dangerous as the woman we were captured by. She hugged me anyway to give me comfort. Even though she never talked back i enjoyed her facial expressions when I’d talk to her. All those smiles and the way she’d look at me. I really like her eyes. Now I don’t have her or my parents and…I just didn’t want Maril to leave too. I have my Aunt but I feel somthing I don’t normally feel around anyone else when I’m with Maril. She makes me feel really good and I’m going to miss that feeling. What am I going to do if my Aunt wont move closer and she forgets me by the time I can live on my own…it’ll hurt so bad”
“I don’t think there’s any chance Maril will forget you. You shouldn’t worry about that. I’m sure if you talk to your Aunt about how important moving closer is to you she’ll do it”
“Do you think Ava will let me stay here until I learn sign language? I don’t know if my Aunt knows it and I need to learn. I want to know what she’s saying to me”
“I know she will. We will go see if your parents bodies are still where you last saw them and we’ll help you bury them. After that you can stay here until you know how to sign with Maril”
“Thank you, I never knew kind demons outside of my family until now.”
“There’s plenty of kind demons. They are the minority but there are kind demons” Ava soon landed in fornt of Haskalls house and knocked. She heard the chair move away from his desk where he wrote and then approach the door. He wore a huge smile when he saw Ava. He quickly became confused when he saw the two elven children with her. “what’s going on?”
“Long story, do you ahve somthing for the kids to do inside while I speak with you?”
“Of course, do you like to draw?” he asked the two kids. They nodded and he set them up inside with quils and paper. Haskall then joined Ava outside “what’s going on?” Ava told Haskall the entire story then asked “do you know anyone who would take them?” Haskall was silent a few moments. His eyes telling her he was in deep thought. When Haskall spoke he said “I’ll take them. I get lonely here anyway and I don’t know any other elves that well. I can’t risk them going through anything else. If they’d like to stay with me they can”
“That’s really sweet of you Haskall. Thanks for giving them a home”
“Lets go inside and ask” They went in and Haskall asked if they wanted to live with him. They happily said yes. Ava stayed a little bit to learn about the children since she planned on making them clothes to wear. Once she had all she needed to know she told Haskall. “I’m going to start working on clothes for them. I’ll bring them a few outfits as soon as I can”
“two or three will do. I’ll take them shopping. Don’t trouble yourself Ava”
“Alright” Ava instantly went back into the sky and started home. Haskall watched in the doorframe until Ava was gone. When Ava returned home Mikel immidietly asked “Will you teach me sign language? I’ll do anyhting you want to pay you back. I want to know what Maril is saying to me so badly. Please miss” Ava smiled “You are welcome to stay here and learn from me as long as it takes. First I need to start working on some clothes for the twins. Haskall decided to keep them himself. Can you wait for me to be done?”
“I can help. My mom taught me how to make my won clothes”
“Yep, let me help”
“I’d love your help. Come with me. We’ll make them in my room” Haskall excitedly ran up leaving Bishin and Jasmin smiling. “he’s got it bad for little Maril.” Jasmine said and Bishin laughed “If anybody missed that they are blind. Aside of course from the other children since they don’t understand love yet.”
“It’s sweet, I just hope it works out. Humans are raised to hate demons. I hope she always knows that there are some good ones. She’ll destroy that little boy if he finds her again and she’s afraid of him”
“She loves Mikel too. She wont let the other humans warp her mind”
“How do you know?”
“I can tell these things” Bishin answered and Jasmine laughed as she thought¬†“and you can’t even see Olivia loves you”¬†
As they began to work on clothes Mikel asked “how long will it take Olivia and Devina to get Maril to her village?”
“Three or four days, depends on how well the girls travel”
“Yeah, we live far out in the dessert. It takes awhile to get to civilized places. Don’t worry, Devina is a very strong demon and Olivia is fast. Olivia can run away while Devina takes care of any threat to the girls.”
“Good” Ayla and Alexio finally woke around lunch “You guys really slept” Jasmine said as they both got up. All their wounds were closed. The only evidence of any attack was the state of their clothes and the dry blood. “How long?”
“Once I gave you each somthing for the pain and more healing potion you stayed out through the rest of yesterday. It’s lunch time now”
“we feel much better. Where are the children?” Ayla asked. “The human girls are on their way back to their village, the elven children are now living with one of Avas friends and Mikel is upstairs making clothes with Ava. Could I make you two somthing for lunch? Ava and Mikel just grabbed sandwiches.”
“That sounds fine, coudl we shower first?”
“Of course, get that dry blood off you.” Jasmine guided them each to a shower. Bishin had made two bathrooms so Ava and Olivia could each have their own. Jasmine gave Ayla some of Olivias clothes to wear then ran out to grab some of Bishins clothes from his house. When Jasmine got back Alexio was just waiting in his towel. She handed him Bishins clothes then he went back up to change. The twins threw their clothes away “thank you, we need to be going though. We were on the way to visit our parents but when we get back we’ll come spend some time here to get to know all of you” Ayla said to Jasmine. “I’m not normally here and neither is Devina. Olivia, Bishin and Ava are always here though. I know they’d love to have you back. Thank you so much for helping Olivia.”
Alexio smiled :she’s a hard woman to refuse. She honestly made us feel bad we had never gone to help those children. We were too scared of Kuai. I’m glad she got us to”
“Olivia has a big heart and can’t walk by anyone in need” They hugged Jasmine “we’ll go say bye to Ava now” was the last thing they said before going up and exchanging hugs. They jumped right out the window and began going north. Olivia and Devina stopped just on the edge of the village and set the girls down. “you all run home from here. Don’t tell anyone demons helped you. They might think we were part of it and hurt us all for helping. They might also get angry at you for recieving help from demons so no telling” They all nodded then ran to their homes. “should we rest near here? We pushed ourselves so hard. Speaking for myself I’m exhausted.”
“yeah, lets rest through today then head back. Lets get ourselves a good distance from the village first”
“Good idea” They walked until they felt they were a safe distance away then went into the wooded area. They found an apple tree then relaxed under it. Devina shook it making apples cascade down, one hitting Olivia. “sorry”
“Its ok, I certainly didn’t want to climb the tree. It was worth pushing ourselves so hard. Those girls can finally be with the people they love. Maril didn’t look too happy but hopefully she’ll see Mikel”
“it’s hard being a mute child. I lived among humans for awhile and they are cruel to people born without speach, hearing, or vision. They treat you like is your fault and you’re an inconvienence. You’d be surprised how cruel humankind can be to eachother. Her life is going to be a hard one. It’s not fair, she cant help she cant speak”
“do you think we should have returned her?” Olicia asked in a worried voice. “Yeah, from what she says her parents love her and treat her kindly. She can always run off with Mikel when he’s an adult anyway if things get bad”
“Yeah, they ahve many years before that though”
“Yeah, lets just hope the people of this village dont treat mutes as badly as the village I was in” After they had their fill they climbed up in a tree to sleep. Now that they had eaten climbing wasn’t so bad of a concept. It was safer to sleep in trees when you didn’t have a tent or house to sleep in. In the early hours of morning they each ate one more apple then started home. They moved fast unweighted by children on their backs. When they arrived home a few days later they came in to see Ava and Mikel practicing sign language on the floor. Ava yelled for Bishin who came running. Ava hugged Devina first so Bishin could get his arms around Olivia. The man had been having withdrawls that she didn’t plan on letting him live down for a long time. After Ava and Bishin came Jasmine to hug them. Olivia asked “where’s Ayla and Alexio?”
“They had to leave. When they came upon you they were on their way to visit their parents”
“are they coming back?”
“They said they would. Also, After we bury Mikels parents he wants to stay with us until I can finish teaching him sign language. I said it’s fine.”
“It’s fine with me too. It’s not like his Aunt is waiting on him. Lets hurry and go. He’s already waited to bury his parents long enough. I pray their bodies are still there” Olivia said even though her body craved another rest. Bishin picked up Mikel “you two get a drink first then we’ll head out” Olivia and Devina were happy to do so. Running in the sand made their mouths dry. When they finished their glass Bishin spoke “just guide us there. If you need us to go slower we’ll go slower”
“ok” Mikel answered. They ran following everything Mikel said. It took almost four days to reach where he had once lived. They walked up to his house. Mikels father should have been laying in their garden but his body had obviously been drug off. “My dads gone…lets check a little ways away for my mother.” Mikel said and they walked in the direction he specified. Bishin shoved Mikels face into his chest. His mothers body had been gnawed on in a few places but not devoured. Bishin didn’t want Mikel to see his mothers body like that “Mikel, we’re going to walk away and wait on the others to dig a hole then bury your mother. You don’t need to see her this way. Please don’t fight me on this.” Mikel frowned “atleast she will get burried atall. I wont fight you” Bishin walked away and the girls began to make a hole near Mikels mothers body.
When it was deep and long enough Devina gently placed Mikels mothers remains in the ground then all the girls began to push the soft dirt over her. When the land was flat again Bishin brought Mikel over. “I want to get moms favorite blanket out the house. Bishin set Mikel down and he ran inside. Mikel came back with stakes and a large quilt. He laid it out over the loose dirt then stuck stakes in each corner so it wouldn’t blow away. “Mom couldn’t sleep without that blanket” They formed a circle around the grave and Mikel spoke. He told stories about things he and his parents would do. He talked about every good memory he had of them. It moved everyone to tears, even Bishin. It was especially moving when he told them he would hold tightly to those memories and do his best to make them proud. He assured them he would always have a good heart and not be swayed by the rest of demon kind to do terrible deeds. He told them he loved them once more then allowed himself to cry. His little voice had been breaking through his stories but he held strong until he had said all he wanted to say.
Olivia and Jasmine surrounded him with a hug. When Mikel quit crying they all started back to Olivia and Avas home. The following days Mikel studied sign language as often as Ava was willing to teach. It was sweet how earnest Mikel was about it. Learning how to understand Maril seemed to be truly important to him. Ava taught him everything she knew then said “You’ve been an amazing student. You’ve learned all there is to know. You’ll be able to talk to her without trouble atall when you see Maril again” Mikel gave the happiest grin Ava ever saw, Mikel hugged her “thank you so much”
“you ready to tell us where your Aunt lives? We love you and you’re welcome back any time but you should be with family”
“Yeah, lets go find Bishin and Olivia” They went outside where Olivia and Bishin were playing in the water. Olivia was laughing as Bishin threw her back in the water. Mikel laughed making both Bishin and Olivia look. Bishin blushed and Olivia waved. When Ava told them Mikel was ready to go they dried and dressed then packed a small bag of water and snacks. There was always food and drink somewhere but it was best to be prepared. They walked since there was no real hurry. They all had to admit they didn’t want Mikel to go. Since he stayed so long each of them formed a tight bond with the little boy. They all hoped he would come back one day. They told him as much multiple times. It was heartbreaking to approach the house in the mountains since they knew this was where they’d part with Mikel.
Mikel jumped off Avas back and pounded on the door. A woman looking to be no older than sixteen answered. They knew she was older but a human definitly wouldn’t know it. The two embraced tightly “where’s your parents? Who are these people?” Bishin stepped forward and told her everything. Mikel did his best not to cry. “thank you so much. Do you want to rest here before you go back?”
“No, we’re ok” Olivia said, knowing the longer they hung around the harder it would be to leave Mikel. Ava and Bishin nodded their agreement then they exchanged goodbyes. Mikel stood on teh proch waving as his new friends walked away. He would never forget them, just as he knew he’d never forget Maril.
~ The End ~